May Crisp

Rhubarb Crisp is also known as early spring tart. Rhubarb, known as the pie plant, is a tart vegetable used to make tasty desserts + sauces; which happens to be rich in vitamins and minerals. Suggestion: I am sure Mom would love this baked for her on Mother's Day. Serve warm with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

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Rhubarb Crisp

recipe by Chef George Hirsch | Makes 4-6 servings

4-6 cups rhubarb stalks, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

juice from one orange

1 Tablespoon orange zest, finely grated

1 cup Turbino sugar (sugar in the raw)

3/4 cup flour

Cover rhubarb with half of the sugar (1/2 cup) sugar, orange juice, zests and marinate 1 hour. Mix remaining sugar and flour together and combine with marinated rhubarb. Grease a 9 inch ovenproof casserole or several small individual ramekins; add marinated rhubarb and sugar flour mixture to greased baking dish.

For the topping:

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup butter

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon.

3/4 cup rolled oats (not instant oatmeal)

1/2 cup light brown sugar

Mix flour, butter, ground cinnamon until it makes a smooth pastry dough. Add oatmeal and brown sugar, crumble together and place on top of marinated rhubarb in baking dish. 

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until top is light brown and the top is crisp and rhubarb is tender. Serve warm with coffee ice cream.

Tip:

Mix apples, pears, peaches, plums or berries in with rhubarb for seasonal dessert variations.

Mix in a hand full of pecans or walnuts for a crunchy addition.

13 EPISODES on 4 HD-DVD Disk Set
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Dessert Grilled

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

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 Wed 8:30AM/2:30PM Sun 8:30AM

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I don’t have a sweet tooth and unlike most people I can pass on chocolate. However, growing up, it would not be summer without my mom whipping-up a bunch of banana boats, my favorite summer sweet treat. It's one of those summer dessert traditions I look forward to every year. I know your whole family will love them. And, so much so I included Banana Boats in my first cookbook!

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Tips: Use large yellow bananas with the barest green tips. Avoid using bananas that are too ripe. For true decadence, top the bananas with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and some chopped pecans before serving.

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Grilled Banana Boats

Makes 6 adults servings, or 3 child servings

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6 bananas

Three 1-ounce good quality chocolate bars; milk chocolate, dark chocolate, broken into small pieces, or 6 Tablespoons chocolate chips

2 cups mini-marshmallows

six 12 inch squares aluminum foil

Preheat a gas grill, or use a hot-charcoal grill; after cooking your main food item.

Split bananas down the inner sides, but do not remove the peels. Spread the peels apart and evenly place the chocolate pieces and marshmallows between the bananas and the peels. Bring the edges of the peels together as closely as possible and wrap each banana in aluminum foil.

Grill the bananas for 4-5 minutes; turn them and move them to the cooler edge of the grill for 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve and eat immediately.

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Summer Time Whoopie

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Sun 8:30AM

The whoopie pie aka black moon, gob, black-and-white, bob, or the round Devil Dog borders on a cookie, cake and pie. My recipe for a Summer Time Whoopie Pie with grilled pineapple Piña Colada version is worth all the steps. How can you go wrong with chocolate pastry sandwiching a grilled rum infused pineapple in coconut cream? 

Summer Time Piña Colada Whoopie Pies

Make 15 small Dessert Burgers

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For Grilled Pineapple

1 ripe Pineapple

2 Tablespoons Brown sugar

¼ cup Dark Rum, such as Myers

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 Tablespoon mint, chopped

Cut off top, bottom, peel outside skin of a ripe pineapple. Cut horizontally into 1/2-inch slices, remove center core. Pour marinade over top of pineapple for 3-4 hours prior to grilling.

Remove pineapple from marinade. Grill at medium-high temperature for 2 to 3 minutes basting on each side with marinade. Remove and cool.

Chocolate Pies/Cookies

Makes 30 small cookies to make 15 whoopee pies

3½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1¼ teaspoons baking powder

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

¾ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Valrhona)

½ cup good strong warm coffee

2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

¾ cup canola oil

1 large egg, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup buttermilk, *or ½ cup milk with 1/4 teaspoon vinegar

2 Tablespoons Shredded coconut, lightly toasted

*Add white vinegar to milk to make the buttermilk. Allow to sit 5 minutes to sour. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside. 

In another large bowl, mix the cocoa powder and brown sugar. Add warm coffee and whisk until completely dissolved. Add oil, egg, vanilla, and buttermilk and whisk until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as you fold.

Use a small ice cream scoop to drop a heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. 

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes  until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and can be lifted off the; use caution not to over bake. Let the cookies cool completely before removing from the pan.

Piña Colada Filling:

5 large egg whites

1½ cups sugar

2 cups (4 sticks) sweet butter, room temperature cut into ½-inch cubes

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pure coconut extract 

Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in a medium bowl. Set the bowl over a double boiler with simmering water but do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and the color is milky-white, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment and start slowly at first, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with the paddle attachment. Add salt and coconut flavoring; then the cubed butter. Starting slowly at first, beat on medium-high speed until filling is light and creamy, about 5 minutes. 

Chef George Hirsch Grilled Piña Colada Whoopie Pies

To assemble Summer Piña Colada Whoopie Pies:

Turn half the cooled cookies upside down (flat side facing up). With a pastry bag or spoon, drop a teaspoon of Piña Colada icing onto the flat side of the cookie. Top with grilled pineapple, a teaspoon of Piña Colada icing on top, and sprinkle a small amount of coconut on top. 

Place the cookie with the flat side down, on top of the filled bottom. Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the pies. Repeat until all the pies are used. Put the assembled pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up icing before serving.

Allow the Piña Colada Whoopie Pies to adjust to room temperature before serving.

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The Scoop

Where does your favorite flavor rank in popularity? 

THE 15 MOST POPULAR ICE CREAM FLAVORS

(Flavor, percent preferring) 

1. Vanilla, 29%

2. Chocolate, 8.9%

3. Butter pecan, 5.3%

4. Strawberry, 5.3%

5. Neapolitan, 4.2%

6. Chocolate chip, 3.9%

7. French vanilla, 3.8%

8. Cookies and cream, 3.6%

9. Vanilla fudge ripple, 2.6%

10. Praline pecan, 1.7%

11. Cherry, 1.6%

12. Chocolate almond, 1.6%

13. Coffee, 1.6%

14. Rocky road, 1.5%

15. Chocolate marshmallow, 1.3%

All others, 23.7%

{Source: International Ice Cream Association}

The Aroma: Ice cream season is now approaching. Homemade is still popular when it comes to peach flavor or pistachio. No need to crank for your cone, the wood barrel ice cream maker has now gone electric.

FOR MORE GOOD STUFF PICKS

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Some recipes cannot be instant, quick or easy. But that doesn't mean it cannot be enjoyable to prepare. Before you know it you will taste the fruits of your efforts. There are so many new ice cream machines on the market today; so whether you are hand churning or letting the machine do the work, making homemade ice cream can be a good reason to have an activity at your next social gathering.

This strawberry ice cream recipe is a recipe I've used for years - but an important thing to note is that fruit never has the same flavor twice, due to it's level of ripening. You will need to taste the strawberries and adjust the sugar up or down depending on the sweetness of the fruit.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Makes six servings, about two quarts

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1 quart fresh strawberries very ripe, hulled and split

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup half & half or milk for a lighter ice cream

3/4 - 1/2 cup pure cane granulated sugar, variable based on the sweetness of fruit

3 egg yolks

3 Tablespoons light corn syrup

1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place 3/4 of the the strawberries into a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. Sieve pureed fruit into a large bowl, and set aside. Roughly chop remaining strawberries and add to pureed berries.

To Make the Base Vanilla Sauce

Heat heavy cream in a sauce pan over medium heat until a gentle simmer reaches the edge of the pan.

While cream is heating up, in a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, half & half, corn syrup, and vanilla. Gradually pour the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the sauce pan, and heat whisking until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon; about 5 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil.

Strain vanilla sauce into the berry puree through a sieve, mix, and place over an ice bath to fully chill. Note: The base vanilla sauce can be made a day ahead.

Fill an ice cream maker with the mixture, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

TIP: Only use very ripe or better yet, over ripened fruit. This is a great way to use up less than picture perfect fruit in your kitchen.

Options: The strawberries may also be substituted for other summer soft fruits such as; cherries, peaches, mango, papaya and kiwi.

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