contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

fullsizeoutput_3592.jpeg

Blog

Filtering by Tag: dessert

Blackberry Fools

Patricia Reitz

I found the most amazing blackberries at the market the other day - they were super sweet and delicious and I couldn't wait to use them to make Blackberry Fool, an incredibly simple, yet elegant dessert. 

In case you're wondering, fruit fool recipes first started appearing in the year 1598 - the word fool is thought to be derived from the french word "fouler" which means to press or mash.

DSC_4673.JPG

When choosing blackberries, pick ones that are completely black, and taste them to make sure they're sweet because they won't ripen after being picked. 

DSC_4674.JPG

To make blackberry puree, place ripe blackberries and lemon zest in a personal blender or small food processor.

DSC_4683.JPG

Blitz the berries until completely pulverized.  

DSC_4685.JPG

Then pass the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.  A silicone scraper is pretty helpful here.

DSC_4687 (2).JPG

Blackberries contain a LOT of seeds so you definitely want to remove them (discard them or feed them to the chickens). 

Mmmm.... smooth, seedless blackberry puree.

blackberry fool recipe. how to make blackberry fool. what to do with fresh blackberries.

To make blackberry fool, fold together 1 part blackberry puree and 4 parts sweetened whipped cream (recipe below).

no cook blackberry dessert. how to use blackberries. blackberry recipes. blackberry food recipe. dessert with blackberries. what to do with blackberries. recipes that use blackberries. csa desserts. farmstand berry dessert recipe. berry fool recipe with photos. using blackberries from the farmer's market.

You can leave the mixture a little streaky if you like - I think the streaks look kind of cool.

DSC_4699.JPG

Or if you're a bit compulsive and you can't help but continue to fold the two components together until they're completely mixed, go for it.  You do you.

DSC_4700 (2).JPG

Spoon or pipe the mixture into dessert cups.  The dessert cups I chose (these) have very small openings so I filled them using a pastry bag to keep the cups neat and clean.  

DSC_4730 (3).JPG

To complete the presentation, pipe some leftover whipped cream on top using a large closed star tip (like this one) and garnished with a mint leaf.  Enjoy!

Items used to make this recipe:


Blackberry Fool

Makes 6-8 mini desserts (3-ounce)

Ingredients

  • 6 ounce ripe blackberries (or other berries)

  • zest from 1/2 lemon

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Make berry puree by blitzing berries with lemon zest in a personal blender or small food processor; strain seeds and discard.

  2. In a small mixing bowl, whip heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla using a handheld mixer until stiff peaks form.

  3. In another small mixing bowl, fold together 6 tablespoons strained blackberry puree and 1 1/2 cups of sweetened whipped cream until combined (a few streaks remaining look lovely).

  4. To neatly fill dessert cups, transfer berry and cream mixture to a piping bag and carefully fill six 3-ounce mini dessert cups (eight dessert cups if you don't fill them as full).

  5. Place remaining whipped cream in another piping bag filled with a closed star tip and top each dessert.

  6. Garnish with a mint leaf and/or a drizzle of the remaining blackberry puree.

Note:  the blackberries can be substituted with other seasonal berries.

Homemade Cannoli

Patricia Reitz

A big holiday weekend is just around the corner.... and when I think of big holidays, I think of big family gatherings.... and when I think of big family gatherings, I think of big platters of delicious cannoli!  If you live in a big city, you're likely able to get your hands on some pretty good cannoli, but I live in the burbs, were a good cannoli is practically unheard of, so I make my own.  And now you can make your own too - this is how it's done. 

Note:  plan ahead, the filling needs to be prepared about 24 hours before using.  The cannoli shells can be used immediately after cooking, but you can also make them several days ahead of time if you store them in an airtight container (or freeze for up to a month).

Start by mixing together a simple cannoli shell dough, similar to the way you'd make pie dough.  I like to make my dough in the food processor (if you want to see that, check out my all-butter pie crust tutorial). 

The dough will look crumbly, but should hold together when compressed.  The least messy way to do this is to place the crumbles in a large zipper bag and press them into a disk shape.

Seal the bag and place the dough in the fridge.

088.JPG

The dough should chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

008 (2).JPG

When it's time to roll the dough, remove it from the fridge and dust it with a little flour.

Now go down to the basement and dig out your pasta machine (am I right??).  Set the rollers at the widest setting.  For my machine, the widest setting starts at #1, but some machines that would actually be the thinnest setting.  You'll be able to figure out the widest setting on your machine pretty easily.

No pasta machine?  No problem - you can use a rolling pin, but I have to tell you, using a pasta machine is so much more fun! 

Ok, now that your pasta machine's rollers are set for the widest setting, pass the flour-dusted cannoli dough through the rollers.  If you have any kids around, I bet they'd enjoy cranking the handle.

Adjust the rollers of the pasta machine one level thinner.  Dust the now elongated piece of dough with a little more flour and pass it through the machine again.

Continue dusting, adjusting, and rolling, one level at a time, until the dough is very thin like (1/16-inch) - level #5 on my machine (the thinner you roll the dough, the more bubbles will appear on the shells when you fry them).

Continue dusting, rolling, adjusting... dusting, rolling, adjusting....

making cannoli shells at home - recipe and photos.

When you've reached the 5th level, stop rolling and grab a 4-inch round cutter..  Dust the cutter in flour and start cutting the cannoli shells.

The round cutouts aren't quite ready to use yet...

One more quick pass through the pasta machine, this time on the 6th level.  This will turn the round cutouts into ovals - you'll see why in a moment.

Alrighty, time to wrap the dough around the stainless cannoli forms.

Add a dab of water just where the two ends overlap.  Be careful not to get water on the cannoli form because it will cause the dough to stick and the shell will break when you try to remove it.

Press the overlapping edges together well to make sure they're sealed.  If you don't, they can pop open and fall off the form during frying.

homemade cannoli shells. recipe with photos. homemade cannoli - homemade recipe.

If you like, you can flare the ends a little.  Honestly, it looks nice, but I don't usually bother.

048.JPG

Continue rolling the shells while you heat several inches of peanut oil in a deep pan.  

Heat the oil to 360F.  A good candy/oil thermometer is vital (I have this one).

050.JPG

You should also have ready a pair of tongs to remove the shells from the hot oil, and a paper towel lined sheet pan to place them on.  

how to make cannoli from scratch. how to make cannolis. cannoli recipe with how-to photos.

CAREFULLY place the dough-wrapped cannoli forms in the oil and cook until brown and bubbly, being careful not to crowd the pan.  Watch the oil temp - it shouldn't fall below 350F. 

The shells will deepen in color a bit after being removed from the oil so it's not a bad idea to make a few practice ones first.

how to make cannoli shells at home. cannoli recipe with how-to photos.

Carefully remove the extremely hot cannoli forms from the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined sheet pan to cool for a few minutes (watch for hot oil inside the forms).  Carefully slide the shells off the forms (if the shells are too hot, hold them with a clean kitchen towel).   Allow the forms to cool completely before wrapping with more dough.  Continue until all the shells are done.

Remember what I told about not pressing the seams closed well enough?  Oops!  No biggie, cook's treat ;).  

Let me point out a few differences between the two shells above.  The non-flared one on the left started with a thinner disk of dough (resulting in tiny surface bubbles), but you can see by the color that it was left in the hot oil just a little too long.  The flared one on the right started with slightly thicker dough (larger surface bubbles), but it spent the right amount of time in the hot oil.

The shells should be allowed to cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to a week (or freeze for up to a month).  

IMPORTANT:  Don't fill the cannoli shells until just before serving.

Ricotta.jpg

To make the filling, drain ricotta cheese in a cloth lined strainer overnight in the fridge.  Cover with plastic to keep the cheese from absorbing any refrigerator odors. 

Once all the excess whey has drained from the ricotta, add the softened mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, confectioner's sugar, pure vanilla extract (use the best), and ground cinnamon.  Mix them well and chill for 8-12 hours for best flavor.

step-by-step cannoli from scratch. step-by-step cannolis from scratch. how to make cannoli?

When you're ready to fill the shells (shortly before serving), put the filling in a large pastry bag (I like these) or large, heavy-duty zipper bag and cut a 1/2-inch hole at the tip.  Squeeze the filling into each end of the cannoli shells, then dip in chopped pistachios or mini chocolate chips (or both!).  Place the cannoli on a platter and dust with confectioner's sugar (this nifty tool is fun).  

Items used to make this recipe:


Homemade Cannoli

makes about 24 cannoli (leftover cannoli dough can be frozen for use later)

Ingredients

Cannoli Shells:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1/2 cup dry white or rose wine

Cannoli Filling:

  • 2 cups very well drained ricotta cheese (see notes below)

  • 6 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • mini chocolate chips and chopped pistachios for garnish

Directions

To make the cannoli dough:

  1. In the bowl of a small food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

  2. Add the butter, egg yolk, and wine, pulsing until the mixture looks uniformly crumbled.

  3. Place crumbles in zipper bag and press into a disk shape.

  4. Seal bag well and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

To make the cannoli shells:

  1. Roll dough very thin (about 1/16th-inch) using pasta machine, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking.

  2. Cut 4-inch circles using a round biscuit of cookie cutter and pass each round through the pasta machine one more time to turn the round into an oval.

  3. Wrap oval dough around stainless cannoli forms; moisted overlapping edges with a little water and press well to seal (keeping water off cannoli form.

  4. Fry shells in 360F oil until bubbly and golden; remove from heat, drain, and remove from forms when cool enough to do so. Cool completely before filling. Leftover shells can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week (or frozen for up to a month).

To make the filling:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or BeaterBlade attachment, place drained ricotta, mascarpone, cream, confectioner's sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon; beat on medium speed until smooth.

  2. Place mixture in a pastry bag or sturdy zip top bag; refrigerate until ready to use. Don't fill shells until serving.

Notes:

  • To drain ricotta, place in a sieve lined with cheesecloth (or coffee filter, linen tea towel, etc) and suspend over a bowl; cover well with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.

  • Prepared filling should chill 8-12 hours for best flavor.

  • For best results, fill shells just before serving.