No-bake peach and almond tartlets

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 cup 35% cream
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp orange-blossom water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large ripe, firm peaches, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

METHOD:

  1. Stir crumbs with butter in a medium bowl, until mixture is moist. Line 8 cups in a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Scoop a scant 3 tbsp crumb mixture into each cup. Firmly press from centre of liner to edges and up the sides until crust is even with rim. Refrigerate until firm.
  2. Beat mascarpone with cream, honey, orange-blossom water and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high until fluffy, about 2 min. Remove muffin tin from refrigerator and fill prepared crusts with mascarpone mixture up to the rim. Smooth tops. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  3. Stir peaches with sugar in a small bowl. Let sit until peaches soften, about 15 to 20 min. Drain liquid and stir in almonds.
  4. Unmold tartlets onto individual dessert plates. Scoop mixture over each tartlet.
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Asian Pear Ginger Froyo & Lemon Ginger Macarons

INGREDIENTS:
Asian pear-Ginger Frozen Yogurt

  • 1 lb. Asian pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 oz. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb. Greek yogurt, or strained yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sugar

METHOD:

  1. In a food processor, puree the Asian pear and fresh ginger until smooth and no chunks are left.
  2. Fold the pear and ginger puree into the Greek yogurt and add the sugar.  Mix thoroughly.
  3. Chill the mixture thoroughly, and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions.

Lemon Ginger Macarons
makes ~60-70 shells

  • 30 grams sugar
  • 200 grams powdered sugar
  • 110 grams slivered almonds
  • 4 Tbspn dried lemon zest*
  • 5 grams ground ginger
  • 1/2 tspn yellow powder food coloring, optional
  • 90 grams egg whites, at least two days old (separate eggs in advance, put the whites in an air tight container for at least two days–I usually keep them for five days before use)
  • freshly grated lemon zest

METHOD:

  1. Have ready: pastry bag fitted with a round tip with about 1/2″ opening and two baking sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, process the regular sugar for a few seconds.  Remove and set aside.
  3. Combine the powdered sugar, almonds, dried lemon zest, ground ginger, and food coloring in the food processor and process until the almonds are finely ground. Set aside.
  4. Place the egg whites in a mixer bowl with the whisk attachment.  Begin whisking on low, until the egg whites start to foam.
  5. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium high and beat the egg whites while gradually adding the regular sugar. Beat on medium high until you reach a glossy, soft-peak meringue.
  6. At this point, remove the mixer bowl from the mixer and continue the rest of the way by hand, using a large balloon whisk.  Pour (lightly!) the processed powdered sugar and almond mixture into the meringue.  Fold to combine, quickly at first, and then slowly after the first few strokes.  Make sure to always use deliberate strokes when folding.  Mix only until combined, no more than fifty strokes.  Usually, it only takes me fewer than thirty, if that.  The batter is ready when the peaks will collapse on their own.
  7. Immediately transfer the batter to the prepared pastry bag. On the silpat baking sheets, squeeze about 1 to 1.5″ rounds.  Top each shell with freshly grated lemon zest.  Let the sheets sit for at least 30 minutes.
  8. While the macarons rest, preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.  Bake the macarons for 15-20 minutes, rotating after about 10.  Macarons are done when the shells do not give when gently touched.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

*To make dried lemon zest, zest lemons and leave the zest out on a piece of paper towel for 24 hours.

Cognac-Caramel, Pecan, and Pear Pudding Cake

INGREDIENTS:
for poached pears:

  • 3 cups water
  • 2 Tbspn sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 tspn cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 mini pears

METHOD:

  1. In a small pot, combine the water, sugar, and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the pears and hollow out the seeds using a melon baller from the bottom end.
  3. Poach the pears in the simmering water until fork tender all the way through, about 10 minutes, depending on the size of the pears.
  4. Remove the pears from the liquid and set aside.

for cognac caramel:

  • 2 Tbspn butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 tspn coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cognac

METHOD:

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the butter is melted, add the brown sugar and coarse salt. Cook until the sugar has melted.
  3. Slowly add the water to the sugar and bring to a bowl. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add the cognac. Set aside.

for pudding cake:

  • 6 Tbspn butter
  • 2 oz. pecans, toasted and finely ground
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1 1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar, optional
  • heavy cream, optional

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees C.
  2. In a small saucepan with a light-colored bottom, melt the butter. Cook over medium heat until the solids in the butter drop to the bottom and brown. Remove from heat and set aside. Solids will continue to brown as it sits.
  3. Combine the ground toasted pecans, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together lightly beaten eggs and brown sugar. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Mix to combine. Slowly add the brown butter, making sure to incorporate it fully into the liquid.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two stages, combining thoroughly. Do not overmix.
  6. Divide the batter amongst the six ramekins/mini cocottes. Pour the cognac caramel over the batter, diving amongst the six ramekins. Place a single poached pear in the center of each ramekin, pressing down into the batter. Batter should reach the near the top brim of the cocotte.
  7. Bake for ~30 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are dry and a toothpick insert 3/4 of the way in the cake comes out cleanly. Remove from oven and let cool at least five minutes before serving.
  8. Serve with a light dusting of powdered sugar or heavy cream.

Dark Chocolate Pear & Walnut Tart

Dark Chocolate Pear Tart - via farmgirlgourmet.com

INGREDIENTS:

For Crust:

    • 2/3 cup walnut halves, toasted for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F.
    • 1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold & cut into chunks
    • pinch of kosher salt
For Pears:
    • 2 Bosc pears, peeled, halved & cored
    • 2 cups Moscato wine
    • 1/2 vanilla bean, split
For Ganache:
  • 10 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (or semi-sweet)
  • 1 cup heavy cream

METHOD:

For Crust:

  1. Add the toasted walnuts to a food processor and process just until fine. Over processing with result in walnut butter, so be careful. Add the flour, sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal, about 5 times.
  2. Pour the walnut mixture into a springform pan and press lightly into the bottom and up the sides by 2 inches. The mixture will be crumbly at first but will press into a crust.
  3. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Remove outer ring and cool for 20 more minutes.

For Pears:

  1. Start by peeling 2 pears and core with a melon baller.
  2. Bring the Moscato and vanilla bean to a boil, slide in the pear halves and lower the temperature to medium low and cover. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the pears are fork tender. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

For Ganache:

  1. Add the chocolate and cream to a small saucepan and set over medium low heat. Don’t stir. Allow the chocolate to get soft and once it looks shiny and soft remove from the heat and stir briskly until smooth.
  2. Pour into the cooled walnut crust. Slice the pears width wise and place them into the ganache carefully so they don’t sink. Repeat with remaining pear halves. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Bring slightly to room temperature before serving.

Pear Collage - farmgirlgourmet.com

Maple Cheesecake with Roasted Pears

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Easy Press-In Pie Crust, made in a 9-inch springform pan with vanilla wafers (recipe below)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 medium pears, such as Bosc or Bartlett, sliced lengthwise 1/8 inch thick

METHOD:

  1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup maple syrup; beat until smooth. In a medium bowl, beat cream and sugar on high until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, stir about one-third the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture, then fold in remainder. Transfer to crust and refrigerate until firm, 3 hours (or up to 1 day).
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange pear slices in a single layer on sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Roast until pears are soft, 20 minutes. Remove from oven and heat broiler. Brush pears with 2 tablespoons maple syrup and broil until browned in spots, about 4 minutes, rotating sheet frequently. Let cool. To serve, arrange pear slices, overlapping slightly, on cheesecake.

Easy Press-In Pie Crust

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 ounces cookies (about 12 digestives, 46 vanilla wafers, or 30 chocolate wafers, such as Famous)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). In a food processor, pulse cookies until finely ground (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Add sugar, salt, and butter and pulse until combined.
  2. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. (If using a springform pan, press crumbs halfway up sides.) Bake until crust is dry and set, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely in plate on a wire rack before filling.

Baked Pancake with Pear and Cardamom

 

INGREDIENTS:

Makes 4 servings

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 – 3 medium, buttery pears, ripe but firm, cut off the core and sliced 1/4 – 1/2″ thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
  • maple syrup for drizzling

METHOD:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200ºC (400ºF).
  2. Place the butter in a 10″ cast iron (or other oven proof) skillet and put in the oven to melt.
  3. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well, and add the eggs. Whisk to combine, adding the milk little by little until the batter is smooth. Whisk in the vanilla and about two-thirds of the melted butter. Set aside.
  4. Heat the skillet with the remaining butter over a medium flame, and brush some of the butter around the rim of the skillet. Toss in the pears, cardamom, lemon juice and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are tender and the sugars are beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
  5. Pour the batter into the hot pan over the pears and place in the oven. Bake until golden and dramatically puffed, as though trying to escape from the pan, about 25 minutes.
  6. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into wedges. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve immediately.

Poached Pears

Pears poached in Port recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Pears
  • 1 bottle Ruby Port (Fine Ruby)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 pod star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 vanilla pod / 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ tbsp orange zest
  • ½ tbsp. lemon zest
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt

METHOD:

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the pears, in a saucepan and gently bring to a boil.
  2. Simmer gently the liquid gently for 5-10 minutes, whilst you peel and core the pears, leaving the stalk intact for decoration.
  3. Drop in the pears and continue to simmer for around 30 minutes, gently turning the pears occasionally to ensure they cook evenly.
  4. Remove the pears, and then reduce the remaining sauce by about half.
  5. Strain into a jug and pour generously over the pears.
  6. Serve immediately with cream or vanilla ice cream or chocolate ganache

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum

METHOD:

  1. Place the chocolate into a medium bowl.
  2. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  3. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot.
  4. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired.
  5. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake.
  6. Start at the center of the cake and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.