Tag Archives: Summer

Perfect Pie Crust


 

*   Yield Makes 1 double-crust for a 9-inch pie

Ingredients:

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
* 3 tablespoons margarine or chilled vegetable shortening
* 1/4 cup ice water

Directions:

1. Hand Method: In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt. Cut the chilled butter and margarine into 1-tablespoon bits and add to the flour. With a pastry cutter, work flour and shortening together until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water little by little pressing the pastry together into a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
2. It is very important to work the pastry as little as possible. Don’t overhandle. A secret to light, flaky pastry is to keep the mixture cool, add as little water as possible, and mix only as much as necessary.
3. Food Processor Method: Put flour and salt in bowl of machine. Cut butter and margarine into flour. Process a few seconds until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drop by drop add the water, processing very briefly. The whole process would take 20 to 30 seconds. Wrap and chill the pastry for at least 1 hour.
4. If pastry has been chilled for a long time, let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before rolling.
5. Lightly flour a pastry board, marble counter, or kitchen counter. Divide the pastry in half. Pat each piece of pastry into a flat round. Lightly flour the rolling pin. Roll pastry in one direction only, turning pastry continually to prevent it from sticking to the surface.
6. Using pie plate as a guide, measure rolled-out pastry — it should be slightly larger than the pie plate and 1-8-inch thick. Fold rolled pastry circle in half so you can lift it more easily. Unfold, gently fitting the pastry into the pie plate, allowing pastry to hang evenly over the edge. Do not trim the pastry yet.
7. Fill the pie with filling. Then roll out the second crust in the same manner as for the bottom. Fold circle in half and with a sharp, pointed knife cut little vents in a decorative pattern. Place folded pastry on one half the pie. Unfold, pressing top and bottom pastry together. Trim edges with scissors, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold bottom pastry overhang over top and press firmly to seal. Crimp rim, using fingers or the tines of a fork.

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Filed under crust, dessert, pastry, pie

Sweet Corn Ice Cream Shortcakes with Blueberry Compote, seriously!


When I think of summer eating, several things come to mind. Sweet corn, fresh tomatoes on the vine, watermelon and…least we forget- ICE CREAM! Lots and lots of homemade ice cream. When I was a kid, homemade ice cream meant the hand churned kind. You would spend an hour, or so, sweat beading up on your fore head, turning that crank over and over, until it happened. Cool, creamy magic!

The summer time harvest was never short of fresh, delicious flavors to include in your cold, refreshing treat. Honest to goodness vanilla, decadent chocolate, an assortment of fresh fruit, berries and let’s not forget fresh mint! Never did it cross my mind, until this past week, to include sweet corn to that list. That is, until having read an article in Martha Stewart’s Living magazine- Always crafty and inventive, that Martha.

Working from her suggested recipe, I put a few spins on it to call it uniquely mine. I am a bit partial to the use of various liquors when formulating my dessert recipes. As was the case with this corn ice cream, I added another rich, decadent layer by including a wee splash of  The Kracken Black Spiced Rum along with a bit of black sugar. What exactly is black sugar? It’s essentially a homemade brown sugar which includes the addition of Blackstrap Molasses. Similar to Fancy Molasses, it is dark and has a slightly bitter, robust flavor. It is even taughted for its health benefits.

I have to be honest; initially sweet corn ice cream didn’t present itself as being all that appealing. But come on, when is Martha every wrong and pair it with something sweet like this blueberry compote, and it was a sure fire winner! I experimented with the family, a tough batch of food critiques for sure, at our Fathers day gathering yesterday. It was voted a hit hands down!

If you are looking for something a little different in the dessert department, then this will fit the bill nicely. Speaking of dessert, a HUGE thank you to my children for gifting me with an excellent, new cookbook for Fathers day featuring said meal course. I will put it to good use RIGHT AWAY!

Ingredients:

FOR THE ICE CREAM

4 ears corn, shucked

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon The Kracken Black Spiced Rum

2 teaspoons black sugar (see instructions)

1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

¼ teaspoon pink peppercorns

9 large egg yolks

FOR THE SHORTCAKES

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 cups low-fat butter milk

½ cup whole milk

Heavy cream for brushing

Course sugar, for sprinkling

FOR THE BLUEBERRY COMPOTE

1 pint fresh blueberries

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preparation:

Make the ice cream: Carefully cut kernels from cobs, transfer to a saucepan. Break cobs in half; add to saucepan. Stir in milk, cream, ½ cup granulated sugar, rum, black sugar, pink salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Let cool; discard cobs.

Place corn mixture in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath. Whisk together egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a small bowl. Whisk 1 cup corn mixture into yolks, then return entire mixture to saucepan, whisking constantly, until custard thickens and can easily coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.

Strain custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing down solids; discard solids. Transfer bowl to ice-water bath, and refrigerate for an hour.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.

Meanwhile, make the shortcakes: Preheat oven to 400°. Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and 1 ¼ teaspoons salt twice into a bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small clumps form. Make a well in the center, and pour in buttermilk. Mix until a shaggy mixture forms.

Grease a 12 cup muffin pan, spoon in batter until about ¾ way full. Place in the oven and cook for about 16 minutes. Brush tops of the shortcakes with heavy creak and sprinkle with course sugar. Finish baking for two to four minutes, until cakes are golden brown.

Make the blueberry compote: Bring 1 cup of blueberries, the granulated sugar, water, and lemon juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until berries burst and liquid thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining blueberries. Let cool.

Split shortcakes in half, top each with a scoop of ice cream and a spoonful of blueberry compote, then sandwich with shortcake tops.

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Filed under dessert, Ice Cream, Vegetables