Join Date: May 2004
Location: Mission, Texas
CRANBERRY PEAR TART WITH GINGERBREAD CRUST
For the pear mixture:
4 cups cranberry juice cocktail
1/2 cup sugar
4-inch cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 large firm-ripe pears, halved lengthwise, peeled, cored, and reserved in a bowl of cold water acidulated with the juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup dried cranberries
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold, unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons dark molasses
Raw rice for weighing the crust
3 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
Make the pear mixture: in a kettle combine the cranberry juice, the sugar, the cinnamon stick, and the lemon juice, bring the mixture to a boil, and add the pears. Heat the mixture until it just comes to a simmer and simmer the pears gently for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are just tender. Remove the kettle from the heat, stir in the cranberries, and let the mixture cool. Chill the mixture, covered, for at least 8 hours. The pear mixture may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.
Make the crust:
In a food processor blend together well the flour, the brown sugar, the ginger, the cinnamon, the allspice, and the salt, add the butter, and blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl stir together the egg yolk and the molasses, add the mixture to the flour mixture, and pulse the motor, blending the mixture until it is combined well but still crumbly. Turn the mixture out into a 10inch tart pan with a fluted removable rim and press it onto the bottom and up the side of the pan. Chill the crust for 30 minutes. Prick the crust with a fork, line it with foil, and fill the foil with the rice. Bake the crust in the lower third of a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes, remove the foil and rice carefully, and bake the crust for 10 minutes more. Let the crust cool in the pan on a rack.
Transfer the poached pears and half the cranberries with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, discard the cinnamon stick, and reserve the syrup with the remaining cranberries. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, the sugar, the sour cream, the milk, the vanilla, the zest, and a pinch of salt, stir in the drained cranberries, and spoon half of the custard into the crust. Slice 4 of the pear halves crosswise on the diagonal, arrange them decoratively on the custard with the unsliced pear halves, and spoon the remaining custard around the pears. Bake the tart in the middle of a preheated 325 degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the custard is just set. Remove the rim of the pan and let the tart cool on a rack. The tart may be made up to this point 8 hours in advance, cooled completely, and chilled.
In a saucepan boil the reserved syrup and cranberries over moderately high heat until the syrup is reduced to about 1 cup and is jellylike in consistency and transfer the cranberries with a slotted spoon to a plate to cool. Brush the pears with some of the cranberry glaze and arrange the cranberries around the edge of the tart. Serve the tart warm or chilled.
CRANBERRY POPPY SEED PIE
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
Poppy Seed Pie Crust:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3 tablespoons water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cranberry juice, plus 1 cup
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
8 ounces whipped topping
Almonds: Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes, or until the almonds are golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Poppy Seed Crust: Raise the oven temperature to 475 degrees F. Combine flour, salt and poppy seeds in a bowl. Cut butter or margarine into mixture until it's uniform but coarse. Sprinkle with water, toss with a fork and press into a ball. Roll out onto a floured surface. Line a 9-inch pie plate, leaving 1 inch hanging over the edge. Fold under and flute. Prick side and bottom. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Filling: Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cranberry juice. Set aside. Chop cranberries and place in the blender. Add 1 cup cranberry juice and blend. In a medium-size saucepan, boil the cranberry mixture for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir until it's dissolved. Remove from heat and add the softened gelatin. Place 1 1/2 cups mixture in the pie shell. Refrigerate. Set aside the remaining filling to cool at room temperature. When mixture in pie shell is cooled and slightly thickened, mix 1/3 cup almonds and 2 cups whipped topping into the remaining cranberry mixture. Spoon the cranberry mixture on top of the pie shell. Chill at least 2 hours in refrigerator. Before serving, garnish with the remaining whipped topping and almonds.
STEAMED CRANBERRY PUDDING
Butter and flour for lining the baking pan
3 3/4 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup ground, blanched almonds
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3 cups fine bread crumbs
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup milk
3 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 tablespoon double acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
For the glaze:
1 cup cranberry juice
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup cranberries
Butter a 2-quart steamed pudding mold and line it with wax paper and then butter and flour the paper. In a food processor coarsely chop cranberries. Transfer to a bowl and add almonds, sugar, flour, orange zest, ginger, cinnamon and allspice and combine. In another bowl mix bread crumbs, melted butter, milk, eggs, baking powder, sugar and salt. Combine the bread crumb mixture with the cranberry mixture.
Spoon the batter into the prepared mold, a little at a time, tapping the mold as it is filled to eliminate any air bubbles. Cover the mold tightly with a lid and tie with a towel wrung out in cold water and floured. Tie a knot at the top of the towel to facilitate removal of the mold from the kettle.
Set a rack in the bottom of a kettle and add enough simmering water to reach 3 inches up the sides of the mold. Transfer the mold to the kettle. Keep the water at a brisk but not a rolling boil on the stove top. Cover the kettle with a lid.
Steam the pudding for 2 hours, checking occasionally to make certain the water remains at a boil, adding more water throughout the cooking process as necessary.
To test for doneness, insert a skewer in the center of the pudding. It should come out with crumbs adhering to it. Return the lid to the mold and transfer it to a rack. The pudding will stay warm in the mold, covered, for several hours.
To make the glaze combine cranberry juice, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Simmer the juice, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil and swirl gently until a candy thermometer reads 250 degrees. Add whole cranberries and remove the pan from the heat.
Let the glaze cool and then chill it, covered, until ready to serve. To serve, unmold the pudding onto a serving plate and pour the cranberry glaze over it.
CREAM OF BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CRANBERRY SOUP
For the cranberry puree:
A 12-ounce bag of cranberries (about 3 cups), picked over
1 cup Ruby Port
1/2 cup sugar
For the soup:
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced thin
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon white pepper plus additional to taste
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 sweet potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cups chicken broth
Make the cranberry puree: In a heavy saucepan combine the cranberries, the Port, and the sugar and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the cranberries burst and the mixture starts to thicken. In a food processor puree the mixture and force the puree through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding the solids. The puree keeps, covered and chilled, for 3 days.
Make the soup: In a large heavy saucepan cook the onion and the carrots in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, add mace, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper, squash, sweet potatoes, and 4 cups of the broth, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft. In a blender or food processor puree the soup in batches, transferring it as it is pureed to a saucepan, and stir in the remaining 2 cups broth, the additional white pepper, and salt to taste. The soup keeps, covered and chilled, for 1 day.
To serve the soup: Reheat the cranberry puree and spoon it into a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip. (Alternatively, spoon the puree into a small resealable plastic bag and cut off the tip of one corner.) Reheat the soup, divide it among soup bowls, and pipe about 1 tablespoon of the cranberry puree decoratively onto each serving.
If you have much, give of your wealth. If you have little, give of your heart. - Arab proverb