Summer

Buttermilk Pie Dough by Madeline Chen

by Judy Kim

Buttermilk Pie Dough Judy Kim

Buttermilk Pie Dough

Yield: Two 8 to 10-inch single-crust pies or one double-crust pie

This is an easy and forgiving recipe for a tender and flaky crust. I also developed it to make more dough than your average double crust pie recipe. Which is very handy if you’re making a lattice or decorative pie.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, additional for rolling

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoon sugar

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted European style butter, cut into ½-inch cubes and chilled

1/2 cup chilled buttermilk

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large deep mixing bowl combine flour, salt, and sugar. Bring pre-cut butter to room temperature for a few minutes and add all at once into flour mixture. Toss until each piece of butter is coated. Using your hands, break butter into the flour by pressing it between your index finger and thumbs while using a slow snapping or sliding motion. It will create large flattened shards of butter covered in flour. Rotate through all the pieces of butter until they have all been fully flattened out and well coated. There should not be any large pieces of butter left and the mixture should look shaggy at this stage.

  2. Using your hands, level the flour mixture and create a slight well in the center. For even distribution use a pour spout liquid measure to drizzle small amounts of chilled buttermilk all over the center of the flour. Using your hands toss mixture from the side to the top in order to keep liquid away from your hands and from touching the bowl; buttermilk should be incorporated rather than all over your hands or creating wet spots on the bowl. Wait until buttermilk is fully absorbed before each addition. Keep mixing with your hands and eventually squeeze the mixture together in your fist to test the consistency, it should just stick together.

  3. Spread a light dusting of bench flour on a clean surface and knead the dough 5 to 7 turns until it forms a ball. The dough will be slightly wet so add flour as needed to prevent sticking. Don’t be afraid to knead the dough until it’s smooth and all the loose bits are incorporated. Lightly coat the dough all over with flour. Cut the dough in two pieces, about 1/3 and 2/3 ratio. Place cut side down onto plastic wrap; tightly wrap and form the smaller piece into a flattened round about 1-inch thick, ideal for the base of your pie. Form the larger piece into a flattened rectangle also 1-inch thick. Sometimes I even cut the dough into equal 1/3 pieces, it’s often easier to work with smaller pieces and keep other pieces in the refrigerator. Chill for one hour to rest, at minimum 20 minutes. Bring dough to room temperature for a few minutes before rolling. I like to soften the edges of the dough while it’s still wrapped before rolling to prevent cracking.

  4. Dust surface and rolling pin with bench flour. This dough is well hydrated, so no need to be worried about adding bench flour, use when needed. Roll smaller round into a circle between 1/8 to ¼-inch thickness. Roll from the center outwards and lighten pressure of the rolling pin before you reach the edge, this keeps the thickness even. Slightly turn pastry after each roll to prevent sticking and add bench flour when needed. When the pastry begins to flatten out, concentrate the rolling pin movement in an upward and circular motion mimicking the curve of the dough, again lightening pressure before reaching the edge, this helps keep it round. When dough is larger than the size of your pie dish, gently fold into quarters and place inside the pie dish. Ensure it is well centered and nestled into the corners without stretching to prevent shrinkage while baking. Using your dominant hand, take the flat part of your upper index finger and gently press the dough into the base corners of the pie dish, while the other hand gently lifts each edge of dough to ensure it is not being stretched.

  5. For a classic crimp, trim dough ½-inch past the rim, reserving leftover pieces of dough. Fold under and crimp using the thumb of your dominant hand while pushing into the index finger and thumb of your other hand forming a subtle v-shape. Place pie dish and dough trimmings on rimmed sheet pan, and chill in refrigerator while you roll your second piece of dough into a rectangle. Use dough to make a dough crust, long strips for a lattice or use pie cutters to create embellishment pieces. Leftover trimmings from the base crust can be rolled out to be used with a pie cutter.

 

Pro Tip: Make a double batch of pie dough and label the plastic wrap (I prefer this brand as it is the stickiest and has a convenient slide for cutting) with the date for future use. You'll make your next pie in half the time. Keep dough tightly wrapped up to 5 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight.

Rustic Pie Dough by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Rustic Pie Dough

Yield: Two 8 to 10-inch single-crust pies or one double-crust pie

This is a no-fuss dough recipe made without a food processor or pastry cutter. Living proof that pastry can be made on a hot Summer day but still be delicious and flaky. I made this on a trip to Charleston, SC in August, so you can imagine the high humidity in an already hot kitchen. Needless to say, it was not an ideal situation for baking. Since I was in the South, the use of lard just seemed apropos and I paired it with my favorite high butterfat European butter. Most likely the reason this rustic thrown together dough tastes so delicate despite the thrown together process.

I would suggest using this pastry for simple galettes or tarts. If you're looking for pastry to make a decorative pie, use my Vodka Pie Crust or Vodka Pâte Brisée Pie Crust


INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, additional for rolling

1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen Salt

12 tablespoons unsalted European style butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/2-inch cubes, I use Vermont Creamery European Cultured Butter with 86% butterfat

1/4 cup lard (or shortening)

1/4 cup cold water

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine flour and sea salt. Add butter and break butter into the flour by pressing the butter between your index finger and thumbs using a slow snapping motion. It will create large chards of butter. Rotate through all the pieces of butter until they have all been flattened out and coated in flour to avoid clumps. Add the lard and continue to mix with your hands. Work quickly to prevent the butter from melting from the warmth of your hands. The mixture should look slightly lumpy.

  2. Add 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time and combine until the dough comes together. I used 1/4 cup of cold water. Chilled water using ice cubes is the most ideal, but cold filtered tap water is fine.

  3. Spread a thin dusting of bench flour and knead the dough just until it forms a ball. Avoid using too much bench flour and over kneading or the pastry will get tough. Cut the dough in half and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and form into a round or rectangle, based on your final desired shape. Chill in the fridge until ready for use. Bring to room temperature for a few minutes before rolling.

Note: European butter is different than regular butter, it has a high level of butterfat and will soften very easily. I typically keep this butter in the freezer until I'm ready to use it. At minimum keep it in the fridge. 

Pro Tip: Make a double batch of pie dough and label the plastic wrap with the date for a future use. You'll make your next pie in half the time. Freeze dough up to 3 months.

Plum Tomato and Gruyère Tart by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Plum Tomato and Gruyère Tart

Yield: 1 (9.5-inch) Tart

This is a tart that you will want to make multiples of. It is great as an appetizer or a light lunch served with a green salad. I use the step sister to the popular heirloom tomato variety, the plum tomato. While heirloom tomatoes are beautiful due to their interesting shapes and colors, plum tomatoes are equally great during peak season and more often found off-season.

INGREDIENTS

Single crust Buttermilk Pie Dough

All-purpose flour, for rolling

1 ½ pounds plum tomatoes (about 5 to 6), sliced thinly, about ¼-inch rounds

1 teaspoon kosher salt  

6 ounces freshly grated gruyere cheese

1 large garlic clove, finely grated

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Freshly ground black pepper

1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Fresh basil, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the double pie crust recipe, which can be made in advance, save the other half for later or make 2 tomato tarts. If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Let pie dough come to room temperature, about 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out round disk to ¼-inch thickness. Keep dough moving and apply just enough flour to prevent it from sticking. Gently fold into quarters and transfer onto 10-inch tart pan. Carefully push the pastry into the corners and sides of the tart pan using the flat side of your index finger while avoiding stretching the dough. Use rolling pin to trim excess pastry, transfer excess to refrigerator for an optional decorative design.

  2. Lay sliced tomatoes in a single layer on a prepared half sheet pan with paper towels, season with salt; set aside to drain excess water, about 10 minutes. Blot top of tomatoes just before using.

  3. Place oven rack in middle with Baking Steel or a pizza stone and preheat oven to 400°F.

  4. In a medium bowl, combine cheese, garlic, thyme and ½ teaspoon black pepper; spread cheese mixture evenly inside the tart shell. Place tomatoes in an overlapping design until the surface is covered.

  5. Place the tart on a rimmed sheet pan and just before baking, lightly brush pastry with egg wash. Cover only the crust loosely with foil and bake directly on the Baking Steel or pizza stone. Bake for 10 minutes and remove the foil; continue baking until tomatoes are tender and crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

  6. Transfer to a wire cooling rack for 15 minutes. Finish with drizzle of olive oil, cracked black pepper and chopped or torn fresh basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

CRUST OPTIONS: 

  • Leave crust plain, place in freezer until ready to use.

  • Using a butter knife, score edge of pastry on a diagonal all the way around. Place in freezer for 15 minutes or until ready to use.

  • Before freezing the tart pan, flatten the top rim of the pastry by pushing your thumb and index finger around the edges; chill in freezer. Roll chilled excess pastry to 1/8-inch thickness, cover both sides generously with flour and cut with pie cutters in various leaf shapes. Place leaves in a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan sprinkled with flour. Chill until frozen. Apply frozen pastry leaf cut outs with egg wash; partially cover the edge in a loose pattern of leaves or create a full wreath crown over the entire circumference. Place in freezer until ready to use.

Heirloom Tomato Tart with Crispy Breadcrumbs by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Heirloom Tomato Tart with Crispy Breadcrumbs

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

A great way to use bountiful Heirloom tomatoes at the height of Summer or to celebrate the end of tomato season. Either way, a nice light appetizer to be served with dry crisp champagne or served with a green garden salad for a light lunch. 

INGREDIENTS

4 medium to large heirloom tomatoes, sliced 3/8-inch or 1 cm thick

Flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen Salt

1/2 pound Old Amsterdam Gouda, grated

1/2 pound white cheddar, grated

2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 single crust, rustic pie dough

All-purpose flour, for dusting

Optional: 1 egg

1/2 cup chiffonade fresh basil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven 350° F. Fix oven rack in middle with a Baking Steel, or your favorite pizza stone. I love how the steel makes the pastry so crisp. Eliminates worrying about a soggy crust.

  2. Prepare half sheet pan with parchment paper, I use pre-cut parchment paper when I have it available. Set aside.

  3. Place sliced tomatoes on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt on both sides. Set aside, minimum of 5 minutes. Pat dry to remove moisture.

  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all grated cheese and reserve 1/2 cup.

  5. In a small mixing bowl, combine ½ cup grated cheese, breadcrumbs, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil; set aside.

  6. Remove Rustic Pie Dough from refrigerator to rest until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour all over the counter and smooth over your rolling pin, I prefer a flat rolling pin compared to a rounded French style. Roll dough evenly into similar dimensions of the sheet pan, about ¼-inch thickness or a bit less. Move dough around as you roll and sprinkle flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking. Trim the dough to match the rectangular shape with an additional 1-inch border, for a finished look. Or skip the trimming step for a more rustic approach. To transfer, loosely roll the dough onto the rolling pin and unroll over the sheet pan.

  7. Sprinkle remaining cheese all over pastry in an even layer, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange tomatoes with minimal overlap all over cheese, also leaving a 1 inch border of pastry. Roll edges inward and crimp pastry edges.

  8. Place tomato tart in fridge to chill for 10 to 15 minutes.

  9. Place mounds of breadcrumb mixture over the tomatoes, especially covering the crust. You can spread breadcrumb mixture all over, but I like to keep most of the tomatoes uncovered since they are so beautiful. Place sheet pan directly on Baking Steel and bake until pastry is golden brown, approximately 40 to 45 minutes.

  10. Optional: Make egg wash, egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water. Brush crust with egg wash just before baking.

  11. Carefully transfer to a cooling rack.

  12. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil all over tart, sprinkle with basil and flaky sea salt. Serve at room temperature.

Heirloom Tomato, Nectarine and Arugula Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Heirloom Tomato, Nectarine and Arugula Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 servings

This is more of an assembly of ingredients than a recipe, which is exactly how I like to cook in the Summer. It's easy to pull together especially after a run to the Union Square Greenmarket, the largest farmers market in NYC. There's always so much to choose from, but I wanted to keep this salad simple. I like to marinate the tomatoes in the beginning to give them a garlicky touch. Letting them sit for 5 minutes or longer helps minimize the raw garlic flavor. Using a fine micro grater helps in that department too. (Grating is my favorite discovery, plus its faster than mincing!) Regardless the vinegar and nectarines will balance it out with just a touch of sweetness.  If you don't have a specialty vinegar use balsamic vinegar, it will still be delicious!

You could add some burrata to this to make this a light lunch with a crusty loaf of bread and salted butter.  A glass of rosé would be nice too.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound mix of heirloom and green tomatoes, in various shapes and sizes

1 garlic clove, grated on microplane

Flaky sea salt

5 ounces arugula

3 nectarines, pitted and sliced

1/4 cup diced red onion

Grapefruit balsamic vinegar such as The Filling Station vinegar

Extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut tomatoes in half or quarters. In a large bowl mix tomatoes with garlic and season with sea salt. Set aside for 5 minutes.

  2. In a large platter arrange arugula greens, nectarines, red onion and tomatoes.

  3. Drizzle with grapefruit vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Finish with sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

Farmstand Berry Skillet Cake by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Farmstand Berry Skillet Cake

Yield: One 8 or 10-inch skillet or two 6-inch skillets

One of my favorite cakes this Summer. A simple cast iron skillet cake loaded with seasonal fresh berries. I'm a fan of Lodge Cast Iron's cast iron skillets. I used 9-inch in these photos, but I recently made them with two 5-inch skillets that were such a cute presentation. *Special note: make a little mini skillet for taste testing! 

Highly suggest serving this with ice cream or whipped cream. I just wrote a recipe for Cinnamon Cashew Cream that I bet would be a great addition too. 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup fine cornmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg at room temperature

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 to 2 lemons, zested

2 cups mixed berries (strawberries, red and white currants, blackberries)

Edible flowers for garnish

Fresh mint for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder and sea salt.

  2. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together. Gradually increase speed to high; beat until pale, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add egg, buttermilk, and lemon zest. Mix until fully incorporated, about 1 minute.

  3. While mixer is still on low add half of flour mixture, beat until almost incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add remaining flour mixture and repeat. Transfer cake batter to cast iron skillet(s). Batter will be thick, spread evenly using an offset spatula.

  4. If strawberries are large, cut them in half lengthwise. I prefer the tiny sweet strawberries available in the Summer. Remove currants from the stems. Mix berries with blackberries in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle half of the berry mixture all over the cake batter. Press berries lightly into the batter. For visual presentation arrange a few clusters of currants on the stem.

  5. Bake for 1 hour for large skillet or until cake is golden brown and puffy. 30 minutes for smaller skillets. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake, it should come out clean. Cool skillet on wire rack. Garnish with balance of berries, edible flowers and fresh mint leaves. Serve cake while warm or at room temperature.

  6. Suggest serve with ice cream, fresh whipped cream or cinnamon cashew cream.

 

Lemon Verbena Sugar by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Lemon Verbena Sugar

Lemon Verbena Sugar

Yield: 2 cups

This was created after the purchase of a lemon verbena plant, bought on a whim at the farmers market. It is so fragrant and just seemed perfect for an infused sugar. It can be enjoyed in tea, on the rim of a cocktail or any baking project. 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups sugar

3 sprigs lemon verbena, leaves only

Zest of 1 lemon (meyer lemon if possible)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In the bowl of a mini prep or food processor, add all ingredients and blend until mixture is finely ground.

Note: If you want more flavor, add more leaves or combine with another complimentary of your choice. Use this ratio to help create larger batches of herbed sugar. Keep in refrigerator.


Sources:

Ceramics: Jono Pandolfi

Photography Surface: Erickson Woodworks

Thyme Lemonade Popsicles with Nectarine and Kiwi by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Thyme Lemonade Popsicles with Nectarine and Kiwi 

Yield: 10 popsicles

Popsicles make me smile. They bring me back to Summer days when my Mom would pass out these delicious treats on the hottest of days. We would break them in half and share, or not if we were greedy or because they broke and probably fell on the ground. They would drip all over our hands and turn into a sticky mess so we preferred eating them in our swimsuits. What's better than diving into a pool or run under a ghetto sprinkler on the lawn to wash off popsicle juice, remember those days?

Fast forward to the adult version of popsicles. I tried to make these boozy and haven't figured out the right amount of gin or tequila and still have them freeze solid. So these pretty popsicles are perfect for landing into a giant glass of rosé or just eating. Hope you make new Summer memories of your own with these treats. I like that these popsicles have a built in snack. I hear someone, did they say Happy Hour?

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup sugar

4 sprigs thyme

Zest of 3 lemons

1/4 cup lemon juice

Pinch of sea salt, such as Jacobsens (try their habenero salt too)

1 nectarine

1 kiwi

Handful of small mint leaves

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small pot add sugar, thyme sprigs and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Mix with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Remove thyme after the simple syrup has cooled. This can be made in advance and kept in the fridge.

  2. In a pitcher combine lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, simple syrup; stir well and add water until desired level of sweetness. At minimum add 20 ounces water.

  3. Cut nectarine in half, remove seed and thinly slice using a mandoline. Trim end of kiwi and thinly slice with mandoline. If the kiwi is organic, no need to peel the skin.

  4. Stir lemonade and fill the popsicle molds halfway. Place a few slices of nectarine, kiwi and mint as a pretty edible garnish. Freeze for 2 years. Add a few more garnishes and fill molds with lemonade. Place wooden stick and freeze until solid. Run mold under warm water to help remove popsicles.

 

Lemon Chiffon Berry Flag Cake with Mini Meringues by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

LEMON CHIFFON BERRY FLAG CAKE WITH MINI MERINGUES

Yield:  1 sheet cake (12 x 18 x 1-inch)

Are you ready to enjoy berry season? I am!  Flag day is fast approaching and I partnered up with Driscoll's and feedfeed to create a new Flag Cake. This is a take on Eton Mess, one of my favorite summer desserts, in the form of a cake. What's not to like? Perfect for the 4th of July or any summer picnic. The frosting is actually a swiss meringue buttercream that holds up well in warm weather.

There are a lot of Flag Cakes out there, so let's try something new. I wanted a sense of air and lightness with crunch for texture. The cake batter incorporates egg whites to give it air, there's a thin layer of vanilla buttercream frosting for creaminess and to keep it from being overloaded with frosting, the white stripes are made of adorable swirled meringue kisses. The baby star meringues are my personal favorite. For a summery twist I've incorporated lemon into the meringues, but I'm sticking to the classic combo of raspberries and blueberries. They are classic for a reason.

Julie Resnick, co-founder of feedfeed and I are doing a demo of this Flag Cake on June 7, 2016, 2pm EST. Check out the Facebook Live Video on my FB page, The Judy Lab. We're happy to be back with Driscoll's after the pie demo Julie and I did last year. I'll post the Flag Cake video in this recipe post after it airs. The video will include a piping bag demo for the meringues and frosting. If you're new to baking or using a piping bag, I think you'll love it once you've done it a few times. Don't be afraid to experiment, you can always scoop up the meringue, put it back into the piping bag and start over. Shhhh, no one will ever know. note: highly suggest to make meringues in advance for a chewy center.

note: If you are looking to shortcut this recipe, you can assemble the cake using store bought meringue kisses. Many grocery stores now carry them ready made. The baby stars can be piped out of frosting.

INGREDIENTS

For lemon meringues:

4 egg whites, at room temperature

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted

Zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon lemon juice

For the lemon chiffon cake:

1/2 pounds (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra to butter the sheet pan

3 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

5 large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup buttermilk, well shaken

For decoration:

3 packages (6 ounces each or 1 1/3 cups each) packages Driscoll's Raspberries

1 package (6 ounces or 1 1/4 cups) package Driscoll's Blueberries

For the vanilla swiss buttercream:

6 fresh large egg whites, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups confectioners sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Make the lemon meringue kisses and stars:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper trimmed to fit the inside of the pan. Prepare a large 18-inch piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M star tip. Place bag upside down in a tall jar or glass and fold piping bag backwards. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat egg whites and salt on medium speed until frothy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add sugar in 2 tablespoon increments on slow speed. Sugar should be incorporated slowly to reduce gritty texture. Scrape side of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Begin to increase speed to medium for 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Add lemon zest and lemon juice; increase speed to high and beat until firm. Reduce speed and add confectioners sugar in 3 batches. Scrape sides of bowl and beat on high speed for 5 minutes. Batter should be shiny and glossy. Test for doneness by removing whisk and batter should have a long nose like a birds beak.

  4. Remove the piping bag from the jar and hold with one hand; transfer meringue with a rubber spatula. Carefully fold the bag upwards and tie with a rubber icing bag tie or use butchers twine. Twist the bag to create pressure.

  5. Press a small amount of meringue under each corner of parchment paper so it will stick to the sheet pan. This will also remove any excess air before starting to pipe the meringue stars and kisses.

  6. Use a separate sheet pan for kisses and stars as they will have different baking times. Starting with the little stars, place tip vertically down on parchment paper and press for 2 seconds, begin to pull up slowly and reduce hand pressure as you pull up. The star should be approximately the diameter of a large blueberry. Try practicing on a separate piece of parchment paper until you create consistent sizes. The practice stars can be scraped up with a rubber spatula and put back into the piping bag. At minimum make 30 stars, but I suggest to make 45 stars. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and place on a cooling rack. Center may seem too loose but overnight they will dry to create a chewy center. If there is a problem with consistency or creating a chewy center a common issue is humidity. Baking meringues on dry weather days should ensure success.

  7. To make kisses, pipe the meringue in a 1-inch circle pressing firmly and evenly. Continue to coil around and create a swirl by finishing in the center; decrease pressure as you lift the tip. Piping even sized meringue kisses will make your cake look more uniform and make it easier to cut. Bake minimum of 26 meringues kisses, but suggest to make 40. Finish balance of meringue batter in any shape of your choice. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and place on cooling rack. Dry overnight on counter.

Note: You can substitute homemade meringues with store bought and use frosting to represent the stars.

Make the lemon chiffon cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter sheet pan, don't forget to get in the corners.

  2. In a large mixing bowl sift together cake flour (see substitute below), baking powder and baking soda. Mix in salt and set aside.

  3. Separate eggs and put yolks aside in a small bowl. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites until you reach stiff peaks. Transfer egg whites into a separate bowl.

  4. Change mixer to paddle attachment. In a clean bowl cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow. Start mixer at low speed and gradually set on high speed for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and buttermilk; mix until combined and add egg yolks one at a time until fully incorporated.

  5. Add flour mixture in 2 to 3 batches while mixer is on low speed. Scrape side and bottom of bowl as necessary. Do not overbeat. Turn off mixer and gently fold in egg whites with a large rubber spatula until just barely incorporated; keep as much air in the batter as possible.

  6. Spread batter evenly in the sheet pan. Smooth it out using an off-set spatula. Bake until lightly golden brown, approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting toothpick in center of cake, it should come out clean. Set on rack and cool completely, preferably 3 to 4 hours, minimum 1 hour.

Substitution notes:

Cake flour substitute: 1 cup cake flour = 2 tablespoons cornstarch into 1 cup measuring cup and fill with all-purpose flour, make sure to level flour. 

Buttermilk substitute: Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup; add enough milk till it reaches 1 cup. Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes. It will thicken and look curdled.

Make the vanilla swiss buttercream:

  1. In a large metal bowl whisk together sugar and egg whites. Set bowl over a pot of boiling water as a double boiler, constantly whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.

  2. Pour mixture in bowl of electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and whip on high speed until it is thick, shiny and white. The peaks should be very firm. If they are not firm, the frosting will not be as stable.

  3. While the egg whites are whipping, sift confectioners sugar. After you reach stiff peaks, add confections sugar and salt all at once into mixer on very low speed until it is fully incorporated.

  4. Quickly add butter and shortening in 2 to 3 additions. Add vanilla extract.

  5. Switch to paddle attachment and beat on high speed until smooth, approximately 5 minutes. The longer you beat the frosting, the whiter the color will become.

Note: The buttercream can be stored at room temperature for 4 days, up to 2 weeks in refrigerator, 2 months in the freezer.

Assemble the Flag Cake:

  1. Add frosting to center of cake and spread evenly using an off set spatula. Start with half the frosting to determine if you want a light or heavy layer of frosting.

  2. Starting with the bottom of the cake, begin placing 2 rows of raspberries along the bottom edge of the cake. Place a single row of meringue kisses and alternate with double row of raspberries. Top row should end with a double row of raspberries.

  3. Leave room for the blueberry section. Place 10 blueberries across the top left corner and 8 blueberries down vertically. This should be the equivalent of the height of the top 3 rows of raspberries and meringue kisses; horizontally it will match 4 meringue kisses across. If you can make it even, this will just make it easier to cut the cake for serving.

  4. Finish the cake with little meringue stars. Place a small amount of frosting on the backside of the meringue star and place on top of the blueberry section, the frosting will act as a glue. As an alternative, the stars can be made out of frosting using a Wilton 1M tip.

 

Note: If you make the cake in advance, wrap it tightly with plastic after the cake has completely cooled. Fruit can be assembled in advance but suggest to place them on the same day as serving to eliminate the need to refrigerate the entire sheet cake. If you want the meringues to stay crisp and chewy, place them on the cake just before serving as they can begin to absorb moisture from the frosting.

Julie Resnick & Judy Kim @thejudylab show you how to decorate a beautiful flag cake with meringues and fresh Blueberries & Raspberries for your Flag Day & 4th of July celebrations!

 

Cream Puffs with Raspberry Coulis by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


CREAM PUFFS WITH  RASPBERRY COULIS

Yield: Approximately 36 puffs

Cream puffs remind me of my childhood. My mom used to make these for her dinner parties and I used to love helping her make them. They seemed so fancy to me, but now I realize how they are pretty easy to make and can be made in advance. When I make cream puffs, I tend to make a double batch and just freeze whatever I don't use as a time saver for the next time. Just reheat and they will be crisp and fresh, perfect for last minute parties. My preference is to fill them with pastry cream, but you can fill them with whipped cream or ice cream to make profiteroles if you don't have time to make the pastry cream. When you make profiteroles, don't forget a drizzle of chocolate.

INGREDIENTS

CREAM PUFFS:

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup unsalted butter, cut in 1-inch pieces

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs and 1 egg for the glaze

VANILLA PASTRY CREAM:

1 cup milk

3 large egg yolks

1 large egg

¼ cup sugar

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

RASPBERRY COULIS:

2 pints fresh raspberries

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

CREAM PUFFS:

  1. In heavy medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water, salt and butter to a boil. Remove from heat. Add all the flour at once and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together, approximately 1 minute. Return pan back to heat and continue stirring over low heat for 1 minute. Mixture should be shiny and bottom of pan should be lightly coated.

  2. Transfer dough to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix at low speed to allow the mixture to cool slightly. At medium speed, add eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down sides of the bowl and continue mixing until dough is smooth and shiny.

  3. Fit large pastry bag with either 1-inch round tip or 1M star tip if you want more texture. Keep pastry bag folded backwards and add mixture to the bag till two-thirds full. Twist top of bag to remove air.

  4. Heat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On each sheet, pipe approximately 1 1/2 - inch mounds. Suggest to apply constant pressure with one hand and use other hand to guide the tip. Gently squeeze the dough in a straight up motion. Keep dough 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Alternatively you can use an ice cream scoop or two spoons to create the mounds. Brush the dough with a egg mixture of beaten egg with 1 tablespoon water. You can also use your fingers by dipping in egg mixture just enough to pat down and smooth the tip of the dough. This will prevent burning.

  5. Bake 20-25 minutes till golden brown. Cool on rack. Serve immediately or they can be put in the refrigerator or freezer for future use. Just reheat at 375°F for 2 minutes, reheat for 5 minutes if frozen.

Suggestion: Even if outside looks golden brown, cut one cream puff oven to ensure center is cooked through. If it is slightly wet and sticky, put cream puffs back in the oven or they will not stay crisp later. 

PASTRY CREAM:

  1. In a medium heavy saucepan, scald the milk. Remove from heat.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk yolks, egg, sugar and salt. Beat in the cornstarch until completely incorporated.

  3. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot milk, whisking to prevent eggs from scrambling. Return mixture to the sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until mixture comes to a boil and reduce heat, simmer until thickened. Pastry cream should coat the back of a spoon. Stir in butter and vanilla.

  4. Strain the mixture in a fine-mesh strainer into a medium glass or metal bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming on top. Let cool completely and chill until cold. 

RASPBERRY COULIS:

  1. Heat all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Simmer on low and stir frequently until thickened, approximately 5 minutes.

  2. Using fine mesh strainer, strain raspberries using a rubber spatula to remove seeds. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2-3 days.

ASSEMBLE: 

  1. Split the puffs in half, horizontally.

  2. Fill puffs with vanilla pastry cream using a pastry bag fitted with a 1M star tip. Or fill with a small spoon.

  3. Pick mint leaves off stem and stack leaves on top of each other. Chiffonade or slice into thin strips.

  4. Drizzle with raspberry coulis. And top with fresh raspberries and mint.