Pavlova may seem like an exotic, complicated dessert to make for the novice cook, but rest assured it is really quite easy to prepare and will leave your guests thinking you are a culinary superstar.
Not only can the dessert components be prepared in advance leaving you time to mingle with friends and family on this long weekend, the toppings can be easily adapted to suit the season and specialty diets.
Because maple syrup is in its glory days this time of year, it is only fitting to use the liquid gold in an early Spring inspired dessert. If you don't want the extra sweetness, feel free to omit the cascading syrup and instead add a little to the whipped cream. Don't like bananas? Substitute sour cherries or lightly stewed rhubarb instead. Allergic to nuts? Skip 'em! Can't have dairy? Whip coconut milk instead of heavy cream. Gluten sensitivities? There isn't any gluten in this recipe.
Have some fun in the kitchen this Easter and don't forget to send me a picture of your finished desserts to Cindy@elginharvest.ca
The culinary equivalent of hockey in Canada is maple syrup. We're passionate about it, grow up with it, make it in our own backyards, and we have built a profitable industry based around it. The province of Quebec alone produces nearly 80% of the worlds supply.
With maple syrup being such a delicious and well-marketed commodity, it's no wonder the province of Quebec threw off its gloves and put up a fight when it was discovered a substantial portion of it had gone missing - a whopping 6 million pounds of it. Officers from the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement helped Quebec police in the investigation of the missing syrup. As details were released, the theft put a spotlight on the dark side of the maple syrup industry.
With the arrival of March comes hope, more daylight, and a new season of local harvesting in Elgin County. As much as I try to preserve the bounty produced by our local farmers when food is ripe, I'm not at the stage of being 100% sustainable all year round - and I probably never will be. I do the best that I can, when I can, but like the majority of people I resort to imported fresh fruits & vegetables when locally grown isn't available.
When March rolls in (like a lamb or like a lion?), one the first local food products to become available in the new year is ooey gooey, sweet & succulent, take-me-to-the-sugar-shack maple syrup.
The flavour, colour, aroma, texture, and versatility of maple syrup make it a favourite in my pantry. Although the price of the real stuff may intimidate some shoppers, I think it is worth the cost as an occasional treat. The bottles of 'table syrup' are filled with artificially coloured and flavoured high-fructose corn syrup and are in no way close to replicating the complexity and depth of the tree-sourced liquid gold. Authentic maple syrup contains just one ingredient: sugar maple sap.
The sugar shanty's will be open this weekend offering demos and tastings of local syrup. Take a little day-trip, enjoy the great outdoors and pick up a bottle to bring home to prepare the first of many maple treats this month : Maple Budino.
Sour Cream Doughnuts
What's better than a fresh baked old-fashioned doughnut dipped in maple syrup? An old-fashioned doughnut dipped in maple syrup and sprinkled with bacon lardons.
It's astonishing to read the Wikipaedia entry for doughnuts. Just like bread, many countries have their own unique version of deep-fried dough. Some have a hole in the centre and some are filled with cream or preserves. Maybe you prefer yours with a dusting of icing sugar or drenched in a super-saturated lemon & cinnamon syrup. Light and airy or dense and cakey. Koeksisters, beignets, and Berliners are just a few examples of some national variations.
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.