Spring is already showing its first signs in the South Hemisphere, specially here in Brazil, where we got a lot of different fruits and flowers at this time of the year. So, here are some recipes that you may follow through by using the fruits and flowers of the season. Even though some of them look harder, they are a pleasant pastime while trying to get out of the still on-going quarantine’s boredom.
- Strawberry Pie (Tarte aux fraises)
This sweet and delicious recipe is one of the most famous in the “pâtisserie française”. It is also known as the Paris citizens’ favorite pie according to an article published in 2011 by Le Figaro. The recipe is divided in two steps: first, we make the pastry, and then we make the filling cream, which is an average custard.
For the pastry, the ingredients are:
250g all-purpose flour
125g cold butter in cubes
3tsp. caster sugar
A pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
For the custard:
30g all-purpose flour
40g caster sugar
½ tsp. vanilla essence
We start with the pastry: take the butter out of the fridge one hour before you begin the recipe, that will melt and soften the butter. Preheat the oven at 180°C. Then add the dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar) to a bowl. Next add the butter and mix it with your hands until the batter becomes homogeneous.
Add water and the egg to the batter and mix it. Then proceed to form a ball with it. Open the dough on a surface dusted with flour, and finally put it into a pie pan, removing the excess and keeping it at a fine thickness, so it will cook well.
Poke the dough with a fork, making tiny holes all around it, and then cover it with parchment paper. Above the paper, you may put any kind of weight, raw beans as an example, so the dough will not inflate due to the oven’s heat. Bake it for 20-25 minutes at 180°C. When the edges become golden brown, you may remove the weight and get it back into the oven for more 5 minutes.
While the crust is getting cold, start making the custard. Boil the milk and then add the vanilla essence to it. At the same time, in a bowl, mix the egg and the sugar. After getting all mixed, add the flour. Finally, add the milk to the mix, and take it back to the stove, mixing it carefully until creamy. Put the finished cream in a bowl and get ready for the funniest part: to assemble the pie!
Spill the already cold cream into the crust, then adorn it with freshly cutter strawberries. You may add some peppermint leaves to give a more refreshing “zint” to your pie.
- Apple Crumble
This British dish is usually made with stewed apple slices topped with a crumbly mixture of butter, flour, and sugar. The crumble is baked in an oven until the topping is crisp. The dish is served as a dessert after a nice warm meal and is often accompanied by ice cream, whipped cream, or custard. The following recipe is one of the best Apple Crumbles ever, and even may become your comfort food for the spring.
For the filling, the ingredients are:
3 medium apples peeled, cored, and sliced to 1cm thick.
2tbsp caster golden sugar.
For the crumble:
175g plain flour
110g golden caster sugar
110g cold butter
For the topping (optional):
Whipped cream or custard, to serve
Preheat the oven at 190°C, then toss the sliced and peeled apples with 2 tbsp golden caster sugar and put in a baking dish. Flat it down with your hand to prevent too much crumble falling through.
Put 175g flour and 110g golden caster sugar in a bowl with a pinch of salt.Slice in 110g cold butter and rub the pastry with your fingertips until the mixture looks like moist breadcrumbs. If the crumbs are too thick, you may also pulse it in the processor until it becomes sandy. Then proceed to put the crumbs over the apples, into a baking tray, pressing it until the crumbs hold together.
Put it into the pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes to gain a golden-brown color. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving. You may also decorate your dish with whipped cream and some fresh berries.
- Banana Pancakes
Bananas are popular around spring, giving its tropical flavor to many dishes, drinks, and deserts. So, to honor this fruit and give a warm welcome to the spring, here is a delicious and easy recipe of banana pancakes. To make these fluffy delicacies, you’ll need some ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, like coconut or soy
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
Combine the dry ingredients first, mixing flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate one, mix the wet ingredients – egg, milk, vegetable oil and bananas. Then mix both into a batter, that shall be a little bit lumpy. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Pour the batter onto the pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides. Serve it warm, with sliced bananas on the top, you may also dust some cinnamon over to get a little spicy.
- Lavender Ice Cream
Lavender is present in almost all of our favorite body lotions, perfumes, and other cosmetics due to its amazing scent. But this flower is also really appreciated in the gastronomy along with herbs and spices. Because of its refreshing flavor, lavender is often infused in honeys, teas, and many other sweets and desserts. Here’s one: a delicious ice cream.
2 cups of milk
1 tablespoon of dried lavender
4 drops of lavender essential oil
5 egg yolks
200g white sugar
2 cups of heavy cream
Heat the milk. Take it off the oven and add the lavender flowers and the lavender essential oil. Let it rest and infuse for 20 minutes, then proceed to strain it. Beat the egg yolks with sugar until it becomes whitened, then add the infused milk. Bring it all back to a pot and heat over low heat, stirring for about 10 minutes until it thickens.
Take it off the oven again and let it cold down for about 5 minutes. Then, mix it well with the heavy cream, and pour it into the ice cream machine.
The article above was edited by Gabriela Girardi
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