Sunday, July 31, 2011

Peach Buckle

This is one of those perfect summer desserts; not too sweet with a focus on the fruit. It is also a "rustic" dessert, similar to nantucket pies, cobblers, etc., which are my favorite to make during the super hot months because they aren't fussy and are very forgiving. When the thermometer hangs steady in the 90s and at times manages to reach over 100 F, my patience wains. But my need for dessert seems to be directly correlated with the heat - peach buckle to the rescue!

I admit that when I had my first slice, I wished it had been peachier. The only bites that had peach flavor were those with actual peach slices. However the next morning (when I can usually be found having another piece of whatever baked good had been made the day before), the flavors melded beautifully and the whole cake had a delightful peach flavor.

Peach Buckle (adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen)
Note: Make sure your pan is deep enough so when the peaches "buckle" into the batter, it does not over flow. After assembling, there should be space between the top layer and the edge of your pan.

Cake & Filling

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted & browned

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt
pinch allspice
1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2/3 cup whole milk

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 1/2 lbs peaches, skin removed & sliced into wedges


1/4 cup melted butter (reserved from above)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch salt

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a large glass baking pan with parchment paper and butter the sides.

2. Melt and brown your butter. In a medium bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt and allspice.

3. In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup cooled brown butter, sugar, eggs, and milk. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir until combined. Spread into your prepared pan.

4. Line the top of the batter with peach wedges. In a separate bowl, combine reserved melted butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon & salt for topping. Sprinkle the topping on top of the peaches.

5. Bake for 40-45 minutes until topping is browned. Let sit for about 20 minutes before serving.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

You may be thinking that making chili during the most ridiculous heat wave in recent memory is an insane person's mission. But hear me out. You brown the turkey and throw it in the slow cooker on low all day. It couldn't be simpler. And in addition to the slow cooker working to meld the flavors of the chili, the process creates no additional heat in your kitchen. None. So when the temp is 115 in the shade, and you live in a fifth floor walk up with brick walls, this should be your go to dinner.

And if that wasn't enough to sell you, it makes 8 hefty servings. And the leftovers, are even tastier than the first go-round! I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, who has made some additions of her own, like adding Rotel for some extra kick. I reproduced the original below, so you can adapt it to your individual taste.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
(adapted from Prevention Magazine)
1 lb ground turkey

1 onion, diced

1 tsp garlic, chopped

1 pkg taco seasoning
1 10 oz can kidney beans

1 10 oz can black beans

1 10 oz can pinto beans

1 20 oz can diced tomatoes

1 2.25 oz can tomato paste

1 cup red wine

1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add onion and turkey. Once the onion begins to sweat, add the garlic and taco seasoning. Brown the meat (about 7 minutes).

2. To your slow cooker, add all of the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and red wine. Stir. Add in the turkey mixture.

3. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low all day.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Blueberry Galette

This is one of those recipes that you can likely make with stuff you already have in your house. Which is really handy when you're having a low-key dinner and want to throw together a tasty treat to make dessert a little more special. It's also great for when you are in New Jersey and don't have access to a car, but still want to make a dessert (as though there's a time I don't want to make a dessert ...)

I used blueberries, but you could just as easily use peaches, nectarines, plums, or really any fruit that's in season. The fruit is the star of the show though, so you should pick one that is at its best.

There are at least a million galette recipes online, but I just used my favorite pie crust recipe and made the blueberry mixture by feel. If you use a store-bought crust, or have an extra in your freezer from a previous batch, this really is the easiest recipe in the world. To make mine a little extra special, I made whipped cream and sprinkled a little lemon zest on top.

Blueberry Galette
Note: If you want to make my pie crust, the recipe is below. If you are using ready-made, you can start here

2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
scant 1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp cold, unsalted butter in small pieces
1 tsp turbanido sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. In a medium bowl, mix blueberries, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, and sugar.

2. Transfer the blueberry mixture to the center of your pie crust. Leaving about 1 1/2 inch around the edges. Fold the crust toward the center. Repeat around the entire pie, pleating the crust as you work your way around (see 1st picture for a visual). Sprinkle small pieces of butter of the top of the blueberry center.

3. Brush outside of crust with egg wash and sprinkle with turbanido sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Depending on your oven, you may want to rotate a few times during baking.

Pie Crust
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 sticks, cold unsalted butter
1 cup ice water

1. Put a few ice cubes in your water and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.

2. Cut the butter into cubes and sprinkle over the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter work butter into flour until the dough starts to come together; don't over mix. Once larger clumps start to form, sprinkle a little bit of water over top, 1 tbsp at a time. Err on the dry side, too much water will ruin the dough. Use your hands to bring the dough together.

3. Slice the dough in 1/2 and place each half in plastic wrap. Place the one you want to use in the fridge for 2 hours. The other 1/2 can be frozen for future use.

4. After 2 hours. Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Starting in the center of your dough roll away from you. Flour again and turn the dough a 1/4 turn. Repeat until the dough is a bit bigger than your pie pan. Transfer to your pie plate and return to the fridge.