I had made a couple of quick and easy recipes a few days ago that lend themselves perfectly to the summer. Both use some great summer fruits and can be made in almost no time at all. The first was a simple drink of watermelon agua fresca, a very refreshing drink that you can make with this recipe that I got from Food Republic.
Watermelon Agua Fresca
16 cups cubed seedless red watermelon, about a 5-pound watermelon’s worth
2 cups water
2/3 cup sugar
1 bunch fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
Lime slices, for garnish
Blueberries, for garnish
Combine the watermelon, water, sugar and mint in a blender and puree until smooth (You may have to do this in batches to accommodate all the watermelon). Pour through a coarse strainer into a large container.
Stir in the lime juice. Refrigerate until it is well chilled, about 4 hours or overnight. To serve, fill a highball glass with ice, fill the glass 2/3 full with the watermelon mixture, and top with club soda and garnish with a lime slice. You can also add several blueberries to float on the top if you wish.
It is a very easy drink to make and you can even jazz it up a bit with some alcohol if you wanted to go that route. I thought it was great and refreshing just as it is with a strong watermelon flavor mixed with the lime.
I also got a recipe from bon appetit magazine for some blueberry hand pies. I have long had a thing for Hostess and Drake’s fruit pies, and until they are back on the market (which should be in a week or so), this is a great substitute that you can make on your own. They are perfect for any type of barbecue or picnic since you can just pick one up and dig in.
Blueberry Hand Pies
1 homemade or store-bought pie crust
All-purpose flour (for dusting)
2 cups blueberries (about 10 ounces)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon water
1 tablespoon raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a 15 x 12-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 6 rectangles.
Toss the blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Brush the edges of the dough rectangles with water; mound some blueberries into the center of each rectangle. Fold the dough over, and press the edges to seal. Place the pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush them with the egg wash, and sprinkle the tops with the raw sugar. Cut small slits on the top for steam to escape.
Bake the hand pies, rotating the baking sheet halfway through cooking, until the juices are bubbling and the pastry is golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes (some juices will run out onto the parchment paper). Transfer the pies to a wire rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve the pies warm or at room temperature.
I loved these pies. The are the perfect serving size and portion and make a great dessert that you could easily double or triple the recipe for a bigger crowd. I did use a store-bought pie crust and they turned out just fine, but I can see where a homemade crust would be easier to deal with and roll to the right size without making the dough too thin. In either case, I think it is a great summer dessert that doesn’t take long to make.
That’s all I have for today. Check back again for more recipes in the coming days, including one for magic bars that we recently made for a dessert. I also have several other recipes I will be trying in the next few days to post, including one for barbecued chicken, some pulled pork sliders, Cobb salad style chicken salad and more. Check back and see what comes up next. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!