It’s rhubarb season! And so I’ve gone and made some rhubarb treats. They’re nothing original, but they are simple, tasty, and fresh from the garden!!!
The first was adapted from a recipe from Bon Appetit magazine. It can be found here. The original recipe calls for raspberries, but I left those out. The other change I added was sprinkle the top with chopped almonds and raw sugar before baking. This was a delicious and fresh sweet treat!
The second thing I made was very, very similar. But individual, aaaaaaand gluten-free. Though I’m not gluten-free, I have attempted to begin baking at times gluten-free. I have found that gluten-free baked goods do NOT taste good raw….but once they are cooked, they are deeeee-licious!
I used a gluten-free pie crust recipe found on epicurious. And then for the compote, just boiled down some rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon, and citrus juice until it was thick. Then made little pies from my imagination. Let’s just call them mini, gluten-free, rustic, rhubarb tarts. For a spring-time, Montana potluck, with local vanilla bean ice cream they were quite the hit!
Who doesn’t love them?!?!
In the past few years there has been a huge influx of cupcake-only bakeries where those delectable, trendy, perfect little servings of cake with a perfect size dollop of frosting on top are the main feature behind pretty glass cases. It’s almost like they are works of art waiting to be devoured by serious gourmands and Betty Crocker mix lovers alike. Google the terms ‘cupcake bakery’ and it yields nearly 12 million results of places where cupcakes are the main feature. This place in Portland, Oregon for example serves up such flavors as malt ball, pumpkin spice, and peanut butter cookie. In Beverly Hills flavors such as chai latte, lemon coconut, cinnamon sugar, ginger lemon, mocha, and red velvet are featured at this place. Not only has the craze taken to cupcake-only bakeries, but also exist thousands of websites and blogs devoted just to those who are fanatic about cupcakes. Even SIGG has picked up on this recent craze, offering this in their new product line.
I mean, how could you not love cupcakes? They come in all flavors and different sizes, and It’s your own perfect little size piece of cake! I’m sure wherever you live, there is a cupcake bakery somewhere close. Look it up and go buy a cupcake. Right now!
These are some of my latest creations (though I do not claim to be a cupcake artist nor strive to create works of art like those in the cupcake bakeries, and my seriously gourmand sister would probably claim I have no idea how to make red velvet cupcakes).
The best thing about living in Costa Rica is the abundance of fruit year-round. And in this zone, more so than in other parts of Costa Rica. Apples, peaches, plums, blackberries, avocados, tomatoes – you name it, they’re almost always available.
As I was out tromping around my property this morning, I came across a previously undiscovered blackberry bush, chock full of large, plump, juicy blackberries just waiting to be picked – screaming to be picked, in fact. And so I did. The thorns poked my hands and arms as I reached in deeper to get the hidden ones, and I came away with violet-stained fingers. But I didn’t mind. It was worth it.
On the way in I quickly grabbed a few ‘limón acidas‘ or limes to garnish a salad.
Upon returning home, it wasn’t too long before I was enjoying this cinnamon apple and blackberry upside down buttermilk cake.
Pure goodness with fresh, local ingredients.
Happy 2010 to you all! May many healthy meals come your way!
Cinnamon Apple and Blackberry Upside Down Cake
* 1 cup fresh blackberries
* 2-3 small apples, thinly sliced
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon mixture
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
* 1 large egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Line bottom of a buttered 8- by 2-inch round cake pan with 2 rounds of parchment paper, then butter parchment. Dust pan with some flour, knocking out excess.
Arrange blackberries and apples in 1 layer in cake pan. Sprinkle fruit with 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar/cinnamon mixture and shake pan to help distribute sugar.
Whisk together 1 cup flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix at low speed until just incorporated. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 batches, mixing at low speed until just incorporated.
Spoon batter evenly over berries, smoothing top, and bake in middle of oven until top is golden and a tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
Run a thin knife around edge of pan, then invert a large plate over pan and, using pot holders to hold plate and pan together tightly, flip cake onto plate. Peel off parchment and serve cake warm and/or with ice cream.