Friday, November 25, 2011

Pear Heaven, Building Benches and good ol' Thanksgiving . . .

Well lets start off with Happy Thanksgiving . . . Yesterday was a busy day of food making, house cleaning, bench building, and then of course feasting. We spent our morning building benches so we could eat outdoors at our big table . . . 
The kids were very helpful, really truly, and so they went together pretty quickly . . . 
They also gathered tons of persimmons which are weighting down the big tree out front
 of our kitchen window. I've never lived with a persimmon tree before, the fruits sure are beautiful,
 but it is going to take some inventiveness to come up with a way I actually will 
enjoy eating them . . . 
We did a few firsts yesterday:
Firsts biscuits baked in our oven . . . We finally have our oven hooked up . . . 
First fire in our outdoor fireplace . . .  
First Thanksgiving here . . . First Pear Heaven . . . Yes, you all must be told about the Pear Heaven . . . 
It was something gnawing at me . . . needing to be made . . . 
and almost included apples instead of pears, 
which I have to say would have in no way been the same thing


So to make Pear Heaven, first bake a batch of:


Almond Short Bread Cookies:
I do want to say, I am not entirely sure of the temperature, 
but I think I baked them at 400 degrees.


In a large bowl mix by rubbing with your fingers until 
all the butter is in crumbs :
2 cups unbleached white flour
12 tablespoons very soft butter


Add and mix:
1/2 cup almond meal
3/4 cups brown sugar
dash cinnamon
dash salt 


Add and mix gently until combined:
Zest from 1 lemon 
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Roll out carefully into a rectangle on wax paper,
 then chill in the freezer for about 20 minutes.


Slice into 1"x 4" rectangles, but leave it as one large block while it bakes. 
Poke with a fork evenly to prevent buckling. 
Leave on wax paper and place on a cookie sheet.


Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden at 400 degrees.
Let cool before removing them from the pan.

While they bake make a small pot of: 


Brandy Sauce:
In a small pan heat and mix until sugar is desolved:
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
zest from 1 orange


The Pears
Now, sauted in a large pan with 1 tablespoon of brandy sauce,
covering and letting them cook until just tender then turn off stove: 
1 tablespoon butter
6 pears sliced, and cored
A dash of:
 cinnamon
nutmeg
cardamon
cloves


Serve Pear Heaven in a small dish with pears on the bottom, 
a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream, a bit of brandy sauce 
over the top, and an almond shortbread cookie tucked in for good measure.
 I decided this year I would do more delicate desserts, 
figuring after such a huge meal it would be a more enjoyable concept . . . 
But then, after we all ate, only the kids really had room for proper 
dessert eating anyway.


                             How was your thanks giving?    ~Marica

3 comments:

  1. Wow!!! it seems you really had a wonderful and..."delicious" thanks giving!!!!!
    here in Italy we don't celebrate it but...I loved to read how you celebrate yours!!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanksgiving was awesome - though much colder than yours! The food was glorious -- and also included a dessert with apples and pears -- courtesy of Jessica - and yummy!

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