Pastry Cream Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

Pastry Cream

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Once you have experienced fresh, homemade pastry cream, there is simply no going back to the box. The smooth, clean flavor immediately conveys that it is something extra special. We enjoy taking this to dinner groups and have discovered that it is an excellent choice for large gatherings. For catering-sized servings, I use inexpensive glass votive holders because they look fantastic, are just the right size, and are super sturdy. A pastry bag works wonders for quickly filling each glass, and the presentation is outstanding once topped with a variety of fruit.

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Autumn Leaf Pumpkin Pie Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

Autumn Leaf Pumpkin Pie

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Autumn Leaf Pumpkin Pie has enriched our Thanksgiving celebrations for years. It all goes back to 1996, which was the year of pumpkin pie tests. After each, Mark asked for more spices and a deeper dish. After this version, there were no more requests other than I make it more often! It is especially delicious when topped with homemade whipped cream. Growing up, we lived in a world where Cool Whip was all the rage. No one in our family was making whipped cream the old-fashioned way. Then one year, Mark’s mom started serving it at family gatherings, which was the end of the tub.

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Lemon Sherbet Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

Lemon Sherbet

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This sherbet (sher-bit) has a great story behind it. In the fall of 2014, we were at Courtney and John’s home in Charlotte, North Carolina, where John’s mom Barbara was guiding me through her famous shrimp and grits recipe. The conversation eventually turned to her aging mother, Helen, and her lemon sherbet recipe. To my delight, Barbara offered to share it with me. Later, Helen told Barbara that the recipe actually goes back a full four generations, originating from Barbara’s grandmother on her father’s side! What a treasure.

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French Toast Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

French Toast

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I grew up with mountains of French toast. It was such wonderful memory of my childhood that I taught my children how to make it as soon as they were old enough to use a griddle. For an extra special treat, use thick slices of homemade bread a day or two past their prime. Aged bread soaks up flavorings like a sponge. We find that Ciabatta works exceptionally well because of its open crumb and firm texture. It takes French toast to a whole new level.

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