Home Cooking Recipes
home cooking recipes                                            home cooking recipes
Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour


June is off to a berry good start

Isn't it nice that something that looks so delectable, smells so delectable, tastes so delectable, and has so few calories per groan of pleasure, is--unlike chocolate which meets the same criteria--so good for you.

Not only do those globules of gluttons' delight, have all of the above virtues, but also they only need a wash and a removal stems to go right to the table. However, should you grow weary of popping berries into your mouth like popcorn, you can offer them up in other good tasting ways. Of course, in doing so you add calories, but these recipes are worth it.


Unusually Good Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

An ice cream maker is the easiest way to make this recipe and a candy thermometer helps, too.

1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3 strips (3- by 1-inch) strips of fresh lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 lb (3 cups) fresh strawberries, trimmed and quartered
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine cream, zest, and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and discard zest. Whisk eggs with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking. Pour back into saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and thermometer reads 170 F. Do not let it boil. Immediately pour custard through a fine sieve into a metal bowl, then cool to room temperature*, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered at least until cold, about 2 hours, and up to 1 day. While custard is chilling, puree berries with remaining 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice in a blender until smooth, and then force through fine sieve (to remove seeds) into chilled custard. Stir puree into custard. Freeze in ice cream maker, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden. Makes about 5 cups. Note: To cool custard quickly after straining, set bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stir until chilled.


Blueberry Cornbread

This cakelike cornbread with blueberries is easy comfort food. If you don't have masa flour increase the cornmeal to 1 1/3 cups.

2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk (or sour milk*)
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup dehydrated masa flour (see above note)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 F and grease an 8-inch square pan. Beat together eggs, buttermilk and butter. In another bowl mix flour, cornmeal, masa, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture just until evenly moistened. Gently stir in berries. Spread level in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until it tests done. Cool 10 minutes before cutting in 9 squares.


Overnight Blackberry Cream Cake

You begin with an angel food cake that you have baked or purchased. What could be easier?

Plus you can vary the berries, to include any that you have available. This is a do-your-own-thing dessert that travels well to picnics or potlucks.

1 angel food cake, about 8-inches wide
6 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel or orange rind
1 1/2 cups blueberries, or other berries
3/4 cup whipping cream

With a serrated knife, cut off top 3/4-inch of cake horizontally. Lift top off and set aside. Cutting down into, but not through the cake, make a 1/4-inch rim around center and outer edges of cake. Pull cake from center in chunks. Tear cake chunks into 1-inch pieces and place in a bowl. In a pan over medium heat, frequently stir blackberries and granulated sugar until mixture is boiling. Rub through a fine sieve to remove pips. Add grated rind and cool. Pour over cake chunks in bowl and combine with blueberries (saving a few for garnish). Allow the pieces of cake to absorb the blackberry sauce and then pour into angel food shell and replace top of cake. Ice with whipped cream (sweetened to taste and with a bit of almond flavoring, vanilla, or both). Garnish with berries and sprigs of mint. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 8 servings.


Gorgeous Black-Bottom Raspberry Cream Pie

The black-bottom is a layer of delicious chocolate pudding--plus a chocolate cookie crust. The pie must be chilled overnight before the topping is added. If you don't have time to make the filling from scratch, use a mix (no need to tell).

Crust:

1 3/4 cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Filling:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder (preferably Dutch)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
4 oz bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 stick (2 tablespoons) butter

Topping:

3 half pint containers of raspberries
1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Crust: Spray 9-inch diameter glass pie dish with nonstick spray. Blend cookie crumbs, butter and sugar in medium bowl. Press mixture evenly over bottom and up sides (not on rim) of prepared dish. Chill crust 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake crust until set, about 10 minutes; cool. Filling: Combine sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in saucepan; whisk to blend well. Gradually add 1/4 cup milk, whisking until cornstarch dissolves. Whisk in remaining 2 1/2 cups milk, then egg yolks and egg. Stir over medium-high heat until pudding thickens and boils. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and butter; whisk until melted and smooth. Spread pudding over prepared crust. Press plastic wrap onto pudding to cover and chill overnight. Topping: Peel plastic wrap off pie. Cover chocolate layer with fresh raspberries, pointed side up, pressing lightly into chocolate to adhere. Beat cream, sugar and vanilla until peaks form; spread over berries on pie. Arrange remaining berries atop cream. Chill 1 to 4 hours before serving. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Rejoice for it is June, June, June. Everywhere it's June!

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