Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

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What am I celebrating today?

August 11, 2012

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August 11 is Raspberry Tart Day.  According to Punchbowl, tarts were first introduced in the Middle Ages.  I think that may be when they were first introduced into society, but I suspect that those little tarts were around for a lot longer than that.  This celebration, however, should focus more on the raspberries.  The summer berry season is a short one and fresh red raspberries are a wonderful treat.  So celebrate by giving someone you love the raspberries.

For future reference, Harry, it is raspberry…although of course, if I were a Death Eater, I would have been sure to research my own jam preferences before impersonating myself. ~ Albus Dumbledore

Brown Butter Raspberry Tart from Epicurious

Crust:

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 6-ounce containers fresh raspberries

For crust:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Using rubber spatula or fork, mix melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl. Add flour and salt and stir until incorporated. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Using fingertips, press dough evenly onto sides and bottom of pan.

Bake crust until golden, about 18 minutes (crust will puff slightly while baking). Transfer crust to rack and cool in pan. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling:
Whisk sugar, eggs, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add flour and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Cook butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until deep nutty brown (do not burn), stirring often, about 6 minutes. Immediately pour browned butter into glass measuring cup. Gradually whisk browned butter into sugar-egg mixture; whisk until well blended.

Arrange raspberries, pointed side up and close together in concentric circles, in bottom of cooled crust. Carefully pour browned butter mixture evenly over berries. Place tart on rimmed baking sheet. Bake tart until filling is puffed and golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool tart completely in pan on rack. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.

Remove tart pan sides. Place tart on platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

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What am I celebrating?

July 21, 2012

National Creme Brulee Day – July 21.  How terrific is that – a dessert with its own holiday. . . and one of my favorite desserts to boot!  This is one of the dishes that I try whenever I find it on the menu.  And I have rules – just give me straight creme brulee.  It does not need mango, or key lime, or chocolate, or anything else.
One of the best creme brulee I have had was in a little bistro in Paris off the Place d’Etoile. (Enough showing off.)

The absolute best creme brulee is made by my friend, Betty, who has the little white ramekins and the long-handled iron that she heats up on the stove in order to brulee each creme individually.  She does not make these often enough.

There are a lot of different stories about the origin of this dish.  Here is one of them.

And here is a recipe from Alton Brown:

Ingredients

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 quarts hot water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.