Congratulations to Prince William and Duchess Kate on the birth of their baby boy. In their honor, I’d like to make something British. Berries are plentiful right now and it’s still too hot to bake, so how about a Summer Berry Pudding aka English Summer Pudding, which requires no baking.
The basic concept for Summer Berry Pudding is pretty straightforward. The traditional British version calls for fresh black currants and other berries sweetened with sugar then poured over sliced white bread in a bowl. The mixture is refrigerated and then unmolded to serve. It’s kind of like a lazy shortcake that does nothing but sit around and soak up juices. I know some guys like this. But say no more.
At our newspaper office we celebrate birthdays in a low key way. Someone will circulate a humorous card, and someone else will either bake a cake or a pie or buy an ice cream cake or cookies. Nothing fancy, just enough to let the Birthday Guy or Gal know we think they’re special.
I’ve seriously cut back on sugar, so my co-workers surprised me with a lovely fresh fruit platter. Perfect.
For my editor’s birthday, I was in a baking mood and decided to make Red Velvet Cupcakes. Chosen for no particular reason, just for the fun factor. Read more…
With strawberry season in full bloom, I was fortunate to visit a local farm recently and pick berries to my heart’s content.
I used some of the berries for a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and Strawberry Sauce for Lemon Budino. Because they’re so perishable, I put the remaining berries on a baking sheet, froze them individually, and bagged them for future use.
With the weather so hot and muggy, I decided to use some of the frozen berries to make Instant Strawberry Ice Cream. As its name implies, this is a quick recipe. No ice cream maker is required, all the ingredients are just whipped up fast in a food processor and eaten immediately. My favorite version has no added sugar, so it’s a guilt-free pleasure too. Read more…
With strawberry season in full bloom in Connecticut and fresh rhubarb still hanging on, a little voice inside me was saying, “Make Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.” So I listened.
My father-in-law is a big fan of rhubarb, so it seemed like the perfect thing to make for our Father’s Day cookout.
There are no bells and whistles in my recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Just fresh fruit, sugar, a small touch of orange zest, tossed together and baked in a homemade pie crust.
Oh yes, and there’s also tapioca in it. That’s my secret, if you can call it that.
I use Minute Tapioca for the thickening agent rather than flour or cornstarch. For years, I used a couple tablespoons of flour to thicken the pie filling. But I noticed the flour gave the filling a cloudy, sometimes muddy look. Then I tried cornstarch and found it was hard to gauge how much was needed. Sometimes the pie didn’t thicken and was runny.
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