Loading...

Follow Food Nouveau on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

These colorful, family-friendly Sweet Pea Bowls are a snap to prepare, thanks to a few clever tips that will change your weeknight meal routine. {Jump to Recipe}

Sometimes when people see my blog, they wonder (and ask!) how I stay healthy while making so many desserts. The answer is super simple: I don’t like rich foods—except in dessert form. For mains, I like fresh ingredients and bright flavors in dishes that come together quickly and easily.

I wasn’t always like that. Before we had a baby, I’d spend so much time cooking and trying different recipes. We’d almost never eat the same thing twice! After baby arrived, though, everything changed. Time was sparse, which forced me to prioritize. The little time I had in the kitchen, I wanted to spend on what I loved making the most: desserts. Plus, as my son grew older, I cared more and more about what I served him and did my best to assemble balanced meals. Though my son has always LOVED fruits and veggies with a passion, I still had to navigate his toddler whims to avoid having to become a short-order cook (and lose my mind) at every meal.

I started to gather, in a single spot, recipes that both my son enjoys and we adults take pleasure in eating. First, it was just a list on the fridge, then it became a folder, and now I’m thinking of turning it into a binder. All the recipes I collect in there are quick and easy, with some components that can be prepped in advance, so I only need to do minimal prep and assembly when I come back from picking my son up from school. This collection of recipes has often “saved” us from ordering takeout—not that there’s anything wrong with ordering takeout, but I prefer saving it for special occasions, not reaching for that solution several times a week because I didn’t plan ahead.

Because I’m always on the hunt for new recipes to add to our favorites folder, I’ve also been expanding my collection of weeknight-themed and family-friendly cookbooks. There have been so many great books published in those categories lately, but my current favorite is Nicki Sizemore’s “Build-a-Bowl: 77 Satisfying & Nutritious Combos: Whole Grain + Vegetable + Protein + Sauce = Meal.”

Don’t you understand how clever the book is, just by reading its title? I’m a HUGE fan of formulas because they allow you to get inspired yet leave you some freedom to riff on a recipe depending on what’s in your fridge. Let me tell you: if you’ve been in a bind coming up with new ideas for weeknight meals, the Nicki’s Build-a-Bowl formulas will fire your inspiration right back up.

My friend Nicki is, like me, a mom who cares about what she serves her family. She came up with the idea for her book because—surprise, surprise—she was rushed for time, yet didn’t want to give up the pleasure of eating good food every night. (Clearly, she wrote that book for me. And you. And you, too!) Her trick to making bowls interesting is to pack in textures and flavors.

Here’s how her bowls are typically composed:

  • A serving of cooked whole grains: There’s a ton of delicious grains to choose from these days, and lots of gluten-free options too. Nicki dedicates a whole page to each of over a dozen different grains, providing nutritional info, cooking instructions, and serving tips. Build-A-Bowl is worth buying for that chapter alone! The good news is that grains can (and should!) be cooked ahead and frozen in portions so you can reheat some in minutes when you need it.
  • A combination of two or more vegetables: Use different textures and colors, combine cooked and raw. Or use fruit!
  • A protein: This is the element that’s going to sustain you for hours. Beans, eggs, poultry, beef, lamb, fish, seafood, tofu, or cheese all work!
  • A sauce: Don’t skip this one! As Nicki says, “A vibrant sauce or a drizzle of hot sauce or citrus juice ties everything together and takes the bowl from ordinary to extraordinary.” The sauce can, of course, be made ahead. Keep a few jars of your favorite sauces at the back of the fridge, and you’ll always be a spoonful away from deliciousness.
  • Last, but not least: garnishes. Finish up your bowls with something crunchy and bright. A sprinkle of toasted nuts or seeds adds texture, while fresh herbs brighten up flavors.

Build-a-Bowl is then divided into themed chapters, according to the recipes’ main ingredients: from easy, fruit-based bowls you’ll love to serve for breakfast, to more luxurious seafood-based meals, there’s something for everyone. The recipes are simple to execute, many feature make-ahead instructions and lots include substitution ideas (such as alternate sauces you can try) so you’ll get extraordinary mileage from the book.

But what I love best about the “bowl philosophy” is that I think it’s the most family-friendly way to serve dinner, ever. Indeed, you can lay out the different components in separate bowls in the center of the table and let each person assemble their serving to their liking. Kids love to have control over what they eat. If you only put nutritious things in front of them, they’ll inevitably eat a nutritious meal. Bowls are also great for toddlers and young kids who like to see ingredients separate on their plates. You can take a few minutes to assemble pretty bowls for grown-ups, and simply serve the components in separate mounds on your little ones’ plates. Everybody wins!

I’ve made many recipes from Nicki Sizemore’s Build-a-Bowl, but today I’d like to share our favorite so far: these Sweet Pea Bowls with Soft-Boiled Eggs and Pea Pesto. I’ve long made a habit of boiling eggs on Sundays so I can turn them into instant snacks or meals during the week, so the “Eggs” chapter in Build-a-Bowl appealed to me immediately. This recipe just gathered so many of my family’s favorite ingredients in a single bowl, I could not pass it up.

Helpful Tips to Make Sweet Pea Bowls
  • Go fresh or frozen: Although this is a great recipe to highlight seasonal sweet peas, you can make it using frozen peas, too. Frozen peas are blanched and ready to use in seconds.
  • Vary the veggies: If you can’t find sugar snap peas, substitute green beans, spinach, kale, or avocado.
  • Soft- or hard-boil the eggs: My son likes his eggs fully cooked, while we like runny yolks. What to do? Simply take some of the eggs out of the hot water at the soft-boiled stage, then drain the remaining eggs at the hard-boiled stage. Store the eggs in separate, labeled containers until ready to use. (See note below for egg cooking instructions.)
  • Switch up the grain: I love to make this Sweet Pea Bowls with barley because I think the nutty, chewy texture of the grain does really well with eggs, but you can use brown rice or quinoa, too.

Nicki shares more easy, delicious, family-friendly recipes on her blog, From Scratch Fast, and she also makes fun, helpful recipes videos on YouTube. Make sure to follow her on Instagram, too! 

 

Sweet Pea Bowls with Soft-Boiled Eggs and Pea Pesto

Prep 20 mins

Cook 60 mins

Inactive 50 mins

Total 2 hours, 10 mins

Yield 4 servings

These colorful, family-friendly Sweet Pea Bowls are a snap to prepare, thanks to a few clever tips that will change your weeknight meal routine.

Ingredients

For the barley

For the pesto

  • 1 lb. (454 g / 3 to 3 1/2 cups) fresh or frozen sweet peas
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 cup (250 ml) lightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) toasted sliced almonds
  • Finely grated zest and juice from 1 lemon (about 1 tbsp/15 ml zest and 1/4 cup/60 ml juice) (see note)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

To assemble and serve

Instructions

For the barley: Rinse the barley in cold water, then drain well. Place the grains in a medium saucepan and add the water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the grains are tender yet chewy, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes to steam. Drain off any excess water and set aside.

For the pesto: Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and season it with sea salt. Fill a bowl with ice water. Cook the peas in the boiling water until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes for frozen peas, or up to 4 minutes, for fresh peas. Drain and immediately transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. Let sit for a couple of minutes, then drain again. Set aside 1 1/2 cups (325 ml) of the peas to sprinkle over the bowls later.

To the bowl of a food processor, add the garlic, mint, almonds, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Process to a coarse paste. Add the peas (not the ones you set aside) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Process to a coarse paste, scraping down the sides as needed. With the blade running, drizzle in the oil until incorporated. If you still find the pesto too thick (I like it to be slightly runny) add some water, a couple tablespoons at a time, until you reach the right consistency. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. The pesto can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Assemble and serve: Peel the eggs and cut each egg in half.

Divide the grains into serving bowls (you’ll need about 1/2 cup/125 ml per adult—refrigerate any leftovers.) Add 1 to 2 spoonfuls of the pea pesto to each bowl and toss to coat the grains. Arrange the reserved peas, sugar snap peas, and eggs over the grains. Season with coarse sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and olive oil. Dollop with a bit more of the pea pesto. Garnish with shaved cheese, toasted almonds, and a lemon wedge, and serve immediately.

Notes

How to soft- or hard-boil eggs

Arrange the eggs in a single layer in the bottom of a saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Add 1 tsp (5 ml) salt (this will make peeling the eggs easier). Bring the water to a boil. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, immediately remove the pot from the heat and cover. Let sit for 4 to 6 minutes for soft-boiled eggs, or up to 12 minutes, for hard-boiled eggs.

Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water and chill just until the eggs are barely warm, about 2 minutes. Drain. You can either peel and serve the eggs right away, or refrigerate the eggs (with the shell on) in an airtight container for up to 3 days for soft-boiled eggs, or up to 1 week for hard-boiled eggs.

Courses Lunch, Dinner

Recipe adapted and shared with permission from the author, Nicki Sizemore. I received a complimentary copy of Build-a-Bowl for review purposes. All opinions are my own. For more information, please review my disclosure policy.

More Delicious In-a-Bowl Recipes Healthy Salmon Noodle Bowl with Chili-Lime Dressing

Green Buddha Bowl with Tahini Miso Dressing

Ginger, Sesame and Coriander Meatballs

The post Sweet Pea Bowls with Soft-Boiled Eggs and Pea Pesto, from Build-a-Bowl appeared first on Food Nouveau.

Sweet Pea Bowls with Soft-Boiled Eggs and Pea Pesto, from Build-a-Bowl was first posted on May 16, 2019 at 8:14 pm.
©2014 "Food Nouveau". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at info@foodnouveau.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Food Nouveau by Marie Asselin - 1M ago

This fluffy, dreamy Chocolate Meringue Pie will bring you to cloud nine. The sweet meringue contrasts beautifully with the bitter, creamy filling, making each bite an unforgettable delight. {Jump to Recipe}

The first third of the year is gone, and spring is around the corner. Time has slipped through my fingers and I’m just now getting around to sharing my first recipe of the year. I know, I can’t believe it either!

Granted, I’ve had a busy start of the year:

So I’ve been busier than ever, but now things are settling down and I’ve been missing testing and creating recipes for the blog. What better time to get back into the swing of things than chocolate (ahem, Easter) season, and what better treat to celebrate my return than this extraordinary Chocolate Meringue Pie?

Created by baker extraordinaire Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog, this fluffy, dreamy, chocolatey pie will bring you to cloud nine. The sweet, toasty meringue contrasts beautifully with the bitter, creamy filling, making every bite utterly unforgettable.

The pie is a bit of work to make, but the techniques are not tricky, especially if you follow Sarah’s helpful detailed instructions. It’s a pie that makes any day extraordinary, it’s the pie you should make for the people you love the most.

  

Helpful Tips to Make Chocolate Meringue Pie
  • Use the right equipment: You do not have to have a stand mixer to make this pie, but because there’s quite a bit of beating going on in this recipe, using a stand mixer frees your hands for other tasks. Using a hand mixer counts as your work out for the day, though! :)
  • Plan ahead: This Chocolate Meringue Pie comes together in three steps:
    1. Make the pie crust, blind bake it, then let it cool completely
    2. Make the chocolate filling, pour it in the crust, then refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight
    3. Make the meringue and toast it

It’s a good idea to split the work over two days: make the crust and filling a day ahead, then make and toast the meringue up to a half-day before serving.

  • Eat the pie ASAP: Meringue starts “weeping” (releasing liquid) after about 12 hours, so the pie should ideally be enjoyed the day it’s made. If you ever have leftovers, store them at room temperature in an airtight container or under a cake dome for up to a day. Believe me: Chocolate Meringue Pie makes a pretty fine breakfast!

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Prep 45 mins

Cook 10 mins

Inactive 4 hours

Total 4 hours, 55 mins

Yield 1 9-inch (23 cm) pie, serves 8 (see note)

This fluffy, dreamy Chocolate Meringue Pie will bring you to cloud nine. The sweet meringue contrasts beautifully with the bitter, creamy filling, making each bite an unforgettable delight.

Ingredients
  • 1 recipe pie dough (use your favorite recipe, or refer to Sarah’s recipe, which produces a double-crust—halve the recipe, or wrap and freeze the second crust for later), fully baked and cooled (see note)

For the chocolate filling

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream
  • 7 oz (199 g) bittersweet or dark chocolate (70% cocoa), melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (149 g / 180 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 g / 60 ml) packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) coffee or water, room temperature (see note)
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick / 113 g / 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces

For the meringue

Instructions

For the chocolate filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the heavy cream on low speed until small bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and continue beating until the cream is smooth, thick, and nearly double in volume, about 30 seconds. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl and place it in the refrigerator. Clean the mixing bowl if you have only one.

Put about 1 inch (2 cm) of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over the pan of boiling water, being careful not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir constantly until just melted and set aside to cool. Add more water to the saucepan if needed and bring to a boil again.

In the (clean) bowl of a stand mixer, stir the eggs, sugars, salt, and coffee to combine. Place the bowl over the saucepan, being careful not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir with a silicon spatula until the sugar is completely melted and reaches a temperature of 160 °F (71°C), 4 to 5 minutes. While you are stirring, be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula—this will ensure no sugar grains are lurking on the sides and will help prevent the eggs from cooking and curdling.

Remove the bowl from the heat and place it in the stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Whisk on high until light and fluffy, 8 to 10 minutes. The bowl should have cooled down to room temperature at this point. Switch to the paddle attachment, add the chocolate and vanilla, and beat on low until combined. With the mixer running on medium, add a few pieces of butter at a time, beating until completely incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a spatula, gently fold in the chilled whipped cream.

Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and use an offset spatula to even out the top. Move the pie to the refrigerator and cover the top of the pie with a piece of parchment paper to keep off condensation. Let the pie chill at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Up to a half-day before serving, top with the meringue.

For the meringue: Put about 1 inch (2 cm) of water in a medium saucepan and bring it to a gently boil.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir the egg whites, sugar, and salt to combine. Put the bowl over the saucepan, being careful not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir with a rubber spatula until the sugar is completely melted and reaches a temperature of 160°F (71°C), 4 to 5 minutes. While you are stirring, be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula—this will ensure no sugar grains are lurking on the sides and will help prevent the egg whites from cooking and curdling.

Remove the bowl from the heat and place it in the stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Whisk on medium-high until stiff, glossy peaks form, 8 to 10 minutes. The bowl should have cooled down to room temperature at this point. Add the vanilla and beat on low until combined.

Take the chilled pie from the refrigerator and remove the parchment paper. Use a spatula to spread the meringue over the top of the pie. Use a spoon to create swirls and peaks in the meringue. Hold a kitchen blowtorch 1 to 2 inches (2 to 5 cm) away from the meringue and touch the flame down in between the curls. The curls will toast and brown. Do this until you are happy with the color.

If you do not have a kitchen blowtorch, you can brown the meringue under a broiler. Adjust your oven rack so the pie will be about 4 inches (10 cm) below the broiler. Preheat the broiler. Place the pie on a baking sheet and place the sheet under the broiler until the tips of the meringue curls begin to brown, turning the sheet as needed. Because the pie is chilled, it is important to take it out of the oven as soon as possible so the filling doesn’t melt.

The pie is best served within a few hours.

Notes
  • You can use a regular 9 inch (23 cm) pie plate to bake this pie, or, for a change, use a rectangular 14 x 4 inch (35.5 x 10 cm) tart pan (pictured in this post).
  • Read how to blind bake a pie crust right here.
  • If you don’t like coffee, let me reassure you: the tart does not taste like coffee at all. Adding a small quantity of coffee underlines and deepens the flavor of the chocolate. You can use decaf coffee if you don’t want the extra dose of caffeine in the tart.

Courses Dessert

Recipe by Sarah Kieffer, from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book. Shared with permission from the author.

More Desserts for Meringue Lovers How to Make a Perfect Lemon Meringue Pie

Crispy Maple Mini-Meringues

Squash and Clementine Cupcakes with Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream

The post Chocolate Meringue Pie appeared first on Food Nouveau.

Chocolate Meringue Pie was first posted on April 18, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
©2014 "Food Nouveau". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at info@foodnouveau.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Today is the day: my second cookbook, French Appetizers, is out into the world!
LEARN MORE ABOUT MY COOKBOOK LAUNCH GIFT OFFER!

“Vous venez pour l’apéro?”

My friends and I exchange this question every week. Calling (or more often now, texting) a friend to ask “Will you come visit for l’apéro?” is a way to invite them over to have a drink and some bites before dinner. Often, l’apéro lasts only a couple of hours, usually from five to seven, but sometimes it’ll last all through the night, evolving into a casual dinner.

“L’apéro” is short for l’apéritif, which is the name of a drink served in the early evening to whet your appetite. In French cities, people have l’apéro in restaurants and bars, with servers bringing salty snacks to go with your drinks, but this tradition of getting together after work to relax with a drink before dinner is also a full-blown ritual that is often hosted at home, accompanied by a variety of bites or appetizers that can be generous enough to become dinner itself.

L’apéro is in my blood: all through my childhood, I watched my parents host it. Even when my mother hosted a sit-down dinner, she’d always first gather guests in the living room for l’apéro. She’d ask my dad to help with the drinks while she served crackers and pâtés she’d saved specifically for such occasions. When I was a young adult, l’apéro was pretty much code for “house party.” I’d get a bunch of friends over and we’d drink and nibble our way through the night against a background of very loud music. When I lived in Paris for a while in 2009, I could enjoy l’apéro the Parisian way. I’d watch friends effortlessly unfold an array of delicious treats they’d gathered at their favorite gourmet stores on the way home from work. Such evenings would invariably stretch far into the night—and sometimes until the wee hours of the morning.

Now that I’m a parent, l’apéro is how I keep connected with friends who have families, too. All parents know having sit-down meals and meaningful conversations can be challenging when kids are around. L’apéro relieves you of that stress. Because it’s served early, kids can get together and play their little hearts out while we, the adults, enjoy a glass of wine and some delicious food. My trick is to serve a “mini apéro” to kids on a play table—veggies, cheese, cured meats, and bread—so they can keep busy and eat dinner at their own pace, while adults can (finally) take an hour or two to catch up. That way, everyone goes back home in time for bedtime, with bellies and hearts full.

L’apéro is a casual affair. If I invite friends over for l’apéro, they won’t expect me to dress the table or even clean up the house. On the simplest nights, we’ll huddle in the kitchen, share salty snacks, and wash it all down with cold beer or wine. On planned-ahead nights, I’ll expand the selection to include a few homemade bites. On celebratory nights, I’ll plan a whole menu that features several appetizers to create a full meal called an “apéro dînatoire,” and sometimes go the extra mile to pair each plate with an appropriate wine.

I believe l’apéro is the best way to host friends and family, and my goal is to convince you of its merits. I filled French Appetizers with tips to get you started, menu ideas from the simplest to the most elegant, lots of French-inspired appetizer recipes to help you assemble inspiring meals, and even versatile syrups you can keep at the back of the fridge to shake and stir impressive drinks in the nick of time. Whatever time you have on your hands, whatever the occasion you want to celebrate, I hope you’ll have friends over for l’apéro.

To see the delightful dishes people are making from French Appetizers, check out the book’s official hashtag, #frenchappetizers, on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Santé!

French Appetizers Cookbook Trailer, by Marie Asselin - YouTube

For a limited time, buy French Appetizers and get two delicious, helpful French-inspired gifts!
  1. A copy of my popular eBook, How to Make Chocolate Éclairs (and Variations): An Illustrated, Step-by-Step Guide
  2. Unlimited, lifetime access to my video class, All About Choux: Sweet and Savory Puffed Treats, from Éclairs to Gougères

These gifts will allow you to host fabulous, French-inspired parties in no time. BUY THE BOOK AND GET YOUR FRENCH-INSPIRED GIFTS NOW! This exclusive launch offer ends April 12, 2019.

Buy Simply Citrus from Your Favorite Bookseller:

        

The post My second cookbook, French Appetizers, is here! appeared first on Food Nouveau.

My second cookbook, French Appetizers, is here! was first posted on March 12, 2019 at 11:25 am.
©2014 "Food Nouveau". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at info@foodnouveau.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

These Chewy Gingerbread Cookies have a delightfully complex flavor because of the use of both fresh and ground ginger, and a touch of sophistication, thanks to the zesty lemon glaze. It’s an easy, irresistible holiday treat! {Jump to Recipe}

Growing up, my grandmother would bake hundreds of molasses cookies for the holidays. She had a large family, and most of her kids had several kids of their own, too, so she had an impressive crowd to feed come Christmas time. Watching her roll out so many of those comforting cookies had a hypnotic effect on me, and I always stood close for the chance to snatch raw cookie dough. Those cookies–they were just as good raw as they were baked!

I rarely bake with molasses, but when I do, it reminds me of my grandma. It’s such a nostalgic ingredient to me! The aroma of it alone brings me back to rowdy Christmas Eves spent playing and laughing with my cousins. I was never able to reproduce my grandma’s molasses cookies because she baked them without a recipe, and she left us before we perfected the transcription of her vocal instructions. I see these chewy gingerbread cookies as my own version of my grandma’s cookies: the use of freshly grated ginger adds a real complex kick to the treat, and the zesty lemon glaze adds a touch of sophistication. These chewy gingerbread cookies are sturdy enough to ship to loved ones, so consider making a double batch, and you’ll make a lot of people happy!

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Prep 25 mins

Cook 12 mins

Total 37 mins

Yield 48 cookies

These Chewy Gingerbread Cookies have a delightfully complex flavor because of the use of both fresh and ground ginger, and a touch of sophistication, thanks to the zesty lemon glaze. It’s an easy, irresistible holiday treat!

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dark molasses
  • 1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 2-inch (5 cm) knob of fresh ginger, finely grated or juiced
  • 2 1/4 cup (560 ml) flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt
  • 2 tbsp (10 ml) baking soda
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp (pinch) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) granulated sugar, for rolling

For the Lemon Glaze

  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) powdered sugar
Instructions

Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer, beat the butter with the olive oil, molasses, and brown sugar. When it is fluffy and light, add the egg and beat until smooth. Mix in the grated ginger and its juice.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, powdered ginger, and black pepper together. Add to the butter mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. The dough will be quite soft. Put the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 days. (This dough can also be wrapped and frozen. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe.)

Pour about 1/2 cup (125 ml) the granulated sugar into a shallow bowl. When the dough is stiff enough to handle, separate it roughly into four parts. Divide the first part into 12 walnut-sized chunks, and roll each into a ball. Roll one ball of dough lightly in the sugar, then transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat to roll a total of 24 cookies, placing 12 cookies per sheet.

Bake the first two sheets of cookies for 12 minutes, swapping each baking sheet from the upper to lower rack (and vice versa) at the 6-minute mark. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies with a spatula to cooling racks.

Repeat with remaining dough. While the remainder of the cookies cool, make the glaze by whisking the lemon juice together with the granulated and powdered sugars. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies or paint it on with a pastry brush. Let the glaze dry and cool on the cookies until hard. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze for up to two months.

Recipe Credit: Adapted from the cookbook More-With-Less, via The Kitchn.

Courses Dessert

More Delightful Holiday Cookie Recipes Chewy Maple Syrup Fudge and Pecan Cookies

Fresh Cranberry and Hazelnut Financiers

Lemon-Glazed Madeleines

The post Chewy Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze appeared first on Food Nouveau.

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze was first posted on December 20, 2018 at 8:25 pm.
©2014 "Food Nouveau". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at info@foodnouveau.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

These colorful pistachio croissants can be made in minutes using ready-made croissants from your favorite bakery. An indulgent treat to wake up to, and a delightful dessert, too! {Jump to Recipe}

Have you ever had an almond croissant? Called Amandine in French, this bakery staple is a clever way to delightfully recycle yesterday’s croissants. The croissants are sliced in half, doused with syrup, filled with almond cream, then baked again until the filling sets and the tops get crunchy.

This indulgent treat is elegant, flavorful, and…easy to make at home. I’d been wanting to make some for a long time, and when I stumbled on a pistachio version in Betty Hung’s new cookbook, French Pastry 101, I just knew I had to make it. You see, pistachio is my favorite nut: it has a unique, exotic taste, and its color makes any dish look outstanding. I knew I could trust this amazing-looking pistachio croissant recipe since Hung is a pastry chef and the owner of Vancouver’s renowned Beaucoup Bakery, where I dream of going someday.

This impressive breakfast treat is way easier to make than it looks, especially when you prepare the components ahead of time. You can refrigerate both the syrup and the pistachio frangipane for up to three days, so if you keep a bag of croissants on hand, this makes you just a few minutes away from enjoying freshly baked pistachio croissants every morning. Dangerous, maybe, but oh so delicious!

I’ve made these pistachio croissants several times already using croissants from my favorite local bakery. If you want to go the extra mile, you could also make your own homemade croissants and turn the leftovers (if any!) into these gems.

These pistachio croissants may very well be one of the most delightful treats to wake up to, but they also make for a really fine dessert for brunch—or any time of day, really!

Helpful Tips to Make Pistachio Croissants
  • Use peeled pistachio nuts for the brightest green: Nuts are expensive, which is why I buy them from a bulk company that sells them by the kilo and store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. I always order from Yupik, which sells through Amazon.ca, because their nuts are top quality and always fresh. I recently noticed they sold peeled pistachios for just a couple dollars more than the regular, shelled nuts, and they’re so worth it: you pay only for the nuts—not the peels—and you get a truly eye-popping shade of green.
  • Refrigerate the pistachio frangipane before using: You can use the frangipane right after making it, but it’s a bit runny, which means the frangipane you spread over the tops will run down the sides a bit upon baking. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re a perfectionist like I am, I recommend refrigerating the frangipane for 20 to 30 minutes to stiffen it a bit. That way the topping holds still while baking so the pistachio croissants look their very best when they come out of the oven.
  • Make-ahead tips: You can refrigerate both the syrup and the pistachio frangipane for up to five days. Make sure to stock up on croissants, then assemble and bake them the morning you want to serve them. The baked pistachio croissants keep surprisingly well too! Store the fully cooled pistachio croissants in an airtight container, then reheat at 325°F (160°C) for six to eight minutes. Let cool on a rack for five minutes, and enjoy!
  • Garnish with fresh berries for an additional pop of color: In French Pastry 101, Betty Hung garnishes her pistachio croissants with sour cherries. I’ve made them with raspberries! The tartness of the berries marries with the sweet nuttiness of the pistachios. Just know that fruit-filled pistachio croissants won’t store well because the humidity from the fruits will turn the croissants soggy. This isn’t an issue if you plan on eating them all the day they’re made, though!

About French Pastry 101

If you love French pastries but feel intimidated by attempting them at home, I urge you to get a copy of Betty Hung’s cookbook, French Pastry 101. The subtitle says it all: “Learn the art of classic baking with 60 beginner-friendly recipes.” Betty’s recipes are straightforward, and they feature lots of process pictures, which are so useful when you’re trying to fully grasp the techniques she teaches. I really appreciate how she presents her methods in plain English, demystifying the making of desserts that often have a fussier reputation than they deserve.

What sets her book apart, in my opinion, is that she provides amazingly useful visual cues to help you understand traditional recipe instructions that can be opaque if you’re a novice in the kitchen. One favorite example is her description of “room temperature butter”: “soft yet pliable; if you pressed it down with your finger, it should leave a clean dent yet shouldn’t stick to your finger.” This is such a vivid, useful description!

French Pastry 101 is filled with such tips and recipes for all the classic French desserts you probably assumed would never be doable at home, such as Gâteau Saint-Honoré, Paris-Brest, and homemade pâte feuilletée, which you can use to make mille-feuilles, chaussons, and palmiers. The book will give you confidence and turn you into a pastry pro in no time. It’s a must-have for all Francophiles!

For more pastry inspiration, make sure to read Betty’s blog, Yummy Workshop, and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Pistachio Croissants

Prep 20 mins

Cook 20 mins

Total 40 mins

Yield 6 pistachio croissants

These colorful pistachio croissants can be made in minutes using ready-made croissants from your favorite bakery. An indulgent treat to wake up to, and a delightful dessert, too!

Ingredients
  • 6 day-old croissants, sliced in half horizontally (as if for a sandwich)

For the syrup

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp (90 ml/135 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml/125 g) water

For the pistachio frangipane

  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp (210 ml/100 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml/100 g) raw shelled pistachios, roasted in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 10 minutes and cooled
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml/10 g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) kosher salt
  • 7 tbsp (105 ml/100 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) Amaretto liqueur (optional)

To assemble

  • 1 cup (250 ml) fresh raspberries, or pitted and halved sour cherries
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml/26 g) raw shelled pistachios, finely chopped

To serve

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place the croissants on it until you’re ready to assemble them.

For the syrup: Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. The syrup can be made in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

For the pistachio frangipane: Place the powdered sugar and pistachios in a food processor and process until the pistachios are finely chopped. Add the cornstarch and salt and pulse to combine.

Add the butter to a medium bowl and beat with a spatula until smooth. Add the pistachio mixture and mix until incorporated. Add the egg, vanilla, and Amaretto and mix until the frangipane is fluffy.

Transfer the finished frangipane to a clean airtight container and refrigerate for 20 minutes, or up to 3 days.

To assemble the pistachio croissants: Brush the syrup onto both cut-sides of the croissants until the surface is saturated. Spread about 2 tbsp (30 ml) of pistachio frangipane over each croissant half. If using, divide the berries between the bottom halves, then cover them with the top halves. Spoon, then spread about 1 tbsp (15 ml) of pistachio frangipane over the croissant tops, then press some crushed pistachios on top.

Bake the croissants for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the frangipane on top of the croissant is barely turning blond. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Recipe Credit: Adapted from French Pastry 101 by Betty Hung. Shared with permission.

Courses Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert

Cuisine French

Disclosure notice: I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes. This post contains affiliate links. If you order products using the links provided in this post, I earn a few cents, which helps me create new content for FoodNouveau.com. For more information, please read my Disclosure Policy

More Delightful French Pastry Recipes How to Make Chocolate Éclairs (and Variations), a Detailed, Step-by-Step Recipe with Video

How to Make French Macarons, a Detailed, Step-by-Step Recipe with Video

How to Make Homemade Croissants from Scratch

The post Easy Pistachio Croissants, from French Pastry 101 appeared first on Food Nouveau.

Easy Pistachio Croissants, from French Pastry 101 was first posted on December 13, 2018 at 6:15 pm.
©2014 "Food Nouveau". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at info@foodnouveau.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

These crunchy, fleshy, nutty fried olives are the perfect nibble to serve with festive cocktails. The accompanying saffron aïoli makes this a truly memorable snack! {Jump to Recipe}

This post is sponsored by Olives from Spain. Did you know half of all olives consumed in Canada come from Spain? Learn more about Spanish olive varieties and discover other delicious olive recipes by visiting the Olives from Spain website, or by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

What’s your favorite nibble with a drink? For me, it’s olives from Spain, hands down. Happy hour can’t be happy without a bowl of olives! I very often buy marinated olives at a local store, but I like to marinate them myself, too. It’s so easy to add a personal touch to the olives you serve:

  • Buy a jar of your favorite olives from Spain
  • Drain and rinse under cold water
  • If the olives taste “briny,” place in a bowl, cover with cold water, and soak for 15 minutes
  • Drain and pat the olives dry
  • Mix with your favorite olive flavorings (citrus zest, crushed fennel, coriander, black pepper, fresh herbs, etc.)
  • Cover with olive oil and let rest at room temperature for a few hours before serving. Alternatively, you can transfer the olives back into a jar and refrigerate them for up to one week. They’ll soak up more and more flavor with each passing day!

Marinated olives are a staple you should always have in the fridge, especially around the holidays. But I’ve got another memorable idea for serving olives: fry them! Say what? Yes, fried olives are pretty much the perfect nibble to have with festive drinks. They’re crunchy and so satisfyingly meaty! You can stuff them prior to frying, too: preserved lemon, cheese, and almonds are all tasty options.

Today I’m sharing my favorite fried olive recipe: Fried Gordal Olives from Spain with Saffron Aïoli. The amazing crunch of this snack, in which I stuff the olives with whole toasted almonds, contrasts delightfully with the soft olive flesh and the creamy homemade mayo. I hope—in fact, I bet—you won’t be able to eat just one!

Helpful Tips for Making Fried Olives
  • Pick the right olives: The best olive varieties for frying are the larger, meaty ones. Their fleshy size makes it worth the extra frying steps! In this recipe, I’m using Spanish Gordal olives, which are super plump with a delicate texture.
  • Choose pitted olives: Fried olives are much more fun to eat if you don’t have to worry about nibbling around the pit. Plus, pitting creates room for stuffing in extra flavor!
  • Serve with a creamy dip: Yep, I’m vouching for homemade mayo. If you’ve never made it, don’t be intimidated: it takes two minutes to make in the blender or you can use a stick blender. The layering of garlic and saffron make this mayo extra special and flavorful. If you really don’t want to make mayo from scratch, look at the recipe notes for tips on pimping store-bought mayo.
  • Make-ahead: The fried olives can be made and fried ahead of time. Let them cool completely, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a half day. Reheat in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Create a whole spread: These big, plumpy fried Gordal olives from Spain can be the centerpiece of a whole, fuss-free spread of snacks. Here are ideas of bites you can serve alongside the fried olives: an alternate variety of marinated olives, cheese, chips, bread, crackers, pâtés, and cured meats.
  • Pour an easy drink with it: Tinto de Verano is a super easy, Spain-inspired drink that goes wonderfully with an olive-fueled happy hour. Add ice to serving glasses, fill halfway up with wine, then top up with sparkling lemonade. Garnish with lemon and orange wedges, and enjoy!

Fried Olives with Saffron Aïoli

Prep 20 mins

Cook 5 mins

Total 25 mins

Yield 24 fried olives and about 1 cup (250 ml) saffron aïoli

These crunchy, fleshy, nutty fried olives are the perfect nibble to serve with festive cocktails. The accompanying saffron aïoli makes this a truly memorable snack!

Ingredients

For the Saffron Aïoli

  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/8 tsp (pinch) saffron, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) smooth-tasting oil (such as vegetable, sunflower, or grapeseed)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) kosher salt

For the Fried Gordal Olives

  • 24 large, fleshy green olives, such as Spanish Gordal, pitted
  • 24 whole toasted almonds (see note)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) breadcrumbs (I like to use whole wheat breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) finely grated Manchego cheese
  • Canola oil, for frying
Instructions

For the Saffron Aïoli: In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and saffron and let sit for 15 minutes.

Combine the oils in a single measuring cup.

In a blender, or in the beaker of a hand blender, combine the lemon juice and saffron mixture, egg, garlic, mustard, and salt. With the blender running on the lowest speed, add the oil in a thin stream. The mayo will come together in seconds. Scrape down the sides if needed. For thicker mayo, add up to an additional 1/4 cup oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

For the Fried Gordal Olives: Pat the olives dry with paper towels. Fill each olive cavity with a whole almond. Set the stuffed olives on a clean plate.

Prepare the breading stations: combine the flour, salt, and pepper in one bowl, lightly beat the egg in a second bowl, and combine the breadcrumbs and cheese in a third bowl.

Roll one stuffed Gordal olive in the flour, then shake off the excess. Place the olive on a fork, then dip into the egg. Transfer the olive to the breadcrumb mixture and roll to coat all over. Set on a plate. Repeat to bread all the olives. For extra crunch, return the breaded olives into the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture. Refrigerate until ready to fry.

Add about 3 inches (7.5 cm) oil to a deep saucepan. Set over high heat and heat until the oil is hot but not smoking, to 350°F (175°C). Place 3 to 4 olives on a slotted spoon and carefully lover them into the hot oil. Fry until the crust is golden brown, about 30 seconds, turning them a few times so they fry evenly.

Fish the olives out of the oil and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat to fry all the olives.

Serve the fried Gordal olives from Spain warm with the saffron aïoli.

Notes
  • Toasting raw almonds: Place them in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 8 to 10 minutes, giving them a shake halfway through. Let cool completely, then use as directed.
  • Shortcut saffron aïoli: Combine 2 tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon) with 1/8 tsp (pinch) saffron, crumbled, and let sit for 15 minutes. In a small mixing bowl, add 3/4 cup (180 ml) store-bought mayo. Add the lemon juice and saffron mixture, 1 large clove garlic, grated, and some black pepper. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Transfer to an airtight jar and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving to let the flavors infuse.

Courses Appetizer

This post is sponsored by Olives from Spain. Companies never dictate what recipes I create, or the opinions I express. I only use products I genuinely believe in. For more information about sponsored posts, please read my Disclosure Policy. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep Food Nouveau running!

More Snacks for a Delicious Happy Hour Spicy & Sweet Cocktail Pecans

Gougères

Crunchy Mini Crab Cakes with Lemon-Dill Mayo

The post Fried Olives with Saffron Aïoli appeared first on Food Nouveau.

Fried Olives with Saffron Aïoli was first posted on December 6, 2018 at 8:54 pm.
©2014 "Food Nouveau". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at info@foodnouveau.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This festive, aromatic spiced pear bundt cake cake is a spectacular centerpiece for any and all fall, winter, and holiday gatherings. {Jump to Recipe}

Extra Special Holiday Giveaway! Win TWO cookbooks: Simply Citrus + Scandinavian Gatherings
Enter through the widget at the bottom of this post, and get extra chances to win through Lulu the Baker’s latest post.

As soon as we turn the calendar page from October to November, all I can think about is baking, baking, baking. I start planning the cookies, candies, pastries, cakes, and other desserts I’ll be making over the holidays two months in advance—I should talk to someone about that, I know—and I also begin testing new recipes to find candidates to add to the usual line-up. Not only does this make for a sweet end of year, every year, but it allows me to welcome the holidays feeling thoroughly prepared.

I turn to magazines and cookbooks for inspiration, flipping through old favorites but also looking for new titles that will spice things up. This year, a craft and cookbook filled with me joy from the moment I opened it: Scandinavian Gatherings, by Melissa Bahen, creator of the blog Lulu the Baker. I’ve been online friends with Melissa for years, but for some inexplicable reason, I didn’t own her book until now—it was released in 2016—and I’ll long regret those two lost years spent sans Scandinavian crafts and treats.

I’ve long been attracted to the Scandinavian aesthetic. I’d describe it as minimalist, yet warm and cozy. Discreet, yet assertive. Whimsical, but not childish. Scandinavian Gatherings is a perfect illustration of all these qualities. Every time I open the book, I want to jump right into the tablescapes and rooms Melissa has created: the crafts are simple and doable, and look like things you want—scratch that, need—in your décor. The book is divided by occasion and covers spring to winter, breakfast to dinner. Each chapter contains a short and well-thought-out selection of savory and sweet recipes and handful of projects, which means you can easily decide to execute a full chapter to recreate Melissa’s vision in your own home. Or you can do as I did: bookmark the whole book and go on a craft and baking frenzy!

I’ve made a few recipes from Scandinavian Gatherings already and they were all a hit. The Caramel Almond Sponge Cake (page 191) was so easy to make: for sure, it will be on heavy rotation at my house. I snacked on Smoked Salmon, Herbed Cream Cheese, and Baby Cucumber Open-Faced Sandwiches (page 69) on a snowy weekday and felt like a queen. There are so many more recipes I want to try—the breads look especially spectacular—but the true showpiece from Scandinavian Gatherings has to be this Spiced Pear Bundt Cake.

I haven’t made many in my baking life, but I noticed that few desserts impress more than bundt cakes. Their shape is spectacular, of course, but what’s best about bundt cakes is that they pack in the flavors and garnishes. This Spiced Pear Bundt Cake uses a generous amount of aromatic spices, including cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves, and is dotted with jammy bits of pear throughout. This cake is easy to whip up and makes the whole house smell heavenly for hours, a reward in itself.

You could very well serve this cake as is, or simply dusted with powdered sugar, but if you want to go all out, make the accompanying salted caramel sauce. Yes, it requires you to make caramel, but I promise it’s easier than it looks. You simply have to stand by the stove for about 8 minutes while you watch sugar boil and turn amber. Once it does, you whisk in heavy cream and the remaining ingredients. This produces, in my opinion, the best dessert sauce there is—you’ll want to pour it liberally over any and every cake, apple and pear pies, ice creams and gelati, and even over your morning granola. Why not? You only live once!

In Scandinavian Gatherings, Melissa made a regular caramel sauce, but I can’t make caramel without salting it anymore! Salt adds such an addictive, balancing touch to desserts—especially to this caramel—but rest assured, it is optional if you prefer your caramel straight up. Melissa suggests serving whipped cream with the cake, too, and I love that idea, though I’d never say no to a scoop of vanilla bean gelato either.

I’m including the instructions to make crispy pear chips, which contribute to a spectacular presentation. Your guests are likely to fight over the pear chips, so you should make plenty! Making them isn’t hard, but it requires a mandolin to slice the pear extra-thin, and a long baking time in a low oven, so you need to plan ahead. I suggest you go this extra mile if you serve the cake on a special night, or even for a birthday party.

Helpful Tips for Making Spiced Pear Bundt Cake
  • Buttering is key: Bundt cake pans come in many shapes and forms, and many, such as the one I used, have intricate patterns. To make sure your baked cake will slip right out of the pan, you need to butter it very thoroughly. I like to use a pastry brush and very soft, but not melted, butter. Melted butter will run and gather in the cavities, but what you want is for all the nooks and crannies to be evenly buttered. You’ll then dust the whole pan with flour and shake off the excess. These two steps take a bit of time, but the beautiful cake your patience will produce is worth it.
  • Use ripe, not mushy, pears: This cake requires you to use firm pears that hold their shape after baking. Such varieties include Bosc, Anjou, and Rocha. The pears should be ripe and juicy, but still firm, so the diced pieces hold their shape throughout the cake. You’ll know if a pear is overripe if it is browned in several spots and if it bruises easily if you press it with the tip of a finger.
  • Jar that Salted Caramel Sauce: This recipe makes enough sauce to generously drizzle over the cake and pour over every slice, but you could easily double the recipe to make an extra jar or two—a lovely homemade holiday gift idea. If you double the recipe, use a larger saucepan so the water and sugar mixture comes a little over 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides. This will ensure the cooking time remains similar and allows plenty of room for the caramel to bubble up, but not over, when you whisk in the cream.

Spiced Pear Bundt Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce

Prep 40 mins

Cook 3 hours, 40 mins

Total 4 hours, 20 mins

Yield 12 servings

This festive, aromatic spiced pear bundt cake cake is a spectacular centerpiece for any and all fall, winter, and holiday gatherings.

Ingredients

For the Crispy Pear Chips

  • 2 firm pears, thinly sliced on a mandoline slicer, seeds and stalks retained, outer slices discarded
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) granulated sugar

For the Spiced Pear Bundt Cake

  • 1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups (750 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) kosher salt
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) whole milk
  • 3 cups (750 ml) peeled, chopped, and diced ripe pears (about 4 Bosc or Anjou pears, or 6 to 8 Rocha pears)

For the Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (155 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) butter
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp (2 to 5 ml) kosher salt, to taste

To serve

  • Chopped toasted pecans (optional)
Instructions

For the Crispy Pear Chips: Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sugar in a shallow plate. Using a paper towel, pat the pear slices dry, then carefully dip both sides of each pear slice into the sugar to coat. Transfer the pear slices to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes. Carefully turn, then bake for an additional 60 to 90 minutes, or until the pear chips are light golden. (The chips will finish crisping up as they cool.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an open container, with parchment paper sheets in between layers to avoid the pear chips from sticking to one another, until ready to use.

For the Spiced Pear Bundt Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). If you’re using a dark Bundt pan, preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Generously butter and flour the interior of the Bundt pan, shaking out any excess flour.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer, beat the sugars and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed after each addition until smooth.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

With the mixer on low speed, add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter-and-sugar mixture, followed by half of the milk. Continue alternating flour and milk until all have been added. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, then beat the batter on high speed for 20 to 30 seconds. Using a spatula, fold the pears into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for about 65 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull away from the edges of pan, and a bamboo skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the spiced pear bundt cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently invert it onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the Salted Caramel Sauce: In a small aluminum saucepan with tall sides set over medium heat, cook the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until the mixture caramelizes and turns amber-colored, 7 to 8 minutes.

Immediately remove the caramel from the heat and whisk in the cream. The mixture will sputter and splash, so wearing an oven mitt and/or long sleeves is a great idea. If the mixture sieves up, whisk it over medium heat just until it becomes smooth again.

Add the butter, vanilla, and salt, whisk until smooth, and allow it to cool to room temperature. If you’re making the sauce in advance, transfer it to a jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

SERVING: Serve the Spiced Pear Bundt Cake at room temperature. Gently reheat the salted caramel sauce if it was refrigerated. Drizzle the sauce over the cake, then stand some apple chips on top of the cake, gently pressing them down to slightly insert them into the caramel and the cake. Sprinkle with chopped pecans, if using. Present the cake to your guests, bask into their compliments, then slice into portions and drizzle each with more caramel.

STORAGE

  • Store leftover Spiced Pear Bundt Cake under a cake dome or in an airtight container. Keep at room temperature for up to 24 hours, or refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  • Store leftover caramel sauce in a glass jar and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  • Pear chips will soften as days pass, so it’s best to eat them within 24 hours.

Courses Dessert

Spiced Pear Bundt Cake and Caramel Sauce recipes adapted from Scandinavian Gatherings by Melissa Bahen. Copyright © 2016 Melissa Bahen. Published by Sasquatch Books. Reproduced by arrangement with the Author and Publisher. All rights reserved.
Crispy Pear Chips adapted from Taste.com.au.

Extra Special Giveaway! Win TWO cookbooks: Simply Citrus + Scandinavian Gatherings 

Melissa and I have partnered up to for something truly special: each of us is giving away a set of two cookbooks: my own Simply Citrus, and Melissa Bahen’s Scandinavian Gatherings. That’s right: there will be two winners, and each winner will take home two cookbooks! 

How to Win

  • Mandatory: Leave a comment saying what’s your favorite holiday cake!
  • Optional: Take advantage of all the social media options in the Rafflecopter widget below to get more chances to win. When entering through social media, make sure I can recognize your name and contact info so I can reach you if you win.

The Fine Print

  • The giveaway is open to US and Canadian readers.
  • Each winner needs to answer a simple skill question to get the prizes.
  • The giveaway ends Friday, December 7, 2018, at midnight EST.

GET EXTRA CHANCES TO WIN BOTH COOKBOOKS
Make sure to enter Melissa’s giveaway, too, so you get extra chances to win both of our cookbooks. She’s sharing a delightful recipe from Simply Citrus, too—my Orange, Date, and Walnut Cake with Orange Butterscotch Sauce—so you don’t want to miss it!

Good luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure notice: I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes. This post contains affiliate links. If you order products using the links provided in this post, I earn a few cents, which helps me create new content for FoodNouveau.com. For more information, please read my Disclosure Policy

More Spectacular Cake Recipes Chocolate Loaf Cake with Gianduja Ganache and Caramelized Hazelnuts

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This red wine risotto offers comforting, sophisticated flavors and looks simply breathtaking on the plate. It’s a great winter dish and a spectacular one to serve to company during the holidays! {Jump to Recipe}

This post is sponsored by Woodbridge By Robert Mondavi Wines. Please, always make sure to enjoy wine responsibly.

It’s winter here in Quebec City. My hometown’s been snowed over a full month earlier than usual. The first snowfall was a full-on, heart-of-the-winter one, and it was followed by many more, which means right now, my city looks like it usually does in January.

I’m always excited for the first snow, because it usually means December’s here, and the holidays are right around the corner. It means decking the house with lights and shimmering decorations and baking to the rhythm of holiday music. It means playing in the snow with the little one, then coming in and curling up under a blanket to warm up. It means craving and making delicious, comforting dishes you can eat with a spoon. This year, the early arrival of snow tricked us, and it is still way too early to put up the tree and start holiday baking. So, lately, I went all in with the comfort food.

You say comfort food, I immediately think of risotto. Risotto is my fallback plan, the thing I make when the fridge is bare and we crave something simple but satisfying and delicious. For a lot of people, risotto is a tricky dish to make, and yet I’ve always felt that reputation was overblown. Put on some music, gather the ingredients, heat up some broth, and start cooking the risotto. By the time you’re done lazily drinking a glass of wine—because you have to open a bottle to make that risotto, right?—your risotto will be done and served. Making risotto takes about 25 minutes, start to finish. The time-to-deliciousness ratio offered by risotto is hard to beat!

What I also love about risotto is that it’s a blank template you can adapt countless ways. Only got cheese on hand? Make a basic risotto, and I guarantee you’ll be happier eating that than mac’n’cheese. Add lemon zest for a sophisticated touch and flavor boost. Add protein and veggies to make a dressed-up version of the dish. The sky’s the limit!

In its most basic form, risotto can be made with just four ingredients: rice, wine, broth, and cheese. Most risotto recipes use white wine, but I love to make red wine risotto for a change of pace. The color of red wine risotto is breathtaking, and the flavor is deeper and more assertive. Red wine risotto is a great winter dish and a spectacular one to serve to company during the holidays.

I’ve been making versions of this red wine risotto for a long time but had never gotten around to sharing it on my blog. When I was approached by Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines to create a wine-based recipe, it was the perfect occasion to finally get this favorite recipe of mine into the world.

I’ve been buying Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines for years: their wines are fruit-forward, smooth, and balanced, making them versatile and loved by everyone I serve them to. Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines also have another big advantage: they’re delicious and affordable, which means I’m also happy to use them for cooking and baking, too. Wine you use in recipes should taste good: Fiona Beckett, wine writer for the Guardian, says, “If you wouldn’t happily drink it, don’t cook with it.” By the same token, you don’t want to pour vintages elsewhere than into your glass, so it’s important to keep reliable, affordable staples on hand to pour a cup into a recipe, if need be.

I was lucky enough to pick from three different Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines to make this red wine risotto, and after careful, repeated tastings (tee-hee) I went for their Merlot. The wine you use to make red wine risotto should be flavorful, but not overpowering. Medium-bodied wines are best for risotto, and the juicy Merlot I picked had a nice acidity that paired with the broiled cherry tomatoes, a mellow spiciness that could support the meaty flavor of sausage, and some vanilla undertones that inspired the toasted hazelnut garnish.

This colorful Broiled Cherry Tomato, Sausage, and Red Wine Risotto is just one of the delicious recipes you can make with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines. For more recipes and serving tips, visit Woodbridgewines.com, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for day-to-day inspiration. They also have a wine pairing app that provides recommendations for what wine to serve with your food. Handy!

Helpful Tips to Make Red Wine Risotto
  • Use a medium-bodied wine with flavor notes that complement the ingredients you use in the risotto. Look at the back label of the wine for clues: many winemakers include pairing suggestions to flavor descriptions. To pick a wine for this risotto, look for the keywords “tomato,” “meat,” or “hearty pasta.” Or simply use the same wine I picked: the 2017 Merlot by Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines.
  • Use short-grain rice for the creamiest taste and the best texture. “Risotto rice” has a high-starch content, which is what creates the risotto’s signature creaminess, but it also retains texture and won’t turn mushy. Arborio is the risotto rice variety you’re most likely to find in all grocery stores, but also look for Carnaroli and Vialone Nano, two varieties that produce outstanding risotto.
  • Perfect risotto is loose in texture: it should quickly flatten out when you spoon it into a serving bowl. From the moment it’s done, risotto will slowly start seizing and losing its smooth creaminess, which is you should always make it right before serving. My tip to serve perfect risotto is to save a ladleful of the hot broth, which I mix into the finished risotto only seconds before serving. This gives you a few minutes to breathe: once you’ve stirred in the cheese, you can remove the risotto from the heat, cover it, and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Gather your serving plates and garnishes and make sure your guests are ready to eat. Return the risotto to medium-low heat and stir in that last ladleful of hot broth. This will loosen the risotto and make it perfect for immediate enjoyment!

Broiled Cherry Tomato, Sausage, and Red Wine Risotto

Prep 5 mins

Cook 25 mins

Total 30 mins

Yield 2 servings

Ingredients

For the broiled cherry tomatoes

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 9 oz/255 g)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the red wine risotto

  • 2 cups (500 ml) chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) butter, divided
  • 1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup/125 ml)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh mild Italian sausages, meat removed from the casings
  • 5 oz (140 g, about 3/4 cup/180 ml) risotto rice (Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) medium-bodied red wine, such as the 2017 Merlot from Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines
  • 2 oz (57 g, about 1/2 cup/125 ml) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

To serve

  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) crushed toasted hazelnuts (see note)
Instructions

For the broiled cherry tomatoes: Place a rack in the upper third of the oven, then preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Halve the cherry tomatoes and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat, then arrange the cherry tomatoes cut side up. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to the oven. Broil for about 8  minutes, or until the cherry tomatoes begin to dry and char around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the risotto.

For the red wine risotto: Pour the chicken broth in a medium saucepan. Warm over low heat until just simmering, then keep warm.

In a large pan, or in a cast-iron braiser set over medium-low heat, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the sausage meat and sauté, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is fully cooked, about 4 minutes. Add the risotto rice and stir for 2 minutes, until the grains are translucent around the edges. Add half of the red wine and stir, scraping down the bottom of the pan to loosen the caramelized bits. Simmer until the wine is absorbed. Add 1 ladleful of the hot chicken broth and simmer, stirring from time to time, until the broth is almost completely absorbed. Add the remaining red wine and simmer, stirring from time to time, until the wine is almost completely absorbed. Continue adding broth, one ladleful at a time, allowing each ladle to be absorbed before adding more. When there’s about 1 ladleful of broth left, taste the risotto. Risotto is perfectly cooked when it is tender with a little bite. Add more broth if the risotto needs it, making sure to save about 1/2 cup (125 ml) of broth to finish the risotto right before serving (warm up more broth if needed).

When the risotto is al dente, lower the heat to the minimum, then add the remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter and the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Stir until the butter and the cheese are melted. Stir in half of the broiled cherry tomatoes and the remaining broth (about 1/2 cup/125 ml). The risotto should be loose and super creamy.

SERVING: Divide between warm shallow bowls. Garnish with the remaining broiled cherry tomatoes, toasted hazelnuts, and fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle each serving with a tiny pinch of flaky sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Notes

How to toast and peel hazelnuts: Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and bake at 350°F (170°C) for 15 minutes, giving the tray a good shake every five minutes. When the hazelnuts’ skin is shiny and crackled, remove from the oven and transfer to a clean dish towel. Close the towel up into a bundle and rub the hazelnuts against one another vigorously to remove the skin. Open the towel and pick up the peeled hazelnuts. Some bits of skin will remain and that’s ok, simply make sure to discard all the loose papery bits. Keep the peeled hazelnuts in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.

Courses Dinner

Cuisine Italian

This post is sponsored by Woodbridge By Robert Mondavi Wines. Companies never dictate what recipes I create, or the opinions I express. I only use products I genuinely believe in. For more information about sponsored posts, please read my Disclosure Policy. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep Food Nouveau running! And please, always make sure to enjoy wine responsibly.

More Delightful Risotto Recipes Roasted Butternut Squash, Pistachio, and Brown Butter Risotto with Fried Sage Leaves

Sweet Corn Risotto in Corn Broth

Kale and Walnut Pesto Risotto

The post Broiled Cherry Tomato, Sausage, and Red Wine Risotto appeared first on Food Nouveau.

Broiled Cherry Tomato, Sausage, and Red Wine Risotto was first posted on November 21, 2018 at 3:36 pm.
©2014 "Food Nouveau". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at info@foodnouveau.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

These zesty Lemon Pistachio Muffins are as delightful and elegant as cupcakes are, but they come together as quickly as muffins do. They’re a sweet treat for any and all occasions, from weekend brunches to birthday parties! {Jump to Recipe}

Recently, someone told me after tasting a dessert I’d just made, “You like using nuts in desserts a lot, don’t you?” She was the second person to remark on that within a short period of time. Yes, I love using nuts in desserts. An entire shelf of my fridge is dedicated to bulk-sized bags of nuts! I like the texture, flavor, and nutritional value they add. Nuts are so versatile, too: I’ve yet to encounter a dessert where nuts are not a welcome addition.

It was only natural, then, that as I was flipping through Fanny Lam’s gorgeous new dessert cookbook, Oh Sweet Day!, I’d be attracted to recipes that put nuts front and center. Among the recipes I bookmarked, there’s an Orange Almond Cake with Crème Fraîche I can imagine serving as a sweet ending to a holiday brunch; a Chocolate Cream Hazelnut Tart, which I need to make ASAP because chocolate and hazelnut is one of the sweetest flavor couples of the dessert world; and Lemon Pistachio Muffins, which combine ingredients I love to use the most in baking: citrus fruits and nuts. It had my name written all over it.

I love that Fanny called these cupcakes Lemon Pistachio “Muffins” because it gives you permission to serve them anytime, from breakfast to dessert. It also means that the treat is as fast to prepare as muffins are: simply mix the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls, fold together, and you’re done.

If you know someone who says they don’t like cupcakes because they’re boring (I live with someone who likes to repeat that cupcakes are just “frosting stands”), you’ve got to serve them these Lemon Pistachio Muffins. They have a light, tender, cake-like crumb bursting with lemon flavor, thanks to a generous addition of lemon juice and zest, and they’re dotted with pistachios, which add a fun crunch and a pop of color.

Fanny serves her Lemon Pistachio Muffins drizzled with a smart and elegant lemon glaze, but I wanted to assert the muffins’ dessert status, so I piped them with a fluffy lemon cream cheese buttercream. The buttercream and sprinkle of crushed pistachios make the muffins so festive, don’t you think? I’d serve them at a birthday party in a heartbeat.

I remember when I started following Fanny Lam on Instagram. I was obsessed with the perfection of her shortbread tartlets and cookies. She regularly shares pictures of these lovely treats, which she sells along with cakes and other sweet treats through her online shop and at farmers’ markets in Vancouver. She’s undoubtedly a shortbread expert: she’s said to roll out over ten thousand shortbread cookies every holiday season.

It had been gnawing at me to ask for her recipes, but I figured maybe she wanted to keep them secret. But lucky me! She has now shared her tips to make her picture-perfect tartlets and cookies in her cookbook, Oh Sweet Day! A Celebration Cookbook of Edible Gifts, Party Treats, Festive Desserts. I can’t wait to put those recipes to the test. I predict they’ll regularly grace my table for months, even years, to come.

Fanny’s collection of sweets makes me smile at every page. You’ll surely find new favorites among the wide range of cakes, breads, breakfast treats, pies, tarts, cookies, donuts, and bars she has included in her cookbook. The recipes are creative and colorful, and the instructions straightforward and helpful. She even included step-by-step photos for trickier techniques, such as lattice pie. If you love baking, get your hands on a copy of Oh Sweet Day!—or, better yet, gift it to someone you love. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll bake you something sweet to say thank you.

Lemon Pistachio Muffins

Prep 25 mins

Cook 20 mins

Total 45 mins

Yield 15 muffins

These zesty Lemon Pistachio Muffins are as delightful and elegant as cupcakes are, but they come together as quickly as muffins do. They’re a sweet treat for any and all occasions, from weekend brunches to birthday parties!

Ingredients

For the Lemon Pistachio Muffins

  • 2 cups (500 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) finely grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed, strained lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) freshly squeezed, strained lemon juice
  • 3 cups (750 ml) powdered sugar, sifted

To serve

Instructions

For the Lemon Pistachio Muffins: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two muffin pans with parchment paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a second large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter, lemon zest, and juice.

Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the pistachios.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool completely.

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream: Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a hand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the lemon juice and beat to incorporate. Add the powdered sugar a third at a time, beating slowly first to incorporate, then increasing the speed once all the sugar is incorporated. Beat until the buttercream is light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

SERVING: Use an offset spatula to slather the lemon pistachio muffins with buttercream, or transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice to decorate the muffins. Sprinkle the buttercream with pistachios.

STORAGE: Serve the lemon pistachio muffins at room temperature, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the frosted muffins in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

NOTE: You can also make these lemon pistachio muffin in a mini format by using a mini muffin pan lined with mini parchment paper liners. Bake the mini-muffins for 10 to 12 minutes, or until done. The recipe should produce about 45 mini lemon pistachio muffins.

Recipe Credit: Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream recipe created by Marie Asselin.

Lemon Pistachio Muffins recipe adapted from Oh Sweet Day! The Celebration Cookbook, reprinted by permission of Front Table Book, an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc.

Courses Dessert

Disclosure notice: I was offered a copy of Oh Sweet Day! A Celebration Cookbook of Edible Gifts, Party Treats, Festive Desserts for review purposes. As always, companies never dictate the content I create, or the opinions I express. I only use products I genuinely believe in or feature books I truly love. This post also contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Disclosure Policy.

More Sweet Recipes for Lemon Lovers Perfect Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon-Glazed Madeleines

Lemony Zucchini Cake

The post Lemon Pistachio Muffins, from Oh Sweet Day! A Celebration Cookbook appeared first on Food Nouveau.

Lemon Pistachio Muffins, from Oh Sweet Day! A Celebration Cookbook was first posted on October 24, 2018 at 9:21 pm.
©2014 "Food Nouveau". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at info@foodnouveau.com
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Food Nouveau by Marie Asselin - 7M ago

This luxurious Balsamic Fig Jam improves breakfast spreads, increases the appeal of baked goods, and creates unforgettable savory bites. It makes for a unique gift, too! {Jump to Recipe}

Fresh figs: love ʼem or hate ʼem? Fresh figs have a unique texture, a honeyed sweetness, and a mellow, earthy taste—but a perfect fresh fig can be difficult to find. Like many other fruits, the flavor of imperfect fresh figs can be improved tenfold by macerating them in sugar for a short amount of time. I like to use short-macerated figs in salads or over yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast—but if I’m lucky enough to score a large quantity of figs for cheap, I’ll turn them into a sweet treat no one can resist: Balsamic Fig Jam.

This Balsamic Fig Jam is made in three steps:

  • Fruit maceration
  • First boil, then overnight rest
  • Second boil, then preserve

The first step, fruit maceration, allows figs to “loosen up” and start releasing their juices. This step is especially important if you have imperfect, or not quite ripe, figs on your hands. Macerating the figs will wake up their subtle flavor.

The second step, the first boil followed by an overnight rest, allows the fig skin and flesh to soften.

The final step, the second boil, turns the concoction into a proper, dreamy jam you can jar and preserve the way you would any other jams. (See the recipe note for instructions for sterilizing jars and lids for preserving.) I like to divide the jam between small jars, which are perfect for gifting. I also find that a smaller format easily allows you to go through it in one sitting, which means you won’t be stuck with storing yet another half-empty jam jar in the fridge.

This Balsamic Fig Jam is extremely versatile. You can, of course, serve it with croissants and fresh bread for breakfast, but you can also slather it over the bottom of a pie crust (it’s an excellent flavor addition to frangipane tart), dollop it over financiers instead of using fresh figs, spoon it over vanilla bean gelato or ice cream, or spread it between the layers of a cake.

But don’t limit yourself to sweet options: The balsamic vinegar intensifies the taste of the figs, which makes this Balsamic Fig Jam perfect for savory flavor pairings, too. You can use it the way you’d use a chutney or onion confit: spoon it over terrines and hard cheeses, such as Pecorino Romano, serve it alongside cured meats, as a garnish over goat cheese or blue cheese crostini, as a pizza topping, or even as a condiment for roasted pork, chicken, or turkey.

Keep your eyes peeled for fresh figs through the fall: most grocery stores will sell them by the case while they’re in season. Buying a larger quantity means you can spare some of them to make this jam and still keep a few to enjoy fresh. If you’re lucky enough to live close to where figs grow, or even have a fig tree in your own backyard, go ahead and double or even triple this recipe. You’ll get to gift this delightful Balsamic Fig Jam throughout the holiday season!

Balsamic Fig Jam

Prep 30 mins

Inactive 12 hours

Total 12 hours, 30 mins

Yield 2 cups (500 ml)

This luxurious Balsamic Fig Jam improves breakfast spreads, increases the appeal of baked goods, and creates unforgettable savory bites. It makes for a unique gift, too!

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 lb (600 grams) ripe figs (about 8 plump figs), cut in small dice (about 1/4
  • 2 cups (500 ml) cane sugar, or regular granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed, strained lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) top quality balsamic vinegar
Instructions

In a large measuring cup or a heatproof bowl, add the figs and half of the sugar (1 cup/250 ml) and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Transfer the fig and sugar mixture to a small stainless steel saucepan. (The mixture should come halfway up the sides of the saucepan.) Set over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring from time to time with a silicon spatula. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from the heat and transfer back to the measuring cup or heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, then let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.

Sterilize jam jars if you do not plan to use the jam within two weeks. (See note below for instructions.)

Transfer the fig and sugar mixture back into the saucepan. Keep a skimmer or a slotted spoon close to the stove. Place a small plate in the refrigerator. Set the saucepan over medium heat, and bring the fruit back to a boil, stirring from time to time with a silicon spatula. Stir in the remaining sugar, the lemon juice, and the balsamic vinegar. Boil, stirring, until the mixture is thick but not to concentrated, about 10 minutes. Skim off any foam that rises, dipping the spoon or skimmer into the bowl of water to remove the foam.

To test for doneness, remove the place from the refrigerator and place a spoonful of jam on it. Wait for 20 seconds, then tilt the plate. The fig jam should only run very slowly. Boil a little longer if it seems too runny, keeping in mind the jam will thicken further as it cools. You want the fig jam to remain spreadable.

Transfer the fig jam into the sterilized jars. (See note below for instructions.) Cover, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate, or store in a dark, cool place if you stored the jam in sterilized jars. Unsterilized fig jam and opened jars will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe Credit: Adapted from a recipe by Martha Rose Shulman, The New York Times.

Notes

To sterilize jars and lids for preserving, preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Wash the jars in hot, soapy water. Dry the jars, then set on a baking sheet, leaving space in-between the jars. Place in the oven for 15 minutes to sterilize. Meanwhile, place the lids in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave in the hot water until ready to use. Once the jars are sterilized, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use.

Courses Breakfast, Dessert, Appetizers

More Gift-Worthy Sweet Condiment Recipes No-Butter Apple Butter {with video!}

Clementine Jelly

The Best (and Easiest) Butterscotch Sauce You’ll Ever Make

The post Balsamic Fig Jam appeared first on Food Nouveau.

Balsamic Fig Jam was first posted on October 17, 2018 at 8:30 pm.
©2014 "Food Nouveau". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at info@foodnouveau.com
Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview