The best recipes, at least in my opinion, are ideas or formulas that serve as a standardized base that can be transformed into other things and lend themselves well to interpretation and creativity. Many of my students, who to no fault of their own are stuck in a world of standardized tests and memorization, have trouble getting comfortable with the idea of changing a recipe and making substitutions. This comes with practice and especially when baking, some substitutions can be disastrous. Luckily though, which I like to remind them often, we are not performing surgery and mistakes often lead to new discoveries. If not, there’s a mess to clean up and dinner for the dogs. A few weeks ago for 4th of July I posted a great Martha Stewart recipe for a raspberry mousse pie that I have found to be one of those great base recipes. It was so simple and delicious I made it again the next week with strawberries using the same procedure and just switching the fruit. I also tried it with pumpkin and added some spices but I’ll save that one for you until October. Until then, try making this with any summer fruit you have on hand. You know after peach picking I will be making this again!
Here’s the post from 4th of July with the recipe:
Raspberry Mousse Pie
Adapated from: http://www.marthastewart.com/352652/raspberry-mousse-pie
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 7 graham crackers
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 1/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin (from one 1/4-ounce packet)
- 5 cups fresh raspberries (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- Coat a 9-inch square metal baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
- Arrange graham crackers in 1 layer in pan, breaking them to fit if necessary.
- Place lemon juice in a small bowl and sprinkle with gelatin on top. Let gelatin to soften for 3 minutes.
- Puree 2 cups raspberries and strain seeds. Discard seeds and collect 1 cup of strained puree.
- In a saucepan, simmer raspberry puree and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat until bubbles form at edge. Add gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin dissolves, about 1 minute. Let cool to room temperature completely otherwise it with melt the whip cream.
- Beat cream and 2 tablespoons sugar until firm stiff peaks form.
- With a rubber spatula, gently fold cooled raspberry puree mixture into whipped cream. Pour over graham crackers. Smooth top, cover and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours (or up to overnight).
- Using parchment, gently lift pie out of pan and cut into pieces with a sharp knife, cleaning it in between cuts. Top each piece with whole raspberries and transfer to a serving platter.