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.


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.


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



Raspberry Financiers

January 24th, 2013

While we were in Paris last summer I bought a silicone financier pan from Dehillerin, the iconic kitchen supply store.  I have regretted not buying the individual financier tin molds ever since.  Financiers are small cakes made in Paris bakeries in the shape of gold bars.  They were originally sold in the financial district to busy businessmen who wanted a quick snack on the go, since when you have an LLC is important to learn how to manage your time and employees. 

I have a friend here in Florida whose mother was an expert chocolate maker.  Stephanie inherited all of her mother’s chocolate molds.   I was describing the rectangular financier molds to her and she said that she would look through her collection to see if she had any.  To my surprise and delight I received this gift from Stephanie.

The fluted molds are so beautiful.  I feel honored that she wanted to share them with me.  Stephanie’s  mother was not only an exceptional baker, she was also a hat model in New York City.  Looking at Stephanie,with her beautiful sculpted cheek bones and wide smile, I can understand why her mother’s visage would be perfect for modeling hats.  Does anyone model hats anymore?  I doubt it.

Traditionally financiers are made with browned butter, almond meal and confectioner’s sugar.  That combination makes a delicious cake.  I have become addicted to them.  You can make your own almond meal by grinding almonds into a fine mix or you can buy almond meal at most health food or specialty grocery stores.  You can make them plain or add fruit such as raspberries or blueberries to the top.  I have even made a savory financier using sage leaves and walnuts.  See that recipe here.  This recipe came from Joy of Baking and there is a great video included with the recipe.


1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all purpose-flour
1/2 cup ground almonds (can use almond meal/flour)
3/4 cup confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Fresh berries (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) with the oven rack in the center of the oven. Place 12 rectangular or boat shaped tartlet molds (each holds about 2 tablespoons of batter) on a baking sheet. (Can also use mini muffin cups.)

Place the butter in a small light colored saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted let it come to a boil, swirling the pan occasionally. As it boils you will notice that a foam will appear on the butter’s surface. Continue to cook the butter until it looks clear and the milk solids have dropped to the bottom of the pan and have turned golden brown. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Let cool to room temperature. You will need 1/3 cup (80 ml) of brown butter. Use the leftover brown butter to butter the molds (use a pastry brush).

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, ground almonds, confectioners sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center and fold in the lightly beaten egg whites, vanilla, and the brown butter. Fill each mold almost to the rim and bake for about 4 minutes (batter is set around the edges but still soft in the center). Remove from the oven and gently place one or two fresh raspberries on top of each. Bake a further 5-7 minutes or until the Financiers have become golden brown around the edges and are springy to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. These are best eaten warm from the oven, but they can be covered and stored for a few days at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Makes about 12 Financiers.

Printable recipe

Apple-Walnut Salad

December 22nd, 2012

I have to say that this is one of the best apple-walnut salad recipe that I have ever tried.  It is all because of the lemon curd that is mixed into the mayonnaise.  I found the recipe in a Southern Living cookbook.  My menu for one of the nights that our family was visiting included my Fall-Apart Tender Slow Roast Pork.  I wanted something refreshing to go with the rich pork and something that kids would like.  This salad did the trick.  Both Rachel and Cameron ate every bit of the portions on their plates.



The only changes I made to the recipe were to cut down on some of the strong seasonings, like cardamom and nutmeg.  But the lemon curd was a wonderfully refreshing addition to the dressing.  The crunchy walnuts and celery, the sweet apples and the soft dried cranberries all mingled together to make a worthy whole.  I would recommend it as a side to any pork dish that you make during the holidays.

Here are some of the other holiday dishes that we enjoyed.  I will share them with you soon.  Which of them grabs your interest the most?  Merry Christmas everyone.



1 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup lemon curd
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (I used 1/8 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used 1/8 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
6 apples, chopped – A combination of Gala, Granny Smith and Red Delicious is good
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup dried mixed fruit  (I used dried cranberries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake walnuts in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring once after 5 minutes.

Stir together mayonnaise, next 4 ingredients, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest in a large bowl.  Add apples, celery, fruit mix, and 3/4 cup walnuts; toss well.  Cover and chill 6 hours.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup walnuts and 1 teaspoon lemon zest just before serving.


Printable recipe

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Clafoutis Redux

June 6th, 2011

Remember this post picture of my first clafoutis pictured below?  What a mess!

The new version looks so much better, even though I cooked it a little too long.  Experimentation is a good thing.  My thanks go out to both Barbara of Moveable Feasts and Susan of Schnitzel and The Trout for alerting me to this recipe which appeared first on Smitten Kitchen’s blog, then on Barbara’s blog, then on Susan’s blog.

The major difference between the two recipes is in the amount of flour.  The recipe I followed originally had only 1/2 cup of flour.  Barbara’s recipe had 1 cup of flour, which gave a more cake-like consistancy to the clafoutis.  She also used fresh cherries.  Since I now can find cherries in the market, I used them instead of the frozen cherries I used in the first recipe.  Barbara did not pit her cherries because in an authentic clafoutis the pits are left in to give a nice almond flavor to the batter.  I pitted my cherries and substituted 2 teaspoons of Kirsch (Cherry Liqueur) for the 2 teaspoons of rum suggested.  I think the Kirsch gave that almond flavor the pits would have and it makes the clafoutis so much easier to eat.

Now I feel much better about making this dessert ahead of time for my Provencal dinner.  Bloggers to the rescue.  Thanks all!


2 Cups Cherries, pitted
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup flour
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons Kirsch

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Butter a glass pie pan, round baking dish, large cake pan or oven proof skillet.  Scatter the cherries (with or without pitts) evenly over the bottom.

Beat the eggs and sugar with a whisk until lighter in color.  Gradually add the melted butter, beating to incorporate.  Add the flour all at once and whisk until the batter is well mixed.  Slowly add the milk a little at a time.  Then the vanilla and the Kirsch if using.  The batter should be smooth and very shiny.

Pour the batter slowly over the cherries and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until slightly browned and almost set in the middle.  Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Printable recipe

Tropical Fruit Salad

July 14th, 2009

We have just returned from a wonderful weekend with friends in Virginia. My friend Barbara is an excellent cook and I told her that my job for the weekend was going to be easy. All I had to do was photograph pictures of one tasty dish after another and then blog about them. No pressure on her of course. She can take it. Her house is usually full of family and friends and her beautiful kitchen is always stocked and ready.
Barbara and Jim live in a stunning isolated house at the top of a mountain with breathtaking views of the valleys and mountains in the distance. The land has been in her family for many years and both her Sister and her family and her Mother live closeby. There is a strong sense of tradition and close community and family ties in this part of Virginia. The towns are small and the family histories run long. In my next post I will tell you about the community pig roast that has been a yearly event for 20 years. This was supposedly the last year for it. But the pig on this year’s T-shirt was winking. So long? Maybe not.
Before we headed out for the pig roast on the Little River, Barbara fixed us a light breakfast of sweet rolls and this refreshing fruit salad. And for those of you who think you don’t like curry, let me tell you that it adds a wonderful undertone and is an important ingredient in this exotic combination of fruits. It was a wonderful way to start the day.
2 mangos, peeled and sliced
2 papyas, peeled and sliced lengthwise
1 to 2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 cup green grapes
1/2 pineapple, diced
Lime wedges and 1 cup walnuts or pecans for garnish
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 Tbls lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup oil
1 Tbls honey
Combine pineapple, mango and papaya slices, orange sections and grapes and refrigerate. Combine pineapple and lemon juice, salt, curry powder and ginger. Blend thoroughtly. Stir in honey and oil. Mix well. Pour over fruit and mix gently. Garnish with lime wedges and nuts.

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