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Your Daily Sweets: What Are You Making and Baking? (2017 – )


pjm333
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We're in the midst of the annual wild huckleberry season here in the Pacific Northwest, but what a strange summer indeed.  We got scorching, 100+ temperatures in June which is very unusual, then an early start to the wildfires.  Now more scorching heat in July and the wildfires continue.  The fires in my region are over dryland with rolling hills and very dry grasses.  But reports say that the heat hasn't hurt the berries in my region of Northwest WA, and they grow best at very high mountain altitudes that typically don't get a lot of fire activity.  Some of the public forest lands are closed due to high fire danger and local pickers aren't happy, but the bears of course love to have the huckleberry crop to themselves.  Here are two of my favorite huckleberry recipes I created last season.  Today I'm working on huckleberry ice cream and then on the list is huckleberry turnovers, pancakes and I made huckleberry bbq sauce last week.

 

Huckleberry Bundt Cake with Candied Lemon Peel-

Wild Huckleberry Bundt Cake.JPG

 

Huckleberry Panna Cotta with Almond Crumble and Oregano Flowers-

Huckleberry Panna Cotta with Almond Crumble and Oregano Flowers - Copy.JPG

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5 hours ago, David Ross said:

We're in the midst of the annual wild huckleberry season here in the Pacific Northwest, but what a strange summer indeed.  We got scorching, 100+ temperatures in June which is very unusual, then an early start to the wildfires.  Now more scorching heat in July and the wildfires continue.  The fires in my region are over dryland with rolling hills and very dry grasses.  But reports say that the heat hasn't hurt the berries in my region of Northwest WA, and they grow best at very high mountain altitudes that typically don't get a lot of fire activity.  Some of the public forest lands are closed due to high fire danger and local pickers aren't happy, but the bears of course love to have the huckleberry crop to themselves.  Here are two of my favorite huckleberry recipes I created last season.  Today I'm working on huckleberry ice cream and then on the list is huckleberry turnovers, pancakes and I made huckleberry bbq sauce last week.

 

Huckleberry Bundt Cake with Candied Lemon Peel-

Wild Huckleberry Bundt Cake.JPG

 

Huckleberry Panna Cotta with Almond Crumble and Oregano Flowers-

Huckleberry Panna Cotta with Almond Crumble and Oregano Flowers - Copy.JPG

My picking area mostly gone and what berries you can find are very small. From what I heard is the crop came early and so we missed the peak -if that.. info was correct

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1 hour ago, oli said:

My picking area mostly gone and what berries you can find are very small. From what I heard is the crop came early and so we missed the peak -if that.. info was correct

Yes so many areas are already done.  My old rule, out this year, is I would buy berries late July and wait for better berries into late August, but also not this season.  The fellow I get them from only tells me he picks up "around Priest Lake."  The berries are good size and have that wonderful perfume.  I usually get two gallons and stretch them out through the year, but this summer I only got one gallon so I'll have to be more stingy when I pull some out of the freezer.  I guess the anticipation for next summer will be all that greater. 

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29 minutes ago, David Ross said:

Yes so many areas are already done.  My old rule, out this year, is I would buy berries late July and wait for better berries into late August, but also not this season.  The fellow I get them from only tells me he picks up "around Priest Lake."  The berries are good size and have that wonderful perfume.  I usually get two gallons and stretch them out through the year, but this summer I only got one gallon so I'll have to be more stingy when I pull some out of the freezer.  I guess the anticipation for next summer will be all that greater. 

I used to go high in the mtns. above Wallace. Quite a drive from Hayden Lake I would say. The last 4 yrs much, much closer -45 min. thanks to friends who have lived here much longer than us big city slickers.

Edited by oli (log)
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Made the Espresso Chocolate Chip Cake from Snacking Cakes again and brought it over to my cousin's yesterday for an AM get-together. 

Last time, I made 3 mini loaf pans, this was a standard 9" pan. 

Edited to add that this recipe is available online as part of the EYB digital preview of the book at this link

IMG_4177.thumb.jpeg.00f9df6ba9dfdc60274ec9d82c068460.jpeg

 

I also brought a bottle of coffee flavored rum and suggested it might make a nice accompaniment if there was still cake left in the evening. 

My cousin texted me this photo and said she was calling this dinner:

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Edited by blue_dolphin
to add link (log)
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One pana cotta. Many desserts.

Honey, walnuts and cinnamon.

Cherries and Amarena syrup.

Strawberry preserves and hazelnuts.

We also had some not pictured: Carambola preserves and almond slivers. Honey and olive oil.

 

 

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~ Shai N.

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48 minutes ago, shain said:

One pana cotta. Many desserts.

Such a fabulous idea to serve it in so many combinations. You seem to have quite the knack for thinking outside of the box. I really admire that. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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52 minutes ago, shain said:

One pana cotta. Many desserts.

 

My favorite panna cotta description from Marlena de Blasi  "1000 Days in Tuscany" : edited ---

" made from the milk of his blue eyed cow Assunta: "So after I milked her this morning I brought it directly up here to Bice. All the rest  goes to coo=op to get pasteurized and ruined...from her teats to my spoon with  only Pioggia's jar and Bice's pot in between"

 

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With our weather up here being intensely hot since early June, I'm not sure how the pear and apple crops will fare.  My neighbor already has trees full of apples, about 6 weeks early.  But with other crops, like cherries, the heat in the Northwest made for a bumper crop.  Let's hope the same happens to our local pears.  This is a recipe I always turn to, the simple and humble Pear Brown Betty.  The only change I made to this recipe was to add Chinese Five-Spice Powder.  I came across this in an early Fannie Farmer cookbook from my Great Grandmother and other than the spice, it's the same recipe from ca. 1919.

Pear-Brown-Betty (2).jpg

 

2 cups fresh bread crumbs

1 cup dark brown sugar

½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder substitute cinnamon and nutmeg

6 large Bartlett pears

10 tablespoon butter, cut into small cubes

 

Heat the oven to 375. To make the fresh breadcrumbs, cut the crusts off 8-10 slices of white bread. Break the bread into pieces and place in a food processor. Pulse the bread until it's broken into crumbs. 

 

Peel the pears and cut in half. Scoop out the core and cut the stem out that runs down the middle of the pear. Cut the pears into small chunks. In a large bowl combine the brown sugar, five-spice powder, and pears. Toss the pears to coat in the sugar and spices.

 

Layer half the pear mixture in the bottom of the baking dish, then add a layer of 1 cup of the breadcrumbs. Put half the cubes of butter on top of the breadcrumbs. Add another layer of pears, breadcrumbs and the rest of the cubes of butter.

Cover the baking dish and bake for one hour until the crust is golden and bubbling. I take the lid off the dish for about the last 10 minutes of baking.

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Here's my Caramelized Peach Tart. Sorry for the image quality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by oli (log)
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Can I sneak in a cake mix dessert?  Goodie for coffee hour at church this morning - spice/banana mini cupcakes with banana chips:

IMG_6679.jpg.2bc00c31ad90f10c95a6e126b8fe1574.jpg

This is the one started from a cake mix.  Very popular among the Episcopalians, though.  Of course, we aren't known for discerning palates except where scotch is concerned 😁.

 

Chocolate Toffee Bars:

IMG_6680.jpg.1d8137c48fdb88b7abf25c2c0e936065.jpg

These were the most popular thing there, I think. 

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Huckleberry Ice Cream. I use a French-style custard base.  Then the custard chills in the fridge at least 6 hours and processed in a Cuisinart electric ice cream maker.  I don't fiddle with the beastly old-fashioned hand-crank machine my Grandmother made us use.  One note, I coarsely puree the berries before adding them to the custard.  I'll serve whole huckleberries on the side.

Huckleberry Ice Cream.JPG

For the Ice Cream-makes 1 quart

1 ½ cups whole milk

1 ½ cups heavy cream

½" piece vanilla bean, cut in half, seeds scraped out

4 egg yolks

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup huckleberries, pureed

½ cup whole huckleberries for garnish

Instructions

Make the Ice Cream-

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, add the milk, cream, vanilla bean and seeds.

In the bowl of a mixer, add the egg yolks and sugar. Stir the milk and cream as it heats. Slowly whisk ½ cup of milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk. This tempers the egg mixture and keeps it from scrambling. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the cream and whisk to combine.

Lower the heat to medium-low and stir the ice cream base with a wooden spoon and cook for about 12-15 minutes until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Pour the ice cream custard through a strainer into a container, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, pour the ice cream custard into an ice cream maker and process until it becomes thick like soft-serve ice cream. Spread the ice cream in a container, cover and freeze until ready to serve.

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@David Ross On the hand crank ice cream - my son toured a pre-school when we were deciding which one and it was ice cream day To qualify for a tiny cup they had to take a turn at the crank. Mostly quite petite Japanese girls. Good life lesson.  So many enticing huckleberry sweets. Can you give me an idea of the flavor as compared to other berries?

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1 hour ago, heidih said:

@David Ross On the hand crank ice cream - my son toured a pre-school when we were deciding which one and it was ice cream day To qualify for a tiny cup they had to take a turn at the crank. Mostly quite petite Japanese girls. Good life lesson.  So many enticing huckleberry sweets. Can you give me an idea of the flavor as compared to other berries?

The huckleberry is almost half the size of a blueberry.  Where I live the color is always a deep purple, but in other areas they range from purple to red to blue.  They are sweeter than a blueberry, but also have some tartness.  One of the defining characteristics is their floral perfume.  It's almost like roses.  It's unmistakeable when you smell them fresh, even more so when cooked.  The biggest consumer of Huckleberries?  Bears.  

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On 8/11/2021 at 9:36 AM, David Ross said:

The huckleberry is almost half the size of a blueberry.  Where I live the color is always a deep purple, but in other areas they range from purple to red to blue.  They are sweeter than a blueberry, but also have some tartness.  One of the defining characteristics is their floral perfume.  It's almost like roses.  It's unmistakeable when you smell them fresh, even more so when cooked.  The biggest consumer of Huckleberries?  Bears.  

David, I just picked a bunch of blackberries at my neighbours house and I am sure they must be ripe in your area. Any favourite things you like to do with yours?

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On 8/14/2021 at 5:50 AM, RWood said:

Tiramisu cake for my cousin's birthday (she just put her order in after saying I'm having my birthday at your house 🙄). Ugh! Not sure if moving back near family was a good idea 🤪.

Gorgeous!  You should put this over in the eG 20th Happy Birthday thread!  

 

Tarte au Fromage with Goat Cheese, Crème Fraîche and Honey-Drizzled Figs from Melissa Clark's Dinner in French. Recipe can be found online here.

3A62A50B-DE25-49F7-A386-B1F855B1691A_1_201_a.thumb.jpeg.68fa5201460da435456c6d55de37fabc.jpeg

I used  little individual tart pans (~ 2.75 x 4.75") instead of a 10" round. I made a half recipe and had enough of the cookie crumb crust for 4 tarts and a bit of filling left over. This is a very light and not too sweet cheesecake-like tart. I'm looking forward to trying this with other fruits.

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