Thanksgiving Pear Tart

So move over Apple Pie and let the Pear shine. I recently made this tart and I love how it turned out. It is easy, beautiful and tasty. I think it’s the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table. Serve with homemade whipped cream or salted caramel or vanilla bean gelato. I like to crumble granola on top when served. Enjoy 🍐

crust • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 5 tbsp sugar

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

filling • 8 large pears, washed

• 3 tbsp unsalted butter

• 1 tbsp water

• 3/4 cup fig preserves ( or preserve of your choice)

• 1/4 tsp salt

• tsp of vanilla

• tsp of cinnamon

Instructions 1. Position one oven rack to middle, and move the second rack to the top slot.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar and salt. Add melted butter and combine to form dough.

4. Transfer dough to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. With your hands press dough down to spread on bottom and onto the rims of the pan.

5. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes, or until crust turns golden brown. When ready remove crust from oven and let sit to cool. Leave oven on.

6. Meanwhile, heat the fig preserves in microwave for about 40 seconds. Pour heated fig preserves through a mesh strainer to separate chunks from liquid.

7. Now, slice five pears into 1/2-inch slices, discarding core.

8. Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a large cast iron skillet. Add pear slices and 1 tbsp water. Cover and cook on medium heat until pears are slightly tender; about 3 minutes.

9. Remove pears onto a large platter and let sit to cool.

10. Take the remaining three pears and cut them in the same manner.

12. Now melt 2 tbsp of butter in previously used cast iron skillet. Add newly-sliced pears, chunks of fig reserves, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Cook on medium heat, covered, for ten minutes; stir occasionally until pears are very tender.

13. Take a potato masher and mash the pears and fig reserves into a puree. Let cook for another 5-7 minutes or until pureed mixture reduces and thickens.

14. Transfer pear-fig puree onto the now cooled crust; spread evenly.

16. Now, take the cooled pear slices and begin to assemble them in layered circles, starting at the outer edges.

17. Place tart on the middle rack of the oven. Bake in 350 degree F-heated oven for 30 minutes.

18. Warm up the strained liquid fig preserves for 20 seconds in the microwave.

19. When tart is ready, remove from oven and brush surface of the pears evenly with the warmed fig liquid.

20. Return to oven and place on the top rack. Broil very briefly; watching carefully until pears gain a nice caramelized look.

21. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours before serving.

23. When ready, place the bottom of the tart pan on a wide can of food. Hold the ring part of the pan and carefully slide it downwards.

24. Cut pear fig tart into eight slices and serve. Enjoy!

Savvy Magazine article on working, being a mom and “trying” to create balance

In this months issue of Savvy Magazine they have an article about owning my own business and being a mom/wife and how it all gets done.  The key for me and my family is establishing clear expectations and everyone helping out. Life is never easy…but we do try to cook at home, eat healthy and have fun!  Here are some shots from the article and  a simple recipe for a vegetarian meal that everyone in the family will love. Head on over to http://bit.ly/1i3eBZb for the full article.

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Roasted Veggie Pasta with Basil & Garlic Butter & Pine Nuts

Serves 4

1 cup of sliced mushrooms

1 cup of rainbow carrots sliced

2 cups of tomatoes quartered

1 cup of yellow squash sliced

1 cup of halved brussel sprouts

1/4 cup of shallots chopped

1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes

pinch of red pepper flake

1 teaspoon of chardonnay salt (or any salt)

1 3/4 oz of toasted pine nuts

4 T of Olive Oil– more if needed

1 Pkg local Pozza Pasta or any good quality whole wheat pasta

4 T of butter soften with chopped basil and garlic

Goat cheese

Oven reheated to 475 degrees

Put veggies on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt/pepper and red pepper flake.  Make sure veggies are in a single layer (use two baking sheets if you need to). Roast veggies at 475 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. Cook noodles according to directions. Add 4 butter to hot pasta and top with roasted veggies, pine nuts and goat cheese.

Note- use whatever veggies are in season and fresh herbs you can find

Much Love,

Jen

Strawberry & Lavender Lattice Pie

I made a Strawberry & Lavender Pie today for a friend.  I ended up taking a basic pie recipe and putting my own twist on it with some of my favorite flavors.  This strawberry pie can be made with a homemade crust or to save you time it can be made with a Pillsbury pie crust.  It is delicious either way.

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Strawberry & Lavender Lattice Pie
For the Crust
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cold buttermilk

For the Strawberry Filling
5-6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
large pinch of salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground culinary lavender
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 large egg, beaten and granulated sugar for topping the unbaked pie
Instructions
To make the crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture. Some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes; some will be the size of peas. Create a well in the mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk. Use a fork to bring the dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Divide the dough in two and gently knead into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator will help rechill the butter and distribute the moisture.
To make the filling, in a medium bowl toss together strawberries, sugars, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice, cinnamon, lavender, vanilla and ground ginger. Toss until all of the cornstarch has disappeared into the strawberries and let rest for 10 minutes. The strawberries will begin to produce juice.
To assemble the pie, on a well-floured surface, roll the bottom crust 1/8″ thick and about 12″ in diameter. Transfer it to a pie pan. Trim the edge almost even with the edge of the pan.
Spoon filling into piecrust.
Roll out the top crust in the same manner. Use a pizza slicer to slice the dough into 1-inch wide strips and weave the crust strips on top of the pie. Use this guide to help you: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-a-lattice-pie-crust-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-191672
To finish, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Brush the egg wash over pie crust, then sprinkle with sugar & a pinch of lavender.
Place pie on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake the pie for 30 minutes more, or until the crust is golden and the strawberry filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.
Tip – if crust gets too dark during cooking..cover with foil

Fourth of July Seaside Feast

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A Northwest Seaside Feast for the Fourth of July.  Sustainable Dungeness Crab caught right in the Discovery Bay in Washington State.  Our Corn was grilled and rubbed with a Basil & Lime Butter, Tomato, Blueberry, Avocado & Heart of Palm Salad with a Lavender Vinaigrette and tasty cocktails of Cherry & Basil Vodka Zingers.

Cherry & Basil Vodka Zingers

1 Tablespoon of Cherry/Basil simple syrup (recipe below)

1 shot of Vodka (Titos or your preference)

1/2 shot of St. Germain

Juice of 1 Lime

Slash of Club Soda

Add all ingredients to a shaker (except the club soda) to a shaker and shake well.  Add to a glass with ice.  Top with club soda and garnish with a cherry and basil leaf.

Cherry & Basil Simple Syrup

1 Cup of Sugar

1 Cup of Water

10 Cherries pitted

3 Basil Leaves chopped

Add sugar and water to a pot and bring to a boil until sugar dissolves add cherries and basil and then remove from heat and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes with a top on.  Strain and put in a jar…when cool store in refrigerator.  Can last for about a month.

Happy Fourth of July!!!

JL

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