Bedtime Story & Very Ginger Gingerbread Muffins

Santa_Mom_04My mother has always been in her element during the Christmas season. No matter how busy, she’s never mumbled or grumbled about Christmas. Bah Humbug has never passed her lips. As far as I can figure, she likes everything about the holiday. If it’s possible, I think she might like Christmas even more than her birthday. And she really loves her birthday.

One of the truly special things she gave us at Christmas was the annual reading of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus . A bit worn from countless readings, my mother was a tiny girl when Santa left the book under her tree.

Santa_bookIf you’d like to track it down, be careful, there are two books of the same name. The one you want was written by Amelia C. Houghton under the pseudonym Julie Lane and illustrated by her husband Casco Charles Houghton. While Casco is in itself a pretty interesting name, his pseudonym was even better – Hokie. As a child, I always imagined that Hokie was somehow or other a spare reindeer that Santa kept around for good measure. After all, we have spare tires in our trunks; it makes sense that Santa would have a spare reindeer. Part-time flyer, part-time illustrator, I have no idea how he held his pencil.

Not just a dozen pages with few words and many pictures, it is a great big book with sixteen wonderful chapters chronicling the kind and generous life of Nicholas the Woodcarver. Although there are reindeer and a sleigh, there are no elves. It’s not set at the North Pole but Christmas stockings, Santa’s red suit and his trip down the chimney are all explained. A lovely book filled with love and generosity, it will make you cry, make you smile and fill you with goodwill. At five, I was convinced that it was all true. I still am.

At bedtime, we’d cuddle up on the couch with Mom and she’d read a chapter. She planned it perfectly to finish by the 23rd so not to interfere with Dad’s reading of Mr. Moore’s poem on Christmas Eve.

Even when I was too old for bedtime stories, I couldn’t give it up. A day or two before Christmas, I’d hole up in my room and read it cover to cover. At least I did until my sister Brenda absconded with this holiday treasure.

It was soon after her daughter was born. While I couldn’t blame her for wanting to share Santa’s story with her little girl, the theft left a hole in the run up to Christmas. I’d see it, high on a shelf in her living room every time I’d visit. On more than one occasion, I threatened to whisk the book back to Mom’s house (where I could easily borrow it.)

Before my larcenous thoughts could turn to action and create a family riff, Brenda discovered that our favorite book was back in print. She bought copies for her now grown daughter and grandchildren, my brother’s family and me.

So finally, that little hole in the run up to Christmas has been filled. This year, instead of hiding in my room or curling up on the couch for a marathon read, I’ve been sharing a chapter a day with Mom. Although, she is now in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, she still loves Christmas. Thank goodness, some things never change.

Enjoy the holidays and bon appétit!

Very Ginger Gingerbread Muffins
gingerbread_muffins_01A tasty treat for the holiday season – perfect with a cup of tea on a chilly afternoon or Christmas morning. Enjoy!
Makes about 20 muffins

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
Grated zest of 1 orange
About 3/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup unsulphured molasses
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
Homemade or store bought orange or lemon curd

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and powder, spices and salt. Add the grated orange zest and crystallized ginger, whisk to combine and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until light. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat for 2 minutes, until well combined. Beat in the eggs and sour cream. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.

Fill the paper liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool a few minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of orange or lemon curd.

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One Year Ago – Ginger Shortbread
Two Years Ago – Baked French Toast
Three Years Ago – Braised Lamb with Artichokes and Mushrooms and Creamy Polenta
Four Years Ago – Mixed Greens with Roasted Grapes
Five Years Ago – Savory Bread Pudding
Six Years Ago – Triple Chocolate Parfait

Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

Do you have a favorite holiday memory? Feel free to share – let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2014

Holiday Cocktail Party Special

Christmas_MantleIt’s that time of year. Time to toss on that cashmere sweater, let out a ho ho ho and join friends for a holiday cocktail party. Whether you’ll be throwing your own festive soiree or heading out to a pot luck, I’ve got some tasty treats to suggest as well as some hopefully helpful Party Planning Tips.

A special cocktail will be a fun and festive addition to your holiday party. A Kir Royale will add a little sparkle. Or try my Berry Merry Martini.

And now for the nibbles! For a small group, keep it simple. A nice platter, and perhaps a lovely mug of soup or chili. Let’s face, big or small, no one will be eating dinner after your party. For a larger do, you’ll want a nice selection of tasty treats to pass and a platter or two for grazing.

Delicious platters…
Put out a basket, a platter or two. Your guests can wander, chat with old friends and make new ones while they nibble to their hearts content. May I suggest …

• Beautiful cheeses with fruit or some lovely slices of prosciutto and dried sausages, add a basket of artisanal crackers and Cheddar-Sage Biscuits and bowl or two of Rosemary Cashews
• Fresh veggies with a great dip or three. Try my hummus, a duo of aiolis and
• A basket of savory shortbread and jam, perhaps Gorgonzola & Walnut Shortbread with Fig Jam
or Parmesan Shortbread with Tomato Jam.
Gravlax with Tarragon-Caper Mustard Sauce – what could be more festive?

For a nice touch, set stacks of small plates (tea and espresso cup saucers work well) next to your platters. Instead of a traffic jam at the buffet table, your friends can help themselves to a nibble or two and then mingle and munch.

Not your Nana’s canapés …
Warm or cold, everyone enjoys a tasty hors d’oeuvre, so why not add a few delectable little bites to pass.

Without a doubt, the two top fan favorites in my repertoire are Beef Tenderloin & Stilton Crostini and Roasted Shrimp with Tarragon Aioli or Lemon-Basil Aioli.

Oh, and you can’t miss with anything with cheese like my Roasted Mushroom & Fontina Crostini or Sweet Potato & Goat Cheese Crostini.

For sipping … Served in shot glasses or espresso cups or a big, old mug, what could be more welcoming than piping hot soup. If you want to skip the spoons, stick to purées like my Roasted Butternut Squash, Curried Eggplant Soup or Wild Mushroom. Or pass out those spoons and give everyone a hearty mug of My Favorite Chili.

A sweet finish …
Small sweet bites are a great way to end the evening. Delight your guests with delicious Christmas cookies and Maple-Nut Sundaes. (Sound a bit daunting … you can serve them in a snap if you scoop the ice cream into small glasses or bowls in advance and store them in the freezer. When you are ready to serve, drizzle with maple sauce and sprinkle with nuts.)

Say good-night with a sweet gift bag …
Leave a happy holiday basket at the door with small bags of homemade Chocolate Truffles or my addictive Chocolate Almond Brittle.

Cheers and bon appétit!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

What do you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus. © Susan W. Nye, 2014

Tips for a Sane Christmas & Maple-Nut Sundaes

Are you a nut when it comes to Christmas? Do you do and overdo absolutely everything? Does the following sound like you?

• The lights and decorations in your yard are so bright they can be seen from Pluto.
• Inside, your house looks like the cover of a glossy magazine.
• You’ve shopped till you dropped and stitched and glue-gunned until your fingers were numb. It was worth it; you have enough presents to fill Santa’s sleigh two, make that three, times over.
• You not only bake k’zillion cookies but each and every one is a miniature work of culinary art.
• Christmas Eve dinner is at least five courses and you do another one on Christmas Day.
• And don’t forget the magnificent holiday brunch you serve to the entire neighborhood around 11:00 on Christmas morning. Or maybe you throw an open house for all the neighbors on Christmas Eve?

I confess that, especially when it comes to the food, I’m prone to overdo it. Even if I tend to wait until a day or two before Christmas to get started. Anyway, here are a few tips for a sane Christmas from an admitted crazy person.

It’s not too early to think about menus. Maybe your family has an age-old tradition of roast turkey or beef tenderloin for Christmas so you’re good to go. Or maybe not. It might be time to trim back on the trimmings. Just because Nana served eight side dishes and four desserts doesn’t mean you have to!

Okay, Christmas eve and day solved. Now, don’t forget the weekend. Keep it as simple as possible with casseroles, one-pot chilies or braises and easy roasts.

Once you know what you’ll serve, you can start to stock up. Check your recipes and make two lists. The first is for the non-perishable ingredients you’ll need and anything you can stick in the freezer. Pick these things up early. The second is for fresh produce, fish, chicken and meat. Let someone else pick up that stuff. You, personally, do not need to make a daily trip to the supermarket.

Sugar_Spice_NutsIt’s not too early to stock the freezer. Whether it’s a gallon of homemade soup, your fabulous Bolognese sauce or six dozen cookies, you can make it now and enjoy it later.
By all means, divide and conquer. No one said YOU have to make-bake-cook-do everything. Share the fun and let everyone lend a hand. That cousin who can’t boil water can set the table. Your teenagers probably like to bake, let them at it. You must have a sister or sister-in-law with an extensive repertoire of desserts, hors d’oeuvres or a world-famous potato gratin. Invite her to add to the feast. Otherwise, let the local bakery supply the pies and head to your favorite deli for great appetizers and sides. Don’t forget to order in advance!

As for the weekend… Whether you’ve got college kids home for the holidays or middle-age kids up for a ski week, let everyone take a turn at dinner! What to do about the friend or family member whose specialty is making reservations? Pass the phone. Not in his or her budget? Well it’s time to develop a new specialty and fast … or order pizza!

If at any time you start to feel rushed, frazzled or overwhelmed, step back and take a couple of deep breathes. Or better yet laugh. Even if you can’t think of anything particularly funny, let out a little ha, ha, ha. Okay, a little louder now, ho, ho, ho! Repeat until you are relaxed and smiling.

Come to think of it, what’s the worst that can happen? A healthy dose of perspective is a good thing any time and priceless during the holidays. So what if the turkey takes longer than expected? Your family will not disown you if dinner is at 7:30 instead of 7:00. Nor is it a crisis if your nephew falls into despair because you didn’t bake Grammie’s sweet potato casserole, the one with the mini marshmallows. Who knows, he might even volunteer to make it next year. And if the dog makes off with the pecan pie? Relax; you’ll have a great story to tell for years to come. Plus, you can whip up a simple sauce to drizzle on the ice cream in minutes. (Don’t tell me the dog stole the ice cream too!)

I guarantee everyone will be back next year. Enjoy the holidays and bon appétit!

Maple-Nut Sundaes
If the dog steals the pie, you can whip up these sundaes in the time it takes for your elves to clear the table and pop the dinner dishes in the dishwasher. Enjoy!
Makes about 2 cups maple sauceMaple_Nut_Sundaes_05

1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
Vanilla ice cream
Walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

In a large saucepan, combine the maple syrup, sugar, salt and cream. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.

Increase the heat to medium-high, and cook until the sauce thickens and registers 220 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat, whisk in the vanilla, rum and butter and, whisking a few more times, cool for about 15 minutes.

To serve: scoop vanilla ice cream into dessert bowls, add a generous drizzle of warm maple sauce and sprinkle with toasted walnuts or pecans.

The sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. You can reheat the sauce on the stove on medium-low or in the microwave on medium until warm but not hot.

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One Year Ago – Rosemary Cashews
Two Years Ago – Greek Stuffed Mushrooms
Three Years Ago – Ginger Crème Brûlée
Four Years Ago – Aunt Anna’s Pecan Pie
Five Years Ago – White Chocolate & Cranberry Trifle
Six Years Ago – Chicken with Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Penne
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

How are your holiday preparations going? Feel free to share – let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2014

Tree Trimming Weekend Special

Christmas_TreeFor many the first weekend of December can only mean one thing – time to trim the tree. If you’re a lollygag like me, you might need a little incentive to get started and done before the Patriots kick off on Sunday. Why not invite friends over for dinner on Sunday to see your gorgeous decorations and watch the game.

Think simple and homey. Kick off the evening with a glass of wine and bowls of Spicy Olives and Roasted Almonds. If you feel compelled to take it up a notch, whip up some Smoked Salmon Mousse. Serve the mousse with cucumber chunks and some great artisanal crackers.

For the main course … let dinner bubble and braise while you deck the halls. Your family and friends will be delighted. How about some Beer Braised Beef & Onions or Braised Short Ribs or Pork Stew Paprika? Serve your stew or braise with creamy polenta and broccoli rabe.

Now for dessert … if your friends offer to bring dessert, don’t say no. Otherwise, get a start on your Christmas cookies with a batch of Peppermint Bark Cookies. Serve the cookies with tiny cups of Hot White Chocolate.

Have a festive weekend and bon appétit!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

When we were kids, we decorated the tree on the Sunday before Christmas. Any sooner and it would only heighten the holiday hysteria. When do you trim your tree? Early in December? Christmas Eve? Or somewhere in between? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus. © Susan W. Nye, 2014

Getting Ready for the Holidays & Peppermint Bark Cookies

nutcracker_01Thanksgiving was on the late side this year. For those of you who pride yourselves on staying on top of every holiday, Christmas is coming. It’s time to get cracking. There are gifts to buy, a house to decorate and cookies to bake. What am I saying? You’ve probably done it all already!

For the rest of us, well it’s time to start dreaming of a white Christmas, checking the TV guide for old movies and more or less anything else to help us procrastinate. Sure, we pretend that we’ll make headway on our list by knitting scarves or mittens while Bing Crosby croons. Sometimes, we even manage to find the knitting needles if not the yarn we bought at a craft fair last summer.

Yes, I admit it. I’m one of those people. The kind who runs an all-day-all-night sprint of buying, wrapping, baking and decorating on December 24th. It’s particularly exciting when a nor’easter blows in. Is there anything more merry than slipping and sliding all over town on Christmas Eve? How about prepping twice-baked potatoes and baking a cheesecake until two in the morning?

Okay, maybe not. Instead of waiting until the last minute, here are a few foolproof and festive ways to get you started early on your holiday preparations.

Throw a party. Whether you opt for a potluck or cocktails, a holiday party will prompt you to hang your favorite baubles on the tree and line the nutcrackers up on the mantelpiece. If you find an extra minute or two, you might even run the vacuum cleaner around the living room. You needn’t invite a cast of thousands; your nearest and dearest or a few neighbors will do. Not only will you enjoy a fun evening but your halls will be decked sooner rather than later.

Add a Secret Santa or Yankee Swap to the party and you’ll be forced into the shops. While you’re there, you might as well pick up a few things for the family. In spite of yourself, you’ll make a dent in your holiday shopping before noon on the 24th.

Attend a cookie exchange. For some reason, Christmas has become synonymous with cookies. Not just one cookie will do; we must bake at least a dozen different kinds and the fancier the better. Now, someone, anyone, in your office or on your street must know about your fabulous Ginger Shortbread or Peppermint Bark Cookies. With a little luck, she’ll host an exchange just to get her hands on a dozen or so. Good news for you, you’ll go home with a pile of different treats. Moreover, chances are pretty good that your host will hold that swap in the next week or two. How nice to have your baking finished by mid-December. Don’t forget to throw a few cookies in the freezer to save for Santa.

And hey, if you’re in the kitchen anyway, you might as well whip up a quadruple batch of those wonderful cashews you’re famous for, some of that addictive Buttery Chocolate Almond Brittle or Death by Chocolate Sauce. These treats make great stocking stuffers and last minute hostess gifts.

Speaking of swaps, how about a Holiday Wrap & Chat? Invite some of your pals to stop by with their gifts, rolls of cheery holiday paper, bows and tags. Pool your resources, put on some festive tunes and spend a few hours wrapping and chatting. A great two-fer, you’ll be forced to move your shopping deadline up from Christmas Eve and enjoy a low-key evening with friends. Don’t forget, a sip of wine and a nibble of cheese will make the work seem to go quicker!

Enjoy the countdown to Christmas (only twenty-three more days) and bon appétit!

Peppermint Bark Cookies
Make sure to put out a plate of these delicious cookies for Santa. Enjoy!
Makes about 5 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flourbaking
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant expresso or coffee powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 ounces mini chocolate chips
White Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)
4 ounces peppermint sticks, crushed

Put the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk until combined. Add the chopped chocolate and toss to combine

Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Cover and chill the dough until firm, about 30 minutes.

Put the racks in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.

Use a small scoop to grab scant tablespoons of dough, roll into 1-inch balls and flatten slightly. Arrange the cookies about 2 inches apart on sheet pans.

Switching position and turning the pans at the midpoint, bake the cookies for 8 to10 minutes. Cool the cookies on a rack, frost with White Chocolate Ganache and sprinkle with crushed peppermint.

Layer the cookies between sheets of wax or parchment paper in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 1 week. If you are making ahead, freeze before frosting.

White Chocolate Ganache
6 ounces white chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons sifted confectioner’s sugar

Put the chocolate, butter and cream in a heavy saucepan over low heat. When the chocolate and butter is about 1/3 melted, remove from the heat, let sit for a minute or two and whisk until melted and smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar and whisk again until smooth. Let cool for a few minutes before frosting the cookies.

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One Year Ago – Mixed Reds & Greens Holiday Salad
Two Years Ago – Snowy Pecan Balls
Three Years Ago – Chocolate Truffles
Four Years Ago – Smoked Salmon Mousse
Five Years Ago – Roasted Beans
Six Years Ago – Winter Soup with Pasta, Beans & GreensOr Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

How are your holiday preparations going? Feel free to share – let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2014

What to Do with the Thanksgiving Leftovers Weekend Special

shopping_bags_01On this Black Friday and long holiday weekend, many Americans will spend hours in the mall. Others will spend time with family, friends and football … and leftovers!

Leftovers – Delicious dishes for the Thanksgiving weekend. It’s a snowy weekend in New Hampshire – time for something warm and cozy … soup, casserole or a spicy chili!

Soup is my favorite Thanksgiving leftover. Start by removing any large pieces of turkey that might be left on your bird. Don’t pick it clean; leave some meat on the bones to ensure a nice rich stock. Throw the bones into the stock pot to simmer into stock. Use some right away for soup this weekend and freeze the rest for another day.

If you love soup, try my …

Turkey Noodle Soup with Spinach
Thai Curried Noodle Soup with Turkey & Vegetables
Spicy Turkey Noodle Soup

If you don’t feel like making soup, then how about …

Stir-fry Vegetables with Turkey
Penne Gratin with Turkey & Butternut Squash
Black Friday Enchiladas (Turkey & Black Beans Enchiladas)

Then again, a big pot of chili is perfect if you’ve got a crowd at your house! Make your own fabulous chili or give one of mine a try!

Autumn Vegetable Chili – keep it vegetarian or add some turkey to the mix.
Chili with Red Beans and Butternut Squash (the original recipe calls for pork – substitute with turkey and throw in your leftover veggies!)
Chili with Red Beans and Butternut Squash (the original recipe calls for pork – substitute with turkey and throw in your leftover veggies!)
My Favorite Chili with Turkey (instead of chicken), Black Beans and Corn
Chicken (swap out with turkey) & Black Bean Chili

If you haven’t already, try an old Nye tradition … the first one up on Friday morning gets the last piece of Thanksgiving pie!

Bon appétit and have a great weekend!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

What do you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus. © Susan W. Nye, 2014

Giving Thanks & Cranberry Clafoutis

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you …”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

THANKS_03With Thanksgiving just a few short days away, it’s time to turn our thoughts towards gratitude. Given the holiday, someone is sure to ask, “What are you grateful for this year?” It usually happens just as everyone is sitting down to the fabulous feast, hungry and ready to dig in. Next thing you know, dinner is getting cold while, one after another, everyone takes a turn mumbling and stumbling through a soliloquy of gratitude.

Sharing thanks is a lovely tradition. However, I’d like to recommend that you jump in and suggest that everyone share his or her thoughts while eating rather than before. Both the conversation and the food will be better for it. I’m joining a three-family Thanksgiving extravaganza this year. At last count, there will be twenty-four of us for dinner. With that number, the appreciation-fest could go on for a couple of hours.

So what will it be? Just what are you thankful for?

Feel free to kick things off by sharing your thanks for family and friends. It’s the first thing on most people’s list. If you’re in the second or third grade, you will probably add your pets. They’re family too, you know. It’s always nice to be more specific. Perhaps you can welcome a new baby or share you relief on a loved one’s recovery from a health crisis.

Whether it’s you or a loved one who suffered that health issue, take it as a reminder that a body that works (or works the majority of the time) is no small blessing and worthy of thanks.

With a bit of luck, you’re among the fortunate and thankful for a job you love. For some, surviving the latest round of layoffs is a reason enough to be grateful. Since Thanksgiving is the season for sibling rivalry and family dysfunction, it’s okay to brag about … oops, make that share your thanks for … that big order you just booked.

While most of us spend a lot of time working, hopefully, your vocation doesn’t preempt any and all time for avocations. Are there any interesting, fun, wild or wooly activities that you can share? It could be as simple as a great book you recently read or as grand as a cross-country bicycle adventure.

Speaking of reading, you might also be thankful for a brain that can still fire on all cylinders. From common sense to simple and not so simple reasoning and wisdom, a sound mind is a wonderful thing.

If you are a guest and not the host at this year’s feast, you might give thanks for the break. A wiseacre sibling or two will probably add that they too are grateful that you are not cooking. In which case, you can all be thankful for a sense of humor.

If your group is still sharing the love and thanks when dessert rolls around, you might simply be grateful for the bounty of three or four different pies. Especially if you get your turn to pick before your favorite is gone!

Happy Thanksgiving and bon appétit!

Cranberry Clafoutis
nteresting alternative to a New England pie, try this homey French custard at your Thanksgiving or any fall feast. Enjoy!
Serves 8-12Clafouti_01

About 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sugar
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 cups (about 7 ounces) fresh cranberries
1/4 cup (about 1 ounce) finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) walnuts, toasted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a deep 9- or 10-inch glass or ceramic pie plate, sprinkle with sugar and turn to coat.

Put the eggs, 3/4 cup brown sugar, Grand Marnier and salt in a blender and process until smooth. Add the flour and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the cream and orange zest and process until smooth. Set the batter aside for 10 minutes.

Roughly chop the cranberries and walnuts and transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining brown sugar, crystallized ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and toss to combine. Spread the fruit mixture evenly in the pie plate. Carefully pour the batter over the cranberries.

Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and slide the clafoutis into the oven. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the clafoutis is nicely browned and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the clafoutis for about 20 minutes, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, cut into wedges and serve.

outis can be made a few hours in advance and sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar just before serving at room temperature.

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One Year Ago – Black Friday Enchiladas (Enchiladas with Turkey & Black Beans)
Two Years Ago – Snowy Pecan Balls
Three Years Ago – Chocolate Truffles
Four Years Ago – Smoked Salmon Mousse
Five Years Ago – Roasted Beans
Six Years Ago – Winter Soup with Pasta, Beans & Greens
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Feel free to share – let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2014