Monday, August 29, 2011

cherry-lime cups

the goods:

7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for muffin pan
1 and 1/3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 3 limes)
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 cherries, halved and pitted

Make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter six standard muffin cups. In a food processor, process butter, flour, sugar, and salt until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add yolks and vanilla and process until dough comes together when pressed (dough will be crumbly). Divide dough into 6 pieces. Roll each into a ball and place in muffin cup, pressing evenly into bottom and up sides. Place a paper cupcake liner into each muffin cup over dough and fill with pie wights or dried beans. Bake until edges are dry, 15 minutes. Carefully remove liners and weights; bake until crusts are dry and barely golden, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, make filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, sugar, lime juice, and salt. Place 3 cherry halves into each crust and divide filling among each. Bake until filling is set, about 25 minutes.

With the tip of a knife, or a small offset spatula, remove cups from pan. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Monday, August 22, 2011

red, white, and blue berry trifle

the goods:

5 cups raspberries
3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 large orange)
10 ounces marscapone cheese (1 and 1/3 cups)
1 and 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
20 to 24 ladyfingers (from a 7-ounce package), broken into 1-inch pieces
2 and 1/2 cups blueberries

In a medium bowl, combine raspberries with 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and orange juice. With the back of a fork, lightly mash berries to release their juices and let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile in a large bowl, stir together marscapone and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar until smooth. Whisk in cream, vanilla, and a pinch of salt and whisk until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes.

Cut 1 or 2 pieces parchment 1 inch taller than side of an 8-inch springform pan and line inside of pan. Place half the ladyfingers in pan and top with half the raspberry mixture. With a small offset spatula, spread half the whipped cream over berries. Tap pan gently on counter to remove air bubbles. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers, raspberry mixture, and whipped cream.

(yes, that is my son in the background with his finger poised ready to swipe a taste!)

Top with blueberries and refrigerate until whipped cream is stiff and cookies have softened, about 3 hours. To serve, unmold trifle and peel away parchment.

Monday, August 8, 2011

raspberry mouse pie

the goods:

7 graham crackers
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 and 1/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin
5 cups fresh raspberries
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons
2 cups cold heavy cream

Lightly coat a 9-inch square metal baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Arrange graham crackers in an even layer in pan, breaking them to fit as necessary. Place lemon juice in a small bowl and sprinkle with gelatin. Let sit until gelatin softens, 3 minutes. In a blender, puree 2 cups raspberries until smooth, scraping down bowl as needed. Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a measuring cup, pressing on solids (you should have about 1 cup of puree); discard solids.

In a small saucepan, combine raspberry puree and 1/2 cup sugar over medium. Cook until bubbles form at edge. Add gelatin mixture and cook, stirring constantly, just until gelatin dissolves, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a small bowl and let cool to room temperature, 20 minutes. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream and 2 tablespoons sugar on medium-high until firm peaks form, about 4 minutes.

With a rubber spatula, gently fold in raspberry puree mixture until combined. Pour over graham crackers. Smooth top with an offset spatula and arrange 3 cups raspberries on top.

Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours (or up to overnight).

Using parchment, gently lift pie out of pan and place on a serving plate. Peel away parchment from sides of pie; trim excess paper with scissors or a sharp knife. Cut into squares to serve.