Category Archives: 11. Fruit delights

Cranberry and Apple Cake 6-8 servings

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Cranberry and Apple Cake 6-8 servings

cranberry-apple-cake

This is an easy and fairly healthy dish to make when the holidays are here.  Actually, it’s good for anytime of the year.  You can vary it as to how you think that you want to enjoy it.  I personally like less cake so I cut the cake ingredients in half (shown in my picture).  There are other options as well.  It’s all up to you.  I like versatile recipes like that.  So, bon appétit and Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

 

Step # 1Ingredients for the filling:

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over for stems if necessary
  • 1 Granny Smith or other good kind of cooking apple you like, cored and diced (I diced mine in the food processor).
  • 4 ounces Sun Dried Cherries (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of grated orange rind/zest (about 1/2 of 1 large orange)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice from that 1 large orange you just used
  • Orange segments from that 1 orange after you’ve juiced it. I put the segments in with the apple and diced it all together.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or some other similar spice that you enjoy
  • Some ground black pepper if you wish or even some pepper corns

Step #2 Ingredients for the cake (for more cake like, use the amounts I have listed; if you wish more of a topping like effect, as in my picture, use half of the amounts of these ingredients which also means less calories. )

  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or any other extract you like or even brandy (I used brandy)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Step # 3 Topping ingredients for the end result:

  • Some Turbinado Sugar to lightly sprinkle over all before placing in the oven
  • Some more cinnamon, whatever also to sprinkle over all before placing in oven

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 325F
  • Slightly oil or butter a 10-inch glass pie plate.
  • Step #1: Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Let sit while you do Step #2.
  • Step #2: In another bowl, on medium-high, beat with an electric beater the eggs for 2 minutes. Then, on medium, add the remainder of the ingredients except for the flour and beat until just combined.  On low speed, slowly add the flour and salt till well combined.
  • Step #3: Pour the cranberry mixture into the pie dish. Spread the batter with a spatula over the fruit covering it as completely as you wish.  Top with ingredients listed in Step #3.
  • Bake in oven for about 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the fruit is bubbling around the edges.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. Cool Whip, whipped cream or ice cream makes for a nice accompaniment.

 cranberry-apple-cake

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Apples Sauteed serves up to 4

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Sautéed Apples—serves up to 4

apples-in-sauce just-apples pancake-w-apples-sauce-1

I served this often to my B&B guests and they loved it.  It’s so easy to make and is so much better than store bought syrup to use for pancakes or waffles and you get the apples as well.  But don’t stop there, it’s great over ice cream as well.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (or a bit more if you wish) butter
  • 2-3  large tart apples cored and sliced in large segments
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 to 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or another flavor if you wish
  • Raisins (optional)

Directions

  • In a large skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add apples. Cook, stirring constantly, until apples are almost tender, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Dissolve the cornstarch, brown sugar and cinnamon In hot water in a microwaveable dish. Place in micro for 1 or more minutes.
  • When apples are just about tender, pour heated liquid into the pan along with the optional raisins if you wish and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Hints: I started out with the lesser amounts of the hot water and brown sugar. After micro-heating and placing in pan with apples, you can always add more hot water.  If you wish to have more sugar, dissolve the sugar first in hot water and then add to pan.  But truthfully, I found that 1/4 C. brown sugar was plenty sweet enough.

 

Bon Appetit

Margot Van Horn

Blog: http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com

 

Chocolate Pear Custard Tart

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hb tart lois decortart crust forked tart w.no decor

Above on your left is the tart decorated for Lois A. 90th B-D. Besides the bought decorations I used some violets from my garden.

The middle picture shows the crust, pierced and ready to go in the oven briefly.

The right picture shows the tart undecorated.

Chocolate Pear Custard Tart

This is truly DELICIOUS. It’s hard to stop eating it. It’s somewhat time intensive to make, but truly worth it. If you don’t decorate it, it looks a little bland so I do suggest placing some little eatable flowers on top or something else to make it look a bit more appealing. I have doubled this recipe and used a 13X9 Pyrex dish; it worked out just fine but I did bake it somewhere between 45 to 60 minutes. Remember, I am in altitude so for your first baking it’s a watch and see mode.

HINT: Poach the pears first; then do the custard; then make your crust; then put the whole deal together and bake; then cool. Told you it’s a bit time intensive but believe me it’s worth it.

Ingredients and hints for the pears:

For the pears that will go on top of the crust please do the following and do this before making the crust:

  1. 6 (or more) UNPEELED Bartlet pears, halved, cored and sliced into half-inch slices. The pears can be semi-ripe but not mushy!
  2. Poach 4 of the pears according to my recipe on this blog. Use the method on top of the stove and I did put in currents.
  3. Save the extra 2 sliced unpeeled and un-poached pears for the last topping to go on top of the poached pears before you pour the chocolate custard sauce over all.
  4. Also, what I did was to buy extra pears and I poached them as well. So, when I served the tart, I also served a separate bowl of poached pears for those who are gluten intolerant. Of course I also served my no-churn homemade ice cream. YUM!!!!!
  5. Mix some sugar and cinnamon together to sprinkle on the extra 2 pears you will be placing on top of the poached pears before you pour the chocolate custard sauce over all.

 

Ingredients for the chocolate custard:

  1. 1/3 C. semisweet chocolate chips
  2. 2 Tblsp. unsalted butter, melted
  3. 1/4 C. plus 2 Tblsp. whole milk
  4. 1 Tsp. almond extract
  5. 1/2 Tsp. salt
  6. 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  7. 3 Tblsp. granulated white sugar
  8. 3 Tblsp. all purpose flour
  9. 2 Tblsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (I always buy the best for this)

Directions for the custard:

  1. Combine the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low hear, stirring until totally melted. Sir in the milk, almond and salt. Set aside.
  2. Combine the egg, yolk, sugar, flour and cocoa powder in the food processor or mixer bowl and process for about 2 minutes. Pour in the milk and chocolate mixture and continue to process until smooth and completely incorporated. Set aside for a bit.

 

Ingredients for the Crust:

  1. 1 package of Walker’s plain shortbread cookies
  2. 1 large egg
  3. 4 Tblsp. butter, melted and cooled
  4. 1/2 C. all purpose flour
  5. 1/3 C. granulated white sugar
  6. 1 Tsp. almond extract

 

 

Directions:

  1. Prepare the crust:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Place shortbread cookies in food processor and process until finely ground.
  4. Add the egg, melted butter, flour, sugar, salt and extract and process again until a soft, buttery dough forms.
  5. Remove dough, roll into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill in frig. for 20 minutes.
  6. Press the chilled dough into a greased 13” by 4” or a 9” round tart pan and score all over with a fork.
  7. Place tart pan on a cookie sheet and blind bake in the oven for 7 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool.
  9. Now you can place the poached pears on top of the crust and after you have done that, place the last 2 sliced unpeeled pears skin side up in a nice pattern. Sprinkle those with a bit of your mixed cinnamon/sugar.
  10. Pour the custard over all.
  11. Bake in your still heated 350 degree oven on the cookie sheet for 25 minutes or till the custard is set, firm and the crust is slightly golden.
  12. Let cool completely before serving.

 

Bruschetta with Strawberries, Balsamic and ONE Mint Leaf

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Bruschetta with Strawberries, Balsamic and One Mint Leaf

 

strawberries only

Strawberries for an appetizer? Yes indeed and I tell you, this is a really delightfully light and delicious treat to offer your guests for a hot summer day. Best of all, it’s a breeze to make. The only thing I have found that it’s best served when the strawberries are heated so that’s a last minute thing but not necessarily so because you can make the sauce ahead of time, refrigerate it for a day or 2 or even freeze it and then reheat it briefly in the micro (about 1 minute and I put the micro at 1/2 temp just to check that it’s not getting too hot and syrupy).

 

Ingredients

  1. One box of Melba Snacks Whole Grain Crackers or something similar
  2. 6 Tbsp. brown sugar (I use the light brown variety)
  3. 1 Tsp. grated lemon zest
  4. 2 Tsp. lemon juice
  5. One quick tiny squirt of Balsamic (CAREFUL—not too much)
  6. 3 C. cleaned, hulled sliced strawberries (you can also dice them if you prefer)
  7. 4-6 Tbsp. mascarpone
  8. A bunch of washed whole mint leaves

 

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine and whisk well the sugar, zest, juice and balsamic together.
  2. Heat a large Teflon skillet over medium-high heat and add the above mixture. When it begins to bubble (30 seconds to 1 minute) add the strawberries and stir until the juices begin to release their flavor and the berries are heated through (30 seconds to 1 minute more)

stawberries in pan

3.  If you are serving this immediately, I would recommend spreading the mascarpone on the crackers before you have made the sauce and have the crackers all ready on a pretty platter to finish off and serve.

4. After you have placed the sauce on top of the mascarpone, top each with a mint leaf. That will make the whole deal!!!

 

Bon Appétit strawberries on crackers

Raspberry, Lavender and Chocolate Jam

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Raspberry, Lavender and Chocolate Jam

lavender

makes enough to fill six 8 oz. jam jars

I and my B&B styled catering service “ From Margot’s Table to Yours” had a wonderful fun time participating in the Sept. 22nd Sun Valley Harvest Festival’s Grand Tasting event.  It was made even better by having Donna Anderson from her Lavender Acre’s Farm there to help along with a good artist friend of mine, Susan Snyder. As I had previously promised here is a very lovely lavender inspired recipe that I wanted to share.  I had made it to put on my lavender thumb print cookies;however, you don’t need to use this jam just for the cookies because you’ll love having it in crepes, on ice cream and with croissants. It also makes a nice hostess gift.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 8 1/2 Cups Fresh raspberries
  2. 3 Cups sugar
  3. 2 Tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  4. 1 1/2 Cups bittersweet chocolate chips
  5. 1 Tablespoon fresh culinary lavender buds
  6. 6 Sterilized, cool and dry 8 ounce jam jars

 

Instructions:
1. Stir to combine raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Turn the heat to medium and let the mixture simmer, slowly stirring, for around 5 minutes. If any foam develops on the surface, skim it off. Remove the saucepan from heat and set aside.
2. Off the heat, stir chocolate and lavender into the raspberry mixture until the chocolate has melted completely. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Cover the bowl with parchment paper and refrigerate it overnight so the flavors can meld.
3. Simmer raspberry mixture in saucepan over medium heat for about 10 minutes, skimming off any foam that forms.

4. Remove from heat, let cool a bit and transfer to your clean jam jars. You can refrigerate without sealing for up to a month or you can place melted paraffin in the jars so as to be able to store for a longer period of time

 

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting

 @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

 

 

No-Churn Ice Cream Recipe # 2 with various fruits and/or LAVENDER culinary buds

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lavenderNo-Churn Ice Cream Recipe # 2 with various fruits and/or LAVENDER culinary buds

Makes 4 pints

Here’s another WICKED recipe.  I  have received a lot of comments and compliments on my other fast, easy and yummy no-churn ice cream recipe so I thought I’d give you all another recipe which I also like a lot.  I think that it turns out a bit softer than the other one.  It’s excellent served in a pretty glass layered with fresh fruit and this ice cream.

Ingredients:

  1. 4 egg whites
  2. 1 ¾ C. superfine sugar
  3. 2 ½ C. heavy cream
  4. 2 ripe mangoes, flesh roughly chopped into 1-inch chunks, strawberries cut in smaller pieces, whole raspberries or blueberries ; peaches, apricots, banana cut in bits; add some chocolate chips; and for Lavender, add 1/2 C. lavender simple syrup and reduce the amount of heavy cream to 2 cups.

Instructions:

  1.  In a glass or metal bowl, beat the egg whites till thick.
  2. Add the sugar and beat until stiff.
  3. Add the cream and continue beating until mixture is thick and creamy.
  4. If you wish to make the lavender version, beat everything before adding the simple syrup.  When your mixture is thick and creamy in step 3, beat in the simple syrup in several additions.
  5. Gently fold in the fruit or fruit pieces.
  6. Cover and place in freezer until almost set (3-4 hours)
  7. Take, out and beat once more.  Put in airtight containers in the freezer overnight.

Lavender Simple Syrup Recipe (Makes 2 Cups):

Ingredients:

  1. 2 C. water
  2. 1 ½ C. superfine sugar
  3. 2 Tblsp. dried culinary lavender buds

Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the water, sugar and lavender to a boil.  Remove the pan from the heat and then cover with a lid.  Let this mixture steep for at least 1/2 hour however, I let it steep overnight for best results.
  2. Strain the syrup into a jar or bottle.  It will keep for a week or two in the fridge during which you can add it to iced tea, hot tea, hard liquor concoctions (basil flavored vodka works fabulously well), champagne, or lemonade (look for my separate recipe for that under Lavender Lemonade). I’ve heard that it will keep better if you introduce some vodka in the syrup.

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting

 @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Free Form Fruit Tart

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free form fruit tart

Free Form Fruit Tart

Serves 4 to 8 (depending on sizes served)

 Easy as can be to make and delicious—that’s what this desert is.  Heavens, it takes no time what so ever to make (45 minutes at the most) and to bake;  everyone will for sure think that it took you all day and will ouuu and ahhhh and probably, you won’t have any left over’s—so you’ll have to make another the next day just to satisfy yourself.

Pre-Heat oven to 425F

Ingredients for the free-form pie crust:

  1. 1 ¼  C. flour
  2. 1/2 Tsp. salt
  3. 3 Tblsp. sugar
  4. 1 stick butter= 8 Tblsp. (room temp is the best, but if not, cut into small pieces)
  5. 3 Tblsp. very cold water (plus more if necessary)

Directions for making the pie crust:

  1. Whisk flour, salt and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Cut in the butter in the dry ingredients till mixture is well blended and looks like cornmeal. You can use two knives, forks or a pastry blender, but if you have a processor, do the following:  For the first 2 steps process the dry ingredients with a quick one, two pulse; then add the butter and process until blended and mixture looks like cornmeal.
  3. If you’ve used a processor, place your ingredients in a bowl. Add the water and mold with hands in order to make into a ball. Try to handle as little as possible so that the crust remains very light and flaky and will not become “heavy”.
  4. Place ball on a large piece of saran wrap; then place another sheet of saran wrap on top and flatten ball.
  5. Take a rolling pin and roll the top saran wrap sheet till your dough ball becomes a rough round of 9 or 10 inches (the dough should be about 1/4 inch thick).
  6. Remove your top saran wrap sheet, pick up the bottom saran sheet with the dough and quickly flip it out on a cookie sheet or pizza pan that has been lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Remove that saran sheet so that your dough is all by its lonesome on the prepared baking sheet. Now you are ready to place your desired filling in the middle of the dough.

Filling Ingredients for the free-form pie crust:

  1. Pitted, peeled, sliced soft fruit; thinly sliced apples, pears; crushed almonds, walnuts, raisins, currents  are all good filling choices.
  2. With fruit, you can toss them with crystallized ginger bits, cinnamon and/or sugar, honey and melted butter, lemon rind and whatever else you like.
  3. 2 Tblsp. melted butter

Final directions:

  1. Place fruit, whatever in the middle of the dough leaving a good 1 ½ inch free border all around.
  2. Fold up the edges of the crust up and around the fruit, pinching the outer edge dough together.
  3. Brush the dough with 2 Tblsp. melted butter and save some melted butter for brushing on the fruit itself.
  4. I also place a bit more sugar on the top of all.
  5. Place the free-form pie which is on the lined cookie sheet or pizza pan in your pre-heated oven until the dough is nice and brown and the fruit is bubbling (about 30 minutes but start checking after 20 minutes).
  6. Remove from oven, cool on a rack and serve warm dusted with confectioner sugar and ice cream or crème fraiche or whipped cream.