The Novel Bakers are back with more feasting and gathering from The Forest Feast Gatherings: Simple Vegetarian Menus for Hosting Friends & Family by Erin Gleeson. Lushly illustrated with hundreds of watercolor drawings and photographs, The Forest Feast Gatherings is an inspiring reference for anyone who wants to share good food with good friends, simply, easily, and beautifully.
If you missed part one with The Novel Bakers, you can find it, here.
There is so much to feast on in this book! I chose a couple of quick and easy desserts to end on a sweet note, a Pear-Thyme Galette!
A galette is a rustic, free-form tart-made with a single crust of pastry. You can use refrigerated pie crust or frozen puff pastry to make a quick galette.
We loved this combination of flavors!
Ingredients needed for this easy and delicious galette are:
Puff pastry, fig jam, Gorgonzola or blue cheese, sliced pears, walnuts, fresh thyme, honey, and butter.
Follow the directions on the package of puff pastry for thawing. Lay your pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet or silicone baking mat and snip off the corners. Spread a thin layer of fig jam over your pastry, leaving a small border.
Slice your pears, (no need to peel) and fan them out in a spiral pattern over the jam, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, Gorgonzola crumbles, thyme leaves and the honey-butter mixture. Fold the edges of the dough over to form a round tart.
Bake at 400° F for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and use a spoon to remove any excess juices.
You can adapt this galette using your fruit of choice or in season, substitute apricot jam for fig, or use a different cheese like Brie for the Gorgonzola, as in this Apple & Honey Galette with Brie and Pomegranate Seeds from The Forest Feast.
Along with easy desserts, there are several tips and inspiration for easy entertaining in The Forest Feast Gatherings, including creating a centerpiece on a platter! This is so easy and timely for a last minute addition to your Thanksgiving table or buffet!
Gather your veggies and/or fruit along with a few flowers that will withstand being out of water for several hours or use florist water tubes to insert your blooms and tuck them among your materials to camouflage them.
I used a round tray with some pillar candles in the center.
I filled in around the pillars using artichokes, apples, pomegranates and hydrangeas from my floral/edible table runner.
You can make an easy centerpiece using a tray, urn, or cake pedestal.
I placed a pedestal on a tray, using grapes, pears, pomegranates, apples, artichokes, hydrangeas and nuts.
The hydrangeas have already reached the stage to dry and the mums will last without water, tucked in among the fruit.
I used the same tray for a table centerpiece with pillars, artichokes, mini pumpkins, mums, nuts and green and blush colored blooms cut from the abelia shrubs.
Salted Fudge with Cinnamon was quick and easy and would make a great hostess gift or party favor.
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
7 oz. marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I doubled the amount from 1/2 teaspoon)
Flaked sea salt
Mix sugar, butter and evaporated milk in saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add chocolate chips, marshmallow creme and cinnamon, stirring until well combined and marshmallow creme and chips are melted.
Pour into a parchment lined 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and allow to cool in freezer until hard (about 15 minutes) or refrigerate several hours or overnight until set.
Using the parchment, pull fudge out of pan in a whole block and transfer to cutting board. Cut into squares. Makes 40 – 48 bite-size squares.
Can be made ahead up to a few days in advance or a few weeks ahead and frozen.
You can find a printable recipe, here.
Visit Novel Bakers Jain, Michael Lee, and Linda for a taste of The Forest Feast Gatherings