Monday, June 27, 2016

4th of July Treat

Colorful Fourth of July Treat, Perfect for Backyard Celebrations

As Fourth of July fireworks light up the sky, home-cooks may be wondering how to create a festive dessert that will really pop and sizzle. With Nielsen-Massey Vanillas extracts cookout desserts can be just as colorful and impressive as the spectacular in the sky without the typical food-colored red cake.

The Berry Almond Tart recipe from Nielsen-Massey’s A Century of Flavor cookbook applies both Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Pure Almond Extract to add fresh flavors to the dessert table. Red and blue berries with creamy white Vanilla Pastry Cream give the dish a seasonal patriotic look.

“This isn’t your average Fourth of July dessert - it has an All-American feel like apple pie, but is more seasonal and gourmet than your average brownie or cupcake,” said Beth Nielsen, chief culinary officer of Nielsen-Massey.

This Independence Day home-cooks shouldn’t settle for over-frosted, store-bought cakes, but should treat their party guests with the Berry Almond Tart recipe below. It may explode taste buds with flavor just like the sparklers in the night sky.

Berry Almond Tart

Serves 6 to 8Pastry Dough
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened                              
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 egg
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Almond Cream
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract
1 egg
¼ cup almond flour
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour


Sugar Glaze and Assembly
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon
Pure Vanilla Extract
Vanilla Pastry Cream (see below)
Red and blue berries of choice

For the dough, cream the butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Add the flour gradually, beating on low speed until just incorporated; do not overmix. Shape into a round disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough to a ¼-inch thickness on a lightly sugared surface, turning over once. Roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, and then place the pin across the tart pan at the center point and unroll the dough. Press the dough into the tart pan and trim the edge by rolling the pin over the pan so the dough falls freely from the edge.

For the almond cream, cream the butter, granulated sugar and almond extract in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Beat in the almond flour and all-purpose flour. Spread evenly over the pastry dough. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the almond cream is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

For the glaze, combine the granulated sugar, water and vanilla extract in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Let stand until cooled.

To assemble, spread Vanilla Pastry Cream over the baked Almond Cream. Arrange the berries over the pastry cream. Brush the Sugar Glaze generously over the fruit. Chill until ready to serve.


The Vanilla Pastry Cream adds the white to the “red, white and blue” of the dish. It is also a sweet way to keep the berries in place.  

Vanilla Pastry Cream
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ cups whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened

Whisk 2/3 cup sugar, the egg, egg yolks, vanilla extract and cornstarch in a bowl. Cook the milk and 1/3 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat until foam rises, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Temper the eggs with the hot milk mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan. Cook over low heat until the pastry cream reaches 160 degrees and becomes thick, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Spread over parchment paper to cool.

Makes about 1 ½ cups


The final step of bushing the sugar glaze over the berries is sure to provide guests with a non-traditional gourmet touch that all Fourth of July picnics will envy.
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About Nielsen-Massey Vanillas
Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar and Certified Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Beans.

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas recently introduced a line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are Allergen-Free and certified Kosher and Gluten-Free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.



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