This time of year gets so busy, it is very difficult for me
to write down anything! But I must
share with you one of my all time favorite classic desserts. I don’t believe I have ever seen this
offered in any restaurant but it is so easy to make. Sometimes, the intimidation factor kicks in
and we overlook something that is easy to prepare. The one thing I like is that this dessert can
be prepared a few days ahead of time and stored in the freezer until you are
ready to present to the Holiday Guest Table.
The name 'Baked Alaska' was coined at Delmonico's Restaurant in 1876 to honor the
recently acquired American territory. A
variation called Bombe Alaska calls for some dark rum to be splashed
over the Baked Alaska. Lights are then turned down and the whole dessert is flambéed
while being served. One safe method of
doing this is to reserve one half egg shell from the meringue and nestle the
shell in the top of the dessert. Fill
with rum. Heat additional rum on the range
top, ignite and pour over the dessert at
the table. Turn down the lights to dazzle your guests.
The traditional dessert calls for pistachio ice cream. You really need a contrast color on the
first layer of ice cream to appreciate the meringue topping. Also, I have made this with
strawberry ice cream added with a layer of lemon for a nice color
contrast. I couldn’t buy pistachio ice cream locally so
I had to make my own using the Cuisinart Ice Cream maker. Handy gadget to have in the kitchen.
Here is my ice cream recipe…very easy and reserve the “boiled”
pistachios for adding to your cake batter.
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Pistachio Ice Cream
1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 large egg yolks
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup unsalted shelled pistachios; toasted, chopped
1-2 drops green food coloring; optional
Finely grind 1 cup pistachios and 1/4 cup sugar in
processor. Bring milk and ground pistachio mixture to boil in heavy large
saucepan. Remove from heat. Mix in almond extract.
Whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in medium bowl.
Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return custard to saucepan. Cook over low
heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is
drawn across, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes (do not boil). Strain into large
bowl. Chill until cold, about 2 hours.
Stir 1 cup whipping cream and chopped pistachios into
custard. Process mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's
instructions. Transfer to container and freeze.
This will not be green like most commercial ice cream
preparations. If you would like, a drop
or two of green food coloring will give you the color. Use with caution!
Notes: Bon Appétit
Yield: 3 1/2 cups
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Line your domed bowl with any plastic wrap. This is essential for removal later. Place this ice cream layer in a domed
bowl. Freeze until firm. Add second layer of vanilla ice cream for a
Prepare or purchase a cake layer. I made a simple chocolate layer and added the
reserved pistachios for extra flavor. Freeze
until firm. All of this can be done days
before your party…just cover and seal tightly. Remove from freezer and place
ice cream dome on top of cake layer. If
not sized right, you can trim the excess cake away to make the dome a uniform
My Swiss Meringue works the best for topping the
Prepare and “frost” the dome
and return to freezer to firm up.
ready, complete your piping with a large star tip pastry bag. If not, just place the meringue as if you
were doing a lemon meringue pie.
Back in the freezer until ready for presentation.
Preheat oven to 550F.
Place in oven for six to eight minutes, watching very closely. The meringue will insulate the ice cream
very well. After the oven, it can cool
and ice cream will remain frozen for a half hour or more.
Present table-side for your guests to enjoy!!
Enjoy YOUR Wonderful World! Merry Christmas to Y'all!
Since Thanksgiving, it seems like my life has been on Full Tilt. Putting up the Christmas Tree...all the decorations...eating too much and enjoying life just a bit. I hope you have been also.
Got home yesterday afternoon and didn't have anything convenient to make supper. Time to resort to what our family called the Farmhouse Skillet. What did it contain?....well, anything you happen to have available.
My skillet always included fried potatoes...what farm supper wouldn't have that? After looking through the refrigerator, I found green peppers, onions, eggs, potatoes and kielbasa. Being in a hurry, I diced up the potatoes and precooked in microwave. This really is a time saver at any time..partially done in the micro and finished browning in the skillet. Great for supper or breakfast. And speaking of hash browns..I have found the quickest way to get them ready for the breakfast skillet.
Put your kettle on to boil....shred potatoes in a large bowl. As soon as the water is boiling, cover with boiling water and let set for six or seven minutes. Drain thoroughly and proceed. The boiling water cooks the potatoes perfectly and they will not "stick" to your skillet since you have washed away the starch that sticks to a pan. Brown in butter, salt and pepper and enjoy!
Let soak then drain for sautéing
But back to my Farmhouse Skillet. I sauté Kielbasa, Onions,
Green Peppers and diced potatoes. Add four eggs to blender, salt & pepper, to taste...a little oregano tonight. Blend well and pour over top of sauté.
Top with cheese of your choice and tonight I sprinkled
chopped pimento for color. Love that stuff!
Into the preheated 450F oven for fifteen minutes or until eggs are set and cheese has melted.
Quick Farmhouse Skillet with fresh greens from our garden.