Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pear and CheddarGalette


pastry for single-crust pie
1/2 cup cheddar
 2 cups pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Burnt Sugar Syrup Topping
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
Spray an 8-inch tart pan with oil and line with pie pastry. Sprinkle crust with cheese.

Combine pears, lemon juice, and nutmeg in a medium-size bowl; toss well. Add brown sugar and flour; toss gently. Mound fruit mixture on top of cheese. Fold edges of pastry up over the pear mixture. I sprinkled the top with nutmeg.

Bake at 400-degrees for 30 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
To prepare the burnt sugar syrup topping, in a small, heavy saucepan (cast iron is best), heat sugar until it
dissolves. Drizzle syrup over galette.

Burnt Sugar Syrup
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups water
Dump the sugar in a skillet on the stove. Turn the heat to medium-low. You don’t actually “burn” the sugar–you melt it. The sugar will just…melt. Seriously. Who knew? (Stop laughing. I’m from the suburbs.) Stir only occasionally. The less you stir, the better. If you can’t restrain yourself, walk away for five to ten minutes and come back. It will turn a golden brown color.

Now add the hot water, continuing with your heat on medium-low. (The online recipe instructed me to boil the water before adding it. This was not in sync with the old-time recipe and it’s not necessary. (Old church ladies know this stuff!) I made the burnt sugar twice, with each recipe, and I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to boil the water. Just use it hot right out of your tap. That’s good enough.

The melted sugar gets all excited when you add the water and it will bubble up. Then it will calm down and after another five to ten minutes (again, it doesn’t like to be stirred too much), it will look like pancake syrup.

Turn off the heat and set it aside to cool to room temperature while you start preparing the cake. The syrup is thin while it’s hot, but as it cools, it thickens. By the way, if you’re ever snowed in and have to have pancakes, this makes a pancake syrup in a pinch. Add a bit of maple flavoring if you have some on hand and it’s make-do maple syrup. Just remember, however much you want to make, use equal parts sugar and water. You know, if you’re snowed in and have to have pancakes. I wouldn’t want anyone to go without pancakes ever again. It’s an unnecessary tragedy.

Note: Using 1 1/3 cups sugar and 1 1/3 cups water, you’re going to end up with approximately 1 1/4 cups Burnt Sugar Syrup after it cooks down in the process. Your exact mileage may vary.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Garlic Grilled Tomatoes

 This recipe was adapted from Steven Raichlen the BBQ king. I make these delicious tomatoes as a side dish frequently,  to serve with quiches and omelets. They're a great addition. They can be done on the grill or broiled in your toaster oven. This is a great summer recipe when tomatoes taste their best right off the vine.

4-6 ripe tomatoes
fresh cracked pepper
crushed garlic
olive oil
grated parmesan cheese

Cut your tomatoes in half crosswise, season with salt and pepper. In a small frying pan add crushed garlic, olive oil and fresh thyme, cook til golden, take off the heat and add in grated parmesan cheese. Place your tomato halves cut side down on and oiled grill until you get grill marks, then turn them over with tongs and spoon the garlic cheese mixture on top and continue cooking.

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