Monday, January 24, 2011

Blueberry, Mascarpone, brown sugar goodness

There were a couple of different versions of the same dessert that we sampled last night. The panel of taste testers were completely divided in their likes and dis-likes and what went better with what and on and on it went - this might have also been partially due to the two (maybe three? maybe four?) bottles of champagne and wine going around. But in any case, all versions were loved and are going to be shown here since we couldn't come to any definite conclusion and I think its only fair that I share all of it with all of you.

NOTE:   I was very surprised at how quickly this dessert came together. It can also be done ahead of time and then just placed under the broiler right before you need to serve.

So.....Please bear with this posting. It's going to be a long one.


FOOD 561

1 pint of blueberries

4 ounces mascarpone - at room temperature

juice from half a lemon

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

about three tablespoons of brown sugar for topping


Set oven temperature to Broil - place the oven rack right in the middle.  Mix together the mascarpone, lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar then gently fold in the blueberries. Mix to coat all the berries - then divide the mixture evenly between two small tart dishes. Cover the tops with the almost three tablespoons of brown sugar
FOOD 559
At this point you can cover tightly and wrap then store in the refrigerator until dessert time. Otherwise, place under broiler and let cook until juices are bubbling and the brown sugar has caramelized (wil kind of look like creme brulee top) This only takes a few minutes so keep an eye on it.

Let sit for a few minutes to cool then serve

Now things got interesting.

I originally served the warm blueberry mixture over a scoop of French Vanilla ice cream. FOOD 571

Everyone agreed that it was lovely - but the ice cream was too heavy and over powered the flavors of the blueberry and mascarpone mixture.

Next we tried the dish with just some fresh whip cream Copy of FOOD 578

All taste testers agreed this was much better than the ice cream and could they have more?

Next, it was suggested to try with a little vanilla yogurt Copy of FOOD 575

While the yogurt did not necessarily make for the prettiest photo - it was immediately declared the favorite by HALF the group - the other half still wanted more with just whipped cream.

I'm running out of dishes at this point but still have a different sample to present so I take everything away and bring the next batch out.
FOOD 574

This version is basically a blueberry crisp (or crumble) All the same except the topping is not just brown sugar.


1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

6 tablespoons butter cut into pieces - keep cold

1 cup chopped almonds or walnuts or both

Combine all ingredients in a food processor except the butter and nuts. Once mixed add the cold pieces of butter and pulse until it starts to get large lumps. Add the nuts then pulse again 7 or 8 times - until mixture has come together and looks like clumpy sand. Refrigerate the topping until ready to use.

NOTE:  I usually double this recipe and store the leftover in the freezer. That way I can make smaller desserts and have the topping ready to go.

Back to the blueberry sugar things - these BOTH were also served up with vanilla yogurt or fresh whipped cream and vanilla ice cream
FOOD 582
Again - the testing panel was completely divided. What we do suggest is serving with yogurt or whipped cream. The ice cream is too strong and heavy for the delicate texture of the berries - even the dish with the crisp topping.

FOOD 595

the carnage...

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