Invite The Neighbors

01 Jul 2012

Your favorite indulgences to make your next backyard bash the talk of the town.

Recipes by chef VINZENZ ASCHBACHER, Whisk Bakery  »  Food Stylist LISA MOSOW  »  Photographs by LEA DALES

Bee Sting

Prep: 30 minutes  Cook: 25 minutes  Makes: One 10" round

1⅝ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 pinch salt

3/4 cup lukewarm milk

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons butter

1½ tablespoons confectioner's sugar

1 tablespoon milk

5/8 cup sliced almonds

1 tablespoon honey (optional)

1½ cups milk

â…“ cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ tablespoon cream of tartar

1. Combine flour, yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, 3/4 cup milk, and 3 tablespoons butter. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 15 to 20 minutes. Place in well greased bowl, cover. Let rise in warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled.
2. Punch down dough. Roll out to ½ inch thickness. Spread into greased 10 inch round baking pan. Cover, and let rise for 30 minutes.
3. Melt 3 tablespoons butter and confectioner's sugar in saucepan. Add almonds and 1 tablespoon milk. Remove from heat, stir in honey. Spread evenly onto dough. Allow dough to continue to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
4. Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crust turns golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack.
5. Dissolve cornstarch in a little milk. Combine 1½ cups milk, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon sugar in the top of a double boiler. Heat while stirring until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Add in beaten egg, keep stirring for about 2 more minutes, or until thick. Remove from heat, stir in extract. Chill, covered, in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Beat whipping cream with cream of tartar until stiff. Fold into chilled pudding.
6. Slice the cooled almond crust bread horizontally into halves. Fill with pudding mixture. Chill, and serve cold.

Spinach & Tomato Quiche

Prep: 30 minutes  Cook: 1 Hour  Makes: 8 servings

Pie crust

4 whole eggs

½ whole onion

2 cloves garlic

½ cups parmesan cheese

½ cups grated gouda cheese

½ cups milk

½ cups cream

¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon flour

5 slices bacon

1 cup spinach

2 whole tomatoes

1. Prepare pie crust (see Pie Crust instructions).
2. In a large bowl mix all ingredients: eggs, onion, garlic, cheeses, milk, cream, nutmeg, oregano, and flour. Mix well to blend, then add in the diced bacon and spinach.
3. Pour egg mixture into the pie shell; top with tomatoes. Slightly submerge tomatoes allowing some egg to run on top. Top with a little more grated cheese.
4. Bake at 325ºF for one hour. Check to see that the center of the pie is set. If the center wiggles when you shake the pie back and forth slightly, then bake for 5 more minutes. Check again and repeat if necessary. If at any time the top of the crust begins to get too dark, cover with foil for the remainder of the baking time.

Pie Crust (for Quiche)

Prep: 45 minutes

1 cup vegetable shortening

½ cup butter

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 whole egg

5 tablespoons cold water

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1. In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the shortening into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all the ingredients are incorporated.
2. Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
3. When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.
4. With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.

Belgian Eclairs

Prep: 20 minutes  Cook: 10 minutes  Makes: 10 servings

2 â…” ounces unsalted butter

15 tablespoons cold water

3 ⅝ ounces, weight all-purpose flour

3 whole eggs

1 pinch salt

Whipped cream

Melted chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Mix butter and water in a pan on low heat. Bring it to a boil and take off heat. Mix in the flour with a pinch of salt, then put the pan back on heat.
3. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough dries out and stops sticking to the sides of the pot. Take pan off heat and stir in the eggs, one at a time. You’ll need to stir quite vigorously to get a smooth mixture.
4. Put mixture in a baking sack and squeeze out finger-sized éclairs onto a baking sheet. Do not put them too close together. Bake for 10 minutes.
5. When you take them out of the oven, they should be light and slightly brown. Let cool.
6. Once cooled, make a little cut on the side with a knife so you can push in the piping bag. The piping bag can either be filled with whipped cream. Once filled, cover them with a layer of melted chocolate.

Whipped Cream (for Eclairs)

Prep: 5 minutes  Makes: 16 servings

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar

1. In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, as cream will become lumpy and butter-like.

New York Style Cheese Cake

Prep: 30 minutes  Cook: 1 hour  Makes: 16 servings

1½ cups all-purpose flour

â…“ cup white sugar

1 egg, beaten

½ cup butter, softened

2½ pounds cream cheese, softened

1 3/4 cups white sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

5 eggs

2 egg yolks

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 10 inch spring-form pan with spray oil.
2. To make crust: Combine 1½ cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg and ½ cup butter. Spread to edges of pan. Prick all over with a fork, bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
3. Increase oven temperature to 475°F. In large bowl, combine cream cheese, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 5 eggs and yolks, mix thoroughly. Add cream and mix only enough to blend.
4. Pour filling over crust, bake 10 minutes at 475°F. Reduce temperature to 200°F, continue to bake for one hour. Turn oven off, leave cake in for another hour.
5. Chill overnight. Top with your favorite fruit or serve plain.

Fruit Tart

Prep: 20 minutes  Cook: 12 minutes  Makes: 8 servings


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 egg whites

½ cups agave nectar

1 tablespoon almond butter


1 cup half-and-half

3 whole large egg yolks

1 pinch salt

â…“ cups powdered honey

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon white flour

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Total time is 1 hour 45 minutes, including 1 hour 15 minutes inactive time. Yields 4 (4-inch) tarts for 8 half-tart servings.

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2. Combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, egg whites, agave nectar, and almond butter in food processor. Pulse until a ball of dough is formed. Using hands, combine all dough into one large ball.

3. Set out 4 (4-inch) tart pans on baking sheet. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and place into tart pans. Carefully press dough into bottom of pan until it’s about ¼ inch thick. Press dough along sides of tart pan, being careful to ensure dough is pushed into each of the scalloped edges. Dough should reach above edges of tart pan. Holding a knife horizontally, trim off excess dough that reaches above tart pan.

4. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes. Once crusts have baked, set them on the counter to cool for about 15 minutes.

5. In the meantime, prepare the filling. In small saucepan, gently warm half-and-half on medium-low heat. Do not boil it or bring to a simmer, just gently warm until you see steam coming up. While half-and-half is warming, start on the rest of the ingredients.

6. In medium sized bowl, combine egg yolks, salt, powdered honey, cornstarch and flour. Whisk mixture together until smooth. Once egg mixture is smooth and creamy and half-and-half is warm, pour half of the warm half-and-half into bowl with egg mixture and quickly whisk together. Whisk until mixture is well combined. Next, pour mixture back into saucepan with the rest of the half-and-half.7. Place pan back on medium-low heat and begin whisking to incorporate. Continue whisking mixture until it becomes thick and creamy. If mixture starts to simmer, lift from heat and keep whisking. It will begin to thicken after about 4-5 minutes. Once cream has thickened, add butter to mixture and whisk to combine. Take cream off heat and add vanilla.8. Pour cream mixture into a bowl. When all cream is in bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap (plastic wrap should be touching surface of cream) and place in fridge to chill for 3-5 hours.

9. Wash and slice fresh fruit. You can use any fruit you’d like, but for best results, use fresh seasonal fruits that have bright colors like, kiwi, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

10. Once tart crust is cooled, and cream has been chilling for at least 3 hours, begin to assemble your tart. Remove cream from fridge and gently spoon onto tart crust. Spread cream evenly and smoothly. Arrange fruit as desired. Serve immediately or chill in fridge until ready.

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