Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. Red, white, and blue day. Red is for strawberries, to be consumed in cake, pie, and beverages aplenty.
This post is really about two things: the lemonade pictured above and puree, which has multiple uses over and above mere lemonade. Once the puree is prepared, then you options are diverse:
- Strawberry lemonade: 1 part puree to 3 part lemonade [canned is okay but see other blog posts here for outrageous lemonade ideas using lemons from scratch
- Strawberry Agua Fresca: 1 part puree to 3 parts cold water
- Strawberry Fritzer: 1 part puree to 3 parts cold club soda or seltzer water
- Strawberry Margarita: see the recipe below
My 1-to-3 proportions are simply my personal preference. Depending on the flavor power of your strawberries and the ache in your sweet tooth and the acidity of your lemonade, you'll want to adjust the proportions. Do a side experiment with chilled liquids before making a major decision.
Yield: 2+ cups
- 4 cups of perfectly ripe strawberry halves [that's a four cup measure randomly filled with halves, not packed]
- ¾ cup of granulated sugar
- Juice of one small lemon
Before you halve the berries, wash and dry them. Make sure you snip off the end and any sore spots.
Put the berries in a blender, or, better, a VitaMix. Blend for two minutes until liquefied. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Blend another minute or two. If using a blender, you may want to sieve the liquid. If you are using a Vitamix, the machine is so powerful that sieving is really not necessary.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The puree is best used on Day 1.
Source: Brian O’Rourke
Photo Information: Canon T2i, 30MM, F/4.5 for 1/50 second with ISO 800
Strawberry Margarita from Rick Bayless Frontera Grill
Yield: 4 drinks
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (2 to 3 limes)
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup Tres Generaciones Blanco Tequila
3/4 cup pureed strawberries
1/4 cup cucumber juice (peel and cube fresh cucumber and puree in a blender)
About 1 cup coarsely broken ice cubes
Make limonada (limeade). Combine lime juice, sugar and a scant 2/3 cup of water in a glass or plastic pitcher. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (but no longer than 24 hours).
Finishing and serving the margaritas. Rub the rims of 4 martini glasses with a lime wedge, then dip them in a dish of coarse salt. In a shaker, combine the limeade, tequila, strawberry puree and cucumber juice. Add ice and shake 10 to 15 seconds, then pour into the prepared glasses.
Tags: puree, strawberries
This is Suzen’s and my first attempt at making a plated dessert from Payard Desserts by Francois Payard with Tish Boyle.
It’s a sweet success, visually and to the palate. What is a plated dessert? It’s one of those complicated, multi-part desserts that you get at a restaurant but could never make for yourself at home. Except now you can thanks to Payard Desserts.
Three parts are used to compose the complete dessert:
- · Yellow Tomato Sorbet
- · Red Berry and Tomato Gazpacho
- · Tomato Chips
The tomato chip was blogged a couple of days ago, but the recipe is repeated here for your convenience.
The base for this dish is the gazpacho, which has a deep berry flavor. This is a dessert, supposedly, but you can confidently serve this dish as a first course. The Yellow Tomato Sorbet is an addition for color and contrast: the sorbet is sour despite some sugar content, while the berry-laden gazpacho is sweet. The berry flavors do dominate the tomatoes, although the balance is sure to shift every time you make this dish depending on the relative sweetness of the berries and tomatoes. And those tomato chips are for visual amusement, not really for taste.
Here are the recipes for the three parts of this dish, and the final instructions for assembly.
Oh, technically, tomatoes are a fruit, not a veggie. So, a salad with tomato is really a dessert which is why, I suspect, the French often finish a meal with salad/dessert.
Yellow Tomato Sorbet
Yield: 6 cups
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon sorbet stabilizer [or substitute corn syrup]
- 1 ¾ cups water
- 4 cups yellow tomato puree [4 cups of small yellow tomatoes processed in a blender or Vitamix is fine]
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon simple syrup
In a small bowl, combine ½ cup of the sugar with the stabilizer or corn syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar with the water and place over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in the sugar and corn syrup mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat the let cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the saucepan contents, the tomato puree and the simple syrup. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Process the base in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.
Yield: lots, depending on how you skin the tomatoes
- 6 medium ripe tomatoes
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 175°F. Line a half-sheet pan with a silicone baking mat [parchment paper does NOT work well]. Fill a bowl halfway with ice water.
Using a paring knife, make a small X at the bottom end of each tomato. Bring a large pot half full of water to a rolling boil over high heat and immerse the tomatoes in the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge the tomatoes into the ice water. The skins should start to come off the tomatoes.
Remove the skins with your fingers [try to remove them in one piece]. Pat the skins dry with paper towels. Reserve the skinned tomatoes for other use [as in gazpacho].
Arrange the skins on the prepared sheet pan and dust them with confectioners’ sugar. Bake for 1 to 2 hours, until dry. The skins will crisp up they cool. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Red Berry and Tomato Gazpacho
Yield: ~ six cups, enough for 9+ people as a dessert, perhaps 9 as a first course
- 6 skinned tomatoes [reserved from the Tomato Chips above]
- 2 ¼ cups fresh strawberries
- 2 ¼ cups fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Splash of Tabasco sauce [or hot sauce of your choice]
Cut the tomatoes into quarters and, using your fingers, remove and discard the seeds. Process the berries and tomatoes together in a food processor, working in batches, if necessary. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl and stir in the sugar, lemon juice, and Tabasco. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Final Dish Assembly
Spoon the gazpacho mixture into the serving dish of your choice. Garnish as you desire with berries, either whole or sliced. Place a small scoop of the Yellow Tomato Sorbet into the gazpacho. Station a Tomato Chip at some visually important spot.
Source: Payard Desserts by Francois Payard with Tish Boyle
Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/50th second at ISO‑2500