Sunday, April 21, 2013

Berry Cobbler

I love Granny Smith apples.  I don’t eat them much, but I use them often in my cooking and baking, so I try to keep them around.  They are firm, tart, flavorful and last a long time on display.  People who visit my home are always amazed at the amount of fruit I have in the ‘apple bowl’ on my kitchen table. 

I learned a long time ago that apples need to be stored separately.  Apples release a gas that will spoil fruits prematurely if stored together, so my fruit bowl contains applies only.


On occasion someone will suspect that the fruit in the bowl is fake until they look closely and even pick up an apple or two and see that they are real.  My secret is that I use surprisingly realistic looking fake apples to create a bed for the three or four real apples that sit on top.  I thought that was genius.

I can't tell the difference when I use fresh or frozen berries for this cobbler.  Since I keep a few small bags of berries in the freezer, I always have the ingredients I need to make this delicious dessert at a moment’s notice.

§     1 stick unsalted butter
§     1 cup self-rising flour
§     1/4 cup sugar
§     3/4 cup whole milk
§     1 teaspoon vanilla
§     2 cups berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries)
§     1 Granny Smith apple cut into berry size cubes
§     1/2 cup sugar
§     1/2 cup water
§     Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine berries, apples, sugar and water and set aside.

Melt butter in a shallow 1 1/2 quart baking dish. 

In a small bowl, mix together flour, sugar and milk and pour evenly over the melted butter. 

Spoon the fruit evenly over batter.

Do not stir. 

Bake 40 – 45 minutes.  

Remove from the oven and dust with powdered sugar. 

Serve warm with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.  For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, go to Berry Cobbler. Enjoy!

If using all-purpose flour, sift 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt with flour.

Note:  The original recipe did not call for the granny smith apple but I found it gave the cobbler a much needed tart flavor.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Breakfast Baskets

Karen and I were working together in my home office when noon rolled around and we were both ready for something to eat.  I typically plan ahead and prepare in advance when we are working at my home, but today I hadn’t.  I visually inventoried the contents of the refrigerator for inspiration when I noticed leftover grits from last night’s dinner.  I’m sure I can come up with something, so I pulled out a tube of croissant rolls, eggs and shredded cheese.

I knew I was on to something when Karen returned the following day to complete the project and requested the same lunch as we had the day before.

§     1 tube croissant rolls  (you can substitute a dense white bread if you must)
§     8 eggs  (4 eggs will yield 4 baskets with yolks and 4 baskets with egg whites only)
§     1 cup cooked grits
§     1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
§     salt and pepper

Optional Ingredients:
§     crumbled bacon
§     chopped chives or green onion

To access my recipe for Grits, visit my "Shrimp and Grits" post.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a cutting board, unroll the croissant rolls and pinch the diagonal seams together. 
Cut the dough into 8 equal squares.  Onto a muffin tin, lay a single square over 8 openings.  If you are using white bread, I suggest trimming the crust and flattening it with a rolling pin but I have found that the croissant rolls taste much better. 
Spoon one tablespoon of cooked grits onto the dough. 
I suggest eating any meats alongside the Breakfast Baskets because the basket is too small to accommodate an entire egg but if you must, this is the time to add few crumbles of bacon or chopped chives. 
I use 4 eggs to make 8 baskets so 4 of the baskets have yolks and 4 have egg whites only.  If you want a yolk in each basket, simply use 8 eggs.  The entire egg will not fit into the basket so save the leftover whites for an egg white omelet or meringue. 
Sprinkle each basket with a pinch of salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until the egg white is almost set. 
Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese and return to oven for about 1 minute or until the cheese is melted.  I like to wait until the last minute to sprinkle the cheese because I like the cheese to be melted and gooey…not hard and crusty. 
Remove from the oven and serve warm. 
For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, go to Breakfast Baskets. Enjoy!