Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars

There are a few things some of us take seriously in this country.

Hockey.  The weather.  Politics.  Poutine.  Back Bacon.  Maple Syrup.  Nanaimo Bars (we made these first!).  Good beer.

And Butter Tarts.

buttertart/sweetrevelations

It’s a classic Canadian treat, that is beloved for its flaky pastry filled with brown sugar, melted butter and syrup.   Most people have a preference about how they should be filled.  Raisins or no raisins.  Nuts or no nuts.  Made with maple syrup or corn syrup.  Runny or firm.  Some use currants or cranberries.  Perhaps a splash of Whiskey or Maple Whiskey.

There’s also the popular Butter Tart Bars, that have that gorgeous buttery, tender shortbread crust with all of that gooey Butter Tart goodness on top.  They are very easy to make, great for serving at parties and potlucks, and on the Christmas holiday baking list of moms all across this country.

Everyone, we have got this Butter Tart thing down to a science.

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I for one, am a complete sucker for a warm Butter Tart Bar, slightly runny, filled with raisins and walnuts, with a splash of Maple Whiskey, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  So baking a full on Butter Tart Bar in a skillet is only natural.  I  haven’t met anyone yet, who doesn’t swoon over the warm, buttery piece that comes out.  The scoop of ice cream, just pretty much takes it over the top.  Insanely, buttery, gooey, good.

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I think most families have a recipe that’s been passed down.  Aside from all of the additions, the base recipe of Butter Tart Squares is essentially the same.  Instead of powdered sugar in my shortbread base, I use brown sugar.  I saw it used in another recipe for bars and have made shortbread crust that way ever since.

Do you love Butter Tarts as much as me?  What are your filling preferences?

Happy finger licking, slightly runny, full of raisins and walnuts, Butter Tart baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars

For the Crust:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:

  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. Maple Whiskey (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°

  1.  In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust, using a fork or pastry blender.  Press into the bottom of a well seasoned skillet (I did a quick swipe of shortening around the sides first, very little) or baking pan lined with parchment.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the first six ingredients for the filling and mix until well combined.  Stir in the raisins, walnuts and whisky.  Pour the filling on top of the crust and bake for an additional 30 minutes.  Serve slightly warm with ice cream!

Notes:

  1. This recipe can also be made in an 8 x 8 pan.
  2. Butter Tart Squares freeze very well.   If making ahead, bake in an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment.  Freeze when cool.

 

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Me

It’s time for a little fall clean-up, some new bio pics and blog photos.  I rarely post any pictures of myself but here I am!  Me.

Renee

Many thanks to Anne Bedard from annebedardphotography.com for shooting me just as I am.  Pretty casual, trying to live each day with intention, authentic me.  I save all the fluff for cakes, with me, what you see is pretty much what you get.

Renee

While we are here, I do so appreciate all of your blog, Facebook and Instagram support.  I love your comments, emails, questions and blog love.  It does mean a great deal to me and let’s me know that someone hears me and might just love frosting as much as I do.

There are lots of new things in the works.  Articles, guest posts and such.  I’m happy you’re on this journey with me.

Renee 19Why the pictures of the shoes you ask?  Look very closely.  They’re covered in flour.  Pretty fitting I think!

Enjoy the rest of the week-end everyone!

Renee

xo

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Fresh Strawberry Muffins

Muffins are one of my favourite, quick treats to make.  Usually little fuss is required, all can be done in one bowl, and there’s plenty to share.  Muffins are also an excellent school or work snack and generally freeze very well.  I like to freeze them in individual bags so everyone can grab and go as needed.

 

strawberry muffins

 

And sometimes you can dress them up with a wee bit of whipped topping.  And since muffins are thought to be generally healthier for you than cupcakes, these are still considered healthy.

You’re welcome.

 

strawberry muffins

See the fruit in there?  Large pieces of sweet, juicy, red farm fresh strawberries.  We are still lucky to have some available locally, so my crew can enjoy these muffins all summer long.

This is a recipe that one of my gal pals shared with me.  I have to say it hasn’t disappointed, I’ve made it many times!

Have you got a favourite muffin flavour?  An easy muffin recipe that freezes well and makes a good school snack?  Please share it with me in the comments!

Enjoy the rest of your summer friends!

Renee

 

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

adapted from, Home of My Heart

  •  1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  •  3/4 cup sugar
  •  1 egg
  •  2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2 tsp baking powder
  •  1/2 tsp kosher salt
  •  1/2 cup milk
  •  1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  •  1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  •  3 tsp sugar
  •  1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • whipped topping for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°

1.  In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

2.  In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add flour mixture and milk alternately to the butter mixture.
Gently fold in strawberries.

3.  Spoon batter into muffin pans, lined with muffin liners or sprayed with non-stick baking spray, until about 3/4 full.  Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins.   Bake for approx. 20 minutes.

 

4.  Let cool completely and top with whipped topping and a strawberry if desired.  They are just as excellent without!

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Flawless Fresh Peach Pie

It’s been a jam-packed summer at our house.  We’ve been catching rays, catching waves and enjoying time with our family and friends.   I’ve stayed up all hours of the night reading and promising myself that I’ll shut out the lights at the end of the next chapter.  And then the next chapter, and then one more.

Isn’t that what holidays are all about?

sweetrevelationspeachpie

The kids are sleeping in late every morning and I find myself in the kitchen, rolling pastries or kneading dough.  It’s such a soothing way to start the day, and sometimes the only sound in the house is the noise of the rolling pin on the counter.  I’m happiest when there’s a pie or two cooling on the stove.  Even happier to give them to a friend who will enjoy them.

sweetrevelationspeachpie

It’s definitely pie season in this house.  What better way to showcase all of the fruit that summer has to offer than in a flaky pastry crust!  For me, there isn’t a fruit out there that captures the sweet, essence of summer like a juicy, ripe peach.  They’ve just come into season here and I couldn’t be happier.  I’ve already made this pie many times for barbecues and lunches on the patio.  Peaches are plentiful at market right now, and so sweet and delicate and juicy.

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Don’t be daunted by pastry, like anything it just takes a little practice.  My mother says she baked a pie every Saturday when she was newly married until she got it right. She definitely got it right.  She can make a mean pie to this day and she was often in charge of pies in the bake shop because I knew they would be perfect every time.  I have included her flaky pastry recipe for you to try.

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I hope you’re having a wonderful summer!

Renee

xo

Flawless Fresh Peach Pie

For the Pastry:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Crisco Shortening
  • 4-6 tbsp cold orange juice
  1.  Stir the salt and flour in a medium bowl.  Cut in the Crisco, with a pastry knife (pieces should be about the size of peas).  Sprinkle on orange juice and stir with a fork just until it holds together.  Divide the dough into two and press each half into a smooth disk.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

 

For the Filling:

  • 4 cups of peaches, peeled and sliced, approx. 6 medium peaches
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of sliced almonds for sprinkling on top crust (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of heavy cream for top crust
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar for sprinkling on top crust

Preheat oven to 450°

  1.  Mix the sugar, cinnamon and flour for the filling in a small bowl and set aside.  Roll out 1 pie crust disk on a lightly floured surface to a size approximately 12-inches round. Transfer it to 9-inch pie dish.
  2. Put two cups of the sliced peaches in the bottom of the pie shell.   Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture on top.  Put the last two cups of peaches on top of that and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture.  Dot with butter.
  3. Roll out the second pastry disk to approximately 12- inch round.  Because I didn’t do a picture tutorial for a lattice crust, you will find an excellent tutorial here.  The pictures make the process very simple, if this is your first time.  Once complete, trim the excess pastry to about 1/2 over hang.  Fold the top and bottom crusts together and crimp the edges to seal.  You can also do a simple pie crust on top by simply rolling out your second disk, to a 12-inch round and placing it on top of the peach filling.  Simply put 4 steam slits, with a sharp knife, about 3/4 of an inch long near the centre of the pie.
  4. Lightly brush some heavy cream on top of the top crust and sprinkle with sugar and almond slices.   Bake for 15 minutes at 450° then reduce heat to 350° and bake for 35 minutes longer until crust is golden and filling is bubbling.  Best eaten slightly warm.

Notes:

  1. I often bake my pies in a convection toaster oven.  That way I don’t heat up the house in the summer.
  2. I’ve made this pie and frozen it before baking many times with excellent results.  I just add an extra teaspoon of flour or tapioca sprinkled on the bottom crust before I put the filling in.  Just add an extra 20 or 30 minutes of baking time. What a treat a summer peach is in the dead of winter!

 

 

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{Beat The Heat} Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream Pie

My earliest memories of baking involve rolling endless amounts of Molasses Cookies with my mom.  Standing on a chair beside her, we rolled trays and trays and dipped them in sugar.  Years later, when I opened my first bake shop, that was the first item to go on the menu, and it’s still on there to this day.   Large, bakery style Molasses Cookies also make the very best s’mores.

Its something about the slightly bitter, intensely sweet, robust flavour that seems to go so well in baked goods .

molassespie

This week-end we had company over for an afternoon barbecue.  We are in the throes of an extreme heat warning, so we decided that the best place to be was right beside the pool.  If you’ve been following me for a while, you know my go-to desserts are generally make ahead items that allow me to spend more time with my guests than in the kitchen.

I decided a grown up, {Beat The Heat} Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream Pie was just the ticket.

molassespie

 

It’s a simple, throw together dessert that’s big on flavour.  Have I mentioned that no ice cream maker is required?  A creamy, Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream is piled high into a gingersnap crust and left overnight to chill in the freezer.  Just before serving, beautiful dollops of whipped topping and premium dark chocolate shavings are added.

It’s a cool summer treat, with all of the excitement and nostalgia ice cream brings, and a boozy adult kick.

molassespie

Molasses is often mistaken as a cool weather ingredient.  But you would be very surprised at the sweet, caramel flavour that this ice cream has.  The generous splash of bourbon just simply puts this over the top.  We were all completely over the moon with this flavour combination and the creamy texture is outstanding!

molassespie

 

Summer is here, and it’s time to combine cool friends and boozy frozen treats for the perfect duo.

Stay cool everyone,

Renee

xo

molassespie

{Beat The Heat} Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream Pie

  • 1 1/2 c fine gingersnap crumbs (about 20 cookies pulsed in a food processor)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp Fancy molasses, divided
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (optional)
  • dark chocolate shavings, for garnish
  • 2 cups whipped topping, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°

1.   Combine gingersnap crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl to combine. Press the crumbs into the bottom and 1″ up the sides of an 8″ springform pan or pie dish.  Bake for 8 minutes and allow to cool.

2.  Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form.  Set aside.   In another bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup of molasses.  Fold into the whipped cream.  Stir in the bourbon.   Spread into the cooled pie shell.  Take the remaining 1 tbsp of molasses and marble it throughout the top of the cream filling.  Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.  Top with whipped topping and chocolate shavings just before serving.

 

 

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt

Remember when I last showed you my recipe for DIY Homemade Yogurt?  I’ve been using it in everything.  My overnight oats, smoothies, dips.  It’s seriously the bees knees with just a teaspoon of raspberry jam stirred in.

Recently I made some homemade frozen yogurt with it.  Insanely good Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt.   Did you hear that my little peanut butter loving minions?

Honestly, its peanut butter insanity.

icecream2

 

With two cups of homemade yogurt and low-fat milk in the ingredients, my family is so busy high fiving me about it, they have no idea that it’s not really that bad for them.   Using healthier ingredients, has cut down on added sugars significantly, has added more proteins, and the taste is full on peanut butter and chocolate.  It’s a sweet, cool down treat, that we can all enjoy and not feel so guilty about.

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Initially, when my yogurt making obsession began, my family kind of teased me about it.  There goes mom again, with a science experiment in the oven.  But they’ve seen the benefits from my yogurt persistence.  It’s creamy and smooth just like any premium store-bought brand.  I’m confidant my foray into homemade frozen yogurt has completely won them over.

And listen, I have a house full of teenagers, so winning them over can be very, very difficult.

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It’s super fast to make and requires no special equipment.   The yogurt freezes in as little as 6 hours.  If you made this in the morning, you could easily be licking a double scoop by dinnertime.  It really is that simple.

 

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I hope you are having a wonderful, double scoop frozen yogurt kinda summer wherever you are!

Renee

xo

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt

*adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (low fat)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups plain homemade yogurt or plain Greek style yogurt
  • 1 cup milk (low fat)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks, mini peanut butter cups or chocolate buttons (optional)

1.  In a large bowl with a mixer, beat the condensed milk, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Add in yogurt, milk, and cocoa powder and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl to completely combine.  Stir in the chocolate chunks.  Leave the yogurt in the mixing bowl and freeze, removing from the freezer and beating once every hour (for about 30 seconds), for a total of 3 hours.  Transfer to a container and freeze until firm and scoopable, about 2 more hours.  If left for longer than 6 hours in the freezer, it will need a few minutes to soften on the counter before scooping.

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DIY Homemade Yogurt

I have made an insane amount of Homemade Yogurt in the last while.  I didn’t realize until recently just how simple the process really is and how amazing the results can be.   I’m pretty late to this party because people have been making this for years and years.  It honestly never occurred to me and now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t try it sooner. Much like making my own breads, the satisfaction that comes from making my own yogurt is the same.    It’s essentially 5 steps: scald, cool, starter, incubate, refrigerate.

The very best part of the process is that all of the work is done while we’re in bed, with no special equipment.  In the evening, I scald some cream and milk, add some organic natural yogurt as a “starter” and wake up to a full jar of creamy yogurt.  It’s left in the oven all night to incubate and become thick and creamy and tangy.  I’ve been enjoying it late in the morning for a snack with some homemade granola and a drizzle of Date Syrup that a student made for me.

homemadeyogurt

The Date Syrup is a coveted jar because she took the time to write down her mom’s recipe, which is fairly detailed, and includes soaking the dates and boiling them down into a thick syrup.  This girl is a wonderful young lady, who I know is going to change with world.  She told me it’s a Middle Eastern tradition to eat it for breakfast drizzled atop Tahini with some bread for dipping.  It makes a lovely sweetener substitute and tastes divine when stirred into some homemade yogurt in the morning.   It adds just enough sweetness, without hiding the rich, tang of the yogurt.

DIYyogurt

 

In the morning, I take the jar out of the oven and put it in the refrigerator to continue to firm up.  After an hour or two, I drain it in cheesecloth until nice and thick, which is exactly how Greek Yogurt is made.  Sometimes I can’t wait and choose to eat it warm and slightly thinner with some fresh fruit puree stirred in.   It’s absolutely heavenly.  If I drain it for quite a while I’m left with a tangy yogurt cheese (also called Labneh), which has the same consistency as cream cheese and is outstanding when spread on rye crisps.  Who knew there were so many options!

yogurtdraining

My first attempt to make it was a complete disaster, and it never set up properly.  But, I’m nothing if not persistent and I tried again until I was happy with the results.  Fresh dairy is key and I’m an advocate for using premium local dairy when I can.  It just tastes better and it’s better for my family and my community.  I use Organic Whole Milk and sometimes, when I have some left over, I use cream to make it just a little more decadent.

 

jarsofyogurt

The hands on prep time is about 30 minutes.   The longer it’s left to incubate, the tangier it is.   Be prepared because this doesn’t have the store-bought added sweetener taste that you might be used to.  It’s slightly tangy and any sweetness is added by you.  Try honey or agave.  Use fresh seasonal fruit.  Stir in some lemon curd (insanely good) or jam.  Make frozen yogurt.  Stay tuned because I made the most sensational Eton Mess with it that I’m going to share soon!

The possibilities are endless.  Just try it!   I urge you to try it.  If you’re a yogurt loving family like we are this is a win-win situation.

Happy Summer Everyone!

Renee

 

 

Homemade Yogurt

  • 4 cups Whole Organic Milk (or sometimes I sub in one cup of cream for the milk)
  • 1/4 cup Organic Plain Yogurt with Active Cultures (a MUST)

 

1.  Fill a quart sized mason jar half way with boiling water and cover lightly with the lid.  Set aside while you do the rest of the prep.  Turn the oven light on.

2.  In a large pan, heat the milk to 190° on medium heat.  This might take some time but avoids burnt milk at the bottom of the pot.  I find that if I take my time bringing the milk to temperature, my yogurt is not grainy.  Whisk often as the milk is heating.  Once to temperature, remove from heat and let milk rest until it comes down to 120°.   You can set the pot in a few inches of cold water in the sink and whisk continually to help the temp come down faster if you’re pressed for time.  Whisk in the yogurt.  Whisk well to spread all of those active cultures around.

3.  Empty the water from the mason jar and pour the milk mixture in.  Cover with the lid.  I like to wrap the jar in a towel at this point.  Place the jar in the oven with the oven light on.  Leave overnight- some have results in as little as five hours but I prefer the overnight method.  In the morning transfer the yogurt to smaller containers if desired and refrigerate.  It will firm up more in the refrigerator.  If you like really thick yogurt, strain it in some cheesecloth that is suspended from a deep bowl (in the refrigerator).  The yogurt will become thicker after an hour or so but leave it until it reaches your desired consistency.  Leave it overnight for some Yogurt Cheese.  Refrigerate the yogurt as you normally would.

Note:  1.  Keep a 1/4 of yogurt from your new batch to use as a starter for your next batch!

2.  No worries if there is a clear liquid on top.  That’s pure whey and is excellent when substituted for water in bread making.  Refrigerate it and use it in smoothies.   Some swear by watering their plants with it too.

3.  Sometimes I don’t even bother with the mason jar.   I have used the blue pottery bowl you see in the pictures with a smaller plate placed on top.  The results have always been excellent!

jarofcream

 

 

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Ultimate Salted Caramel and Pretzel Icebox Cake {NO Bake}

It’s hard to believe that the base of this cake is essentially made with two ingredients.  It’s a wafer cookie and whipped cream dream that is the perfect summer time treat because it’s a quick no bake dessert.

It’s kind of the perfect canvas for some over the top toppings.  A few salted pretzels, some Godiva Chocolate pieces and life changing Salted Caramel Sauce.   Perhaps even world-changing Salted Caramel Sauce.  It’s seriously that good.

icebox cake

Something kind of magical happens with this cake.  It goes into the fridge as a stack of layered cookies and whipped cream and comes out as a soft and sweet cake.  It takes merely minutes to assemble, is a make ahead dessert and looks like a million bucks.  All of this chocolate loving goodness and I didn’t spend a moment near the oven.  This seems too good to be true friends, but I assure you, you will be as gobsmacked as me the first time I made this, at the ease with which this cake is prepared.

Impress your guests with it and we’ll keep this information just between us.

ice box cake

There are so many possibilities with this confection that I had a hard time deciding on a flavor this time.  It’s the Salted Caramel Sauce that got me.   Drizzled atop fluffy whipped cream, chocolate chunks and salty pretzels? I’m in! I have to limit the times that I make this sauce because I absolutely obsess about it until every drop is gone.  Perhaps the caramel sauce drizzled on my breakfast toast was my first indication that I may have a problem.  Or the kids staring at me, mouth agape as I did so, that was a bit of an eye opener.  Oh but that sauce!

icebox cake

The cake can be layered individually as mini cakes, in a rectangular pan or on a platter as I’ve done here.  I simply layer cookies and cream, kind of eye-balling for level layers, until I run out of ingredients.  The whole cake can be iced, once chilled, with a layer of whipped cream but I usually choose to skip this step.   It is also equally as good with fresh seasonal fruit on top.  Think of digestive cookies with brown sugar whipped cream and fresh peaches.  Or vanilla wafers with mascarpone whipped cream and dark sweet cherries.   How about more chocolate layers with a mocha whipped cream and chocolate shavings? Ginger cookies with cinnamon whipped cream and pears?

Friends, I do believe I have an Icebox Cake book in me just dying to get out.

icebox cake

Happy summer everyone,

Renee

xo

 

Icebox Cake

  • 3 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • approx. 2 packages of chocolate wafer cookies
  • salted pretzels for garnish
  • Godiva Milk Chocolate Bar, 100 gr, broken into pieces
  • Salted Caramel Sauce for drizzle (recipe below)

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the whipping cream and whip until foamy.  Add the powdered sugar and whip until soft and billowy and soft peaks form.  Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

2.  On a platter, start with a thin layer of whipped cream.  Top with a layer of wafer cookies.  Continue to layer whipped cream and cookies, making sure to leave enough whipped cream for the top layer.  Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight for best results.   Before serving top with pretzels, chocolate pieces and caramel sauce.

 

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

*Cooking  Channel TV

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat to medium- high and bring to a boil, without stirring.  Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan if you need to.  Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 7 minutes.

2  Remove mixture from the heat and very carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble a lot but keep mixing. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Bring back to the stove on low heat and stir until you have a smooth sauce.  Allow the caramel to cool.   The salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  Reheat for a few seconds before drizzling.

 

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Beer and Buttermilk Crêpe Cake

Strawberries are in season and I can’t tell you how excited this house is about that.  We eagerly await the arrival of local berries, that make their appearance in early summer.   It means that soon to follow are other local goodies that we are so fortunate to gather from passionate farmers in our area.  How lucky are we!

crepecake

Recently I made a Crêpe Cake to showcase some of the gorgeous juicy berries that I purchased at market.  This is a great make ahead dish that would be stunning served on any brunch table or as dessert with a cup of coffee.  It’s light and airy and full of paper-thin crêpes stacked up high to highlight all of that delicious fruit.

The crêpes couldn’t be easier to make, and the addition of a light, hoppy lager makes them even more delicate and airy (yes, beer for breakfast can be good).   Don’t worry, although they do have great flavor, they don’t taste like beer.  The batter also includes tangy buttermilk and is best when made ahead and left to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours.   The crêpes themselves can also be made ahead, up to 48 hours, and layered between sheets of parchment paper until ready to use.  I would recommend this step as a time saver!   The cake is just a simple process of layering the crêpes with the filling of your choice.  Hazelnut spread is an all time favourite, but to keep the cake nice and light I opted for a simple banana pudding and whipped topping filling.

crepe cake

I just happily layer and fill, layer and fill, until I run out of filling.  I’m pretty sure this time I was close to eighteen crêpes in all when I was finished the cake.  Assembly took about 20 minutes total and I left the cake in the refrigerator until dinner time.  Minus the slice I removed, and ate, to photograph for you.

Geez Louise the things I do for you.

crepe cake

Just the smell in the kitchen when making these, reminded me of a trip I took to Paris a few years ago.  My girlfriend took me to the Eiffel Tower for my birthday and immediate crêpe eating ensued.    I believe at one point I had a savory crêpe in one hand and a sweet one in the other.  Life is grand.

Happy Summer,

Renee

xo

fruit

 

Sweet Crêpe Batter

adapted from Jehnee’s Crêpe Recipe from http://www.thekitchn.com

*makes approximately 25 crepes

4 cups warm buttermilk
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoons sugar
6 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cup light lager

Banana Filling

1 pkg instant banana pudding (or flavor of choice)

1 3/4 cups milk, cold

1 1/2 cups whipped topping

fruit for garnish

 

1.  Melt the butter and warm the milk in a microwave safe dish. Meanwhile, mix flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer for a few seconds to combine.  Make a well in the flour mixture, pour eggs and oil into the well and beat on medium speed until combined. Slowly add the melted butter and milk mixture and mix until batter becomes uniform in texture.   Stir in beer, until just evenly incorporated (don’t overmix). Refrigerate the batter, covered with plastic, for 8 hours or overnight, if you can.

2.   Pour  1/3 cup batter onto a smoking-hot pan (my pan was about 8″ wide), swirling the batter to create an even surface.  Cook for approx. 2 minutes on the first side (look for a golden brown colour), then about 30 seconds on other side. Layer crêpes between sheets of parchment paper.  Refrigerate crêpes until needed (I put mine in a resealable bag).

3.  When ready to assemble, make the banana filling.  Mix milk and pudding for 2 minutes.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Layer crêpes on a cake platter, starting with a crêpe and spreading about 1 1/2 tbsp. of banana filling on top.  Layer with another crêpe and continue on until you run out of filling.  Left over crêpes can be frozen for later use.  Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours or more.  Top with whipped topping and fresh fruit just before serving.

 

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Dreamy Rhubarb Ice Cream Tarts

Summer is fast approaching friends, and I couldn’t be happier.   I’m sure I’m not alone when I say it’s by far, my favourite time of year.   It’s BBQ season and time for visiting with friends.  It’s beach time.  Pool time.  S’mores time.

Dreamy Rhubarb Ice Cream Tarts time.

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I want to make dishes to share with my friends and family, that don’t leave me stranded in the kitchen.   I love this recipe for Rhubarb Ice Cream because it requires no ice cream maker or custard base at all.  But it tastes churned people!  It tastes creamy and sweet just as it should, with only minutes to prepare.

Each bite is slightly tart and sugary sweet.   There are ribbons of roasted pink rhubarb throughout.  The addition of a graham tart shell, pistachios, whipped cream and strawberries just simply put this over the top.   But don’t stress, this is just as sublime and refreshing when scooped into a cone or bowl.

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Did I mention that this only takes moments to prepare?

Make it, and I have the feeling you might just break up with your ice cream maker for the summer.

Happy summer friends,

Renee, xo

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 Dreamy Rhubarb Ice Cream Tarts

*ice cream recipe adapted from Taste of Home

*makes 9 3″ tarts or about 4 cups of ice cream

Ingredients:

  •  3 cups sliced fresh rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 9- 3 inch graham tart shells
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios
  • strawberries for garnish
  • whipped cream or whipped topping for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°

1.  Mix the rhubarb and sugar and place in a shallow baking dish (lined with parchment for easy cleanup!).  Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Allow to cool slightly and then puree or mash. I prefer slightly chunky.  refrigerate until cool.  Stir lemon juice into rhubarb mixture.  Set aside.

2.  Beat the cream until stiff peaks form (I also added a drop of pink food gel colour here); fold into rhubarb mixture.  Freeze for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Pipe or spoon into ready-made tart shells.  Freeze overnight or until firm.  Garnish with whipped cream, strawberries and chopped pistachios Allow to sit for 5 minutes to soften slightly before serving.

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