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The Art of Holiday Baking
Readers share their Creative Holiday Recipes
Poached Pears with Flair
From the kitchen of Deb Flohr
Combine water, sugar, zest and cinnamon stick in saucepan and bring to a boil; lower to simmer. Peel and core pears, rub with citrus juice and add to poaching liquid.
Place a round of parchment (pre-cut to fit pan) on top of pears and liquid to keep pears immersed. Poach until pears are tender. Remove from liquid and cool on rack.
Once cooled use citrus stripper to decorate pears (swirls, dots, imagination).
Ribbon egg yolks, sugar and salt.
Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup milk and add to egg mixture.
Add remaining milk and bring to boil, whisking constantly until boiling. Stain, add gelatin, vanilla and liqueur. Chill.
Puree berries and liqueur; add sugar to taste. If berries are frozen, thaw (saving liquid) and puree with liqueur; add sugar to taste plus additional liquid if needed.
Heat milk with vanilla bean and seeds until scalded then cool slightly.
Using electric mixer whisk egg yolks with sugar and salt until pale yellow and ribboning.
Pour milk over ribboned egg mixture in steady stream. Return to medium heat and stir constantly until smooth and mixture coats back of a wooden spoon.
Be sure not to boil or mixture will curdle.
Strain mixture into a bowl set over an ice bath.
If using vanilla extract add at this point.
Pipe pastry cream into pear core; plug core with berry. (For a shiny lacquered look melt fruit preserves and brush over pear).
Ladle crème Anglaise in circles on plate; Drizzle berry puree in between crème Anglaise.
Drag toothpick through circles to create design.
Place pear in center of plate.
Garnish with fresh mint and sugared berries.
For more recipes by Deb Flohr visit her website
Old Fashioned Cranberry Tart
From Kathryn Kleekamp's Cape Cod and the Islands ~ Where Beauty and History Meet
In a separate bowl mix:
Combine the first three ingredients and place in prepared pie pan.
In a separate bowl, mix the second group of ingredients.
Spread the second mixture over the berries.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes.
Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Kathryn Kleekamp's Cape Cod and the Islands ~
Where Beauty and History Meet
Available at amazon.com
Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies
From Linda Steele's cooking collection Meet Me in my Cape Cod Kitchen
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add syrup and vanilla
Add flour; mix until just combined
Fold in the nuts
Shape the dough into 2-2inch rolls; wrap each in plastic or a ziploc bag.
Refrigerate for two hours or until firm.
Cut dough into 1/4 inch slices and place 2 inches apart on un-greased baking sheets at 325 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove to wire racks and let cool completely.
In a microwave safe bowl melt the chocolate with the oil and stir until smooth.
Drizzle gently on the tops of each cookie. Enjoy!
For more of Linda Steele's delicious recipes visit her blog:
Spicy Holiday Pear Cake
From the kitchen of Jill Talladay
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Use a sauté pan to heat the wine, lemon juice, zest and 1/2 cup of brown sugar on low.
Once it is warm and the sugar is dissolved add the pears.
When the pears are tender, (approx 10 minutes) remove from heat and add raisins.
Coat an angel food cake pan with cooking spray. Put 1/4 cup of brown sugar in bottom of pan and place pears neatly on top of the sugar (see photo) surrounding the base of the pan.
Beat granulated sugar, butter, molasses and next seven ingredients in a bowl with an electric mixer.
One at a time add the eggs, half the milk, half the flour and scrape sides before adding the remaining milk and flour.
Pour the batter over the pears.
Bake 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for at least 15 minutes before overturning onto a large serving plate.
Place the plate on top of the pan and quickly flip it over onto the plate. Replace any of the pears onto the cake that may have stuck to the roof of the pan.
Serve with fresh whipped cream or ice cream (vanilla, pumpkin or cinnamon suggested) if desired. This cake is dense so serving size should be small. Serves 18