Tag Archives: fruit

Fig Puff Pastry Tarts

Fig Puff Pastry Tarts - Pook's Pantry

Labor Day weekend is behind us, and for me that marks the “unofficial” official end of summer. I’m not quite ready to “pumpkin spice all the things”, and I’m grasping onto the last ripe tomatoes, corn and veggies that summer has to offer, but fall is right around the corner.  This summer has brought sweltering temps with it and I for one, am ready for it to cool down just a bit.  

This recipe came to fruition based on 2 things:  I had puff pastry in the freezer and I had figs that were on the verge of being too soft.   Wasting food is a Cardinal Sin in my book, and I needed desserts for a client so it was a no-brainer.   I looked through the fridge to see what I had on hand to make this come together; it wasn’t much.  Luckily, I had cream cheese and I figured if I sweetened it up just a touch, the finished product would be almost Danish-like.

You want dessert, but you don’t want to spend hours making it…   However, if said dessert gave the appearance you had spent all day making it that would be a bonus.  Amiright?!

Continue reading

Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake

affiliates
Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

I love my “swirly” bundt pan, but it’s a tad smaller than the average bundt and I always have leftover batter.  This may not seem like an issue, but sometimes I don’t want to make extra cupcakes or little cakes.  I just want One Big Bundt!  So, after dropping a few subtle hints and finally telling my Mom that I was planning a heist and the prize was her Classic Bundt pan… Voila!  She told me that one was on it’s way to me!  Thanks, Mom!  (sometimes, a girl needs to resort to extreme measures) Continue reading

Can All The Things!

IMG_1098

I met Rebecca Lindamood a few years ago at a food blog conference in Orlando.  One day, we were talking about trading goods with each other (local food for local food).  A few weeks later, much to my delight, a quart of Grape Pie Filling (p.31) shows up on my doorstep.  I had never tasted grape pie filling before, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.  I was in for gastronomic bliss of epic proportions. If you pay attention to things I swoon about, you know THIS is at the top of my list.  Think of the juiciest, “grapiest”,  most luscious grape you’ve ever had.  Now multiply that by 10.  That’s Rebecca’s grape pie filling.

When there was talk of this book happening, I was beyond thrilled for my friend.  Her food is amazing and creative.  It is beautiful and yet,  practical.  As a former cook and Mom of 5 boys, she knows a thing or two about feeding people.   I couldn’t wait to get this book and review it because I knew it was going to be one of my “go-to” guides for canning.   I’ve made chutneys and jams, pie fillings and pickles,  chow chow and pickled beans… and then they sit there. Sometimes I get around to actually using them and sometimes, I give it all away because I can only eat so much of it.  Here’s where Rebecca saves the day:  there is a corresponding recipe for all of the things you’ve just canned!!!  I can’t even begin to explain my excitement about that!  

After all, a beautiful jar of something sitting on the shelf doesn’t do anyone any good unless you know how to use it!   -Rebecca Lindamood

If you or someone you know enjoys canning, get this book! There is something for everyone. It would make a great present for any occasion.  Or just because it’s Tuesday. I can’t recommend it enough.  It’s written in a way that makes it accessible for beginners and at the same time, appeals to experienced canners as well.  The recipes are unique and so varied!  Everything from the aforementioned grape pie filling to cardamom extract.   Make the cherries in red wine syrup this weekend (while you can still get this little ruby fruit) and enjoy the fruits (see what I did there ;)) of your labor in the fall or winter when you use those cherries to make Filet Mignon with Red Cherry Wine Sauce!  Make a batch of Ginger Peach Butter now, enjoy Peaches and Cream Baked Oatmeal later!   The entire book is like this!!!  Can you tell how much I love that?  It’s brilliant!

My dream pantry is lined top to bottom with beautiful jars containing their jewel colored treasures.  This book has me on my way to achieving that dream.  Thank you Rebecca, for reintroducing me to my love of canning.

Here is an affiliate link to Amazon to make getting your book even easier!

Happy Canning!

Cherry Chutney

Cherry Chutney
I’m on a serious cherry kick lately.    I can’t get enough of them…  We have gone through almost 10 pounds in the last month because they always seem to find their way into my cart.  You know, just in case I need more.  I’ve been putting them in everything from cakes to oatmeal and this week, I decided to go a savory route.    If you are unfamiliar with chutney, let me give you a quick description.  It’s like a relish, it has sweet and sour ingredients, usually coming from sugar or fruits and vinegar.  It is a blend of sweet and savory.  It’s a great condiment to use with grilled meats or vegetables and this chutney went splendidly with a grilled flank steak.Cherry Chutney

This chutney was paired with grilled meat, but it can also be a great addition to a cheese board or a charcuterie platter or even as a tasty spread on a hearty sandwich.cherry chutney

Cherry season is nearly over, so don’t wait too long to grab a couple of pounds.   I’ll be making another big batch before the summer is over to put up on the shelves so I can enjoy them long after they disappear from the stores. 

Let’s Cook!

Cherry Chutney
Serves 8
A sweet & sour condiment made from fresh cherries, perfect on grilled meat.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 lb. fresh cherries, pitted and roughly chopped (approximately 3 cups)
  2. 1/2 small red onion, diced
  3. 1/3 cup dried currants
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. 1 1/2 tsp. grated ginger
  6. 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  7. 1 TB whole grain mustard
  8. 2 TB light brown sugar
  9. 1 tsp kosher salt
  10. 1 TB canola oil
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot, heat oil over medium low heat then add onions and garlic. Cook until softened, but not browned (5 minutes). Add red wine vinegar and cook a few minutes more.
  2. Add in cherries, currants, ginger, brown sugar, mustard and salt.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked down and thickened.
  4. Cool completely then pack in an airtight container and refrigerate.
Notes
  1. I served this with grilled flank steak, but it would be a great addition to a cheese or charcuterie board!
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/
Cherry Chutney

Blueberry Crumb Cake

blueberry cake PP
Did you know that July is National Blueberry Month?  Let’s make a cake and celebrate!
Last week, I was flipping through an old book and 2 things fell out onto my lap: this recipe and an old black & white photo from a birthday party.

That’s the story of my life.  I’m usually a fairly organized person,  but little scraps of paper plague my existence.  I find them everywhere.  I mean, literally everywhere.  I scribble down notes or ideas and shove them into a bag or toss them onto the dining room table or kitchen counter.   I’m staring at a handful of them as I type this…crumb cake
I’ve given this recipe a permanent home now, which makes me quite pleased because this cake happens to be one of my very favorite things in all the world.   In my humble opinion, crumb cakes are absolutely one of the recipes that should be in everyone’s back pocket.  A good crumb cake is a crowd pleaser. Have you ever met someone that didn’t like crumb cake?  Me either.  
It almost guarantees you’ll get another invite if you bring it to someone’s house.  Ask my friends, I’ve taken it a few times  😉Blueberry Cake
This cake has a Very Generous crumb topping, which is mandatory in my book.  The cake itself is surprisingly light, but sturdy enough to support a hefty amount of fresh blueberries.   Get them while they are in season, because those plump little blueberries are best in the summer months!

Blueberry Crumb Cake
Serves 9
A fruit-packed cake topped with a buttery, crunchy crumb
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
For the Cake
  1. 1 1/2 cups AP flour + 1 tsp for blueberries
  2. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1 tsp vanilla (preferably vanilla bean paste)
  6. 1/2 stick unsalted butter (4TB), softened
  7. 2/3 cup sugar
  8. 1 large egg
  9. 1/3 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
  10. 2 cups blueberries, washed and patted dry
For the Crumb Topping
  1. 1 cup AP flour
  2. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Make the Crumb Topping
  1. In a medium bowl- mix flour, sugar and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the mixture until you have large crumbs. Do not make them too small! Otherwise, the topping will not be crunchy, yummy chunks of buttery goodness on top of your cake... It will melt into the cake.
  2. Chill until you are ready to sprinkle on the cake.
Make the Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter and flour a 9x9 baking dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined.
  4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beat until just combined. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk, beat until combined. Repeat once more, ending with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, toss blueberries with the teaspoon of flour and gently fold into the batter.
  6. Batter is thick, so being gentle is important! Spoon batter into the baking dish and use an offset spatula if necessary to level the top.
  7. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the entire cake and bake for 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely before slicing!
Notes
  1. This is a versatile cake, the blueberries can be swapped out for other berries (like blackberries!) or even stone fruits like cherries or peaches.
  2. It also freezes beautifully for those days when you need just a little something.
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/
Pin it!

picmonkey_image

White Wine Blood Orange Spritzer

2.1One of my favorite memories from childhood is having my grandfather’s siblings and their spouses at our house.  There were 10 of them  (including my grandparents) and they would get together regularly.   We would rearrange the living room to accommodate everyone,  kitchen chairs lined up beside the sofa and I would find myself seated on the floor at their feet.

This “mini-reunions” are where I learned about my grandparents and great aunts and uncles,  I heard stories about their childhoods and often I heard the same story re-told by someone else with a slightly different perspective than the original storyteller.  It was incredibly entertaining to see this group of elders challenging each other and trying to convince the other that their recollection of the same event was rather skewed.

My all time favorite story was one my grandfather told about the farmer and the watermelons.  He worked for a farmer when he was a kid and made 10 cents a day.  He gave half of that to his mother and the other half he kept for himself.  This was during the depression, so although it wasn’t much money,  he was lucky to have anything at all.  Somehow, my grandfather and one of his brothers got the bright idea that they would go to the farmer’s field at night and take a watermelon.  This was stealing, and they knew it, but they were hungry and didn’t really figure the farmer would miss one melon…  They were wrong.

Continue reading

Cranberry-Orange Upside Down Cake

 

cranberry orange.jpg

I love desserts, this is not a secret.  Some people like over the top, more is better, super rich desserts.  These are not for me.   We were recently doing a cake tasting and the chocolate cake was so rich that I could only eat one bite.  Literally.  I don’t mean, “Oh, I couldn’t possibly…”  I mean it was so sweet that I could not eat more than a single bite.  Who wants ONE BITE of cake?!  Needless to say, some changes were made.  I need something to counter the sugar. It could be something tart like lemon or cranberry, salt to balance out the sweet or even something as simple as almost unsweetened whipped cream.   Unless it’s little pink piglets frolicking with puppies and baby monkeys in a field of wildflowers, I can’t handle that much sweetness.

Continue reading

Mango Lime Quinoa

Mango Lime Quinoa

Welcome to the first installment of “Client Food Fridays”.  Every other Friday, I’m going to share recipes I cook for clients in hopes that you can expand your weekly repertoire and incorporate some new dishes into the rotation.  We all fall into cooking ruts, ALL of us.  It’s so easy to make the same things over and over because we can do it by rote memory.   And let’s be honest, sometimes that’s exactly what we need after an exceptionally long week.   But then, there are those days when we are feeling good and we are totally in the mood to try something new (whether or not anyone else in our house is on board is not an issue… picky eaters, beware.  we’re coming for you).

Continue reading

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bark

 

Bark

I try, I mean I REALLY try to eat a healthy diet about 90% of the time… but, there is this issue I have with sweets.  I don’t limit myself to candy a few times a year like most reasonable people…  I limit myself to chocolate a few times a month (ok, a WEEK!),  it’s a problem but honestly I don’t care.  Chocolate Bark is one of the easiest treats to pull together and this one has fruit and nuts in it, so it’s practically health food.

We have all seen the peppermint bark for sale around the holidays.  Why limit yourself to peppermint and why limit this deliciousness to only the holidays?   While we’re on the topic, why pay $20 a pound when you can double that amount for half the price?

This treat is perfect for those times when you want a little something (which for me, is always), but you just don’t feel like turning on the oven, or getting the big stand mixer out, or cleaning up a huge mess (does anyone ever want to clean up a big mess?!).   During the summer months, I’m especially inclined to make something that allows me to have my sweet fix without having a 400 degree box of heat cranking in the kitchen.

Continue reading

Salchichoc (Chocolate “Sausage”)

 

Disclaimer:  I received a pdf version of “Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain” .  Any links to book are affiliate links.

choc sausage

 

Chocolate Sausage?  No, it isn’t a recipe for actual sausage made with chocolate,  it is a dessert fashioned to look like sausage and it is made out of chocolate.   Kinda brilliant…  but then again, I do love Spain, Spaniards and their whimsical sense of humor 🙂

Charcutería: The Soul of Spain is an in depth look at Spanish charcuterie, unfortunately most of which is completely unavailable to us here in the United States.   This book covers every facet of it and is peppered with anecdotes from the author’s experiences in Spain, which also make it a fun and engaging read as it connects to recipes in the book.  The writing and explanations are descriptive and never feel like the author is talking “at” you instead of “with” you.

Continue reading