Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cool and Creamy

Here in San Diego we have been experiencing the coldest summer on record. While my kids in NYC, and Bloomington, IN are sweltering in the heat, I've got the slow cooker out making soups and stews! If you want to beat the heat, this cold strawberry soup is not only refreshing, it's lick the bowl delicious!  Simple to prepare, and refrigerate ahead of time, try this as a starter for your next dinner on the patio; it's cool, creamy, and topped off with sweet and salty almonds to give it a nice crunch. 

Cold Strawberry Soup with Sweet and Salty Almonds

Serves 6
1 cup water
1 cup rose wine
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 quart (4 cups) strawberries, washed, hulled, and pureed
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
1cup crème fraiche

1. Combine the water, wine, sugar and lemon juice in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes.
2. Add the strawberries, and cook an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl, and cool.
4. When the mixture is cool, combine the whipped cream and crème fraiche and fold into the strawberry mixture.
5. Chill, and serve in small cups with sweet and salty almonds for garnish.

Sweet and Salty Almonds
Makes 2 cups

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 cups sliced almonds
2 tablespoons Fleur de sel
1. In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter and add 2 tablespoons of sugar, and the cayenne pepper. Stir until the sugar melts.
2. Add the almonds, and stir until the almonds are coated, and the almonds begin to turn golden brown.
3. Transfer the almonds to a mixing bowl, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and the Fleur de sel.
4. Toss the almonds, and spread out on a baking sheet or paper toweling to cool. The almonds can be kept in airtight containers in the freezer for up to 6 months, or at room temperature for about 1 week.

An overabundance of  cherries at La Combe en Perigord led to making this delicious lemon pudding cake.  Although cherries are still available in many markets you can substitute any number of different fruits on the bottom (think blueberries, raspberries, nectarines).  The lemon pudding cake is an old recipe from the 60's where the cake separates into a nice cake on the top, but the bottom forms a pudding like mixture.  Adding fruit to the lemon pudding gives it a really nice texture and flavor.  I love this served with creme fraiche, but sweetened whipped cream, or ice cream works well, too.  If you are using cherries, get yourself a cherry pitter to make quick work of the cherries--we used Chuck Williams old cherry pitter to make the chore easier---almost like using one of Julia's old tools! This recipe is similar to the post using plums instead of cherries. 

La Combe Hot Lemon Pudding Cake with Cherries
Serves 6

1 1/2 cups pitted sweet cherries, rinsed and stems removed
4 large eggs, separated
grated zest of one lemon
1/3 cup lemon juice
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 2/3 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream, whipped stiffly with 1/4 cup sugar for garnish or 2 cups creme fraiche

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Spread the cherries over the bottom of the pan.
4. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and set aside. In another mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and blend in the zest, juice, butter and milk.
5. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, flour and salt and add to egg yolk mixture beating until smooth and fold into the reserved egg whites.
6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is firm. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes before serving warm, with sweetened whipped cream.

No comments:

Post a Comment