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Posts Tagged ‘fruit dessert’

Recently I found myself with a fridge full of strawberries and the desire to make a dessert other than strawberry shortcake with them. Since I am a firm believer all fruit can be made even more delicious by topping it with a crunchy topping and serving it warm with a scoop of ice cream, I decided to try a crisp. (Case in point here and here.)

Off to the internet I went in search of a recipe. I was surprised to find that strawberry crisp recipes were scarce. Most involved the addition of rhubarb, which I was not interested in. So I did what any food blogger with an idea in their head would do, combined a couple of recipes to create exactly what I was looking for.

The results were wonderful! The strawberries were warm and sweet with a nice consistency and the topping was a great combination of a buttery oat mixture with toasted pecans.

We took the crisp to a friend’s house for a dinner party and it was a huge hit. And just as I expected, it was even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Don’t miss out on this one while strawberries are in season!

Strawberry Crisp
(Recipe adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook and Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)

Ingredients:

FOR THE BERRIES
3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

FOR THE TOPPING
1 cup oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 stick butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:

Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish or small oval baker. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix together strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Set aside.

Whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. Add butter and mix in with your fingertips until mixture sticks together in clumps. Stir in oats and nuts.

Place strawberry mixture in prepared baking dish and crumble topping over. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until topping is browned and strawberries are bubbly.

Yield: 6-8 servings

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I’m pretty sure I have never had hummingbird cake anywhere other than my grandmother’s house. It is a very Southern, very simple cake. The cake only requires one bowl and no mixer and is very versatile. You can make a layer cake, a sheet cake, cupcakes or a bundt cake. Also, icing is optional! This cake becomes glorified banana bread without icing and could easily pass as a breakfast treat!

I have a constant supply of overripe bananas in my house. I usually freeze them for smoothies and oatmeal but recently I remembered my grandmother’s hummingbird cake and just had to make one. The perfect occasion arose when I was asked to bring a dessert to a family cookout.

No one had ever tried hummingbird cake before and it was a huge hit. Everyone asked for leftovers to take home. I even received the comment that every time I bring a cake to a family function it becomes the current favorite until the next cake I bring! Nice!

I opted to use the lightened version of this recipe and replaced a lot of the oil with applesauce. Usually, I don’t do this when baking cakes to take out but since this cake already features banana and pineapple, I thought the applesauce would be a nice healthier substitution. The sugar was cut back slightly in the recipe I followed but it could have been reduced even more.

Anyway you make this cake it is sure to be a hit. Next time you have overripe bananas and are looking for a change from traditional banana bread, this is your recipe!

One Year Ago: Easy Banana Muffins

Hummingbird Cake
(Recipe source Southern Living)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CAKE
Vegetable cooking spray
3 cups  plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups mashed banana (about 3 or 4)
1 1/2 teaspoons  vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

FOR THE FROSTING
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Directions:

FOR THE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat three (8- or 9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; sprinkle 2 teaspoons flour evenly into pans and shake to coat.

Combine remaining 3 cups flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together eggs, applesauce and oil. Add to the flour mixture and stir until dry ingredients are just moistened. (Do not beat. It will be lumpy.) Stir in mashed banana, vanilla extract, and pineapple. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

Bake at 350 degrees  for 23 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove layers from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

FOR THE FROSTING
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and slowly add powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency and taste.

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I am loving peach season this year. The South Carolina peaches that we are getting in Charlotte seem extra sweet and have the perfect texture. As a result, there has been an endless supply of peaches in our house. I just can’t stop buying them because I know the season will be over soon.

I made a peach cobbler a few weeks ago and have been eating peaches plain, with yogurt and in my oatmeal. I was thinking of new ways to serve the peaches and remembered that I’ve been wanting to try them grilled. I added them to the dinner menu one night when we were planning on grilling pork tenderloin. My original plan was to serve them alongside the pork but Brandon convinced me to have them for dessert topped with ice cream instead. I have a really hard time saying no to the idea of topping anything with ice cream! ;)

We really enjoyed the grilled peaches. The brown sugar and cinnamon caramelize on the peaches and they get a very slight smoke flavor. This recipe would be a perfect side item or dessert.I will definitely be asking Brandon to throw some peaches on the grill again before peach season ends!

One Year Ago: Blueberry Peach Crisp

Grilled Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Glazed Peaches
(Recipe source Bakin’ and Eggs)

Ingredients:

2 peaches
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat grill to medium. Cut peaches in half, twist to separate and remove the pit. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Brush peach halves with vegetable oil and grill (cut sides down) for 3-4 minutes with the lid down. Flip peaches over so that cut side is exposed and sprinkle with brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Grill for another 3-4 minutes, lid down, until brown sugar mixture has caramelized.

Serve as is or top with ice cream and sprinkle with more brown sugar.

Yield: 2 servings

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I love fig season but hate how short it is. I only had a few weeks this year to enjoy figs from my mother in law’s tree before they were ruined in a terrible storm (all of the fruit was bruised). I’m hoping we get a few more before the season is over but we’ll see. Fig season has been a big deal in my family for as long as I can remember. My dad used to pick buckets of them and make fig preserves every summer for my mom.

I came home from work one day last week and my mother in law had dropped off these Fresh Fig Bars. They were delicious. Kind of a cross between a Fig Newton and a traditional crumb bar. The fresh figs were truly the star of these bars.

I can’t wait to make these for my mom. I know she will love them. If you have access to fresh figs, these bars are a great way to use them!

One Year Ago: Fig Upside Down Cake (told ya I love fig season!)

Fresh Fig Bars
(Recipe adapted from Group Recipes)

Ingredients:

4 cups fresh figs
1 cup water
1 cup honey
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup butter (or shortening)
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 cups sifted flour
3 cups oats

Directions:

In a medium sauce pan, combine figs, water, honey, 1/4 teaspoon salt and lemon peel. Simmer about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Combine the 2 tablespoons of flour and water and stir into fig mixture. Let cook five minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and walnuts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 11 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray or butter.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and oats and fold into butter mixture. Pat half of oatmeal mixture into bottom of pan and spread fig filling evenly over. Sprinkle remainder of oatmeal mixture over the filling and press lightly with a fork.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool and then cut into squares and serve.

Yield: 16 squares

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Cobblers and crisps are the highlight of summer desserts for me. I love that so much fresh fruit is available,  that you can mix and match fruits based on what you have on hand and I love how easy they are to prepare. If I had to pick a favorite, it would definitely be peach cobbler. After all, I did grow up in Georgia!

The farmer’s markets here have been overflowing with South Carolina peaches. After a few weeks of eating peaches plain, with yogurt and on oatmeal, I developed quite a craving for peach cobbler with ice cream. I prefer cobblers with a biscuit topping rather than the pie crust topping and this recipe from Southern Living looked perfect for my peach cobbler craving.

It was very easy to assemble (like the name implies) and the most time intensive part of the whole process was peeling and slicing the peaches. I halved the original recipe because it would be trouble if we had a whole batch in the house! The half recipe was perfect for about five servings.

This peach cobbler was wonderful served warm with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream! I will be keeping this recipe on hand for when I need a quick cobbler fix!

One Year Ago: Grilled Fig and Prosciutto Pizza
Another Favorite Peach Dessert: Blueberry Peach Crisp

Easy Peach Cobbler
(Recipe source Southern Living)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk
4 cups fresh peach slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter and pour into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).

Bring remaining 1 cup sugar (I reduced this a bit – used more like 3/4 cup), peach slices and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg if desired.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm with ice cream.

Yield: 10 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 49

And yet another dessert recipe makes its way into 68 Days of Gourmet. I told myself that I wasn’t going to make any more desserts and that I really needed to make appetizers instead but then I found myself with a serious craving for an apple dessert last night.

It was totally worth it. Does it get any better than warm apple pie/cobbler/crisp and vanilla ice cream? So basic but so satisfying. Comfort food dessert.  I love how easy crisps are – no fooling with pastry crust. I think this was ready to go in the oven in less than 20 minutes – including peeling and cutting the apples. There is nothing fancy about this recipe – it’s just basic and delicious.

I must recap my weekend for you. It was definitely jam packed on the fitness front. Friday morning I attended hot vinyasa at Y2. I am convinced that this is the perfect way to start off a Friday and kick off the weekend. I literally pop out of bed when my alarm goes off at 5:45 and I am NOT a morning workout person!

I taught BodyPump Saturday morning. I was still pretty sore from teaching last Thursday (I guess my body was a little weak coming off of the sickness) but there’s nothing like seeing 21 people up bright and early on a Saturday to get you motivated! I’m really loving that I’m starting to recognize faces and get to know some of the regulars in my classes.

Saturday afternoon was all about the yoga. Last week I signed up for a 3-hour yoga boot camp at Y2. It was 2 hours of hot vinyasa and one hour of long slow deep (holding positions for 5+ minutes). Being relatively new to my practice, I was pretty nervous. I am so happy to report that the class was awesome and I not only survived but felt great. I even managed to be one of 3 or 4 people to hold a plank for 5 minutes! I love the feeling I have at the end of a big fitness achievement (finishing a race, surviving yoga boot camp, etc). It’s great to know that you’ve given it everything you have!

So maybe that gives you a little more background on why I was so ready for my apple dessert last night! :wink:

One year ago: Spicy Thai Noodle Bowl with Tofu

Apple Crisp
(Recipe source The Gourmet Cookbook)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

FOR THE TOPPING
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/8 teaspoon cinnamon (1 just kind of eyeballed it – probably more like 1-1 1/2 teaspoons)
3/8 teaspoon salt (again, probably used more like 1 teaspoon)
2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into tablespoons
1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped

FOR THE APPLES
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 pounds apples (recommended fuji or jonagold)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 navel orange

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3 1/2 to 4 quart baking dish.

FOR THE TOPPING
Combine flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and blend until well combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture forms large clumps. Transfer to bowl and mix in pecans with your fingers. Alternatively, whisk together the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt and work in butter and pecans with your fingers or a pastry blender.

FOR THE FILLING
Whisk together sugar and cinnamon. Peel, quarter and core apples and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Add apples, lemon juice and orange zest to sugar mixture and mix until well combined.

TO ASSEMBLE AND BAKE
Spread apples in prepared baking dish. Crumble topping evenly over apples. Bake until topping is golden brown, 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool a bit and serve warm.

Yield: 8-10 servings

*Note: I easily cut this recipe in half and used a smaller baking dish.

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