Brunch Best

Mark occasions like graduation or Mother’s Day with a celebratory brunch, or make an ordinary weekend breakfast extra special with some of these delicious dishes.


Recipes Contributed by Lauren Stokes and Deirdre Uncapher | Styled by Sarah Mccullen | Photographed by Joe Worthem


Mom-daughter Deirdre Uncapher and Lauren Stokes have often found themselves in the kitchen and around the table together. Read on for a few recipes they enjoy sharing.

Poached Pears

2 to 3 fresh medium-sized pears, any variety

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1½ cups red wine or apple juice or cider

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Plain, whole-milk Greek yogurt (optional)

Chocolate shavings (optional)


Cut pears in half lengthwise, and scoop out core. In a large, deep skillet, cook butter and cinnamon over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until butter begins to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes. Add pears to pan, sliced side down, and cook, without stirring, about 1 minute.


Add wine, brown sugar and vanilla to skillet, and reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pears are tender, about 1 hour. Turn heat off, and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.


Place 1 pear half on each serving plate, reserving wine mixture in pan. Dollop each pear half with Greek yogurt, if desired, and drizzle with wine mixture. Add chocolate shavings, if desired.


Pie Crust Dough

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup unsalted butter, very cold

Fill a 1-cup liquid measuring cup with ice-cold water, and set aside.


In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Dice (or grate using a box grater) cold butter. Sprinkle butter pieces over flour mixture, and begin working butter into flour mixture with your hands just until crumbly, being careful not to overwork.


Drizzle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over surface of flour mixture, and combine mixture using your hands just until dough is moist enough to come together and form into a ball. (You will not use all of the water; use just enough to bring dough together into a ball.) Shape dough into a 6-inch disk, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Thaw in refrigerator before using.



Asparagus Quiche

Pie Crust Dough (see recipe above)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

6 large eggs

¾ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt or sour cream

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup chopped, blanched fresh asparagus


Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out Pie Crust Dough into a 12-inch circle, and place in a 9-inch pie plate or 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Use a fork or knife to poke a few holes in bottom of crust. Bake in preheated oven until bottom is golden brown, about 10 minutes.


Remove crust from oven, and let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.


Reserve 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cheese in a small bowl. In a large bowl, stir together eggs, yogurt, salt, asparagus, and remaining shredded cheese. Pour egg mixture into baked pie crust, and sprinkle reserved shredded cheese over top.


Bake quiche at 350°F until top is golden brown and center is set, about 45 minutes. Remove quiche; cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.



Mother’s Day Cocktail

1 bottle sparkling wine, juice or soft drink (such as cava, Champagne, prosecco, sparkling apple juice or lemon-lime soft drink)

1 quart raspberry sorbet

1 pint fresh raspberries


Fill your fanciest glasses about halfway with your choice of beverage. Add a scoop of raspberry sorbet to each glass; top each with a few raspberries, and enjoy!


Popovers

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1¼ cups whole milk, at room temperature

1½ cups all-purpose sifted flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter


Place an empty 12-cup standard muffin pan in oven, and preheat oven to 400°F.


Whisk eggs until well blended. Add milk, and whisk until incorporated. Add flour and salt; whisk well.


Remove muffin pan from preheated oven, and rub butter inside each baking cup to generously grease pan. Pour whisked egg mixture evenly into greased cups, filling each cup two-thirds full.


Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, and then reduce heat to 325°F; bake until puffed and browned, about 25 minutes more. (Do not open oven until popovers have finished baking.)



Strawberry Butter

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/8 cup powdered sugar

Pinch of salt

¼ cup hulled and chopped fresh strawberries


Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and salt in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add berries, and stir until combined but still chunky. Serve with alongside freshly baked popovers (recipe above).

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