Blend of the Best Granola

Over the years, both the Sisters and Brothers have developed and sold granola at Priory Books & Gifts and through Paraclete Press. We are both proud of our two very different recipes. The Brothers’ granola is chock full of dried fruits and nuts and flavored with maple to add just that little New England touch. The Sisters’ granola is very simple and sweetened with honey and cinnamon. We like to think of ours as the healthier option! We’ve been running a little secret competition on the side to see whose granola is more popular, and we respectfully concede to the Brothers, who have won — hands down!

Even though I’m not at liberty to give away our secret recipes, I have adapted my own that is what I call a “blend of the best” – a combo of the two. Sprinkled over our homemade yogurt and garnished with fresh fruit, this has become one of our signature breakfast menus at Bethany. A terrific way to start your day!

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Blend of the Best Granola
SERVINGS
18cups
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
cups
COOK TIME
1 hour, 15 minutes
PREP TIME
10minutes
READY IN
4hours

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine the oats, almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  2. Melt the butter and add the honey, agave (or substitute 1 c. Karo Syrup for both of these) and vanilla extract.
  3. Add this mixture to the oat mixture and blend well.
  4. Spread the granola mixture on two cookie sheet pans lined with parchment.
  5. Bake in a 275 oven for 1 hr. and 15 min.
  6. Turn the oven off and leave granola in for a couple more hours or even overnight to dry out.
  7. Remove from the oven, break up the granola and add any additional dried fruits.
  8. Store in an airtight container, for up to 6 weeks. Enjoy!

Good Friday Hot Cross Buns

Good Friday marks the second day of the Triduum (from the Latin for ‘three days’), the day on which we commemorate the Lord’s crucifixion and death. The Good Friday liturgies at our monastery (and many others around the world) mark our observance of Christ’s final hours, picking up from Maundy Thursday Eucharist, and continuing through the Holy Saturday Vigil, the Great Vigil of Easter, and carrying us all the way to Easter morning.

In keeping with the solemnity of the day, we remember Christ’s death by bringing to the liturgy of the hours the full range of spiritual depth and beauty found in the ancient texts; we participate in the veneration of the cross, and chant Gospel Passion Narrative. It is a special and holy time, filled with moments of silence, listening, reflection and conviction, as well as a time of joy-filled anticipation.

This day of the Cross marks us with God’s presence, and He marks us for his own.

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Good Friday Hot Cross Buns
SERVINGS
1dozen buns
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
dozen buns
COOK TIME
25mins
PREP TIME
30mins
READY IN
3hrs

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Dissolve the yeast by sprinkling it over the very warm water and add a pinch of sugar to activate.
  2. Heat milk in a medium saucepan over low heat until about 100 degrees F. (but no more than 110 degrees)
  3. In a mixer, fitted with a dough hook, add the warmed milk to the yeast mixture.
  4. Plump the raisins (or currants) and citron in the microwave with a little orange juice; cool and set aside
  5. To the yeast & milk mixture add the remaining sugar, melted butter, egg yolk and extract.
  6. Add the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger to the mixture and continue kneading.
  7. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
  8. Remove the orange juice from the raisins and citron and discard.
  9. Add the raisins and citron to the dough and mix well. The dough should be slightly sticky and not dry.
  10. Knead until soft and elastic, about 8 min. Shape into a ball.
  11. Brush the inside of a large bowl with butter. Put dough in the bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hr. 30 min. **
  12. To form the rolls: Pam a 9x13” pyrex pan. Turn the dought out of the bowl and roll into a log. With a dough cutter or sharp knife, divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each of these pieces into a round bun shape, tucking the edges under.
  13. Place them seam side down in the prepared pan, leaving a little space between each roll. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the rolls are doubled in size, about 45 min. or longer.
  14. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and prepare your egg wash.
  15. Prepare glaze: In a mixer, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla or almond extract and oil until smooth (the oil will give it a high gloss). The icing should be quite thick. If too runny, add more powdered sugar. Transfer icing to a pastry bag or a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off.
  16. Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the rolls and brush the buns with egg wash. Bake rolls until golden brown and puffy, about 25 min. (an instant read thermometer inserted into the roll should read 190 degrees F.)
  17. Ice buns with a thick cross shape on the top of the warm buns and serve.

** Please note:  This dough might take a long time to rise, but be patient...it is worth the wait because they will come out nice and light!

Fresh Fig, Walnut and Mascarpone Tart

When I was a child, there was a peacock that used to strut through the back yard of my great-grandmother’s house. He would time his performance perfectly; as soon as all of us were gathered at the window, he would throw his head back, arch his feathers into a magnificent fan, and do a little pirouette as graceful as a king. It is like this with figs — they must be showcased.

I can’t pass up a fresh fig in a grocery store, especially when I’m doing holiday baking. Our local grocer had a nice selection of figs this past week, and I thought they would make a handsome and tasty dessert for a holiday luncheon we were preparing. Flamboyant as they are with their velvety exterior and intricate, seed-filled interior, they beg to be shown off.

The marriage of figs, mascarpone, and walnuts makes a fabulous winter dessert, and I would recommend this one for any dinner party. You can make the tart shells ahead and freeze them. When you are ready to use them, fill them while still frozen, and they will thaw in time for dessert. Since fresh figs are one of the most perishable fruits, they should be purchased only a day or two in advance of your meal. Look for figs that have a rich, deep color, and are plump and tender, but not mushy.

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Fresh Fig, Walnut and Mascarpone Tart
SERVINGS
6individual, or a 10" round tart pan
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
individual, or a 10" round tart pan
COOK TIME
15 minutes
PREP TIME
15 minutes
READY IN
30-35minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

Crust
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy for 3 minutes, using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, scraping down the sides and bottom occasionally. Add the flour and mix on low speed until fully incorporated, about one minute (don’t over mix). Add the egg yolk and continue to mix on low speed until the dough comes together, about 30 seconds.
  2. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour (or up to 4 days).
  3. Remove from refrigerator and let soften until pliable. Flour your work surface so dough does not stick, and sprinkle the top of dough with a little flour. Roll out dough, starting in middle and rolling outward, to a 1/4 inch thick disk or rectangle, depending on your tart pan.
  4. Don’t worry if dough tears or crumbles, it’s easily pressed together in the tart pan. Lift over the rolling pin and place in tart pan with removable bottom. Patch holes or tears by pressing dough with fingers. Press dough into sides, corners and bottom. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart pin for a clean even edge. Refrigerate 30 minutes -this is important.
  5. Bake at 350 for 30 -35 minutes, positioned in the center of the oven, until golden. Be sure to keep a careful eye so that it doesn’t over cook. If using individual tart pans, these will take about 12 min. to bake. Let cool before filling.
  6. While these are baking, spread your walnuts onto a sheet pan and toast in the oven – once you smell them, remove them, they will be done!
Filling
  1. Put the jam in a microwaveable bowl, and heat in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds until the jam is of a more spreadable consistency. Add the brandy, a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency. Spread this over the bottom of the tart shell (s) but not up the sides. Let cool.
  2. In a stand mixer with the beater attachment, whisk together the mascarpone, whipping cream, vanilla, powdered sugar and salt until soft peaks form. Be careful, especially if you are using an electric mixer, because the mixture will thicken very quickly.
  3. Spread this mixture over the fig jam leaving about 1/4 “ of space of the jam showing on the edges, so not completely covering the jam base.
  4. Decorate the top w/ some toasted walnuts mounded in the center, a couple of quartered figs and right before serving, drizzle with some light honey.

If making ahead, have your components ready but don’t assemble until close to serving time.

Ginger Pumpkin Custard

Tis the season of the Great Pumpkin! Beginning with Halloween when he takes center stage and captures everyone’s attention right on through to Thanksgiving when he’s sure to appear in and around the traditional holiday dinner and anytime in between. This “jolly good fellow” can make an unexpected appearance in any number of interesting and enticing ways, not the least of which is in this  luscious ginger pumpkin custard.
When this happens he will once again have succeeded in stealing the show, by enhancing a dinner or lovely dessert buffet.
Milder in flavor and less dense than the traditional pumpkin pie this dessert will surprise and please the eater with its unexpected addition of candied ginger – lifting it out of the ordinary into the extraordinary!

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Ginger Pumpkin Custard
SERVINGS
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
35minutes
PREP TIME
15minutes
READY IN
50minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and fresh ginger until blended. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, milk, vanilla and salt until blended.
  2. Pour into 6 (6-ounce) custard cups. Place custard cups in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Place dish on oven rack in center of oven. Pour boiling water into pan around custard cups to a depth of 1 1/4 inches.
  3. Bake 35 minutes or until centers are almost set. Remove custard cups from baking dish and cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cold. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon and candied ginger just before serving.

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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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.

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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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.