As promised, here are the recipes from the three desserts I made on Sunday for Father's Day Dinner.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.
This recipe is straight from The Joy of Cooking - page 876. If you read it from the book there's a lot more explanation on how to bake covered fruit pies, etc - and variations of the pie. But I'll just list it the way I make it.
The crust I use is the same crust I always use. A pate brisee (deluxe butter flaky pastry dough) that I make in the food processor. Yep - you read that right - the food processor. All those years of trying to make the perfect pastry at the speed of light so as not to melt the butter with my warm hands...and all I had to do was stick it in the food processor?? It's so easy! Thank you Ina (Barefoot Contessa) - she taught me that trick a few years ago and I have never looked back. Simply put the flour, sugar and salt in the food processor. Add your chunked up cold butter, and pulse until you get those pea-sized pieces. Then add the shortening and pulse a tiny amount to work it in. Then drizzle in your cold water while pulsing, until it just starts to come together. The second it makes a ball inside the food processor - stop, and remove it. No kneading. Just divide the dough in two, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate until you are ready to use it. SO EASY.
Anyway, back to the recipe:
Make your pastry crust and after it has been refrigerated, roll one of the halves into a 13 inch round, fit it into a 9 inch pie dish, and trim the overhanging dough to 3/4 inch all around. Refrigerate. Roll the other half into a 12-inch round for the top crust and refrigerate it.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Without peeling, cut into 1-inch lengths: 1 pound of rhubarb stalks.
Measure 2 1/2 cups and put into a bowl.
Hull, and halve lengthwise 2 1/2 cups strawberries and add to the bowl of chopped rhubarb.
Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, and 1/4 cups quick-cooking tapioca.
Add 1/4 tsp salt.
Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into the bottom crust and dot with 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces.
(I almost always forget the butter, and the pie turns out great - so I would call this step "optional") :)
Brush the overhanging edge of the bottom crust with cold water. Cover with the top crust, then seal the edge, trim, and crimp. Cut steam vents in the top. Lightly brush the top of the pie with milk or cream. Sprinkle with 2 tsp sugar.
Bake the pie for 30 mins. Slip a baking sheet beneath it, reduce the oven temp to 350 degrees, and back until thick juices bubble through the vents, 25 to 35 minutes more. Let cool completely on a rack before serving. This pie is best eaten the day it is baked, but can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.
**I recommend serving with vanilla bean ice cream**
Strange way this recipe came about. The ladies in my family have a few recipes in our arsenal that use Lyle's Golden Syrup. If you've never heard of it - it's English. Kind of like corn syrup but incredibly sweet - I'm not really sure how to describe it. Anyway, it's somewhat hard to find, and when I do find it, I stockpile it for use in recipes whose appearances are rationed. Anyway, a few years ago when my parents first started looking to move to South Carolina, my mom found this:
King Syrup. Thinking that it might be a great and amazingly cheap alternative to our imported Lyles, we gave it a try in a favorite recipe. WRONG. Totally not the same - not even close. Then of course, we had to find something to use it in (it apparently only comes in 1qt bottles).
**I thought King syrup was only available in South Carolina, but when we moved to our house in the Philly 'burbs, I found it in a local Giant. So take a look in your grocery store - they may carry it.**
Enter,the internet! I googled "recipes with king syrup" and found this shoo-fly pie recipe. Amazingly simple and utterly delicious. I adjusted the cooking time on it, because I prefer my shoo-fly pie to be a little more solid in the center than not - but you can adjust your cooking time accordingly if you prefer your pie a different way.
Here's the recipe:
1 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 heaping tbsp shortening
1 cup King syrup
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup boiling water
1 beaten egg
Dough for single pie shell.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix flour, brown sugar, and shortening into crumbs. Split the crumb mixture in half. Set one half aside for later.
Pour the King syrup into the other half of the crumb mixture. Mix the baking soda in the boiling water. When this fizzes, pour on top of the king syrup/crumb mixture. (If the baking soda/water doesn't fizz, either the water wasn't hot enough or your baking soda is bad.) Add 1 beaten egg. Mix with a fork.
Pour in unbaked pie shell, and top with the remaining half of the crumb mix.
Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Without opening the oven door, turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Bake an additional 30 - 40 minutes.
Old Fashioned Berry Layer Cake
This one is Martha's. From the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, page 154. Also on the front cover :)
You can assemble this showstopping dessert up to eight hours ahead of serving; leave off the last layer of cream and fruit, and refrigerate along with the partially assembled cake. Just before serving, top the cake with the remaining cream and berries, and garnish with the mint leaves. If you can't find beautiful small strawberries, halve or quarter larger ones.
Unsalted butter, for pans
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 large whole eggs, plus 4 large egg yolks, all at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 quart (4 cups) heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (optional)
1 pint small strawberries, hulled
1/2 pint blackberries
1/2 pint raspberries
1/2 pint golden raspberries
1/2 pint blueberries
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9 by 2 inch round cake pans, set aside.
In a large bowl sift together flour and cornstarch, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat on high speed until thick and pale (it should hold a ribbon like trail on the surface when the whisk is raised), about 5 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add flour mixture to the egg mixture. With mixer on low speed, beat until just combined. Add oil in a steady stream, mixing until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer. Using the whisk, fold mixture several times.
Divide the batter between pans, and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the cakes are springy to the touch and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Immediately invert cakes onto a wire rack. Then re-invert cakes and let them cool completely with the top sides up.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attached combine cream, confectioners' sugar and remaining teaspoon vanilla extract. Scrape in the vanilla seeds, if using. Starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high, whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Using a serrated knife, trim the tops of the cakes to make level. Slice each cake in half horizontally into two layers. Place one of the bottom layers on a serving plate. Spread a quarter of the whipped cream over the layer; arrange a quarter of the mixed berries on top. Repeat with remaining cake layers, cream and berries. Garnish top with mint leaves, if using. Serve immediately; slice with a serrated knife.