It’s nearly summer in Maine – the season of overnight guests as friends and family come to enjoy all the state has to offer. Here are a few recipes to greet them with a different sort of morning rise and shine.
The bourbon pecan bread pudding is a decadent, special occasion breakfast that can be made ahead and popped in the oven the following morning. It’s smooth, creamy and deliciously sinful.
The banana nut muffins with streusel are a more sedate go-to muffin, unless of course that bowl of cereal and milk are your standards, and then the muffins are a little change of pace.
Ginger coconut granola is a special cereal. We have it with yogurt, top muffins with it and sometimes combine it with some nuts and chocolate chips for a different trail mix snack.
BOURBON PECAN BREAD PUDDING
This recipe was given to me by a guest, and it has become one of our weekend favorites. Sometimes I pull it out for special brunches or a holiday morning as well. This bread pudding can be served warm or at room temperature, so it’s perfect for when guests will wake to a morning of leisure and no plan and wander down to breakfast (or brunch … or lunch) when they are ready.
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
8 ounces stale French bread (or stale homemade bread) sliced diagonally, 1-inch thick
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except the French bread. Place the bread in the bowl, pressing down to soak all of the pieces. Let stand for 30 minutes, turning once to make sure the liquid is evenly distributed. Once bread is saturated, transfer the bread onto a lightly greased baking sheet with sides. Pour the custard over the top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the custard is just set and top is brown.
Warm bourbon sauce:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 tablespoons half and half
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup bourbon
Makes 11/2 cups
Combine sugar, butter and half and half in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly with a whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved. In a small bowl whisk the egg yolk. Add a tablespoon of the hot sugar and butter mixture and whisk. Add another tablespoon and whisk again. Continue until the outside of the small bowl is warm and the mixture is fairly liquid. Add the egg yolk mixture to the remaining sauce in the sauce pan and blend well over low to medium heat until the sauce thickens. Add the bourbon to taste and serve warm over the custard.
BANANA NUT MUFFINS WITH STREUSEL
These muffins are a perennial favorite in my house and often asked for. Now, if my girls would just stop eating all of the bananas, I’d be able to make a batch.
Makes 12 muffins
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, butter and flour with a pastry knife.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line one 12-muffin tin.
In a small bowl, pour the lemon juice and buttermilk over the mashed bananas; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, butter and eggs until fluffy. Stir in the banana mixture.
Measure the dry ingredients into a sifter and sift on top of the sugar/banana mixture. Add the walnuts and, beginning in the center, mix the two layers together, scraping down the sides and stopping when fully incorporated.
Transfer the batter to the muffin tin, portioning equally. Top with the streusel mix and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean when poked into the center of a muffin. Cool slightly in the pan before removing.
GINGER COCONUT GRANOLA
Makes 12 cups
1 cup honey
1/2 cup canola oil
8 cups whole rolled oats
4 cups large flake coconut
3/8 cup minced crystallized ginger
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons coconut extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat the honey and oil together in a small saucepan. Add coconut extract. In a large bowl, add all of the dry ingredients and toss all together with the warm honey and oil. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the color has changed to a golden brown, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely. Store in an air tight container.
Anne Mahle is the chef aboard the Maine windjammer, Schooner J. & E. Riggin. Her latest cookbook is “Sugar and Salt: A Year At Home and At Sea.” She can be reached at: