Category Archives: Recipes

Berry Awesome Cobbler

While I dearly love food — eating, cooking, growing, canning, baking, shopping, ogling, etc. — there are really only a few desserts that turn me into a dangerous fork-wielding maniac.  I generally prefer savory food to sweet.  I can’t put down a really good, crusty bread.  I will eat a giant bowl of tabouli without pausing to breathe.  Cheese, bacon, cabbage, nuts — I can’t be stopped.  But sweets?  I love making them but generally find that I’m sated with just a small bit of the finished product.

Except for two very specific dishes.  Tiramisu we can discuss at another time, but suffice it to say I make very very good tiramisu.  Today I want to discuss cobbler.  Specifically berry cobbler.

I love berry cobbler in a way that would sustain a marriage for 50 passionate years.  But mind you, it has to be GREAT.  There is nothing worse that a shitty, soggy, tastes-like-paste cobbler.  And I have been angered by plenty of these.

The best cobbler, to my belly, is also the simplest.  And the best recipe is Meme’s Blackberry Cobbler, from the very excellent cookbook Bon Appetit, Y’all by Virginia Willis.  Even Martha agrees.

I pretty much follow the recipe, though I make changes depending on what I have available.  For example, today I desperately wanted cobbler but also desperately wanted to not go to the grocery store.  So I used three cups of frozen mixed berries and tossed them with 1/3 cup of sugar mixed with 1 T corn starch because they were *really* juicy. (NB:  I generally hate corn starch and do whatever I can to avoid it, but sometimes I give in and use it when soupiness would ruin the dish).  I also used bread flour today because I ran out of AP and, for the first time in decades, I did not have any more in the pantry because for some weird reason I intentionally bought rye flour instead of AP last week.  Yep.  I make awesome shopping decisions while pregnant.

Anyhoodle, here’s the basic recipe.  You can use fresh or frozen berries.  You can use other fruits, too (peaches, cherries, etc.).  I usually add lemon zest to berries, fresh grated nutmeg to cherries, and almond extract instead of vanilla for peaches.  ENJOY!

Berry Awesome Cobbler

Meme’s Blackberry Cobbler from Virginia Willis’ Bon Appetit, Y’all

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, creme fraiche, or ice cream, for serving

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet or ovenproof baking dish, in the oven, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, place blackberries in a large bowl. Using a potato masher, mash blackberries to release their juices. If blackberries are tart, sprinkle with sugar.

In another large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add 1 cup sugar, milk, and vanilla extract; mix until well combined. Remove skillet from oven and add melted butter to flour mixture; stir to combine. Pour mixture into skillet and pour blackberries and their juices into the center.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake until top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the batter comes out clean, about 1 hour. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with whipped cream, creme fraiche, or ice cream.

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Filed under Food Pr0n, Recipes, southern foods

Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer Lemonpalooza, Part Two

As promised, a little how-to and what up on lemon curd.  Specifically, Meyer Lemon Curd from my Earth Fare bounty.

Curd Glorious Curd!

For starters, I would credit the origin of my recipe, except I have NO idea where it came from — it consists of a hastily scrawled page in one of my recipe notebooks.  So, if this recipe looks familiar to you, please comment and let me know where it comes from.  Anyhoodle, behold the glory:

Meyer Lemon Curd

  • 12 egg yolks
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 6 meyer lemons, zested, juiced and strained.  This should yield 1 cup of juice and about 4 T of zest.
  • 1 cup of butter, room temperature and cut into chunks

In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.

Place saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the lemon juice.

Once fully combined and sugar appears dissolved, switch to a wooden spoon.

Soon to be curd

Stir continually for 10-15 minutes, lowering the heat as you go so that it does not boil.

When the curd is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, remove from heat and stir in butter.

Strain the curd through a mesh sieve into a bowl (bowl should be glass or  stainless).  This is to get rid of any nasty cooked bits of egg.

Whisk in the zest.

Mmmmmm...

This will yield about 4 cups of curd.  If you are going to can, process in water bath for 20 minutes.

Eat it all in one sitting or pace yourself and keep it in the fridge.

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Filed under Custards, Food Pr0n, I Jam Econo, Recipes, Uncompensated Product Placement

Superbowl: A Time to Celebrate the Miracle of Snack

I’m not a sports person.  I could care less who is playing whom.  I am more aware of what is going on in the world of North Carolina goat’s milk cheeses than that of sports.  It’s not the game.  If I happen to be in a room when a game is on, I will not protest and in fact will likely be somewhat interested in what is going on.  I like it when the players go beyond merely doing their job to getting it done in an elegant and sexy way.

I’m just not a fan.  Not of any sport, any team, or any player.  I thank my stint as a cocktail waitress in a Nashville sports bar for that.  I’m happy my livelihood no longer depends on UT winning.  Aside from status updates on Facebook, I pretty much know nothing about pro football.  Or any football.  Or any ball.  And I am happy.

That said, I am dimly aware that this weekend is the Superbowl.  And while I could just as happily regrout the kitchen, I must admit that I find myself getting a tad caught up in the true spirit of the Superbowl — the Spirit of Snack.  And even though Cletus the Fetus is making it incredibly difficult to eat or breathe these days, he has not impaired my supernatural snack making abilities.  While I generally prefer “real” foods, I do make serious exceptions for special events.

For example, pigs in a blanket:

Charcuterie en Pastry

Very simple.  Use biscuit dough or class it up and use teeny sausages and strips of puff pastry.  It’s still the same thing – weenies.  A nice variety of dipping sauces and you are good to go.

Let’s not forget, the mandatory crudite platter:

Yeah, that's bacon.

You can dump a container of Helluva Good Ranch dip in a cool bowl, or you can go the extra 2 feet and make your own.  I like to use 2 cups low-fat sour cream (this is the ONLY time you will EVER see me willingly use a ‘low-fat’ dairy product. I generally believe it is blasphemy) and 3 tablespoons of Penzey’s powdered Buttermilk Ranch dressing.  And crumble some bacon on top.  Duh.

Whatever you do, it should be easy.  And there should be a lot of it.  Because no matter where you fall on the Fan Scale, you aren’t doing it right if you don’t end the day with a bunch of mysterious food stains on your team jersey.

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Filed under Cultural Oddities, Food Pr0n, Mmmmeat!, Recipes

Clementine Sherbet, Hussy Style

I was inspired to make clementine sherbet after I saw this post at the Kitchn, where they review this 2009 recipe for tangerine sherbet from the NY Times (which itself appears to be based this Chez Panisse dish). The good folks over at the Kitchn substituted clementines for tangerines — which I think is brilliant. Anyhow, they were generally happy with the NYT recipe, but for the fact it had such a meager yield. I agree. I would also add that while I am pretty freaking laid back when it comes to non-baking recipes, I have to say that I found the NYT recipe to be a wee tad insipid.  Either give specific times and measurements or don’t. But the whole ‘I’M CASUAL AND BREEZY FOR REALLLLSSZ!!’ thing kind of makes you look like a dick.  Just saying.

Anyhow, so seeing as I more than tweaked the recipe AND I found the most recent iteration to be pointless, I’m going to go ahead and rewrite the damn thing with *my* ingredients and ratios. My yield at almost 4 cups is about double the NYT recipe.

Clementines

CLEMENTINE SHERBET

  • 1 packet unflavoured gelatin
  • 1/4 c water
  • 4 lbs of clementines
  • approx. 1/2 cup of orange juice or pineapple juice, or some other similar juice (optional)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 t ground cardamom
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 c heavy cream, cold

In a medium saucepan, dissolve gelatin in water.

Zest 5 of the clementines with a microplane grater and set aside zest.  Juice ALL of your clementines; you should have approximately 3 cups of juice.  If you are short, juice more clementines OR add enough orange juice or similar juice to make 3 cups total.

Mix together zest, juice, salt, sugar, and cardamom.

Heat gelatin mixture over medium low heat until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Stir in juice mixture and heat until just below a simmer. Remove from heat and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. I did NOT strain my citrus mix because I like the way the pulp and zest look in the sherbet. Feel free to strain if you would like.

Stir vanilla and cold cream into citrus mix and pour into ice cream maker.  Eat a whole bunch as ‘soft serve,’ then freeze the rest.

Oh My Darling...

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Filed under Food Pr0n, Recipes, Sherbets...

No Scurvy Here

One of my very favorite websites is the Kitchn. I get a lot of kitchen inspiration from their wonderful posts and recipes. A week or so ago, they put up a recipe for clementine sherbet and I have not been able to stop thinking about it. What a bright, sunny, unexpected winter treat. And yes, I’m slightly more crazy about food right now on account of being pregnant, but trust me when I say that I am exceedingly food-lusty even when not knocked up.

I love everything about food – from seed to compost, from grocery list making to knife sharpening, from menu planning to scrubbing dishes. I love the way food looks, smells, feels, sounds, and tastes. I love how it brings my family together whether it’s a full-on Sunday dinner, hot as hell cookies swiped off the cooling rack, or a store-bought pizza eaten on the floor of the living room as we watch Dr. Who.

So as I wait for K to get home and Luli to finish napping, I’m going to get everything ready to get our sherbet on. I will post the recipe with any tweaks and production pictures in a follow-up post.

Pre-Sherbet Clementines

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Filed under Food Glorious Food, Kids in the Kitchen, Parenting is FUN!, Recipes, Sherbets...