Posts Tagged ‘sweets’

The DC Scoop Returns Sunday

Friday, July 19th, 2013

The DC Scoop, an annual taste-off of some of the District’s best* frozen treats, returns to Union Market this Sunday, July 21.

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Taking place from 1:00 to 4:00pm, participants will taste and vote on ice cream, gelato and other treats from over a dozen local purveyors. Three well-loved children’s performers will keep the kids entertained, including foodietot-fave Mr. Skip. And kids can enter an ice-cream eating competition, to be held at 3:00pm.

*I’m not sure how a “best of” can take place without the Dairy Godmother, but the competition is still pretty stiff. We’re especially fond of Dolcezza and Pitango, in particular.

Click here for more details.

{Savoring September} Nectarine Gelato

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

I wasn’t kidding about squeezing every last bit of summer out of the month. Today may be the first day of fall, but don’t pack up the ice cream maker just yet. It’s supposed to reach 90 degrees in DC again today, and you can still find sweet white nectarines at the farmers market. So I implore you, take some home and make a batch of this sweet summer gelato before it’s too late. (Or, save it for some of those peaches you froze for winter. Ice cream is a year-round food, in my opinion.)

Recipe: Nectarine Gelato

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium-sized nectarines
  • 5 egg yolks (preferably from your local egg farmer)
  • 2 cups cream-top whole milk (or just whole milk)
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions: Coarsely chop nectarines (no need to peel) and place them in a non-reactive saucepan. Combine with 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, almond extract and nutmeg and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft and you can mash it with the back of the spoon. Let cool, then puree in a blender or food processor.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, warm milk and the other 1/2 cup of sugar over medium heat just until bubbles begin to appear and sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks well for about a minute. Ladle the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking continuously, one spoonful at a time until you’ve incorporated about half the milk into the eggs. Then pour the eggs/milk back into the remaining milk in the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium low heat until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of your spoon. Remove from heat, stir in the nectarine purée and let cool. Transfer to a bowl or pitcher, cover, and chill overnight or for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Process the chilled mixture according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. I have the KitchenAid ice cream maker and mix it on medium low for about 12 minutes. Transfer to a tupperware container and freeze until firm, about 4 more hours. Makes 1 quart. Enjoy!

Note: You can adjust the sugar in the nectarines according to the sweetness of your fruit.

Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, July 4th, 2010


Celebrating with all-natural, fresh from the farmers market Rocket Pops!
(cherry, yogurt, blueberry)

Real Milk as a Luxury Food? (and Homemade Butterscotch Pudding)

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Jane Black is the first byline I look for when reading the Washington Post weekly food section, and one of my favorite food writers anywhere. So I was excited to see her write up some fantastic local dairies this week. I was a little disturbed, though, to see some references on Twitter to her article calling milk the “next luxury food.” Huh? Yes, the glass-bottled, all-natural milk we buy from Maryland’s South Mountain Creamery is more expensive than conventional milk at the supermarket. But in my opinion, artificial-hormone-free milk from cows who aren’t fed GMO grain is one of the most important purchasing decisions I make for my family. I’ve written before about how milk was the gateway food into more natural/organic eating when I was pregnant with my son. During pregnancy and when children are first weaned onto cows’ milk, it is so important to make sure the milk you’re drinking is as pure as possible. Unfortunately, even commercial organic milk isn’t perfect as until just this year (June 17, to be exact), organic producers didn’t even have to allow cows to actually graze. Cows were made to eat grass, and grass-fed cows produce tastier and healthier milk. There are other ways to save money on food — cooking at home more, cutting out processed foods, etc. — that don’t require compromising on quality milk.

Now of course it happens from time to time that we wind up with too much milk in the fridge, and what better way to put it to use than with homemade pudding? It’s really not that much more difficult than stirring together a boxed mix, and tastes infinitely better. Of course, if the temperatures stay so high here we’ll be firing up the ice cream maker soon enough, but pudding requires less waiting.

I had had butterscotch pudding on the mind since reading about it on The Kitchn back at the start of the year. Of course, not one to leave easy enough alone I decided to follow David Lebovitz‘s simpler recipe (minus the whiskey) but cook the butterscotch more as per Shuna Fish Lydon‘s recommendation. If you read Shuna’s passionate plea to preserve real butterscotch, you’ll see why I felt compelled to follow her instructions. (Well, partially.) My brown sugar and butter took much longer than 10 minutes to melt and darken, probably because I used light brown sugar rather than dark (uh, duh), so my resulting butterscotch had an almost burnt taste. Next time I’ll stick with either one recipe or the other — or at least use dark brown sugar — but if you’re curious, here’s how I made it.

Butterscotch Pudding
adapted from David Lebovitz with inspiration from Shuna Fish Lydon

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed (dark) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons organic cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions: Melt the butter and sugar in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, stirring infrequently, until it reaches a syrupy consistency (10-15 minutes). Add salt and remove from heat.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the milk and stir until smooth. Whisk in the eggs to combine.

Add the remaining milk to the melted brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Then add the cornstarch/egg mixture and again whisk until smooth.

Return to medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly, until pudding thickens. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour pudding into a bowl and chill for at least an hour, depending on your patience level. I probably dug into mine after about 30 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings, and is best served with fresh whipped cream on top.

Shared with Fight Back Friday at the Food Renegade.

Hamantaschen with Jam

Monday, March 1st, 2010

As I mentioned Friday, I planned to make Jewish cookies known as hamantaschen over the weekend. Hamantaschen are triangle-shaped cookies traditionally filled with thick poppyseed or prune spread, or other fruit preserves. They are traditionally made during Purim — a Jewish holiday festival similar to Mardi Gras — but can be found year-round in Jewish bakeries if you’re fortunate enough to have one nearby. We are not, so the past couple years I’ve simply picked up hamantaschen from Whole Foods, which were fine but nothing to get excited about.

Fortunately, Ruth of Once Upon A Feast came to my rescue with not one but two hamantaschen recipes; I went with Marcy Goldman’s recipe. With all due respect to Marcy’s Bubbie, I swapped butter for the oil (I prefer not to bake with oil), and omitted the orange zest in deference to the husband’s zest-dislike. Next time I’ll try it with the zest for a little more flavor.

The dough was simple and resulted in a soft, sweet cookie. The husband doesn’t like the traditional fillings, so I took advantage of our extensive jam collection and we made an assortment of flavors: strawberry-rhubarb (courtesy of my sister-in-law), apricot, raspberry (both from local farms), and some Ficoco — a fantastic fig and chocolate spread, think a fruity twist on Nutella.

I’m pretty certain we’ll stick with homemade from now on, these were fun and delicious!

Since only one cookie unfolded into a pancake while baking, I consider myself fully qualified to offer the following expert suggestions:

  • Don’t go overboard with the filling, but don’t be too stingy either — the ones my son plopped a larger spoonful of jelly on turned out best. I think the weight of the jam helped keep the center from puffing up as much when they baked. And, they have the perfect jam-to-cookie ratio.
  • Don’t be afraid to fold the edges up over most of the jam — and pinch tightly. The ones folded up more tightly also held their shape better while baking.
  • I brushed the outside of the cookies with egg wash — in reading other posts, it seems this may help them stay together while baking.