Cran-Apple Compote with Meringue and Caramel Sauce

I had just finished my evening rituals with Gratsie (my Maine Coon cat) and was about to leave the family room when our guest cook sister entered the room waving her camera at me with a look in her eye that told me she was pleased with something she wanted to show me…

With one innovative idea she had succeeded in transforming our popular summer tart into a Fall/Winter version using apples and cranberries laced with caramel sauce, replacing the usual summer strawberries, peaches and nectarines.

A graceful (and delicious) transition from one season to another with an amazing result! We both smiled as the cat swished her tail, and we all went to bed purring.

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Cran-Apple Compote with Meringue and Caramel Sauce
SERVINGS
4servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
2hrs
PREP TIME
35mins
READY IN
2 hrs35 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

Meringue
  1. Separate one egg at a time into a small bowl, letting the white fall into the bowl and discarding the yolk. If there’s any trace of yolk in the white, discard the white and start over. If it’s yolk-free, transfer to a clean medium mixing bowl. Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs.
  2. Add cream of tartar to the whites and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  3. Slowly add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar has been added. Continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy. Add vanilla and beat for 30 seconds more.
  4. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a small amount of the meringue under each corner of the paper to secure it to the pan.
  6. Fill a 1-quart sealable plastic bag (or pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip) with the meringue. Seal the bag almost completely, leaving a small opening for air to escape from the top as you squeeze.
  7. Snip off one corner of the bag with scissors, making a 3/4-inch-wide opening. Fold the top of the bag over a few times, then gently push the meringue down to the snipped corner.
  8. Working with the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe the meringue into 2-inch-diameter tarts, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart.
  9. Bake the tarts until dry and crisp throughout, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the tarts cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Apple-Cranberry Compote
  1. Peel and chop the apples of your choice. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning and set aside. For this recipe, we used Golden Delicious.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter and add the chopped apples on medium heat.
  3. Add the sugar and seasonings to the apples and cook until fork-tender. Keep an eye on the apples and sugar, reduce heat if needed. The sugar should melt into a consistency similar to syrup. Turn the heat down if sugar starts to caramelize.
  4. Add the whole cranberries and cook a few minutes more until the cranberries start to burst. If you prefer, cook a bit longer to cook the cranberries a little more, adding sugar as necessary, depending on how tart the berries are.
  5. Remove from heat, set aside and arrange the meringues on a plate or serving platter.
  6. Gently heat the caramel sauce and spoon into the center of the meringue, tumbling the Cran-Apple compote on top. Drizzle with extra caramel sauce if desired.
  7. Serve at room-temperature and pair this tangy-sweet seasonal dessert with a steaming cup of tea, coffee or pressed cider!

Serve with your favorite Caramel Sauce!

Fresh Fruit Lemon Curd Tarts

Years ago, before our Priory Gifts gift shop had come into being, a weekly sale of our arts and crafts took place every Friday out on the front lawn overlooking the Bay. At that time, a suggestion was made that we serve  a plated tea in Bethany dining room. Several of us liked the idea and wanted to give it a try. Out of the butler’s pantry in Bethany kitchen came Mother Cay’s antique silver service, choice china tea cups and lovely fine linens, all of which had been used years before when Bethany, then known as Rock Harbor Manor, was one of Orleans’ foremost Bed and Breakfasts. They had been there all that time, just waiting to once again be put to use.

The speed with which attendance at these teas grew astonished us all. In no time the dining room was filled, overflowed into the living room, then to the sun-parlor, and from there out on to the patio and sometimes on to the lawn as well. I just learned that this Friday’s tea is already full. Our marvelous Fresh Fruit Lemon Curd Tarts are on the menu for dessert. These glorious tarts are not only a perfect finale for a scrumptious three course tea, but great summer dessert for any meal. The wide variety of fresh fruits that are now available make it an absolute joy to prepare.

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Rating: 4
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Fresh Fruit Lemon Curd Tarts
SERVINGS
201.5 inch cookies
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
1.5 inch cookies
COOK TIME
1 3/4hr.
PREP TIME
15mins.
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

Preparation
  1. Separate one egg at a time into a small bowl, letting the white fall into the bowl and discarding the yolk. If there’s any trace of yolk in the white, discard the white and start over. If it’s yolk-free, transfer to a clean medium mixing bowl.
  2. Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs.
  3. Add cream of tartar to the whites and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  4. Slowly add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar has been added.
  5. Continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy.
  6. Add vanilla and beat for 30 seconds more.
  7. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Place a small amount of the meringue under each corner of the paper to secure it to the pan.
  10. Fill a 1-quart sealable plastic bag (or pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip) with the meringue.
  11. Seal the bag almost completely, leaving a small opening for air to escape from the top as you squeeze.
  12. Snip off one corner of the bag with scissors, making a 3/4-inch-wide opening.
  13. Fold the top of the bag over a few times, then gently push the meringue down to the snipped corner.
  14. Working with the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe the meringue into 2-inch-diameter tarts, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart.
  15. Bake the tarts until dry and crisp throughout, about 1 1/2 hours.
  16. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the tarts cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Filling
  1. Mix equal parts of lemon curd and whipped cream.
  2. Top with whipped cream and arrange fruit on top.

Tip: To get the most volume from beaten egg whites, it's best to start with whites at room temperature. Submerge them in their shells in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for about 5 minutes before using.

Tip: To get the most volume from beaten egg whites, it's best to start with whites at room temperature. Submerge them in their shells in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for about 5 minutes before using.

Mother’s Day Pastel Meringue Kisses

Spring is here and we welcome it with open arms! I happened upon these whimsical, delightful pastel meringues. Immediately, Mother’s Day sprang to mind – little kisses with chewy centers and soft colors.. the perfect gift to show your mom how much you love and appreciate her.

 

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Pastel Meringues
SERVINGS
12
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
1.5hrs
PREP TIME
15mins
READY IN
2hrs

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 215 degrees F.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
  3. Place egg whites, sugar and vanilla bean seeds in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk to combine.
  4. Add a couple of inches of water to a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Then place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double-boiler.
  5. Heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch.
  6. Return mixing bowl back to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until glossy stiff peaks form (about 5-7 minutes or until the bowl of the mixer is cool to the touch).
  7. Halfway through mixing, add in the cream of tartar and salt.
  8. With about 1 minute left, add in gel food coloring.
  9. Stop mixer and removed bowl from stand. Add in whichever “extra” ingredient you would like: dried raspberries or cranberries, pistachios, chocolate shavings and orange zest, coconut or almonds, and gently fold with a rubber spatula to combine.
  10. Using a small ice cream scoop, or teaspoon, place dollops of meringue on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Then sprinkle with your toppings used in the meringue: pistachios, raspberries, craisins, chocolate shavings and orange zest, almonds, or coconut.
  11. Bake in a preheated oven for 1- 1 1/2 hours, or until the outsides are crisp and dry and the insides are chewy.
  12. Serve immediately after cooling or store in an air-tight container away from any humidity.

Lemon Souffle Pudding Cake

As our choir was preparing for our Lenten concert program this past week, we reminded ourselves that the English word Lent is a shortened form of Old English len(c)ten, which means ‘spring’.  This means that Lent refers to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth.

What could be more spring-like than a warm tart and sweet lemon soufflé?  As I was preparing this dessert as a gift for a friend, I looked out into our snow-covered yard imagining crocuses budding their heads out of the frozen earth as a promise of what lies ahead.

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Votes: 5
Rating: 4.4
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Lemon Souffle Pudding Cake
SERVINGS
6people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
40-45mins
PREP TIME
30mins
READY IN
1.5hrs

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. A soufflé will work the best if all of your ingredients are at room temperature before beginning.

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter and dust with sugar six – 1 cup ramekins or other heatproof bowls or a six cup soufflé dish.
  2. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the sugar to use when whipping the egg whites. Place the remaining sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the lemon zest to the sugar. With the beater attachment, grind the lemon zest into the sugar, creating a fragrant, slightly yellow tinged sugar. Working the zest into the sugar will release lots of the essential oils in the zest, creating a super lemony batter.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer or with a hand mixer, cream the lemony sugar and softened butter. Add the three egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt and beat until combined (do not over mix)
  4. With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour in the lemon juice and milk. Set aside while you beat the egg whites.
  5. In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, in three additions, mixing only until incorporated.
  7. Carefully pour (or use a ladle) the batter into the prepared ramekins. (The batter does not rise much during baking so you can fill the ramekins almost to the rim.)
  8. Place the ramekins or soufflé dish in a larger baking pan. Boil a tea pot of water to create a water bath. (A water bath is used to provide temperature protection for the eggs.)
  9. Place the basting pan with the souffle inside into the oven, carefully pulling the oven rack out a bit. Carefully pour in enough hot water so that the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins or soufflé dish, and carefully slide the rack back into the oven.
  10. Bake for about 40 – 45 minutes or until the sponge cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean. Be careful not to insert the toothpick into the lemon sauce at the bottom of the ramekins. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool slightly before serving.

This dessert can be served warm or at room temperature. Dust the tops of the puddings with confectioners sugar and dress with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries or lemon slices.

Fresh Fruit Meringue

Fresh summer fruits and berries are a dessert maker’s delight.  Cool, colorful and light they are the perfect compliment to any warm weather meal without doing a thing to them.  But with a minimal amount of work they can also become a stunning offering of charm and elegance to send a meal over the top. What I am describing is a Pavlova-like cream filled meringue that showcases a few choice favorite fruits as a breathtaking jewel of a dessert, a striking finale to any lunch or dinner that can take the meal from ordinary to sublime.

Fresh Fruit Meringue
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Fresh Fruit Meringue
SERVINGS
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
60-70mins.
PREP TIME
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 275°.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Pour the vanilla and vinegar (if using) into a small cup.
  4. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.
  5. In a large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites, cream of tartar (if using) and salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks/ trails start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Increase speed to medium-high, slowly and gradually sprinkling in the sugar-cornstarch mixture.
  7. A few minutes after these dry ingredients are added, slowly pour in the vanilla and vinegar (if you didn’t use cream of tartar.)
  8. Increase speed a bit and whip until meringue is glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes.
  9. Pipe or spoon the meringue into rounds that are 3 inches wide on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon liner.
  10. With the back of a spoon, create an indentation in the middle of the mound for holding the filling once meringue is baked.
  11. Place baking sheet in the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 250° Fahrenheit.
  12. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until the meringues are crisp, dry to the touch on the outside, and white—not tan colored or cracked. (The interiors should have a marshmallow-like consistency.)
  13. Check on meringues during the baking time.
  14. If they appear to be taking on color or cracking, reduce temperature 25 degrees, and turn pan around.
  15. Gently lift from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.
  16. Will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature, or individually wrapped, for up to a week if your house is not humid.
  17. Serve topped with whipped cream and crushed or whole berries and your choice of assorted fruits.