Lemon, Vanilla and Almond Biscotti

Lemon, Vanilla and Almond Biscotti

Zen Chef
This biscotti recipe is probably the most basic one found on my ZenGourmand site. One of the perennial favourites, it is however super delish on its crunchy own or as a dipper with your coffee or tea.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling between bakes 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Baked Goods
Cuisine International, Italian
Servings 36 Biscotti

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 90 ml Butter softened
  • 150 ml Sugar granulated
  • 150 ml Sugar brown
  • 10 ml Vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 Eggs large
  • 700 ml Flour all-purpose
  • 15 ml Baking powder
  • 5 ml Salt
  • 150 ml Almonds sliced

Icing

  • 150 ml Icing sugar
  • 10 ml Lemon Juice
  • 20 ml Water

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper

Dough

  • In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugars, vanilla, lemon zest and juice to a soft an creamy consistency
  • Add eggs, one at a time, while continuing to mix at medium speed
  • Add flour, baking powder and salt
  • Mix using a wooden spoon until smooth
  • Fold in the almonds using your hands (dough will be sticky)

Bake

  • Moisten your hands slightly and scoop up half the dough
  • Form dough into a roll about 30 cm long and place on one long side of the baking sheet
  • Moisten hands as necessary and form the roll into a log about 33 cm long and 12 cm wide, flattening it down a bit on the process to get a nice biscotti profile
  • Repeat with the other half of the dough placing it on the other side of the baking sheet leaving a gap of about 5 cm between the two
  • Bake for 25 minutes or to a stage where the dough develops some crack and appears firm when gently pressed on
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes
  • Reduce oven temperature to 150°C
  • Place loaf on a cutting board and, using a bread knife, cut crosswise into slices of about 10 to 15 mm cutting at a slight angle
  • Remove parchment paper from baking sheet and carefully place slices standing up on baking sheet maintaining a gap of 5 – 10 mm
  • Bake for an additional 20 – 25 minutes or until biscotti feel dry when touched on the sides
  • Cool completely and move slices back together

Icing

  • Combine icing sugar, water and lemon juice stirring until you get a thick creamy texture*
  • Drizzle the icing over the biscotti forming several lines along the length of the loafs
  • Let icing harden overnight before storing in a tight container

Notes

* Add more sugar if the glaze is too thin. It should just barely be able to flow slowly from a spoon dipped in the icing
Keyword almonds, lemon, vanilla
Click to rate this post!
  [Total: 1 Average: 5]

Lamb Shanks Braised In Red Wine And Juniper

Slowly braised lamb shanks, particularly as in this recipe, are among my favorite cool weather foods. This recipe has incredible depth of flavour. A key ingredient are the dried juniper berries.These may be hard to find but worth the effort. I used to collect juniper berries at the same time I was collecting blue berries on many a canoeing trip in the Kawartha’s of Ontario (Google it).I would occasionally also buy them at a Pharmacy in Switzerland where they are commonly sold for medicinal purposes or in one of the super markets as of course they are also used in many wild game recipes.

Lamb Shanks Braised In Red Wine And Juniper

Zen Chef
Slowly braised lamb shanks that leverage the flavours of rosemary, juniper and red wine.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 4
Calories 450 kcal

Equipment

  • Duch Oven (see bottom of post)

Ingredients
  

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1 bottle of red wine e.g Rhone, Grenache
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) juniper berries
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) black pepper corns
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb sliced in half radially
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) salt
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) port ruby

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 160 °C (325 °F)
  • Liberally season the shanks with salt and pepper
  • In a large, heavy bottom roasting or frying pan, heat oil on medium high and brown the shanks on all sides.
  • Put aside the shanks on a plate in a warming drawer
  • Transfer oil and juices from pan to a large dutch oven, adding more oil if needed
  • Add onions and cook until translucent
  • Add carrots and celery and cook for a couple more minutes
  • Add wine, bay leaves, juniper berries, pepper corns, rosemary, garlic and salt
  • Place the shanks into this braising mixture, cover and cook in the pre-heated oven for 3 hours
  • When cooked, gently remove shanks to a platter, tent with aluminum foil and keep warm in a warming drawer
  • Strain the braising liquid into a sauce pan
  • Bring to a boil and add the port
  • Reduce to 250 ml (1 cup)
  • Serve along side, pour over shanks or use as garlic mashed potato gravy
Keyword braised, fall, juniper berries, lamb, lamb shanks, winter
Click to rate this post!
  [Total: 2 Average: 5]

Pear Crostata

This tart appeals to me because of its fee form and organic shape. It has the look of freedom and spontaneity. It looks artistic and has a certain wow factor.

Pear Crostata

Zen Chef
A Crostata is an Italian baked tart or pie. More specifically, it is a rustic, free-form version of an open fruit tart. It can be made with a variety of fruits. Here we use bosc pears, one of my favourite pears.
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Canadian, Italian
Servings 8
Calories 424 kcal

Ingredients
  

Pastry

  • 425 ml (1 3/4 cups) All purpose flour
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 150 g (6 oz) butter room temperature, cut in small pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) water, cold

Filling

  • 6 pears bosc, ripe, peeled and cored
  • 25 ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) sugar, granulated
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) butter

Glaze

  • 1 egg white slightly beaten
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar, Turbinado

Instructions
 

  • Place flour, sugar and salt into a food processor and add the butter pieces
  • Pulse on and off until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  • Mix egg yolk and water and with food processor running, add to the mixture
  • Turn off after a few seconds and turn mixture out onto a floured board
  • Gently knead dough into a ball, flatten into a half dome and refrigerate for 1 hour
  • Preheat oven to 200 °C (400 °F)
  • Slice pears into 8 sections, place into a baking dish, sprinkle with lemon juice and sugar and dot with butter
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until crispy tender
  • Let cool off
  • Remove dough from fridge and roll out on a floured surface to a circle of about 33 cm (13 in)
  • Carefully transfer onto the back of a floured baking sheet
  • Using a fork, pick up pear slices and arrange on the pastry dough in a circular fashion starting in the middle, leaving a clear border of about 7-8 cm (3 in)
  • Reserve remaining pear juices
  • Fold the border over the fruit in a loose fashion, leaving the centre open
  • Glaze the pastry with the egg white and sprinkle Turbinado sugar over pastry and fruit
  • Bake on middle rack for about 25 minutes or until the pastry is a nice golden brown
  • Boil the pear juices down to a lightly syrupy consistency, about 5 min., and pour into the centre of the tart.
  • Serve warm or cold
Keyword fruit, pears, tart
Click to rate this post!
  [Total: 3 Average: 5]

Apple Torte Normandie

The actual French name for this torte is “Tarte normande aux pommes”. This has to be one of my all-time favourite recipes for making “Apple Pie”.Of course the people of the Normany would know how to do this really well because apples is one of the main agricultural products they produce. Think Calvados while you’re at it.

Apple Torte Normandie

Zen Chef
An exquisite apple torte using finely sliced apples, ground almond and honey.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 8
Calories 280 kcal

Equipment

  • Spring Form (see bottom of post)

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g Pastry dough preferably all butter pastry dough
  • Butter for the mold spring form
  • 60 g Butter liquified
  • 60 g Sugar
  • 60 g Almond ground
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp Heavy cream whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp Honey lavender if you can get it
  • 3-4 Apples ripe and firm cooking, e.g. Mac’s, Gala, Imperial etc.
  • 1 tbsp Turbinado sugar
  • 1 tbsp Apricot jam or puré

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 200 °C
  • Grease the spring form with butter
  • Roll out dough and line the spring form
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • In a glass mixing bowl, melt the butter and then beat in the sugar with a hand mixer until you get a nice creamy mixture
  • Add the egg yolk and keep mixing vigorously
  • Add the almonds and the cream, continuing to mix until well combined
  • Remove the spring form from the fridge and using a fork, evenly puncture the bottom of the dough
  • Spread the honey over the bottom
  • Add the almond mixture and spread evenly over bottom
  • Peel, quarter and core the apples
  • Slice the apple quarters into very thin wedges, about 3 mm on the outside
  • Arrange apple slices in 2 concentric circles starting on the outside and overlapping sliced about 5 mm.
  • For the middle, you can place a half an apple scored to look like it’s sliced or use any remaining slices to fill in the middle as you wish
  • Sprinkle top with Turbinado and slide into the oven
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C and continue baking for another 40 – 45 minutes or until you achieve a lovely colour
  • Remove the torte from the oven and let cool off a bit
  • Remove the torte from the form finish off by carefully brushing the torte all over with the apricot puré or jam
    Apple Torte Normandie
Keyword almonds, apples, honey, torte
Click to rate this post!
  [Total: 4 Average: 4]