27 July 2014

Rustic Desserts

Lots of photos for you today. My "Rustic Desserts and Ice Cream" rotation was a busy one. There were eight people in my group for this rotation, and we all had to share one table for most of the time, so there was a lot of negotiating on use of table space, and some creative redeployment to any other space that might happen to be open (like the cheese room). We made lots of product; I'll show you my favorites here.

I started by making two pies, a Macadamia Nut Cream Pie, and Lemon Raspberry Meringue pie. The meringue pie was based on this recipe from Bon Appetit, except lemon instead of lime, and raspberries instead of blackberries. The Italian meringue on top toasted up beautifully using a kitchen torch, and had a great roasted marshmallow flavor. I used tayberries for the decor since we were out of raspberries that day. This pie sold very well and was delicious, and not hard to bake. The macadamia nut pie was good, too, though it does not look nearly as glamorous.


This is olive oil / orange cake, served on a base of sliced apricots that were poached in syrup infused with basil. I think if I made this again, I'd strain out the basil after poaching and put in some fresh basil, so it would look prettier on the plate. But in any case, it tasted good, and the cake was very tender and moist.


We had a ton o' peaches that were all ripe at once, so I made a lot of peachy stuff, including this shortcake (which, by the way, was priced at $1.50)...


... and a bunch (three 9 inch and a baker's dozen 5 inch) of peach pies:


I also made some ice cream. First a Bombe (this one is basically whipped cream combined with Italian meringue and frozen), with the cream infused with fresh lemon verbena leaves. It was decadently rich on its own, so I plated it simply with fresh tayberries.


Then I made some buttermilk ice cream, using raw sugar, which turned it a delicate pale brown. One of my rotation buddies made Anzac biscuits (coconut/oatmeal cookies) and assembled those into ice cream sandwiches.


I also made a terrific "slab pie" with a base of pâte sablée (very rich, short pie crust), then a layer of almond cream, topped with quartered fresh apricots and a little raw sugar, and baked in a hot oven until the apricots were roasted. I cut it into bars 2" x 3" and it was hugely popular. It is a recipe Chef Don used to make a lot at one of his bakery gigs, and I can see why it's a best-seller. I forgot to take a photo, though!


  1. The meringue looks great! Nice photo.

    1. it was delicious. now I NEED a kitchen torch of my own :)