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  • pixeltheatre 10:13 pm on June 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Canada, cuisine, , nanaimo bar, , , sugar, sweet   

    Mmm…Canada – The Sweet Edition 

    Jennifer (The Domestic Goddess) is hosting this year the Mmm…Canada – The Sweet Edition. In 2005 she asked Canadian bloggers and non-bloggers to talk about their favorite meal, the one that really said Canada to them. This year she decided to up the ante:

    This year let’s make our proverbial pot a little bigger; a little sweeter, if you will. Let’s get together as many bloggers as we can to share their favourite Canadian confection, indulgence, dessert, sweet…anything really! As long as says Canada to you and you can get some sort of Sugar High from it, we want to know about it.

    As mentioned below in the Savoury Edition, I am Québec-born and bred. Quebecers are renowned for their sweet tooth. The dessert that most typifies this for me is Sugar Pie (with a name like that, how can you go wrong?). Tarte au sucre is one of those recipes that offers a lot of variations: maple sugar, brown sugar, flour, no flour, butter or not, cream, etc. Some families guard their version and pass it down generation to generation. I blogged on this last year. The full post can be found here.This entry is the most popular on my site, thanks to an incoming link from Wipedia. I never realized how many people were interested in this dessert…

    Here’s the recipe I usually use. It’s foolproof and quick to prepare.

    Quick Sugar Pie
    (Recipe: courtesy of Mme Paquin, Trois-Rivières)
    1 cup of brown sugar, packed
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    1 tablespoon flour

    Mix ingredients in bowl until smooth. Throw in a frozen pie crust and bake at 400F for 30 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream. It tastes even better cold, the day after.

    Now, living on the West Coast, my other favorite sugar high is provided by the Nanaimo Bar.  You can’t beat it for a quick pick-me-up in the afternoon (followed by the inevitable crash). Here’s a recipe from The City of Nanaimo’s website:

    Nanaimo Bar - Stephanie Spencer - Wikipedia Commons Nanaimo Bar Recipe
    Bottom Layer

    • ½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 5 tbsp. cocoa
      1 egg beaten
    • 1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
    • ½ c. finely chopped almonds
    • 1 cup coconut

    Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan.
    Second Layer

    • ½ cup unsalted butter
    • 2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
    • 2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
    • 2 cups icing sugar

    Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.
    Third Layer

    • 4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
    • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

    Melt chocolate and butter overlow heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

    Note: This dessert/snack also comes in prepackaged mixes for the time-pressed.

    (Photo: Stephanie Spencer, Wikipedia Commons)

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    • Jennifer 11:55 am on June 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, sugar pie…very few things are more Canadian than that! Thanks so much for joining in on Mmm…Canada!

    • Candice 10:18 pm on June 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Last time I made sugar pie, it turned out a bit too runny. Next time I’m going to try your recipe! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

    • madcapCupcake 7:56 am on July 2, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      TWO sweet delights – and both looks delcious 🙂

    • ileygilbert 7:11 pm on July 31, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      oh my gosh these all look amazing!

  • pixeltheatre 9:49 pm on June 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Canada, , cretons, french canadian, meat pie, , tourtiere   

    Invitation: Mmm…Canada – The Savory Edition 

    In early June I was invited by Jasmine (Confessions of a Cardamon Addict) to blog about “which savory dishes or drinks tastes like Canada to you?” This invitation was in anticipation of July 1st, Canada’s official birthday. It certainly was an interesting question, one I had often thought about, but usually in the context of: Does Canada really have a distinctive culture? Food is definitely part of a culture, I think. But as difficult it is to answer the culture question, the food angle is no easier.

    I was born and raised in Québec, predominantly in the french-canadian culture. I now live on the West Coast of Canada, in Vancouver, a city with distinct Asian and East-Asian culinary influences.  Though I absolutely love that cuisine, and consider it part of my heritage now, I have to admit the first thought and taste that came to me when I received the invitation was my mom’s meat pie (tourtière). I also “smelled” maple sap reducing in a cabane à sucre (sugar shack), and felt the soft, sweet texture of maple taffee on my tongue. All, really, childhood memories.

    Christmas time is a big cooking and baking period pretty much around the world. It’s no exception in Québec. Though my mom now lives in Toronto, I was really happy last Christmas to finally help her prepare a traditional dish, usually served in the winter: Ragoût de pâte de cochon (Pigs feet stew). I blogged about this here. Another traditional fare at that time of year is a type of quick paté called cretons.  It’s a nice little appetizer. Here’s the recipe:

    Cretons à l’ancienne

    Source : Jehane Benoît

    1 lb minced pork, lean
    1 cup milk
    1 cup bread crumbs (or dried bread, finely chopped)
    1 onion, finely chopped
    to taste, Salt
    to taste, Pepper
    to taste, cloves, grounded
    to taste, cinnamon, grounded

    Instructions :Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Cover and cook for 1 hour on low heat. Stir once or twice during cooking time. Store in containers. Can be frozen.

    Thanks again, Jasmine, for this thought-provoking subject. Now, I wonder, to which cuisine will I turn to celebrate this July 1st?…

     
    • jasmine 4:24 pm on June 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Good post. I really enjoy reading about the treats that come from the Québecois kitchen.

      Thanks for participating!

      j

    • Joanne at Frutto della Passione 2:15 am on July 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      It is amazing how many of us have talked about childhood memories in our posts for this event. I have never had your dish, but it looks and sounds very tempting! Thanks for sharing.

    • Liliana 10:03 am on July 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Mmm…I love cretons although I have never made it. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

      Happy Canada Day!

    • Christine 11:07 am on July 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Aaahhh the “sugar shack” smell. I can smell it now. We took our daughter for the first time this year, and hope to do it every year for a long time. I can smell it now. Happy Canada Day!

    • Hélène 6:43 pm on July 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Moi aussi je suis née au Québec et j’aime bien les cretons. Que c’est bon.

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