Monthly Archives: August 2012

Fresh Fruit Tart

We had a bunch of stone fruit in our FFTY box that needed to be eaten. As usual, I had some premade pie crusts in my freezer, so I didn’t make the pastry per the instructions, I just cut up the fruit and continued on to the custard. I did make one error with the custard – I accidentally used whole eggs instead of just yolks. I knew something was wrong when it was solidifying immediately instead of taking time to firm up. Despite this, it seemed to work out OK once I realized and took it off the heat right away. The apricot jam brushed over the top of the fruit is genius. It makes the whole thing look so beautiful (not completely clear in my photo)!



  • 1/4 lb butter, cold, chopped into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 egg yolks


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk (full fat)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 3/4 cup apricot jam
  • various fresh fruit (or tinned)


  1. To make pastry: Using fingertips, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal; stir in sugar and egg yolks; press mixture together to form a ball and refrigerate in plastic wrap for 30 minutes; preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Roll pastry between two sheets of wax paper, making the pastry large enough to cover base and sides of a buttered 9-inch fluted tart pan; trim edges; place sheet of foil into pastry and fill with pie weights or dried beans; bake 20-25 minutes; remove foil and beans and bake a further 5 minutes; allow to cool.
  3. To make custard: In medium bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar and flour until thick and pale; heat milk in saucepan until almost boiling; remove from heat. Slowly dribble in hot milk into egg mixture, whisking continuously, until all of milk has been added. Return custard to pot and cook, over medium-low heat, until custard has thickened and coats the back of a spoon (5-7 minutes). Place piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface of custard (this prevents a ‘skin’ from forming) and allow to cool completely.
  4. To assemble: Spoon custard into baked pie shell and smooth. Place pieces of fruit attractively over tart. Heat apricot jam until it is quite liquid and brush this generously over the fresh fruit to set and seal the tart. Allow to cool completely.
  5. Serve the same day of making. Refrigerate any leftovers.

–Recipe courtesy


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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


Meringue Cookies

Once again, I had extra egg whites I needed to use up. From now on, this is probably going to be my go-to recipe when that happens because it’s so easy and delicious. All you need is whites and powdered sugar. That’s it! They turned out a little weird looking (bubbly in the middle) but the flavor and texture was divine. If you have time, check out elephantine’s original post linked at the bottom of the recipe. Her pictures are amazing.


  1. Start with two eggs at room temperature. Separate the yolks from the whites. Save the yolks for something else.
  2. Measure out one cup of powdered sugar.
  3. Whip the egg whites on a medium speed until foamy. This should only take a few minutes.
  4. Slowly add in the powdered sugar a little bit at a time, while continuing to mix on a medium speed.
  5. Continue whipping until the mixture is glossy and stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. The mixture should stay put if you hold the mixing bowl upside down.
  6. Preheat your oven to 200° F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill a pastry bag with the meringue (or use a plastic baggie with a corner snipped off).
  7. Pipe the meringue onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 90 minutes.
  9. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

–Recipe courtesy elephantine.

Weird but tasty!

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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


Tomato and Corn Pie

Yet another tomato recipe to use up our homegrown tomatoes! I’m usually quite lazy when it comes to pie crust and this recipe was no exception. I used a premade pie crust for both the pan side and the top crust. Maybe my pie pans were really small, but there’s no way this recipe would fit into one pie. It easily made two (though maybe if I had pureed the corn per the recipe that would have helped the filling pack in more densely). Corn and tomato – a great combination!


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 2 teaspoons melted
3/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 3/4 pounds beefsteak tomatoes [I used several varieties of cherry tomatoes]
1 1/2 cups corn (from about 3 ears), coarsely chopped by hand or lightly puréed in a food processor, divided [I didn’t bother to puree the corn]
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil, divided
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
7 ounces coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (1 3/4 cups), divided


Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 3/4 tsp salt in a bowl, then blend in cold butter (3/4 stick) with your fingertips or a pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal. Add milk, stirring until mixture just forms a dough, then gather into a ball.

Divide dough in half and roll out one piece on a well-floured counter (my choice) or between two sheets of plastic wrap (the recipe’s suggestion, but I imagined it would annoyingly stick to the plastic) into a 12-inch round (1/8 inch thick). Either fold the round gently in quarters, lift it into a 9-inch pie plate and gently unfold and center it or, if you’re using the plastic warp method, remove top sheet of plastic wrap, then lift dough using bottom sheet of plastic wrap and invert into pie plate. Pat the dough in with your fingers trim any overhang.

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. If your kitchen is excessively warm, as ours is, go ahead and put the second half of the dough in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Whisk together mayonnaise and lemon juice.

Cut an X in bottom of each tomato and blanch in a large pot of boiling water 10 seconds. [I didn’t bother to peel them, and it turned out perfectly fine] Immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to cool. Peel tomatoes, then slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick and, if desired, gently remove seeds and extra juices. Arrange half of tomatoes in crust, overlapping, and sprinkle with half of corn, one tablespoon basil, 1/2 tablespoon chives, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and one cup of grated cheese. Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes, corn, basil, chives, salt, and pepper. Pour lemon mayonnaise over filling and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Roll out remaining piece of dough into a 12-inch round in same manner, then fit over filling, folding overhang under edge of bottom crust and pinching edge to seal. Cut 4 steam vents in top crust and brush crust with melted butter (2 teaspoons). Bake pie until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes, then cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

–Recipe courtesy Smitten Kitchen.


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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


Butterscotch Pudding (with Miso)

I loved the Miso Butterscotch Sauce I whipped up recently, and immediately thought about going one step further and making a pudding with the miso butterscotch as the base. I found this recipe for pudding that started out basically the same way as the miso butterscotch sauce did, so it was easy to work in. I’ll reproduce the pudding recipe without miso here, but if you want to make the miso version, in step one, refer to the sauce recipe, do what I did to make the sauce, and continue with the rest of the pudding steps as noted. This pudding was so heavenly. And dangerous. I want to eat it every day.


4 tablespoons (60g) butter, salted or unsalted
1 cup (180g) packed dark brown or cassonade sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2½ (625ml) cups whole milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons whiskey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the dark brown sugar and salt, then stir until the sugar is well-moistened. Remove from heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with about 1/4 cup (60ml) of the milk until smooth (there should be no visible pills of cornstarch), then whisk in the eggs.
  3. Gradually pour the remaining milk into the melted brown sugar, whisking constantly, then whisk in the cornstarch mixture as well.
  4. Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently. Once it begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for one minute, whisking non-stop, until the pudding thickens to the consistency of hot fudge sauce.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the whiskey and vanilla. If slightly-curdled looking, blend as indicated above.
  6. Pour into 4-6 serving glasses or custard cups and chill thoroughly, at least four hours, before serving.

–Pudding recipe courtesy David Lebovitz.

Lovely pudding!!

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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


Tomatoes in Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Yet another recipe to use up our plethora of homegrown tomatoes! Unfortunately, I didn’t check my supply of yogurt before I started cooking, and didn’t have enough yogurt. I tried to backfill with Mexican crema, but it separated a bit and made the sauce look ugly. The sauce still tasted OK though. I think I might cut the tomatoes in half next time; huge globes in the sauce were a little unwieldy, and letting the innards of the tomatoes out probably would make the flavor of the sauce even better too!


  • 8 ripe but firm tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped [I used Tapatio]
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • Cilantro sprigs (optional)


  1. 1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water and a few ice cubes and set near the pot. Put tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds each, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to ice water. Drain tomatoes and pat dry. Core and peel tomatoes (leave them whole). Set aside.
  2. 2. In a large frying pan, heat oil over high heat. When hot, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds and reduce heat to medium-high. Cover and cook until seeds start to pop, about 2 minutes. Remove cover and add butter. When butter is melted, add turmeric and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic, chiles, and salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. Add yogurt and stir in one direction until smooth. Add tomatoes. Gently stir to coat with sauce. Cook until tomatoes are just warm, about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro if you like and serve warm, with plenty of sauce.

–Recipe courtesy Sunset Magazine.

Ugly, but tasty tomato curry:

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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


Tomato Risotto

We have tons and tons of cherry and heirloom tomatoes growing in the garden, so I’ve been doing a lot of tomato recipe research lately. We had some Arborio rice in the cupboard, so risotto seemed like the natural dish to make. It turned out great, but I should have added even more tomatoes!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper [didn’t have this, used green pepper]
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 pound (2 cups) Arborio rice
  • 1/2 pound assorted baby tomatoes, such as cherry, current, teardrop, stemmed and cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese [used Asiago instead]
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onions, green part only


In a large saute pan, over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring. Saute until the onions are slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add the water and garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for about 6 minutes. Add the rice and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes and continue to simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture is creamy and bubbly, about 8 minutes. Stir in the butter, cream, cheese and green onions. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Spoon the risotto into serving bowls or plates and serve.

–Recipe courtesy Food Network/Emeril Lagasse.

Tasty risotto:

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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


Miso Butterscotch

I love a good miso soup. When I came across this recipe in a NYTM article about miso, I had to try it. I had it in my archives for a while and forgot about it. Luckily I just remembered it existed because it turned out to be so amazingly good. Their main idea seems to be that you’d use this in savory applications, but for me I can only see it being used on desserts. I tried it on a piece of bacon, though, and that worked really well too. On toast it’s OK, but that doesn’t seem to be what it’s best for. It’s so easy to make, I highly recommend the extra trip to the Asian grocery to get some miso!


  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces [per their “possible additions” suggestion below, I used about 4 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of sesame oil]
  • 1/4 cup miso (red miso is a bit salty for truly sweet applications) [they say this, but I thought red miso was AWESOME in the sauce on plain frozen yogurt; I think it’s a matter of taste]
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar


  1. Combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts.
  2. Stir in the miso and sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is slightly thickened and shiny, 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and add a little more sugar if you think it’s too salty.
  3. Use right away or refrigerate, well covered, for up to 1 week and rewarm before using to loosen it up.

Possible additions: Chopped nuts; sesame oil instead of butter; honey instead of brown sugar.

Possible uses: On poached pears or apples; marinade for meat; braising base for sturdy vegetables like cabbage, eggplant, turnips or new potatoes; sundae sauce — especially over fruit ice creams or sorbets.

–Recipe courtesy The New York Times Magazine (check the story for more miso recipes).

As a sauce for frozen yogurt (I went a little overboard with the amount used):

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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Uncategorized