Tag Archives: Sweet

Valentine’s Day Sweets

Valentine's Day Sweets

This article originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association.  Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.

Rustic Summer Tart

For a simple, fruity dessert on a summer’s day, all you need is a good crust and some stone fruit…

Ingredients for the crust:

2 cup flours

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 stick chilled unsalted butter

1 egg, beaten

Iced water

Ingredients for the filling: 

4 red plums, pitted and cubed

4 nectarines, pitted and cubed

Juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons sugar

1 egg, beaten

Mix the flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  With a sharp knife, cut the butter into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients.  Rub the pieces of butter and the dry ingredients together with your fingers until the butter is broken into tiny pieces.  Make a well and add the egg and drizzle in the iced water.  Begin to knead the dough quickly into a ball.  Add more iced water until the dough is just wet enough to form a ball.  Wrap the dough in waxed paper and chill for an hour until it is firm.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and add flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the work surface.  Roll the dough into a circle until it is about ¼ inch thick and place it on a baking sheet.

Toss the fruit with the lemon juice.  Arrange the fruit in the center of the dough, leaving the outer 1 1/2 inches of dough uncovered.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Fold up the uncovered edge of the dough and pinch so that it stays overtop the fruit.  Brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg.

Rustic Summer Tart

Bake for about 45 minutes or until the fruit is golden and the crust is lightly browned.  Cool slightly before serving with a chilled French rosé, such as Château Pesquié Terrasses (2015) from Ventoux Rhône Valley Vineyards.  This blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah tastes of red berries and pairs well with fruity desserts.

Coffee and a Swizzle

An after dinner treat – coffee with a swizzle stick…oh, and a slice of New York style cheesecake.

Coffee and Swizzle

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

Fall for Nuts

Check out my October issue of The Judicial Palate.

Fall for Nuts

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2015.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Pistachios 3

Happy Place – Italian Pastry

Enjoying my favorite Italian pastry – sfogliatelle – along with some chocolate for dipping is a most happy place.

Sfogliatelle

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place

Mara de Bois: Thoughts on a Special Strawberry

I could spend days strolling through the weekly market in the French town of Vaison-la-Romaine.  The vendors at this open air marché sell food and wares from sardines to soap, from Morbier to mattresses.  Of all the treasures on display in this maze of stalls, the Mara de Bois – the strawberry that is like a large ruby – is the most precious.

This flavorful gem is smaller and rounder than other varieties, and my husband and I were lured by its sweet perfume.  The merchant offered us a taste, and the aromatic sugar cube melted on my tongue.  Of the two pints we purchased, one made it back to the house.  It took all of my will power to save the other for dessert.  (The tiny berries are so delicate that you must consume them within hours of purchase; at least, that is what I told myself as I popped the juicy candies into my mouth.)

There was no need to stop at the confiserie after our trip to the market.  The Mara de Bois is a natural confection.  And, that evening’s dessert was the simplest I have ever prepared – two petite bowls of Mara de Bois.  No honey, no whipped cream, and certainly, no sugar.

Pistachio Madeleines

My go to madeleine recipe is from Fernand Point’s Ma Gastronomie (copyright 2008 The Rookery Press).   This cookbook is a collection of recipes and thoughts on food by Point — the famed chef and owner of Restaurant de la Pyramide in Lyon, France, where he honored the traditions of the culinary masters while creating new dishes showcasing seasonal ingredients in the early 20th century.  Point’s cuisine would likely be considered “farm to table” in today’s foodie vocabulary.  I recently modified Point’s recipe to include pistachios…

Raw Pistachios

Ingredients:

3 egg yolks

¾ cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons

14 tablespoons melted butter

Zest of one lemon

1 1/3 cups flour

5 stiffly beaten egg whites

1/3 cup of unsalted, shelled pistachios pureed in a food processor

Blend the sugar into the three egg yolks.  Then mix in the butter and lemon zest.  Add the flour a bit at a time, then fold in the egg whites followed by the pistachios.  Butter your madeleine mold and spoon the batter into the mold.   Bake for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  This cooking time is for a larger size madeleine (this mold will typically have 12 cavities).

Madeleines 3

When I made the pistachio madeleines, I used a De Buyer silicone mini madeleine mold with 20 portions and reduced the cook time.  The mini madeleines were a lovely summer green hue and made for a perfect accompaniment to gelato or sorbet.

Pound Cake Madness

Check out my “March Madness” issue of The Judicial Palate.

Pound Cake Madness

This article originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2015.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Rough Winter Tart

Try this tart with fruit that you have on hand on a snow day.  I used apples, jarred Bing cherries, clementines and raisins, and the combination proved to be a good one!

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 stick chilled unsalted butter

1 egg, beaten

Iced water

Filling Ingredients:

2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (Pink Lady preferred)

12 Bing cherries, pitted (Tillen Farms preferred)

Small handful of candied pecans, roughly chopped

Small handful of raisins

2 clementines, cut into segments

2 tablespoons maple sugar

1 egg beaten

Tart Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Mix the flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  With a sharp knife, cut the butter into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients.  Rub the pieces of butter and the dry ingredients together with your fingers until the butter is broken into tiny pieces.  Make a well and add the egg and drizzle in the iced water.  Begin to knead the dough quickly into a ball.  Add more iced water until the dough is just wet enough to form a ball. Wrap the dough in waxed paper and chill for several hours until it is firm.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and add flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the work surface.  Roll the dough into a circle until it is about ¼ inch thick and place it on a baking sheet.

Tart Filling

Arrange the apples in the center of the dough, leaving the outer 1 1/2 inches of dough uncovered.  Arrange the other fruit on top of the apples.  Sprinkle with maple sugar.  Fold up the uncovered outer edge of the dough and pinch so that it stays overtop the fruit.  Brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg.

Bake in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes or until the fruit is golden and the crust is lightly browned.  Remove the tart from the baking sheet and place it on a cooling rack.

Rough Tart When ready to serve, slice and plate standing alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

 

Pear and Meyer Lemon Tart

Looking for a Thanksgiving dessert idea to serve alongside a pumpkin pie? Try a pear tart.  This recipe showcases the tasty fall fruit along with the zest and a slice of a lovely Meyer Lemon.

For the Crust:

2 cups flour

5 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 sticks chilled unsalted butter

1 egg, beaten

Iced water

For the Filling:

4 pears (I like Green Anjou)

7 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 tablespoons apricot preserves

1 Meyer Lemon

Lemon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Mix the flour, sugar and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.  With a sharp knife, cut the butter into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients.  Rub the pieces of butter and the dry ingredients together with your fingers until the butter is broken into tiny pieces.  Make a well and add the egg and drizzle in the iced water.  Begin to knead the dough quickly into a ball.  Add more iced water until the dough is just wet enough to form a ball. Wrap the dough in waxed paper and chill for several hours until it is firm.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and add flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the work surface.  Roll the dough until it is about ¼ inch in thick and large enough to cover the bottom and sides of a tart pan.  Prick the crust with a fork in several places to prevent the bottom from bubbling.  Pre-bake the crust in the middle level of the oven for about 10 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and prepare the filling. Peel and cut the pears into thin slices.  Sprinkle halt the sugar in the bottom of the crust.  Arrange the pears over the sugar in a decorative pattern.  Sprinkle on the rest of the sugar and dot with 2 tablespoons of butter.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes until the fruit is golden and the crust is lightly browned.  Remove the tart pan and place it on a cooling rack.  Heat the preserves in a saucepan over medium low heat until thick enough to coat a wooden spoon.  While still warm, spread the preserves on top of the tart using a pastry brush.

Top with the zest and a slice of a Meyer Lemon, the sweet citrus treat that is so refreshing this season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pear Tart