Bakers Formula: March 2014

Wendy Barrett
February 18, 2014
Written by Wendy Barrett
Wendy Barrett demonstrated how to create this dessert for students in the professional baking and pastry arts department at Vancouver Island University. This recipe combines pears drizzled in honey, pecans covered in brown sugar and cinnamon, and shortcake biscuits as a crunchy layer on the bottom with dry white wine and Stilton blue cheese thrown in the mix. Don’t forget to serve this recipe warm.
   
shortcake
 

Shortcakes | Serves 8

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 oz chilled unsalted butter, cut  into 1/4 cubes
  • 4 oz crumbled Stilton blue cheese
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg yolk

Directions
  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and black pepper together in a bowl. Mix well. 
  2. Add the butter and blue cheese to the flour mixture. Use the tines of a table fork to cut the cheese and butter into the flour, until the mixture resembles cornmeal and the butter and cheese are evenly distributed. Add the buttermilk and gently combine the ingredients until the dough comes together into a ball. 
  3. Flatten the dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough to a 3/4-inch thickness. Using a circle cutter, cut out 24 dough rounds and place them on an ungreased sheet pan. 
  4. Blend the egg yolk with 2 tbsp. of water and glace the tops of the biscuits with a pastry brush. Bake in a hot oven at 425 C until biscuits rise and the tops are golden brown, approximately 10-12 minutes.


Honey Poached Pears

Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup wildflower honey
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 4 pears, peeled, cored and cut into six wedges  each
Directions
  1. Combine water, white wine, lemon zest and honey together in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat.
  2. Add the pear wedges to the poaching liquid. Cover the top surface of the liquid with a piece of parchment paper. Gently cook and simmer pears until tender and translucent, approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove the pears and continue to simmer the liquid until it reduces to syrup. Save the pear liquid for plating.


Candied Pecans

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp egg white
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 11/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne  pepper
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup pecan halves
Directions
  1. Combine all dry ingredients and egg whites together in a medium bowl until smooth. 
  2. Add the pecans and toss in the spiced mixture until the nuts are coated. 
  3. Place on a lightly greased sheet pan in a 250-degree oven until pecans are well toasted and the coating is crisp and dry. Let the pecans cool to room temperature.

To plate
Warm the biscuits in a 200-degree oven just before using. Split the biscuits in half and divide among the eight serving bowls. Divide the pears evenly and place on the top of the biscuits. Replace the biscuit tops.


This recipe is courtesy of Wendy Barrett. She is a Canadian foodie who has taught culinary classes at more than 50 schools from coast to coast. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.




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