It’s finally fall and your farmers market is abundant with the summer’s bounty of fruit, particularly apples and pears. I have this love/hate relationship with pears that I don’t think I can win. When good, a pear is the best fruit possible. Of course, a pear is at its peak for perhaps all of 90 minutes.
How to save that precious pear flavor? You can follow one of the many recipes to make pear vodka. Or, for these imbibing purposes, simply purchase a great pear vodka. And then concoct this lovely cocktail. The popular St.-Germain liqueur is matched with champagne, sugar, and lemon juice. This a lively beverage that will bubble over your tongue, the ideal accompaniment to a fall Sunday brunch. Sip and watch the falling leaves.
Pear Vodka, St. Germain and Champagne Cocktail
Yield: 1 cocktail
- Lemon slice
- Superfine sugar
- 2 ounces pear vodka
- 2 ouces St. Germain elderflower liquor
Use a wide-rimmed cocktail glass, a marigarita glass. Run the lemon slice around the edge, and then dip into the superfine sugar.
Place the vodka and St. Germain in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Pour into the rimmed glass and top with champagne.
For garnish, a lemon or lime slice is fine, or add a sprig of herb to complement the elderflower liquor.
Source: adapted from About.com
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS Macro Lens 60mm, F/2.8, 1/80th second, ISO-800
Frostings by Courtney Dial Whitmore and Courtney Whitmore is a slim treasure of a book dedicated to decadence. Frostings in all forms and flavors appear here. I’m fond of buttercreams and prefer them very lightly flavored. I want my frosting subtle, with hinted flavor and with the ability to let me taste the richness of that underlying butter.
This recipe is just my style. This Champagne Buttercream offers the promise of bubbly now suitably encased in butter and sugar. Use the best quality butter you can. Champagne is fine, but Prosecco or Cava or other sparkling wines will give you alternative, but equally rich, experiences.
This Champagne Buttercream atop a classic white layer cake will dominate any summer brunch on your horizon.
Yield: 4+ cups
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 cups [1 pound] powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons champagne
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 2 minutes on medium speed. Adjust the speed to low and add the powdered sugar to the butter 1 cup at a time until well incorporated.
Add the vanilla extract and the Champagne. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add ore powdered sugar to thicken the frosting or some milk to loosen.
Source: Frostings by Courtney Dial Whitmore and Courtney Whitmore
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/2.8 for 1/100th second at ISO‑1000