Posts filed under ‘fruit’

Pear & Raspberry Mini-Cakes

I’m not very good at baking.  I admit it.  I just don’t have the patience to measure everything out exactly to guarantee the results.  I like to experiment and try new things, but in my experience, baking doesn’t lend itself to that very well.  Recently, I discovered I was wrong.  There are so many people out there who do experimental baking really well – among my favorites to follow in the blogosphere are La Tartine Gourmande, Bake & Destroy and Cannelle & Vanille (among others).  These cakes were inspired directly from a recipe for an apple cranberry cake by Béa at La Tartine Gourmande.  I didn’t have apples on hand, nor do I actually own the right sized cake pan to make the tasty-looking cakes.  Nevermind though, I am turning over a new leaf and starting to experiment with my baking!  I made mini-cakes in a muffin pan and used some pears and raspberries that I had on hand.  They turned out great!

Pear & Raspberry Mini-Cakes
Ingredients:
1 tsp. baking powder
8 Tbs. flour
3 pears, peeled and cored
1 container of raspberries
3 eggs
1/3 cup + 1 Tbs. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

To Make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, sift together baking powder and flour.  Set aside.  Dice pears into 1/4 in. pieces.  In a large bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar and salt together until light.  Mix in butter and flour mixture.  Next, stir in pears until just combined.  Line muffin pan with cupcake papers.  Pour in mixture to each muffin cup and top with raspberries.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Yield:
8 mini-cakes 

April 26, 2008 at 10:45 am 3 comments

Good-Morning Crêpes with Berry Sauce

In France and Belgium, crêpes are popular at 3:00 in the afternoon with a cup of coffee or tea. For us, they will always be a breakfast food. We have them on lazy weekends or when guests visit.
Matt likes to top his with Nutella or just butter and cassonade (a brown sugar made from sugarbeets). I like mine with fruit. Before moving to Europe, I was hesitant to make them. There are hundreds of recipes and gadgets relating to this simple food. I have finally learned the secret to a perfect crêpe. It isn’t about the pan or the paddles, you can use any skillet or flat griddle (non-stick works best) and a knife or spatula to turn them. It’s all about the consistency of the batter (it should be thin and even) and the temperature of the pan (don’t let it get too hot between crêpes.) The rest is up to you – plain, savory, sweet, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert!

Good-Morning Crêpes
Ingredients:
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. butter (melted)

To Make:
Preheat skillet or crêpe pan over medium heat. Let it heat for about 5 mins.
In large bowl, whisk together all ingredients until batter is smooth and even (no lumps). When pan is hot, pour a small amount (about 1/4 cup) into center of pan and swirl to make a very thin layer on the pan. When tiny bubbles appear on the top side of the batter (after 1-2 mins.), gently slide a spatula or knife under one side and fold back onto itself to turn to the other side. Cook another 1 – 2 mins. and serve.

Yield:
4 Servings

Berry Sauce
Ingredients:
1 cup fresh or frozen fruit (I used mixed Summer berries)
1 T. sugar (or more to taste)

To Make:
Heat berries and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir frequently to dissolve sugar. Bring to a slow boil and reduce to a syrup consistency. Serve over crêpes, ice cream, cakes, anything!

Yield:
4 Servings

January 26, 2008 at 3:55 am Leave a comment

Watermelon Gazpacho

(Originally published by www.createmyevent.com, by me, on May 16, 2007)
The weather here in Belgium has been absolutely fabulous and it has inspired me to dig into some of the refreshing seasonal fruits that are now available. This watermelon “gazpacho” is the perfect starter for a dinner party, an easy take a long for a picnic event or a tempting treat on the appetizer table. The ingredients can be varied to your tastes and imagination, but here is my favorite version:

Watermelon “Gazpacho”

Ingredients:

5 cups seedless watermelon, diced and divided (approx. one 3lb. watermelon)

1 small cucumber, 1/4 in. dice (approx. 1 cup)

1/2 yellow pepper, de-seeded, 1/4 in. dice (approx. 1/2 cup)

1/2 red pepper, de-seeded, 1/4 in. dice (approx. 1/2 cup)

1 peach, 1/4 in. dice (approx. 1 cup)

1 small jalapeno pepper, de-seeded, minced

1/2 small red onion, 1/4 in. dice (approx. 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup mint, finely chopped

1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

3 T. lime juice

2 T. red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. salt
Olive oil and sea salt for serving

To Make:
Put 4 cups of diced watermelon into a blender and puree. Pour into large bowl. Add remaining 1 cup diced watermelon and the rest of the ingredients. Stir. Cover and refrigerate for 1-4 hours. (The longer it sits the better the flavors will blend). To serve, pour into shot glasses and drizzle with olive oil and a little bit of sea salt.

Yield:
Approx. 20 shot glass servings

January 7, 2008 at 3:35 am Leave a comment


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