Pears, Brown Sugar, Rum and Cardamom Scented Galette

Fresh pears in a brown sugared-whole wheat crust, baked until caramelized with just a splash of dark rum and a hint of cardamom might provide some comfort and solace for this week in winter, January 2021. The kitchen is where I find I can take a deep breath and bring forth something delicious and comforting. That is a good thing and I need that right now.

Fresh USA Pears from The Fruit Company, ripened to perfection, golden and red and juicy, sliced and wrapped in a buttery cardamom crust.

A “Pear, Brown Sugar, Rum and Cardamom Galette” with caramelized edges to die for.

Seek solace where you can find it. Be well. Be kind.

Pears, Brown Sugar, Rum and Cardamom Scented Galette

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 sticks/1/2 cup chilled butter, but into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 large, ripe, but somewhat firm pears – cored, cut in half and thinly sliced, keeping slices together
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cream to brush edges of crust
  • 1-2 tablespoons raw or Demerara sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. In a food processor combine whole wheat flour, granulated sugar, salt and cardamom. Pulse to mix. Add butter pieces and process until mixture is crumbly looking. Add egg and 1 teaspoon milk to processor and pulse until a dough forms. Add more milk if needed. Dough will be a bit moist.
  2. Form dough into a ball, press out flat into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Let dough sit out for 10 minutes.
  4. Mix together cornstarch, brown sugar, rum and vanilla extract until well blended.
  5. On floured surface roll dough disc out to make a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Edges will be jagged and that is okay. Place dough on parchment paper lined sheet pan. Gently place sliced pear halves, cut side down, on dough circle nestling them close together, leaving an edge of dough all around to fold over fruit. Fold dough edges up and over the sliced pears, leaving the center open.
  6. Drizzle cornstarch mixture over and down between the pears. Brush edges of the crust with the cream and sprinkle the raw sugar over all.
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until galette is golden brown and bubbly. Let cool on the baking sheet. Serve in wedges. Great with whipped or ice cream.

A Month of Mango Madness

I have recently had mangoes on my mind.  Right now they are very plentiful, the prices are at a seasonal low, there are at least two varieties in most local markets from Mexico and  it seems that all the photo shoots I have worked on this month have had mangoes as part of the process. Mangoes in salsa, mangoes in cocktails, mango puree, mangoes as props.

I even took a photo of mangoes while in Mexico earlier this month!

Not one to waste this lovely fruit, I have been bringing home many of the leftover mangoes from photo shoots and working them into all my meals. Last night I added cut up mangoes pieces to a quinoa salad. This morning I simply peeled and ate the perfectly ripe fruit with some greek yogurt. Today with a few of these delicious mangoes remaining on my kitchen counter I felt some urgency to use them before they went from the “just right” to the “not so right” stage of ripeness. I was hot, sticky and tired from doing some yard work and wanted a cool-down drink for lunch. With some cold buttermilk in my refrigerator I concocted a lassi using mangoes & raw sugar.

Mango lassi

Mango lassi is most commonly found in India and Pakistan though it is gaining popularity worldwide. It is made from yogurt, milk or water and mango pulp. It may be made with or without additional sugar. It is widely available in UK, Malaysia and Singapore, due to the sizable Pakistani/Indian minority, and in many other parts of the world. In various parts of Canada, mango lassi is a cold drink consisting of sweetened kesar mango pulp mixed with yogurt, cream, or ice cream. It is served in a tall glass with a straw, often with ground pistachio nuts sprinkled on top.

“My Very Simple Mango-Buttermilk Lassi”

Ingredients:

2 cups peeled & cut up Mango; 1/4 cup raw sugar; 4 cups good buttermilk(I used fresh buttermilk from JD’s Dairy in Russelville, KY); ice cubes; mint leaves for garnish

To Make:

1. Peel and chop two or three ripe mangoes to make 2 cups.

2. Put chopped mango, buttermilk & raw sugar in a blender and puree until very smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness if desired.

3. Fill glasses with ice. Pour mango lassi over ice and add mint for garnish. This drink will cool you down, give you one of your daily fruit requirements as well as a dose of protein & calcium.

As I was drinking my lovely cool-down lassi I thought that it would probably have a very different yum factor with the addition of some dark rum. So be it! With just a few adjustments I created a new cocktail for warm Spring evenings, or late lunches!

“Mango-Rum Lassi Cocktail”

For this you make the mango lassi using the recipe above. You will also need: dark rum; additional raw sugar to rim the cocktail glass, mint and ice.

1.   Rinse martini or other cocktail glass in cool water. Shake off excess moisture and turn glass with wet rim upside down in a saucer of raw sugar to coat rim. Pour about 1/2 to 1 ounce dark rum into martini glass.Add a few ice cubes. Pour mango lassi into glass to about 1/2 inch from rim. Garnish with mint. (Adjust alcohol according to your taste.)

A perfect cocktail. The ingredients are simple & easy to find. It is lovely to look at & refreshing. The crunchy raw sugar on the rim melds with the mango and rum flavors in a most delicious way.