Creamy Cran-Raspberry Sherbet, Pear Fritters with Lemon and Ginger and Blogiversary GIVEAWAY II

Abby Dodge, Fine Cooking Magazine and Taunton Press have been extremely generous and agreed to donate to my one year blogiversary giveaway. I have been raving about Fine Cooking magazine prior to my food blog days, way before I encountered the fantastic staff at  Fine Cooking Magazine and one of their contributing editors and multiple cookbook author, the lovely and talented Abby Dodge on twitterverse. If Paula Wolfert was  my first American cookbook author love then Fine Cooking Magazine was my first American food and cooking magazine crush! My long lasting crush is quite unusual as I tend to lose interest faster than a lightening bolt. Impressive how Fine Cooking and Abby Dodge managed to keep my interest up for so many years. You can read three of my archived posts featuring recipes from Fine Cooking and giving you a window to which corner of the world did I have Fine Cooking magazine shipped to. First, Blizzard's Chocolate Chip/Banana and Meyer Lemon/Blueberry Muffins post, second, the ever so popular Fine Cooking Rich Chewy Brownies post and lastly the decadent Fine Cooking Deeply Rich Chocolate Brownie Cookies post. Please visit Fine Cooking magazine site for innovative and  brilliant create your own Thanksgiving and Holiday menu, create your own, ice cream, muffins and much much more
. Let's fast foward to this lady named Abby Dodge, first we bonded on twitterverse over our Leo Power, when we discovered we were born in the same month.
She is quite different, or so it seems, than I, but don't let that calm, collected, and serene facade fool you she is a classic Leo and she roars! A strong leader, over achiever, extremely successful and a multiple cookbook author. Her most recent book Desserts 4 Today by Taunton Press, released in Sep, is the latest buzz and I suspect for years to come. Perfect, delicious, quick desserts with only
four ingredients and interchangeable ingredients as substitutes for a busy family and single people alike. I am a champion of complex dishes, mostly cooking, when baking, I will take on challenges of baking rolls that take hours to rise, knead and re-knead and creamy desserts that more often than not will curdle, unless you use precision and keep a delicate balance. So when I saw Abby's new book, knowing her refined pastry chef training background and experience, I knew it took talent to be such a minimalist, exercise such restraint and be almost an abstract baker and pastry chef to come up with Desserts 4 Today which is a science. As Abby says in the introduction section of her Desserts 4 Today,
'4 is the magic number'. Please visit Abby at her siteDesserts 4 Today holiday cookie videos are also up and running on Fine Cooking site Lastly, we are giving away a newly released book, October 2010, Harvest to Heat : Cooking with America's Best Chef's, Farmers and Artisans written by Darryl Estrine, Kelly Kochendorfer and a forward by Alice Waters, published by Taunton Press. Amazing find! Harvest to Heat just won accolades from Epicurious, The Best Cookbooks of 2010, best overall at number one! You can review the entire six cookbook list here. We have converted our diets to mostly organic, sustainable and locally resourced when possible for a healthy lifestyle living since our son was two. Looking through my blog you will see I frequent farmers markets so I can't wait to dig into this book. Thank you Taunton Press for your generosity!
To enter giveaways:
1. Please follow on twitter @abbydodge  and @finecooking magazine.
2. Please follow @foodwanderings on twitter.
3. Please LIKE foodwanderings Facebook page if you got Facebook.
4. Leave a comment on this post! You are encouraged to share a comment about Desserts 4 Today, Fine Cooking magazine and Harvest to Heat or any other thoughts.
4. If you RT or post on your Facebook page this giveaway post link, you get an additional entry. Please drop me an additional comment on this post saying that you did so.
5. Drawing will be done randomly from all comments recorded by Wed., Nov.17 at midnight and three lucky winners will be announced Thur., Nov. 18. 
6. Shipping only in the US. Sorry my friends overseas, I hope one day I can afford the mailing

Disclaimer: I received the review copy of Desserts 4 Today and one extra giveaways copy. I also at no charge received giveaway copies of Harvest to Heat and current issue of Fine Cooking magazine with a full year subscription. I was not solicited for my opinions or my review.

1. Current holiday issue of Fine Cooking magazine  plus a full year subscription
2. Desserts 4 Today by Abby Dodge
3. Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America's Best Chef's, Farmers and Artisans written by Darryl Estrine, Kelly Kochendorfer and a forward by Alice Waters

It was a challenge to pick recipes from the most recent Fine Cooking Magazine and Desserts 4 Today. From Fine Cooking, I wished to make the Pan Seared Chicken Thighs with Beer and Grainy Mustard Sauce, the Apple, Fennel and Cheddar Cheese Straws as well as the Pear, Cranberry and Blood Orange Mostarda. I cannot even begin to tell you how precious Desserts 4 Today is, I was tempted to bake the assortment of crisps and snaps and lemon melt-aways in the cookies section. Coconut Creme Caramel from creamy desserts section and toasted coconut ice cream from frozen desserts section.

I have decided to be true to holiday fashion and my in season (cranberries and pears) motto and churn Creamy Cran-Raspberry Sherbet to go with your Thanksgiving dessert table. Every year around Chanuka I like to feature a new doughnut, when I saw the Pear Fritters with Lemon and Ginger at Fine Cooking's holiday issue, I could not look back, and believe me I've tried! This is not a yeasted doughnut but thought it a nice twist to a holiday tradition!  I can envision it at the Chanuka table as well as a New Year's Eve party.

Creamy Cran-Raspberry Sherbet:
Keep in mind since cranberries were my first introduction to North American indigenous fruit, while weathering my first Winter in the United States in New England, I was sentimental and used for the first batch only cranberry juice. My second batch was the cran-raspberry recipe below. While the first batch was pure, crystal clear one single flavor, the second batch, cran-raspberry, had an added depth and dimension. Pairing the flavors is a winning combination. The consistency is as luscious as depicted so beautifully in the photograph below.

Creamy Cran-Raspberry Sherbet
Recipe from Desserts 4 Today by Abigail Johnson Dodge published by Taunton Press, 2010 Photograph by © 2010 by Kate Sears.

cran-raspberry juice cocktail
2 cups
cranberries (fresh or frozen)
2 cups
granulated sugar
1 cup
heavy cream
1 1⁄3 cups

1. Have ready an ice cream maker.

2. Put the juice, cranberries, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries have popped, about 6 minutes.

3. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing firmly on the solids (discard the solids). Set the liquid aside to cool completely, then refrigerate until chilled or for up to 1 day. For faster cooling, set the bowl over a bowl filled with ice and stir occasionally until well chilled.

4. Arrange an 8-inch-square pan in the freezer, making sure it’s level and secure. Add the heavy cream to the berry mixture and whisk until blended. Pour the chilled mixture into the ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately (it will be soft) or scrape into the chilled pan, cover, and freeze until firm or for up to 2 days.

In place of the cran-raspberry juice, switch in the following:
• cranberry juice cocktail, 2 cups
In place of the heavy cream, switch in one of the following:
• water, 11⁄3 cups
• half-and-half, 1 1⁄3 cups

Gussy It Up
Mix 1⁄2 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped chocolate into the just-churned sherbet.
• Serve with Killer Chocolate Sauce (page 179).
• Serve in chocolate-coated or plain waffle cups.
• Add 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest to the cranberry mixture.

Pear Fritters with Lemon and Ginger:
Keep in mind after macerating pears, from recipe below, I whizzed them in a food processor quickly to completely blend flavor and ingredients into dough for smoother consistency. It created a sublime delicately flavored fritter/doughnut. You can be true to recipe and follow exact directions for slightly different but just as superb results. Both recipe and photograph are courtesy of Fine Cooking.

Pear Fritters with Lemon and Ginger
From Fine Cooking 108, pp. 63 October 28, 2010
by Melissa Pellegrino

Pear, lemon, and ginger are a match made in heaven. These crisp-yet-tender fritters would make an excellent dessert at Hanukkah.

Yields about 40 fritters

2 small firm-ripe pears (preferably Bartlett), peeled, cored, and finely diced
1 Tbs. finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1-1/2 cups plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
2 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 large egg whites
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 to 2-1/2 cups canola oil

In a small bowl, combine the pears, ginger, lemon zest, 1 Tbs. of the sugar, and 1/8 tsp. of the cinnamon. Macerate at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. In another medium bowl, whisk the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is slightly frothy. Whisk in the flour just until combined—it shouldn’t be completely smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold in the egg whites, and then fold in the pear mixture. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1 cup sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon.

Pour 1/2 inch of oil into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with a candy thermometer clipped to the side. Heat over medium-high heat to 350°F. Using 2 tablespoons or a small ice cream scoop, carefully drop a ball of batter into the hot oil. Add 4 or 5 more to the oil, but don’t crowd the pan. Fry until golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, turn the fritters over and continue frying until golden-brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and drain briefly. Toss in the cinnamon sugar to coat and transfer to a platter. Continue cooking the rest of the fritters in the same manner. Serve hot.