blueberry crumb cake

blueberry cake 0871

I would like to say that I knew July was Blueberry Month and that I made this recipe to be timely and trendy… I would like to say that I have my finger on the pulse of the food community and I was ready with blueberries for the month of July… but that would be a lie. I made this recipe because for some reason I thought that I needed the 5-pound clamshell of blueberries that I saw at Costco. I mean, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

After attempting to eat my way through said blueberries for a week, I still had at least two pounds left and was almost positive that if I ate one more blueberry I would go all Violet Beauregarde and Mr. Eats would have to roll me around until they finally found a cure for a blueberry overdose.

I thought about muffins and pancakes and even ice cream, but then I saw this post on my Facebook and I just knew. It was like love at first sight, but with coffee cake. I was pretty sure the cake-to-blueberry ratio was enough that it would allow me to still enjoy my remaining blueberries without becoming one.

I barely tweaked a thing and this recipe came out beautifully! The cake was super soft and springy, filled with bursting blueberries and topped with a crunchy, spiced crumb.

Make this for your 4th of July feast and your guests will beg you for the recipe. You could also make this for “national crumb cake day” which I am sure is a thing (or soon will be, if it’s not yet). These food ‘holidays’ are getting a bit out of hand…

blueberry cake 0877

blueberry crumb cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients

    For the topping:
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (1 pint) fresh blueberries, clean and dry
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare a 9-by-2 inch round baking pan and line it with parchment.
  2. Make the topping:
  3. Stir together the sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Using a pastry blender*(see note), cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  5. Make the cake:
  6. Take 1 tablespoon of your flour and toss it with your berries, set aside.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk remaining flour, baking powder, and salt until combined.
  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, sugar and zest together until pale and well-mixed.
  9. Add egg and vanilla to the butter mixture and beat until combined. About now, mine started to really look like a batter.
  10. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture and beat on low until just combined.
  11. Add half of the milk and beat to combine. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  12. Add another 1/3 of the dry mixture and mix until combined. Add remaining milk, mixing until combined.
  13. Add last 1/3 of dry mixture and beat on low just until incorporated. The batter will be stiff.
  14. Fold blueberries into cake batter until evenly distributed.
  15. Bake the cake:
  16. Scoop cake batter into prepared pan and smooth the top as much as possible, and sprinkle top of the cake with all of the streusel. Really pile it on here.
  17. Bake in heated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out batter-free.
  18. Cool cake for 20 minutes in the pan before flipping it out onto a cooling rack. Removing the parchment paper lining, and flip the cake back onto a plate, being careful not to lose your streusel.
  19. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

* Alternatively, you make the streusel by pulsing the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor until combined. Add cubed butter and continue to pulse until the streusel has a sandy texture with pea-sized crumbs.

* You can be more or less generous with the blueberries in this recipe. I probably added two HEAPING cups of blueberries to mine in an attempt to work my way through as much of the remaining blueberries as possible. No blueberries? No problem, try this recipe with raspberries, blackberries, or whatever berries you have on hand!

* This cake can be stored wrapped in foil in the refrigerator for about 5 days, or you can freeze it tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, then foil, for up to three months. Thaw overnight before serving.

http://wee-eats.com/2015/07/03/blueberry-crumb-cake/

[ Recipe from Smitten Kitchen ]

 

cherry clafoutis

cherry clafoutis 0840

Cherry season is in full swing and we take advantage of these few short weeks be packing our refrigerator full of cherries – both red and rainier. We generally eat them plain, enjoying the sweet, firm fruit as an after-dinner or mid-day snack. However, I wanted to get a little creative to see what else I could do with these guys.

Clafoutis is something that I have been meaning to make for awhile now, not quite understanding what it was. Is it cake? Custard? What does it taste like? Where does it come from?

Well, the only way to get my answer was to finally buck-up and make the darn thing, so I did, with the help of this article from Serious Eats. And now I have my answers. The flavor is very similar to that of a dutch baby but with a thicker, richer, more custard-y center. The center should be set, so it won’t be pudding-style creamy, but it will still be soft and almost pillowy.

cherry clafoutis 0846

Cherries are traditional, but if that’s not your style you can substitute stone fruits like apricot or peach, or probably even berries would do (though they may be more prone to bursting). I left my cherries whole but did pit them as our annual cherry consumption warrants owning this helpful little gadget – which makes pitting cherries easy as pie. (Well, probably easier than pie, actually.) You can halve the cherries if you like or leave the pits in, but I find that would make eating the clafoutis much less enjoyable.

While traditionally served for dessert, I think this would fare equally as well as a breakfast or brunch dish in place of a dutch baby, pancakes, or other bready sweet. Plus it has fruit, which means it’s good for you! You can enjoy your clafoutis warm or room temperature, or cold from the fridge for a midnight snack. I recommend a gentle dusting of powdered sugar, though it will still be delicious plain, or with a healthy dollop of whipped cream – the choice is yours!

cherry clafoutis

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1 9 or 10-inch clafoutis (serves 8 - 10)

Serving Size: 1 slice

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 3/4 pound sweet cherries, pitted
  • Powdered sugar, for serving
  • Whipped cream , for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees and butter a 9-inch or 10-inch cast iron or nonstick skillet. (I used this one)
  2. Scatter cherries (or other fruit) into the bottom of the buttered pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, and salt until combined.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until the batter is smooth and lump-free.
  5. Pour batter into the pan, over the fruit, and place pan on a baking sheet (in case it overflows) and carefully place into the oven.
  6. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the center is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool slightly before serving. Serve directly from the pan or carefully transfer onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
http://wee-eats.com/2015/06/23/cherry-clafoutis/

[ Recipe from Serious Eats ]

liege waffles

liege waffle 0683

Liege waffles are like not like those waffles you had for breakfast over the weekend. Though they are made on the same iron as those waffles, liege waffles are unique in both flavor and texture.

Unlike your soft and fluffy breakfast waffle batter, liege waffles are made with a brioche dough that is studded with pearl sugar. The brioche dough imparts a denser texture with a buttery richness to it, while an overnight rise gives the waffles a deeper flavor with a slight tang, and the pearl sugar lends pockets of molten sweetness and the liege waffle’s trademark crunchy, caramelized exterior.

These waffles are generally made using a belgian waffle iron, however since I don’t own a belgian-style waffle maker, I had to use my regular waffle iron. The waffles came out beautifully, with the one caveat of being thinner than the traditional liege waffle. Additionally, I had to make sure to flatten the dough before placing it into the waffle iron to ensure that it baked all the way through.

Either way, your waffle iron’s “ready” alert will be useless in this case. These waffles will splatter and steam throughout their baking process as the sugars melt, caramelize, and re-melt, and re-caramelize over and over again. Your waffle iron will be a complete mess, but don’t fret. Just keep going and each waffle will be even better than the last as the melted sugars build up on the iron and impart a deeper, more caramelized flavor onto each subsequent waffle. (See my notes on how to clean up this horrible mess at the bottom of the recipe.)

Because these implore the use of a bread dough and have a crunchy exterior, these waffles yield the best flavor and texture when enjoyed warm…especially when paired with fresh sweet berries, a drizzle of nutella, and sweet whipped cream. That being said, we enjoyed them at all temperatures both with and without toppings, as breakfast, dessert, and a mid-day snack.

liege waffle 0702

liege waffle

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole mlk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 packet (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups [http://amzn.to/1RfuQyc Belgian pearl sugar]

Instructions

    Make the dough:
  1. Warm milk and water together until warm to the touch (between 110 and 116F degrees)
  2. Pour milk mixture into the bottom of a large stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook.
  3. Add sugar and yeast and stir to combine.
  4. Let rest until the yeast activates, about 5 minutes. You will know the yeast is activated when it looks foamy.
  5. Whisk eggs and vanilla into the milk/yeast mixture until combined.
  6. Stir in 2 2/3 cups flour, reserving extra 1 cup of flour for later use.
  7. Turn mixer on low and stir until combined, add the salt and continue mixing until the mixture forms a dough.
  8. With the mixer on low, add the butter to the dough 1 tablespoon at a time, thoroughly kneading after each addition to ensure the butter is incorporated. Repeat this process until all of the butter has been added, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  9. After all the butter has been worked into the dough, add the remaining 1 cup of flour and knead with dough hook on low speed for 5 minutes, or until glossy.
  10. Rest the dough
  11. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
  12. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature, about 1 hour.
  13. Once the dough has come to temperature, stir the dough to deflate it and re-cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  14. Knead in the pearl sugar
  15. Pour the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and flatten slightly. Pour pearl sugar over the dough and knead the dough until the pearl sugar is incorporated. Try not to get mad when the sugar hops out of the dough and onto the counter. If you lose a few pearls, so be it.
  16. Make the waffles
  17. Heat your waffle iron. I don't ever grease my waffle iron, but if it's normal for you to do so, go for it. **Let me take one second to go on my soap box and ask that you please not spray your waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray, as the residue it leaves behind will actually ruin your waffle iron. If you must grease it, please put some oil or butter on a paper towel using silicone-tipped tongs, rub it on your waffle iron. Of course, you are always welcome to ignore my advice.** Moving on...
  18. Divide your dough ball into 16 pieces and roll those pieces into balls.
  19. When you're ready to cook the waffle, flatten the ball into a disk about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and place it into your waffle iron. **Note:** If you have a belgian waffle maker, you may not have to flatten it. I flattened mine since my waffle maker inherently makes thinner waffles and learned this technique while making other waffley things.
  20. Press your waffle iron closed tightly on top of the dough, then release the pressure and allow the waffle to cook as per normal waffle protocol. Ignore your waffle iron's sirens (if it is equipped with such things) and allow the waffle to cook fro 4 to 6 minutes, until it is a deep golden brown. As you get further through your waffle-making some may even end up with blackened caramelized sugar bits. I like to refer to these as flavor crystals.
  21. Once your waffle is done cooking, carefully remove the waffle (I find a plastic fork to be ideal for this task, as its plastic tines won't harm your waffle iron. Silicone-tipped tongs would also work well.) and place the waffle on a cooling rack. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying. Remember that the waffles are going to be covered in molten sugar and will likely make you say unkind things when the hot molten sugar comes into contact with your precious fingertips or the roof of your mouth.

Notes

* You can find belgian pearl sugar on [http://amzn.to/1RfuQyc amazon] or in the baking section of your local Sur la Table.

*I always advise against spraying your waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray, as the residue it leaves behind will actually ruin your waffle iron. If you must grease it, please put some oil or butter on a paper towel using silicone-tipped tongs, rub it on your waffle iron.

*To clean my waffle iron, I usually soak a dish towel with water, press it in the iron, and let the steam do its work. I found that in this case, it was actually easier to let the iron cool and use a wooden skewer to gently scrape off the burned-on sugar, which popped off with ease. If yours is giving you a hard time, use a warm, damp rag to gently wash off the hardened on sugar. Don't despair, remember that sugar dissolves in water. So even though it may take some time, it will get clean.

http://wee-eats.com/2015/06/08/liege-waffles/

[ Recipe from Smitten Kitchen ]

jeni’s spinalong – watermelon lemonade pops

watermelon popsicle 0747

I can’t believe it’s already been three months since our last Jeni’s Spinalong post. For this spinalong, we decided to go with the a “summer” theme, as it is rapidly approaching. We played it fast and loose with the base recipe, having only one requirement: that the base involve fruit of some kind.

As I was flipping through my Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams book for inspiration, I wanted something light, refreshing, and summery. One recipe in particular jumped out at me: Watermelon Lemonade Sorbet. It was like taking everything I love about summer and spinning it into a delicious dessert. What more could a girl ask for?

Shannon chose their Riesling-Pear sorbet and kicked it up several notches, turning it into grilled cantaloupe sorbet. She freaking grilled ice cream, people! That girls is a food wizard, people, I swear.

I immediately had visions of summer cookouts and pool parties, ice cold melon, refreshing lemonade, grillled things, and summer sun… I honestly couldn’t think of better recipes to welcome summer with. Since this watermelon-lemonade recipe was perfect as-is, I resisted my usual urge to tinker and made only one single slight modification: I made them portable. Because summer just screams “popsicles” doesn’t it?

watermelon popsicle 0749 2

Some popsicle-making tips:

1. Don’t fill it all the way. Remember that water expands when it freezes, so leave about 1/4 inch or so at the top of your mold.

2. A lot of people will tell you to partially freeze your popsicles before adding the sticks, this has to do with them moving around when it begins the freezing process. While probably helpful, it’s not something I bother with because I’m the type of person who will forget to add the stick and end up with popsicle-shaped sorbet ice cubes instead.

3. Try to make sure the popsicles are level when they are freezing, or you may end up with lopsided pops. Still edible, but not as pretty.

4. To help ease the release of the popsicle from its mold, wrap a damp, warm cloth around the popsicle you would like to remove. After about 30 to 40 seconds, gently start to wiggle the popsicle stick to free the popsicle from its mold. Don’t be too aggressive or you might pull the stick out and end up with… a popsicle-shaped sorbet ice cube.

5. If you aren’t sure which mold to use, I have this one and have no complaints. They’re all about the same, what it mostly comes down to is what you want the shape of your final product to be.

watermelon lemonade pops

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups watermelon puree - from 1 (3-lb) watermelon
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice - from 2 to 3 medium lemons
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup

Instructions

  1. Puree watermelon (without the rind) and measure out 2 1/2 cups of puree. Pour puree into a a medium bowl. If you have extra puree, you could make some margaritas
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  3. Heat lemon juice, sugar, and corn syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue boiling, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Whisk the lemon mixture into the pureed watermelon and pour into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag. Close the bag and put into the ice water bath until chilled. Let chill at least 30 minutes.*
  5. Pour sorbet into your ice cream canister and spin according to manufacturer's directions until the sorbet reaches the texture of softly-whipped cream.
  6. Spoon sorbet into popsicle molds**, insert popsicle sticks, and place into the coldest part of your freezer. Freeze for 8 hours, or overnight.
  7. To release popsicles from the mold, wrap a damp, warm dish towel around the popsicle you would like to release. After about 30 seconds or so, begin to gently wiggle the popsicle until it releases from its mold. See notes below if you don't plan to enjoy your popsicles immediately.

Notes

* If you're not going to spin the sorbet immediately, dry off the bag and place it in your refrigerator until you're ready to spin your sorbet.

** This recipe filled my popsicle mold and still had about 1/4 to 1/2 cup leftover, which I froze separately just as regular sorbet.

*** If you aren't going to enjoy the popsicles right away, after releasing the popsicle from its mold immediately wrap it in plastic wrap and place into a gallon-sized freezer bag and return to the freezer. Repeat with other popsicles, wrapping individually in plastic wrap and adding them to the gallon-sized freezer bag for storage.

http://wee-eats.com/2015/06/01/jenis-spinalong-watermelon-lemonade-popsicles/

[ Recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home ]

[ View Shannon’s Grilled Cantaloupe Sorbet here ]

fruity pebble meringues

fruity pebble meringue 0740

I’ll admit that I have always been a cereal girl. Left to my own devices, I would eat cereal every day: morning, noon, and night. I’m the reason they are still releasing crazy new flavors, because I buy just about every single one. You’re saying that my favorite peanut butter is now a cereal? Sold! What’s that? There’s a cookies and cream cereal? Don’t mind if I do.

If there is a new cereal on the shelf, there’s a darn good chance I’m going to be bringing it home with me.    Continue reading