• 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!

  • Banana Cream Pie

    Hello my friends! I hope we are all keeping cool in this very hot summer. If you’re reading this from somewhere that it isn’t summer, just know I envy you. I’m sure this makes me a party pooper, but the novelty of summer heat wears off PRETTY fast when you’re not a kid and it’s no longer acceptable to sit in the kiddie pool in your backyard all day. Instead I have to wear real clothes??? And go to work?? And the whole time I’m thinking of the beach and/ or ice cream (or this Banana Cream Pie tbh) and basically what I’m saying is I think we should all get summer vacation no matter what age/ job we have. Who’s with me!

    This was a pretty lazy segue into this week’s recipe, but really, what better way to enjoy summer than with a Banana Cream Pie? Essentially vanilla pudding with sliced bananas mixed in, this one is ~fancier~ because you make the pudding yourself. Plus did I mention there’s a layer of chocolate in between the graham cracker crust and the filling? Are you sold yet? Cool. The recipe comes from ZoeBakes because we all know I’m obsessed with her, so find the original recipe here.

    Before we get started, here are your 5 things to be happy about today:
    ONE. Seeing a movie in an otherwise empty theater and talking as loud as you please.
    TWO. The caffeine boost of an afternoon iced coffee.
    THREE. The melty consistency of a perfectly toasted marshmallow.
    FOUR. A prosperous herb garden.
    FIVE. Packing a cooler for the beach with watermelon, chips, and ice cold lemonade.

    Let’s bake!!

    Banana Cream Pie

    Prep Time1 hr
    Cook Time15 mins
    Chilling Time2 hrs
    Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Keyword: banana, chocolate, cream pie, pudding
    Servings: 8 people

    Ingredients

    Graham Cracker Crust

    • 12 whole graham crackers
    • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter; melted
    • pinch kosher salt
    • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate; finely chopped

    Banana Filling

    • tsp powdered gelatin; (1 packet)
    • 2 Tbsp cold water
    • 1 egg
    • 3 egg yolks
    • cup white sugar
    • Tbsp cornstarch
    • cups whole milk
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract; or 1 scraped vanilla bean
    • 1 cup heavy cream; whipped to soft peaks
    • 3-4 bananas; cut into coins

    Whipped Cream Topping

    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 2 Tbsp white sugar
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • bittersweet chocolate; for shavings on top

    Instructions

    Graham Cracker Crust

    • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grind together the graham crackers, butter, brown sugar, and salt until crumbs form, and can hold together when you squeeze some in your hand.
    • Press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan, using a small dry measuring cup to maintain an even, flat surface. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set and toasted.
    • Immediately after removing the crust from the oven, sprinkle the bottom with the chopped chocolate, and allow to melt, about 5 minutes. Once the chocolate is fully melted, use an offset spatula to spread a thin layer evenly over the entire bottom of the crust and up the sides as desired. Allow to cool before filling.

    Banana Filling

    • In a small bowl, bloom together the gelatin and the 2 Tbsp cold water and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until no lumps remain. Set aside.
    • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk on medium low until simmering. If you're using a vanilla bean, heat the scraped seeds and pod with the milk now, if you're using vanilla extract, we'll add it later.
    • Slowly, while whisking constantly, drizzle some of the heated milk into the egg mixture. This tempers the eggs so that they won't spontaneously cook when we add them to the hot milk. Once about ⅓ of the milk has been added and the egg mixture is warm to the touch, pour all of the egg/ milk mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and bring to a boil on medium heat.
    • Once the mixture starts to boil, continue to cook, whisking constantly for 3 minutes, until the custard is thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the bloomed gelatin and vanilla extract (if using) until the gelatin is fully dissolved.
    • Strain the custard through a sieve into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to cool to at least room temperature.
    • Once cooled, fold in the softly whipped cream and sliced bananas, then pour the filling into your prepared crust. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly to the surface of the pudding and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until set.

    Whipped Cream + Serving

    • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip together the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until the desired stiffness is reached. Stiffer whipped cream can be piped onto the pie, but I opted for a softer whipped cream that I piled on top, it's up to you!
    • Using a vegetable peeler, shave some of the leftover bittersweet chocolate on top, and serve. YUM!!

    Looking for more pudding pies? Look no further than here, here, and here!