Cook. Nourish. Heal. Celebrate.

Posts tagged as fruits

Warm Fruit Crisp (Gluten-Free…or not)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jul 24, 2012 at 11:58am

fruit crisp gluten-free stephanie meyer fresh tart

As a typical Minnesotan, with one eye always on winter, I get overly enthusiastic about the bounty of perfect, juicy stone fruits and berries available at this time of year. Somehow peaches, plums, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries all make it into my kitchen, all at the same time, without a chance of being devoured before fruit flies start hovering. I’d feel greedy and guilty if not for buttery, cinnamon-laced fruit crisps, better than pie in my book, and twice as easy to assemble. Almost any mix of fruits is perfect in a crisp – the version pictured is plums, peaches, and strawberries, because that’s what I had lying around. The version I made this morning is a tumble of peaches, pitted bing cherries, and blueberries.

This is absolutely a recipe to make and eat with children, if you have them, or to toss together on your own. As delightful as a warm bowl of fruit crisp with ice cream tastes after dinner, a bowlful with yogurt and almonds for breakfast is awfully nice too. Take the rest to work for lunch and you too can polish off an entire crisp in one day, the way my son and I did on Saturday.

Then wash the pie plate, poke around for odds and ends of more ripe summer fruit, pull cold butter from the fridge, and toss together another.

Recipe for Warm Fruit Crisp (Gluten-Free…or not) at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Dutch Apple Pancake

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Sep 20, 2011 at 1:38pm

dutch apple pancake

This pancake is meant to be served with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, which is lovely, but I’ll be honest…a generous drizzle of Sapsucker Farms maple syrup, with a tidy pile of crispy bacon, is a very, incredibly awesome way to usher in fall.

dutch apple pancake

For my gluten-free friends, I did a little experiment using gluten-free, all-purpose King Arthur flour and the pancake puffed up nicely and was quite delicious. Do it!

Recipe for Dutch Apple Pancake at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Cardamom Cake with Rhubarb Sauce & Whipped Cream (Gluten-Free)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on May 25, 2011 at 7:03pm

Gluten-Free Cardamom Cake with Rhubarb Sauce & Whipped Cream

Duck eggs are prized by gluten-free bakers for adding loft and softness. My recipe for Cardamom Cake with Rhubarb Sauce & Whipped Cream (Gluten Free) at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Using Creme Fraiche Part II: Sauteed Apple with Honey

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Oct 22, 2010 at 10:51am

Happy Friday everyone!  Just in time for the weekend, here’s another quick idea for using creme fraiche.  If you, like I, try to eat as little sugar as possible, then creme fraiche can be your new best friend.  Want to add the creaminess of ice cream to a bowl full of berries?  A small dollop of creme fraiche fits the bill in the loveliest way, adding the richness of ice cream for about 50 calories and no added sugar.

Or, if you’re having a hard time putting your hands on good berries (there goes the season, sniff…), try this quick-n-lovely sauteed apple, one my favorite fall treats.  In 10 minutes your house will smell of cinnamon and your mouth will be full of soft warm apple, creamy and slightly sweet with a drizzle of honey (that’s a jar of heavenly Ames Farm Dutch Clover in the background).

The creme fraiche melts over the apple slices, gah, so incredible. Top with a few chopped almonds for crunch.

Sauteed Apple with Honey & Creme Fraiche
Serves 1

1 tsp. butter
1 apple, cored and sliced thin
shakes of cinnamon
1 Tbsp. creme fraiche
honey (optional)

In a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter.  Add apple slices and a few shakes of cinnamon and stir to coat.  Cover the pan and cook the apples until nicely soft but not falling apart, stirring a few times, about 8 minutes.  Serve warm apple slices topped with creme fraiche and a drizzle honey, if using.

Olive Oil & Sauternes Cake with Peaches

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Oct 14, 2010 at 11:34am

I posted this recipe a few weeks ago at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine.  It might be tricky to put your hands on decent peaches or plums as the season fades, but that’s OK – peeled, sliced apples sauteed as described below would be heavenly too.

Have you eaten at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA?  It’s one of the best-loved restaurants in the country, long known for its delicious use of and advocacy for local, seasonal ingredients.  I’ve not (yet!) eaten there, so I make do with the Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook, a treasure of beautiful recipes that is particularly fun to leaf through right about now, when Minnesota produce can give California’s a run for its money.  (Almost.)

This cake is fun for a dinner party, when you can serve the Sauternes used in the cake right alongside it.  The cake has a soft-springy texture, with a marvelous hint of booziness.  Fresh peaches nicely complement the peachy notes in Sauternes.

In the spirit of the book, local plums would be delicious in place of peaches.  Serve them very ripe in slices or saute them with a little butter and sugar and spoon them warm over the cake.  As you might guess, you can’t really go wrong with fruit, cake, softly whipped cream, and wine.

Olive Oil & Sauternes Cake with Peaches
Adapted from the Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook by Alice Waters
Serves 6

5 eggs plus 2 egg whites
3/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
1 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. good quality Sauternes
1/2 c. plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks and sweetened with 2 tsp. of sugar
3 peeled, diced peaches

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line the bottom of an 8-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper, then thoroughly butter the entire pan and paper. (Stephanie’s note: I used a 9-inch nonstick round cake pan with good result.)

Separate the 5 eggs into two bowls – the yolks into a large mixing bowl, the whites into the bowl of a stand-up mixer.  Using a wire whisk, beat the egg yolks with the sugar for 3-5 minutes until light-colored.  Add the lemon rind and salt.  Using the same whisk, slowly add the flour bit by bit to the egg yolk mixture.  Slowly whisk in the Sauternes and olive oil.  Set aside.

Using a stand-up mixer (or electric beaters), beat the 5 egg whites and 2 additional egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks.  Thoroughly fold them into the egg yolk mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the cake if necessary to ensure even cooking.  After 20 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 325F and bake for another 20 minutes.  Then turn the oven off and leave the cake in the closed oven for 10 minutes more while the cake deflates like a fallen souffle.

Remove the cake from the oven.  Invert the cake onto a flat surface, remove the sides of the spring-form pan.  (If you baked it in a 9-inch cake pan, run a knife around the sides of the cake and invert.)  Peel off the parchment paper and discard.  Cool cake completely (really – the Sauternes flavor is most pronounced at room temperature).  Serve at room temperature with fresh peaches and softly whipped cream.  (Store cake wrapped tightly and chilled.)

Homemade Applesauce

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Sep 28, 2010 at 5:16pm

I hated applesauce as a kid.  (I realize how many blog posts I begin by mentioning a food I hated as a kid.  I do it to reassure you, and myself, that picky children often become enthusiastic cooks and eaters.  So hang in there if you’re feeding the seemingly impossible.)

I hated its grainy, watery texture. I hated its unappetizing pinky-grey color.

I hated that it didn’t taste like apple pie, which I loved.

And then I made homemade applesauce and like many things homemade, it blew my mind a little bit.  Smooth and almost creamy, thick and not-too sweet, scented with cinnamon and tasting fully of apples.  Like apple pie, in fact, warm and comforting.  Yes.

It’s the only applesauce I’ll eat.  Bonus: It’s one of my son’s favorite foods, especially alongside pork (in particular, no-fail barbecued ribs, tonight’s din).

I feel like I’m cheating calling this a recipe, since it’s nothing but apples, a splash of water, and cinnamon.

So I’ll give you this rough outline, and then say this: Make some immediately.

For another twist on the pork & apple theme, check out the Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Apple Salsa recipe I posted a couple of weeks ago at the Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine blog.

Homemade Applesauce
Makes several cups

About 20 apples (I picked up two bags at the farmers market, one of Cortlands, one of Honey Crisps)
1/4 c. water
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
Sugar (maybe, but you likely won’t need it)

Peel, core, and slice apples, tossing them into a stock pot or Dutch oven as you go.  When all the apples are sliced, add water and cinnamon to pan and cover.  Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, and stir occasionally, recovering, until apples break down into a thick sauce, about 20 minutes.  Taste applesauce and add 1-2 Tbsp. of sugar if needed (I didn’t need to add sugar, but it does depend on 1) how sweet you like your applesauce, and 2) how sweet the apples are that you’re using).  When the apples are dissolved, continue simmering over low heat, half-covered, sitrring occasionally, until sauce is quite thick, about 20-30 minutes.  Serve warm or cool.  Store remaining applesauce in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Blueberry Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Aug 1, 2010 at 11:37am

I still had blueberries left from last week’s farmers market haul, but since they were just-past gorgeous (yet still perfectly edible), I decided that today was the day to bake them into this pretty blueberry lemon cake I’d had my eye on.

Although really, every day should be a day for buttermilk cake, don’t you think?  It hardly matters the version, since they all share a soft, moist crumb – to me, the essence of cake. (And I am all about the essence of cake.)

I decided to treat this one like a tea cake and gild the lily with a lemon icing drizzle.  And why not?  As I pulled the cake out of the oven, Puppy Louis peed downstairs and the boys cleaned it up with newsprint.  Ink on the carpeting, carpet cleaner on the way…

Time for lemon icing.

And a slice of cake.

Blueberry Lemon Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from
Serves 10-12

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 c. granulated sugar
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 c. buttermilk 
10 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 c. blueberries
zest of one lemon

2 c. confectioner’s sugar
juice from one lemon
whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder, and add the sugar and nutmeg. In a separate medium bowl, beat the eggs.  Add the buttermilk, butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix well until incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Fold in the blueberries.

Spread the batter in the pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is just golden and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 20 minutes.

While the cake cools, stir together the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice.  Add enough whipping cream to thin the icing to drizzling consistency.

Spread icing over warm (not hot) cake.  Serve cake warm or cool.

Raspberry Gratin

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jul 25, 2010 at 9:58am

I’ve had my eye on this Sunday Suppers at Lucques dessert for awhile.  It’s really just fruit and custard, keeping the focus firmly where it belongs – on perfectly ripe, juicy, summer-bursting-in-your-mouth berries.

(The recipe calls for raspberries; I used both blueberries and raspberries.  It’s worth hitting the farmer’s market for the real deal – the berries don’t cook, so you want them to taste great on their own.)

It’s a neat trick to run the dish under the broiler – the heat warms the berries and browns the top of the custard a bit, while the custard underneath stays cool.

Did I mention that there’s creme fraiche in the custard? Uh yeah…

It’s therefore not a shocker that the whole emerges tangy & creamy, pleasantly sweet but not overly so, and pretty enough for a party.

Or for a pretty damn tasty Sunday morning breakfast!

Raspberry Gratin
From Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin
Serves 6

1 1/2 c. whole milk
3 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 c. plus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. corn starch
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
a pinch of salt
1 c. creme fraiche
1 pint (2 baskets) raspberries
1 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar

In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, bring the milk to a boil, and then turn off the heat.  Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl, and then whisk in 1/2 c. sugar and the cornstarch.  Continue whisking until the mixture thickens and is a pale  yellow color.  Slowly whisk in the hot milk, at first a few tablespoons at a time, and then more quickly.  Return the mixture to the stove, and cook over medium heat, alternating between a whisk and a rubber spatula, until the custard thickens to a puddinglike consistency.

Remove from the stove, and stir in the butter and salt.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to keep it from forming a skin.  Poke a few holes in the plastic to let the heat escape.  Cool in the refrigerator.

When the custard has cooled, fold in the creme fraiche.

Preheat the broiler.

Toss the raspberries with 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar, and scatter half of the them on the bottom of a 9×9-inch (or equivalent) gratin dish.  Spoon the custard into the dish, and scatter the rest of the berries on top.  Sift the confectioners’ sugar over the top, and pass under the broiler for about 7 minutes (watch carefully!), until bubbling and gratineed on top.

Serve the gratin at the table with a big serving spoon.

A Sweet Spoonful’s Strawberry Ice Cream

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on May 27, 2010 at 2:45pm

Remember when I wrote about the mind-blowing experience I had at the Penny De Los Santos food photography workshop I attended in March?  The reasons were many and varied, namely the San Francisco sunshine, Contigo’s gorgeous food, a hundred million great ideas from Penny, pushing way out of my comfort zone, and meeting three unbelievably cool chicks, all three of whom write beautiful food blogs (Chez Us, Bon Vivant, and A Sweet Spoonful).  I enjoy “keeping in touch” with all three over Twitter, and “catching up” with them by reading their blogs.  (You should read their blogs too, admire their lovely photographs, enjoy their San Fran raves…yeah, hugely jealous.)

A couple of weeks ago, Megan of A Sweet Spoonful wrote a hilariously sweet post about her love of ice cream.  She included a recipe and stunning photos of homemade strawberry ice cream – mmmm – and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.  Megan’s post inspired me to finally buy an ice cream maker (I’ve always wanted one) and start making ice cream that I actually like (other than Jeni‘s, which I love, but paying shipping for ice cream on a regular basis is obviously ridiculous).

The ice cream maker arrived and no surprise, the first batch I made was Megan’s strawberry version.  It is sublime, truly, especially right now, when berries are perfectly sweet and juicy.  Even my chocolate-obsessed husband, who was disappointed by my flavor choice, was blown away.  Yes!  Just in time for summer, a new toy to play with.  My next batch (see chocolate-obsessed husband) will have to be…chocolate…but after that, I think I’ll try my hand with salty smoked almonds, my favorite Jeni’s flavor.

Do you make homemade ice cream?  What’s your favorite flavor?  In case you’re wondering, after you have the ingredients ready (and very cold), the machine takes only 20 minutes to churn up creamy dreaminess.  Dangerous, if delicious.

PS Thanks to Suz for the pretty blue dishes – aren’t they sweet?

A Sweet Spoonful’s Strawberry Ice Cream
Megan Gordon,
Makes 4 cups

Use any berries you’d like for this ice cream. Just make sure to cut up the pieces quite small–nothing good about big frozen, icy chunks of berries in your ice cream. Also, while I call for vodka here, you could also use kirsch or a liquor that would bring out the taste of the berries. I chose vodka because it has a neutral flavor and I always have some around the house, but play around with whatever inspires you–it’s not enough to make a big difference flavor-wise.

Adapted slightly from: Rustic Fruit Desserts

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
Pinch fine sea salt
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. vodka
1 dry pint (2 cups) finely chopped strawberries

Combine the milk, 1/2 cup of the cream, and 1/3 cup of the sugar in a 3-quart sauce pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until just warm.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks, 1/3 cup of the remaining sugar, and the salt and whisk until slightly lighter in color. Very slowly pour half of the warmed liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously. Next, pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow for it to get hot enough to boil. Heat slowly and watch for thickening.

Once thickened, take saucepan off of heat source. Set a bowl over an ice bath, then strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over the bowl. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup cream and the vanilla and continue stirring until cool. Cover and chill in refrigerator 1.5 – 2 hours. Add remaining 1/3 cup sugar to chopped berries and put in the refrigerator in separate little bowl.

Once the custard has chilled, stir in the berries and vodka and freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Place the churned ice cream in a dry plastic container and cover with plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream. Chill for at least 2 hours or until set up.

Storage: Stored in an airtight container in the freezer, the ice cream will be good for two weeks.