Recently, one of my customers gave me a bunch of Fuyu persimmons from her tree. Best tip ever. Fuyu Persimmons are delicious!
There are basically two types of persimmons, astringent and non-astringent. Astringent persimmons must be very, very ripe before they can be consumed. Non-astringent persimmons can be eaten when firm. Fuyu persimmons are non-astringent. They have a taste and texture similar to pears and apples. They are great eaten raw, in salads, and in salsas. They are also delicious baked into pies or crumbles.
Cinnamon and pistachios compliment the flavor of persimmons, so I wanted to incorporate them into this recipe. The persimmons I had were very sweet, so I didn’t have to add much sugar. Feel free to adjust the sweetness level based on how your fruit tastes. I served this crumble with some whipped cream. So good.
Fuyu Persimmon Crumble
6 Fuyu persimmons,
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Cut off the stem end of the persimmons. Peel and cut each in half. Slice each half and place pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the persimmons and mix well. Place in a small oiled baking dish.
In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, chopped pistachios, and brown sugar. Work the butter into the mixture with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Spread evenly over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I am running a bake sale at my oldest son’s school next Saturday. I am considering baking this Almond Bundt Cake as one of the items I contribute to said bake sale. I have made this cake a few times over the past year. It’s delicious! It’s quick and easy to prepare, but extraordinary enough for a special occasion. I think it will sell quickly.
Tip: Trader Joe’s sells Almond Meal at a reasonable price that is perfect for this recipe.
Almond Bundt Cake
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cups ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup milk
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons milk (plus more, if needed)
sliced almonds for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
Mix together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Add the vanilla and almond extracts.
Mix the flour into the mixture, alternating with the cup of milk.
Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.
Bake for 60 – 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake for at least 10 minutes and then invert onto a cooling rack. Let the cake cool.
Make the glaze. In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, almond extract and milk together until smooth. Drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle sliced almonds over the top of the cake, if you wish.
I picked up 3 pounds of locally grown South Carolina peaches this week at Aldi for only $1.38! I used some of those peaches and some blueberries from our blueberry bush to make this crumble. We ate the crumble with a dollop of whipped cream, but vanilla ice cream or even just a splash of cream is delicious too.
Peach and Blueberry Crumble
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter (or substitute coconut oil)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit. Slice or chop the peaches and place in a small baking dish. Add the blueberries to the peaches and sprinkle with the sugar (you can skip the sugar or adjust the amount to suit your taste) and gently stir to combine.
In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, sliced almonds, and brown sugar. Work the butter into the mixture with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Spread evenly over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
In November, I made Trix Marshmallow Treats for a bake sale at my oldest son’s school. They turned out so cute, especially when individually wrapped and tied with colorful curling ribbon. They also sold well. They are a fun and colorful variation of Rice Krispies Treats.
Trix Marshmallow Treats
1 10 ounce bag mini marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
10.7 ounce box Trix cereal
Melt the marshmallows and butter together in a large sauce pan over low heat. Add the entire box of Trix and mix well. Pour into a greased 9 X 13″ pan and spread the mixture out evenly with your hands. I spray my hands with a little bit of cooking spray to help keep the mixture from sticking. Cut into squares with a sharp knife.
Every once in a while the planets align and something goes right. This was the case one day not long ago when I was cleaning out my fridge, looking for something to make for dinner.
I had fifty-gabillion bunches of collard greens that need to be cooked before I got another fifty-gabillion bunches from my CSA in a couple of days. The collards from my Pinckney’s Produce CSA are magical. They are so tender and delicious. I have never had collards so good before. Well, I cleaned what I had in my fridge, and sliced them up very thin and cooked them in salted water until tender. I let them drain, with plans to freeze at least half of them (in hopes of finding another excuse to make the Hot Collards and Artichoke Dip).
While the collards were cooking, I came across a roll of store-bought pie crust, a small wedge of Collier’s Welsh cheddar cheese, and a package of baby bella mushrooms in the fridge. It was then that I just knew. I had to make a savory collard greens tart with these ingredients. I had to.
The tart turned out perfectly. It looked so beautiful….and green. I put a lot of collards on that tart shell. It sliced like a dream. My husband had serious doubts about the tart, but tasted it anyway. He was pleasantly surprised and inhaled half the tart (or at least a fourth). He declared it to be “very good” and all was well with the world.
Collard Greens Tart
1 very large bunch of collard greens, washed, stems removed, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 8 ounce package baby bella mushrooms (or white button), chopped
1 large egg, beaten
4 ounces Collier’s Welsh cheddar cheese (or a sharp cheddar), shredded or finely cubed
1 pie crust (can be homemade or store-bought)
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Cook the prepped collard greens in salted water until tender. Drain well in a colander. When the collards have cooled, use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Set aside.
While the collards are cooking, roll out and press the pie crust into a tart pan that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Trim off any excess crust. I like the tart pans with the bottom that pops out, but use what you have. Use a fork to pierce the pie crust in the bottom of the pan a few times. This will let steam escape and keep the crust from puffing. Bake the crust until it starts to get lightly golden, 6 – 8 minutes. I just think pre-baking the crust a bit will help the finished product from being soggy.
While the crust is baking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the onions and mushrooms in the oil over medium heat until they are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the reserved collards and season to taste with salt and pepper. Take off the heat and mix in the eggs and the cheese.
Pull the tart shell out of the oven and spread the collards filling evenly over the shell. I use my fingers to press all the filling evenly into the shell. Bake for 30 minutes until set. Cool slightly before slicing and serving.
I might have been slightly delirious when I came up with the idea to hide some yellow squash in chocolate cake. At the time, I was knee deep in squash from my CSA. I was a little desperate to find new ways to use it. I had success using yellow squash in Yellow Squash Cornbread and in Summer Squash Bread, so I was pretty sure I could pull it off in chocolate cake.
Oh my gosh, it was so good, y’all! I was super happy with the result. It was moist and chocolatety. So delicious! You could not tell the cake had squash in it aside from the little flecks of yellow squash on top of the cake after it was baked. The frosting totally covered it up, so problem solved. My 4 year old had no idea. He loved it. My 14 year old son wouldn’t try it (extremely picky eater) because he heard me telling my husband of my plans to use squash in the cake. His loss. The Yellow Squash Cake was awesome!
RECIPE UPDATE: I had someone comment that I must have forgotten the eggs in this recipe since her batter was very dry. There are no eggs in this recipe. The squash releases it’s moisture and it should come together in the end. My cake turned out very moist, although a little more dense than most cakes. I’m sure several factors (humidity, moisture content of the squash, etc…) could make this cake dry. Make sure you firmly pack the squash into the measuring cup to ensure you get enough squash in the batter to make it moist. Do not decrease the amount of oil or sugar. The batter should not be dry and crumbly or super thick (as in, if you have to press the batter into the pan, something is wrong). If you felt like you need to add 2 eggs, go ahead. The result would probably be a lighter cake. If you still have a problem with dry, crumbly batter, then try mixing in a liquid (milk or water) a tablespoon at a time until the batter is at a thick, but pourable (with the help of a spatula) consistency.
Chocolate Yellow Squash Cake
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 firmly packed cups shredded yellow squash
1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch cake pan
In a large bow, mix together the oil, sugar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla with an electric mixer until well blended. In another bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the oil and sugar mixture. Fold in the shredded yellow squash. Your batter should be thick, but pourable with the help of a spatula. If your batter is dry and crumbly, try adding a little milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the batter comes together. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely.
To make the frosting, cream the butter in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat until it all comes together and is a spreadable consistency. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.
Yesterday, I made the Savory Pear Tart recipe found on the blog, The Texitarian, to take to an Easter potluck. I thought it turned out beautifully. I enjoyed the tart and even got a couple of compliments on it.
The tart was really easy to make. I just laid the ingredients out on a thawed piece of puff pastry and baked it. I got the spinach and rosemary out of my garden. I thought the results were quite impressive.
Here’s what the tart looks like before baking:
You can find the recipe for this tart here: http://texitariankitchen.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/savory-pear-tart/