SEPTEMBER: Cherry Ricotta Coffee/Dessert Cake

This recipe was in Bon Appetit this summer. Being cherry season I had to try it with cherries instead of the suggested raspberries. I always buy a bag and then cannot eat them all fast enough. This was a great solution.

Ingredients:

1.5 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup of ricotta cheese
.5 cup of sour cream or any combination of the two to make 1.5 cups
.5 tsp vanilla
1 stick, 4 oz, unsalted butter, melted
1.5 cup of fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
dusting of sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and line a 9 inch pan with waxed paper or parchment paper. Butter the paper or use a nonstick baking spray.

Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk ricotta, sour cream and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth.
Fold into dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in melted butter. Fold 1 cup of cherries into the batter gently. Pour in to the pan. Scatter the last .5 cup over the batter.

Dust with regular sugar.

Bake until golden brown and the cake tester comes out clean. This should be 45 – 55 minutes depending on our oven. Wait 20 minutes before unmolding.

You can do this 2 days ahead wrapped in saran at room temp. I have also frozen this successfully.

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September: Peach Cream Tart

Ingredients:

Butter crust for tart shell –  9 inch

3-4 peaches
.5 cup cream cheese softened
.5 cup ricotta
.25 cup sugar
a few grains of dried organic lavender

1 lemon, rind and juice
3 Tb. sugar for topping
1 egg

Apricot jam and lemon juice

Peach TartRoll out the crust for the tart. Freeze for half an hour. Prick bottom and line with aluminum foil, cover with weights.  Cook at 425 for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven, remove weights and foil and let cool.

Whisk the cream cheese, ricotta and one egg. Blend in the sugar and a few grains of lavender.

Blanch the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds or until the skin starts to peel.
Remove to cold water bath and peel the peaches. The skins should slip off very easily.
Halve the peaches, remove pit and then cut each half into 6 pieces.

Line the pre-baked crust with the cream cheese mixture. Decoratively place the peach slices on the filling in a concentric pattern, overlapping as you go. When you have done this squeeze the lemon juice over the peaches.

Mix the rind with the 3 Tbl sugar and sprinkle on the peaches.

Bake at 350 for 40 – 50 minutes or until the peaches are bubbly and set.

Let cool.

Cook .5 cup of apricot jam with a little lemon juice to thin it. Let it come to a boil. Strain through a fine sieve. Using a pastry brush carefully spread the thinned jam over the peaches and let set.

I garnished mine with Borage flowers.

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Blueberry Scones

If you like scones, you’ll love these seasonal blueberry scones even more…

Ingredients:

1.5  cups of all purpose flour.
.5 cup corn meal, organic stone ground
1/4 or 1/3 cup of granulated sugar,  depending on the sweetness that you prefer
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter, cold
grated rind from one orange
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk, save the white
.5 cup of buttermilk
1 cup of blueberries

1 egg white beaten
2 tsp sugar for topping

Blueberry SconesCombine the flours, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt and orange rind.

Cut in the butter until it resembles a fine mix.

Stir in the blueberries.

Mix egg, yolk and buttermilk and add all at once to the dry mixture. Stir until just moist.

Turn out on to a lightly greased surface and knead gently until it comes together. You might need to add another tbsp. of buttermilk.

Pat into a 9 inch circle about .5  inch thick. Transfer to a buttered cookie sheet. Score into 8 or 10 pieces.

Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with the 2 tsp of sugar.

Bake in the center rack of the oven at 425 for 20 minutes or until golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Let sit a few minutes before cutting through.

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Mushroom Galette

Mushroom Galette PlatedThis rich and delicious cheese and mushroom tarte makes a perfect hors d’hoeuvre for virtual happy hour. Won’t the other guests be jealous.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

CRUST:

1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1.5 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting and rolling
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed
optional : 1 tsp dried thyme or tarragon
1/3 cup ice water

FILLING:

4 oz. Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
3 Oz. cream cheese, full fat
3 Tbsp sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

TOPPING:

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1.25 Tbsp assorted mushrooms, quartered and sliced
1 bunch of scallions white and green parts, sliced quarter inch
.5 tsp dried Thyme, more to taste
a Pinch of dried Fennel powder
.5 tsp dried Tarragon, more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup of grated Swiss cheese

CRUST:  This is a bit fussy but once you get the hang of it you can use it for many fillings.

Whisk the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. If you are using the dried thyme add it now. Add the cubed butter and cut in with a pastry cuter until small flat irregular pieces.

Drizzle 1/3 cup of cold water over the flour mix and mix with a rubber spatula until it comes together. I then use my hand in the bowl to work it together very quickly so as not to heat the butter. It will be messy and uneven. Form into a mass.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and with your hands and a rolling pin roll it out into a 1/2 inch thick square. Fold in half into a rectangle and then fold that into a square.. Press down to make it hold together. Roll again to make a rough square  that is 1/2 inch thick. Repeat the folding process. Now gently flatten the dough rotating it into a 6 inch round disk.

Dust the surface with flour and roll out into an irregular 14inch circle. Fold in half and then again into a triangle. This makes it easier to move. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate while you make the filling and topping.

FILLING: Cube the Mozzarella and cream cheese in a small bowl and mash with the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

TOPPING:

Slice and quarter the mushrooms. Melt the 4 Tbsp of butter in a large sauté pan. When the butter has melted add the mushrooms, scallions and herbs. Saute until all the liquids have evaporated.

Season with salt and pepper.

ASSEMBLY:

Remove crust from the refrigerator and open up onto the parchment paper. Spread the filling mixture into the middle of the crust leaving the outside edge free of filling for about 1.5 inches.

Put the mushroom mixture on top of the filling. Now make cuts into the outside of the pastry crust about every 1.5 inches. Fold these over the mushrooms.

Bake in a preheated oven, 375,   for 30 minutes. Open the oven and sprinkle the Swiss cheese over the Mushrooms. Return to oven and bake another 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Serve with an extra dollop of sour cream and a salad.

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