Peter Aitken's Recipe Collection

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cooking recipes kitchen food 12


Tres Leches cake

The Spanish name means "three milks," and you'll soon see why. Traditional in Central America, this is an unusual and delicious cake that is particularly well suited for hot weather because it is usually served cold. This recipe comes from a cousin in Panama where it has been in the family for a long time.

The cake:

Bake a basic yellow cake in a 9 x 13 inch pan. You can use a mix or your own recipe. Make sure the cake does not completely fill the pan - you'll want 1/2 inch of space on top. Let cool foir 1/2 hour or so, then use a spatula to separate the sides of the cake from the pan (but leaving the cake in the pan).

The cream:

1-12 oz can evaporated milk
1-14 oz can sweetened consensed milk
1-1/2c whole milk
2 egg yolks (save the whites)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz rum

Beat the milks and yolks together until completely blended. Put in a heavy pan with the cinnamon and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Take off the heat, discard the cinnamon, and stir in the vanilla and rum. Set aside to cool.

First assembly

When the cake and cream are warm to the touch, use a fork or other implement to poke holes all over the cake. Spoon the cream over the cake and let it soak in. This make take a while, and you may not use all the cream. The goal is to have the cake thoroughly soaked without and cream pooling on the top.

The frosting

1 c sugar
1/3 c water
The 2 reserved egg whites

Put the sugar and water in a small, heavy saucepan. Cook without stirring


Black plum sorbet

Delicious when you have top-quality summer plums.

1.5 lbs ripe black plums (about 5)
2 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2c granulated sugar
2 TB Kirsch

Pit the plums and chop coarsely - do not peel. Put in a saucepan with the lemon juice and 1/4c water and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 min. Meanwhile put the sugar and 3/4c water in a small saucepan and heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the Kirsch and cool. Combine the plum mixture and the sugar/Kirsch syrup in a blender and process until smooth. Strain thru a sieve into a bowl and chill. Process in an ice-cream maker.

Pears in butter-brandy sauce

See below for another pear recipe

4 ripe but firm pears
4 TB butter
1/4c sugar
1/4c Calvados (apple brandy)

Peel, half, and core the pears. Melt half the butter in a nonstick skillet. When hot add the pears, flat side down. Sprinkle with half the sugar. Cook over medium to medium-high heat until starting to brown. Turn and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Continue cooking and turning until lightly browned all over. Add brandy and remaining butter. Cook, shaking, until brandy reduces to a sauce. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche.

Poached pears

4 not-quite-ripe pears
3 TB unsalted butter
3 TB sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2c Marsala

Peel, core, and quarter the pears. Melt the butter in a non-stick saute pan and when the foam has subsided add the pears. Cook for about 10 min over medium heat, stirring and turning once in a while, until the pears are partially browned. Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir to mix. Add the Marsala and simmer for a few minutes, stirring, until the wine has reduced to a syrupy glaze.




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