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Feb 25, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

Just Five: Nectarine and Blackberry Coco-Pops

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015



Times have changed (cue old-timey music). Back in the day, we stocked up on boxes of Fla-Vor-Ice freezer pops available in every fake flavor imaginable: orange, banana, root beer, grape and, of course, “red.” Now, there are freezer cases filled with all-fruit popsicles, sugar-free, organic, even some fruit and veggie blends. Still, there’s something to be said for making your own real-fruit frozen treats.

This recipe takes the flavors of a favorite cobbler (nectarine, blackberry and cinnamon) and throws in a little tropical kick with coconut milk. Use whatever sweetener you like – or none at all. You’re the boss! Make them at lunchtime, and they’ll be ready before the fireflies are out.


Nectarine and Blackberry Coco-Pops
6 servings
Inspired by a recipe originally published in Vibrant Food by Kimberley Hasselbrink

2 ripe nectarines, peeled, pitted and diced (about 1 cup)
1 cup blackberries
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 13.5-oz can full-fat coconut milk

Special equipment:
6 popsicle sticks
6 disposable cups or a popsicle mold

• In a small saucepan, combine the nectarines, blackberries, honey and cinnamon over medium heat. Stir to combine and cook until the fruit is very soft, about 5 minutes. Use the back of a spoon to gently crush the fruit into a lumpy sauce. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut milk. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes.
• Pour about ¾ cup of the fruit mixture into each cup or popsicle molds. Place a piece of plastic wrap tightly over the top of each cup or mold. Use a sharp knife to cut a tiny hole in the center of plastic and push a popsicle stick through into each cup or mold. Freeze at least 5 hours.
• To serve, run warm water over the outside of the cup or mold and gently slide the freezer pop out.



Extra Sauce: 5 Patriotic Desserts for Your July Fourth Barbecue

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

Admit it: We’re all sick of the sheet cake decorated with strawberries and blueberries to look like the American flag. Impress your barbecue guests with these red, white and/or blue desserts that will satisfy any patriotic sweet tooth.




1. There’s nothing more American than pie – unless you put that pie in a Mason jar. Use pre-made crust to quickly assemble these individual Blueberry Pies in Jars and screw on the lids for easy transport.




2. A few drops of red food coloring turns these plain muffins into decadent Red Velvet Cream Cheese Muffins. Bonus: You probably have most of these ingredients already in your kitchen.




3. Turn those red velvet muffins into cake and fold it up into a frosting-smothered Red Velvet Roll. Swap those candy cane crumbles for blue sprinkles and no one will know you transformed Christmas into Independence Day.




4. Accommodate a vegan guest – or avoid turning on the oven – with this no-churn, berry-packed Vegan Blueberry Ice Cream made with coconut cream.




5. We love crisps; they’re the ultimate lazy baker’s dessert. In this Peach and Raspberry Crisp, golden peaches and rosy raspberries create a vibrant red hue tucked beneath a buttery crust.


- Pie jar and ice cream photos by Carmen Troesser, all others by Amrita Rawat


Meatless Monday: Fruit and Gorgonzola Flatbread

Monday, April 27th, 2015



Make fruit the star of the show tonight with a flatbread topped with pears, dried cherries and creamy Gorgonzola. An Anjou pear and dried cherries are soaked in a mixture of white balsamic and agave, then scattered over homemade flatbread dough (No time? Pick up your favorite pizza dough at the grocery and save an hour.) Add pungent Gorgonzola and grill the flatbread over open flame for a smoky base. Serve as a vegetarian starter or slice like a pizza for a delicious Meatless Monday main. Get the recipe here.

-photo by Kristi Schiffman

Extra Sauce: 4 Whole-Fruit Desserts

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Stuff the candy canes in the stockings, not your mouth. Instead, finish your holiday meal with a show-stopping and deceptively simple dessert of whole fruit. Guests each receive a dish with their own apple, pear or plum, ending the meal on an elegant (and easy) note.




1. Simple and elegant, these Spiced Poached Pears get some added holiday magic when you sprinkled them with a surprise ingredient: black pepper.

2. Poached Plums are a perfect make-ahead dessert. Poach the pretty stone fruit in sherry and apple juice the night before, then served chilled and garnished with sugared almonds and a twist of lemon.





3. You know what goes perfectly with apples? More apples. Hollow them out and fill with cinnamon-scented crisp in this recipe for Apple Crisp-Stuffed Apples. Want to really take it over the top? Serve with cinnamon ice cream.

4. You could spend two hours peeling, coring and slicing pears to assemble and bake a holiday crisp. Or you could just slice in half, top with nuts and oats, bake and be done in 30 minutes with this recipe for Baked Pears with Pistachios and Cardamom.

-pear photo by Carmen Troesser

Grill-to-Glass Drinking

Friday, June 21st, 2013


Grilling season has arrived. And at Salt – a restaurant where the kitchen crew works hand in hand with the folks behind the bar – that means grilled fare is just as likely to end up in your glass this summer as it is on your plate.

Wanna try this at home? Click here to find out how.

-Photo by Carmen Troesser


Baked: Pear crostata

Monday, June 18th, 2012

I’ve never been a huge fan of cooked fruits. I love fresh fruits paired with dessert, but once they get soft and mushy, my excitement often wanes. My eyes have never lit up at an apple pie or any sort of cobbler. But of late, I’ve been trying to step out of my comfort zone. That – and my boyfriend bought way too many pears and nectarines from Soulard Farmers Market this week.

I used the nectarines to make a nectarine-ginger ice cream and thought I’d try something I’d seen online a lot: crostata. Every single blogger talks about how easy a crostata is to make, and now that I’ve tried it, I wholeheartedly agree. Instead of rolling out pie crust, arranging it in a pie tin, making a filling and then rolling out a second crust to place on top, a crostata requires just one crust. The fruit is tossed in flavoring agents and then arranged on top. The edges of the crust are folded over, and the whole thing bakes up for a gorgeously simple and appetizing snack.

I thinly sliced the pears myself, although I suppose a mandolin would come in handy for this recipe. I also made the pie crust myself, which I found very easy. But if you’re short on time and trust a particular brand, feel free to buy a store-bought version. The crostata itself was very light and not too sweet. Although I still thought the pear was a bit too cooked for my taste, family and friends found it to be the ideal afternoon snack, while the boyfriend enjoyed it as breakfast – so much so, in fact, that he asked me to make a second crostata with the leftover crust that same week.

P.S. One of my friends drizzled a little extra honey on her slice for a touch more sweetness. Feel free to adjust as you please.

Pear Crostata
6 to 8 Servings
Adapted by Amrita Rawat from a recipe originally published on blog.justinablakeny.com

1 to 2 large pears
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ Tbsp. honey
Pinch cardamom
Pinch nutmeg
Juice of half a lemon
1 9-inch pie crust, store-bought or homemade (recipe follows)
Splash heavy cream
2 Tbsp. coarse, turbinado sugar (available at Trader Joe’s)

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Using a sharp knife or mandolin, slice the pears very thinly. Combine the pear slices in a bowl with the vanilla, honey, cardamom, nutmeg and lemon juice.
• Roll the pie crust out into a 9-inch oval on a large sheet of parchment paper.
• Arrange the pears in a circle atop the crust, leaving 2 inches around the edges. Fold the crust over and pinch over the pears.
• Brush the crust with some heavy cream and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top.
• Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the fruit is soft.
• Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Pie Crust
Makes enough for 1 double- or 2 single-crust pies
Adapted by Amrita Rawat from a recipe originally published on SmittenKitchen.com

2½ cups flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, chilled
¾ cup ice cold water

• Fill a 1-cup measuring cup with water and drop an ice cube in it.
• In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt with a whisk.
• Cube the butter and sprinkle over the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender or your hands to mix together until the pieces of butter are the size of small peas.
• Drizzle half of the cold water over the mixture, and use a spatula to gather the dough together.
• Pour in a little more water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a ball.
• Divide the dough in half and wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap.
• Let chill for at least 1 hour, or freeze for later use.

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