Join our Assistant innkeeper, Melina (who just happens to be a pastry chef) for a special “Just Desserts” cooking class here at Castle in the Country Bed and Breakfast Inn this month! On November 21, from 6-8pm she will be showing you professional techniques for creating pies and tarts easily in your own home. With the cooking class package, a fresh green salad and a selection of hearty soups, paired with a bottle of FennValley wine will be waiting for you and your significant other for dinner. This will be both a hands-on and instructional cooking class so be ready to enjoy some great food and have some fun! At different points of the class, each of you will be trying each pie and tart. All recipes will be given out at the end of the class and you’ll be able to impress your friends and family when you recreate these desserts for your very own Thanksgiving or Holiday celebration!
Follow Melina’s instructions during the class to create two desserts: Granny smith and Fuji apple handmade pie with Salted Caramel and Cinnamon whipped cream and individual Lemon Vanilla bean curd tarts with a Gluten Free nutty almond crust and a torched Italian meringue to top.
Hurry, there are just a few rooms/suites available for this weekend so Call us at Castle in the Country to add your cooking class with your two-nights stay! (269)-673-8054
- December 19: Holiday Cookies and Candies from around the world
- January 16: Flambe’d Desserts
- February 6: Chocolate Lovers
Here is one of Melina’s favorite Fall breakfast recipes:
Spiced Apple Compote Stuffed French Toast:
Sweet and Tart apple compote is filled into homemade bread, soaked in a rich custard and then fried to perfection for a wonderful Fall breakfast!
4 Servings, Prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes, Cook time: 25 minutes
- Apple Compote:
- 2 Crisp Apples (Granny Smith, Fuji or Macintosh)
- 1/2 cup of apple cider
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp of ginger, clove and all spice
- 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp of cornstarch (+/-) slurry with apple cider or water
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup of Heavy Cream
- 1/2 cup of Milk
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- Loaf of Brioche, Sourdough or any white bread of your choice
For the apple compote:
This compote should be made at least a day ahead of time. Peel and small dice the apples and put in a pan with the apple cider. Add the brown sugar, spices, and salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and then simmer the apple mixture until the apples turn translucent (about 20-25 minutes). Once the apples are translucent, stir in the vanilla. Make the cornstarch slurry and stir that into your apple mix until it becomes thick. Stir constantly for two more minutes to cook off the cornstarch. Remove from heat and place in heat safe container to then place in the fridge overnight. This compote will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Once you are ready, start your preparation one hour before serving. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 9X13 pan or glass dish, place the eggs, heavy cream, and milk and whisk until well combined. Add the cinnamon and vanilla and whisk. Remove the apple compote from the fridge. Slice your bread into 8 pieces: two pieces per person. Take one slice and use it as the base, place 3-4 spoonfuls of apple compote atop the slice and spread evenly. Place the second slice of bread atop the base and press together. Repeat with the other slices. Place the four sandwiched in the egg custard mixture. Let the slices soak for ten minutes on it’s first side, then flip to soak the other side for another fifteen minutes. . Warm your non stick skillet, and add butter or spray with pan spray. After the butter has melted and the pan is now hot, flip your slices to soak the other side and then place into pan two at a time. Because the french toast is going to go into the oven, no need to cook them all the way through on the stove top. Brown both sides, approximately 2.5 minutes on both sides, with all four slices. Once all four french toasts are browned, place on greased cookie sheet and place in the oven. Leave the french toast in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Serve french toast immediately out of the oven and drizzle with maple syrup. For a fun additional kick, add orange zest of one orange into the custard mixture for a citrus touch!