Grapes and Plums
Grapes and Plums
Edward Ladell
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La Belle Cuisine


Frutta al Forno con Amaretti

 4 pears peeled, cored, halved
1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup brown sugar packed firm
1/4 cup almonds ground fine
8 Italian Amaretti cookies crumbled fine
(food processor works well for this)
2 tablespoons butter
Remainder of bag of almonds

 Place pears, cut side up, in a well buttered baking dish. Combine the Amaretto, butter, egg yolk, brown sugar, almonds and cookie crumbs.
Stuff this mixture into cavities in pears. Bake in preheated 350 F
oven for 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in small saucepan, brown the remaining almonds in butter. Transfer pears to serving dishes, sprinkle browned almonds over.


Champagne Zabaglione with
Fresh Fruit Compote

Foolproof recipe from Chef Mary Cech
Bon Appetit Cooking Class February 1996

Bon Appetit - One Year Subscription 

1 cup dry Champagne or other sparking wine
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
5 large egg yolks
2 tablespoon light corn syrup
6 tablespoons chilled whipping cream

Fruit Compote:
2 large oranges
1/2 small pineapple, peeled cored
1 basket strawberries, hulled, quartered
2 kiwis, peeled, sliced into rounds

1 pear, peeled, cored, diced
6 tablespoons chilled dry Champagne
6 whole strawberries

 For zabaglione:  Whisk Champagne, sugar, yolks and corn syrup in large metal bowl to blend. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not
allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk constantly until mixture has tripled in volume and a candy thermometer registers 160 F., about 10
minutes. Remove from over water. Using electric mixer. beat zabaglione
until completely cool, about 5 minutes. Beat cream to soft peaks in
medium bowl. Fold cream into cooled zabaglione. Chill until ready to
use. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.  Cover and keep refrigerated.
Stir lightly to loosen texture before serving.)

For Fruit Compote: 
Using a small sharp knife, cut off peel and white
pith from oranges. Working over bowl, cut between membranes to
release orange segments. (Oranges can be prepared 6 hours ahead.
Cover; refrigerate.)
Using tip of vegetable peeler, cut out eyes from pineapple, discard eyes.
Dice pineapple. Combine pineapple, quartered strawberries, kiwis and
pear in large bowl. Mix in oranges. Spoon fruit into 6 stemmed glasses.
Pour 1 tablespoon Champagne over fruit in each goblet. Top fruit with
zabaglione. Garnish each serving with whole strawberry and serve
immediately. Serves 6.


Dried Pear Compote

2 cups dry white wine
2 cups water
1/2 cup honey
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
One 2-inch-piece fresh gingerroot.
peeled, thinly sliced
Six 1/2-by-3-inch strips lemon zest
7 cardamom pods, crushed
6 whole black peppercorns
8 ounces dried pears (about 12 pear
halves), quartered
4 ounces dried apricots
4 ounces dried sour cherries
Honeyed Crème Fraîche (recipe follows)

 In heavy large saucepan place wine, water, honey, vanilla bean, sliced
ginger, lemon zest, cardamom pods, and black peppercorns. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently 30 minutes. Remove from heat,
cover and let steep at least 2 hours. Strain syrup, return to saucepan.
Return vanilla bean to syrup.  Bring to simmer. Add pears and simmer
10 minutes. Mix in dried apricots and simmer 5 minutes. Add dried sour cherries and simmer 5 minutes. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate
compote overnight.

Honeyed Crème Fraîche
: Combine 1 cup chilled crème fraîche, 3 tablespoons honey and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.


Lemon Cream for Fresh Fruit

 3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup lemon juice
Four 3-inch strips lemon zest
2/3 cup sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter,
cut into tablespoons

In top of double boiler, whisk together eggs and egg yolks.  Beat in the
sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Place over simmering water and cook,
whisking constantly, 10 to 15 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Off heat,
add butter by tablespoons, whisking after each addition, until the butter is blended. Strain into clean bowl. Refrigerate, covered, 4 hours or up to 1
week.  (Can also fold in some whipped cream, if desired. We do!)


Fresh Fruit with Tea-Infused Custard
Food & Wine Archives

Food & Wine - One Year Subscription 

"The rooibos tea called for below is the tea
of choice in southern Africa."

 Servings: 4 to 6

2 cups milk
1 rooibos or Earl Grey tea bag
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup superfine sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup damson plum jam
2 tablespoons Cognac
3 cups sliced fresh fruit

Make ahead:
The custard can be refrigerated overnight.

1. Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add the tea bag,
remove from the heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Discard the tea bag.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in half of the warm milk. Pour the mixture into the milk in the sauce-pan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until the custard is thick, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the butter and transfer the custard to a bowl.
3. In a small saucepan, melt the jam with the Cognac. In a bowl, toss the
fruit with the melted jam, then transfer to plates or bowls. Spoon the
warm custard over or around the fruit and serve.

-- Jacques Pepin


Strawberry-Topped Lime Mousse Tart
Bon Appetit April 1996

Bon Appetit - One Year Subscription

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup whole almonds, toasted
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter,
cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons (about) cold water

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup chilled whipping cream
5 ounces good-quality white chocolate
(such as Lindt or Baker's), chopped
1 teaspoon grated lime peel

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream

3 12-ounce basket strawberries, hulled, sliced
1/3 cup (about) seedless strawberry jam

For crust: Blend first 4 ingredients in processor until nuts are ground but
some small pieces still remain. Add butter; cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles fine meal. Blend in enough water by teaspoonfuls until mixture begins to form clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk.
Press dough evenly over bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan
with removable bottom. Freeze crust until firm, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake crust until deep golden brown, about
30 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.
For filling: 
Place lime juice in small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand
10 minutes to soften. Bring 1/4 cup cream to simmer in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Add white chocolate; stir until melted and smooth. Add gelatin mixture; stir to dissolve. Mix in peel. Chill until cold and beginning to thicken but not set, stirring often, about 45 minutes.
Beat sugar, sour cream and remaining 1/2 cup cream to medium-stiff peaks
in medium bowl. Fold whipped cream mixture into white chocolate mixture. Spoon mousse into crust. Chill until mousse sets, about 4 hours. (Can be
made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
For topping: 
Decoratively arrange berries atop mousse. Melt jam in
small saucepan over low heat, stirring often. Brush enough jam over
berries to glaze. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover; chill.) Serves 8.

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