The 2020 Holidays Recipe Collection
How you doin’? Before the pandemic changed our world as we knew it, I used to love to travel. I have been to 137 different countries—but who’s counting? One of the more significant trips is when Joan and I found ourselves in Berlin as the wall was coming down; us being there was coincidental and exciting nonetheless. It seemed that the world changed in just a few short hours.
We were actually there to meet with a Swiss hotelier, the late Ueli Prager, founder of the Mövenpick brand—a name well known in Europe. He had redefined the European hospitality scene and paved the way for a new style of contemporary service, conceived on a simple premise: “doing normal things in an extraordinary manner”. A visionary of his time, Prager created restaurant and hotel concepts based on simplicity, innovation, commitment to service and a passion for culinary and hospitality excellence.
Ueli was a bakery and confectionery genius. In fact, many of the ideas we had for Choclatique (our chocolate company) were suggested by Ueli. We found one of his tarts in his bakery to be absolutely scrumptious—the Chocolate Coconut Pecan Tart. He shared this recipe with me so I could share it with you.
This recipe was originally meant to be a tart baked in a straight-sided, removeable-bottom tart pan. I think that’s more trouble than it’s worth. The crust is inconsequential, so I turned it into a pie. I use a Marie Callender’s store-bought, deep-dish frozen pie crust and it comes out just great without all the additional dough work.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
For the chocolate filling base
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 cups whole milk
4 ounces sweet dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 (9 inch) pie crust, pre-baked (store bought frozen or refrigerated)
For the topping
1 large egg
5 ounces evaporated milk (1 small can)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups flaked coconut, toasted
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
ChefSecret: To blind bake the pie crust, take a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil to line the inside of the crust before baking. Fill the crust with raw beans or pie weights. That will keep the crust from bubbling up during the blind bake. I brush some warm raspberry jam on the baked-and-cooled crust to prevent the crust from getting soggy.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: People with just a cold - "I just want to stay in bed and do nothing, I feel terrible." People with Corona Virus - "I feel terrible, I think I will go skiing in Austria, visit the Eiffel Tower and maybe do some whitewater rafting in Camino de Santiago."
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Here is wishing you the very best for the holidays. To you and everyone dear to you, be strong and positive, stay well and safe and be kind to others. If you have a little extra in your pockets to share with others at this difficult time, please consider donating to Feeding America. Thanks for reading.
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©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., 2020
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