Saturday, 17 June 2017

Seasonal Ontario Food's Top Ten - Desserts!

Oh goody! Desserts! Not really what I try to make this place about, but I love 'em and so do most people. I try to keep the fat and sugar down to a dull roar when I do make a dessert, and to put fruit (in season!) front and forward. They sure do break down to a lot of categories I'm afraid; but perhaps that isn't really a problem as I can choose more... I still can't quite count to ten but whatever.

I had this idea that I don't make a lot of pies but apparently not true.

I have a little expression, "The cook is never a fussy eater." Meaning the cook is just as fussy as anybody, but since they get to choose what gets cooked, it's always what they like. My desserts fall into that category. I think I make the best desserts ever, but I will have to concede that that is because they are so exactly tailored to my tastes, not through any extraordinary talent. I hope they suit some other people too. 

Mostly Fruit:

Strawberry Tapioca Pudding with Custard - The first dessert I posted on this blog set the tone with all kinds of my favourite things.

Blueberry-Peach Parfaits -  A little bit of fuss but not too much and well worth it. Beautiful and delicious.

Rhubarb, Cranberry & Ginger Compote or Fool - Not for the faint of tastebuds, but something I really love. Rich and intense.

Peach & Raspberry Sorbet - this technique, also used for  Sour Cherry &Apricot Sorbet - is really handy. Frozen fruit, chosen for a certain amount of smooth substance, whizzed in the food processor until it is very very smooth, but still frozen enough to eat with a spoon. Not really sorbet, but I don't know what else you would call it. Delicious and nutritious; can't say that about most desserts.

Almond Jelly with Peaches & Cream - Another light and perfect thing to do with summer fruit. Easy and just a little unusual.

Tea-Poached Pears with Honey -Poached or baked fruit make an excellent every-day kind of dessert, but they will do quite well for company too.

Pear Jelly with Blueberries -  Yes I do like pears. It's hard to get good ones and they seem to get harder to find every year but I persevere in looking for them.

Cranberry Marshmallows - More like mostly sugar, but these were fun anyway. Not apparently as sweet as most marshmallows (but sorry, all the sugar is there anyway).

Spiced Maple Poached Pears - More poached pears because poached pears are good. With maple syrup and spices? Yes please!

Watermelon Jelly & Sicilian Watermelon Pudding - My most viewed recipe in this category and why not? Easy, refreshing, light, and just a little surprising. Really good.

Pies & Tarts:

Sour Cream Fruit Crumble Pie - Terrible photo; excellent if somewhat rich pie. I should do it again.

Unbaked Strawberry Pie - best pie ever? Or maybe that's  Strawberry Cream Pie - like Banana Cream Pie, only strawberries.

Almond-Orange Tart with Sweet Cherries - Possibly this should be with the cakes, but it's reasonably tarty I suppose. One of the very few baked things I think better than just eating the cherries.

Coconut Macaroon Tart (with Rhubarb) - A lovely tart base that is good with all kinds of summer fruit, with rhubarb in this case.

Yellow Plum & Gooseberry Pie - This was something of a one-off but I still remember how very, very tasty it was.

Chai Pumpkin Pie - Not your completely traditional Pumpkin Pie but none the worse for that.

Crustless Rhubarb Custard Pie -My most viewed pie recipe, by a lot. It's good! But as usual not my personal top pie.

Cranberry-Raisin Pie - A delightful combination for a rich yet fruity winter pie.

Gingerbread Pear Pie with Dried Cranberries - The gingerbread crust is unusual but really makes this pie sing.

Rhubarb Mousse Pie - Light fluffy texture, tart zingy rhubarb; perfect!

Haskap & Dried Apple Pie - I made this last year and I'm looking forward to making it again this year. Haskaps are taking the home gardening world by storm, and it turns out they cook up very nicely.


Foolproof Banana Cake - Not so very local, but on the other hand; foolproof.

Hazelnut Torte - Rich, fancy and special. Has been one of my two major occasion cake recipes for years.

Applesauce Spice Cake - An old fashioned and very popular cake.

Gluten Free Almond Pound Cake -My other major occasion cake. Not cheap to make, but very, very special.

Unbaked Whipped Cream Cheesecake - Delicate and scrumptious, while being the perfect frame for perfect summer berries.

Plum Torte - A simple little cake that is very satisfying.

Cheesecake, with Strawberries in this Case - not the world's richest cheesecake and all the better for that in my opinion. Extremely eatable.

Chocolate Icebox Cake with Raspberries & Homemade Chocolate Wafers - You know this cake. Now with HOMEMADE WAFERS. And raspberries. Superb, in other words.

Caroline's Low Sugar Sweet Potato Cake -  My most viewed cake recipe, because lots of people want their cake and their low sugar too. It's a dilemma, and this little treat deals with it quite well.

Three Seed Cake - I love this cake. I think it's very special. Probably not for everyone, I concede.

Meyer's Lemon Curd Cake Roll -made with local lemons! Well, maybe. Mighty fine in any case.


Gingerbread Snaps (Cookies) - my favourite gingersnap, without eggs or dairy, easy to work with and a great project with children. Now I'm not working with kids I just make a double batch and roll 'em out in circles because they also just get better the longer they sit.

Peanut Butter Cookies Loaded for Bear - All my favourite cookie ingredients in one glorious cookie.

Icebox Cookies in Four Variations - for the mass production of apparently varied Christmas (or other cookie occasion) cookies. Sneaky! Clever! Mmm!

Rolled Spice Cookies - My favourite Christmas cookie, based on Lebkuchen. Another one where I make a double batch and eat them for months because they just keep getting better.

Garibaldi Biscuits; aka Sultana Biscuits, Squashed Fly Biscuits, etc - My most viewed cookie recipe, by a fair bit. My version of a once popular but now discontinued commercial cookie.

Empire Cookies - A classic of Ontario small-town bakeries. This also makes an excellent dough for "thumbprint" cookies, by the way.

Flourless Peanut Butter & Honey Cookies - Another popular cookie, with honey instead of sugar. Rich, delicious, and it has to be admitted, a bit expensive to make. 

Black Forest Cookies - Chocolate drop cookies with white chocolate and dried cherries - another classic combo, although a bit unusual in a cookie.

Etta Ferguson's Oat Cakes - A traditional Nova Scotian treat brought home to Ontario.

Oatty Apple Butter or Jam Turnovers - Tried and true; a soft and not too rich cookie. I'd eat them for breakfast, so I would.

Little Pastries, Bars & Squares: 

Cocoa Brownies - Not in any way an "ultimate" or "death by chocolate" type brownie. Not a stripped down "diet" brownie either. In the middle, just as I like 'em.

Nut Butter Brownies - Another favourite brownie; I've made these with peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter; so far all good.

Maple Cream Puffs - Cream puffs are actually easy to make! Maybe you didn't want to know that... too late now. Easy!

Rum Balls Made with Cake Crumbs - Most viewed recipe in this category. You will need to make a Cocoa Sponge Cake first.

Aunt Helen's Raspberry Rice Squares - A family heirloom recipe, these are a classic afternoon tea treat.

Aunt Alethea's Famous Squares -  Another one that has stood the test of time; required for Christmas to actually be Christmas.

Cocoa Cream Puffs -  Cream puffs are still very easy to make. And now, you can make them chocolate. Oh my!

Rum Ball Bars - A simplified version of the popular original Rum Balls.

Cocoa Madeleines - Simple and not too sweet, but entirely satisfying.

Coffee Brownies - Don't eat these at night! Or you'll lie in bed awake and have to get  up and eat another.

Puddings & Composite Desserts:

Apple Batter Pudding -Terrible photo; excellent old fashioned dessert. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Carrot Pudding - An Old Canadian Recipe - My most viewed dessert recipe over all. Apparently a lot of people are all nostalgic about this one, and it's not at all hard to make.

Maple Flan (or Creme Caramel) - One of the best desserts incorporating maple flavour.

Summer Pudding - A classic British summer dessert, it needs good quality ingredients to shine (doesn't everything) but is really simple and lovely.

Gingerbread Pear Pudding - Ginger and pears, kind of like Ginger and Fred. So classic, so classy.

Apple Snow with Custard - Now this. This may be my favourite dessert, also  Prune & Apricot Whip with Custard which is very similar. Tart and fruity, mooshy, creamy, and custardy. What more do you want?

Chocolate Cherry Crisp -  Doesn't look like much but this is fabulous. I mean! How could it not be?

Pumpkin Bread Pudding - Simple and obvious pudding for everyone who loves pumpkin pie and bread pudding.

Yogurt Panna Cotta - and Aunt Hilda's Spanish Cream - two similar desserts I can't choose between.

White Chocolate Mousse with Cranberries - Rich and special. I made it for Christmas, hence the cranberries but make it all year with whatever fruit is available. So good.

Rhubarb-Almond Crisp - A recent effort that was really quite impressive. Almonds and sherry go so well with rhubarb.

Cocoa Crepes - Wasn't quite sure where to put this, it doesn't really quite fit into any category. It's a component of a composite dessert I guess though; that is, stuff it with whatever fruit is in season and apply the slightly sweetened dairy product of your choice for a lovely dessert (or incredibly decadent breakfast).

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