Tag Archives: fruit desserts

A Dessert for House Hunting

10 Feb
Brandied pears to fortify us for the hunt.

Brandied pears to fortify us for the hunt.

I might have mentioned that The Beloved and I have begun our house search.  It is Very Exciting!  We sold last June to move here, but we decided to rent for awhile, because we weren’t sure that we would like the area.  Well, we love the area–it is so multi-cultural because of all the colleges and universities around here, not to mention all the high-tech companies, so there is Great Food to be had almost everywhere we look.  We’ve had fantastic Indian food (best samosas ever), Turkish food (they do hot and cold on a plate like nobody’s business), Mexican (pollo chipotle, anyone?) and Malaysian (talk about wok hay)!  Oh, my!

Ahem, I’m supposed to be talking about house hunting.  Sorry, I got distracted by all the food.  I’m back.  So, like I was saying, we really love it here.  No special reason.  The two front runners are located on Brandywine Rd and Pearson Farms Drive, so I thought, what better snack to commemorate the hunt than brandied pears?!  See how my brain works?

Again, I tied my magical string to the doorway of the Hinternet and went In Search Of.  What I came back with was a very straightforward, very boring sort of recipe.  And you deserve better than that.  Heck, I deserve better than that.  Here’s how we’re gonna do it:

House-Hunting Brandied Pears

  • 5 pounds ripe, lovely pears.  I like Bosc.  Make sure they aren’t overly ripe, or they will fall apart.
  • 1 1/2 pounds sugar (yes, I know it’s a lot)
  • 12 oz. water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1″ chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups brandy (yes, I know)

Heat sugar and water until sugar is dissolved.  Add salt, cinnamon, star anise and ginger.  Bring the syrup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Peel, halve and core the pears.  Cook the pear halves in the syrup until tender–about 5-10 minutes.  Set pears aside, bring the syrup to a rolling boil and let it reduce until slightly thickened.  Don’t go overboard, or you’ll end up with caramel.   Remove from the heat and stir in the brandy.  Taste it.  You might want to add a pinch more salt.  Go ahead and strain the syrup.

If you’re a Pioneer Woman or Man and do a lot of canning, you can stuff the pears in sterilized jars, cover with the syrup, leaving 1/4″ of headspace and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.   If, like me, you are not a pioneer person, you can just pour the syrup over the pears and eat them in the next couple of weeks.

You now have either a dessert that can stand on its own (if it doesn’t fall down because of the Brandy.  Thank you; I’ll be here all week).  You also have what we “in the biz” call a Dessert Component.  Think of the possibilities!   Anyone? Ooh, ooh!  Me first!  I will drain them, mash them up and serve them with triple creme cheese.

What will you do with yours?  What will you put them in/on?  What will you top them with? Tell me all about it, and wish us luck with the house hunt.

“Gee, I’d like my kid’s breakfast to be a little more nutritious.”

25 Nov
There is nothing natural about this, folks.

There is nothing natural about this, folks.

Wow.  I just saw this commercial for a breakfast to please kids and moms alike.  I can’t remember what they called it, but it’s some sort of strawberry pastry thing.  The kids wanted “more strawberry filling,” and the moms wanted to “sneak some nutrition in.”  Moms, here’s a thought:  If you want to sneak nutrition in, don’t buy those things.  Feed them a healthy breakfast and save the fruity pastry for dessert.”

And that’s where I come in.  I want to give you some ideas for little treats that you can make for your kids (or for yourself) that aren’t health food, but contain ingredients that actually occur in nature.  I firmly believe that if you feed your family healthy food most of the time that a little splurge every once in awhile is good for the soul.

Make some pie crust.  Try this recipe.  Keep rolled pastry in the freezer so you can make these treats whenever you want to.

Cut 3-inch circles out of your dough, put about 1 1/2 teaspoons of some all-fruit spread in the center, wet 1/2 of the rim of the circle with a bit of water, fold over and crimp with a fork.  Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with a little sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees, F until golden brown and lovely.  Let cool for several minutes.  Eat.

Peel and core small Golden Delicious apples.  Stuff the centers with some brown sugar, a pinch of salt and cinnamon, butter and some raisins if you like them.  Cut circles 6″ circles from your dough.  Set the apple in the middle and start bringing up the edges to meet at the top of the apple.  Fold a bit up, make a pleat and fold up another bit.  Keep going until all the pastry is pleated around the apple.  Seal it tightly at the top.  Brush with some egg wash, sprinkle with some Sugar in the Raw or other sugar with large crystals, and bake at 350 degrees, F until golden brown and lovely.  Let cool a bit; serve with some ice cream or a little real whipped cream.

Cut out a 4 to 5 inch circle of dough.  Sprinkle the center with some brown sugar, butter,a pinch of salt and a bit of ginger.  Place a peach half, cut side down (no pit, thank you very much) on top of the sugar.  Sprinkle with a bit more sugar and pleat up the edges of the dough.  You’ll probably still be able to see the peach–that’s fine.  It’s pretty that way.  Bake at, you guessed it, 350 degrees until it’s done.  This would be lovely with just a little unwhipped, unsweetened heavy cream.

And there you have it.  Three ideas.  Not health food, but not masquerading as a “healthy breakfast,” either.  Enjoy a treat every once in awhile, and stay away from fake food.

%d bloggers like this: