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Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

I recall very few dessert recipes from my Mother’s arsenal.  She wasn’t much of a baker (Betty Crocker made frequent appearances) nor did she have a sweet tooth.  But this is one she prepared – and one that I am very fond of.  As a child, summers on Long Island were hot and humid.  I delighted in this soupy, slurpy, chilled dessert often.  And why not? The tapioca pearls glimmer in a rich coconut milk broth, studded with small pieces of sweet fruit.  It is satisfying and wholesome, yet surprisingly light.
Since we are headed into Fall, I should note that this dessert is just as a delicious hot or warm.  And if honeydew isn’t available, mango and pears are a fragrant substitute.
Tapioca Pearls with Honeydew and Coconut Milk Broth
 tapioca
Ingredients
Tapioca

  • 1/2 cup (75 g) small dried tapioca pearls
  • 4 cup (1000 ml) water

Soup

  • 1 3/4 cup (400 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water or nondairy milk ( I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) regular sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 2 cups honeydew melon, peeled, deseeded and diced

Instructions

  1. Bring water to a boil.  Carefully place tapioca in boiling water and stir for 1 minute.  Let cook for 6 minutes, covered, at full boil.  After 6 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the tapioca covered on the stove for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain tapioca in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water.
  3. To make the “soup”, combine the coconut milk with 1/2 cup (125 ml) of water or nondairy milk in a large saucepan. Stir in the salt and the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
  4. As soon as the liquid boils, turn off the heat and stir in the drained tapioca pearls.  Remove from heat.
  5. You may serve the dessert warm or chilled.  If chilled, refrigerate the soup base and fold in fruit when ready to serve.

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Apple Butter Spice Cake

My posts are becoming more sporadic with less storytelling.  I hoped it wouldn’t be so, but the little ones have been under-the-weather quite a bit this fall.  Even FHE and I have gotten in the mix several times.  The last thing on my mind has been posting.  Rice Kernel has been keeping busy with preschool and activities, testing his limits more than ever, but still playing the role of helper in the kitchen – here and there.  Claire has become a feisty, curious almost-10-month-old.

We are headed overseas for awhile and, upon our return, continuing with initial plans to rebuild our home.  The cooking hasn’t ceased and I hope to be back on the computer soon to document our tales.

Apple Butter Spice Cake

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup apple butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch square cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; swirl the pan until the butter turns a nutty brown, about 1 minute. Pour into a large bowl. Add apple butter, brown sugar (breaking up any lumps) and oil and whisk until smooth. Add raisins, buttermilk, egg and vanilla; mix well. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt; whisk until just combined.
  3. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before servin

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Pumpkin Banana Bread (Low-fat)
makes one (8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf)

Instructions

1 medium very ripe banana, mashed (I put mine through a potato ricer)
1 cup pumpkin purée, homemade or canned
1/4 cup canola oil
1 extra large egg
2 extra large egg whites
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon groundginger
pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 350º F.  Spray a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch baking pan with non-stick baking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the banana, pumpkin, oil, egg, egg whites, sugars, vanilla, and vinegar.  Using a hand held mixer, beat on low speed until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices.  Using a rubber spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry just until combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 45-60 minutes.  Place the loaf on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Invert the loaf onto the rack and cool completely.

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Moist and flavorful, this melt-in-your-mouth bread is hard to resist.  Fortunately, it’s fairly healthful – packed with fruit, fiber- and vitamin-rich pumpkin.  Until you start loading it with chocolate chips and slathering it with whipped cream, which is what I do.  My new favorite bread.

Pumpkin Banana Olive Oil Bread

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour (half wheat and half all-purpose)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pumpkin purée (you can use pumpkin pie mix and omit the spices)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large banana, mashed
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup chocolate chips and/or chopped walnuts, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
  2. Mix the pumpkin, banana, oil, eggs, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips, if desired.
  3. Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.
  4. ***To prepare a bundt, as we did, double the recipe and bake for approximately 60 minutes.

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Whole Grain Blackberry Spice Muffins, Joy Zacharia, Cooking Light, JANUARY 2006
Yield 17 muffins (serving size: 1 muffin)


Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose or white whole wheat flour (about 9 ounces)
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups blackberries, coarsely chopped
Cooking spray
1/4 cup granulated sugar, optional for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through spice) in a large bowl. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk, butter, vanilla, and egg in a small bowl; add to flour mixture, stirring until just moist. Gently stir in blackberries.
  3. Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each of 17 paper-lined muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 16 minutes. Sprinkle muffins evenly with granulated sugar, if desired; bake 3 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks.

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Ginger Pear Crisp

Fresh and fragrant, we prefer to use firm pairs so the end result is not too soggy.  The hint of ginger provides a subtle warmth that is perfect for Fall weather.

Ginger Pear Crisp

Ingredients

6 pears, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits

Topping
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss first six ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into a buttered baking dish. Using a fork combine the remaining six ingredients. Spoon topping across pears. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

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Banana Cake

I recently made a banana cake here.  It was packed with banana and dense. I loved it.  The boys, however, thought it wasn’t “cake-like” enough.  This is another banana cake recipe I had bookmarked (from a source I sadly cannot locate) for the days our kitchen is overflowing with speckled bananas.  And with a past weekend full of corn-picking, pumpkin-decorating, and lego-building activity, there were many freckled bananas waiting for their turn in the oven.

Here, a luscious banana puree keeps the cake moist.  There is just enough banana to provide flavor, but not enough to make the cake heavy and dense.  It is definitely cake-like, beautifully golden-hued, and unbeatable with a chocolate frosting (my preference) or classic cream cheese frosting. 

Banana Cake

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
1 cups sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking soda (add to pureed bananas)
3 pureed bananas, very ripe

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 stick butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar (1 lb.)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×13″ baking pan or two 9″ layer cake pans.
  2. Cream butter, sugar and eggs. Sift flour several times, then add the salt and baking powder to the flour.
  3. To the creamed butter mixture, add the milk and flour (alternating, beginning and ending with flour).
  4. Add vanilla and mashed bananas (with the baking soda added to the bananas) to this mixture.
  5. Bake layer cakes (9″) for 25-30 minutes, oblong (9×13″) for 35-40 minutes.

For the frosting, mix cream cheese and butter until smooth, add sugar and vanilla and blend well. Spread on cooled cake.

Chocolate Frosting, from Joy of Baking

Ingredients

3 ounces (90 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (120 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water (or in the microwave). Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the melted chocolate and beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is smooth and creamy and of spreading consistency (about 2 -3 minutes). Can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for several days.

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