|Photo Courtesy of Fine Cooking Magazine. All rights reserved.|
Once again, I am sharing one of Andrew’s great summer desserts. Surely one of summer’s great pleasures are its fruits and berries, especially when they are local. And what can compare to any fruit dessert coupled with ice cream, especially when it is homemade. I like to think that Andrew ought to be getting a cut out of the sales of Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers he has recommended to friends. At $60, you can’t imagine how much pleasure you’ll bring to summer when you buy one. It’s the best possible rainy-day activity for young children. It’s not a bad one for grown-ups either. And the creamy perfection of pure, simple homemade ice cream makes anything else taste somehow not as good, and truly store-bought.
This combination came from our friends at Fine Cooking who seem to have provided us with a bumper crop of great things to eat this summer. This is best started early in the day since the lemon ice cream will need a minimum of 4 hours in the freezer, once it’s churned. Then you make a free-form canvas out of pastry on which you mound the berries. You can be as rustic as all get out with this one. It’s so much simpler to achieve than a regular pie. You’ll note that this recipe makes 2-8 inch crostatas to serve 8 people. If you are serving a smaller crowd, still make the full amount of dough. You can freeze it and make another one later in the week. While you chill the dough is the perfect time to make the ice cream. Once that’s done you can turn your attention back to the making of the crostata. Note that Andrew uses a French rolling pin which he swears by because you have more control than the old-fashioned American kind. The berries go on, the edges get folded over the berries. The Turbinado (or sugar in the raw) gives the pastry a wonderful crunchy sweetness. Then the pastry goes into the oven. It takes about an hour for the cake to cook. You can either wait another 15 minutes and serve it then. Or you can cool it completely. You can even reheat it in a 200 degree oven for 10 minutes and then serve with a scoop of your homemade ice cream. Now take a bow. Here are the recipes:
Blueberry Crostata with Lemon Ice Cream from Fine Cooking Magazine
For the Ice Cream:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
2-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tsp. lemon extract
1/8 tsp. table salt
1-3/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1. In a 4-quart saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer. In a stainless-steel bowl that fits over the saucepan without touching the water, combine the sugar, lemon juice, eggs, egg yolk, butter, lemon extract, and salt.
2. Whisk vigorously until the mixture thickens to the consistency of pudding, 7 to 8 minutes.
3. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and whisk in the cream and milk.
4. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 1 day, covering with plastic wrap once cool.
Stir the lemon mixture and churn it in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions until it’s the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Serve or pack into a container, seal, and store in the freezer for up to 1 week.
For the Crostata:
3 cups (15 oz.) fresh blueberries
6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) plus 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs. yellow cornmeal
4-1/2 oz. (9 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg yolk
3 Tbs. ice water; more as needed
1 large egg white beaten with 2 Tbs. water until foamy
1 Tbs. turbinado or other “raw” sugar
1. Mix the blueberries, 3 Tbs. of the flour, and the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
2. Combine the remaining 1-1/2 cups flour, granulated sugar, and cornmeal in a food processor and process until the consistency of fine sand. Add the butter and pulse until there are no visible pieces of butter.
3. Add the egg yolk and water and pulse to form a soft dough, adding more water 1 tsp. at a time as necessary. Gather the dough into a ball and divide into 2 even pieces.
4. On a well-floured work surface, roll each piece of dough into an 11-inch circle and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
5. Divide the blueberry filling between the circles, mounding the berries and leaving a 1-1/2-inch edge around each circle. Sprinkle any remaining sugar-flour mixture around the berry mounds. Try to get an even amount of blueberries and dry ingredients in each crostata. Fold the edges up over the filling, pleating as you go, to partially cover the filling. Brush the exposed dough with the egg white wash and sprinkle with the raw sugar.
6. Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the sheets top to bottom and back to front. (If there is any white flour mixture showing, carefully spoon a little of the blueberry juices over to cover.) Continue baking until the crusts have browned and the filling is bubbling, about 25 minutes more. Cool on the baking sheets on a rack for at least 15 minutes or to room temperature. Serve.
Slice each crostata into quarters and serve with scoops of the ice cream on top.
Make Ahead Tips:
The crostatas can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored on their baking sheets at room temperature, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel. Just before serving, warm the crostatas on their baking sheets in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.
In order for the ice cream to readily melt and mingle with the crostata, either the crostata should be a bit warm from the oven or the ice cream should be slightly soft. If you’ve made both elements ahead and the ice cream is very hard, let it sit briefly at room temperature.