Hey everybody! We are starting to see more fresh produce at the farmer’s market and in our backyards, but it still seems pretty slow. The rest of the summer I am conducting Garden-to-table classes at Cook’s Corner ( cookscorner.com) in Green Bay on Wednesday evenings. The last class was about Cherries and Berries. We updated some classics by adding rhubarb to a cherries jubilee and prepared balsamic and black pepper macerated strawberry shortcake. Here are the recipes, and check out the upcoming classes! I would love to see you!
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 pound fresh, ripe sweet cherries, such as Bing
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup golden rum and/or brandy
Evenly scoop the ice cream into 4 dishes or decorative glasses and put in the freezer until ready to serve (this can be done up to 4 hours ahead).
Wash and pit the cherries. Put the cherries and sugar in a large skillet. Peel 2 strips of zest from the lemon in wide strips with a peeler and add to the cherries. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the top. Stir to combine evenly. Cover and cook the cherries over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Uncover and cook over medium-high until cherries get juicy, about 5 minutes more.
To flambe the brandy: If cooking over a gas flame, pull the pan off the heat and add the rum. Ignite the alcohol with a long match or one held with tongs. Swirl the pan slightly until the flames subside, about 30 seconds.
If cooking over an electric stove, put the rum in a small sauce pan. Warm it over medium-low heat and carefully light it with a long match or one held with tongs. Pour the brandy over the cherries, and swirl the pan lightly until the flames subside, about 30 seconds.
Ladle the cherries and their juices over prepared ice cream scoops. Serve immediately.
Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic and Black Pepper
1 1/2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and quartered
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
Whipped Cream, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar, balsamic, and pepper and refrigerate while juices develop, at least 30 minutes.
Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve.
Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.