Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lemon poppyseed scones

Our Meyer lemon tree has produced loads of lemons again this year, but they seem like they might be slightly more mold-prone than last year's batch. It's easy enough to wash off, but this is probably a sign that I should be making more lemon things post-haste in case they go bad. Step one: scones to bring over to Laura's. Step two: lemonade with the leftover juice (just add water and sugar to taste). Step three: marmalade? Or another batch of limoncello?

3 c flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 c sugar
3 T (Meyer) lemon zest
3 T poppyseeds
1 stick (cold chopped salted) butter
1/2 c milk
1/4 c greek yogurt
1/4 c (Meyer) lemon juice
1 egg
glaze: 2 t (Meyer) lemon juice + couple T powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix the dry ingredients (flour through poppyseeds) together in a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the pieces are small and flaky. Whisk together the wet ingredients (milk through egg) with a fork, then stir the wet ingredients into the dry with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto a floured board and knead by gently pressing the dough flat then folding it over a few times. Press into a rectangle ~3/4" tall and cut into wedges with a sharp knife. Bake for 15 min until golden and the butter has stopped bubbling. Transfer to a rack and let cool for a few minutes while you mix up the glaze to your desired consistency. Use the fork you used to mix up the glaze to drizzle it over the scones. Let cool another 20 minutes until the glaze has set, then pack up the scones and lemonade and hop on your bike.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Black-eyed peas and collards

I'm no expert on Southern-style beans and greens, but I like to try my hand at it once in a while. I got lucky this time—the broth is much more richly flavored than when I've used canned beans (without being oily or meaty), and the celery seeds make it smell amazing. Yeah the total time is almost two hours, but you still have loads of spare time to work on your poster for Mini Stat Mech, go to dance class, etc.

1 T butter
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 t each celery seeds, paprika, and oregano
3 medium-small carrots, sliced
1 can tomatoes
1.25 c dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
1.5 bouillon cubes in 4 c hot water
1 bunch collard greens, roughly chopped
red wine, salt, and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot, and saute the onion. Add the garlic, spices, and carrot, and saute until the spices seem like they're about to start sticking to the pan. Add the tomatoes, black-eyed peas, and broth, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add the collards and stir until they start to wilt. Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Adjust the seasonings if needed, and keep simmering until the black-eyed peas are tender (total simmering time should be about 90 minutes). Serve with rice and/or fresh sourdough bread.

Persimmon bundt cake

When I bought persimmons at the farmers market this week, I took special care to choose ones that were squishy enough to be usable within a couple days, but not so squishy that they'd explode on the way home. Alas, one exploded anyway, so cake time it was! Jaime, Lester, and both Lauras were very happy with this cake.

1 c currants
1/2 c bourbon
2 c flour
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
1 t ginger
3/4 t salt
1 2/3 c sugar
3/4 c (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1.5 c persimmon pulp, from 3 persimmons
3 eggs
2 t vanilla
1 c chopped pecans

zest and juice from 1.5 Meyer lemons
enough powdered sugar to get your desired consistency, at least half a cup maybe?

Preheat oven to 350F and butter and flour a bundt pan. Combine the currants and bourbon in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat, cover, and let sit until the booze is mostly absorbed and things have cooled down. (Be careful if you're using a gas stove, I accidentally had a spurt of blue flames when adjusting the gas level.)

In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour through sugar). (And yes the sugar goes with the dry ingredients here, which actually worked well because stirring the sugar in helped break up any flour chunks.) In a medium bowl, beat the melted butter with the persimmons until any persimmon chunks are blended and smooth, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then fold in the currants and whiskey, then fold in the pecans. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely in the pan. Meanwhile, stir the glaze together with a fork until smooth, adding powdered sugar by the heaping spoonful until you get something glaze-like. I poured the glaze on the bottom of the cake, ie the side that's exposed while the cake is cooling in the pan, but you can also pour it on after the cake has been removed from the pan. Either way, poke the exposed cake surface all over with a toothpick to make holes for the glaze to seep in to, then drizzle the glaze evenly over the surface.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Eggnog ice cream, and holidays round-up

Happy New Year! I'll start out 2012 with a post that's out of order in all sorts of ways. (a) I have eggnog in the house because it was brought to my Christmas Eve gingerbread-pirate-ship-making brunch, from which I neglected to post the gingerbread. I don't usually like eggnog, but I do like this ice cream. (b) The ice cream features little crunchy caramelized marzipan-marmalade-currant bits that leaked out of some yeasted rugelach I made in early December, using the marzipan Toni made when she was here, neither of which I've posted. The rugelach were good, but vastly more work than my usual rugelachs for a result that's not demonstrably better. (c) The intended purpose for this ice cream is to accompany Lester and Alan's Christmas pudding, which has now been completely and happily consumed (but there's still a pint of ice cream left!).

Besides that, the holidays featured a visit from Sarah, including a great trip down to the Monterey Aquarium to see some particularly awesome sea creatures and to Crystal Fish to eat some particularly delicious ones. There's been lots of bread baking, as I mentioned in the last post, but it keeps not being quite as good as it should be.

And now, ice cream!

1.5 c eggnog
3 egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
2 c cream
1 T amaretto
about 1/2 c of those marzipan-marmalade bits, or something else appropriately crunchy and Christmas-flavored

Warm the eggnog in a small saucepan, and meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly stir in the hot eggnog, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat, stirring, until thick. Strain into a bowl, stir in the cream and amaretto, and refrigerate until cold. Churn in the ice cream maker, adding the bits near the end. Makes about 5 cups, more than enough to go with a good-sized Christmas pudding.