Desserts

Roasted Strawberry and Rhubarb with Yogurt
Strawberry-Rhubarb En Papillote
[caption id="attachment_7789" align="alignnone" width="500"]The strawberry-rhubarb en papillote is in the bag, heading for the oven -- The Messy Baker En Papillote (French for "in parchment") makes for tender rhubarb in no time.[/caption] As if Friday isn't reason enough to celebrate. Today is the first anniversary of Lynn Ogryzlo's The Ontario Table, and I'm one of her virtual guests. I'm pretty chuffed to be asked to take part. Not only do I enjoy a party, I like hanging out with Lynn, even if it is online. First of all, she spells my  name right. Granted, with a surname like Ogryzlo, you're probably sensitive to such things, but it still earns her bonus points. Secondly, she loves my  doughnuts, and last but certainly not least, she takes one of the most sensible approaches to eating local I've ever seen. Instead of giving you the stink eye if everything on your shopping list doesn't comply with the 100-mile diet, she simply issues a $10 challenge. The concept is easy. Each week, spend $10 of your grocery money on local food. That's it. Small (locally grown) potatoes, right?
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My Mother’s Hands | Lemon Curd Recipe
My Mother - TheMessyBaker.com These hands turn 80 this summer. These hands have picked strawberries, made jam, kneaded bread, rolled pastry. They have decorated birthday cakes, anniversary cakes and wedding cakes. They have changed diapers, washed clothes, sewn dresses, mended seams, darned socks, stitched buttons, ironed pleats. They have tied shoelaces, braided hair and wrapped presents. They have stroked sweaty hair from fevered foreheads, wiped away tears, plucked thorns from fingers, applied bandages, massaged aching muscles and held the hands of the dying. Despite arthritis, they carry on.
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Recipe: Perfect Elephant Ears (Palmiers)
Elephant Ear - TheMessyBaker These are elephant ears. Or palm ears. Or palmiers. Or French hearts, or butterflies or glasses. No matter what you call them, these sugar-laced puff pastry treats are one of my all time favourites. Like most things worthwhile, they are a labour of love. And I love my father. So I made a batch to welcome him home after a month abroad on a volunteer mission. But as Murphy would have it, my website went haywire* during the process. I tried to restore the site between rounds of rolling, chilling, slicing and baking. The results? A salvaged blog and a pan of burnt elephant ears. Another senseless waste of pastry.
Homemade Eggnog and Eggnog Ice Cream
Recipe: Homemade Eggnog
Homemade eggnog and eggnog ice cream. One recipe. Two results -- The Messy Baker.com I’m trying not to be resentful but a certain celebrity llama has more Twitter followers than I do. And his first name isn't Dali. To be fair, the llama is a talented goat herder, so I can see the appeal. Why all the fuss over a shaggy camelid? Polka Spot belongs to the Fabulous Beekman Boys — along with a polydactyl barn cat, 160 goats, two sheep and a cheese cave. They all reside on a 60-acre farm with a 210-year-old mansion. I’d be insanely jealous if I didn’t know how much work 60-acres and 640 goat hooves require. The only low-maintenance item on that list is the cheese cave, and I'm sure there's more to that than simply maintaining a thermostat.
Luscious Lemon Pudding
Recipe to Riches | Luscious Lemon Pudding & a Review
Luscious Lemon Pudding It's a cold, raw, rainy morning and I'm breakfasting on Grandma Glo's Luscious Lemon Pudding, which won last night's Recipe to Riches challenge. I had hoped to serve it to guests tonight, but I don't think there will be enough left. I'll be making a second batch later today as it's an easy recipe and I'll take any excuse to justify my stand mixer's existence. I admit, before the episode aired, I was rooting for Glo McNeil, partly because she's 82 and partly because her recipe has lemon in the title. I'm always on the look out for a good lemon recipe since it's one of the few desserts my father likes. And frankly, if I have to make another Lemon Meringue Pie for a family occasion, I just might throw it at someone. The problem? I'm no fan of pudding. I find it slimy with a disconcerting skin-like seal. But  I was willing to throw myself on this one for my father's sake. The results were a delightful surprise. Luscious Lemon Pudding has all the elements of the pie my father loves -- lemony, sweet and creamy -- but without the fuss of pastry. It's ubelievably light and, as if I was being rewarded for my sacrifice, the "pudding" is actually a velvety sauce that swims below the mousse-like topping.
Black Cherry Raspberry Galetter by The Messy Baker
Black Cherry and Raspberry Galette with Walnut Frangipane and Ginger
Black Cherry Raspberry Galetter by The Messy Baker Do you really need me to write out the instructions with a recipe title like that? Clearly I didn't name the dish with Twitter in mind. Instead, I created this for my parents' anniversary. When asked what he wanted for dessert, Dad requested a "red galette." After a bit of probing, I learned this was code for "use raspberries." When I asked what he wanted to go with the raspberries his response was blunt. "No peaches!" Turns out Dad likes his peaches in their natural state, not cooked. So much for the peach galette I made him when I thought he didn't like pavlova. Perhaps I should start issuing surveys before planning a menu for family events. So, with walnuts in the pantry and a batch of this season's black cherries in the freezer, I riffed on the ruby red rhubarb and raspberry galette my father liked so much. I even made an oil-based pastry so my newly dairy-free sister could enjoy dessert. It was a bit brittle and needed the support of a pie plate, but I got bonus points for the attempt. Despite springing a few leaks, the results were deemed Breakfast Worthy, which in our house, is the ultimate compliment.
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Recipe: Pavlova
Individual Pavolvas are an easy way to enjoy summer fruit - TheMessyBaker.com If you asked me to describe my father's taste in desserts, I'd tell you he's a lemon man. When he turned 65, Mom and I baked 13 lemon meringue pies for his party. He squeezes fresh lemon juice into his tea and sometimes even orders lemon pie as an appetizer when we dine out. He likes things tart, not sweet, choosing citrus over chocolate any day. Based on his dining history, pavlova is not something he would like. I was so sure of this that when my mother asked for pavlova for her birthday dessert, I made a peach galette as well -- just for Dad. Turns out Dad loves pavlova. Almost as much as he loves lemon. You learn something new every day. So, for the closet pavlova fans out there -- and even for those who like to flaunt their love of this powder-puff dessert - here's the recipe. It has a little lemon in it to cut the sweet. Hey, maybe that's why Dad likes it...
Tripel Chocolate Brownie Cookies - Made with love by TheMessyBaker.com
Recipe: Triple-Chocolate Brownie Cookies
This is Mairlyn Smith. Like me, she has a  frequently misspelled first name and a passion for chocolate that borders on illegal. She even has an impossibly small kitchen (like mine was until last year). I had the pleasure of interviewing her earlier this month and the longer we talked the more I realized we had in lot common. By the end of our conversation, the only difference between us -- other than hairstyle and a few inches of height -- is that I don't go into grocery stores with a big blade and hack at the root vegetables. Other than that? We're practically twins. She also wrote a health-conscious cookbook that fits my tagline, putting flavour before looks. Unlike many health-focused cookbooks, where fibre content and finger-wagging trump taste and joy, Mairlyn's Healthy Starts Here!: 140 Recipes that Will Make You Feel Great is rooted in pleasure and practicality. She believes, and backs up with studies, that treats are essential to your emotional health. She believes if  something is "good for you" it should also taste good. She believes cooking shouldn't be so complicated you end up huddled in the corner nursing a bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome and an anxiety disorder.
Raspberry Peach Tart - TheMessyBaker.com
Raspberry Peach Pie with Frangipane
Raspberry Peach Pie about to go into the oven - TheMessyBaker.com While the daffodils have finally poked their heads through the earth, my freezer remains packed with containers of frozen fruit squirrelled away from last year's harvest. They're so precious to me, I save them for special occasions. Very special occasions. As along as the sooty, deathless snowdrifts maintain a Narnia-like hold on the Earth, nothing seems special enough. (Unless you are celebrating your 85th birthday. And then, I will bake you a raspberry pie upon request.) Of course, the weather eventually breaks and my fear of endless winter melts into a different form of  panic. How can use my frozen treasure before a) it goes bad or b) I need the freezer space for this year's bounty? So, with company coming -- very special company, I may add-- I put a dent in the inventory and got creative. The ginger-peach carrots were okay, but no worth writing about. I won't waste your time with the recipe. And I apologize to the peaches. They deserved better. The dessert? I redeemed myself with Raspberry Peach Pie.
Forty Creek Pecan Pie
Forty Creek Whisky Pecan Pie
Forty Creek Whisky Pecan Pie by TheMessyBaker.com In our home, birthdays are about dessert. It doesn't matter if the ingredients send me to six specialty shops, or if the results require a small team of architecture students to assemble. If you can dream it, I will make it. Providing you're a family member. Two-recipes-in-one, Frozen Lemon Pavlova? Of course, Mom. Hazelnut Mocha Tort with fancy chocolate topping? My pleasure, Allison. Non-Jammy Raspberry Pie? Anything for you, my only Father-in-Law. So this year, when Andrew asked for Pecan Pie I couldn't say no.

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