Pardon the repost……

 

We’re going on a  bit of a hiatus for the next few weeks while we’re having some work done on the house. If everything works out with the renovations we should be back to posting mid-October. This week I’m reposting my quick and easy recipe for a Fig Galette, You can check out the original post here.

Mission Fig Galette

We’re fortunate to share a garden with our neighbors. We have herbs, tomatoes, artichokes, lemons and a couple of fig trees. The first crop of figs provided the filling for a nice galette.  Galettes are easy desserts, think of them as a pie or tart, but you don’t need a pie plate or a tart pan. You can also use store bought pie crust or use your favorite crust recipe.

Filling

3-4 Ripe figs cut into quarters

1 9″ pie crust*

½ cup orange marmalade

1 TBS milk or cream

sanding sugar

pinch of salt

Roll out pie dough (or store bought crust) to approximately 9″ in diameter and ⅛” thick. Spread 2TBS of marmalade over the crust leaving a 1″ border all around. Place in the middle of the pie crust in a spoke like pattern and brush with the remainder of the marmalade. You should have a about a 2″ border all the way around. Fold the crust over onto the figs.

Brush the crust with milk and dust with sugar. Bake at 350F for 25″ or until the crust is golden brown.

*Pie Crust

    2 ½ cups sifted all purpose flour
    ½ cup sugar
    ¼ tsp salt
    1 cup iced water
    1 ¾ sticks chilled and cubed butter
    the zest of 1 lemon
    ¼ cup chilled and cubed vegetable shorting vegetable shortening

Combine the flour, salt, butter, sugar, lemon zest and shortening in a food processor with the chopping attachment. Pulse until the mixture looks like fine sand. Slowly add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse keep adding water until the dough starts to form pea sized balls. Test the dough by trying to form a ball, if the ball holds together, pour the mixture out on to the work services and knead together into a disk. Wrap the disk in wax paper and a zip top bag and store in the fridge for about an hour to chill. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about ¼ inch thick. Cut out into whatever shape you like. The dough recipe should be enough to make 8 3″ hand pies.

 

 

And still more figs……

Fig ice pops

We’re still buried under a pile of figs here at the ol’ homestead and I’ll admit I’m a little (a lot) tired of them. That being said, this weeks recipe is super simple and takes maybe 5 minutes to put together and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Which is exactly what my tired brain and body need after a super exhausting week at work. So I’ll get right too it.

Fig and Brown Sugar Ice Pops

  • 5-10 ripe figs, cut into 1/4 ” wide sliced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 can coconut milk

Soak ice pop sticks in water and set aside. Add a couple of slices of fig to each ice pop mold and set mold aside. Place all the remaining ingredients into a blender and and blend for about 30 seconds until all the ingredients are well combined. Pour mixture into ice pop molds insert soaked sticks, seal molds and place in freezer for at least 6 hours to set. Enjoy.

See, I told you it was easy and quick.

We be jammin’ or Figapalooza Part II

Well we’re continuing with last week’s figgy theme and making fig jam. As I’ve previously mentioned, we have a crazy number of black jack figs thanks to 2 very healthy trees out back. It’s a constant battle to try to get to all the figs before they start falling off the tree and then become an all you can eat buffet for various critters. This week’s effort to stave off the figpocalypse is jam. Now I can’t be bothered with all the boiling and vacuum sealing of jars, so I prefer to make freezer jams. They last up to 10 days in the fridge and 6 months in the freeze. So they’re an easy and convenient type of jam to make in small batches.

Super Easy Fig Freezer Jam

  • 1 lbs fresh figs roughly chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup water

Toss all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend for 15-30 seconds. Pour mixture into a heavy bottomed sauce pot. Bring to a boil over high heat stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and let boil for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and portion into clean canning jars. Loosely cover with the lids and let cool to room temperature. Place in the fridge and use within 10 days.

Yep, it’s that’s easy.

 

Figapalooza 2019 Part I

Yep, that’s right Figapalooza 2019 is in full swing at the ol’ homestead this week. Our upstairs neighbor is on her 4th batch of fig jam. I’ve made fig ice pops, fig flatbread, fig scampi, fig n’ grits and fig tarts. So this week I’ll share with you my recipe for Fig & Pistachio Honey Tart. The secret to bringing out the pistachio here is to use it as the base for the crust. Blind baking the crust helps roast the pistachios a little to bring that nuttiness more forward. There’s just a slight orange hint from orange zest and a little orange extract to help brighten things up.

Pistachio Crust

  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBS coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup chilled butter cut into cubes

Place 1/4 cup all purpose flour and the pistachios into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the pistachios are ground into a fine meal. Add the powder sugar, salt and the remainder of the flour and pulse 10 times to mix. Gradually add in the chilled butter, and pulse until dough is a sand like consistency. Mix the egg, vanilla extract and milk in a small bowl and slowly add to the flour and butter mixture until dough just comes together.

Form dough into a disk and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. After the dough has chilled, roll out to 1/4″ thick and lay into a tart pan and press the dough into the corners.

Dock the shell with a fork in several places. Line the shell with aluminum foil and fill with rice or dried beans. Blind bake the shell at 400F for 15-20 minutes. Remove the foil with the rice/beans and bake the shell for another 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Filling

  • 8 oz marscarpone
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp orange extract
  • 1 TBS orange zest
  • 1/3 cup honey

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Fill the cooled tart shell with the cheese and yogurt filling.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill until the cheese mixture sets about 2-4 hours.

To serve, top with sliced firgs, chopped pistachios and a drizzle of hone.

 

 

 

National Pot de Creme Day

Vanilla Bean Pot de Creme garnished with fresh figs and cherries.

As it turns out, today is National Pot de Creme Day. I’m not sure who decides these sorts of things but who am I to argue. Pots de Creme are super easy custards that are a versatile dessert to have in your repertoire. I love their simplicity and that they don’t have a lot of ingredients. So here is my take on Pot de Creme.

Vanilla Bean Pot de Creme

  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste

Over medium low heat, bring the evaporated milk and heavy cream to a boil in a heavy bottomed pot, While the milk is heating up, whisk egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla paste together in a large bowl and set aside. Once the cream and evaporated has come to a boil, remove from heat. Slowly add the warm cream to the egg sugar mixture a ladleful at a time while continuously whisking to temper the egg mixture. Once all the cream has been added to the cream, set the mixture aside for 10 minutes. Skim and discard any foam from that settles on the top. Even distribute the mixture into 4 ramekins and bake in a water bath at 325F for 50 minutes or until set.  Chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Garnish with fresh fruit and whipped cream or whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.

Vanilla Bean Pot de Creme with a dusting of cocoa powder.

Give this a try and let me know what you think

 

 

 

By Popular Demand

Piña Colada Ice Pops

A few months back I took an impromptu and wholly unscientific survey of roughly 80 or so people (mostly my co-workers) asking what their favorite flavor of Ice Pop/Paleta was. Coconut was the winner by an overwhelming margin. Second was Cherry Pineapple which according to my co-workers was a common treat from the ice cream man after school. What surprised me though was that Arroz Con Leche or Horchata was also very popular.

So by popular demand, this week I’ll share my recipe for Coconut, Pina Colada and Arroz Con Leche Ice Pops. To make this weeks recipes you will  need either re-useable ice pop molds or you can get single use zip top ice pop pouches from Amazon. Here is the link to the brand I use.

Coconut

2 15 ounce cans coconut milk

1 can Creme de Coco

½ cup shredded coconut

½ tsp coconut extract

¼ tsp each ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground allspice and ground clove.

Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth, pour into molds and freeze for at least 8 hours.

Piña Colada Ice Pops

Pina Colada

1 15 ounce can coconut milk

1 Ripe Pineapple peeled, cored and cut into chunks

1 can Creme de Coco

½ tsp coconut extract

Combine all ingredients in the carafe of a blender, blend on high until smooth. Pour mixture into molds and freeze for at least 8 hours.

Arroz Con Leche Ice Pops

Arroz con Leche/Horchata

2 cups cooked rice*

1 15 ounce can coconut milk

pinch of salt

1 12 ounce can evaporated milk

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla paste

½ tsp each ground clove, ground allspice, ground nutmeg

Yep, you guessed it combine all the ingredients into the blender and blend until well combined but not completely smooth. You’ll want to retain some of the grains of rice for texture. Pour into molds and freeze

* I suggest using left over rice, but if you do decide to make a fresh batch of rice for this make sure its at least room temperature but ideally cold.

 

That’s it simple easy kid friendly. Enjoy

Every blackberry has it’s thorn..or something like that

Freshly picked wild blackberries are the star of this shortcake.

We’re celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary this week back in the PNW. Enjoying fantastic views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, the occasional ferry and amazing sunsets. We’re also enjoying lots and lots of fresh sockeye salmon and wild blackberries.

I was spoiled growing up with wild blackberries growing just about everywhere and easy access to freshly caught wild salmon. Which even in the greater LA area its hard to find fresh salmon. Most grocery stores carry frozen farm raised Atlantic Salmon and it doesn’t taste even close to fresh caught, wild salmon.  As for the blackberries, its hard to want to pay $6 and $7 a pint for something you’re used to having in near limitless supply for free.

Blackberry brambles are extremely hearty and will grow just about anywhere and you don’t have to go to farms or any place special to find them.  They grow along paths and roadways all over the PNW  My only caution is to avoid picking them along heavily travelled roads, because they get sprayed with herbicides and are exposed to unhealthy levels of vehicle exhaust.

Conveniently there is a blackberry bramble that runs along the property line here. Since i have access to freshly picked blackberries this week, I’m going to make Shortcakes with vanilla whipped cream and honey macerated blackberries.

Blackberry Shortcake

1/2 cup of chilled butter cut into cubes

1 ½ cups AP Flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp white vinegar

pinch of salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

1 tsp vanilla extract.

1 pint fresh berries

2 TBS honey

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 TBS powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine, flour, sugar, bakng powder, salt and butter into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture is sandy texture (about 30. times). Add the vanilla extract and vinegar and slowly drizzle in milk until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and starts to form a ball. You may not need all of the milk.

Turn mixture out onto a floured board and press out until dough is roughly ¾ to 1 inch thick disc. Wrap in wax paper and let chill for about an hour. While dough is chilling, clean and thoroughly drain the berries then toss with the honey and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375F. Remove dough from fridge and cut into desired shape. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.  Remove from oven and  place on a wire rack to cool.

Place 1 cup of whipping cream into a chilled bowl, whip until doubled in volume and vanilla and sugar and whip until stiff peals form.

To assemble. cut shortcake in half, Place some of the whipped cream on the bottom half, place a couple of tablespoons of blackberries on top of the whipped cream.  Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of the berries then top with the other half of the shortcake.

 

Enjoy..

 

It’s National Ice Cream Day….maybe

Homemade coconut milk based Raspberry, French Vanilla and Double Chocolate ice cream. In a triple sunday with blackberry syrup, mango syrup and marshmallow syrup and of course with a cherry on top

Depending on the website you’re looking at, today is National Ice Cream Day. It may also be this coming Sunday. But no matter which calendar you choose to follow, I’ve got you covered with ice cream recipes this week. You can also check out this link to see all my frozen treat recipes.  All of this weeks recipes will be coconut milk based and use sweetened condensed milk as the sweetener. You will need an ice cream maker. I’m aware that there are several recipes out there that don’t require an ice cream maker, I’ve not tried to make these without one so I don’t know how well they’d work without one. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

So first up is classic French Vanilla

French Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 2 13.5 oz cans coconut milk
  • 1 13.5 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1TBS Vanilla paste

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix with a whisk or a electric mixer until all the ingredients are well combined. Chill ice cream base in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Churn according to you ice cream machines directions. Place churned ice cream into airtight containers and place in the freezer to harden for at least 4 hours but best to make a day ahead. Yield 1 quart of ice cream.

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

  • 20 mint candies like Andes mints coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp peppermint oil
  • ½ can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • Green Food Coloring (optional)

Combine, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla paste and peppermint oil (and green food coloring if you want that green color) in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Chill ice cream base in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Churn according to you ice cream machines directions. Once the ice cream has churned, mix in the chopped up mints. Place churned ice cream into airtight containers and place in the freezer to harden for at least 4 hours but best to make a day ahead. Yield 1 pint

Raspberry ice cream all dressed up with mango syrup, blackberry syrup, whipped cream, fruity cereal and a cherry on top

Raspberry Ice Cream

  • ½ cup freeze dried raspberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • ½ can sweetened condensed milk

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until the raspberries have ben completely broken down. Chill ice cream base in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Churn according to you ice cream machines directions. Place churned ice cream into airtight containers and place in the freezer to harden for at least 4 hours but best to make a day ahead. Yield 1 pint

The Ultimate Chocolate Sundae

Double Chocolate Malted Milk Ball, Cookies n Marshmallows

  • 2 13.5 oz cans of coconut milk (divided)
  • 1 13.5 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 TBS cocoa powder
  • 3 oz extra dark chocolate chopped
  • 1 TBS vanilla paste
  • 1 tsp ground coffee
  • 3 TBS malted milk powder
  • ¼ cup crushed malted milk malls
  • ¼ cup mini marshmallows
  • ¼ cup chocolate wafer cookies chopped
  • 3 oz of chocolate coarsely chopped (which ever kind you prefer)
  • pinch of salt

Pour one can of coconut milk into a microwave safe bowl and heat at 50% until it just starts to bubble. Place 3 oz of the extra dark chocolate into a large mixing bowl and pour the warm coconut milk over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Add in the remaining can of coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, vanilla paste, milk powder and coffee. Stir until well combined and then chill in the fridge for a few hours. Churn according to manufacturer’s directions for you ice cream machine. Toward the final 5 minutes of churning add in the the malted milk balls, marshmallows, cookies, salt and the remaining chocolate. Place ice cream base in airtight containers and let chill overnight.

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet ‘n Spicy Way to Beat the Summer Heat

Chamoy, chili and mangoes make for a refreshing way to beat the heat.

I’ve mentioned in the past that our kitchen gets super hot in the summertime so I tend to do a lot of grilling and ice cream making and not a lot of baking. As a result, I’ve been making quite a lot of ice pops lately (and thanks you to my co-workers that have been taste testing these recipes over the past few weeks.). I’m also working on a way to boozify my piña colada and sweet lime ginger mint lemongrass ice pop. Though preliminary spherification tests did not fair well. Anyway…this week ice pop recipe is Chili Mango with Homemade Chamoy. a.k.a. mangonada or chamango. What’s chamoy you may ask? Well its a spicy, sweet and sour condiment that’s frequently served with fruit and is really popular down here in Southern California.

Chamoy

  • 2 dried ancho chilies (seeded, stemmed and cut into strips)
  • 1 dried pasilla peppers (seeded, stemmed, and cut into strips)
  • 2 cups boiled water (divided)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 TBS chili powder
  • 1 TBS Tajin
  • ½ cup orange marmelade
  • ¾ cup apricot jam

Place the dried chilies into a medium sized bowl and cover with 1 cup of boiling water. Let sit until soften (about 30 minutes). Drain the chilies and place the chilies into a blender along with all the other ingredients. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Run through a find sieve to remove any large pieces and then store in a squeeze bottle and set aside to cool to room temperature. You can adjust the amount and type of chilies to your preference.

 

Ice Pop molds of mangonada paletas waiting to be placed in the freezer to freeze over night.

Mangonada Paletas/Ice Pops

  • 2 large ripe mangoes diced or 3 cups of frozen mango slices (reserve some of the pieces to place in the bottom of the ice pop mold
  • 1 11.5 oz can of mango nectar (such as Jumex or Kerns)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ tsp Tajin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • agave syrup or sugar to taste*

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Assembly

  • soak ice pop sticks in warm water
  • squirt chamoy on sides and bottom of ice pop molds
  • place a few pieces of mango into the bottom of the ice pop molds
  • fill molds with mango purée
  • insert sticks
  • freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight
  • Enjoy!

 

*depending on how ripe and sweet the mangoes are you may not need to add extra sweetener

Just in time….

We’re expecting our first heat wave of the summer this week so it seems like a good time to share one of those iced treat recipes I promised (warned about) a few weeks back. We hosted a bbq last weekend and one of the guests graciously brought us a huge bag of sweet limes from their tree. So I thought It’d be a good time to make some Lime Paletas or Ice Pops/Popsicles but with a Southeast Asian spin using lemongrass, mint and ginger. The easiest way to get all those flavors in there is by making an infused simple syrup.

I peeled and juiced all the limes and I was able to yield about a 1 1/2 cups of sweet lime juice. Simple syrup is pretty easy to make, its just equal parts sugar and water and heated until the sugar is dissolved then cooled down to room temperature or chilled depending on how you’re going to use it.  In this case I added a hefty chunk of smashed ginger and about 2 TBS of crushed lemongrass to give it that Southeast Asian vibe. I let the syrup cool to room temperature then strained it and let it cool further in the fridge. This will help the ice pops to freeze faster.

Once the lemongrass and ginger simple syrup was chilled, I got out the trusty ol’ blender and blended 1 1/2 cups of lime juice with 2 cups of the lemongrass ginger simple syrup, Then I tossed in 1/2 cup of fresh mint and blended until the mint was finely chopped. I poured the mixture into silicone molds then left to freeze for at least 5 hours.

I didn’t have good luck with the silicone molds and found that the ice pops get stuck even after running a little warm water on the outside of the mold. My suggestion is to use the zip top style ice pop bags, I got the ones I used on Amazon. If you don’t have molds or these fancy little bags, just freeze them mixture in ice cube trays. Hmm, if you pour a little rum over them you’d have an amazing little mojito…just sayin’

That’s it, I hope this helps you beat the summer heat…

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sweet lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 3 TBS crushed ginger
  • 2 TBS crushed lemongrass
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar