July 22, 2013

Grilled Strawberry Blueberry Coconut Crisp

Grilled Strawberry Blueberry Coconut Crisp

So happy to be at the cabin in khaki cutoffs and old button-down shirts, playing gin rummy with my kids, cruising the lake in the pontoon, listening to classic rock on the PowerLoon (local radio station with a loon call as a station identifier - we know how to get funky here in MN) and eating heartily - lots of grilled meats, vegetables I've hauled in from the Mpls Farmer's Market (not much coming yet from northern MN gardens) and desserts that, if they don't come from the pie lady in town, don't require the oven. 

Fruit crisps are my favorite dessert and this is the first time I've tried one on the grill. Easy and fast. Cooks very quickly in a cast-iron skillet with a crunchy top and gooey caramelized fruit around the edges. The topping includes unsweetened coconut flakes and sliced almonds. They get really toasty and are so great in this. Perfect summer dessert. 

Grilled Strawberry Blueberry Coconut Crisp

Serves 3-4 (modest servings)

2 cups fresh berries (strawberries and blueberries)
1 tablespoon sugar*

1/4 cup oatmeal (not quick cooking)
1/4 cup sliced almonds (untoasted)
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut 
1/4 cup AP flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Pinch kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and diced

1. Preheat grill to medium-high

2. Trim and quarter strawberries and put in 6" cast-iron skillet along with blueberries. Sprinkle with sugar if using. 

3. Mix all dry topping ingredients together then add butter and work in with fingertips until incorporated and pea-sized. 

4. Spoon topping over fruit pressing down lightly to fit (the berries shrink during cooking and you want lots of crunchy crust). You may have a little left over. 

5. Place on grill rack and put cover down. Check after 10 minutes. Fruit should be bubbly and crust browned - anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on your grill. Be careful removing - handle will be scorching hot. 

6. Let rest for at least 15 minutes then serve with vanilla ice cream, plain greek yogurt, whipped cream or straight up.

* Add depending on how sweet your berries are and how tart you like your crisp. 

Grilled Strawberry Blueberry Coconut Crisp

July 8, 2013

Lemon Caramel

Lemon Caramel Sauce

I wasn't sure if this would be any good - lemon with butter and cream and sugar and...wait, that does sound good. Kind of like lemon curd without the eggs. Bright, creamy, slightly tart, rich and perfect perfect perfect with fresh ripe strawberries. Dip like a fondue, drizzle over vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and strawberries (with or without a biscuit or a piece of pound or angel food cake), or just have it with strawberries. Did I mention it's good with strawberries?

Lemon Caramel Sauce

Caramel is so easy to make. Just keep an eye out so it doesn't burn. I like a medium-colored caramel so I take it off the heat not long after it turns golden, but some prefer it darker with a slightly bitter flavor.  Just let it bubble a bit longer if that's your preference. 

Lemon Caramel 

Makes about 1 cup

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup cream
1/8 heaping teaspoon flaky sea salt

1. Put sugar in a heavy saucepan and drizzle water around the edges. Turn heat on medium-low and cook until sugar is dissolved and caramel is brown (5-10 minutes, watch carefully).

2. Take off heat and add lemon, butter and cream. Whisk vigorously until butter melts and everything is blended (but be careful - it will be very hot). Pour into a heatproof dish and let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving or to room temperature if refrigerating (where it's good for a couple of weeks).

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