Showing posts with label John Barricelli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Barricelli. Show all posts

Thursday, August 14, 2014

John Barricelli's Lemon Meringue Tart from his SoNo Baking Company Cookbook


As you can see, this is one gorgeous dessert.  And it gave Andrew an opportunity to use a 13 ¼ inch rectangular tart pan.  But don’t put off it you lack one of this size and dimension.  John Barricelli’s original recipe gives the green light to a 9 inch round tart pan with a removable bottom.   You may remember Chef Barricelli’s most recent appearance here as the author the Coconuttiest Cake of all time.   Here he has re-invented traditional lemon meringue pie.  Instead of using lemon-flavored pastry cream, he has created a filling that’s richer and even tangier—it’s lemon curd.  This means a much more intense lemon experience.  And John gives the credit for the curd to none other than Martha Stewart with whom he worked for several years, appearing as her pastry maven on TV.  Martha’s curd is distinguished by its use of fresh-squeezed lemon juice to which butter is added at the very end of the cooking process.   This is another instance where you need to bake in some time, pardon the pun, for chilling the Pâte Brisée for an hour.  Then, once the crust is in the tart pan, it needs another half hour firming up in the refrigerator. Finally, the glorious meringue was browned using our in-kitchen blowtorch. The original recipe said to run it under the broiler for a minute or two which I how I transcribed the recipe here.   Here’s the recipe:
John Barricelli’s Lemon Meringue Tart from The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook (Clarkson Potter 2010)

First make the Pâte Brisée:
The pastry for this recipe needs to rest in the refrigerator a minimum of an hour.  So add that timing to this recipe. Once that’s been done, the Tart comes together quickly. First make the pastry, a pâte brisée.  This recipe makes enough for one double crust pie of two single crust pies. Make the whole recipe and  you can freeze the second crust for up to a month.  And this crust can be used in both sweet and savory incarnations.  The trick here is make sure all your ingredients—wet and dry—are cold.  And not just the ingredients…you should chill the bowl and blade of your food processor or the bowl and attachment of your standing mixer. 

2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1⁄4 cup ice water
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds.

2. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream until the dough just comes together. The dough should not be wet or sticky. If the dough is too dry and doesn’t hold together, add a little more water.

3. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide in two and wrap each half in plastic wrap, shaping them into flattened disks. Chill at least 1 hour before using.

Now make the Lemon Curd:

2 tbsp. cold water
1 tsp. powdered unflavored gelatin
6 large egg yolks
Grated zest of 4 lemons
½ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ cup sugar
1/8 tsp. coarse salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes.

For the meringue:
3 large egg whites
½ cup sugar
Pinch of coarse salt
1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the cold water over the gelatin. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and salt and whisk to combine.  Set over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes.  Do not boil. Whisk in the gelatin.

2. Strain the curd through a fine sieve into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat until cool about 5 minutes. Beat in the butter a little at a time, until smooth.  Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. 

3. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 7 by 17 inch rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. 

5. Fit the dough into a 4 x 13 ¼ inch fluted rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom, and trim the dough so that it comes slightly above the rim of the tart pan. The press the excess dough against the sharp edge of the rim of the pan with the heel of your hand to cut it level with the pan.  Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

6. Set the over rack in the bottom third of the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat. Set aside. Place the chilled tart shell on the prepared baking sheet and line it with parchment paper, leaving a 1 inch overhang.  Fill with pie weights. 

7. Bake until the edges of the tart shell are firm and are just beginning to turn golden, 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove the parchment paper and the pie weights.  Return the tart shell to the oven and continue to bake until the surface is golden all over, about 10 more minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

8. Whisk (or beat in a standing mixer) the lemon curd to loosen.  Spread the curd over the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Refrigerate.

9. Bring about 1 inch of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler. Combine the egg whites, sugar and alt in the top of the double boiler, set it over, (not in) the simmering water and whish to dissolve the sugar just until it melts, 1 to 2 minutes.  (The mixture should feel just warm to the touch and not gritty.) 

10. Transfer to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed until the meringue is glossy an stiff peaks form when you lift the whisk.

11. Preheat the broiler and arrange an oven rack 5 to 6 inches from the broiler element.  Spread the meringue over the lemon curd. 

12. Place the tart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and broil until the meringue is nicely browed, 1 to two minutes.  Serves 8. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Coconuttiest of Coconut Cake of all time from John Barricelli of SoNo Bakery and Café

         Our friends, Don and Jeff had a dinner party this weekend.  Among the invitees were two of their friends from Miami, where they have a winter home. We'd met Jorge and Peter before.  In fact, the last time we met them, Andrew had brought the dessert pictured above (on Don and Jeff's kitchen counter).  As it turned out, Jorge had fallen so hard for this coconuttiest of all cakes, that whenever and wherever he saw Coconut cake on a menu, he would order it. For two years,  he kept hoping he'd find one that matched this incredible recipe.  And no wonder, this is a coconut lover’s dream, because it’s coconut on coconut covered with more coconut.  The result is a decadent buttery cake filled with coconut pastry cream. But it doesn’t even stop there.  Shredded coconut covers the coconut buttercream icing like a blizzard of sweetness.  It’s a three layer cake made in a single nine inch pan.  Is it hard to make?  Well I tried to convince Jorge and Peter that they too could achieve this result in Miami.  But I don't think I got very far.   Andrew then offered the following piece of new news.  Apparently one of our friends told him that she had taken a cake recipe off Chewing the Fat, gone to her local bakery and they had baked the cake for her. I keep thinking that Jorge might be able to pull that one off himself.  Because if he did, I could almost guarantee that baker would put this cake on their regular cake list instantly.  To non-bakers like Jorge and me, anything this elaborate looks difficult.  But Andrew assures me it’s not.  And I can promise you that the results are worth any degree of difficulty, it’s just that good.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Double Crunch Sour Cream Coffee Cake

         At one point or another, savory cooks have to conclude their cooking is far less complicated than the exact science baking requires.  A savory cook can pretty much play it by ear, adding or subtracting ingredients, substituting one thing for another and still end up with a winning dish.  But leave out an ingredient in a cake or confuse baking soda with baking powder and a baker’s end result is often doomed.   That’s what impressed me with Andrew’s latest version of Coffee Cake.  Anyone whose been lucky enough to sample his baked goods knows this is a guy who knows his way around a Kitchen-Aid. But this latest creation was so over-the-top delicious, so perfectly baked, I’d like him to take a deep bow.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Raspberry Pistachio Cheesecake from John Barricelli of the SoNo Baking Company

            Just before Thanksgiving, Andrew heard from a friend from his college days requesting a dessert recipe using raspberries.  Well it took all of two minutes to remember a spectacular cheesecake he made earlier in the season.  But why it has never made an appearance on these pages is a bit of a puzzle.  The cake is the essence of what a truly great cheesecake should taste like--extremely, densely creamy with that wonderful tang from the touch of sour cream that’s added to the batter.  But in this version there’s so much more...a pistachio-flavored graham cracker crust, more pistachios ringing the cake and topping the whole thing off, a layer of brilliant red raspberries.  In planning our offerings for the dash from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I wanted to give our readers some easy weeknight meals and also to give some ideas for fantastic desserts for all the entertaining that happens this season. It was a no-brainer to include this phenomenal cake because it even looks like Christmas with it’s red and green coloration.  Raspberries, while hardly in season, are one of those fruits that are increasingly found year ‘round so it shouldn’t be too difficult to pull off this.  And oh what a response you can expect when the first bite puts everyone’s taste buds into high gear.  And the surprising thing is Andrew says it's not at all hard to make, it just looks it! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Classic Chocolate Mousse from The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook

John Barricelli
the baker behind
this Classic Recipe 
         More often than not, when Andrew is baking I am dumbstruck by the effort he takes.  One recent project involved making three different cupcakes, getting up at 7:30 to do so and finishing the last of the icing with just enough time to hop in the car at 5:30 and take them to the party he made them for.  Phew.  But it’s not just the time, it’s the almost scientific way in which his desserts come together.  As a savory cook, my cooking times seem so much more fluid.  You can compensate for all kinds of kitchen screw-ups.  But when Andrew bakes, he does so with almost military precision.  So as I was in the second hour of cooking dinner recently, I was amazed to hear him say he’d decided he wanted to make a Classic Chocolate Mousse for dessert.  How earth could he do that? With a little help from a third generation baker named John Barricelli.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Macadamia Butterscotch Bars

More days this winter have kept us locked up in the house than I can remember.   This week there was a day that was so cold, you had to go back 10 in years in New York to find a matching temperature.  Being stuck in the house isn’t necessarily the worst thing that can happen.  Especially if you take upon yourself to lift everyone’s spirits with a rich, gooey treat.  These Macadamia Butterscotch Bars fit the bill perfectly. 
John Barricelli
The recipe comes to us by way of John Barricelli.  A regular on Martha Stewart’s television show in the past and the host of “Everyday Baking from Everyday Food, another Martha Stewart Omnimedia production, I’m sure he’ll show up on her new half hour “Martha Bakes” series starting January 31st on the Hallmark Channel. (Martha wrote the foreword to the SoNo book.)