• Memorial Day Recipe Round-Up

    Can you believe that it’s already Memorial Day Weekend? Honestly I’m a little spooked, where did all of the Spring go?? It’s almost JUNE. Whew okay I’m calm we’re good it’s all good. I’m interrupting my usual Tuesday posting schedule to bring you this special collection of recipe highlights, perfect for a backyard barbecue! Whether you’re hosting a party or just feel like making something new and fun, please enjoy this collection of my 10 most Memorial Day appropriate recipes!!

    ONE. Blueberry Slab Pie

    Do you need dessert for a crowd? Or do you just eat enough pie on your own? Look no further than this masterpiece, it is deceivingly simple to make, because why mess with the flavor of blueberry and pie crust? Also did I mention that slab pies are baked on a sheet pan, crazy easy to slice, and serve up to 20 people? Go make a pie!!!

     

    TWO. Fresh Fruit Tart

    Slightly more labor intensive than a slab pie (only slightly), it’s hard to pass up a tart like this when theres fruit art involved. A crisp tart shell holds a generous portion of rich vanilla pastry cream, and from there the decorating is up to you! Will it be a symmetrical pattern? Or an artful heap? Berries or stone fruit? Or both? It’s up to you!!

     

    THREE. Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes

    Did you think I would go an entire rhubarb season without mentioning rhubarb?? Think again!! While a new 2019 rhubarb recipe is on its way, I will tide you over until then with this twist on the classic strawberry shortcake. A buttery biscuit, lightly sweetened soft whipped cream, and a heaping scoop of strawberry rhubarb quick jam becomes a simple yet incredibly flavorful dessert that guests can assemble themselves and take the pressure off you! You’re welcome!!

     

    FOUR. Fried Burrata in Romesco Sauce

    I realize that here on Sweet D I tend to favor dessert recipes, after all, it’s called SWEET D, right? However, this recipe was designed with entertaining in mind, so I’d be crazy not to include it on this list. And while you could eat this whole thing yourself (and I’d be very impressed with you), the best way to eat a ball of fried burrata is surrounded by friends, with a glass of chilled white wine and lots of garlicky bruschetta. Do I need to keep convincing you? I didn’t think so.

     

    FIVE. New York Cheesecake with Roasted Blueberry Sauce

    The best part about this cheesecake recipe, aside from the fact that it could LITERALLY be in a museum, is that the whole thing can be made the day before and kept chilled in the fridge, meaning you have more time with your guests, more time to grill, and more time to eat snacks! Highkey this recipe is one of the most decadent ones on my site, I still think about it at least once a day and you should too.

     

    SIX. Almond Sheet Cake

    You know how every year, Ina Garten makes a Flag Cake using a sheet cake and some berries? Well, here’s your fancy base to a flag cake, the simplest almond cake and frosting which will be a gorgeous and elegant compliment to the fruit on top. A word to the wise- if you choose to make the flag on this cake, use fresh berries only and don’t add any extra sugar to them, the berries will release their juices and make the top of the cake very soggy!

     

    SEVEN. Cornmeal Peach Cobbler

    Okay I know that ~technically~ it’s not peach season yet, but I couldn’t bring myself to look past this perfect cobbler in all its bubbly, fruity glory. Golden cornmeal biscuits are an excellent, slightly salty counterpart to the classic flavor of peach, but if you’re having trouble finding good ripe peaches this time of year, you could always substitute with blueberries, strawberries, or cherries!

     

    EIGHT. Tomato Salad with Burrata

    What’s that? You spent all your time making the desserts on this list and don’t have any food for dinner? Boy have I got good news for you. Enlist one of your guests to be your tomato chopping sous chef, and this salad will be done in 10 minutes. That’s right, TEN. And with the rustic yet glamorous presentation, people will think you put a lot more work into it than you did. Plus, there’s no better combination than mozzarella and tomato, am I right or am I right?

     

    NINE. Mini Pavlovas

    Are you sensing a theme here for these desserts? If you guessed berries, you’d be correct. Personally, nothing screams summer holiday like fresh berries, so it seems only fitting that they keep popping up on this list. While pavlovas are slightly on the challenging side, the payoff is well worth it, there’s nothing quite like the crisp, marshmallow texture of a pavlova with whipped cream and berries.

     

    TEN. Summer Fruit Galettes

    You know that I had to fit one more pie recipe in here, it’s practically in my contract. And what better recipe than the deeply unfussy, rustic pie that doesn’t even require a pie plate? These galettes are easily customizable, easily served, and the best part is you don’t have to sacrifice any of the things you know and love about regular pie to do it. A win-win!

     

    Happy Memorial Day Weekend, I hope it’s filled with all ten of these foods! XoxoxoxoxD

  • Milk and Cookie Pie

    I’d like everyone to know that when I made this pie the other day, I had just returned home from the eye doctor, and my pupils were so dilated my eyes were practically all black, and any amount of light literally BURNED, I was like a damn vampire. However, I made the mistake of mentioning this pie, created by Erin McDowell and originally found here, to my siblings when I came across the recipe, and they wouldn’t take no for an answer. So, as a result, I baked this pie in a kitchen as dark as I could make it, squinting the entire time. And STILL, it was fabulous, which is probably mostly a credit to Erin’s recipe, but also I LITERALLY blind-baked a pie so there’s that. Someone please tell me I’m funny…pls.

    Anyway, this past Easter weekend was full of food and also rainy weather, which wasn’t so great for the spring-y holiday, but made it extra cozy for me while holed up cooking and baking for 16 people with my mom! In addition to the dinner classics like ham, scalloped potatoes, and such, I made 2 different spring desserts: a pavlova, like this one I wrote about last week, and also another almond cake, which I wrote about here! Both are good desserts to make the night before, since the pavlova can dry in the oven overnight, and the cake is covered in a glaze that keeps it moist. We all ate lots of food and Easter candy, which is exactly what you’re supposed to do, and now that the day is over, catch me scooping up all the discounted Peeps at CVS am I right?? But back to the present, let’s get baking, shall we?

    Here are 5 things to be happy about at the beginning of this week!!
    ONE. Appreciating the good fortune of loved ones.
    TWO. Ghost stories and marshmallows by the fire.
    THREE. Stained glass.
    FOUR. Feeding your mind.
    FIVE. Downspouts after a rain.

    MAKES: 1 9 inch tart
    PREP TIME: 30 minutes
    BAKE TIME: 20-24 minutes
    INACTIVE TIME: 1 to 2 hours or overnight

    COOKIE CRUST INGREDIENTS

    6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
    ½ cup light brown sugar
    ¾ tsp vanilla
    1 egg yolk
    1 + 2/3 cup all purpose flour
    ½ tsp kosher salt
    ½ cup chocolate chips

    COOKIE CRUST STEPS

    ONE. Grease a 9-inch tart pan with cooking spray. Place the prepared pan on a baking sheet, and make sure that you have enough room in both your freezer and fridge for later.

    TWO. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and the egg yolk, then mix to combine.

    THREE. Carefully add the flour and salt, then mix until incorporated. The mixture will be crumbly, but should stick together when squeezed. At this point, stir in the chocolate chips so that they’re uniform, then press the dough into the prepared pan, making sure it’s even on all sides.

    FOUR. Place the tart shell in the freezer and let it chill while you preheat your oven to 350ºF.

    FIVE. When it’s ready to bake, prick the bottom and sides of the dough with the tines of a fork, then bake until the crust is lightly golden brown, between 20 and 24 minutes. Set aside to cool completely while you make the filling.

     

    FILLING INGREDIENTS

    1/3 cup cool water
    1 Tbsp powdered gelatin
    1¼ cup heavy cream
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla bean)

    FILLING STEPS

    ONE. Mix the cool water with the gelatin in a small bowl, and allow to bloom for at least 5 minutes.

    TWO. In a small saucepan, heat together 1 cup of the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the bloomed gelatin and heat until that too dissolves, about another minutes.

    THREE. Pour the heated cream mixture into a large glass measuring cup or bowl with a spout. Stir in the remaining heavy cream and milk. Carefully pour the cream mixture into the cooled crust, and transfer the whole pie to the fridge. Chill for at least 1 hour, up to overnight, until the panna cotta filling is completely set.

    DECORATION INGREDIENTS

    1 cup heavy whipping cream
    1 Tbsp granulated sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    Chocolate chips/ cookies for decorating

     

    DECORATION STEPS

    ONE. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla together until medium soft peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes.

    TWO. Generously pile the whipped cream onto the center of the pie, and smooth out as desired. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, shavings, or mini cookies as desired.

    YUM! XOXOXOXOXOXO

     

     

     

  • Cheesecake Pudding Pie

    Spring has sprung, ladies and gentlemen!!! At least, I hope it has since I have frantically purchased a new pair of rain boots AND a rain coat (from here and here, respectively if you’re at all interested in my shopping problem), so I say bring on those spring showers!!! Also not for nothing, this new rain coat is made from 25 renewed plastic bottles and I feel great about it. ANYWAY, back to food which is the real reason why we’re all here. This weekend I had the pleasure of doing truly nothing- you know when you realize that you have not one single plan for the weekend and suddenly the possibilities are endless? That was me for the first time in WEEKS so I knew I had to make it count. Aside from sleeping until 11 on Saturday, I took a trip to the garden near my house and wandered around the greenhouses with my sister, and then promptly came home to make this pie.

    Adapted from this recipe from The New York Times and created by Erin McDowell, it starts off its life as a heavenly cheesecake pudding, which is essentially created like a pastry cream, only with a generous amount of cream cheese for that classic cheesecake tang. And, because I can never let well enough alone, I decided to jump a step further and pour the whole thing into a graham cracker pie crust and voila! A pie is made!! This could also probably be classified as a lazy person’s cheesecake, because it doesn’t require the temperamental baking in a water bath or hours of chilling, and in a pinch, you could even use a store bought pre-made graham cracker pie crust. I myself discovered that Honey Maid makes boxes of already crushed graham cracker crumbs, which is really a genius idea, and I hope whoever thought of it gets a promotion.

    I even had some leftover filling which I turned into this baby pudding cup!! (And then promptly devoured)

    This recipe could be embellished in all sorts of ways if that was something you wanted to explore, I think next time I may swirl in some raspberry coulis on top because literally why not, you know? For the time being, I topped it with a handful of fresh berries, and I can confirm that the whole pie was gone by the next day. Gone, yes, but certainly not forgotten. Now go forth, and make your cheesecake dreams come true!!

    But first, here are 5 things to be happy about today!!
    ONE.
    Old computer games.
    TWO.
    Mystery books.
    THREE.
    “Adopt Don’t Shop”.
    FOUR.
    Reusable straws.
    FIVE.
    The tropical gradient of a mango skin.

    MAKES: 1 9-inch pie (plus maybe enough filling leftover for one ramekin of pudding!)
    PREP TIME: 45 minutes
    BAKE TIME: 12 minutes
    CHILL TIME: 1½ – 2 hours

    PIE CRUST INGREDIENTS

    5 Tbsp melted, salted butter
    1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
    2 Tbsp sugar

    CHEESECAKE PUDDING FILLING

    2 1/3 cups whole milk
    1/3 cup heavy cream
    ¼ tsp kosher salt
    ¾ cup white sugar
    ¼ cup cornstarch
    4 egg yolks
    12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
    2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
    Raspberries or other fruit, for decoration

    PIE CRUST STEPS

    ONE. Preheat  your oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, mix together all your crust ingredients until everything is incorporated. The crumbs should be packable and hold together if pinched.

    TWO. Pour the crumbs into a lightly buttered 9-inch pie plate and gently but evenly pack down along the bottom and sides. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the crumbs are toasty. Set aside to cool.


    CHEESECAKE FILLING STEPS

    ONE. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, heavy cream, salt, and a ¼ cup of the white sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

    TWO. In a heat-safe bowl, whisk the remaining ½ cup of sugar plus the cornstarch to get rid of any lumps. Add in the egg yolks and mix until everything is combined and the eggs are thick and pale yellow.

    THREE. Once the milk has come to a simmer, slowly drizzle about 1/3 of it into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that you don’t scramble the eggs. Once the egg mixture is warm to the touch, pour the contents of the bowl into the saucepan with the rest of the warm milk and mix thoroughly.

    FOUR. Heat over medium, whisking constantly, until the mixture gets thick, about 5-6 minutes. At this point, switch to a rubber spatula, scraping the sides of the saucepan as you stir, until large bubbles start to come up to the surface.

    FIVE. Off the heat, stir in the cream cheese and vanilla extract. Push the filling through a sieve to remove any lumps or accidental cooked egg, then pour the filling into your cooled graham cracker crust. Allow to chill in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours before serving. Top with fruit or whipped cream (or both) and enjoy!!!

    XoxoxoxoxoD