blueberry cream tart √
Serves 8 to 10.
Note: From “The Minnesota Homegrown Cookbook” by Tim King and Alice Tanghe (Voyageur Press, $29.95).
• 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 c. powdered sugar, divided
• 2 c. flour
• Pinch of salt
• 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1/2 c. sour cream
• 1 c. water
• 1 c. granulated sugar
• 3 c. fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add 1/2 cup powdered sugar, flour and salt, and mix until just crumbly. Press dough into bottom and sides an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake until slightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, add remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar and sour cream and beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Pour into cooled tart shell, smooth top with a rubber spatula and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 cup water and granulated sugar to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Place blueberries in a strainer and place strainer over a large bowl. Pour sugar water over berries. Then place strainer over sink and pour sugar water over berries a second time. Drain berries completely, then evenly distribute over top of refrigerated tart. Refrigerate.
Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:
Calories 530 Fat 33 g Sodium 153 mg
Carbohydrates 55 g Saturated fat 20 g Calcium 73 mg
Protein 6 g Cholesterol 92 mg Dietary fiber 2 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: ½ fruit, 2 bread/starch, 1 other carb, 6 ½ fat.
minnesota ice √
Note: Ratafia is Alexis Bailly Vineyard’s fortified dessert wine. From “The Minnesota Table” by Shelley N.C. Holl and B.J. Carpenter (Voyageur Press, $25).
• 2 tbsp. Ratafia or other dessert wine (see Note)
• 1 c. prepared ginger tea
• 1 c. apple juice
• 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
• 6 sprigs fresh mint, for garnish
In a medium bowl, combine wine, ginger tea, apple juice and granulated sugar. Pour mixture into a shallow metal or glass dish and freeze for 1 hour.
Stir mixture with a whisk, making sure to scrape sides of dish. Freeze an additional 30 minutes, then whisk again. Continue freezing for half-hour intervals, scraping with a fork until large fluffy ice crystals are formed, about 2 to 3 hours. Scoop into dessert dishes, garnish with mint and serve.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 43 Fat 0 g Sodium 3 mg
Carbohydrates 10 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 5 mg
Protein 0 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 other carb.
asparagus and greens with pesto quenelle √
Note: “Gather a bouquet of asparagus and Belgian endive, garnish it with an honest-to-goodness flower, and this green salad becomes a springtime showstopper — edible proof that we ‘eat’ with our eyes,” writes Lee Svitak Dean in “Come One, Come All: Easy Entertaining With Seasonal Menus” (Minnesota Historical Society Press, $29.95).
• 1 c. firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed
• 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 3 tbsp. olive oil
• 2 tbsp. pine nuts
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1/3 c. olive oil
• 1/2 c. white wine vinegar
• Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
• 36 thin stalks (about 2 to 2 1/2 lbs.) asparagus
• 18 Belgian endive leaves
• 3 c. mixed baby greens
• 6 edible flowers, for garnish
• Pine nuts, for garnish
• Lemon zest, for garnish
To prepare pesto: Using a blender or food processor, purée cilantro, Parmesan, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic into a smooth paste. The finer the paste, the more successful the shaping of the quenelles will be.
To prepare vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil and vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare salad: Using a steamer, steam asparagus until crisp-tender, about 2 to 4 minutes, then immediately plunge into cold water; drain (if preparing in advance, refrigerate cooked asparagus until about an hour before serving, then set it out to reach room temperature).
On each serving plate, fan out 3 Belgian endive leaves and place 2 asparagus stalks in each of the leaves. Add about 1/2 cup baby greens at base of endive on each plate and garnish with an edible flower.
Prepare a quenelle by using two spoons to shape about 1 to 1½ tablespoons pesto into an oval shape. Place the quenelle next to the endive on plate.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette across each plate of asparagus and greens. Top each salad with a sprinkle of pine nuts and some lemon zest and serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 162 Fat 13 g Sodium 92 mg
Carbohydrates 8 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 120 mg
Protein 6 g Cholesterol 3 mg Dietary fiber 5 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, ½ medium-fat meat, 2 fat.
Makes 12 (3-inch) or 24 (2-inch) corncakes.
Note: Use these fragrant cakes as a base for strawberry shortcake, or garnish with rhubarb curd. Author Nancy Silverton suggests using extra-large eggs. From “Pastries from the La Brea Bakery” (Villard Books, $35).
• 3 3/4 c. unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for shaping dough
• 1 3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
• 1 tbsp. plus 1/4 tsp. baking powder
• 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
• 3/4 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
• 1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-in. cubes and frozen
• 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
• 2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. mild-flavored honey, such as clover
• 1/2 c. plus 2 tsp. heavy cream, plus extra for brushing tops of scones
• 24 small tufts of fresh rosemary for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade (or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment), combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, chopped rosemary and brown sugar, and process (or mix) on low until incorporated. Add butter and pulse on and off a few times (or mix on low), until mixture is pale yellow and the consistency of fine meal.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in eggs, honey and cream and whisk together the liquids. Using one hand, draw in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour. On a lightly floured work surface, turn out dough and knead a few times to gather it together into a ball. Roll or pat dough into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Using a 2-inch or 3-inch round cutter, cut out scones, cutting as closely as possible and keeping trimmings intact.
Gather scraps, pat and press the pieces back together and cut out remaining dough. Place scones 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with cream and poke 2 small tufts of rosemary into the center of each (optional).
Bake until slightly browned and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes before transferring scones to a wire rack to cool.