Posts tagged ‘dessert’

June 26, 2013

Lemon Head

Summer’s sultry sunbeams have arrived! And with them, the delightful delirium you fall into while trying to keep yourself cool by standing in front of an open fridge with a washcloth plastered to your forehead. In this case, it was a perfectly pleasant way to fight off the fever and keep a cloyingly close eye on my Lemon Basil tarts chilling to completion.

What!? I have strayed away from my beloved Frozen Key Lime pie to abate the humid hot pocket my apartment has become?

Yes, it must have been the heat that bamboozled me into doing some edible experimentation. I’d say it was a scientific sensation!

 

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Something about how June makes everything blossom with vibrance and the beginning of another sweltering season, made me want to make something bright and crisp. Lemon and Basil are two ingredients that, when married together, become a most refreshing flavor fusion, very appropriate.

Something else about June, it makes me want to put Jim Beam in my coffee, sit on the fire escape and take it real easy-like. You win, June!

 

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The recipe I used was, well, let’s just call it minimalistic, so it was a fly by the seat of your pants kind of thing. I added some helpful tips and confidence boosters (drink whiskey while baking) to get you through this tasty task.

First, make the graham cracker crust, which you can find in the post for Frozen Key Lime Pie below. Simple, bake in tart shell for 10 minutes and set aside for later assembly.

 

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Lemon Basil Custard

1/2 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 Cup heavy cream

2 Eggs

2 Egg Yolks

3/4 Cup fresh lemon juice, strained

3/4 Cup granulated sugar

1 Cup whole fresh basil leaves, cleaned

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a double boiler (I use a regular medium sized pot of simmering water and fit a large bowl on top to create the same effect.) Combine all ingredients into the large bowl, sounds weird but it is just fine. Take a shot of whiskey and whisk mixture continuously until mixture is heated through to prevent eggs from curdling. Continue to cook over double boiler, whisking every few minutes. Cook until mixture reaches a custard like consistency (coats the back of a spoon), for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer, this will catch the basil leaves, into a clean bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.

Phew! You did it! Take another shot you master chef!

Place cooled tart shell on a baking sheet and fill with custard. Bake until custard sets, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before handling. Place them into Fridge and let those lemon babies cool down, eat, and enjoy!

The recipe I used was adapted from:

http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/lemon-basil-tart/recipe.html?dishId=4500

Damn Canadians!

Happy Baking!

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May 30, 2012

Mes beautés de citron!

It is of the most opportune occasion for a group game of croquet!

If I had it my way, I would be upstate enjoying a few rounds with my dear friends and picnicking in the lawn. The weather is spectacular for an early afternoon sit down with a sweating pitcher of luminous lemonade and a mosaic of effervescent edibles.

It is often hard to make an ethereal, bright, and appropriate cake for the summer months, unless of course you have decided after all these years to treat yourself to that exact confection.

That is correct!  I finally got the coveted pan and have begun my endeavor into the magical world of the Madeleine! A somewhat soft and supple, citrusy cake that I have always admired.

That scallop shape is just dazzling!

Madeleine

So, it has been madness here trying to concoct the right recipe and interesting ingredients to enhance the gentle cake. I tried out some exciting extracts like earl grey, almond, lavender, and rosewater, always pairing them with either lemon or orange for that needed bite. Be creative, do what you think sounds delicious.

And always remember to pair with a light libation. Whether it be fresh iced tea, cold brewed coffee, or in my case raspberry lemonade with just a few splashes of gin.

In all seriousness, I made the decision to get the ingenious Madeleine pan, so that I can make Madeleines all day for my best friend, Frannie. Love you girl!

I’d say Frannie and I are like Gin and the Summertime; best friends for life.

Lemon Madeleine

3/4 Cup AP Flour

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Large Lemon, zested

2 Jumbo Eggs

2 tsp. Almond Extract

6 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

Method

Put butter in small saucepan and melt under low heat. Set aside.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, using your fingers, mash together the zest and sugar. It is very reminiscent of the beach! After the zest and sugar have come together beat in the eggs one at a time. Whisk together for about 3 minutes. Add the almond extract (or whatever you decide to try out).

Using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients. Once they are incorporated fold in the butter.

IMPORTANT!

These little guys like to chill out, so you need to put them in the fridge for at least an hour, three if you can stand it, and overnight if you drink too much gin and accidentally fall asleep (ideal).

After the great rest:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Butter your glorious Madeleine pan, fill 3/4 with batter and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden.

Makes 12

Yeah!

June 2, 2011

Elegant Inebriation

June!

June is here which reminds me of home and the gardens my parents keep all over our yard. I am dreaming of vibrant green lawns covered in little bluets, vines overflowing with radiant rosebuds, and the steady hum in and around the bee balm and butterfly bushes.

After getting some berries from the market this morning, I remembered how wonderful breakfast was to make and eat in that lawn. I envisioned making delicious food with my friends, laying out some blankets, and arranging a few bottles of bright orange Brass Monkeys.

To ease the pain I felt from being stuck in Brooklyn, I made it anyway.

Brass Monkey Morning

The first recipe you need is for the Brass Monkey so you can get it started while you prepare the other things.

Brass Monkey

1 Forty Ounce Malt Liquor of your choice (bottled)

1 Quart of orange juice

Drink forty down to the top of the label. Slowly pour orange juice into bottle until it is filled up again. Be careful! It may bubble up a bit. Then continue drinking normally. As you can see I was not ready to get wasted too early, so I went with a smaller portion.

DON’T DRINK TOO FAST OR YOU WILL MESS THIS UP:

SHORTCAKE

The recipe I use for sweet biscuits is nice and simple, but they always come out just right.

Sweet Biscuits

2 Cups AP Flour

3 Tbsp. Sugar

3 tsp. Baking Powder

1/4 tsp. Salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter

1 Jumbo Egg

1/2 cup heavy cream

Zest of half an orange (I usually use lemon, but the orange went so well with the Brass Monkey)

Demura sugar for sprinkling

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, zest, and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl. Use a box cheese grater, my favorite trick, and grate the cold butter into the dry ingredients and toss around until the butter is coated in the flour mixture. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and milk, then add to the dry mix. Form a workable dough, feel free to add more flour if too sticky! Turn out onto a floured surface, roll out so the dough is about an inch and a half thick. Cut into any shape you like, I made 6 triangles. Sprinkle with Demura sugar and bake for 10 minutes until golden.

Berries

Combine any type that look good to you that day, mix in medium size bowl and add 2 or 3 spoonfuls of sugar to release some of the liquids. Set aside until ready to assemble.

Whipped Cream

1 Pint heavy cream

3 Tbsp. Sugar

1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract

Using a hand mixer, mix the ingredients on high until stiff peaks form.

Now layer as you wish! Depending on how much Brass Monkey was consumed, you may begin thinking of yourself as a wonderfully creative architect. Just remember to eat it afterwards.

Enjoy!

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