Showing posts with label easter dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easter dessert. Show all posts

Friday, April 7, 2017

Almond Raspberry Cupcakes for #Easter #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Doesn't it seem as though Easter used to be a much bigger deal? When I was growing up, we dressed up in new dresses and hats, went to church, and then had a hunt for baskets and a big family dinner. These days, we are pared down to a sunrise service on the beach (lovely) and something tasty for dinner. But what?

I know you probably realize that I love everything almond, baked goods that is. So when I saw an article in the New York Times by Melissa Clark about almond cupcakes, my antennae quivered. This looked like a perfect spring or Easter dessert. Of course I changed a few things, as I love raspberry jam more than cherry or chocolate. (I know, heresy.)

They came out light and adorable and I share them with you. Don't skimp on the quality of the raspberry jam – this is the future of the cupcakes!


6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Three-quarter cup almond flour
Three-quarter cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Two large eggs
Few drops almond extract
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder (low-sodium if you need it)
Two egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar
Raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a muffin/cupcake tin with paper liners or butter. (Melissa Clark greased her muffin tin--that has always resulted in a big mess for me!)

Mix the almond flour, confectioners sugar, and salt. Beat in the eggs and almond extract. Pulse in the butter, cornstarch, and baking powder.

Whip the egg whites until foamy, then gradually add in the granulated sugar and continue beating until the whites are stiff. Fold one third of the egg whites into the almond flour bowl. Mix this gently, and then fold in the remainder of the egg whites until no white streaks remain.

Distribute the batter into the cupcake liners. Bake for 10 minutes and remove the pan from the oven. Drop a generous dollop of the jam in the center of each cupcake, and return the pan to the oven. Bake another 8 to 10 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Here's how it looks...

Beating eggs into flour mixture

whipping egg whites with sugar

folding in the whites

adding jam to partially baked cupcakes

almost there!

Happy Easter, Key West style!

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Lemon meringue tiramisu

Something to celebrate from Victoria Abbott (aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini)

We were looking something special to make for Easter, something pretty and not too challenging. Something with NO FLOUR! Something with eggs, of course, and bright spring color: yellow, for sure.

We've been thinking about tiramisu a lot lately and thought about a lemon variation. We put it together using layers of our favorite flavors. You could certainly experiment and make it your own. 

There are three steps plus assembly to this Lemon Meringue Tiramisu, but it’s all easy stuff. Plus at the end, you’ll have a recipe for meringue, one for lemon curd and one for the whole shebang. A bargain, we think. 


You will need to make one recipe of meringue, one recipe lemon curd and one recipe Mascarpone cream. 


This is the meringue MJ and Victoria both remember, one of MJ’s mum’s recipes.It was always made as meringue 'kisses'.  It’s very easy, as long as your eggs are at room temperature and there’s not a speck of anything greasy near bowl or beaters and that means not a drop of yolk.

Preheat oven to 225 F.

4 egg whites (from extra large eggs, at room temperature)
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tsp good quality vanilla
½ tsp almond extract (optional because we ran out!)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Beat the egg white with cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Add vanilla and almond.  Slowly add sugar tablespoon by tablespoon, beating well after every addition, until stiff peaks have formed.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Scoop out meringue and shape into discs or little bowls or twist into meringue kisses, depending on what you want to do with it.  We wanted them fairly flat to build our tiramisu.

Bake at 225 for twenty to thirty minutes.  Don’t let them brown at the edges. If your oven runs hot, reduce temperature. 

FOR THE LEMON CURD (makes about 1 2/3 cups)

3 medium or 2 large lemons (juice and zest) 
34 cups granulated sugar
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
12 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Finely grate enough zest from lemons to measure about a tablespoon. Make sure you don't get the bitter white part. Squeeze lemons to produce 1/2 cup juice.

In a metal or tempered glass bowl whisk together zest, juice, sugar, and eggs.

Add the butter cubes to mixture. 

Set bowl over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water and cook mixture, whisking frequently, until thickened, smooth and glossy, about 20 minutes. Don’t let the water boil, keep to a simmer. 
That's it.  Just a little patience. Confession time:  MJ watched an episode of New Tricks while squeezing, zesting and stirring.  

The lemon curd will keep covered in the fridge about three days. 

Serve lemon curd warm or chilled, but of course, we are using it in our tiramisu.


1 cup Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 ¼ cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon Limoncello, optional. We opted not to. 
We did not include sugar in the cream segment because the meringues and the lemon curd both have a lot.  But, suit yourself and your sweet tooth.
Whip the Mascarpone and cream (and maybe Limoncello) together until creamy and smooth.
Some assembly required
Place a disc of meringue in the bottom of each of six pretty, transparent serving dishes or glasses.

 It’s quite rich, so you may decide to go with small glasses or dishes. We didn’t. Ahem.  Layer on about half the meringue.  Layer on half the cream mixture.  Add a second disc.  Repeat with lemon curd and cream. This didn't lend itself to being photographed for some reason.
Crumble any remaining meringues and sprinkle on top.

Cover and refrigerate at least overnight. We added a strawberry to the top of ours. You'll have your own ideas.  Serve with verve!

Happy Easter!  

Victoria Abbott is the mysterious collaboration between the artist and photographer Victoria Maffini and her mother, the mystery writer, Mary Jane Maffini.  Normally they're quite sensible but there's a lot of treats around Easter and well, you know ...


That's us! Strangely enough, our three book collector mysteries, The Christie Curse, The Sayers Swindle and The Wolfe Widow all contain lots of desserts and celebrations and a certain amount of silly head gear.

 By the way, we're still celebrating this cover for The Marsh Madness. We think it looks good enough to eat.

The Marsh Madness is due out in September 2015.



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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Italian Ricotta and Rice Pie--Family Secrets Revealed!

Annette with her mother and sister
Annette's family
LUCY BURDETTE: I got to talking about Easter dinner with my good friends Ang and Annette Pompano and the sad truth emerged--my family didn't have a stock of special Easter dishes. 

Whereas Annette and Ang both remember wonderful feasts from their Italian families, including amazing Italian rice pies. I begged for the recipe and share it here.


This is Annette's family version, though the maraschino cherries are from Ang's side of the family. Annette warned me that one of her aunts would leave out an ingredient or two when she gave out her recipes. No one has ever figured out how to make her most special frosting--it will go to the grave when she does.

But I made this recipe for Easter dinner, and it came out beautifully...

Annette Pompano's Italian Rice Pie, with Cherries from Ang

Makes two 8” pies


1 cup uncooked white rice (not brown, not par-boiled)
2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 eggs
Peel of one orange, zested
1/2 6 oz bottle maraschino cherries (chopped)

Soak rice in water (enough to cover) for ½ hour. Drain rice (this water is not part of the above)
Simmer rice with milk and water until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. (You will think you have too much liquid, but the rice will absorb this as it cools.

(This is a good time to make the crust. See below.)

Mix cooled rice, ricotta, sugar, and cream in a large bowl. Set aside.

Blend eggs and orange zest in a blender or food processor until pieces of peel are very small. Add to the rice mixture. Stir well.

Fold in chopped maraschino cherries (don’t mix in earlier or the pie will be pink.)
Pour into two 9” crusts (see sweet crust recipe). Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. If the crust gets too brown, cover edges with foil for the last 15 minutes.

Italian Sweet Crust

¾ cup shortening (butter is fine--chilled)
½ cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ tsp. baking power
2 ½ cups flour
3 eggs

(I did this a little differently than Annette does, but ingredients are
the same.) Place sugar, salt, baking powder and flour in a food processor and pulse to combine. Cut the butter into chunks, add it to the bowl, and pulse until pieces are pebbly. (Do not over mix or crust will be tough.)Beat the eggs and vanilla together and mix this in. Divide the dough into two pieces and knead briefly into disks. Wrap them in waxed paper and refrigerate until the filling is ready.

Flour surface and rolling pin. Roll out dough adding flour as needed to prevent sticking and fit the dough into two 9 inch pie pans. Add the filling, mixing the cherries into part or all of the filling first.  Bake at 325 for an hour, or until set. Cool the pies, then chill and

serve cold.

 In this photo, the rice pie without cherries is on the left, with a piece of killer coconut cake on the right. Oh my gosh, it was heaven. (I've got to track down that recipe too...)

When Annette isn't cooking, she is often found painting. Here's one of her favorites. You can find her on Facebook.

 And please like Lucy's page while you're there!

And don't forget to pre-order TOPPED CHEF, coming May 7!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Charmed Mini Lemon Tarts (And Optional Easter Tarts)

Ella Mae, the heroine of the upcoming Charmed Pie Shoppe series, is a big fan of the lemon. The bright yellow of its skin, the clean scent of its fruit, and the millions of delicious recipes one can make with this citrus make it one of her all-time favorite ingredients.

Now that the spring sunshine has made itself known, you might be ready for a light, sunny dessert. Try these easy, creamy, lemony tarts and you'll feel warm and bright right on down to your toes!

Charmed Mini Lemon Tarts

5 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (requires 3 large lemons)

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

2 packages mini graham cracker tart crusts (for a total of 12 mini tarts)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a stand mixer or food processor blend cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar. Once the sugar is completely mixed into the cream cheese, add the eggs. Next, add the lemon juice and zest and process until completely blended and smooth. Spoon the mixture into the individual tarts, filling to the top. Bake the mini tarts approximately 15 minutes or when filling is set. Let cool and top with berries, whipped cream, a sprig of mint, or a piece of lemon cut into a small triangle.

To make cute spring bird’s nests, use food coloring to dye the tart filling before baking. After the tarts cool, use shredded coconut or chocolate shavings as the “nest” and add jellybean “eggs.” These are sure to brighten any table!

What's your favorite lemony food?