Fuyu Persimmon Crumble

fuyu-persimmon-crumble2

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.  

persimmons

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

Fuyu Persimmon Crumble

6 Fuyu persimmons,
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Crumble Topping
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.


Peach and Blueberry Crumble

Peach and Blueberry Crumble

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

4 peaches
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.

 


Collard Greens Tart

Collard Greens Tart

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 Sliced80)

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.

 


Savory Pear Tart from The Texitarian

Savory Pear Tart 2

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.

Pear Tart

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:

Savory Pear Tart Before Baking

You can find the recipe for this tart here:  http://texitariankitchen.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/savory-pear-tart/


Apple Pie

Apple Pie

This is my mom’s apple pie recipe. It’s a classic. She prefers Rome apples for pie baking, but I use whatever apple appeals to me at the time (except for red delicious – those are not good in pie). Fujis are my current favorite apple for pie.

So, I made the pie pictured above a couple of weeks ago while I was on the low iodine diet (LID) to prepare for my radioactive iodine treatment(RAI) to ablate any thyroid/thyroid cancer cells left in my body. To make this recipe acceptable for LID, I just left out the butter. It wasn’t the prettiest pie I have ever made, but it tasted good (especially since my diet was so limited). I was able to stop the low iodine diet three days after I had my RAI. I was so thrilled to be off that soul-sucking diet. I’m happy to report that my RAI went well and I had very few side-effects (only fatigue and a greatly diminished sense of taste…both which are improving).

Apple Pie

Pie Crust:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Crisco
5 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water

Filling:

6 cups thinly sliced apples
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice (about the amount of juice in half a lemon)

Preheat oven to 425º F.

In a large bowl, cut the Crisco into the flour and salt with a fork or pastry blender. Add the ice cold water one tablespoon at a time until dough comes together. Divide the dough into two halves. Make a ball from one half and roll out to fit the pie pa. Put the rolled out dough into the bottom of a pie pan.

Mix the sliced apples, sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Pour into the prepared pie crust. Dot with pats of butter and then sprinkle with the fresh lemon juice.

Roll out the remaining pie crust. Place over the top of the pie. Seal the two crusts together. Trim the excess dough and then crimp or flute the edges. Cut a couple of slits in the top crust. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake at 425º F. for 40 to 50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Let cool before serving.

 

 


Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie - Slice
I had never heard of tomato pie until we moved to South Carolina. I’ve heard people around here go on and on about how wonderful it is.  When we were in Charleston this summer, we saw tomato pie advertised at many different restaurants.  It peaked our curiosity. What is the deal with tomato pie?  So, when I started getting tomatoes from my garden (before the leaf-footed bugs destroyed my tomato plants), I made a tomato pie. I looked at half a dozen different recipes and most of them called for 1 cup of mayonnaise. Thinking about that amount of mayo makes me a little nauseous. I used 3/4 a cup of mayonnaise in my tomato pie and thought it was too much. In fact, my husband took two bites and refused to eat any more because the mayonnaise taste was overwhelming.  I didn’t hate the tomato pie, but I didn’t enjoy the mayonnaise topping either. I loved the flavor of the fresh tomatoes, onions, and basil in the pie crust, though. I think for our tastes, a simple topping of shredded mozzarella would have been perfect. I’ll give that a try next summer. If you like mayo, you might really like this savory pie just the way the recipe is written. I would love to hear your comments.

Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie

1 9-inch pie shell
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 to 4 large, ripe tomatoes, halved, cored, and roughly chopped
handful of fresh basil leaves (about 10 leaves), thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (I used cheddar, but you could use a combination of cheddar and mozzarella or any other combination of cheeses you would like)
1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Bake the pie shell in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until it becomes lightly golden brown.

Meanwhile, squeeze the juice out of the chopped tomatoes. You can do this with your hands or wrap the tomatoes in a clean kitchen towel and twist to remove the moisture.

Add the chopped onions to the baked pie shell. Top with the tomatoes and then sprinkled the basil over the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a bowl, combine the shredded cheese(s) and the mayonnaise. Spread the mixture over the tomatoes.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until lightly browned.


Butternut Squash Pie

Butternut Squash Pie

This pie would be a nice addition to a Thanksgiving table. I like butternut squash better than pumpkin, so I think this pie is a perfect alternative to pumpkin pie. I’m not totally against using store-bought pie shells. Reading the ingredients list of pre-made pie shells is pretty scary, though. I try to find ones that do not contain lard and have limited  or no added preservatives and chemicals. Wholly Wholesome makes organic pie shells that fit the bill. Of course, you can make your own so you know exactly what goes into it.

I slightly adapted the Butternut Squash Pie recipe found here.

Butternut Squash Pie

1 unbaked and chilled 9-inch pie shell (I buy frozen pie shells that do not contain lard)
1 1/2 cups pureed butternut squash (about 1 large butternut squash)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
3 large eggs
3/4 cup evaporated milk or half-and-half
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

To cook squash: Cut the squash in half lengthwise; remove stem and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash, cut side down, on a foil-lined oiled baking pan; add about 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 400° for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the squash is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Let cool completely then peel and mash or puree the squash or put it through a food mill. Measure 1 1/2 cups of the squash and set aside.

Roasting Butternut Squash

Reduce oven to 350° F and position an oven rack in the center of the oven. In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat the squash with the brown sugar. Add eggs, evaporated milk, spices salt, flour, butter, and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Pour the filling into the chilled pie and place on the center oven rack. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until set. Check after about 35 minutes and loosely set a ring of foil or a pie crust protector over the browned crust so it won’t get too dark. When the filling is set, transfer the pie to a rack to cool. Serve just warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped topping or whipped cream.


Fresh Fig and Vanilla Custard Tart

I have never eaten a fresh fig before last week.  Publix had a buy-one-get-one-free special on them and I got a carton of Brown Turkey figs and a carton of Black Mission figs.  I liked them but no one else in my family would eat them. I needed a way to use them so that they didn’t go to waste.  I adapted this recipe from a couple of different ones I found online.  I think it turned out well.  I rolled the tart pastry fairly thin and had enough left over to make a couple of little fig tartlets as well.
Fresh Fig and Vanilla Custard Tart

For the crust:
11/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon. salt
1 teaspoon sugar
8 tablespoons chilled butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
12 to 16 ripe figs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the crust

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and then add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms very fine crumbs. You can also do this in a bowl, cutting in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork. With the machine running, add the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the ice water (adding more if needed) and process until the dough comes together.  Remove dough from food processor bowl and shape it into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for about 15 minutes. Roll the dough into an 11-inch circle and put it in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the dough evenly into the tart pan. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to look perfect. Prick the bottom of the tart shell with a fork in 8 or 10 places, and then put the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes while you heat the oven to 425°F. Put the chilled tart shell on a baking sheet, line the shell with foil, and fill with beans or pie weights. Bake until it’s lightly colored, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the tart and reduce the oven temperature to 400°F; remove the weights and foil.


To make the filling

Cut off the stems of the figs (leave the skins on) and slice the figs in half ( if they’re large, you may choose to quarter them).

 

Arrange the figs, cut side up, on the tart shell. Whisk the egg yolk, sour cream, brown sugar, and vanilla until combined.

Carefully spoon the custard around but not over the figs.

Bake the tart on the baking sheet in the 400°F oven until the custard is lightly colored and set, about 30 minutes. Serve slightly warm.


Cherry Breeze Pie

cherry breeze pie

This is a pie that my mom would make us when I was growing up.  It was a favorite of mine.   I still love cherry breeze pie, but I rarely make it (maybe once a year) because I end up eating half of the pie (or more) myself.   I can’t afford that kind of caloric luxury.  The creamy tartness of the filling with the sweetness of the cherry pie filling and graham cracker crust is just heaven and takes me back to my childhood every time.  It is super easy to make.

cherry breeze pie

1 (9 inch) graham cracker ready-crust pie crust
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. Real Lemon reconstituted lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling, chilled

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in sweetened condensed milk. Add lemon juice and vanilla, and stir until well mixed. Pour filling into crust. Chill at least 2 hours. Top with cherry pie filling before serving.


Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie

From June 30, 2008:  We made our annual trip to Westmoreland Berry Farm in Westmoreland County, Virginia and picked sour (pie) cherries, blackberries, red raspberries, and black raspberries.  I had never seen a cherry tree before and I was amazed at the sight of thousands of red cherries hanging from the trees…..absolutely beautiful.  We picked enough cherries for a pie.  This was the first time I have ever made a cherry pie from fresh cherries.  It was delicious and especially good with vanilla ice cream.  The cherries were so juicy and when mixed with the filing ingredients, there was too much juice to fit into the pie crust (plus, I was afraid all the juice would make the pie too soggy), so I strained off some of the juice.  I sprinkled sugar on top of the pie before placing it into the oven.

Cherry Pie

Filling:
5 cups pitted sour cherries (2 to 2 1/2 lbs.)
1 to 1 1/4 cups sugar
3 to 3 1/2 T. cornstarch mixed with 2 T. water
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Pie Crust:
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup Crisco
5 to 6 T. ice cold water

2 to 3 T. butter

Combine the filling ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut Crisco into the flour and salt with a fork.  Add tablespoons of water one at a time until dough comes together.  Divide dough into two halves.  Make a ball from one half and then roll out to fit pie pan.  Place in the bottom of the pie pan.

Pour the filling into the bottom crust and dot with butter.  If the cherry mixture has excessive liquid, then strain some of the liquid off before adding to the crust.

Roll out the remaining pie crust dough.  Brush the edge of the bottom crust with cold water.  Cover with the top crust, then seal the edge.  Trim the overhanging pie crust and crimp or flute edges.  Cut steam vents on top of pie.  Place pie on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees.  Lower oven temperature to 350 degree and bake 25 to 35 minutes more, until thick juices bubble up through the vents.  Let pie cool completely before serving.

Cherry Pie a la Mode