Basil Ice Cream with Tomato Confit, Mozzarella and Balsamic Syrup

How about insalata caprese for dessert? Most of us love the famous combination of tomato, buffalo mozzarella, and basil as a savory dish. But it is also delicious as a dessert with the basil transformed into ice cream. The technique for … Continue reading Basil Ice Cream with Tomato Confit, Mozzarella and Balsamic Syrup

Limburger Cherry Pie (Limburgse Kersenvlaai)

The province of Limburg in the South of the Netherlands is famous for its pies, called “Limburgse Vlaai” in Dutch or simply “Vla” in the local dialect. Vlaai is especially baked or bought for a birthday party.

You may think this looks like an Italian crostata di ciliegie (cherry tart), but the main difference is that a crostata or tart is made using flaky shortcrust pastry (pasta frolla) with 50 grams of butter for each 100 grams of flour, whereas vlaai is made with a yeast dough with only a small amount of butter. This gives the pastry a very different consistency.

There is a big difference between a ‘real’ freshly baked vlaai from Limburg and the industrially produced ones that are available all over the country. Kersenvlaai (vlaai with cherries) is one of the best known kinds. The pastry of the kersenvlaai I remember from my childhood tasted of cardboard. I can still remember the first time I had real kersenvlaai from Limburg, about 20 years ago. A friend of mine from Limburg was visiting, and since Limburg is so far away (3 hours is considered far in this small country of ours), my friend would be sleeping over. His mother had given him a kersenvlaai, bought from the local bakery in Nuth, as a gift for my family. That kersenvlaai was freshly baked and changed my opinion of vlaai completely. It was delicious! It is this kind of kersenvlaai that I tried to bake, and I think I came pretty close for my first attempt. It is fairly easy to do and very tasty, so I urge you to give this a try. You will be glad you did! Continue reading “Limburger Cherry Pie (Limburgse Kersenvlaai)”

Strawberries macerated with Balsamic & Honey

This is one of my favorite desserts in summer time. Only three ingredients, easy to make, and delicious. As with many of my recipes, it helps to use the best strawberries you can find (ripe and fragrant), nice honey and the best aged artisan balsamic vinegar you can afford. The best to use for this is the real stuff: aceto balsamico tradizionale aged for 12 or even 25 years. That stuff is very expensive, but also very good. If you live in the Netherlands, the 12-year old balsamic from De Librije is almost as good for about 1/6 of the price … Continue reading Strawberries macerated with Balsamic & Honey