May Recipes

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Ricotta Puff Pastries with Strawberry Compote

Perfect for a party or simply indulging yourself, these addictive pastry puffs make it hard to stop at one. Easy to assemble with these step-by-step instructions, the ricotta mixture and fresh strawberry compote are dynamic together, and provide a generous touch of sweetness. 

2 sheets puff pastry
1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon water
1 package of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup homemade, part-skim or whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 400 F. Cut both puff pastry sheets into nine squares. Make slit in corner of each square toward middle of the pastry. Fold corners to other corners to create pinwheel shape. Brush pastry with 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Combine granulated 1/4 cup granulated sugar and ground cinnamon then sprinkle on each puff pastry. 

Bake 12-15 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and raised.

In medium saucepan on medium to high heat, pour in remaining granulated sugar and water. Once sugar is dissolved, pour in fresh strawberries. Bring mixture to boil then simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until strawberries are broken apart and semi-thick sauce is created. Let chill in refrigerator 2 hours. To chill faster, put in freezer 45 minutes.

In medium bowl, using mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In separate medium bowl, combine ricotta, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until fluffy. Return whipped cream to ricotta mixture and whip for 1-2 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy.

Spoon ricotta cream into the center of each puff pastry pinwheel. Spoon strawberry compote in middle of ricotta mixture.

Cranberry Strata

Did you know that strata is Italian for layers? So you’ll be happy to know that this strata is packed with delicious layers, so be ready to sink your teeth into cream cheese, cranberries, cinnamon and French bread. 

8 cups French bread
18 ounce package of cream cheese
1/2 cup dried cranberries
6 eggs
2 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or nutmeg

In a greased 2-quart rectangular baking dish, arrange half of the bread pieces, about 4 cups. Cut cream cheese into 8-10 slices and arrange over the bread chunks. Sprinkle cranberries over bread chunks.

Top with remaining bread pieces. In a medium bowl beat together eggs, milk and maple syrup. Pour over bread in dish. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Lightly press down with back of spoon or spatula to saturate bread with egg mixture.

Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Uncover then bake for 20 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm and topped with maple syrup, if desired.

Creme Brulee

Dazzle your guests with a decadent dessert like this creme brulee. With a rich and creamy filling topped with a sugary crust, these individual-sized sweets can provide a perfect ending to a nearly any get-together.

4 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
vanilla sugar

Heat oven to 300 F. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, vanilla and cardamom to simmer, whisking occasionally. Do not boil. Remove pan from heat and let rest 10 minutes.

In large bowl, whisk together sugar and egg yolks. Slowly whisk warm cream into egg mixture until smooth.

Set ramekins into baking dish with sides. Pour mixture into ramekins. Pour boiling water into baking dish about half way up sides of ramekins. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until custard is firm. Chill 1 hour.

Before serving, evenly sprinkle vanilla sugar on top. Use kitchen torch to caramelize vanilla sugar.

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