July 25, 2009

Lemon Raisin Pie

Robin, 23 June 09, in ‘Frelling Ratbag’ post

This is my variation on a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks, whose name and notoriety have been seen on these virtual pages before:  All-Butter Fresh Cream Sugar-Packed No Holds Barred Baking Book by Judy Rosenberg.  The title says it all.

Lemon Raisin Pie

1 pie crust bottom:  there is no top crust to this pie.  Having said that, I recommend you make it in a deep pan and build the edge up a bit, so you may need more than a half-recipe of a two-crust pie.  Half-bake it:  about 10 minutes at 400°F, just till it’s beginning to show faint colour.  Cool.

1 ½ c golden raisins, or mixture of any kind of raisins you happen to have on hand.  All golden is very pretty, and probably looks most like you thought ahead and got your ingredients organised, but I rather like the speckled effect of golden with ordinary black, and maybe a few currants thrown in for make weight.  I’ve also made this with part cranberries, but I’m a big cranberry fan.  The clever boys and girls of the food industry have figured out a way to dry cranberries so they’re sweeter than fresh ones, but you may still need to adjust your sugar.

1 T grated lemon zest (I don’t have to remind you not to grate the white, do I?)

½ c lemon juice

¾ c chopped almonds or hazelnuts or a mixture.  I suggest you toast them first too.

1 stick lightly salted butter at room temp

½ c granulated sugar

¼ c dark brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

3 large eggs at room temp

Preheat oven to 350°F

Soak raisins and lemon zest in the lemon juice for at least 15 minutes.  If you’re going to make the pie this afternoon, you could put them in in the morning.  Add the nuts at the last minute, just as you’re putting the rest of the pie together.

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.  It’s easier if you use an electric mixer.  Throw the cinnamon in at some point.  Add the eggs one at a time—remember to scrape the sides of the bowl a lot—mixing thoroughly but no more than that.  Mixture will look curdled.

Stir in the raisin mixture and pour into the crust.

Bake 40-45 minutes.  The centre should be just set, but it’ll be paler than the edges.  It’ll still be soft though.  It’ll set better as it cools.  Let cool THOROUGHLY before you try to cut it.

Warning:  this is seriously rich.

I always start my pies off with tin foil around the crimped edge, to prevent it browning too soon and being wrecked by the time the filling is cooked through.  Take it off, if you use it, about halfway through.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Lissy, 7 June 09, ‘Favourite Pancakes and Fillings’ thread

The recipe I use is from Canada (thanks Squirrel Camp folks) and is as follows:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil

Mix all dry ingredients. Form a well in the centre & add liquids. Fold through. Use 1/4 cup batter per pancake. Fry in butter till golden on both sides. This recipe works fine with egg replacement powder so long as you are careful when flipping the pancakes.

Rhubarb drink

scosborne, 18 June 09, ‘Summer Foods’ thread

Today I made rhubarb juice by simmering rhubarb in water, straining it off and adding sugar and lemon juice (to keep the colour). I made a drink out of it with my homemade limoncello and a bit of ginger ale – it was amazing. If I used soda water instead of gingerale, I would have added some ginger simple syrup I made up.

Halloumi Salad

Lissy, 8 June 09, ‘Summer Foods’ thread

I love to eat halloumi salads in summer – grilled halloumi cheese with veges, also grilled – most importantly capsicum, I prefer this with yellow and red capsicum.

I mix up a dressing of olive oil, basil pesto, garlic and lemon juice (if no pesto available, processing fresh basil with the other ingredients works fine). Some of the dressing goes on the cheese and veges, the rest is reserved for post-cooking drizzling. Meanwhile, toast some almonds and (if you can) pick crisp lettuce leaves and rocket. To make a full meal I’ll also cook cous cous, then toss the lot together. Yum.

Long summer evenings with this for supper with a chilled Marlborough Sauvignon blanc – I look forward to that! The only trouble is that it’s very difficult to get decent halloumi in nz – it all melts far too fast compared to the Cypriot version.

Tomato Salad

Susan from Athens, 7 June 09, ‘Summer Foods’ thread

In my book the ultimate summer food is tomato salad: wonderful fresh tomatoes are a wonderful seasonal vegetable and at their very best now. Currently I am enjoying a salsa I made in the evenings and served over rusks, although it is just as good over rustic brown bread.

I chop up three to four spring onions and marinate them in a bit of olive oil and vinegar. “A bit” is colloquial for enough for them to be sitting in the oil but not actually swimming in it, which is as accurate as I am willing to get (I always do things like this by eye, hand and mouth to the frustration of my mother who wants a precise recipe). I use red wine or balsamic, depending on my mood, sometimes a combination of both, but never too much: the vinegar is there to add a bit of zing not to drown the taste of the tomatoes. I add a pinch of salt and some oregano, sometimes some freshly chopped chives as well and let the onions marinate while I chop up sufficient quantities of three different kinds of tomato. Using more than one kind gives differences in texture and a deeper taste to the salad. I mix all this together add a pinch of sugar (only because the tomatoes are super-tart at the moment and I mean a pinch) and serve away.

Sometimes I have this with anthotyri cheese, at others with whatever else I’m in the mood for (it goes really well with pate, cutting through the fattiness).

Zelma’s Rhubarb Cobbler

Erika in Colorado, 29 May 09, in ‘Summer Foods’ topic

4c cut rhubarb (about 1/2 inch by 1 inch pieces)
Place rhubarb in a 9″x14″ cake pan.
Cream together 3/4c sugar and 3T butter. Add 1/2c milk alternately with 1c flour, 1t baking powder, 1/4t salt; add to creamed mixture and pour over rhubarb. Mix 1c sugar and 1T corn starch and 1/4t salt; sprinkle over cake batter. Pour 1c boiling water over all. Bake 1 hour at 375 degrees.

Sour cherries may be used in place of rhubarb. (Although I’ve never tried it this way, I’m sure it would be good.)

Keep in mind that this is meant to be a tart dessert, so if you like sour cherries, lemons, etc, you’ve hit the jackpot.

Lemon Whipped Cream

Eeralai, 28 May 09, ‘Summer Foods’ topic

The Lemon whipped cream recipe I got from Bon Appetite:

* 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
* 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat to soft peaks. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewhisk before using.)

I dished the whipped cream into four bowls and topped with raspberries. I used 6 oz of raspberries.

Red Courgettes

AJLR, 17 July 09, Recipe Thread

2 lbs of courgettes (zucchini)
1 clove garlic
2 rounded T condensed tomato paste
1 T vegetable oil
Seasoning to taste
a few basil leaves (optional)

Skin and chop the garlic and add to the (hot) oil in a large frying or saute pan. Quickly cut each (already washed and trimmed) courgette right down the centre and then chop across on a slight diagonal at approx half inch intervals. Add to the pan with the garlic and fry until lightly browned on both side. Turn the heat down a bit and add the tomato paste and 2 T water, also the seasoning. I add a scant half tsp of sugar at this stage also, as it brings out the tomato flavour beautifully. Stir and fry for a couple more minutes, until the courgette pieces are well coated in tomato. Serve with a scattering of basil leaves if you have them to hand.

This goes with almost anything as a side dish. It’s also good as an omelette filling, or with cooked pasta stirred in and then parmesan grated on top.

A slight variation on this is to add a finely chopped onion once the courgettes are starting to brown, letting them cook together for a few minutes, then adding a can of chopped tomatoes instead of the condensed paste and allowing it to cook down a bit. Also very good.