Blueberry Breakfast Cake

This looked very interesting on the King Arthur Flour Facebook feed so I set out to make it. Believe it or not, I followed the recipe exactly except I used a non-round pan to bake it.

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This is the link to the recipe: Blueberry Breakfast Cake. This recipe uses sour cream and cottage cheese with 3 eggs and some sugar and flour. There is a custard like layer on the bottom with the fruit on top. The cinnamon-sugar topping gives it a nice crunch.

  • 3 large eggs
  • heaping 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup small-curd cottage cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh
  • cinnamon-sugar, for topping

Heat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 inch pan with cooking spray. The pan needs to have 2 inch sides. My pan is about 10 x 7 inches. Beat the eggs with the sugar then add the butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle the berries evenly on top. Bake for 50 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Sprinkle the cake with a generous amount of cinnamon-sugar. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving. IMG_0095

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Two years blogging!

This was a perfect day for baking.  The weather was downright chilly after a week of sweltering heat. I had printed this recipe earlier in the month and this was the day to use it. So for the anniversary blog I have made the July Bake Along Recipe from King Arthur Flour: Blueberry Hand Pies. Now I have made hand pies before: Pork Pies. But this is summer and the berries are in season and blueberry pie is so good! I had anticipated changing the recipe when I got down to making these, but I followed it exactly! That’s probably a first. I had recently bought some tart pans and thought I would make these into individual tarts and I was even thinking of making my own standard pie dough or using store bought: oh my!

I gathered the ingredients for the pastry and got out my food processor with its brand new blade that I waited 6 months for Cuisinart to replace for safety reasons. This is the part of the recipe that I did not follow. The food processor makes making pie dough simple. I never liked making it by hand.

PASTRY

  • 2 cups unbleached All-Purpose Flour; I had exactly two cups; I thought I might have had to use some whole wheat pastry flour, but I had just enough.
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cold sour cream

I pulsed the dry ingredients and then added the butter and finally the sour cream. It does come together in clumps as described in the recipe. When I dumped that onto my lightly floured board and read the description of rolling this out, it dawned on me that this is a puff pastry. Most likely a rough-puff as it only has two turns: rolling out, folding over, rolling out again, repeat, fold over, and chill for 30 minutes. My cutting board block is marked in two inch squares so I measured it to the 8×10 inches both times.

FILLING

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (a large pinch)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Rinse berries and put in saucepan. Mix the dry ingredients and pour over. Add the lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. My filling began to thicken in about 3 minutes over medium-hot heat so that is how long I cooked it. I don’t usually cook the blueberries before putting in pie. But this does help hold the filling together for the small squares of pastry. Let cool. I let the filling cool but not quite to room temperature. And I have leftover filling. This could be good on pancakes or to top ice cream. I will use it to top Brie cheese!

Preheat oven to 425 F and get that pastry out of the fridge and get ready to roll!

Here again I found the markings on my cutting board block helpful. Roll the pastry into a 14 inch square. Then cut it into sixteen 3 1/2 inch squares. My squares were not squared completely nor were they cut to the exact size. Put a heaping tablespoon or two on eight of the squares. Brush the edges with beaten egg. Oh yeah, make a vent in the other eight squares. Then put together and press the edges with the tines of a fork. Brush the rest of the egg yolk on the tops and sprinkle with sugar. And they are ready for the oven.

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Looking good so far…

Bake for 18-20 minutes until lightly browned. When I took these out I was in awe…

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And they taste great. I am not sure how to share this with the King Arthur website for the bake-along so I will be content sharing it with you who read this.

Many blessings to all!

Fresh Fruit Tart

Okay, folks, I really, really, intended to follow the recipe to the “t” but just didn’t. What can I say?

Cook’s Illustrated July/August edition has a test-kitchened version of the fruit tart, you know, the kind you see in the bakeries each summer when the berries come into season. The kind on a layer of pastry cream or pudding. This new and improved version is supposed to stay together when cut in filling and crust. Hubby thinks this type of fruit tart is a great thing so I intend to make this. It has a pat-in-the-pan crust and a no-cook filling. Sounds easy to me.

I traipse off to the store to buy mascarpone cheese and white baking chips. Yes that’s what is in this, along with lime juice and zest. I’m cheap and just was at my local chain grocery so bought blueberries and strawberries which were less expensive (by a lot!) than raspberries and blackberries. No fresh peaches so I didn’t use those either. I forgot that kiwi makes a nice edition too, so just blueberries and strawberries for us.

The recipe is simple enough. It calls for using freshly sliced peaches to make an edible slicing guide. Good idea. It added lime to the filling to give it oomph. And the white baking chips hold the cheese filling together without cooking.

  • 1 1/3 cups flour (I read this wrong and used 1 1/2 cups.)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter (can be browned in a skillet, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully as it can burn.)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons water (apparently browning the butter cooks off a lot of liquid which is needed for the flour to hold the crust together.)

So I make the crust, almost exactly. I did not brown the butter to give it a nutty taste. I melted the butter, added the water, the flour mixture, and patted it into a 9 inch Pyrex pie pan. The tart pan I have does not have a removable bottom and is about 12 inches in diameter. I thought that would be too big. Now, thinking about it, it might have worked anyway. And I may not have needed to add the whole 2 Tablespoons of water.

The crust gets baked in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes, turning half way through. It is also baked on a wire rack placed in a rimmed baking sheet. Let cool completely. Note to self: this may be the way to bake pies in the future.

I cored then cut supermarket strawberries in half and washed 1/2 pint of blueberries. The glaze is supposed to be made from apricot preserves but when I opened the jar, I found that the little bit left was not fit for human consumption. Into the compost bucket with it! All I have now is dark jellies. I consult with Hubby and we agree that I can use the dark jelly for a glaze since I am using berries anyway. We have a wonderful berry preserve from a local farm and it is made from blackberries and blueberries. Cook’s calls for 1/3 cup. I use about 1/4th.

Meanwhile for the filling.

  • 1/3 cup white baking chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (I bought and used whipping cream because I would have more uses for the remainder in the pint carton.)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 7 teaspoons juice (This supposedly needs two limes. Well, the zest from one lime was a tablespoon and the juice was a few teaspoons at best. I figured the extra zest would make up for the juice and only used one lime. After all, one needs them for Lime Rickeys and G&Ts!)
  • 6 ounces mascarpone cheese at room temperature. (I used 8 ounces because that was the size of the small tub that I found at the grocery store.)

I really did have every intention of following the recipe exactly. But as you can see from my notations above I did not.

Melt the baking chips with the zest, a pinch of salt, and the cream. Do this in the microwave for ease. It took less than a minute to melt it to a smooth consistency. Now add 1/3 of the mascarpone and whisk. Then add the 6 teaspoons of lime juice and the rest of the cheese. Whisk til smooth and pour into the completely cooled crust. Arrange fruit as desired.

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Melt the preserves with a little lime juice (this teaspoon came from a jar) and carefully glaze the fruit avoiding the crust. Well, this is easier said than done. As mentioned above I had a dark glaze and there were gaps between the fruit. This is to be put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

 

So did this new improved tart meet its goals? Yes it did. Life is too short not to eat dessert when it looks like this. I admit it is not as pretty as the ones in the bakery or the picture in Cook’s Illustrated. But it is in my kitchen ready to eat. And the crust and filling did not break apart or ooze out when cut. Yay! I see no need to let it sit out for 15 minutes before cutting, either. Also farm fresh strawberries will be tastier than supermarket berries. I will have to look out for some next time I pass a farm market or stand.

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Honey Oatmeal Muffins

Again I am using the Quaker Oats 1982 cookbook. I am not sleeping well and there are fresh blueberries languishing in my refrigerator. So I make and bake muffins in the middle of the night!

I choose this recipe because all I have is almond milk and am not sure if non-dairy milks can be substituted in baked goods with perfect results. I used almond milk in an egg custard once and it did not set as expected. But this worked out. The recipe called for 1/2 cup milk unlike my other favorite muffin recipe which called for one cup. This also uses vegetable oil so I imagine they are healthier than those made with butter.

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup honey

Mix the wet ingredients together in a 2 cup measure or other smallish bowl.

  • 1 1/2 cups oats, uncooked
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the dry ingredients together in your mixing bowl. To this I added 1 heaping cup fresh blueberries and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Stir gently.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until mixed. Bake in greased or papered muffin pan at 400 degrees F for 15-18 minutes. Makes 12.

Enjoyed these for breakfast. I will make these again.

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Blueberry Pie

Hubby and I took a Sunday drive to look around some of the local campgrounds to see if any looked inviting for weekend camping trips. It is the second half of the season for camping and I may or may not find a Labor Day weekend spot but it is worth the effort. In the rural areas of this small state there are farms and farm stands. We found one that also is a new winery with a wine tasting happening so we had to stop! And because they took “plastic” for payment I bought plenty of fresh locally grown produce and homemade preserves and a fancy bottle of wine!

They had only four pints of blueberries left so I bought two of them. Pie, I was thinking! I had two discs of pie dough in my freezer so this should be easy! Easy as pie! 🙂

I do not like to cook up the fruit before filling the pie crust. I also wanted to use just one pie crust and fold it over the top of the fruit so it looks rustic. I am not sure what that is called but I’ve always wanted to try it.

  • one pie crust, unbaked and rolled out to a 12 inch circle; I love the apple cider pie dough recipe here.
  • 3 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice; I read some time ago that lime is nice with blueberries so i thought I would try lime instead of lemon juice

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out crust and place in 9 inch pie pan. Mix the fruit with the other ingredients and pour into the crust. Fold the crust over the fruit filling. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

I also sprayed the crust with butter flavored cooking spray and sprinkled on some sugar before baking. I figured this would make a nice golden brown.

And here is the final product:

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The filling was a bit runny. This may be because I cut it when it was still warm. But it tasted good and fruity. The filling broke through the crust so I would not be able to pull it out of the pan to place on a serving plate. Did I roll the crust too thin? Hmmm?