Photos on Gimme a Little Sugar on the Weekend are originals taken by Miriam Latour and under copyright protection.
Recipes are originals by Miriam Latour, unless otherwise indicated.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crumble Pie

These didn't turn out to be the prettiest pies I ever made, but by the way my family devoured them, I have to say they were a success.

Cut up 1 lb of rhubarb and 1 qt. of strawberries. Combine them in a bowl and sprinkle them with 1 cup of sugar (or to taste) and 1/2 cup flour. Add 1 tsp vanilla (optional) and stir carefully to coat the fruit.

Divide fruit mixture between two pie crusts. Top with the following crumble mixture:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt

Bake at 375ºF for 35 - 40 minutes

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trifle with Strawberries, Cream, & Sherry

This recipe I found and adapted based on the idea that "less is more". Unfortunately, many Americans have taken the concept of trifle and added fake-tasting fruity glaze with processed or chemically flavored colors and additives, whipped hydrogenated oils in the place of real cream, and even canned fruit. If you like to eat food dyes and ingredients created in a chemistry lab, stick to Hostess products. If you want to enjoy the flavor of rich cream, fresh succulent strawberries, and warm sherry... try my way.

Try to use organic products whenever possible. The difference in the flavor is phenomenal. I like to use King Arthur brand flours and Daisy brand sour cream.

Simple Cake:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1/8 tsp baking soda

Set oven to 350ºF. Cream butter, sugar, sour cream, and eggs. Add flour and soda. Mix well. Pour into 8"x4" bread loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until done.

Simple Cream Custard:
1 quart Half & Half (organic)
4 eggs
1/4 cup sugar

Heat milk to a simmer or medium-high heat. Whisk milk slowly into beaten eggs in a bowl. Return to heat and cook, stirring until coats spoon (will not be very thick).
Cover with paper towel (or cloth towel) and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until thickened.

Wash and slice fresh farmers market strawberries. Create a layer of sliced cake in the bottom of a trifle bowl. Sprinkle with Cream Sherry (to taste). Top with custard and strawberries and repeat twice. Finish with a layer of whipped cream:

Simple Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 T sugar (or to taste)

Whip to firm peaks.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gelato di Riso

Gelato di Riso (Italian Rice Ice Cream) is popular in parts of Italy, but difficult to find in the USA. If you like rich, creamy rice pudding, you might enjoy Gelato di Riso on a hot day. It isn't difficult to make, but takes a little planning because it needs to cool over night before you place it in the freezer.

Step 1:
1/2 cup rice
2 cups milk
3 T sugar

Combine in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature for an hour. Cover and place in refridgerator over night.

Step 2:
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup milk
1/4 c sugar

Place egg yolks in a small dish. In a saucepacn, bring milk and sugar to a simmer over medium high. Add a couple of tablespoons of the hot milk to the egg yolks and whisk in, then add the warmed eggs slowly to the saucepan, while using a wire whisk. Stir until thick. Pour into small bowl and cool in fridge for at least 2 hours. (This can be done the night before along with the rice)

Step 3:
2 cups cream
3 Tblsp confectioner's sugar

combine cold rice mixture and egg mixture with cream and confectioner's sugar. Place in ice cream freezer (follow manufacturer's instructions). Serve immediately.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lemon Sorbet

It can't be more simple or more refreshing!

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 T lemon zest

Boil sugar in water to dissolve. Cool syrup completely. Add lemon and zest. Pour into small ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's directions.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grand Marnier Chocolate Walnut Torte

Recipe is from the Ghirardelli website (but is no longer there)

Torte (Ingredients):
8 ounces Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar, divided
6 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/3 cup very finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
7 egg whites

Chocolate Ganache Glaze
4 ounces Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier
1/3 cup very finely chopped walnuts

Grand Marnier Whipped Cream Decoration
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier
1 fresh orange, thin skin variety

Melt broken chocolate in double boiler, stirring constantly, or microwave on medium for about 3 minutes. Set aside.

In the small mixer bowl, cream butter, gradually adding 1/2 cup of the sugar; mix until very fluffy. Add egg yolks, Grand Marnier, and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Transfer to larger bowl. Fold melted chocolate into creamed mixture.

Use a food processor or blender to chop walnuts to a coarse powder. Combine nuts with crumbs and fold into chocolate mixture. Beat egg whites with salt, gradually adding remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Stir 1/4 of egg whites into chocolate mixture; fold in remaining egg whites.

Pour batter into a buttered 9-inch springform pan lined with waxed paper. Bake at 350 degrees F. on bottom rack for 45 to 50 minutes or until center is firm. Cool on rack. Cake will sink slightly in the center. Remove pan and liner.

Top with Chocolate Ganache Glaze and Grand Marnier Whipped Cream

Chocolate Ganache Glaze:
Finely chop chocolate. Heat cream until hot. On very low heat add chocolate, stirring until smooth and thick. Remove from heat. Stir in liqueur. Turn torte, top side down, onto serving plate. Pour glaze over top and sides of cake. After a short time, run excess glaze up sides of cake. Cover sides of cake with nuts. Chill cake while preparing topping.

Grand Marnier Whipped Cream Decoration:
Whip cream with sugar and liqueur until it holds a shape. Do not overbeat. Top torte with cream mixture. With a sharp knife cut peel from orange. Sprinkle grated orange rind over whipped cream. Cake should be stored in a cool place until served.

Mimsy's Soft Ginger Cookies

I developed these cookies at Christmas time, but they are delicious all year round. There is something comforting about ginger. Some people take ginger root to calm an upset tummy. Is it the psychological comfort of the flavor or the smell or does it really "settle" the tummy? I'm not sure, but I know I feel comforted when I eat these cookies.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1/4 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF

Beat ginger, butter and brown sugar until light. Beat in molasses and egg. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the white sugar

Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and then roll them in sugar. Place on baking sheets. Bake 10 - 11 minutes. Do not overcook!

Homemade Melt-in-Your-Mouth Doughnuts

2 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons yeast
4 eggs (beaten)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
7 cups sifted flour

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cold water

1. Mix together ingredients for glaze.
2. Melt butter in hot milk, add 1 tsp sugar and salt. Allow to cool.
3. Beat in yeast, nutmeg, eggs, remaining sugar, and 3 cups flour.
4. Add rest of flour (dough will be sticky).
5. Knead for 5 minutes then allow to rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.
6. Roll out dough, cut into shapes.
7. Allow to rise for 30-45 minutes.
8. Heat oil to 365° and fry 1 - 2 minutes on each side or until brown.
9. Dip in glaze

Janece's Cinnamon Rolls

Scald and set aside to cool:
1 cup milk

6 T butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs

2 T yeast
1 T sugar
1 cup warm water

When the above steps are completed, combine them and add 6 1/2- 7 cups flour and 1 tsp salt. Knead well and place in a greased bowl. Raise until double and roll out. Sprinkle with cut-up butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up and slice into 1 1/2 inch rolls. Place on greased cookie sheet and allow to rise again. Bake at 375º for 12 - 15 minutes.

The rolls in the picture are not frosted because my son likes them better that way, but you can top these with your favorite icing. I have a brown sugar glaze that I like to use, but the frosting that came with Janece's recipe is a simple butter cream frosting:

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 square butter
1 tsp vanilla

Mix ingredients, adding milk until desired consistency.

The Last Brownie Recipe

1/2 cup butter
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate bars or chips (use the best you can afford!)
Melt butter and chocolate on low heat
Whisk in:
1 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt
3 large eggs (beat well after each egg)
3/4 cup flour (don't over-mix)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (my daughter uses toffee pieces instead)

Bake in a greased 9 inch square pan at 350ºF for about 45 minutes or until the edges pull away from the pan.
I dressed up this recipe by baking it in a mini-muffin tin for about half the time (watch closely) and then topping with homemade caramel and pecans and a French truffle.