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Chef John Besh of Restaurant August - New Orleans, LA on
Chef John Besh

Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 299-9777

White Asparagus and Rhubarb Cobbler with Buttermilk Ice
Chef John Besh of Restaurant August – New Orleans, LA
Adapted by

Yield: 6 Servings


    Buttermilk Ice:
  • (Yield: 1 quart ice cream)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 11 egg yolks
  • 1 pint buttermilk
  • Pinch of salt

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    John's Dough:
  • (Yield: 8 (3½-inch) pie shells)
  • 1½ cup flour
  • 2 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • 4 Tablespoons milk, cold

    Cobbler Filling:
  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 quarts sugar
  • 18 spears jumbo white asparagus, peeled and diced
  • 6 large stalks rhubarb, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 pinch finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 egg, lightly scrambled

For Buttermilk Ice Cream:
Bring milk, sugar and vanilla bean to a boil. Remove from heat. Strain the mixture to remove the vanilla bean. Whisk the yolks to break them up and then whisk a little bit of the hot liquid into the yolks. Add remaining hot liquid, then the buttermilk and salt while continuing to whisk. Place the mixture in a large bowl and whisk over a double boiler until it reaches the ribbon stage. (The mixture will start to froth and separate, then re-combine). Cool over an ice bath while whisking. Turn mixture in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.

For Streusel:
In a mixing bowl blend together the granulated sugar and unsalted butter until the mixture is light and airy. Add the cinnamon, flour and vanilla and mix slowly until well combined and still crumbly.

For John's Dough:
In a mixing bowl blend together the flour, sugar and salt by hand until well combined. Add the chilled butter. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture takes the appearance of cornmeal. Slowly add the cold milk to the mixture, working the liquid into the mixture. Mix carefully by hand, and working no longer than 1 minute, form the dough into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Take the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out. Cut it into 5½-inch rounds and fit them into well-buttered and floured 3½-inch tart shells. Line the inside of each tart with a piece of aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or rice to weigh down the dough. Place the tart shells into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove the tarts from the oven and allow them to cool before removing from the mold. Reserve for later use.

For Cobbler Filling:
Bring water and sugar to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add in the diced asparagus and rhubarb to the poaching liquid and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Remove and cool the asparagus and rhubarb and reduce the poaching liquid to a syrup. Reserve. Place the rhubarb and asparagus pieces in a large bowl and combine with the flour, melted butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and egg.

To Assemble and Serve:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Generously fill the tart shells with the rhubarb and asparagus mixture, then top with the streusel. Bake the tarts for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is browned and the filling is hot through. Scoop the ice cream on top of the cobbler, then drizzle with the syrup.

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  • Spring Farm Fresh 2004
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  •    Published: May 2006
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