Bonnie Stern Food News
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Contents

Kitchen Hack

Bonnie's Book Club

Corporate Services

News and Events

Bonnie's Cookbooks

Featured Recipes

Contact

Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810

Email:
bonnie@bonniestern.com

Follow Bonnie:

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Instagram

Facebook

Website:
www.bonniestern.com

About Bonnie

When Bonnie Stern started her cooking school in 1973 she wanted people to have more fun in the kitchen, eat more healthfully and nourish their families and friends with delicious food. That goal has never changed. Bonnie is still sharing her love of cooking in everything she does.

Bonnie is an award winning author of twelve best-selling cookbooks and wrote a weekly newspaper column for almost 30 years, first for the Toronto Star and then for the National Post. She offers a wide variety of corporate services, cooking workshops and unique book clubs where authors actually attend and dinner is included. Bonnie is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award.

 

January 2019

Going into 2019 I am hoping that people will cook at home more (I am always hoping that). Home cooking helps you nourish and nurture yourself and those you love. You can make food just the way you like it. You can help reduce waste. It’s less expensive. You know what’s in your food so you can eat more healthfully. It’s quick and easy if you choose the right recipe. It is an outlet for creativity. You can invite people over and make new friends - and actually hear each other talk. Then eating out can be a treat rather than the norm. Although take-out food and restaurants are very popular, I am encouraged that more cookbooks were published this year promoting home cooking than I have seen in many years. On Instagram I recommended 24 cookbooks from 2018 on many different subjects (see my Instagram account for all of them @bonniestern) but for everyday cooking here are my best bets: Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi; At My Table by Nigella Lawson; Now & Again by Julia Turshen; Solo by Anita Lo; Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigen and Adeena Sussman; and Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan). And don’t forget Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat from 2017.

Encouraging people to cook at home is also why I love sharing recipes - in my cookbooks, in these newsletters (scroll down for recipes), on my website and I am really thrilled that my Aunt Lil’s Rugelach are now on the Jewish Food Society’s page. It is an organization that is dedicated to preserving Jewish family recipes and tells the stories behind them. Here’s the link: Aunt Lil's Rugelach

Below is my list of food trends for the new year – it always seems so whimsical but some of these things could be in your future at the table!

Say Hello to Food Trends for 2019

Say Hello To: allergies getting more respect; all-day dining; automated tipping; bakeries; beer; berries; bone broth, brain food; bread; cannabis; burgers-blended (eg with mushrooms) and plant based; butter (coconut, sunflower seed, sesame aka tahini); cardamom; cashew cheese; CBD foods and oils; challah; charcuterie-vegan; cheese; classics; coconut (sugar, water, milk, cream, butter, flour) (are we eating too much coconut?); coffee; collaboration cuisine (the evolution of fusion and mash-up); chefs using their celebrity status to address food issues; crepes and crepe cakes; desserts; special diets become the norm (eg Paleo, Whole30, Low FODMAP); dieticians/nutritionist chefs or co-chefs; dill; East African cooking; Eurasian food; eating in; experiential culinary events; falafel; farming; faux meat (heme); fermenting (miso, kimchi, kefir, etc); flowers and flower waters (elderflower, hibiscus, violet and lavender, rose water, orange blossom water); food halls; flour (almond, cassava, coconut, oat, etc); freshly milled flours; fritters; ghee; grain mills; greens (leafy); gut friendly foods; harissa; home cooking; hot pots; hummus; hummus desserts; hummus ice cream; Georgian cuisine; high end quick service restaurants; hyper local; ice cream; Indigenous food; instant pots; insects; instagram dishes; jackfruit; katsu; koji; kosher; large format main courses; lectin free diet; meal kits; Mexican; Mexican Jewish food; Middle Eastern food; milk (almond. banana, cassava, coconut, oat, pea, anything but animal milk); miso; Netflix; nuts; online food shopping; pastries; Persian food; plant protein; portable protein (eg flavoured small tuna packs rather than protein bars); Portugal; probiotics; restaurants that only take cards; restaurants in non-restaurant settings; restaurants (and hotels) researching their guests; restaurants without servers; restaurants unplugged; root to stem; rugelach; rum; rye bread; savory desserts; seaweed; street food; shakshuka; sipper lids; smoked desserts; soft serve; sour; sour dough (it’s a commitment); sustainability; sweeteners made from vegetables; tahcheen (tah chin); tahini; tahini ice cream; tahini desserts; take-out from restaurants; tea bars; tinned seafood; toasts; tropical fruit; Turkish food; turmeric; vegan; vegetable whole 'roasts'; vegetarian; vegetarian/vegan swaps; vitamins from food; waste/no waste; natural wine bars; women; yogurt (made from nut or vegetable milk); zero proof cocktails, let me know what else!

Wishing you the best for 2019.

Bonnie

Kitchen Hack
MISE EN PLACE
MISE EN PLACEThis is the French culinary term for ‘everything in its place’ and something all organized chefs do before starting to cook. It is also very applicable to home cooking. Benefits include feeling organized and ready to cook; realizing ahead of time that you don’t have a particular ingredient which you may have to buy  or think about what to substitute; and measuring out the amounts of each ingredient will also confirm whether you have actually added that ingredient or not – something that is easy to forget when you are doing a lot of things at once. It takes a bit of time but you will save so much time in the end.


Bonnie's Book Club

Bonnie's Book Club is a labour of love. Nothing pleases Bonnie more than to have the opportunity to bring readers and writers together in a truly unique way that offers the rare opportunity to meet some of Canada's leading authors (and some from farther away), discuss their work and enjoy a delicious meal inspired by the book.

Drawing on her degree in English and her passion for food and cooking, Bonnie Stern invites you to a literary feast you won't soon forget - Oprah's book club never tasted this good!

Small print: All registrations must be paid in full when registering. Please check your schedule carefully before registering. Cancellations can be accepted only up to 14 days before event date, a $50 charge (plus HST) applies to cover the administration fee and cost of the book. However, at any time you may send someone in your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to mark their calendar with the date, time and location of the event.


JANUARY 2019

IAN WILLIAMS: REPRODUCTION
IAN WILLIAMS: REPRODUCTIONBonnie is very excited to kick off the 2019 season with one of the most talked about debut novels in recent years. In January, the book club welcomes the remarkably talented Ian Williams as he launches Reproduction, a funny, surprising and poignant exploration into the nature of family: those that we are born into and those that we invent by love.

Felicia and Edgar meet as their mothers are dying. Felicia, a teen from an island nation, and Edgar, the lazy heir of a wealthy German family, come together only because their mothers share a hospital room. When Felicia's mother dies and Edgar's "Mutter" does not, Felicia drops out of high school and takes a job as Mutter's caregiver. While Felicia and Edgar don't quite understand each other, and Felicia recognizes that Edgar is selfish, arrogant, and often unkind, they form a bond built on grief (and proximity) that results in the birth of a son Felicia calls Armistice. Or Army, for short.

Some years later, Felicia and Army (now 14) are living in the basement of a home owned by Oliver, a divorced man of Portuguese descent who has two kids - the teenaged Heather and the odd little Hendrix. Along with Felicia and Army, they form an unconventional family, except that Army wants to sleep with Heather, and Oliver wants to kill Army. Then Army's fascination with his absent father - and his absent father's money - begins to grow as odd gifts from Edgar begin to show up. And Felicia feels Edgar's unwelcome shadow looming over them. A brutal assault, a mortal disease, a death, and a birth reshuffle this group of people again to form another version of the family.

Reproduction is a profoundly insightful exploration of the bizarre ways people become bonded that insists that family isn't a matter of blood.

We are so looking forward to seeing you as we celebrate the new year with a terrific evening of prose and food.

Date: Monday January 28, 2019
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: The Edible Story
320 Richmond Street East #105, Toronto (Entrance on Sherbourne)
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Reproduction sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



More Featured Products
 
The edible story
The Edible Story3
The Edible Story1
The Edible Story2
The Edable Story5
The Edible Storyx

The Edible Story
This cooking school, catering company and event space is the perfect place for our themed book club. Owners/chefs Alanna Fleischer and Brian Cheng will create a menu to suit.

320 Richmond Street East #105
Toronto

(Entrance on Sherbourne)
647 278 1819

www.theediblestory.com

Corporate Services

Corporate culinary events are a great way to host a corporate function. Great food always brings co-workers and staff together. People have fun, learn a lot and take home delicious memories.

Events are customized to meet your location, schedule, objectives and food preferences. Bonnie works with nutritionists, food producers, restaurants, etiquette experts and authors to create exciting programs.

All events will be planned and hosted by Bonnie personally.

Corporate Cooking Class
Private Cooking Class

 

Bonnie Stern has worked with various food manufacturers, grocery chains, restaurants, chefs, health professionals as well as cookware manufacturers, etc., offering a wide variety of corporate services, such as:

Corporate culinary events
Corporate family dinners
Market Tours
Recipe development
Private cooking classes
Product consultation
Menu consulting for parties
Fundraising events

For detailed information,
please call: 416 484 4810

Bonnie's Cookbooks
 
Friday Night Dinners (Paperback)

Friday Night Dinners

Bonnie's latest cookbook with her favourite menus, recipes, photos and stories. Over 170 delicious recipes for every occasion - holidays, barbecues, fast suppers and fabulous feasts - and Bonnie makes sure you can make fantastic meals and still enjoy the food and fun with everyone else. You'll want to use this book every day of the week.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2010, 320 pages, paperback

$29.95

Bonnie Stern's Essentials of Home Cooking
Bonnie Stern's
Essentials of Home Cooking

Winner of the 2004 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award. A beautiful cookbook filled with Bonnie’s personal favourites - dishes that reflect the way we are cooking today.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2003, 208 pages, paperback

$34.95
HeartSmart
HeartSmart
This wonderful compendium is a must for every kitchen featuring over 300 favourite recipes from the bestselling Simply HeartSmart Cooking, More HeartSmart Cooking and HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends, as well as 75 brand-new recipes to add to your HeartSmart repertoire. Many of the classic recipes have been fully updated to incorporate current food trends and new nutritional information.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2006, 480 pages, paperback.

$34.95
Desserts
Desserts
Over 120 recipes for decadent cakes, pies and pastries, scrumptious cookies, creamy mousses and ice creams – A collection of recipes from a master that stand the test, and tastes, of time.

Also provided are elegant decorating tips, helpful information on equipment and ingredients, and black-and-white illustrations throughout demonstrating basic techniques that will make these recipes absolutely no-fail.

Published by Random House Canada, 1998, 214 pages, paperback

$21
News And Events
WINTERLICIOUS 2019
WINTERLICIOUS 2019January 25 to February 7, 2019

Winterlicious 2019 is coming soon featuring a prix fixe promotion and culinary event series. Be sure Winterlicious menu reflects the regular menu of the restaurants you want to try.

For more details click Winterlicious 2019

CHEFS FOR CHANGE
CHEF FOR CHANGEWednesdays January 23, 30, 2019
Wednesdays February 20, 27, 2019

A mid-winter dinner series of phenomenal food and beverage. Each night features unique culinary collaborations by chefs from Toronto and across the country, and beverages from Ontario’s best wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries. Net profits from Chefs for Change will help Community Food Centres Canada - a national nonprofit that uses food to change lives.

For more information click: Chefs for Change 2019

BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOP
BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOPChallah is the Jewish celebration bread that is enjoyed at every Friday night dinner except during Passover. However, now challah has risen way above Jewish cooking and is a favourite for French toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, bread pudding and so much more.

In this workshop Bonnie will show you everything you need to know to make the most delicious and beautiful braided challah. Everyone will have a chance to make challah dough, knead the dough and get to know the perfect texture at each stage. You will learn to make braids with 3, 4 and 6 strands and also round braided breads. You will learn about ingredients and all the tricks and tips you need for success.

This very popular workshop includes coffee and cinnamon buns, snacks, a delicious lunch or dinner, printed recipes, all ingredients and lots of fun. And best of all - you'll take home your own challah on Bonnie's favourite quarter sheet pan to bake for your family and friends.

Please Note: As with our Israeli Family Dinner class, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group) but we are taking a wait list for open classes.

For more information please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Bonnie’s Challah Workshop to bonnie@bonniestern.com and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class.

ISRAELI FAMILY DINNER
ISRAELI FAMILY DINNERMiddle Eastern and Israeli food is what everyone wants to eat right now so come and learn the ingredients and flavours that make it so popular. Israel is an immigrant country and Israeli cuisine is a delicious mash-up of food and flavours from the Middle East, the Mediterranean and North Africa.

Workshop includes appetizers on arrival, lunch or dinner, recipes and lots of fun.

Please note: As with our Challah Workshop, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group) but we are taking a wait list for open classes.

Please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Israeli Family Dinner to bonnie@bonniestern.com and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class.

"Bonnie: thank you once more for a wonderful evening of amazing food and inspiration. I was on a food high when I got home and could not get the thought of your incredible chicken out of my mind! Your recipes are the best."  Barbara Kerbel

Restaurant Recommendations and More
Byblos Uptown
2537 Yonge Street
Toronto
416 487 4897
I have always loved Byblos (downtown) for upscale Middle Eastern food, therefore I was predisposed to like it in the former location of North 44 on Yonge Street north of Eglinton. The restaurant is beautiful and takes you away to far off places just like the food. It is so exciting to have it in my neighbourhood – Yonge and Eglinton, the new downtown. Don’t miss Turkish dumplings, lamb ribs, salmon with harissa, one of the pide (Turkish pizza) and the pavlova for dessert. Cocktails are also delicious.
Moderate to Expensive
Quetzal
419 College Street
Toronto
647 347 3663
My second visit to Quetzal was even more delicious than the first. It may be because I was more familiar with the restaurant or the variety of items we ordered. The restaurant is beautiful and everything is cooked on fire – adding that very special flavour. Don’t miss the sweet potatoes and the onions, the salsas with tostadas, sausages, butterflied fish on the grill and any or all of the very different sounding (that you think you may not like but you will) desserts. Cocktails are also delicious.
Moderate to Expensive
Featured Recipes
CARROT AND LENTIL SOUP WITH HARISSA AND COCONUT MILK
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp - 1 tbsp harissa (depending on heat of harissa and your tolerance)
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 lbs carrots, cleaned and roughly chopped or sliced (approx 5 to 6 cups)
  • 1/3 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups water or vegetable stock + more as necessary
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt + more to taste
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk


  • topping
  • sprinkling of nigella seeds, toasted coconut, fresh cilantro, or a drizzle of thick coconut milk (see intro)
  • CARROT AND LENTIL SOUP WITH HARISSA AND COCONUT MILKThis hearty soup can be served in large bowls for a vegan or vegetarian main course with sourdough bread and/or a salad, in smaller soup bowls as a first course, or in shooter glasses or tea cups as a welcome treat for guests on a cold winter night. If made ahead or if you have leftovers, soup will thicken when cooled, thin to desired consistency when reheating. Top with any or all of the suggested toppings below.

    Notes: Coconut milk is optional and adds a rich, luxurious texture. It is quite rich so use in moderation and freeze any extra after opening the tin. If the coconut milk is very thick drizzle a little more on top of each serving. (Do not use reduced fat coconut milk or coconut water.)

    Nigella seeds are available at Middle Eastern markets - I usually shop at Ararat on Avenue Rd in Toronto.



    Method:

    1. Heat oil in a large saucepan and add onions and garlic. Cook gently about 5 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Add harissa and cumin and cook gently one minute longer.

    2. Add carrots and lentils and combine well, stir and cook one to two minutes. (If pan is dry or vegetables are sticking, add 1 cup of the liquid and stir well.)

    3. Add water or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently 25 to 30 minutes or until carrots are very tender and mixture has thickened.

    4. Puree soup with an immersion blender, or, in a food processor or blender and return soup to pot.

    5. Add coconut milk to the soup if using. Soup will probably be thick, thin with additional water or vegetable stock until desired consistency. Heat thoroughly and re-season.

    6. Serve soup with any or all the toppings.

    makes 6 to 8 servings

    SWEET POTATO AND SPINACH PASHTIDA (ISRAELI FRITTATA)
  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1/2" dice (or 2 lbs other root vegetables or a combination)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or more - divided
  • 2 tsp kosher salt - divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 oz baby spinach, baby kale, arugula, beet greens etc
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups cream or milk (or a combination), or sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne or Aleppo pepper
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg (or more if freshly grated)
  • 1 tsp pureed chipotle chiles or sauce, optional
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, parsley, chives, basil, cilantro or a combination
  • 1 1/2 cups grated smoked or aged Cheddar or other medium hard cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • SWEET POTATO AND SPINACH PASHTIDA (ISRAELI FRITTATA)Pashtida is a cross between a crustless quiche and a frittata. And I just love the name. It is thick and fluffy and so delicious.

    Notes: Instead of Cheddar you could use crumbled feta or spoonfuls of drained ricotta.

    If you bake this in a 9"x13" baking dish it will be thinner but take less time.

    I often make this with leftover roasted vegetables (butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, broccoli, cherry tomatoes etc) in which case omit step #1. You will need about 4 cups cooked vegetables.



    Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 425F. Toss diced sweet potatoes with 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake 20 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Cool. Reduce oven to 350F.

    2. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet and cook onions gently until tender and lightly browned. Add spinach and cook until just barely wilted. Cool. (Tougher greens may take a few minutes longer.)

    3. Line the bottom and up the sides of a 9" springform pan with parchment paper. Wrap outside of pan with foil just in case it leaks. Place 3/4 of the sweet potatoes in the bottom of prepared pan and if you wish flatten them a bit. Top with half the onions and spinach. Sprinkle with half the cheese.

    4. In a large bowl whisk eggs. Combine flour with baking powder and remaining 1 ½ tsp salt and whisk into eggs. Add cream, pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, chipotles and herbs. Pour into pan. Top with remaining cheese, sweet potatoes and spinach mixture. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

    5. Bake at 350F 40 to 50 minutes or until browned and puffed and just set in the centre. If top is browning too much reduce heat to 325F and loosely cover with foil. Rest pashtida at least 10 to 20 minutes before removing from pan and serving.

    Makes 8 to 10 servings

    BRAISED BEEF WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES
  • 5 lbs braising beef (blade or boneless shortribs), 2" to 3" chunks
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or GF flour)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup Port wine
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • roasted vegetables (see above note)
  • BRAISED BEEF WITH ROASTED VEGETABLESI love braised meats and poultry, especially in winter. Braising usually refers to cooking tougher cuts of meat, in a flavourful liquid, until tender. Braising, stewing and pot roasting is basically the same technique but cooks seemed to like the word braising better than stewing.

    When buying beef to braise, ask for chunks of boneless short ribs or chuck (sometimes called 'blade' or shoulder meat). It will have a little fat and cook up juicy and delicious. (Do not buy anything labelled 'stewing beef' as it is usually too lean and cooks up tough.)

    You can add about 2 lbs vegetables to the braise but I like to roast them separately and add half to the pot and then add the rest when serving.

    Braised dishes taste great the next day too so you can cook more for future meals and freeze some too.

    If you want to do this in your 'instant pot' or slow cooker follow the directions on the appliance. It will always taste better if you brown the meat first.

    Roasted Vegetables: Cut about 3 lbs (total weight) carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, golden beets, butternut squash, red onions, etc in 2" pieces. Toss with 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, a few sprigs of fresh thyme, 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper and 2 tbsp maple syrup. Spread on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast on the bottom rack in a preheated 425F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned and just tender. You can also roast cherry tomatoes but they will only take 10 to 15 minutes.



    Method:

    1. Toss meat with salt, pepper and flour. Add oil to a large heavy Dutch oven and heat. Brown meat well in batches. Remove from pan. Discard all but 2 to 3 tbsp fat from pan. Add onions and cook gently a few minutes and then add garlic and carrots and cook a few minutes longer. Add tomato paste and cook about one minute, stirring so it doesn’t burn. Add Port to pan and bring to a boil, scraping off solidified juices stuck to the pan. Cook until Port is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Add wine, bring to a boil. Cook a few minutes and then add stock, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil.

    2. Return meat to pan and combine well with liquid and onion mixture. Bring to a boil. Cover the surface with a piece of parchment paper and then cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. Transfer to a preheated 325F oven and cook 2 to 3 hours until very tender when pierced with a fork or tip of a knife.

    3. You can serve now, or, remove meat, strain liquid and skim off fat on the surface. Reduce liquid if there is too much and add meat back to pan with half the roasted vegetables and heat thoroughly. Serve with the remaining roasted vegetables around and on top. Sprinkle with parsley.

    Makes 8 to 10 servings

    ACCIDENTAL PEAR AND CARDAMOM CAKE
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or Cup4Cup gf flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or unflavoured vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste


  • filling:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 lbs ripe pears , peeled, cored and coarsely chopped, about 6 pears, about 8 cups chopped
  • 2 tbsp coarse sugar
  • ACCIDENTAL PEAR AND CARDAMOM CAKEThe accident happened when I was making my mom's favourite cake called 'Ruthie's Apple Cake'. The apples were peeled, the batter was made and everything was ready to go when I realized that I had accidentally made it with regular flour instead of GF flour for a special guest. I quickly remade the cake with GF flour but now I was left with a perfectly good batter and only one apple. But I did have pears. And just to make it a bit different I added cardamom and ginger to the cinnamon. It was delicious. A perfect winter cake.

    Note: If you use Bartlett pears the pears will be more tender. If you use Bosc the pears will be firmer. You choose. This cake is great as is, but caramel sauce and ice cream won’t hurt.



    Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9" springform pan,  or 9"square pan with parchment paper. (You can use a tube pan (as shown) but it is harder to remove from pan.)

    2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt about 60 seconds.

    3. In another large bowl whisk (or use a hand mixer) eggs until light and slowly drip in olive oil until well combined. Slowly beat in sugar. Mix in orange juice and vanilla.

    4. With a wooden spoon stir flour into egg mixture just until combined and no flour is left unincorporated.

    5. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Toss with pears.

    6. Spread about half the batter over the bottom of the pan. It will not seem like much. Don't worry. Spoon in all the pears. It will look like there are too many pears. Don't worry. Drizzle with remaining batter - don't worry if it doesn't look like there's enough. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

    7. Bake 50 to 60 minutes until browned and firm in the centre or until an instant read meat thermometer registers at least 185F when inserted into the centre.

    Makes 10 to 12 servings

    TARTE TATIN HOMESTYLE
    filling:
  • 5 lbs baking apples (eg Golden Delicious), about 10 apples
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into 4 pieces


  • pastry:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup butter (8oz) cold, cut into small pieces
  • ice water (1/4 cup to 1/2 cup)


  • topping:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp coarse sugar
  • TARTE TATIN HOMESTYLETarte Tatin is a classic French apple pie that is made upside down. There are many conflicting stories as to how it was invented but the important thing is that it is so delicious. I call this version ‘homestyle’ because I never worry about placing the apples in concentric circles. Serve plain or with ice cream or whipped cream.

    Notes: Instead of a regular butter crust in this recipe you can use store-bought puff pastry - about 3/4 lb. Look for one made with butter.

    I like to use Golden Delicious apples but other apples that keep their shape are good too. Do not use MacIntosh as they soften too much when cooked.



    Method:

    1. Peel, halve and core apples. Cut each half into 4 or 5 wedges.

    2. Sprinkle sugar over the bottom of a large (10" to 12") preferably non-stick deep-ish skillet that you can use in the oven also. Cook until sugar melts and turns golden brown. Add butter and melt. Add apples and bring to a boil. It will look like there are too many apples but don't worry - they will cook down. Cook apples until tender and almost all the liquid has evaporated and any liquid in the pan looks syrupy. Try not to stir apples too much or they will break (but if they do, don't worry). Cool. (Apples will have cooked down significantly.)

    3. While apples are cooling make pastry (or you can make it ahead). Whisk flour with salt in a large bowl and mix in butter. Toss butter with flour and with a pastry blender or your fingertips breaking it up into even smaller bits. Sprinkle with enough ice water so that you can gather it together into a ball. Start with 1/4 cup, mix with your fingertips and add more water a tablespoon at a time until you can gather it together. It may even need more than 1/2 cup - don't worry. Roll dough out into a 12" circle on a lightly floured work surface (or between two pieces of parchment paper). Refrigerate until ready to use, covered lightly with plastic wrap.

    4. When apples have cooled, place pastry over apples, cut a few steam slits in the top and tuck in the edges cutting away excess pastry if there is any. (You can bake any excess pastry as a little treat for the chef.) Brush the top with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.

    5. Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 45 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pastry and invert onto a serving plate while hot. If any apples have stuck to the pan remove them with a little spatula (they will be hot!) and replace on top of tart.

    Makes 8 servings 

    AUNT REBA'S OATMEAL COOKIES
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or half whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, optional
  • AUNT REBA'S OATMEAL COOKIESMy mother's oldest sister (my mother was the second youngest of eleven children) was famous for these crisp, buttery oatmeal cookies. They are completely different than the big, thick, chewy - and also delicious - oatmeal cookies full of dried fruit, nuts and chocolate. Years ago, when I was in university, I worked as a summer student in my dad's office (he was an accountant) and I used to bring in cookies all the time. These were a favourite. Then a few years later, my mom was at a party one day with spouses of the partners and tasted a cookie that was familiar to her - when she asked the host about them the host said she didn't remember where the recipe was from but they were called Aunt Reba's Oatmeal Cookies. My mom laughed and said - Aunt Reba is my sister. 

    Method:

    1. Beat butter with both sugars until light. Beat in egg, vanilla and almond extracts. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt about 30 seconds. Stir into butter mixture. Stir in oats and walnuts if using. Cover and refrigerate one hour.

    2. Shape dough into 1/2 oz balls (about 3/4"). Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cookies will spread when baking so give them a little space. Press cookies flat with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour (I use a meat pounder wrapped with plastic wrap). Refrigerate, loosely covered, until ready to bake.

    Preheat oven to 350F. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until browned and crisp. Cool on racks.

    Makes about 50 to 60 small-ish cookies

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