15 October 2020

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Muffins - makes 18 and uses whole can of pumpkin / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pumpkin Spice Muffins are my less-sugar, more-pumpkin, "healthier" alternative to my light and fluffy Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

After all, autumn is well underway and cannot go by without at least one pumpkin recipe! As always, I developed my recipe to avoid waste; so it makes precisely 18 standard muffins and uses the whole can of pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins - makes 18 and uses whole can of pumpkin (this image a watercolor sketch of a pumpkin) / www.delightfulrepast.com
Didn't actually use this pumpkin in the muffins, but wanted to include
a seasonal watercolor sketch.


Of course, you can make your own pumpkin purée, if you like. See the directions above the muffin recipe.

The texture of these muffins is wonderful. The key to proper texture of any muffin is not overmixing, not developing the gluten in the batter. So I've included some tips in the directions.

Despite the less than typical amount of sugar I use (2 teaspoons per muffin, in case you limit your sugar intake as I do), you could easily slap some frosting on these and call them cupcakes!

What is your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin? And only in autumn or year-round?

Fresh Pumpkin Purée

Look for a pumpkin that is unblemished and firm with a sturdy stem. A 2-pound pumpkin (or part of a larger pumpkin) should yield 1 3/4 cups (as in a 15-ounce can) of purée.

Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. Scrub the outside well and cut off the stem. Cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the seeds and stringy bits. Leave the skin on. Place cut-side down on parchment-lined 15x10x1-inch baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until fork tender and very soft. Let cool.

Scrape out the flesh, place in food processor or high-powered blender, and puree until smooth. If the consistency is looser than canned pumpkin, put the puree in a mesh yogurt strainer or cheesecloth-lined colander to drain. Store in an airtight container (I like canning jars) for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.


Pumpkin Spice Muffins - makes 18 and uses whole can of pumpkin / www.delightfulrepast.com


Pumpkin Muffins


(Makes 18)

2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons non-GMO baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
3/4 firmly packed cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 15-ounce can (or 1 3/4 cups fresh) pumpkin puree

Optional: 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

1 Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. Spray a 12-cup and a 6-cup standard muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper liners. In 1-quart glass measure or bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. If adding nuts, stir in the finely chopped nuts.

Note: What led me to the Nordic Ware muffin tins was an almost fruitless search for ones that did not have hard-to-clean seams around the muffin cavities. I also love that the 12-cup pan has a lid, making it easy to transport decorated cupcakes.

2 In 2-quart glass measure or bowl, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla extract. Beat in eggs, beating well. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Add thoroughly whisked flour mixture to thoroughly whisked wet mixture, and stir with spatula or large spoon just until combined, about 15 to 20 gentle strokes circling the bowl; do not overmix. 

3 Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, divide batter between cups. Scoop the batter from the edge of the bowl so as not to further mix the batter. Bake for about 18 to 22 minutes, or until a center muffin tests done with a toothpick.

4 Cool in pans on wire rack not more than 5 minutes. Turn out onto a pristine kitchen towel. Place on wire rack to cool for a few minutes before serving. The muffins will keep well at room temperature in an airtight container for 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

30 September 2020

Olive Oil Fig Cake - Easy Loaf or Bundt Cake

Olive Oil Fig Cake - Easy Loaf or Bundt Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com


Olive Oil Fig Cake is one more fresh fig recipe for those of you who, like me, simply love figs. For this easy recipe, you'll want to use a nice fruity extra virgin olive oil. And remember to take the time to add the oil in a slow steady stream, fully incorporating it as you go.



Now that every day is Wednesday, you'd think I'd have more time for
painting; but I don't. Just a few minutes for a quick watercolor sketch.


I like to bake it in my favorite loaf pan, which has the same capacity as a standard 9x5x3-inch loaf pan but has straight sides, giving me nice square slices. Or in my 8.5-inch 10-cup Kugelhopf pan.

Of course, if you are not a fig fan you can use the same amount of apples or pears or whatever you like. But do try it with figs—they are wonderful! Tell me, are you a fig fan? And how are you faring? I hope you and yours are staying safe and sane! 

Olive Oil Fig Cake - Easy Loaf or Bundt Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Olive Oil Fig Cake


(Makes one 9x5x3- or 9x4x4-inch loaf)

2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour1 tablespoon non-GMO baking powder
1 teaspoon cardamom (may substitute mace or nutmeg, if you must)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups (9.33 ounces/265 grams) sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of one medium lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces/177 ml or 5.625 ounces/160 grams) extra virgin olive oil
1 pound (16 ounces/454 grams) fresh figs (I used Black Mission), stems off and skin on, cut into 1/3-inch dice

1 Butter well and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan or 9x4x4-inch Pullman loaf pan (holds 10 cups). Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4.

Note: I also like to bake it in this 8.5-inch/10-cup Kugelhopf pan (the same one I use for my Babka recipe) or a 10-cup (not 12-cup) Bundt pan. 

2 In 1.5-quart bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cardamom, mace or nutmeg, and salt. With electric hand mixer on low speed, whisk the dry ingredients together for 1 minute to "sift."

3 In 2.5-quart bowl, combine sugar, eggs, lemon zest and extracts. With electric hand mixer on medium speed, beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

4 With mixer running on medium speed, gradually pour the olive oil in a thin stream into the egg mixture, so that it is completely incorporated. This should take 4 to 5 minutes; don't rush it.

5 Remove about 1/4 cup of the flour mixture and fold the remainder into the egg mixture. Toss the figs with the 1/4 cup of flour, then fold them and any loose flour into the batter.

6 Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth the top, then drop the pan a few times from a height of just a few inches to settle the batter. Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, until it passes "the toothpick test." Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn cake out of pan and continue cooling on wire rack for 2 hours. Before serving, you might give it a dusting of powdered sugar. And a little whipped cream is never a bad idea!

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

16 September 2020

Spiced Rice Pudding - Women in the Kitchen Review and Giveaway

Spiced Rice Pudding - Women in the Kitchen Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com

Spiced Rice Pudding is the first recipe I've made from Anne Willan's latest book, Women in the Kitchen. You might say the recipe below is my adaptation of Anne's adaptation of Amelia Simmons' recipe (likely an adaptation!) in her book American Cookery published in 1796.

And it isn't the oldest recipe in Women in the Kitchen, which tells the stories of 12 female cookbook authors, from 1661 right up to the present, who shaped and influenced home cooking. Not simply a cookbook writer, Anne is known for her prize-winning literary food writing. 

People of many interests—not just cooking, but history as well as writing and publishing—can enjoy this book. It would be a great resource for writers of historical novels.

I've always been interested in historical foods. Here are a few of the ones I've posted over the years: Sally Lunn Buns, Bakewell Tart, Indian Pudding, Steamed Jam Sponge Pudding, Yorkshire Pudding. So I was fascinated to learn more about the early writers. 

And three of my favorite modern-day female cookbook authors—Julia Child, Edna Lewis, and Alice Waters—are featured in the book. The first of the book's Edna Lewis recipes I'll be trying is Crispy Biscuits, not the light soft biscuits one would expect from a Southerner and which she excelled at. I am intrigued!

I hope you'll enter the Women in the Kitchen giveaway below, whether you want the book for yourself or for gifting. And do let me know in the comments who your favorite cookbook writers are. 

Spiced Rice Pudding - Women in the Kitchen Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Spiced Rice Pudding


Adapted from Women in the Kitchen by Anne Willan, which was an adaptation from American Cookery by Amelia Simmons

Amelia Simmons
American Cookery
1796
Rice Pudding No. 3

(I halved the recipe, making 6 to 8 servings)

1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) Arborio or other short-grain white rice
1 quart (32 fluid ounces/946 ml) milk
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
4 large eggs (medium, in UK)
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) red, rosé or white wine

1 In a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan, bring the rice and milk to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat and let cool.

2 Preheat the oven to 300F/150C/Gas2. Butter a 1.5-quart baking dish.

3 In a 1.5- to 2-quart bowl, with an electric mixer, combine the sugar, salt and spices; beat in the softened butter. Add the eggs and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until thick and light.

4 With a spoon, stir the egg mixture into the cooled rice mixture, followed by the wine. Pour into the buttered baking dish and bake for about 1 1/4 hours, until pudding is set and top is browned.

5 Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving warm. Even longer if you prefer it at room temperature. It's also good cold. Whatever you like. Keeps, covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve plain or with berries or other fruit.

Spiced Rice Pudding - Women in the Kitchen Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com


Women in the Kitchen Giveaway 



This giveaway is open to US residents* (See next paragraph, international friends!) 18 years of age or older. Leave a comment below (one entry per person). Please include your email address in the body of your comment; I don't have time to track you down. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday September 30. 

* If you are outside the US but would like to have this sent to someone in the US (you would have to send them a gift card separately on your own), go ahead and enter! 

Winner will be chosen by random drawing and be announced here in the comments before noon Eastern time on Thursday October 1. If I don't hear back from the winner of the random drawing by noon Eastern time Saturday October 3, another drawing will be held and a new winner selected from the original entrants (those who commented before the giveaway deadline).

Disclosure: Scribner provided a book for review purposes and for the giveaway. The views expressed here are entirely my own. I always tell my readers what I really think!

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

03 September 2020

Simple Roasted Tomatoes for the Freezer

Simple Roasted Tomatoes for the Freezer / www.delightfulrepast.com

Freezing oven-roasted tomatoes is one way to take advantage of a bumper crop. Of course, if you're growing a lot of tomatoes, you might need to can them. 

Simple Roasted Tomatoes for the Freezer (this image, a watercolor sketch) / www.delightfulrepast.com
My watercolor sketch of a tomato from the garden

But for me it was just a matter of having several pounds more than I needed all ripe at the same time. So early this morning before it got hot, I preheated the oven and roasted two half sheet pans of tomatoes yielding 5 half-pint jars. I'll likely be doing another batch in a few days.

You can freeze the roasted tomatoes in whatever size portion you need for the recipes you make. In my case, I went with half-pint jars. Whatever size you choose, be sure they are straight-sided jars. Jars with "shoulders" are more prone to breaking in the freezer.

Why nothing more than extra virgin olive oil, salt and coarsely ground pepper on the tomatoes? Because I'll be using them in American, British, Indian, Italian and Mexican dishes, each requiring different aromatics, herbs and spices. So just keeping it simple! 

Simple Roasted Tomatoes for the Freezer / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Oven-Roasted Tomatoes


(Makes 1 half sheet pan, 2 or 3 half-pint jars)

2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
About 2.5 to 2.75 pounds/1.13 to 1.25 kg ripe tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon or more salt
1/8 teaspoon or more coarsely ground black pepper

1 Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6.

2 Wash and dry tomatoes, cut away the stem and stem scar. Slice tomatoes about 1/3 inch/1 cm thick. Place in a single layer on the parchment-lined and oiled half sheet pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the tomatoes, rubbing it around with your fingers, or brush it on. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3 Place in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or more, depending on the thickness and juiciness of the tomato slices. When they are done to your liking, at least shrunken and a bit shriveled, let them cool on the pan for a few minutes. Spoon them into jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headroom, put on the lids.

Simple Roasted Tomatoes for the Freezer / www.delightfulrepast.com


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

20 August 2020

Tomato Tart Squares

Tomato Tart Squares - a perfect hors d'oeuvre / www.delightfulrepast.com

It seemed like my tomatoes would never turn red. Now they all are! Of course, they're wonderful in sandwiches, soups, salads and pasta; but there's nothing quite like a tomato tart. This is one I cut into 2-inch squares for hors d'oeuvre. 

Someday there will be parties again, and these tomato tart squares will be the first hors d'oeuvre I trot out. Of course, I'll probably take the time to pretty them up with a bit of basil chiffonade, but I had no fresh basil on hand so we "made-do" without garnish.

I used a simple all-butter pie dough that comes together quickly, but you could also use puff pastry as I do for my Tomato Tart. No garden tomatoes? Time in the oven makes even bland store-bought tomatoes taste good, as the flavor is condensed.


Just having a little fun making watercolor sketches of
 things from the garden. I don't know what I'm going to
do with all these tomatoes, but you'll be hearing about it!

To ensure a crisp crust, I give the tomato slices a bit of a roast beforehand to take out some of the moisture as well as intensify the flavor. And I use the tiniest bit of shallot and no garlic so that nothing overshadows the bright and deep tomato flavor.

Allow the tomatoes to shine. Don't let the simple, pantry-staples ingredient list fool you into thinking you need to add something else or more of something. This is a very tasty little hors d'oeuvre or teatime savory.

What do you do with a bumper crop of tomatoes? 

Tomato Tart Squares - a perfect hors d'oeuvre / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Tomato Tart Squares


(Makes one 12x8-inch tart, 24 2-inch squares)

The Pastry


1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces/142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) cold unsalted butter, coarsely shredded3 tablespoons (1.5 fluid ounces/44 ml) ice water plus 1 tablespoon, only if needed
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

The Tomatoes


2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) extra virgin olive oil, divided
About 3/4 pound (12 ounces/340 grams) tomatoes
1/16 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
3 tablespoons 0.75 ounce/21 grams) finely grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 cup (1 ounce/28 grams) finely shredded mozzarella

1 Preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. Line a 13x9x1-inch quarter sheet pan with baking parchment paper and brush it with a teaspoon of the olive oil. 

2 In 1.5- to 2-quart mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Using a coarse grater, shred the butter into the bowl. With your fingers lightly toss and coat the cold shredded butter with the flour, working it gently, leaving lots of big pieces. Combine the 3 tablespoons water with the apple cider vinegar and sprinkle over the flour mixture. With large fork, stir to form a dough that will clump together. Only if necessary, sprinkle on a bit more water. Wrap the dough in a square of plastic wrap and flatten it slightly into a 5x3-inch rectangle; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes while you proceed with recipe.

3 Slice tomatoes somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch (5 to 6 mm) thick. Place them on the prepared quarter sheet pan; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool a bit while you proceed with the recipe. 

4 Preheat oven to 400F/20C/Gas6. In small pan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil and sauté shallot; cool. Measure Parmesan and mozzarella.

5 On lightly floured 12x8-inch piece of baking parchment paper, roll out chilled dough. This recipe makes just enough dough to roll out to that size with no waste. Place the pastry on its parchment paper onto quarter sheet pan or other baking sheet.

6 Spread shallot and oil over pastry. Sprinkle Parmesan over pastry. Place cooled roasted tomato slices over pastry. Sprinkle with dried basil and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Scatter shredded mozzarella over top, not completely hiding the tomatoes.

7 Bake for about 25 minutes, or until crust is crisp and golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before *cutting and serving. Cut into 24 2-inch squares for an hors d'oeuvre or afternoon tea savory. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean
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