Desserts

Desserts

Pistachio Cannoli
Desserts

Pistachio Cannoli

Fresh homemade Cannolis are hard to beat. The shells are relatively easy to make if you have the right tools, which include: a tapered rolling pin, pasta machine, 4-inch round cutter and Cannoli Tubes or Molds. The fresh ricotta filling is very special when it made with the Cream of Pistachio…think: Pistachio Nutella. Yes, it is that good! At room temperature, it makes a great spreadable garnish for any pistachio dessert. I also use it as a layer in my Pistachio Semi-Freddo.

Torta della Nonna
Desserts

Torta della Nonna

Torta della Nonna in Italian literally translates to “Grandmother’s Cake.” It is a very popular dessert in the Tuscany region and is quite simple to make. A layer of lemon-scented pastry cream is enveloped by an upper and lower sweet pastry crust, covered with pine nuts and baked until golden brown. One of the things I love about this dessert is that the resulting Torta is not too sweet and the hint of lemon is refreshing.

Blueberry Crème Brûlée
Desserts

Blueberry Crème Brûlée

Crème brûlée literally translates to “burnt cream,” which refers to the crunchy layer of caramel that floats over the creamy and smooth custard below. Many of the specialty cooking supply stores carry a small butane torch that can be used for caramelizing the sugar on the surface of the crème brûlée. Another option is to dig around in your basement to find a propane torch used for plumbing projects. Either piece of equipment works well.

Pear-Almond Tart
Desserts

Pear-Almond Tart

The filling for this Pear-Almond Tart is a smooth and delicious almond cream known as a Frangipane. It is often used as a filling for pastries like puff pastry and in tarts with fresh fruit. In Provence, I make the creamy filling with pistachios instead of almonds and I use fresh apricots in place of the pears. Any nut can be used in the filling and fresh fruit can range from apples and cherries to plums and fresh raspberries.

Apple Fritters
Desserts

Apple Fritters

Granny Smith apples hold up well in these fritters and their tartness balances well with the sweetness of the Maple Crème Anglaise. On our foodie trips to Europe, I serve these as a breakfast starter but they are equally nice served warm with ice cream as an autumn dessert.

Cherry Clafoutis
Desserts

Cherry Clafoutis

Clafoutis is a dish we prepare on my Foodie Trips to Provence. Traditionally it is made with fresh cherries which are abundant in the region, but I often make it with other stone fruit like plums, peaches, apricots or nectarines. It is also great with berries, pears or fresh figs. It can be prepared in a large baking dish or in small individual-sized ramekins, while usually thought of as a dessert, it also makes a nice breakfast dish.

Salted Caramel Budino
Desserts

Salted Caramel Budino

Budino is the Italian word for pudding. This is a spectacular combination of creamy butterscotch pudding and mouth-watering salted caramel with a crisp chocolate crumble surprise on the bottom. I like to make them in the 8-ounce Le Parfait hinged top jars.

Walnut Tart
Desserts

Walnut Tart

The Dordogne valley produces more walnuts than any other region in France. Walnut trees are everywhere and it is quite disheartening to drive down the road in the autumn and hear the sound of the fallen nuts as they are crushed by your tires. Such a waste. Commercially, they grow 4 varieties of walnuts in the Dordogne region and we always look forward to loading up with a few bags of shelled nuts and a few tins of walnut oil on each trip.

Sticky Toffee Pudding
Desserts

Sticky Toffee Pudding

A pub meal in England is not complete without a rich date pudding to finish off the meal. Sticky Toffee Pudding is, hands down, one of my all time favorite desserts. The pudding and Caramel-rum sauce can be made well in advance and re-heated just before serving. Top it with a premium vanilla ice cream and some whipped cream and you are in heaven.

Lemon Curd
Desserts

Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is so easy to make. I remember the first time I made it and how amazed I was when this broken cool mixture turned into a smooth thick paste. Any citrus fruit can be used for a curd, I often make mine with a combination of lemon, lime and orange.