Posts Tagged ‘dessert

07
Nov
12

Caramel and figs? Go “fig”ure!

In 2009, I posted Fresh Fig Tart and an ode to Marie.  Wow, have I really been blogging for over 3 years?  Well, I’ve been pretty lazy this past year about posting on a regular basis, but I’ve been bitten by the Blog Bug recently and I’m back for more fun.  Anyway, in the fig tart story I gushed about my crush on cookbook author and food genius, Marie Simmons. I also shared a recipe from her wonderful book, Fig Heaven.  Since I am on a fig roll this week, I tried another recipe from the cookbook.  Heavenly is a perfect descriptive word for this sauce.

FRESH FIG AND CARAMEL SAUCE FOR ICE CREAM

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

6 to 8 ripe figs, any variety, stems trimmed, halved lengthwise

¼ cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Melt the butter in a 9 or 10 inch skillet until foamy.

Add the figs, cut side down, and

sprinkle evenly with the sugar. Cook, without stirring, over medium heat until the sugar caramelizes and the figs are browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes.

 Carefully turn the figs over and cook 2 minutes more.

Remove the figs to a serving bowl.

Add the cream to the skillet and boil,

stirring, until it has reduced slightly and the sugar has melted into the cream to make a caramel-colored sauce.  Let stand off heat for a few minutes.

Then stir in the vanilla and add to the figs.  Serve warm over ice cream.

My original intention was to serve this sauce over some ice cream, as the recipe indicates.  Since I had fresh baked coffee cake in the house, I went with a more decadent choice.  Coffee cake ala mode, the mode being Häagen-Dazs Caramel Cone ice cream, and this luscious fig caramel sauce.  It was surprisingly light.

I may have another fig recipe in the works, so check back with me, or better yet, just subscribe to this blog and you will receive an email the next time I share.  Have a figtastic day!

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26
Jun
10

This one is for Robert, or……………

the squeaky reader gets the decadence.  Ok, Robert, you asked for it, so here it is:   Strawberry Rhubarb Cream Cheese Tart.  I hope this satiates you for a while because it’s all I got at the moment. 

Stop licking the computer screen!

We went to Chuck and Emily’s last night for our first barbeque of the summer season.  I made a spicy wheat berry salad (which was yumtastic, BTW) and this delectable little morsel. 

A little something I whipped up

Our neighbour, Snowie, the 83-year-old Master Gardener, has a massive amount of rhubarb in her garden.  Her 53-year-old son, John, invited me over to cut as much rhubarb as I wanted.  He confided in me that he has never, ever eaten rhubarb in his life!  His mother grows it every year.  I teased him and inquired if he was afraid of it.  Bingo!  He said he was,  indeed, afraid of rhubarb.  I don’t want to cast dispersion on the neighbour and I want the free rhubarb to keep coming, so I will reserve comment on this one. 

OK, I admit that I want to lick the screen now

So, I’m sure many of you out there in blogville and saying “Enough with the chit chat and witty repartee, VG, get to telling us how we can make this at home!”  Fine.  If you insist, here goes: 

The Crust 

adapted from The Pie and Pastry Bible 

by 

Rose Levy Beranmaum 

Sweet Cookie Tart Crust 

1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes 

1/4 cup sugar 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 

1/8 teaspoon salt 

1 large egg yolk 

2 tablespoons buttermilk (the original recipe calls for heavy cream, but buttermilk is all I had on hand) 

 Pulse sugar and butter in food processor about 15 times or until sugar disappears.  Add the flour and salt and pulse again until the butter is no larger than small peas. 

In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and buttermilk (or heavy cream).  Add it to the  mixture and pulse just until incorporated.  The dough will still be in crumbly pieces.  Empty it into a plastic bag and press from the outside until it holds together. 

Remove the dough from the bag and place on a large piece of plastic wrap; knead the dough a few times until it becomes one smooth piece.  Flatten to a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes in fridge or freeze for 10 minutes until it is firm enough to roll. 

Roll dough out on a piece of plastic wrap.  Transfer to a tart pan.  Chill again for about 30 minutes. 

Place a piece of parchment paper over the crust bottom and use pie weights or dried beans to fill the inside.   Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for five minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue baking for 15 minutes.  Remove parchment and pie weights and return tart shell to the oven.  Bake another 10 -13 minutes, until the crust is set and lightly browned. 

 While all of this baking is happening, make your cream cheese filling.  I made this one up on the fly.  It turned out great and is super simple. 

Cream Cheese filling 

8 ounces cream cheese 

4 ounces mascarpone 

1 large egg 

1/2 cup sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

Dump it all in the food processor and blend until silky smooth.  Stop and scrap several times in the process.  That’s all, folks.  I told you it was simple. 

Another tempting look. Check out that cream cheese filling.

So, what’s the red saucy stuff on top of those beautiful strawberries?  That’s where that scary rhubarb comes in.  Heh heh! 

Rhubarb Sauce 

About two cups of washed and chopped fresh rhubarb (or frozen) 

1 cup sugar 

2 – 4 tablespoons corn starch 

1 – 2 drops red food coloring (optional) 

Place rhubarb and sugar in sauce pan.  Let sit until the rhubarb starts releasing  it’s juice.  I actually frozen the rhubarb a few days before making this tart.  It works great because I thawed it out the night before in the fridge, it became juicy and I could make the sauce right away. 

Bring the rhubarb and sugar to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook until the rhubarb starts to break down and gets really soft.  Dissolve cornstarch in a small amount of water and whisk into the rhubarb sugar mixture.  Cook until thickened slightly.  Add food color, if desired.  Remove from heat and allow to cool. 

OK, so now you have all of your components.  Bake the tart shell,  add the  cream cheese filling and smooth.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 – 30 minutes, until filling is set.  Remove from oven and cool slightly on the counter and then refrigerate until completely cold. 

Slice strawberries in half.  Arrange in a pretty fashion on top of the filling.  Pour and spread evenly (I used a pastry brush) the rhubarb sauce on top.  You will have some sauce left over, lucky you!  It’s great on ice cream, waffles, pancakes, standing in front of the open fridge with a spoon in your hand, etc.  Put it on whatever you want; wink wink, nudge nudge. 

Enjoy and welcome summer!

I just learned a new technique using Picasa!




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