Desserts

140

No-Bake Chocolate Cherry Tart (V, GF)

Well, I’ve been back at school for a few weeks now and it’s finally started to feel real. I think it’s living in a new space that’s making everything feel like a blur. I’m in less of a school-with-a-side-of-life space and in more of an I-live-here-but-oh-also-homework world. I’m not sure how to feel about it. Like, if I can’t sleep and I want to make brownies at one in the morning I totally can, but I do still have to finish the readings for class on Tuesday. It’s even weirder to think about the fact that a year from now I probably won’t be here at all. I’m quickly realizing that once you say you’re a senior in college a short play is presented:

Acquaintance/Professor/Friend: So you’re a senior?

Me: Yes.

Acquaintance/Professor/Friend: Wow, that’s so exciting!

Me: It is, but y-

Acquaintance/Professor/Friend: What’re you going to do when you graduate?

Me: Well, I-

Acquaintance/Professor/Friend: Grad school?

Me: Um, at this point-

Acquaintance/Professor/Friend: Oh! Are you like, looking for places where you can work that involve the thing you majored?

Me: I’m not quite-

Acquaintance/Professor/Friend: Well, I’m sure you’ll figure it out!

Every. Single. Time. If it hadn’t happened to me more than thrice in one week with almost the exact same conversation I wouldn’t feel so strongly about writing this down, but it has. It’s almost as though everyone who’s older/younger than college seniors has banded together to rehearse this. I would be very impressed that mankind has finally found something to agree on if it weren’t so freaking terrifying. After this summer I’ve realized I have NO IDEA what I want to do when I graduate, other than not be in school for a while. I wonder where I’ll be, where my friends will be. Maybe I’ll be living in some cool new city and working at a fun job? Relatively unlikely. But we’ll see. I know the places I’d like to see and the people I’d like to spend time with, but in terms of what I’ll be *doing*? No idea. In the meantime I’ll be eating a lot of chocolate.

Tart (from Oh, Ladycakes with a few adjustments)

Crust

1 c rolled oats

1 c raw almonds

Pinch sea salt

6 medjool dates, pitted

2-3 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used light coconut milk)

Filling

1/2 c unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder

1/4 c coconut oil, melted

1/4 c maple syrup

2 c cherries, pitted and quartered

Line the bottom of an 8-9″ tart pan with parchment paper and spray with oil. In a food processor fitted blend the oats, almonds, and salt into a fine meal. Add the dates and blend just until combined. Add two tbsp of the milk and blend until the dough is crumbly but sticks together when pressed between your fingers. If it doesn’t seem to be as moist as it could be add the third tbsp (I only used two because I was nervous about the crust getting too tough but alas, it was still extremely crumbly. Oh well, it still tasted good!) Once you’ve reached the desired consistency, press dough into the prepared tart pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder and one tbsp of the coconut oil. Stir relatively smooth then add the syrup. Then whisk in remaining coconut oil and pour into the crust. Top with the cherries, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least an hour. I don’t think this needs anything to accompany it except maybe a cup of tea or glass of sparkling wine!

 

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Desserts

135

Strawberry Cherry Crostata

I thought I’d share a piece of very important piece information with you all today: red fruit is perfect. If I had to only eat one kind of food for the rest of my life it would be red fruit. Cherries, raspberries, strawberries, dried cranberries, gala apples, goji berries- you get it. Yes, there are moments where I find myself enjoying other colors of fruit (I peel a banana from the bottom, I rub the fuzzy outsides of kiwis at the grocery store) but I never really can mindlessly munch on these other colors as I can with red fruit. Honestly, I’m a little scared that this school year when I have to buy all my groceries as opposed to relying on the dining hall, my fridge is going to be 83% red fruit. More honestly, this does not scare me at all. Especially when that red fruit becomes the inside of a crostata. Emily and I recently spent an afternoon making this fantastic thing and I can’t describe how incredible it was. We put it in the oven around noon. We sampled our first slices around 1. By 4, it was more than halfway gone. And we hadn’t even shared it with anyone yet. I simply never get tired of fresh fruit and buttery crust. This might be the reason I prefer pie to cake. As much as I hate myself for saying this, I can get sick of too much cake. It’s just too rich for 3+ slices. But pie. I could eat a whole pie with a fork accidentally. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve done it. And never felt nearly as bad as I should’ve that no one else got a slice. As I’ve said recently, you never know when you’re going to need to make a pie or tart, so it’s best to keep doughs in the freezer for when inspiration strikes. Same goes for crostata. Just fyi- crostata is an Italian baked tart that is essentially open faced rustic pie without a pan. It’s very similar to a French galette. But I am Italian after all, so why not embrace it? Okay, let’s bake!

 

Crust (tweaked ever so slightly from Joy the Baker)

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 c unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

1/2 c plus 1 tablespoon cold buttermilk

 

Filling

1 1/2 c sliced strawberries

1 c sliced cherries

2 tbsp granulated sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

pinch of salt

1 large egg, beaten granulated

raw sugar

Pulse together flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse seven or eight times until the butter is the size of small peas. Pour in the buttermilk and pulse a few times until the flour is just moistened. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. After its been in the fridge for about half an hour, make the filling!

In a medium bowl, stir together strawberries, cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt. Cover and set aside (room temperature or refrigerated) until your crust is done chilling. In a small bowl, beat the egg and set aside.

Preheat the oven 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper. On a well-floured surface, roll the disk out to a 1/4-inch thick large round disk (it’s okay if it’s not perfect- in fact, that’s better!) Roll the disk onto the rolling pin and unroll it on the baking tray. Pour the fruit mixture into the center of the square- leave at least 1 1/2-inches of crust on all sides.  Brush the edges of the disk with some of the beaten egg. Fold the crust up and around the fruit, neatly tucking in the edges. Brush the top of the crust with the rest of the beaten egg, then sprinkle generously with raw sugar. Bake 25-30 minutes. Devour with a fork directly on the tray!

 

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Drinks

124

Frozen Cherry Limeade

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Happy Fourth of July! I can’t say I care much about this holiday for any reason except for no one makes a face as I open my first beer around noon and then spend the next eight hours talking passionately about watching fireworks. Which certainly isn’t bad! I’ll take any excuse to day drink. But in all seriousness, this has been an interesting year for being American, as it usually tends to be. Even just this week the Supreme Court of the land of the free decided employers with religious objections have the right the deny contraception coverage under Obamacare. But vasectomies and Viagra are still covered, of course. So that’s fun. I’ve decided I will just be grateful I don’t work for a business that feels they have the right to decide what I do or do not put in my body. And obviously eat a lot of dessert because dessert cures everything makes bad things seem less bad for like 20 minutes. Hey, I’ll take it.

So I thought I’d make a pretty red and blue frozen cocktail today- it’s very cold and very tart, perfect for the 95% humidity that’s currently consuming Jersey. Scroll down after the cocktail for more red white and blue recipes- make one! Or two! Or all  of them and then collapse at 2 pm from too much sugar..

Cherry Limeade (serves 1)

1 cup frozen cherries

splash pomegranate juice

1 1/2 oz gin

1 oz lime juice

1/2 oz simple syrup (optional)

two handfuls blueberries

Combine all ingredients except the blueberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a handful of ice cubes if it’s not thick enough for your liking or more juice if it’s too thick. Place one handful of blueberries in the bottom of a tall glass. Pour in the cocktail, then top with the second handful of blueberries!

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And now some dessert recipes for your Fourth of July festivities!

These Vegan Lingonberry Bars are so easy to whip up if you decide last minute to throw/attend a Fourth of July picnic. If you don’t have lingonberry jam, just swap it for raspberry. And then make a tray with blackberry jam to really embrace the colors of the day!

Lemon Raspberry Blueberry Sorbet is the easiest thing if you have an ice cream maker (but you can make do without one, check out the recipe to find out how!)

Try topping my White Chocolate Cinnamon Pudding with fresh strawberries or raspberries to get into the holiday!

Strawberry Shortcake is even more festive when raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are added..

Blueberry Crumb Pie is out of this world, and always disappears from picnics in mere minutes. Just look at the color of your tongue after you eat it and tell me you’re not celebrating the holiday!

 

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