Each year for fourth of July I am charged with the wonderful job of creating beautiful and delicious summer deserts. I woke up early yesterday and as I began to bake, and thought of all those military wives who get far too little credit. At church on Sunday they had all the men and women who served come up on stage and it was amazing. I actually did an ugly cry, not the single sweet glistening tear on my cheek… like the really ugly slobbering cry. I am so proud to be an American.
But what about those wives who baked, and cleaned, and took care of children while dad was away. Who prayed and cried, and kept herself together so the kids didn’t fall apart? What about those wives who had no children, but had to say goodbye to their husbands anyway- all by themselves? What about the momma’s to sons and daughters who were so far away from home, but knew mom would always be there to send a care package, an encouraging letter, and pray day and night for his safety? This post is dedicated to all those women who served in the military, by being the GREAT women behind good men (and sometimes bad men), who fed their bellies, loved their hearts, and prayed for their souls. This goes out to you girls: you deserve a medal for all you’ve sacrificed, but instead I’ll give you these two wonderful recipes. 🙂
This year I made two desserts, one which I borrowed from, ahem… “FoodSnots.” I’m gonna have to find out why she chose such an unappetizing name for her blog (scratch that- I just read the about me section and it seems to be some sort of joke, I guess I don’t get it.). Either way she is really sweet and she has lovely recipes and this is one of them. Head on over to her blog for the full recipe.
The main gist is to make a sugar cookie recipe (okay I cheated and bought the target brand mix and it was yummy!) and press it into a tart pan. I will recommend pressing it up as high as you can on the sides and as deep as you can in the center to create a good well for your filling. The dough rises up a good bit and you will end up with a flat tart with no crust if you do not do this. I actually ended up shoveling out a little from the center after it baked because I didn’t have enough space for the filling. You’ll do much better than I did.
After it bakes, the the crust cool (I popped it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to rush the process). Fill the center with what is basically like a key lime or lemon icebox pie filling. Another good alternative would be no bake cheesecake filling. I pressed the berries into the soft filling then refrigerated it for about an hour to set. I like making concentric circles but you can just toss them on if you want a more rustic look. This tart was absolutely delicious! It was light and sweet and everyone loved it.
The second dessert was an oldie but a goodie. I started making this treat when I was about 13, for my parents dinner parties and bible study groups. I loved baking and my mother did not, so I got to invent all kinds of yummy sweets for her guests. this one I call: The Cherry Zipper.
What you’ll need:
One sheet of frozen puff pastry dough
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 can of pie filling (any flavour you like)
What to do:
Let the pastry dough thaw on the counter or in the fridge overnight. You want it to be soft enough to handle but still very cold. Sprinkle your work surface with a little sugar lay the sheet on the sugar and then sprinkle more on the top. Gently roll out the dough so the sugar gets pressed into it. You just want to roll the dough so it gets a little longer and wider, you don’t want to completely flatten it out. Try it keep it in a relatively even rectangle.
Transfer the to dough to a cookie sheet or pyrex dish sprayed with Pam. Visually divide the sheet into thirds (do it in your brain). The center will be where your pie filling goes. Using kitchen shears snip half inch strips down the sides leaving one third of the dough sheet in the center. Pour your filling down the center strip. Begin closing it up by laying the pastry strips over each other alternating sides like a zipper all the way to the top.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes on 375-400 (my oven tends to burn things so I go about 385). I don’t really use timing when I bake I just wait till I can smell it. You will know by the smell. When you smell the smell, brush the top with a bit of egg yolk mixed with a drop of cream (or half & half or milk), then sprinkle the top with a little more sugar and bake for about 5 more minutes or until it is a gorgeous golden brown. It is rustic and beautiful and tastes amazing. The best part is that it only takes 4 ingredients and about 5 minutes to prepare.