• Blackberry Gin Fizz

    It’s COCKTAIL TIME!!! Do I sound like Sandra Lee? Cool I was trying to. This weekend was busy with family bonding before my brother moved to Seattle, so I’m bringing you a short and sweet recipe today. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity though, it’s maybe my favorite drink I’ve ever made. To begin this story I must first explain to you that we went berry picking this weekend. It’s becoming a Lewis family tradition really, and I’m certainly not mad about it. We drive to Eastern Long Island for pie, berries, and wandering, and maybe a quick ride on the carousel (yes I am 24 years old, why do you ask???). But anyway, we picked a surplus of blackberries at the berry farm, and, having just made a pie two days earlier, I was looking for something else to do.

    We all accidentally dressed the same and I’m not mad about it for sure.

    Enter this Blackberry Gin Fizz. Inspired by this recipe here, it combines berry puree, lime juice, gin, and a splash of something fizzy. THAT’S IT. The original recipe calls for club soda, but since the grocery store didn’t have that and I LOVE my fruit flavored seltzers, I swapped it out for grapefruit seltzer. It’s worth mentioning that I made more the next day with a Passionfruit La Croix, and it was NEXT LEVEL delicious, so feel free to mix up your seltzer flavors. This drink is refreshing, light, and a little herby from the gin, and the most perfect summer drink. For real, I used to think I wasn’t a gin person but suddenly, a blackberry gin fizz is just the beginning of my new life of gin fizzes.

    Before we get started, here are your 5 things to be happy about today!!
    ONE. Rainy summer walks.
    TWO. Longstanding family traditions.
    THREE. Coming into the air conditioning after being outside.
    FOUR. Giving your room a good clean and finding something you thought was lost forever.
    FIVE. Peach and berry cobbler, bubbling from the oven.

    Let’s go!!

    Blackberry Gin Fizz

    Sweet, fizzy, herby and refreshing, this is the perfect drink for when you never want summer to end.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Total Time15 mins
    Course: Drinks
    Keyword: blackberry, cocktail, gin
    Servings: 8

    Ingredients

    • 12 ounces fresh blackberries
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 cups gin
    • 1 cup fresh lime juice
    • Fruit seltzer or club soda
    • basil + rosemary sprigs, for garnish

    Instructions

    • In a blender, puree together the blackberries and sugar until smooth. Let the mixture stand in the blender, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Strain the berry puree through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup or bowl. Measure out 1 cup of the puree and transfer to a large pitcher. Pro-tip: use the remaining berry puree as a non-alcoholic mixer for seltzer!
    • Stir the gin and lime juice into the pitcher with the blackberries and chill before serving.
    • To serve, fill each glass with ice, then fill each glass a little more than halfway with the gin mixture. Top with club soda or seltzer, and garnish with one sprig each of basil and rosemary.

    Need some more summery recipes? Look here, here, and here!

  • Sweet Corn Pasta with Burrata

    If you’re reading this, you deserve a bowl of pasta. How do I know this? It’s my job to know, just run with it. AND, because I can’t just let you have any old pasta, I’m bringing you this masterpiece today. What is it? Only the most perfect summer pasta, combining fresh corn and scallions into a silky sauce WITHOUT any cream it it. But since I’m me, I make up for the lack of cream in the sauce with a big ol’ ball of burrata on top because we all deserve it. Originally from the New York Times, there are few dishes I look forward to making more than this one. While it can be made year round with frozen corn, there’s just something about that fresh sweet corn taste that is HEAVENLY.

    Basically to make this sauce, you cook together some scallion whites and corn in olive oil and a little butter, good already right? THEN, you blend that together into a thick, luxurious sauce, to which we add some whole corn kernels, red pepper flakes, scallion greens, and basil. Tossy-toss that with your short pasta of choice (I like orecchiette) and BOOM, the most perfect summer pasta.

    This weekend, my family journeyed down to Washington, D.C. to visit my sister and oh my god it was hot. No offense but I’ve been dreaming of Fall since the second week of July you guys. BUT despite the heat, we spent some good old quality time together (i.e., ate a lot of food) before my brother moves to Seattle.

    I finally saw Julia Child’s kitchen!!

    Before we get some happys today, I’m just going to do one more little plug for myself in case you don’t follow me on Instagram (which you totally should btw it’s a blast). If you like what you see here on Sweet D, I would love you forever if you took 2 minutes to nominate this blog for a Saveur Magazine Blog Award, found here. Simply enter the Sweet D url, check the box for Best Baking and Sweets Blog, and ta-da!!

    NOW, here are 5 things to be happy about today:
    ONE. Costume jewelry.
    TWO. Having a burger, fries, and a beer at a summer baseball game.
    THREE. 3-day weekends.
    FOUR. Making a thorough packing list before a trip.
    FIVE. Driving around with music playing and no destination in mind.

    Let’s cook!

    Sweet Corn Pasta with Burrata

    This fresh corn and scallion pasta is the perfect way to combine all the freshest flavors of summer, while still serving a decadent dish that just screams "Treat Yourself". Top with burrata and you are guaranteed to be the most popular dinner host.
    Prep Time20 mins
    Cook Time15 mins
    Total Time35 mins
    Course: Dinner, Main Course
    Keyword: burrata, corn, pasta, scallion

    Ingredients

    • 24 ounces short pasta, like orecchiette
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 2 bunches scallions (about 15); slices, keeping whites and greens separate
    • 5 ears fresh corn (or 4 cups frozen corn); shucked and kernels removed
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 6 Tbsp butter
    • 1 cup parmesan cheese
    • ½ cup torn basil leaves (you could also use mint)
    • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
    • Fresh lemon juice
    • Fresh burrata (1 or ½ ball per person)

    Instructions

    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook your pasta for one minute less than the al dente recommendation on the box. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and set the drained pasta aside.
    • In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the scallion whites + a pinch of salt, cooking until the scallions are soft. Add ½ cup of the reserved pasta water plus all but ½ cup of the corn. Simmer until the corn is heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer the mixture to a blender.
    • Puree the sauce until completely smooth, adding more pasta water if necessary to achieve a thick but pourable sauce.
    • Reheat the same pan over high heat and melt the butter. Add in the reserved whole corn kernels and cook until tender. Add the corn puree back to the pan and cook for an additional minute to combine the flavors.
    • Reduce the heat to medium and add the pasta and the other ½ cup pasta water, tossing to coat. Stir in ½ cup of the reserved scallion greens, the cheese, basil, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice. To serve, top with more cheese and leftover scallions, and break a whole or half burrata on top. YUM!!

    Looking for more summer pastas? I’ve got you covered here and here!

  • Apricot Cherry Crostata

    Welcome!! I hope you all survived this weekend’s heat wave by not leaving the house, it was the only way to survive. At my house, we spent the majority of Saturday inside, making brownies and playing Clue, which for once, didn’t end in fighting! We went mini golfing at night and were promptly attacked by bugs, but the ice cream afterwards made it all worth it. Sunday we spent the day at the beach, where the waves were very refreshing but I was pinched by not one, but TWO crabs. You can’t win them all I guess.

    ANYWAY, today’s recipe is another one of those ones pulled from my childhood memory vault, one that my Grandpa used to make in the summer when we were over for dinner. Whenever we would spend time at their house, the first thing we’d peruse was my grandpa’s stack of Bon Appetit magazines, which went years and years back. Come to think of it, I’m almost sure that is what sparked my interest in food in the first place. My grandpa was and still is an amazing cook, but with time, it’s gotten harder for him to make elaborate meals. So, last weekend, after saying for years that I would dig out this Apricot Cherry Crostata recipe, I did! I finally got to present it to my grandpa for dessert, and I’ll be honest I teared up when he saw it. He has always had a huge influence on what I cook and has been one of my biggest cheerleaders since the beginning, gosh I love him.

    This tart is the perfect summer dessert, its relatively quick, very easy, and it LOOKS so glamorous. Apricot Cherry Crostata, it even SOUNDS fancy. It’s best with peak-of-summer apricots and cherries, but my grandpa always made it with dried tart cherries and it was just as incredible. Nestled in a crisp, buttery crust, and topped with the shiniest apricot glaze, it looks so professional you might have to show your friends the dishes to prove you made this and didn’t buy it.

    OH ALSO. Something I have to mention, I met a real hero of mine this past week. If you’ve been around Sweet D for long enough, you’ve seen that I make a lot of recipes from Erin McDowell. She’s a food blogger and writer and so so cool. Well, this past week, I got to take a cake decorating class in the city taught by, you guessed it, HER. It was everything I dreamed it would be. We decorated chocolate cakes with macarons and other treats, and she remembered me and Sweet D and I almost cried. Life made.

    Me trying to keep it together

    Before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today!!
    ONE. A peach so juicy you have to eat it standing over the sink.
    TWO. Meeting your heroes.
    THREE. Baseball games in the summer.
    FOUR. A weekend with no plans.
    FIVE. Turning over a new leaf.

    Let’s bake!!

    Apricot Cherry Crostata

    Honey-sweet apricots, dark cherries, a buttery crust, sealed with a shiny jam glaze, this is the most impressive and deceivingly easy tart you'll ever make!
    Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
    Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
    Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Keyword: apricot, cherry, summer tart
    Servings: 8 people

    Ingredients

    Tart Crust

    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 Tbsp white sugar
    • ¼ tsp kosher salt
    • ½ cup unsalted butter; chilled and cut into small pieces
    • 2 Tbsp ice water

    Fruit Filling

    • 7 large apricots
    • 1 cup dark cherries; pitted and halved
    • cup white sugar
    • ½ cup apricot preserves

    Instructions

    Tart Crust

    • Blend together the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add in the butter and pulse 10-12 times, until the butter is pea-sized and evenly distributed.
    • Blend in the water by the tablespoon until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten to a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes before working.
    • When the dough is chilled, roll between 2 sheets of parchment paper to slightly larger than the size of your tart pan, about 11 inches. Carefully remove the top sheet of parchment and invert the dough into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
    • Gently press the dough into the pan, folding the excess into the tart pan so that the sides are double thick. Pierce the dough all over with a fork and freeze for 20 minutes. At this point, preheat the oven to 375°F.
    • Bake the tart shell for 25 minutes until set but still pale, and allow to cool before filling.

    Filling and Assembly

    • Blanch apricots in boiling water for 1 minute, then transfer to ice water. Peel, halve, and pit each apricot, then slice each half into 3 to 4 wedges.
    • Arrange the apricot slices in the tart shell as desired, then top with the pitted cherries. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top and bake the tart until the apricots are tender, about 50 minutes.
    • In a small saucepan, heat the apricot preserves until warm and pourable. Strain through a mesh sieve so that only the smooth jam is left.
    • Using a pastry brush or a spoon, cover the tart with a layer of the apricot jam. Remove the tart from its pan and serve warm or room temperature, preferably with ice cream!

    Looking for more summer fruit desserts? Look here, here, and here!