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.
One of the blueberry bushes in my yard is heavy with blueberries right now. Being a fan of savory fruit sauces, I used some of the fresh berries to make this dish for dinner tonight. It was really, really good. Served alongside some roasted fingerling potatoes, this was a meal worthy of a special occasion.
This recipe makes enough sauce for four generous servings. If you are cooking 2 chicken breasts, only use half of the sauce and save the remainder for another time. I think it would be excellent on salmon.
Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce
2 – 4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion (or favorite sweet onion)
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen should be a fine too)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey (you may want to add an additional tablespoon of honey if your blueberries are not very sweet – taste the sauce and adjust as necessary)
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400º F.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides. Place the seared breasts in a baking dish and place in the oven.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet the chicken was seared in (no need to clean it out). When the butter is melted, add the finely chopped onion. Cook, stirring, until softened and starting to caramelize. Add the blueberries and cook for 1 minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Keep warm.
Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken breasts and return them to the oven until cooked through, about 10 more minutes.
Serves 2 – 4.
Making cranberry sauce from scratch is almost as easy as opening a can. The result tastes so much better than anything you find in a can. If you are having turkey for Thanksgiving, you have to have cranberry sauce as well. The two just go together. I like to make the cranberry sauce a day or two before serving. That gives the flavors time to develop.
My family are not crazy about cranberry sauce, so we always have leftovers. I never know what to do with them. What are your favorite ways to use leftover cranberry sauce?
Spicy Cranberry Sauce
1 12-ounce bag of fresh (or frozen) cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 – 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of salt
Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool completely before refrigerating. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.
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.
We made our first trip of the year to the local strawberry farm recently and picked some beautiful berries. I froze the majority of the berries we picked to use in smoothies throughout the year, but saved enough to make a jar of Strawberry Infused Vodka.
Making fruit infused vodka is easy. Too easy. Pineapple is my favorite, but strawberry is a close second. I especially love the resulting color of using strawberries. So pretty.
Strawberry Infused Vodka
fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
vodka (my favorite is Tito’s)
I don’t have exact measurements for this recipe. Just place the sliced strawberries in a quart sized Mason jar. Don’t pack them tight. Pour the vodka over the berries almost to the top. Place the lid on the jar and place in a cool place for 3 days. Gently shake the jar each day.
After 3 days, strain the vodka in a coffee filter-lined mesh strainer. I strain the vodka into a glass measuring cup and then put the strained vodka into a clean Mason jar. Store the Strawberry Infused Vodka in the fridge.
Strawberry Infused Vodka is delicious mixed with a little limeade. It’s also good with a splash of sparkling water or mineral water. If you like a sweeter drink, you can add a touch of simple syrup.
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/
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).
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Crisco
5 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water
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.