Friday, May 13, 2016

Grunt, Slump or Buckle?


Arkansas strawberries and rhubarb are showing up now in the local Farmer's Markets. May will bring on peaches followed by blueberries then raspberries. My heart is beating faster just writing this! If you love fresh fruit like I do, you can't wait to bake something yummy for dessert that requires a topping of ice cream! Ozark women have been making cobblers since pioneer days. All it takes is a little fruit... fresh, dried or canned and in two shakes of a lambs tail you have a hot bubbly, dessert on the table!

Simmer sweetened dumplings in with juicy berries and you've made a Grunt.

Blueberry Grunt
4 cups blueberries, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup light molasses
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks
3/4 cup milk
About 1/2 cup whipping cream (optional)
1. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, frequently stir blueberries, 1/3 cup sugar, molasses, lemon peel, lemon juice, nutmeg, cloves, and 1/2 cup water until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently until the berries have released their juices and the flavors are blended, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. With your fingers or a pastry blender, rub or cut the butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. Add the milk and stir just until mixture forms a soft dough (do not overmix).
3. Drop 1/4-cup portions of the dough into the simmering fruit mixture. Cover the frying pan and simmer until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the dumplings comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Spoon the warm dumplings and fruit equally into four bowls and drizzle the portions with cream if desired.
Makes 4 servings

Make a cake with fruit mixed into the batter or spooned on top, finished with a crumble topping and you've made a Buckle!

Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blueberries
Crumb Topping
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 teaspoons hot water (1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons)
Heat oven to 375º. Grease square pan, 9×9×2 inches, or round pan, 9×1-1/2". Blend flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, shortening, milk and egg; beat 30 seconds. Carefully stir in blueberries. Spread batter in pan; sprinkle with Crumb Topping.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle with Glaze. Serve warm.
CRUMB TOPPING:
Mix all ingredients until crumbly.
GLAZE:
Mix all ingredients until of drizzling consistency.
Printable Recipe

A Crisp is a baked dessert, the fruit filling covered with a crunchy topping crumbled over the top.

Basic Fruit Crisp
6 cups fruit, peeled and sliced such as Peaches, Apples, Pears, Plumcots, Berries
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
1/3 cup Sugar
1/2 tablespoon Meyer Lemons juice freshly squeezed
1/2 teaspoon Meyer Lemons zest
1 cup Quick Cooking Oats
1/3 cup Brown Sugar firmly packed
2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
4 tablespoons Butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9 inch square or rectangular pan.
In a large bowl, toss fruit with sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.
Lay fruit into pan and set aside.
Mix together oats, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles small peas.
Sprinkle over fruit mixture and bake approximately 30 minutes or until bubbly and crisp. Serves 6
Printable Recipe

To make a Slump, drop the dough over the fruit and cook on the stove top!

Stone Fruit Slump
Filling
4-1/2 pounds mixed plums, nectarines, or peaches, fresh or frozen, pitted
(8 to 9 cups or 3 pounds prepped), see cook's notes
3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Dumplings
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsifted (2 1/2 ounces) cake flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup cold buttermilk
To peel peaches, drop in boiling water for 30 seconds, then pull off peel. They may need a little more time in the boiling water if they aren't good-and-ripe. Or instead of peeling peaches, try washing them well and then piercing them gently with a fork. Once they are slices and baked, the peel will fall apart into the fruit and add a rosy color to the dessert.
1. Prepare fruit filling: Slice fruit over bowl so you can collect all juices. Slice each fruit into 10 or 12 pieces, depending on size of the fruit and drop the slices into the bowl. Separately, rub sugar, cornstarch and salt together in small bowl, then add to the fruit and gently toss to coat. Gently stir in lemon juice, then scrape the fruit and juices into a 10- to 12-inch nonreactive, deep skillet or a wide 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven. Whatever pan you choose, it must have a tight-fitting lid. Let stand for 15 minutes. During this time, the fruit will release some of its juices and the sugar will begin to dissolve.
2. Bring fruit mixture to a low simmer over medium-low heat. You will need to stir occasionally to prevent the juice from sticking to the bottom of the pan, but do so gently to avoid breaking down the pieces of fruit. Simmer for about 2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
3. Prepare dumplings: Whisk the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cardamom together in a bowl. Add butter and toss until evenly coated. Using your fingertips or pastry blender, cut in the butter (until butter is the size of peas). Add buttermilk and stir just until mixture comes together; it will be a slightly wet dough.
4. In eight portions, place dough atop fruit, distributing the dumplings evenly over the surface. Return to the stovetop and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and continue simmering for 18 to 22 minutes or until dumplings are puffy and cooked through to the center. Remove cover and let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Sadly, slumps do not keep well. Serve immediately.
Serves 8
Printable Recipe

These are from an old War Eagle Mill Cookbook...

Apricot Patty Cake Cobbler
3/4 to 1 1/4 cups packed powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. ground mace or nutmeg
3/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
6 cups apricot quarters (about 2 lb. whole fruit)
Patty cake crust (recipe follows)
In a large bowl, combine sugar, mace, almond extract and orange peel. Add apricots and mix. If the apricots are firm and underripe, they will require the maximum amount of sugar. If the apricots are ripe and sweet, start with 3/4 cup sugar. Scrape mixture into a buttered shallow 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole and spread level.
With lightly floured hands, tear off lumps (3 to 4 T. size) of the patty cake crust and pat into cakes about 1/4 inch thick; lay them as shaped over the fruit, covering fairly evenly (a few gaps are fine). When all the dough is in place, press down lightly to join portions.
Bake cobbler in a 375 degree oven until fruit is bubbling and crust is well browned, 50 to 60 minutes. If using a 1 1/2 quart casserole, set on a large sheet of foil in case mixture boils over. Let stand at least 10 minutes or until cool. Scoop fruit and crust into bowls, adding more sugar to taste if needed.
Patty Cake Crust
In a food processor or bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 6 t. butter cut into thin slices, 1/4 cup cream cheese (2 oz.), cut into small pieces; 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel; and 1/4 tsp. ground mace. Whirl or rub with your fingers until mixture forms fine crumbs. Add 1 large egg yolk and whirl or stir until dough holds together. Press into a ball.
Printable Recipe


Creeping Apple Cobbler
5 lg. apples, peeled and cored
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teas. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted & cooled to room temp.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teas. baking powder
3/4 cup milk
Adjust oven rack to middle and preheat overn to 375º.
Fit processor with slicing disk. Cut apples in half; fit them in the feed tube and slice. Remove apples to a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon and toss until well blended.
With a pastry brush, coat the sides of 9 x 12 shallow baking dish with some of the melted butter. Pour the remaining butter into the dish and tilt it back and forth until its bottom is completely covered with the butter.
Sift together the flour, 1 cup sugar and baking powder into a medium. size bowl. With a wooden spoon beat in the milk until you have a smooth batter. Pour the batter into the butter coated dish. Sprinkle the apples, as well as the juice that will have accumulated, evenly over the batter.
Bake the cobbler 35 to 45 minutes or until the top is deep golden brown.
Yield: serves 6-8
As the cobbler bakes, the batter rises and literally creeps up through the apple slices.
Printable Recipe

Peach Crumb Cobbler
5 cup sliced peaches
1/3 cup pack brown sugar
3 tbs flour
1 tsp cinnamon, or to taste
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg, beaten.
Combine brown sugar flour & cinnamon.
Toss with peaches & arrange in 7x11 pan (9x9 works just fine too)
Take topping dry ingredients, sift... add egg & mix until crumbly.
Sprinkle over filling. Drizzle butter over top.
Bake at 375 for 55 minutes.
Serves 6 big servings
Printable Recipe

Have a good weekend and make some memories!

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Power of Pie


Mother's Day, what better reason than to celebrate with an extra special pie, made to measure for the person receiving it! Meant to say I Love You and you mean the world to me... and then it came to me, The Power of Pie. From the time we are little, at our Mother's knees, we can remember the occasion of pie coming out of the oven. Made just for us, with love, in all it's flaky goodness and chocolate creaminess with whipped cream clouds or jewel tones of cherry or berry... pie is good. In fact, pie is great. Make that special person in your life a pie, let it be warm when they walk in the door!



David Letterman's Mom's Strawberry Pie
1 9 inch pie shell -- baked
1/2 pt Strawberries, fresh -- Washed and hulled
1/2 c Granulated sugar
2 tb Cornstarch
3/4 c Orange juice
1/2 ts Red food coloring
Whipped cream
Mix sugar and cornstartch, then add orange juice and food coloring. Cook until clear. Add strawberries to glaze and pour mixture into pie shell. Serve with whipped cream.


Fall Apple Pie
Pie Crust:(Classic Crisco recipe)
This will make a double crust 9" pie
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup well chilled Crisco Butter Flavor Shortening
(I use the Crisco Sticks - and use 3/4 stick)
4-8 Tablespoons ice cold water
Blend flour and salt in mixing bowl. Cut chilled shortening into cubes into flour mixture using pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with pea sized pieces remaining.
Sprinkle 4 Tablespoons of water over mixture and stir with a fork. Add more water by the Tablespoon until dough holds together. It takes about 6-8 Tablespoons for me.
Divide dough in two with one ball slightly larger than the other. At this point, I place back in my mixing bowl (both balls of dough) covered with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Remove dough from refrigerator and place larger ball of dough onto floured surface. Using floured rolling pin roll dough into a circle until about 2" wider than the pie plate. Ease bottom crust into pie plate and trim evenly around plate. Fill with pie filling (recipe will follow). Roll top pie crust, lift onto filled pie. Trim dough with 3/4" overhand; fold top edge under bottom crust. Press edges together and flute. Cut slits in top crust.
Apple Pie Filling:
8 cups sliced apples (This was 6 large apples for me)
1 cup splenda or regular granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Pre-heat oven to375 degrees. Place apples in large bowl. Stir sugar, spices, cornstarch, and lemon juice into apples. Pour apple filling into bottom pie crust. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter (break butter into small pieces all over top of pie filling) and cover with top pie crust. Crimp edges. I normally cover the crust with tinfoil the first 40 minutes of baking, remove foil and continue to bake for 20 minutes more.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Madison County, Arkansas

Friday we started off on a little jaunt over to Madison County. I had the bright idea that it would be fun to take my Mother and Father-in-law to a great little cafe at Hindsville called the Valley Inn. It's been there a long time, alongside old highway 412 about halfway between Fayetteville and Huntsville, Arkansas. I had taken my Mom there on several occasions, it's one of those places with local flavor... waitresses that knew the 75 residents of Hindsville by their first names. In fact, they probably knew what they were going to order before they even opened their mouths! Hindsville is an old town, built in the 1890's. Still standing are a row of stone buildings that house an Arvest Bank, an antique store and the Valley Inn. We told them we were going to a NEW place to eat, but not exactly where! I knew they would love the food, homemade plates of chicken and dressing, meatloaf or ham and sweet potatoes with sides of greens, fried okra or butter beans.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and it was fun as we drove along enjoying the rolling hills and pastures with happy cows up to their bellies in green grass. It's a good time to be a cow in Arkansas right now with all of the rain we've had this spring!

We know highway 45 like the back of our hand, but when we got to where it joined the new 412 we turned right. After just a few miles, we knew we had went the wrong way. Just a spot in the road, it would be easy to miss. We turned around and went back, then realized that the familiar road had been bypassed by progress. In 2007 Highway 412 took a more direct route and left the quaint town of Hindsville. In the window of the Valley Inn was a For Sale sign. Sad for us and especially for the residents of this small community. For years they served delicious plate lunches or hamburger baskets, homemade rolls and pies to the hard working farmers or the lucky tourists passing by.

On that  fateful day when Mom and I needed a cup of coffee, but stayed when we realized they had homemade pie...Coconut Cream, Butterscotch with meringue piled so high it was sinful and Peanut Butter Pie. Not my choice, but Mom's favorite. We shared a piece that first visit to the Valley Inn.

Peanut Butter Pie
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 12-ounce carton refrigerated whipped topping (Cool Whip)
2 graham cracker pie shells

Mix cream cheese, sugar, and peanut butter together. Fold in the Cool Whip, reserving enough to decorate the tops of two pies. Pour the mixture into the pie shells and chill several hours. Top each slice with a dab of Cool Whip.


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