A natural networker, Lisa Skye managed to get a variety of chefs including Daniel Boulud, Pichet Ong to contribute recipes based on this summer favorite, corn.
The result, I Love Corn (Andrews McMeel Publishing, June 2012) covers a world of flavors in 50 recipes including Serenade Vegetable Tacos by James Laird of Restaurant Serenade in Chatham, New Jersey.
First recipe I picked today leans on the sweet side of things by New Jersey native, pastry chef Colleen Grapes of The Harrison and Red Cat in New York City.
Poached Peaches and Rhubarb with Warm Corn Shortcakes
I love to make these biscuits, which can be paired with beautiful, ripe peaches and bright, ruby rhubarb from some of my favorite New York City greenmarkets in the summer! Be creative and add spices and herbs. Take out the whipped cream and use ice cream. Use beautiful ripe fruits, or stew dried fruits. Make it your own, do it with love! When serving, I like to use a bowl so you can scoop up the juices, but use whatever plate you like best.
3 cups water
3 cups sweet white wine
2 cups granulated sugar
4 medium-size peaches
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup honey
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
2 cups water
1 stalk lemongrass
1½ pounds rhubarb, sliced into 2-inch pieces, green parts discarded
½ cinnamon stick
1½cups all-purpose flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
5 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus some for sprinkling over the shortcakes
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
1¼ cups heavy cream
½ cup fresh corn kernels, cooked (about 1 small ear)
2 cups heavy cream, kept cold
• Make the peaches: In a medium-size saucepot over high heat, bring the water, white wine, and sugar to a quick, rolling boil. Turn off the heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
• Use a paring knife to score the tops of the peaches, then place them in a separate large pot. Cover them with the poaching liquid until they float. Discard the remaining poaching liquid. Place a clean, thoroughly wet kitchen towel on top of the peaches in the liquid. This helps them stay submerged without touching the bottom of the pot.
• Place the pot on a low heat (do not let boil). Poach until just tender when stuck with a toothpick. Turn off the heat and let the peaches cool in the liquid to about room temperature.
• Remove the peaches and reserve the liquid. Remove the skins and slice into ½-inch slices. Store the slices in the liquid so they can be served at room temperature.
• Preheat the oven to 350°F.
• To prepare the rhubarb, combine the sugar, honey, orange juice, and water in a medium-size bowl.
• Smash the lemongrass stalk with the back of a knife, then cut into 3-inch pieces. Place the rhubarb, cinnamon, and lemongrass into a medium-size ovenproof saucepan. Pour in the orange juice mixture.
• Cover the saucepan with aluminum foil and place in the oven until the rhubarb is tender, about 40 minutes. Leave the oven on. Remove the foil, let cool, and discard the lemongrass and cinnamon stick. Refrigerate until needed.
• To make the shortcakes, place the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and butter in a large bowl. With your hands, press, pinch, and fold everything together until just incorporated.
• Add the heavy cream and corn kernels and mix until the dough just forms a ball. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead a few times just to make sure it is completely combined.
• Press out the dough on a lightly floured surface so it is 1¼ to 1½ inches thick. Using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter (in the shape that makes you happiest), cut the dough and place the shapes 3 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Reshape the remaining dough and cut more until you use all of the dough.
• Sprinkle a little sugar on top of the shortcakes before they go into the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on the edges. The centers should be slightly fluffy to the touch, or you can insert a toothpick. If it comes out with just a few crumbs, the shortcakes are done.
• Let the shortcakes cool until just warm.
• Meanwhile, make the whipped cream by pouring 1½ cups of the heavy cream into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on high speed until stiff peaks begin to form. Keeping the mixer on high, count to five and then turn it off. This mixes the cream to just slightly beyond stiff peaks.
• To serve, cut each shortcake in half. Pour about 2 tablespoons of poaching liquid from the rhubarb on the bottom half of each. Place pieces of rhubarb on the shortcake, using enough to form a layer. Then layer a dollop of whipped cream. Then place enough peaches on top of the cream to form another layer. Add more cream. Repeat the layers once more. Place the top of the shortcake on top and dust with a little confectioners’ sugar.
• In a small bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of the rhubarb poaching liquid, and 2 tablespoons of the peach poaching liquid. Make sure the poaching liquids are still very warm, or reheat if necessary. This makes a sauce to pour around your dessert, provided you haven’t already eaten it!
(* Recipe from I Love Corn by Lisa Skye/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC-June 2012, all rights reserved)