pandoro apricot trifle

4½ c   dried apricots
6 c
¾ c
superfine sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ orange or 1 tangerine
cardamom pods

Amaretto (opt)
1 lb
piece of pandoro or panettone
1 c
 heavy cream
1 c
Greek or whole milk yogurt
tbsp honey
¼ c
pistachios, chopped into splinters
¼ c
slivered almonds

Put dried apricots, water, sugar, lemon and orange or tangerine juice in a saucepan. Bruise the cardamom pods with the back of a knife to release the seeds; add to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Or you can bring to a boil, turn off the heat and let sit overnight.

Drain the apricots, discarding cardamom seeds and husks as much as possible; return the liquid to the saucepan and boil over high heat for 15-20 minutes to reduce the syrup to about 1 1/2 cups), then let cool slightly before you move on to the next stage. You can add a glug of Amaretto here if you like.

Cut the pandoro into 1/2 inch wide, long slices. This should give you about 8 long strips in total. Line a wide and not-too-deep glass bowl with 4 of the pandoro slices and spread half the warm apricots over. Then pour on half the warm syrup.

Repeat with the remaining slices of pandoro, apricots and syrup, except lay the slices in the opposite direction. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to soak for the day or overnighti in the fridge.

Whisk cream until soft peaks form, being careful not to overwhip, then add the yogurt and stir gently to combine. The mixture should be soft and light enough to spread easily over the top of the trifle in a not-too-thick layer. Drizzle honey over top with a teaspoon. Scatter pistachios and almonds over the top.

pumpkin pie without the crust

3 eggs
1 1/2 c canned pumpkin
1 1/2 c liquid (evaporated milk or skim milk with lots of powdered milk in it or light cream or even coconut milk, maybe)
3/4 c brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger (or some grated fresh ginger is nice, too)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Beat the eggs lightly, then add the pumpkin and combine. Stir in the liquid and remaining ingredients. Pour into a buttered casserole dish about the size of a pie plate and bake at 375°F or so for about 30-40 minutes or until the centre is just set. Serve with whipping cream, toasted chopped nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.

This recipe is adapted from a Martha Stewart pie filling.

mocha chocolate  in chocolate cups

chocolate cups (see below)
4 oz semisweet chocolate
1/4 c water
1 tsp instant coffee
1 1/2 tbsp creme de cacao
1 c heavy cream
1/4 c sugar

Melt chocolate in water in small saucepan over low heat. Stir in coffee and creme de cacao until well blended. Beat cream in small bowl, gradually adding sugar, until stiff. Fold into chocolate mixture. Spoon into the chocolate cups. Chill until serving.

NOTE: If desired, invert filled cups on serving plates and spoon 1 tbsp orange flavoured liqueur over each, then ignite.

chocolate cups

Melt another 4 oz semisweet chocolate, stirring occasionally, in top of double boiler over hot water. Spread a thin layer of melted chocolate with a thin spatula over inside bottom and side of 8 - 2" pleated aluminum foil baking cups. Chill until firm. Peel foil off. Makes 8 servings

fudge batter pudding

1 c AP flour
8 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 c sugar
1 2/3 c boiling water
2 tbsp butter/marg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c milk
1/2 c chopped nuts

Stir together flour, 3 tbsp cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In large bowl combine 1/2 c sugar, the butter and vanilla. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture alternately with milk, blending well after each addition. Stir in nuts. In 8" round cake pan, combine remaining 1/2 c sugar, 5 tbsp cocoa and boiling water. Drop batter by tbspbuls onto hot mixture.

Bake at 350°F about 40 minutes or until top is crusty. Sprinkle with XXX sugar. While still warm, spoon out cake and cover with sauce, then top with ice cream.

middle eastern pancake dessert

1/2 c butter, melted
1 c AP flour
2 c milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp melted butter

Mix the 1/2 c butter, flour, milk, eggs, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl with a wire whisk. Heat  a crêpe pan or 7” skillet and brush with butter. Pour in a thin layer of batter just to cover the bottom. Cook briefly and turn. Cook the other side briefly and turn out onto a plate. Repeat until all batter is used (about 16).


1 c honey
1/2 c water
1 stick cinnamon
2 tbsp orange peel

Combine the honey, water, cinnamon and orange peel. Boil 5 minutes. Set aside.


2 tbsp sugar
1 c finely chopped walnuts

Put a tablespoonful of the filling on each pancake. Fold in half and place in a large shallow baking dish or on a cook sheet. drizzle the 4 tbsp melted butter over. Bake at 325°F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzled with the syrup, using about 2 tbsp for each pancake. Serve slightly warm.


150 mL Simply Egg Whites, shaken
1 mL cream of tartar
250 mL sugar
5 mL vinegar
2 mL almond extract

Line 2 sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Beat whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar and continue beating until stiff shiny peaks form. Fold in vinegar and extract. Drop by large spoonfuls on sheets, making 12. Make an indentation in each. Bake at 275ºF for about 1 hr or until crisp and pale brown.


I buy this product at Costco - it makes 12 small meringues. Next time I think I'll bake them cooler and longer.

lemon cream with raspberries

Grated rind and juice from 2 large lemons
1/2 c sugar
2 c whipping cream
1/2 c dry sherry
1 c fresh raspberries OR strawberries

Combine rind, juice and sugar. Add cream and whip until mixture is thick and holds its shape. Fold in the sherry. Spoon into serving glasses or bowls and top with fresh berries. Chill an hour if you'd like, but don't hold any longer than 4 hours.

lemon syllabub

Peel of 1 lemon, thinly cut (outer skin only)
1 c cream sherry
1 c Madeira
4 c whipping cream
1/3 c lemon juice
3/4 c sugar

Soak peel in sherry and Madeira for at least 1 hour. Whip cream just until it begins to hold its shape. Remove peel and discard; gradually beat the wine mixture, lemon juice and sugar into the cream until mixture thickens. Pour into parfait or sherbet glasses and sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg. 8 servings

individual baked lemon puddings

1 c milk
3 eggs, separated
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1/3 c lemon juice
3 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 c sugar
3 tbsp AP flour
1/4 tsp salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolks, lemon rind, juice and butter. In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt; stir into lemon mixture. In a separate bowl, beat whites until stiff; fold into lemon mixture.

Pour into 6 - 1 cup ramekins or individual soufflé dishes and place in a larger pan. Add hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake at 350ºF for 25-30 min or until set and lightly browned. Serve warm or chilled.

berry orange shortbread napoleons


1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt


1 pint berries (original recipe called for olallieberries, but blackberries or raspberries would be fine)
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons orange-blossom honey or regular honey
1 teaspoon orange flower water

Beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together in a stand mixer on medium until light and fluffy.

Add the vanilla and orange zest and beat to combine. Add in the flour and salt and beat until a smooth dough form. It may be very soft. Form dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Roll the dough out between two sheets of wax paper or two silicone baking mats to about 1/4" thick. If the dough is too hard, let it sit for a few minutes to soften up but don't let it get too soft or it will start melting on you. You can always return the dough to the refrigerator to let it firm up. Use desired cookie cutter to cut out shapes (about 3" across is best) from the dough. Place on prepared baking sheets. Bake at 300ºF for about 25 to 30 min, rotating halfway through. Let cool on wire rack before assembling napoleons.

Combine about a quarter of the berries with the sugar in a bowl and let macerate for 10 minutes. Purée the mixture in a blender and strain out the seeds and other pulp. Mix the purée with remaining berries.

To assemble the napoleons, whip the cream together with the honey and orange flower water in a mixer until it holds soft peaks. Place a shortbread cookie on a plate and top with some whipped cream. Spoon some of the berry mixture on top and top with another shortbread cookie. Serve immediately.

blueberry grunt


4 c frozen blueberries
1/4 c sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch each of allspice & nutmeg
1/2 c orange juice        


3/4 c AP flour
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp butter/marg, cut into bits
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c milk
1 tsp vanilla

In a deep frying pan or large pot with a cover, bring blueberries, sugar, spices and juice to a boil. Simmer until the berries get juicy. Remove from heat. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Rub in butter until mixture is flaky. Combine egg, milk and vanilla and stir into flour. Drop by spoonfuls on top of the blueberries, but stay away from the edge of the pan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through. Serve with canned cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

cobbler method

1 c AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c shortening
1 egg
3 tbsp milk

Sift together the dries, then cut in shortening until mixture looks like meal.  Combine the egg and milk and add to the dries.  Drop by spoonfuls over prepared fruit in a 9x9" pan (2 c sweetened and flavoured) and spread out.  Bake at 350 F for 40 min or so.

cranberry apple cobbler

1 1/2 c cranberries
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced thin
1 tbsp orange zest
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 c + 1 tbsp AP flour
1 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp shortening
1/3 c yogurt

In a shallow 2 cup baking dish toss together the cranberries, the apple, zest, brown sugar, cinnamon, clove and 1 tbsp of the flour and dot the top with the butter.  In a bowl stir together the remaining 1/2 c flour, baking powder and the salt.  Add the shortening, blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal, and stir in the yogurt.  The dough will be sticky.  Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto the cranberry mixture, sprinkle it with the 1/2 tsp sugar and bake at 400 F for 30 min.  Serve with ice cream.  Serves 2

cranberry pudding with eggnog sauce

75 ml unsalted butter, soft
175 ml sugar
2 eggs
550 ml AP flour
12 ml baking powder
1 ml salt
125 ml milk
125 ml pecans, coarse chop
250 ml unsalted butter
125 ml sugar
500 ml eggnog
125 ml rum or brandy
500 ml fresh cranberries

Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to butter mixture alternately with the milk and stir thoroughly.  Fold in berries and nuts.

Generously butter 1.5 L pudding mould and spoon in batter, packing it down well.  If your mould has no lid, generously butter a double thickness of foil and secure it, buttered side down, with a heavy elastic band or string.  Place in a large pot and pour in boiling water until it reaches halfway up the mould. 

Over medium heat bring water to a boil; reduce heat and regulate so water is just above a simmer.  Cover pot and steam gently 2 hours, adding more boiling water when necessary.

Remove pudding from pot and uncover.  Let cool 10-15 min before turning out of the mould (May be frozen for up to 1 month.  Cool to room temp and wrap securely.  Thaw and reheat by steaming again).

To make sauce, combine butter, sugar and eggnog in a heavy saucepan.  Over high heat, bring to  boil and cook 5 min, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add liquor. (May be made in advance and reheated gently over low heat.  Do not refrigerate or sauce will separate when reheated).           

To serve, cut pudding in slices and pass sauce.     8 servings

coconut gelatin with mango puree

1 pkg gelatin
1 c whipping cream
1-398 ml can coconut milk
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/3 c shredded coconut, toasted
Pureed mango mixed with sugar and lime juice

Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 c of the cream; let stand for 5 min, then warm over low heat stirring until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat. In separate pan stir together remaining cream, coconut milk and sugar until sugar dissolves and small bubbles form around edge. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin mix. Pour into mould (lightly greased). Refrigerate 4 hours. Run tip of small knife around edge and invert to unmould. Sprinkle with coconut and serve on a puree of mango or raspberry.

layered lemon dessert

250 mL AP flour
125 mL soft butter
75 mL ground almonds
30 mL sugar
250 g cream cheese
125 mL XXX sugar
2 mL vanilla
250 mL whipping cream, whipped
Shirrif Lemon Pie Filling (212 g)
2 egg yolks
75 mL cold water
475 mL boiling water
50 mL sliced almonds, toasted

Mix flour, butter, ground almonds and granulated sugar together until mixture forms a ball. Press into 8x8" pan. Bake at 350?F for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Cool.

Beat cream cheese, XXX sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Fold in half the whipped cream. Spread over cooled crust. Prepare pie filling according to package directions, omitting butter. Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally. Spread over cheese layer. Refrigerate until cold. Spread remaining whipped cream over lemon filling. Refrigerate. Garnish with almonds.

blueberry peach strudel

2 c blueberries
1 tbsp AP flour
2 1/2 c chopped peeled peaches
1/4 c sugar
1-2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
6 sheets phyllo pastry

Toss blueberries with flour. Combine peaches, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Stir in flour-coated blueberries.

Lay 2 sheets of phyllo one on top of the other. Brush with melted butter - go easy - and layer on 2 more sheets. Brush again with butter, then lay on the final two sheets.

Pile fruit filling along the long edge and gently roll over a couple of times so that the fruit is completely enclosed. Brush lightly with butter. Fold in the ends and finish rolling it up. Brush the outside with remaining butter.

Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375 F fir 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Cool and sprinkle with icing sugar. Cut into 2" slices to serve.

steamed christmas pudding

2 eggs
1 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
1 c ground suet
1 c grated carrots
1 c peeled grated apple
1 c raisins
1 c currants
1 c fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 c chopped dates
1/2 c mixed peel
1/2 c AP flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c brandy

Beat eggs & blend in sugar, molasses, suet, carrot & apple.  Combine remaining ingredients & stir in.  Pour into greased 1 1/2 qt pudding mould.  Cover with buttered wax paper & foil & tie tightly with string.  Place on rack in large pot & pour in boiling water to halfway up sides of mould.  Cover & steam about 4 hours or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean (keep water boiling gently & add more as needed).  Unmould when cold & wrap in foil; store in fridge.  It will keep about 3 weeks.  Reheat, wrapped in foil, in oven or steamer.  To flame before serving:  In a small saucepan, warm brandy just until it begins to vapourize.  Ignite with long match & pour flaming over pudding.

figgy duff

3 c stale bread, cubed
1/4 c butter, melted
1/2 c brown sugar
3 tbsp molasses
1/2 c raisins
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp hot water
1/2 c AP flour
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Soak bread in water for a few minutes. Squeeze out water. In a large bowl, mix together bread, butter, brown sugar, molasses and raisins.
Combine baking soda and water. Add to mixture and stir. Combine flour and spices. Add to mixture and stir well. Pour into a greased pudding mould. Cover with aluminum foil. Place mould in a steamer or large pot and add boiling water. Cover and steam for 2 hours or until firm to the touch. Pudding mixture can also be place in a pudding bag and boiled with Jigg’s dinner for 2 hours. Top with Sweet Sauce (see below).

sweet sauce

1/2 c butter
1 c icing sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat water in bottom half of double boiler. In top half cream butter, then blend in sugar and egg. Place over hot water. Beat constantly with whisk until foamy. Add vanilla. Stir and serve hot over Figgy Duff.

rice custard ambrosia

1/2 c uncooked rice
1/2 c + 1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp grated orange rind
1/2 tsp salt
4 c milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 large seedless orange
1/2 c raisins
Coconut for garnish

Combine rice, the 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 tsp of the rind, salt, raisins and milk in the top of a double boiler. Heat, stirring constantly, over direct heat until milk is scalded. Place over boiling water, cover and cook 1 hour.

Beat eggs slightly in a 6-cup casserole, slowly stir in hot rice and vanilla. Set dish in a shallow pan and pour 1" of boiling water around it. Bake at 350?F for 15 minutes or until pudding is set. Remove from water.

Combine the 1 tbsp sugar with remaining rind and sprinkle over the hot pudding. Allow pudding to cool a bit before arranging orange sections petal fashion on top. Pile coconut in centre. Serve warm or chilled.

This is the rice pudding I grew up with.

memories of childhood rice pudding

1.5 L whole milk
125 mL sugar
1 vanilla bean OR 2 mL vanilla
125 mL short grain rice
2 mL salt
Pinch nutmeg
Handful of dried cranberries or cherries (opt)

In heavy medium saucepan or double boiler, combine, milk and rice over medium high heat. If using saucepan, bring almost to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking; simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 35 minutes or until rice is softened. If using a double boiler, cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is softened.

Transfer mixture to a 2 L casserole; stir in sugar and salt. Bake uncovered in centre of oven at 300?F for 30 minutes.

Remove and stir with wooden spoon, mixing in any crust that has formed; add vanilla, nutmeg and dried fruit if using. Bake for 45 minutes, without stirring, until golden crust forms. Turn off oven and let pudding stand in oven for another 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, plain or with a little cream.

The Empress Hotel used to serve a wonderful rice pudding in their Garden Café. It came in its own little porcelain gratin dish and had the most divine caramelized top. This recipe is a dim reminder.

low-fat rice pudding with dried cranberries

1/2 vanilla bean (about 4”) OR 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c dried cranberries or raisins
2/3 c granulated sugar   
3/4 c short-grain rice
6 c (1.5 L) 2% milk  (skim will work)   
1/4 tsp salt

With knife, cut vanilla bean lengthwise in half. Scrape out and reserve seeds from inside of both halves. Place vanilla bean pieces and seeds in 4-quart saucepan. Add milk and sugar; bring just to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice; return to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 1/4 hours or until very creamy and slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

Remove pan from heat; discard vanilla bean pieces. Stir in cranberries and salt. Transfer to large bowl and cool slightly. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least six hours or for up to three days.

I've been using this recipe lately and I like its simplicity. Nice served with a dusting of cinnamon.

rice pudding with almonds

½ c   golden raisins
1 c
boiling water
1/3 c
slivered almonds 
3½ c
cooked rice, room temp
2½ c
milk (625 mL)
2½ c
heavy cream (625 mL)
2/3 c
1 c
 heavy cream
2 tsp
grated orange zest
1¼ tsp
1 tsp
½ tsp
lemon zest
¼ tsp
ground fennel seeds

Plump raisins in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain. Toast almonds in skillet 3-5 minutes . Bring rice, milk, cream, sugar and salt to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to a low simmer and cook covered, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes. Continue cooking until spoon is just able to stand up in mixture. Remove from heat and stir in flavourings, almonds and plumped raisins.

crème patisserie

3 tbsp AP flour               
1/3 c sugar                   
1 c half and half (light cream)       
2 egg yolks
1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
1/4 c cognac
3/4 c heavy cream, whipped

In saucepan combine flour and sugar. Gradually stir in half and half and the egg yolks. Constantly stir over low heat until mixture is smooth and thick. Mix gelatin with cognac. Stir mixture into hot sauce until gelatin is dissolved. Cover and cool to room temperature. Fold in whipped cream. Cover and chill until firm. When ready to use, beat crème until it is spreadable.

raspberry pudding

2 pkg (2 x 300g) frozen raspberries, thawed
1/2 c sugar
cake topping
1/2 c butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c AP flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 c milk

Drain raspberries, reserving juice; add enough water to juice to make 1 cup. Set aside.

In greased 8" square metal cake pan, toss raspberries with 1/4 c of the sugar. Set aside.

Cake topping: in a large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time; beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of milk. Scrape evenly over raspberries, smoothing top. Set aside.

In small saucepan, bring reserved raspberry juice and remaining sugar to boil; pour over batter. Bake in centre of 350°F oven until edges are bubbly and cake is firm to the touch, about 50 min. Let cool slightly before serving. You can make this ahead: store at room temperature for up to 8 hours and reheat if desired.