Entries Tagged as 'baking'

Peach and Blueberry Galette-Get ‘em While You Can

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Oh, peaches, how I’ll miss you until next year. Parting is truly such sweet sorrow, but we’ll have another week or two together until we have to say “see you later”.

Aside from eating peaches out of hand and feeling the juices drip down my chin, I adore baking with them. This galette is so darn easy, with a crust that comes together in a minute, with very few ingredients. After chilling in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, it rolls out easily to make a very rustic cradle to hold your favorite fruit. You can fill this galette with your favorite berries and stone fruits. Top with honey and sugar, and it bakes up to a gorgeous golden brown.

 

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I topped this galette with fresh whipped cream laced with ground cardamom and crystalized ginger. What a taste sensation!

 

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Does this look good to you? You can find the recipe from Diana’s Desserts. Thank you Diana-this is a winner!

WaPo Wednesdays- Peach and Raspberry Clafouti

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Clafouti-that delightful French pancake that makes berries and stone fruit shine. Making a good one has been elusive for me. I believe I was first inspired to make clafouti several years ago when watchig Sara Moulton on Sara’s Secrets. You know-back when the Food Network was a television station that could really teach and inspire. Ah, those were the days. Anyway, I soon made my first clafouti. Cherry, I believe. I was impressed that, first, I made something French, and second, that it was easy and really delicious.

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Come to think of it, I’m not sure whose recipe I used the first time I made a clafouti. I only know that the second, third and probably fourth time I made it, it didn’t turn out well. My clafoutis were either dry, or very egg-y. I’m talking like eating a sweet omelette or scrambled eggs. Not good. Blech.

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Now flash forward to last week’s WaPo Food section, with as you may know, I am seeking inspiration and guidance by making at least one recipe a week, and posting it. Last week, the WaPo featured blogger and cookbook author, David Lebovitz. The “American Blogger in Paris” cooks in his small apartment by the Bastille. While the mere thought of living in Paris, writing a pithy blog and memoir, and cooking, cooking, cooking turns my complexion green with envy, Lebovitz dismisses the notion that his life is all beret-wearing, sidewalk cafe-coffee-sipping and Sartre contemplating while watching star-crossed lovers stroll the avenues. No, there’s dog poop on those streets, and you had better watch your step.

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And, like the roads in Paris, you occasionally have to dodge bad recipies, and just plain bad days in the kitchen. Oh, the gritty underbelly.  Sometimes, however, you have a good day, your ingredients shine, and you can’t wait to share what you’ve made or what you’ve discovered. This is such a day. Lebovitz’s clafouti is a perfect intersection of custard and cake. It revels in the oven- getting a bit crunchy on top from caramelizing sugar, while the fruit underneath yields juice and nectar into the egg, butter and flour.While stone fruits and berries are in season, I highly recommend taking the heat while you turn on the oven to bake up this wonderful dessert. Clafouti is easy, yet elegant. You’ll be impressed-and so will your friends. Share!P.S….don’t be afraid to make this in the colder months, as frozen fruit would work just fine.

Apricot* and Raspberry ClafoutiRecipe adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris, courtesy of The Washington PostServes 8**Ingredients:
    • • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the baking dish
    • • 1 pound ripe apricots, pitted and cut into 3/4 inch wedges (may substitute small ripe plums, cut in half and pitted)
    • • 1 cup raspberries, washed
    • • 3 large eggs
    • • 1/2 cup flour
    • • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
    • • 1 1/3 cups whole milk***

Directions:Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 375 degrees.Use butter to liberally grease the bottom and sides of a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Arrange the apricot wedges (cut sides up) and the raspberries in a single layer on the bottom of the dish. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until smooth, then whisk in the 4 tablespoons of melted butter and the flour until completely smooth. Add the vanilla, then whisk in 1/2 cup of the sugar and the milk to form a custard. Pour the custard over the fruit. Bake on the top rack for 30 minutes, then pull out the rack gently, so the crust that is just beginning to form on the claflouti remains intact. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the surface, then gently return the rack to its position. Bake the claflouti for 30 minutes, or until it feels slightly firm in the center and its top is a nice golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.**I used peaches from Toigo Orchards. To prepare-briefly blanch in boiling water, and peel skin. Cut in half, remove pit, and slice.** I used a 10 inch non-stick skillet, and felt the serving recommendation was more like 6 generous slices. If you use a casserole dish, simply scoop the clafouti out.*** I did not have whole/4% milk on hand, so I used half 1% milk and half heavy cream for the 1 1/3 cups milk called for in the recipe. Perhaps this contributed to the incredible creamy custard that resulted.

Crostata With Raspberries And Blueberries

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Need a patriotic dessert for this 4th of July? How about making an easy crostada with berries? I used seasonal raspberries and blueberries for the red and blue colors, and the dotted topping looks kind of white. Close enough! I made this crostata last year and was very happy with the results, being that I don’t think I’m a baker in any sense. Basically, the crostata is an easy pie dough which you blind bake for the bottom, then you make more “dough” to dot the top.

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Cherry Berry Crostata

 

 

Ingredients

Bottom 

    • 1 cup flour
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 stick cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
    • 3 tablespoons ice cold water

Filling

    • 4 cups fruit-I used cherries and raspberries
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 2 tablespoons sugar

Topping

    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 1/2 stick cold butter cut into 4 pieces
    • pinch salt

 Glaze

    • 1/3 cup apricot preserves

Directions

Add the flour, sugar and salt to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse 4-5 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12-15 times until the butter and dry ingredients come together into pea-size pieces. Run the food processor on continuous and add the ice water through the feed tube. Stop the processor when the dough just comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and roll it into a ball. Flattent the dough into a disk and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at leas an hour, or over night.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Roll the dough out onto a floured board into an 11 inch round.  Transfer dough to a 10-inch tart pan that has been treated with non-stick baking spray. If your dough sticks, as mine did, and you can not pick it up easily to transfer it, just press the dough evenly into the tart pan.

Blind bake the dough in the oven, on middle rack, or 8 minutes.

For the filling, combine the fruit, flour and sugar. Combine to coat evenly. Allow to sit while dough is baking.

For the topping, pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor 5-6 times to combine. Add butter and pulse until it is crumbly and will hold together when it is pinched

Pour the fruit into the baked dough. Pinch off topping and dot the top of the pie. Bake on middle rack of oven for 20-25 minutes. allow to cool for 10 minutes. Heat preserves over medium heat until it becomes loose. Brush preserves over top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serve with fresh whipped cream that has been flavored with 1 teaspoon of almond extract (if you are using cherries, otherwise omit), powdered sugar and lemon zest.

Vanishing Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

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What do you do with an enormous box of Quaker Oats? Make baked goods, of course! Now, I initially bought this near year’s supply at Costco over a year ago, and while bowls of oatmeal in the morning can be healthy and comforting, my eye wandered to the back of the box where this recipe was listed.

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cranberry Cookies did just that this week at Frank’s office, where many people came back for seconds, some asking for the recipe. They’re chewy, just a bit sweet and aromatic from the cinnamon, and the tart cranberries are a nice foil. The original recipe calls for raisins, but I had dried cranberries on hand. I think this recipe would also work well with dried cherries, again, for the tart foil.

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Here’s the original recipe with my modifications to suit my taste. Enjoy, and feed your friends!

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cranberry Cookies

    Ingredients

  • 1/2  pound (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened
  • 1  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3  cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1  cup raisins (I used dried cranberries)

 

Preparation

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Easy Oatmeal Bars

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Here’s a really quick and easy recipe that I made recently when I felt like baking something homemade, but didn’t have a lot of time or energy to do so. These oatmeal bars can make for a quick snack, breakfast or even dessert. Hey, they’re made with oatmeal–so enjoy without (too much) guilt!

Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients

  • 4 cups oats (quick cooking oats are fine)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups jam or marmalade-any flavor that makes you happy
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cups melted butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a large mixing bowl, dump all of the ingredients. Mix to combine fully. Press mixture into a 10×15 inch parchment lined (the parchment should extend over all sides by 1 inch for easy lifting later) baking sheet/pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool and set. Lift parchment out of pan, and cut out individual bars. This recipe makes about 2 dozen bars.