07/30/2012 01:21 EDT | Updated 09/29/2012 05:12 EDT

Food Day Canada: Butter Tarts, Lentils Blueberries And More Celebrated

Canadian Press, Handout

Here are some uniquely Canadian recipes that are bound to earn raves from guests at your Food Day Canada feast on August 4. Recipes continue below:

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Coconut-Cardamom Rosewater Red Lentil Ice Cream

"This is a riff on Asian red bean ice cream, with East Indian-inspired flavourings, using Canadian lentils and Newfoundland honey. It’s vegan and dairy-, egg- and gluten-free," writes recipe creator Andrea Maunder, the dessert chef at Bacalao in St. John's, N.L. "Packed with flavour, protein, good fats and lots of other good stuff too."

Multi-award-winning Bacalao has been heralded for its focus on using as much local game and seafood, produce and spirits as possible, and creating an innovative presentation of Newfoundland cuisine.

125 ml (1/2 cup) granulated sugar

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) water

Juice of half a lemon (reserve the skin)

Pinch of sea salt

125 ml (1/2 cup) red lentils, rinsed

750 ml (3 cups) coconut milk

125 ml (1/2 cup) honey

Juice of 2 small limes

10 ml (2 tsp) ground cardamom

5 ml (1 tsp) rosewater

Few drops good vanilla

Pinch sea salt

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, place sugar, water, lemon juice and salt. Stir to dissolve sugar. Cut squeezed lemon half into 2 pieces and drop in pot. Bring to a boil.

Stir in lentils. Simmer, stirring occasionally, over low heat, uncovered, for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender but still hold their shape. (Add water if you need to.) Drain, discard lemon halves and let cool completely. You should have about 175 ml (3/4 cup).

In a bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together. Add 175 ml (3/4 cup) of the lentils. Pour into ice-cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. (Maunder said her machine with a built-in compressor took about 30 minutes to freeze the mixture.)

Makes 6 servings.


Quebec Pork Tenderloin in Charlevoix Blueberry Sauce

Anita Stewart writes there are a few memorable meals that will never fade. "One such occurred when my son, Brad (then age 12), and I dined at La Pinsonniere, a fine Charlevoix inn. We had a window seat that overlooked the St. Lawrence, quite wide at this point. The evening mist rolled in as the sun set illuminating the waters. Candles lit the room then, as now, filled with fine Quebec art.

"It was a simple moment, but all was right with the world. This recipe is one adapted from that menu, now well over a decade old, but still absolutely delicious!"

4 pork tenderloins, each about 350 g (3/4 lb)

15 ml (1 tbsp) canola oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, halved

125 ml (1/2 cup) white wine

50 ml (1/4 cup) blueberry liqueur or cassis

250 ml (1 cup) veal or chicken stock

Bouquet garni (made of 1 thyme sprig, 1 bay leaf, celery leaves and 3 peppercorns)

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) blueberries, plus extra for garnish

125 ml (1/2 cup) 35 per cent cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In large, heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, sear tenderloins on all sides. Place in a 200 C (400 F) oven for about 30 minutes or until meat is barely pink inside. Place on a platter; cover with foil and keep warm.

In a skillet, heat oil and cook onion over medium heat for about 4 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic; cook for about 30 seconds. Deglaze pan with wine, cooking until it is almost evaporated. Stir in blueberry liqueur, stock and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until slightly reduced. Stir in blueberries; simmer for another 5 minutes. In a blender, puree sauce; return to saucepan. Stir in cream, salt and pepper; bring to a boil before serving.

Slice tenderloins into rounds. Place a pool of sauce on individual serving plates and fan pork tenderloins out onto sauce. Garnish with fresh blueberries.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Adapted by Anita Stewart from a dish served at La Pinsonniere in La Malbaie, Que.


Butter Tarts

Butter tarts were made from what most farm wives had at their disposal — good butter, eggs, sugar, flour and lard for the pastry. Over the years bakers across Canada have adopted the tart as their own.

This recipe comes from Peggy Morris. When her four sons were growing up in southwestern Ontario's Peel Township, this was their dessert of choice.

Pastry for 18 deep tart shells

250 ml (1 cup) raisins

2 eggs

75 ml (1/3 cup) corn syrup

250 ml (1 cup) packed brown sugar

45 ml (3 tbsp) melted butter

125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped walnuts or pecans

In a small bowl, cover raisins with boiling water. Let soak for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter and nuts. Stir in raisins. Pour evenly into prepared tart shells.

Place in a 230 C (450 F) oven for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 180 C (350 F) — leave oven door ajar slightly for 15 to 20 seconds to bring temperature down rapidly. Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbling and deep golden brown. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing tarts from pan.

Makes 18 tarts.

Source: "Anita Stewart’s Canada: The Food, The Recipes, The Stories" by Anita Stewart (HarperCollins Canada, 2008).