Tag Archives: recipes

Lavender Honey Ice Cream

13 May

So I’m hosting a cheese and wine thing this Friday – doing the usual pairings: 

  • meats from Oyama Sausage Company on Granville Island – wild boar procuitto and lamb chorizo.
  • condiments – Silkameen honey, spanish peppers, cipollini onions, date bread, quince paste
  • cheese – a blue, stilton, cheddar, riopelle, a spanish hard cheese.
  • fruit – pears, dried figs and cranberries
  • drinks – a Moscato d’Asti (my drink of choice for a sunny Sunday afternoon), Golden Star White Jasmine Sparkling Tea and a Kettle Valley Starboard (port).

So what am I missing? Dessert! Which will be Lavender Honey Ice Cream. Variations of the recipes below. Bon appetit! 

Lavender Honey Ice Cream – from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz  

  • ½ cup good flavored honey
  • ¼ cup dried or fresh lavender flowers
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  •  5 large egg yolks

1) Heat the honey and 2 tablespoons of the lavender in a small saucepan until the honey is fluid. Remove from the heat and set aside to steep at room temperature for one hour. 

2) Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. Pour the lavender infused honey into the cream through the strainer, pressing on the lavender flowers to extract as much flavor as possible, then discard the lavender and set the strainer back over the bowl. 

3) Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking, then scrape the mixture back into the saucepan. 

4) Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. (UPDATE: Don’t think that it’ll turn into a thick custard! Just when it starts to get glossy and thick, get it off the stove or in a few seconds it’ll turn into scrambled eggs!) Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons lavender flowers. Refrigerate overnight. 

5) Before churning, strain the mixture again. Press the lavender flowers to extract as much of their flavor as possible. Discard the flowers, then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

TOPPINGS: Roasted Blueberries :  spread fresh or wrinkly blueberries out on a cookie sheet, sprinkled them with sugar and roasted them at 400F until they soften and release their juices. OR throw them into a pot of maple syrup and warm it until they pop. 

NOTES: Since whipping cream comes in 355ml(?) and it calls for 275ml, what to do with the 80ml? Dump the whole thing in I say, cut down on the milk if you want to. More lavender better than less. Infuse the lavender and honey overnight if you want, final infusion 12 hours at least. Don’t overdo the sugar.

Update: This is my go-to HG recipe! HG in makeup speak = holy grail. The honey binds the flavours together creating an all rounded taste. Best part is, no one can guess that it’s honey.

Continue reading

Best Apple Pie!

21 Nov

White House pastry chef Bill Yosses’ light, flaky pie crusts have earned him the nickname “The Crustmaster” from President Barack Obama. His trick to making fruit pies worthy of a president is to bake the bottom crust first, then fill and top the pie and bake it again.

Yosses prefers to mix the dough by hand to avoid overworking it but for an easier home version, suggests using a food

BILL YOSSES’ APPLE PIE

Start to finish: 3 1/2 hours (30 minutes active)

Servings: 8

For the crust:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

10 ounces unsalted butter, cold, cut into small chunks

3 ounces lard, cold, cut into small chunks

1/2 cup ice water

For the filling:

2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

For the egg wash:

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

Sugar, for sprinkling

To make the crust, in a food processor pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and lard, then pulse briefly until the mixture forms small crumbs. Add the ice water and pulse just until a dough forms.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces and shape into discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

To prepare the pie shell, on a floured surface roll out one disc to a 14-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased, deep 9-inch pie pan, leaving a 1 inch overhang. Refrigerate the crust in the pan for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

When ready to bake the bottom crust, heat the oven to 375 F. Line the cold crust with foil and fill with baking weights, rice or dry beans to hold it in place. Bake the pie shell for 30 minutes. Leave the oven on once the crust is done.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a large saucepan, toss together the apples, sugar, honey, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon and lemon zest and juice. Let sit for 20 minutes.

Bring the fruit mixture to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the fruit thickens. Let cool.

When the bottom crust is baked and the filling has cooled, pour the fruit into the crust.

Roll out the second disc of dough to about 12 inches.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with the salt. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg on the edges of the cooked crust. Place the top crust over the filling. Gently crimp the top crust, sealing the pie around the edges.

Puncture the top of the crust with a paring knife in several places to create steam vents. Brush egg wash over the crust, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top crust is golden brown.

Let cool for 1 to 2 hours before serving.

(Recipe adapted from Bill Yosses, White House pastry chef)

Cupcake recipes

22 Apr

Coconut Cupcakes

This super recipe comes from Ina Garten’s “The Barefoot Contessa” cookbook, which features recipes from her hugely successful New York take-out store, also named The Barefoot Contessa. Garten notes that these cupcakes have been customer favorites for more than 20 years. Parents will like the fact that the coconut topping keeps the icing from sticking to the plastic wrap in lunchboxes.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 7-ounce package flaked sweetened coconut, divided
Cream cheese icing

Line 16 muffin cups with paper baking cups, and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and set oven racks at top and lower middle levels.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer speed to low, and add the eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after each. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat again briefly.

Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately to the butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Fold in only 1 1/3 cups of the coconut.

Fill each muffin cup almost full with batter. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 11 to 14 minutes on the top and lower-middle racks of oven, then reverse the positions of the two cupcake pans (putting the one from the top on the lower middle rack and vice versa), and bake another 11 to 14 minutes or until the cupcake tops are golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, and then top them with cream cheese icing. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. If you want to freeze these, store them unfrosted in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.

To serve unfrosted cupcakes that have been frozen, allow to thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving, then ice and serve them. Makes about 16 cupcakes.

Continue reading

Magnolia Bakery NYC

22 Apr

Magnolia Bakery in New York was made famous on an episode of Sex and the City in 2000, but it’s fame goes as far back when Jennifer Appel (ex-owner of Magnolia, current owner of Buttercup) started the cupcake craze/trend back in 1996. “If you did a family tree of cupcakes in New York, she spawned out the seven families. She’s the Don Corleone of cupcakes.” (Sweet and Vicious, NY Mag article)

Thankfully, Magnolia came out with a recipe book of it’s treasured pastries. Enjoy.

Continue reading