Pineapple Rosemary Sorbet

This is a refreshing treat, and I love to use it as a palate cleaner mid dinner! The rosemary is subtle tasting, but very fragrant in this sorbet, and the pineapple tastes fresh. Plus any pineapple lover will love this form of the fruit.

Pineapple Rosemary Sorbet – 1 quart
1 1/2 pounds peeled, cubed pineapple
3/4 cups sugar
1 large sprig rosemary
1/2 lime

In a large saucepan combine pineapple, sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the rosemary, and shut off the heat. Cover the pan, and set aside for 10 minutes.

Be careful when blending hot liquid!!! Remove and discard the rosemary, and laddle about half the pineapple and syrup into a blender. Cover the blender and puree, then pass the puree through a fine mesh strainer and push down using a spatula. Repeat blending and straining with remainder fruit. Discard the pulp, and place strained pineapple juice in an ice bath. Once the mixture is completely cool, add the juice of half a lime.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (at most 2 days). Freeze sorbet base in an ice cream maker according to instructions. Then transfer to an airtight container and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

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Key Lime Cheesecake

This key lime cheesecake has a lovely graham cracker crust with a subtle key lime cream cheese filling. You can ommit the sour cream topping, but it makes the cheesecake look prettier. Also, a little green gel paste, adds a pastel touch to the inside!

You can garnish the top with thin slices of sugared key lime slices. It looks pretty, and if they are thin enough you can eat them.

Also, because this cheesecake has three parts, ingredients are listed before each set of instructions which makes this an easier cheesecake to make.

Key Lime Cheesecake – 1 8-in cheesecake about 10-12 servings
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12 whole graham crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter pan the 8 inch springform pan. Stir first 3 ingredients to blend in medium bowl. Mix in butter until moistened. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Maintain oven temperature and make the filling.

5 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
13/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon finely grated key lime peel
4 teaspoons fresh key lime juice
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

For filling:
Place pan with cooled graham cracker crust on rimmed baking sheet. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, flour, key lime peel, and key lime juice; beat until smooth. Add eggs and yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until incorporated after each addition. Beat in 1/2 cup sour cream and whipping cream. Pour filling over graham cracker crust pan; smooth top.

Bake cake until puffed, light golden, and set around edges, the middle will wobble a bit, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Maintain oven temperature.

For topping:
Spoon 1 cup sour cream over top of cake, then spread evenly over top with an offset spatula. Return the cake to oven and bake for 5 minutes. Run a small sharp knife around the sides of the cake to loosen. Place the pan with cake directly in refrigerator and chill uncovered overnight. Or refrigerate for 2 days covered.

To serve:
Release the springform pan and remove side from cake. Run a thin sharp knife between pan bottom and crust to loosen. Carefully transfer the cheesecake using two spatulas to a serving plate. Garnish top of cheesecake with key lime wedges.

Can be refrigerate for a week, cover cake with dome, or tightly wrap in plastic.

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Chicken Salad on Carrot Bread

So it sounds strange, and John was skeptical – but he had 2 open faced sandwiches! This would also be great as appetizers, slice carrot bread, then quarter each slice, and top with chicken salad. Or you can skip the carrot bread all together, and top on cucumber slices.

For the chicken salad I roasted a whole chicken the night before and made the carrot bread – that way for lunch it was just about making the chicken salad – I recommend you do the same!

Chicken Salad – about 4 cups shredded chicken
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
5 to 6 pounds whole chicken
Olive oil
Kosher salt and Freshly ground pepper
3 teaspoons dried tarragon
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Scatter onions and herbs in a baking pan, lay chicken on top, rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes….or until juices run clear. Remove from oven, and cool.

Remove the skin from the chicken, and shred the meat. Place in a bowl and season to taste with salt, pepper, and tarragon. Add mayonnaise and sour cream, mix well, add more if necessary. Taste, adjust seasonings, add celery and walnuts.

To serve, spoon onto thin slices of carrot bread.

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Carrot Bread – 1 large loaf
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (NOT PACKED)
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a large loaf pan, or spray evenly with baking spray.

In a large bowl, cream butter with white and brown sugar, beat until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well combined.

Sift together the dry ingredients, pour over wet ingredients – and mix until combined. Pour carrots and walnuts over mixture, and fold in. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour, and cool, then move to cooling rack.

PB & J Gelato

This all-American sandwich classic is now in gelato form – it’s fabulous, rich and fruity. Plus you can use whatever your favorite jam is. I’ve heard rumors of grape jam being pretty cool…

PB & J Gelato – 1 pint
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (I recommend Jif)
1/2 cup strawberry jam

In a saucepan, combine milk and cream over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally so that skin doesn’t form. The temperature will reach 170 degrees F.

Meanwhile, in a heat-proof bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Temper the egg yolks by slowly pouring in the hot milk, while whisking continuously. Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir frequently until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Hint: Run your finger along the back of the spoon through the custard, if the line stays you are done.

Prepare an ice bath, and place a clean bowl over ice bath. Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl. Let sit until it’s completely cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Add half the chilled custard to a blender and add 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter and blend until smooth, pour into a bowl and whisk in the remaining custard.

Pour the mixture into the machine and set according to instructions. Transfer to an airtight container top with jam, and use a butter knife to swirl in the jam, moving in every direction quickly, then freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

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