Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

White Chocolate and Frozen Berries

print recipe card posted in Sweets by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

This is my absolute favorite dessert of any I have ever eaten in my whole life!

I first tasted this at the Ivy restaurant in London. They call it Scandinavian Berries; I call it a plate-licking conversation stopper! To make this dessert you will need:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) of heavy cream
  • 10 ounces of white chocolate
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla

As well as a half-pint each of 3 small berries like

  • blueberries
  • red raspberries and
  • blackberries

Over in England, there are all sorts of teeny-tiny berries available at the grocery store. However, here in Boston, blueberries are pretty much the smallest berry you can buy.

To make this dessert we need to:

  1. Freeze the berries
  2. Melt the heavy cream, chocolate and vanilla extract together
  3. Pour the hot melted chocolate mixture over the frozen berries.

The blackberries will probably be bigger than the other berries, so start by cutting the blackberries in half, making all the pieces of the berries approximately the same size. Then lay a piece of wax paper or parchment paper on a baking sheet with sides. Spread ALL the berries out in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Lay the baking sheet in the freezer. Once the berries are frozen, remove them from the tray and store them in a baggie in the freezer.

Use the absolute best white chocolate that you can afford. (Try to avoid using “white chocolate chips” as they are not really chocolate.) The block of white chocolate that I bought needs to get chopped up into tiny pieces. It will melt much faster when it’s chopped up.

Put the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl that fits on top of a pan that has an inch or two of water on the bottom. (This is the “double-boiler” system.)

We melted dark chocolate in the fudge recipe this way.

You have to make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. The whole point of a *double boiler* is to melt/cook things very gently by having the steam from the water (not the water itself) heat the upper bowl!

Add the heavy cream and the vanilla to the bowl of chocolate.

Give it an occasional stir until everything is warm, melted, and all blended together.

About 5 minutes before serving, put the berries in a single layer in a flat bowl.

Pour the hot chocolate mixture into a heat-proof jug. At the table, in front of your guests, pour the hot chocolate mixture over the frozen berries.

The chocolate warms up the berries and the berries cool down the chocolate. One bite and you will be hooked on this utterly fantastic dessert!

Enjoy!

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The Easiest Way to Make Pie

posted in Sweets by Kathy Maister

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No-Bake Chocolate Cheese Cake Pie

All beginner cooks are terrified of making a pie. If you have zero experience at pie making, a frozen or “no-bake” pie recipe (using a pre-made crust) is a good place to start. (The ten no-bake pies listed below are all perfect recipes for a beginner cook!)

Buying or Making The Crust

Many ice cream pies or no-bake pies call for a graham cracker crust. You can buy a graham cracker pie shell in the baking section of the grocery store or try making a graham cracker crust yourself. (These cracker crusts can also be made with many other sweet cracker/cookies like oreo cookies, ginger snaps, vanilla wafers, etc.)

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Or you can buy a ready-made pie shell, usually found in the freezer section of the grocery store.

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When making an un-cooked pie (like an ice cream pie), these pie shells will have to get baked and cooled before filling them.

For those of you ready to tackle the pie dough making challenge, our friend Heidi at the Ward Street Bistro has a wonderful pie crust recipe that does not require “rolling out” the dough.

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This “Press in the Pan” pie dough recipe looks great for anyone intimated by a rolling pin!

Easy Pie Recipes:

Ice Cream Pie
You can concoct a very simple pie without a recipe. Buy a ready-made pie crust (or make a graham cracker one) and a tub of ice cream or frozen yogurt. Set the ice cream out to soften. Once you can scoop it easily, fill the pie crust, smooth the top and add any toppings you want (nuts, whipped cream, chocolate sauce). Then put it back into the freezer until serving time.

Pudding Pies
Similarly, you can make a custom pie with pudding and fruit. Just buy a box of pudding mix – chocolate, vanilla, or another flavor – follow the directions, and pour it into a ready-made pie crust. Top it with sliced bananas, strawberries, or whatever you like. Refrigerate the pie until you are ready to serve it.

Frozen Lemonade Pie
The folks over at Baked Perfection tried this recipe (from the Food Network show Down Home With the Neely’s) for a Fourth of July party and fell in love with it. Set in a graham cracker crust, its sweet, lemony filling calls for frozen lemonade concentrate, whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk. An easy alternative to a baked lemon meringue pie!

Nutter Butter Frozen Pie
Hello, peanut butter fans? It’s your dream pie calling. This one has a crust made of crushed Nutter Butter cookies (but feel free to substitute a pre-made one) and a frosty peanut butter and cream cheese filling.

Frozen Oreo Pie
The name says it all!

Frozen Blueberry Pie
This pie is not frozen in the sense that it sits in the freezer; it’s a baked blueberry pie that calls for frozen blueberries and a frozen pie crust. I’m including it because summer is the time for blueberries (even frozen) and this is a very easy version of your typical fruit pie that calls for crust made from scratch.

Chocolate Fudge Pie
One bite of this decadent pie and you’ll never look at silken tofu the same way again. It’s one of the keys to this pie’s creamy fudginess.

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No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Banana Tofu Pie
Here’s another recipe that involves tofu. This pie uses either a homemade or store-bought graham cracker crust to hold an intense filling. It takes about 15 minutes to make, then goes in the fridge or freezer for a couple of hours.

No-Bake Mango Pie
Anything mango is great in the summer. This one contains mango puree which you can buy in a can or make your own.

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How to Peel a Mango

No-Bake Key Lime Pie
A can of frozen limeade concentrate is what gives this simple pie its lime flavor.

Easy Coconut Banana Cream Pie takes just 20 minutes to make! This pie will need 4 hours in the refrigerator to set. It’s worth the wait!

My No-Bake Chocolate Cheese Cake Pie (shown above) is a rich chocolaty cheese cake pie that will quickly become a family favorite. It does involves whipping your own heavy cream. (For a quick review on whipping cream, check out my post on How to Make Whipped Cream)

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Fruit Dip

print recipe card posted in Appetizers and Snacks, Sweets, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

In the summer an amazing selection of fresh fruits and vegetables start to show up at the grocery store. For your next dinner party try serving a beautiful selection of fruit along with some dip. This is a sweet dip that can be made with either sour cream or yogurt or a combination of the two.

This recipe also calls for macaroons. They are a coconut cookie that is soft and very moist and often sold in a flip top can. Each one measures about 1 ½ inch by 1 ½ inch. You can also buy them fresh at some bakeries.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 12 Macaroons crushed into small pieces
  • ¼ cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 pint of dairy sour cream or plain yogurt
  • Assorted fruits
  • Fresh mint, optional

Put the macaroons in a medium bowl and with your (clean!) hands crush them with your fingers.

Measure ¼ cup of brown sugar. Be sure to pack it into the measuring cup.

Add it to the macaroons. Add 1 pint of sour cream or yogurt

Fat-free Greek style yogurt is a perfect substitute for sour cream. It is a lot healthier than sour cream, and it is much thicker than regular yogurt.

Mix everything together and cover it with plastic wrap. Put it in the refrigerator for several hours to chill.

You could serve this in a bowl surrounded with fresh fruit, the same way you would a Vegetable Platter with dip.

Fresh Vegetables With Dip

Or make individual servings. Fresh mint is a perfect garnish for this dessert!

Enjoy!

Fresh Fruit Dip

Makes about 3 cups of dip

Mix together:

  • 12 Macaroons, crushed into small pieces
  • ¼ cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 pint of dairy sour cream or Greek style yogurt
  • Assorted fruits
  • Fresh mint, optional

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