Cara Cara Oranges with Rosewater MeringueBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis is an easy, light dessert that takes advantage of our Winter/Spring citrus season. I love the juicy citrus flavors of the Cara Cara combined with the crunch and floral flavor of the Rose Water meringues and all topped with the slightly tart cream topping. If you make the meringues a day or several days before, you can put this together in just a few minutes. As the seasons progress, you can use other fruits, and other flavors in the meringues. Try berries with cocoa meringues and chocolate shavings on top of the whipped cream, or peaches with almond extract meringues topped with whipped cream and crumbled candied almonds. The preparation time shown for this recipe includes the two hours to bake the meringues.Meringue Cookies and ShellsBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterMeringue cookies or shells are so easy to make, can be used in a variety of ways, and keep for weeks when stored in an air tight container. This recipe calls for vanilla extract, but any flavor may be used. I love adding Nielsen & Massey Rosewater Extract, or their Orange Blossom Extract. You may also add a bit of instant Espresso powder of finely chopped chocolate. Get as creative as you like, just remember to add the extracts towards the last part of the preparation. Adding any extracts too early in the process can keep the egg white from forming nice stiff peaks. When forming the cookies or the shells, it's easiest to use a pastry bag fitted with either a plain or star tip. If you feel you need a bit extra help in forming somewhat exact sizes, try drawing circles of ovals of the desired size on the underside of your parchment paper and use that as a template when piping the meringue.Galette des Rois – Puff Pastry with Almond Cream CenterBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterGalette des Rios or "Kings Cake" is a classic French pastry that was traditionally shared at Epiphany on January 6th to celebrate the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem. However, you will find that this delightful creation combining buttery, crispy, flakey puff pastry with a creamy rich almond filling is served year round. If you choose to make your own puff pastry, it takes a bit more time and skill, but with store bought puff pastry it's quite simple. This is a fantastic after dinner dessert, good after lunch, wonderful with coffee for breakfast, or actually at any time. It's best when it's still a bit warm from the oven. However, if there is any left for the following day, I suggest warming it bit in the oven to re-crisp the pastry. Prep time and difficulty level was based on using pre-made puff pastry.Mille-Feuille with CremeBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterMille-Fleuille is such an old world classic pastry. When I was studying cooking in France I had at least one puff pastry based sweet every day. I developed a love for the buttery crispiness of puff pastry and to this day, making my own pastry dough is still a favorite pastime. However, if you are not so-inclined, there are several store bought brands that will work equally well. I think that the main ingredient in making superb puff pastry, or any layered (often referred to as "laminated")dough like croissants, or Danish pastry is the butter. Salted butter and even some lesser unsalted brands contain a percentage of water and water in the butter is the enemy of a good layered dough. So, if you would like to make your own, invest in a good quality European Unsalted. If you would like more information on butter, click on my link to Tips and Techniques on Butter. /https://flourfiglive.wpengine.com/tips-and-techniques/butter-salted-or-sweet/
NOTE: The time and difficulty level I've listed for this recipe is based on buying the puff pastry.
Classic Danish PastryBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterMy Dad made some of the best Danish pastry that I have ever tasted. In all my travels, I've tasted just a few that have come up to his standards. This recipe does take two days to complete, but it's worth it. The end result is a rich, buttery, flakey pastry with a touch of sweetness taken further by the fillings or additions you choose. I'm particularly fond of almond, but there are so many variations from which to choose. Preserves, custard, raisins and nuts are some that come to mind.Rice & Vegetable Curry TartBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterA tasty savory tart that can be eaten hot, room temperature or cold. It's great for lunch with a salad, part of a picnic spread or even a light dinner. The curry and cumin gives the tart a wonderful aroma, as well as depth in flavor. The spices pair perfectly with the firm, lightly processed rice blend as well as the medley of vegetables. Mocha Cream PuffsBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThese elegant little puffs are just so tasty with the crispy, crunchy pate choux shells and the rich creamy filling that tastes like sweetened Espresso with a hint of chocolate. They are easy to make, and the cream puffs and custard can be made ahead of time and assembled shortly before serving. Crespelle TorteBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThere are historical rumors that Caterina de' Medici introduced Crespelle to the French, and that's how they came up with Crepes. Whether or not this is true, this Northern Italian favorite has been around a very long time. It is used for both savory and sweet dishes, and probably the most widely known is for Cannelloni. Layered tortes, such as this recipe, are often sold by the slice in Northern Italian Trattorias.