HOLIDAY RECIPES

Everyone, including myriad food magazines, thinks they know how to bake the perfect turkey. Over the years, one of the secrets I discovered is to buy frozen turkey. Yes, frozen. The technique used to freeze meats, vegetables and fruits is referred to as independently quick-frozen, or IQF. This means that the product is frozen immediately after packaging. My technique is to season the bird with kosher salt and paprika then bake, uncovered and defrosted at 375 degrees, until your thermometer reaches 170 degrees. If your turkey is stuffed, approximately 12-15 minutes per pound; otherwise, 10-12 minutes. The determining factor is the internal temperature. Please believe this if you want your white meat to be juicy!

Of course everyone expects traditional pies for dessert, and I want to include Our Daily Bread’s pumpkin pie, as well as other house favorites.

Pumpkin Pie

Pre-bake pie shell for 5 minutes

Mix with beater:

2 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup fresh butternut squash (baked beforehand)

½ cup white sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Add:

¾ cup whole milk

¾ cup evaporated milk

Bake at 325 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Cool and refrigerate.

Pecan Cranberry Tart

Purchase or bake your own tart shell with removable fluted rim Toast:

1 ¼ cups pecans, chopped Cook:

¾ cup white sugar in a dry 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until it begins to melt. Stir with a fork until sugar is melted into a deep golden caramel.

Add:

¾ cup corn syrup over low heat, stirring until caramel is dissolved.

Remove from heat

Add:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, stirring until melted. Cool. Whisk:

3 eggs, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and remaining ¼ cup white sugar.

Slowly: add caramel in a stream, whisking constantly.

Spread: 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries and the toasted pecans to the bottom of the pre-baked tart shell.

Pour caramel over above and bake 30-35 minutes. Cool completely before removing rim of tart pan.

Almond Cake

Not only is it delicious, but it lasts forever. It can be both refrigerated and frozen for longevity.

Combine:

1 ½ cups white sugar and 8 ounces almond paste in a food processor until it is lump-free.

Cream until smooth:

1 cup butter, room temperature sugar and almond mixture

Add:

6 eggs and 2 tablespoons Triple Sec

Fold in above mixture:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 teaspoon baking powder

Pour batter into a buttered and lined (optional) 8-inch-by-3-inchx cake pan (with removable bottom).

Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees