Cherry-Almond Tart

July 26th, 2014

Cherry-Almond Tart 1

 

I have long heard that cherries and almonds have a natural affinity.  One of the reasons the French leave the pits in their cherries when they make clafoutis is because the cherry pits give the dish an almond-like taste.  As much as I like clafoutis, that pancake like batter, that surrounds fresh cherries, I like this cherry-almond tart even better.  The recipe came from Patricia Well’s book At Home in Provence.

Cherry-Almond Tart 2V The pastry is easy to prepare.  It has a cookie dough consistency and is just patted into the pan; no rolling required.  One of the ingredients used in this tart is finely ground blanched almonds.  I had a bag of almond flour in my freezer, which is basically the same thing.  You can find almond flour at most speciality stores like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market and some supermarkets.  The ground almonds are used in the pastry and in the filling.  The only change I made to the recipe was in the filling.  The filling calls for 1/2 teaspoon almond extract along with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  I find that almond extract is too strong, so I used 1 teaspoon vanilla and then instead of the 1 Tablespoon of kirsch (cherry liqueur), I used Disaronno; a bitter almond liqueur.

Cherry-Almond Tart 3 better

 

Oh my, this is now my new favorite dessert.  It is well worth the time it takes to pit the cherries.  The combination of the sweet cherries and the almond infused filling and crust is perfection.  Cherries and almonds are natural partners indeed.  I can hardly wait to make this again.  It is already gone.

CHERRY-ALMOND TART ( Adapted from Patricia Wells )

One 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom

The Pastry:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional for preparing the tart pan
1/2 cup sugar
A pinch of fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons finely ground blanched almonds (almond flour)
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

The Filling:
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon finely ground blanched almonds (almond flour)
1 tablespoon Disaronno, Amaretto or Kirsch

4 tablespoons finely ground blanched almonds (almond flour)
1 pound fresh cherries, pitted
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter the bottom and sides of the tart pan.  Set aside

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the butter, sugar, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and almond flour.  Stir with a spoon to blend.  Gradually incorporate enough flour to form a smooth soft dough. ( The dough should resemble soft cookie dough.)  Place the dough in the center of the buttered pan.  With the tips of your fingers, press the pastry evenly on the bottom and sides of the pan.  The dough will be quite thin. You do not need to weight or prick the shell.

Place the lined tart pan in the center of the oven and bake until the dough is just slightly puffy and turns a very pale brown, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside.  Do not turn off the oven.

Meanwhile, make the filling:  In a small bowl, combine the cream, egg, and vanilla extract and whisk to blend.  Stir in the sugar, flour, ground almonds, and the Disaronno.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of ground almonds on top of the prebaked pastry shell. (They will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.)

Arrange the cherries in a single layer in the pastry shell.  Pour the filling over the cherries.  Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of ground almonds.  Place in the center of the oven and bake until the filling is firm and the pastry is a deep golden brown, about 45 minutes.  Remove to a rack to cool.  Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.  8 servings.

Printable Recipe

Raspberry and Blueberry Tiramisu

July 3rd, 2014

 

 

Raspberry Tiramisu 2

 

Happy 4th of July everyone!  This is the dessert that I will be serving to the family for the holiday.  It is a trifle of lady fingers, raspberry jam, berries and mascarpone whipped cream.  In a traditional tiramisu the lady fingers are soaked in espresso topped with marsala and mascarpone cream.  Chocolate is sprinkled on the top.  In this lighter version, the lady fingers are soaked in a Grand Marnier raspberry jam and the berries are added instead of chocolate.  I even took it a step further by using orange juice instead of Grand Marnier.  We have lots of kids at our party and I don’t think they would appreciate the alcohol.

Raspberry Tiramisu 1

 

The great thing about this dessert is that has to be made ahead of time.  The longer it sits the better it gets.  It couldn’t be simpler.  Enjoy your holiday.

RASPBERRY AND BLUEBERRY TIRAMISU (Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

1 12 ounce jar of seedless raspberry jam
6 Tablespoon Grand Marnier or Orange Juice
1 pound Mascarpone Cheese, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
48 soft ladyfingers (2 3-0unce packages) or 40 dry Italian Ladyfingers (2 packages)
3 baskets fresh raspberries (1/2 dry pint, about 3 3/4 cups total)
A handful of blueberries

Stir together the jam and 4 tablespoons of Grand Marnier or orange juice in a small bowl to blend.

Stir together the mascarpone and remaining 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier or orange juice in a large bowl to blend.  Using an electric mixer, beat the cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla in another large bowl until soft peaks form.  Using a large rubber spatula, stir a fourth of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture to lighten.  Fold the remaining whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.

Line the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish or other decorative serving dish with a third of the ladyfingers.  Spread a third of the jam mixture over the ladyfingers.  Spread a third of the mascarpone mixture over the jam mixture, then cover with a third of the fresh raspberries.  Repeat layering with the remaining ladyfingers, jam mixture, mascarpone mixture, and raspberries.  Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours of overnight.

Dust confectioners’ sugar over the top if desired and serve.

Printable recipe

Blueberry Galette and a Night With Friends

June 16th, 2014

Blueberry Galette 1

 

There are so many reasons that blogging is a rewarding experience, but one of the major reasons is because you get to meet so many special people.  Let’s backtrack a few years.

When a started blogging in 2009 there were not many of us doing it.  I put my blog out there and hoped that someone would find my voice interesting.  I clicked on other blogs and found Penny’s blog.  Oh my, same name.  Oh my, born and raised in Michigan like me,   Oh my, lives in North Carolina just 25 miles away from where I live.  It was meant to be.  I had to meet her.  I wrote about our first meeting here.  We have since become great friends.

Dinner at Penny's 1

We had dinner at Penny and her husband’s home last Saturday.  It was a lovely evening and we enjoyed dining al fresco under their new pergola.  Penny is a great cook.  Everything was delicious.

Dinner at Penny's 2Both Penny and I love Paris.  One of the delights of Paris food markets is the rotisserie chickens cooked over pans of vegetables.  The chicken drippings flavor the vegetables as they braise.  That was what she duplicated on their grill.

Dinner at Penny's 3

That is a beautiful plate of food.  It was a perfect meal for a summer evening.

Dinner at Penny's 4Here are our wonderful hosts, Penny and her equally talented husband.  Because we have so much in common, it should have come as no surprise to me that what she served for dessert was the very same dessert that I had made the previous week for my next blog post.  So although I did not get a picture of Penny’s blueberry galette, I had it covered with the one that I made.  We are definitely on the same wave length.
Blueberry Galette 3VI made this blueberry galette as part of a recipe testing exercise at the Food 52 website.  The editors of Food 52 pick worthy recipes that are submitted to their contests for other members to test and rate.  I chose to test this galette because of the uniqueness of the crust.  It incorporates rosemary and whole wheat flour into the pastry.  I LOVED it.  The pastry was easy to handle and the rosemary went so well with the blueberry filling.  The turbinado sugar just added to the rustic simplicity of this galette.  It will be repeated often in my kitchen.  Give it a try.  Thanks Penny and K for a great evening.

BLUEBERRY GALETTE (By Lisina at Food 52)

Rosemary Crust

  • 1 1/4 cup AP flour + extra for dusting
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • tablespoons fresh rosemary, very finely chopped
  • tablespoons turbinado sugar + extra for dusting
  • teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4-1/2 cup ice cold water
  • 1egg, for glazing the crust

Blueberry Filling

  • pints fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • lemon (juice of)
  • tablespoons flour
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a kitchenaid mixer with the paddle attachment or a food processor, mix together the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the cubed butter, and mix or pulse until butter breaks down into pea sized pieces.
  4. With the machine running or pulsing, add the ice water until the dough JUST begins to come together.
  5. Turn the crust mixture out onto some plastic wrap, wrap it and flatten it into a disk shape. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
  6. Throw all the filling ingredients into a bowl, and mix well so that that the sugar and flour coat all the blueberries well.
  7. Remove the chilled crust from the fridge and unwrap it onto a silpat or piece of parchment paper large enough to cover your baking sheet. Dust it with flour, then roll the dough out until it is between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick.
  8. Spoon the filling and its juices into the middle of the crust and spread it out leaving a 2″ border of crust. Fold the border of the crust over onto the filling, leaving the nice rustic edges.
  9. Brush the crust with eggwash and sprinkle the crust with sugar. Slide the galette on the silpat or parchment onto a baking sheet.
  10. Bake for about 40 minutes until crust is nice and golden.

Printable Recipe

Lemon-Lime Blueberry Squares

June 1st, 2014

Lemon-Lime Blueberry Squares

When was the last time you actually went on a picnic?  I’m sure many of you still find the time to do it.  But it just occurred to me that it has been years since we have loaded up a picnic basket and headed out for a day in the countryside.  We used to love to take David’s TR 8 convertible for a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop at overlooks with a view of the mountains.  We would spread a blanket and pull out our picnic fare and just relax for a while.  But now that we live at the lake, it is just as easy to sit on the porch and eat at home.

Lemon-Lime Blueberry Squares 3

After making this dessert with a shortbread crust, a lemony filling and the blueberry topping, it came to mind that it would be perfect picnic fare.  Because it is baked in a foil package it would be easy to transport.  So now I am thinking of going on a picnic.

Lemon-Lime Blueberry Squares 1

 

This dessert from Gourmet magazine would be the perfect ending to the meal.  It is refreshing and simple.  You can almost pick it up and eat it with your hands except for a few errant blueberries rolling free.  I came up with a picnic menu that I think everyone would enjoy.

SUMMERTIME PICNIC IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

Sweet-Ham and Havarti Sandwiches with Orange Pecan Mustard
Broccoli, Apples and Red Onion Salad
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
Lemon-Lime Blueberry Squares

The highlighted recipes can be found by clicking on them.  Here is the dessert recipe.

LEMON-LIME BLUEBERRY SQUARES (Gourmet Magazine)

For Crust:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
6 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For filling:
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 cups blueberries (10 oz.)
3 tablespoons apricot jam, heated and strained

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a buttered 8-inch glass baking dish with 2 (18-by-6-inch) sheets of foil, overlapping them in opposigte directions so that there is overhang on all 4 sides.

Pulse together flour, cornmeal, confectioners sugar, salt and butter in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Press onto bottom of baking dish and 1 inch up sides.  Bake in middle of oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, and zests.  Whisk in juices, milk, and a pinch of salt.  Toss blueberries with jam in another bowl.

Whisk egg mixture and immediately pour into hot crust, then bake until just set, about 17 minutes.  Gently spoon berries evenly over top and bake 2 more minutes more.  Transfer baking dish to a rack and cool.

Chill, covered, overnight (8 hours).  Use foil to lift dessert out of dish, then cut into squares.

Printable recipe

 

 

Hummingbird Bundt Cake

March 9th, 2014

Hummingbird Cake 3 Best

 

There is a new angle to the Sun these days.  Even though spring is not quite here, I can feel the promise of an end to winter.  We will be returning to Lake Lure at the end of the month.  Normally we would find the dogwood trees and the forsythia getting ready to bloom.  I am not so sure this year.  It has been such a brutally cold winter.  One of the things I look forward to at Lake Lure is my hummingbird feeder outside my kitchen window.  I like to believe that the same hummingbird couple come back every year.  In honor of spring and the return of my sweet hummingbirds, I made this hummingbird bundt cake.

Hummingbird Cake 1V

 

The cake recipe first appeared in Southern Living Magazine in 1978.  It is a banana, pineapple and spice cake with a luscious cream cheese frosting.  It is usually presented as a layer cake, but this is a much easier version.  This recipe for a hummingbird bundt cake was in a recent Southern Living magazine.  I found it in a magazine at my hair dresser’s and got her permission to tear it out.

Hummingbird Cake Third Picture

I love this cake.  Since we have company coming, it was a good excuse to make it.  Now if spring would just get the message that winter is over, we would all be happy.  Bring on the robins, blue jays and hummingbirds.  I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday at the Comforts of Home.

HUMMINGBIRD BUNDT CAKE

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large)
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze:
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed and softened
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoon milk ( You may need more.  My glaze was too stiff )

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 4 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Sprinkle 1 cup toasted pecans into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan.  Spoon batter over pecans.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).

Process cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 Tbsp. milk in a food processor until well blended.  Add remaining 1 Tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. at a time, processing until smooth.  Immediately pour glaze over cooled cake, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup toasted pecans.

Printable recipe

 

 

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.

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