Blackberry Tart with Spiked Créme Anglaise Recipe

blackberry tart
Créme anglaise is a slightly thickened custard sauce that is used as a garnish on all sorts of desserts.  Here, the sauce is spiked with créme de cassis and drizzled over slices of warm blackberry tart.

Tart Crust:
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 egg
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

fresh blackberries2 cups fresh blackberries
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 tbsp créme de cassis
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar

Tart Crust:
  1. Cream together the sugar and butter until just combined.
  2. Add in the egg yolk and vanilla extract; mix until incorporated.
  3. Add in the flour; mix until the dough is smooth.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  4. Remove from the refrigerator.  Roll out on a slightly floured surface to a 1/8 inch thick, 12 inch circle.
  5. Place the dough in a 10 inch tart pan.  Carefully press the dough into the pan.
  6. Cover with plastic and chill in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

To make the tart:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the blackberries, cornstarch, and sugar until well combined.  Let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the tart crust from the refrigerator and spread the blackberry mixture onto the tart crust, leaving a 1/2 inch border.  
  4. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  5. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the cream and vanilla extract.  Bring just to a simmer.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together the créme de cassis, egg yolks, and sugar until smooth.  Whisking constantly, gradually add 1/2 cup of hot cream into the egg yolks.  Immediately add the egg yolk mixture back to the pot and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 6 minutes.
  7. Serve the tart slightly warm with the créme anglaise drizzled over the top.

Recipe courtesy of Not-So-Humble Pies by Kelley Jaggers

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Restaurant-Grade Salsa Recipe

spicy restaurant grade salsa
We learned how to make this recipe at our friend Kacie's going away party that took place a few weeks ago.  We've already made this recipe twice since then so we decided to share it with our readers.  This recipe actually belongs to Kacie's Mother-in-Law, Griselda who grew up in Monterrey, Mexico.  So be sure to give her full credit if you ever decide to use it or else!!

We have tried to make salsa in the past using the freshest ingredients possible with only average results.  We tried a few recipes from one of the best known masters of Mexican cuisine here in the Midwest, Rick Bayless.  These recipes required alot of effort and still fell short of the type of salsa that we have come to love - the kind that is served in simple Mexican restaurants that are ubiquitous here in the 'States.

The key to making this simple recipe is to use canned whole tomatoes, no onions, and only a small amount of garlic.  The canned tomatoes are better preserved than fresh ones, taste just as good, and keep their flavor longer so your salsa will last up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.  Give this recipe a try this weekend along with some Magaritas.

Recommended Equipment:
food processor or blender

2  28oz. cans whole, skinned tomatoes
1 clove diced garlic
5 to 6 serrano or jalapeno peppers + 1 dried red chile pepper
1 handful of finely chopped cilantro, stems removed
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Add two cans of whole, skinned tomatoes to a food processor.  Be sure to remove the hard tops of the tomatoes where the stem was attached as you add them to the food processor.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor.
  3. Pulse the ingredients until they are well combined and form the desired consistency.
  4. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips. 

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Homemade Power Bars

homemade power barsThis recipe is a good one to make on the weekend so that you always have a quick and easy, healthy meal when you are on the go during the week.  You can just grab one of these from the refrigerator in the morning before work and it will keep you from getting hungry during lunch time.  Best of all, they are made from pure ingredients.  Compare the ingredients below with those of energy bars that are sold in stores.  No chemicals or preservatives!

1/4 cup unsalted butter + additional for greasing pan
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 tspn pure vanilla extract
pineapple juice and raisins
1 cup steel cut oats (I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
1 cup 10 grain cereal (Bob's Red Mill for this too)
bobs red mill steel cut oats and 10 grain cereal
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
pumpkin seeds and flax seeds
2 tspn cinnamon
1/2 tspn kosher salt
cinnamon and kosher salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped (I used Vermont Nut Free brand)

  1. Soak raisins in the pineapple juice and vanilla extract for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease an 8 x 8 pan with butter.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, cereal, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Add the eggs and honey to the raisin and pineapple juice mixture.
  5. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the 1/4 cup unsalted butter and then add the oat, seed, and cereal mixture.  Toast the oats, cereal, and seeds for about 4 minutes.
  6. Add the toasted oat, cereal, and seed mixture back to the large mixing bowl.  Mix in the egg, honey, and raisin mixture along with the dark chocolate chips.  Mix until all of the ingredients are well combined.
  7. Pour the mixture into the 8 x 8 pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Remove pan from the oven and let cool. 
  9. Cut into bars and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.   

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Créme de Papaya Recipe

Creme de Papaya is a classic dessert that can be found on the menus of many restaurants in Brazil.  In the states, your best bet is looking for it at one of the many churrascaria chains here such as Fogo de Chao, Texas de Brazil, or Boi Na Braza.  However, as you can see in this recipe, you don't need to go to a restaurant to enjoy this great tasting dessert as it is so easy to make!  The biggest challenge is getting your hands on a bottle of créme de cassis.  But fortunately, you can find it at most liquor stores.  Then all you need is a papaya and some vanilla ice cream and you are in business!  Give this recipe a try the next time that you are looking for a quick, easy, and delicious dessert.

Recommended Equipment:

1/2 papaya
2 - 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
créme de cassis
creme de casis

  1. Cut the papaya in half.  Scoop the ripe flesh out and put it into the blender.
  2. Add 3 generous scoops of ice cream to the blender.
  3. Mix the ice cream and papaya in the blender until they form a smooth, thick cream.
  4. Distribute the mixture evenly between 2 to 3 decorative glasses (we used martini glasses).
  5. Pour a shot of créme de cassis into each glass and then swirl the créme de cassis into the papaya mixture using a spoon.
  6. Serve immediately. 

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