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Monday, September 13, 2010

Monroe family Orchard.... and a pear dessert.

While out on our recent adventure to Marshall Gold Discovery Park , we were told by a docent that we could pick fruit from the Monroe Orchard. There was pears in season , soon there would be apples and walnuts as well. You are are allowed to take up to 5 pounds of fruit. We were not going to pass this up. So off we went, amongst the geese...

I proceeded to pick our pears....

  I posted yesterday that we would be using them for a dessert....well as luck would have it , hubby came home early. I had not slept the night before so was not at all sure that it was going to happen, but he took over the it got done. I do love my hubby!

But first , I want to share a little bit of the history of the Monroe family.....

**This house was built by Perly Monroe in 1925. Perly was a Grandson of
Peter and Nancy Gooch, who were freed from slavery here when California became a state in 1850. Nancy worked as a cook & seamstress during the Gold Rush, and sent her earnings to Missouri to buy the freedom of her own son, Andrew Monroe. The Monroe family became successful fruit farmers and prominent property holders in Coloma. This house is tangible evidence of their success.Courtesy Dolores Steele

And a bit of history recap of Coloma
Here is where the great California gold rush had its beginning. Just north of Placerville, Coloma was the homeofSettled along the banks of the South Fork between Sutter's Mill and Mormon Island is the first important mining town of the 1848 gold rush days. By the summer of 1848 Coloma had about 300 frame buildings and a big hotel under construction. Because of the remoteness of the location, prices were outrageous. Almost any commodity sold at the flat rate of a dollar a pound. Shovels and picks were at least $50 each. Wool shirts sold for $50 each. Since the dollar was worth at least 100 times more than it is today, such prices were outlandish. But Coloma's hectic days were numbered. Richer localities up and down the Mother Lode were drawing away her residents. By 1870 Coloma was reduced to 200 residents. Where gold was discovered is now a state park with appropriate historical markers and an extensive museum. Some of the original frame buildings still stand and have been preserved as historical markers of the first town to emerge from the gold rush days of 1848. Submitted by Henry Chenoweth.
** Both info taken from the website

So now on with our recipe...

  Here is the link again to the web site with a close up view * Pear and Almond Crostata


Now we changed a few things to be diet friendly. I mean check in day is tomorrow so had to be good . One of the things I changed is instead of sugar for the filling, I used Truvia. One packet was all that was needed. We still used the raw sugar on top , but at least this cut down the amount. 

The next thing we switched out was the egg for the filling. We were cutting the recipe in half and it was to be really difficult to cut an egg in half, so we used egg beaters. BUT we still used an egg wash for the brushing of the crostata . 

We switched the cream cheese for a low fat cream cheese....and I think next time I will risk fat free. They taste the same to me after all these years of using it. 

Then lastly instead of slivered almonds, we chopped up almonds as I had on hand a baggie of raw almonds that I use as a snack for when I walk. So hubby chopped and I roasted. OH and we did not have ice cream...saving more calories...but next time.....

All these changes made no difference to me taste and enjoyment wise. The one change it DID seem to make was that the filling "expanded" so we had more than we really needed; we used it anyway ! The croststa's tended to not fold up as well and oozed a bit because of it. 

So here are the photos of the process.... Roasting chopped almonds....
Beating up the egg beater, flour, Truvia, vanilla and cream cheese.... The final result.... then we peeled and sliced the can leave the skins on if they are not too marred..ours were not pretty so we peeled them.  Then it was time to roll out the almond paste....I think this same recipe would be awesome on pie crust as well, making a rustic pie/tart if you want to save some $ or do not care for almonds. We dud bit go for perfection in the rounds.... but did not think it mattered all that much.... Again we used the expanded filling so there is a bit extra, as you can should be a bit thinner. All  folded up, washed in the water and egg mixture and sprinkled with raw sugar for sweet crunch.... Then into the oven it went.... already browning up at about 10 minutes in.... And then 20 minutes later , ready to cool....

  The final result....warm, crisp, sticky, creamy and just plain YUM! Next time I shall splurge and have the ice cream though!

*** Tomorrow check in day, and will be guest posting on a friends will be an older "adventure" post , but click over and explore her blog and all the guest bloggers she has will be worth your time. 


  1. Those pear desserts look WONDERFUL!
    That is a very interesting story about the house and stuff. What an incredible woman!

  2. Hi Ruby
    those peas look delicious.. as do the final result!! making me hungry!! although my insulin diet says no no no!!! hahahaha

    Thanks for your lovely comment.. I bought the paperweight from a little shop near my home.. along with her husband Gus.. [Maud's husband.. not the shop owners.. haha]..... I may try and do a post on the shop one day...

    Thanks also for your email.. I've got to go back and find it and reply.. this week has been a little hectic at my end.... Take care and have a great week xxx Julie

  3. Oh, do those look good...mouth watering here! I'll have to try them!! I love pears...yummmy!

    And btw, you look cute as a button!


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