Peach Cobbler

Hello everyone! This is the first time in a few weeks I’ve really felt like writing anything. I’ve been in a bit of a rut here in Paris, but I am pushing myself out of it. It’s been a tough ride and I’m still figuring a lot of things out (like the entire French language), but I’ve decided to take a different approach and things are already looking better. I haven’t given myself enough time to absorb the greatness of the new city I live in. That changes now.

About two weeks ago I snagged the last of what I thought might be nice white peaches. I got lucky; they were. Produce can be tricky around here. They sat on the counter for a few days before I finally decided to do something with them. I wanted to make dessert for two, so I decided on a quick cobbler! Oh, how I miss the Southern United States and it’s delicacies. This took me back. 

You’re really free to use any fruit for this. Just take into account the amount of liquid it’s going to produce when it’s baked. A juicy peach will produce enough liquid to make a crust soggy, so to avoid that I tossed about ½ a teaspoon of flour into the diced fruit. 


What You Need (for 2 mini cobblers):

75g butter (about ¾ stick)
100g flour
1/2t baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tbsp cream
3 peaches, medium diced or 2 cups of any fruit

1) Butter 2 small ramekins. Combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Mix peaches in a separate bowl with 1 tablespoon of flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and a pinch of salt.

2) Blend butter into flour using your fingers or a fork. Don’t melt it! 

3) When butter is broken down almost completely, stir in the yolk and the cream. Just bring together, do not overmix. Chill for at least 10 minutes. 

4) Since I used mini ramekins, I quickly shaped my dough into a disk shape and put it over the top of my peaches inside of the ramekin. You could also take a spoon and just drop spoonfuls over the peaches in a baking pan. 

Bake on 350 degrees until golden brown. 

*If you wish to make a regular sized cobbler in a square baking dish, multiply this recipe by 3. 

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Sweet Potato Hummus

Holy crap, it’s been too long since I’ve written a blog post… But! I have an excuse. I just moved to Paris last month! It’s beautiful here. I’m getting more adjusted (and learning more French) each day. I can’t believe I live here.

So, as far as what I cook in France, I’ve had to keep it very simple. My kitchen is very simple – I don’t have a mixer, or a big oven yet. But that’s ok! I used my little food processor and made Sweet Potato Hummus. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds.

This recipe was originally written for All She Cooks (http://allshecooks.com

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I roasted my sweet potato with rosemary, paprika, olive oil & sea salt. 

Sweet Potato Hummus 

Makes enough to snack on for a week, and share with friends.

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You’ll need:
400g chickpeas, soaked overnight or canned
400g sweet potato, roasted until tender
1 garlic clove
½ cup olive oil
Salt

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This recipe is extremely easy and rewarding. Just combine all your ingredients except the olive oil in your food processor. Let it run until it’s as smooth as it will get before the help of he olive oil comes in. When it’s processed, slowly drizzle in your olive oil to a consistency of your choice. I like my hummus very smooth and creamy. Some like it chunky. Add a splash of lemon juice if you like. I also added 1/4tsp of turmeric! 

Spread it on bread or pita. Add it to a sandwich. Dip cucumbers or peppers in it. Bon appétit!

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Pancetta & Parmesan Scones

Pancetta & Parmesan Scones
By: Stacie Merriman
www.FeedYourKnead.com

When I think of scones, sweet dense biscuits with sugary glaze dripping down the sides come to mind. But scones can also be savory. This recipe uses pancetta, which is an Italian bacon, and parmesan cheese. Since both of these ingredients are salty on their own, I did not add any additional salt to the dough. These are perfect with eggs and fresh fruit, and are best served warm. Enjoy!

Makes 8

2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (cold)
1 egg (room temp)
1 cup shredded parmesan (use the good stuff, not the crap in the green jar)
4 thick slices of pancetta – about 4 oz. (diced and cooked in skillet)
4 green onions (whites and a little bit of the green)
½-¾ cup buttermilk
egg wash (1 egg beaten lightly with a little water)
Preheat convection oven to 375° (350° if not convection). Line baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray.

Dice pancetta and cook in a small skillet. Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a few paper towels to soak up any excess fat.

In large bowl combine flour, baking powder, pepper and Italian seasoning. Cut in COLD butter with a pastry blender. If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use 2 butter knives to work the butter into the flour. Don’t mix too much, you want to see little chunks of butter.

Add egg and parmesan, mix well. Add pancetta, onions and ½ cup buttermilk and combine well. If the dough is too thick, add a little more buttermilk, one Tablespoon at a time until dough comes together and forms a ball. Lightly flour a board and transfer dough to the board. Pat into a 10” round. Cut into 8 wedges and place on baking sheet.

Brush with egg wash. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Boozy Brown Butter Apple Pie

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There are many wonderful pie recipes out there but, for me, nothing pairs up better with apples than brown butter. The dark, earthy, aromatic flavors perfectly compliment the sweet vibrancy of good apples at their ripest, and I’ve added a little bourbon to tie them together. If you have your own crust recipe that you prefer, please use it! The butter vs. shortening battle is one that will never be won. In making this pie be sure to use good, fragrant apples (I prefer Granny Smith and Pink Lady).  Like anything, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

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Crust:

3 C. Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 t. Salt
1 T. Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Shortening
½ Cup Ice Water (more or less as needed)
1 t. Vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, and sugar.
2. Using a pastry blender cut shortening into flour mixture. Work with hands until dough is shaggy.
3. Sprinkle in the water and the vanilla and toss with a fork until just combined. Work with hands until dough is homogeneous.
4. Separate the dough into two equal parts. One will be used to line the pie plate, and the other for the top.
5. This dough can be used immediately, or can be wrapped in wax paper and refrigerated until you are ready to make your pie. If storing for later be sure to let it come back up to room temperature before rolling.

Filling:

½ Cup Unsalted Butter
3 T. Flour
¼ Cup Water
½ C. Sugar
¾ C. Brown Sugar, Packed
2 oz. Good Bourbon
½ Split Vanilla Bean, or 1 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
6-8 Apples of your choice peeled, cored, and sliced thin.
1 ½ T. Tapioca Pearls

1. In a heavy pot begin to melt butter on low heat until it is completely liquefied, then increase heat to med-high. Here you must watch carefully as the water begins to cook off and your butter begins to darken. This will happen fast!
2. Continue to stir making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot. You’ll begin to notice that the solid fats in the butter turn dark brown. When butter begins to give off a nutty, fragrant smell and you’ve achieved a deep yellow/golden color remove pot from heat temporarily to suspend browning.
3. Once removed from heat mix in 4 T. of flour. Return pot to burner and continue to stir until a paste is formed.
4. At this point you can add your sugar, your brown sugar, and vanilla, bourbon, then water. Stir to combine and boil until it begins to thicken.
5. Add the apples and stir.
6. Here’s where the magic begins!  One of the best reasons to precook the apples like this is it really pulls out the flavor.  You’ll begin to notice the apples breaking down, and the caramel will thin out. The flavors begin to combine and it smells wonderful.
7. The cook time here will vary. If you are using Granny Smith apples you will need to cook them a bit longer. The flavor is the best, but they sure are starchy! When the apples are tender (smaller pieces will begin to fall apart) remove the pot from heat and stir in 1.5 T. of tapioca pearls (these will hold your pie together).
8. Allow to cool as you prepare your crust.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Construction:

1. Pour apples into your prepared pie shell and smooth/compress with a wooden spoon to achieve a nice dome shape.
2. Dress pie with a lattice top like I did,  or roll out remaining crust into a circle large enough to cover your pie.  Invert crust on top of pie and, after cutting off any excess dough with a sharp knife crimp edges with a fork. To form a vent cut two slits in center of pie to form an X.
3. Brush the top of your pie with milk and sprinkle with sugar. This achieves a really nice color and texture when baked.

Baking:

1. To catch any potential juices, place pie on a cookie sheet  and position on the center rack of your preheated oven.
2. Bake for 35-45 minutes. As the apples are mostly precooked your main goal is to a achieve a nice golden brown crust.

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Enjoy!

Recipe by Faron Vassen, Instagram: milkandstone 

The Easiest Ice Cream You’ll Make All Summer

Yep, you’re just two ingredients from the perfect, easiest ice cream you will make all summer long. All it takes is one small container of heavy cream and a can of condensed milk. You don’t need an ice cream machine – just a stand mixer, or a hand mixer, or a strong arm with a whisk. It takes about 10 minutes of mixing and a few hours to freeze into lovely, velvety ice cream.

While you can branch off and make any flavors your heart desires from this basic ratio, the flavor in this recipe is Blackberry & Crème Fraîche. It tastes a lot like cheesecake.

Ingredients:

One pint heavy cream
One 14 ounce can of condensed milk
1 pint of blackberries, fresh, or another berry
4 heaping tablespoons crème fraîche
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract)
Zest of ½ a lemon

Method:

Smash berries with back of spoon in a bowl; set aside.

Whip the cream to stiff peaks. Not so far that it separates!

Pour the can of condensed milk into the bowl with the cream. Also add the smashed berries, salt, crème fraîche, vanilla bean powder (or extract), and lemon zest. Fold all ingredients together with a spatula.

Pour the ice cream mixture into a metal loaf pan, pie plate, or similar dish. Anything will do as long as it can go into the freezer. Freeze for 5 hours, or overnight. Share with everyone that you love. 

Rosemary & Plum Galette

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I never really made galettes until I started working at Bakeri in Brooklyn, where we make individual sized galettes. This one is a large one. 

Galettes are the easiest, fastest way to showcase any type of fruit (or vegetable!). Apples, strawberries, pears… Or in this case, plums. 

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All you need is a single pie crust & some nice looking fruit. 

Quarter at least 10 plums, depending how large you want your galette to be. Wrap them up in the pie dough as pictured. Or however you please, really. 

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I added blueberries & chopped rosemary, and then put it back in the freezer so it would be really cold (frozen!) going into a really hot oven (400 degrees). By personal preference I egg wash the dough & heavy-handedly apply a good coating of raw sugar. 

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40 minutes later*, a beautiful pastry emerges. Cut it, dollop some fresh whipped cream on it, and share it with friends – or not. 

*Depending on your oven. Check on it every 10m while baking to catch it at the perfect golden brown color. 

Stuffed 8 Ball Squash

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Last weekend when I was at the farmer’s market near Fort Greene, I saw these cute little squash for the first time. I immediately thought “they must be stuffed.” 

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Look at the little babies, lining up to be stuffed. 

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I took a very sharp, small knife and sliced off the top of each of them. Now would be the perfect time to use a melon baller if you have one, but I don’t, so I used a spoon. I then massaged the inside with olive oil and lightly salted it. 

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Next, I lightly sauteed some broccoli, corn, carrots and fresh green beans. Literally anything could go inside of these – I just had a lot of produce to get rid of 🙂

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In a 400 degree oven, I roasted the stuffed squash for around 25 minutes, checking them fairly often with a fork to see how soft they were becoming. When a fork easily slides in, they’re done. Enjoy! I poured a garlic butter sauce over mine and ruined the possibility of a beautiful #vegan dish, but otherwise this is completely vegetarian. 

Lavender Lemonade

Lavender, lemons, sugar & ice – these ingredients will make your summer taste nice.

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The “swiss army knife of plants,” lavender, is often times just considered to be used for cleaning or as an aromatic. It’s loved for it’s antidepressant qualities, repelling mosquitos, smelling heavenly, and flavoring teas. Now, you have one more way to love it: in a glass of lemonade. 

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Ingredients

2 cups fresh lemon juice 

1 cup lavender simple syrup

6 cups water 

1) Have your lover juice all of the lemons for you, and tell them they will be rewarded with an amazing glass of lemonade. 

2) Make at least a cup of simple syrup (a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water). When the syrup is boiling, throw in 3 big pinches of dried lavender. Lower the temperature. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.  Strain out the lavender and save the syrup in a heatproof container. Voilà! You made simple syrup. 

3) Mix together your lemon juice, water, and simple syrup. I like it the way I have it listed in this recipe, but you might like it a little different – so add more or less simple syrup/lemon juice to your taste. 

This is a tofu pot pie. It’s #vegetarian & I shot it for an author’s miniature cookbook. Making a #beautiful lattice is not hard, it just takes practice. #practicemakesperfect #eatyourvegetables #foodphoto #stilllife #realfood #foodstyling (07/2015 for octavia.net)