Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: Brewster House recipes

MAGIC OF THE FRENCH PRESS

March 24, 2016 by Kelleigh Dulany

3 different size French press on a red towel

Baby, Just Right & C5

One of our Brewster House offerings that consistently draws the most compliments is our coffee, and the magic of the french press. Of course the quality of the beans we buy helps immensely (the Dark Harbor blend from Green Tea in Lincolnville, Maine)! http://www.greentreecoffee.com I can’t tell you the number of guests we host who after having about how wonderful our coffee is, confess that they have a french press, but don’t use it because they don’t know how. So here is the “secret sauce!”

At this point, I will add that we use three different size Bodum Dome type french presses at Brewster House, depending on how many cups the table needs. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_xo_0_6?url=search-alias%3Dgarden&field-keywords=bodum+french+press&sprefix=bodum+%2Cstripbooks%2C182 The press we use the most of is marketed as a 34 ounce, 8 cup or “1 liter” press. It will provide 3+ mugs of coffee. For a single, a “12 ounce” will do. For 3 or 4 coffee drinkers, we pull out the “Saturn C5” 51 ounce (12 cup or 1-1/2 liter) monster, that will provide up to 5 mugs.

Secret #1; Coarse grind the coffee beans! You can do that at the coffee display at a grocery store, or in your own grinder, but it may require a bit of a lighter hand with an inexpensive blade type grinder. We use a conical burr type grinder for its consistency, but we use a small blade type for decaffeinated beans to avoid mixing the two. With the conical burr version, we set the grind on just above coarse. When using the lighter grinder, I give it 3 or 4 short bursts, allowing the larger beans to drop down to maximize them getting ground, but to avoid making the whole grind too fine. The goal here is to simply avoid grinding the coffee so small that you end up spitting out coffee that snuck through the the press screen!

Secret #2; Add the correct amount of coffee to the press with the screen and press removed. That would be 4 level scoops for the medium press, 2 for the small press, or 6 for the “Saturn C5.” How many of you remember that rocket engine?? Saturn C5

Secret #3: Add BOILING WATER in the correct amount. I’m stressing boiling here, as that temperature is needed to bring out all that fine coffee beans have to offer! Simply fill the carafes to the base of the ‘arrow’ at the top of the frame of the device. By sizes that amounts to 8 ounces for the small press, 28 for the medium press, or 42 for the large press.

Now stir in the floating grounds, preferably with a wooden spoon (so as to minimize the possibility of cracking or breaking the glass carafe). 3-5 seconds will do!

Then replace the press parts in the press, being careful to place the pouring screen in the top in line with the spout on the carafe. Just settle the screen in far enough to keep the grounds below the surface at this point.

Secret #4: Check your watch and start the 3-4 minute wait to coffee nirvana. This is a matter of how strong you like your coffee! You could even go for 5 minutes, or add an extra scoop to meet your preference. Now, gradually press the screen down to the bottom of the carafe to hold the grounds out of your pour. Fill your Brewster House mug and let that fragrant, rich aroma bring you back to your time with us….. or just come back and enjoy your morning coffee, offset with the buttery sweetness of Mary’s amazing butterscotch scones!

With our European guests, I’ve learned a tradition of theirs that I like. You can agree with (or not) their practice of using more milk (as opposed to cream or 1/2 & 1/2), but I have learned to value their request of warming their dairy before serving it. Just 10 or 20 seconds in your microwave will do it! Their logic, “why spoil this delicious coffee by pouring cold milk in it?”

Bon appetit!! BUT COME TO BROWSER HOUSE AND LET US SPOIL YOU by doing all this (& more) for you!!

Recipe: Lemon Sugar Cookies

December 4, 2012 by Kelleigh Dulany

As the Christmas season is beginning, it is time to think about all those wonderful Christmas cookie recipes you have tucked away somewhere. One we use year ’round, but is especially good at Christmas, is our Lemon Sugar Cookie recipe. Ruth doesn’t even like lemon cookies (can you believe it? I know!), but she LOVES these!

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add lemon zest, egg, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Mix until combined. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
  5. Roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls and roll in sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are slightly brown around the edges and set. Let cookies sit on the baking sheets for two minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies.

If you want to make them ahead, after Step 4 you can roll the rounded tablespoons of dough into balls and freeze on baking tray. When ready to use, roll the balls in sugar and then bake as indicated above.

Enjoy – and Merry Christmas!

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Recipe: Berries & Cream Coffee Cake

July 17, 2012 by Kelleigh Dulany

At Brewster House we have some guests-turned-friends from New York’s Hudson Valley, who love eating and cooking as much as we do.  Ed is Italian and serves up the most incredible homemade pasta and sauces we’ve ever eaten.  Arlene loves baking and makes muffins and scones that look like they have come from top bakeries!  This coffeecake recipe she shared with us is always a big hit with our guests!

This recipe, and many others we serve at our B&B in Freeport Maine are available in our cookbook, Breakfast at 8.

Berries & Cream Coffee Cake

Cake Batter

  • 2 1/4 Cups flour
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 6 ounces butter, 1 1/2 sticks, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 Cup sour cream 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Filling

  • 8 ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Cup jam or preserves – red raspberry, blackberry or blueberry work well
  • 1/2 Cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 10-inch springform pan.

1  In a large bowl, combine flour and 1/4 Cup of sugar.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Reserve  one cup of the crumb mixture and set it aside.

2  To remaining crumb mixture, add baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, egg and almond extract.  Blend well to form batter.  Spread batter over bottom of pan.

3  In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/4 Cup sugar and egg.  Blend well.  Pour over batter in pan, carefully spreading it around but not all the way to the edges.  Spoon jam over cheese filling by the teaspoonful.   Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over top, then sprinkle with almonds.

4  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and center is a little soft.  Do not overbake.  Cool at least 15 minutes in pan before running a knife around the edge and unlatching the spring to release the cake.  Serve at room temperature  with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Note:  This coffeecake freezes wonderfully.  Cool cake completely, slice and wrap in plastic wrap, then heavy duty foil.

Serves 10-12

Enjoy!

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Our Cookbook “Breakfast at 8” is at the Printers!

March 13, 2012 by Kelleigh Dulany

Over the years guests have regularly urged Ruth to release a cookbook. Sometimes it is because they love the sweet or savory breakfast main courses we serve at Brewster House, sometimes it is the fruit starters, sometimes the cookies, scones, or whatever. But the consistent request is that Ruth put together a cookbook.

We can now tell you, the time has arrived. We went back and forth on the idea for a couple of years, then decided to prepare the cookbook last year, but ran out of time. This year, however, we made it a priority, and pulled together all the recipes. Ruth started with over 40 pages of them, then chose her favorites, made some changes, additions, and all the tweaks that go with the editing process, and Breakfast at 8 was born!

It went off to the printers for assembly and proofing, some additional changes were made, and we are now awaiting delivery of the first run of books.

We expect to have the books available for sale by some time in April, and hope to have online ordering available, too. We are taking pre-release orders now by phone or email, at $17 (tax and shipping included).

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast

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