Portuguese Cream Custard Tarts
(Pastis de Nata)

Submitted by: Barbiel
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
10 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cupheavy cream
1 cupgranulated sugar
6egg yolks
The Pastry:
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, salt and sugar to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the flour resembles coarse, uneven cornmeal, about 10 1-second pulses. Drizzle 5 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. Pulse several times to work the water into the flour. Add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue pulsing until the mixture develops small curds. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, shape it into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough to 1/16-inch thickness. Cut out 6 (4 1/2-inch) circles (if you don't have a cookie cutter, a wide-mouth jar works well). Ease the dough circles into a 12-cup (4-ounce capacity) nonstick muffin tin, pressing out any overlapping folds. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place the tin in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove and trim any overhang with the back of a knife so that the pastry cups are flush with the top of the tins. Line dough cups with cupcake papers and fill with dried beans or pastry weights. Bake at 350F (180C) for 8 to 10 minutes to set.
The Custard:
Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the cream in a medium bowl. Add the remaining cream and sugar, and stir until the mixture is smooth and the sugar dissolves. Check for sugar granules with a spoon: none should remain. In a small bowl, blend the yolks with a fork until smooth. Add the yolks to the cream mixture, stirring gently to combine. Ladle the egg mixture into the partially baked pastry cups, filling to 2/3 capacity. Bake in at 350F (180C) until the edges of the custard are puffed and middle is still jiggly, about 20 to 25 minutes (the custard will continue to cook). Cool completely in the tin. The "Pastis" are best when eaten the same day.
Makes 12 pastries.

Bche De Noel
Submitted by: Praying Bear
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 gallon ice cream (See Note*)
1 gallon ice cream (See Note*)
2 cups whipping cream, whipped
Preheat oven to 375F. Beat eggs at high speed until thick and pale yellow. Add sugar and beat well. Blend in water, cocoa, Vanilla. Stir in sifted dry ingredients and mix until batter is smooth. Line a jelly roll pan with lightly greased wax paper. Pour in batter and bake for 12 - 15 minutes. Invert cake immediately onto a towel sprinkled with icing sugar. Carefully peel off the paper and trim off any stiff edges. Roll cake up in the towel while still hot. Let cool completely. Unroll. Let your gallon of ice cream soften a bit so that is is spreadable, and spread it all over your cake. Place your log of ice of the cake/ice cream layer and roll the whole thing up. Don't worry if it cracks - the whole thing will be covered. Keep in freezer until 5 minutes before you're ready to serve. When ready to serve, place the Bche on your serving platter "seam side down". Spread the whipped cream all over the top and sides trying to make soft peaks.
*Note: Choose 2 different flavors of ice cream that compliment each other. Because I am a chocoholic I use a raspberry for the 1/2 gallon "inner core" and a dark fudge for the gallon "surrounding" ice cream - but you can use your imagination! Let your 1/2 gallon of ice cream soften until "workable" but not liquid. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap. Form the ice cream into a long log, the length of your jelly roll pan and about 1-1/2 inch in diameter. Wrap in the plastic wrap and freeze.

Honey Ricotta Cheesecake
Submitted by: Lady Lynda
8 ounces purchased biscotti
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 (12-ounce) container fresh whole milk ricotta, drained
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange blossom or clover honey
1 tablespoon orange zest
4 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 350F. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Finely grind the biscotti in a food processor. Add the melted butter and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool the crust completely on a cooling rack. Blend the ricotta in a clean food processor until smooth. Add the cream cheese and sugar and blend well, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping down the sides of the work bowl. Blend in the honey and orange zest. Add the eggs and pulse just until blended. Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour and 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold). Transfer the cake to a rack and cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. Cut the cake into wedges and serve. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

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