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Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe Recipe

Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe

12.19.12 by Jackie

I've been baking a lot these days because I'm planning on giving cake gift baskets to friends and relatives. It's the same Christmas fruit cake I've been baking for many years, in fact, the recipe hasn't changed since my childhood. I actually forgot about it until I found an old post-it tucked into the pocket of an apron with the recipe scribbled on it! It's probably been there since we moved into our new home.

The cake is made with candied fruit, walnuts, honey, brandy and a bit of spices. You can easily double or reduce the quantities to fit your needs. Ho ho ho! Happy baking!


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Masala Chai Eggnog Recipe Recipe

Masala Chai Eggnog Recipe

12.11.12 by Jackie

This weekend, in the spirit of the holidays, we wanted to make some eggnog. We’ve made eggnog and "soynog" so many times before that it seemed like time to mix it up a little. If you're a regular reader, you might know how much I love masala chai. I'm a weakling when it comes to caffeine but once in a while, especially when we have large family gatherings, we make loads of the fragrant chai and I just can't resist sipping a few cups. So why not combine the two?

Eggnog already has nutmeg, so adding the spices used in masala chai just enhances the flavor. The cardamom in particular really shines through. If you're adventurous (and not making this for kids), you could also spike it with a little rum or cognac. 


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Pumpkin Pain d'Epices Parfait Recipe Recipe

I made a pain d'epices last week and it most of it went very quickly. Pain d'epices translates to "spiced bread"; it's similar to gingerbread with the exception that no ginger is used. Also it's made with rye flour, honey and spices such as star anise, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. I'll post the recipe for this moist bread next week. Tonight, I used the spiced bread remnants and made beautiful layered pumpkin cream parfaits for the holidays.

To complete the French dessert, I made it literally look "parfait" with a spun sugar decoration!


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Persimmon Tart Recipe Recipe

Persimmon Tart Recipe

11.30.12 by Jackie

We started the week with one persimmon dessert (persimmon pie with Brazil nut crumb topping), so it seems fitting to end it with another. This tart makes use of the firm variety of persimmons called Fuyu. They have a slightly softer texture than an apple, but still with a pleasant snap.

The preparation requires almost no effort! Scalloped-edge rounds of puff pastry are spread with a thin layer of French crème de marrons (chestnuts, sugar and vanilla beans) to mark the holiday season. The finishing touch is arranging sliced persimmons into a pretty flower shape dotted with little mounds of butter and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar and pistachio.


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Persimmon Pie with Crumb Topping Recipe

I had some extra pie crust leftover from the date and pecan tarts I made a couple of days ago, and there was no way I was going to let it go to waste. One of the few fruits that are in season around the time of holidays is the persimmon. We have a couple of trees in our garden and they are absolutely laden with beautiful orange fruit. We grow two varieties; Fuyu, which are firm, and Hachiya, which are pulpy and quite a bit sweeter.

It occurred to me that Hachiya persimmon pulp would make a great pie filling, since it’s almost perfect for the job on its own. It makes the dessert super easy to prepare. The only work required is the preparation the Brazil nut crumb topping in advance and assembly right when you're ready to serve. 

If you’re lucky enough to be able to get your hands on Hachiya persimmons, definitely give this pie a try. Just make sure you let them ripen fully to avoid "cotton-mouth"!


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