Tagged: fruit

Sour Cherry Jam

Sour Cherry Jam
Last weekend a wave of laziness overcame my usual hyper-productive persona. Never one to shy away from a project, especially when it takes place in the kitchen, I just couldn’t find the motivation to do much with the containers of precious sour cherries that I bought at the farmers market. They weren’t on my list, but when I saw them, I had to have them. Fresh tart cherries are only around for a short time.

I probably should have celebrated those special cherries by baking them in a pie, but I didn’t want all that fuss or crust. Instead I made a small batch of sour cherry jam. I didn’t bother canning because I knew it wouldn’t take long for me to polish off that jar. I smeared the jam on toast, stirred it into yogurt and even ate it by the spoonful. The jam was delightfully sweet, and I will definitely be making it again.  
Sour Cherry Jam
Sour Cherry Jam

Makes about 1 cup

2 pounds fresh sour cherries, pitted
1 cup granulated sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Combine the cherries, sugar and lemon juice in a large saucepan over medium heat. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, continuing to stir, until the jam has thickened. The jam will keep thickening as it cools. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Vegan Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream

Vegan Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream
My ice cream consumption skyrockets in the summer. Hands down, it’s my dessert of choice. There’s an ice cream shop in our neighborhood that’s had a steady line outside the door for the last month or so. I like to alternate the indulgent, classic frozen treat with one that’s homemade and healthier like this vegan blueberry crumble ice cream. With berries at their peak, I ditched my usual chocolate dessert to do something different.

I started by making a simple blueberry compote followed by a cinnamon-spiked toasty oat crumble sweetened with a little coconut sugar. Next I pureed frozen banana chunks with almond milk in the food processor until the mixture was smooth and creamy. Instead of just stirring everything together, I layered the banana base, compote and crumble in layers and dragged a knife through a few times to create a subtle swirl.
Vegan Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream
Vegan Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream
Makes about 1 pint

4 large bananas
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup almond milk

Cut the bananas into chunks and freeze until firm.

Combine the blueberries, water and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the berries release their juices and the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal, coconut sugar, salt and coconut oil. Pat the mixture into a thin layer on the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and fragrant. Cool before crumbling.

Place the bananas and almond milk in a food processor and puree until smooth and creamy. Layer the banana base, blueberry compote and about half the crumble in a freezer-proof container. Gently drag a knife through the layers to swirl. Freeze until firm. Serve topped with the remaining crumble.

Fruit Fool

Fruit Fool
Last week when I was doing my routine grocery trip I ran into a mom-friend. After chatting about the end of the school year and what our kids are doing this summer, she noticed that we had identical tall stacks of berry containers in our carts. We laughed that we both were going overboard on raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries since they’re in season and on sale.

I thought about baking those berries into a pie, but I decided they were best left pretty much as is. I mashed up the berries with a little sugar and folded them into Greek yogurt-spiked whipped cream. This spin on the fruit fool, a classic British dessert, works with berries, stone fruit and everything in between. I added yogurt to give the cream a slight tanginess for the sweet berries.
Fruit Fool
Fruit Fool

Serves 4

3 cups chopped fruit (berries, stone fruit, tropical fruit) plus more for serving
1/4-1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Crumbled cookies for serving.

Place the fruit in bowls and sprinkle with sugar. Let the fruit sit for 15 minutes to macerate and release its juices. Use a fork to mash the fruit. (Assume 1-2 tablespoons sugar per 1 cup chopped fruit.)

For the whipped cream, use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream, yogurt, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until it is smooth and holds stiff peaks. Fold the fruit into the cream. Divide into serving dishes and top with additional fruit and crumbled cookies.

Apple Walnut Rye Salad

Apple Walnut Rye Salad
Happy first day of spring! Even though winter hasn’t been that bad, I am still hoping that a magical switch will get flipped turning on warm sunshine. A better selection of fruits and vegetables would be nice, too. I know I am asking for a bit much, and I should try to be more patient. I just can’t wait for May, when it really feels like spring.

For now, I am alternating between soup and salads depending on what coat I am wearing—puffy or trench—and my mood. With a surplus of my favorite kind of apple, the Pink Lady, I made this apple walnut rye salad. It was snappy, crispy, and I loved the toasty crumbs of rye bread along with scallions, chives and lime juice.
Apple Walnut Rye Salad
Apple Walnut Rye Salad
Adapted from Bon Appetit September 2013

Serves 4

4 slices rye bread, torn into small pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
1/2 cup walnut halves
2 Pink Lady apples, cored and sliced into rings
1 ounce shaved white cheddar
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon minced chives
juice of 1 lime

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the rye bread on a sheet pan and toss with 1 tablespoon olive, salt and pepper. Bake until light brown and toasted, about 12-15 minutes. In the last 6-8 minutes of cooking, add the walnuts to the sheet pan, baking until golden. Let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the toasted rye bread, walnuts, apples, cheddar, scallions, parsley and chives. Toss in the lime juice and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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