Peach Clafouti

It’s peach season! What to do with all those fresh peaches (courtesy of my parents’ fruit trees)?

I looked up peaches in the indices of some of my cookbooks to get some ideas, and I settled on King Arthur Flour’s peach clafouti.

Baking temperature and time: 375°F, 35-40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups peeled and sliced peaches
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a round, 10-inch oven safe pan or skillet (I used a deep pie dish).
  2. Line the bottom of the pan with peaches and sprinkle the brown sugar over them.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Blend thoroughly, and then gradually whisk in the flour mixture, smoothing out the lumps.
  5. Pour the mixture over the fruit and bake for 35-40 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the clafouti comes out clean.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature. I would allow it at least and hour and a half to cool and set.

Bird sighting! Caspian Tern

images.duckduckgo.com It’s been a long time since I posted about birdwatching, though that was the original purpose of this blog. However, on Saturday, I saw a kind of bird I had never seen before, somewhat gull-like but definitely distinct from them. I thought “Maybe it’s a tern!” but then immediately second guessed myself because I didn’t think terns could be found in my area.

When I got back home to my bird book, I discovered that my initial instinct had been correct, and the bird soaring over the lake was in fact a Caspian tern, probably out scouting for fish. So I’m going to put more trust in my first impressions in birdwatching!

Strawberry-Lemon Profiterole

IMG_20160618_195524160For Father’s day, I made profiteroles, and I filled them with lemon gelato, over which I drizzled strawberry puree. This flavor combination works really well.

To serve it, I sprinkled the pastry shells with powdered sugar and sliced a strawberry to decorate each plate.

Snickerdoodles

These are delightfully chewy, buttery cookies, and very quick to make. Even after a couple of days, their texture is still good.

Baking temperature and time: 400°F for 8-10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

To coat the cookies:

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together; add the eggs and beat them in.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend. You can chill the dough or make the cookies immediately.
  3. Roll the dough into small balls and roll each one in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  4. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, bake the cookies at 400°F for 8-10 minutes

 

Cinnamon Stack Biscuits

These are American-style biscuits, leavened with baking powder. They are much more like British scones than British biscuits.

Makes: 12 muffin sized biscuits

Baking temperature and time: 375°F for 13 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, lard, or shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 butter
  • Cinnamon sugar (1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon to taste)
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk them together.
  2. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, blend the fat into the flour mixture.
  3. Add the milk to the dough and blend it in thoroughly, making a ball of dough.
  4. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 12″ x 16″ rectangle.
  5. Melt the 1/4 cup butter and spread it evenly over the dough.
  6. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the dough, then spread the raisins evenly on its surface.
  7. Cut the dough into five equal length-wise strips. Take one strip and stack it on the next. Repeat three times until all five strips are in one stack.
  8. Cut the stack into twelve equal pieces, then put them in a greased muffin tin, with the layers facing up (see pictures).
  9. Bake at 375°F and check after 13 minutes.

These have long been a favorite breakfast treat in my family. They are scrumptious, but it’s also fun to pull them apart to eat them, though not necessary; you can just chomp down on one if you can’t wait anymore!

Cherry Pie

Another summer classic! A cherry pie. I used butter and lard in the crust, and the dough rolled out more smoothly than any pie crust I’ve ever made, and as a result, this pie may be one of the prettiest I’ve made. I brushed the lattice with cream and sprinkled it with sugar.

I am proud to say I pitted about 2 1/2 pound of cherries with my bare hand in less than twenty minutes.