From cakes to tarts to, yes, boobies, these desserts show the early bounty of summer – Daily Bulletin – Low Calorie Diets Tips

Scoop it down and enjoy the lively taste of early summer fruit paired with sweet cake, whipped cream or custard. June brings fruits that call for desserts, treats destined to capitalize on the bounty of the orchard, bush or plot.

Three delicious options follow: a tart that highlights apricots and custard, an English-style “fool” that uses blueberries in an inviting whipped cream mixture, and chunks of rhubarb presented in a three-layer, upside-down cake.

Some readers may be wondering if rhubarb is in the mix. Although botanically a vegetable, rhubarb was reclassified as a fruit by the US Customs Court in 1947. And it’s logical to consider it a fruit since it’s mainly used in baked goods.

Here are some tips for buying and storing early summer fruit.

Apricots: Available from May to July (sometimes August); Buy plump cribs that are fragrant and a little firm but not hard (they should be close to getting soft but not soggy). Avoid greenish or bruised fruit. When ripe, wash and eat as soon as possible. Ripe fruit can be stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the fresh food drawer of the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If immature, ripen by storing them in loosely sealed paper bags at room temperature away from heat or direct sunlight for 2 to 3 days.

Blueberries: Choose colorful, plump berries without mold, soft spots, or discoloration. If packed, check that the berries move freely when the container is tipped; If they stick together, they’re probably moldy. Refrigerate (unwashed) in one layer on a paper towel and discard moldy up to 7 days.

Rhubarb: The color is cosmetic. The red hue is not necessarily a sign of maturity. The color comes from pigments that vary depending on the variety and growing conditions. For the following cake recipe, it is nicer if bright red stems are used, but green ones work in a pinch. To keep the stems crisp, loosely wrap a bunch of stems in aluminum foil and refrigerate. It stays crispy for up to 2 weeks.

Apricot Pudding Tart

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 baked 9 1/2 inch pie shell; see chef’s notes

About 5 ripe apricots (13 ounces), pitted

1 cup sugar

2 large egg yolks

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

1/4 cup slivered almonds

Chef’s Notes: To save time, use store-bought pie crusts like Pillsbury Pie Crusts (15-ounce package). The pack contains 2 round sheets of dough. Press 1 into a 9 1/2-inch removable bottom tart pan and fold over the edge to reinforce the sides with a double layer of dough. When it appears crispy, cut a wedge from the second sheet of dough in the wrapper and secure it in the required spot, pressing to seal. Or make the pie crust from scratch. To bake, cover the dough with wax paper or parchment paper; Add pie weights or uncooked beans or rice. Bake in 350 degree oven 15 minutes. Remove paper and weights. Bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown.

PROCEEDINGS

1. Set the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the baked pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet; put aside.

2. Cut apricots into wedges about 3/4 inch thick; arrange in the tart shell.

3. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, egg yolks and heavy cream. Whisk until combined. Stir in flour and salt. Pour the mixture carefully over the apricots. Scatter almonds on top.

4. Bake until pudding is almost completely set, about 35 to 40 minutes. It is best to serve slightly warm or at room temperature on the day of baking.

Source: “Four Star Desserts” by Emily Luchetti (Harper Collins, $32.50)

In cooking jargon, a “fool” is a simple dessert made with fruit and whipped cream, like the blueberry concoction shown here. (Photo by Cathy Thomas)

Blueberry Fool

When it comes to food titles, a “fool” is a simple dessert that showcases fruit and whipped cream. Why is a fool called? It is thought to derive from the French word fouler, meaning to press or mash.

It comes together quickly and can be made 3 hours ahead of time and refrigerated. Other fruits are often fooled, but blueberries are among my favorites. I like to serve it alongside crunchy biscuits for a texture contrast and, well, biscuit flavor.

Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and picked to remove stems

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon of granulated sugar

2 tablespoons of water

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To serve: crunchy biscuits

PROCEEDINGS

1. In a small non-reactive saucepan, combine berries, juice, sugar, and water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the blueberries begin to break down and the juices simmer and thicken slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the stove and place in a small bowl. Place the bowl in a large bowl of ice water, stirring the mixture occasionally until cool.

2. In bowl of electric mixer, combine cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 cup of blueberry mixture into the whipped cream mixture. Divide the mixture into 4 dessert bowls. Spoon over the remaining blueberry mixture. Refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Serve chilled and pass biscuits at the table, or place each dessert bowl on a plate and place a biscuit or two next to each serving.

Source: “What to Have for Dinner” by Martha Stewart Living (Clackson Potter, $20)

Rhubarb may not technically be a fruit, but its sweet and sour notes are ideal for a dessert like this upside-down cake.  (Photo by Cathy Thomas)
Rhubarb may not technically be a fruit, but its sweet and sour notes are ideal for a dessert like this upside-down cake. (Photo by Cathy Thomas)

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Rhubarb is a late spring and early summer vegetable that often masquerades as a fruit in savory sweet and sour desserts. Most years, rhubarb disappears from the market in early July. So if you want to bake this delicious cake, hurry up to buy the fresh rhubarb. My grocery store has a large produce section and stores them in a pretty red pile next to the lettuce. I also find it at farmers markets.

This delicious cake has three layers and once baked and partially cooled it is flipped to reveal the rhubarb layer. Underneath the rhubarb is a layer of butter cake and a layer of crunchy crumble made from flaked almonds, butter, flour and sugar, and a pinch of salt.

The recipe calls for unsalted butter. If substituting salted butter, omit the salt.

Yield: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

Softened butter and parchment paper to prepare the baking dish

sprinkles:

1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon salt

Rhubarb:

3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 pound fresh rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch wide slices crosswise

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cake:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled

1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom; see chef’s notes

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of currant jelly or cherry jelly

Chef’s Notes: Ground cardamom tastes delicious in this cake, but I have to warn you it can get expensive. I recently bought it at my local supermarket and a 1.9 ounce jar was $17. It is cheaper in ethnic shops. For me it was worth the price because I cook a lot of oriental dishes and chai drinks as well as curries. For a cheaper substitute, use 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

PROCEEDINGS

1. Set the oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch rectangular baking pan with butter, line the bottom with parchment paper, and grease the parchment.

2, Streusel: In a medium bowl, stir together all the ingredients until well combined. Put aside.

3. Rhubarb: Whisk together the flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the rhubarb and toss well. Drizzle with melted butter and fold in. Pour into the prepared pan. Press the rhubarb slices into the bottom of the pan, being careful not to leave large gaps – this may require some rearranging and there may be pieces that won’t fit in a single layer.

4. Cake: Melt 6 tablespoons of butter and let cool. Whisk together the flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; put aside. In a large bowl of electric mixer, whisk together the sugar and eggs and beat on medium speed until combined, about 45 seconds. Add cooled melted butter and beat on medium speed until combined. Add sour cream, zest, juice and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour mixture and beat just until combined. Pour evenly over the rhubarb in the pan. Crumble the crumble with your hands and sprinkle evenly over the dough. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.

5. Place the pan on the wire rack and cook for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to fluff up the cake, then invert onto a serving platter. Carefully remove parchment paper. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Microwave jelly in a small bowl until runny, about 20 seconds. Using a pastry brush, gently dab the jelly on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source: Cook’s Illustrated Magazine

Question about cooking? Contact Cathy Thomas at cathythomascooks@gmail. com

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