Starting The New Year Right – Fruit Filled Pastries

I lost my Little Grandma (my father’s mother) when I was seven years old.  I still remember her vividly though and have many wonderful memories of her.  During the holidays especially I am reminded of her and many of the wonderful recipes that she handed down.  Many of them have become a family tradition and recipes that I hope to pass down to my children and grandchildren.

One recipe that is requested by family and friends alike are the fruit filled cream cheese pastries that were a specialty of my grandmother’s.  They are a bit labor-intensive, but well worth the effort.  The trick is to make sure the dough remains chilled, as it gets sticky if it isn’t.

Cream Cheese Fruit Filled Pastries

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  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 1 Pound Butter
  • 2-8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1-4 oz. Cream Cheese
  • Fruit Filling or Preserves

Blend flour, butter and cream cheese by hand until well blended.  Set in refrigerator overnight.

Next Day:

Cut off a portion of dough about the size of a fist.  Roll this dough out as thin as possible on powdered sugar.  Cut into wedges, as in a pie.

Put 1/2 tsp. of filling on wide end of wedge.  Roll wedge from wide end.

Place pastry on parchment lined cookie sheet with edge of roll under pastry.  Bake on 2nd from the top rack for 15 to 17 minutes at 375.

I went through five 8 oz. jars of home canned preserves with this recipe.  I made peach-pineapple, plum, and tart cherry pastries.  I have used store-bought poppy-seed filling in the past, and they were excellent as well.  Any thick filling will work.  Definitely expect some of the filling to ooze out the sides, but enough remains to make these pastries a wonderful addition to any dessert tray.

Knowing that a part of my grandmother lives on in spirit in the traditions and recipes that we enjoy every year during the holidays and throughout the year is important to me.  This recipe especially makes me feel close to her, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

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Dessert Crepes #2 – Tiramisu Crepes

A favorite dessert at the holidays around our house is Tiramisu.  The only trouble with this dessert is that it tends to be heavy and filling.  Almost too filling after a big meal.  So, making this into a lighter crepe version works out perfectly when having a holiday dinner party.

Tiramisu Crepes

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Crepes:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Club Soda
  • 3 Tbsp. Melted Butter
  • 4 Tbsp. Strong Coffee
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 3 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt.

Filling:

  • 8 oz. Mascarpone Cheese
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Kahlua
  • 2 Tbsp. Vanilla
  • Baking Cocoa and Whipped Cream for Garnish

First, make the crepes.  In a blender, combine eggs, milk, soda, butter, coffee and vanilla.  Beat until well combined. Add flour and sugar and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Pour just enough batter into heated pan to cover bottom.  Cook until top of crepe has a dull finish.  Flip and cook an additional 10 seconds.  Remove from pan. When cool, stack on plate with waxed paper in between.

Next, make filling.  In large mixing bowl beat cheeses until smooth.  Add sugar and beat till fluffy.  Stir in Kahlua and vanilla until well combined.  Chill until ready to use.

To assemble, place crepe on plate, spoon two tablespoons of cream filling down center, roll up.  Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cocoa.

This crepe is much lighter than the traditional tiramisu making it possible to enjoy maybe more than one after dinner, if you are so inclined, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Dessert Crepes #1 – Black Forest Cherries Jubilee Crepes

I love to serve dessert crepes to guests. They are super impressive and super easy. Two of my favorite characteristics when making any dessert. Recently I decided to try combining three of my favorite tastes into one crepe: tart cherries, red velvet, and cream cheese. Thus emerged my Black Forest Cherries Jubilee Crepe.

The base for the Black Forest Cherries Jubilee Crepe is a red velvet crepe. On top of this is spread a fluffy cream cheese filling, then topped with cherries jubilee, folded, and garnished with a dab of whipped cream. Decadent in every way.

Black Forest Cherries Jubilee Crepe

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Crepe:

  • 2 eggs
    1 1/4 Cups Milk
    1 tsp. Sugar
    1/8 tsp. Vanilla
    3/4 Cup Flour
    1 1/2 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
    2 tsp. Red Food Coloring
    Cooking Spray

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
    1 8 oz. Package Cream Cheese
    1 1/4 Cups Powdered Sugar
    1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Cherries Jubilee Topping:

  • 1 Quart Canned Tart Cherry Pie Filling
    1/2 Cup Brandy
    Whipped Cream

The first step to making these crepes is to prepare the crepe batter. In a blender, beat eggs until light. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes.

Heat small fry pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour just enough batter in pan to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook until the top of the crepe has a dull finish. Flip and cook for 10 seconds more.

Place a sheet of wax paper between each crepe. These can be refrigerated until used or frozen if not using right away.

Next, prepare the cream filling. In a small bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth; fold in whipped cream. Chill until ready to serve.

Finally, it’s time to make the cherries jubilee. For this, in a fry pan, heat the cherry pie filling. In a separate small pan, heat the brandy. When ready to serve, bring the cherries and brandy to the table, slowly pour the brandy over the warm cherries, light with a long match and watch the blue flames.

To assemble the crepes. Start with a red velvet crepe, spread 2 heaping tablespoons of cream down the center of crepe, top with 2 tablespoons of cherries jubilee, roll up. Top with a dab of whipped cream and garnish with a single cherry.

This is one of the most decadent crepes I make and one of the best received. Anytime you serve something that is flaming, it is sure to be a hit.

This recipe might sound like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. It is well worth giving a try. I did, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.