Poached Pear Phyllo Triangles

 

Merry almost Christmas. I wanted to share another dessert, because it is the season to eat desserts after all. The funny thing about this recipe is I accidentally bought Phyllo dough instead of puff pastry when I made it. The original recipe called for puff pastry and was pretty difficult. I ended up making poached pears wrapped in phyllo dough and worked with what I had. It was delicious. This is the version I created:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1 star-anise pad
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, scrap out seed and reserve
  • 4 to 5 Bosc pears, peeled and halved and cored
  • 1 package phyllo dough, thawed
  • Butter, 1/2 cup (1 stick), melted

Directions:

Combine first 6 ingredients and heat over high heat until sugar is dissolved, about 1-2 minutes. Add pears and assure they are completely covered in liquid. If not, add a bit of water until covered. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low. Cover with a piece of parchment paper, pressing it directly on top of pears. Simmer until tender when you pierce with a fork (20-30 minutes). Transfer pears to a bowl and set aside. Heat liquid to high and boil until reduced to 2 cups. Pour liquid over pears, refrigerate until cool (30 minutes).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once pears are cool, work with the phyllo dough by taking 2-3 sheets at a time, cut into 4 equal strips and butter the surface. Place approximately 2 TBS  pears 1 inch from the end of each strip. Fold into a triangle by placing one end over and over until complete. Lightly butter top of triangle. Place seam side down on baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice-cream.

 

 

 

 

 

Spiced Apple Cake

 

Christmas is upon us. It is my favorite holiday. I love everything about Christmas; family gatherings, decorations and especially delicious food. I decided to start baking some new desserts and this cake was first on my list. Found in Martha Stewart’s Living magazine and on marthastewart.com, it is delicious and could be a great sweet side to accompany Christmas breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butted, melted and cooled slightly, plus more at room temperature for brushing
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch rounds, seeds removed
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup apricot jam

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with butter. Line bottom and 2 long sides with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch overhang. Butter parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, all the spices, set aside. Whisk eggs until pale and foamy. Whisk sugar and vanilla into egg mixture until combined. Add 1/2 of flour mixture, then 1/2 of butter and sour cream, repeat with remaining until all combined (do not over mix). Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top with spatula.

Toss apples with lemon juice and place on top of batter evenly.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Apples should be tender and toothpick inserted should come out clean.

Warm jam in saucepan until brush-able consistency, immediately brush on top of cake when it comes out the oven. Let cool completely on wire rack. Lift cake form pan when cooled.