Posts tagged ‘summer’

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!

August 22, 2011

Two Sweethearts and the Summerwind

Frank Sinatra Summer Wind

Blueberry Twins

Oh My! Blueberry pie!

The particular way that blueberry pie reminds me of county fair eating contests and faces left covered in indigo moustaches make it most wondrous and whimsical.

What better to go with a pair of Summer Dreamboats than a friendly choice citrus cerveza.

Orange and Blue, yes they are opposites on the color wheel but to those satiable taste buds they are a delicious duo.

I even added some of that orange garnish right into the blueberry for yet another bridge for your happy palate.

All Together Now

When testing out this berry bursting babe, try letting your guests have a few Blue Moons and then serve without any utensils. Seriously, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your friends covered in a little sapphire syrup.

The only things to remember when making a blueberry pie are; the more berries the merrier, a squeeze of lemon juice, a dash of the zest,  a pinch of cornstarch, and listening to Frank Sinatra during the process makes all the difference in the world.

P.S. I used the Whole Wheat Crust Recipe located below for these guys as well.

Enjoy!

July 28, 2011

No Drinking Beach Bod Cherry Pie

Oh sweet summer salvation, bring me ye ripened fruits to encase in flaky pastry dough!

The time is here for the season’s heavenly harvest to swim together in a shell of crisping crust, carmelizing sugar, and warm, tangy broth. Start pitting those blushing stone sweethearts and clear an open window to rest your steaming beauty upon. Make sure to pick one you can keep a real close eye on, no pie snatchers for this gorgeous pastry!

There are two things that make cherry pie so endearing and admirable. First, the classic lattice top! Oh, what a glorious and easy design to add sophistication and a touch of moxie to your humbled fruit dessert. Also, I really really love the way it makes my hands turn bright red from taking out all of those finicky pits stuck in there.

Cherry Baby you sure are a glamorous one.

Cherry Baby

So, the only alcohol in this edition of Tipsy Kitchen is the Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract that I added to the cherries. Someone’s been taking summer a little too easy if you know what I mean…

This particular pie is especially good for beach bod season as I tried out Whole Wheat Pie Crust for the first time! It added a nutty, deeper flavor and you can feel good about eating this good-looker in place of your 3 meals of the day!

Whole Wheat Crust

1 Cup AP Flour

1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

1 1/2 sticks butter (make sure its super chilled)

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Sugar

6-7 Tbsp. Freezing cold water

Preheat oven to 375

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Using a cheese grater (I can’t get over this method) grate the butter into the dry mix and toss until the butter is lightly covered in the flour mixture. Then add the water 1 Tbsp. at a time until the dough comes together, just enough to stay together without crumbling. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour, it’ll go by quick if you take this time to pit all of your delectable cherries. Split the dough in half and roll out onto floured surface. Add to your baking dish, add the cherry filling (below). Roll out the other half of dough into a rectangle. Take a pizza cutter or sharp knife and cut about 8-9 ribbons of dough to make the lattice top. Add 4 vertical strips to the pie. Add the other 5 ribbons horizontally. Bake for about 40 minutes. Let cool!

Cherry Filling

Largest bag of cherries at the stand or in the store (pitted)

Zest and juice of half a lemon

1/4 Cup Sugar

1/3 Cup Corn Starch

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

Combine everything and pile into prepared pie shell.

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