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Blueberry-Cranberry Muffins
These are both tart and sweet—simple to make and yummy any time of day.

6 oz softened butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 cup fresh or frozen Maine blueberries
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 10 muffin cups, or use paper liners.

Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Combine dry ingredients. Have milk measured and ready to pour. Using a rubber spatula, stir in half the dry ingredients, then all the milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Just before the dry are fully incorporated, stir in berries, just until combined. Scoop into the muffin cups, filling the cups all the way up. Bake until set and golden, about 20 minutes—maybe longer if you’ve used frozen fruit. 

 

Gougéres Filled with Scrambled Pepper Eggs
Serves 4 with leftover gougéres for snacks. These are rich and filling, delicious in late summer when peppers are fresh and Maine mornings are cool.  Gougéres also make great hors d’oeuvres, served straight from the oven or with a savory filling. This is a vegetarian breakfast version but you can certainly add smoked ham or crisped pancetta for a different flavor.

gougÉres:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 stick unsalted butter, cut up
Large pinch of salt
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup plus 1/3 cup grated gruyére cheese, separated
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1 egg beaten for egg wash with a pastry brush

Scrambled Pepper Eggs:
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons butter (or extra-virgin olive oil)
1/2 large red pepper, diced
1/2 large yellow pepper, diced
6 large eggs
1 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, and salt just to the boil, then pour in the flour all at once, turn the heat to low and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes a smooth dough. Continue to “dry” the dough over low heat for 2 minutes, by stirring it with a wooden spoon.  Scrape the dough into the bowl of an electric mixer, let it cool for a minute, then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating very well after each egg until it forms a slightly sticky, stiff batter. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, plus the freshly ground pepper and a small pinch of cayenne powder.

Now, transfer the batter to a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip, and pipe rosettes 3 inches across, 2 inches apart. Brush them with beaten egg and sprinkle remaining cheese over tops. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and puffy.

For the scrambled pepper eggs: Melt the butter over medium-high heat, saute the minced shallot for one minute until soft but not brown. Add the diced red and yellow peppers, saute for 1 more minute—longer if you don't like crunchy peppers. Whisk the eggs with the cream, scramble with the peppers until cooked, salt and pepper to taste. Split the gougéres and open them onto individual plates, divide and pile the scrambled eggs into the gougéres, sprinkle cilantro or parsley over top, rest the “lid” of the gougére against the eggs, and serve hot.

 

Triple Chocolate Macaroons
You’ll need unsweetened, semi-sweet, and bittersweet chocolate for these, but we think they’re worth the effort. Of course, you can use only semi-sweet chocolate.

2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon espresso powder dissolved in 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cup sweetened coconut

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Makes about 2 dozen.

Melt the chocolates together in a bowl set over simmering water until just barely melted. Remove the bowl from the water bath, stir the chocolate and let it cool. Beat the whites and a pinch of salt with a whisk attachment in an electric mixer on high speed until they’re frothy. Slowly add the sugar while continuing to beat, until the whites are stiff and glossy. With a large rubber spatula, fold in the vanilla mixture and then the chocolate until barely combined. Fold in the coconut. Spoon the batter by tablespoons onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes until set but not hard. If the batter is very runny, you can refrigerate it for 20 minutes before baking.


 
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