Beyond Pumpkin Pie…

Pear Feature

OK, you’re right. We can’t just send out a newsletter mentioning the amazing dishes our Wholistic Nutrition students got to cook and savor in their last weekend class, and not share at least one or two of the recipes.

To everyone who emailed us after the mouth-watering newsletter landed in your inbox, we’re ready to make it up to you with these two wonderful seasonal desserts. A great alternative to pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving or anytime evening when dessert is on the menu. They both are recipes contributed by our faculty member Carole Freeman (you’ll find her notes on each recipe below), and would make great additions to any holiday menu.

Enjoy!

Vegan Coconut Custard with Figs

Delicious and easy to make, this custard is dairy and egg free.

Ingredients

3 cups coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 fresh figs, sliced

Directions

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk the coconut milk, sugar, arrowroot and extract together until the sugar and arrowroot are dissolved.

Bring to a boil and continue stirring until thickened.

Remove from heat and transfer to 6 individual serving dishes. Refrigerate until chilled and set, about 1 hour. Top with sliced figs.

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour to set in refrigerator.

poached pears

Chinese 5 Spice Poached Pears with Ginger Chocolate Sauce

Chinese 5 spice blend is one of my favorite spice blends. A mixture of anise, clove, cinnamon and fennel, it is traditionally used in savory dishes, however I find that this spice mixtures lends itself exceptionally well to sweet dishes as too. Poaching pears is a great way to use up both under-ripe and over-ripe pears to create a seemingly gourmet dessert that is very easy to prepare.

Ingredients

2 cups sake
½ cup sugar
4 whole star anise
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
2 pears
¼ cup heavy cream
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped coarsely
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger

Directions

Combine sake and sugar in a large sauce pan. Add the star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick, and fennel. Peel pears, cut in half and remove core and place them in the liquid. Over medium high heat, bring to a simmer; cover and cook until the pears are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.

Place the chocolate and ginger in a small heat-proof bowl. In a small sauce pan, heat the cream to a boil and then remove from heat. Pour over the chocolate and ginger and stir until the chocolate has melted. Let stand for 20-30 minutes. (The longer it stands, the stronger the ginger flavor will be)

Remove pears from poaching liquid and place into serving bowl. Drizzle with ginger chocolate sauce and serve.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes

Copyright 2014, C. Freeman, original recipes.

Photo credit: REL Waldman via Compfight cc

SCHOOL CLOSURE - THE WELLSPRING SCHOOL WILL BE CLOSED AFTER 12PM TODAY DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER. ALL OF TUESDAY'S (12/20) CLASSES ARE CANCELLED!
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