Mini pies

Perfectly cute one bite mini pies. Would probably work with any fruit preserve. Dangerously easy to just eat the whole tray.

1/2 pie dough recipe.
1/2 pint pear butter
Pam or other non-stick spray



1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
Roll out the dough until fairly thin.

2. Spray the mini-muffin tin. Cut the dough roughly into squares or rectangle and push into the tin, making sure it’s all the way at the bottom”

3. Spoon in the pear butter.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

5. Remove from the muffin tin with a chopstick and allow to cool.

Fruit Ketchup

I did a large batch of canning as gifts for my family. I found (well, ok, asked the gatekeeper of all her old typewritten cards to send me a copy) my grand-mother’s recipe and proceeded to fill the house with steam. It was worth it! This was my set-up at the beginning of the day…


First up is Canadian Fruit ketchup. A classical condiment; I associate it with meat pies at Christmas.

Total Yield : 6 pints (12 half pint jars)

Ingredients :
6 tomatoes
6 peaches
6 pears
6 apples
6 onions
2 green bell pepper
4 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
3 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pickling spices



1. Peel the tomatoes.
Carve an X into the bottom of the tomatoes.

2. Dunk the tomatoes into a small pot of boiling water.

3. Transfer to a bowl of ice water.

4. The peel should come right off. Repeat with the rest of the tomatoes.

5. Dice and put in a large pot.

6. Same process for the peaches. make a cross on the pointy bottom side.

7. Put in the boiling water for 30 seconds.

8. Transfer to ice water.

9. Remove the skins.

10. Dice the peaches and add to the pot.

11. Peel, core and dice the pears. Add to the pot. I used Forelle pears, but use what you like.

12. Peel, core and dice the apples. Add the vinegar to stop the pears and apple from turning brown.
13.  Dice the green pepper and add to the rest.

14.  Pulse the onions though a food processor to make sure no large chunk remain. Add to the pot.

15. Add 3 tablespoon salt and 4 cups sugar.

16. As soon as you start to mix in the sugar it will start drawing water out of the fruits and everything will start to float.
Turn on the heat to medium.

17. Time to put in the pickling spices.
If you have cheese cloth of a mousseline bag use that. I didn’t, so I used a tea ball.

18. Stick you spices into the pot.
Allow to stew/reduce for an hour and a half, at least.

19. It should start looking like this.

20. Remove the spices and discard.
Scald 7 half pint jars. Fill with warm fruit ketchup.

21. Process for 10 minutes. Allow to cool fully.
Repeat with 5 more jars.

Roasted Pear Salad

A light meal that is filling at the same time. Many contrasting textures in every bite.

1 bunch of salad greens
2 belgian endives
1/4 cup hazelnut nut oil
2 tablespoon white balsamic
1 tablespoon moutarde de meaux
1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
3 pears
4 tablespoon pine nuts
4 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
feta cheese
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper


1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Wash and thinly slice the pears. Toss with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread on a baking tray in a single layer.

2. Put in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip the slices gently and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes.

3. In that time, pour the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds in a cold, dry, stainless steel skillet. Turn the heat to medium and toast the nuts until the pine nuts are golden and the seeds crunchy. Toss often to prevent burning.

4. Set aside to cool.

5. In a mason jar, pour the hazelnut oil, white balsamic, brown sugar, mustard and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

6. Shake until well combined.

7. Chop the greens. Mine were getting old and tired so I let them to soak in an ice bath while the pears cooked, It makes them crisp again.

8. Take the pears out of the oven and allow to barely cool until you can handle them.

9. Assemble your plate. Add as much feta as you care for.

Watercress salad with duck and balsamic grapes

A dish that is easy enough to pull together but works as a center dish for a dinner party. I think next time I might put the grapes in a side bowl and allow people to spoon them over their plate rather then pouring them over the salad.

2 duck breasts or magrets
1 large bunch of watercress or 2 small ones
2 pears
2 cups seedless green grapes
2 table spoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 french shallot, minced
1 lemon
salt pepper
ground coriander


1. If using magret, remove the excess fat. Score the fat cap of the duck, careful not to cut the skin. Season on both sides with salt, pepper and ground coriander.

2. Put fat side down in a cold skillet then turn the heat to medium. Render the fat for several minutes, draining as required.

3. Turn to color the flesh side for about a minute. Then remove from pan and transfer to a oven proof dish and put in the oven at 375F.

4. Drain excess fat from the pan. Add the minced shallot and cook for a few minutes until translucent

5. Add the water and balsamic to the pan to deglaze. In that order, if you like your sinuses.

6. Add the green grapes.

7. Cook on medium-low heat until the grapes are warmed through, become wrinkly and absorb some of the liquid,

8. Take the duck out of the oven and allow to rest. Pour any rendered fat in with the grapes.

9. Thinly slice the pears and dunk in a bowl of water with the juice of the lemon.

10. Wash the watercress and remove the stems. Lay on your serving plate.

11. Fan the pears on the greens,

12. Slice the duck and add to the plate.

13. If desired, pour the balsamic grapes over, as well as any liquids remaining in the pan.

Delicious Mess Burger

Not the prettiest. Not the fastest to make either (not complicated, just a few long steps). But deeply satisfying in a messy decadent way.

1 lb ground beef
2 firm pears
2 large onions
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 table spoon butter
4-5 tea spoon onion confit
4 sesame buns
2 tea spoons berberé
4-6 slices thick cut bacon
Brie cheese
salt and pepper



1. Melt the butter in a skillet. Peel and slice the onions.

2. Add the onions to the butter and stir to coat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook on medium-low heat to medium heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring every so often, until brown, soft and caramelized. Add water if they start to stick.

Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, combine the bourbon, sugar and water. Bring to a boil.

4. Peel and slice the pears. Add the syrup and bring down to a simmer.

5. Cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Weight them down with the lid from a smaller pot to ensure they remain submerged.

Remove from heat and allow to cool in the syrup.

6. Cook the bacon.

7. Realize while cooking the bacon that you are out of paper towels. Attempt a makeshit dripping system so the bacon can drain excess fat and become crispy.

8. Shape patties and season with berberé and a pinch of salt. Drain excess fat from the pan and cook patties to preffered temperature.

9. Start assembly. Caramelized onions on the bottom bun and onion confit on the top bun.

10. Add the patty and the brie. Realize you messed up on the patty’s size. Shrug.

11. Add a few pear slices and the bacon.

12. Close and enjoy!

Carrot and Pear Soup

Surprisingly filling and tasty soup. The carrots and pears pair well together.

4 cups of carrots (between 6 and 10)
2 pears
1 1/2 box of vegetable stock
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
Fresh thyme
Fresh ginger
olive oil


1. Pre heat the oven to 400F.
Peel and cut the carrots and the pears. Drizzle with olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and a few sprigs of thyme. Mix well to ensure all the parts are coated in oil. Put in the oven for about 30 minutes until tender. Stir once or twice while cooking.


2. When the carrots are about done warm a bit of olive oil in a large pot and add the chopped onion and garlic clove.

3. Sweat the onions for a few minutes then add as much grated ginger as you care for.

4. Remove the carrots from the oven and discard the thyme.

5. Add the roasted fruits and vegetables to the onions.

6. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Bring the heat down and simmer until the carrots are fork tender (10-20 minutes)

7. Blend the soup and stir in the lemon juice. Serve with some more thyme and a dollop of sour cream.

Spice Poached Pears

A delicious, light desert. Also easy to make and can be made in advance. The pears will keep for well over a week if kept in the syrup.

8 Bartlett pears
1/2 cup honey
1 Yunnan pepper
13 black peppercorns
1 vanilla pod, sliced in half
Zests of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
2 star anise.
4 cup of water + enough to fill a large bowl


1. In a large soup pot, combine 4 cups of water with the honey, spices, orange peel and the juice of half a lemon. Warm gently and stir until the honey is dissolved.

2. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the juice of half a lemon.

3. Peel the pears, slice in half and remove the core.

4. Put the pears in the water with the lemon juice. This prevents them from changing color.

5. Once all the pears are ready transfer them to the spiced liquid. Try to keep them in an even layer.

6. Using the lid of a smaller pot, push them into the liquid. Bring to a simmer and cook until the pears are tender when poked with the toothpick but still holding their shape.

7. Allow to cool in the syrup, then cover the pot and cool completely in the refrigerator.

8. When ready to serve, heat about 1 cup of the syrup and reduce to about 1/3 cup.

9. Transfer the syrup to a double boiler and melt some chocolate into the syrup.

10. Spoon the warm chocolate sauce over the cold pears.