March 14th, 2013 § § permalink
There’s a great lesson about patience that I’ve been holding onto since I took this photo many moons ago. It began with happenstance – or rather, luck – a happy family of meyer lemons from a friend. So naturally, I abused my supply of Meyer lemons in a quest for something unsuccessful.
A better cook would have done better, but I cut into my pie before it was ready and all I got was a sour mess of a soup. The soupy lemon custard was a mess so I threw it all out for compost. I had a good laugh about it later when my boyfriend told me he gave the homeless man outside a try of the pie – he evidently liked it. Anyways, I hope you are having a delicious pie day.
January 16th, 2013 § § permalink
Agar agar – I’ve been thinking about this seaweed condiment as it might be the key to some of my favorite desserts. Agar agar is made from red seaweed and comes in dry powder or hard flakes. I bought the latter and it has made all the difference.
You see, I’ve been trying to make panna cotta for myself and that involves a gelling agent of some sort. I’ve been too much of a pussy to try it out before now, so I found myself walking home with a bag of agar agar flakes and some Italian intentions. Had I been smarter, I would have done proper research (google.) I did not. I made mistakes and ate them all.
I was mostly happy with my final results. It was just as delicate as I wanted, but that meant not always having perfectly molded panna cotta. I’m ok with that. I think the texture is better, and in the end, you have to go with taste and not appearance. My boyfriend was able to unmold the panna cotta perfectly but I butchered them and then had to use hot water which promptly melted the poor things. Don’t get mad because I got mad skills – he said. You can always slowly increase the amount of agar agar for a more solid panna cotta, but I cringed when my spoon met resistance. I definitely want to try and make some savory panna cotta this coming spring.
This dish has a nice,creamy tartness from the buttermilk and a delicate citrus sweetness from kumquats that I love. The anise is very mild and hardly will be noticed from anise-haters. I fed it to multiple anise-haters and they all loved it.
Anise Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Candied Kumquats
1/4 c water
2 ts agar agar flakes
4 star anise
1 vanilla bean, deseeded
½ c sugar
1 c cream
2 c buttermilk
+ Spray 6 ¾c ramekins with nonstick spray or coat it with a mild oil.
+ Allow agar to soak in water for at least five minutes. Add anise, sugar, vanilla, and cream to the water and bring it to a slow boil. You need to see bubbles. Continue stirring or the flakes will stick to the bottom and corners of the pot. Agar flakes takes about ten minutes to dissolve. Use a fine mesh strainer to remove solids that might have clumped up. You might see some agar flakes still, but it should be ok.
+Mix the strained cream with buttermilk and distribute evenly into your ramekins. Allow to cool in the fridge for 4-6 hours. You can remove the panna cotta for a classic presentation by running a sharp, thin knife around the edges. It can also be served in its container.
+ Serve with a generous spoonful of candied kumquat and its preserving syrup.
January 14th, 2013 § § permalink
Sometimes, a falling leaf is like a butterfly. On its way to its respectable death it dances and twirls, peaking into and out of the setting sun. I saw this very thing on a winter walk.
The image was so haunting, I still dream about those deadly butterflies. In my dream, I was walking into a forest full of those fluttering wings – beautiful moths and butterflies moving unnaturally slow. The trees were made of them and I could see them clustering and fluttering like butterflies do. When I came upon the butterfly laden trees, I could see them attempting to escape. They struggled but could not move. A giant spider crawled up to them and began weaving its fatal trap. All the butterflies were slowly succumbing to their doom. I woke up.
Last autumn, I went with my boyfriend to watch him film monarchs. They are quite splendid creatures and they cluster like heavy fruit on trees, if fruit could quiver. In the coolness of the last moment of sunlight you can see them moving their wings in order to warm up. A foreign tourist was going about collecting the dead butterflies and hiding them in his plastic tupperware.
My dreams seems so unfamiliar to me now but I can trace a lot of their imagery from my recent past. I wake up in sweat and confusion. I wished they felt less consequential.
For the past three years, I’ve made floral arrangements for my boyfriend’s mother on New Years Day. It’s a treat for me, and I enjoy it immensely. I love flowers and plants and I surround myself with them so infrequently. This year I made a series of small arrangements out of fresh kumquat stems and purple artichokes. I collected the kumquats after the arrangements were in need of refreshing for another event. I couldn’t bear throwing them out so I candied them and sealed them in my new Weck jars.
Preserving & Candying Kumquats
Adapted from Tart and Sweet
3 lb of kumquats (halved*, deseeded)
1 vanilla bean
2 c sugar
2 c water
+ Sanitize your glass vessels of choice by boiling them in hot water for 10 minutes. You should be able to make 5 half-pints with 3 pounds of fruit. Place 1 star anise and 1 cinnamon stick into each jar.
+ Boiling kumquats helps to remove the bitterness of the inner flesh. In a small pot, placed your 3 pounds of halved kumquats and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and then drain the fruit of the bitter water. You need to repeat this two more times to properly remove the bitterness and soften the fruit. Divide your fruit into the five jars.
+ Meanwhile, prepare your simple syrup. Scrape the beans from the vanilla pod and boil it with the water and sugar for two minutes to dissolve the sugar.
+ Pour the syrup into your jars, leaving 1/4” headspace. Seal and process* for at least 10 minutes.
+ Serve on ice cream, creamed oats, or just eat from the jar with a large spoon.
+ I was tempted to make beautiful coins of candied kumquats but they all fall apart after boiling for three times. All of the delicate rounds fell apart. I recommend keeping your kumquats halved.
November 21st, 2012 § § permalink
If there’s one thing missing in my life, it would have to be pecan trees. I remember when I would pick them around this time of year in Tennessee – bags and bags of fallen nuts, free to pick and eat. I’d eat one pecan for every two shelled. It was the good (and nutty) life.
Pecans are much more expensive than most other nuts in the Bay Area, so I tend to buy walnuts, but they lack that maple-like flavor that pecans naturally possess. Pecans are also easier to shell. I’ve purchased a bag of fresh walnuts and a bag of fresh chestnuts, and I’ve already punctured myself once trying to obtain chestnuts. Self-injury is no way to start a recipe. I’m waiting for a slower day to attack the walnuts but they look so monstrous compared to the thin-shelled pecans.
Pecan vs. sweet potato pie is another Thanksgiving dilemma I am always trying to resolve, which brings me to this leafy tart. It’s inspired by a pistachio frangipane tart I saw in Brooklyn’s One Girl Cookies recipe book. I knew I had to try making it with sweet potatoes and pecans – two pies in one! I’m a sucker for beautiful presentatiosn so I wanted to make something reminiscent of fall with bright orange leaves laying on earthy frangipane. It would be like eating an edible forest floor that was covered in magic dessert fairy syrup.
This is my first time making the dish, so it was not perfect. I didn’t poach the sweet potatoes enough – they were still rather hard and chewy. This is a fairly simple fix so I’m pretty stoked about making this centerpiece for Thanksgiving.
1 1/2 c flour
1 TB sugar
1/2 ts salt
8 TB very cold butter, cubed
3 TB iced water
1 egg yolk
1/2 c shelled pecans
1/4 c sugar
zest of 1 orange
Poached Sweet Potatoes
Juice & rind of 1 orange
1/2 ts cardamom
1/2 ts cinnamon
pinch of allspice
pinch of nutmeg
1 c sugar
2 c water
+ Prepare the crust by pulsing flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add butter cubes and pulse until coarse crumbles are the size of peas. Whisk together ice water and egg yolk in a separate bowl. Add to food processor and pulse until dough holds its shape. Place dough onto a floured surface and work it into a 5″ disk. Wrap tightly with saran and place into the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
+ Next, prepare the poaching liquid. Bring orange rind, juice, spices, and 2 cups of water to a boil then turn off. Slice sweet potatoes as thinly as possible. Mine were about 1/16″. I did not use the mandolin because the potato was too large and I had chosen them for the width of my leaf cookie cutter. Use a metal cookie cutter, cut leaf shapes out of the thin slices of sweet potatoes. Sometimes, this is easier if you turn the sharp edge up, and place the potato onto the edge. Roll your pastry roller over the cookie cutter like you would to cut a tart pastry shell.
+ Bring your syrup back to a boil and poach the leaves for at least 4/5 minutes depending on the thickness of your leaves. I only poached mine for two minutes but it was not enough. Allow the potatoes to sit in syrup while you make the frangipane paste.
+ Turn on your oven to 350F
+ Prepare the frangipane in your food processor by pulsing pecans and sugar for about 1 minute. Add orange zest and butter, pulsing until well combined. Add egg and pulse until mixture is well combined. If you like your nuts coarse, this could be finished by hand in a small bowl.
+ Drain leaves* from syrup and arrange them in a circular fashion on top of the tart. Place 3 pecan halves in the center of the tart.
+ Drizzle two tablespoons over the sweet potatoes and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Rotate the tart and cover with foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
* The leaves should be very soft at this point… they will dry out with baking so do not hesitate to cook them a bit more. I’ve served this to a few people who did not think the leaves were undercooked, but you want to bake these with soft leaves that can stand a bit of drying out.
October 17th, 2012 § § permalink
Rare fruits create their own occasion, the kind that warrants a splurge at Sur la Table following days of thought experiments, a whirlwind of mixing, rolling, and the attendant short lived joy of tart consumption. I’ve spent the past month in such delights but hardly had the time to commit such felicity to an audience… until I bit into my first kiwi berry. They are quite expensive – at three dollars for half a pint they rival the costliest of berries but are worth each penny. That’s why I sent my boyfriend back to the store to fetch me three containers of the fruit the very next day. Did I mention they look like miniature kiwis and taste like flowers?
Kiwi berries are actually not the same specie as the larger, more familiar fruit, but their flavor dwarfs their larger cousin. The berries typically grow in siberian climates but have a tropical overtone. It’s stunningly floral.
I’m so in love with these, I’ve considered buying my own vines. You need both a male and female vine to fruit and they cost about $20 each…
Thinking about the shape of things keeps my mind occupied. This habit is especially true when I am in the kitchen.
That’s why I purchased a rectangular tart pan. The architect in me likes its geometry, an elongated rectangle, like a prairie house sitting in the desert or nestling in the slopes of gentle, grassy hills. I have a thing for long and thin.
While I am not oft to think of my food forms as architectural elements, I do like to vary them because it makes serving the same types of dish more amusing: round tarts are usually cut into wedges and rectangular ones into smaller rectangles. Perhaps the difference is negigible, but pastries live such short lives.
Pate Sablee recipe adapted from Tartine
This is a more traditional crust for sweet tarts and are crumbly in texture, unlike the usual flakey crust.
1c. unsalted butter @room temperature
1/4 ts salt
2 large eggs @room temperature
3 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 Rosewater Custard Recipe (use only 1 ts. of rosewater!!!)
1 c. of kiwi berries, halved
+ In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, and salt until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until smooth. Add flour and mix until well-combined, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed.
+ Divide dough into four equal portions. Flatten each dough ball into a disk and allow to chill for at least two hours.
+ Remove one dough portion from the fridge, and on a floured surface, roll dough out into 1/8” thickness. Transfer the dough into the tart pan and press the dough onto the sides. Cut the excess dough with your rolling pin. Cover your tart pan and refrigerate until firm.
+ Preheat the oven to 325 °F.
+ Line your tart dough with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights – such as beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the shell(s) from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing pie weights.
+ Fill each shell about halfway with custard and bake until set. I place my kiwis into the custard about halfway through to get them to sit fully in the custard but in hindsight this was unnecessary – doing so made the kiwis soft.
+ Remove the custard from the oven and allow to cool. Top the tart with kiwi berries or other fruits.
+ If you want a glaze on raw kiwis, heat a few table spoons of apricot jam and brush it onto the berries.
September 19th, 2012 § § permalink
I haven’t found a single soul who objects to eating these classic snickerdoodle cookies – sweet, chewy, buttery, and full of cinnamon goodness, they disappear so quickly you’ll be glad you made 5 dozens.
After many complex baking recipes, this classic cookie is a refreshing change of pace. The hunt for the perfect snickerdoodle is still on, but I really like the taste of this particular recipe. If you look closely, you will notice that they did not have those characteristic cracks… not that their lack of cracks has led to disappointed cookie eaters, but I really like the science of particulars and the science of snickerdoodles include cracks. I believe it’s because I forgot to flatten them out from their ball shapes into disks. ..
After a discussion with the roommates, I was told that I should try the Betty Crocker recipe so that’s next on my test list (I’ll try anything once). I’ve had 3 out of 12 roommates tell me these are their favorite childhood cookies which makes my warehouse the perfect testing ground for snickerdoodle experiments. They ate 2.5 dozens in one evening so I need to get to making more ASAP.
Snickerdoodles, Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking
2 3/4 c. flour
1/2 ts. salt
2 ts. baking soda
1 c. butter @room temperature
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 ts. vanilla
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
1/3 c. sugar
2 ts. ground cinnamon
+ Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
+ Using a hand mixer, beat butter in a bowl until softly whipped. Add sugar to the butter and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, and whisk. Add vanilla extract, scraping down the sides, and mix until well combined. Add flour mixture to the butter and beat until the dough is smooth. Cover the bowl and allow to cool completely for about 2 hours.
+ Preheat oven to 400 °F .
+ Using a melon baller or small spoon, scrape out dough and roll into 1″ round balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar and place on cookie sheet about 2″ apart. Flatten dough balls with the bottom of a glass bowl or drinking glass.
+ Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to cookie sheets. They should be very soft. Serve with tea or milk.
+ Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.
September 4th, 2012 § § permalink
There was a time in my life when I was making shortbread cookies once a week. This created a constant shortage of butter and flour in my very petite pantry so we started buying them by the bucket. I sensed our arteries dangerously inflating with each bite but I didn’t care because my bellicose roommates behaved wondrously when fed shortbreads. Eventually I had to quit my perfunctory compulsion for fear of heart failure until I saw this delightful recipe for shortbread sandwiches in Tracey Zabar’s One Sweet Cookie. But Tracey, why have round cookies when you can have daisies?
A large plate of these lemon curd filled poppy seed linzer daisies made everyone smile. They thought the daisies were “cute”. They were. I got a little overexcited and paired them with parsley for some cheesy photos, but that’s really a bit kitsch in retrospect.
These cookies are perfectly textured… the lemon curd is a vibrant layer sandwiched between thin buttery goodness. Their decadence is worth every minute of work.
I gave half a dozen daisies away for a birthday gift and they were very well received. I’m not one to calorie count but I would guess that these are the most dangerous cookies to consume in high numbers. Death by daisies? I am not sure I am ready for that flowery departure, but these made my heart jump a bit after half a dozen. Trust me, these are made for sharing.
Lemon and Poppy Seed Linzer Daisies
Recipe Adapted from Tracey Zabar’s One Sweet Cookie
1 1/2 stick of sweet cream butter (6 oz.) @room temperature
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 powdered sugar (+ more for dusting)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups of flour
1/4 ts. salt
2 TB poppy seeds
+ Using a hand mixer, cream together butter, sugars, and vanilla until mixture becomes fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix on low until well incorporated. Add poppy seeds and mix for 1 more minute on low.
+ Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll to 1/4″ thickness. Remove top piece of parchment and cut cookie shapes into the soft dough using daisy cutters, scoring holes into half of the cookies for the sandwich tops. Do not remove them from the dough. Place the top parchment paper on top of the dough sheet and freeze for 1 hour. You can prepare this one day ahead.
1 large egg
6 large egg yolks
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. lemon juice (~4 lemons)
zest from two lemons
pinch of salt
1 stick (4 oz) of softened butter
+ Heat a saucepan of hot water to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
+ Prepare a large bowl of ice water. In a metal bowl, whisk all but the butter together and place it on top of the saucepan with simmering water, being sure to not allow the bowl to touch the water. Continue to whisk the mixture until it reaches a temperature of 170°F. Remove the bowl from heat and mix in the soft butter. Strain the curd through a mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Place this bowl into the ice bath and allow to cool completely.
Bake Cookies and Assemble:
+ Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
+ Remove cookies from the freezer – they should now easily ‘pop’ out of the sheet. I usually let the remaining cookie dough come to room temperature and re-roll/re-cut to make more cookies. Bake cookies for about 8 minutes and allow to cool on wire racks.
+ Dust the daisy tops (the ones with holes in the center) with powdered sugar.
+ Pipe 1/2 ts. of curd onto the bottoms of the sandwiches and gently top with sugar dusted daisy tops.
August 27th, 2012 § § permalink
Shall I invoke yet another ode to the humble peach – that fuzzy southern institution that heralds the serum of interminable summer heat; a metaphor for scrumptious, petite things; a term of endearment for lecherous love…
There was only one peach tree in my youth and we did vile things to its graceful limbs – we trimmed, chopped, and tended them until the extremities of bulbous growths sprouted obscene spindles, unable to hold their heavy, luscious burdens. In retrospect, this did not seem judicious for when the peaches came in a sudden gluttonous orgy, there followed a cascade of fallen fruit that painted the ground in its orange hues of sugary overload. I recall with clarity traversing the yard towards our miniature orchard amidst a reverse-rain of departing birds, a sudden interruption to foul-filled picnics, a veritable feather and fruit haven. The birds and I feasted but their appetites never waned, while I gradually grew tired of the orange stone fruit in all of its weary transmutations. Perhaps if that tree was not as generous in its fruiting, I might be constantly pining for orange stone fruits.
These days an acquired polite indifference yields to bargain bins and dollar bags filled with thrifty fruity odors that confer a longer life to peaches in the forms of preserves and jams, a celebration of summer’s fecundity that fits tidily into tiny jars. I made a ginger peach butter for the thrill of it – a cheap memento of a bargain shopper’s Sunday forage and ravenous hoarding. I really like this butter. The subtle ginger peach combination is growing on my palate like a second skin, akin to San Francisco scarves in cool, foggy summers. Wrapped in these chilly sea mists, it’s no wonder that I yearn for the comforts of warm fruity delights. That, and the coziness of a cup of tea.
The ginger peach butter has proved itself versatile. I dilute it with hot water to dress French toasts. I eat it on cheeses. I’m giving some of it away for gifts. I’m also enlisting it in my quest for more hand pies. It’s a slow journey, but I’ve already made this and this with delicious consequences.
This pie has a more cake-like texture than others, reminiscent of Fig Newtons, or rather what Fig Newtons aspire to be: declared the boyfriend. I found these hand pies delightfully straddling cake and pie territory… comfortable in their non-declaration of genre, while playfully enticing in their righteous Lilliputian style. Moreover, the dough is made using a hand mixer. Strange, right? This recipe yields a fortuitous abundance – an easy, casual gift with many more to spare.
Sweet Hand Cake-Pie Dough
Dough Recipe Adapted from Martha Stewart Pies and Tarts
3 c. pastry flour or all purpose flour
1/4 ts. baking soda
1 ts. baking powder
1/2 ts. salt
2 ts. lemon zest, finely grated
1/2 sweet cream butter, @room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 large egg
3 oz cream cheese, @room temperature
2 TB buttermilk
1 ts. vanilla extract
Fillings for Peach Hand Pies: Martha’s recipe was for an apple butter filling, so I adapted it for a summer treat with my ginger peach butter.
1/2 c. Ginger Peach Butter*
1 Peach, finely diced
dusting: 1/4 c. granulated sugar & 1/8 ts. ginger powder. Mix well.
+ Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, zest.
+ In separate bowl, use a hand mixer to beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and mix, followed by cream cheese, milk and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
+ Form dough into a ball and flatten into a disk 1″ thick disk. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or until firm to the touch. This can be kept frozen up to 1 month.
+ Once dough is chilled, roll dough out to a thickness of 1/8 “. Cut out 2″ *** rounds and refrigerate until firm (1 hour).
+ Have a glass of ice water and a pastry brush. Fill half the rounds with a small bit of peach butter and diced peaches, leaving a half inch radius around the edges to press the dough together. Brush the edges with ice water and press the two firmly together. Brush the pie tops with ice water and sprinkle a bit of ginger sugar on top.
+ Refrigerate the pies for 1 hour or until the dough feels firm again.
+ Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake until golden. Mine took 20 minutes. The bottoms tend to cook really fast so I placed them on the oven’s top shelf.
* I think you could potentially replace this with a puree of peach, ginger, and sugar that’s slow cooked to a thick gravy-like consistency.
*** I find that the pieces fit better if you shape and stretch the top into a small cap. Or, just cut the tops a bit bigger. Also, you could make regularly sized 4″ hand pies, which would be faster.
August 20th, 2012 § § permalink
There’s hardly a more rewarding form of exercise than kneading dough in the dark of evening, for all that hard work is the prelude to a morning of fresh bread. After the first three minutes, my arms begin to tire but that’s when the shaping becomes rhythmic meditation: thoughts saturated with the scent of fermenting yeast and binding strands of elastic gluten. My short stature makes kneading much more difficult as I have to stand on my tippy toes. I use a timer so there’s no cheating – adding a few extra minutes to ensure that the dough gets worked extra hard. It is much easier to use a bread machine, but where’s the fun in that? Hand kneading is an imperfect art, like Wabi-Sabi.
Undertaking bread baking was the first step to absorbing the vast quantities of preserves I’ve accumulated, a residue of the season’s work – not to mention clearing out last year’s preserves to make room for new ones. The ratio of bread to preserves requires a lot of carb consumption. I can’t complain…
Then, there’s the dogged pursuit of artisanal bread on mornings when you wake up feeling famished from a night of heavy dreaming, the kind of soul-seeping hunger that devours a silo’s worth of grain if only that silo was bedside. It is the promise of bread that coaxes my sleep-heavy body out of bed towards the expectant loaf that ballooned in volume while I slept: I heat the oven and bake the bread as I shower, and by the time I’m dressed there’s a hot loaf coming from the oven, warming the kitchen with its comforting aromas of whole grain goodness. The first few slices are always euphoric, but for days I take intermittent pleasures in private Eleusinian celebrations, feasts of bread and butter accompanied by fresh berries and creature cups.
Suggested Literary Accompaniment: Six Thousand Years of Bread by H.E. Jacob. I’ve been slowly savoring this volume, and it’s nothing short of amazing. Then again, I’m a book fiend when it comes to culinary history.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking
Beer adds a light sweetness and a beautiful brewery aroma to this loaf. It’s a sandwich bread but I like the flavor so much i’ve been eating it with my latest fruit butter.
3/4 c. amber ale/mild beer
1/4 c. orange juice
3 TB honey
4 TB butter, cut into small chunks
1 3/4 c. whole wheat bread flour
1/2 c. rolled oats
1 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/4 ts. salt
2 1/4 ts. instant yeast*
+Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for at least 10-12 minutes or until dough feels smooth, elastic, and holds its shape. This is a sticky dough, so if you don’t like to knead by hand, by all means, use a bread machine.
+ Placed kneaded dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in size (typically 2.5 hours). Gently, squeeze dough and deflate with oiled hands… there’s no punching needed. Shape dough into a bread pan and cover until doubled in size (another 2.5 hours).
+ Bake bread in a 350 °F oven until internal temperature reaches 190°F (about 30 -35 minutes, tent your bread halfway through to prevent overcooking the top).
*If you have active dry yeast, it must be proofed prior to mixing. Just heat up the OJ and honey until it’s warm to the touch (110-115 °F ) and pour the yeast into the liquid while you measure and mix together the dry ingredients. The yeast should start to bubble after 5 minutes. If it is not visibly bubbly, dump the liquids and use different yeast – old yeast will not proof and therefore should not be used.
Recipe for Ginger Peach Butter: http://bklynfoodie.com/?p=3120
I didn’t think this recipe was solid enough for a butter, but the flavor is beautiful. The boyfriend approves. I plan on making it into teeny bite-size hand pies with some fresh peaches.
August 11th, 2012 § § permalink
Everything turns violently ensanguined when you add beets to them, but in the midst of their bloody bliss is the promise of chilled summer borscht, red velvet cakes, or roseate risottos. And then there’s beet pancakes…
I fell for these crimson colored pancakes in Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain… though the trouble in cooking pancakes has to do with self-control, a virtue I am constantly in want of. I eat them as soon as each one is done so I never get a lovely stack to share. The brilliant solution was to get someone else to cook them (aka, the boyfriend). I roasted some beets the previous night while baking focaccia and pureed them in advance so they could be quickly prepared for breakfast.
This recipe made so many pancakes we had to find a 4th person to finish the whole stack. This is probably because they are made with quinoa and whole wheat flours. Is it just me or do they triple in size upon consumption? The mascarpone adds a creamy honeyed texture that elevates this pancake to a extraordinary brunch. Also, fresh berries are a must. I’m already glum thinking about these dwindling days of summer.
Recipe Modified from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain
1/2 c. quinoa flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. all purpose flour
3 TB brown sugar
1 TB baking powder
3/4 ts. salt
1/2 c. cooked and pureed beets (roast covered in a 400 °F for about 1 hour, puree in food processor until smooth)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 c. plain yogurt
3 TB unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Fresh berries (I heat mine in a small sauce pan with some sugar to help them release their juices)
+ Sift together dry ingredients.
+ In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Gently fold wet into dry mix with a rubber spatula.
+ Cook pancakes 1/4 c. at a time.
* This batter should be used the day it is made though Kim suggests thinning it out with 1 TB of milk at a time if storing overnight.