Tag Archives: pastry

Eggnog Cheesecake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Eggnog CheesecakeI’m glad the holidays only roll around once a year because I love eggnog.  When we were younger we entertained a lot and I made an eggnog that my husband still talks about and he hasn’t had it in years!  To be sure it was boozy.  But it was also balanced with heavy cream and the combination made it easy to drink a lot – which too many people did!

This cheesecake is as easy as it gets and is perfect for the holidays.  It can be made ahead and frozen completely finished.  Just thaw it at least day ahead in the refrigerator.

Nutmeg is a must and adds the defining taste to an Eggnog Cheesecake.  So if cheesecake is your thing, this is one to add to your list.

The whipped cream wreath around the Eggnog Cheesecake is reminiscent of the marvelous foam that topped the eggnog.

This is a variation of the Sour Cream Cheesecake so it may look a bit familiar.  But as cheesecakes go, this is one of the creamiest and smoothest to be found.

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Murbteig Pastry

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished photoMurbteig cookies  were one of my favorite Christmas cookies made by my mother. The basic pastry is German or Viennese depending upon what book you are reading.  It is extremely easy to put together. Mother made this in a mixer but I find it easier in the food processor. Both versions are included.

In addition to these cookies, Murbteig has many applications in the pastry world.  In my book, “The New Pastry Cook”, I devoted a chapter and many more recipes to this marvelous pastry.

I still remember my mother rolling out gobs of these cookies every year. We also had Murbteig cookies at Easter which I suppose explains the chicken. The basic cookie was always made with a set of cutters in the shape of the four suits of cards. I still have the small cutters that came from Penny’s for twenty nine cents. Box of cuttersShe also included a small little chicken. I have no idea why the chicken or the card cutters but they are a dainty cookie and look just beautiful on a cookie tray. Continue reading

Apple Pie ala Mode with Salted Caramel

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Apple Pie Ala ModeApple Pie ala Mode is one of my favorite desserts but once the boys were out on their own one of my biggest challenges was what to do with full size desserts. Even more so today since Mike has diabetes and the last thing I need is a whole pie! The neighbors can only eat so much!

So I came up with an Apple Pie ala Mode ala minute. A way to have apple pie, with or without the ice cream, at a moment’s notice. And what an apple pie –spiced apples, pate brisee crust and vanilla ice cream all topped off with a salted caramel sauce.

The salt can be omitted from the sauce if desired or more can be added. But this is, hands down the best caramel sauce to be found. It’s also one of the easiest. You don’t even need a thermometer. Think of everything you can do with it. World class turtle sundaes, apple slices dipped in the sauce, or just drizzled (heavily!) on vanilla ice cream. It tastes just like my favorite ice cream, Hagan Das Caramel Cone ice cream. How much better can this sauce get. Oh, did I mention it only takes about 15 minutes to make. Easy enough to always have on hand.

This sauce is from Averie Cooks who has a great blog.  She is correct in that is is a really easy recipe to make. Just make sure you take the sugar syrup dark enough.

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Pumpkin Mousse Torte

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

This recipe contains raw egg yolk and as such may not be the best choice for the elderly or very young. Although, I haven’t tried it, I can’t think of a reason the egg yolk can’t be omitted and still have a good dessert.

Finished photoI can’t even remember when we started making these at the bakery.  I do remember it took many tries to get the amount of gelatin just right so it would keep it firm but not turn rubbery, a sure sign of too much.  But I can sure tell you we sold hundreds and hundreds.  As popular as it was with my clients, I don’t think anyone could love this more than my grandson, Sam.  I do remember we had gone to Chicago to take care of him for a few days so his parents could have a weekend get-a-way.  Sam was still in a high chair and was a hugely picky eater – something that dismayed all of us. In an attempt to get something into him, I gave him a bite of my pumpkin mousse.  Well, that sure opened the floodgates!  I couldn’t scoop the dessert into a spoon and offload it into his mouth fast enough.  He barely swallowed and his mouth would fly open again for another bite.  He reminded me of baby birds being fed by their moms!  Sam even requested it for his 7th birthday cake.  Not an unusual request, except it was July in St. Louis.  Hot, hot, hot and humid!   Did I mention it was outdoors?

This is a very straight forward recipe with little to trip you up.  Just make sure everything for the pumpkin mousse is at room temperature.  Then the warm gelatin needs to be poured in a steady stream while the mixer is running.  If the pumpkin mixture is cold, the gelatin can immediately set forming undesireable rubbery blobs.  Very unappetizing!

A cheesecake pan is, as always, my recommendation over a springform pan.

A reader brought to my attention the need to do something with the leftover pumpkin. If you go  Streusel Topped Pumpkin Muffins.  If you make  1 1/2 times the recipe you will use the remaining 3/4 can of pumpkin.  If you are a tad short, that’s fine.  They also freeze beautifully.  Continue reading

Chocolate Cranberry Curd Tart

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Cranberry Curd TartChocolate Cranberry Curd had become an absolute favorite for the holidays at the bakery. Besides its vibrant color, the taste and texture are outstanding. We used it in tarts, cakes and petit fours. Room permitting, we would freeze cases of cranberries at the end of the season in order to get a head start the following season and test new recipes during the year.

I love cranberries so much that the staff would have to make me take some of the cranberry desserts off the menu so we could put other seasonal items on.  There is nothing like the sweet tart taste and the intense red color enclosed in a deep chocolate brown glaze.

The tart itself is easy to make with its press in crust which means no rolling.  The cranberry curd itself has one extra step as you have to cook the cranberries and puree them before actually making the curd.  The glaze is a simple matter two ingredients which make the perfect finish. Continue reading