If you didn’t get the chance to taste our Café Team’s Grilled Pear, Brie and Pecan Mac n’ Cheese at this year’s Chester County Cook Off, you’re in luck. Café Chef, Colin Brett, is sharing his award-winning recipe for everyone to enjoy. Don’t have time to whip up a batch at home? Stop by our Sunflower Café this weekend and grab some comfort food to go, while supplies last!
Create Your Own Award-Winning Mac n’ Cheese
What you’ll need
- 1 lb. (about 2 cups) of fresh pasta (we like to use Vera Pasta’s fresh ribbed penne)
- 3 cups of your favorite cheeses (we chose brie, cheddar and a little bit of smoked gouda)
- 1 cup organic heavy cream, like Seven Stars Farm Heavy Cream
- Just a pinch of salt, pepper & nutmeg
Add your favorite addition (our favorite is grilled pear!)
- While waiting for water to boil, chop cheeses into small chunks.
- Pour heavy cream into a small bowl, before stirring in salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- If using fresh pasta, cook in boiling water for up to 1 minute. For dry pasta, cook for 3-4 minutes less than the recommended cooking time on package.
- Drain water from pot, then place pasta back into pot.
- Add chopped cheeses and seasoned cream into large pot and stir in with pasta.
- Pour contents of pot into a baking dish, cover and bake at 350° for 25 – 35 minutes.
Baked Nut Topping
- 1.5 cup of your favorite nut
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. sugar or honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Place nuts in medium sized pot of boiling water. Stir in maple syrup, chosen sweetener and vanilla extract.
- Allow mixture to boil down until water evaporates.
- Lay pecans out on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Place baking sheet in a cool, dry place and allow nuts to dry for 24 hours.
- The next day, heat oven to 325° and bake nuts until crispy (about 10 minutes).
- Chop nuts into fine pieces, then sprinkle over the top of your mac n’ cheese masterpiece!
*Always monitor nuts carefully to prevent burning.