Monday, September 5, 2011
Pear dumplings with mulled wine sauce
Fall is my favorite time of year to bake because the yummy possibilites are endless. These delicious dumplings are my version of kitchen crafts and are really quite simple to do. In fact, it would make a fun project for children to help with.
We begin with a basic recipe for pie dough. The following recipe comes from my grandmother to my mother to me. I think people can get a little uneasy about making pie pastry, but as long as you use ice water and don't over work it, it is really very simple. I also think using a food processor is not only quicker, but everything just comes together so nicely.
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
7 tbsp. ice cold water
3/4 cup shortening
I pulse the dry ingredients with the shortening a couple of times and then add the water. Pulse till it comes together into a ball. Cover with cling wrap and chill till ready to use.
On to the pears. Wash, peel, core, and halve 3 firm pears. Take a piece of pie pastry and roll it on a well floured board to a size that would accomodate one pear half. Place a pear half cut side up on pastry and add approximately 1 tsp. brown sugar and a sliver of butter.
Wrap the pastry around the pear and use a bit of water to seal it closed. Mold it around the pear so you can see it's shape, and place flat side down on a parchment covered baking sheet.
Using a small leaf cutter or a knife, make small leaves out of remaining pastry. I used a knife to make veining details.
Now, pour a small amount of milk or cream into three bowls. Using food colors, make one bowl yellow, one red, and one green. With a pastry brush or paint brushes only used for cooking purposes, paint the pears yellow with dabs of red here and there.
Paint the leaves green and press onto the tops of the pears. Add a whole clove as a stem.
Now bake at 375 degrees 40 minutes or till lightly browned. They looked kind of garish before baking, but afterward the colors are wonderful.
They are so cute I can't stand it.
On to the mulled wine sauce! I wanted something earthy and not overly sweet, and this is what I came up with.
Mulled wine sauce
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 whole cloves
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy cream
In a heavy saucepan combine everything but the cream and simmer till reduced by half. It will be thick and more syrupy. Add the heavy cream and stir till it is warm and well combined. Now let the pear dumplings go for a little swim in the sauce.
Tastes like autumn on a plate, which is a very nice thing. If you are feeling decadent, add a tiny scoop of cinnamon or vanilla ice cream. Or, you could skip the wine sauce and add caramel sauce. Or you could skip the dumpling and drink the wine sauce....
Linking today with
Tatertots and Jello
Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Chic on a Shoestring
My Romantic Home
House of Hepworths
Between Naps on the Porch
Fireflies and Jellybeans
Nest of Posies Fall Festival
Savvy Southern Style
Cast Party Wednesday
Chef in Training
A Stroll Thru Life
Sunday Showcase with Under the Table Dreaming
Stonegable on the menu Monday