Summer fruit galette

August 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

Fruit everywhere! That is the beauty and bounty of summer! Here at SWEETTABLESCAPES, we relish the multitude of fruit to choose from and the ease of dessert-making when all you have to do is add a bit of sugar and dough to make a delicious treat. We’ve made galettes over and over again and never tire of the terrific results. No fancy display here but a perfect juicy, fruity and flavorful dessert! Just go for it, and when you make the dough, be sure to double the recipe so you can make another galette really quick next time!

This recipe for SUMMER FRUIT GALETTE is from the NY Times but once you’ve made your dough, you can use any fruit on hand!

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You’ll need:

For the dough:

  • 1 ⅓ cups/165 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon/15 grams sugar
  • ½ teaspoon/3 grams fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • Heavy cream, as needed
  • 1 stick/113 grams unsalted butter, cut into big pieces
  • 2 teaspoons/10 milliliters lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon/4 grams grated lemon zest (optional)

For the filling:

  • 3 cups summer fruit of your choice (berries, stone fruit, figs), sliced or cubed if necessary (we chose peaches and blackberries)
  • ½ cup to 3/4 cup/100 to 150 grams sugar, to taste
  • Pinch of salt
  • Juice and grated zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons/25 to 35 grams cornstarch

Preparation:

Make the crust:

  1. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, or in a large bowl, pulse or mix together flour, sugar and salt. IMG_0021In a measuring cup, lightly beat the egg, then add just enough cream to get to 1/3 cup. Lightly whisk the egg and cream together.IMG_0022
  2. Add butter to flour mixture and pulse or use a pastry cutter or your fingers to break up the butter. If using a food processor, do not over-process; you need chickpea-size chunks of butter. IMG_0023 IMG_0024 Drizzle the egg mixture (up to 1/4 cup) over the dough and pulse or stir until it just starts to come together but is still mostly large crumbs. IMG_0025Mix in lemon juice and zest if using.
  3. Put dough on lightly floured counter and pat it together to make one uniform piece. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours, or up to 3 days.IMG_0026
  4. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough out to a 12-inch round (it can be ragged). Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and chill while preparing the filling.IMG_0034

Make the filling:

  1. Toss together fruit, all but a tablespoon of sugar, the salt, the lemon juice and zest, and the cornstarch.  IMG_0035 IMG_0036 IMG_0037   Use more cornstarch for juicy stone fruit and less for blueberries, raspberries and figs. Pile fruit on the dough circle, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.IMG_0038 Gently fold the pastry over the fruit, pleating to hold it in (sloppy is fine). IMG_0040Brush pastry generously with leftover egg and cream mixture. Sprinkle remaining sugar on the crust.
  2. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the filling bubbles up vigorously and the crust is golden. Cool for at least 20 minutes on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Fig Loaf

August 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

Figs are at their peak right now and it is time to pull out the recipes using this nutritious and delicious fruit. SWEETTABLESCAPES just found a perfect and easy one in Cuisine et Vins de France magazine (Summer 2015 Special Issue). It uses both dry and fresh figs for a nice texture contrast.IMG_0010

You’ll need:

150 g dry figs

150 g fresh figs

250 g flour + 2 TBsp to dust the pan

200 g butter, softened at room temperature

3 eggs

150 g granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tea bag

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Boil 200ml water and brew tea bag for 5 minutes in a small bowl.

After the 5 minutes, remove tea bag and put dry figs into tea bowl to soak.IMG_0034

Wash and dry fresh figs, cut stem off  and cut into small cubes. IMG_0035IMG_0036Drain dry figs and cut them into cubes also.IMG_0041

In an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat eggs and sugar; IMG_0037add butter until incorporated.IMG_0038IMG_0039

Sift flour and baking powder and add to egg/sugar/butter mixture. Add all figs.IMG_0040

Butter and flour loaf pan. (We used mini loves and adjusted baking time to 5 and 20 minutes) Fill with batter.IMG_0042

Bake for 10 minutes at 400F and then lower temperature to 300F. Bake for 30 minutes longer or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Let cake rest in pan for 15 minutes and then remove from pan. Serve at room temperature or cold.    IMG_0010

 

 

 

Apricot-Rosemary Upside Down tart

August 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

Summer is a dream come true for bakers who want to enjoy the fruit bounty and use fresh fruit in all their creations; at  SWEETTABLESCAPES we jump at the opportunity and this tart just called our name from the pages of Cuisine et Vins de France (Summer 2015 Special Issue).

You’ll need:

  • 1 roll frozen pastry dough, thawed
  • 2 pounds fresh apricots
  • 50 g butter
  • 80 g sugar
  • 1 sprig rosemary
Directions:

1. Spray 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Wash apricots, cut them in half and remove pits. Melt butter in a large frying pan, add sugar and rosemary leaves. Place apricot halves, round side down into the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat to caramelize apricots.IMG_0001 (You might have to work in two batches to fit all apricots in the pan)

2. Drop all apricots into the prepared pan and let cool (this is essential if you want the dough to bake well). IMG_0004Preheat oven to 400F.

3. Unroll pastry dough, poke it with a fork and spread it over apricots, tucking the edge under the fruit. IMG_0005Lower oven temperature to 350F and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan and turn pan upside down onto a plate.  IMG_0007IMG_0009

What is summer without Ice cream? Part II

August 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

Here is the 3rd (and even 4th) batch of ice cream SWEETTABLESCAPES made last week as well as the perfect accompaniment to any frozen treat: Financiers!

PS: As luck would have it, this week’s Food section in the NY Times has another ice cream recipe. This one for an egg-less batch. Had to try it pronto!! So you can find this one too at the bottom of this page.

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If you stock up on milk and cream, you can produce some terrific ice cream bases in one afternoon and churn them the next day. Nothing like this homemade  dessert to impress friends and family.

Then use your leftover egg whites to make delicious financiers!

Cinnamon Ice Cream:(NY Times)

Following the advice of Melissa Clark, we made an ice cream base with:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • cup sugar
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • Your choice of flavoring

1. In a small pot, simmer cream, milk, (cinnamon)sugar and salt until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. IMG_0007Remove pot from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk yolks. IMG_0008Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, IMG_0009then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. IMG_0011Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).IMG_0012

2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. IMG_0013Cool mixture to room temperature.IMG_0014 Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.IMG_0015

3. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until needed.

        

and chose to flavor it with cinnamon:

Break a 4-inch-long cinnamon stick (preferably a fragrant variety like Ceylon or canela) into a food processor. Add 2/3 cup granulated sugar and pulse until finely ground. Use cinnamon sugar instead of plain sugar to make the base. Let custard steep off the heat for 30 minutes before straining. Chill.

To make it even more interesting, we added (at the very last minute, when you’re ready to remove the almost-frozen mix from your ice-cream maker and put it into your freezer) broken bits of cinnamon-flavored cookies. If you have Belgian Speculoos, go for it!

IMG_0033IMG_0032The result was a HUGE success!

Now it’s time to use the many leftover egg whites:  We made Coconut Financiers here and Almond ones here. Today we decided to make Hazelnut Chocolate ones. Just as good!!!

You’ll need:

125 g egg whites (about 4 small)

150 g confectioner’s sugar

125 g butter

50 g hazelnut meal (use your coffee grinder to make a fine hazelnut powder)

50 g flour

20 g cocoa powder

Directions:

Melt butter in small saucepan until brown and giving a nice nutty smell (that is your beurre noisette). Let coolIMG_0045 IMG_0046

Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder and hazelnut powder into bowl.IMG_0047IMG_0048

Add egg whites and whisk until incorporated. IMG_0049IMG_0050Add brown butter and mix.IMG_0051IMG_0052

Place small amount of batter in mold (we used super-mini muffin tins and mini madeleines molds) and bake at 400F for 10 minutes

IMG_0003ENJOY!!

Here is the NY Times recipe for a cream-and-milk-only batch. It still requires heating the mixture but no eggs are added and the result has a distinctive dairy flavor that is very fresh.

Give it a try!

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups heavy cream, preferably organic and not ultra-pasteurized
  • 2 cups half-and-half, preferably organic, or 1 cup additional heavy cream plus 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out with the tip of a sharp knife, or 3 tablespoons (about 8 bags) loose Earl Grey tea plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar or 3/4 cup light corn syrup, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon salt, more to taste

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan or a microwave-safe container, combine cream, half-and-half and vanilla bean and seeds (or tea and vanilla extract). On the stove or in the microwave, bring mixture to a simmer. Immediately turn off heat.IMG_0002
  2. Add sugar or corn syrup and salt and mix until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Taste and add more sugar and salt as needed to balance the flavors. The mixture should taste slightly too sweet when warm; the sweetness will be muted when the ice cream is frozen.
  3. Strain mixture into a container and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.IMG_0003
  4. Churn mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. IMG_0004IMG_0005IMG_0006Serve immediately (if you like soft serve ice cream)  or transfer to an airtight container and let freeze until hard.IMG_0007

What is summer without Ice Cream? Part I

August 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

Summer is reason enough to eat lots of this luscious dessert but add to that some wisdom teeth extraction and you really NEED the stuff. What better excuse to experiment with some fun and trendy recipes?  SWEETTABLESCAPES  just pulled up the “Frozen Dessert” file and started with three AWESOME flavors (by unanimous family vote!!)

IMG_0002In one day, we prepared 3 batches: Chocolate Mint Sorbet, Cinnamon Ice Cream and Basil Chip Ice cream.

The sorbet is water based, both Cinnamon and Basil are custard based. We also made a quick easy Vanilla batch with only cream and milk (no egg yolks) for good measure.

Of course, you’ll need an ice cream maker with a couple of already frozen barrels. It is a good investment if you love ice cream as much as we do!!

Dark Chocolate Mint Sorbet (NY Times)

You’ll need:
  • 3 tablespoons mild honey, such as clover, or corn syrup
  • cup, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 ounces dark chocolate, at least 72 percent, finely chopped (about 1/4-inch pieces; no need to chop if using disks)
  • 1 mint herbal tea bag
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
 Directions:
  1. Combine 3 1/4 cups water, the honey or corn syrup and the sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir with a rubber spatula until sugar is completely dissolved and remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, place chocolate and tea bag in a medium-size bowl. Pour on hot water mixture and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove tea bag. Add peppermint extract.IMG_0025
  3. Using a hand blender, blend mixture until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure mixture is well combined, and blend again if necessary. IMG_0026The chocolate will separate to an extent when chilled, but you will be blending it again. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. IMG_0027Place a 1-quart container (or slightly larger) in the freezer.
  4. Remove sorbet mixture from refrigerator and blend again until smooth. The chocolate that has slightly solidified on top will be reincorporated. Freeze in an ice cream maker following manufacturer’s directions. IMG_0028IMG_0029Transfer to the chilled container. IMG_0031Cover and place in freezer for 2 hours or longer. Allow sorbet to soften in refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

Basil-Chip Ice Cream: ( Bon Appetit, Aug 2015)

You’ll need:
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • cups whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
 Directions:
  • Set a large metal bowl inside another large bowl filled with ice water. Lightly beat egg yolks in a medium bowl.IMG_0017Bring cream, whole milk, and sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan. IMG_0016Whisking constantly, gradually stream half of cream mixture into yolks. IMG_0018Return egg mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, IMG_0019stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture coats spoon, 2–3 minutes. IMG_0020Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into prepared bowl.IMG_0021   Stir in condensed milk and salt. Let cool, stirring occasionally, 20–30 minutes, then stir in buttermilk. 
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  • Using an immersion blender, mix base until smooth and silky. IMG_0023Add basil; mix until finely chopped. IMG_0024IMG_0030Cover and chill 2 days.
  • Blend base with immersion blender; strain into an ice cream maker. Process according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Meanwhile, grate chocolate on the large holes of a box grater into a large bowl. Add ice cream and fold to evenly incorporate chocolate. Transfer to an airtight container. Cover and freeze at least 2 hours before scooping

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Upside Down Raspberry Cake

July 29, 2015 § Leave a comment

One of our favorite fruit is the star of this delicious summer upside-down cake; raspberries, fresh and in “coulis” form make for a juicy treat that is easy to make.

IMG_0241This recipe comes from the Special Summer Issue 2015 of “Cuisine et Vins de France”.

You’ll need:

500 g fresh raspberries

10 cl raspberry coulis (see below)

150 g sugar

a few drops lemon juice

1 Tbsp powdered sugar

100 g unsalted butter

1 tsp baking powder

3 eggs

7 Tbsp flour, sifted

5 TBsp sugar

1 TBsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and cover bottom with parchment paper. Clean raspberries. Melt butter and let it cool slightly.

In a small pot, bring coulis and 150g sugar to a simmer (In France, you can buy frozen coulis but you can also make your own very easily; recipe below).IMG_0237

Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Pour into prepared pan. Spread raspberries evenly on top. IMG_0238Keep a few for decoration.

In a bowl, mix eggs and 5 TBsp sugar until light. IMG_0234IMG_0235Add vanilla, flour, baking powder and melted butter while mixing. IMG_0236Pour batter on top of raspberries IMG_0239and bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.IMG_0240

Let cake cool and reverse onto a plate.IMG_0243

When ready to serve, add remaining fresh raspberries and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve at room temperature.

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Coulis recipe:

12-oz frozen raspberries, thawed.

3 TBsp water

1 tsp raspberry liqueur

1/2 cup sugar

Heat water and sugar in small saucepan. Pour liquid into blender with raspberries and mix.

Strain through fine sieve. Add liqueur.

You’ll only need about half of this for the recipe. The rest will freeze very well.

 

 

Berry Cobbler: a juicy treat!!

July 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

Here is one of these recipes that you can use all summer long with any berries you might have on hand at the moment and the result will never be less than perfect for the season! This is a Family Circle recipe which is called Lemon-Blueberry Cobbler but you can turn it into an ANY-Berry Cobbler and it does not disappoint!

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You’ll need:

  • 1 lemon
  • 4 cups (2 pints) blueberries (we used a mixture of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut up
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Ice cream, optional

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 2-quart shallow baking dish with nonstick spray. Grate the zest from lemon; set aside.IMG_0017 Squeeze lemon to get 2 tablespoons juice; reserve. In medium bowl, combine blueberries, 2/3 cup of the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg; toss. IMG_0016IMG_0018Add lemon juice; stir until combined. Turn into prepared dish.IMG_0023
  2. In large bowl, combine remaining 1/3 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest. IMG_0019With two knives or pastry cutter, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (We just used our convenient electric mixer to do the job) With fork, stir in buttermilk just until mixture is moistened. IMG_0021IMG_0022Spoon heaping tablespoons of dough on top of blueberry mixture.IMG_0024
  3. Bake in 375 degree F oven 40 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and top is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream, if desired. Makes 8 servings.IMG_0026


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