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.

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.


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