Appetizers · Breads · New Favorite

Focaccia with Carmelized Onions, Pear and Blue Cheese

Pears have been plentiful this year and I had to find a savory recipe to use extra pears when I discovered this fantastic recipe.  The focaccia recipe itself is wonderful and worthy of a totally different set of toppings; however, it’s hard to beat pears and blue cheese.

This is a recipe I’ll make over and over and over…

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FOCACCIA WITH CARMELIZED ONIONS, PEAR AND BLUE CHEESE

1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon honey
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 large Bosc pear, cored and sliced
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (I used Gorgonzola)

  • In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast and honey and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the flour and 1/4 cup of the oil; let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining flour and the salt and knead until smooth.
  • Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and let stand for 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 10 minutes. 
  • Preheat the oven to 450°. Oil a 9-by-13 inch rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the sheet and press it down to fit. Dimple the dough all over with your fingers and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Let the dough rise until puffed, about 20 minutes. 

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  • Scatter the onions over the dough. Arrange the pear over the onions and sprinkle with the blue cheese. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the focaccia and bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve.

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Recipe from FoodandWine.com

Breads · New Favorite

Fresh Pear Bread

Pears, pears, pears!  I’ve overrun with pears thanks to my CSA shares this fall. They have been absolutely delicious but more than I can eat.

This recipe was simple and resulted in a moist, delicious bread great for a breakfast treat with a cup of hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate.  Due to family tastes, I omitted the nuts, but it would be delicious with walnuts or pecans!

Fresh Pear Bread
Fresh Pear Bread

FRESH PEAR BREAD

3 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups finely chopped peeled ripe pears (about 4 medium)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • In a bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; stir into the egg mixture just until moistened. Toss pears with lemon juice. Stir pears and walnuts into batter (batter will be thick).
  • Spoon into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves.

Recipe from Taste of Home

Breads · Breakfast · Czech Heritage and Dishes · Family · Family Favorites · Holidays

Chocolate Kolaches

Christmas morning without Kolaches is like the 4th of July without fireworks. Cherry Kolaches have always been my favorite and, until a few years ago, the only kind I ever made.  What to do when your new son-in-law doesn’t like cooked fruit? You can never go wrong with Chocolate.

Hershey's Chocolate Kisses
Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses

The first year I was a bit doubtful about the results but I was pleasantly surprised. I took a piece of dough, as I would for the cherry kolaches, but flatten in slightly, pressing 1-2 chocolate kisses in the dough, then pinching the dough closed around the chocolate.

Update January 2021:  I have made these every year but have graduated to a higher grade of chocolate, using Ghirardelli chocolate chips or squares.

Allow the dough to rise, per the recipe, and bake.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar when removing from the oven (optional).

See the original recipe on my Cherry Kolaches post.