Blueberry Lemon Hand Pies

July 31, 2016 § 10 Comments

berries

blueberry bowl

We’ve had a great spring and summer so far here in Vermont. Not too much rain but that doesn’t seem to bother the blueberries. I’ve been picking my weighted down bushes non stop for a few weeks now. Besides freezing them I’ve made lots of muffins and scones, but wanted to do something a little different with my latest score.

Food and Wine recently had this hand pie recipe and they looked so delicious I had to try them. The recipe is quite easy though I added a few tips as you’re assembling them. I also substituted half white spelt flour and half Einkorn flour for the all purpose. And I had to add some lemon zest because blueberries and lemon zest are a match made in heaven. Try a bowl of berries with sweetened whipped cream sprinkled with lemon zest for dessert one night. Sublime!

So if you find yourself with some blueberries on a rainy Sunday and get the urge to bake, try these.

Blueberry Hand Pies

Dough

2 cups all purpose flour or 1/2 white spelt, 1/2 Einkorn flour

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed

1 large egg yolk

1/4 cup ice water

Filling

2 cups blueberries

1/2 cup sugar ( I used a little less)

2 TBL flour

2 TBL fresh lemon juice

grated lemon zest

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 large egg beaten with 1 tsp water

Turbinado suger for sprinkling or vanilla sugar

Make the dough:

Whisk flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea sizes pieces of butter remaining.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the egg yolk and water until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth. Cut the dough in half and shape into 2 disks and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate about an hour until chilled.

berries3

Make filling:

In medium bowl, toss the blueberries with sugar, flour, lemon juice, zest, salt and cinnamon.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to a 16 x 9 in rectangle. Approximately. I didn’t get it quite that size. Dough should be about 1/8” thick. Use a 4 in. floured cookie cutter, plate or even a glass to cut out 8 rounds from the dough. I didn’t get 8, only 7 so don’t worry about that either.

Spoon 2 TBL of the filling into the center of each round and fold the dough over.

Tip: After you fold the dough over, push the berries down a bit so they’re evenly spread out. Using the tines of a fork, seal the edges.

Tip: Each one takes a few minutes so while you fill them, put the other cut outs back in the fridge to keep cold. You want to keep the butter cold.

Transfer as you make them to a parchment lined baking sheet, about 1 in apart and put in fridge. Chill about 30 minutes.

fork berry

berries6

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the hand pies with the beaten egg wash and sprinkle with the sugar.

Bake about 15 to 18 minutes until nice and golden. Some of the juice will spill out.

Let cool a little, then dig in!

You can freeze these unbaked and pop in oven 25 minutes before serving.

Makes 14 to 16.

Farmhouse Apple Pie Cake

May 4, 2016 § 2 Comments

IMG_2032

Although I’ve tried, I just can’t garden when it’s been raining for 5 days. Even with rain gear on I turn into a cold, muddy mess. You gardeners out there know how hard it is to stay out of the garden once spring has arrived!

So it’s to the kitchen I go. There’s a big bag of apples in my fridge that need to be used so I decided on this great recipe that a friend had sent me. It’s become one of my favorites now. As usual I substituted some of the ingredients for healthier ones and cut down the sugar by half. That’s something I do automatically now, things are way too sweet these days don’t you think?

The original recipe calls for vegetable oil and I never use that now. Instead I used healthy coconut oil and butter and added some lemon zest too.

Farmhouse Apple Pie Cake

6 to 8 Granny Smith apples ( I used half Empire)

1 TBL sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon for topping

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup coconut oil, melted

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 tsp vanilla extract

zest from a large organic lemon

1 1/2 cup flour (I used Einkorn. White spelt or regular all purpose flour is fine too)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 or 10 in. springform pan.

IMG_2543

Layer apples neatly in pan until almost to the top. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture and lemon zest.

IMG_2545

Mix batter by beating eggs and sugar until thick and fluffy. Add the melted oil, butter and vanilla. Mix well then add flour and beat all together.

Pour over the apples, then tap the pan on the counter so the batter gets to the bottom.

Bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking as you get to the end of the baking time by testing with skewer, it should be dry.

Cool completely in the pan. This is important as the cake will fall apart if you try to remove it while it’s warm.

Serve with really good vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. And it’s even better the next day after everything settles and melds together.

Happy spring!

IMG_1065

Here’s the original recipe:

Einkorn Apple Walnut Crumble

February 5, 2016 § 6 Comments

IMG_2267

Some of you may be familiar with Einkorn, and some may be thinking “What kind of crumble?”

For those of you not familiar with it, Einkorn is nature’s original wheat. It is the only wheat out there that hasn’t been hybridized, which allows many gluten intolerant people to eat it without experiencing the sometimes severe reactions they have to “regular” wheat.

Although neither I or Kevin have a gluten sensitivity, we do feel better not eating it. So I had switched to spelt flour when baking. Spelt has less gluten but what really appealed to me was that Einkorn hasn’t been messed with. It is the same wheat now as it has been for thousands of years. So it’s what I bake and cook with now all the time.

That said, baking with it can be a challenge sometimes. I highly recommend Carla Bartolucci’s book Einkorn. The owner of Jovial Foods, Carla has worked out how to cook and bake with Einkorn flour. The recipes are delicious and easy to follow.

Hopefully I didn’t scare you away from trying it. I simply substitute Einkorn flour for regular wheat flour and the results have worked out just fine. If you’re going to try bread I suggest following Carla’s recipes.

Here’s a simple recipe to try. I used Empire apples, MacIntosh would work well also, you want a softer apple as the baking time is short and you want the apples to soften into a applesauce consistency.

Apple Part

3 to 4 large apple, peeled, cored and cut into medium size chunks

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 TBL unsalted butter

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix all together and place in greased pie dish

Crumble Part

6 TBL unsalted butter

2/3 cup Einkorn all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 TBL milk or cream

2 to 3 TBL chopped walnuts

Cut butter into flour with either your hands or a Dough and Pastry Blender, add sugar, then add the milk. Blend it all together with a fork then spread it over the apples. Sprinkle with the walnuts.

Bake in a 350 degree oven and bake 35 to 45 minutes, until lightly brown and bubbly.

Serve warm with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

IMG_2266

 

This is great for breakfast!

 

Bees, Flowers, Berries and Cream.

August 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

 

IMG_1521

 

I was sitting outside on my patio and watching the bees furiously going from flower to flower. I noticed a pattern, they would alight on a flower and then leave immediately. Off to another flower, and then the same thing. The flowers didn’t seem to interest them. There was nothing there for them.

The flowers they spent a lot of time on were the old fashioned ones. Foxgloves, hollyhocks, old fashioned roses.

IMG_1528

 

IMG_3404

As beautiful as the others were, the ones I bought at the nursery because they had the most beautiful cascade of blooms, the bees wanted nothing to do with them. Same with the hummingbirds. The blooms were beautiful but sterile. It disturbed me and I thought about that for awhile.

It’s the same with our food….beautiful specimens of peaches but with no taste. Red ripe tomatoes that taste like cardboard. And that means there’s nothing there for our nourishment…..like the canary in the coal mine, the bees are telling us to beware.

Luckily more and more people are realizing that eating healthy is really pretty simple. I just read that McDonald’s is closing a lot of it’s “restaurants”, a good sign for the organic and healthy food movement.

Anyway, these are just my thoughts for the day. Now on to dessert.

My currants, blueberries and raspberries are all ripening at the same time, at least enough to get a big bowlful for dessert tonight. You can make this with pretty much any fruit that’s really summer ripe, try the farm stands and farmers markets.

Take a handful of berries, I like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and add them to a sauté pan with a little butter and honey. Mash some of them, either with a fork or potato masher. Warm them just a little, you’re not cooking them, just melding the flavors together. Scoop onto individual plates and pour some really good cream over them. I grated a little lemon zest over them too. It’s delicious, gluten and sugar free and couldn’t be easier. And healthier!

IMG_2284

berries

berries 3

Pear Cobbler

October 12, 2014 § 4 Comments

IMG_3817

 

As much as I hate to see summer go, part of me is glad. It’s the part that weeds and waters the gardens, deadheads the flowers, cans the fruit and picks the endless supply of blueberries.

I don’t want that to sound like a complaint, but those who have large gardens understand I’m sure. And there is also the part that likes the changes of the seasons, the soups and stews, and the smell of the wood stove.

 

IMG_3811

Today started off a beautiful warm, sunny day. Then the clouds rolled in, and it got a bit chilly! I grabbed a sweater and decided a cobbler would be perfect for the afternoon’s coffee break. I had some pears that I meant to use in a salad and were calling to me, “use us now or else!”

The recipe uses fresh mint, which I love to use in baking. It’s from a recipe I’ve had for many, many years, from Lee Bailey’s cookbook Country Weekends. I usually change things a bit when following a recipe, always cutting down the amount of sugar, or using maple syrup instead, adding a spice or two, and substituting spelt or Einkorn flour for the all purpose flour most recipes use.

You can also make this with apples and add a handful of raisins and some cinnamon. So now that cobbler weather is here, bake yourself one, and serve with sweetened whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or just grab a spoon and have it for breakfast.

IMG_3786

Fruit Part:

6 large pears, I used Bartlett

juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

2 TBL maple syrup

1/4 tsp powdered ginger

grating of fresh nutmeg

1 tsp chopped fresh mint

Batter:

1 cup all purpose flour, I use organic white spelt

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 egg yolks

1/4 cup milk or almond milk

2 TBL unsalted butter, melted

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a 9″ovenproof pie dish.

Peel and core the pears, then cut into medium size chunks.

Pour lemon juice over the pears, then add the zest. Mix.

Combine spices, maple syrup and mint, add to the pears and put in pie dish.

 

IMG_3775

Make batter by mixing flour, baking powder and salt.

In separate bowl beat egg yolks with milk and maple syrup, then add to flour mixture.

Mix in the butter then drop onto the fruit. Bake about 30 to 35 minutes, making sure the middle is done by lifting a piece of pear and checking.

 

IMG_3779

Rhubarb Mania

June 1, 2014 § 4 Comments

IMG_3345

IMG_3346

IMG_3344

You know spring is on it’s way when you see the gnarly leaves of the rhubarb plant emerge from the dirt. There’s no stopping it once it starts, the leaves getting bigger and bigger until the flower pops up in the middle.

Rhubarb, a perennial, is a very hardy plant that thrives in the cold northern regions. Every old farmstead likely has a rhubarb patch somewhere, having been made into pies and sauces for the family get togethers through the years and still going strong.

It doesn’t require much care, producing ruby red stalks for decades each spring. Every few years you can divide the plant and either start a new patch or pass it on to a gardening friend or family member. There’s only one important point you must know, in case you don’t already, and that is that the leaves are highly poisonous. I just cut the leaves off right in the garden and add them to the compost pile.

Rhubarb will keep for about a week in the fridge, but I find it easiest to just go out and pick some when I need it. You can freeze it, but not very well in my opinion, kind of turns to mush.

Here are  a few recipes using rhubarb. One is for scones, one for chutney, and one for a syrup. And don’t forget the Rhubarb Clafouti!

IMG_3353

Strawberry Rhubarb Scones

3 cups flour, I use white spelt

1/2 cup organic sugar

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup chopped rhubarb

1 cup sliced strawberries

 

Line a baking sheet with parchment or grease lightly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients together.

Add the butter pieces and work into the flour mixture with your fingers or a fork until you have pea sized pieces throughout.

Add buttermilk and fruit and stir gently with a fork until combined. don’t overwork or they’ll be tough. The dough will be on the moist side.

Lightly flour the baking sheet and pat out the dough, making a circle about 10 inches wide.

Cut into even pieces, like a pizza. You can sprinkle with a little extra sugar if you like.

Bake about 18 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned.

 

Rhubarb Raisin Chutney

 

IMG_3354

 

This chutney is great on sandwiches, like ham or roast pork. It also makes a nice glaze for pork tenderloin, chops or fish.

 

2 1/2 cups roughly chopped rhubarb

1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup golden raisins

 

In a medium sized pot combine maple syrup, vinegar, onion, coriander, ginger, mustard and salt. Bring to a boil, then cook for about 5 minutes, uncovered.

Add the rhubarb and raisins and continue cooking, simmering actually, another 15 minutes or so, until rhubarb is softened. You don’t want mush here, so keep an eye on it.

Remove from the heat, then taste for sweetness, adding more maple syrup if you’d like.

Makes about 2 cups.

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup

This is a delicious syrup you can drizzle over vanilla ice cream or pound cake. Use instead of maple syrup on pancakes or french toast. It’s also great mixed with a little sparking water and a splash of vodka. Ok, maybe more than a splash.

IMG_3360

 

1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb

1 cup sliced strawberries

3/4 cup sugar, organic preferably organic

1 cup water

 

In saucepan, combine all ingredients.

Bring to a boil and cook about 15 minutes until rhubarb is soft.

Put through a fine mesh strainer to separate pulp. You can either discard it or mix it with butter or cream cheese and spread on a bagel. Stir it into oatmeal or yogurt with some nuts for breakfast. Yum.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

IMG_3361

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baked Lady Apples with Honey, Butter and Walnuts

December 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

IMG_2917

These cute little apples were brought to our Thanksgiving dinner by my sister Sheila, and everyone was asking, what do you do with them? I’ve seen them in the markets and always wondered that myself. They’re a bit too small for regular eating, unless, like Sheila says, you just take a few dainty, lady-like bites!

We didn’t end up using them that day, and I’ve been looking at them sitting on my counter since then. Finally today they went into the oven. No recipe really, no measurements for these, they’re so easy, and I know you have all the ingredients already. Put them into the oven as you’re serving dinner and they’ll be ready when you’re done. Delicious with a roast pork! If you have any left over, have them for breakfast with a little yogurt.

IMG_2920

Take the apples, hollow them out, being careful not to poke through. If you use a melon scooper it works pretty well. Fill with some unsalted butter, a bit of honey, a few chopped walnuts. Bake in a preheated oven, 350 degrees, covered with foil, for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until soft. Remove foil for the last 10 minutes or so.

IMG_2923

You can change the ingredients of course, use maple syrup instead of honey, or even brown sugar. You can fill them with some jam, like apricot or red currant.   Add cinnamon, or nutmeg, or change the nuts. You can top with ice cream, whipped cream or make them extra special with a custard sauce.

You’ll want about 2 or 3 per person.

Creamy Rice Pudding with Cranberry Orange Puree

November 25, 2013 § 6 Comments

IMG_2901

Rice pudding is the ultimate comfort food, don’t you think? Creamy and rich, with a hint of cinnamon and honey, it’s perfect for a night like tonight. Although It’s not officially winter yet, the wind is howling, the temp is in the single digits and we even lost power…ugh.

And with Thanksgiving on my mind for awhile now, naturally cranberries have been popping up also. So add all those things up and you have dessert!

IMG_2894

This cranberry puree is also a perfect accompaniment to your Thanksgiving table. Serve it on the side with the turkey. It’s delicious on those leftover turkey sandwiches too. Spoon it on pie, just a dollop on the pumpkin or pecan, or on top of ice cream.

Make some Honey Roasted Pears and serve on the side. Spread a little on top of a plain poundcake. Makes a great appetizer with some melted Cheddar on a baguette. Or make a batch for holiday gifts.

Here’s the recipe:

Rice Pudding:

  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  •  cinnamon
  • honey for top
  •  Bring rice, honey, salt and milk to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 25 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is tender and pudding is creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla.
  •  When ready to serve, stir in heavy cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Serve warm.
 Cranberry Puree:
1  12 oz pkg fresh cranberries, about 3 1/2 cups
1 cup organic sugar
juice and zest from 1 large orange
Put all in saucepan, bring to boil, then simmer about 5 to 6 minutes, until berries burst.
Put through food mill to remove skins, or puree in blender. It won’t be as smooth but still ok if you don’t have one.
Makes about 2 cups.
IMG_2900

Put the pudding into individual bowls, drizzle with honey and a spoonful or two of the cranberry puree.

Rice Pudding recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

Wild Concord Grape Jelly

November 3, 2013 § 2 Comments

IMG_2838

At least I think they’re wild Concord grapes. They’re definitely Concord grapes but are they wild? They were growing in the woods near my house, maybe they ended up there somehow a long time ago after being planted elsewhere?

But I came upon them one day, tons of them, dark little orbs just hanging off the vines, high up in the trees.  And of course my ‘can’t let these go to waste’ mind started thinking about jelly. That and thoughts of fresh bread slathered with this jelly and some crunchy organic peanut butter motivated me. So I picked and picked and brought home bowlfuls and the jelly making process began.

IMG_2830

Making jelly was one of those things I didn’t always do because it seemed too labor intensive. I’ve made jam for years now but never jelly. Then I bought some red currant bushes, and you can only eat so many of those tart little things! I decided to make jelly out of them and wondered why I thought it was complicated. Now I make red currant jelly every year.

I found  a simple recipe from Food and Wine and made it even simpler by skipping a step. This turned out to be some amazing jelly! I think the flavor was intensified because some of the grapes were already starting to shrivel up on the vine (I used them anyway), concentrating that grape flavor even more.

Here’s the recipe, simple as pie, simpler actually.

4 pounds ripe Concord grapes, washed and picked over, about 10 cups

1 Granny Smith apple, chopped, with seeds

1 cup organic sugar ( the recipe called for more than twice this amount but I cut it down)

Put the grapes and apple in a large pot with 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat about 10 minutes. Strain the juice through a fine sieve set over a large bowl. You should have 3 cups.

Put the juice back into the pot, add the sugar and bring to a boil. Continue boiling over moderate heat, stirring, until the jelly falls off a cool spoon in sheets (or registers 220° on an instant-read thermometer) about 18 minutes.

If you want to can, follow directions below, otherwise pour into clean jars and refrigerate until you eat it all!

IMG_2836

Clean and sterilize canning jars. You can do this by running through a dishwasher, or boiling the jars for 10 minutes in large pot. Immerse the lids and rings in water (in separate pot) and bring ALMOST to a boil. Turn off heat and let them sit in the hot water until you’re ready to use them.

When ready, pour the jelly into the hot, sterilized canning jars, saving 1/4 inch of space at top. Wipe rims with moist, clean towel, then put lids and rings on to seal. Don’t over-tighten. Submerge the jars in a pot of water (you want them covered by at least 1 inch of water) boil for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars and let cool. Check the jar lids, any unsealed ones can be processed again or refrigerate.

IMG_2853

 

 

Concord grapes are a superfood, containing Vit C, manganese and powerful antioxidants for your skin, brain and heart. Buy organic only as conventionally  grown grapes are loaded with pesticides.

Baby Plumcakes

September 29, 2013 § 4 Comments

IMG_2821

The wonderful world of fall baking is here! Apples and pears, pies and cobblers, and my favorite, a rustic plum tart are the delicious things I love about autumn.  The cool weather, a steaming cup of coffee and a homemade pie right out of the oven are one of life’s simple pleasures, wouldn’t you agree?

I had a few plums left over from my last Pflaumenkuchen so I baked them into these scrumptious mini cakes. I also grated the butter which, as it melts in the oven, made the cakes extra moist. You could easily make these with almost any fruit. Chopped up apples, or slices of peach or pear would taste and look wonderful. Change the spices a bit too, add some ground ginger with the pears or even some finely chopped walnuts with the apples. Many possibilities here so have fun with it!

For the batter:

1 cup flour, I use organic white spelt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

6 TBL cold unsalted butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

zest of 1 lemon

1/3 cup milk

6 prune plums, halved and pitted

cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on top (mix equal parts sugar and cinnamon)

confectioner’s sugar or whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin with a little butter or you could use muffin liners. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt.

Into another larger bowl, grate the butter on the large holes of a box grater. Add the sugar and beat with mixer for about 2 or 3 minutes.

Add egg, lemon zest and beat some more until well combined.

Now  add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, scraping down sides of bowl.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups then place the halved plum pieces on top of each one.

Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the plums, then bake about 20, 25 minutes. Test with toothpick.

Serve warm, dusted with confectioner’s sugar or even better, some fresh whipped cream!

IMG_2826

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Fruits category at Farmhouse Kitchen.