Whipped Crème Fraîche

A simply-stunning topping for this week’s gingerbread loaf, or any holiday pie you have in mind.

1 cup heavy cream
½ cup crème fraîche
1 tablespoon granulated sugar*

1. Chill the bowl of a stand mixer and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes.

2. Place all of the ingredients in the bowl and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes. (Alternatively, you can use a hand whisk and a large chilled bowl. Whisk all of the ingredients until medium peaks form, about 5 to 6 minutes.) Serve immediately.

* Feel free to sub in your favorite sweetener here; our favorites are honey or even a splash of bourbon maple syrup!

Sautéed Fall Orchard Fruit

Kissed with fragrant cinnamon and brown sugar, these are sublime on waffles, pancakes or crêpes.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Pinch of cinnamon

1. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the fruit slices and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is softened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Crispy Diced Pork Belly

These little nuggets of goodness are wonderful scattered over braised greens or this week’s polenta.

½ pound Skagit River Ranch pork belly ends

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay out pork belly ends, spacing out evenly on the sheet.

3. Bake pork belly until crisp and golden, about 15-20 minutes. (Check frequently to avoid burning.) Remove from oven, allow to cool, then finely-dice with a sharp knife.

Variations: Feel free to test out your own seasonings sprinkled over the raw pork belly, then bake. Our favorites include brown sugar or cayenne pepper.

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