Wow. I have been a master slacker lately.
Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the excessive dessert making, but I am just out of energy lately.
What I really could use right now is one of these:
SPELT & CURRANT SCONES
Earlier in the summer the farmer’s market was pretty lacking. A little lettuce here, a few bunches of radishes there, and not much else to see.
Other than these scones, sold by a local artisan bakery.
The highlight of my Saturday morning.
They were sweet and wholesome, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
So I decided to recreate them.
My favorite thing about them is the addition of spelt flour. It gives them such a rustic, wholesome quality.
And the currants. If you’ve been looking for a way to use them, this is the perfect starter recipe. It calls for dried currants, which are easy to find, usually. Fresh, not so much.
I added a little bit of orange zest to give these a little more interest.
These would be great on their own, or with a little honey butter. But do eat them the same day they are made. They are definitely best then =)
Makes 12 Scones
- 1 1/2 C. Spelt Flour
- 1 1/2 C. White Flour
- 1/3 C. Sugar
- 1/2 t. Salt
- 1 T. Baking Powder
- Zest of one small Orange
- 5 T. Butter, cold, cut into cubes
- 1/2 C.(heaping) Dried Currants
- 1 C. + 2 T. Heavy Cream
- 2 T. Orange Juice Concentrate
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 2 T. Milk
- Sanding sugar, if desired
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the spelt flour, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and orange zest.
- Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a coarse meal.
- Mix in the dried currants.
- Make a well in the center of the mixture.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 1" thick round.
- Slice into 12 wedges and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Beat together the milk and egg.
- Brush mixture over the tops and sides of the scones. Dust with sanding sugar, if desired.
- Bake in preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Late Summer is upon us.
And this sorbet reminds me of the setting sun…a perfect treat for the closing of summer.
Now, I realize that we have a whole month of summer ahead of us still. But with school starting at the end of August, that means preparation starts even earlier, so you really can’t count the whole month as summer, right?
So, as an ode to deep heat, last swims, and a time of the year that just reminds me of the color of southern Utah sand, I’m bringing you:
CHERRY NECTARINE MINT SORBET
I love the combo of these two stone fruits and the mint is a cooling, fresh afterthought.
Mint is steeped into the simple syrup for just a light scent…not too overpowering. And I love the color of this sorbet. It really reminds me of late summer.
Sorbets are so simple….there’s not much else to say, so I’ll let the pictures finish up for me.
KITCHEN HACK OF THE DAY:
No cherry pitter? No problem.
If you have chopsticks, you’re covered. Just poke the more narrow end of the chopstick up through the bottom of a cherry(not the top where the stem was) and push that pit right on out.
- 1 C. Sugar
- 1 C. Water
- 10 Mint Leaves
- 4 Ripe Nectarines, pitted
- 1 C. Cherries, pitted
- 1 T. Lemon Juice
- Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and remove from heat.
- Let the syrup cool for about 5 minutes, then stir in the mint leaves. Let the syrup and mint steep for one hour. Remove the mint leaves.
- Place the nectarines, cherries, and lemon juice in a blender. Pour the simple syrup over the fruit and puree until very smooth.
- Run the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove skin and pulp.
- Chill mixture.
- When the mixture is cold, place in an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer instructions.
- When frozen, scoop into an airtight container and freeze until solid.
More frozen Treats?
I’m not exaggerating when I say that these may be one of the best bars I have ever had.
I make them the ALL the time.
How do I know it’s not just a personal biased favorite?
The last time I made these I caught a cousin of mine licking the parchment paper the bars were baked on. With no shame whatsoever. And another cousin was picking at all the tiny stuck-on blueberry bits on said parchment paper.
Super good bars.
They start with a crisp and buttery shortbread crust that’s topped with tangy lemon curd and juicy, dark purple, burst blueberries. Top that with more butter shortbread crumbles and a little powdered sugar, if you like. I usually avoid it because I have a tendency to inhale before biting and it doesn’t serve me well with powdered sugar dusted desserts.
But there is a lot of tang in these bars, so a little dusting of sweet won’t hurt.
BLUEBERRY LEMON SHORTBREAD CRUMBLE BARS
I feel like I should quickly address the elephant in the post.
The cheese slicer.
So, no. there is not a smidgen of cheese in these bars. And I have never, ever, not ever actually used one of these cheese slicers to slice cheese.
Do they work well?
I just go for a knife. And these cheese slicers make the best little tiny spatulas for things like…oh, I don’t know…..Bars! They are just the perfect little size!
So, you may see a device meant for shaving off little slices of delicious pressed curds of milk, but all I see is a tiny spatula.
Happy weekend to all of you! I turn…gulp….30 this weekend, and my sweet husband who obviously senses my pain is whisking me off somewhere for the night so I must pack!
I’m hoping he found a worm hole or something of the like and we’re headed back to age 25.
It all just went so fast, you know?
KITCHEN HACK OF THE DAY:
Before cooking any type of bar or brownie in a baking pan(or cookie sheet, whatever you may call it), line it in a sheet of parchment paper first. The parchment sheet should be long enough and wide enough to hang over the edges by at least an inch or two. You may have to press the corners in a little bit. But not only will clean up be a breeze( once the bars are cool you can slide the whole sheet of them right off of the baking sheet), but you won’t have to worry about trying to slice them in the pan. No knife marks, and no awkward end cuts.
Makes about 20 large bars
This recipe makes a full baking sheet of bars. If you only wish to make a 9x13 pan, cut the recipe in half.
- 4 C. all-purpose flour
- 1 C. powdered sugar
- 2 C. Butter, cut into cubes and semi-soft(4 sticks, or 1 lb.)
- 7 large egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- 1 C. + 2 T. sugar
- 2/3 C. lemon juice (from about 4-5 medium lemons), strained
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 T. unsalted butter, cut in to 4 pieces
- 3 T. heavy cream or Greek yogurt
- 2 C. Blueberries
- For the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Put the flour and powdered sugar in a food processor and process briefly, about 2 seconds. Add the butter pieces and process to blend, 8 to 10 seconds, then process until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal, about three 1-second pulses. Reserve 1/3 of the shortbread dough. Place the other 2/3 of the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. Press the shortbread in an even layer on top of the parchment paper on the baking sheet.
- Bake the crust until the edges start to brown, about 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- For the filling:
- In a medium saucepan whisk together the egg yolks, whole eggs and sugar until combined. Add the lemon juice and salt and whisk until well combined, about 30 seconds.
- Add the butter pieces and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the curd thickens, about 6 minutes.
- Stir in the heavy cream, Fold the blueberries into the curd and then pour the curd into the warm crust. Spread as evenly as you can across the crust, taking care to evenly distribute the blueberries. Crumble the reserved shortbread dough evenly over the top of the filling.
- Bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the blueberries have burst, and the crumble is lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let the bars cool. Cut into 2 inch squares, wiping the knife blade clean between each cut. Sieve powdered sugar over the bars, if you prefer.
This could be the last drink of the summer. Can you believe that we’re almost to the end of July?
I’ve been dreading it all year, mostly for fear of aging purposes.
But lets not dwell on that. We have fabulous non-alchoholic lemon-based drinks to worry about!
And I shouldn’t say worry.
Worrying is not what you’ll be doing when drinking one of these peachy, tropical, frozen beauties:
COCONUT PEACH LEMONADE SLUSHIES
How could anyone have any cares when drinking something with the word “slushy” in it? I sure couldn’t.
As with several of my drinks, you don’t actually have to serve them layered. If you didn’t want to go to the trouble, you could just mix it all together and you’d still have an awesome drink.
But this one is super easy to layer anyway. Ice cubes are blended with coconut milk and cream of coconut for what I would consider a base of tropical heaven. Then a peach lemon simple syrup/puree is poured over the top.
Don’t you love those ripples of peach?
KITCHEN HACK OF THE DAY:
You can make a lemon/any other kind of fruit simple syrup following this simple formula:
1 C. Water + 1 C. Lemon juice + 1 C. Sugar
Bring to boil, dissolve sugar.
Blend with 2 C. Fruit. Any fruit.
Run through sieve.
And there are so many options. Peaches, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, nectarines,blackberries,strawberries,clementines, melons, apricots, so many great options!
- 1 C. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 C. Water
- 1 1/3 C. Sugar
- 2 ripe peaches, pits removed
- 40 Ice Cubes
- 1 1/4 C. Coconut Milk
- 2/3 C. Cream of Coconut
- 1/4 C. Water(if needed)
- Place the lemon juice, sugar, and 1 C. water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Place the peaches in a blender. Pour the lemon syrup over them and puree until very smooth. Run the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove skins and pulp. Refrigerate until cold.
- Place ice cubes in a high speed blender. Add the coconut milk and cream of coconut and blend until smooth and slushy. You may have to stop the blender several times and push the ice down with a spoon. If you need more liquid, add water to the mixture.
- When coconut mixture is smooth, spoon it into 4-6 glasses.
- Pour the cold peach lemon syrup over the top, using a wooden skewer to help push a few lines of syrup down the inside sides of the glass.
Strawberry Coconut Lemonade
Sometimes my desserts come together as a result of leftover components of a few different dishes.
GINGERSNAP BLUEBERRY MANGO ICE CREAM SANDWICHES
I had a container of homemade mango sorbet in the freezer.
Also in the freezer, I had about a cup of leftover blueberry filling from these blueberry hand pies.
So I thought, lets pair them with some spicy, soft gingersnap cookies and call it an ice cream sandwich. A specialty ice cream sandwich.
Believe it or not, all of these flavors pair beautifully together:
Smooth, fruity mango sorbet, tart-sweet, lightly spiced, saucy blueberries, and soft, chewy, zingy gingersnaps.
It works and it works well.
I’m a fan of unique ice cream sandwiches(see HERE and HERE for proof) and these definitely fit the bill without being too bizarre. I mean, who doesn’t love a chewy gingersnap cookie? Too be honest, I have a hard time even saving them for something else, I love them so.
But I can do it for these.
KITCHEN HACK OF THE DAY:
For easy to assemble ice cream sandwiches that don’t start melting before you’ve even had a bite:
Tear off a long sheet of plastic wrap or two and lay it over a muffin tin so that the wrap hangs off of the tin by at least 3″ all the way around. lightly press the wrap into each well. Place a scoop of mango sorbet in each well and top each scoop with 1 T. of blueberry filling. Press into the well with the back of a spoon so that it forms a disk shape.
Freeze until very solid.
When you are ready to assemble the sandwiches, just pop the sorbet disks out of the tin pulling them away from the plastic wrap and sandwich in between two cookies.
Makes about 12 ice cream sandwiches
- 1 Half Recipe Blueberry Pie Filling, minus the lavender oil
- 1 Recipe Gingersnap cookies(try THIS ONE)
- 4 Ripe Mangos
- 1/2 C. Sugar
- 1/2 C. Water
- 2 1/2 T. Lemon Juice
- Place the sugar and water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the syrup into a blender and add the lemon juice along with the mangos(peeled and sliced). Puree until very smooth. Run the puree through a fine mesh sieve to remove any fibers from the mango. Refrigerate until cold.
- Freeze according to manufacturer instructions.When frozen, place in an airtight container and freeze until solid.
- Place blueberry filling in the freezer as well.
- To assemble sandwiches:
- Pull out the sorbet and let soften for 5-10 minutes.
- Place a scoop of mango sorbet on top of a gingersnap cookie. Place 1 T. of blueberry filling on top of the sorbet and press another gingersnap cookie on top of that. Serve immediately.
I can’t seem to stay away from pie for too long.
Which is funny, because I’ve never though of myself as much of a pie lover.
As they say…actions speak louder than words.
Or, blog posts speak louder than preconceived notions on personal pie preferences. [Read More...]
Summer is just flying by.
Up here in northern Utah, I really feel like I need to do a better job at taking advantage of it. All too soon the roads will be covered in three feet of snow and I’ll be huddled inside, wearing three pairs of socks and wishing I was laying out at the pool, sipping something ultra-summery, like this: [Read More...]
Let’s get right down to business.
I took a banana split and stuck the whole thing on a popsicle stick.
Well, in a less messy way, that is. [Read More...]
For the last few posts I’m sure most or all of you just assumed that I was pumping out the usual run of the mill, stand on their own recipes.
Well, today I come clean.
I’ve been preparing you for this. [Read More...]
Once upon a time I made an ice cream that I couldn’t even let freeze before I dove into it. It was so good that I stood over the ice cream maker with a long spoon, scraping it along the sides of the spinning contraption so that I could shovel the little bits of ice cream that were just starting to freeze into my overeager, shockingly impatient face. [Read More...]
I’ve always though blackberries were kind of the dark horse of berries. If strawberries are bright and summery then blackberries are stormy and moody.
And oh so gorgeous. [Read More...]