Evelyn Chartres Author

Crème Brûlée

Crème brûlée is not a dish that I grew up with, nor was it readily available in English Canada. Though over the years Tim Hortons and Starbucks have offered themed drinks and goodies based on this dessert.

This dish features a chilled creamy base with a caramelized top. While easy to make, it requires timing since you have to refrigerate the dish prior to serving. It also gives you a reason to go out and get a culinary torch!

Ingredients

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3½ ounces (100 g) of sugar
  • 17 fluid ounces (500 ml) of whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons (20 ml) of brown sugar

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat oven to 215°F (100°C).
  2. In a bowl whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture whitens and is frothy.
  3. Add vanilla extract and cream to the bowl while whisking contents vigorously.
  4. Pour the cream into 4 stoneware cups. Bake in oven for about an hour.
  5. Let stoneware cool to room temperature then place in the fridge. Leave for 2 hours or however long it takes for contents to gel.
  6. When ready to serve, pull from fridge, cover with approximately 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of brown sugar then caramelize top using a butane torch.

Cipaille

Sea Pie

featured_cipaille_webI saw an article about Quebe’c Secret Meat Pie. Cipaille is a recipe which hails from my mother’s side of the family.  After a bit of research and I was able to adjust my mother’s recipe to be more historically accurate.  Now this recipe features six layers and uses quatre épices which is popular in French Canadian cooking.

This recipe is said to have origins from within the British Navy. It features a deep-dish pie which features three meats and potatoes.  The cloves give it a distinctive flavour which really makes this unique among my recipes.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2½ cups (590 ml) of sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of milk

Cipaille

  • ½ pound (225 g) of porc
  • ½ pound (225 g) of beef
  • ½ pound (225 g) of chicken
  • 4 ounces (115 g) of onions
  • 3 cloves (9-15 g) of garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
  • 1½ pounds (700 g) of potatoes
  • 30 fluid ounces (900 ml) of chicken broth

Preparation

  1. Cut pork, beef and chicken into small ½ inch (125 mm) cubes.
  2. Mince onions and garlic.
  3. In a small bowl add pork, beef, chicken, onions are garlic. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pepper and salt then knead until you have a consistent finish.
  4. Cover bowl then place in the fridge overnight.
  5. Preheat oven at 300°F (150°C).
  6. Cut potatoes into cubes then set aside.
  7. Except for ½ cup (120 ml) of flour, place ingredients for the crust into a medium-sized bowl.  Knead and add remaining flour until your dough is no longer sticky.
  8. In a 4 quart (3.7 l) pot, layer half of the meat mix, layer half of the potatoes and cover with half the dough.
  9. Repeat with the remaining half of meat, potatoes and dough.  Make a hole in the middle of the dough down to the bottom of the pot.  This will allow you to monitor fluid levels.
  10. Pour chicken broth into the hole until level with upper crust.
  11. Place in oven for 5 to 6 hours.  Check levels from time to time, adding remaining broth until ready.
  12. Remove from oven and meal is ready-to-serve.

Coffee Cake with a Creamy Nutmeg Sauce

featured_coffee_cake_with_sauce_webI have fond memories of visiting my grandmother and coming face to face with this cake. This recipe combines a delicious coffee cake with a creamy nutmeg sauce that really sells it!Interestingly enough, this recipe required a fair amount of deciphering.  For example, the original recipe called for 2 eggs of grease for the cake.

The sauce needs a consistent temperature to thicken reliably. If you can get an even flame then this will be no problem. However, for electric ranges I recommend using a cast iron or steel saucepan to compensate for the on-and-off cycle of the heating element.

Ingredients

Coffee Cake

  • 1 cup (235 ml) of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) of shortening
  • 2 cups (470 ml) of sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of baking powder
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of brewed coffee

Creamy Nutmeg Sauce

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of sugar
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.625 ml) of nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons (20 ml) of corn starch
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) of water

Preparation

Coffee Cake

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a large bowl mix ingredients until you have a smooth and consistent finish.
  3. Pour contents into a greased 9 inch (22 cm) pie tin.
  4. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes until ready.
  5. Let cool, remove from pie tin and serve with sauce.

Creamy Nutmeg Sauce

  1. Pour sugar, milk and nutmeg into a small saucepan then medium on medium.
  2. In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch.  Stir until you have a smooth finish.
  3. When sauce begins to boil, lower temperature to medium-low or low to maintain a light boil.
  4. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) of the cornstarch and water mix then whisk contents vigorously until sauce thickens.  Add more cornstarch and water if necessary.
  5. When sauce is thick, pour over a slice of coffee cake and serve!

Tire Saint-Catherine à L’Erable

Tire Saint-Catherine à L’Erable

Featured_Saint_Catherines_TaffyA French-Canadian tradition that began when Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys made these sweet candies each year on Saint Catherine’s Day (November 25th) to attract young students to school. Later on, marriage-age girls would make taffy for eligible boys on that day. This taffy is made from molasses, maple syrup and sugar and can be a great deal of fun if children are involved.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (235 ml) of molasses
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of maple syrup
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of white sugar
  • ½ cup of (120 ml) of water
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of butter
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of cream

Preparation

  1. Combine all ingredients except for the baking soda into a large pot (approximately 3 liters).
  2. On high-heat bring the mixture to a boil.  Attach a candy-thermometer to the side of the pot and boil until liquid temperature reaches 255°F (125°C).
  3. Remove from heat then add baking soda.  Mixture will expand while changing to a lighter tone of brown.  Mix vigorously then pour into a greased cookie sheet.
  4. Allow mixture cool for a few minutes.  On occasion fold the poured mixture onto itself using greased utensils.
  5. When safe to handle, butter hands then grab a fistful.  Roll into a cylinder, stretch, fold onto itself, twist and repeat as necessary. If taffy becomes too hard to handle, toss in the microwave and reheat to soften.
  6. Taffy will lighten in shade (golden brown)  with the above process.  When ready form to appropriate size then cut into smaller pieces using a knife or scissors.
  7. Individually wrap in waxed paper so they do not stick to one another.  This recipe makes between 100 and 150 pieces depending on size and consistency.

Maple Syrup Cake

featured_maple_syrup_cakeMaple syrup is an institution in Québec and throughout the years it became a symbol of all things Canadian.  This cake is made from maple syrup, creating a moist and spongy cake that can be served by itself, with whipped cream or an optional glaze.

Ingredients

Maple Syrup Cake Mix

  • 1 and ⅔ cups (395 ml) of all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of melted butter
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of vanilla
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (25 ml) of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of (1.25 ml) of baking soda
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) of maple syrup
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of water
  • 2 large eggs

Maple Syrup Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of butter
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of maple syrup
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of confectioners or icing sugar

Preparation

Maple Syrup Cake

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix then set aside.
  3. Mix melted butter, brown sugar and eggs together.
  4. Add maple syrup, water and vanilla then stir contents.
  5. Incorporate dry ingredients from step 2 then mix until you have a creamy finish.
  6. Place in a greased 8 inch (20 cm) cake pan.  Place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Maple Syrup Glaze

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan then whisk in maple syrup.
  2. Gradually whisk in sugar until sugar is melted.
  3. Remove from heat and pour over the cake.  Allow to harden before serving.