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Blueberry Blackberry Crumb Pie

30 Aug

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There is no good way to ease into this, so I am just going to say it– WestCoastKef has left us the City of Angels. And when somebody who has been THERE for your husband the way WCK has, you throw a party and bake the man a damn pie.

Intel from his Beloved led me down the berry pie path, and Smitten Kitchen brought me to this mixed berry crumb pie. They are better at life than I could ever hope to be, and so I will reproduce the original recipe verbatim below.

But, first, some photos.

Immediately upon arrival, WestCoastKef had my living room looking like a photo shoot for his debut album, Bojanglin’ Back Home, which drops late 2017. COP THAT.

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What’s the number one sign your people are really ready to celebrate your ass? Double fisting bottles.

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… which escalated quickly. One bottle down approximately 1 hour into party.

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There are many hilarious interceding #turntup photos and videos, but we are grown ups with bills to pay and the internet is a scary place so instead… a jump to the group shot at the end:

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WestCoastKef– we will miss you mightily. And while I will pretty much never forgive you for bringing Settlers of Catan into my husband’s life, you can bet we will still be on the first spring break flight out to LA.

And now, the pie:

Smitten Kitchen’s Blueberry Blackberry Crumb Pie

For the crust

  • 1.25 c all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea or table salt
  • 1/2 c cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 c very cold water

Forthe filling

  • 4 c blueberries
  • 2 c blackberries
  • 3/4 c sugar (for a moderately, but not very, sweet pie)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 7 TBS tapioca flour/starch or 5 1/2 TBS  cornstarch (I used cornstarch)
  • Pinch of salt

For the crumb topping

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 TBS sugar
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.3 c all-purpose flour
  • Two pinches of salt

Assembly

Make pie dough:
– By hand : In the bottom of a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. (Some people like to do this by freezing the stick of butter and coarsely grating it into the flour, but I haven’t found the results as flaky.) Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add another tablespoon of water.
– With a food processor: In the work bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter and pulse machine until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. Turn mixture out into mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add the last tablespoon of water.
– Both methods: Wrap dough in a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours, or you can quick-firm this in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. Longer than 2 days, it’s best to freeze it until needed.

Heat oven: To 400°F (205°C).

Roll out crust: On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a 12 to 13-inch circle-ish shape. Fold dough gently in quarters without creasing and transfer to a 9 1/2-inch standard (not deep-dish) pie plate. Unfold dough and trim overhang to about 1/2-inch. Fold overhang under edge of pie crust and crimp decoratively. Save scraps in fridge, just in case.

Par-bake crust: Freeze for 15 minutes, until solid. Dock all over with a fork. Coat a piece of foil with butter or nonstick spray and press tightly against frozen pie shell, covering the dough and rim and molding it to fit the shape of the edges. Bake for 20 minutes, then carefully, gently remove foil. (Set the foil, still molded, aside. It will come in handy later.) If any parts have puffed, just press them gently back into place. Patch any tears or cracks with reserved dough scraps. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and leave oven on.

Meanwhile, make filling: Mix all filling ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

To make crumb topping, stir sugar, zest, baking powder, flour and salt into melted butter in a large bowl with a fork until crumbs form.

Assemble and bake: Pour filling into crust and scatter crumbs over the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes with these two important things in mind:

1. This crumb browns much more quickly than the pie is done. Grab that piece of foil you set aside from the parbaking phase and upend it over the top of the pie to protect it against further browning once it reaches the color you want. This might only take 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Fruit pies are done when you can see bubbles forming at the edges, with some creeping through and over some crumbs. If it takes longer, that’s better than an underbaked pie.

To serve: Try to let the pie cool until close to room temperature before serving. This gives the pie thickener a chance to help the pie set. The pie will be even better set after a night in the fridge. Bring it back to room temperature before serving.

 

A Blueberry Treat Whose Name We Shall Not Mention

30 Jun

Some things that I love, in no particular order: carbohydrates that defy definition, blueberries, and GingerKef’s cousin. So when I got the chance to bake a blueberry kind-of-cake/kind-of-bread WITH PresidentKef HIMSELF, I knew it was going to be a good night.

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PresidentKef and I go way back to the early days of this blog, when he was just a young man searching for Emerald City and I was a young, imprudent woman living on Lincoln Rd. Since then, we’ve been basically #BFF.

PresidentKef came into town last week and requested some time in kitchen with Kef, and I was only too happy to oblige. This recipe comes from the 1940s, and has an obnoxiously-appropriate-of-the-era name to boot: Blueberry Boy Bait. Blech. Good to know that in the 60 years between this recipe’s publication and the Neptunes’ production of “Milkshake,” America held true to the ideal that a hefty amount of saturated fat and sugar would snag you a suitable life partner.

Anyway- PresidentKef and I had a blast whipping this guy up. Here’s a mini lesson on when to be precise in baking and when to just go with your gut:

Sadly, there is no chocolate in this recipe– but there is a bunch of butter, sugar, and gluten. I’ve made this two or three times for large groups and it has always been met with demands for an encore appearance (but somehow, not one suitor… hmph). It’s “cake” in the way that coffee cake is, which is to say somewhere in between bread and cake (cread? brake?). Whatever you call it, it’s awesome, and I think you should make it.

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A Blueberry Cake Whose Name We Shall Not Mention

Ingredients

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 16 TBS unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 1/2 c blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first)
  • 1/2 c blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 13×9 pan (pyrex or metal).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a stand or electric mixer on medium high, beat butter and sugars until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated. Scrape down bowl between egg additions.
  3. Reduce speed to medium, then beat in one-third of flour mixture. Once incorpated, beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture.
  4. Toss blueberries in about 1 tsp of flour (optional). Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  5. Make the topping: scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter.
  6. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

4 Ingredient Coconut Lemon Popsicles

13 Aug

I came across my popsicle makers yesterday, shoved up in the top cabinet where I keep all my seasonal stuff. My first thought was, “OH I’ll have to make some popsicles this summer,” immediately after which I realized that this summer is already, in fact, more than half over. Y’all KNOW how I feel about August (one long month of Sundays)–so I had to shake off the “summer’s almost gone” blues and whip up some pops–stat.. I saw this recipe for coconut lemon pops, and decided I’d take a turn at taking out the refined sugar and adding another fruit. Et voila! Just about the easiest, most refreshing treat you could ever want, all before the end of another summer’s day.

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Coconut Lemon Popsicles

Ingredients

  • juice of 2 lemons (I got a bit more than 1/3 c using a hand juicer)
  • 1 c full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4-1/3 c frozen blueberries
  • maple syrup, to taste (I used about 3 TBS and mine came out very tangy)

Assembly

1. Assemble all ingredients. Stir vigorously in a bowl.

2. Pour into popsicle molds. Add sticks. Cover and freeze for at least 3 hours. To remove, run warm water over the outside of the frozen molds and loosen gently.

Runner’s Low and Boozy Blueberry Banana Bread

30 Jun

Eventually, we’re gonna get to this:

photo 2(1)But first, I have some whining to get out of the way.

Coming off the runner’s high of the RnR Half and delving right into another intense training cycle for the NYC Tri may not have been my best idea. Actually–scratch that. Delving right into another intense training cycle while ignoring the basic tenets of training was definitely not my best idea.

Rest, stretch, listen to your body, they say. And what do I say? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Don’t feel like resting, no time for stretching, and my body says another mile is a really great idea.

This training cycle has proven in exactly how many ways an attitude like that can (and will!) come back to bite me in my big ol’ butt. First there was an MPL sprain in early April. Next, more fueling issues in May. June brought some high temps, hydration woes that I can’t get into, and finally a nasty muscle pull in my lower leg that had me limping around. And then, because the triathlon Gods hate me, I woke up on Friday with a summer cold just as everything else was resolving. How cruel it is that people sitting on their couch eating bonbons have to wait 50 years for the error of their ways to catch up with them, while those of us trying to do something about the American obesity epidemic get rained on with instant ramifications. Granted I’d rather a pulled calf muscle than a CABG surgery–but the point remains.

I’ve had some really good training weeks, and I know that when push comes to shove I can complete the course and will have fun. I’m mostly frustrated by this up-and-down training experience, which pretty much leaves me feeling like this:

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For awhile there I was riding the runner’s low, and that hole got pretty deep and dark. But I woke up this morning and decided to bump that, as a bad attitude isn’t going to get me across the finish line any faster.  For all of you who enjoyed the picture-perfect running weather this weekend, I’m gonna let yall enjoy it… but I’m still gonna pass you in the swim.

And with that, I present you this really amazing boozy blueberry banana bread that would fool any gluten and sugar lover. This recipe comes from the fancy folks at So Let’s Hang Out, and I cannot wait to make this bread again–perhaps I’ll even give someone else a slice next time!

PS: I’m looking for some guest bloggers! Check out the details here if you want to be part of the fun.

Boozy Banana Bread that Makes Up for a Bad Run

Ingredientsphoto 1(1)

  • 1 c almond meal
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 TBS spiced rum
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tbs coconut sugar (optional)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Assembly

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a loaf pan (or two mini loaf pans) with parchment paper.

2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

3. Combine wet ingredients (except blueberries) in a food processor until smooth.

4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well combined. Fold in blueberries. Pour into loaf pan(s) and smooth with a spatula.

4a. Optional: combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over top of loaf.

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes (depending on size of loaves), or until center is firm and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into middle.  Use the parchment paper to lift your loaf out and allow the bread to cool in the parchment paper for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Five for Friday: This Summer I Will…

6 Jun

It’s Friday and I’m linking up with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia (aka the DC Trifecta–check them out!) for a little chat about Summer 2014. I’m already feeling like this summer has completely gotten away from me, so I’m not going to waste precious daylight writing a long lead up to this one.

This summer I will:

1- GO TO MALAYSIA! JetSet and I are off to Singapore, Pengang, and Kota Kinabalu for our annual trek across the world. FERRAGOSTO 2014 is ON! In the meantime– anybody been to Malaysia? Travel tips? Pretty please?

2- Compete in the NYC Triathlon. I’m so, so excited to be competing with Athletes to End Alzheimers–catch me swimming, biking, and running in a boro near you. I still need to raise about $800 to meet my goal–please consider donating to the Alzheimer’s Association by clicking here.

3- Eat Civilized Caveman’s Blueberry Espresso Brownies. Every day.

4- Spend 4th of July with my family. We’ll take in the fireworks over the Williamsburg Bridge from JetSet’s swinging Lower East Side pad (totes NBD), then jaunt up to the Hudson Valley for a weekend of grilling, tanning, and hanging with MamaKef herself. I can smell the honey mustard chicken now (if you don’t get it… you don’t get it).

5- Get ready to go back to school. I cannot believe that I am going back to school (ed note: again). This time, I’ll be working toward becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Come on, Summer 2017!

What are you guys doing all summer? Tell me everything.

Blueberry Ice Cream Parfait

26 Mar

“You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, ‘Let’s get some parfait,’ they say, ‘Hell no, I don’t like no parfait?’ Parfaits are delicious.”

–Donkey (of Shrek fame)

Truer words were never spoken. My love of parfait started way back in high school when McDonald’s introduced the Fruit ‘n’ Yogurt Parfait–luckily, I’ve kicked it up a notch since 2002 and today’s post is not about fake yogurt, sugary syrup, and genetically modified fruit.

Back before QueijoKef and I went on a Miami bender, CousinKef and ManCaveKef came over for crockpot chicken tikka masala and GF naan.  The obvious thing to do would have been some delicious Indian-inspired dessert (Rasika’s cardamom ice cream comes to mind) but your resident contrarian friend ChefKef took things the other way and went hog wild on an American favorite: blueberries.

I saw this recipe for no-bake Greek yogurt blueberry ice cream and pretty much every synapse in my head fired at once. Determined to make a cute little dessert deserving of my wonderful cousin, I decided to layer it with Babycakes NYC’s vanilla cupcake and drizzle a lemon blueberry sauce allllll over that puppy to make the love child of an ice cream cake, a trifle, and a parfait. Are we in heaven yet?

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Absolutely none of these components requires one ounce of skill (the cupcakes are a ONE BOWL miracle) and I was quite pleased with the results- although as soon as I put them all into mason jars, I realized I should have served them in these cute little ramekins I have. Alas. Presentation has never been my strong suit.

 

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Blueberry Ice Cream Parfait

–The Cake

  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/3 cups agave nectar
  • ¾ cup homemade applesauce or store‑bought unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup hot water

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease two standard 12-cupcake pans. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, potato starch, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. Add the oil, agave nectar, applesauce, vanilla, and lemon zest to the dry ingredients and combine. Stir in the hot water and mix until the batter is smooth.

2. Pour 1/3 cup batter into each prepared cup, almost filling it. Bake the cupcakes on the center rack for 22 minutes, rotating the tins 180 degrees after 15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they’re golden brown and bounce back when pressure is applied gently to the center.

–The Ice Cream

  • 2.5 c blueberries (I used frozen)
  • 16 oz whole milk Greek yogurt (FIBBYDY)
  • 1/3 c sugar (I used coconut)
  • 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1. Combine everything in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and churn until thick, about 25 minutes. Pour or scoop Scoop into a large glass dish, cover, and freeze until firm — about an hour.

–The Sauce

  • 2 c blueberries (I used frozen)
  • 1/3 c coconut sugar
  • 1/3 c lemon juice
  • 2-3 TBS coconut milk

1. Bring blueberries, sugar and water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Reduce to medium heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.

2. Stir in the coconut oil milk. Stir well and cook for  another 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat and let it cool.

The Parfait

1. Layer your ingredients as you see fit– I did sauce, cake, sauce, ice cream, cake, sauce.

The Best Blueberry Buckle Recipe on God’s Green Earth

21 Aug

Let’s take our time machine back to the summer of 2008. I had just finished a crazy stint with City Year on the now-defunct HIV Outreach, Prevention, and Education team, my lease on an absolute hellhole of a first-house-out-of-college had finally ended, and I had just landed an awesome job as the Sex Ed Czar of DC (okay- so that was a self-appointed title informed by delusions of grandeur. Whatever.). Most people would take an awesome vacation or get new business cards made or something. Chef Kefi hosted a “Summer Garden Party.”

I am not one for over-punctuation, so let me explain my use of quotation marks and capitalization: a  summer garden party is a gathering in which real humans get together in someone’s well-manicured garden, sip curated cocktails, and sample the three or four varieties crustless tea sandwiches prepared by an effortless, coiffed host; a “Summer Garden Party” is an excuse for lots of 23-year-olds to masquerade as real humans by drinking Andre-based Kir Royales, stand around a mosquito-infested patch of grass and gorge themselves  in a most uncivilized fashion on the seventeen kinds of hors d’oeuvres the host had made because she had not yet learned the art of an edited menu.

At this point in life it was not yet fashionable to take a picture of everything you ate/cooked, so my point will be illustrated in portraiture. In the beginning, we looked like this:

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cool, calm, collected. Everything you’d expect from a summer garden party. But after about 12 minutes, it turned into this:

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and that’s how you know it was a “Summer Garden Party.”

Now that you have the background, I’ll bring you to the star of the show: Blueberry Buckle. If you don’t already know, a buckle combines of the best of pie, cake, and streusel with its buttery crust, cakey texture, and crumbly topping. I have never once brought this to a gathering without stealing the show– so use wisely!

Blueberry Buckle

(originally found in Gourmet July 2004, lost in a move and presumed dead in July 2009 and resurrected in July 2013 to great fanfare)

Ingredients

  • a deep dish pie pan
  • 1.5 c flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into small bits
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 TBS heavy cream

  • 2 c sugar
  • 1.5 c flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into small bits

  • 2 c flour
  • 6 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c well-shaken buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 5 c blueberries (recipe says fresh or frozen but I have always used fresh and can’t speak to frozen)

Assembly

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Thank you to yourfoodchoices.wordpress.com for the picture!

1. Make the crust: whisk together flour and sugar in a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until  mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-sized butter lumps. Beat together yolks and cream with a fork and stir into the flour mixture until well combined. 

2. Gently knead mixture in bowl with flour hands just until a dough forms. Flatten dough into a 6-inch disk and chill, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for at least one hour.

3. Unwrap dough and roll out between 2 sheets of wax paper to fit your pie pan.  Remove top sheet of wax paper and invert dough onto bottom and sides of pie pan. Cover surface with wax paper and chill again for 30 minutes.

4. Make the streusel topping: Whisk together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips or pastry blender until until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-sized butter lumps. Chill until ready to use.

5. Put oven rack on lower third of oven and preheat to 400F. Make the filling: Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips or pastry cutter until mixture resembles (you guessed it!) a coarse meal with roughly pea-sized butter lumps. Beat together yolks, buttermilk and vanilla with a fork and stir into flour mixture until combined well (batther will very thick).

5. Peel off wax paper from dough in pan and arrange half the blueberries over the dough in a single layer. Spread batter as evenly as possible on top of blueberries, then arrange remaining blueberries on top of the batter.

6. Sprinkle with streusel topping and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake until top is golden, 45-60 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Cut into slices and serve warm or at room temp with ice cream or whipped cream.

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