Posts Tagged 'seasonal'

Pipe Dream #217: To Answer Precisely – Peach Cobbler + Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce

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You know those weird icebreaker questions people ask at functions/college? Not the ones you have to do as the official icebreaker, but the ones that always come up as like “interesting details,” that are actually uninteresting, but we all just pretend.
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Examples include:
What’s your sign?
What is your middle name?
Do you like peaches or nectarines better?
Seriously, that last one. I feel like people ask me that all the time. So often, in fact, that I’ve developed a pretty particular answer to the question. I mean if I have to recite my answer, I’d better know it in my head.
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There is no fruit in this world better than an in-season, perfectly ripe, non-grainy, ultra-sweet peach. In all cases other than the perfect peach, I prefer nectarines, primarily because they don’t have any fuzz on.
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The following cobbler could be made with either, depending on what’s available. The great thing about baking peaches is that all the problems you might have worried about had you been trying to eat them raw (graininess, sweetness, unripeness) dissolve in a happy amalgamation of golden pulp.
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Smothered in bizkit and maple bourbon cream sauce. This dessert was actually so good that I ate three servings of it without batting a lash. I didn’t even have to justify in my mind. I just know that this kind of most perfect peach experience only happens in my life every three years, so imma take advantage.
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So what about you? Are you a peach person or a nectarine nibbler? Does it matter? Please take advantage of any late-season stone fruit and make this. Heck, you could try it with flash frozen fruit. While not as delish, probs, the cobbler would still serve as a massively adequate vehicle to transport maple bourbon cream sauce into your mouth.
Bloggin,’
L
Peach Cobbler
Adapted from David Lebovitz
For the filling:
4 large, ripe peaches (abbou 2 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup sugar
a squeeze of lemon juice
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the biscuits:
1½ cups (210 g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons sugar
a pinch each of salt and nutmeg + a dash or two of cinnamon
4 tablespoons (2 oz/60 g) unsalted butter, very cold
2/3 cup (160 ml) buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon whole milk, half and half or cream
white sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Halve, pit and cut the peaches into ½-inch slices; you don’t have to remove the skin. In a large bowl, toss the peaches with the 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons flour and vanilla. Transfer the fruit mixture to a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring once, until the fruit is warm and bubbly.
While the fruit is baking, make the biscuit dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1½ cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, 2 teaspoons sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Grate the butter on the largest holes of a box grater into the flour mixture. Stir just to coat the butter in the flour. Pour in the buttermilk and stir just until the dough is moistened. Don’t overmix.
After the fruit has baked, drop the dough in six equally sized mounds onto the fruit. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and milk. Brush the egg wash over the biscuit dough and sprinkle liberally with extra sugar. Return the baking dish to the oven for about 20 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown.
Let the cobbler cool until just warm and serve with maple bourbon cream sauce and vanilla ice cream.
Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce
Adapted from the Pioneer Woman
4 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 cup Whipping Cream
3 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 tablespoon bourbon

Pour the whipping cream into a saucepan. Add the maple syrup, corn syrup, maple flavoring and bourbon, stirring over moderate heat until thickened and reduced by about one-third, which should take 15-20 minutes. Refrigerate the mixture until it is cold and thick, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t form a skin. If you are rushed, you can set the sauce over an ice bath and cool it more quickly.

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Pipe Dream #216: To Retire Early – Rhubarb Crumb(le) Cake

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I saw a recipe for a “big crumb” cake, which emphasized the crumb part of the cake, and thought, “Duh, everyone’s favorite part. I want this now so I can pick the crumbs off the top.” And then I promptly waited probably two years to make it because I was half-waiting for rhubarb season, even though this riff on a classic American coffee cake can be made with any half-pound fruit ya like, I’d wager. (P.S. I apologize that rhubarb is sooooo not in season right now. Forgive me.)

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A friend of mine pointed out that it is odd that these types of cakes are called “coffee cakes,” as they really have nothing to do with coffee. The only logical explanation is that this is the perfect slice to have with your afternoon coffee…for those of you who sit around in the sunshine dozing, reading and doing other laid-back things on your average afternoon. Someone has to live like this. Please tell me who.

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Maybe this cake would have made more of an impact on my life if I hadn’t already made this hulking monstrosity, which not only featured the actual biggest crumbs this world has ever seen, but also an excellent sliver of actual cake at the bottom. Because the crumbs of the behemoth crumb cake were so massive, I actually appreciated the cake part a lot. When I made this rhubarb version, which featured a very similar cake/crumb recipe, I found myself wishing the bottom of the cake had not got so brown.

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Two years from now, when I make another crumb cake, I am going to double the cake recipe from the behemoth cake and cut the crumbs by like 2/3, and it will be the most perfect crumb cake ever, and I will sit in the sunshine and eat cake and enjoy my early retirement from work, life and the cares of this world. The end.

Completely pipe-dreaming,

L

Rhubarb Crumb(le) Cake

Adapted from smitten kitchen

For the rhubarb filling:
7 ounces (or about a 1/2 pound) rhubarb, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 cup whiet sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For the crumbs:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups cake flour (I was out and used all-purpose and it worked great)

For the cake:
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) softened butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, and spray an 8-inch-square baking pan with non-stick spray. Toss the rhubarb with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.

To make the crumbs, whisk the sugars, spices and salt into melted butter in a large bowl until smooth and amalgamated. Then, add flour with a spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture comes together in a solid dough. Leave it pressed in the bottom of the bowl.

To prepare the cake, stir together the sour cream, egg, heavy cream and vanilla in a small bowl. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and a spoonful of the sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened and the mixture looks like large crumbs. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add the remaining sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about a 1/2 cup of the batter and set aside.

Scrape the remaining batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the rhubarb over batter evenly, then dollop the reserved cake batter over the rhubarb.

Using your fingers, break the crumb mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in size and sprinkle over the cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Pipe Dream #210: To Be TartNotATart – Strawberry Rhubarb Cornmeal Cobbler

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I realize that rhubarb is no longer in season. But I’m posting this anyway, because I think you should make this cobbler, except with a different fruit. Unlike a more traditional cobbler recipe, this one includes cornmeal in the biscuit dough, making for a light, cornbread-y type topping. I think this would pair particularly well with a lemon-blueberry filling, or the late-summer plums with which this topping was originally paired. I’m looking forward to making another strawberry rhubarb cobbler with a more traditional biscuit topping.

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I loved loved lived the sweet-tart flavors meld. The rest of my family felt that neither the biscuit topping nor the filling was sweet enough. I think they were just wishing that it was a crisp or crumble like they are used to snarfing. I beg to differ regarding the sweetness, but you could try increasing the sugar in the filling by 1/4 cup if you’re nervous about it.

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Stop. Look at that.

Ok, the original recipe called for 1 hour and 15 minutes of bake time, but I found my biscuits brown and fruit gurgling at 50 minutes. If your biscuits are getting brown before your fruit is warm, just cover them with a little aluminum. Also, it is key to let the cobbler cool for at least 30 minutes before serving; it gives the fruit juices time to thicken up a little bit after simmering with the cornstarch.

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Springing, already,

L

Strawberry Rhubarb Cornmeal Cobbler

Adapted from Food & Wine

1 1/2 pounds rhubarb + 2 1/2 pounds strawberries, in chunks
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks cold butter, cubed
3/4 cup milk

In a bowl, toss the rhubarb and strawberries with 3/4 cups sugar and the cornstarch and let stand for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the cornmeal, sugar, ginger, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly. Add the milk and pulse until moistened.

Spread the filling in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Scoop 15 mounds of dough over the filling. Bake in the center of the oven for about 50 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden and crisp. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

Pipe Dream #205: To Be Opposites on the Color Wheel – Chived Feta Biscuits with Paprika

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Make these tonight. They taste like those cheddar biscuits from Red Lobster except with a sassy paprika sprinkle on top. I kind of unintentionally made them. I’ve seen recipes for the Red Lobster biscuits floating around for ages, and for some reason, they always call for Bisquick. I never have Bisquick on hand–whipping up drop biscuits is just too easy–so I have never made them. Sometime I’ll try it, maybe with a faux-Bisquick mix of my own. How hard can it be?

Either way chives + cheese +flaky biscuit = all this girl ever wanted in a savory snack.

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Remember how I just talked about associating red and blue color combinations with America/the 4th? Welp, red and green is another color set that I wish people would dissociate with Christmas. I mean, I love red and green Christmas colors, but if I want to wear red, green and teal plaid in to the office, please don’t tell me that I look like Christmas. I look like opposites on the color wheel, ok? Red and green are meant to be together.

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A word: Grate in this butter. It will make you so much happier than trying to “cut in” the butter with two knives. Hwhat a chore, hwhat a chore.

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Stir in your mise-en-placed additions. Or don’t mise-en-place them. I mean, why?

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Pat out ya rounds. Slice. Bake. They can even be frozen. I’ve been keeping a few in the freezer in case I get a craving for overpriced seafood.

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Opposite-ing,

L

Chived Feta Biscuits with Paprika

Adapted from Joy the Baker

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

6 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into cubes

1/2 egg, beaten

1 1/2 tablespoons cold water

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons full-fat greek yogurt, cold

1/4 cup chopped chives

heaping 1/3 cup (3 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 egg beaten for egg wash

coarse sea salt, cracked black pepper, and paprika for topping

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and black pepper.  Cut in butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.  In another bowl, stir together the egg, yogurt, and water.  Add this to the flour mixture, stirring a bit to make a soft, shaggy dough.  Stir in the chives and feta and dump mixture onto a counter to knead the dough together.  The mixture will come together in about 10 to 15 kneads, but try to handle the dough as little as possible.

Roll out the dough into a 1-inch thickness.  Cut into 2-inch rounds using a biscuit cutter or into mini circles with a cookie cutter.  Reroll any remaining dough and continue making biscuits. Place the biscuits on prepared baking sheet, brush with egg wash and sprinkle generously with the sea salt, black pepper, and paprika.   Bake for 12-15 minutes (less time if you are making mini biscuits).  Serve warm.

Note: To make these ahead of time, flash freeze the biscuits on your baking tray for about a half an hour before transferring to a plastic bag. Bake from frozen, and add a couple minutes onto your baking time.

Pipe Dream #204: To Dissociate – Black and White Berry Ganache Cupcakes

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I have written in my planning notes that these black and white cupcakes would make a good pre-Independence Day post. I think I wrote that because these cupcakes are highly transportable (for all those sparkler bashes you’ll be attending). But I think the bigger reason I wrote that is because these cupcakes are decorated with blue and red berries, and obviously, anything blue and red combo triggers thoughts of fireworks and grillouts. Oh, and like, patriotism or something. #foodie #canadian #canadianfoodie

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Anyway, coming up is my favorite holiday, which I celebrate for untraditional reasons, mainly sparklers and fireworks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with America, it’s a lovely place to live! I just don’t feel like wearing flag sweaters most days. Feel free to be untraditional and associate these cupcakes with something other than the 4th, even though this is the week. Ideas: Berry season, Britain, bomb pops. Beets.

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One point of regret: Do you see how lovely and perfectly creamy the above ganache is? It is actually beautiful. When I whipped it up to make the frosting for these babies (such a cool party trick), it split in the heat/humidity of my kitchen. Maybe save the whipped ganache for another, less summery day. You could try a quick buttercream, or a thin glaze, or heck, just a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

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I still frosted them. It tasted fine.

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Happy 4th!

L

White Cupcakes

Adapted from i am baker

2 cups + 1 tablespoon white whole-wheat flour
1 cup milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened but still cool, cubed

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.

Whisk the room temperature milk, egg whites, and extracts in a medium bowl until blended.
Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of an electric mixer at low speed. Add butter cubes and continue beating on low for 1-2 minutes. Add all but 1/2 cup of the milk mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for 1 minute.

Pour the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling each tin about 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcakes comes out clean, about 18 minutes (but please check at 15 minutes, don’t overbake). Allow the cakes to cool about 2 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Black Cupcakes

Adapted from Ina Garten

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for abou 18 minutes (checking at 15 minutes), until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 2 minutes, then remove onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting

I used this recipe. Make sure you are whipping the ganache (or any frosting for that matter) in a cool kitchen. Don’t overbeat it either. Heat and overbeating will result in a curdled frosting.

Pipe Dream #186: To Have Christmas in July – Cherry Chocolate Muffins

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Hello, morning.

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I made these muffins all the time in college. They have Greek yogurt in them, and the recipe makes 10. A very right number of muffins to make.

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We got these frozen cherries, and I was inordinately excited. Cherries in March is like Christmas in July. Out of season and unexpectedly delightful.

Oh, and I added milk chocolate chips.

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These verged on being overbaked, and this was 10 minutes before they were due to be done. I’ve adjusted the time below, so hopefully you won’t have this problem.

cherry muffins 6   Cherry chocolate-studded muffins in 30 minutes. You can sleep in. Boom.

I don’t like the phrase “stud muffin,”

L

Cherry Chocolate Muffins

Adapted from smittenkitchen

Makes 9 to 10 standard muffins

5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces or 71 grams) unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) organic, raw cane sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup full fat Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces or 191 grams) white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon (7 grams or 1/4 ounce) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces or 105 grams) frozen cherries + 5 tablespoons milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray. Beat butter and sugar by hand in a medium bowl until creamy. Add egg and beat well, then add yogurt and zest.

Stir together the dry ingredients. Dump half of the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Throw on the remaining dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until the flour disappears.

Gently fold in the blueberries and chocolate chips. Divide the batter evenly between 10 muffin cups, and bake for about 20 minutes until the tops are golden. Check them at 15 minutes (I took my batch out of the oven at 20 minutes and they were a little overdone). Turn out onto a rack and let cool. Or turn them out into your mouth.

Pipe Dream # 184: To Use All The Blubber -Spicy Curry Squash Seeds

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I know I post out of season things a lot. It’s a problem. And this post is a little off too, but just listen! I actually did eat this in March. I just felt like some squash, ok? It doesn’t have to be October for a girl to desire a squash. Probably A Vitamin-deficient.

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Anyway, enough of my excuses. This trick is one of my favorite efficient-life tricks. You can use the whole squash, like Native Americans used to use every part of the buffalo or every part of a washed-up whale. You know, boiling down the blubber for leather tanner or something. No? I may have read too many books as a child.

Ok, step one. Remove the seeds from your squash. Set aside. Roast squash and eat  it with a glass of Sauv Blanc.

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Step Two: Rinse the seeds and pick off all the stringy bits. Blot with a paper towel.

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Step Three: Spread the seeds in an even layer on an aluminum-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil and desired spices.  I used salt, pepper, cumin, curry and cayenne. You could go sweet though! Sugar and cinnamon would be nice.

Step Four: Using the “Toast” setting on a toaster oven or 450 degrees in  the oven, toast the seeds, stirring and checking them frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Toast until golden. It might take ten minutes. I never know because I keep a close eye. I’ve burnt them too many times.

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Step Five: Let cool, then store in an airtight container. Snackalicious!

L


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