Posted in Fruit, Ice Cream on August 25, 2010 |
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Thank you, Lee Bailey! (Author of Country Desserts) His cookbook continues to inspire me to make outrageously decadent treats.
I started by selecting some deliciously ripe peaches. I peeled them, this time with a paring knife, I figured I was using the skins so I didn’t mind if a little meat was clinging to the skin. I placed the skins and pits in one bowl and the shiny halves in another.
I put the peeled and pitted peach halves in my food processor, squeezed some lemon juice on them and pureed them. I poured the puree into a bowl and set it in the fridge to chill.
I poured equal parts milk and heavy cream into a heavy bottomed sauce pan and added the peach skins and pits.
I brought the mixture to a simmer and kept it there for about 20 minutes. I added some sugar and then took it off the heat. I added a little bit of the hot liquid to a couple of egg yolks to temper them before adding them to the pan. I put it back on the heat and cooked it, stirring frequently until the custard coated the back of a spoon. I transferred the hot custard to a mixing bowl and put it in the fridge. When it was nice and cool, I strained out the skins and pits and mixed it with the peach puree.
I put it back in the fridge for some serious chilling. The cooler the mixture is when you put it in the ice cream maker, the better. Once you put the mixture in the ice cream maker all you have to do is wait and watch the mixture get thicker and thicker until it climbs over the blade and onto a spoon (for quality control, of course.)
When the mixture was sufficiently chilled, I transferred the ice cream into two bowls, one for later and one for immediate use. I cut up some fresh peaches and picked some mint from the garden to finish it with.
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I got some of the last of this seasons peaches yesterday, went home, got into bed and browsed through several cookbooks. When I woke up this morning, I was still surrounded by books. I decided to go with a recipe out of Deborah Madison‘s Seasonal Fruit Desserts, a great cookbook that features the best of the harvest. She had several tempting recipes using peaches but I settled on the Peach Frangipane Galette, never having made frangipane before I thought it would be fun to try.
I put almonds, sugar, a touch of flour and a pinch of salt in my food processor and pulverized the almonds.
I added some eggs, a touch of almond extract and a splash of kirsh and mixed it again until it was nice and smooth. I turned it out into a bowl, covered it and set it aside in the fridge while I made the dough.
Today was the first time in over a year that I have made pie dough in a food processor, it definitely speeds things up! After whipping up the dough (I separated it in two, one smaller and one larger piece) I put it in the fridge to cool.
I blanched the peaches for about 10-15 seconds and then plunged them into an ice water bath. I slipped them out of their skins and sliced them into quarters.
I rolled out the dough, spread some of the frangipane in the center, nestled in some peaches and folded the edges over.
I brushed the crust with a bit of melted butter and sprinkled a little sugar on it and slid it into the hot oven and pulled it out when it was bubbly and golden.
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I was introduced to buckles recently and I can’t seem to get enough of them! The idea behind a buckle is that you load the (coffee cake) batter with so much fruit that it buckles in on itself. My sister got a big box of Missouri peaches the other day so this morning I crept into her house while she was still sleeping, and snatched several. I had to resist an urge to take one of her pies from her kitchen counter.
I rinsed the peaches and cut them into little pieces about the size of blueberries (which also make really really good buckle!) I prepared the streusel topping (brown sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon) and then mixed up the batter.
I folded in the peaches, poured the batter into a buttered baking dish..
… sprinkled on the streusel, and put it in the oven at 350*F. 55 minutes later…
I made a pot of coffee while it was cooling at sat down and devoured a piece with my coffee.
(I am feeling a little guilty that I don’t have anyone home to share it with.)
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Posted in Baking, Fruit on August 16, 2010 |
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A friend asked me to bake a birthday pie for this morning, I was glad to do it! I love the taste and look of blueberries and peaches together so that is what I chose. I made the pie dough last night, so I would have a one-up this morning. For pie, I like to skin the peaches. I plunged the peaches in boiling water for roughly 30 seconds to a minute and then set them in an ice water bath, this way the skins slide off really easily.
I never really “measure” my ingredients for pie filling, I always mean to but for some reason it never happens. (I think it may be because each fruit has a different level of sweetness and juiciness so the ratio is constantly be adjusted.) This pie was no exception. I like to prepare the fruit and put it in an extra pie pan, this way I keep going until it is heaped up nicely. I rolled out the pie crust and set it aside in the freezer until I was ready for it.
I used xylitol to sweeten the pie, this was the first time I have done any baking with it. I did a little research and everyone said that it is equally sweet as sugar, though I tasted it and I think it is a bit sweeter so I used a little less than I would use if I was sweetening the fruit with sugar. The thing that I thought really interesting that people had to say about xylitol is that is soaks up a lot of moisture. If there is one thing I don’t like, it is a pie that has too much flour or corn starch, so I was pleased to be able to use a little less flour. I mixed a little flour, xylitol, cinnamon, and lemon zest together and tossed it lightly with the fruit. I took the pie crust out of the freezer and filled it.
I scattered several tiny bits of butter on it and topped it off with a lattice crust and a sprinkling of cinnamon-xylitol. I baked it at 425*F for about 15 minutes and then dropped the temperature to 375*F for another 45 minutes. I pulled it out and let it cool for about an hour, pies always take longer to cool than I expect.
I like my pies full of fruit, sometimes you have to go for a fruity pie with some juices that bubble up over a pristine looking pie with less fruit. If you ask me, the juicy bit along the crust is delicious! Now, it’s off for delivery! (My sister lent me her beautiful pie basket that our friend Duncan made.)
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Posted in Desserts, Dumplings, Fruit on August 15, 2010 |
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Ever since I was little I have loved my moms peach dumplings! (The recipe actually comes from my mom’s neighbor, not her Aunt, who we always called Auntie Merle.) With peaches in full swing I can’t help but make some myself! I got up early this morning to make the dumplings to have for brunch along with some crepes.
I started by putting the farina (cream of wheat) in a pot with some milk and a little salt. I let it cook down until it was pretty thick. (Next time I will cook out a little more moisture before I take it off the heat.) I transferred the farina and milk mixture to a large mixing bowl and set it aside to cool.
Meanwhile, I rinsed the peaches. Do not peel them! Their fuzzy little skin is what keeps the dough from slipping off. Now that the farina was cool, I beat in two eggs. (This is when I knew that the dough was too wet.) I added the flour, it was still going to be too soft so I added an extra half cup.
I turned it out onto the counter with a very generous amount of flour and kneaded it into a pretty soft dough and loosely shaped it into a little loaf. Next, I cut off a little slice of dough…
…and gently pressed it around the peaches, making sure not to leave any holes. I repeated this until all the peaches were covered.
When they were all finished I popped them into boiling water for about 15 minutes.
They are best served hot with a little bit of melted butter and a sprinkling of sugar on top!
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Posted in Salads, Tunisian Food on August 13, 2010 |
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Yesterday I made myself a very simple and satisfying little lunch. I made some m’hamsa couscous, a traditional Berber style couscous from Tunisia, and then went out to the garden and picked some tomatoes, basil, and a carrot. I brought them inside and rinsed off any dirt. I also pulled out a couple of my favorite condiments wild caper flowers, preserved lemons, and harissa (all Tunisian) from the fridge and chopped away. I didn’t salt my couscous so I left the salt on the capers.
I put the couscous in a bowl and tossed everything on top, added a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Delicious!
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