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Berry and Stone Fruit Galette

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I went blueberry picking last Saturday. It was short, and my friend and I quickly realized that we had gone too late in the season (good, ripe, berries were few and far between). I did manage to get about 3 lbs though. And although I won’t be making my blueberry jam again this year, I will be using it to make a various, and large, assortment of baked goods. I think that’s only fair.

I realized that I was in the mood for pie but not for the double crust prep, nor the extra steps to ensure the pie was cooked all the way through, and the berries would be soft, but not too juicy and fall apart. Blueberry is very hard to make. I saw my friend make one with her blueberries and it was a mess. I mean, she did great, but I don’t think I could have that sort of patience. Instead, I picked up some raspberries and nectarines and decided a galette (or crostata, as some say) would suffice.

photo 2

Berry and Stone Fruit Galette

  • 2 small nectarines, or any stone fruit of your choice such as one large peach, or 2-3 apricots
  • 8 oz of raspberries (one of those containers at the super market)
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • teaspoon of butter
  • teaspoon of vanilla
  • teaspoon of Australian Pink Salt ( just got this today, from Williams-Sonoma, use any salt you like)
  • 1 store bought pie crust
  • 1 egg (for egg wash, optional)

In a medium pot, over low heat, melt the butter. In a bowl mix the berries and brown sugar. Add berries to pot and stir in vanilla. Cook for about 15 minutes or so on low heat to allow the juices to escape. Add salt, and turn off heat. Allow to cool for about an hour or two.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare your baking sheet by adding and greasing your parchment paper.

Roll out your down, either homemade or store bought.

With a slotted spoon, scoop out the berries into the center of the dough. Slice up the stone fruit and layer on top of the berries. Fold over the dough leaving an opening in the center of the pie. I like to put a round piece of stone fruit in the center, almost like an eye. Crack an egg in a bowl and quickly whisk. Brush over the crust of the pie and in the center. If you like, you can also sprinkle some raw sugar over the crust for added crispiness.

Bake for 15-17 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to sit for a good 15 minutes before transferring as the berry juices will not be stable. Some of my mine leaked out, but that wasn’t not a problem, the point of this sort of pie, is that it’s rustic, and a few small holes in the crust, where juices leaked out, are just fine.




Blueberry Orange Muffins on Weekends

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So it’s not the weekend. It’s 3 (or 4, depending on which part of the world you live in) days from it, actually. And I’ve been a lazy bum, eating, hanging out with friends, and swimming so sadly this post and delicious recipe didn’t make it to you in time.

Basically, these are the most amazing blueberry muffins I’ve had. I’m a little obsessed with blueberries lately (as if you hadn’t noticed), and I think all the latest muffin recipes I try are the #1 best. But I’m saving these in my “favorite recipes” folder in my laptop. That’s a big deal.

I think I only have 5 recipes in there. And only 1 other dessert.

the blurriness is due to my inability to stay patient

Lovely Muffins

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F and lining a muffin pan with some liners.

Then go ahead and combine the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients – butter, yogurt, egg and vanilla.

Combine the wet to dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula so you’re not overworking the dough. Overworked muffin dough gets really tough, and that’s not a lovely muffin at all!

Stir in the blueberries and orange zest. Fresh blueberries are always best because they can pop in the batter in the oven and create a lovely and juicy center. Scoop  into the muffin tray and sprinkle some raw sugar.

I find nothing more soothing than zesting citrus

…and nothing prettier than ripe blueberries

Place in oven for about 15 minutes. Mine took exactly 15 minutes, but up to 19 is OK depending on how hot your oven gets.

Rhubarb and Raspberry Crostata

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It’s not quite rhubarb season in So. Cal but I can still find it almost anywhere. It’s a little pale and green, and not that bright red that it usually is later in the year, however I love the taste. It’s tart and disgusting on it’s own, but when you cook it down, with some sugar and love, the juices come out, the sugar envelopes the whole thing, and it’s pure magic. I’m sure the one best thing about summer is strawberry and rhubarb crust cake (which I can’t wait to make either).

However, strawberries weren’t in my fridge, and although the natural sweetness of these berries helps the rhubarb a lot, raspberries really added a different level of flavor. I’m in love with it, no matter how you put it.

It’s my first time trying a crostata, and I usually shy away from rolling desserts, like cookies (unless scooped or sliced), and pies. Simply because I always have to make a few batches of the dough as at least one must always stick to my counter regardless of the amount of flour I add to it. In any case, this was a 100% winner.

For crust

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk

For filling

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 cups 1/2″-thick slices rhubarb, approximately 6 stalks
  • 1 6 ounce container fresh raspberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • brown sugar

To make the crust:

Combine both flours, sugar, and salt in a processor; blend for 5 seconds. Add butter; pulse until butter is reduced to pea-size pieces. Whisk egg and milk in a small bowl to blend; add to processor and pulse until moist clumps form.

Gather dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill at least 1 1/2 hours. The crust can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

For the filling:

Dissolve cornstarch in 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl; set aside. Combine rhubarb, raspberries, and sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and juices are released, about 4 minutes.

Stir in cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil (rhubarb will not be tender and slices will still be intact). Transfer to a bowl. Chill until cool, about 30 minutes.

seems very mushy right now, but it’s pure deliciousness.

Preheat oven to 400°F Roll out dough on floured parchment paper to 12″ round; brush with beaten egg. Mound filling in center of crust; gently spread out, leaving 1 1/2″ border.

Gently fold edges of dough over filling, pleating as needed. Brush border with egg; sprinkle with raw sugar. Slide parchment with crostata onto a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes( although mine was ready in half an hour). Let crostata cool on baking sheet on a rack. Transfer crostata to a platter, cut into wedges, and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes about 8 servings (10, if you’re really skimpy).

Books, and more Books

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I ordered a few things from amazon this past week. While I can admit that I’m an avid Amazon shopper nothing gets me going than that big box waiting for me at my door. This time, I got a couple of cookbooks and a lovely crochet book. I’ve been meaning to start a sewing class as well so I can properly hem my pants and skirts to fit my unruly, long thighs. In any case, these three books are a start to a fun summer and fall season. As it’s California, we’re skipping through Spring. In fact, I believe last week, when we had 78 degree weather, was as close to Spring as we can get.

This was a great buy, and it accompanied my new Lodge cast iron skillet to my door. However, I do have to say I’m disappointed that there aren’t as many pictures. Only about 20 or so that are int he middle of the book. I would preferred a picture to every 3 recipes (it’s just the way that I’m used to flipping through cookbooks for a recipe to catch my eye). However, it had great reviews on amazon, and other sites, and the recipes actually look lovely. I’m excited to try them out.

I’ve been reading about this book for a while from a few bloggers I follow religiously.  It’s one of those go-to books when you’re buying too many lemons because they’re on sale, or pickles, or tomatoes, or berries for jam. Personally, I purchased this recipe to learn how to make my own buttermilk, cheeses, breads,  and jams (especially because here in California berry season is right around the corner, and fresh black-blueberry jam is on my to-do list this year).

I’m especially excited to make my own frozen pizzas!

Anyone that’s spoken to me for more than a half hour knows that I love to crochet. If I could I would knit, just because having both of those needles in my hands makes me feel powerful (scary, I know). However, I have to stick with the skills that I have now and worry about others later, so aside from making scarves and blankets I would love to learn other stitches to at least make those scarves look interesting and different. This is where this book comes in.

Easy steps like this, with red arrows and simple instructions, is how my crochet kingdom will happen!