Fruit Tart

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I haven’t posted in a while because I have been traveling over the past few weeks, but decided it was time to post something again.  Every year my family does a joint dinner, where we all cook a dish (appetizer, main, side/vegetable, dessert).  They are assigned randomly, but we do it so that you get all 4 before we go around again.  This year was the start of a new cycle and lo and behold, I drew dessert.  Not exactly my forte, as you notice, most of the desserts on here are courtesy of my sister.  But, if nothing else, I am up to a challenge.  So I couldn’t decide what to make (leaning between a creme caramel and fruit tart), but I kept coming back to a fruit tart and just decided to go for it. I got the recipe from here.  In the end I think it turned out pretty good and it looked pretty too, which is always a plus.

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Ingredients:

  • Quiche/tart pan with removable bottom
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced
  • 8oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Fresh kiwi
  • 1 can peaches
  • 1 oz can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

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Directions

  • For the crust, combine the confectioners’ sugar, flour, and butter in a food processor
  • Press the dough into the tart pan filling the bottom and into the ridges, making sure it is as even as possible
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown
  • Filling: Whip the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla together until smooth and even
  • Spread the filling over the crust evenly
  • Cut the strawberries and kiwi into thin slices
  • Arrange the strawberries, kiwi, and peaches to your liking on the tart
  • To make the glaze, combine the limeade, cornstarch, 1/4 cup sugar, and lime juice in a small saucepan over medium heat
  • When it is clear and thick (stirring occasionally), let it cool for a minute or 2
  • Brush the glaze over the tart and refrigerate until ready to serve

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Creme Brûlée

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We had family dinner again at our apartment and my sister again had dessert.  This time she got ambitious and decided to make a creme brûlée.  This required me to buy the ramekins and torch, which I was happy to oblige because why would I turn down buying a torch?  So there was a package deal at Bed Bath and Beyond that came with 4 ramekins and a torch.  Turns out that the ramekins are freaking tiny and basically useless.  Good thing I had the souffle ramekins, so we decided to use those.  Turned out to be great dessert and super interactive as everyone got to torch their own before eating (which left everyone wanting to torch other stuff, but that could have been dangerous).  She got the recipe from the Food Network.

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Ingredients

  • 1 qt heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar, divided (we used regular sugar)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 qts hot water

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Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Over medium heat, boil the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp
  • Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes (also remove the bean)
  • Whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and egg yolks in bowl
  • Slowly add the sitting cream, stirring continually
  • Pour the liquid evenly into the ramekins (will fill about 8)
  • Place the ramekins in a roasting pan
  • Pour enough hot water into the pan until the water level comes half way up the ramekins
  • Bake until the creme brulee is set (~40-45min) but still soft in the center
  • Remove the ramekins and refrigerate for ~2hours
  • Take them out of the refrigerator and let sit for ~30 min
  • Cover the tops of the creme brulee with sugar, making sure there is a fairly even coat over the top
  • Torch the crap out of it (or however much you want)
  • Let sit for a minute and enjoy!

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Limoncello Raspberry Torte

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Like I said in the previous post, I was going to post the dessert that my sister made for our parents. We were going with a full Italian theme, so it made sense to go with something like, say, tiramisu. But, my sister doesn’t like tiramisu, so it seemed unfair for her to make something she doesn’t even enjoy eating. We have had a lot of cheesecake recently, so that was also out. That’s when she came across this recipe for a limoncello raspberry torte. We actually had limoncello by chance from our family trip to Italy a couple of years ago. We bought a bottle because it was supposed to be a popular drink, but for some reason, we never opened it. So this seemed like as good as time as any to crack it open. The recipe itself is super easy and it tastes good too.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups raspberries, divided
  • 2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tbsp Limoncello
  • 1 brick, 8 oz, Neufchatel cheese
  • Shortbread cookies for serving

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Directions

  • In a bowl, mash 3/4 of the raspberries
  • Mix in the sugar and limoncello, until raspberries are chunky, but semi-reduced
  • Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes
  • Place cheese on a plate
  • Combine remaining berries with the reduced mixture
  • Pour the mixture over the cheese
  • Spread the mix over shortbread cookies and enjoy

Vanilla Souffle

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So to finish our anniversary meal, I made a vanilla souffle for dessert.  I’ve tried making a souffle once before, but it didn’t turn out so well, so I thought I would try giving it another shot.  I found an easier recipe to follow from Eugenie Kitchen. This one turned out pretty well I think. At the very least it was a lot better than my previous attempt.

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Ingredients

  • 4 ramekins
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup hot milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp  sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • pinch of salt
  • extra butter and sugar for ramekins

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Instructions

  • Prepare the Ramekins – brush the ramekins with room temp/slightly melted butter and then coat with sugar (pouring out any excess)
  • In a sauce pan on medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour (cook and stir for ~1 minute)
  • Remove the pan and stir in the hot milk
  • Put the pan back on the stove and bring to a boil, stirring often
  • Remove from heat and add the 2 egg yolks individually, stirring to combine
  • Transfer the sauce to a bowl
  • To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a bowl until you get firm peaks
  • Add the sugar slowly, while continuing to whisk
  • Add about one third of the meringue into the earlier sauce and whisk thoroughly
  •  Pour all sauce into meringue and whisk until combined
  • Spoon the mix into the ramekins and run a finger around the rim of the ramekins to help them rise straight
  • Bake at 390 degrees for about 15 minutes and serve immediately

Panna Cotta with Berries

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So, this post is about my sister’s panna cotta.  We had just had the prime rib from the previous post, and I tasked my sister with making a dessert for the evening. Due to an earlier conversation about panna cotta, she chose to try making them herself. Turns out, it is not difficult to make at all.  She got the recipe from the Food Network website and gave it a whirl.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 3 cups whipping cream (I don’t know if there is a difference between regular whipping cream and heavy, but I have only ever seen heavy whipping cream)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • Some berries

Instructions

  • Place the milk in a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin powder over it and let it rest for 5 minutes
  • Pour it into a saucepan and stir over medium heat, dissolving the gelatin, but making sure it doesn’t boil
  • Add the cream, honey, sugar, and salt
  • Stir until the sugar dissolves (~6 min)
  • Pour into glasses, or any container you desire, and let cool
  • Refrigerate to let it set for about 6 hours
  • Garnish with berries

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This turned out really well and it was tasty. It is definitely creamy and on the heavier side, but what good desserts aren’t?  We may try experimenting with different flavors of panna cotta in the future, but this is definitely an easy recipe to follow for a delicious dessert.