Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bon Appetit: Pear Caramel Butter

So I tried my hand at canning on the weekend. My first time out and all in all it was really successful! I was so pleased when I heard the seal's take. I was on the phone with my sister in England and as I was taking out the jars we both heard the "pop", I started to yelp in excitement, my sister then said, "you've never done this before have you?", "no I haven't" I replied, hence my ridiculous amount of hysteria.
The recipe below I got in this month's Bon Appetit, which I get really excited for once a month when it comes in the mail. The recipe is also REALLY labour intensive. Peeling coring and chopping 7 pounds of pears is nobody's idea of a good time. Also I don't own a food mill, so I pureed it by potato ricer.
I'm really excited to try new recipes! Next I'm making "Peach & Rosemary Jam" a la Martha Stewart.
Happy canning everyone!

Makes about eight 1/2-pint jars
Recipe by Jill Silverman Hough
Bon Appetit October 2008


7 pounds ripe Bartlett pears

1/4 cup Apple Juice

6 Tbsp of lemon juice, separated

3 cups (packed) golden brown sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

* Note the bee/wasp


  • Combine apple juice and 4 tablespoons lemon juice in heavy large deep pot. Peel, core, and cut pears, 1 at a time, into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces; mix pears into juice mixture in pot as soon as pears are cut, to prevent browning. Cook over medium heat until pears release enough juice for mixture to boil, stirring frequently, about 16 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until pears are very tender, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes (mixture will splatter). Remove pot from heat. Press pear mixture through fine plate of food mill into large bowl. Return pear puree to same pot. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, brown sugar, nutmeg, and 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until pear butter thickens and is reduced to 8 cups, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent scorching, about 1 hour.

  • Ladle pear butter into 8 hot clean 1/2-pint glass canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top of jars. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar threads and rims with clean damp cloth. Cover with hot lids; apply screw bands. Process jars in pot of boiling water 10 minutes. Cool completely. Store in cool dark place up to 1 year.

Curried Cous Cous Salad

A couple of weekends ago, my good friend invited me to her Bridal shower. I'm not very well versed in this sort of occassion. I've only been to 1 other bridal shower before, but as I start into my late 20's it seems that at least 1 weekend every month is starting to fill up with a wedding or bacherolette. I got 3 invitations in a span of 2 weeks! Wedding pictures are starting to pop up all over my Facebook of long lost friends from highschool or elementary school in beautiful white gowns and their partners in penguin suits.

Ok sorry, I digrese.
The one thing that I love about the all of 2 showers I've been to, is the FOOD! I love any excuse to sit around with friends and talk, drink and EAT! The 2 girls that hosted the beautiful bridal shower put on a spread of food that would bring a tear to any foodie's eye.
One dish that I loved, was the curried cous cous salad. It was the perfect mix of spice, savoury and a bit of sweet from some dried cranberries. A few days after the shower I decided to dissect the recipe in my head and give it a try.

Curried Cous Cous Salad:
2 - 3 cups cous cous
1 chicken stock cube or veggie cube
1 1/2 tbsp of curry powder (medium)
3 scallions, sliced finely
1/2 red onion, small dice
1 red pepper, small dice
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 dried fruit, I used raisins and dried papaya
salt and pepper
2 tbsp chopped cilantro and parsley

Prepare cous cous by adding the curry powder and stock to boiled water as per cous cous directions.
Once done fluff cous cous with a fork to break apart.
Add all remaining ingredients together and stir with fork.
Add any additional seasining necessary.

Serves about 6 (as a side)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Katherine Hepburn Brownies

So I was sitting in my local bookstore the other day having a tea misto...mmmm...... and I ran across Dorie Greenspan's book "Baking: from my home to yours"
I have heard about this substantial baking book a million times which is often referred to as the "bible" by some other blogger's I read.
So I thought, "I wonder if the wonderful Ms. Greenspan has a recipe for brownies?"
Now, I am not a fan of brownies. I never have been. Which might make you think "why the heck did she go looking for a brownie recipe then?" But I like to think maybe I just haven't found the right recipe yet.
So I flipped to the brownie section and I came across this recipe. What drew me in was the name of course. Hepburn anything I think draws woman to the source. A wonderful set of stylish, sophisticated, talented women. Timeless, is my best description.
Also, the decription given about the recipe really grabbed me. Miss Katherine Hepburn only had 1 rule when it came to brownies: not to much flour.
"Ok" I said. Let's give this recipe a whirl!
Well let me tell you. Out came the yummiest brownies I had ever had! They didn't even have frosting.
Now I know I should be posting a recipe about...."HERE".....but I deleted it off my Blackberry :(
So if you like this recipe, stop in to your favourite book shop and buy the book. Or you can do the bad girl thing like I did and peruse over it while maybe typing the recipe into your Blackberry.
I'm getting the book for Christmas so PLEASE nobody hate me for copying this recipe out of it for right now.