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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Celebrating Mom: Both Elegant and Sophisticated

Happy Wednesday from the rainy tri-state. Mom's big day is coming up, and whether you celebrate your mother, grandmother, or even yourself, today's recipes are all about elegance and style. After all, what better way to thank someone who helped raise you than feeding her deliciousness? Enjoy!

French Lemon Tart
Marjorie Taylor

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 6 lemons)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving
  1. MAKE THE PASTRY In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the egg yolk. In a large bowl, combine the 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of flour with the sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the yolk mixture. Using your hands, gently knead the pastry just until it comes together. Wrap in plastic, flatten it into a disk and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375° and coat a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom with vegetable oil spray. On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-inch round and ease it into the pan, pressing it into the corners. Roll the rolling pin over the tart pan to cut off any excess pastry. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  3. Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the paper and weights and bake the tart shell for 20 minutes longer, until golden brown. Let cool completely.
  4. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and salt and whisk until smooth. Set a strainer over a bowl near the stove. Cook the custard over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter a few pieces at a time, gently whisking until incorporated. Immediately strain the filling into the bowl. Scrape the filling into the cooled tart shell and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  5. Remove the tart ring and cut the tart into wedges. Serve with whipped cream.
MAKE AHEAD The tart can be refrigerated overnight.

Crepes with Strawberries and Muscat-Yogurt Sauce
Nichole Birdsall

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 large egg
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Muscat dessert wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 24 strawberries, sliced
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. Add the milk, egg and 1 tablespoon of oil and whisk until smooth. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. In another small bowl, whisk the yogurt, honey, Muscat and zest.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet. Rub the pan with an oiled paper towel. Add about 3 tablespoons of the crêpe batter, swirling the pan to coat evenly; pour off any excess. Cook the crêpe over moderate heat until the bottom is brown in spots and the sides are crisp, about 2 minutes. Flip the crêpe and cook for 1 minute longer. Transfer to a baking sheet; repeat to make 7 more crêpes.
  3. Fold the crêpes into quarters and bake until hot, 4 minutes. Place 2 crêpes on each plate. Top with the yogurt sauce and garnish with the strawberries. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake
Melissa Roberts

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan and parchment
  • 2 1/3 cups cake flour (sifted, then measured) plus more for pan
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) fresh blackberries
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)
  1. Position a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Butter pan; line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Butter parchment. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Arrange berries in a single layer in bottom of pan; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup sugar.
  2. Sift 2 1/3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a medium bowl; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat 3/4 cup butter and remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar in a large bowl at medium-high speed, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and zest. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just until incorporated. Pour batter over berries in pan; smooth top.
  3. Bake until cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Let cool in pan set on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then run a thin, sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen. Remove pan sides. Invert cake onto rack and remove pan bottom; peel off parchment. Dust top generously with powdered sugar and let cool completely.

Happy baking!

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