Celebrate Summer Solstice
Fresh Strawberry and Amaretto Cream Pie
Yield: 8 Servings
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 4 to 6 drops red food coloring, optional
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons Amaretto or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Optional toppings: additional fresh strawberries and toasted almonds
- Place almonds in a food processor; cover and pulse until almonds are finely ground. Add flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt; pulse until blended. Add butter and shortening; pulse until butter and shortening are the size of peas. While pulsing, add just enough ice water to form moist crumbs. Shape dough into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8-in. thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. deep-dish plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate; flute edges. Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Fill with dried beans, uncooked rice or pie weights.
- Bake at 425° for 8 minutes. Remove foil and weights; bake 5-7 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, mash 1 cup strawberries with the lemon juice. Add water. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in mashed berry mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in food coloring if desired. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until cooled slightly, stirring occasionally.
- Fold in the remaining sliced berries; transfer to crust. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until set.
- In a small bowl, beat whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add the sour cream, confectioners’ sugar and amaretto; beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over filling. Top with additional strawberries and almonds if desired.
Editor’s Note: To toast nuts, spread in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Or, spread in a dry nonstick skillet and heat over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
When using pie weights, cool before storing. Beans and rice may be reused for pie weights, but not for cooking.© Taste of Home 2014
4th of July: Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce
Yield: 1 cup (8 servings)
- 1 can (12 ounces) Dr. Pepper
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate leftovers.
Fall in Love with these Recipes
Here’s a sweet treat for this St. Valentine’s Day for honeymooners, long-married couples, and lonely hearts.
Yield: 6-8 servings
- 1 cup cold evaporated milk
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- Chocolate curls, optional
Directions: In a blender, combine the milk, vanilla, sugar, chocolate and salt; cover and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl.
In a small bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture. Spoon into dessert dishes. Refrigerate until serving. Garnish with chocolate curls if desired.
Originally published as Honeymoon Mousse in Simple & Delicious November/December 2007, p51
Kraft® Almond Heart NapoleonsYield: 24 Servings
Ingredients: 1 pkg. (17.3 oz.) frozen puff pastry sheets
1 1/2c. cold Half-and-Half
2 Tbsp. almond-flavored liqeur or 1/2 tsp. almond extract
3.9 oz. pkg. JELL-O French Vanilla or Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. hot water
1 square Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
Directions: Thaw the pastry at room temperature for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unfold the pastry.
Using a 2 inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut each sheet into 12 hearts. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the baking sheets and let cool completely on wire racks. Spilt each heart in half horizontally.
Pour the half-and-half and almond liquor or extract into a bowl, then add the dry pudding mix. Beat with a wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Refrigerate 10 minutes.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of the pudding mixture onto the bottom half of each heart; top with remaining pastry halves. Stir the hot water into the powdered sugar to make a thin glaze. Spread on top of the hearts. (If glaze becomes too thick, add more hot water.)
Drizzle the melted chocolate on top to form thin lines.
Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the Good Times Roll!)
Mardi Gras King Cake
Serving a King Cake during Mardi Gras celebrations is a tradition that honors the Magi who visited the Christ child on the twelfth night or Epiphany (January 6).
The cake is shaped in a ring with a pecan, bean or plastic baby placed inside the dough, before baking, to represent the baby Jesus.
The cake is then decorated with the purple, green and gold colors of Mardi Gras, and divided among guests. Whoever finds the baby doll will host the next King Cake celebration.
4 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (110-115 degrees F)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup cold milk
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 stick butter or margarine
5-6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 dried bean, shelled pecans, or naked plastic babies
3 tablespoons soft butter or margarine
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
4-6 tablespoons milk
Click for a video demonstration: Click Here!
Combine the yeast, 1/2 of the sugar, and the lukewarm water in a very large bowl, stir well and set aside for a few minutes until the mixture swells slightly and small bubbles appear on the surface. Stir in the remaining sugar, milk, yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Add egg yolks and mix again.
In another bowl, work the butter/margarine into 5 cups of the flour.
Add the flour-butter/margarine mixture to the yeast mixture a cup at a time, mixing well after each cup is added. Begin to knead in the bowl, adding more flour if necessary to make a smooth, elastic dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 5 minutes, adding more flour if the dough is still sticky.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl which has been buttered or sprayed with a no-stick spray. Cover and let stand in a warm place until dough doubles in size.
Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll each half on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 8 x 14 inches. Brush each rectangle with 1/2 stick of melted butter or margarine. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle 1/2 of the mixture over each rectangle. Roll up from the wide end, as you would a jelly roll, inserting one of the dried beans, pecans, or naked babies along the way. Press the ends of the dough together and stretch the roll into an oval about 14 inches long. Place on a greased/sprayed cookie sheet and allow to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 35-45 minutes until the cakes are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped with the fingers. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes.
Beat the butter or margarine until softened. Add confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and continue to beat, gradually adding milk until a glaze consistency is achieved. Use half of the icing on each cake.
Spread the icing evenly over each cake and decorate immediately with granulated sugar that has been rendered purple, green and gold with food coloring, making alternating bands of color.
Other decorating options:
Divide the icing into three portions and use food coloring to make purple, green and gold icing. Spread in alternating bands along the length of the cakes.
Use purple, green and gold gumdrops, jelly beans, or other candy to decorate the white icing.
And, why are those three colors chosen for the King cake?
Purple Represents Justice.
Green Represents Faith.
Gold Represents Power.
Recipe courtesy of New Orleans Public Library.
Hail to the Chef!
President’s Day Cherry Squares
In celebration of U.S. President George Washington‘s birthday on Feb. 22, 1732, here is a cherry squares recipe.
Yield: 16 Squares
Two 14.5-ounce cans pitted sour cherries (2 1/2 to 3 cups
drained, juice reserved, 20 ounces); or 6 cups (24 ounces) frozen pitted sour cherries, thawed, drained, juice reserved
2/3 cup (5 3/8 ounces) reserved cherry juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
3 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups (5 1/4 ounces) traditional rolled oats
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose
Flour or King Arthur Organic White Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) brown sugar, light or dark, packed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (2 ounces) sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 9″ pan.
To make the filling: Measure out 2/3 cup of the reserved cherry juice. In a small saucepan, combine the cherries, juice, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk the sugar with the cornstarch, and stir into the cherries. Simmer the mixture, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes (if you’re using canned cherries); or for 20 minutes (if you’re using thawed frozen). It’ll thicken and look like canned cherry pie filling (but taste a WHOLE lot better). Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla and almond extracts, and set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the crust.
To make the crust: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the oats or barley, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the melted butter, stirring till everything is well combined.
To assemble the bars: Press 2 1/2 cups (about 14 ounces) of the crust mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing it out to completely cover the bottom of the pan, with no gaps showing. Top the crust with the filling. Add the almonds to the remaining crust mixture, and sprinkle it over the filling.
Bake the squares for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove the squares from the oven, and allow them to cool before cutting into 2″ squares.Recipe and photo from King Arthur Flour
Julia Child‘s Cherry Clafouti
This recipe is from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck.
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8
1 1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
3 cups pitted cherries
Powdered sugar for garnish
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the milk, one-third cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour in the blender jar in that order. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute.
2. Pour a one-fourth-inch layer of batter in a lightly buttered, fireproof 7- to 8-cup baking dish or a 1 1/2-inch deep Pyrex pie plate. Set it over moderate heat until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Spread the cherries over the batter and sprinkle on the remaining sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
4. Bake until puffed and brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Sprinkle the top of the clafouti with powdered sugar just before bringing it to the table. (The clafouti need not be served hot, but it should still be warm. It will sink slightly as it cools.)