My mom years ago told me when she was younger she loved dipping potato chips in ice cream. The combination sounded like something a crazy pregnant woman would crave. But then I thought about the harmonious relationship between a milkshake and French fries, the way they work symbiotically to produce something greater than the sum of its parts.
This weekend I gave in, and regretfully allowed a witness to such gluttony. Next time I’ll do this in secrecy, in nothing but a pair of forgiving grandma panties.
So what I’m saying is, Mom was right. Again.
It was a rainy fall evening and, after an unseasonable dinner of takeout sushi, my sweet tooth started acting up. It happens every night, but I was in a desperate situation: there was nothing sweet in the apartment, save the brown sugar that had cemented itself against a supposedly air-tight glass jar.
After some investigating, I spotted a half-empty box of prepared puff pastry in the freezer. And I had plenty of pumpkin pie spice that I had used to make sweet potato custard. With these two findings, it was essential I dislodge enough of the brown sugar from the bottom of the jar to muster up a decent dessert. And that’s exactly what I did.
Here are the ingeniously named, Puff Pastry Snakes:
Okay, so they look pretty strange now that I’m seeing them again. But they’re damn good. Simply unfold a sheet of thawed puff pastry, work it with a rolling pin (or, if you’re me, a wine bottle) to seal the seams, sprinkle generously with brown sugar and pumpkin spice (or cinnamon, or whatever), roll tightly, cut into one-inch segments and bake in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes on each side.
They become crispy and flaky and, if you’re lucky, the brown sugar oozes onto the tops and bottoms of the snakes, creating a caramel coating. They go perfectly with a cup of tea.
The name of this dessert alone is reason enough to make it. Blueberry fool is foolproof. Ha. Ha. Not funny? Well, I tried.
I’ll split the procedure into steps, just to show you how you’d be foolish not to make it. Ha.
Step 1: Cook blueberries over low heat with sugar. Once they have broken down, remove from heat. (You’re not at all restricted in the fruit selection; you can be foolish with any kind.)
Step 2: Stir in fresh blueberries and fresh lemon juice.
Step 3: While the compote is cooling, whip heavy cream. Once it reaches the soft-peak stage, add a touch of sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until firm peaks form.
Step 4: Fold the whipped cream into the blueberry compote. Refrigerate.
Step 5: Eat.
Fool is so easy to make, you could do it blindfolded. (Don’t.) It’s so refreshing and playful, you’ll want to eat it in your underwear. (Do.)
It’s the kind of dessert that you want to feed to someone, or have someone feed you. Sabayon is an egg-yolk base that serves as the foundation for emulsified sauces, such as hollandaise or bearnaise. When the yolks are whipped with a sweet element and alcohol, you get something that looks like this:
Place a stainless steel bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. In the bowl, whisk together 3 egg yolks, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of white wine, or any alcohol you have on hand. Once the eggs double in volume and become thick and frothy, you’re done. Yup, that’s it. If you end up with scrambled eggs, well, you’ve screwed it up.
If you’re watching your figure, sabayon is a relatively safe dessert choice when compared to, let’s say, ice cream or whipped cream. And let’s face it–no one wants to take off their pants after gorging on a bowl of either.
I recently made this for my mom, so it was a tame night; we spooned the sabayon over berries and ate it in pajama pants, not underwear. Next time, I’ll make it a romantic occasion–underwear and all. Maybe even candles. Maybe that’s pushing it.