Poached Quince

quinceQuince: the stylist in me loves their shape, their color, and the way they are overall so photogenic.  The cook in me loves their taste and their aroma as they ripen. Not quite like a pear, not quite like an apple … I can’t resist buying them, they are even so beautiful as an arrangement on the dining room table.  Last week I used them as a centerpiece on my Thanksgiving table; this weekend, they are ready for poaching.  I like them warm or room temperature, on their own with a bit of the poaching liquid or with granola and yogurt in the morning.


  • 3 large ripe quince peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • one vanilla bean cut lengthwise
  • one half lemon
  • 1 stick cinnamoncut and peeled quince

In a large saucepan bring the water, sugar, honey, vanilla, lemon and cinnamon to a low boil.  In the meantime peel the quince, quartered and cored.  Quince are a little “tougher” than pears or apples so make sure you get rid of all the fibers around the core while being careful not to cut yourself in the process.

Once cut, transfer the quince to the boiling mixture.  Bring to a simmer and cover.  Simmer on low for about an hour or until the quince is tender, testing by piercing with a knife.poached quince

Let cool to room temperature and serve.  Refrigerate up to a week.

NOTE:  The poaching liquid makes a delicious base for cocktails.

From my kitchen to yours,

CK, la fille du boucher

Poached pears and mascarpone sauce

bosc pearsWhen I am looking for a light and simple dessert I always look to the fruits of the season for inspiration. Come November, with those fresh local berries long gone, my mind turns to apples and pears.  I get busy in the kitchen with stews, hardy soups, and various comfort foods that are best shared with friends and family.  What better way to end a fall or winter meal than with poached pears.  They are delicious served with their own poaching liquid and, on special occasions, can be stepped up a notch and served with a mascarpone sauce. This recipe serves 6 (half pear per person).poached pears


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 whole vanilla bean cut in half the long way
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cardamon pods
  • 7 whole cloves
  • 1 strand of lemon zest (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 3 bosc pears ripe but still firm, peeled cut in half and cored

In a saucepan bring the liquids, sugar and spices to a slow simmer, making sure the sugar dissolves.  Add pears and simmer for 20 minutes.

Turn heat off and let the pears stand in the liquid until ready to serve. You can cover the surface with a cheesecloth and secure it with a plate to make sure the pears stay submerged in the poaching liquid. If serving the next day, refrigerate and bring to room temperature before serving.poached pears

When ready to serve, take pears out of the poaching liquid.  Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer to collect the spices.  Take the vanilla bean and scrape any left over seeds from the pod and transfer to the poaching liquid.  Serve a half pear per person in a shallow bowl with a few tablespoons of the syrup. Serve with extra syrup on the table or with the following mascarpone sauce.mascarpone sauce


  • 3/4 cup mascarpone
  • 3/4 cup poaching liquid
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamon

In a large bowl whisk all the ingredients until blended and smooth.

NOTE:  You might have poaching liquid and sauce leftover.  The poaching liquid makes a wonderful simple syrup that you can save in the fridge for up to a month and serve with bubbly water, prosecco or white wine for a nice refreshing cocktail.  The sauce can be served with other fruits or mixed in with plain yogurt.empty plate with pear stem

From my kitchen to yours!

CK, la fille du boucherforelle pears

Crème Brûlée (for 35)

What happens when you mix cream, eggs, sugar and a bit of vanilla? Crème Brûlée!  It is so simple and yet makes your guests feel doted on and happy. The little “tap tap” of your spoon on the caramelized sugar, the delicate breaking of it like shards of stained glass, and finally digging into that creamy custard are what crème brûlée is all about.

This recipe was passed on to me years ago when I used to caterer for my friend Diane.  It was our go-to recipe: simple, delicious and it never failed! I wish I had written the name of the book it came from, all I have left is an old stained xerox of the recipe titled “Classic Crème Brûlée”.

This past weekend I had to make it for a crowd: 35 crèmes brûlées for an international pot luck dinner.  I could not ask for a simpler recipe – within 2 hours I was done (minus the brûlée part).  If you too are making it for a crowd, never more than double the recipe in one go – otherwise all of the ingredients might not mix properly.


  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar for the caramelized tops

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and pale yellow.  Add cream and vanilla and continue to whisk until well blended.

Divide the mixture among 6 ramequins or custard cups.  Place in a water bath (see note) and bake until set around the edges, but still wobbly in the center; about 40 to 50 minutes.  Remove from oven and leave in the water bath until cooled.  Remove cups from the water bath and chill for at least 2 hours up to 2 days.

When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar over each custard.  For best results, use a small hand-held torch to melt sugar.  If you don’t have a torch, place under the broiler until the sugar melts.  Re-chill the custards for about 10 minutes before serving. This recipe makes 6 servings

NOTE: to secure the ramequins/custard cups on the sheet pan, wet a dish towel and lay in the sheet pan, making sure none of the fabric hangs over the pan.  Place the containers on the towel and once the mixture is in the ramequins, slowly pour hot water in the sheet pan bringing the water level half way to the ramequins.  This towel “trick” can be used each time you have to bake small items in a water bath and you don’t want them moving around in the container and spilling their contents.

From my kitchen to yours!

CK, la fille du boucher

Peach Galette

“You’ll never go back to making pie once you’ve made a galette” that’s what I like to say each time I serve a galette. Well, maybe not but I just want to emphasize how easy and rewarding this dessert is.  I LOVE it’s rustic look and the fruit ratio to the dough.  Eat it as is, with ice cream or whipped cream OR with a mascarpone lemon sauce. The dough and the sauce can be made a day or two before. This recipe serves 6 to 8 people, especially if you serve it with the sauce.



  • 1cup flour
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter (1/4 lb) cut in small pieces
  • 3 tbs very cold water

Put the dried ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to blend. Scatter the pieces of butter on top of the mix and pulse until the mixtures resemble coarse cornmeal.  With the motor running pour the water and let the mixture get wet.  It won’t look like “wet” dough but if you rub it between your fingers, it should stick together. If not add another tablespoon.  Invert the mixture onto a clean surface and form into a ball, flatten it into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.


  • 4 peaches (about 1.5 pound)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbs cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces

Peel peaches by dunking them in a pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes or until the skin   comes out easily.  Halve, core and cut the peaches into 1/4 inch slices.  In a large bowl mix the dried ingredients. Gently toss the sliced peaches into the mixture to cover them.  Toss the zest and lemon juice.  Put aside as you are rolling the dough.


On a piece of parchment paper roll out the dough into a 11 inch round.  Transfer the peach mixture onto the dough leaving a 2 inch border all around. Scatter the 2tbs butter on top of the peaches.  Carefully fold the border into the galette forming the galette as you are folding.  The galette does not need to be perfectly round, that’s the beauty of the galette!  Transfer the whole piece of parchment / galette to a baking sheet and return to the fridge for 20 minutes.  In the meantime preheat the oven at 400 degrees .  Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until the crust is nice and golden and the filling is bubbling.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 2 tbs whipped cream cheese
  • 2 tbs sour cream
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs limoncello (optional)

In a bowl mix all the ingredients and whisk until smooth.

NOTE:  it is very important to make sure the galette goes in the fridge and is cold before baking, that is how you will get a nice flaky crust.

From my kitchen to yours!

CK, la fille du boucher