Sunday, August 29, 2010

Peach Cobbler

You needn’t fear that I’d abandoned my hankering for peach cobbler. I’m firmly in the “biscuit crust” cobbler camp. Pate brisee is a fine thing for pie, but that’s my primary use for said pastry. Cobblers demand a hefty biscuit crust, all the better with which to sop up delicious peach (or other fruit) juices.

This recipe is very, very generously adapted from the The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I have yet to see an America’s Test Kitchen baked good recipe that demands yoghurt instead of cream, sour cream, or milk, but I think they’re missing out. I used vanilla yoghurt as the biscuit’s moistener to add both sweetness and flavor and have no cause to regret it. The biscuit topping was light, tender, and moist – the perfect foil to the succulent fruit that lay beneath.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lemon Ice Cream

As summer emits its last gasp, I’m trying to make the most of my beloved ice cream maker. New England seems to already have turned the corner from hazy summer to early fall. Those of you in more southerly climes probably can’t imagine how quickly and sharply the seasons turn the corner up here; one can literally go from all shorts and tee shirts to sweaters and fleece in the space of a fortnight.

I’d say I’m envious of those in warmer climes, but I’m actually looking forward to breaking out my cozy sweaters, plaid skirts, and tights. I always feel that way for about the first two weeks’ worth of chilly weather – and then I long for summer.

Since lemons are seasonal to winter, those of you in the very far south (hello, Florida!) could make this a year-round delight. It’s delicious – sweet-tart, lemony, and smooth as velvet on the palate. Usually, I prefer my ice cream with lots of add-ins, but this is simple perfection that requires no embellishment to delight.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fresh Fig Tart with Citrus Custard

Since the beginning of the summer, I’ve been hoping to lay my hands on some fresh figs. I’m not so keen on them plain, but I love them in baked goods. I had some fig “pizza” – really, something very similar to what’s shown here – when I went to the local farmer’s market with some friends a few of weeks ago, and that only strengthened my resolve to locate these delectable, eminently perishable delights.

I finally stumbled across some figs while on a quest for peaches. Cobbler, I decided, would be just the thing for a late summer afternoon. I never even made it to the stone fruits; these figs were arrayed in luxuriant detail near the market door. I think it was fate.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Vanilla Malt Ice Cream with Almond Butter Swirl

Apparently, we just had the hottest month ever recorded here in Connecticut. Usually, I scoff and pish at those who whine about New England’s meager heat and humidity, but July was excessive even by my standards. I fear this means I’m getting soft. I’ve been up here for over six years now; perhaps it’s impacted my capacity to distinguish oppressive heat from the merely uncomfortable.

Ice cream is lovely on either type of summer day. This is a delicious, rich vanilla ice cream spiked with malted milk powder and a creamy almond butter swirl. I think it’s my favorite of the ice cream recipes I’ve made so far. Words are inadequate to the task of conveying how perfectly the flavors of vanilla, malt, and almond complement one another. It’s like ice cream: the religious experience.

I would therefore be remiss if I failed to share the recipe.