Day after day, outside, the light gets subtler.
In the middle of the afternoon, the sunset light filters through the foliage, dapples the wall of the living room and creates like an old movie effect on a screen. I like watching the light dancing this way.
Small details that I keep on finding lovely.
Like the freckles on nashi pear skin…
Despite the mostly mild autumn days, I’m in the mood for simple and comforting dishes and desserts.
So here’s a twist to the traditional baked apple.
The sweet and juicy nashi pear is stuffed with pinenuts and sultanas. Vanilla syrup, sweet white wine and ginger add flavours to this easy dessert. The kind that brings not only a sweet touch at the end of a meal, but warms up on a cool evening.
All images © 2013 Viviane Perenyi
Baked Nashi Pear
4 nashi pears
4 tbsp sultanas
4 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp vanilla syrup
4 thick ginger slices
125ml / 1/2 cup sweet white wine
125ml / 1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Slice the top of the fruit, remove the core and make a cavity. In a bowl mix together the pinenuts, sultanas and vanilla syrup. Scoop equal amount in each nashi pear. Place them in a baking dish and pour water and wine in the bottom. Add slices of ginger. Bake for one hour until the fruits are soft. Serve warm.
LA SUITE EN FRANÇAIS…
If you think clafoutis is for summer, you should think twice.
In our home, clafoutis is made all year round. Reinterpreted with fruits each season has to offer. And I find it particularly comforting during the cooler days.
When I saw the cranberries in the shop the other day, I instantly pictured them in a clafoutis.
I remember last year when I baked this cake and tasted these ruby berries for the very first time. It was a lovely way to be introduced to them.
After a couple of misfortunes in the kitchen this week, it was good to bake this clafoutis that turned out simply delicious.
The cranberries are pre-cooked with muscovado to offset the sourness and the batter is lightly flavoured with pink grapefruit zest which works nicely with the berries.
- 120g cranberries
- 15g unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp muscovado
- 3 eggs
- 100g flour + extra for coating the dish
- 250ml milk
- 60g unsalted butter
- 70g brown sugar
- 1/4 pink grapefruit zest, finely grated
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp brandy (optional)
In a small saucepan under medium fire, place butter and muscovado, stir and allow to melt. Add cranberries and stir for a couple of minutes until the fruits are well coated. Remove from fire and keep it aside. Preheat oven to 180°C. In an ovenproof shallow dish, place butter and let it melt in the oven. In a bowl, whip together eggs, salt and sugar. Keep on whisking and gradually add flour. The batter should be smooth. Remove the dish from the oven, pour melted butter in the batter and mix. Pour milk, brandy and stir. With a paper towel brush the remaining butter on the side and bottom of the dish. Spoon some flour, rotate and tap the dish to coat evenly the sides and bottom of the dish. Pour the batter and place fruits. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden on top. Sprinkle icing sugar on top and serve still warm.
The good find at the farmers market this past week-end was the Luisa plums. They are quiet particular, shaped like a small mango, with a nice yellow and red hue and a sweet taste. They were very ripe, so I’ve made a jam.
The other plum that has my preference is the greengage, la reine-claude. And you may have noticed that already.
All green and round this plum is delightfully sweet and juicy.
On Sunday night, like an impulsion, I started to prepare the laminated dough to make a variation of the apricot danish with the little greengage. The dough is nothing else than a croissant pastry.
It’s been a long time since I played with this type of dough, so I was not too sure, but in the end it all went fine. The pastry is rich enough, so I’ve skipped the usual custard filling and simply placed greengage on top.
The pastries are all gone by now and I may use a part of the remaining dough for croissants this time…
Please note I’ve used only half of the pastry for the quantity of fruit indicated.
Adapted from this recipe.
-20g / 6 tsp fresh yeast
-100g / 7 tbsp unsalted butter, dice and at room temperature
-500g / 4 cups flour
-10g / 1 1/2 tbsp salt
-50g / 1/4 cup caster sugar
-240g / 1 cup whole milk
-250g / 1 cup or 16tbsp unsalted butter soften.
6 greengages, halved and pitted
1 tbsp sugar + 1 tbsp boiling water to brush pastry
Proof the yeast in the lukewarm milk with a pinch of sugar. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, salt. Add the diced butter and knead lightly to incorporate into the flour mix. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour the milk and yeast in. Stir with a spatula until it comes together. Transfer the dough on a lightly four-dusted bench top and knead for 5 minutes. Let the dough rest in a bowl wrapped with cling wrap for an hour or until it doubles in size. On a lightly dusted flour bench top, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape, wrap it and place it in the fridge for an hour. Sandwiched between two sheets of cling wrap, flatten the butter with your palm or a rolling-pin to make a rectangle of similar size as the dough. Wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour. Remove the dough and butter from the fridge. On a lightly flour-dusted bench top, roll out the dough to make it two times larger. Place the butter rectangle in the middle and fold the dough extremities in the centre to lock the butter. Fold again the dough on itself like you would close a book. Roll out the dough, turn the dough 90° -clockwise- and fold again bringing the extremities to the centre and then folding the dough in two. Roll out the dough, rotate 90° -clockwise- and repeat the previous folds one more time. Wrap the dough in a plastic film and refrigerate for an hour. On a lightly flour-dusted bench top, roll out the dough less than 1/2 inches thick or 1cm thick. Cut out squares about 3 inches / 8cm length size. On each square diagonally cut 1 1/2 inches / 4 cm from the corners to the centre of the square. Fold one tip of each corner toward the centre to make a rosace shape. Let the pastry rise for an hour at room temperature on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Before baking place halved greengage cut side facing up on top and centre of each pastry and brush the pastries with the syrup made with the sugar and water. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until nicely golden on top.
LA SUITE EN FRANÇAIS…