Getting ready for the Red White and Blue…
Amid all the grilled gastronomics…
have your dessert buffet sparkle…astronomic.
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festive ideas for spectacular holiday menus.
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Here’s to a Festive Fourth!
Red White and Blue Parfaits
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 large egg yolks
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 4-oz. package red, flavored instant gelatin
1 pint blueberries to sprinkle on top as trim
Make pudding: Whisk 1/2 cup milk, cornstarch and yolks until smooth. In a pan, stir 1 cup milk, half-and-half, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Whisking yolk mixture constantly, drizzle in hot milk. Pour mixture back into saucepan and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly as pudding thickens. Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla and butter. Pour pudding into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap so that plastic touches surface of pudding. Let cool for 20 minutes, then refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours. Chill 4 8-oz. glasses.
Make gelatin: Put gelatin in a bowl. Pour in 1 cup of boiling water; whisk until gelatin dissolves, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of cold water. Keep at room temperature.
Assemble parfaits: Pour 1/4 cup gelatin into each glass. Chill until firm, 1 hour. Spoon in 1/4 cup pudding, smooth tops and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Slowly pour 1/4 cup gelatin over pudding in each cup (you will use up gelatin mixture); chill until firm, 1 hour. Top with final layer of pudding. Divide blueberries among parfaits and serve.
A presentation sparkler.
American Flag Cheesecake Bars
1/2 cup whole almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
1 cup seedless raspberry jelly
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Mist foil with cooking spray.
Make crust: Pulse almonds in a food processor until finely chopped. Add flour, brown sugar and salt, and process until well combined. Add butter and pulse just until mixture begins to come together; it should not form a ball. Press mixture evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until set. Let cool on a wire rack.
Make filling: With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium-low and add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Beat in lemon juice, vanilla and salt.
Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over crust. Tap pan on countertop 3 or 4 times to burst air bubbles in filling. Place pan on a large roasting pan and put in oven. Pour hot tap water into roasting pan until it comes up about an inch around baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until filling is just set. Cool completely on a wire rack, then cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Use foil overhang to lift cheesecake out of pan and onto cutting board. Heat a large sharp knife under hot water; dry knife. Trim off edges of cheesecake. Carefully cut into 16 bars, rinsing knife under hot water and drying thoroughly between each cut.
Transfer bars to a serving platter. Decorate each bar with 5 blueberries in upper left corner to resemble stars on the American flag. Place jelly in a ziplock bag, seal bag and snip off about 1/6 inch at one bottom corner. Pipe jelly in thin lines on each bar to resemble stripes on flag.
NOTE: Be sure to use seedless jelly so that you can pipe it in smooth, even lines onto the bars.
So summery and berry fresh.
White Balsamic Custard Tart with Fresh Berry Topping
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 large strawberries, hulled, sliced
2 1/2-pint containers blueberries
1 1/2-pint container raspberries
for the crust:
Combine flour, sugar, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter and blend, using on/off turns, until coarse meal forms. Add egg yolk and cream. Using on/off turns, blend until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball. Press dough evenly into 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Pierce dough all over with fork. Chill 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake crust until golden, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 22 minutes. Cool.
Stir cream and cornstarch in medium bowl until cornstarch dissolves. Add eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla; whisk to blend. Boil vinegar in heavy medium saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Add 3/4 cup water, sugar, and butter. Stir until butter melts; return to boil. Gradually whisk vinegar mixture into egg mixture; return to pan. Whisk until custard thickens and boils, about 1 minute. Strain into bowl; cool. Spread custard in prepared crust. Cover and chill tart at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
for the topping:
Arrange strawberry slices in star pattern in center of tart. Arrange raspberries in star pattern.
Surround with blueberries.
Cover loosely and chill until ready to serve.
NOTE: can be made up to 6 hours ahead.
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