Maple Mousse Butter Tart

How much more Canadian can you get than Maple syrup and butter tarts!  This recipe was part of our Holiday Wine Pairing Dinner. Follow the link for full menu, wine pairing suggestions and notes.  This recipe is awesome, especially the crust…oh.. and the filling… and the mousse… It is very rich so you can get 8 -12 servings out of the recipe. A little bit goes a long way!  Enjoy!

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Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes hands on
Cook Time 70 bake time
Passive Time 185 minutes elapsed time
Servings
people
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2/3 cups cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbsp ice water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces (optional but decadent!)
Filling
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (pure, medium or dark for best flavour)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins optional
Maple Mousse
  • 2 tsp unflavoured, powdered gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream divided
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (pure, medium or dark for best flavour)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes hands on
Cook Time 70 bake time
Passive Time 185 minutes elapsed time
Servings
people
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2/3 cups cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbsp ice water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces (optional but decadent!)
Filling
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (pure, medium or dark for best flavour)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins optional
Maple Mousse
  • 2 tsp unflavoured, powdered gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream divided
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (pure, medium or dark for best flavour)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
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Instructions
Crust
  1. Combine flour and sugar in a bowl. Cut butter in with a pastry blender til texture of coarse crumbs.
  2. Combine ice water and vanilla. Drizzle over flour mixture. Stir with a fork until dough starts to form a ball. Work gently with your hands till you can form a ball. Wrap and refrigerate approx 15 minutes.
  3. Roll out on a lightly floured parchment paper to fit a 10 inch spring pan. Press it into the pan working the dough about an inch up the sides. Prick the base with a fork and refrigerate 30 minutes more.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees while dough cools.
  5. Toast the walnuts on the baking sheet for about 8 minutes until fragrant. Let cool and finely chop.
  6. After dough has rested for the 30 minutes as per above, line the tart shell with parchment and weight the dough down with pie weights.
  7. Place a baking sheet on the lowest rack to shield the tart shell which you will bake on the middle rack for about 20 minutes til edge is dry. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper and bake a further 10-15 minutes until until just starting to take on golden colour and it is firm.
  8. Remove the tart shell from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven to 325 degrees and leave the bottom baking sheet in place.
Filling
  1. Whisk eggs, maple syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla in a medium bowl until well blended.
  2. Spread the raisins evenly in the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Pour the filling in the tart shell over the raisins.
  3. Bake for about 35 minutes until filling has risen around the edge and is just set in the center. Let cool completely.
Maple Mousse
  1. Sprinkle gelatin over 2 Tbsp of the cream and let soften about 5 minutes.
  2. Measure out 1/4 cup of the remaining cream and put what is left in a mixing bowl in the fridge to stay cool.
  3. Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl till well blended. Bring maple syrup to boil in small saucepan over med-high heat. Boil about 3 minutes being careful that it doesn't boil over. Syrup should be fragrant and slight darker. Remove from the heat and allow bubbling to subside and pour in the 1/4 cup of cream.
  4. Gradually pour the syrup into the egg yolks whisking constantly. Be careful not to cook the egg yolks. Return the mix to the sauce pan and return to cook of med-low heat until mixture starts to thicken. Whisking constantly, this should take about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in gelatin and cook for about 2 minutes until gelatin is dissolved.
  6. Transfer to a clean bowl and let cool, stirring often for about 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, whip the remaining cream in the chilled bowl until it forms soft peaks. Fold in vanilla. Stir one quarter of the cream into the cooled egg yolk/gelatin mixture until well blended. Then add this back into the cream in the mixing bowl. Beat again until well blended.
  8. Fold in walnut pieces if using. Spread over the tart and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
  9. Remove ring from the tart pan, transfer to a plate and serve.
Recipe Notes
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Potato Mash with Celeriac, Parsnip and Frizzled Leeks

Potato Mash with Celeriac, Parsnips and Frizzled Leeks

This dish was part of a wine tasting menu the our wine group served for our Christmas gathering.  (See the wine pairing and full menu here.)  I didn’t take pictures of it in December so I just remade it for a cottage dinner party.  The original LCBO recipe suggests it for a winter holiday menu and it is wonderful but there is no reason this has to be a winter dish.  We eat potatoes in summer right?  And- since there are herbs and leeks involved it is also nice when they are in season. Continue reading “Potato Mash with Celeriac, Parsnip and Frizzled Leeks”

Overnight No Knead Pizza Dough

Overnight No Knead Pizza Dough

 

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This dough is from Jim Lahey—owner of New York’s Sullivan Street Bakery and pizza spot Co.  The long fermentation time allows for less yeast and no kneading! It makes a delicious thin crust pizza.  I halved the original recipe.  It keeps in the fridge for a few days and also freezes well but I found it best when used right away so I didn’t want to make a mega-batch to store!  This recipe will yield about 3 –  10 inch thin crust pizza bases or 2-10″ regular crusts. Continue reading “Overnight No Knead Pizza Dough”

Quinoa with Garlic Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto

Quinoa with Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto

 

Toasted quinoa with Mediterranean flair.
Toasted quinoa with Mediterranean flair.

This is my favourite way to eat quinoa!  It makes a perfect ‘meatless Monday’ kind of meal! The quinoa takes on a nutty toasted flavour after the casserole is baked in the over.  Although this combination of flavours is the one I like best you can vary the layers with other ingredients to tailor to your taste or what you have – example – try a layer of roasted peppers, or fried mushrooms and caramelized onions or replace goat cheese with ricotta, replace pesto with tomato sauce. You get the idea!

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Quinoa with Garlic Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto
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Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Quinoa
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
Fillings
  • 1 /12 cups sun-dried tomatoes minced
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 Tbsps white wine
  • 1 bulb garlic roasted
  • 6 oz goat cheese at room temperature
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup pesto sauce (I use Kirkland's)
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Quinoa
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
Fillings
  • 1 /12 cups sun-dried tomatoes minced
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 Tbsps white wine
  • 1 bulb garlic roasted
  • 6 oz goat cheese at room temperature
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup pesto sauce (I use Kirkland's)
Quinoa with Garlic Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto
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Rating: 4
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray deep casserole dish with cooking spray. I used 8 1/2" X 6 1/2" X 2 1/2 inch deep.
Quinoa
  1. Cook quinoa according to manufacturer's directions. Usually means put quinoa and water in a pot, bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before stirring.
Fillings
  1. To roast garlic, trim the head off a bulb of garlic. Do not peal cloves. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, wrap in foil and roast in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. When bulb is cool enough to handle squeeze cloves out of the skin.
  2. Mash roasted garlic, tsp olive oil and goat cheese together until evenly mixed and spreadable. Set aside.
  3. For the sun-dried tomatoes, add the wine to the hot water and soak the tomatoes approx 20 minutes. Drain tomatoes after they are softened.
  4. For the pesto I used Kirkland's Basil Pesto right out of the jar.
Assembly
  1. Layer 1/3rd of quinoa in the bottom of your casserole.
  2. Spread the sun-dried tomatoes evenly over the quinoa base
  3. Layer another 1/3rd of quinoa.
  4. Spread goat cheese mixture carefully over the quinoa layer. The warmth of the quinoa will help soften the goat cheese. Be careful not to stir up the quinoa layer when spreading the cheese. If your cheese layer is a bit clumpy it is ok as long as it is evenly distributed. It will melt further in the oven.
  5. Spread the pesto over the cheese layer.
  6. Top with remaining quinoa and press gently to even out the entire casserole.
  7. Heat in over at 350 degrees for approx 25 minutes
  8. Slice and serve.
Recipe Notes

If not serving right away you can refrigerate the casserole after assembling. When reheating it will take 20-40 minutes to warm through.

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Garlic Oil

Garlic Oil

This is a basic, work horse kind of flavour builder. It will keep in the fridge sealed for up to 1 week.  Use it in salad dressings or brush on crostinis or pizza bases.

 

Update 5 July 2016:  I just made this again and I used half a bulb of garlic. I crushed the cloves with the side of my chef knife and the skins break and peel off really easily-much easier than paring it off !  Garlic is so fresh and pungent this time of year I don’t think you need a whole bulb.  I strained the oil into a bottle and kept the garlic chunks to use in a roast vegetable dish.

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Garlic Oil
Votes: 1
Rating: 3
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Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bulb garlic
Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bulb garlic
Garlic Oil
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Rating: 3
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Instructions
  1. Peal the garlic cloves and roughly crush with the side of your chef's knife.
  2. Heat oil and garlic in a sauce pot until bubbles start to form. Let garlic 'simmer' about 10 minutes. Make sure it doesn't come to a full rolling boil.
  3. Remove from heat and cool.
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Cherry Port Sauce

cherry-port-wine-sauce

This tart cherry sauce is so awesome and so easy to make! You can use this on duck breasts, chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, even ice cream!

You can find tart cherries bottled in their juice along with other preserved fruits in your grocery store.

According to Dr. Natasha Turner (a respected Canadian naturopath)  tart cherries:

  • can reduce inflammation thereby improving on osteoarthritic pain and helping to stave off gout,
  • improve sleep as a natural source of melatonin
  • decrease post-workout soreness
  • combat belly fat
  • reduce stroke risk.

For the full article see here -http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/natasha-turner-nd/cherries-benefits_b_3757989.html

 

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Cherry Port Sauce
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup tart cherries pitted
  • 1 small shallot minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 4 Tbsp butter divided
  • 1/2 cup Ruby Port (you can substitute a strong red wine)
Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup tart cherries pitted
  • 1 small shallot minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 4 Tbsp butter divided
  • 1/2 cup Ruby Port (you can substitute a strong red wine)
Cherry Port Sauce
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Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. Sautee shallots in 2 Tbsps butter approx 3 minutes.
  2. Add cherries, broth and honey and cook over medium/high heat till cherries are soft and volume has reduced by about half. This can take 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add Port and reduce further until the sauce is syrupy -about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsps butter and mix until combined.
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Foods Worth the Splurge

Cinnamon

 

 

100_2606Cinnamon

I had fallen into the habit of buying ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks from my supermarket.  I noticed that I was doubling or even tripling the amount of cinnamon a recipe called for.  Then I started reading about the health benefits of cinnamon and noticed the articles always specified true Ceylon Cinnamon.  When I searched out true organic cinnamon… I was instantly transported back to the my childhood when Cinnamon and Sugar on toast was a breakfast treat!  I could not believe the difference.  Real cinnamon may seem expensive but you only need a small amount of the real thing!

Cooking Wine

The rule of thumb for cooking with wine is to use a wine you would drink.  In one of our wine pairing dinners (Classic French Shortribs, Persimmon Winter Salad and  Parsnip, Celeriac, Potato Mash with Frizzled Leeks)  we made an interesting observation. We paired a Baco Noir,  a Grenache Blend, a Syrah and a Barbera d’Asti with the main course.  All wines were in the $24-$30 range and had scored above 90 according to various critics.  The Baco Noir was the cheapest and had scored lowest of the 4 wines and it was favoured unanimously by our group of 12.  The reason-IMHO-  I has used a Baco Noir of good but lesser quality  in the braising of the short ribs (same producer , Henry of Pelham).   The other wines were excellent and also complemented the dish but there was obviously a better marriage when the same varietal was used in the cooking and the tasting.  The salad course also resulted in a similar result.  The dressing had a small amount of  Niagara Riesling Icewine.  We tasted 3 different Reislings with the salad course and  the unanimous preferences was Inniskillin Late Autumn Riesling VQA Riesling—LCBO 219543, which matched the sweeter quality of the dressing. The other Reislings, while excellent, were more herbal and citrus.

The moral of the story- where possible match the varietal and style of wine used in your recipes to the wine you will serve with the course.

Pure Vanilla

Forget the Artificial Vanilla Extract.  When Vanilla is the main flavour it deserves to be built from Pure Vanilla or Vanilla beans.  The flavour depth is noticeably different with no alcohol or vinegary aspect that the artificial can leave. Even when vanilla is an addition to many other ingredients and flavours it is worth the real thing.

Veal Stock

I wish I had understand years ago the value of a real veal stock. I sometimes wondered why I couldn’t recreate a delicious restaurant meal at home and why my sauce was always caramel coloured instead of the dark rich GLOSSY sauce from the restaurant. It’s the veal stock! It takes a long time to roast the bones, make the stock and then reduce the stock into an actual sauce but it is really hanging-around-time, not hands-on-time.  I make a big batch in the winter and freeze it in 2 cup portions.  I usually roast the bones and simmer the stock one day, hold it over night (in my garage-which in Canada is colder than my fridge in the winter!).  I reduce it the next day to the final stock volume and either use it or freeze it.  The natural gelatin from the veal bones and the reduction method result in that dark, delicious, rich, GLOSSY sauce!  I now try to avoid flour or other thickening agents whenever possible.