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Entries in Fruits (12)


Easy Cherry Tart

Cherry tart

To celebrate the end of the school year, my friend Lynn wanted to host a small get-together for a group of friends at work, including a friend that retired last year. She opted for an appetizer/dessert party rather than a full dinner, to keep things casual. When I asked her what I could bring, she responded by saying that she knew I enjoyed cooking and baking, so to make something new-to-me that I've been eyeing up, and let them be the guinea pigs. You won't hear me complain when my friends are just as eager as I am to try something different! I started searching and noticed a recipe that showed up in a few different places. I had pinned this recipe on my Sweet Treats board, and I had also bookmarked it in my reader. To make things even better, Joel and I just bought a quart of fresh cherries from the farmer's market on Saturday and I had a puff pastry waiting to be used in the freezer. It was as if this recipe was destined to be the one I made. Once it was made, it was devoured. It took me everything I had not to dig in before heading out the door to Lynn's house. While this is a great dessert, I could totally justify eating this for breakfast, too!

1 sheet Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed
8 ounces Cream Cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons Butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 cups Powdered Sugar
3 cups Cherries, pitted and halved

Lay the thawed puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface and gently roll it out to an even thickness, using a rolling pin. Transfer the puff pastry to a baking sheet and score a very thin border around the outside using a knife. Then, use a fork to prick several holes in the middle of the pastry, to minimize inflation during baking. Bake the pastry at 400 degrees according to package directions until it begins to puff and turn golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Meanwhile, in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar, and continue beating on medium-low speed until smooth. Add more powdered sugar to thicken, if necessary. Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the cooled puff pastry. Sprinkle the top with the cherry halves, slice, and serve. 

SOURCE: Imperial Sugar, via Gimme Some Oven



Coconut Rhubarb Mess

Rhubarb mess

After taking a few challenges off, I'm back to posting with First on the First. This month, the assignment was Eton Mess, a traditional English dessert consisting of strawberries, meringue, and cream. It has been said that this dessert is served at Eton College's annual cricket game against Harrow School. I had heard of Eton mess before the challenge, but never cared much to look closely at the recipe or make it myself. When it was assigned, I started to think about how I could put my own twist on the recipe. My brother and sister-in-law have a giant rhubarb plant consuming much of their garden. I stopped by one afternoon and picked some stalks to help them get rid of it, and for nostalgia sake, since my grandparents always grew rhubarb. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the rhubarb at first. It sat in a glass on my counter waiting to be used. When the assignment for Eton mess was given, I searched Pinterest for a recipe. As luck would have it, one of the first recipes I came across was for this rhubarb mess. Perfect! While the meringues took a bit of time to cook, the rest of the recipe came together quickly. As you might be able to tell from the picture, I had a bit of difficulty with the coconut whipped cream, so I used the liquified "whipped cream" as a sauce instead. Even though Joel passed on the offer for this dessert, I enjoyed it very much!  

For the Meringues:
4 Egg Whites
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Powdered Sugar 

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and allow them to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Add the vanilla and the salt, then beat on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition until the sugar has dissolved. Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form, then fold in the powdered sugar. Carefully spoon the meringue onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at 225 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Turn the oven off; leave the meringues in the oven for about 1 1/2 more hours, leaving the oven door closed. Remove from the oven and cool completely on the baking sheet. Makes about 3 dozen 1.5 inch cookies.

For the Rhubarb:
3 Rhubarb Stems, chopped
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 

Mix the ingredients together in a baking dish and stir to coat evenly. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft. Remove from the oven and let the rhubarb cool slightly. 

For the Coconut Whipped Cream:
1 can Full Fat Coconut Milk
3 tablespoons Powdered Sugar 

About 2 hours before serving, place the can of coconut milk in the fridge to chill. Remove the can from the fridge and scoop the solid cream from the top of the can into a medium sized bowl. Stir in the powdered sugar and whisk the cream until light and fluffy. Use immediately. **NOTE: Most cans of coconut milk that I have seen tend to be upside down--meaning that in order to open the can, you have to turn the can upside down from the way that the label is. I did not think that far in advance, and therefore, ended up with the whole can of coconut milk instead of the hardened cream on the top. Keep that in mind if you plan to make this whipped cream. I did try to whip up the contents of the can of coconut milk, along with the powdered sugar, but I was unsuccessful, and was left with a liquid instead. 

To Assemble the Dessert:
Spoon some of the rhubarb into the bottom of a glass dish. Add some crumbled meringue and a spoonful of coconut cream. Repeat. Top with toasted coconut, if desired. 

SOURCE: Life Love Food, Meringues from Taste of Home


Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins


While I've been enjoying smoothies for breakfast lately, I still prefer baked goods for breakfast because they are generally portable, filling, and sweet. I came across these muffins while searching Pinterest and was intrigued by the addition of the oatmeal and yogurt. These muffins are delicious! They have exactly what I look for in a baked good; they are portable, they are filling, and they are sweet, but not overly sweet! Best of all, these muffins are relatively healthy! With fibrous oats, protein packed yogurt, fruit, minimal butter, and no oil, you can feel good about yourself when you start your morning off with one of these muffins!

2 cups Flour
1 cup Oats
2/3 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cups Greek Yogurt
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons Butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Blueberries (I used frozen, but the original recipe calls for fresh)

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla until combined. Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture, stirring until incorporated. Gently fold in the blueberries. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spoon the batter into each lined well. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Makes 12-14 muffins.

SOURCE: Domesticated Academic


Blueberry Biscuit Cobbler

Ok, I lied. I didn't come up with this recipe. It's from my favorite magazine, Bon Appetite. I did slightly modify it however, by cutting the amount of sugar by about a quarter, I like my teeth as they are, thank you very much.

I don't usually eat dessert in our house. Surprising, right, considering the amount of desserts and sugary treats made and posted on this site? Once in a while though, I like to surprise Melissa by pulling off something like this, something I know she'll enjoy, and something that I'll enjoy as well- because it doesn't require chocolate. View the nutritional information on Bon Appetite's website at your own risk.

This recipe was a great use for a box of blueberries bought from the farmer's market. It's easy to make, tastes great, and serves four-six depending on serving size.

1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sour cream
6 cups fresh blueberries (about 2 lb.)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 375°

Stir 1 1/2 cups flour, 3 Tbsp. sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add butter; using your fingertips crush and knead it until it forms small pea-size nodules. Mix in sour creme. Knead, using your hands until a thick dough forms, but be careful not to over-knead.

Add the remaining 1 cup of sugar (cough), remaining 3 Tbsp. flour, berries, juice, and zest in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Spoon the mixture into baking ramekins. Crumble the biscuit topping evenly over the bowls.

Bake until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling and molten.


Peach Cobbler Scones

Peach cobbler scones

Oh scones, how I love thee! I feel like for a while, I was baking every Sunday, but somehow that has stopped. I'm sure that part of the reason is that it is summer, but I think that is the very same reason that I felt that I had to bake these scones. Peaches are one of my favorite summer fruit. I've eaten them in muffins, on sandwiches, in salads, and of course just as they are, but I haven't ventured into making scones with them until now.  Traditionally, when I think of peach cobbler, I think of dessert. But, with these scones, it is totally acceptable to eat peach cobbler for breakfast! A hot mug of coffee and a fresh peach cobbler scone…how much better can my mornings be?

For the Scones:
3 cups Flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 sticks Butter, cold and cut into cubes (whoops, not exactly healthy!)
1 Egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup Buttermilk, plus more for brushing
1-2 Ripe Peaches, sliced thin

For the Cinnamon Sugar:
2 tablespoons Sugar
3/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk briefly to blend. Add the butter to the bowl and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the largest butter pieces are the size of peas. Stir in the egg, vanilla, and buttermilk and gently mix with a fork until a dough forms. Knead briefly, about 10-15 times, until the dough comes together. Be careful not to over handle the dough, as it can result in tough, dense scones. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a well floured work surface. At this point, if the dough is too soft to shape, chill for 15 minutes before proceeding. Roll the dough out into a 10x12-inch rectangle. Brush half of the dough lightly with buttermilk. Lay the peach slices in a single layer over the buttermilk side of the dough. Sprinkle evenly with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture and carefully fold the other side of the dough over the peaches, as if closing a book, pressing down gently. Slice the dough into 8-10 equal size pieces. At this point, the shaped, unbaked scones may be frozen on a baking sheet and transferred to a freezer-safe container. Brush the top of each scone with buttermilk and sprinkle with additional cinnamon-sugar. Bake until the top of the scones are golden brown and baked through, about 15-18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool further. Serve warm. If baking frozen scones, add a few minutes to baking time.

SOURCE: Joy the Baker, via Annie's Eats