sweet things Archive

Broiled Apricots with Whipped Goat Cheese, Pistachios, and Honey

Oh, summertime. I just can’t get enough of you.

I love the heat, brightly colored sundresses, summer reading, and family vacations. I love stone fruits and summer squash and berries and green beans and peppers and fresh basil. I love camping, grilling, boating, and hiking. I love summertime adventures.

And, I love fruit-laden summer desserts. James beard once said, “Of all the desserts in the spectrum of cuisines, I find those made with fruit the most rewarding.” I tend to agree with Mr. Beard. Fruit desserts are simple and rustic, and they really let the fruit shine. There’s really nothing better than a simple fruit dessert in the middle of summer, when fruit is ripe, sweet, and perfectly juicy.

This is one of those perfect summer desserts. The broiled apricots take mere minutes to make, and they taste so darn good. The broiling caramelizes the exposed flesh of the apricot, and the sweetness of the caramelized apricot pairs beautifully with the tangy goat cheese and salty pistachios.

 

Ripe Apricots | Rosemarried

Broiled Apricots with Whipped Goat Cheese, Pistachios, and Honey

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe (but firm) apricots
  • 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon honey, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Using a whisk, whip together the goat cheese, honey, and Greek yogurt. Mix until fluffy and well combined. Set aside.
  2. Slice the apricots in half, and remove the pits. Place on a lined baking sheet (skin down) and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the surface of the apricots. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until the tops of the apricots are beginning to brown and bubble. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for a minute or two.
  3. Place a spoonful of the goat cheese mixture in the indent of each apricot (where the pit used to be). Sprinkle chopped pistachios over the top of the goat cheese, and liberally drizzle honey over the fruit. Top with a generous sprinkling of nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy immediately.
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Strawberry Cream Pie

This pie is the best pie ever.

I know that’s a bold statement, but I am telling you the truth. This strawberry cream pie is just the best. It’s simple, seasonal, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

Northwest strawberries are at the peak of their season right now, and so they are remarkably plump, sweet, and juicy. They don’t need any doctoring or sweeteners, they are perfect just as they are. They are especially perfect when piled atop a sweet cream filling and a homemade almond and graham cracker crust.

This pie is essentially a no-bake pie. The only thing that requires baking is the crust, which bakes for a whopping 12 minutes. The pie comes together quickly and painlessly, and the end result is marvelous. I mean it when I say this pie is perfect. I cannot stress that point enough.

strawberry cream pie | rosemarried.com

Strawberry Cream Pie

Serving Size: 8

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 package graham crackers (or 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • The zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and sliced in half

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9″ pie pan.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the graham crackers and almonds, until they are fine crumbs. Pour the crumb mixture into a bowl, and stir in the melted butter, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Mix until the crumb mixture is moistened. Press the mixture evenly into the pie pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. Once the crust is cooled, prepare the filling. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, mascarpone, powdered sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy. Gently stir in the lemon zest.
  4. Gently spread the filling over the graham cracker crust. Place sliced berries atop the cream mixture. (You can artfully arrange them, but I prefer just to heap them on top.) Chill pie for 6-8 hours before serving.

Notes

Adapted from Cookooree.com

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Rhubarb Coffee Cake

I feel like I’ve been living under a rock for a few months. Pregnancy doesn’t seem to be terribly conducive to productivity, and it certainly isn’t conducive to food blogging. I just feel so tired all the time. I’ve had zero energy and cooking has lost some of it’s appeal. Honestly, for awhile there, I didn’t want to eat anything except for cereal, grapes, and toast. Such is life during the first trimester.

But, I’m finally starting to feel like my old self again. Real food (meaning: something other than grapes and toast) actually sounds good. I’ve started cooking again. It feels good to be back.

In my opinion, a good piece of coffee cake is one of life’s simple pleasures. Coffee cake isn’t particularly pretty or inventive, but it’s just so good. I’ve made this recipe a number of times, and it never fails. The cake is so moist and flavorful, layered with chunks of tangy rhubarb on the bottom and giant spiced buttery crumbs on top.

If there was anything that was going to lure me back into the kitchen, it was this recipe. It’s just that good.

rhubarb coffee cake | rosemarried.com

RHUBARB COFFEE CAKE
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

For the cake:
1/2 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/4″ chunks
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 large egg, plus one large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter (room temperature), cut into 8 pieces.

For the crumb topping:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan.

2. In a small bowl, toss chopped rhubarb with 1/4 cup of sugar, corn starch, lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. Set aside.

3. To make the crumb topping, whisk together the sugars, spices, salt, and melted butter in a large bowl. Mix until smooth. Next, stir in the flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. (The mixture will resemble a solid dough.) Press the dough firmly in the bottom of the bowl, and set aside.

4. To make the cake filling, stir together the yogurt (or sour cream), egg, egg yolk, and vanilla in a small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter pieces and a spoonful of yogurt into the mixture, and mix on medium speed until moistened. Increase the speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the yogurt in two batches, beating for 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

5. Scrape most of the batter into the prepared pan (reserving about 1/2 a cup). Spoon the rhubarb over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the rhubarb. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t evenly cover the rhubarb, it can just be scattered dollops of batter!)

6. Using your fingers, break the topping mixture into big crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs over the cake. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool before serving.

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake

Tomorrow morning, I will wake up long before the sun comes up and I will drag my sleepy self to the airport. Clad in borrowed snow boots and a down coat, I’ll board a plane to Minneapolis.

It was -26 in Minneapolis earlier this week. I can’t even imagine what that kind of cold feels like, honestly. I certainly don’t have the clothing for such temperatures. I’ve cobbled together a borrowed wardrobe of snow clothing and I’m hoping for the best. I may just hole up in the Mall of America for the week. (I can subsist on Cinnabon and roller coasters!)

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake | Rosemarried.com

It should go without saying that Minnesota in March is not my dream vacation. But, my middle sister now lives in Minneapolis and she’s turning the big 3-0 this week. She insisted that she had to have both of her sisters with her on her 30th, and so we agreed to make the trek to the frigid Midwest.

Since there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of sunshine in my immediate future, I decided to make my own sunshine in the kitchen. One of the best things about winter is the abundance of citrus. Even on the darkest and gloomiest of days, the mere scent of citrus brightens my spirits.

This cake is the perfect remedy for wintertime blues. It’s decidedly simple, and the Meyer lemons truly shine through the batter. If you need a little sunshine in your life, I suggest you give this cake a try.

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake | Rosemarried.com

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3 large cage-free eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Meyer lemon zest (approximately 2 Meyer lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Next, fold the vegetable oil into the batter until it is combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small pan, combine 1 tablespoon of sugar, the remaining lemon juice, and the vanilla bean seeds. Heat over med-low, until sugar dissolves and mixture is clear. Remove from heat.
  5. When the cake is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes. Remove from pan and place on a baking rack. Pour the glaze over the cake and allow it to soak in. Allow to cool before serving.

Notes

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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Pumpkin Pancakes with Cream Cheese Butter

We are officially in the throes of pumpkin season. For as much as I gripe about pumpkin spiced lattes and other seasonal pumpkin atrocities, I really do love pumpkin. It’s a fantastic and versatile winter squash. Pumpkin is phenomenal in a myriad of baked goods – cakes, cookies, pies, etc – but pumpkin also tastes great in soups and stews, salads, curries, and other savory applications. (Let it be known that I will never, ever, ever like pumpkin in a latte. It’s not happening, people.)

Of all the pumpkin preparations, however, the pumpkin pancake is my favorite. Pumpkin pancakes are the epitome of comfort food. They’re good eats, plain and simple.

I’ve been making a version of this recipe for years, but haven’t posted it on the blog until now. (I’ve been holding out on y’all!) These pancakes are fluffy and moist and they actually taste like pumpkin. They’re so damn good. I wish I could take credit for the cream cheese butter, but I borrowed the idea from Utopia Cafe in Portland, OR. I think the cream cheese butter is a brilliant and decadent addition to the pancakes. You must try it for yourself.

Lastly, this post is dedicated to my sister, Danielle. She’s the only person I know who loves pancakes more than I do, and has a strange obsession with the pumpkin pancakes at IHOP. I simply can’t eat pumpkin pancakes without thinking of her.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cream Cheese Butter

Serving Size: 8 small pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)

Instructions

  1. To make the cream cheese butter, mix together equal parts cream cheese and butter. This can be done using a spatula or an electric mixer. Blend until well combined. (Note: I do not sweeten or season the cream cheese butter, as I pour syrup over the cream cheese butter and pancakes.)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients (milk, pumpkin, egg, and oil). In another bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir until combined, do not over mix.
  3. Heat a lightly greased griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. (Note: you know the pan is ready when water droplets dance across the surface of the pan.) Pour batter into small circles on the pan and allow each pancake to cook for 1-2 minutes per side, or until golden brown on each side. Serve pancakes warm, with cream cheese butter and maple syrup.

Notes

Adapted from Inspired Taste.

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Apple & Thyme Custard Tart

A couple of weeks ago, I went apple picking in Hood River with my friend Adriana.

Long before we picked our buckets apples, we had grand plans for them. Adriana wanted to try her hand at apple butter for the first time. I was determined to make a simple and unsweetened rustic applesauce. There would be cakes and pies and galettes galore.

apples

When I got home, I realized that I had picked a never-ending supply of apples. I successfully made (and canned) a batch of unsweetened chunky applesauce (and it was delicious). I made rosemary apple butter. I made butternut squash and apple soup (twice!).

After all of that, I still had apples.

I knew what I had to do with the rest of the apples — they needed to be baked into delicious treats — but I was a little hesitant. Truth be told, I’m a little terrified of baking desserts. It’s not that I don’t like dessert. On the contrary, I really, really like dessert. I just didn’t do a whole lot of baking in my younger years. You see, my sisters are the bakers in my family. I’m the cook. (I make Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and they make all the pies. It’s tradition.)

All of that to say, I’m a little bit rusty in the baking department. It had been awhile since I’d made a proper tart dough, and I was a little bit nervous for how it would turn out. Thankfully, it turned out beautifully. It’s such a simple tart, and it really highlights the beauty of perfectly ripe apples. It’s simple, seasonal, and it might be my new favorite dessert. I’m not so sure what I was afraid of, but I’m glad I rolled up my sleeves and dove into a little seasonal baking.

I should do this more often.

Apple Custard Tart | Rosemarried

Apple & Thyme Custard Tart

Serving Size: 8

Ingredients

  • TART FILLING:
  • 4 crisp apples (peeled, cored, and thinly sliced)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ***********************************************
  • TART DOUGH:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, sift together the powdered sugar, flour, and salt.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the egg and dry ingredients, and beat until the mixture comes together as an evenly formed mass. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (Dough can be made one day ahead of time.)
  3. Once the dough is chilled, roll dough into a thin circle (slightly larger than your tart pan). Working quickly, line the tart pan with the dough. Trim off any excess dough that hangs over the edges. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times.
  4. Toss apple slices with lemon juice, nutmeg, and half of the thyme. Working from the outside toward the center, lay the apple slices in the tart shell in a circular pattern, overlapping them slightly.
  5. Gently whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, and vanilla, until just combined. Pour the custard mixture over the apple slices. Sprinkle the rest of the thyme over the custard and apples.
  6. Bake tart at 375 F until the crust is golden and center is set, 30 to 40 minutes. (Note: if you find your crust is browning too quickly, cover the tart with aluminum foil for the duration of baking.) Allow the tart to cool before serving.

Notes

Adapted from Joanne Chen’s recipe on Gothamist.com

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On Planting Fruit Trees (and a recipe for Blackberry-Blueberry Crisp).

Two weeks ago, I went out to dinner with my family to celebrate my 31st birthday. My mom and sister were particularly excited for me to open my gifts, as they had already informed me that they’d chosen the perfect gift. As I unwrapped the presents, a theme began to unfold before me: a beautiful vintage cobbler pan, a cookbook for rustic fruit desserts. And lastly, a gift certificate to a local nursery. Specifically, a gift certificate for fruit trees.

I didn’t get it at first. Don’t get me wrong, I love fruit trees and I was very excited at the prospect of having my very own. But I wasn’t sure why they were so excited to give me fruit trees. And then they explained it: they gave me the gift of fruit trees because I’m the one that’s staying.

I am a planter.

I am rooted here in Portland.

As I mentioned previously, my sister and her husband and daughter are moving to Minneapolis to work with the urban poor. Specifically, they will working with the large population of Somalian refugees that have settled in Minneapolis. (To read more about what they’ll be doing in Minneapolis, check out their blog.)

On Friday, my sister and I will pack all of her earthly belongings into a Subaru wagon and we will then drive halfway across the country. We’ll see a lot of Montana and North Dakota, and eventually we’ll land in Minneapolis. My mom, brother-in-law, and niece will fly out a few days later and will join us, as we attempt to settle them into their new life in Minnesota.

To be completely honest, I’m a little bit of a wreck. I’m just not ready to say goodbye to them. Selfishly, I want them to stay here, but, in my heart I know that it’s their time to go. I know that this is what they are supposed to be doing. I’m heartbroken, and yet so proud.

And while they are off in Minneapolis doing amazing things, I’m going to plant some fruit trees and put down roots. I’m going to do everything I can to provide them with love and support them from afar.

That being said, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to bake another cobbler or crisp without getting a little bit sappy. I definitely blubbered a bit while baking this crisp (and also while writing this post).

So without further delay, I’d like to share this recipe for you. It’s quite lovely.

(Note: I’m still undecided as to what fruit trees I want. I’m currently thinking I’d like a Meyer lemon tree and a blueberry bush. What do you think I should plant?)

Blackberry and Blueberry Crisp
(Adapted from Savory Sweet Life)

Note: The original recipe calls for 6 cups of blueberries (and does not use blackberries), which fills a 9×13 pan. I made less filling (4 cups of berries), and filled a 9×5 pan and a small ramekin. I did make the same amount of crumble as the original recipe called for, as I like to have a lot of crumble!

Ingredients
For the berry filling:
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups blueberries
2 cups blackberries
Juice from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried basil

For the crumble topping:
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed in 1/2-inch squares
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease your baking pan (with oil, butter, or nonstick spray) and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the berries, sugar, and lemon juice. Mash the berries a bit (with a fork or spoon), and season with nutmeg and dried basil. Transfer the berry mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse together the butter, flour, and brown sugar. Process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Once combined, add in the pecans and process for a couple of seconds – until the pecans are chopped and incorporated into the mixture.

In a small bowl, gently toss the butter/flour/pecan mixture with the oats, cinnamon and salt. When combined, sprinkle this mixture over the berries in the pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the crumb top is golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. The crisp is great hot or cold, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

**Funny side note: I tried to make fresh basil whipped cream to go atop this lovely crisp. I made it two different ways, and each time it was a dismal failure. That being said, I scrapped the idea of basil whipped cream and topped the crisp with vanilla bean ice cream. It was super delicious.