Tag Archives: Dessert

Valentine’s Day Sweets

Valentine's Day Sweets

This article originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association.  Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.

Rustic Summer Tart

For a simple, fruity dessert on a summer’s day, all you need is a good crust and some stone fruit…

Ingredients for the crust:

2 cup flours

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 stick chilled unsalted butter

1 egg, beaten

Iced water

Ingredients for the filling: 

4 red plums, pitted and cubed

4 nectarines, pitted and cubed

Juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons sugar

1 egg, beaten

Mix the flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  With a sharp knife, cut the butter into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients.  Rub the pieces of butter and the dry ingredients together with your fingers until the butter is broken into tiny pieces.  Make a well and add the egg and drizzle in the iced water.  Begin to knead the dough quickly into a ball.  Add more iced water until the dough is just wet enough to form a ball.  Wrap the dough in waxed paper and chill for an hour until it is firm.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and add flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the work surface.  Roll the dough into a circle until it is about ¼ inch thick and place it on a baking sheet.

Toss the fruit with the lemon juice.  Arrange the fruit in the center of the dough, leaving the outer 1 1/2 inches of dough uncovered.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Fold up the uncovered edge of the dough and pinch so that it stays overtop the fruit.  Brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg.

Rustic Summer Tart

Bake for about 45 minutes or until the fruit is golden and the crust is lightly browned.  Cool slightly before serving with a chilled French rosé, such as Château Pesquié Terrasses (2015) from Ventoux Rhône Valley Vineyards.  This blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah tastes of red berries and pairs well with fruity desserts.

Coffee and a Swizzle

An after dinner treat – coffee with a swizzle stick…oh, and a slice of New York style cheesecake.

Coffee and Swizzle

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

Fall for Nuts

Check out my October issue of The Judicial Palate.

Fall for Nuts

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2015.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Pistachios 3

Happy Place – Italian Pastry

Enjoying my favorite Italian pastry – sfogliatelle – along with some chocolate for dipping is a most happy place.

Sfogliatelle

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place

Éclat à la Mode

The perfect accompaniment to my gingersnap gelato was some broken bits of Éclat Chocolate’s Caramelized Hazelnut bar.  Chocolatier Christopher Curtin’s creations at Éclat Chocolate are some of the finest and uniquely flavored sweets I have encountered.

While Curtin trained in France at le Companion du Devoir, he decided to make his home at the shop on High Street in West Chester, Pennsylvania.  All of his chocolates are made at the West Chester location, yet you can find his products at Dean and Deluca and DiBruno Bros. as well as your local gourmet shop.  Or, visit the online store at http://eclatchocolate.com and browse the delicious truffles, caramels, mendiants and bars.

I enjoy the “Destination Bar” collection, from the traditional Dark Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate to the exotic Toasted Corn.  For my fall-flavored gelato of ginger, molasses, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, I decided on the Caramelized Hazelnut bar – a blend of caramelized Spanish hazelnuts and 65% dark chocolate.  The hazelnuts provided a delightful crunch to my decadent ice cream – a dessert of great éclat.

Gelato Cup

Change – Gingersnap Gelato

Gingersnap gelato…from liquid to ice cream.  A spicy fall treat.

Gelato 1

Gelato 2

Gelato 3

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

If You Can’t Stand the Heat

…step away from the stove, close the oven door and extinguish the grill…at least while you prepare the “cool” recipes in this summer month column.  All that you will need is fresh fruit, a blender and a few other ingredients that most home chefs have on hand.

The fruit purées below make a refreshing appetizer or dessert course, and I offer two presentations for these summer sweets.  One is to spoon a portion of each purée into a shallow soup or pasta bowl – preferably, a simple, white bowl to showcase the fruits’ vibrant colors.  The purées have a rather thin consistency, so make sure that the different colors do not run together.  Drizzle heavy cream in a circular pattern over the purées, and use a knife to pull the cream out from the center in attractive rays.

Mélange of fruit purées with heavy cream.

Mélange of fruit purées with heavy cream.

Another option for serving these colorful treats is to spoon them into clear espresso glasses.  Make the most of your herb garden by garnishing each purée with a different herb.  I used basil for the kiwi, lavender for the cantaloupe and mint for the strawberry.

Flight of fruit purées.

Flight of fruit purées.

You do not need to adhere to the flavors below.  Feel free to substitute your favorite summer fruits – cherries, apricots, plums, honeydew…’tis the season.  Each of the below recipes makes approximately 2 1/2 cups of purée.  Simply combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth, and remember to stir the purées before serving.

Cantaloupe Purée

1 cantaloupe, cut into small chunks

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of nutmeg

Strawberry Purée

1 quart strawberries, hulled

Fresh lemon juice to taste

Sugar to taste

Kiwi Purée

12 kiwi, peeled and cut into small chunks

Fresh lemon juice to taste

Sugar to taste

White Peach Purée

6 white peaches, peeled and cut into slices (If the peaches are not quite ripe, soften them by blanching.)

Lemon juice to taste

Sugar to taste

So, stay in the kitchen and start puréeing!

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2015 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2015.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Pistachio Madeleines

My go to madeleine recipe is from Fernand Point’s Ma Gastronomie (copyright 2008 The Rookery Press).   This cookbook is a collection of recipes and thoughts on food by Point — the famed chef and owner of Restaurant de la Pyramide in Lyon, France, where he honored the traditions of the culinary masters while creating new dishes showcasing seasonal ingredients in the early 20th century.  Point’s cuisine would likely be considered “farm to table” in today’s foodie vocabulary.  I recently modified Point’s recipe to include pistachios…

Raw Pistachios

Ingredients:

3 egg yolks

¾ cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons

14 tablespoons melted butter

Zest of one lemon

1 1/3 cups flour

5 stiffly beaten egg whites

1/3 cup of unsalted, shelled pistachios pureed in a food processor

Blend the sugar into the three egg yolks.  Then mix in the butter and lemon zest.  Add the flour a bit at a time, then fold in the egg whites followed by the pistachios.  Butter your madeleine mold and spoon the batter into the mold.   Bake for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  This cooking time is for a larger size madeleine (this mold will typically have 12 cavities).

Madeleines 3

When I made the pistachio madeleines, I used a De Buyer silicone mini madeleine mold with 20 portions and reduced the cook time.  The mini madeleines were a lovely summer green hue and made for a perfect accompaniment to gelato or sorbet.

Pound Cake Madness

Check out my “March Madness” issue of The Judicial Palate.

Pound Cake Madness

This article originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2015.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.