Friday, February 13, 2009

Flashback Friday

A year ago I had already made a trip to a garden center and I was ready to start scratching in the dirt. I couldn't resist arranging this impromptu heart. Things are definitely slower this year than they were last. As cold and unpredictable as it's been I won't be buying any plants for a couple of weeks at least :-) I did see my first rhododendrons blooming today though! Its always the first I see. It's a bright pink one that decorates the landscape of an assisted living facility I pass on my way work. So things are looking up!

In the food department, a year ago I was going silly with hearts..even my biscuits.

And I was copycatting a pretty pear dessert that several of my online friends had tried. This is the recipe as posted by Monique on a forum that we are both a member of, Gardenbuddies.

Tarte aux Poires en Cage

- 2 pkgs puff pastry
- 14 oz sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 pears
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup frangipane (almond paste)
- 1 egg
- 3-4 tbsp cream
- 3-4 tbsp apricot jam
- warm water

1. Heat oven to 350F.

2. Unroll thawed puff pastry flat and refreeze

3. Peel the pears, cut in half, core with a melon baler and rub with the lemon half.

4. Bring the sugar and water (simple syrup) to a simmer and add the pears. Cover with a damp dish cloth and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until only a slight resistance to a knife. When done, set aside pears on a paper towel on a dish.

5. Take the dough out of the freezer and roll the lattice cutter across one of the sheets. You might need to go over the slits with a paring knife.

6. Slowly pull apart the dough so a beautiful lattice forms. (I let my dough get to soft so it was hard to pull apart evenly. Do this when the dough is as cold as possible but not so cold it breaks.) Chill.

7. Take the other sheet of puff pastry and cut out the shape of a pear. Chill.

You can do all this ahead of time. To assemble and bake:

8. Take out the pear cut-outs pastry. Place a small scoop of frangipane in the scooped out part of the pear and set it, cut side down, on the pastry.

9. In a small bowl combine the egg and cream. Brush the pastry around the sides of the pear.

10. Take out the lattice pastry and cut out the same pear shapes. You can make a cut out from a piece of cardboard such as the back of a pad of paper. Brush the top of the lattice pastry with egg wash.

11. Lay each piece gently on top of the pear (the colder the dough the easier to handle). Press down gently and trim the edges with a paring knife.

12. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes until it turns a golden brown.

13. Combine apricot jam and water and microwave until warm. Mix it together then strain it to get out the clumps of apricot. Brush it over the pears when they come out of the oven to give it a shiny glaze.


Cynthia said...

Ahhhh, Suzy, what a "heartfelt", "lovely" post for Flashback Friday.

The impromptu flower heart is adorable and I DO remember it.

I love your picture of the poire en cage ... I remember your plate but didn't remember your picture. The lattice tool really helps make pretty desserts.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sara said...

Love the heart-inspired post! Happy Valentine's Day!

Kathleen said...

I love the idea of Flashback Friday...count me in for next week..
Love your pretty plate and pear!
I only made the pears once, but used the tool for pies and tarts..
If I remember you got the best deal on yours!

And your pretty..
Rhodies here, not till May, and it has been colder this year, so probably late May!

Pretty post...:)

Foley said...

So pretty - always wanted to try those - no lattice tool!! I'm sure I could use something else but just wouldn;t be the same..

Love the flowers..I can't wait either..

dishesdone said...

I think Flashback Friday is such a great idea:)

I remember the lattice posts at GB's! Pretty pear! and pretty plate! Pretty Poire, sounds prettier :)

Suzy said...

I hope Flashback Friday doesn't bore y'all too much. It's my way of keeping the blog going when I have nothing else to post!!! :-) Since I take so many darn pictures and keep them all on my computer I always like to look back to see "where I am" in comparison to the years before.

I did get a great deal on the lattice tool. I bought it for I think $1.50 at a little Everything's a Yen store called Daiso that we had in our mall. It has since closed much to my disappointment. There is another one not too far away that I have't been to yet. It's not as convenient as the one in the mall closer to me. They had some really great kitchen deals though. I also got some little madeleine pans. And pretty little Japanese bowls and spoons. All in the 1.50 range. Much more fun than the Dollar Tree!

Hey Kathleen..join right in! I know you have some great things to flash back to!

Cynthia, I do think the tool is easy and makes for pretty desserts. I need to use it more!

Sara..Happy Valentine's Day back at ya!

Barb..look around. You might find one in a least expected place.

Carol I agree. When you say Poire with your best French accent it just sounds so pretty and fancy lol. A lot better than Pears in a Cage..that just makes me picture little pears in jail.

Greg said...

Flashbacks! What a great idea. (I may steal it :)

Your tarte looks absolutely fantastic! I've only made it once. Definitely need to do it again.

Suzy said...

Hey Greg! By all means..join on in for Flashback Friday. I need to try the tarts again too. I actually will probably do them without the almond paste since it's not a fav with Randy. I think it would still be great without And fewer calories!

Jayne said...

Hi Suzy, I tried to post here this morning, but something wasn't working. Anyhoo, I'm here now to tell you I love everything about this post! And I too think Flashback Friday is a great idea. I've been re-visiting desserts on my blog lately! LOL. Your pear turned out really nice. I never had the courage to try them... pastry challenged here.

Suzy said...

Hiya Jayne! I think I had left the silly thing open for editting for a while. Goofy me. Flashback in calorie free!!!!! You can be fairly fearless with the puff pastry. It's already made for you. Give it a try :-)

Marsha said...

I love flashbacks & revisits as well! The flower heart is beautiful and I can't imagine shrubs and flowers blooming this early.

Sophie said...

What sweet desserts! The pear looks so elegant.

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