Desserts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange-Rosemary Apple Pie
Best served warm, with vanilla ice cream.

Pastry for a 9” 2-crust pie
6-7 cups peeled and sliced apples (I like Granny Smith)
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg beaten (for egg wash)
Raw sugar, if desired

In a small saucepan, combine the rosemary sprigs, orange juice, and sugar. Cook until sugar melts and rosemary loses color, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the rosemary to steep in the syrup while you prepare the filling.

In a large bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, nutmeg. Add apples and orange-rosemary syrup and toss. Fill the pastry-lined pie pan with the filling and dot with butter. Top with crust, brush top crust with egg, and slit to release steam. Optional: sprinkle top with raw sugar. Bake at 350°F for about 1 hour.

Favorite pairings of herbs and fruits
Use these companionable flavors as a guide, but use your imagination, too. You may discover some delightful surprises.

• basil and blueberries
• mint and strawberries
• tarragon and plums
• thyme and peaches
• sorrel and citrus
• rosemary and orange
• bay leaf and pumpkin pie
• cilantro and lime
• lavender and honey
• sage and apples
• chamomile and cream

Lavender Madeleines
Delicate cookies baked in a traditional mold. This recipe was originally developed by Martha Paul, of Martha’s Herbary, Pomfret CT, and is used with permission.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers or 3 tablespoons dried
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, cooled
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unsifted flour
confectioners sugar
madeleine cookie mold

Heat oven to 400°F degrees. Spray madeleine mold with cooking spray.

In your food processor, process granulated sugar and flowers until flowers are finely ground. In a large bowl, beat eggs with lavender sugar mixture and vanilla until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Gradually beat in melted butter. With wire whisk, fold in flour.

Spoon one tablespoon batter into each madeleine mold. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Store in airtight container. Dust with confectioner’s sugar just before serving. (If you like, substitute rose water for the vanilla, for a subtle rose fragrance.) Makes about 1 dozen.

Lemon-Rosemary Scones
Luscious tea-time treat.

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, very cold, cut in small pieces
1 cup cream
zest of one lemon
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1/4 cup lemon juice, from the zested lemon

Lemon-Rosemary Glaze

1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon minced (very fine) fresh rosemary
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add pieces of butter and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal (15-20 pulses). Remove to a mixing bowl and add zest and rosemary. Make a small well in the middle of the mixture. Add lemon juice and toss lightly with a fork and then add the cream, stirring gently until just combined. Do not overmix. Too dry and crumbly? Add cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.

On a floured surface, latten into a 5” x 8” rectangle, 1” thick. Cut into triangles and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes. Turn the sheet and bake for another 15 -20 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a rack.

For glaze, in a small bowl, mix all ingredients. If necessary, add cream one tablespoon at a time until you can drizzle the glaze over the cooled scones.

Orange Mint Mini-Mousse
A refreshing conclusion to a meal. Adapted from a recipe by Texas herbalists Madeline Hill and Gwen Barclay, who gave so much pleasure to so many of us over the years.

1⁄4 cup fruity white wine (Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, or white Zinfandel)
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
3⁄4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, undiluted
2 to 3 tablespoons minced mint
2 tablespoons orange zest
Whites of 4 large eggs
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1⁄2 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
For garnish: fresh mandarin orange sections and mint sprigs

In a small saucepan, combine the wine and gelatin and let stand for a few minutes. Heat the mixture, stirring well, until the gelatin is dissolved, then add the orange juice concentrate. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mint and the zest. Chill until the mixture begins to thicken.

While the mixture is chilling, place the egg whites in a clean mixer bowl. Beat until frothy, then gradually add the granulated sugar. Continue beating until peaks form and the meringue is stiff but not dry. Gently mix about a third of the meringue into the orange mixture; use a wire whisk if necessary. Fold in the remaining meringue with a rubber spatula.

In the same mixer bowl, beat the heavy cream until it begins to thicken, then gradually add the confectioner’s sugar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the orange/meringue mixture, until no traces of white cream remain. Transfer the mousse to eight individual dishes. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight. Garnish with orange sections or slices and mint sprigs.

Mint Nut Bread
Another traditional tea-time treat. Serve buttered, with jam.

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons dried orange peel, chopped fine
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a large cup, beat the egg and mix in oil and milk. Gently stir wet ingredients into dry. Add nuts, mint, and orange peel, mixing gently. Bake in greased loaf pan 50-60 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from pan. Slice thin when cold.

Ruby Wilcox’s Hot Lips Cookie Crisps
This recipe is requested more often than any other from the China Bayles series. Great for parties, but you might want to post a warning. These cookies aren’t as innocent as they look.

1 cup soft shortening
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup finely chopped cashews
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon habanero powder (or more, if you dare)

Cream butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix well. Mix the dry ingredients with the nuts and stir into the creamed mixture. Roll out like a log, about 2″ in diameter. Chill. Slice and bake in a 325° F oven until golden, about 10-12 minutes.