Strawberry Semifreddo

I almost always have ice cream on my mind. If it’s cold out, ice cream. If it’s stormy out, ice cream. Hot out, definitely ice cream. There’s something about the rich, smooth texture of ice cream that is refreshing no matter what the temperature is. Luckily, though, it’s summer and there’s no need to justify craving a cool treat. As the heat has been ramping up, I’ve even been considering investing in an ice cream maker. A dangerous purchase? Probably. But how could I resist being able to make frozen treats any time I want…. and in any flavor I want!?

*Spoiler alert* My will power sometimes surprises me and is stronger than I let on…

I didn’t buy the ice cream machine.

BUT, I do have an amazing semifreddo recipe to share with you.

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Semifreddo is an Italian world that translates to half cold and, unlike ice cream, is made with whipped cream; ice cream, on the other hand, comes together by churning air into the base mixture. I like to think of semifreddo as the dessert love child of ice cream, frozen yogurt, and mousse. It’s light, fluffy, smooth, and glides down your tongue. This particular recipe is layered with juicy strawberries that provide texture and sweetness. I wasn’t able to track down sesame seeds for the topping, so I opted to leave them off. If you don’t any have luck either, you could also substitute toasted almonds or pistachios or sprinkles!

For the full recipe and step by step instructions, venture over to Bon Appetit.

All-the-Berries-Berry Pie

Some days just call for pie. They really do.

The morning was slightly overcast, and Mother Nature was starting to hint that fall is coming. So naturally with the grey clouds and cooler temperatures, I woke up craving pie. What, that’s never happened to you? Well, morning pie cravings happen to me more than I’d like to admit, but rarely do I give in to them. This time, however, I couldn’t resist. It was just one of those days that called for pie. I wanted the comfort of flaky crust, sweet berries, and fluffy whipped cream paired with a warm cup of coffee while I curled up in my reading chair. Now you see where I’m going with this. Sounds pretty good, right? I know. That’s why I made pie.

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You may have heard of berry pie or even a triple berry pie, but get ready, this pie has ALL the berries in it. Okay, not literally all of them, but it does have four different types: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. It’s like one big berry dance party in your mouth.

And for the crust, oh man, this recipe delivers 100% flaky, buttery, golden goodness. I’m a pretty harsh critic when it comes to crust, but will definitely bookmark this to use for future pie endeavors.

Finally, top your pie with homemade whipped cream and voila, pie perfection. Enjoy!Pie_good

Pie Crust
2 and ½ cups all purpose flour
1 and ¼ teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cubed
¾ cup vegetable shortening, chilled
½ – ⅔ cups ice water
1 egg, beaten (for brushing the crust)

Berry Filling
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2 cups strawberries, halved (fresh or frozen)
2 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen, I used frozen blackberries, blueberries, raspberries)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Directions
Begin by preparing your pie dough at least 1 hour before you plan on baking your pie; the dough needs time to chill. You can find step by step instructions here at Sally’s Baking Addiction.

After the dough has chilled for nearly an hour, you can prepare the filling. To make the berry filling, first mix sugar and cornstarch together in a medium bowl; set aside 1 tablespoon of this mixture (it will later be sprinkled on the pie dough). Next, add in berries and cinnamon then stir until well combined. Let the berry mixture sit for 10-15 minutes.

While the berry mixture rests, preheat the oven to 375ºF and then roll out your pie dough. Remove one of the dough disks from the fridge and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to form a 12-inch circle (mine was a little closer to 14-inches; just make sure the rolled dough will cover the bottom and sides of the pan. You will want a little bit of excess hanging over the sides which will be helpful when connecting the lattice pieces). To easily transfer the dough to the bottom of the pie pan, roll the dough around the rolling pin and then unroll into the pie pan. Once transferred, gently press the dough into the corners of the pan. Next sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of cornstarch and sugar on top of the rolled out dough; this will help prevent the bottom of the pie from becoming soggy. Next pour berry filling into pie pan. Finish your pie by rolling out the second dough disk into a 12-14 inch circle and then cut into 1 inch strips to be used as the lattice. For further detailed instructions on preparing your lattice top, you can check out this overview.

Once you’ve finished your lattice, brush the dough with egg and then sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes until edges are golden brown, then cover edges with foil and continue baking for an additional 20-30 minutes until the center is bubbly and has thickened.

To make the whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream to a chilled mixing bowl. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks are about to form then add in sugar and vanilla. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form; be careful not to over-whip or the cream will become too thick and lumpy.

Baked Doughnuts with Strawberry Rhubarb Glaze

Doughnuts and I? Oh, ya. We go way back. I guess you could call us childhood friends. Growing up, doughnuts were my family’s post-church, Sunday morning treat. I especially loved going to the store to help pick out which doughnuts we’d bring home. I’m not sure if it was a premature sugar rush or simply the flood of bright colors and endless options that added to the excitement; either way, I was one happy camper. I mean, it’s every kid’s dream to basically eat sugar for breakfast, right?

Confession: it’s still my dream, I just pair it with coffee to make it seem acceptable.

This leads us to today’s tasty treats, baked doughnuts with strawberry rhubarb glaze sprinkled with poppy seeds.

doughnutsWhile walking through the store the other day, stalks of rhubarb caught my eye. I haven’t experimented very much with this vegetable, but it seemed to be calling to me. Buy me! Buy me! I couldn’t resist their call, and my mind quickly started running through potential baking ideas. I came across this recipe from Adventures in Cooking and knew it would be a winner. The glaze balances sweet and tangy and complements the subtle flavors of the dough perfectly. Since I only had a mini doughnut pan (turns out regular ones are hard to find!), I decided to alter the dough recipe for one that would cook better in the pans and also be more cake like. The result was exactly what I was looking for…. breakfast bliss, not to mention they’re mini and adorable. Enjoy!
Mini Doughnuts
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg + 2 egg yolks
½ buttermilk
 

Strawberry Rhubarb Glaze
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup strawberries, cut in halves
½ cup chopped rhubarb
¼ cup cream
2 heaping tablespoons white chocolate
¾ cup confectioners sugar
 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and spray mini-doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Prep the dry ingredients by whisking together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then, with the mixer on low speed, beat in the egg and yolks one at a time. Once combined, alternately add in the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  4. Fill a pastry bag (or a ziplock bag with one corner cut off) with the batter and fill the doughnut pans about halfway full. You can experiment with the filling ratio depending on how plump you want the doughnuts to be, but the ideal amount is about 1 ½ teaspoons.
  5. Place pans in the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes until the doughnuts are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Once the doughnuts are done baking, you can prepare the glaze. You’ll need to bake the strawberry and rhubarb so don’t turn off your oven just yet!
  7. The complete glaze recipe and helpful step by step instructions can be found on Adventures in Cooking’s website
  8. Once doughnuts have cooled and the glaze is complete, dip doughnuts in the glaze and then sprinkle with poppy seeds