On the First Day of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent me a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

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Making homemade desserts can be intimidating if you are not a trained pastry chef. Solution, my Apple Pear Tartelette. When the apples and pears are ripe it’s time to pick & prepare. This tart is also a great last minute “I’m entertaining tonight dessert.” And, once you’ve made this a couple times you’ll want to strut your pastry 101 skills and whip it up in front of your guests. Enjoy!

George Hirsch Pear Tart

Warm Apple Pear Tartlette 
Makes six servings
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1/4 cup unsalted sweet butter
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons water + 2 Tablespoons white pure cane sugar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 medium size Granny Smith apples; peeled, cored and sliced + 2 medium size gala or a sweeter apple; peeled, cored and sliced + 2 Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and sliced
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
1 store bought frozen puff pastry shells, baked  

Preheat sauté pan to medium temperature. 
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a simmer. Reduce temperature and let simmer two minutes. Cool and mix with sliced apples.
Optional: 
Add 2 Tablespoons cranberries or toasted walnuts to apple filling.
In center of baked puff pastry, top with warm apple and pear filling. Serve with freshly whipped cream or ice cream.

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Cinco de Mayo Chocolate con Plátanos

This week Cinco de Mayo will be celebrated worldwide honoring Mexican heritage; marking the defeat of the French Army after invading the Americas. But believe it or not, this commemorative holiday is celebrated by more people in California than Mexico. And, many festive ways are used to mark the occasion beyond cervesa and tequila. Dances and music mark the occasion to preserve & educate the public of its historical significance and culture.

I’ve adapted a very popular Mexican dessert to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The origin of this recipe is fried, but who is going to refuse this decanant grilled version.

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Chocolate con Plátanos Quesadilla

Makes 6 servings

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6 Flour tortillas

2 Tablespoons Olive oil

3 firm but ripe bananas, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 cup chocolate, chopped

3 Tablespoons pecans, chopped

2 cups mini-marshmallows

3 Tablespoons sweet butter, melted

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pre heat grill to low.

Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and reserve.

Brush one side of tortilla with olive oil. Turn the tortilla over and top one side with banana, chocolate, pecans, and marshmallows. Fold the plain side over the filling and press firmly. Repeat filling for all remaining tortillas.

Place the tortilla on the grill over a low heat. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, then move to a medium heat and allow the tortilla to crisp up. Remove the quesadilla from the grill and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over both sides. Cut quesadillas into halves or thirds and serve immediately.

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