Dessert Recipes

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Pineapple and Persimmon Compote Recipe

Pineapple and Persimmon Compote

02.05.10 by Jackie

Pineapple persimmon compote is a nice way to end a winter meal. The warmth of the compote contrasts well with ice cream or crème fraîche (although I didn't add it). 

Persimmons are an obvious choice for a winter compote, but I know what you're thinking: pineapples? My sister-in-law Sunny got the pineapple from a friend as a combination birthday present / commemorative gift for the season premiere of "Psych". In case you're not familiar with it, "Psych" is a comedy / mystery show on USA TV. There's a running gag on the TV show where they hide a pineapple somewhere in each episode.


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Crepe Party: La Chandeleur Recipe

Crepe Party: La Chandeleur

02.02.10 by Jackie
Today (February 2nd) is La Chandeleur and crêpes are part of the French celebration. For those who don't know, a crêpe is a very thin pancake. The legend says that if you catch the crêpe flat (without it being wrinkled) with a pan after tossing it in the air with your left hand while holding a coin in your right hand, you will have a prosperous year until the next Chandeleur.



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Cashew Apricot Brown Sugar Cookies Recipe

The big girls went out to their friends' this weekend and my little munchkin stayed home with us. She had the brilliant idea of making sweet cookies with me, and I was happy to oblige. She's only 5 years old but she's already a very strong-minded little girl. She went into the pantry and picked a bunch of ingredients and we were ready to roll.

"Jackie, can we make cashew apricot brown sugar cookies with Mrs. Winsor's honey? Please, pretty please!" she asked.

"Dried fruit and nuts in cookies? Why not!" I exclaimed.

I can never say "no" to mon p'tit coeur (my little sweetheart). I suggested that we add candied ginger and cinnamon extract and she was ok with it. I'm glad we used our family friend Mrs. Winsor's honey. She makes her own honey on her property in Virginia and sent some to us for Christmas. We've already gone through one bottle and these honey cookies got us started off on the second. I'm glad we didn't use molasses because this particular honey has such a nice floral note. The cookies turned out absolutely delicious. Merci Mrs. Winsor!!

Honey Picture


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Crepe Cake with Butterscotch Cream Recipe

Mille Crêpe, also known as Gâteau de Crêpe, is a multi-layered cake made out of crêpes. I spread layers of butterscotch buttercream in between each crêpe and topped the cake with thinly-sliced candied apples. This is quite time-consuming to make in miniature versions, but you can always make large crêpes and cut the cake into slices as you would with regular buttercream cakes.

I made the cake in honor of La chandeleur (Candlemas), which is celebrated on February 2nd. It's originally a Christian tradition that celebrates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple and also marks the end of the Epiphany season (Kings' galettes are made). I don't exactly know how crêpes became part of the French celebration of La Chandeleur, but I do know that they are an integral part of the festivities. There is a legend that says that on the day of La Chandeleur, if you're able to flip a crêpe and make it land properly (without it being wrinkled) in the pan without dropping it on the floor, you'll have a prosperous year. Originally,  prosperity referred to a bumper crop of grain, but with fewer and fewer people farming for a living, over time it's come to imply general wealth. In a way it's an enduring testament to the agrarian culture of yore. That culture has survived in other ways too; in fact the saying avoir beaucoup de blé, which literally means "To have a lot of wheat", is slang for "being wealthy".

If you want to practice, prepare the crêpe batter a couple of days in advance, cook a few, and try to flip them. It may not fill your pocketbook, but it's a great way to fill your tummy.


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Chocolate Persimmon Trifle Recipe

Chocolate Persimmon Trifle

01.20.10 by Jackie

Chocolate Persimmon Trifle is a unique dessert creation, inspired by my friend Carole's suggestion that I should try using Hachiya persimmons (the soft variety) in puddings and custards. I love Hachiya persimmons and I usually eat them as is, but I'm always up for a challenge. At first, I wanted to play it safe and make a persimmon almondine tart but that would have been too easy. So I made a trifle with layers of basic white cake, persimmon pudding and chocolate.

I usually cook with Fuyu persimmons (the hard variety) but after this decadent dessert, I'm definitely going to test out more recipes using the Hachiya variety.


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