BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked


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Peachy Keen

As suddenly as if Mother Nature herself flipped a switch to change the seasons, summer has landed, without fanfare or time to brace yourself for impact. Warm but dry days transformed overnight into no holds barred heat and humidity, filling the house with agonizingly sweltering air at all hours of the day, no relief in sight. Stop the suffering and just take it outside! Chances are that a shady patch will be not only more tolerable temperature wise, but have the added bonus of a fresh breeze wafting by. This is where compact, easily carried desserts come in handy, and exactly why I share a recipe for Peaches and Crème Shortcakes in Jars in the summer issue of Joy of Kosher magazine.

Fancy fare needn’t apply for easy-going picnics or the average afternoon outdoors, but simply packing a classic shortcake into glass jars makes them somehow instantly more elegant. Roasting the peaches brings out more of their natural flavor, so only a minimal amount of sugar is needed. Thanks to the addition of a luscious cashew and tofu-based crème, you won’t have to worry about anything melting or turning sour in the sun. This parfait-like peach shortcake will fit in perfectly for any grand party or casual summertime gathering. Don’t let the heat defeat your or your dessert cravings!


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Pop Culture

Hamentaschen are unarguably the dessert du jour for Purim, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no room for creative interpretation. Iron out the corners, add a lollipop stick handle for grab-and-go fun, and you’d get these stunningly simple pie pops.  Between the tender crust and fruity center, what are they but miniature, triangular pies, after all?  Familiar fillings with small twists liven up the standard pastry, sure to satisfy the traditional and adventurous palate alike. Not to mention, the downsized format is perfect for portion control.

Filling options are truly limitless, but I do have three suggestions to get you started.

Creamy chocolate mousse is a fool-proof pick for any crowd, possessing a richness and depth of flavor unexpected from such a simple preparation.   Pecan pie, that classy southern belle, meets with the decidedly northern delight of maple syrup.  Crunchy, nutty, sweet and salty, this study in contrasts comes together harmoniously in each bite.  Finally, the last filling is not one to share with the kids, but a treat for the adults to fight over instead.  Tender pieces of ripe pear are gently simmered in and infused with cider and red wine before being stuffed inside those flaky pastry cases.   Family-style pies can only dream of being this elegant and fun all at once.

A few months stand in the way of this fun holiday, so you still have plenty of time to dream and scheme up something new. Hit the links for the aforementioned recipes, and check out the Maple-Pecan filling below…

Maple-Pecan Filling:

1/4 Cup Grade B Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup Plain Non-Dairy Milk
Pinch Salt
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
3/4 Cup Pecan Pieces
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, vigorously whisk together the maple syrup, non-dairy milk, salt, and cornstarch, so that there are no lumps of starch remaining. Cook until the mixture comes up to a lively bubble, whisking constantly so that nothing sticks or burns. Once fully boiling and significantly thickened, turn off the heat and stir in the pecan pieces and vanilla. Cool completely before baking into pie pops.

Proceed as per the instructions in the pie crust recipe.

Printable Recipe

[Written for Joy of Kosher Magazine]

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