I admit I could never imagine Maple Sugar Pie or Maple Syrup Pie. I flat out love pure maple anything, but an entire pie made with maple sugar or syrup and nothing else to offset the sweetness — like pecans for instance — seemed like it would be cloying and a full-out sugar rush. Then a friend and I drove from Vermont to Quebec City in the early autumn of 2012. I knew that this would be my best chance to try Maple Sugar or Maple Syrup Pie. I was ready to convert — or not.
Vanilla Bean Recipes
Wondering what to do with all your vanilla beans? Here are some of the Vanilla Queen’s favorite vanilla bean recipes for you to enjoy like A Knock-Out Vanilla-Bean Ice Cream Sandwich and Maple Vanilla Custard. And many more to come. Enjoy!
This is, hands down, the best panna cotta I’ve ever tasted. I suspect that the buttermilk plays a starring role as it provides a delicately tart undertaste. I have to say, I have never ordered a second dessert at a restaurant before, but my friend ate part of mine so, when he went to the rest room, I ordered a second one! Fortunately, he found this amusing.
Anyone with a stove, a pot and apples can make applesauce. But, really good applesauce? Use heritage apples and a few special ingredients and you’ve got yourself a kick-ass good dessert!
In 1969 I moved to a ridge along the Mendocino coast. Through serendipity I ended up in the second oldest farmhouse on the Coast and it came with 29 heritage apple trees! Needless to say, we had apple everything from early autumn until spring. Apple pie, apple crisp, apple cookies, apple cake, baked apples, candied apples and a whole lot of applesauce.
Amazingly enough, I still look forward to autumn for the apples. Let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like the snap of biting into a crisp apple and feeling and tasting the juices flood your palate!
I Scream Sandwiches by Jennie Schacht (Stewart, Tabori & Chang; May, 2013)
Nothing screams SUMMER! louder to any kid than the ice cream truck bell or a trip to an ice cream shop. For kids lucky enough to have a mom who makes homemade ice cream, it’s summer heaven, but even a dive into a store freezer for an ice cream sandwich will do in a pinch. You may remember, however, that unless you score an “It’s It,” most ice cream sandwiches have soggy cookies and artificially flavored ice cream. We tolerated them — and kids still do — because they are cold and sweet.
Fresh off the press, Jennie Schacht’s latest book, I Scream Sandwich is out in time for summer. Here’s what she says about the following recipe:
The It’s-It company began selling scoops of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between old-fashioned oatmeal cookies, all cloaked in chocolate, at San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach in 1928. By the time I moved to the area in 1978, the It’s-It was a well-established local phenomenon. I’ve filled my version of the novelty with a not-overly-sweet vanilla frozen custard.
A few months ago I read about a Facebook friend’s dessert at a Mediterranean restaurant – Apricots stuffed with pistachios and drizzled with pomegranate molasses. My mind could immediately taste this delicacy but I automatically adapted it mentally. It was late autumn, not apricot season, which meant it was made with Turkish apricots.
It has been over two weeks since I made jam this summer. I really didn’t want to make jam but I had to. Kind of the way that you have to make Christmas cookies. It’s in the genes.
Courtesy of Alice Medrich, Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts
In this book, Alice offers “Fresh Cherries 3 Ways.” I’m providing you with the recipe for one plus her caveat, “Cheating with Frozen Cherries.” For the other two specialties, you’ll need to read the book. (Believe me, it’s worth it.)
Alice says, “These get better and better as they sit in the fridge, drawing flavor from the (Rain’s Choice) vanilla bean.”
The picture for this recipe was made with frozen cherries (it’s February here) so they aren’t as spectacular looking as fresh cherries. That said, they were delicious. Instead of using vodka, rum or brandy, I used raspberry wine to give the cherries a fruity boost. You could also use cherry brandy. I served them over Honey Almond ice cream and they were spot on! (VQ)
Fresh vanilla bean makes this custard recipe extra special!
This is a delicious way to use an abundant supply of peaches (and your vanilla beans, for that matter). You can process the peaches, following instructions found in canning books or the Internet, give the jars of fresh peaches as hostess gifts, or enjoy the peaches with ice cream, crème fraiche or with Greek yogurt. The peaches will keep in the jars for about a month if kept refrigerated.
Courtesy of Carol Fenster, Ph.D. from 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes
Carol’s recipe is based on the classic, Blancmange, a sweet pudding made from milk and thickened with cornstarch, gelatin or other thickener. In the late 1800s/early 1900s, this was a food given to people who were ill to build back their strength. As we had no antibiotics, food was critically important. This is a nice treat for kids when their braces get tightened or when they’re home with the flu. Feel free to use extract if you prefer though the vanilla bean does impart a lovely flavor.
Courtesy of David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop
Courtesy of David Lebovitz, Ready for Dessert
David says that this is not so much pudding consistency, but more like sticky rice. If you would like it thinner, add 1/2 cup or so more coconut milk.
Courtesy of Didi Davis: www.dididavisfoods.com
Classic butterscotch candy is made with butter, brown sugar, and flavored with lemon juice. Butterscotch sauce is an American dessert topping with the flavors of butterscotch candy.
(adapted from Gerard Vives)
Chef Valery Malijenovsky,executive chef of the Meridien in Tahiti, serves the following sauce on fresh shellfish, such as prawns and lobster, as well as with grilled fish.
This is a deliciously rich recipe but without guilt as coconut milk is filled with healthy fat. Fresh ginger and lemon brightens up the recipe. A perfect summer brunch or outdoor meal though just as good in the winter to help you dream of warmer weather.
The small, sweet papayas of the Islands are abundant and delicious. Papaya is used interchangeably as a fruit and a vegetable in Pacific and Asian cuisine. You will want a ripe, but firm, papaya for this recipe. I used a three-rice medley for the base. You can use any rice or even pasta if you prefer.
Courtesy of Chef Kjartan Skjelde
Courtesy of Chef Kjartan Skjelde