Pears, Apples and Joy!

I love to see the beauty of the season’s harvest this time of year. One of my favorite things to do with the pears and apples which are plentiful right about now is to make Gateau Anna. The Gluten-Free Baking Mix in the Ingredients section of the website can easily be substituted for flour. The Brandy Cream Sauce is optional – you will have plenty of custard leftover. This is perfect for a seasonal dessert or a sweet item on a brunch buffet. Enjoy!

Gateau Anna
2 eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 cup flour or gluten-free baking mixture
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 pears, cored and thinly sliced
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1½ tablespoons light rum
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whip eggs and sugar on high speed of an electric mixer until thick and light in color, about 7 minutes. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and sift over the egg mixture. Fold together by hand then fold in the melted butter and rum. Finally, gently fold in the sliced fruit. Bake in a greased 10-inch spring form pan for 45 to 55 minutes or until a knife or wooden pick inserted in the center comes out dry. If after 45 minutes a pick does not come out dry, but the top is sufficiently brown, reduce heat to 325°F for the remaining time or move to a lower shelf in the oven. Cool completely before running a knife around the edge and removing outer spring form side of the pan. Cut into 12 pieces. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar just before serving. Serve on top of a pool of Brandy Cream Sauce. Serves 12.

Brandy Cream Sauce
Place a cup of Custard into a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of brandy and whisk until combined. Add milk or cream a few tablespoons at a time until the mixture is the desired consistency. Makes 1 cup.

Custard
1 pint half and half, divided
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
4 egg yolks
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1⁄8 cup sugar (for sprinkling over the top of the finished custard)
In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups half and half and 3/8 cup sugar to a boil, stirring constantly. In a medium size bowl, whisk together cornstarch and remaining sugar, then whisk in remaining half and half, egg yolks and vanilla. Once the half and half has boiled, remove it from the heat. Carefully pour about half the hot liquid into the egg yolk mixture and whisk thoroughly. Return the pan with the remaining half and half to the heat.
Place a strainer over the half and half in the pan and carefully pour the egg mixture into the boiling half and half through the strainer. Remove the strainer and whisk the mixture constantly, maintaining contact between the whisk and the bottom of the pan, until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat.
Continue to whisk while the mixture boils for about 2 minutes. Avoid being splattered by hot custard. Whisk constantly so that the mixture does not scorch on the bottom. Reduce heat or remove the pan from the heat momentarily if the custard boils too rapidly. When it is completely cooked, the custard will be thick. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the custard into a heatproof glass or metal storage container and sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before refrigerating. Before using custard whisk until mostly smooth with an electric mixer or a hand held whisk.


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