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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer Desserts

Here are a couple of quick ideas for desserts starring summer fruits!

Strawberries with Creme Anglaise

Here in Ohio, the local strawberry season only lasts about three weeks (it feels like five minutes!) but the berries are so good, it's no hardship to use them in every possible dish for that entire month. We've made strawberry jam, strawberry liqueur, strawberry-rhubarb compote, strawberry shortcake, and a fabulous vanilla cake with mascarpone and sherried berries. But sometimes the simplest preparations are the best, allowing the sweetness of the berries to take center stage. Stinger came up with this one. It's sliced fresh strawberries topped with a vanilla custard, painstakingly stirred over low heat by Stinger himself. There are a lot of recipes for creme anglaise, but Grace Parisi's over at is fairly straightforward and easy to follow. My biggest advice is to be patient. It will cook eventually! Don't be tempted to turn up the heat, because the egg yolks will scramble, which is gross. (If that happens, though, you can strain the sauce, and almost no one will be able to tell the difference. Shhh!)

Broiled Figs with Roquefort

A lot of people hate the end of summer--school starting up soon, winter coming, etc. I'm not one of them; I happen to love the fall. And if the promise of cooler temperatures and crisp blue skies weren't enough, there's figs! Late August, early September, those little babies start showing up in farmer's markets and even some grocery stores. We happened on an early crop of figs a few weeks ago; it was like finding a twenty dollar bill in your just-washed jeans! That night, I washed them, giving thanks for the fact that they were all ripe (never buy unripened figs and expect them to ripen up in your fruit basket. It won't happen. They ripen on the vine or not at all.) Then I sliced them down the middle, sprinkled them with light brown sugar and put them on a cookie sheet under the broiler until the sugar was golden and crackly. Figs, with their mellow sweetness, pair beautifully with something savory like cheese. I went for Roquefort, my favorite of the blues, but a nice fresh goat cheese would also work well.


Yummy. You are such a good foodie.

Is there a better combination than figs and cheese? I think not.

Oooooo you always make me hungry and I'm trying to diet. LOL

Mmmm. Sounds so good!

This sounds amazing! I am having people over for a dinner party next weekend, and was looking for a simple, no-bake, fruit-forward dessert... I think I've just found it. Thanks for the great idea!

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