Archives for posts with tag: summer dessert

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Labor day weekend has just passed and I didn’t want to go back to work!  I’m sure this is a dilemma many of you are had.  I had a four-day weekend to just chill, enjoy, and of course eat yummy food.  Autumn is approaching and as much as I love it, summer is just summer.  Lots of long weekends, beautiful weather, and beautiful food.

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I’ve been cooking lots this summer, not as many desserts or baking as much as I wanted to, but that’s ok – fall is for baking cozy and comforting desserts.  Plus, technically summer isn’t even over yet!  That is why I wanted to share this Lime Curd Tart with Mangoes with all of you.  It oozes summer and bright flavors.

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I’ve always been inspired by beautifully arranged fruit tarts.  Mine always look a little homemade and don’t have that professional touch, but that’s okay!  We will leave the immaculate and perfect tarts for the pros.  I’ve made citrus curd tarts many times, but I never put so much effort and precision into arranging the fruit as I did for this one. I wanted it to look like a blossom.  Let me tell you, it was tedious work, the fifteen minutes or so I took arranging the mangoes (never mind the thinly slicing part) seemed to take forever.  But when it was done my blossom bloomed to the best of my ability.

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My in-laws came over that night after a delicious Thai meal.  I was glad they did because it would be me and a fork tackling this dessert if they hadn’t come over.  I was happy when people asked for seconds.  I think they also enjoyed this tart because it was cooling and refreshing after our spicy Thai meal.

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Take that extra effort and add a few edible flowers on top as well and this tart will bring a smile to people’s faces and on the plus side it feels so light that they will ask for seconds and maybe even thirds!

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Lime Curd Tart with Mangoes

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 recipe of this lime curd ( you can you key limes or regular limes and also chill it for several hours)

5-6 mangoes, sliced thinly*

1 graham cracker crust (I used my cheesecake recipe crust, but substituted graham crackers here instead of amaretti cookies and baked it for 20 minutes)

1 1/2 cup heavy cream whipped in a mixer with 1/4 cup sugar and the seeds of one vanilla bean

edible flowers, for garnish, optional

lime zest, for garnish, optional

Assembly

Allow the graham cracker crust to cool for 1 hour after it has baked and leave it in the spring-form pan.  Once cooled, spread the chilled lime curd over the crust in an even layer.  After that, use a spatula to spread the whipped cream over the lime curd in an even layer.  Top with the mango slices starting row by row from the outside of the tart, slightly overlapping each layer, as to form a blossom.  Complete each layer row by row until you reach the center.  In the center you can make a mango rosette, if you would like.  If you do not care to be finicky arrange the mangoes however you like.   Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

When serving, top with lime zest and edible flowers.  Serve chilled.

*The slicing of the mangoes is a little tricky.  Cut the mango along the seed lengthwise on all sides.  Then take those mango slices and lay them flat on a cutting board and slice thinly.  The slices should resemble long half-moons.

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I thought to myself that I better get this post up before cherries go totally out of season and I will look like an idiot putting this post up in the dead of winter when cherries are hard to come by.  So here I am doing you all a favor by not taunting you with a cherry post in December.  Jokes aside, I love cherries and anything cherry flavored, including those artificial candies with not a lick of real cherry in them.  I’m ashamed of this but, cherry “flavored” food  and me go back a long way.  I remember being a big lover of cherry blowpops, gummy bears, if there was a candy I had to eat it was always the red one.  To this day, I have a secret addiction to all things gummy.  My husband’s niece has a big sweet tooth and whenever I go over to her place, I ask her to share some gummy-type candy with me from her stash and she never disappoints!

I was supposed to entice you all with a cherry custard pie and here I am talking about cherry-flavored candies – some food blogger I am.  Let me sidetrack a little more and tell you all how I am always reluctant to eat fresh cherries.  You see, whenever I eat fresh cherries, the next day I wake up with a sore throat.  This also happens to my sister so I am definitely not making it up as my husband thinks I do.  But this summer I have seen so many cherries in the markets that I had to try and make something with them.  If I got a sore throat then I would be off real cherries forever.  (Never the artificially-flavored gummy candies, mind you.)

I eagerly made this cherry custard pie.  I love fruit pies and tarts.  The flaky crust with a little custard or cream and some ripe fruit is an amazing combination.  And perfect for a summer day.

This cherry custard pie was a success and I steered clear from any signs of a sore throat so this will be part of my repertoire from now on.

(PS – I have two more posts photographed, so hopefully you’ll be seeing more of me on this space! 🙂 )

Cherry Custard Pie with a Corn Meal Crust

Serves 8

for the crust:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup corn meal

1 teaspoon salt

tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 sticks of butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

2-4 tablespoons ice water

for the custard:

1 cup mascarpone cheese

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch of salt

10 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.

1 cup pitted cherries

Method

To make the crust: In a food processor pulse together the flour, corn meal, salt, and sugar.  Next add in the chilled butter and pulse until combined.  Through the feed tube stream in the ice water tablespoon at a time until the dough just begins to come together.  Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it just comes together and wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.  After it is chilled, roll-out the dough so that it fits into a 10-inch pie dish and then blind-bake the crust in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  If the dough expands and rises just use a spoon to press it down.

To make the custard:  In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the mascarpone, and eggs on medium speed for 2 minutes until fluffy.  Next add in the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and the pinch of salt.  Beat together for another minute and add in the 2 tablespoons of flour.  Mix until just combined.  Take the bowl off the mixer and fold in the pitted cherries.

At this point preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Next, pour the custard mixture into the baked pie crust and place the pie pan on the cookie sheet.  Bake the pie for 45-55 minutes, or until the custard is set.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.

As I mentioned in my last post, we were at my parents’ house in Rhode Island enjoying the New England summer.  During our time there we also celebrated my husband’s “real”  birthday.  I call it his real birthday because on his birth certificate his birthday is listed a week later.  According to his mother, his birth wasn’t registered until a week later (he was born at home in Pakistan).  By the time it was registered they couldn’t use the actual birthday.  Long story.

He gets annoyed at me calling official birthday his “fake” one.  I don’t really see why he’s complaining, this year he got four birthday celebrations and I finally made him rack of lamb on his “fake” birthday after five years of him nagging me to make him some (post coming soon). We had a small party for him with some of my parents’ friends and made a nice spread of some of his favorite foods, excluding the rack of lamb, which was to come a week later.

I ordered him a Passion fruit and Coconut cake from our favorite bakery in Rhode Island, Pastiche.  Ordering a cake from Pastiche and then making your own dessert on the side is a self-inflicted set up for failure.  If any of you know about Pastiche, their cakes, tarts, and all their desserts are gorgeous and the taste cannot be beat.

Regardless of the odds racked up against my dessert, I proceeded to make something pink, tied with a ribbon and bow for my husband’s birthday.  I think he’s confident enough in his masculinity to have such a frilly cake on his birthday. Last year, I made him a cheesecake inspired by Pastiche’s vanilla bean cheesecake and it was slightly on the girly side too.

When the desserts were served, people obviously adored the Pastiche cake, but they also loved my homemade dessert as well.  I was pleased to hear people saying it looked so professional.  I totally faked it and this dessert looks way more difficult to make than it actually is.  Ladyfingers filled with whipped mascarpone and topped with berries looks like you went all out, but it really was not all that hard.  Do try it, it’s a lovely summer dessert that feels light when it really is not.  A complete fake out!

Raspberry and Whipped Mascarpone Cream Charlotte

inspired and adapted heavily from Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours (Rasberry and Cream Charlotte) This one uses a custard, which I did not make.

serves 8-10

Ingredients

28-30 ladyfinger cookies, available in Italian shops or bakeries (or make your own)

2-3 pints fresh raspberries

juice and zest of 2 limes

16 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened

1 pint heavy cream or whipping cream

up to 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons superfine sugar

2 teapoons pure vanilla extract

confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Method

First prepare the mascarpone cream.  In a blender, purée the raspberries with the lime juice and 2 tablespoons of superfine sugar.  Once puréed, strain the seeds out through a wire wesh strainer and set aside.

In a large bowl using a whisk or electric mixer whip the cream with 1/4 cup  superfine sugar and vanilla extract until it forms whipped cream, it should be fluffy and light. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the charlotte.

Next, with a rubber spatula, fold in the softened mascarpone cheese.  Make sure you are gentle as to not deflate the whipped cream.  Once combined, fold in the raspberry purée gently and toss in the lime zest.  Taste the mascarpone cream and add additional sugar, if necessary.

The somewhat tricky part is next.  Take a 9 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Line the ladyfingers up around the perimeter of your pan, to see how many you need to line the outside of the pan, I needed 24.  Next, using a sharp serated knife, cut each ladyfinger to 3 inches in length.  Reserve the end pieces as support for the ladyfingers.

Once all the ladyfiners are cut, line them up so the rounded edge is on top and the sugared side is facing out.  Take the little pieces that you cut off from the lady fingers and prop them against the bottom of the ladyfingers all the way around the inside of the pan, as to provide support.  With the remaining whole ladyfingers, lay them on the bottom of the pan so the bottom area is fully covered.*

Next, fill the cream in the pan and smooth over the top.  Arrange the remaining pint or 2 of raspberries depending on how “full” you want the fruit portion to be, in any pattern you wish.  But make sure the bottoms of the raspberries are pointed upwards for a more polished look.  You may garnish with any other berries you like.   Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  Remove the springform portion of the pan carefully and tie the ladyfingers with a ribbon for aesthetic reasons as well as for support.   When serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar for garnish.

*Feel free to email me with any questions regarding the set-up of the lady fingers.