Thursday, May 14, 2015

Catching Up: Popovers with Sour Cherry Balsamic Compote

You guys!  It feels like forever since I've sat down at my desk and said hi.  How have you been?  Do you believe it's the middle of May already?  The middle of May!  Things have been bonkers busy since I last wrote... New job(s)!  More freelance recipe writing!  I had a birthday!  Throw in the annual gigantic yard clean up and there's nary a free moment to brush the cats and call my mom, never mind translate all that's been happening to here.  Please forgive.  But you know what?  Everything is so good.  So good!  Taking that leap of faith and quitting a job that wasn't doing me any good was the best thing I could have done three months ago.  I love where I'm working and who I'm working with.  I love what I do and I know I'm lucky that I get to say that.  It's honestly such a blessing how things turned out for me.  Somehow the puzzle pieces of life just fit together when they are supposed to.  You can't force things if they aren't right.  You just can't.  But when things slide into place like they were meant to all along - that's the business.  Am I grateful?  You bet your boots. 

Before I talk about these popovers, I want to share a few links to things that have recently been published and/or what I've been working on.  Don't forget to check the Portfolio, Restaurant Reviews and Press pages up above to keep tabs on me.  Same goes with Instagram.  See all the behind the scenes creations I'm building at work, plus cat photos and scenes of a prairie spring.  It's intriguing stuff, let me tell you.  This photo for Angel Food Cake French Toast was appreciated fondly, and rightly so.  I created the recipe for the May issue Culinaire Magazine.  Now, I pretty much want to French Toast everything.  Maybe I will! 

Have you ever made Hollandaise Sauce in a blender?  Turns out it's so simple and so tasty.  I shared the recipe in my monthly recipe column for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.  We are also doing a monthly video series of me cooking in my kitchen, which is fun.  So far the cats haven't jumped on the counter while the camera has been rolling.  So far, but it's bound to happen eventually.  Check the links for In Renee's Kitchen to see the videos. 

And this cake.  It's so pretty!  It's going to be in an upcoming issue of Eat In Eat Out, but I'm giving you a bit of sneak peek now.  A few friends came over on a beautiful late April afternoon and we had tea while the buds on the tree branches about thought about opening.  Springtime really is my favourite time. 

Have you read the latest Lentils for Every Season Magazine?  I was so happy to contribute five recipes - the cover (!!), the zucchini tart, the shrimp salad, the chicken burger and the chocolate cake.  All of the recipes in this issue are so good, and great for summer.  What a fun project to be a part of.  I'm currently working on more for the fall issue, so stay tuned for that.  Yay lentils! 

And now, let's talk about these popovers.  A photo of them from Food 52 showed in my Insta feed and I knew I had to make them.  Simple as that.  Their site will give you all the science behind them plus how to make the best popover, so do take a look.  You pretty much just pour a thin, eggy batter into a hot hot hot muffin tin that's been greased very well.  They poof and puff and you are left with domes of goodness - perfect vehicles for butter and jam, or ricotta and honey or chocolate ganache and almond butter, or like here, mascarpone and sour cherry compote.  To be honest, mine didn't rise quite like I had hoped.  I blame it on having to substitute some rye flour for the all purpose because I had ran out.  That's right.  A baker who ran out of flour.  Mid recipe.  It happens to the best of us.  That being said, they were still quite good.  A little denser than I had hoped, but once smeared with compote and mascarpone, no complaints were uttered. 

There!  I feel like we are all good now.  You know what I've been doing - not slacking obviously.  I'll be back soon with a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks of late.  Until then, take good care of yourselves.  I've got a mountain of dishes to tackle, but first I'm going to go outside and admire my plum tree.  It's just begun to blossom and it's the smell I've been waiting for all year.  All year! 

Popovers with Sour Cherry Balsamic Compote

This compote is the best thing ever.  As pastry chef at Riverside Country Club, I make this as an accompaniment to crème brûlée, and at home I've been layering it with yogurt and granola for a breakfast parfait.  It's worth getting out of bed at 5:15 am for.  So you know it must be good!  This compote would be glorious on ice cream or on top of panna cotta or even as a side to pound cake and whipped cream.  Fortunately, sour cherries are sold at my farmer's market, which is a good thing because I'm officially addicted to this. 

Popovers - head over to Food 52


3 cups pitted sour cherries
1 cup cane sugar
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of sea salt

To make the compote, combine ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until reduced and slightly thickened, about 25-30 minutes.  It will firm up as it cools.  Refrigerate for up to a week.


  1. I love that you paired popovers with something (this cherry compote sounds divine and so nice to cut through the eggy richness of the baked good)- so often the plain ones seem kind of bland.

    1. Hi Heather, guaranteed these aren't bland at all!

  2. i brewed up a similar compote last summer using wild blueberries...gorgeous on so many things - especially pork or poultry! i will be trying out the sour cherry version asap!

  3. Yay! so good to hear you are doing so well! So many exciting things happening with you - i'm so pleased for you :)
    i have to confess, I've never really understood what a popover is, let alone make one. For some reason, in my head, I associated them with a pizza pocket (please don't laugh...). I can see clearly now they are not!

    1. Thanks Melissa! Popovers are cousins to the Yorkshire Pudding, but homemade pizza pockets sound like they would be good too!


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