Saturday, November 26, 2011

Puffy Omelet with Sauteed Apples

Light and airy, this concoction is more like a souffle than an omelet. Combined with sauteed apples, a drizzle of maple syrup, and accompanied by toast and tea, it makes a fine Saturday morning breakfast. Sausages or bacon on the side wouldn't come amiss. Best of all, it can be whipped together from eggshell to plate in less than 25 minutes.

Puffy Omelet

4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon butter

In mixing bowl, beat egg whites with the water and salt until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and pepper until thick and lemon coloured. Fold into the egg whites.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a 10 inch skillet with an ovenproof handle, melt the butter over medium heat. Pour the omelet mixture into the skillet. Reduce heat to medium low, letting the omelet cook, without disturbing it, until puffy, about 5 minutes. Don't let the bottom burn.

Place in oven to finish cooking, 12 to 15 minutes. While the omelet bakes, prepare the apples.

Sauteed Apples

1-2 apples, quartered and cored (I like to leave the peel on, but that's up to you)
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons maple syrup

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and stir gently until they begin to slightly soften. Add the brown sugar, stir until all the apples are coated. Add the water and maple syrup. Let the mixture simmer gently until the apples are tender but still hold together.

To serve, slide the omelet onto a plate, score across the middle, spoon the apples on one side and flip the other side over top. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pear Cranberry Crisp

Warm, spicy, tart, sweet - this crisp has it all. I like a high topping to fruit ratio in my dessert and baking this in a shallow dish allowed for a good balance of crisp, sweet earthy crumbiness and soft, juicy fruitiness. What makes it special is the addition of candied ginger to the crumb mixture. 

This is a riff on the standard Betty Crocker apple crisp recipe that I've used for years. I don't think Betty would mind the liberties I've taken.

Pear Cranberry Crisp

2 - 4 large ripe pears, quartered, then cored and cubed (I left the peels on)
1/3 cup fresh cranberries (frozen are fine)

Place the fruit in a shallow baking dish, 8 x 8 inches, or equivalent. I should mention that in the above photo, I used only 2 pears because that's what I had, and because of the aforementioned desire for a high crumb to fruit ratio. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


2/3 cup brown sugar (packed) 
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1-2 Tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (if you use pre-ground nutmeg, increase to 3/4 tsp)
1/3 cup butter, softened

Mix all of the above in a medium bowl, using your fingers to achieve a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle over the fruit. Bake 30 - 35 minutes until the pears are tender and the topping a rich golden brown. Serve warm. 

Try it with some softly whipped cream, lightly sweetened, with a touch of vanilla. I didn't, and the dessert was wonderful, but I can imagine it would only be improved with the cream.