Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rhubarb-strawberry crisp and strawberry cake

Both cobbled together from multiple recipes. The filling for the crisp is from a recipe for a rhubarb-strawberry pie, with a story about an elderly couple; "it's never too late [for love] rhubarb pie" from a book called American Pie, by Pascale Le Draoulec - came out in 2002, so perhaps eclipsed by the movie of the same name. It's a flour-thickened filling. The crisp topping is from an apple crisp recipe in a special issue of Bon Appetit, September 1999, called the American Century in food. I can't find it in the magazine's online archive, but looks like I posted a version myself. It's to make a 13 x 9 x 2 pan of crisp, and the pie filling is a 9-inch pie, so I think the crumble to fruit ratio is a little heavy on the crumble, but that just made it more indulgent. I had some for breakfast at work today, with vanilla yogurt, instead of ice cream - it was breakfast after all.I think I started making strawberry cakes about 2 years ago - the first was for a high school graduation party; last year I made 2 - one for the art show, and one for the Midsummer's Dinner.

From this experimentation, I have decided that I like the filling idea from Cook's Illustrated - macerate the berries in sugar, then drain the juice, and chop the berries in the food processor. Cook's has you reduce the juice with a little kirch and mix it back in; I prefer cornstarch. I've tried a couple of different cakes; Shirley Corriher has a really good one in CookWise, Shirley's Basic Moist Sweet Cake, that has both oil and butter, producing a tender golden cake, good with berries and cream - but it's fussy. Yesterday I used this quick & easy buttermilk cake from Gourmet, omitting the raspberries and sugar topping. But Shirley's mascarpone cream with honey: 2 TBLS honey stirred into 1/2 cup mascarpone, whip 1 cup cream, add the mascarpone, and whip a little more till stiff - is hands down the absolute best for strawberries and cream cake. It's amazingly sturdy, and great swags of it will freeze-frame in flow, for a great looking cake.

And the whole affair was done in something under 2 hours - baking the layers, filling, frosting and all.

1 comment:

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