Thursday, June 27, 2013

Out of Town & Strawberry Rye Galettes

strawberries strawberry day upstate

About a week ago I hopped in a car with two fine ladies and one fine pooch (also a lady) to head upstate to pick strawberries and search for a bit of summer adventure. We fortified ourselves with giant iced coffees and drove about two hours north to a little no-frills farm in the Hudson Valley where we picked berries to our hearts' content, then headed down the road to grab lunch from a burrito trailer. On the drive home we took a detour to pick wildflowers which unexpectedly led us to Bear Mountain where Mazie the dog had her first experience with open water (mixed reviews) and we saw some goslings taking a swim (thumbs up all around). All in all, a banner day.

strawberries
strawberry galettes with rye pastry
strawberries strawberries
strawberry rye galettes

I rode home in the front seat with a half-flat of warm fragrant berries on my lap and I dreamt up all of the ways I wanted to use them, which only took a few days once I got home. I made a few frozen treats (the first one was posted earlier this week), preserved some, and then baked the last pound of them into these little galettes. I usually don't really like strawberries in baked goods because I think they get a bit soggy, but because these tarts were baked without a lid in a nice hot oven the strawberries roasted and caramelized in such a lovely way. And this pastry, this pastry! I used it last year for a few rhubarb treats and I have no idea why I forgot about it until just now because it is such a perfect (and easy to work with) dough to wrap up all kinds of fruit. 

And in case anyone was wondering, Mazie the dog was an excellent road trip companion and hung out patiently in the shade chewing on sticks while we picked berries to our hearts' content.

Strawberry Galettes
1 large rustic tart or 4-6 small ones

1 recipe rye pastry (below)
1 lb strawberries, whole if they are tiny, cut in half if they are small, quarters if they are large
2 Tablespoons sugar, or more to taste
6 Tablespoons strawberry, rhubarb, or apricot jam
1 Tablespoon flour
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

1 egg
4 Tablespoons coarse sugar, for sprinkling

To assemble

1. Divide dough into 4-6 equal pieces. On a floured surface, roll each dough ball into a round, 1/8'' thick. Transfer the rounds to two large, lined sheet pans, a few inches apart. Store in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
2. In a large bowl combine the strawberries, flour, sugar, and lemon zest and juice. Prepare an egg wash by beating an egg in a bowl with a tablespoon of water.
3. Remove the pastry from the fridge and spread each one with about a tablespoon of jam, then divide the fruit evenly between the disks, leaving a 1'' border around the edges. Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling and gently brush the egg wash between the folds to seal. Chill the formed tarts until they are firm, 30-40min.
4. While the tarts are chilling, preheat your oven to 375º. When the tarts are nice and cold, remove them from the fridge, gently brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
5. Bake until the crusts are golden, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 and bake until the juices bubble and ooze and the pastry is a deep golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

Rye Rough Puff Pastry
adapted from Kim Boyce's, Good to the Grain
yield, pastry for 1 large rustic tart 4-6 small ones

I won't lie, the rye pastry takes a bit of work to put together but man is it good. It's my new favorite base for fruit desserts that I plan on using all summer long. Kim Boyce recommends "turing the dough"twice for this recipe, but I wanted a few more flakey layers so I gave it an extra turn. If you are going to use this dough to make a traditional pie, I suggest just doing the two turns.  Once you get the hang of making the dough, I suggest making a double or triple batch so you can have it at the ready for all of your summer pies, tarts, and galettes like these guys.

4.25 ounces rye flour
4.25 ounces all purpose flour
1/8 ounce salt
1/2 ounce sugar
6 ounces cold butter cut into chunks
4 ounces ice water (may need a little less or more than this)
1t apple cider vinegar

1. In a large bowl, mix the flours, salt and sugar together. Add in the butter and quickly rub it into the flour mixture with your fingers. You want the butter to break up into small pieces the size of peas to lima beans.
2. Combine the water and apple cider vinegar in a measuring sup. Make a well in the flour/butter mixture and slowly stream the water into the dough while mixing gently. Mix until the water is evenly distributed and the dough holds together when you squeeze it. It will look dry, and that's okay, just as long as it holds together when you squeeze it. If it is too dry, add a bit more water.
3. Dump the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, gather the wrap tightly around the dough and refrigerate it for at least an hour or overnight.
4. After it has chilled, unwrap the dough and place it onto a lightly floured board. Pat the dough into a rough square, then roll it into an 8'' x 11'' rectangle. The dough will be a bit rough and crumbly and that's okay! With the long side of the dough facing you, gently fold the dough into thirds. Then turn the dough so the seam is at the top and parallel to your body. Repeat this process 3 more times then wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days before using.
If the rolling/turning sounds confusing, here is a great photo tutorial for making rough puff pastry on Food52.  Their method utilizes 6 "turns" of the dough, which isn't necessary for this recipe but it will give you a great idea of what the rolling process looks like.
strawberry picking
strawberries
strawberries bear mountain

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Strawberry Ice Pops Two Ways

strawberry ice pops

I went on a strawberry picking adventure last week and I am going to tell you all about it soon, but in light of the heat wave happening in NYC I thought I should share these super easy ice pops with you right away. This is a slapdash kind of recipe that only takes a few minutes to throw together and because the berries are never heated it truly preserves the fresh flavor of summer's finest. All you have to do is slice up some strawberries and throw them in a blender with some sweetener (any kind you like) and freeze. Then, once you've patiently waited a few hours you'll have the perfect treat to enjoy while sweating out the summer on your stoop or fire escape or back yard if you are really lucky.

More strawberry recipes soon!

Strawberry Vanilla Ice Pops
yield, about 6 depending on the size of your molds

This method would work with any berry that you have laying around so feel free to experiment. The only thing i wouldn't do is put whole pieces of fresh fruit in the pops. It looks pretty, but I find the icy chunks kind of unpleasant to eat.

1 pound strawberries washed and hulled
2-4 Tablespoons sweetener (honey, sugar, maple syrup, or agave) depending on the sweetness of your fruit
juice from 1/2 a lime
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
tiny pinch salt

Slice the strawberries and toss them with the sugar, lime, vanilla, and salt. Let the berries macerate for about 15 minutes then blend the mixture thoroughly. Taste the mixture and adjust the sweetness if necessary. Strain the mixture to remove the seeds if you like, I didn't bother. Pour into your ice pop molds and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Buttermilk Variation

Add 1/3 cup buttermilk to the blended strawberry mixture then freeze as desired. Alternately, add buttermilk to half of the strawberry mixture and make striped ice pops like these.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Roasted Strawberry and Mascarpone Ice Cream

roasted strawberry and mascarpone ice cream-1

Phew! It has been a wild couple of weeks over here and I am just coming up for breath. Highlights include: a few days on my first TV set, a couple of trips out of town, shooting for some new clients (!), a trip to the impound lot (doh!), and some of spring's first (and finest) berries. It seems like it is shaping up to be a great year for strawberries around these parts. I only say so because I found quarts of them for a very reasonable price at the Greenmarket last week. I have tentative plans for a strawberry picking adventure in the next few days, which means you should keep your eyes peeled for lots and lots of strawberry recipes around these parts. Have a great weekend everyone, eat some ice cream if you can swing it!

Roasted Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream
adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
yield about 1 quart
I've made quite a few of Jeni's ice creams and they have all been killer. The recipe is a bit complicated and you will have to dirty quite a few dishes to put it together, but don't let that hold you back. You will be rewarded with smooth, creamy ice cream packed full of strawberry flavor.

For the Roasted Strawberries

1 pint strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375º

Stem and slice the strawberries, then combine them with the sugar and lemon juice in an 8'' baking pan. Roast for 8-10 minutes or until the strawberries are just softened and releasing their juices. Let the berries cool for a few minutes, then puree them in a blender or food processor. Measure 1/2 cup of puree that will be used in the ice cream and reserve the rest for another use.

For the Ice Cream Base

1 1/2 cups  plus 2 Tablespoons whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons corn starch or tapioca starch
1/4 cup buttermilk
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1. Mix the 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. In a separate bowl, whisk the mascarpone and salt until smooth.
2. Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan (at least 4 quarts). Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over medium high heat and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
3. Bring the mixture back to a boil and cook, stirring constantly until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
4. Gradually whisk the hot mixture into the mascarpone and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in the reserved strawberry puree and buttermilk. Chill the mixture over an ice bath (or in the refrigerator for a few hours) until completely cold.
5. Pour the base into the canister and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Spoon the mixture into a storage container and dollop a few tablespoons of the reserved roasted blueberry puree on top. Gently swirl it into the base, cover the container with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.