This is a traditional English dessert that apparently was invented at Eaton, the famous prep school. The recipe came from Nigella’s book, Nigella Express. It sounds heavy, but it’s actually very light and refreshing. The combination of the tart berries, soft cream, and crispy meringue is irresistible. A perfect summer dessert using local strawberries.
- 4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced (local Oregon berries are in!)
- 2 t. pomegranate juice
- 2 t. sugar
- 2 C. whipped cream
- 10 vanilla meringue cookies (mine were Trader Joe’s, about two inches across. If you use mini meringues I would double the number.)
Toss the strawberries in a bowl with the sugar and the pomegranate juice. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter for a few hours to macerate. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, take out and set aside about 1 C. of the strawberries. Toss the rest of the berries with the cream and crumble in the meringues. You want some bigger chunks and some pebble sized crumbs. Crumble them right over the bowl, so the whipped cream catches all the meringue dust. Fold it all together and divide among six bowls. Top with a little more berries. Eat right away- you want the meringue chunks to be a crispy foil to the soft cream. I plan to make this dessert again and again using different seasonal berries as they come to the market.
Posted in Dessert
Tagged british food, Dessert, eaton mess, english food, farmers market, fool, local, Nigella, nigella lawson, strawberries, strawberry, strawberry dessert
For one Rhubarb Mojito
- 2 oz. white rum
- 1 oz. rhubarb simple syrup (recipe below)
- 4-5 fresh mint leaves
- 2 oz. club soda
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the rum and simple syrup. Place the mint leaves and a couple of ice cubes into a glass and muddle – or crush until the mint is bruised and broken down into small pieces. Combine the muddled mint with the ice, rum, and rhubarb syrup and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass and top with the club soda. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf.
Rhubarb Simple Syrup
- 1 C. sugar
- 1 C. water
- 1 stalk of rhubarb, sliced
Combine the sugar, water, and rhubarb in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute and set aside to steep for twenty to thirty minutes. Strain through a sieve, pressing on the solids. Discard the solids or eat them (they are yummy).
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I love to make mini versions of things, especially desserts. It’s my way of pretending that desserts aren’t that bad for me. If they’re mini then they must be ok! I made some rhubarb sauce (think applesauce) with fresh rhubarb from the farmer’s market and decided to put it to good use. If you’re not a fan of rhubarb try my mini lemon cheesecakes instead! Makes 20.
- 4-5 stalks of rhubarb, sliced
- 1 C. sugar
- 1 C. water
- 1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
- 2 T. sugar
- 1/2 C. melted butter
- 2– 8oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
- 1 C. sugar
- 2 t. lemon zest
- 1/2 C. sour cream
- 2 t. vanilla
- 4 egg yolks
First make the rhubarb sauce. Stir together the sliced rhubarb, sugar, and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the rhubarb is completely broken down and the liquid has evaporated. It should be the consistency of chunky applesauce when it’s done. Set aside and chill until cold. This can be made ahead up to one week and stored in the fridge in an airtight container. It can also be frozen and thawed when you want a little ruby-hued love in your life.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the crust. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 2 T. sugar in a bowl. Line two muffin tins with 20 cupcake papers. Distribute the crumbs equally among the papers. Use your fingers to press the crumbs into the bottom of the cups. Bake the cups for about 7-9 minutes, or until the crust begins to brown. Meanwhile make the filling. Blend together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, sour cream, and egg yolks until very smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cups. Place a tablespoon of rhubarb sauce on top of each cheesecake and use a toothpick to swirl the sauce into the cheesecake batter.
This amount of filling filled twenty cups about 3/4 full. It’s ok if the crusts are still hot, it’s all going right back into the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake the cheesecakes for about 25-30 minutes, or until set. If you gently touch your finger to the top and it’s no longer wet, then they are done. When cool, remove from the pan and chill for at least an hour, until cold. The cheesecakes will sink a bit and create a nice little cradle for the rhubarb topping. Spoon a few tablespoons of rhubarb sauce onto each cooled cheesecake. Chill and serve.
These happened by accident. Some accidents are happy. I wanted to make homemade cinnamon rolls for brunch the next morning. I started to proof the yeast in warm water….no foam. When you add yeast to warm water and a pinch of sugar, the yeast wakes up and comes to life, creating a beer-like foam. I had no foam. I looked at the jar of yeast and discovered that it had expired. It was too late to go to the store and I wasn’t sure if I could change the menu, so I started rooting around in the freezer and found a bag of Rhodes frozen dinner rolls. I usually use them to make Cabbage Rolls (recipe to come soon) but I thought, maybe these will work. They did! Hooray, delicious homemade cinnamon rolls – almost as much work as making them from scratch so you can still feel like you are a bad-ass brunch maker. If I ever decide to become a super hero that might be my title. B.A.B.M.? Plan on starting these the night before.
- 1 package of Rhodes frozen dinner rolls- they come in a bag of about thirty.
- 2 sticks of salted butter, softened and divided.
- 1/2 C. sugar
- 3 T. cinnamon
- flour for dusting
- 1 1/4 C. powdered sugar
- 3 T. heavy cream
- 1 t. vanilla
In the evening before you want to serve these, take the rolls out of the freezer and place them into a large, greased bowl. Just pile them in. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the frozen rolls loosely. Let the bowl sit on the counter. It takes about 6-8 hours for the rolls to thaw and rise. In the morning, punch the dough down and form it into one big ball. Knead it a few times to get most of the air out. The dough will be very elastic. Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan or dish. Dust a cutting board with a bit of flour and roll the dough out into a big rectangle. This dough will keep springing back at you, don’t give up. Keep rolling till you get to about 11 x 17 inches. Spread 1 1/2 C. of the softened butter onto the dough. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle it all over the rectangle of dough.
Roll the dough into a 17 inch log, lengthwise and place the seam-side down on the board. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into round slices about 2 inches thick. Place each roll into the buttered pan. It’s ok, even preferable if they touch a bit. You should be able to get about 12-14 rolls from this recipe. The rolls need to rise again. I found the fastest way to do this is in the oven with just the light turned on. Cover them loosely with plastic and set them into the oven to rise for about an hour. Take them out of the oven. Preheat it to 350 and bake the cinnamon rolls for about 20-25 minutes. They should be just golden and if you check the center, the dough will be cooked through, but still soft. Let the pan sit on the counter for a few minutes to cool a bit. Meanwhile make the glaze. Melt the remaining 4 T. of butter in a bowl. Add the powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Pour the glaze over the warm rolls.
These are light and elegant and perfect for a Mother’s Day tea party or luncheon. I wanted to make egg salad sandwiches that tasted like a deviled egg- if you don’t want to puree, feel free to just mash with a fork. The wrap and chill step is important because it helps hold everything together and gives you those picture-perfect Martha slices. Makes 24.
- Seven eggs, hard-boiled and peeled.
- 1 1/2 T. Dijon mustard
- 2 t. lemon juice
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/4 t. pepper, finely ground
- 1/4 C. mayonnaise
- 1/4 C. champagne or dry sparkling white wine
- 1/8 C. parsley or chives, optional
- 6 slices of good quality white sandwich bread
Chop the eggs into fourths and toss them into the food processor with all the other ingredients except the bread. Process until smooth. Taste for seasoning. If it’s too thick for spreading, add a touch more champagne. To assemble, place three slices of bread on a cutting board and divide the egg mixture evenly among the three slices. Smooth it out and top it with the other three pieces of bread so you have three large sandwiches. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour or more. Just before serving, use a serrated bread knife to trim the crusts from all sides and discard. Use a sawing motion so the filling doesn’t get squeezed out. Cut each sandwich into four equal rectangles. Cut each 4th into triangles. This will give you 24 dainty, two-bite finger sandwiches. Cutting them just before serving keeps them nice and fresh without allowing the bread to get crusty.
Posted in Drinks and Cocktails, Holidays and Special Occasions
Tagged brunch, champagne deviled egg sandwiches, deviled eggs, egg salad, finger sandwiches, ladies, luncheon, mother's day, tea party, tea sandwiches