Dessert

Blueberry Crumble

I do my best to avoid turning the oven on from June to September, so baking is an infrequent occurrence during the summer. When I do prepare desserts, they tend to be fruit-based and rustic.  Crumbles are my go-to sweet, mainly because it pairs so well with our favorite summer treat: ice cream. This last weekend, I brought the remains of a blueberry crumble to the Cape to share with friends, alongside vanilla ice cream from Four Seas, a local shop near Craigville Beach. This crumble is more cookie than fruit-filling, with just a bit of jammy innards, which make for a great sauce for whatever you scoop on top. 

Blueberry Crumble

Yield
8-10 servings

Ingredients
For the blueberry-filling
1 quart blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon corn starch

For the crumble topping
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Using 1 tablespoon of butter or cooking spray, grease a 9 inch glass pie plate.
3. Place the blueberries into a large bowl, toss with sugar, corn starch and lemon juice. Spread fruit across pie plate.
4. In another bowl, add the dry ingredients for the topping.  Using a fork, mix the topping ingredients while drizzling the butter in, until it begins to come together. Sprinkle the topping over the blueberries and pat it down until it has completely covers the pan.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top has turned a slightly golden-brown.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream topped.

Chocolate Chip and Orange Mandel Bread

You may have noticed that things are looking a little different around here. I'm in the process of transferring all of my posts to this new site. It's quite an endeavor, but I think, in the end, it'll be worth it. Over the next month, I'll be continuing to add new features, like category lists. In the meantime, there's a search bar that will lead you to recipes. Just type "Drinks" and you'll get a list of all the beverages on the site.

I've been holding on to this mandel bread recipe for a while now. Last November, I was visiting my parents and helping while my grandfather had a minor procedure. My mom and I blocked off a day to cook meals for my grandparents to have throughout the week. While I worked on soups, salads, and entrees, my mom put together some desserts. I'd never thought too much about mandel bread, feeling that it was just a really dry cookie. But maybe my tastes have matured with age, because I couldn't stop eating them (especially all the broken bits that were left on the pan). 

When I returned home, I got to work on a recipe, loading the dough with mini chocolate chips and orange zest. For the rest of the week, this was my breakfast and dessert, paired with coffee in the morning and tea before bed. And, in between, I may have snuck one or two more. Self-control is not my strong suit. 


Chocolate Chip and Orange Mandel Bread

Yield
Approx 24 pieces

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Zest of 1 orange

For cinnamon-sugar topping
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions
1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
2. Add the butter and 1 cup of sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium-high speed until it's blended. Mix in the vanilla.
3. Put the stand mixer on its lowest setting and carefully add the flour mixture. Mix until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. The dough should be sticky. 
4. Add chocolate chips and orange zest and mix to incorporate with dough. 
5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour (or you can do 30 minutes in the freezer).
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
7. Divide the dough and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Mold the dough into two, 3 inch wide loaves.
8. Bake for 25 minutes. 
9. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 250 degrees. 
10. Transfer the baked loaves onto a cutting board and slice each loaf at a diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. 
11. Return the slices to the baking sheet and sprinkle half the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the cut-side of the mandel bread. Flip the slices over and sprinkle remaining cinnamon-sugar on top. 
12. Place the baking sheet back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. 
13. Remove from oven. Let cool before consuming.

Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches

Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches | A Thought For Food
Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches | A Thought For Food

My love for all things dairy, fishy, and eggy keeps me from full-on vegetarianism/veganism. Eric and I both agree that the best meal from our honeymoon wasn't at the many restaurants we dined at, but, instead, the lunch we consumed together on a park bench in a small Provincial town. A baguette, the tupperware of tapenade, and a container of creamy, stinky cheese. The summer sun beating down from above. We moaned with every hunk of bread that was shoved into our mouths. Our heads shook side to side in disbelief at how something so simple could be so decadent and perfect.

When we dine out we'd much rather finish our meals with a cheese course than any chocolate creation that's on the menu. After many disappointing endings to dinners at upscale restaurants (one exception being The French Laundry, which blew us away), when a cheese plate presents itself, that's our dessert of choice. Which is why I ended up going the sweet route with this burrata. With all the recipes out there, I didn't find many that treated it as a finale.

As I've said before, I'm not much of a baker and rarely prepare anything more than a quick, rustic crisp for dinner guests. So, I did what I feel comfortable doing and roasted some peaches with balsamic, which were drizzled over the cream-filled cheese, and topped with some chopped cherries and a buttery oat crumble.

Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches | A Thought For Food
Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches | A Thought For Food
Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches | A Thought For Food
Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches | A Thought For Food
Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches | A Thought For Food
Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches | A Thought For Food
Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches | A Thought For Food
Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches | A Thought For Food
Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches | A Thought For Food
Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches | A Thought For Food

 

Burrata with Cherries and Balsamic Roasted Peaches

Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

2 large balls of burrata, cut in half

1 peach, sliced into 1/4" thick wedges

10 cherries, pitted and quartered

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

For the topping
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup oats
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar. In a bowl, pour 1/4 of the liquid over the peaches and toss to coat. Spread onto the baking sheet in an even layer and roast for 10 minutes.

3. In another bowl, add the dry ingredients for the topping.  Using a fork, mix the topping ingredients while drizzling the butter in, until it begins to come together. Spread on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 8 minutes, until browned and bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool. At this point, it should begin to harden, break up into small pieces to sprinkle on top.

4. Transfer remaining balsamic vinegar liquid into a small saucepan and set over high heat. Once it reaches a boil, cook until liquid has reduced in half and is a syrupy consistency.

5. Place one large ball of burrata into a bowl or separate into two separate bowls if splitting amongst a few people. Spoon roasted peaches and chopped cherries on top, followed by the crumble topping. Drizzle balsamic reduction over before serving.