Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Strawberries and Cream

 

Everyone that knows anything about my family, knows that my mother prepares a fairly large dinner on Sunday. I think the only times she doesn’t cook a lot is when her church has more than one service.

As you all know, I love to confess random little things, and my confession this week is that I ask my mom if she wanted pound cake, but my reason for baking the cake was to do this post! Self-serving and slightly dishonest, but y’all just have to understand my mother. She’s kind of a mess, but in a good way. And we’re so much alike, yet very different.

107_0447

Okay, so this isn’t necessarily a dessert for beginner bakers, but if you’re good at following directions and are familiar with classical pastry recipes, you’ll be successful. There are three components to this dessert: a traditional pound cake, pastry cream, and whipped cream. So jumping right in, here is a great recipe for a pound cake:

Lemon Pound Cake

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (Generally, this will take two smaller lemons, or one large lemon.)
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour (I prefer Pillsbury unbleached.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 325° F. Spray a standard 9” x 5” loaf pan with Baker’s Joy. Make sure all ingredients are room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. About 5 to 7 minutes using a stand mixer. During this time, sift all of the dry ingredients together.

On medium/low speed add eggs one at a time, making sure to incorporate each one completely. Next, add the lemon zest and vanilla. Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients in three additions. Do not over mix the batter with your mixer. I personally do the last bit of mixing by hand with a rubber spatula.

Pour batter in pan and bake for about 45 minutes. Testing for doneness with a skewer or cake tester. Cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then invert and cool completely.

107_0448

Now, the next part is the pastry cream.

Lemon Pastry Cream

  • 5 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature (The whites can be frozen.)
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sifted cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed until thick and pale. Generally, it takes about 7 minutes. The yolks will go from their normal dark yellow to a pale pastel tone. I was amazed the first time I made this. Of course, it doesn’t take a lot to surprise me.

While the egg yolks are beating, combine the milk and lemon zest in a 2.5 quart saucepan and bring almost to a boil. Don’t let it come to a full boil, you just want to scald the milk.

After the yolks change color and thicken, sprinkle in the cornstarch and mix on a low speed. Beat until completely combined and make sure to scrape down the bowl.

While still on low speed, slowly pour the milk into the egg mixture. Immediately pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return to the stove on medium/low heat. Stir the mixture constantly until it thickens, usually after 7 minutes. Do not walk away because it will thicken and then become sweet lemony scrambled eggs. Say it with me, hot mess! And it would literally be a hot scrambled mess.

Once it becomes thickened, immediately pour the mixture through a sieve into a glass bowl. The sieve will catch any bits of scrambled eggs that may form. Stir in the vanilla, butter, and cream. Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. You want to cover the surface so a skin cannot form on the pastry cream.

Donna's Camera 111

They last component to this dessert is whipped cream. I personally don’t like store bought whipped cream. It tastes artificial. Or maybe I’m just incredibly picky or I’m a baking snob. I have no idea! Homemade whipped cream is bit thicker and that allows for piping, as you can see above.

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

The best way to make whipped cream is to chill the mixing bowl and the whisk attachment in the freezer. You don’t have to, but it makes it whip up faster.

All you have to do is pour the cream into the bowl add the sugar and vanilla, then mix on high speed. Voila, homemade whipped cream. I piped the cream using a 16” pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. In the craft stores look for the Wilton 1M tip. I also refer to it as the, “cupcake icer,” because it’s the tip used to make the swirled look you see on the baking shows.

Because it was just my mom and I this past Sunday, I didn’t make a trifle. Instead, I sliced the cake and strawberries and plated it. However, when we have more people, I slice the cake and alternate layers of cake, fruit, and pastry cream in my trifle dish. I cannot wait until we get a Publix because good fresh fruit is so hard to find here. We couldn’t find any decent blueberries and the grocery store closest to us doesn’t have raspberries, so we just had strawberries,

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask!

Have a BLESSED day!

1 comment :

  1. Thanks Trell, I will be back to write this one down.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog. I sincerely appreciate it. Have a super blessed day!