September 28, 2009

Pumpkin Pie

Well, pumpkin pie may not the prettiest girl at the dance, but she certainly makes up for it in personality.  Plenty of spices:



Plenty of cream:









Plenty of fans.  Our pie was featured in Toronto Life magazine.

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Spiced Pumpkin Cake

A lovely moist cake, fragrant with spices, topped with a cinnamon struesel and toasted pumpkin seeds, absolutely a perfect choice for a fall afternoon cup of tea...









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Maple Spiced Pecans

How could anyone not love a pecan?  Especially when they are bathed in super-fragrant dark maple syrup, then dressed in sugar and spices, and toasted to a perfect crunch.












These nuts are workhorses, equally good as a straight-up snack, sprinkled on ice cream, chopped up in a cake, magnificent in a salad (especially with arugula, apples, and blue cheese, yum!) 

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Cranberry Almond and Caramel Tart

Come September, many impatiently await the arrival of this tart.  Sliced almonds, cranberries, and an orange-scented creamy caramel, mixed together and baked in the crust until the cranberries pop and release their juice, which mingles with the caramel to make a most harmonious blend of sweet and tart.







This lovely tart was celebrated in the Autumn 2005 edition of the LCBO Food and Drink Magazine.

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September 21, 2009

the only brownie you ever need to eat

I make a lot of treats.  I eat/sample a lot of treats.  One of the things that I will never get tired of is my brownies.  I have made thousands of these brownies.  I still LOVE them.  I will ALWAYS LOVE THEM.  Try them, you'll understand.  Darkly chocolate-y and buttery, with toasted pecans and chunks of Belgian chocolate, amazing texture contrast, and a super-dark chocolate glaze....



Photo of course by the amazingly talented  Andre.

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Snickers

While I'm on the subject, chocolate and caramel, I thought I'd give you a peek at the Snicker Tart - the most over-the-top, decadent creation...

Chocolate crust, roasted peanuts, caramel, peanut butter mousse, and a generous layer of chocolate ganache.  Woweee!!



The gorgeous cutting board was made by my father from walnut from his farm, cherry from my uncle's farm, and maple from their original homestead.  Woweee!

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ooooh, I love turtles

While we're on the subject of autumn treats, I thought I'd share another fabulous shot by Andre.  The Turtle Tart is one of my families' favourites; my aunt's sister and brother-in-law (in Montreal) even order large ones by the half-dozen when they're in town to keep them going until the next visit!
It's hard to believe, but it is possible to top the original.   Packed with toasted pecans, filled with creamy, buttery caramel, topped with a dark chocolate ganache, this tart has it all.  Turtles, turtles, rah rah rah....




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Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

First thing in the fall, I like to share one of my favourite cookies (I love love love cookies) with our customers.  These molasses cookies are my dearly beloved and missed Gram's recipe.  They are darkly molasses-y, tangy with buttermilk, with a perfect balance of spices.  Deee-lish.
 Glass of milk totally necessary.
And an awesome photo by the super-talented Andre the Giant of Giantvision.




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September 20, 2009

Apples!

The long-awaited apples have arrived.  Some people refuse to believe that apple season ends at all and beg us all summer long for apple tarts and pies.  We believe that the hard-working apple needs a rest like all of us, so give it a summer vacation and let the rest of Ontario's bounty do the work.  Alas, the peaches, plums, and berries are on their way out and now is the time for apples to shine again!





The first of the spies, beautifully striated golden green and red......







Crispy, juicy, and the purest white flesh inside ......







Brown sugar, cinnamon, apple cider, and vanilla beans......








simmered for an hour and a half.....







spooned into our butter short crust......







topped with the oatiest, butteriest crumble topping.....

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September 11, 2009

Peach Melba

There is no no arguing with a Niagara peach.  Only a Georgia peach can come close, and California wouldn't stand a chance in a peach-off  (I lived in California for 3 years - I am NOT biased).

Peach Melba was created in 1893 by the venerated chef Auguste Escoffier for the opera soprano Dame Nellie Melba (also of Melba Toast fame).  The original dessert starred an ice sculpture swan filled with vanilla ice cream and peaches, topped with spun sugar.  He added raspberry sauce in a later version.

Our peach melba honours these flavours in tart form.  A thin layer of raspberry sauce on the bottom, filled with the richest vanilla bean pastry cream, topped with a fresh poached perfect Ontario peach.  Heaven.








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September 10, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Crazy as it might seem, it's time to start planning for Christmas, and the first order of business is fruitcake.  

Step 1:The Fruit
Dried apricots and cranberries, currants, raisins, candied ginger, candied fruit.......

And then the rum ....... lots

We soak the fruit for about a week, mixing it up every couple of days and adding yet more rum as the fruit absorbs it.   

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September 9, 2009

Plum and Hazelnut Frangipane




I love love love the sweet/sour of plums.  When they're baked with their skins on they soften and the flesh sweetens just enough to be the perfect foil to the tartness of the skin.


Combined with a minimally-sweetened hazelnut frangipane, they represent to me the pinnacle of fall desserts, before we settle into the long stretch of pear and apple.

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Figgy Pudding

Lovely lovely figs.  So perfect right now, baked as a clafoutis with bursting-with juice raspberries, their tiny seeds providing that delicate crunch.  The ultimate Indian Summer tart.

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