Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer Berry Trifle Recipe

Summer Desserts

In a recent Blog I touched on Lemon Curd, and other related products having been created using the herbs and fruit from my garden. Today I have a recipe for you as well as a follow up note regarding the freezing of my lemon curd, not knowing if it would separate or turn to mush upon thawing.  I am happy to report the lemon curd held up very well through the freezing and thawing process and is featured in this recipe, as are my blackberries

Now that the sun is warming the Blackberry vines, it prompts me to begin creating some of my favorite desserts, one of which I will share with you. This recipe is designed for a medium sized Trifle bowl but I have chosen to use personal sized glasses, as demonstrated in the picture, simply because there are only two people in our house and we love leftovers, therefore the personal size size satisfies our needs.

Berry Trifle

½ pint              Blueberries
½ pint              Strawberries
½ pint              Blackberries    (Raspberries are optional)
½                     Lemon, juiced
1/8 cup            Sugar               (plus more if the sauce is too tart)
¾ tsp.              Cornstarch

Lemon Cream:
1/2 pint            Heavy whipping cream, chilled
½ T.                 Sugar
¼ tsp               Vanilla
½ Jar               Lemon curd (approx 6 oz).
½ (or less)      Store bought pound cake cut into ½ inch slices

Place berries in a large bowl and sprinkle with ½ the lemon juice.  Lightly toss.

Combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch and remaining lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and cook just until the berries begin to break down and give up their juices, about 3 minutes. Remove the berries from the heat, set aside and let cool. The mixture will thicken as it cools.

In a clean, chilled, stainless steel bowl, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla to a soft peak.  Put the lemon curd into a second bowl and fold in a small portion of whipped cream to loosen the curd. Fold in the remainder of the whipped cream and continue to fold until the curd and whipped cream are thoroughly blended.

To assemble the trifle, spoon a layer of the lemon cream into individual serving glasses, add a layer of cake, breaking the slices into pieces to fit, then soak the cake with a layer of berries and their juice.  Keep repeating this process until the glass is full, then top with whipped cream, garnish (if you desire) with slices of strawberries, a sprig of mint and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 3 to 4.

Some side notes to consider:

The use of pound cake is an easy way cut corners where time is an important factor. I prefer Sara Lee brand.

As for the berry preparation, occasionally I will cook the berries a bit longer, transfer them to a blender, and blend until all the berries are in semi liquid form, strain to remove the seeds, which will result in a lovely smooth coulee style sauce. This method provides an option to having to deal with a surplus of seeds.

Doubling the recipe is no problem particularly if you are going to serve a group.

Clark Williams
Personal Chef

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Brunch Frittata Recipe - Whole Lotta Frittata

Sunday Morning Brunch

Sunday Morning brunch means something different to every family but ours is a time to review the issues of the past week, give thanks for the blessings of life and clean up the leftovers.

At our house at least, all of the above are in play but the food aspect usually centers on how many ingredients will our frittata hold while confined to a 10” skillet. I have found not only has it become a challenge but somewhat of a game while attempting to clean up the past week’s leftovers.  While prepping all the available ingredients, I often question my judgment as to the practicality of my morning endeavor but somehow, frequently with a few minor adjustments, I manage to squeeze them all into the pan.

For this Frittata I used:
8 oz.     Jimmy Dean hot breakfast sausage
10 oz.  Simply Hash Brown Potatoes
1 cup   Shredded cheddar cheese
6          Large eggs
3           Fresh button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Red and green bell pepper, chopped
4 Tbls   Italian parsley, chopped
2 Tbls   Butter
1 cup   Onions, chopped
             Freshly ground pepper to taste
            Oregano or Italian seasoning to taste. (optional)
8 spears Asparagus
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a skillet sauté crumbled sausage, set aside
In a bowl, whisk eggs until frothy.  Stir in sausage, cheese, 3 T. parsley, pepper, mushroom, onions, bell peppers, Italian seasoning and asparagus. NOTE: prepare the asparagus spears by snapping off the thick end and discarding as they are usually woody and tough. Measure the length of the spears you wish to use for dressing the frittata as shown in the picture, chop the remaining pieces and add to the egg mixture. Set the egg mixture aside.

In a skillet, melt one T. butter over medium heat. Firmly press the hash brown potatoes into the pan to conform to the pan shape and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.  After 3 minutes, check the color and texture of the potatoes. When they are firm enough to flip, shake the pan to release the potatoes so they will easily slide onto a flat surface.  The flat surface can be either a dish or platter large enough to accommodate the potatoes. Carefully return the potatoes to the original skillet making certain the uncooked side of the potatoes is face down (the flip). Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes, cook for 2-3 minutes.  Transfer the skillet to the oven to finish.  Continue to cook until the eggs are set and the potatoes are crisp.

When finished to your satisfaction, slide the frittata onto a large platter, garnish with the remaining parsley, slice and serve. Serves 6-8.

Clark Williams, Personal Chef