Sweets

{Family Centered Kitchen}: Maple Walnut Pie

You can find the recipe for my Impossibly Flaky Pie Crust here.
 

Maple Walnut Pie
Serves 8
I came up with this recipe for our son Louis' tenth birthday. We love pecan pie, and this is a twist on that classic, made with our own maple syrup. It's bound to become a family favourite.
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Prep Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 c maple syrup (use the real thing - NO substitutes)
  2. 1/2 c sugar (we use maple sugar or organic raw)
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. 3 T butter, melted
  5. 1 T flour
  6. 1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
  7. 1/2 recipe Impossibly Flaky Pie Crust
  8. 1 1/2 c walnuts (halves or chopped)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F
  2. In a mixing bowl, blend syrup, sugar, eggs, milk, flour, and vanilla paste. Place walnuts in the crust and pour the syrup mixture over all. Rearrange nuts if needed.
  3. Bake 10 minutes at 450°. Reduce temperature to 350° and bake a further 30-35 minutes.
  4. Cool on a rack. Serve with whipped cream.
Notes
  1. Variation: spread melted unsweetened dark chocolate on the base of the pie crust or sprinkle dark chocolate mini chips or shards before pouring in the filling.
At Home With the Gadbois Family http://gadboisfamily.com/

{Family Centered Kitchen} Real Food, Pure and Simple

Farm Fresh Eggs

 

There is quite a discussion going on on my Facebook page today after I posted a meme about people who will spend $5 (it’s actually closer to $7 here in Massachusetts), but complain about the price of truly free-range, grass-fed, farm fresh eggs at $5 per dozen.  According to one friend, I am being judgmental.  I disagree.  I am the farmer who is insulted by someone standing in front of me at my farm stand or farmer’s market, sipping that $7 cup of coffee, when they tell me that my eggs (or vegetables, or meat) are too expensive.  It is a slap in the face to me and my family.  It is the same as saying that we should hold our tongues and know our place.  Because we are peasants.  And we have no right to ask for a living wage for raising wholesome food for our community.

I suppose they agree that farmers should earn a paltry .60 an hour – which is how the government values farm work.  Please, please consider when you visit your local farm family, or their farmstand at market.  They work really hard to produce truly healthy, wholesome food.  We deserve the dignity of being paid well for that work.

Most people have been positively wonderful. We are grateful to all of the people who purchase from us – plain or fancy, carrying a Starbucks or their own mug from home, whether they are dressed to impress, or just came from working a dirty job, whether they live in an affluent neighbourhood, or in a city tenement.  So grateful.  We are blessed by your encouragement and compliments; and that you entrust the production of your food to our family.

 

Farm Fresh Eggs

Here are some recipes that you can make with your lovely farm fresh eggs and other farm-fresh products:

Crockpot Oatmeal – It’s Irish oats, cooked overnight on low. You can add all
kinds of nice things with the oats. Dried or fresh fruits, canned pumpkin and
spices, nuts… Awesomely simple. The kids can just scoop it out and go when
they’re ready. My non-oatmeal eaters actually love Irish oats.

  • 4 c. water (or milk), boiling hot
  • 1c. Irish oats
  • 1/2 c. sugar, honey or syrup (optional)
  • 1 c. fruits
  • 1-2 tsp ground spices (optional)
  • salt to taste

Place all ingredients in your crockpot and cover.  Set your cooker to low and let cook overnight.  Serve with fresh milk or cream.

Special Egg Scramble or Frittata

What about tossing some eggs and milk in a jug the night before? You can just
shake it up and cook it in a skillet in the morning. If you’ve pre-cut cooked
meats, cheese, or veggies, they can toss those in, too. Or the same can be
tossed into a buttered baking dish and baked for about 30 minutes at 350 F for a
frittata.

  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 c. milk (or water, if you prefer)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. pre-cooked meat, diced
  • 1/2 c. cheese, crumbled or shredded
  • 1/2 c. vegetables, diced (tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and greens are all wonderful)

 

Scones – leave the dough in a roll (wrapped in parchment, plastic) to cut with
with a knife or string and bake.

  • 2 1/2 c. flour (freshly ground is lovely
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 c. currants (or other dried fruit, diced, if needed)
  • 1 c. buttermilk

Cut the dry ingredients together with the butter until you have what looks like a coarse meal.  Add fruit and blend well.  Pour buttermilk in slowly and fold to combine.  You may not need the entire cup, or you may need more, depending upon the humidity.  When you have a workable dough, form it into a log 2″-2 1/2″ thick, wrap and refrigerate overnight.  If you haven’t got buttermilk, use yoghurt, sour cream, or milk that is curdled with a tsp of vinegar.  Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes, or until done.  Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.  Serve with clotted cream and homemade preserves.

Try replacing all or part of your fruit with herbs or edible flowers.  Lavender comes to mind.

**GF AP flour mix would be PERFECT for this.  Bonus: you can work the dough as much as you want and it won’t toughen.

Baked Custard made the night before (loaded with dairy and eggs) served with
fruit (stewed is nice) and toast. It’s dead easy to make (scale up in
proportion).

  • 2 eggs,
    1c. milk,
    1/4 c. sugar (you could use half and still get a nice custard)
    pinch salt
    spices (nutmeg and cinnamon)

Bake in a greased baking dish at 350 until set, or at 400 over hot water if
you’re in a hurry. Add a T of flour and some lemon juice and zest for a yummy
lemon pudding style custard. Remember to scale up for your size crowd! This
recipe as written serves two little ones or one medium one. You probably find
you need 3 or 4 eggs worth for a big boy.

 

I used to feed my little ones custard for either breakfast or luncheon when we
lived in England. I served with fruit and wheaten crackers (McVities
digestives, homemade graham crackers would work as well). Doc thought it was excellent for them, very wholesome. 🙂 Same
idea as above, mix ahead in a pitcher or large canning jar, shake it and bake it in the morning.

{Family Centered Kitchen} | Snack Time:: Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn

{Family Centered Kitchen} | Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn

We love popcorn for an inexpensive snack.  We like to experiment with different flavours – savoury and sweet alike.  Here is one we tried recently.  It was a hit.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER POPCORN

  • 1 1/2 c. popping corn
  • 1 stick butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1/4 c. organic cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c. organic sugar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. organic peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

 

Pop your corn and set aside in a very large mixing bowl.  It’s going to make a boatload – but we have an entire Navy’s worth of people here, so…  Melt your butter over medium heat in a large saucepan, add sugar and cocoa.  Continue to cook over medium low until the sugar completely dissolves; stirring constantly.  Stir in peanut butter until completely blended. Remove from heat; add vanilla.  Pour mixture over popcorn and toss.  Sprinkle salt over all and toss again.

 

Be My Valentine

{Celebrating Every Day} | Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day has always been a big favourite of mine.  Other than Christmas, it is the only holiday that I am likely to go a little bit overboard with – decorations, menu, treats.

So I thought I’d share some link love to some fun recipes and crafty goodness.

{Celebrating Every Day} | Valentine's Day

My loves will wake to a table laid with mugs decorated with hearts, filled with chocolate goodies.  Breakfast will probably be Irish oats and cream with sliced red fruits {we’ll have to see what I can find at the market}, or egg in a {heart-shaped} hole with a smaller portion of oats on the side.  And cocoa.  Must have cocoa on Valentine’s Day morning.  With whipped cream and pink and red sugar crystals sprinkled on top.

{Celebrating Every Day} | Valentine's Day

I dipped into my considerable stash and pulled out some Lamb’s Pride wool in Rosado Rose and Ruby Red and crocheted the sweet little hearts you see here using the quickest little pattern from Skip to My Lou.  Crazy fast to work up and addictively rhythmic.  You may find yourself with a basketload by the end of the night.  {I just made the tiny ones, I think they’re perfection}.

{Celebrating Every Day} | Valentine's Day

I always try to make the entire day full of treats, culminating in a nice meal for my sweethearts.  I haven’t decided on a dinner menu, but cream tea at eleven may include these adorable mini tarts from The Sweetest Occasion {they have lots of other ideas for Valentine’s Day, too, so plan to visit for a little while}, and these gorgeous pink-iced choux pastries from B Comme Bon *.  For our afternoon snack time – le goûter – I am hoping to make these lovely crépes * in both sweet and salty versions.

{Celebrating Every Day} | Valentine's Day

*Both recipes from B Comme Bon are written in French with metric measurements, so I have translated them into English, with standard American measurements for those of you who want to make them, but can’t read French, or don’t have a food scale {I highly recommend getting one, the measure-by-weight method is most excellent, especially for baking}. Links to each recipe below::

La Vie en Rose Crépes

Choux Roses

ETA:  This sweet post from my friend Kim.  And this beautiful shot of some cookies her gals made with a link to the recipe.

Farewell Dinner to 2012

 

 

 

 

 

No big excitement here at Chez Gadbois this {or any} New Year’s Eve.  Just a quiet dinner at home with our children.

 

The Menu:

Spiced Plum Glazed Pork Chops*

Long Grain and Wild Rice

Wilted Spinach with Garlic

French Carrot Salad

Bread Pudding with double cream*

Celebrating Every Day | New Year's Eve Dinner

 

Spiced Plum Glazed Pork Chops

  • 8 pork chops (pastured pork is nicest, boneless chops or pork medallions are also lovely)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • seasoned flour (GF AP flour works beautifully, as does potato starch)
  • 1 c. white or rosé wine
  • 1 pt. plum vanilla preserves
  • 1-2 T. Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. crushed rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
  • 3 bay leaves
  • oil and/or butter for browning and sautéeing

Sauté onions in a hot skillet until caramelized.  Remove to a bowl.  Dredge chops in seasoned flour and brown them in batches, adding more fat, if needed.  Return onions to the skillet, add  the remaining ingredients and return chops to the skillet.  Add water, if needed.  Liquid should come about halfway up the meat.  Bring liquid to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes.  Arrange chops or pork medallions on a platter and ladle sauce over the top.  Garnish with fresh herbs if you’re feeling fancy. 🙂

Celebrating Every Day | New Year's Eve Dinner

 

Bread Pudding

  • 1 loaf good, day-old bread, cubed
  • 1 qt whole milk or half-and-half
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. whiskey (or rum)
  • 1 c. raisins
  • 1 1/2 c apples, chopped
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted

Heat whiskey and add raisins, allow to sit while mixing the rest of the pudding.  You can also allow them to plump overnight. Combine milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and spices in a large mixing bowl.  Add bread cubes, chopped apples, and plumped raisins (drain remaining liquor), allow to stand so that the bread can absorb the custard.  Brush melted butter over the bottom and sides of a 9″x13″ pan, add pudding mixture.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Serve with double (heavy) cream, hard sauce, or whipped cream.

If you haven’t any day-old bread, you can cube your bread and dry it out in a low oven before beginning.

 

Wishing you and yours a blessed 2013!

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