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Posts tagged ‘raspberries’

labeled muffins

If there are two fruits I look forward to all year it’s rhubarb and raspberries. While it’s true that you can get raspberries year-round, they’re at their freshest during the summer months. That’s when they’re sweetest and perfect for fruit salads, bars or cakes. The timing is perfect because it’s also when rhubarb is in season. It’s because these two fruits are available at the same time that I chose to make some muffins with them.

Now, I know that strawberries are usually the fruit chosen to go with rhubarb because their sweetness compliments the tartness from the rhubarb perfectly. But a few weeks ago I was at Melissa’s Produce meeting and learning from Deborah Madison. In her newest cookbook, In My Kitchen, Madison has a recipe for a Rhubarb-Raspebrry Compote. I know, raspberries. She said that while strawberries are the obvious choice, she liked the combination of raspberries and rhubarb because it’s not quite as sweet. I tasted that compote at Melissa’s and it was deeeee-licious! It was that compote that made me want to add raspberries to these basic rhubarb muffins, and as expected, the final product? Awesome!

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I’d been wanting to make these rhubarb muffins for a couple months now, but I had to wait for the rhubarb to come into season. Well, when the season got here, I unfortunately discovered that the vendor I get it from at the farmer’s market may not have any this year because of all the rain we got. As you might guess, I was very upset. How could I make these muffins if I couldn’t get rhubarb? Melissa’s came to my rescue. They had a ton! So, of course I grabbed a bunch, and since I know that Melissa’s will have rhubarb through September, I can make these muffins all summer long!

What makes these muffins a nice alternative to your standard blueberry is that they’re not as sweet. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a sweetness thanks to the cinnamon-sugar sprinkled-tops, but the diced rhubarb keeps that sweetness in check. It’s that spectrum of flavors that makes these muffins the perfect breakfast choice. They’re so good, you can eat them all by themselves, toasted with a little butter or as part of a bigger brunch spread. And if, after the first batch disappears, you find yourself craving another muffin or two, don’t worry; with raspberries and rhubarb being so readily available throughout the summer, you can easily make these pastries all season long.

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Rhubarb Raspberry Muffins (adapted from Fine Cooking)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups rhubarb, diced
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a muffin tin with baking cups.
  2. Sift together the flour, a half cup of sugar, baking powder, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the sour cream, melted butter, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Fold the sour cream mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Gently stir in the rhubarb and raspberries until mixed.
  4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups so the batter mounds slightly higher than the tops of the muffin cups.
  5. Mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle about a 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top of each muffin.
  6. Bake until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean, 20 – 25 minutes. Let the muffins cool on a rack in the pan for 5 – 10 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool another 5 – 10 minutes and serve.

labeled cake

I’ve talked about Melissa’s Produce and the wonderful produce they send me. It’s all sorts of fresh vegetables and fruits and it’s always delicious. But Melissa’s doesn’t just deal in fruits and veggies. They also have herbs, beans, kits and even nuts. I’ve been using their produce for years but it wasn’t until recently that I used a couple of their kits.

I started with their tamale kit and loved it. It made making tamales a cinch. All I had to do was add water, stir, spread the batter on the corn husks, steam and I had dinner. They were so good, I decided to try Melissa’s other non-produce products. I started with their crepes.

I’ve always loved crepes. Every so often my mom would make them for a special treat. They’re essentially very thin pancakes. But while they’re yummy, they’re not the easiest thing to make. You have to get the batter just right and then they have to spread it out on the pan so they’re thin enough to roll up over whatever filling you put inside, but not so thing that they split and tear as you roll them. It’s definitely a fine art. I’ve tried to make them several times and while my crepes will do, they’re not perfect. That’s why I was thrilled to find out that Melissa’s not only makes crepes, they sell them in packages of 10.

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Their crepes are delicious! They’re sweet enough for breakfast but not too sweet; and that means you could turn them into a savory dinner as well. But since I had 10 crepes, I chose to turn them into a crepe cake.

A crepe cake is a cake where the cake is made from crepes and the layers are made up of whipped cream or fudge or a thick, tart fruit curd. There are plenty of options when making a crepe cake, and since I had the crepes all made and ready to go, all I had to do was figure out what I was going to layer them with. I chose a raspberry whipped cream.

I know a raspberry whipped cream sounds complicated, but it couldn’t be easier. You whip the cream, then add some sugar and fresh raspberries. See? Simple. But what you end up with is a sweet, tart, pale pink, creamy, dreamy filling that pairs perfectly with the thin crepes.  And if you use fresh raspberries (of which there are plenty, right now) you have a super easy cake that’s not only beautiful, it’s a great summer dessert.

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Raspberry Crepe Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of Melissa’s crepes
  • 2 quarts of whipped cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 pints of raspberries

Directions:

  1. Beat the cream until stiff.
  2. Gradually add the sugar and the raspberries while you continue to beat the whipped cream. The cream should turn a pale pink as the berries are mixed in.
  3. Place one crepe on a plate. Spread 2 spoonfuls of raspberry cream on the crepe. Top with another crepe and repeat until you’ve used all the crepes.
  4. Decorate the top of the cake with several raspberries and serve.

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Two of my favorite fruits are figs and raspberries and lucky for me they’re both in season right now. They may be totally different fruits with completely different flavors, but both are equally delicious. The firm little red berries are sweet with a tart burst of flavor while the figs, no matter which variety you enjoy, are fleshy and range from super sweet to mild. Because these two fruits go so well together Food & Wine decided to use them both to make a cake and the result is pure summer joy.

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But better than the flavor of the cake, is how easy it is to make. See, it’s really just your basic cake recipe. But once you put these two wonderful fruits into it, that’s when it turns into something really special. Just spoon the batter into the cake pan, then press the raspberries and figs into the batter. Bake the cake and enjoy the deliciousness. Like I said, simple.

It’s so simple in fact, that this dessert is a nice treat for the family during the week, but is pretty enough to make for a special occasion. No matter what you choose to make it for, you won’t be disappointed. Make it soon, though because raspberries and figs won’t be around for long.

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Raspberry and Fig Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick butter
  • zest of 3 limes
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 4 figs (any variety), sliced into quarters
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
  2. Beat together the sugar and eggs until fluffy. Add the butter and 2/3 of the zest and continue beating until combined.
  3. Alternately beat in the flour and lime juice until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Add the raspberries and figs by gently pressing them into the batter. Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 45 – 55 minutes or until a toothpick, when pricked in the middle, comes out clean.
  4. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and release the springform pan. Dust the cake with the remaining zest and powdered sugar. Slice and serve.

labeled clafoutis

I love desserts. As you can see from this blog, if there’s one thing I love more than anything, it’s desserts. It doesn’t matter if it’s cookies, brownies, cakes or popsicles, if it’s sweet, I’m in. But more than desserts, I love simple desserts. Those are the ones that I know by heart and take less than an hour to make. (That includes cooking time). This clafoutis is one such dessert.

I made this clafoutis after I tasted it at Melissa’s a couple weeks ago. Amy Riolo came to visit and discuss her new book, The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook. While all the dishes made from the book were delicious, what I liked most about the cookbook was the science behind it.

salmon

See, the Mediterranean Diet is all about eating fresh, healthy food with family and friends while maintaining an active lifestyle. I’m all about that. I know, it may seem like I prefer rich, heavy foods, but most of the time I like to cook meals that use fresh ingredients and then eat them with my family. As a matter of fact we have a rule here at the Kitchy household: every night we sit down at 6 o’clock and eat dinner together. As a family. We enjoy our food while we talk about what we all did during the day. It’s nice. Not only do we get a delicious meal, but we get to unwind and reconnect with each other after a busy day of school or work.

quinioa fig salad

Hubs and I decided to do the 6 o’clock dinner thing because that’s what our families did when we were growing up, and their families did when they were growing up. As a matter of fact it’s what most families did all through the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. While families ate things made with butter, cream and what seem like less-than-healthy ingredients, they were much thinner and healthier than we are today. But that wasn’t the case just in this country. It was and still is the case in most of the countries along the Mediterranean sea. To me that says something. It says that all those processed boxed dinners may not be the best way to enjoy a meal at the end of the day. It says that cooking with fresh, delectable ingredients is a much better way to go.

cookbook

Now, I know that a dessert like the clafoutis may not seem like a healthy choice, but this dessert is made with some of the most basic ingredients. It’s actually what makes it part of the Mediterranean diet and the perfect choice for any time of year. All you need is a little cream, a couple eggs, some flour, a little sugar and your favorite fruit. Yes, it’s that easy and why, according to Riolo, French housewives having been “whip(ping) it up” for decades. I whipped it up in about 40 minutes. It was so yummy, I can’t wait to whip it up again.

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Raspberry Citrus Clafoutis

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F and butter an 8-inch baking dish (either a circle or square one will work).
  2. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Add the raspberries, turning to coat and set the dish aside.
  3. Beat the eggs and the remaining sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running, add the flour, cream, vanilla, orange zest, orange blossom water and salt until combined, another couple minutes.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish over the raspberries. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the top is golden and the custard is set. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.

I love magazines. As you know there have been plenty of recipes I’ve posted that have come from the torn-out pages of many a cooking magazine. While my far and away favorite is  Fine Cooking, I’m also a huge fan of Better Homes and Gardens and Sunset. But today’s recipe, didn’t come from any of those. Today’s dessert came from a magazine I don’t think I’ve ever even opened before. It came from All You. And it couldn’t have appeared at a better time.

See, I was looking for a dessert for the 4th of July. I wanted something that was simple and sweet, something that was easy to make and would be perfect to take to a picnic or barbecue. And while the design makes it the ideal choice for this Friday’s holiday, it will wow friends and family all summer long.

What makes this pizza the perfect summer dessert? It’s not only beautiful to look at, it’s super easy to make. From start to finish this cookie only took me about 1 hour to prepare. The hardest part was the star design, which in all honesty was not that hard at all. I also love that it’s so versatile. Sure, I used raspberries, blueberries and mascarpone, but you could easily substitute strawberries or cherries for the raspberries and cream cheese or goat cheese for the mascarpone. But whichever fruit or cheese you choose, the end result will surely make you the hit of the party.

Patriotic Cookie Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 2 rolls Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough
  • 1 (8 oz.) container mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 12″ pizza pan, set aside.
  2. Slice the cookie dough into 1/4″ slices and place around the pan in a spiral. Using floured fingers, press evenly around the pan to seal the dough together forming one giant sugar cookie crust. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely, at least 20 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the mascarpone and powdered sugar until smooth. Spread over the baked cookie crust.
  4. Arrange the raspberries in the shape of a star in the center of the cookie. Arrange the blueberries in the remaining space around the raspberries.
  5. Heat the marmalade in a small pan over low heat until melted. Brush the melted marmalade over the berries. Slice and serve immediately.