Honey Pear Galette with Pastry Cream

Honey Pear Galette with Pastry Cream

I had a yammerin’ to bake a fruit dessert this weekend (yeah, that’s right, a yammerin’). Most women think first of chocolate for dessert, I am one of the rare few that would pick fruit-based desserts over chocolate almost any day of the week.

I ruffled through Pinterest, one of my newer online addictions, for some enticing photos of various fruit galettes. A galette is a simpler, more rustic version of a pie that doesn’t include the fuss of a pie plate or nicely crimped crust so it’s perfect for a day when you’d like to put together an easy dessert.

I came across this recipe for a Honey Pear Galette which sounded right up my alley. I liked that it had a slight twist of adding a cinnamon vanilla pastry cream to the base of the crust. Other fruit galettes I’ve made before where simply fruit, sugar and the crust, this added a more elevated appeal that didn’t add too much effort.

I opted for using store-bought refrigerated pie dough (baking blasphemy, I know!), because again, my original intent was to make this an easy dessert. I’ve also had good success with the Pilsbury pre-made pie crusts in the past. I chose some lovely red Anjou pears for this treat, which I hadn’t tried before. They were perfectly sweet, but still firm. I followed the original recipe note to sprinkle some flour over the top of the fruit after it was layered on the pastry cream, but before baking. I think next time I would toss the pear slices with the flour and salt before layering the slices for a prettier presentation. As you may see in the photo, even after baking, not all of the flour absorbed into the pears.

The smell that permeated the kitchen while this baked was intoxicating. The crust was colored a lovely golden brown after baking from the egg wash brushed on just before it went in the oven. The pears were the perfect tenderness and had a touch of added sweetness from the drizzle of honey added while the galette was still warm. The pasty cream added a lusciousness beyond the basic fruit version, just as I had hoped. What a tasty winter treat!

What are some of your favorite fruit desserts?

Honey Pear Galette with Pastry Cream

adapted from kokocooks

Print Friendly Version

Pastry Cream

  • 1 c whole milk
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
  • 4 Tbs sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Crust

  • Pilsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust – one round layer

Pear Filling

  • 3 ripe red Anjoy pears or another variety, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbs honey

For the pastry cream: Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Mix together cornstarch, sugar, salt, and egg in a small bowl. When milk starts to boil, remove from heat. Slowly pour 1/3 c of the hot milk into the cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the hot mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk, whisk to combine. Place saucepan over medium heat until the mixture thickens, whisking constantly (about 2 minutes.) Pour pastry cream into a small bowl and chill for 20 minutes.

For the galette: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Roll pastry pie crust into a 12-inch circle on parchement paper. Transfer crust on the parchment to a baking sheet. Spread pastry cream in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Toss pear slices with the flour and salt in a small bowl. Arrange the pear slices on top of the pastry cream. Fold edges of the crust over the pears. Brush the crust with a small amount of the egg wash. Bake until the crust is golden, about 35 minutes. While the galette is still warm drizzle exposed pears with honey transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Cherry Pecan Granola

Cherry Pecan Granola

After eating Mary’s Wild Oats at Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor a number of times I was on a quest to recreate it at home. At $7.50 a pop it’s not cheap to eat granola at their restaurant, but it’s made from inexpensive and easy-to-find ingredients so I figured I could make a similar version myself. I searched the web, but Zingerman’s has not yet parted with their recipe, although their description on the website gave me a enough clues of what ingredients to look for when comparing other recipes. Oats, of course, honey, butter, dried cranberries and whole almonds.

Homemade Granola

Of course, the beauty of making your own granola is that you can adapt it to your tastes, which is what I’ve done here. You can easily change out the choice of nuts, sweeteners and dried fruits to your own favorites. I found a good base recipe on CDKitchen’s website and adapted that to include my favorites. I’ve experimented enough times that my current favorite recipe combo is the recipe below. It includes, pecans, dried cherries, cinnamon and honey. Shhh… but I’d argue that my version is even better than the recipe I was first out to find.

I purchased a yogurt maker a number of months ago, so in addition to making my own granola each week I also make a batch of fresh vanilla yogurt. I also pick up fresh berries or bananas and consistently eat the combination for breakfast every morning. It keeps me full until my workday lunch at noon and I never get bored with it. This past week I made a version with pistachios and maple syrup, also tasty! So, feel free to try different variations until you find the perfect one for you!

Cherry Pecan Granola

Adapted from cdkitchen

  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey (or other sweetener)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup dried tart cherries

 

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix oats, pecans, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl combine oil and honey; you do not need to stir. Microwave for 60 seconds then pour over oats mixture.

Stir oil mixture into oats until it is completely incorporated into the oats mixture. It will still look a little dry. Spread on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Bake for 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes. Let granola cool completely then add to a large Ziploc or other storage container. Mix in dried cherries. Store at room temperature for up to one week.

Raspberry Baked Oatmeal

Raspberry Baked Oatmeal

First off, I apologize for the long and unintended blogging hiatus. I stated a new job earlier this year and I forgot how much that can take out of you.

Before writing this post I’ve passed this recipe for baked oatmeal on to at least ten people so I knew that I needed to get it up on my blog for the rest of the world to enjoy.

The raspberry baked oatmeal is an adaptation of a Blackberry and Ginger Baked Oatmeal I found on Babble. I’ll admit that I made the Blackberry and Ginger version first and I love it even more than with raspberries. I tried to change things up when I couldn’t find decent blackberries in the store the one week, but this recipe is flexible and will work well no matter your favorite berry.

It’s great fresh out of the oven, bur reheats nicely in the microwave for about one minute or so. I make it on Sundays and put it in the fridge for an easy breakfast before work the rest of the week. It’s my new go to first meal of the day!

Baked Oatmeal with Raspberries

adapted from Babble

  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for top
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 large bananas
  • 2 pints of fresh raspberries

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8” square baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, sugar, ginger, baking powder, spices, and salt.

In a small bowl whisk together the milk, egg, and butter.

lice the bananas and layer on the bottom the prepared baking dish. Spread half of the berries over the bananas. Spoon the oat mixture over the top, and then pour in the milk mixture. Press the remaining berries into the oats, and sprinkle top with cinnamon.

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes or refrigerate and reheat leftovers.

Mud Hen Bars

Mud Hen Bars

I’d never had anything quite like a Mud Hen Bar before I made these after finding them on the Two Peas and Their Pod blog (which found the recipe on the Sunday Baker blog) . They’re a layered bar ‘cookie’, but have their own unique qualities compared to other varieties I’ve made or have eaten. Each of tier gives the dessert a mix of texture and flavor that I loved. The bottom layer is a lovely light yellow cake (Two Peas referred to it as a cookie base, but mine out very much like a cake). The middle layer consists of mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips to create a gooey center and the top is a brown sugar meringue which finishes the Mud Hen Bars with a nice crackle and almost caramel-like taste. There is some debate about where the name of these came from, but you’ll enjoy contemplating that while taking a bite of one of these!

Like Two Peas and Their Pod, I left out the nuts from the base layer. Find the recipe here.

 

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio is famous for their creative gourmet flavors and use of high quality local ingredients. I am a huge fan of the selection and make a point of stopping there often while my husband and I are in town visiting family. I’ve even blogged about Jeni’s in the past. That’s why I was thrilled to see the release of their new cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, in mid-June. I pre-ordered a copy and received it a day before it’s ‘official’ in-store release.

Last weekend I attempted one of my top-five favorite Jeni’s flavors: Salty Caramel. I was a little intimidated because of a warning on the page about the technique used to create the caramel. I appreciate that they let me know that dry-heating the sugar (without any liquid) makes the process faster, but also more likely to burn the sugar so it requires a very close eye. Despite my reservations the recipe went smoothly thanks to the well written step-by-step instructions.

In general the Salty Caramel ice cream I made in my kitchen was very similar in taste to the shop version. It had rich buttery caramel overtones and subtle salty undertones that complement the sweetness perfectly. The only detail that I felt was missing from the book, were suggestions on the best types of storage containers. I used an air-tight plastic bowl with with fitted lid and I ran into a little bit of an icy texture on top after storing it in the freezer, even after letting it sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before serving (as the book recommends). But, that has not stopped me from enjoying a dish of Salty Caramel goodness for the last several nights!

I was surprised that the book gave away so many of their signature recipes, but I’m also thrilled! I live three hours away from the closest Jeni’s so it’s not always easy to swing by for a scoop and the retailers in the area are a bit costly for a pint. Plus, the enjoyment of making it yourself cannot be replaced.

Chocolate Sourdough Bread

Chocolate Sourdough Bread

I have to thank my friend Kate in Chicago for kindly sending me a lovely care package of sourdough starter and for sharing this recipe. Thanks, Kate!

I had always wanted to use a sourdough starter for homemade bread, but never had before this. It can be a touch daunting for all the details on keeping the starter ‘fed’ before the day you intend to use it, but luckily Kate also sent me a great set of instructions to follow. You can find some helpful instructions on the King Arthur Flour website.

This loaf of sourdough filled with chunks of Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate turned out to be delicious. I ate a slice for breakfast toasted with a touch of Bumble and Brown each morning the week I made the bread, though it’s also good without any extra fuss as well.

Check out the Chocolate Sourdough Bread recipe (and others) on Kate’s section of the Instructables website. You can use your own homemade sourdough starter, purchase some at the store, or, if your lucky like me get some from a friend.

Have you worked with sourdough starter before? What was your favorite recipe?

Peanut Butter Chili

Peanut Butter Chili

I came across this recipe for Peanut Butter Chili on the Jonesing For blog. I was intrigued because I’ve made a lot of different chili recipes over the years, but none of them had contained peanut butter before.

Even though this is a vegetarian version (you could easily add meat if you choose), I thought I might sway my peanut-butter-loving, meat-eating husband with one of his favorite ingredients. He said he’d be up for giving it a try.

This vegetarian chili calls for dried beans (soaked overnight), onion, tomatoes, vegetable stock and spices. It was very simple to put together in the morning the day I served it for dinner. If you’re a vegetable lover with a big crock pot you might consider adding whatever additional veggies you have on hand.

The original recipe does stress the need for at least a 7-qt. crock pot, I only have a 4-qt. crock pot because it’s just the two of us. I thought that if I added the last of the vegetable broth midway through the cooking process after the rest had been partially absorbed by the other ingredients that it would work out alright. My version came out less hearty than the original with more of a soup-like consistency because of the smaller crock-pot and late addition of the last of the stock.

We still thought the recipe was plenty tasty though. I topped mine with reduced-fat sour cream and a little sharp cheddar for a creamy taste. We served it with a side of honey cornbread. My husband had anticipated a sweeter chili because of the peanut butter, but it actually added more of a nutty undertone when stirred in at the end jut before serving. Adding a bit of sugar to the chili might also compliment the flavors for PB traditionalists looking for that sweeter taste.

I will definitely make this one again, but I think I’ll have the recipe to work better with my smaller size slow cooker.

View the original recipe here.