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Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Apple Caramel Pawlet Cheese Pie

The heat of summer is finally over! While that does mean the end of berries, lemonade and cobblers, the season of pumpkins, mulled cider and, of course, apple pie is now in full swing. To celebrate the season, I wanted to bake a non-traditional apple pie using only New England products (and, sneaking in one sweet addition from Brooklyn). The end result was an apple pie with a caramel lavender sauce and cheese crust. And to drink? Mystic Brewery’s Mystic Descendant, a dry stout just bitter enough to offset the sweetness of the pie, with notes of caramel and toffee to complement. (more…)

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Blueberry Pancake Ice Cream - Key Ingredients

We are in the throes of summer and our produce tables are teeming with blueberries! We have both local, cultivated berries and the wild Maine variety. I love blueberries. The tiny fruits burst with memories of childhood summers spent foraging for the sweet berries to bake muffins and pies.

There are so many ways to be creative with blueberries. One of my favorite treats as a child was a blueberry pancake breakfast. Of course, often during the summer there is less desire for a large breakfast. We spend our summer days soaking in as much outdoor air as possible, then relax with dinner and dessert. And, what makes a better summer dessert than ice cream? (more…)

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Belgian Waffle Ingredients

Growing up, my favorite waffles were, of course, Eggos. Flavorless, with a fun catch-phrase, they were the perfect vehicle for syrup and butter. It’s no wonder that I always preferred pancakes at renowned breakfast restaurants, like IHOP and Denny’s. In college, our cafeteria was equipped with a flip-waffle iron and a bowl of batter. You could make waffles at any time of day. But, after eyeing the thin batter and tasting the outcome, it was clear that these were merely pancakes posing as waffles.

Alyssa making Belgian or Liège Waffles.Then, I moved to Massachusetts, where I learned a lot about food (Aunt Jemima’s isn’t real maple syrup!?). I worked at a creperie as a barista who didn’t drink coffee. The crepes were filled with strange, exotic ingredients I had never heard of, like arugula and Brie. I also learned that the owner actually specialized in a variety of waffle called “Liège waffles” (also sometimes known as Belgian waffles). I had no interest in trying one – I knew what waffles were all about. But an extremely enthusiastic coworker convinced me to give it a go. She took the deep-pocketed rectangle, toasted it, got out the whipped cream and strawberries and impatiently watched as I took my first bite. And then my taste-buds exploded (with flavor, not literally exploded). Sweet, dense, yeasted, chewy, filled with sweet crunchy pockets of sugar that also caramelized on the surface of the waffle – why ruin this with whipped cream and strawberries? Eggos were no competition – in fact, I wasn’t even sure if they were really waffles at this point – these were the best waffles I had ever had!

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Moro Blood Oranges

Last Wednesday morning, as we received our weekly delivery of California produce, the wind was picking up and the clouds were grey and churning – a sure sign of snow on the way. As we hurriedly brought in the fresh greens, jewel-like lemons and first-of-the-season strawberries, the juxtaposition between the impending New England storm and spring produce from California was increasingly apparent. Unpacking a box of Moro blood oranges from Rancho del Sol, I was immediately hit with a rich, balsamic fragrance that was only matched in richness by the oranges’ bright ruby appearance. Having yet to preserve any of this season’s citrus fruit, I immediately decided to snap up a pound to juice and candy. (more…)

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Ten Apple Varieties

Inter-departmental cooperation? We’ve got that in spades! Two Sundays ago, this manifested itself in a team effort between the bakery and the produce departments. Emily, produce buyer and home chef extraordinaire, brought the apples: 10 different kinds, most of them heirloom varieties. I represented for the bakery and turned each variety into an individual mini-crisp and sliced extras for a “raw” tasting. Our goal? To find out which were the best baking and which were the best eating apples. (more…)

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Beltane Farm - Goat Milk and Yogurt

On weekends, we often have 12-16 people over for dinner. Since neither Ihsan nor I are big dessert eaters, someone else usually brings dessert. A couple of weeks ago, our good friend, John “Doc” Willoughby, brought a gingerbread cake and homemade goat milk caramel sauce. I have long been a big fan of anything made with goat milk, so I was thrilled with the dessert. Suffice it to say, we ate everything. (more…)

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Chocolate fondue!

Yesterday, after I finished work, I popped into the back of the bakery and experimented with chocolate fondue.  I wanted to do a test run because today, in preparation for Valentine’s Day, we are sampling out fondue to customers. While chocolate fondue is not difficult to make, I wanted to make sure we had just the right ratios before preparing a large batch!

First off, I decided to use our Callebaut 60% bittersweet chocolate. Personally, I tend to like dark chocolate but, my own preferences aside, the acidity of chocolate is somewhat mitigated by the secondary ingredient in fondue: heavy cream. As a result, it is better to err on the darker end of the chocolate scale. (more…)

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