Cranberry Almond Gratin

IMG_9201At a recent event, I wanted to serve something not too sweet for dessert. As we had to work feeding a large group from limited ovens, I thought that if I could pull the dessert out just before putting the meat into the oven, it would still be slightly warm for dessert. I decided to use the old standard, a gratin.

Using cranberries for the fruit, and a ground almond batter, made a tart & light dessert, which we topped with Orange Creme, a couple of pieces of Candied Orange Peel, and put a few pieces of segmented oranges alongside. Once the guests have gone through appetizers, salads, and a main buffet, I really like to give them a dessert that refreshes their taste buds, and isn’t overly huge, or heavy. This little gratin is a perfect ending for either a fancy dinner, or as a weekend treat for family & friends. Continue reading

Berry Compote

IMG_8309After getting all the remaining Transparent apples converted into pies, I started picking some of the abundant blackberries. Lainie, our 4-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog, grazes the lower 3 feet of the bushes, carefully pulling off the ones about to drop. She holds her lips back just a bit, and delicately holds the berry in her front teeth before pulling it off, by instinct or just clever? Anyhow, she makes for good company. I’m sure she doesn’t get as many thorns poking her shins and forearms like I do. Within several minutes of enjoying a late summer breeze while picking, I had enough to make the berry compote for an upcoming dessert, where they’ll be served with Glazed Polenta & Almond Cake.

This compote is best made with fresh berries, but no one will turn their noses up at it if you serve it mid-winter made from berries frozen the summer before.   Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, & Logan berries all work well in the recipe, whether they’re used solely or mixed with some of the other berries. Continue reading