Desserts

  • Candied Winter Citrus :: Kumquats & Meyer Lemon in Vanilla Simple Syrup

    Kumquats are an unusual fruit.  They're small in size, oblong in shape, pack a punch of flavor and only in stores for a short time during the winter season.  I love that the origin of their name means "golden orange".  Somehow, that makes them all the more lovelier. Eaten out of hand fresh, their delicious taste, if somewhat bitter, is a colorful addition to salads, sliced thinly and removed of the tiny seeds.  They can be chopped and cooked down with fresh cranberries, layered on tarts sweetened ricotta tart, topped with cream over shortbread biscuits or folded into cranberry muffins. My favorite new way to cook kumquats is to candy them with another seasonal citrus, Meyer lemon,  in a vanilla simple syrup.  Pair that with an Italian Almond Cake and you have a match made in golden heaven. Ingredients: 1 pint kumquats, rinsed and dried 1 Meyer lemon 1/2 stick of vanilla bean, sliced crosswise 3/4  cup sugar 3/4 water Slice the kumquts and Meyer lemons thinly. Remove the seeds and disgard.  In a saucepan, heat the sugar, water and vanilla bean over medium low heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the citrus and cook on a low simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit 8 hours or overnight.  The syrup should be thick and the citrus should be slightly candied.  Heat the citrus again until warm and place in a sterilized jar.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.  

  • Sunday celebration :: Apricot Bellini Aperitivo

    www.bellacucina.com
    Sunday is one of my favorite days. Aside from being a day to sleep and lounge around, it's also a day me and my handsome celebrate. Why shouldn't every Sunday be special?Especially when there's sizzling applewood smoked bacon cooking on the stovetop and the sound of the POP of a bottle of bubbly. This particular Sunday, we've amped up the celebration with a little twist on the traditional bellini (traditionally made with pureed peach nectar) by using our Organic Artisan Preserved Apricots blended with a bit of its almond-y cane sugar simple syrup. Let the celebration begin.  Salute!  Ingredients: 4 Preserved Apricots 2 Tablespoons apricot syrup 1 bottle of chilled Prosecco or sparkling white wine In a blender, puree the apricots and syrup. Pour 1-2 Tablespoons of the puree into chilled champagne glasses and top off with chilled prosecco or champagne. Sip and savor until supply lasts.

  • Bella's Meyer Lemon Tart

    lla's Meyer Lemon Tart

    Meyer lemons are a sweet citrus typically found in California.  Said to be a cross between a tangerine and a lemon, the flavor is almost floral and aromatic.   Using the jarred Meyer lemon is a real time saver for this delicious dessert!
    For the Dough:
    1 ½ cups all- purpose flour
    ¾ cup powered sugar
    1 Tablespoon Bella Cucina Preserved Lemons, rinse, discard pulp, andchop
    Pinch kosher salt
    12 Tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cold cut into cubes
    For the Filling:
    2 cups Bella Cucina Meyer Lemon Spread
    2 Tablespoons sugar
    5 egg yolks
    Preheat Oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit
    To Prepare the Tart Dough:
    In food processor or stand mixer, process flour, powdersugar, lemons, and salt until combine. Add the butter and process until the dough just comes together.  Remove from the bowl and knead by handuntil dough is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to bake.  Keeps up to three days in therefrigerator and one month in the freezer.
    Press the dough into a 9 in tart pan with removable bottom.Chill dough 15 minutes.  Prick thebase of the tart shell all over with a fork, line tart shell with parchment andweigh with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes.  Remove pie weights and parchment and allow shell to cool.
    To Prepare the Filling:
    Place a medium saucpan, filled half way with water overmedium heat and bring to a simmer. Put the egg yolks into a medium metal bowl. Put the lemon cream in asmall bowl along with the sugar and place over the simmering water.  Continuously wisk the cream until hotthrough and the sugar is dissolved. Whisk the lemon cream, a third at a time, into the yolks.  Place the mixture into a clean saucepanover low heat, stirring constantly, until very thick.  Remove from heat and strain.  Imeadiatly pour into the cooled shells and allow to set upat room temperature.
    Buon appetito!copyright 2012 Alisa Bar
  • Plum Dolci Cake

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    Plum Dolci Cake
    1 cup whole almonds
    3/4 cup sugar
     7 oz. almond paste
    1 cup butter, roomtemperature
     5 eggs
    1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla
    3 Tbs. syrup
     1/2 cup flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1⁄4 tsp. salt
    6-8 Organic Artisan Preserved Plums
    In food processor, mixalmonds, sugar, almond paste until finely ground. Add butter, vanilla untilincorporated. Add eggs until batter is smooth. Add flour, baking powder, andsalt. Mix until just combined .
    Pour into buttered andfloured springform pan or muffin tins half way.  Place cut halves of stone fruit.  Top with batter. Finish with sliced halves of stone fruite.Sprinkle vanilla almond sugar.
    Bake at 325 degrees for onehour or until toothpick is dry when inserted.

    Buon appetito!copyright 2011 Alisa Barry

  • Apricot Almond Cake

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    Apricot Almond Cake

    3/4 cup sugar
     7 oz. almond paste
    1 cup butter, roomtemperature
     5 eggs
    1 + 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla
    3 Tbs. syrup from apricots
     1/2 cup flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1⁄4 tsp. salt
    6-8 preserved Apricots 
    1 cup whipping cream


    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
    In food processor sugar and almond paste until finely ground. Add butter, eggs, vanilla and syrup and mix until incorporated. Combine the flour, baking powder, andsalt and sift into the batter mixture until smooth. 
    Pour into buttered andfloured springform pan or muffin tins half way.  Place cut halves of stone fruit.  Top with batter. Finish with sliced halves of stone fruit. 
    Sprinkle vanilla almond sugar.
    If making as a cake, bake for 45 minutes to onehour.  If baking in muffin tins, bake for 20-30 minutes.  Cake is done if toothpick is dry when inserted.





    Serve with whipped cream. 







    Buon appetito!copyright 2011 Alisa Barry

  • Preserved Orange Almond Cake

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    Orange Almond Cake

    ¼ cup toasted almonds
    1 cup sugar
    6 oz. almond paste
    2 orange slices plus 3 Tbs. syrup
    1 cup butter, room temperature
    5 eggs
    1 ½ tsp. vanilla
    ¾ cup flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    ¼ tsp. salt
    6 orange slices
    chestnut honey
    In food processor, mix almonds, sugar, almond paste, kumquats, syrup, until finely ground.  Add butter, vanilla until incorporated.  Add eggs until batter is smooth.  Add flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix until just combined .
    Pour into buttered and floured springform pan.  Place orange slices on top of butter.
    Bake at 325 degrees for one hour or until toothpick is dry when inserted.
    Powdered sugar/chestnut honey

    Buon appetito! copyright 2011 Alisa Barry

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