Desserts


This weeks’ theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs was Fresh and Fruity.  Which is a great theme for this time of the year.  So many fresh fruits and veggies everywhere.  But here in the south while we have plenty of veggies coming in we don’t really have any fruits.  Watermelon is about all.  Fortunately for me I have some ‘fresh’ fruit that I canned last year so I used that.

For these….

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apple and pear upside-down caramel tarts

They are mini versions of a tarte Tatin and they are easy to put together.  And delicious.

Caramel sauce:
    1 ½ cups sugar
    4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 cup whipping cream

Tarts:

    2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into ½-inch–thick wedges
    2 Anjou pears, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
    1 frozen puff pastry sheet (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
  • To make the caramel sauce: Stir the sugar and 1/3 cup water in a medium heavy saucepan over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a simmer, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar that clings to the side.
  • The sugar that clings to the side of the pan has a tendency to crystallize and ruin the silky consistency of the caramel, so wiping the sugar off the sides of the pan will help prevent this from happening.
  • Allow the sugar syrup to boil without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan and swirling the pan occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly, for about 8 minutes or until it begins to turn golden brown.
  • You will need to watch the syrup closely as it can burn quite easily.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add the butter and whisk until the butter melts and the mixture forms a caramel sauce. Stir in the cinnamon.
  • Pour three-fourths of the caramel sauce into four 4-inch-diameter cake pans with at least 1 3/4-inch-high sides, dividing equally.
  • Allow the caramel in pans to cool.
  • Whisk the cream into the remaining caramel sauce to blend and set the caramel sauce aside.
  • To make the tarts: Arrange a layer of the apples and pears decoratively over the caramel in the pans, then stack the remaining apples and pears to fill the pans completely. Unfold the pastry on a work surface and press the seams together if necessary.
  • Cut out four 4-inch rounds.
  • Place the pastry rounds over the apples and pears and tuck the pastry down between the sides of the pans.
  • Prick the pastry 5 to 6 times with a fork or small sharp knife.
  • Cover the tarts with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day to chill the pastry.
  • Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  • Transfer the tarts to a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through and the apples are very tender.
  • Let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the juices to cool and thicken slightly.
  • Place a plate over each tart.
  • In a swift movement, invert each tart onto each plate.
  • Remove the pans.
  • Drizzle some of the reserved caramel sauce around the tarts and serve.
  • Reserve any remaining caramel sauce in the refrigerator for another use.
  • These are definitely going into the dessert rotation. I always have puff pastry in the freezer and always have apples and pears on the counter (or in the pantary) so it would be no trouble to put these together – often.

    These are from relaxed cooking with curtis stone (page 358)

    Check wit the other members of I Heart Cooking Club to see what they made with fruit this week.

    My Birthday was this past Sunday. I turned….. old enough!! It was a good day with lots of BarBQue and lots of cake. Perfect!!

    And since it WAS my birthday week, Kaye chose CAKE for our theme this week. Thanks, Kayte!

    But it also happened to be Father’s Day.  And the Man’s favorite cake is Carrot Cake.  Mine happens to be…cake!!  Any cake with lots of frosting!  So kill two celebrations with one dessert!

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    There are not many cake recipes in Ellie’s books but there happens to be a darn good Carrot Cake Cupcake recipe in The Food You Crave.  It is just as good as the one I make for his birthday every year only healthier.  Less sugar.  Less oil.  Same frosting.  Same great taste. Still moist. Still sweet.  This may be my new g0-to for carrot cuppys!!

    The recipe or Carrot Cupcakes with Lemony Cream Cheese Frosting is on page 285.  But it is also on Food Network.

    What other cake did we enjoy this week.  Check out Let’s Make Cake at Eating with Ellie.

    I’ve always liked Donna Hay’s books.  Kayte introduced me to her recipes way back in 2012 when I joined Wednesday’s with Donna Hay.  Since then I have added four of her wonderful books to my collection.  Even tho’ I have made a lot of her dishes I still have plenty more marked.  Thank goodness for PotLuck with I Heart Cooking Clubs..

    We needed a dessert in the house.  But we are trying to go sugar free.  But we needed a dessert.  Fortunately there are several with Donna that are easily adaptable using a sugar substitute rather than the real thing.

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    Custard Tart

    I feared that the custard would not thicken if using Splenda with Fiber but my fears were unfounded.  It thickened nicely and made a great dessert for us.

    The recipe calls for using warmed milk with a vanilla bean.  Instead, after warming the two I split the bean and added the seeds to the milk.  I did bring out the vanilla flavor a lot better.  And I hated to waste a whole bean.

    This was just perfect.  Not a big sweet dessert.  Just sweet enough to enjoy after dinner.

    I made 1/2 the recipe and ended up with 4 mini tarts (rather than pies).  I added just a little whipped cream on top.

    The recipe is from Donna’s The New Cook.  (page 181)

    Potluck brings all kinds of good dishes to the table.  Check out the POTLUCK for May at IHCC.

    Gaye’s choice for this week was DESSERT!  We haven’t made dessert with Ellie in a while and that’s a shame because her’s are tasty AND healthy!!

    I chose to make the Rustic Pear Tart.   Mainly because it’s easy but also because The Man does love pears. 

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    This tart is super easy because you make the whole wheat crust and just fill it and fold it up around the pears.  No pie plate.  No trimming.  No patching.

    Ellie suggested 3 medium pears but I had some canned pears from the orchard and chose to use those instead.  I had canned them with very little sugar but I cut down on the brown sugar from 3 Tbl to 2 Tbl just in case.  I had also canned some pears with cinnamon but figured I would use the plain instead.  The filling also has cinnamon, cornstarch, brown sugar and lemon juice. I forgot the lemon juice, but….ah, well!!  The tart is brushed with a mix of honey and water after baking to give it a nice sweet taste.

    The recipe is from Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix  {page 284} but you can also find it HERE!

    Check out more desserts on Divine Desserts at Eating with Ellie.

    Curry, any kind of curry, is comfort food to me.  And even though it is 87 degrees out today {UGH!} this was just too good to pass up.

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    I did make a couple of changes to the recipe:

    • The recipe calls for Spanish Pardina lentils, I only had brown {YUCK!} in the pantry.   I will use yellow next time.
    • I used two heaping teaspoons of Curry powder rather than the 1 teaspoon Keller called for.  I LIKE the flavor strong!
    • I made mine more of a stew and only used 4 cups chicken stock rather than 8.

    You can find the recipe on page 121 of ad hoc at home, but I also found it HERE.

    Of course, because I was making this soup/stew I also had to make the curry powder itself.  A foodie friend sent me a jar of curry powder and then sent me the recipe, which I subsequently lost. I never knew where it the recipe came from until…..

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    …I found it again – in ad hoc. {page 336}  I was so happy. Now I have a jar in the pantry ready to use.  There are 20 different spices in this mix,

    • allspice, anise, bay leaf, brown mustard seeds, cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, nutmeg, mace, black peppercorns, ginger, star anise, yellow mustard seeds, turmeric, paprika, flaky sea salt. {The only thing I didn’t have in the pantry was mace but since it is very similar to nutmeg in flavor, only stronger, I subbed in 1/2 nutmeg and 1/2 ground allspice.}

    some whole some already ground,  and worth all the trouble to make it.  It is much more fragrant and tastier than what you can buy and the recipe makes about 1 cup of powder.

    Okay,that ‘s the last recipe from ad hoc at home.  This has been fun this month cooking with Thomas Keller.  Next month I will be gone mostly so I’ll be back in June with……?

    “I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

    I don’t bake nearly as much as I used to.  It used to be once-a-week.  Now, it’s about…well, it’s once in a while.  And when I do I try to use less sugar.  We aren’t getting any younger and it is harder and harder to ‘work off’ the sweet treats.

    But every once in a while we really want something sweet.  Last week we really wanted something so I made Keller’s Cheesecake – using Splenda and Stevia.  This week it is chocolate as in…

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    BROWNIES!

    Keller says brownies remind him of family, comfort, and childhood.  I feel the same way.  Mom used to make brownies.  They were always a treat.  ALWAYS!

    I made these using Splenda and Stevia as well.  Instead of 1 3/4 cup sugar I used an equal amount of Splenda and ADDED about 1/4 tsp of bulk Stevia.  INTENSE chocolate flavor (1 cup cocoa), just sweet enough, and very little guilt. Well, as little as you can have with 3 STICKS BUTTER!!.

    The recipe is from Keller’s ad hoc at home. {page 303} Also found it on Pretty Simple Sweet.

    I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

    The other day I visited with Heather.  It was her fault that I just sat down because she did just invite me to “Join us, Pull up a Chair“. And since she was my ‘assignment’ for SRC I knew she wouldn’t mind a long visit.  Because it was.  It took a while to find the recipes I wanted to make.  Not because I couldn’t find anything but because I found lots of things to chose from.  But I had to narrow it down – a lot – from the 15 recipes I Pinned.

    But I did!

    I started with dessert.  I mean, why not?

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    Oatmeal Cream Pies.

    With a maple cream filling.  No need to make any changes here.  Except when I went to pull out my treasured jug of REAL GOOD Maple syrup, it wasn’t there!  Bother!  So I added some coconut to the cream filling.   Still tasty!  The Man ate all of them.

    After enjoying a sweet treat we moved on to a tasty supper.

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    I do love pizza.  With lots of cheese.  The more melty the better.  I don’t love crust, not because I don’t love bread, but I don’t need the carbs.  So when I saw Heather’s LOW CARB PIZZA CASSEROLE I knew I had to try it.  All the joys of pizza WITHOUT the crust.  Altho’ I did kinda miss the crust to sop up the juicy goodness in the bottom.  What we have here is mushrooms, Italian seasoning, Mozzarella, and sausage baked in a lovely tomato sauce.  The only change I made was to leave off the turkey pepperoni.  Not a fan.  Definitely a repeat for lunch!

    I have two MAJOR fave foods.  A good steak.  Anything with Shrimp. And I also like easy dishes.  This one is basically made in one skillet.  Just one.  Not lots of pots and pans to clean up with this one.  That’s a good thing with these long days and late cooking. So for dinner:

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    Shrimp Orzo Skillet

    …which is just as good as it sounds.  I have two MAJOR fave foods.  A good steak.  Anything with Shrimp. And I also like easy dishes.  This one is basically made in one skillet.  Just one.  Not lots of pots and pans to clean up with this one.  That’s a good thing with these long days and late cooking.  The only change I made – instead of just salt and pepper mixed with the sugar to cook the shrimp I added some Creole seasoning to add some heat!  YUM!!

    I’m definitely coming back for Heather’s Upside Down Sausage and ‘hroom Pizza, her Quinoa Mac & Cheese, and her Mad Hatter Salad when I have more than two people to feed.  And THEN after I had my choices and was writing she goes and adds  Slow Cooker Au Gratin Potatoes.  **SIGH** so add those to the list as well.  {She may have a longer visit than she anticipated. :) } And…. the Baked Zucchini Fries just might be on the menu tonight!  And maybe the Apple Pie Empanadas  for dessert?

    For more Secret Recipe Treats check out       !

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