Blueberry Pie Sorbet

SONY DSCA long time ago I posted a recipe for blueberry compote. I have since adjusted that recipe a bit and used a blueberry syrup from that compote to make blueberry pie sorbet – the lemon and the fresh nutmeg make it taste like filling from blueberry pie. If you prefer your sorbet more tart than sweet, increase the amount of lemon juice and decrease the blueberry syrup accordingly.

Make sure that the bowl of your 1 quart ice cream maker has been in the freezer for at least 24 hours, and make the simple syrup explained below and chill that in the fridge.

You will need:

  • 2 cups of cold simple syrup. It’s easy to make: In a medium saucepan mix 2 cups granulated sugar with two cups of water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer without stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and then chill until ready to use.
  • 8 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar (or to taste, depending on how sweet the berries are)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (must be fresh, or omit it)

In a large saucepan combine the berries, sugar, lemon juice and nutmeg. Bring to a boil for 3-4 minutes and then reduce to a simmer. Keep them on simmer until the berries fall apart and the juice thickens. Taste it to be sure that it is as sweet as you like it and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (and your tongue, since you’re tasting). It should not be watery at all. Let it cool to warm or room temperature.

SONY DSCOnce the berries are cool, place a sieve over a large measuring cup/bowl and fill the sieve 3/4 full and let the syrup drip through. It’s okay to stir the berries to speed up the process. Keep adding the berry mixture to the sieve when it gets too thick, and stop when you have 1 1/2 cups of syrup. (If you don’t have quite enough syrup you can add enough lemon juice to bring it up to 1 1/2 cups.) Combine the syrup with the 2 cups of cold simple syrup and pour the mixture into your 1 quart ice cream maker and mix until thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove to a 1 quart container, top with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.


Makes  quart.

Two Summer Cherry Sauces

I never did find the sour cherries, but I did get a boatload of sweet cherries and made two kinds of sauces.  The whole cherry sauce I served over ice cream (vanilla or peach), on pound cake, and on lemon yogurt; the puree I used to offset the sweetness of a Blueberry Mascarpone tart.

  • 4 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar (taste the berries and adjust accordingly)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons cognac (optional)

Combine everything in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a gentle boil and let it boil for 5- 10 minutes.  Let it cool completely.  For the whole cherry sauce just cover it and refrigerate until ready to use (it has more flavor at room temperature).  Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week.

For a smooth cherry sauce, puree the sauce in a Cuisinart until there are no chunks of cherry at all.  It will still not be totally smooth.  Strain the sauce with a fine mesh strainer – then it will be smooth, and a beautiful shade of red.  Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week, and freezes beautifully.

Blueberry Lemon Tart



This recipe is adapted from one I found on a few years ago.  It is particularly good with small wild blueberries, if you can find them.

  • For the shell
    1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
    1 large egg yolk, beaten with 2 tablespoons ice water
    raw rice or pie weights for weighting the shell

Note:  European-style butter, such as Plugra, makes an especially nice dough.

  • For the filling
    1 cup buttermilk
    3 large egg yolks
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2-3 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
    1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2 cups picked over blueberries

Make the shell
Sir together together the flour, the sugar, and the salt in a medium bowl.  Add the cold butter, and blend the mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Add the yolk and water mixture, and toss the dough until the liquid is incorporated, and form it into a ball. Dust with flour and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, for 1 hour. Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface, fit it into a 10-inch tart pan (if it cracks just put it back together again) with a removable fluted rim, and chill the shell for at least 30 minutes or overnight (covered). Line the shell with foil, fill the foil with the pie weights, and bake the shell in the middle of a preheated 350° oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and rice/weights carefully, bake the shell for 5 to 10 minutes more, until it is pale golden, and cool in the pan on a rack.

Make the filling
Spread the berries over the bottom of the shell – if they are big, you can put them in a single layer.  In a food processor blend together the buttermilk, yolks, granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, vanilla, salt, and flour until the mixture is smooth, and then pour them over the berries in the shell.

Bake the tart in the middle of a preheated 350° oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is just set.   Let it cool completely in the pan on the rack and serve it at room temperature or chilled (it has more flavor at room temperature, though).

A Sour Cherry Pie Recipe to Try When the Season Arrives

Back in the 80s, I worked at a camp in Western Michigan, and if you got up early in the morning and drove down the coast road there would be tiny stands in the shade next to corn fields.  There, as if by magic, stood tables with white tablecloths laden with sour cherry turnovers, pies and summer stollens, still warm from the oven.  Not a person in sight – it was all there on the honor system and you left your money and took your pastry.  I have been trying to recreate those flavors ever since, but the  sour cherry season is woefully short and, well, this isn’t Michigan, so we are lucky to see them in New England at all.

So, if I wait to try this recipe before posting it the sour cherry season will be over and it will be pointless, so let’s hope this sour cherry pie recipe from the New York Times is as good as it looks.  If you do try it let me know what you think.

Leek & Dijon Potato Salad

This is a tangy, crunchy salad that stands up to outdoor parties where a mayonnaise based dressing is risky.  I have not made it without the white wine but I imagine you can skip it and add a little more vinegar.  It is adapted from an original recipe by Jacques Pepin.

  •  2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
  • 1/3 plus 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium to large leek, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped Vidalia onion, rinsed and squeezed dry in a paper towel
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Boil the potatoes over high heat until just tender all the way through – do not overcook.  Drain until they are dry and warm enough to handle, then slice them about ¼ inch thick.

 While the potatoes are cooling make the dressing:

Heat the two Tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the leeks until they are soft but not brown.  Transfer them to a large bowl and add the onion, parsley, garlic, mustard, wine, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and the 1/3 cup of olive oil.  Slice the potatoes into the dressing and mix everything together gently.

Serve warm or at room temperature – it’s best the same day but you can make it ahead one day, put it in the fridge and then bring it to room temperature before serving.  Do not heat it in the microwave.

Rooney’s Potato and Egg Salad


This is an old-fashioned Iowa potato salad; I don’t know where my mother got the recipe but it was a staple every Memorial Day and 4th of July.  I never knew that most people do not put eggs in their potato salad until I left home and made this for my friends.  In my foolish youth I thought I would try to modernize my mother’s recipe by reducing the number of eggs, salt, and using Dijon mustard – I was always sorry I tinkered.  But it can bear a few substitutions – scallions or shallots are fine for the red onion and red or yellow pepper can stand in for the green (but the green has more bite and is really the best).  And only Hellman’s mayo will do!

  • 2 pounds small red or Yukon Gold potatoes (any waxy potato will do)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ½ diced green pepper
  • 6-8 hard-boiled eggs, diced (not too small)


  • 1 ½ c. Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons plain yellow mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender with skins intact.  Cool until they are slightly warm or to room temperature.  Assemble the onion, green pepper and eggs in a large bowl and slice the potatoes into it.

When making the dressing, in a medium bowl, add the mustard and vinegar to the mayonnaise gradually until it has some zip but neither flavor dominates.  Then add the salt and adjust the flavors again.  Then add three quarters of the dressing to the potato mixture and check for texture and consistency – sometimes the potatoes absorb the dressing more than others, so you need take care not to overdress it.

Chill before serving.

Note:  It is best to make the salad on the same day that you have boiled the eggs and potatoes, but you can assemble it a day ahead and refrigerate overnight and it’s great.