Tag Archives: dessert recipes

Top Five Recipes of 2016-Entertaining by the Bay!

As we come to the end of another year, it’s always fun to reflect and look back.  As I looked at the most popular posts from 2016, it seemed to me that the favorite recipes were for comfort food. These are the recipes that are inspired by family and tradition. So with that enjoy, look back and happy cooking!

From by the bay, wishing you a very Happy and Healthy 2017 filled with many happy food memories!

Maryann

Coming in at # 5 

Old Fashioned Doughnuts

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter softened, plus 1 tablespoon melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, plus more if needed
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon rind
  • optional: confectioner’s sugar, vanilla sugar or cinnamon sugar

*oil for deep fryer , per instructions

Directions

In a small bowl add yeast to water and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer add 1/4 pound butter, sugar and salt. In a small sauce pan scald milk. Pour scalded milk over the ingredients in the bowl. Mix well and add 1 cup of flour and beat until smooth. Add yeast, eggs and lemon rind. Add flour in three portions combining to make a soft dough. Place on a floured board and knead. Add more flour if too tacky to knead. Shape dough into a ball and place in clean bowl brushed , with melted butter. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Keep in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down and turn our on to a floured board. Pat down until about 1/2 inch thick. Let rest 10 minutes . Use doughnut cutter 1/2 thick and 2 1/2 inch round.  Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees F. Don’t over crowd. Use tongs to turn when bottoms are brown. Watch as this will depend on your fryer. When both sides  are brown, remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  When cooled sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Or while warm roll in vanilla sugar or granulated sugar mixed with cinnamon. Fry the doughnut holes separately. An easy way to sugar the holes , place sugar in a brown paper lunch bag , add the warm doughnut holes , hold bag closed , shake and serve!

Next at #4

 

Savory Corn Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup melted unsalted butter

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin pan or line with paper muffin liners. In a large bowl, mix together corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add egg, butter,buttermilk scallions and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Stir gently to combine. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Top each muffin with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

A favorite at #3

Stone Fruit Crostata

Serves 4

Ingredients for Dough

  • 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter ( one stick)
  • 1cup , plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Ingredients for filling

  • 1 1/2 cups stone fruit such as peaches or plums , pitted and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

To assemble

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Coarse sugar

Directions

To make dough cube the butter.  In a small bowl combine sea salt and water. Place both the butter and salt water in the freezer for 10 minutes. In a food processor add the flour and lemon zest. Pulse twice. Add the cold butter and pulse 3 to 4 times to incorporate pieces of butter into the flour. Slowly add some water until the dough is a crumb like texture. You may not need all of the water. Place dough onto plastic wrap and fold wrap over to close and push dough together to combine. Flatten into a disk covered with the plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Meanwhile, make the filling by combining all ingredients in a bowl. Preheat over to 375 degrees F.  Take a piece of parchment paper and place the dough in the center cover with the plastic sheet and use a rolling pin to roll out and fold turn parchment sheet  90 degrees and repeat another 3 times. Roll out the dough on the parchment on the bottom again with plastic wrap over the top of the dough into a round approximately 1/8 inch thick. Spoon the filling in the center of the round leaving a 1 inch border all around. Fold the edges over the filling partially covering around the border. Place parchment with pie carefully onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and cream to make the wash. Remove from the refrigerator and brush the egg wash on the edges of the pie. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and place into oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is brown and the fruit is bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Slide carefully onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Hitting #2

Fresh Corn and Tomato Cilantro Salsa

Serves Six

Ingredients

6 ears of corn

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

1 cup cilantro

1/2 cup olive oil

juice and zest of two limes

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Remove silk and husks from corn. Cut corn off cob and place in a medium bowl. Add red onion, tomato and lime zest. In a blender or food processor add garlic, cilantro, honey, jalapeno, olive oil, lime juice , salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Pour over corn and tomatoes and mix well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve at room temperature.

and the #1 recipe and farther above the rest is this classic – Apple Cake!

 

Mom’s Apple Cake a.k.a. “Jewish” Apple Cake

Ingredients

For Apple Filling

  • 5 medium apples , preferably those good for baking such as macintosh
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For Cake Batter

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use nonstick cooking spray to grease tall tube pan, then lightly dust with flour.  Peel and core the apples, then cut into 1 inch cubes. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with the 5 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon. Toss to coat the apples evenly. Set aside. In another bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl add the oil, juice, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. the batter will be thick. Pour half the batter into the tube pan, make sure the batter is spread evenly. Top with half the apples. Pour the remaining batter into the tube, again ensuring the batter is spread. Arrange remaining apples over the top.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely ( at least 25 minutes). Run a clean knife between the cake and pan to loosen the cake before turning onto a plate.

Stone Fruit Crostata

blog peach crostata

Some of my favorite food memories are from my grandparents farm and enjoying all the seasonal joys of the produce. Peach and plum season is on exception. Celebrate the winding down of the summer and the height of the stone fruit and peach season with this delicious crostata recipe. The crust is light, buttery and crisp. The coarse sugar adds a sweet crunch to the crust. The fruit sweet and bursting with flavor. It’s definitely one of the favorite desserts by the bay. You’ll love it!

From by the bay wishing you sweet and crispy crust food memories!

Maryann

Stone Fruit Crostata

Serves 4

Ingredients for Dough

  • 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter ( one stick)
  • 1cup , plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Ingredients for filling

  • 1 1/2 cups stone fruit such as peaches or plums , pitted and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

To assemble

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Coarse sugar

Directions

To make dough cube the butter.  In a small bowl combine sea salt and water. Place both the butter and salt water in the freezer for 10 minutes. In a food processor add the flour and lemon zest. Pulse twice. Add the cold butter and pulse 3 to 4 times to incorporate pieces of butter into the flour. Slowly add some water until the dough is a crumb like texture. You may not need all of the water. Place dough onto plastic wrap and fold wrap over to close and push dough together to combine. Flatten into a disk covered with the plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Meanwhile, make the filling by combining all ingredients in a bowl. Preheat over to 375 degrees F.  Take a piece of parchment paper and place the dough in the center cover with the plastic sheet and use a rolling pin to roll out and fold turn parchment sheet  90 degrees and repeat another 3 times. Roll out the dough on the parchment on the bottom again with plastic wrap over the top of the dough into a round approximately 1/8 inch thick. Spoon the filling in the center of the round leaving a 1 inch border all around. Fold the edges over the filling partially covering around the border. Place parchment with pie carefully onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and cream to make the wash. Remove from the refrigerator and brush the egg wash on the edges of the pie. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and place into oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is brown and the fruit is bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Slide carefully onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Grandma’s Plum Dumplings

As I was growing up, there was no finer signal that fall was near than when my grandmother make plum dumplings. The recipe was one my grandmother brought to the United States from her homeland of Gottschee, which long ago was a part of Austria. My grandfather would grow small italian plums and when they were ripe my grandmother would make dumplings which were similar to large gnocchi, filled with the plums and sugar. You would cut open the dumpling to a burst of purple sweet almost jam like filling. It was delicious!!!  Yes, making this dumpling dough sounds a bit daunting , but you can press it into shape easily with your hands and as long as you pick any holes with your fingers you’ll have the same results in taste and perhaps the look is slighlty more rustic, but the taste will still deliver. This is traditionally a dessert but by the bay this is a special dinner. The season for these sweet italian plums are short so celebrate Fall this weekend and enjoy!

From by the bay, wishing you plum bursting food memories!

Maryann

 

blog plum dumpling

 Grandma’s Plum Dumplings

Makes 16 dumplings

Ingredients

  • 4 yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra to roll
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 16 small italian prune plums, or 8 medium size italian prune plums, cut lengthwise, pitted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

Directions

Peel and chop potatoes. Place in a medium sauce pan with cold water and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain and cool. In a bowl mash potatoes. Measure two cups of mash potatoes and place in large mixing bowl. Add flour and salt and mix well. Add the egg and oil and mix dough to form a ball. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky . Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.  In the meantime, bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil. On a lightty floured surface roll out the dough to about a 1/3 of an inch . Cut dough into 16 squares or pat into 16 circles, flour your hands to handle the dough.  Sprinkle the inside of the plums with sugar. Place one plum ( or 1/2 plum if the plums are medium size) to the center of each circle of dough.  Gently bring up corners of the dough to center and pinch edges to seal.  Carefully add dumplings to boiling water. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a dumpling comes out clean. In a medium sauce pan melt butter  until it starts to foam and then add breadcrumbs and saute until they start to brown. Remove from heat. Gently roll the dumplings in the bread crumbs and place on a serving platter. Sprinkle with extra sugar and serve immediately.

 

 

blog plum dumpling 2

 

For another great dessert using italian plums try Mitzi’s Plum Cake
http://blog.entertainingbythebay.com/2014/05/mitzis-plum-cake/

Citrus Pistachio Pound Cake from The Tasting Room

blog pist cake

 

Citrus Pistachio Pound Cake
Recipe published in Bon Appetit 2012 from The Tasting Room in Houston Texas

Ingredients
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped, divided

Directions
Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°. Coat a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with nonstick spray. Dust pan with flour; tap out excess.Whisk 2 cups flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Add sugar; beat until well incorporated, 1–2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Add juices and zests; beat until well combined (mixture will look curdled), 2–3 minutes. Add dry ingredients; reduce speed to low and beat just until blended. Fold in 3/4 cup pistachios. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup pistachios over.Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in pan. Run a sharp knife around sides to loosen; unmold cake. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Concord Grape Ice Cream

blog grapes

When I start to think about fall and september will do that to you, I often remember picking Concord grapes on my grandparents weekend farm. I loved the scent and color of these deep purple grapes. Concord grapes are not easy to find.  They originated in the 1800’s in Concord Massachusetts. Today, these grapes are primarily found in New York, Massachusetts and the Pacific Northwest.  I find them briefly in the farmer’s markets or a few specialty stores. Almost every knows this grape from Concord Grape Jelly, but I have found not many people buy these grapes fresh. I think it’s the fact that the grapes are loaded with seeds, but the delicious grape flavor is worth the trouble with the seeds.

 

blog concord ice cream

Concord Grape Ice Cream
Makes approximately 1 1/2 quarts

Ingredients
2 pounds Concord Grapes, stemmed
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
pinch fine sea salt
optional: Concord Grape Jelly

Equipment: ice cream maker

Directions
Puree half the grapes in a food processor until smooth. Take a medium bowl and place over it a fine sieve, pressing the mixture into the mesh with the back of a spoon. Discard the solids remaining in the sieve. Repeat process with the remaining grapes. You should have approximately 1 1/2 cups grape juice. In a medium sauce pan place the milk, cream, sugar and salt. Heat and stir until the sugar is dissolve. Pour into bowl with the grape juice and blend. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to directions and then place in an airtight container and put into the freezer to firm up for at least 3 hours. Serve plain or melt a few tablespoons of concord grape jelly in the mircowave for 30 seconds. The jelly will turn into a syrup you can then spoon over the ice cream. Serve along with peanut butter shortbread.

Peanut Butter Shortbread
Makes 36 small cookies

Ingredients
8 tablespoons softened unsalted butter ( 1 stick)
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1 /4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter

Directions
Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat the butter,sugar, vanilla and salt until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. Place mixer on low speed and add the flour. Once combined add the peanut butter and blend well. Remove from the bowl and divide the dough into two and place onto two sheets of plastic wrap. Shape each into a log about 3/4 inch thick. Wrap into the plastic and place into the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap logs and slice into 1/4 inch rounds using a serrated knife. Arrange slices onto a baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until light brown at the edges. Cool baking sheets for a minute and then transfer cookies to rack to cool completely.

Blueberry Merlot Sauce with Vanilla Gelato

blog merlot blueberry sauce

Blueberry Merlot Sauce with Vanilla Gelato


2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup Merlot 

½ cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

½ teaspoon vanilla


Directions


Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Cool and place in a container. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use. 

Serve as a topping to vanilla  gelato.