German Apple Cake

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For Easter brunch, our friend Therese brought over this recipe and it was a delight. Not only is it surprisingly easy, but the texture is so perfect. The batter that you pour over the apples is really thin, so it rises almost like a popover. And while she added sugar and cinnamon, we both agreed that this could be made savory with crumbly sausage or pancetta. I can’t wait to bring this to the next potluck/brunch!

You’ll need:

4 eggs
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
2 medium apples
1/4 cup sugar (omit if you’re going to make this savory)
1/4 tsp cinnamon

To make the cake:

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Put the butter in the bottom of a rectangular glass pan and let it melt in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Slice the apples thinly, then layer them over the butter in the pan.

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In a bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, milk and salt. Pour this mixture over the apples. Mix together sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle over the apple mixture.

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Bake uncovered for ~20 minutes until the crust is golden and risen.

Nom!

Liz

Hungry Texans



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Gingered Peach Mason Jar Cobblers

Four Pies Finished

In honor of my darling best friend Julia’s birthday and in honor of peaches being abundantly available and ripe this weekend, I knew a fruity dessert was in order.  Since we had made plans to visit a couple vineyards on Sunday with our sweet friends Amy and Ryan, this dessert also had to be easily portable.  And it had to be adorable.  Whew- no pressure!

As it turns out, a perfectly peachy, easily transportable dessert was well within my reach (and yours!).  All it takes is a trip to the farmers market, a quick spin in the Kitchen-Aid, and a few mason jars to make these Gingered Peach Cobblers.

For the Filling (makes 4 individual pies):

  • 4 peaches
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs fresh ginger

For the Pastry Dough:

  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • 1 stick cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs sugar

To make the Dough:

I have to admit, I’m no baker- I usually leave the sweet treats up to Julia.  But I’ve been pushing myself to mix flour + water instead of trudging to the store for some mediocre pre-made dough, and this recipe couldn’t be simpler.  Just combine your flour and sugar in a food processor or stand mixer.  Add the cold butter (with the mixer on a speed-2), one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture resembles sand.  Then, add your ice cold water and mix for ~15 seconds.  I made my pastry dough the night before the wine tour, and refrigerated it in plastic overnight.

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To make the filling:

When you’re ready to make your cobblers, grease the insides of four mason jars with butter.  Slice your peaches and place them in a sauce pan with 2 tbs sugar and 1 tbs ginger.  Give them a good stir and let them simmer over low heat for ~10 minutes until they’re syrupy and delicious.

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While those peaches are simmering, let’s talk produce!  Since there are really only 4 ingredients in this recipe- flour, butter, peaches & ginger- you can have some fun with the fillings.  I got three different peach breeds- Donut, Yellow, and White- from the farmers market.  And I was inspired to add ginger after finding this incredible baby Hawaiian variety.  No peeling necessary?  I can freeze you?  Hello, new favorite ingredient.

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Once your peaches are finished simmering, take them off the heat and let them cool a bit.

Peach Cobbler, Assemble!

Cut the pastry dough into two unequal parts.  Roll out the smaller half, then use the mouth of a mason jar to cut 4 rounds.  These should be thinner, because they’ll be on the bottom of the cobblers.  Roll out the larger half, which should be the thicker cobbler-toppers, and cut four more rounds.  Place the thin rounds of dough carefully in the bottom of your mason jars and bake at 400° for ~5 minutes.

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When the dough is a bit cooked, fill the jar up to the top with peach filling, and finish with the thick round on top.

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If you want to be really cute, and who doesn’t, use some leftover dough to form hearts or initials to pop on top.  Brush the whole thing with an egg wash and place in the oven (on a baking sheet!) at 375° for 30 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown.

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I pulled these out of the oven about 2 hours before eating them and screwed the lids on for easy transport.  Not only did this make them easy to get to the vineyards, but would you believe that they were still warm when we ate them?  Just plain peachy!

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xoxo,

Liz

oh what?  you wanted to see a photo of the birthday girl on her vineyard trip?  so happy you asked:

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buttermilk ice cream

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I was so excited to dust off my ice cream maker last weekend for the first batch of the summer! Big Daddy and I first enjoyed buttermilk ice cream at Restaurant Nora a few years ago, and I was so smitten with the unique flavor that I was quick to attempt to recreate it a few weeks later. This buttermilk ice cream is creamy with a refreshing tang from the buttermilk and makes the perfect accompaniment for your summery cakes and cobblers (or will steal the show as a standalone scoop)!

Borrowed from Smitten Kitchen, you’ll need:

ButtermilkIceCreamIngredients

2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cup sugar
10 large egg yolks
2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pinch of salt

Start by whisking together your egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar. Then combine cream & one cup of sugar in a medium-sized pot and bring to a simmer.

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Gradually, pour your hot cream mixture into the eggs gradually tempering them (you don’t want scrambies!). Return your creamy, eggy, sugary mixture to the heat.

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Stir continuously until your mixture just starts to slowly bubble as a thick custard that coats the back of a spoon.

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Remove custard from heat and stir in your pinch of salt, vanilla, and buttermilk.

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Let mixture cool completely and then chill until ready to freeze & churn in your ice cream maker.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

xoxo,

Julia

red velvet cake

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Last night the Saucy San Diegan grilled a full aquarium (squid, oysters, swordfish, salmon, cod) in honor of Amy Boo Boo’s birthday celebration, and the Hungry Texans were in charge of apps and zerts. SSD requested red velvet, so red velvet it was! I was a little apprehensive as more often than not I feel like red velvet kind of dry, lackluster cake whose primary purpose is to make copious consumption of cream cheese frosting socially acceptable. That said, I put my biases aside and made a few modifications to a Saveur recipe that turned out super moist, flavorful, and good enough that I went straight for a slice for breakfast this morning.

For the cake:

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp red food coloring
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

For the icing:

Icing Ingredients

1 stick butter
1 package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

This cake couldn’t be quicker to whip up. Start by preheating your oven to 350. Combine all your dry ingredients – sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder together in a bowl. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer combine – vegetable oil, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar.

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Add your food coloring and combine.

Red Batter

Add your dry ingredients to your sanguine red batter.

Wet & Dry

Pour batter into two round parchment-lined and sprayed cake pans.

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Bake for 25-30 minutes until your cakes pass the toothpick test. Set cakes aside to cool.

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While cakes are cooling, make your icing. In the bowl of your stand mixer cream together butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. Gradually add your powdered sugar until the icing reaches the desired flavor and consistency.

Assemble your cake. I achieved the coveted double-flip for this cake – making sure the round part was on top. I recommend, you do your first flip onto a plate, then flip back into your cake pan, and then flip on top of your first layer. Cake flipping is a delicate art, so you do you and figure out what works.

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Ice and decorate as desired.

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Light the candles, slice and serve with ice cream. We served with homemade buttermilk ice cream! Yum!

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Make a wish!

Julia

apple bundt cake

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I know this recipe might have been better saved for the fall, but ever since Boston Boy and I peeled and chopped dozens and dozens and dozens of apples for applesauce at Miriam’s Kitchen I’ve been craving a sweet, cinnamon apple treat. I volunteered to bake dessert for a dinner party our esteemed Ragnar captain, LatinThunder hosted this weekend and this bundt cake is a convenient and easily-transportable (read: won’t Cake Wreck tossed into a bag and hanging from the handles of my bicycle).

Gather the following:

ingredients

Your favorite baking spray
2 cups flour
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄2 cup butter
1⁄2 cup applesauce
3 eggs
2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (I used Fugi)
1/2 cup raisins (not pictured, these were a game time addition!)

I started by making a half batch of Liz’s yummy applesauce. The rest is a glorified dump cake. You need one bowl, a stirring utensil, and you’ll be golden delicious (couldn’t pass up the opportunity for an apple pun!). In a large bowl, melt butter in the butter melter (read: microwave). Stir in sugar.

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Add your eggs.

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Then your cinnamon.

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Then your applesauce.

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Then your fresh apples.

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Then your raisins (I might also recommend pecans or walnuts if you have any handy!).

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Then your dry ingredients.

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Mix it all up, and then pour into a well sprayed (or buttered and floured) bundt pan.

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Cook at 350 for about 40 minutes (or in my case a little over half of Denise Austin’s yoga tape – streaming on Amazon Instant thankuverrymuch!). Let your cake thoroughly cool before wiggling around the edges with a knife. DSC_0649

Say a little prayer and hope she comes out easy! Thankfully my bundt came right out. Slice & serve! The cake’s delish and makes a great simple dessert that won’t leave you sugar-rushing, side-split, buckled over lamenting whoever initiated the fairy tale that there’s “always room for dessert”, but it’d also make a great breakfast! If you’re looking for a little more presentation and want to glam this cake up a bit – I recommend (in increasing level of difficulty) either a) sifting powdered sugar on top, b) whipping up a quick powdered sugar glaze, or c) getting fancy and making a caramel/dulce de leche sauce to drizzle on top. Get creative!

You’re the apple of my eye!

Julia

white chocolate, coconut blondies

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These white chocolate, coconut blondies are a dump everything, mix, and wait dessert. No fuss, no frills. Just a pretty decadent, delicious treat that’s the perfect hybrid between brownie and cookie. The coconut keeps them oh, so moist and the creamy white chocolate’s the perfect companion to the coconut’s chewiness.

This was a Sunday night improvisation a few weeks ago, and I encourage you to do the same. Swap coconut for pecans or white chocolate for dark chocolate or butterscotch chips! Mix in peanut butter instead of coconut oil and add peanut chips. The pantry’s full of possibilities, but this version’s definitely worth a whirl!

Ingredients_blondies

1 cup coconut
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 c coconut oil
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp vanilla
1 cup white chocolate chips

Start by creaming together butter and coconut oil in the bowl of a stand mixer.

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Add vanilla.

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Add brown sugar and cream until well combined.

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Add your two eggs.

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Remove your bowl from the stand mixer and fold in flour, salt, baking powder, coconut, and chocolate chips. That’s right. Dump everything in!

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Pour into a greased square pyrex dish and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until the top of your blondies glisten and the middle passes the toothpick test.

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Cut into squares and shower these blondies’ deliciousness upon adoring coworkers.

xo,

Julia

almond peach tart

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Spring has finally sprung in the District! The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, the Nationals’ season is off to a solid start, and thankfully (knock on wood & fingers crossed) we’ve had more sunshine than showers so far this April! This week has been unseasonably warm and visions of summer stone fruits have been dancing through this Hungry Texan’s head. Try this almond peach tart (inspired from a recipe from Peace Meals, the newest Junior League of Houston cookbook) and start and tempt your tastebuds with the summer sweets to come!

You’ll need:

peachtartingredients

almond cream

2/3 c slivered, blanched almonds

1/2 c sugar

6 tbl butter

2 eggs

2 tbl chambord (raspberry liquor, rum would also work)

2 tbl flour

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Peaches

tart

1 pie crust (I used frozen!)

2 bags frozen peaches or 5 ripe peaches

glaze

1/3 c peach jelly/jam

4 tsp chambord

Preheat your oven to 425.

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Now, this recipe is really quite simple! To make your almond cream, start by grinding almonds and 2 tbl of sugar to a fine meal in your food processor. Remove the almond meal from the food processor and set aside briefly.

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Cream your butter in the food processor until soft. Then add the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar and continue creaming. Add your eggs one at a time and process until smooth. Finally, add back in your almond meal mixture, add the flour, and chambord until well mixed and creamy.

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Next, assemble your tart! Pour your almond mixture into a prepared pie crust (fork-poked).

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Arrange peaches in a radiating or concentric design.

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Bake for 10 minutes in your preheated oven and then reduce heat to 350 baking for another 25 – 30 minutes. Remove and let your pie cool.

Jam+Chambord

When the pie cools, prepare your glaze by bringing peach jam and chambord to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir continuously until the mixture is melty and wonderful.

Glaze Straining

Then strain through a fine mesh strainer. With a pastry brush, brush the glaze generously over the top of your tart.

Enjoy room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (Blue Bell if you’re so lucky!).

Sweet & creamy,

Julia