­

Category: Desserts

Toasted Muffin Shortcake Stacks by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

Of course, you could make your own shortcakes; it’s simple enough.  But this is a super-easy hack using already baked muffins.  And if they are a day old, even better.  I used blueberry muffins but choose your favorite flavor(s).

Pear Cherry Crisp by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

 

I had cherries and I had very, very, very ripe pears. 

 

I know that a cherry-plum or cherry-nectarine crisp is more common than a cherry-pear crisp, but I had these very ripe pears to use (as I have said…) and I knew that the pears would soften during baking and wrap their arms, as it were, around the firmer cherries.  It would be a compatible match.

 

I used a 12-inch ceramic, fluted quiche dish - a wide shallow baking dish, to ensure that the ratio of crisp topping and cooked fruit would provide equal bites of both in your mouth.

And finally, I replaced some of the all-purpose flour with almond flour, making the crust crumblier and crunchier, both desirable attributes.

 

Dairy-free Pumpkin Noodle Kugel by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

I have substituted almond milk for the usual cream or milk found in a Kugel recipe.  There are eggs in this recipe to build the custard, but the butter to grease the baking dish has been replaced with canola or coconut oil. (You may, of course use butter if you wish.)  And finally, I baked the Kugel in a water-bath for slow, gentle cooking.

Cheddar Cheese & Hard Cider Fondue by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

Cheese fondue is a happy Swiss classic. Whisking grated cheeses into a simmering cider broth will produce an unctuous sauce for dipping bread, veggies or sausages. Controlling the heat and patiently adding the cheese are critical to success.

Caramelized Pears with Sweetened Goat Cheese, Crunchy Almonds and Chocolate Sauce By Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

 

Ok….I get it.

 

The thought of goat cheese used in a dessert stops you.  But the flavor with the roasted pear is righteous!  And the toasted almonds and chocolate sauce just ‘gild the lily’. 

 

After all, you do eat cheesecake, don’t you?

 

Tart & Savory Applesauce

This is an ‘adult applesauce’; that is, it is unsweetened and seasoned with ‘woody herbs’ and lemon. ‘Woody herbs’ are those herbs with thicker, stronger stems and hence stronger flavors. Rosemary, sage and thyme are examples. They have a ‘meatier’ flavor than the sweet herbs, (basil, mint, parsley) and hence, are well suited to roasted meats and poultry.
In this recipe, we will make an applesauce infused with fresh sage, thyme, lemon peel and finished with herb-infused browned butter. It would accompany roast pork loin or tenderloin very nicely, or be delicious with a pile of crispy potato latkes (pancakes). (Recipe coming next week)

Applesauce is traditionally made with McIntosh apples. I find them to be very wet; they make a very loose sauce. I have used a mix of Cortland and Granny Smith apples for a firmer texture and a flavor that is a bit tart. Also, I found really B-I-G apples. They were about 8 ounces (1/2 pound) each -
I peeled only 8 apples total!

CHERRY CLAFOUTIS by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

A clafoutis is a classic French, home-style, simple dessert. It’s a giant baked pancake, or “crepe”, made with fresh cherries of the season. Other than pitting the cherries, it is quickly made and can be baked during dinner and enjoyed for dessert. CHERRY CLAFOUTIS is a classic French dessert that I served in my restaurant, CAFFE UMBRA, in the early 2000’s. It was featured in a segment of “COOKING AROUND TOWN with RON DELLACHIESA” produced by WGBH. Every time the show aired we would get multiple phone calls inquiring about the dessert. It often stayed on the dessert menu long after the cherry season had passed, utilizing a different fruit.