October is the golden hour for pie and cocktails. Maybe it's because our bodies are covered in bulky sweaters for the first time since winter slush season and indulging feels right. Maybe it's because a booze buzz and hot dessert actually has a warming function. But I know once the air turns crisp, I can't stop myself from bringing harvest flavors into everything I cook.
Morgan from Cora & Louise has a beautiful creme bruléed bourbon pumpkin pies. It's got classic pumpkin flavor with a toasty burnt sugar crust topping. And bourbon, of course. Basically, all the best things, but as far as pumpkin pie goes, it's anything but basic.
Our fall twist on the French 75 brings together gentle pear with a bright pop of gin and a sweet, mellow ginger-vanilla-bean simple syrup. All of that is topped off with champagne. It's sweet without being too sweet, but don't let its pretty exterior and mild flavors deceive you. Esquire jokes a French 75 has enough alcohol give Hemingway a buzz. In short, this is the perfect party cocktail.
Although dessert and drinks are dinner party delights, don't miss out on the first part of our cozy fall dinner party with Cora & Louise featuring roasted gorgonzola mascarpone chicken with mushrooms and a side of apple cider salad!
- 1 pear
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Dry champagne
- Puree one pear in a blender or food processor. If pear isn't quit ripe, you might need to add a few tablespoons of water. The final consistency should look like applesauce.
- Chop 1/4 cup fresh ginger, slice open 1 vanilla bean and add to kettle with 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Boil 10 minutes until fragrant to create ginger-vanilla bean simple syrup.
- Strain vanilla bean and ginger from the simple syrup and cool.
- Add two ounces pear puree, 1 ounce ginger-vanilla simple syrup, 5 ounces champagne and 2 ounces gin to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake carefully until chilled.
- This makes a stiff drink! If that's what you're going for, serve in a collins glass. Otherwise, this could be served in two smaller glasses.
- Store remaining syrup and pear puree in airtight containers and refrigerate. The syrup should last up to a month.
Photos © Katie Currid or Morgan Walker, text © Theresa Berens, 2015. All rights reserved.