It's time for a seasonal post from the Secret Recipe Club! Our theme was Fall Dishes and I was assigned Things I Make (For Dinner). This blog is written by Sarah who, in addition to my name, shares my love of cooking, travel, and sleeping.
Fall means pumpkin for a lot of people, myself included, and I found a Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting that looked yummy. For me, it also means apple; like this Apple Crisp or Apple Fritter Cake. But what about something a little different, like Nutella Ice Cream? Or something savory like Tex-Mex Stuffed Butternut Squash?
In the end, there was one dish that caught my eye the most: Pumpkin Maple Custards.
These custards are made with pumpkin, cream, milk, maple syrup, egg yolks, and spices. Simple and delicious. After the base is made, it is poured into ramekins and baked in a water bath, much like creme brulee.
Corn pudding (or spoonbread) is one of my favorite Thanksgiving sides, and I love this recipe in particular because of how easy it is. There is a little bit of sauteing involved, but then everything goes into a blender, and then directly into the baking dish - easy.
Cream, butter, eggs, corn, sauteed onions, and a bit of flour and sugar - what's not to love?
It is kind of like a corn souffle that's a little bit sweet, and really buttery. It's hot and soft and creamy and kind of melt in your mouth. I made it for a friend that had never had it before and totally made a believer out of her. So let's make this beauty!
Who says cranberries are just for Thanksgiving? With this combination of bright and tangy cranberry orange compote over sweet and creamy vanilla custard, you will want to eat them all Winter long. The acidity from the compote is balanced out by the custard - perfect. The gorgeous bright red color makes it great for the holidays, as well.
You can make the two components of this pie separately, chill them, and assemble when ready to serve. That makes traveling to a holiday potluck much easier. For the compote - combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice and zest in a pot and simmer until the cranberries start to burst. Transfer to a container and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
For the pie - prebake a pie crust, then fill with a custard made from flour, sugar, milk, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla. Bake until set, cool completely, then chill for at least a few hours and up to 2 days. Spread the cranberry mixture over the custard pie just before serving.
As promised in my last post, today we are talking about Rhubarb Sour Cream Pie. Oh yeah, baby. I have a bonafide obsession with fruit and sour cream pies. That tang to balance out sweetness, and the creaminess - yum.
Just a few ingredients are all that is required - flour, sugar, sour cream, and an egg for the custard; and chopped rhubarb.
We already talked about crust this week, so you know that is going to be good. I like the idea of a crumble topping with this, especially to add sweetness since rhubarb is so tart.
Oh. My. Goodness. This is the most deliciously decadent thing ever. I don't even know whether to call it brunch or dessert, or both. Buttery brioche french toast, sweet pastry cream made with vanilla bean, and crunchy brûléed bananas topped with a drizzle of salted caramel. Total epic ridiculousness.
Step one is to make the vanilla pastry cream. Bring cream to a simmer with a vanilla bean and then let steep before adding to a mixture of egg yolks, sugar, and flour and cooking until thick and creamy. It needs to cool completely and then chill, which is why we make it first.
The next step is to make the salted caramel sauce, which is a bit tricky if you have never made one before (I hadn't). You have to leave the sugar alone while it melts and colors, and watch carefully for the right moment. Then you add butter and cream. The caramel with pop and splutter like crazy, and ball up on the end of your whisk. You just have to keep whisking over low heat until it all comes together. Then add in your sea salt and let it cool.
While that is cooling, make your French toast using big, thick slices of brioche (a little stale is better).
BLOW TORCH TIME. This is seriously so much fun. Sprinkle banana slices with sugar and brown with a blow torch. Easy. If you don't have a blow torch, I'm pretty sure that you can use a broiler.
Merry Christmas, y'all! We went on a bit of a crazy roadtrip (which I will tell you about later, because there are restaurants involved) and didn't get back til late on the 22nd, which left us in a bit of a scramble to get ready for Christmas. We managed to get some outdoor decorations up (check out the wreath I made!), but no tree or anything indoors.
We also spent all our holiday money on travel, so no presents this year. But we did have a nice Christmas dinner (I mean, come on - how could I not, right?). Honey Baked Ham (going store bought on the main let me focus on sides); Spinach and Gruyere Strata; Sweet Potato Gratin with Caramelized Onions; and Bacon Popovers.
And a Cranberry Raisin Tart with orange zest and spices for dessert.
Oh yeah, and breakfast! Can't forget Christmas morning sweets! I made these Cranberry Orange Rolls by Smitten Kitchen - yum!
This is a classic desert that works really well for Independence Day (Anything with berries does, really). It's quick to put together and very pretty, so keep it in mind for next year!
All you need is sponge cake, pound cake, or lady fingers; canned custard or pudding mix; whipped cream; and fruit. Then layer them up however you want and let it sit together in the fridge for a few hours to meld.
I used lady fingers (brushed with Cointreau), vanilla pudding, whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. The amounts depend on your serving dish and your preferential ratio of fruit to cream. I used 2 packs of lady fingers, 2 boxes of pudding, 1 can of whipped cream, 1 medium container of strawberries, and 1 pint each of blue berries and raspberries. My layers were lady fingers, pudding, strawberries, whipped cream, lady fingers, pudding, whipped cream, blueberries and raspberries. I probably could have used more berries.
We are coming to the end of asparagus season, but you may be able to get one more use in - and I recommend this one. An asparagus flavored custard with goat cheese and Gruyere, tucked inside a flaky puff pastry shell? Yes, please!
This Martha Stewart recipe uses the stalks and tips separately. The stalks get pureed into the custard, and the tips decorate the top of the tart.
The custard is made with asparagus, eggs, cream, and flour (I altered the recipe based on comments - adding more flour to help it set up).
The custard goes into a pre-baked shell, then the cheeses are sprinkled on top, followed by the asparagus tips.
The texture is gorgeous and the asparagus is definitely the star of the show. Yum, yum, yum - get out there and grab the last of the asparagus!
I have been dying to make this pie ever since I discovered the recipe last summer, sadly too late for strawberry season. I love the combination of sour cream and fruit - really, REALLY love it. One of my favorite pies ever is this creme fraiche and peach pie that you know I will be making as soon as peaches are in season.
The filling is so easy it's almost silly, but before we get to that I want to talk about this crust. This crust! First of all, can we acknowledge that that is the prettiest crust I have ever made? She's improving, ladies and gentlemen! Part of that is due to how easy this crust is to work with. I had thought I discovered the secret to good crust two years ago with Martha Stewart's half butter, half shortening pate brisee - BUT, then I discovered this recipe with butter and lard. Lard, folks, is the bomb. Why have I never used it before?! After all, shortening is just pretending to be lard - so why not go with the real stuff? The texture, the taste, the ease of rolling it out even when it's cold - *sigh*. Please tell me you will make this. Seriously, go make it right now.
This eye-catching pie is made with strawberries, bananas, and fresh pastry cream for a fresh summer treat.
Slices of banana are layered into a cinnamon laced graham cracker crust along with a custard made from eggs, milk, sugar, and butter.