Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

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Cinnamon Apple and Blueberry Baked French Toast

February 5, 2018

I love baked french toast. You can prepare it the night before or the morning you want it. This one comes out especially fluffy and light, and the fruit is delicious.

You will need:

  • 1 loaf challah, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 large tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 c fresh blueberries
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 c milk
  • 1/2 c whipping cream
  • 1 c brown sugar, divided
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 c butter, cut into pieces

Then you will…

  1. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread, apple and blueberries.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, half cup of the brown sugar, vanilla, and 1 ½ t of the cinnamon.
  4. Pour over bread and stir to coat. Let rest for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed, stirring periodically.
  5. Spread the mixture in the prepared dish. If prepping the night before, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes.
  8. In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar with the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon, the flour and the nutmeg.
  9. Cut in the butter until crumbs form.
  10. Sprinkle the crumb topping on the French toast.
  11. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the topping is melty and golden.

20171225 Baked French Toast 02

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Pecan Lemon Bars

January 19, 2018

With baby #2 on the way, I find watching cooking shows problematic: I see something and suddenly that’s what I want to eat. The other night they were baking lemon bars, so here you go. These are extra special with pecans in the cookie base; if you don’t want the nuts, you can always substitute more flour.

20180119 Lemon Bars 01

You will need:

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
  • 3/4 c ground pecans
  • 2 c flour, divided
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 c lemon juice
  • 1/2 t baking powder

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with foil and lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the butter with the pecans, 1 1/2 cups of the flour, and the brown sugar until well mixed and crumbly. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can always do this step by hand).
  3. Spread the pecan cookie base into the prepared pan. Press with your fingers to even it out on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake 18-20 minutes or until starting to turn golden brown.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs with the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until light and well mixed.
  7. Whisk in the baking powder and remaining 1/2 cup of flour.
  8. Pour the lemon mixture on top of the cookie base.
  9. Bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the top is starting to turn golden and the filling looks set.
  10. Allow to cool before slicing. You are welcome to dust with powdered sugar if you’d like!
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Fruitcake Inspired Shortbread Cookies

December 23, 2017

My mom enjoys fruitcake, although most of the family does not. I decided to try making a fruitcake inspired cookie in her honor for the winter holiday. This was the result. These would also be delicious with a little lemon glaze (powdered sugar + lemon juice + milk).

You will need:

  • 1 c dried fruits (such as cranberries, cherries, apricots etc.), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c bourbon
  • 1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c powdered sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 c flour

Then you will…

  1. In a small bowl, combine the dried fruits and bourbon. Allow to macerate for 3 hours, before draining.
  2. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and salt until light and fluffy.
  4. Gradually mix in the flour.
  5. Stir in the macerated dried fruits.
  6. Roll the dough out until it is 1/2-inch thick. Cut however you want!
  7. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until starting to turn golden at the edges.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

20171221 Fruitcake

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Lemon Meringue Pie

November 9, 2017

20171027 Lemon Pie 05Lemon meringue is one of my mom’s most favorite types of pie. I was missing her the other afternoon, and we had friends coming over for dinner. One thing led to another and soon we had a lemon meringue pie for everyone!

You will need:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 5 large eggs, split into yolks and whites
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c cornstarch
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 1/4 c water
  • 1/4 c whole milk
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 c fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
  • 1/2 t cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 3/4 c powdered sugar

20171027 Lemon Pie 04

Then you will…

  1. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pie dough, trimming the edge if needed.
  2. Lightly prick pie dough all over with a fork, then chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Line the pie crust with aluminum foil and fill with raw rice.
  5. Bake until the sides are set and edge is just turning a pale golden color, about 20 minutes.
  6. Carefully remove the foil and rice; return pie crust to the oven and back until the pie crust is golden, another 10-20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks in a small mixing bowl.
  8. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  9. Gradually add the water and milk, whisking until smooth.
  10. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently as the mixture begins to thicken.
  11. Remove from heat.
  12. Gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the yolks to temper the yolks.
  13. Then whisk the yolk mixture back into the saucepan.
  14. Whisk in the lemon zest and lemon juice and simmer, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes.
  15. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until incorporated.
  16. Cover the surface with wax paper to keep warm and prevent a film from forming.
  17. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
  18. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, a pinch of salt, and the vanilla until they hold soft peaks.
  19. Keep beating and add the powdered sugar gradually, until the meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks.
  20. Pour the lemon curd filling into the prepared pie crust.
  21. Spread the meringue on top of the lemon curd filling, covering completely.
  22. Bake until the meringue is golden, about 15 minutes.
  23. Cool completely on a wire rack for at least 2-3 hours before serving.

20171027 Lemon Pie 01

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Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

November 4, 2017

What flavors come to mind when you think of fall? How about pumpkin and cranberries? Then think about putting both of those yummy ingredients into a bread that can be served toasted with a little pat of butter. Mmmm.

You will need:

  • 2 c flour
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c apple cider (or orange juice or water)
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 c cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c pecans, roughly chopped (optional)

20171031 Pumpkin Cranberry Bread 03

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a regular loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with the brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and salt. Stir till well mixed.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, apple cider, oil, vanilla, and egg whites.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, just until mixed.
  5. Gently stir in the cranberries and the pecans (if using).
  6. Spread in the loaf pan.
  7. Bake for 55 to 70 minutes, or until golden and a tester in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove from the pan, and allow the bread to finish cooling on a wire rack.
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Fresh Apple Crisp

October 26, 2017

20170918 Apple Crisp 03

Isn’t fall fabulous? The leaves change to beautiful colors; the temperature drops; and you can do all sorts of fun activities like apple picking! We took R to his first orchard recently. He loved picking apples, although the goats on the farm were still a little daunting.

You will need:

  • 8 tart apples
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 3/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 8 T unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Set out a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Spread the apples in the baking dish.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine together the flour with the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg
  5. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is coarse and crumbly.
  6. Sprinkle the flour mixture on top of the apples.
  7. Bake until golden, tender and bubbling, about 50-60 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving. It’s particularly yummy with a little vanilla ice cream or fresh cream on top.
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Banana Pancakes

October 13, 2017

20170917 Banana PancakesR really loves pancakes and bananas, so we made some banana pancakes the other weekend as a treat. They also freeze well after you cool them, so that you can defrost in the microwave for a quick toddler breakfast before school or work.

You will need:

  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1 c milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • Dash of ground nutmeg
  • 3 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 c flour

Then you will…

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the banana with the milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and melted butter.
  2. Whisk in the sugar, baking powder and pinch of salt.
  3. Gently stir in the flour, just until mixed.
  4. Warm a nonstick pan over medium heat. Lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Drop the batter onto the pan to get your desired size. They will puff up, so be sure to leave space between the pancakes. We made silver dollar pancakes with about 2-3 tablespoons per pancake.
  6. Cook until the edges look like they are starting to set and there are small holes on the top, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Flip and allow to finish cooking through until golden brown, about another 2 minutes.
  8. You will likely need to cook in batches, so you can always preheat your oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and keep the pancakes warm on a cookie sheet until you are done.
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