One of the best things about living on the east coast is the plethora of pick-your-on farms. After a super successful strawberry picking excursion when my little sister joined me for a week of baking, I couldn’t wait for blueberry season.
Picking them was not quite as fun as I imagined – recently cut grass and an afternoon rainstorm dampened the experience – but didn’t make this cake taste any less delicious.
Blueberries and lemons are made to go together; they are the perfect marriage of sweet and tart. This cake is proof of this.
Thanks to Cooks Illustrated, my favorite cooking magazine, the blueberries are marbled throughout, as opposed to the typical exploded blueberry clumps you typically find in cakes or muffins. The use of fruit pectin, helps hold together the filling and allows it to be spread around the cake. This means you get a bite of blueberry and lemon in each bite. I’ve only slightly amended their recipe by subbing in apple sauce for 1/3 of the butter (I swear it still tastes amazing) and doubling the lemon zest (I’m serious about this blueberry lemon pairing).
For an extra lemony bite, you can whip up an easy glaze to drizzle over the cake – not necessary, but definitely delicious. After I ate 1 slice of cake, I was bullied into adding this glaze (by someone with a serious sweet tooth).
Spring makes me happy. There is nothing nicer than warming temperatures and spring flowers.
Thanks for the beautiful bouquet, hubby!
I recently went on a quick jaunt to the Florida Keys – it rained the whole time, but it didn’t prevent me from tasting “the world’s best key lime pie” at Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen in Key Largo. Although many places we passed made similar claims about their pie, it was indeed the best key lime pie I have ever eaten. I knew I had to replicate it at home so I schlepped a lb of key limes back with me to New Haven.
Since I like a challenge and am always trying to eat less wheat, I decided to make a gluten free “graham cracker” crust. Although it wasn’t as beautiful as I would have liked, the taste hit the spot. It has great crumbly texture and the perfect graham flavor. Hubby claims it’s better than any graham cracker crust he’s ever tasted – but I’m never sure if he’s just misremembering. Either way, it rocks. And it’s gluten free.
While reviewing tons of recipes, I came upon a raging argument over whether whipped cream or merengue was a more authentic topping. Since Mrs. Mac’s used whipped cream (as did the 70′s style key lime pie post card I bought), I did too. Which ever you choose, I recommend whipping up one of these – it is super easy and is bursting with spring flavor.
What can I say? Who doesn’t love a good flourless chocolate cake. Well, me I guess. But I understand that most people really do love chocolate.
It is Hubby’s favorite food this time of year (really anytime of year). This cake is rich, chocolatey, and dense. And since it’s flourless, it’s perfect for passover and the gluten intolerant. Best of all, it’s super easy to make and only has a few ingredients.
I’ve topped it several ways over the years, but this year I decided to test out several of them at once for a real taste test. I made a simple dairy free ganache, a (dairy free) salted caramel, and a strawberry coulis. I also dusted one cake with cocoa (for unadulterated chocolate flavor). The winner? It was hard to tell because they all received high praise; though not surprisingly, Hubby voted for the extra chocolate of the ganache.
These little beauties were inspired by a wonderfully generous gift: a giant set of little tart pans. I was so excited I started baking right away!
Oh man, I’m glad I was inspired. If you make only one dessert for passover (or your next dinner party), this should be it. After sampling these tartlettes yesterday, Hubby claimed they were the best thing I’ve ever made. And I have to admit they are quite tasty, not to mention easy to make.
The crust, reminiscent of my favorite passover treat, is made by simply stirring together ingredients – no fussy doughs here. The filling, though it has a few more steps involved, comes together quickly as well. At first I was worried that the almond paste flavor would come through too strongly; I was wrong. It is just right. I couldn’t resist going back for seconds.
Alas, the woes of a baker.
I modified the original recipe and for a first, made it not vegan. Perhaps I was avoiding one more “soy bomb,” as my friend Steve loves to call it. If you are vegan or keep kosher and want to serve this after brisket, you can can easily sub in soy milk and vegan cream cheese.