Tag Archives: Mardi Gras

Hot Cross Buns

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished PhotoHot Cross Buns are traditionally made during Lent.  Full of spices and raisins with a cross on top of the rolls, they are eagerly awaited during the year.  Hot cross buns are a welcome and tasty staple of Lent.   According to Wikipedia: “English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or mold during the subsequent year.”  Well, in my house they won’t last that long!

If you’ve never baked with a product by Sun-Maid called bakers raisins, you’ve missed the perfect raisin for baking.  They are moist and plump and don’t need any soaking to use.  A friend of mine introduced me a few years ago and I have been a fan every since.  I have included instructions for regular raisins that should be soaked to plump them before using in the Hot Cross Buns.   Continue reading

Banana Caramel Tart with Rum Pastry Cream and Praline

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Banana Tart with Rum Pastry CreamI was recently asked for a “New Orleans type dessert” at the restaurant. I was excited to come up with these Banana Caramel Tarts with Rum Pastry  Cream and Pralines.  The first bite will take you to Mardi Gras.

This praline is to one of the best things I have ever eaten. And eat it I did!  Once it cools, it has an opaque, almost grainy look.  When the pecans have been added, the candy sets up almost immediately,  so get it onto the prepared sheet pan and spread it out right away.

These tart shells are of the “cookie crust shells”.  We used this recipe at the bakery for our 11″ tart shells as well as individual shells.  The reason I liked them is they didn’t require rolling out.  They are crisp and stay that way.  We would press these into shells at the bakery, bag them and store them in the freezer to be baked off later. Do not try to freeze the baked shells as they will crack in the freezer if not filled.  This is one of the main shells in my book, “European Tarts”. Continue reading