Tag Archives: fruit

Cherry Pie Pastry Envelope


Yield: 4 Pastries

Ingredients

1 package refrigerated piecrust
1 can cherry pie filling
1/2 cup sparkling sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
One 4 x 5 inch paper envelope
One small heart shaped cookie cutter

Instructions

Unroll pastry on floured surface.

Open a 4 x 5 ½ inch paper envelope and use as a pattern.

Reduce the pattern to make a smaller envelope if desired. Trace pattern onto parchment paper. This is your pattern. Cut pastry into 4 envelopes and 4 small heart shaped cut outs.

Fill pastry with cherry pie filling, but not on the back flap. Following the folds of the paper envelop, fold the cutout pastry, leaving the upper flap open.

Place heart cut-out on folded edges of pastry envelope. Place pastry on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with whipping cream then sprinkle with sparkling sugar.

Bake pastry at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Do not remove from baking sheet until completely cool.

Step by Step Pastry Envelope Folding
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Upside Down Banana Cake


Serves 16

Ingredients

Cooking spray
3 to 4 ripe bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
3/4 cup canola oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup whole milk or alternative milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Generously coat a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Lay the banana halves cut-side down in the dish in a single layer; set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and bring to a simmer, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the bananas in an even layer; set aside while you prepare the cake batter.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the eggs, oil or butter, milk, and vanilla and mix with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Pour the batter evenly over the bananas.

Bake until the cake is lightly browned and springs back when tapped gingerly, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
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Fresh Pear Cobbler


Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cup sugar
3/4 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 tsp chinese five spice powder
2 cups fresh pears, chopped evenly

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan. mix 2 cups fresh pear with 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place butter in a 2-quart baking dish and place in the oven to melt.

Stir 1 cup sugar and flour and Chinese five spice together and mix well. Slowly add milk and continue to stir to prevent the batter from lumping.

Remove baking dish from oven and pour batter over the butter in the baking dish. DO NOT STIR! Spoon fruit on top of batter, the gently pour about 3 Tablespoons of the cooking liquid evenly on top. DO NOT STIR!

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
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Chinese Five-spice Powder

Yield: 2 tablespoons

Ingredients

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon ground star anise
1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns, toasted and ground

Directions

Mix the spices together and store in an airtight jar.
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Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Author’s notes:
I have a couple of secret for how I dip these Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. I melt the chocolate in a glass cup. One of the short ones. Or a coffee mug works too. This seems to keep the chocolate at the right temperature longer and makes it so easy to dunk and dip it. I also use chocolate chips or chocolate bars, not just any chocolate, but a good creamy chocolate brand. I think a lot of dipping chocolates you get at the grocery store are gross. For these strawberries I used Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips and they were incredible. I will sometimes chop up Dove chocolates or Cadbury too, all those chocolates are really creamy and yummy.

Ingredients

1 carton of Strawberries
1 12 oz bag of Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips)
optional: sprinkles or mini chocolate chips for decorating

For the cheesecake filling

1/2 package 4 oz cream cheese
1 cup cool whip
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Before you start on the strawberries, make the cheesecake filling.

Beat together the cream cheese and cool whip until smooth. Then cream in the sugar and vanilla. Put the filling in the fridge to cool while you make the strawberries.

Melt half of the chocolate chips in a glass cup or coffee mug in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips and melt in 20 second intervals until all the chocolate is melted and smooth. Do not overcook!

Clean and thoroughly dry the strawberries, if they are wet at all they will ruin the chocolate.

Dip the strawberries (leaving some space at the top) and place them on parchment paper.

Optional: sprinkle on some mini chocolate chips or sprinkles.

Let the chocolate completely cool and set. It’s better if they set at room temperature but if you are impatient you can always put them in the fridge to cool faster.

Remove the stems from the strawberries and cut out the white center area.

Scoop the cheesecake filling into a ziplock bag and seal. Cut a small hole in the corner and pipe the filling into the strawberries. Keep refrigerated.
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Warm Sticky Figgy Pudding

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups chopped dried pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
2 cups water
1 teaspoon baking soda
7 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
2 1/2-ounces dark chocolate, grated
Butter, for coating ramekins
Ice cream or whipped cream, for garnish

Sauce:

2 cups brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream
14 tablespoons butter
Fresh figs, quartered, for garnish
Vanilla ice cream, optional
Whipped heavy cream, optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add the dates, dried figs and water to a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then add to a blender and puree.

Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and beat well. Fold in the flour, the pureed date mixture and the chocolate.

Put the mixture into 4 buttered, 1-cup individual ramekins, filling halfway or slightly under. Put in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Prepare the sauce by stirring the sugar, cream and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated.

Remove the ramekins from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. May be served in the ramekin or unmolded onto a small serving plate. With paring knife cut a cross in the top of the puddings for the sauce.

Pour the sauce into the cross in the center of each pudding, then pour more sauce over the puddings and it allow to soak in slightly. Top with fresh figs and vanilla ice cream or heavily whipped cream. Serve warm.
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Stollen

Ingredients

For the Fruit:

1 cup mixed candied fruit
1 cup raisins
3 tablespoons dark rum or orange juice

For the Sponge:

1 scant tablespoon or 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

For the Dough:

1/3 cup honey
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
3 to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Oil, for coating bowl

For the Filling:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Topping:

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Prepare Fruit: Combine the mixed fruit, raisins, and rum. Cover and set aside. Shake or stir the mixture every so often to coat the fruit with the rum.

Prepare Sponge: In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast in the water to soften. Heat the milk to 110 degrees F and add it to the yeast along with the honey and 1 cup flour. Cover the sponge with plastic wrap and let rise until light and full of bubbles, about 30 minutes.

By Hand: Add the fruit mixture, honey, egg, butter, zest, salt, mace, almonds, and 2 cups of the flour to the sponge. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour a little at a time, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

By Mixer: In the mixer bowl, add the fruit mixture, honey, egg, butter, zest, salt, mace, almonds, and 2 cups of the flour to the sponge. Using the paddle, beat the mixture on medium low speed for 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Change to the dough hook. Continue to add flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough just begins to clean the bowl. Knead 4 to 5 minutes on medium-low.

First rise: Put the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Shape and Fill: Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. For 1 large loaf, roll the dough into a 9 by 13-inch oval. For 2 loaves, divided the dough in half and roll each half into a 7 by 9-inch oval. Brush the melted butter over the top of the oval(s). Combine the cinnamon and granulated sugar and sprinkle over one lengthwise half of the oval(s). Fold the dough in half lengthwise and carefully lift the bread(s) onto a parchment-lined or well-greased baking sheet. Press lightly on the folded side to help the loaf keep its shape during rising and baking.

Second rise: Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven: About 10 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake and cool: Bake for 25 minutes until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 190 degrees F. Immediately remove from the baking sheet and place on a rack to cool.

To serve: Sprinkle heavily with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Variation: Between 2 pieces of waxed paper or plastic wrap, roll 3 ounces almond paste or marzipan into the lengthwise shape of half the oval. Omit the butter and cinnamon-sugar filling. Place the marzipan on half of the oval and fold the dough in half. Let rise and bake as directed.

Notes: One cup coarsely chopped mixed dried fruits may be substituted for the candied fruit. Cover the dried fruit with boiling water and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. Drain and use as you would candied fruit. You can also make your own candied fruit and peel. This bread freezes nicely for up to 6 months. If freezing it, do not sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. To serve, first thaw the bread, then bake on a baking sheet in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 7 to 10 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Recipe story:
Long before the Romans occupied parts of Germany, special breads were prepared for the winter solstice that were rich in dried or preserved fruit. Historians have traced Christollen, Christ’s stollen, back to about the year 1400 in Dresden, Germany. The first stollen consisted of only flour, oats and water, as required by church doctrine, but without butter and milk, it was quite tasteless. Ernst of Saxony and his brother Albrecht requested of the Pope that the ban on butter and milk during the Advent season be lifted. His Eminence replied in what is known as the famous “butter letter,” that milk and butter could be used to bake stollen with a clear conscience and God’s blessing for a small fee.

Originally stollen was called Striezel or Struzel, which referred to a braided shape — a large oval folded in half with tapered ends — said to represent the Baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothing. Around 1560 it became custom that the bakers of Dresden give their king, the ruler of Saxony, two 36-pound stollens as a Christmas gift. It took eight master bakers and eight journeymen to carry the bread to the palace safely. This custom was continued for almost 200 years.

In 1730 Augustus the Strong, the electoral prince of Saxony and the King of Poland, asked the Baker’s Guild of Dresden to bake a giant stollen for the farewell dinner of the Zeithain “campement.” The 1.8-ton stollen was a true showpiece and fed over 24,000 guests. To commemorate this event, a Stollenfest is held each December in Dresden.

The bread for the present-day Stollenfest weighs 2 tons and measures approximately 4 yards long. Each year the stollen is paraded through the market square, then sliced and sold to the public, with the proceeds supporting local charities. Although there is a basic recipe for making the original Dresden Christollen, each master baker, each village and each home has its own secret recipe passed down from one generation to the next. There are probably as many recipes for stollen as there are home bakers. The commercial production of Dresden stollen is carefully licensed and regulated to ensure quality and authenticity. Authentic German stollen is usually sprinkled heavily with confectioners’ sugar prior to serving.
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Holiday Berry Meringue Wreath

Ingredients

Wreath:

8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Cranberry Sauce:

One 10-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed and drained if frozen
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 cups fresh raspberries
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
Leaves from 1 bunch fresh mint

Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy cream

Directions

Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 225 degrees F. Line the back of a baking sheet with parchment. Use a 12-inch bowl as a stencil: Flip it upside down and trace a 12-inch circle onto the parchment. Use a 9-inch bowl to trace a circle inside the 12- inch one. This is the outline of your wreath.

For the wreath: Combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in the very clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until thick and opaque, about 1 minute more. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, and beat until stiff, shiny peaks form, 13 to 15 minutes.

Build the wreath: Using the template on the parchment as your guide, drop dollops of meringue in a line along the inside of the 12-inch circle. Use a rubber spatula to help clean off your spoon between dollops. Following the 9-inch circle and slightly overlapping the outer ring of meringue, make an inner ring of meringue dollops to fill in the rest of the template. Flatten the meringue slightly with the back of the spoon, making sure to keep a lot of peaks. Bake the meringue until it is dry, crisp, and pearly white on the outside, about 2 hours. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the cranberry sauce: Bring the cranberries, sugar and lemon juice to a simmer in medium saucepan and cook until the cranberries are soft and just begin to burst and the sugar is completely dissolved, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. Gently fold in the raspberries and pomegranate seeds. Whip the heavy cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form.

Before serving, spread the whipped cream on the meringue. Spoon over the cranberry sauce and sprinkle with mint leaves.
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