Peach Danish

I dream of food (truly!) and it is not unusual for me to wake up in the middle of the night and scribble on my trusty cellphone the food ideas that I had dreamed of.  This peach danish was one such instance.

We had planned to serve cake for the kid’s piano teacher’s snack.  But having dreamed of a lovely peach danish, the cake idea had been shelved and I set about making the peach danish.  Up front, I have to say that we in a tropical country where peaches do not grow.  This is not to say that fresh peaches were not available, but when they were available, their prices were sky-high and so I simply got a can of peach halves from the supermarket and drained them.

For the recipes, I turned to Michel Roux’s 1994 book “Desserts:  A Lifelong Passion”

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Of course the first thing to do is to make the puff pastry, which is the base of the danish.  I am not an expert by any means and this was my first attempt.  It was not quite what I had envisioned.  In short, I needed more practice.

BUT Teacher F was scheduled to arrive in about 4 hours so I abandoned the homemade puff pastry idea and rushed to the baking supply store and bought puff pastry.  And to make things even easier for me, I got the one that was already cut into 4-inch squares!

Problem?  Lunch with hubby extended 30 minutes past my schedule and Teacher F arrived thirty minutes early!  This meant I had about 45 minutes to finish my peach danish otherwise Teacher F would have no snack at all!!!!!

The first thing I did was make the pastry cream.  I halved the recipe since I was planning to make just 4 pieces of peach danish. And I used vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean, as well as vanilla sugar.

3 egg yolks
60 grams vanilla sugar
20 grams flour
250 ml full fat milk

Mix a third of the sugar with the egg yolks until “light ribbon consistency” as specified in Roux’s recipe.  Stir in the flour and mix well; set aside.  Heat the milk and remaining sugar in a heavy saucepan until almost boiling.  Pour about one third of the heated milk into the egg yolk mixture, mix well and add the egg yolk mixture back to the milk mixture.  Continue heating over low heat and stir constantly for about 2 minutes.

Roux’s recipe had instructions how to cool the pastry cream faster but I did not have a marble work surface so I just poured the pastry cream into a glass baking pan (13×9-in) and stirred it lightly with a spatula.

Meanwhile, I cut the puff pastry into rounds and folded the edge to form a “wall”.  I pricked the inner circle and placed about 2 tablespoons of pastry cream in the middle.  I topped the whole thing with a peach half with the dome facing out.  It went into a (preheated) 400*F oven for about 12 to 15 minutes.  Midway through, I brushed the top with peach glaze and back into the oven it went.  After the edges are slightly browned, I took the danish out of the oven and brushed it again with peach glaze.

I made it just in the nick of time!  The kid was running down the stairs (and yelling “I’m done, I’m done!) as I snapped a picture of the danish in its serving plate!  I hurriedly brought the peach danish up!

(Somehow, the peach danish in my dream looked waaayyy better than what came out from my oven.  In my dream the puff pastry “hugged” the peach half and no pastry cream was visible.  My finished product was not bad, neither was it ugly, but I think next time I will put a bit less of pastry cream and I would fold the puff pastry right up of the edge of the peach!)

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Maruya

Maruya is our local term for banana fritters.  It was a favorite snack all throughout my childhood… my late father also loved it, so we had it pretty often.

The problem?  The recipe is unwritten and largely by estimation.  And while I’ve made maruya before, it was not exactly what we had as kids.

As luck would have it, I found a recipe for banana fritters in my mom’s files.  And I tried it the first opportunity I had.

And it was… PERFECT!

It was soft in the middle and crunchy/crispy on the edges!

PERFECT!  EXACTLY LIKE THE MARUYA OF MY CHILDHOOD!!!

(If there’s any change that I made, it was to use turbinado sugar flavored with real vanilla, instead of white granulated sugar.)

(Sigh…)

Another Fruitcake

This is the last one, I promise!!!

The recipe for this one looked easy – it mixed in one bowl, with no pre-soaking required.  Best of all, it was ready to eat after baking (and cooling)!

The secret? Condensed milk!

I followed this recipe from Eagle Brand.  But not knowing where to find mincemeat I just used mixed dried fruit, about 2 cups worth.  I also added about half a tablespoon of apple pie spice…

Fast.  Easy.  Delicious.

Yuummmmmm!

 

Lemon Tart

I was left with 10 skinless lemons after making limoncello.  I juiced the lemons and froze it while I pondered what to do with the juice.

There was the usual lemon cake, or maybe lemon curd, or maybe just lemon juice, etc. etc.  But I wasn’t really fully convinced until I saw the recipe by Alice Medrich in her book Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts for an Easy Lemon Tart.

It was truly easy!  I was done in less than an hour!  But we could not enjoy it since we preferred it super cold!

But it was soooo yummy!  Even our guest was impressed – he had seconds!!!

 

Homemade Limoncello

I have never tasted limoncello before.  I don’t know if any is sold in the local markets.  But I saw it in one of the free ebooks I downloaded from Amazon, and the internet is full of instructions and recipes on how to make it.  And everyone, I mean EVERYONE, says that the homemade version is loads better!

So here is my version –

I used 3 cups of vodka and 10 lemons, taking care not to include the white pith with the peel, which steeped for about 2 weeks.  After straining the mixture I added simple syrup (1 cup sugar and 1 cup water) and stored in the fridge for 1 week and in the freezer for another week.

Truthfully, hubby did not like it much (he preferred the homemade Irish cream!)

 

Homemade Cream Cheese

It may be more difficult or complicated but I like making food stuff from scratch.  Like butter and cream cheese…

Of course my homemade version is nothing like the famous Philadelphia brand (or even the local Magnolia!); for one thing it is less salty and a tad more tangy, but what I love about my homemade cream cheese is that I know exactly what went in it!

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I (generally) followed the recipe for Real Cream Cheese in “Artisan Cheese Making at Home” by Mary Karlin. I varied in that I used cultured buttermilk (instead of mesophilic starter, as suggested by a friend) and I used powdered vegetable rennet instead of the specified liquid rennet. Reason for the variation? I could not find mesophilic starter or liquid rennet!

As usual, I used the “bird’s eye” cloth diaper to drain my cheese instead of butter muslin or “real” cheese cloth, for the same reason of the latter’s unavailability!

B’s Hot Chocolate 2018 Christmas ed.

B: mommy, can you make me hot chocolate? With marshmallows?

M: of course

(Of course, i had to deliver more than what was asked… added chocolate on the rim, and topped the whole thing with ice cream and choco syrup!)

B: Wow mommy! It’s beautiful!

(And after tasting it)

IT IS SOOOOOOOO YUMMMYYYYY MOMMYYYYY! You’re the best at making the best stuff!

(I so love it when she thinks I’m the best 😍)

Homemade Irish Cream

I tried my hand at mixing homemade liqueurs last Christmas but for some unknown reason I skipped the recipe for homemade Irish Cream.  Maybe it was the astronomical price for Irish whiskey…

This year however, I decided that i would try to make the recipe even if I used ordinary whiskey!!!  I don’t know what difference it would make in the recipe but at the end of the day, plain whiskey is what I can afford (and believe me, the price of the real Irish Cream is cheaper than the price of Irish whiskey!!!)

So I followed this recipe and it’s fantastic!  When they said that the homemade version is way better than Bailey’s, they weren’t kidding!!!

It is sooooooo yummy that I will be  making another batch in the next few days!  The recipe says that it is good for 2 months in the fridge.  Well, I know this for sure – it will long be gone before then!!!