Fan­tas­tic fruits to en­joy now

The Boyertown Area Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Emily Ryan

Orange, kiwi, clemen­tine. Lemon, pear, grape­fruit. Area chefs put a sunny spin on their fa­vorite sea­sonal fruits, pre­par­ing them in ways guar­an­teed to ease those win­ter dol­drums.

“I like win­ter fruits be­cause it means spring’s not that far away,” joked ex­ec­u­tive chef Fred Duerr of Ris­ing Sun Inn in Fran­co­nia.

He rec­om­mends Ger­man pear cake, “an old Chef Tell recipe.”

“That’s the first dessert I learned to make with him. It left an im­pres­sion on me,” Duerr re­called. “It’s got dif­fer­ent tex­tures – a creamy fill­ing, the soft pear in it, and the dough’s a lit­tle crunchy and flaky.”

Also try spiced poached pears from ex­ec­u­tive chef Brenda Ki­ef­fer of Ki­ef­fer’s Ap­pli­ances in Up­per Gwynedd, cel­e­brat­ing its 100th an­niver­sary.

“I think peo­ple need to re­mem­ber to eat fruit in the win­ter,” she said. “Win­ter fruits, in gen­eral, are less del­i­cate than sum­mer fruits. They’re pretty hearty, so you can keep them in your re­frig­er­a­tor for quite a long time and en­joy them.”

Ki­ef­fer freezes cran­ber­ries to last all win­ter and tosses pomegranate seeds, called ar­ils, on green sal­ads for “a nice bit of color with­out us­ing toma­toes.”

An­other op­tion: salad with fen­nel, or­anges and al­monds.

“I love or­anges for their color and taste,” she de­scribed. “It’s a nice way to add acid that has a lit­tle sweet­ness to it.”

Speak­ing of cit­rus, how about a lemon and ri­cotta torte?

“It’s tart, yet again sweet and creamy and vel­vety,” said Bob Im­pe­rial, chefowner of Im­pe­rial’s Cater­ing in Trappe, who served the torte at a themed din­ner show fea­tur­ing Ol’ Blue Eyes.

“We had a Frank Si­na­tra im­per­son­ator a few months ago, and that was one of his (Frank’s) fa­vorites,” Im­pe­rial ex­plained. “Ev­ery time

we do it, peo­ple ask to take it home. It’s pop­u­lar.”

Come rain or come shine…

Salad with Fen­nel, Or­anges and Al­monds INGREDIENTS

2 heads Bos­ton let­tuce

½ head fen­nel, sliced thin

2 or­anges, suprêmed (see note be­low)

¼ cup red onion, sliced thin

¼ cup sliv­ered al­monds, toasted

½ cup orange vinai­grette dress­ing (see recipe be­low)


Tear the let­tuce into a bowl and add the fen­nel, or­anges and onion. Add the dress­ing and al­monds. Toss.

Orange Vinai­grette Dress­ing

¼ cup fresh orange juice, re­duced to a syrup

2 ta­ble­spoons red wine vine­gar

1 ta­ble­spoon Di­jon mus­tard

1 ta­ble­spoon honey

1 cup veg­etable oil or a mix­ture of veg­etable oil and al­mond or wal­nut oil

Kosher salt and pep­per to taste


Whisk juice, honey, vine­gar and mus­tard to­gether; whisk in oil un­til slightly thick­ened.

Note: Suprêmed means skin and pith cut off and seg­ments cut along the mem­branes.

Recipe cour­tesy of ex­ec­u­tive chef Brenda Ki­ef­fer

Spiced Poached Pears INGREDIENTS

4 ripe, yet very firm Bosc or Bartlett pears

4 cups wa­ter

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup sugar

4-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced

1 tea­spoon whole cloves

1 star anise pod, bro­ken in half

1 cin­na­mon stick, bro­ken in half

Vanilla frozen yo­gurt


Peel the pears and cut them in half from top to bot­tom and then in quar­ters length­wise. Core each pear half by scoop­ing out the cen­ter with a melon baller or spoon. Put the wa­ter, honey and sugar to a 4-quart pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir un­til the sugar and honey are dis­solved, then add the ginger, cloves, star anise and cin­na­mon stick.

Slip the pears into the liq­uid and turn the heat down to a sim­mer. Cover and cook for 20 to 30 min­utes, or un­til the pears can be just pierced with a fork. Re­move the pears from the poach­ing liq­uid with a slot­ted spoon to a con­tainer. Re­frig­er­ate the pears. Bring the poach­ing liq­uid to a low boil and sim­mer for 30 min­utes un­til syrupy and re­duced by half. Cool. Serve in a bowl with a scoop of frozen yo­gurt and the re­duced poach­ing liq­uid driz­zled over.

Recipe cour­tesy of ex­ec­u­tive chef Brenda Ki­ef­fer


Serv­ings: 6 to 8


1 recipe 1-2-3 dough (see recipe be­low) 4 to 5 large pears

½ cup un­sea­soned bread crumbs

½ cup heavy cream

Juice of 1 lemon

2 eggs

1 ta­ble­spoon corn­starch

½ cup sugar

¼ tea­spoon vanilla ex­tract

1 cup sour cream

½ cup apri­cot pre­serves, heated


Pre­pare crust and re­frig­er­ate (while mak­ing fill­ing). Peel pears, core, cut them in half. Score pears on rounded side, set aside. But­ter and flour a 9-inch spring­form pan. Press chilled dough into pre­pared pan to cover the bot­tom and come half­way up the sides of the pan. Sprin­kle bread crumbs evenly over the bot­tom crust. Put pre­pared pears in the pan, rounded side up. Fill spa­ces with pieces of pear.

Mix cream, lemon juice, eggs, corn­starch, sugar, vanilla and sour cream to­gether in a bowl. Beat with a whisk to com­bine all ingredients well. Pre­heat oven to 375 de­grees. Pour the cream mix­ture over the pears and bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or un­til the pears are ten­der and the fill­ing is set. Cool slightly and brush the top of the cake with warm apri­cot pre­serves.

1-2-3 Dough:

1 cup sugar

2 cups but­ter or mar­garine, soft­ened

3 cups all-pur­pose flour

1 egg


Com­bine ingredients quickly to form a dough. Do not over­work mix­ture. Cover and re­frig­er­ate for at least one hour be­fore us­ing.

Recipe cour­tesy of Ris­ing Sun Inn

Lemon & Ri­cotta Torte

Serv­ings: 8


3 cups lemon juice

4 cups sugar

4 cups ri­cotta cheese

2 cup cream cheese

Zest of 1 lemon

6 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

¼ cup corn­starch

Pie crust (see recipe be­low)


In a mix­ing bowl, add lemon juice, sugar, ri­cotta cheese, cream cheese and lemon zest. Mix with hand mixer un­til mix­ture is blended, ap­prox­i­mately 3 min­utes on medium speed. Slowly add egg yolks and eggs; mix with mixer for 2 to 3 min­utes. Pre­pare crust and press into 10-inch greased cake pan. (Recipe fol­lows.) Pour bat­ter atop crust and bake for 40 min­utes at 325 de­grees. Al­low to cool in re­frig­er­a­tor for at least 2 hours. Serve and en­joy.

Pie Crust:

2 cups of gra­ham cracker crumbs

1 cup of sugar

½ cup of melted but­ter


Place gra­ham cracker crumbs and sugar in a mix­ing bowl and mix. Pour the melted but­ter into bowl and mix ingredients. Spray 10inch cake pan well with cook­ing spray. Place the mix­ture on bot­tom of pan and spread evenly. Pour the above torte recipe over the crumb mix­ture and bake.

Recipe cour­tesy of Im­pe­rial’s Cater­ing


This win­ter, look on the bright side and en­joy sunny citrus like or­ange, le­mon, grape­fruit and more.


In win­ter, “ap­ples, pears and or­anges are the ones I go to most,” says ex­ec­u­tive chef Brenda Ki­ef­fer.


“I do a lot of poached pears,” says ex­ec­u­tive chef Brenda Ki­ef­fer, who shares her recipe.


Some chefs stock up on cran­ber­ries, freez­ing them to last all win­ter.


Love lemons? Freshly squeezed juice stars in le­mon and ri­cotta torte.

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