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Archive for Desserts

RECIPE: Rice Pudding With A Modern Twist

It’s almost comfort food time again.

Nibblers are always on the lookout for a new twist on just about anything. But sometimes it’s hard to change on when it comes to comfort food. We like what we like. We don’t mess around with favorites, like, say, rice pudding.

Rice pudding, the way mom used to make it or the way it scoops out of a cinnamon-y plastic cup, is a basic feel-good food. It soothes stress, its velvety smoothness coats the tongue, its toasty quinoa topping—whoa! Its what?

Cue pastry chef Jessica Sullivan, pride of Delfina’s and five other same-owner neighborhood eateries in and around San Francisco’s Mission. Delfina’s is a long-standing favorite that’s managed to survive the Mission’s trendy rebirth. Its loyal customers liked the menu that had served them for years, so Jessica didn’t want to disrupt too much when she arrived as pastry chef.

But the rice pudding sparked her interest. What could she do to make it rice pudding with more? Her solution was to combine crunchiness and creaminess in every mouthful with the puffed quinoa, candied with toffee.

   

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Rice pudding with roasted apricots and a crunchy quinoa-toffee topping. Photo courtesy Jessica Sullivan.

 
The results are irresistible. Pick up your spoon, plunge it through the crunchy candied quinoa topping into the thick, creamy pudding and you’re in on one of the best dessert adventures of the decade. While the recipe may seem like work, it’s really not. The rice pudding, candied quinoa and apricots can be made ahead of time, and everything assembled right before serving.

RICE PUDDING WITH CRUNCHY QUINOA TOPPING

This recipe is courtesy Jessica Sullivan, Delfina, San Francisco.
 
Ingredients For 8 One-Cup Servings

For The Rice Pudding

  • 2 quarts whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1¼ cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice*
  • ¾ cup crème fraîche
  • Heavy cream, as needed
  •  
    For The Toffee

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    For The Candied Quinoa Topping

  • 2 cups puffed quinoa†
  • ½ cup ground toffee (recipe ingredients above)
     
    For The Apricot Topping
  • 4 fresh apricots, or 8 dried apricot halves‡
  • ½ cup sparkling wine, such as Moscato or Prosecco
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: fresh berries in season
  •  
    *See the all of the different types of rice in our Rice Glossary.
    †Puffed quinoa is available at health food stores in the bulk cereals section.
    ‡If using dried apricots, plump them in brandy or Cognac for half an hour before using.

     

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    Carnaroli rice is a short-grain rice bred in Italy to make superior risotto. Cooks often use the more widely available Arborio rice, but Carnaroli is a smaller grain with an extremely high starch content. These properties enable it to absorb large quantities of liquid without overcooking, engendering an ultra-creamy yet toothsome risotto—or rice pudding! Photo courtesy Fine Cooking.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the pudding. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, sugar, vanilla seeds and a pinch of salt to a boil. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture returns to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and lightly simmer, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes until the rice begins to thicken. When the rice thickens, taste it for doneness, continuing to stir every few minutes until it is soft and cooked through.

    2. REMOVE the rice mixture from the heat and transfer to a bowl set on top of an ice bath. Stir continuously so that the mixture cools quickly.

    3. CAREFULLY FOLD in the crème fraîche and taste for salt, adding more if necessary. If the pudding seems too thick, thin it with a touch of cream to achieve the desired consistency.

    4. MAKE the toffee. Place a silicone baking mat on a rimmed cookie sheet. In a small saucepan combine the sugar, corn syrup and enough water to wet the syrup until the mixture has a sandy texture. Cook until a candy thermometer registers 315° and the mixture is rich amber in color.

     
    5. USE a pastry brush dipped in water to wipe down the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat, add the salt and vanilla extract; stir well. Pour the mixture onto the silicone mat. When cool enough to handle, break up the toffee, then grind it in a food processor until fine.

    6. MAKE the candied quinoa. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a silicone baking mat on a rimmed baking sheet. Evenly spread the puffed quinoa over the mat and sprinkle the ground toffee over it. Place the baking sheet in the oven; after about 5 minutes, stir and bake an additional 5 minutes.

    7. REMOVE from the oven, stir again, and place the quinoa-toffee mixture on a cold surface, such as a counter top or unused baking sheet, to cool. Then break it up it into small clusters. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container until ready to use. Do not refrigerate.

    8. MAKE the fruit topping. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the apricots in half, then cut each half into three slices. Place the apricot pieces in a baking dish along with the wine, sugar, salt and vanilla extract; roast for 5 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan after 5 minutes. The fruit should be soft but not blowing up, so watch it closely. Remove the pan from oven and let cool thoroughly.

    9. ASSEMBLE: Place one cup of the rice pudding in each of 8 glass dessert cups or parfait glasses.
    Top each serving with 4 slices of roasted apricots and drizzle with a little of the syrup they cooked in. Add fresh berries in season if desired. Just before serving, generously sprinkle the candied quinoa on top.

    NOTE: You can prepare the rice pudding and toppings ahead of time, but do not add the candied quinoa topping until just ready to serve or it will become soggy.

    –Rowann Gilman is a recipe developer, cookbook editor and Contributing Editor of THE NIBBLE.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Black Mission & Green Kadota Figs

    Summer is fresh fig season. If you enjoy dried figs the rest of the year, go out of your way to enjoy them fresh.

    Last month we wrote about how to use fresh figs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But we’ve been reveling in them in the weeks since then, and want to send this reminder to everyone who has not yet jumped onto the fresh fig bandwagon*.

    This week, a trove of Black Mission and Green Kadota figs arrived from California to our produce market. The Green Kadota figs we purchased are even sweeter than the Black Mission figs. Do your own taste test.

    After enjoying them out of hand, focus on these easy, no-cook uses:

  • For breakfast with cereal, cottage cheese, yogurt and pancakes
  • Instead of fig jam, sliced or diced and mixed with honey or agave
  • For lunch in a green salad with bacon, lardons, prosciutto or other ham; or sliced onto a cheese sandwich with Brie, cream cheese or goat cheese on multigrain or raisin bread
  • With a cheese course, with any cheese from mild to strong (our favorite pairing is blue cheese)
  • For an hors d’oeuvre, spread blue cheese on fig halves
  • For dinner make compound butter (use it on bread, for cooking or toss with pasta or rice)
  •  

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    Fresh Green Kadota and Black Mission figs, shown with their dried versions. Photo courtesy California Figs. The website has recipes for everything from fig muffins to fig pizza.

  • For dessert in a fruit salad; or sliced and marinated in liqueur by themselves or as a topping for ice cream, cheesecake and other desserts
  •  
    *To get, jump or leap on the bandwagon is an idiom from the 19th century. It means to become involved in a successful activity so you don’t lose out on the advantages. There are other expressions of the phrase as well. A bandwagon was a festively-decorated wagon that carried a circus band; the band was part of the showy parade through town to generate excitement for the circus. The term first appears in print in P.T. Barnum’s autobiography, published in 1855. Politicians began to “jump on the bandwagon” to be part of the parade, actually renting seats on the wagon to get exposure to the public during the merry occasion.

     

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    Fresh figs are a delicious summer dessert with cheese and a drizzle of honey. Photo courtesy The French Farm.

     

    RECIPE: FRESH FIG COMPOTE

    Compote, the French word for mixture, is a dessert that dates to medieval Europe. It is made of a mixture of whole or sliced fruits, cooked in water with sugar and spices (cinnamon, clove, lemon or orange peel, vanilla). It can be further blended with grated coconut, ground almonds, or dried or candied fruits.

    Our Nana grew up on compote, and we loved it too. There was always a compote when we visited, served warm (with ice cream or whipped cream) in cooler months and cold in the summer.

    In medieval England compote was served as part of the last course of a feast; during the Renaissance it was served chilled at the end of dinner. Any fresh fruit could be used. Nana’s family recipe included rhubarb, sour cherry, apricot, nectarine and plum in the summer; apples, pears, quince, dried apricots, figs, raisins and walnuts in the fruit-challenged winter months.

    Use the compote as a bread spread and a condiment with sweet or savory foods, in yogurt, with cheese, cheesecake, etc.

    Ingredients For 2/3 Cup

    If the figs are very sweet, you may need only a small amount of sweetener.

  • 1 pound fresh figs†, cleaned and trimmed as needed
  • 1 to 6 tablespoons sugar or honey (or half as much agave)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional: dried fruits or other fruits, Grand Marnier or other alcohol
  •  
    †Figs do not ripen off the tree, so buy fruit that is soft to the touch. The skin around stem should have begun to twist and wrinkle.
     
    Preparation

    1. CUT the figs into quarters or smaller pieces as desired. Place the figs, sweetener, water and cinnamon in a small saucepan over low heat.

    2. COOK for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding the alcohol near the end (or if using dried fruits in the recipe, you can pre-soak them in the alcohol). To turn into a smooth sauce instead of a chunky dessert or topping…

    3. PULSE, using an immersion blender or food processor, until the desired consistency is reached. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

    TO DEGLAZE A PAN

    Here’s how to deglaze a pan to make a sauce. Include a tablespoon of fig compote (you can also use fig jam).

    To make a sauce without pan juices (terrific with roast duck or pork):

    1. HEAT 1 cup of red wine in a saucepan, and simmer to reduce it by half. Add 1/2 cup of fig compote and a half teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.

    2. BRING to a simmer again, stirring for a few minutes to blend the ingredients. Remove from the heat and finish with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Add a scant tablespoon of butter to smooth out the sauce.

      

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    RECIPE: S’mores Baked Alaska

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    S’mores Baked Alaska. Chef Brian molds the
    ice cream on top of the cake layer before
    covering the ice cream with Marshmallow
    Fluff. We took an easier path, creating a
    layered ice cream cake and covering the
    Hotels.

     

    For National S’mores Day on August 10th, here’s a brand new take on the classic, gooey chocolate bar, marshmallow and graham cracker cookie sandwich.

    Chef Brian Millman at Atwood Kitchen & Bar Room in New York City has created S’mores Baked Alaska, a twist on the American classic of ice cream cake*, shrouded in freshly-whipped meringue and then browned under a broiler or with a kitchen torch.

    WHY YOU CAN BAKE ICE CREAM WITHOUT MELTING IT

    The beaten egg whites in the meringue protect the ice cream from melting because beating unfolds the protein molecules. This causes air bubbles to be trapped in the unfolded proteins. This foam acts as an insulating layer around the ice cream and protects it [for a brief time] from the heat.

    This dynamic was discovered by a prominent physicist, Benjamin Thompson, at the beginning of the 19th century. Here’s the history of Baked Alaska.

     
    WHY YOU CAN BAKE ICE CREAM WITHOUT MELTING IT

    The beaten egg whites in the meringue protect the ice cream from melting because beating unfolds the protein molecules and causes air bubbles to be trapped in the unfolded proteins. This foam acts as an insulating layer around the ice cream and protects it from the heat.

    This was discovered by a prominent physicist, Benjamin Thompson, at the beginning of the 19th century. Here’s the history of Baked Alaska.
     
    Meringue has similar ingredients to marshmallow, which is why marshmallow cream also works.

  • Meringue ingredients: egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar
  • Marshmallow Fluff ingredients: egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, water, salt and vanilla extract
  •  

    READY TO MAKE YOUR OWN BAKED ALASKA?

    Chef Brian makes these substitutions to turn S’mores into Baked Alaska:

  • Chocolate cake and chocolate sauce instead of the S’mores chocolate bar
  • Marshmallow Fluff instead of the S’mores marshmallows and meringue
  • Graham cracker marshmallow ice cream and graham cracker crumbs instead of the whole graham crackers (Chef Brian makes his own marshmallow and graham cracker ice cream; but you can make hack a variation from a quart of vanilla, some mini marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs)
  •  
    He also adds a pinch of flake sea salt (Cyprus Flake Sea Salt and Maldon Flake Salt flake salts are typically available at specialty food stores or fine supermarkets).

    You can use your broiler to brûlée the Fluff; but if you have one, use a kitchen torch instead. With a torch:

  • You can evenly brown the entire surface. Under a broiler, when the top is perfectly browned, the sides will be much lighter.
  • You don’t have to check the broiler to see how the browning is going. A delicate process, it can turn from done to overdone in seconds. The torch gives you control.
  •  

    RECIPE: S’MORES BAKED ALASKA

    Here’s how we adapted Chef Brian’s concept to make our own version of S’mores Baked Alaska:

    You can bake the cake or buy a chocolate loaf cake (or any unfrosted chocolate cake). You can make the marshmallow ice cream from scratch (here’s a recipe—add the graham cracker crumbs), or buy ice cream and mix in the crumbled graham crackers.

    Ingredients

  • 1 chocolate cake: loaf, sheet or uniced layers
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream plus mini marshmallows, store-bought marshmallow ice cream* or homemade marshmallow ice cream
  • Graham crackers or graham cracker crumbs‡
  • 1 marshmallow fluff tub (16 ounces) Marshmallow Fluff or other marshmallow cream
  • Garnish: graham cracker crumbs
  •  

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    Add mini marshmallows to softened ice cream to make “quickie” marshmallow ice cream. Photo courtesy DeBakery.Weebly.com.

  • Optional garnishes: chocolate sauce, coarse sea salt or flake salt (like Maldon—see the different types of salt)
  •  

    Preparation

    1. MAKE “quick” marshmallow-graham cracker ice cream: Soften the quart of vanilla ice cream on the counter. While the ice cream softens, crumble the whole graham crackers between sheets of wax paper, using a rolling pin. When the ice cream is soft enough to stir, use a spatula to scoop it into a mixing bowl; add the crumbs and stir to combine. Then add the marshmallows and stir. Place the ice cream back into the container. The lid will no longer fit, so cover the top with plastic wrap.

    2. ASSEMBLE the ice cream cake. Create a middle layer of ice cream. For a loaf cake, cut in half horizontally; for a sheet cake, cut two “layers.” Wrap in plastic and place in the freezer. When ready to serve…

    3. PLACE the ice cream cake on a heat-proof (or sturdy) serving plate and use a spatula to cover the sides and top with Marshmallow Fluff. Use the torch to brûlée, on all sides. If the plate isn’t heat-proof, steer clear of the lower part of the cake.

    4. BRING to the table. Dip the knife in warm water to cut. Sprinkle the edges of each dessert plate with graham cracker crumbs and place the sliced cake on top. Pass the optional chocolate sauce and sea salt so guests can customize their portions.

     
    *Baked Alaska is typically made with a thin cake layer on the bottom, and two or more different flavors of ice cream on top. When we created our version of S’mores Baked Alaska, it was easier for us to use thicker layers of cake, for a 50:50 proportion of ice cream to cake. You can construct your Baked Alaska in the proportion you wish.

    †Chocolate Marshmallow ice cream from Turkey Hill, S’mores from Ben & Jerry’s, Schwan’s Chocolate Ripple and others have a base of chocolate ice cream. We prefer a vanilla base, so we made our own.

    ‡We crumbled our own when we could have purchased crumbs. The reason: We preferred the texture of the larger home-crumbled pieces of graham crackers in the ice cream. The purchased crumbs, however, are fine.

      

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    RECIPE: Watermelon Pizza

    How about a watermelon pizza for National Watermelon Day, August 3rd? Here are two snack or dessert recipes, and they couldn’t be easier.

    The first is from the National Watermelon Promotion Board, Watermelon.org.

    RECIPE: WATERMELON PIZZA

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 1 watermelon round, from a watermelon 8 to 10 inches in
    diameter, sliced 1 inch thick
  • 1 cup strawberry preserves
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  •    

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    Pizza for dessert! Photo courtesy National Watermelon Promotion Board.

     
    Preparation

    1. DRAIN the watermelon round on paper towels to remove the excess moisture. Place on a serving platter and cut into 6 wedges, leaving them in the shape of a pizza.

    2. SPREAD the preserves (the “sauce” on top and sprinkle the toppings over the preserves. It’s ready to serve!

     

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    Easiest watermelon pizza: Just add sliced kiwi! Photo courtesy Zespri | Facebook.

     

    RECIPE: WATERMELON KIWI PIZZA

    The second watermelon pizza couldn’t be easier. If you like, you can add on additional fruits—whatever you have on hand, from stone fruit slices (peaches, nectarines, plums, etc.) to orange segments.

    Without the chocolate chips, coconut, raisins and walnuts, it qualifies as a “diet dessert.”

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 1 watermelon round, from a watermelon 8 to 10 inches in
    diameter, sliced 1 inch thick
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • Optional: other sliced fruits, as desired
  • Optional garnish: shredded coconut “cheese”
  •  
    Preparation

    1. DRAIN the watermelon round on paper towels to remove the excess moisture. Place on a serving platter and cut into 6 wedges, leaving them in the shape of a pizza.

    2. PEEL and slice the kiwi. Place on slice on each watermelon wedge. Sprinkle with optional coconut.

      

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    RECIPE: Reduced Sugar Raspberry Pie

    July 31st is National Raspberry Cake Day. You can make one easily, by using raspberry jam as a filling between two layers, using whipped cream to frost the cake, and decorating the top with fresh raspberries.

    But for calorie counters, substitute the cake for a pie, and make this reduced calorie raspberry pie from Driscoll’s. It replaces some of the sugar with a noncaloric sugar substitute. And August 1st is National Raspberry Cream Pie Day.

    You can add a garnish of whipped cream from an aerosol can. With all the air whipped into the sweetened cream, it has just eight calories per tablespoon.

    For this recipe, prep time is 25 minutes; cook time is 1 hour 5 minutes.

    If you don’t want a reduced-sugar pie, try this raspberry cream pie recipe.

    RECIPE: REDUCED-CALORIE RASPBERRY PIE

    Ingredients For 8 Servings
     
    For The Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
  •  

    raspberry-pie-flower-crust-driscolls-230

    Raspberry pie with a leafy crust. Use small cookie cutters to cut leaves from dough scraps. Photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

     
    For The Filling

  • 3 packages (6 ounces each) Driscoll’s raspberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated Splenda (not from individual packets)
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  •  
    Optional Garnish

  • Aerosol whipped cream
  •  

    raspberries-cartons-MF-jeltovski-230

    Just-picked raspberries. Photo by J. Eltovski | Morguefile.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the crust: Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the ater, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse just until the dough comes together (be careful not to over-mix). Pat the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour.

    2. MAKE the filling: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a large circle about 1/4-inch thick. Cut out a 13-inch circle and gently transfer the dough to a 9-1/2-inch pie plate. Fold the edge of dough under the rim of the plate and crimp to make a decorative crust. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Cut the remaining dough into various small cutouts, using cookie cutters. (Here’s a set of mini leaf cutters. We use this linzer cookie cutter set with a heart, moon, sun and star.)

    3. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Top the pie dough shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. (This large pie weight from Chicago Metallic avoids having to pick up the individual weights or beans.)

     
    4. BAKE the crust for 10 minutes, remove the foil and weights and continue to bake about 10 minutes more or until lightly golden.

    5. REDUCE the oven temperature to 350°F. Place the raspberries, Splenda, brown sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl and stir until evenly combined. Spoon into prebaked crust. Brush crust with beaten egg and top with small cutouts. Brush cutouts with beaten egg.

    6. BAKE for 40 to 45 minutes or until the juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving, or chill completely.
     
    Find more delicious berry recipes at Driscolls.com.

      

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    JULY 4th: The Easiest Dessert Recipe

    Here’s the easiest July 4th dessert recipe: vanilla ice cream with blueberries and raspberries.

    Sure, you can find vanilla ice cream with blueberry and raspberry swirls and just scoop them into dishes. But with a recipe, the cook combines ingredients.

    To make the easiest red, white and blue dessert, you need:

  • Vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Optional: whipped cream
  •  
    You can substitute blackberries or strawberries, but blueberries and raspberries are a better size. If your market is sold out of fresh berries, head to the frozen foods case.

       

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    The easiest red, white and blue dessert recipe. Photo courtesy Talenti Gelato.

     

    If you don’t want to scoop and serve individual dishes, place the ice cream in a serving bowl.

  • Scooping takes time, so just peel away the carton and plop the entire square or round contents into the bowl.
  • You can slice the bulk ice cream into halves or thirds to better fill out the bowl, and use whipped cream to fill empty spaces if you don’t like them.
  • Top with the berries and whipped cream, and let guests help themselves.
  •  
    That’s it!

     

    easy_very_berry_trifle_mccormick-230

    Another easy red, white & blue dessert. Photo courtesy Amanda Rettke.

     

    RECIPE: EASY VERY BERRY TRIFLE

    When you want to impress friends and family with a dessert that takes just minutes of prep, this is the one to prepare.

    Fresh berries are layered with mounds of whipped cream and angel food cake for a dessert that is be prepared ahead of time. It was created by Amanda Rettke from IAMBaker.net for McCormick, who used McCormick extracts in the recipe.

    The whipped cream—a special concoction of heavy cream, sour cream and orange extract—is a star. Once you taste it, you’ll want to use it on everything!

    Prep time is 25 minutes.

    Ingredients For 12 servings

  • 2 cups halved or sliced strawberries
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure orange extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 4 cups angel food cake cubes
  • Preparation

    1. TOSS the berries, 1/4 cup of the sugar and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla in large bowl. Set aside.

    2. BEAT the cream, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and orange extract in large bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently stir in the sour cream.

    3. LAYER 2 cups angel food cake cubes, and 1/2 each of the berry mixture and whipped cream mixture in 2-quart glass serving bowl. Repeat the layers.

    4. COVER and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Garnish with additional berries, if desired.

      

    Comments

    JULY 4th FOOD: Red, White & Blue Berry Trifle

    If you’re asked to bring something to a July 4th shindig, here’s a recipe that couldn’t be easier, no cooking required!

    In fact, the recipe is so easy that a tween or teen (or adult who “doesn’t cook”) can make it. It’s built in a springform pan instead of a traditional glass bowl.

    The recipe is courtesy Taste Of Home and Kaia McShane of Munster, Indiana, who advises, “This luscious trifle tastes best if made the day before serving. Keep additional blueberries and raspberries on hand for decoration.”

    If you’re going to make and serve it immediately, we prefer homemade whipped cream to the frozen topping.

    Total prep time is 20 minutes plus chilling.

       

    red-white-blue-berry-trifle-tasteofhome-230

    So easy to make! Photo courtesy TasteOfHome.com.

     

    RECIPE: RED, WHITE & BLUEBERRY TRIFLE

    Ingredients For 12 Servings

  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen pound cake, thawed and cubed
  • 1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed—or preferable—homemade whipped cream
  • Additional blueberries and raspberries, optional
  •  

    whipped-cream-kuhnrikonFB-230sq

    Homemade whipped cream is so superior to aerosols and frozen toppings. Photo courtesy Kuhn Rikon.

     

    Preparation

    1. WHISK together in a large bowl the condensed milk, 2% milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Fold in the sour cream.

    2. TOSS the blueberries and raspberries with lemon juice in another bowl.

    3. LAYER half of the cake cubes, half of the berry mixture and half of the pudding mixture in a greased 9-in. springform pan. Repeat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours before serving.

    4. SERVE: Remove rim from the springform pan. Serve with whipped topping and, if desired, additional berries.

    Find many more recipes at TasteOfHome.com.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pairing Wine & Sorbet For “Cocktails”

    Sorbet cocktails are one of our favorite summer desserts. You simply add scoops of sorbet to a glass—an opportunity to use your Champagne coupes, Margarita glasses, large-bowl wine glasses or large snifters.

    Then, pour in sparkling or still wine or white spirits (gin, tequila, vodka) and serve with a spoon. As the sorbet melts into the wine or spirit, it creates a special cocktail.

    MAKE IT A PARTY

    For a fun dessert, make pairing a dinner party activity, with each guest mixing and matching to find his/her favorites. There are no wrong pairings; it’s what your palate likes. It can Here are some matching ideas for starters:

    WITH CITRUS, MOST FRUIT & LIGHT FLAVOR SORBETS

  • Fruity White Wine (Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio)
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Ice Wine/Eiswein
  • Muscat/Moscato
  • Sauternes or Botrytised Semillon
  • Sauvignon Blanc From Australia or California
  • Sparkling Wine/Sparkling Saké
  •    

    Lemon sorbet

    Lemon sorbet with citron vodka and Limoncello, Photo © Auremar | Fotolia.

     

    WITH BERRY, CHOCOLATE & STRONGER SORBET FLAVORS

  • Amontillado Sherry
  • Fruity Red Wine (Beaujolais, California Syrah, Italian Dolcetto)
  • Late Harvest Riesling
  • Pineau de Charentes
  • Ruby Port
  • St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • Vin Santo
  •  

    Sherbet Freeze

    Strawberry sorbet and Prosecco. Photo © Lognetic | Fotolia,

     

    WITH ANY FLAVOR

  • Fruit Beer
  • Fruit Liqueur
  • Flavored Vodka
  • Gin
  • Hard Cider
  • Rosé
  • Tequila Blanco (Silver)
  •  
    MORE ON SORBET COCKTAILS

    Here are more tips:

  • Sorbet Cocktails
  • Dessert Cocktails
  •  

      

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    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Strawberry Parfait Day

    Today is National Strawberry Parfait Day.

    We just published a July 4th breakfast parfait recipe, but the original parfait was made from ice cream.

    In the U.S., a parfait is a layered sundae. It can be simple, with alternating layers of ice cream and syrup, or a mélange of ingredients as shown.

    Parfait is the French word for “perfect.” The word means something different in France: It’s the original French sundae, made with a custard-base ice cream (“French” ice cream) flavored with fruit purée and whipped with a lot of air to a delicate texture.

    In a French parfait, the ice cream is not scooped but pre-frozen in individual serving containers—typically the long, tapered parfait glasses, narrower versions of sundae dishes. In America, a “parfait” became a particular type of sundae, different from the French parfait. An American parfait layers syrup and other garnishes between layers of ice cream, instead of adding them all on top like a sundae.

    Check out the different types of ice cream preparations in our Ice Cream Glossary.

     

    quark with strawberries

    Strawberry parfait. Photo courtesy Island Farms.

     

    CUSTOMIZE YOUR PARFAIT

    In the U.S., different types of parfait bases are used. Choose from this list to build your own, layer by layer:
     
    Parfait Base

  • Ice cream/frozen yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Whipped cream
  •  
    Fruit

  • Fresh or frozen berries
  • Other fresh fruit, sliced or diced (bananas, mango, anything goes)
  •  
    Cake & Cookies

  • Cake cubes, plain or toasted
  • Crumbled cookies
  •  
    Fillings/Toppings

  • Custard
  • Fruit purée
  • Whipped cream
  •  
    Garnish

  • Berry
  • Chocolate shavings/chips
  • Coconut
  •  
    One great thing about parfaits: You’ll never run out of combinations!

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Pavlova Dessert

    If you’ve ever seen meringue like shells in a bakery and wondered what they are: They’re Pavlovas.

    The Pavlova is one of the most popular desserts in Australia, where it’s commonly known as a Pav. The dessert is named after the legendary Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in 1926 and 1929.

    Both countries claim to have invented this dessert, and have made it their national dessert. New Zealand may have the edge: Published recipes of fruit-filled meringue shells existed there without the name Pavlova.

    According to chef Herbert Sachse of the Hotel Esplanade in Perth, Australia, the Pavlova was born at the hotel 1935. According to hotel legend, it was named at a meeting at which Sachse presented the cake. Either the hotel licensee, the manager or Sachse remarked, “It is as light as Pavlova,” who had been a guest of the hotel during her 1929 tour.

    Years later, Sachse stated in an interview that he sought to improve the Meringue Cake recipe that he found in the Women’s Mirror Magazine, which was contributed by a New Zealand resident.*
     
    *Source: Linda Stradley, What’s Cooking America.

     

    pavlova-ciaoSamin-230

    A Pavlova and the ingredients to make it. Photo courtesy CiaoSamin.com.

     
    The Pavlova consists of a meringue base topped with fresh fruits. Most people buy the meringue shells at bakeries, but ambitious bakers can make their own (the recipe is below).

    In addition to individual meringue shells, the meringue can be shaped into one large family-style shell, or into cake layers that are alternated with fruit for a spectacular effect (photo below). This type of cake is also called a Swedish Midsummer Meringue Layer Cake. And the meringue is the same recipe used to make individual meringue cookies.

    Then, all you have to do is cut up your favorite fruits and add them to the shell. You can customize your Pavlova with:

  • Liqueur. If you want to exert more effort, you can marinate the fruits in wine or liqueur.
  • Topping. Add an optional topping: crème fraîche, mascarpone, raspberry purée, whipped cream.
  • Garnish. Garnish with chocolate curls or candied orange peel, or something as simple as a mint leaf.
  •  
    While the desert is light and airy for summer, and the red, white and blue colors are spot-on for July 4th. The toppings can be tailored to every season:

  • Fall: Assorted nuts (raw or candied), dried fruits garnish on the plate.
  • Christmas: Brandied fruits, candied fruits, crushed peppermint plate garnish.
  • Valentine’s Day: Strawberries and cream, candied rose petals plate garnish.
  • Spring: Apricots, nectarines, figs; edible flowers to garnish.
  • Summer: Seasonal fruits garnished with shaved coconut, lemon mint, lemon verbena or spearmint.
  • Anytime: Mousse or Strawberries Romanoff.
  •  
    RECIPE: PAVLOVA MERINGUE SHELL

    This recipe (the first photo, above) is courtesy Samin Nosrat of CiaoSamin.com, via Good Eggs. She has many wonderful recipes. This one has a touch of Indian flavor: rosewater, rose petals and cardamom. If you don’t have those ingredients, we’ve provided substitutions in the preparation steps.

    Samin serves the Pavlova with fresh-brewed mint tea: Steep fresh mint leaves in boiling water.

     

    pavlova-swedish-midsummer-meringue-cake-http-_www.thedomesticfront.com_swedish-midsummer-strawberry-meringue-layer-cake_230

    A Pavlova Cake is called a Swedish Midsummer Cake in—you guessed it— Sweden. Here’s the recipe. Add blueberries for a July 4th red, white and blue theme. Photo courtesy Kate of TheDomesticFront.com.

     

    Ingredients For The Meringue

  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces (about 3) large egg whites at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of saffron, ground in a mortar and pestle and dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water, cooled (substitute: water only)
  •  
    Ingredients For The Topping

  • 1 cup each sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, kept separate
  • 4 tablespoons rosewater
  • Dried rose petals (you can use rosebud tea) for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Preparation

    1. PLACE the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.

    2. WHIP the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in the large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Start on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks/trails start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

    3. INCREASE the speed to medium-high, slowly and gradually sprinkling in the sugar-cornstarch mixture. A few minutes after these dry ingredients are added, slowly pour in the saffron tea. Increase the speed a bit and whip until the meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes.

    4. SPOON the meringue into an 9-by-6-inch oval on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon liner. With the back of a spoon, create an indentation in the middle of the mound for holding the filling once the meringue is baked.

    5. PLACE the baking sheet in the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 225°F. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the meringues are crisp (dry to the touch on the outside) and white (not tan-colored or cracked). The interior should have a marshmallow-like consistency. Check on the meringue at least once during the baking time. If it appears to be taking on color or cracking, reduce the temperature 25 degrees and turn the pan around.

    6. GENTLY LIFT the meringue from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. It will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to a week, barring any humidity. While the meringue is baking…

    7. MACERATE the berries. In separate dishes, macerate each type of berry for at least 30 minutes with 1 tablespoon of rosewater (substitute orange liqueur or plain water) and 1 tablespoon sugar. This draws out their juices.

    8. ADD the cardamom (substitute: 1 teaspoon vanilla or orange extract or orange liqueur) and 1/4 cup sugar to the cream and whip to soft peaks.

    9. ASSEMBLE: Place the meringue on a serving dish and spoon in the whipped cream. Spoon the juicy berries atop the cream. Top with crushed dried rose petals (substitute: chopped pistachio nuts or mint leaf). Serve with fresh mint tea.

    Leave off the whipped cream and you have a cholesterol-free dessert with far fewer calories than a cake.
     
    WHAT IF THE COOKIE CRUMBLES?

    Don’t despair if your meringue cracks. If you can’t use it/them for a shell, simply create a “parfait” in a sundae dish or bowl, along with the berries and whipped cream.

    Or, use the same ingredients create a Pavlova version of an English Trifle.

      

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