Posts tagged dessert
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

peach, apricot, and blueberry cobbler

peach, apricot, and blueberry cobbler

Should you find yourself in a precarious situation with too many peaches (a common occurrence in this household where we love summer produce), you must, at once, head over to the kitchen and make cobbler. It’s really an unwritten rule of summer. Make a note, don’t forget it. You can thank me later.

Cobblers are delicious, but beyond that, they are forgiving – they look better imperfect, slightly scraggly. Summertime pie crusts, though I love them beyond words, can be a bit finicky. They love the cold, but summers here tend to be hot, sticky – an enemy of cold-loving crusts. Even though I have pretty much gotten my summer pie production under control, there are times when you don’t have the hours to chill the crust before rolling it out. Sometimes, you up and decide you want to make dessert and there is fruit that needs to be rescued. So on days when I don’t have a pie crust hanging out in the fridge, or if I have simply forgotten to take the crust out of the freezer, cobblers are a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Continue reading peach, apricot, and blueberry cobbler.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

strawberry basil sorbet

one giant scoop

For many of us Memorial Day signifies the official start of Summer. And while our calendars tell us that Summer doesn’t really kick off for another few weeks, in my mind it has already arrived. Strawberries have arrived at the farmers’ market.

I look to strawberries to signal Summer’s approach, and as soon as they appear at the farm stand, I proclaim it to be summer and proceed with all kinds of strawberry shenanigans. Last year they were added to a blueberry pie (technically making it strawberry blueberry pie), were introduced to buttermilk granita, and folded into a dimply buttermilk cake. The year before, they played a leading role in a shortcake production.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

roasted rhubarb with vanilla and rose syrup

roasted rhubarb with vanilla and rose syrup

These days, if you find yourself at the green market, you’ll hardly remember the cold days that are not-so-long behind us. Gone are the Saturdays when our only options were tubers and root vegetables. Suddenly the market is alive! There is plenty of green, new scents, new stalls. The overwintered leeks, the delicate new salad greens, asparagus, ramps! In no time we will see (and smell!) the first of the strawberries – these will be truly magical weeks when you’ll be tempted to eat your berries before you get home from your weekly trip.

But favorite spring moment at the greenmarket isn’t when I spy the first strawberries of the season, or the first green spears of asparagus. It’s when I find rhubarb, green with hot pink hues, firm and sturdy, piled high. Most people grab a few stalks satisfied with their bounty, but me – I get several pounds at a time, greedily stuffing my bags with the tart fruit.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

russian apple spice cake – sharlotka

apple spice cake - sharlotka

When it comes to farmer’s market wares, my eyes are often more bigger than my stomach. I forget that I’m shopping for two and go overboard, returning home with bags practically overflowing with the market bounty even with the greenmarket’s current modest showing. I worry what will happen once strawberries and asparagus hit the market, along with their friends, artichokes and fava beans.

A few weeks back was no different. Forgetting that there are only so many apples two people can eat in one week before the apples are past their prime, I wound up with a few too many. And given that we were going away for Passover, I knew that by the time we had returned, these apples would’ve grown mealy.

Continue reading russian apple spice cake – sharlotka.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

coconut macaroons

coconut macaroons

My first ever macaroon was an utter disappointment. Our first Passover in the United States brought to our table a lot of surprises. We could just walk into the supermarket and buy our matzo there. Imagine that! Just like people buy bread and eggs and milk – there it was, in a special isle (its own isle!) with a big bright sign that said “Passover Foods”. We were in shock, amazed that this kind of blatant display was in full view of everyone to see.

Back in St. Petersburg, my family would go to this one particular spot in the city where you could get matzo. We would then transport it back where it would reside in our kitchen, among all the regular food items. No one in Russia cleaned out their kitchen free of “chametz” for the holiday – it just wasn’t a practice back then. Plus, on your way back from the matzo pick-up, you kind of had to be discreet with it. Being Jewish in Russia wasn’t particularly hip and if you were too vocal about it, it was downright dangerous.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

matzo toffee with almonds and sea salt

matzo toffee with almonds

We’re in the thick of it here with Passover preparations. Andrew’s mother is at the butcher’s picking up kosher meat for tomorrow’s seder. We caramelized shallots this morning – they will be combined with roasted asparagus come tomorrow. There will be two types of haroset at the table. And tomorrow night Andrew’s family will host over thirty guests for a festive and boisterous first seder.

I like to think of Passover as an Jewish Thanksgiving – a loud, boisterous affair that, on the one hand, is big and chaotic, but on the other hand, has a linear order – what happens when you have to follow a script of sorts. In this case, it is a Haggadah. We will read from it, then we will eat, the read some more, and so on.

Continue reading matzo toffee with almonds and sea salt.