Easy American Berry Pie for July 4th

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An easy pie prefect for July 4th: You basically cut, fill, crimp and bake.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. To make it easy I used 2 rounds of already rolled out sheets of store-bought short crust dough. (Or you can use your own home-made short crust dough, note: Puff Pastry will not work for this). You’ll need a small punnet of Strawberries, diced in half and some into quarters. A small punnet of Blueberries. Keep both separate. Toss each separate bowl of berries with granulated sugar, (you should use as much as you want according to your taste, I used about 1-2 tablespoons) and little bit (I used a teaspoon) of cornstarch, and a pinch of salt, for each. Lay down one round of dough on a 9-inch pie dish. Using the second dough round, cut out stars using a cookie cutter. (See illustration.) Lay wedge of dough on top, stuffing blueberries underneath. Refrigerate for 10-20 minutes, so berries have a chance to ‘meld’ or stick to dough and won’t run or escape, giving you a neat edge to fill in the strawberries. Fill rest of pie with Strawberry mixture and place strips on top. Cut off and crimp edges of the pastry simply with a fork. Press demerera sugar into the pastry, bake at 350 degree oven for 30-50 mins till pastry is golden brown and fruit is bubbly and the room smells fragrant. Serve warm with cold Vanilla Ice-cream or Low-fat Gelato in a flavor of your choosing. Happy Independence Day!

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Easy American Pie, with Raspberry and Cream Gelato from Talenti.

Photographs by Aaron Graubart 
Concept, Recipe and Illustration by Dimity Jones. 

Recipe: Rhubarb & Orange ‘Chevron’ Galette

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RHUBARB & ORANGE ‘CHEVRON’ Galette
Recipe: Dimity Jones.
Click on link above for video by Tara Sgroi. Check out her fabulous work, here. 

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Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.

Rhubarb: Prepare the 1 lb (or 4-6 sticks) of Rhubarb. Try to purchase rhubarb of differing shades, which makes the pie pretty, but the pie will come together best if the stalks are of similar thickness. (Depending on the thickness of the stalks, you may need only 4 sticks, but I’ve also tried it with thinner stalks and I needed 6.)

To Prepare: Trim off stalk ends. Cut the stalks diagonally, keeping them all the same size, (about an inch and a half long, or shorter if you want a tighter ‘knitted’ look) then slice down the middle, giving you a flat surface on either side of the Rhubarb.

Place all the Rhubarb pieces in a bowl and add the zest (or 1 tablespoon), and the juice of (at least 4 tablespoons) of one Medium-large, very ripe Orange. Add to the bowl 1 quarter cup of granulated sugar and one tablespoon of all purpose flour. Toss to coat. Let the rhubarb sit in the bowl for at least 10 minutes, or until you are ready to start placing the pieces in a pattern.

Dough: Roll out pie dough on a lined baking sheet. I’m a fan of the tried and tested Pate Brisee shortcrust dough, from Martha Stewart, (which is a ratio of 2 and a half cups of flour to 2 sticks of butter, plus sugar, plus salt.) Click here to get the recipe. 

Spread dough with a layer of Orange-Apricot Marmalade (I love Sarabeth’s Kitchens brand, which is readily available. It is a sweeter version of Marmalade, which is what you want, as it pairs well with the naturally tart Rhubarb,) leaving about an inch and a half around the edges.

Mix and match Rhubarb ’tiles’ into a Chevron pattern, until Marmalade surface is completely covered. (Or any pattern you desire. Play around!) Mix up the tones of the rhubarb to get a pretty effect. Tuck stray marmalade pieces between the cracks.

Fold up the pastry edges, (cut off any overhanging rhubarb so pastry can fold over), and crimp slightly. Sprinkle and then press pastry edges with Demerera Sugar.

Place in 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and Rhubarb is soft to the touch. Let cool on a wire rack. Serves with vanilla ice-cream, cream or traditional custard. Serves 8, (at least.)

Notes: The leftover Orange Juice/zest liquid and any rhubarb can be heated down to make Rhubarb sauce to serve at another time with Oatmeal for breakfast or later with Ice-cream as a dessert.

Rhubarb & Orange “Chevron” Galette

Rhubarb Pie

I started cutting sticks of Rhubarb into neat, angled wedges to form a chevron pattern, then kept going, in fact, …I couldn’t stop until I completed the entire surface in about 7 minutes flat. What emerged was something that looked almost like knitting. Almost like I’d knitted a ‘rhubarb’ sweater… with a distinct “Chevron” pattern. The pastry recipe is from @MarthaStewart It’s her Pate Brisee. Which is always a great pastry to house a fruit pie. The galette was for my mother, who turned 77 on Monday. Happy Birthday Mum! x

Simple Raspberry Pudding with shredded Coconut and Pistachios.

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Good morning! After shooing my Australian guests onto a train to DC, I sat down to a simple Raspberry Porridge with shredded Coconut and Pistachio. You don’t need to add any sugar to the stewed Raspberries, because you can add it in the way of sweetened toppings to suit… Honey, diced Apple, etc, so it’s basically 2 ingredients: Raspberries + Cream of Wheat, and then toppings.

Recipe was inspired by My Blue & White Kitchen’s recipe for Whipped Cranberry Porridge. It’s too early in the season for us to get Cranberries here, so I substituted frozen Raspberries.

Recipe: 1 and a half cups of water with 1 cup of frozen Raspberries boil for 10 min. (I did not add Sugar, but you could at this stage should you wish. I found my chosen toppings had enough Sugar, to balance the inherit tartness of the raspberries.) Whisk in 3 tablespoons of Farina (Cream of Wheat) and stir constantly over simmer till mixture thickens. Cool. (Alas, I did not ‘whip’ the porridge, per the original recipe because I did not have the time this morning, so mine is not as ‘pink’ as it possibly could be… I will try to do that next time) Add Milk, or your choice of Nut Milk, and any toppings you wish. I used shredded Sweetened Coconut, and Pistachios, but you could add Yogurt, diced Apples, Raisins, zested Orange, Walnuts, or other Dried Fruit, Honey, or Agave if you wish. It’s up to you! Serves 2-3.

 

 

Pan-Roasted Romesco with Sultanas, Tahini and Sumac.

IMG_1013Inspiration for what I cook at home, comes from many places. This recipe from the new Gjelina Restaurant Cookbook, based in Venice, California: Lemon-y Tahini and Garlic Dressing over Pan-Roasted Romesco Cauliflower, with sweet Sultanas and a huge sprinkling of Sumac. The recipe in the cookbook called for Golden Raisins but I didn’t have any so I used regular Sultana’s and it was perfectly fine. To pick up the Cookbook to get this, and other recipes. Click here.
(Photo: Dimity Jones)

Meals Interrupted. A photography project by Davide Luciano and Claudia Ficca.

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I met Husband-and-wife Davide Luciano (photographer) and Claudia Ficca (food stylist) at an industry drink night last month, after following both of them for quite some time on Instagram. What a great pair! So thrilled to finally put faces to their great images.

Both of them recently teamed up to create Meals Interrupted, a photography series of dining tables abruptly disrupted by various events, namely, a bee swarm, a devastating fire, a full-blown cafeteria food fight, a calculated mobster hit, and a heavy rainfall. Each shot vividly captures the disappointment and sense of abandonment that evidently accompanies a gathering that is suddenly and unexpectedly ended.
The scenes were shot in both NYC and Montréal, the artists’ hometown. Luciano did all the photography and Ficca handled the food styling. The couple wanted to tell a story through food while challenging themselves to deal with unusual conditions:  “The idea of working directly with bees was very daunting at first, but once we were in the apiary and the bees were buzzing all around us, it turned out to be very soothing,” says Ficca.
“When Davide told me I had to burn all the props, I was shocked. This would be a first for me. I had no idea it would be so liberating!” says NYC-based prop stylist Maeve Sheridan, who was a key player on this project.
To see more of Davide’s photography work, Click here. To see Claudia’s food styling portfolio, click here, and to see more prop styling work from Maeve, click here.