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Gooseberry and Red Currant Popsicles And More Popsicles


Have I gone gooseberry crazy? It’s all together possible!  Wasting food is abhorent to me and I wanted to make sure I used every single gooseberry and currant that I bought. Besides the crumble which is pretty standard fare I wanted to do something a little bit different with them. Since it’s so hot out I decided that popsicles would be the way to go, icy and cold and delicious a great way to beat the heat and use up my berries. In making the popsicles I discovered the real flavor of the gooseberry, there is a lovely floral note and when cooked with some sugar and water, it really brings out the flavor. It reminds me a little of elderflower. The popsicles are a mix of green and purple gooseberries and at the end after straining the pulp I added the red currants distributing into a half frozen popsicle. Don’t throw that pulp away, it’s really delicious with just a couple of tablespoons of the syrup to loosen it up, it makes a delicious preserve or jam on biscuits, scones or toast.  FYI, the gooseberries and currants are labor intensive to clean and de stem, kind of like pitting cherries. Each gooseberry needs to be clipped on each and end and the currants are very tiny and each individual currant needs to be picked off of the stems. Labor intensive but worth the effort.


Gooseberry and Red Currant Popsicles

Makes 8 popsicles

1 pint gooseberries (approx)clipped

1-1 1/4 cups sugar (You can add less if using the sweeter gooseberry, I mixed them and they were very sour)

1 1/4 cup water

1/3 (approx) cup red currants

Put the gooseberries, sugar and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until the berries pop open. Strain into heat proof bowl or cup.  Immediatly add the currants and let them sit until it cools then refrigerate.

I decided to add some red currents that would be suspended inside the popsicle. The currants float in the liquid so in order to ensure that they are dispersed within the pop I partially froze it. a couple of hours in the freezer without the stick inserted, the mixture is not frozen solid just slushy, you then place some currants in and spread them around with a skewer, insert the sticks and put back in the freezer.

So pretty

We are smack dab in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures soaring to almost 100 degree’s and thats not the heat index. I so love my popsicle mold I have been making popsicles all the time, they are stockpiled in my freezer. I really love experimenting, in the summer lemonade and iced tea are favorite drinks that I almost always keep in the refrigerator. So I thought I would make both into popsicles. Sweet tea with mint and lemonade with raspberries. Ice cold and portable these popsicles are wonderful. All you need to do is make lemonade and iced tea, no recipe required. When the popsicles were partially frozen after 2 hours in the freezer I added some raspberries to the lemonade and mint leaves to the sweet tea. I ran out of lemonade so made one Arnold Palmer popsicle, half lemonade and half tea.

sweet tea and lemonade raspberry popsicles

sweet tea and lemonade raspberry popsicles

All of these frozen treats are coming with me to Angie’s for Fiesta Friday #129. Got my ice chest ready and I will rush over so they don’t melt. This week’s co hosts are Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Colleen @ Faith, Hope, Love & Luck. See you all at the party!



Just a quick note to you everyone. I thought my inbox was light, but attributed this to the summer, people being away etc.. That was not the case,  just glanced at my junk folder and there were almost 1500 emails (1473 to be exact) that never made it to my inbox, I have missed thousands of emails from you all, so if I have not commented or stopped by your blog to see what you are up to I apologize but I didn’t see the notification. I had to turn off my junk filter so now I will hopefully get your email notifications. It burns me up because it allowed all this junk that always goes straight to the trash in my inbox and filtered almost everyone’s blog posts. So so sorry. I don’t think I will be able to catch up, there are simply too many emails that go back to June. You do not have to respond to this but I wanted to let you know that I did not intentionally ignore your blogs, I didn’t see the posts but now I will (I HOPE).

Thanks so much everyone who is so kind to comment here, you always make my day, week, month and year!!



A Non Traditional Panzanella, A Gooseberry Red Currant And Plum Crumble And Salsa



The first thing that I made with my Farmers Market finds is a salad. There is nothing like a salad made with fresh vegetables. There is no recipe for this, it’s a salad after all and everyone has their own favorite way of making and dressing them, this is sort of a panzanella,  sort of because it’s not traditional. A traditional Tuscan panzanella is made with tomatoes and stale bread dressed with olive oil and vinegar. I spread pesto on the bread and put it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown. Saturday’s farmers market find included both cherry and regular size tomatoes, for a salad cherry tomatoes are so easy and I love how crisp and sweet they are.




spring onion



shaved pecorino romano

salt and pepper

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, slice the onion very thinly, cut the cucumber into small pieces and throw it all in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Spread some pesto on the bread and either broil or grill until lightly browned. Cut into bite size pieces. Dress the salad with vinegar and oil. I don’t measure starting out light and adding more as/if needed. Add the bread and toss it together. Shave pecorino romano cheese on top and enjoy.



Today I experimented with some of the gooseberries. Having never eaten them or cooked with them I didn’t really know what to expect,  For the first attempt I thought a crumble would be nice and only made two individual servings in my tiny cocotte pans. I chose purple gooseberries, red currants and a golden plum. The fruit when baked produced a lot of juice and was very tart, next time I would probably add another 2 tbs of sugar although the tart fruit when eaten with some vanilla ice cream was really nice. For the crumble top I used spelt, oat and AP flour in equal parts added some butter and brown sugar. Before baking I dotted with a little butter and sprinkled with demerara sugar.  I thought adding a plum would be nice with the gooseberries and currants, somewhere in my research I saw that the gooseberry is a member of the plum family or vice versa, not sure thats correct but they do go together nicely.

Gooseberry,red currant and plum crumble

serves 2


1/4 cup spelt flour

1/4 cup oat flour or oats

1/4 cup AP flour

1/4 cup dark brown sugar (not packed)

4 tbs butter+ more to dot on top before baking

whisk the flour and brown sugar together add the butter and mix with your hands until it resembles pea size crumbs.


red currants

purple gooseberries

1 golden plum

1/4-1/2 cup sugar

I didn’t measure the berries if I had to guess how much it was about 1/3 cup of each. Put all the fruit into a bowl and add the sugar, toss to combine. Spoon into baking dishes and top with the crumble topping. Dot with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degree’s for approximately 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream.

Warm crumble with vanilla ice cream

Warm crumble with vanilla ice cream

There are a few more recipes I plan on making with the gooseberries and will post them very soon, it’s fun working with an ingredient you are not familiar with getting your sea legs so to speak. The crumble was delicious the combination of gooseberries, currants and plum created a lot of juice and some of the crumble sank creating what was more akin to a cobbler. It was really good this turned out to be a cobbler/crumble.



The green gooseberries are very tart, sour really and using them in a savory dish seemed like it would be delicious. I had a flounder filet earmarked for dinner the other night and thought instead of a heavy tartar sauce (love it) a light fruity salsa would be nice with the fish. I didn’t measure, don’t need to with this type of dish, the beauty of it is that it is tailored to suite the individual’s taste.


makes approximate a cup of salsa

Green gooseberries (larger ones cut in half and quartered and small ones cut in half)]

1/2 mango- chopped

1 purple spring onion- chopped

approx a tbs of chopped fresh mint

1 jalapeno chopped and seeds removed

1 small orange bell pepper chopped

approx a tbs of chopped flat leaf parsley

juice of one whole lime

salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients, serve right away.










A Trip To The Green Market, And My Introduction to Gooseberries

Green Market Haul

Green Market Haul

It has been hot here, I mean really uncomfortably hot and humid and even though I have AC it’s still hard to use the stove. It’s been a few weeks since I have gone to the Farmers Market in my neighborhood, each week I went I was disappointed to find nothing, so I decided to check it out this weekend and I happily found some beautiful produce. There are still no strawberries though, did I miss them?  Every year I see basket after basket of gooseberries and until this year I have never bought them, I really don’t know what to do with them. Same with the red currants, I have had red currant jam, dried currants in Persian rice,  but have not actually bought and made anything with fresh berries. It’s just me and Percy and as you can see from the photo, as my Mom would say my eyes are bigger than my stomach. How can you resist when you see produce this beautiful, it’s impossible for me. I tend to shop with my eyes, if something looks beautiful, even if I don’t know how to use, it will probably end up in my basket.

Weather wise summer is my least favorite season, I am not a person who enjoys being in the sun, I detest being hot and sweaty and braving the heat to go to the Green Market was uncomfortable, but once I saw all of that produce I forgot how hot it was outside, that is until I had to lug it all home. I have 2 tomato plants in the garden that are producing some cherry tomatoes, in dribs and drabs. I keep a container by the door and religously pick a few ripe tomatoes each day. Maybe someday soon I will have enough to make a salad. My zucchini plant never produced anything except for one zucchini blossom that I let sit, thinking it would turn into a zucchini, it didn’t.

the end of the homemade pesto and homeade bread

the end of the homemade pesto and homeade bread ready for salad

My favorite salad is simple, cucumber and tomato, maybe a little onion and grilled bread. After buying the beautiful heirloom tomatoes and the seedless Persian cucumbers I knew that is what I had to make. A few days ago I harvested a huge amount of basil from my garden and made pesto. For this salad, the bread is slathered with pesto and grilled, then broken or cut in bite size pieces and added to the cucumbers and tomatoes. The dressing is simple, olive oil and vinegar. Sometimes I will add some crumbled feta or ricotta salata.  The salad is incredibly flavorful, fresh organic produce and bread that is grilled with pesto make an absolutely delicious and satisfying meal.

I will shamefully admit that I have never eaten or cooked with gooseberries or fresh currants, it’s hard to believe that every year I pass them up at the farmers market without so much as a glance back. This year is different, I grabbed 2 lovely punnets of gooseberries green and purple and some red currants. Now that they are in my hot little hands what to do with them?  They taste pretty sour, I like sour so find it appealing but I don’t think I could sit there and eat them by the handful. Doing an internet search there is really not very many recipes using gooseberries, there is compote, jam and pie and a few savory recipes as sort of a chutney with meat as well as beverages. I love wikipedia, vital information at the touch of a keypad, according to this online source there are a few varieties of gooseberries and they are quite popular in England.  The three varieties noted are the European/North American, Indian and Peruvian Gooseberry. The Indian gooseberry seems to be the most nutritious with the highest vitamin C content. All contain moderate levels of anti oxidents.

This post is too long, because I dislike having too much information in one post, it will be divided into two and the recipes will come later. In closing here are Percy’s thoughts on the summer heat. Wishing everyone a relaxing Sunday!!

I hear ya Percy

I hear ya Percy


Black and White Cookies For Fiesta Friday #127


Black and White Cookies are an iconic treat made famous in New York City. There are multitudes of articles and opinions of who makes the best. Russ and Daughters, Zabar’s, Glasers, the opinions are as numerous as the number of black and whites in NYC. In doing some research I saw that one theory of origin is that it was was first made in Utica, NY and called “the half moon” (my hometown) at Hemstroughts Bakery (my families favorite bakery). You can see reference to the black and white on one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes and it is thought to be “the New York snack”.  History aside, these are some seriously delicious cookies, or really they are small cakes. The cookie part is like a sponge cake, soft and voluptuous and the glaze is sweet and the perfect topping for this substantial cookie.

I thought I would try my hand at making the “black and white” and studied some recipes and my favorite was one from Epicurious. It seemed very easy to make and the cookies looked wonderful. The recipe makes eight large cookies, now they say to put about 1/4 cup batter 2 inches apart on a large sheet pan, maybe mine was not large enough because some of my cookies ran together. I don’t really care that they are not perfectly round, as long as they taste good. Let me tell you, this is a really good recipe, the cookies are delicious. The cookie came out exactly as it should, flat on the bottom and domed on the top, it has a tender crumb and is very cake like. The glaze is wonderful as well. This recipe is a keeper.

I made these cookies with 2 things in mind, first of all my young cousin who lives in NYC just had surgery and I am going to see her tomorrow, her favorite thing is the black and white so I am bringing some to her. Next I am lucky enough to be co hosting Fiesta Friday #127 this week with the lovely and uber talented Jess @Cooking Is My Sport. You are all invited to the party!!


Black And White Cookies

Recipe on Epicurious

1 1/4 cup AP flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup butter softened to room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup buttermilk (I didn’t have buttermilk so I thinned some creme fraiche, worked great)

1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degree’s. Whisk together or sift the flour, baking soda and salt.  In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to combine well. Mix the vanilla with the buttermilk. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk ending with the flour mixture. The batter is quite thick and I used a heaping 1 1/2 tbs scoop for each cookie. Line your cookie sheet with parchment and spray lightly with cooking spray. (In retrospect I would not bake all 8 cookies at the same time because some of them ran together slightly) place the scoops about 2 inches apart and bake for about 15 minutes (I took them out at 13 minutes). Place cookies on cooling rack and make the glaze.

Vanilla and Chocolate Glaze

1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 tbs clear corn syrup

2 tsp lemon juice

1-2 tbs water

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.

1/4 tsp vanilla

Mix the sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice and vanilla together. Add water as needed until it’s spreading consistency, it will be thick. The recipe said to divide into two bowls, I didn’t do that. When the coolies were cool I spread the white part with a small offset spatula, when that was done I added to the remaining glaze the chocolate, 1/2 tsp corn syrup and another tbs of water and spread that on the other half of the cookie (it saved me from getting another bowl dirty). Make sure the glaze is set before storing them.

Really good

Really good, quality control, cooks perogative taste testing.



Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream And Saveur Blog Awards Nominating A Friend


As far back as I can remember I have loved ice cream in almost any form. Whether on a stick, in a cup or cone, in a milk shake or float it’s all good. When I was 16 years old my first job was a scooper at Baskin Robbins, a dream job for this ice cream lover. My favorite flavor was Jamoca Almond Fudge. I have always loved coffee and chocolate and this combination was so delicious, we were allowed a free cone during our work shift and this was the flavor I always chose.  It has been a long time since I’ve been to a Baskin Robbins, I was only going by memory of how this ice cream tastes and it’s really pretty close to how I remember it.

I wanted a good strong coffee flavor so I cold brewed some dark roast coffee in half and half, I decided against making a traditional custard with eggs, instead I heated cream and half and half, milk, sugar and cornstarch making a thickish base, after removing from the heat I added the cream cheese,  cold brewed coffee mixture, some vanilla and a tsp of cocoa powder and refrigerated. The fudge component is a ganache, 4 oz chocolate and 4 ounces of cream. Toast some almonds in the oven and chop them and there you have it. Simple and very delicious.

Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream

Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream recipe on Food52

Makes approximately 1 quart

Cold Brewed Coffee

1 cup half and half or milk or all three

4 coffee scoops of dark roast coffee

Place in jar, shake and refrigerate at least 24 hours up to 48 hours. When done strain and refrigerate until ready to use.

Ice Cream Base

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup whole milk or half and half

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tbs corn starch

1-2 tbs softened cream cheese

1 cup cold brewed coffee

1 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp instant espresso (medaglia d’oro)

Place heavy cream and milk or half and half, sugar and cornstarch in heavy saucepan. Whisk to combine and cook on medium heat until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add the cream cheese, whisk to combine and then add the cold brewed coffee, cocoa powder and instant espresso. Stir well and pour into bowl or glass measuring cup lay plastic wrap on top of the custard, cover with another sheet of plastic and refrigerate overnight. NOTE: I don’t add the cold brewed coffee to the pot with the cream and milk and heat because I find that coffee takes on a different flavor when heated directly on the stove or even in the microwave. I wanted the coffee flavor to be pure and not compromised by heat.

Fudge swirl and toasted almonds

4 oz chocolate, dark or dark and milk your choice

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tbs light corn syrup (optional)

1/2 cup whole raw almonds

Heat heavy cream in microwave or on stove top until scalding. In microwave approximately 45 seconds. Add chopped chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until all the chocolate is melted, if there are pieces put back in microwave for 15-20 seconds. Add the optional corn syrup. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat oven to 350 place almonds on sheet pan and toast until they are fragrant, approximately 10-15 minutes, or toast the almonds in a skillet. Let cool and chop into small pieces.

Making the Ice Cream

Take the fudge out of the refrigerator so that it comes to room temperature, you may need to help it along by putting in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Make the ice cream by following the manufacturers directions, when the ice cream is almost done add the almonds, churn for a minute or so just so that the almonds are mixed in and then put half in your container, add several spoonful of the fudge on top. Repeat adding the rest of the ice cream, fudge. Using a bamboo skewer or butter knife swirl the fudge into the ice cream. Freeze until it is a scoopable consistency, I find it takes at least 4 hours in the coldest part of the freezer but usually I let it sit overnight.


Saveur Magazine is now taking nominations for their 2016 blog awards and I have nominated my friend Aleksandra, her amazing and gorgeous blog deserves the award IMHO. She has done a guest post on this blog and is a good friend from Food52. I nominated her in the photography category, one look at her photo’s and you will see why, visit her blog, Three Little Halves and if you feel so inclined and don’t mind please nominate her for the Saveur Award in the category of photography, it only takes a second. She won a James Beard award for her writing and when a blog is this beautiful it deserves to be noticed. Thank you so much.



Coconut Lime Slushy Happy 4th Of July


This is one of my favorite summer drinks, I posted it a few years ago and decided to resurrect it for the 4th of July Holiday as part of my frozen treat series.  This drink is reminiscent of a pina colada but it’s not one exactly. I make it with more lime than pineapple and use unsweetened coconut milk and lime simple syrup so that I can control the sweetness. Rather than use crushed ice which I feel waters the drink down,  I freeze the coconut lime mixture in an ice cube tray. The cubes are solid but easy to break up in the blender. You can add as much rum as you like or make it virgin, it’s equally as delicious. One other cool thing about this drink is that because the drink base is frozen into cubes you can make 1 or more and leave the rest in the freezer for use later on. Remove the cubes place in freezer bag and store in the freezer. I love making multiple batches so I always have some of the cubes on hand. I double and triple this recipe so I always have some of the drink base on hand. It’s so easy to make and very convenient to have on hand.


This recipe won a whole foods recipe contest, as a matter of fact it was the last contest sponsored by Whole Foods. I miss them, it was a lot of fun.  I am celebrating the 4th of July, Independance Day with my good friends at a backyard BBQ! Have a wonderful Day Everyone.

Coconut Lime Slushy

Lime Simple Syrup:

1 Lime peel removed (Use the peeled lime for the drink base)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water
In saucepan add sugar and water, bring to a boil let boil for approximately 2 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved take off heat, add lime peel. Cover and let sit until cool. Remove the lime peel. Store in jar in refrigerator. You can easily double this to make more simple syrup.

Remove all the pith

Remove all the pith

The Drink Base:

1 13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk

1 Lime peeled and all of the pith removed and quartered (Use the lime you used for the simple syrup)

4-6 tablespoons lime simple syrup (Make it as sweet as you like)

2 -3 ounces Pineapple juice (unsweetened) Start with two and if you need a little more liquid to break up cubes in blender add another ounce.

1 ounce Rum (Add more if you like it stronger)

To your food processor add the quartered lime and coconut milk. Process until lime is pulverized. Strain into measuring cup. Add 4-6 tbs of the lime simple syrup. (Adjust the sweetness to suite your taste. Pour into ice cube tray and freeze.
When the coconut lime is frozen, remove from ice cube tray, place in blender,  add pineapple juice and rum and blend until the cubes are broken up and it’s a slushy consistency. Pour and serve. Garnish with lime and pineapple.

Creamy thick and ice cold

Creamy thick and ice cold

Image from Google

Image from Google Happy 4th of July

Boozy Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt Pops


I am dedicating the next few posts to frozen treats, ice cream. sorbet and popsicles.  These popsicles are so simple to make and sort of nutritionally sound because they contain very little sugar and if you omit the booze it’s like a frozen breakfast popsicle. A few posts back I told you I made a rhubarb cordial, I used it in the Pavlova and now in these popsicles. They are so easy to make, all you need is a popsicle mold and a few ingredients, no cooking required. You don’t need to use any alcohol in your pops, honestly there is so little in this it’s almost not there,  but for a family friendly popsicle simply omit. I didn’t really use a recipe for this, eyeballed and the measurements below are approximate, it just happens that it made pretty much the right amount to fill the molds. I added and tasted so bear in mind that this is not exact.

I just got a great popsicle mold made my onyx, it’s stainless steel, freezes quickly and the popsicles come out like a dream. I am very happy with it because it also has a feature that ensures the stick remains in place and can be inserted when you first place it in the freezer, genius.


I’ve got my ice packs and insulated carrier ready because I’m bringing these beauties to Fiesta Friday #126. This is a holiday weekend and Angie’s co hosts are all of us. It is up to us to vote on our favorite recipes.

Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt Popsicles

Makes 8

measurements are approximate


2 cups strawberries cleaned and sliced

2 tbs sugar (use if you like and sweeten to taste)

1/4 cup rhubarb cordial


2 cups whole milk greek yogurt (approximately 14 oz)

sugar to taste

2 tbs rhubarb cordial

1 tsp vanilla

Mash the macerated strawberries with a fork. Mix the yogurt with the sugar, rhubarb cordial and vanilla. The cordial thins the very thick greek yogurt slightly, if using greek yogurt you will want to thin it a bit with either the cordial or a liquor, water, milk or cream or fruit juice, your choice. Layer the strawberries first, then the yogurt and end with the yogurt. Place in freezer and enjoy in 4+ hours. See how easy this is.




Chimichurri Marinated Petit Filet With Roasted Potato And Tomato


Kind of a long recipe title I know and I tried every which way to shorten it but wanted it to describe the dish, hence the way too long title. In the summer when it’s hot the last thing I like to do is stand over a hot stove and my BBQ grill is the answer to that. I normally make this with flank steak but there was a sale on petit filet which I love, they are tender and quite tasty and I thought using the same chimichurri marinade for these little pieces of beef would be delicious. It’s so simple and you can actually prepare the meat the night before, marinating overnight makes the meat even more flavorful. The chimichurri I have posted here before, it’s really good both as a marinade and condiment. The leftover chimichurri went on the micro potatoes which I roasted in the oven along with some baby heirloom tomatoes. A simple and delicious dinner that can be made quickly and easily using the grill, oven or stovetop.

Since it’s grilling season and it’s Friday, Fiesta Friday #125 that is I am bringing all of this with me to the party. Angie and her co hosts  Quinn from the blog Dad What’s 4 Dinner and the lovely Elaine from the amazing vegetarian blog Foodbod (Elaine sorry this is a post with meat while you are co hosting).


Petit Filet

chimichurri for marinade

2 petit filet totalling about 1 1/2 lbs

salt and pepper

olive oil

Place the meat and about 2-3 heaping tbs of the chimichurri in a zip lock bag, seal, squish the marinade around so it’s covering the meat and refrigerate at least an hour or better overnight.

Take the meat out of the refrigerator, scrape off excess marinade and let meat sit for about 30 minutes to take the chill off. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

It takes about 8-10 minutes total (for medium rare) approximately 4-5 minutes on each side on a red hot grill. Be sure to cover the meat loosely for about 10-15 minutes before carving.

Tomatoes and Potatoes

Pre heat oven to 375 degree’s.

Using two sheet pans one for tomatoes and one for potatoes, line with parchment. Drizzle olive oil on tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. The micro potatoes can be cut in half or left whole, wash and dry, place in a bowl and add the chimichurri, make sure each potato is covered in the marinade. Place on sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until the potatoes are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside and the tomatoes are soft and slightly caramelized. In all it took about 25 minutes in my oven.

Percy with his birthday cake

Percy with his birthday cake couldn’t resist he loved his cake


Pavlova With Strawberries And Elderflower Whipped Cream


Normally I don’t post 2 days in a row, but today is the summer soltice which happens to also fall on the same day as the full moon, the strawberry moon,  a once in a lifetime occurrence the last time this happened was in 1948,  so to celebrate I made Pavlova, an ethereal, light and beautiful dessert, I used strawberries in honor of the strawberry moon and they happen to be at their peak now.  I’ve never made one before, I’ve seen them all over blogs and food websites and it’s been on my bucket list for a while now. After making the rhubarb cordial I have been thinking of different ways to use it besides in drinks. This dessert came to mind, pavlova with strawberries that are macerated in the rhubarb cordial piled onto the meringue layer and topped with whipped cream that is gently flavored with elderflower. I found so many recipes online for the meringue and believe it or not they all varied in cooking temp, ranging from 180 degrees up to 300. I opted for Ina Gartens recipe which bakes at the lower temp of 180, I didn’t want it to brown but to stay white.

It is a dreamy dessert, beautiful to look at, I love the way the layers are each a little different making it just a little off, slightly cracked, perfect in it’s imperfection. It is elegant and delicious. If I sound smitten it’s because I am. Strawberry and rhubarb are a great combination and although this contains only a rhubarb liquor the flavor though subtle is still there. This is a decidedly adult dessert, and if you don’t happen to have any of the rhubarb cordial, macerating the strawberries in sugar is delicious and will be family friendly or you do not have to macerate the berries, slicing and layering on the cake is perfectly fine. The lovely syrup that the strawberries were sitting in is then drizzled over the finished cake when served. The recipe was delicious as it was but next time I would make a few minor changes.



4 extra large egg whites at room temperature (I used large eggs)

pinch of kosher salt

1 cup sugar (Next time I will use 3/4 cup sugar)

2 tsp corn starch (I would increase the cornstarch to 3 tsp)

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

Slice some strawberries and sprinkle with sugar, I poured a scant 1/2 cup of rhubarb cordial on them and macerated for an hour or two. Remove strawberries, drain in sieve over a bowl and set aside, save the rhubarb syrup it’s wonderful drizzled on the pavlova.

Pre heat the oven to 180 degree’s or the lowest setting on your oven. Prepare a sheet pan by lining with parchment and draw circles 8 inch round on the parchment and turn over so the pencil or pen is not touching the batter, or do as I did and use three 8 inch parchment rounds (had to use a half and quarter sheet pan) I wanted 3 thinner layers rather than one thick layer.

Put the egg whites in your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the pinch of salt and whip until they are thick and foamy, slowly add the sugar about a tbs at a time and beat them until they are glossy and stiff (about 2-3 minutes).  Fold the corn starch and vanilla into the egg whites. Spoon onto the parchment rounds and smooth. Bake for 1 1/2 hours turn off the oven and leave in the oven until completely cooled. I liked using the parchment rounds because it was very easy to peel them off the meringue rounds.


To Assemble

Whip the cream, add the sugar and vanilla and if you have a tsp of elderflower syrup. I used 1 cup of heavy cream, a generous tbs of sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.

Place a meringue round on serving plate or cake stand. Spoon some of the strawberries on and top and some whipped cream. Place the other meringue round on top, repeat and top with last meringue, spoon some of the whipped cream on top and decorate with berries.



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