August 28, 2013

Cobblering together dessert

Bounteous berries and other fresh fruits make this the perfect time for these rustic treats.

McClatchy Newspapers

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Ginger rhubarb crisp


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Mixed berry clafoutis


In a small bowl, mix together remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Sprinkle mixture over top of batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and topping is golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before serving with whipped cream or ice cream.



Hands on time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Servings: Eight

In this new take on a classic "Joy of Cooking" recipe, gingersnaps and candied ginger gives this crisp a kick in a combination of tart rhubarb and the buttery spiced topping. If you can't find fresh rhubarb, frozen rhubarb, available year round, is a solid substitute.

2 lbs. rhubarb stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces

¼ cup candied ginger, finely chopped

2½ cups brown sugar

2 cups ginger snaps, such as Anna's, crumbled

Pinch salt 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, toss the rhubarb and candied ginger together, mixing thoroughly. Transfer to a large baking dish. Sprinkle 2 cups of the sugar over rhubarb mixture and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine crumbled ginger snaps, salt, and the remaining ½ cup sugar. Using a pastry cutter or two table knives, work butter into the ginger snap mixture until it resembles coarse meal flecked with pea-size pieces of butter. Scatter topping evenly over rhubarb mixture.

Transfer dish to oven and bake until topping is golden brown and rhubarb is soft, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Set aside to cool on a wire rack at least 10 minutes before serving warm with whipped cream or strawberry ice cream.


Hands on time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, plus time for freezing

Makes: 1 quart

This ice cream recipe from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams founder Jeni Britton Bauer mixes summer strawberries made sweeter by roasting and tangy buttermilk. You'll need a standard 1 ½ quart canister ice cream machine.


1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced ½ inch thick

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


1½ cups whole milk

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1¼ cups heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

¼ cup buttermilk

For the roasted strawberries: Preheat oven to 375.

In an 8 inch glass or ceramic baking dish, combine strawberries with sugar and roast for 8 minutes, or until just soft. Let cool slightly. Puree the berries in a blender or food processor with the lemon juice. Measure ½ cup of the pureed berries and refrigerate the rest for another purpose.

For the ice cream: In a small bowl, mix two tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch to make a smooth slurry.

In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt together until smooth.

Fill a large bowl with ice water to make an ice bath.

In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heat-proof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the strawberry puree and the buttermilk and blend well.

Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes. Freeze in 1½-quart canister ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.

Adapted from "Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home" by Jeni Britton Bauer (Artisan, $23.95).


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