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The Perfect Summer Dessert – Strawberry Chiffon Pie

It’s no secret that I really like Cook’s Country magazine. There are usually a half a dozen recipes or so with each issue that I end up trying out and loving, so it was no big surprise when I got the August/September issue that I found a bunch of stuff that I wanted to try out. At the top of list though was the strawberry chiffon pie that I saw. With strawberries still in season I had plenty of them on hand and the recipe seemed so easy that there was just no way I was going to pass up the chance to give it a shot and I am glad I did. It was easily one of the best desserts I had made in a while.

Strawberry Chiffon Pie

For the Crust:

1 (5.3-ounce) box shortbread cookies, broken into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

2 tablespoons butter, melted

 

For the Filling:

2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

2 tablespoons water

12 ounces strawberries, hulled (2 1/2 cups), plus 8 ounces strawberries, hulled, halved, and sliced thin (1 1/3 cups)

3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled

For the crust, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-inch pie plate. Process the cookies, sugar, and salt in a food processor until they are finely ground, about 1 minute. Add the almonds and pulse until they are coarsely chopped, about 8 pulses. Add the melted butter and pulse until everything is well combined, about 10 pulses. Transfer the crumb mixture to the pie plate. Using the bottom of a dry measuring cup, press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the crust halfway through baking. Let the crust cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes. The crust can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

For the filling, sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and let it sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Process the hulled whole strawberries in a food processor until they are completely smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer the strawberry puree  to a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl and press on the solids to extract about 1 cup of juice; discard the solids. Whisk 3/4 cup of sugar, cornstarch, salt, and the strawberry juice together in a small saucepan.

 Bring the juice mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook the mixture until it is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off the heat, whisk in the gelatin mixture until it is dissolved. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, stir in the lemon juice, and let the mixture cool completely, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and the cream of tartar on medium-low speed until they are foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip the whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and whip until  glossy, stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk one-third of the meringue into the cooled strawberry mixture until it is smooth. Fold the remaining meringue into the strawberry mixture until only a few white streaks remain.

In the now-empty mixer bowl, whip the heavy cream on medium-low speed until it is foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form, about 1 to 3 minutes. Gently fold the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture until no white streaks remain. Fold in the sliced strawberries. Spoon the filling into the crust and spread the filling into an even layer using the back of a spoon. Refrigerate the pie for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours before serving.

The taste of this pie is phenomenal. You get a nice, fluffy filling that is very light and teeming with strawberry flavor. It does remind you a lot of strawberry ice cream in flavor but the texture is much lighter and then you get the pieces of strawberry inside it as well to top things off. If you wanted to skip making the crust yourself and save some time, you could easily use your favorite store-bought crust instead (shortbread, graham cracker or a Nilla wafer crust would all work well) and you can make this elegant dessert that tastes phenomenal in no time at all. I would be curious to see how well it works with frozen strawberries instead of fresh so you could make it any time of year. I may have to give it a try sometime.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Cooking, Dessert, Fruit, Pie

 

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You’d Be Crazy Not to Try This Strawberry-Rhubarb Greek Yogurt Fool

There’s still plenty of time to get some great strawberries to use in all kinds of wonderful recipes for the summer. You can use strawberries in any meal you have during the day. Make a smoothie or just chop some up for your oatmeal for breakfast, put some in a tasty salad for lunch and you can even work them into your chicken dinner if you like. Of course, my favorite way to use them is in some kind of dessert. I was looking for an easy dessert that would just take a few minutes to make, taste great and be a bit healthier than perhaps a standard pie or tart. I came across this recipe from Bobby Flay for a strawberry-rhubarb fool that makes use of Greek Yogurt to give it some extra flavor and make it a bit of a healthier option than whipped cream or ice cream.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Greek Yogurt Fool

2 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup sliced strawberries

1/2 cup sugar

One 3-inch strip orange peel, plus 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup chopped pistachios

Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and orange peel in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the rhubarb and strawberries are soft, stirring frequently, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the fruit mixture to a bowl and let it cool completely. Remove the orange peel before making any servings. The strawberry-rhubarb mixture can be made 2 days ahead of time and stored well covered in the refrigerator.

Whisk together the Greek yogurt, orange zest and the vanilla extract in a bowl until combined. Swirl the rhubarb mixture through the Greek yogurt mixture. Do not fold the rhubarb mixture completely into the yogurt. Divide the mixture among dessert bowls or glasses. Drizzle the tops of each serving with some honey and top with the chopped pistachios.

This really easy dessert looks great and tastes even better. You get the awesome mix of the strawberries and rhubarb swirled into the tangy flavor of the Greek yogurt. When you mix in the honey with it makes it even better, but perhaps may favorite part is the crunch and saltiness you get from the pistachios. It just seems to all go really well together and you can have them made in about 15 minutes, giving you a really easy dessert that you can whip up at the last-minute and have it look elegant.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on August 7, 2014 in Cooking, Dessert, Fruit

 

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It’s Strawberry Season! Make This Strawberry-Blueberry-Rhubarb Cobbler

I love the selection of fresh summer fruits and vegetables. It is a great time to go to the farmer’s market or local grocery store to pick up some things like peaches, plums, corn watermelon, and of course, berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, among others, all thrive this time of year and you can make great use of all of them in fruit salads, smoothies, parfaits and all kinds of other snacks and desserts. I had some strawberries and blueberries on hand this past weekend, along with some rhubarb, and decided to try out this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen for a strawberry-rhubarb cobbler, though I added in the blueberries for a little added flavor. This one is super easy to make and can be done in less than hour to give you a great dessert.

Strawberry-Blueberry-Rhubarb Cobbler

For the Filling:

1 quart fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled

1 pint fresh blueberries, rinsed

10 ounces rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the Topping:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1/3 cup buttermilk

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the strawberries, blueberries and rhubarb together with the sugar, vanilla extract and cornstarch until blended and place the filling in a deep-dish pie plate. Place the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and bake the filling until the fruit releases its liquid and is hot and bubbling around the edges, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour, cornmeal, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set this bowl aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla together and set it aside. In a third small bowl, mix the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar with the ground cinnamon and set it aside.

When the filling is ready, stir in the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until the two are just combined and no pockets of flour remain. Remove the cobbler filling from the oven and give it a stir. Pinch off pieces of the dough and sprinkle them on top of the hot filling to cover the filling to your liking. Sprinkle the tops of the filling with the cinnamon sugar.

Place the cobbler with the topping back in the oven and continue to cook the cobbler until the topping is golden brown and cooked through and the filling is once again hot and bubbling, about another 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the cobbler on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.

You can top this off with some homemade whipped cream to really make it special. America’s test Kitchen actually clumps the topping together to form a biscuit-like topping, but I thought it would be better with just spreading the topping around like I did. To me it is just an aesthetic thing unless you like the whole biscuits on top. In either case, do how you like it. The cobbler tastes great as the fruit releases all its juices and you get the flavors of the strawberries, blueberries and rhubarb. i think this would work well with just about any type of fruit, such as peaches, plums, apples, pears and the like as well, so you can experiment with it and try different things.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!.

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Posted by on July 7, 2014 in Cooking, Dessert, Fruit, Pie

 

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Jennifer Probst

a little bit naughty a little bit nice

Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

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