Global Gourmet: Destination: France

Global Gourmet: Destination: France
See all 3 photos
Lemon Biscotti with Red Currant Jelly
Source: A K Lambert
See all 3 photos
Guillaume Tirel between his two wives. This drawing appears over his tombstone in France.
See all 3 photos
Lemon Biscotti with Dried Cherries and Raisins
Source: A K Lambert

A French Breakfast: Lemon Biscotti with Dried Cherries and Raisins

The French have made monumental cultural contributions to the world since the 17th century, particularly through its decorative fashion, cinematic, literary, and artistic works. Today, the majority of people, if not everyone, continue to reap joy from the works of fun French historical figures like Charles Perrault, author of the fictional storyteller Mother Goose. Still, the French are most respected and loved for their exquisite cuisines. Basque cuisine, or a cuisine that includes major portions of meats and fish grilled over coals, is a major influence on French cuisine; however, a typical French breakfast is quite petite. Often, their morning meals consist of little more than a light pastry covered in fresh jam. Biscottis are a particular French traditional favorite breakfast biscuit. These hard, sturdy cookies make excellent crispy delicacies to dunk into hot drinks, which partners perfectly with coffee or tea, the French morning drink of choice. It’s also easy to bake several biscottis at a time, preventing you from becoming like Mother Goose’s poor old Mother Hubbard that went to the cupboard. Cook biscotti and your cupboard won’t be bare!

Benefits Outside Good Taste:

“Shape” magazine and many other health reporters note that biscottis are extremely healthy pastries, and they come in a variety of flavors. The crunchy biscuits feature fillings anywhere from almonds, to raisins, to cinnamon, to pumpkin, and the list goes on and on. Red currant jelly is the jam of choice spread on the French biscuits. Its vibrant red looks breath taking in small glass containers and easily entices the eyes of the French population obsessed with scarlet stained glass. Just like people invented stained glass windows to control light sources (people initially developed stained glass to prevent people inside a building from seeing the outside world), red currant jelly controls the berry flavor bettering the biscotti’s pleasing crunch. The two complete each other, giving you a well-displayed and heavenly tasting morning meal.

In honor of this French morning delicacy, I lightly altered a refreshing Lemon-Anise Biscotti from a recipe I found on Taste of Home. The calm hint of lemon acts as a light flavor that does not overtake the tart red currant jelly. I also filled this butter-free biscuit with raisins and dried cherries to sweeten its content but maintain its high nutritional value.

Lemon Biscotti with Dried Cherries and Raisins: (Total/Prep Time: 65 minutes + cooling)

What You’ll Need:

· 2 eggs

· 1 cup sugar

· ? cup canola oil

· ? teaspoon lemon extract

· ? teaspoon vanilla extract

· 2 cups all-purpose flour

· 1 teaspoon baking powder

· ? teaspoon salt

· ? cup raisins

· ? cup dried cherries

· 1 jar of red currant jelly/jam

What to Do:

1. In a small bowl, beat eggs and sugar for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add oil and extracts; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; beat into egg mixture. Stir in dried cherries and raisins.

2. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, shape each portion into a 12-in. x 2-in. rectangle. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten to 1/2-in. thickness.

3. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden and tops begin to crack. Carefully remove to wire racks; cool for 5 minutes.

4. Transfer to a cutting board; cut with a serrated knife into scant 3/4-in. slices. Place cut side down on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 5 minutes. Turn and bake 5-7 minutes longer or until firm and golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 3 dozen.

The French have developed dominating cuisine dishes since the Middle Ages; starting with chef Guillaume Tirel, the most famous French chef in history. By focusing less on spices and more on natural ingredients like herbs, the French created a plethora of naturally splendid courses, including the petite healthy, crunchy, and sweet breakfast biscottis that harmoniously contrast the bitter bite of a morning espresso. You won’t regret stocking your “bare” cupboard with these rejuvenating bisocttis. Remember to snag some red currant jelly for the full French cuisine experience. Slather it on your Lemon Biscotti with Dried Cherries and Raisins for your very own traditional Global Gourmet French Breakfast that is Absolutely Appetizing!