Cheese & Pears – Sweet and Savory Pairings

Source: Yumsugar

Topping a crisp, juicy pear with creamy cheese is a delicious and texturally-rich flavor combination. Whether you’re looking for a quick midnight snack or sophisticated hors d’oeuvres for your next dinner party, a cheese and pear pairing is a fun and sophisticated option. Perfect your pairings with these simple tips.

Start by becoming familiar with the flavor profiles of your pears. Comice pears, for example, are rich and creamy, featuring an almost custard-like texture with a strong, sweet flavor and a delightful scent. If you prefer a snack that’s light, crisp and refreshing, you may want to choose the smooth and slightly citrusy d’Anjou pear.

 

Source: Clubs & Gifts

After you’ve selected your pear, it’s time to find the perfect cheese. The first thing to consider is what cheeses have flavor profiles that will complement your fruit. Comice pears, for example, are so sweet that they benefit from just a little bit of salt. Try pairing your Comice with a salty, full-flavor cheese, like a Manchego. D’Anjous, on the other hand, work well with fresh, bright cheeses, such as feta. Golden pears, which are sweet and crisp, pair with anything from a strong blue cheese to a creamy aged cheese.

 

Source: Yumsugar

Another important factor to consider is texture. To create the most interesting pairings, go for textural contrast. Top your creamy Comice pears with Stiltons or Gorgonzolas that feature just a bit of crystal formation or a slightly grainy texture. Crisp d’Anjous go great with smooth and creamy cheeses, such as a fresh goat Chevre.

Finish your delicious treat with a beautiful presentation. For plated or pass around dinners, prepare your pears by slicing them thinly, topping each piece of pear with a slice of cheese and finishing with a sprig of rosemary or sage for color. For something less formal, spread your cheeses and pears on a platter and let your friends dig in.

 

With the delicious pears and cheese in our Hickory Farms gourmet fruit baskets such as our Slice of The Season Trio, you can easily enjoy this fantastic sweet and savory combination at any gathering.

 

Quick & Nutritious Breakfast Ideas

 

We all have those harried mornings when everyone is rushing out the door with no time for a sit-down family breakfast. However, that doesn’t mean nutrition has to be left on the back burner. Hickory Farms makes six different flavors of Farmstand Fruit Spreads – Red Raspberry, Cherry, Wild Blueberry, Blackberry, Apricot and Strawberry. You can quickly spread these delicious flavors on some toast, biscuits or a bagel for your busy family members to enjoy as they head out for the day.

Check out some other quick and easy breakfast ideas below for mornings when time is short.

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Keep it Light

You can’t go wrong with fruit and cheese. Apple slices go particularly well with sharp cheddar. Toss in some walnuts for protein and you’ll have a well-balanced meal. Hickory Farms stocks a full selection of fruits, cheeses and nuts in gourmet gift boxes at varying prices.

Make your own granola using our Dried Fruit Collection, with its assortment of white and yellow peaches, plums, mangoes, almonds and other fruits. Fill a small container or baggie to snack on when your energy flags during the afternoon slump.

You can also make nutritious breakfast smoothies with any combination of fruit, fat-free plain yogurt, a dash of skim or soy milk, honey and ice. Just puree in a blender for a delicious option when time is at a premium, but you need a healthy start to your morning.

Source: A Nutritionist Eats

Quick & Hearty

Huevos Rancheros, made with slices of hard-boiled egg, cheese and Hickory Farms Spiral Sliced HoneyGold Ham tucked into a tortilla, is a hearty, tasty beginning on a cold winter morning. It’s a perfect choice when eating on the run.

No matter the season, Hickory Farms is fully stocked year round with gourmet delights and gift baskets designed for every gift-giving occasion, along with staples to keep your own pantry full.

To learn about special discounts and new products, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Call 800.753.8558 or visit www.hickoryfarms.com to place your order today.

Seasonal Recipe: Orange Cake with Mulled Wine Cranberry Jam

Source: Serious Eats

Combining bright, bitter fruit and warm, citrus flavors, orange and cranberry are one of winter’s classic flavor combinations. Bring this amazing pairing to your dessert table with a delightful Orange Cake with Mulled Wine Cranberry Jam. Using the gorgeous Mandarin oranges from our Hickory Farms Fresh Fruit Trio Gift Box, this perfectly sweet and spicy cake is destined to be a new family favorite.

Source: Alvimann via morgueFile

Bake the Cake

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and lining two pans with parchment paper and baking spray.

Combine sugar with the zest of one of your Mandarin oranges in a food processor and pulse until all of the zest is broken up, releasing the flavorful oils into the sugar. Then, in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with a whisk until they form soft peaks. Slowly add some sugar, continuing to beat the eggs until the peaks have stiffened.

Combine butter and your orange sugar in a stand mixer. Afterwards, add egg yolks one at a time. Finish the batter by incorporating your flour mixture and a combination of milk, freshly-squeezed Mandarin orange juice and vanilla. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Source: Alvimann via morgueFile

Add the Finishing Touches

In a medium saucepan, combine wine with spices, including cloves, ginger, cinnamon and peppercorn. Mix in a bit of sugar and a dash of orange peel, bringing everything to a boil. Simmer until the sauce forms a thick syrup. Then, combine the syrup with cranberries and continue cooking until the fruit forms a jam-like consistency.

Start your butter cream frosting with syrup by boiling sugar, corn syrup and wine. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites into peaks before streaming in the syrup. Complete the decadent icing by adding butter. Finally, finish by layering the cake with jam and topping with frosting.

 

Combining delicious fruits from Hickory Farms‘ gourmet fruit baskets with flavorful spices, this cake makes a festive ending to any winter meal. Make sure to toast the New Year with this one-of-a-kind cake.