Ginger-Peach Crisp

Well, another crazy weekend came and went.

Oh, who am I kidding?  My whole life is crazy, and it’s not going to be any less crazy until about November.  If I’m lucky.

At any rate, my Young Diabetic Friend accompanied us on our rounds this Saturday to pick up our eggs and CSA share.  We also visited a couple of (tiny but good) farmer’s markets, as well as our friends at Whitefeather Meats where I bought the most incredible bison short ribs; they promptly became dinner.

Because no matter how often I post recipes like this, I’m always going to looooooooove my pastured/grass-fed/ethically raised meats – especially the odd bits.

At any rate, we spent the day canning 16 pints of green beans and slicing and vacuum-sealing about 2 pounds of fresh okra for the Young Diabetic Friend, as well as milling another half-bushel of paste tomatoes that we canned Sunday.  I also picked up a 1/2 peck of what is probably the last of the fresh peaches we’ll see this summer when we swung by Geig’s Orchard to get some of their incomparable, freshly pressed apple cider.

About half the peaches, which were on the small side, went into this wonderful dish that I made to go with our Sunday brunch.  Fresh peaches compete with cherries for the title of Jan’s Favorite Fruit, but if you put me in a headlock and made me choose, I’d probably pick the peaches.  I adore them, which is why I have at least 1/2 a peck sliced and vacuum sealed in my garage freezer.  I also love to cook with them – just search for “peaches” on this site, and you’ll see – and that includes the occasional dessert.

Of which this one is a doozy.  Oh. Muh. GAWD…it will certainly justify the purchase of both the candied ginger and the ground cardamom if you don’t already have some.  The servings are not large, but this is one of those desserts you want to eat slowly and reverently, savoring every bite.

Ginger-Peach Crisp. Combining peaches with candied ginger makes for a delicious - and slightly exotic - dessert.

Click the image to enlarge

Ginger-Peach Crisp
Serves: 9
  • 3 1/2 lbs ripe peaches (about 6 to 8), peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
  • Crumb Topping
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the peaches and sugar. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the peaches in a colander set over another bowl to collect the juices. Return the peaches to the original bowl and toss with the cornstarch, salt and candied ginger.
  3. While the peaches are macerating, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and ground coriander in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry knife or two forks until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
  4. Transfer the juices from the drained peaches to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook, swirling gently from time to time but not stirring, until the liquid has reduced by about half. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir into the peach mixture.
  5. Pour the peaches into an 8″ x 8″ glass baking dish; sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit, covering it as completely as possible.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden and crisp. Allow to cool to almost room temperature before serving.
  7. Nutrition (per serving): 287 calories, 9.1g total fat, 20.4mg cholesterol, 37.8mg sodium, 408mg potassium, 51g carbohydrates, 4.2g fiber, 34.2g sugar, 3.9g protein

Lemon-Tarragon Zucchini Bread

OMG, I cannot even begin to express how sick I am of summer squash.  Four lousy plants, plus our CSA contribution, and it has simply taken over my kitchen counters.

Our kitchen freezer is literally stuffed with frozen, shredded zucchini.  We’ve eaten the stuff every. stinkin’. day.  Often for more than one meal.

I’ve put it in omelets, scrambles, casseroles, stir fries, cream sauces, tomato sauces.  I’ve hidden it in meatloaf, meatballs and spaghetti sauce (which is one way to get my vegetable eschewing son and grandson to eat it).  I’ve stewed it, fried it, sauteed it and roasted it.  I’m getting ready to make it into pickles and relish.

And I finally broke down and made some zucchini bread.

My sister-in-law, Tough Yankee Broad, is an accomplished cook, avid gardener and fellow crochet addict.  Recently she found a recipe for Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread, since she, too, is Awash In Squash; I asked her to let me know how it came out if she made it.  She did, and pronounced it “okay” with the caveat that, since she lives in the middle of nowhere Vermont, she had to use bottled lemon juice.

I, on the other hand, had two lemons sitting on my counter, leftovers from Jolly’s birthday cake.  Keeping in mind TYB’s statement that she doubled the recipe because “who only has one cup of shredded zucchini on hand and only makes one loaf of bread with it??” but not wanting to make a metric fuck-ton of it in case it was simply “okay” I began mentally tweaking the recipe.

The original recipe called for canola oil which, despite the return of moderate amounts of wheat flour and sugar to our diet, is still on my “banned” list, so I used melted and cooled butter instead.  It also called for buttermilk which I worried might have had something to do with my SIL’s bread not being very “lemony” so I decided to just use plain, whole milk.  After shredding a medium-sized zucchini, I got about a cup and a half, so I kept the liquid to 1/2 a cup, combining half of the lemon juice with 6 tablespoons of milk, figuring it would keep the bread plenty moist.

To be honest, I held back two tablespoons of lemon juice, fully intending to make a glaze for the bread, but while it was baking it occurred to me that glazing it really would be gilding the lily, and opted for sprinkling the reserved juice over the bread once it came out of the oven (it was the right choice).

As for the tarragon, that was a bit of an afterthought when I was assembling the ingredients – and one of desperation, to be honest, since for some reason the tarragon in our herb garden has gone completely nuts this year and is taking over.  Don’t ask me why, for I don’t know; every year prior it’s been rather lackluster.  Maybe it has something to do with the bitterly cold winter we just had (that killed my thyme)?  Who knows…

As for the bread, well, it was magnificent – holy cow, so so so SO good.  Just lemony enough, not too terribly sweet (glazing the bread would have made it so) and the tarragon gave it a wonderful herbaceous hint that was just lovely.  Yum, yum, YUM.  I’m going to make a lot more to freeze and give away as gifts – in fact, most of it will be given away as gifts because if I keep it in the house, I’ll eat it ALL.

It’s just that good.

Lemon-Tarragon Zucchini Bread. Not your run-of-the-mill quick bread!

Click the image to enlarge

Lemon-Tarragon Zucchini Bread
Serves: 16
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan; reserve 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and melted butter until well blended and thick. Whisk in the milk, lemon juice, zest and tarragon. In two batches, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Fold in the grated zucchini.
  4. Pour into the prepared loaf pan; bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool for 30 minutes on a baking rack. Turn out the bread and return to the baking rack; sprinkle the top with the reserved lemon juice and allow to cool completely before serving.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 188 calories, 6.7g total fat, 39mg cholesterol, 187.1mg sodium, 82.8mg potassium, 29.9g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 17.4g sugar, 2.9g protein

Gingered Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler

Father’s Day this year was nice for Beloved, I’m happy to report.  Jolly took him out for dinner the night before; I made him Crab Cake Benedict (served over sauteed Swiss chard and caramelized onions) for brunch and some lovely chicken livers sauteed with white wine, onion and capers over a traditional risotto for dinner.  He got to take a nap and putter in the garden and we gave him a couple of cute gifts, both useful and funny.

He enjoyed himself, which is the goal of any good Father’s Day.

I also made him this.  The man is a strawberry-rhubarb fanatic, and since our rhubarb is gorgeous this year and we had two quarts of fresh strawberries in the fridge, why not make him a strawberry-rhubarb dessert as a Father’s Day treat?  And because cobbler is easier than pie, as well as every bit as tasty, well…there you go.

Now, this is not paleo (like cobbler could ever be truly paleo); in fact, it’s not even gluten-free.  (You can make it gluten-free and more paleo friendly by using the topping recipe here, if you like).  What it is is freaking delicious, and if I’m going to make the light of my life one of his favorite desserts for Father’s Day, I refuse to feel the least bit guilty about it.  All of the ingredients, including the AP flour and granulated sugar, were certified organic, and the fruit was locally grown – you can’t get more “local” than your own back yard.

So there.

The addition of the crystallized ginger in the topping was just wonderful, and the topping itself was tender and fluffy and simply delicious.  I’m going to throw caution to the wind and make a cobbler with this topping again when peaches are in season later this summer.  It’ll be awesome.

*smiles and thumbs nose*

Gingered Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler. Crystallized ginger really elevates the topping of this marvelous springtime dessert.

Click the image to enlarge

Gingered Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler
Serves: 6
[i]To make this gluten-free and more paleo-friendly, [url href=”” target=”_blank”]use the topping recipe here[/url].[/i]
  • [i]For the filling:[/i]
  • 2 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
  • 2 1/2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice [i][b]or[/b][/i] granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour [i][b]or[/b][/i] corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • [i]For the crust:[/i]
  • 2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice [i][b]or[/b][/i] granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup finely diced crystallized ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the rhubarb and the strawberries with the sugar, tapioca or corn starch, and lemon zest. Set aside the mixture for 30 minutes to macerate.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the 2 tablespoons of sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Using the tines of a fork, cut the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the milk, egg, and crystallized ginger just until moistened. Do not over mix.
  4. Pour strawberries and rhubarb into a 2-quart casserole dish; drop the cobbler batter by heaping tablespoonfuls on top of the fruit. Sprinkle a little extra sugar over the cobbler topping, if desired.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until cobbler crust is golden brown and fruit filling is bubbling. Serve warm; top with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 304 calories, 9.3g total fat, 52.4mg cholesterol, 189.4mg sodium, 252.4mg potassium, 52.4g carbohydrates, 2.5g fiber, 24.6g sugar, 4.4g protein

Apple Fritters

We took The G Man apple picking at a local orchard this weekend.  Despite the fact that it was cool and drizzly, we had a blast – and came home with a half a peck of apples I need to find something to do with.

This particular recipe took care of two of them, at least.

I’ve been meaning to make a good, gluten-free apple fritter for some time now – I’m glad I finally did.  These are just wonderful; crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside and the apples were cooked to tender-crisp perfection.  They also reheat quite well in a 325 F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

The fritters have a great  apple flavor due to macerating the apples with the sugar and spices and including the resultant liquid in the batter – simply superb.  You also want to make sure you dice the apples fairly small, to make sure there is plenty of apple in every fritter.

A lot of apple fritter recipes call for dusting them with powdered sugar or glazing them (at least one recipe I came across called for both), but I found them sweet enough on their own, with a very slight dusting of organic pure cane sugar.  Beloved drizzled his with maple syrup and declared them the most delicious thing he’d eaten all morning.

Alas, the fritters are not dairy free, but you can make them so by subbing the milk with equal amounts of water and coconut milk and the butter with coconut oil.  Use the palm oil shortening, which is what I used, and they are vegetarian as well.

Apple Fritters. Otherwise known as heavenly bites of fall-spiced bliss, these are gluten free.

Click on the image to enlarge

Apple Fritters
Serves: 8
[i]Two fritters per serving[/i]
  • 2 large cooking apples, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tablespoon potato flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
  • tallow, lard or palm oil shortening
  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the diced apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and evaporated cane juice until well combined. Set aside and allow to macerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer the apples and their juices to a colander suspended over another bowl for about 15 minutes, capturing the juice – you should have about a 1/4 cup liquid. Transfer the apples to a smaller bowl and set aside; add enough milk to the juice from the apples to make 3/4 cup and set aside as well.
  3. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl in which you macerated the apples, whisk the eggs, vanilla and the milk/apple juice mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients just until moistened; add the butter and stir until mixed, but still a bit lumpy. Fold in the apples.
  5. In a large, deep skillet heat a good amount of the fat to 350 F. Working in batches, drop spoonfuls of the batter gently into the hot fat and fry until golden brown on the bottom; carefully flip and continue frying until golden brown on the other side and the fritters are cooked through.
  6. Serve hot, drizzled with maple syrup if desired.
  7. Nutrition (per serving): 334 calories, 22.1g total fat, 63.7mg cholesterol, 673.8mg sodium, 219.6mg potassium, 27.3g carbohydrates, 3.4g fiber, 15.6g sugar, 2.3g protein

Very Berry Baked Pancake

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, especially last week.  I’ve just been so darn busy lately, and it’s not going to let up any time soon – our busy season is coming up, and the canning/freezing supplies are coming out.  Add that to an increasingly heavy workload (although it’s work I enjoy, so I will definitely NOT complain), getting The Young One prepared for college in the fall, as well as lots of time being Meema, and I can barely find time to cook and photograph three recipes a week, much less blog about anything else.

Oh, well…it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, I suppose.

At any rate, we’re swimming in berries right now.  Strawberry season is almost over, but we’ve got blueberries and raspberries, both red and black, coming out of our ears.  Faced with a ton of each this weekend, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with them (besides feed them to the berry eating machine that is our grandson).  Beloved urged me to put them in a breakfast dish for our brunch this Sunday…so I did.

I didn’t want to make anything too terribly complicated, so I decided to see if I could make something along the lines of a Dutch Baby.  It didn’t puff up like a Dutch Baby is supposed to, but it was freaking delicious – thus, the baked pancake.  We ate this with Scotch Eggs and watermelon; it was a lovely, filling brunch.  The pancake, while a bit on the rustic side, is tender and delicately sweet and tart from the berries.  I drizzled the wedges with pure maple syrup, but that is all it was – just a drizzle.  Beloved couldn’t stop raving about it, so I imagine I’ll be making this again before berry season is over.

It would make a good, simple dessert, too – top it with a little lightly-sweetened whipped cream.

Note: There is baking powder in the recipe; most commercial baking powders contain aluminum and GMO corn starch.  You can make your own quite easily – this is a good recipe.

Very Berry Baked Pancake. Mixed berries are a sweet-tart complement to this tender baked pancake.

Click on the image to enlarge

Very Berry Baked Pancake
Serves: 6
  • 2 cups mixed berries (black raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the berries in a small glass mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar; stir to coat. Allow the fruit to macerate for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Melt the ghee in a heavy, oven-proof 10″ skillet over low heat. Place the remaining ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into the skillet and sprinkle the berries evenly over the surface of the pancake. Allow to cook over the heat for one minute.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the pancake is cooked through. Cool for 3 to 5 minutes; cut into 6 wedges. Drizzle with maple syrup, if desired, and serve.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 181 calories, 9.4g total fat, 108.3mg cholesterol, 120mg sodium, 172.3mg potassium, 19.8g carbohydrates, 1.7g fiber, 10.1g sugar, 4g protein