Archive for Nuts

Strawberry and Almond Crumble

Adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe. Nigella says you must serve with heavy cream, but I think it is optional, and that whipped cream or vanilla ice cream would work equally well. Also, I made this with frozen peaches & raspberries instead of strawberries and liked it even better.

For the filling
1 lb strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons ground almonds
4 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
6 Tablespoons cold butter, diced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup brown sugar

Vanilla ice cream, heavy cream or whipped cream, optional

Preheat the oven to 400F. Put the strawberries into an ovenproof dish or pan (it should hold about 1 quart) and sprinkle them with the white sugar, ground almonds and vanilla extract. Give the dish a good shake or two to mix the ingredients.

Now for the crumble topping: put the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and cut in the cold, diced butter. You can use a mixer, food processor, or just use your fingers. When you’ve finished, it should resemble rough, pale oatmeal. Use a fork to stir in the sliced almonds and brown sugar.

Pour the crumble topping over the strawberry filling, covering the strawberries in an even layer and pressing the topping in a little at the edges of the dish. Set the dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Cook until the crumble topping has darkened to a pale gold and some pink-red juices are seeping and bubbling out at the edges. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes: The crumble can be assembled one day ahead. Cover and store in fridge until needed. Bake as directed in the recipe, but allowing an extra 5–10 minutes’ cooking time. Check crumble is piping hot in the centre. Crumble topping can also be made and frozen in resealable plastic bags for up to 3 months. Sprinkle the topping direct from the freezer over the fruit, breaking up large lumps with your hands. Alternatively, the assembled but unbaked crumble can be frozen, wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and aluminium foil, for up to 3 months. Defrost for 24 hours in the fridge and bake as above.

BBC: Strawberry & Almond Crumble


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Cranberry Nut Bread

Sweet, orange-scented and chock-full of cranberries and walnuts, this bread is perfect for the holidays. It’s a classic quick bread, which means very easy to throw together. The hardest part is chopping up the fresh cranberries because they like to roll all over the place. But it’s important to use them as opposed to dried because they add a pleasant tartness and look so pretty and festive once the bread is sliced.

Begin by combining the buttermilk, orange zest, orange juice, melted butter and egg in a small bowl. You can use freshly squeezed orange juice or bottled – it doesn’t matter. Also, since the recipe calls for only 2/3 cup of buttermilk, you might not want to buy a whole carton. It’s easy to make your own by combining regular milk with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar.

1/3 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange zest, from one orange
2/3 cup buttermilk*
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped coarse**
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray bottom of 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, stir together orange juice, orange zest, buttermilk, butter and egg. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Stir liquid ingredients into dry with rubber spatula until just moistened. Gently stir in cranberries and nuts. Do not overmix.
4. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Continue to bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean, about 45 minutes longer. Cool loaf in pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and cool at least one hour before serving.

*Make your own buttermilk by adding to 2 teaspoons lemon juice or white distilled vinegar to wet measuring cup. Add milk until level reaches 2/3 cup. Let sit about 5 minutes until mixture curdles. Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf

**Cranberries are a bit tricky to chop because they roll all over the place. You can use a food processor if you like but I think it’s easier to just cut each one in thirds with a sharp knife. It’s only one cup so it doesn’t take long. If you’re using frozen cranberries, be sure to chop them while they’re still frozen.

Once Upon a Chef

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Mexican Wedding Cookies

* 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter*
* 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon almond extract, optional
* 1 teaspoon salt*
* 3/4 cup almond flour or 3/4 cup blanched almonds, finely ground
* 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
* *If you use salted butter, reduce the amount of added salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
* 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (for coating)

1) Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
2) In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt.
3) Beat in the almond flour, then the all-purpose flour.
4) Scoop chestnut-sized (1″) pieces of dough, and roll them into balls. A level teaspoon cookie scoop will give you just the right amount of dough. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1″ between them.
5) Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, until they feel set on top: and some of them are MAYBE beginning to barely brown around the edges.
6) While the cookies are baking, put the topping sugar in a shallow bowl.
7) Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer them, 5 or 6 at a time, to the bowl. Roll them in the sugar to coat, then transfer them to a rack to cool.
8) When the cookies are cool, roll them in the sugar again; they should be thoroughly coated and snowy white.
9) Store airtight at room temperature. Yield: 4 dozen cookies.

King Arthur Flour

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Cream Cheese, Dried Fig, and Walnut Spread

* 6 large dried figs, stems trimmed, quartered
* 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
* 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion tops

1. Add figs to the container or a food processor; finely chop.
2. Add in the cream cheese; process until combined.
3. Add in the walnuts and salt; pulse just to blend.
4. Scrape mixture into a bowl.
5. Add in the scallions, if desired; stir to combine.

Note–to finely chop figs in a food processor, lightly brush or spray the inside of the processor bowl and metal blade with vegetable oil; if the figs are unusually dry, reconstitute them in boiling water for 10 minutes, drain, and blot dry before chopping.

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The Queen Mother’s Cake

This is believed to have been the Queen Mother’s favourite cake. The recipe should only be used for charitable purposes.

* 8 oz of chopped dates
* 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
* 8 oz sugar
* 3 oz butter
* 1 beaten egg
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 oz chopped walnuts
* 10 oz plain flour
* 5 tablespoons brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons cream

Pour one breakfast cup of boiling water over the dates and add the bicarbonate of soda. Let stand. Cream the butter with the sugar in a bowl, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the creamed mixture. Add the dates and stir well. Bake for 35 minutes in a moderate oven in greased and lined 9”x12” pan.

Make the topping by mixing ingredients together, heating over a low flame, and boiling for 3 minutes. Be careful not to boil the topping mixture longer or it will turn to toffee! It should have the consistency of fudge. Spread over warm baked cake and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Lynsted Recipe File

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Molasses Oatmeal Cookies by TexasWren

“This is my husband’s favorite cookie. It is proof that something can be really good, even without chocolate.”

1 1/4 cup sifted flour
3/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup quick oats
1 cup raisins
1 cup nuts, optional

Sift dry ingredients together. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Texas Wren’s Cookies

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