Cherry Cobbler with Rum Whipped Cream

The other day in the check out line while perusing the scandal sheets, I realized the person in front of me and the one behind me were both buying big bags of fresh sweet cherries. Voila. Cherry season has arrived. Spring is officially here and with it, the first little stone fruit. So buy enough to eat fresh out of hand, then some for cooking a crisp or cobbler (easier than pie), muffins, and some savory dish like duck with cherries.

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Apple Crumble with Maple Créme Fraîche


A good cooking apple needs to keep its shape during baking. Its flavor, sour-sweet when raw, mellows delightfully. We like baking with medium- to large-sized Pippin, Granny Smith, and Fuji; Golden Delicious and McIntosh are wonderful if very firm, and…

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A Glass for the Pot: Cooking with Wine

Wine is the world’s most common beverage, along with beer, these days. It is remarkably compatible with food, not only as an accompaniment, but as as a highly versatile ingredient as well since it blends so nicely with a myriad of foods. It has become a staple and can be added at the beginning of the cooking process, or at the end.

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Fruit Sorbets

Refreshing fruit ices are simple and relatively quick to assemble from a wide variety of fruits. The beauty of sorbet lies in its simplicity: It’s basically just frozen water or juice sweetened with fruit, chocolate, liqueur, wine, or even fresh herbs.

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Avocado Milkshake

Avocado
Milkshake

f o r t w o

Toss all the ingredients in a blender and
whizz them up! Let it go for a while
because the avocados need to break
down and blend with the milk to make a smoothie. Once
the liquid is a…

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Large Batch Cranberry Orange Scones

Most recipes for scones and soda breads are the direct descendants of the nourishing whole-grain griddle breads prepared daily in rural Celtic and SScones. They are versatile. They freeze well. And they’ve become universally popular-whether for breakfast, tea time, or cocktail hour as a sophisticated alternative to sandwiches. cottish highland country kitchens. By nature they are coarse, crumbly, and chewy flat grain cakes. These were usually home fare, since they are best when mixed, baked, and eaten within a few hours. More and more, however, I am finding these marvelous quick dough breads have found a wider audience and have become the darlings of coffee houses and cafés.
With a few tips, scones are an easily made and satisfying addition to breakfast, tea, hors d’oeuvres, and the base for unusual sandwiches. They are at once tender, rich, flaky, and versatile. They are excellent plain or can be easily embellished with nuts, herbs, or even chocolate chips for flavor variations. They can be cut into endless shapes: wedges, squares, stars, hearts, or half-moons. Even better, they are fast to make. Entire preparation time for assembling, mixing, forming, and baking is about 45 minutes.
Use fresh ingredients such as aluminum-free baking powder, sweet butter, eggs, all-purpose and pastry flours for the best flavor. All types of flours, such as barley, oats, corn, rye, and bran, make beautiful scones. Liquids commonly used for moistening the dry ingredients include buttermilk, milk, yogurt, or cream.
Use the following techniques for perfect results: Quickly mix the dry ingredients with the cold fat to make big coarse crumbs, and when stirring in the cold liquid, a quick hand is again needed, so the air is not forced out of the dough. This is especially important when the scones do not contain eggs to help with the leavening. Measure the liquids carefully to make a soft, pliable dough that is gently kneaded just until the dough holds together. Too much liquid makes a heavy scone that is hard to shape.
Knead briefly, just enough for the dough to come together, since overhandling will make a very tough and chewy scone. The kneading is not a vigorous technique as called for in yeast breadmaking to active the gluten, but a very gentle working just to form a cohesive ball..
When rolling out the scone, keep it thicker than 1/2 inch to achieve the best shape. For even browning, bake only one sheet at a time in the center of a preheated oven. They will rise double their raw size in the oven. pay close attention to baking times. Always remember that after they are out of the oven, quick breads continue to cook during the cooling process and overbaking makes them dry, a disaster for the texture of the scone.
After baking and cooling, scones and soda breads can be frozen in heavy-duty plastic freezer bags for up to a month and reheated in a warm oven for 5 to 8 minutes. The shaped raw dough may also be frozen on a parchment-lined baking sheet and placed in freezer bags when frozen. To bake, remove the frozen scones from the freezer, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and immediately bake in a preheated oven about 5 minutes longer than specified in the recipe.

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The Universal Crescent: Croissants

Long the domain of the professional baker, croissants are made by following a logical set of simple instructions to create a dough with over 150 layers, the same technique used in creating Danish pastries, another Viennese invention. When I review my past baking class schedules, I find that making croissants has been a top request from students for years; I have taught this workshop dozens of times with great success. This recipe not only makes fabulous croissants, but the stuffed variations are worth the time. This is a skill to be practiced many times, so if you feel gawky in the beginning, be assured you are on the right track.

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Strudel for the Rest of Us

I’m envious of strudel makers. They mix up this little fist-sized ball of dough, then start rolling it out with a rolling pin like a pie dough on the kitchen table covered with a clean bed sheet. It ends up as thin as tissue paper and as large as a cloak, hanging over the edges of the table, and they do this magic thing by just gently pulling it with their fingertips.

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Cherry or Apple Strudels


Strudel is popular all over Eastern Europe, and traditionally uses a wafer-thin pastry that is painstakingly made from scratch. Apparently this pastry originated in the Middle East and was brought to Europe in the Ottoman invasions of the 15th century.…

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Children’s Lunches

Along with the new pair of shoes and freshly sharpened pencils that are de rigueur with the back-to-school ritual comes the inevitable task of what to pack for lunch. As a Montessori teacher in my twenties, I became well acquainted with not only the personalities of the children in my class, but what was in their lunch box every day.

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