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Engineering a Classic Dessert
This week on The Engineer’s Kitchen, I switch back to another simple but elegant dessert recipe. Since work has been busy, the grill has been quiet lately and I have not had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time preparing and grilling anything too intricate. On today’s menu, we kept it simple with a grilled New York strip steak served over a wonderful green salad. Since there is not much of a recipe blog from that, I have decided to share another dessert from my kitchen.
Today I will go over the creation of simple individual Bavarian cream custards served with fresh berries. As with most of my fruit desserts, the variations are endless and can be adapted quite easily. In this recipe, I recommend using a frozen puff pastry for the ease.
After this blog, I will start a new cooking series that will focus on some of the newest techniques being used today involving chemistry and engineering. I hope you will come back and check them out.
Blueberry Bavarian Cream Pies:
- 12 frozen puff pastry shells
- 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
- ½ cup cold water
- 5 egg yolks
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 2 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
Starting with a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the cold water and set aside while it softens. In a larger bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar until it is smooth with a velvety texture.
In a medium saucepan on medium heat, bring the milk up to a light boil. Once the milk has boiled, remove from heat and use it to tempura the egg mixture. Slowly incorporate the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking constantly until well mixed. Return the eggs to the saucepan and continue to cook over a medium heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from the heat and pour custard through a strainer. Stir in the softened gelatin and vanilla and allow it to cool completely and the chill in the refrigerator.
In a medium saucepan, combine the berries with the water and allow them to come to a light simmer. This is another point where you can use alternative fruits or berries depending on your tastes. Also, since these are individual servings, you can mix and combine for different flavors for each pie. Add the allspice and allow them to simmer for about five minutes. This should allow the berries to break slightly and absorb the allspice. Remove from the heat, drain and let cool to room temperature.
Building the Structure
Prepare the pastry as per the directions they came with and allow to cool. Once cooled, place the cream in a pastry bag fitted with a medium tip. Pipe the cups about halfway and top with the blueberries. You can then either cap with the pastry top or fresh whipped cream for a great refreshing dessert. One alternative for this dessert is to reserve the liquid from the blueberries and return to the heat, adding a tablespoon of blueberry preserves and cooking until thick. This makes a quick sauce that you can serve over the pies. Remember to let it cool and add it at the last moment so that the pastry does not become too soggy.
As with all of these recipes, I encourage comments and possible alternatives that anyone would like to share. I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog and come back next week for the next series in The Engineer’s Kitchen..