Saturday, April 24, 2010

Whole Lemon Tart

I like citrus and it is perfect for summer months, however, sometimes it is difficult to incorporate into baked goods. Last week it was unseasonably warm in Charlottesville (I think it hit 90 degrees one day) and . Weather like that just screams for summery desserts, no more heavy, rich cakes and cookies, but some lighter fare. Lucky for me, my friend Elizabeth passed her PhD exams last week, which gave me an excuse to try out this seasonally appropriate, whole lemon tart. If you like lemon bars, this is the dessert for you.

The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen and is great because you literally use a whole lemon (peel and all). The best thing about this tart, however, is the crust! It is buttery, but still light and flaky. More importantly, it does not require any rolling!!!!! This is great, because I hate rolling out crusts. It also doesn't require pie weight!!!! Even more amazing. 

In short, this is possibly the easiest, fool-proof tart you could ever make. 

Recipe for Whole Lemon Tart

1 9-inch tart shell (see the website above for a link to this shell--it is worth it!)
1 lemon, cleaned and whole
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 T cornstarch
1 stick butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 300 and line a cookie sheet with parchment.

Slice the lemon (removing seeds) and put it in a food processor along with the sugar. Blend until completely pureed.  Put this puree into a bowl and stir in the egg and yolk. Next, stir in the cornstarch and butter. Pour this into the tart shell, leaving about 1/4 inch between the filling and the top of the shell. Bake the tart for about 20 minutes and then increase the temperature to 325. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the filling is set, no longer liquid and only slightly jiggly. Cool before serving. 

**Note: the original recipe says to bake at 325 before moving to 350, but I cooled the temperature since my oven runs hot. If you bake it at too high of a temperature, it will curdle and never set.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Strawberry Clafoutis

Although I love to make cakes (and cookies and brownies) I also like to make other desserts. Really anything that can be considered "sweet" but also be eaten the next morning for breakfast falls right up my alley. And, since I will basically eat anything for breakfast (birthday cake, brownies, cookies) there is not much that does not fit these requirements.

This dessert is actually Aaron's recipe, but I've tweaked it just a tiny bit. I think it comes from Cooking Light or something because it substitutes yogurt for the cream or milk of normal clafoutis, but I think the substitution works pretty well (and makes you feel slightly better about eating half of the pan for breakfast). The original recipe uses nonfat, plain yogurt, but I use plain (not nonfat) Greek yogurt. I like the texture a little bit more, plus I like the leftover yogurt more. You can obviously use any kind of berry (cherry is traditional), but this time I used strawberries since I found some really nice ones at the store and cherries aren't really in season here yet. I also ignore the liquer called for in the recipe because I never have it on hand. Lastly, I make it in this oval pan that is slightly smaller than what is called for because it creates a thicker clafoutis and I like having two distinct parts: berries on the bottom, creamy-goodness on top.

Berry Clafoutis

4 slightly beaten egg whites
2 slightly beaten eggs
1/3 c. sugar
 3 T honey
2 T orange juice
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. Greek yogurt
1 c. flour
berries of choice

Beat together egg whites, eggs, sugar, honey, orange juice and vanilla until light and frothy. Stir in yogurt until smooth. Add the flour until combined. Grease a dish (I use an oval, deep dish, but you can use a round pie dish) and line it with berries of choice. Pour the batter on top. Bake at 375 degrees until set, about 35 minutes. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Spring is here and summer is coming (it was 90 degrees here this week, I LOVE IT!) so I am officially sick of hot winter food and ready for the yummy summer produce. I especially like things that require little to no oven/stove time. The following pizza is Aaron's favorite. It has a total of five ingredients (plus salt and pepper) so its super easy and really delicious. Plus, its really pretty when you take good pictures of it (which I did not do).

(Aaron took this photo, and I especially like the knife looming in the background. I think it adds a certain degree of danger to scene...)

Here is the recipe:

originally from smitten kitchen

1 batch of pizza dough
4 oz. goat cheese, softened
1/2 zucchini
1/2 summer squash
1 t. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Roll out the pizza dough and spread the goat cheese mixture on top. Cut the zucchini and squash as thin as possible (if you have a mandolin you could use it) and arrange them in concentric circles, covering the entire pizza. Drizzle some olive oil on top and any additional salt and pepper. Bake at 450 for 10-14 minutes.

NOTE: I didn't have lemon juice on hand so I skipped it and it was fine. I also hate using the mandolin because it is a huge pain to clean so I just sliced the vegetables with a knife, as thinly as possible. Really, just do whatever you can and it will taste great, this pizza cannot be messed up.

In other news, Joe officially completed his puppy class yesterday. He is very good at learning to do things, but not so good at learning to not do things. Now, he's basking in the joy of being free from school, but I'm pretty sure he misses the hot dogs.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Introduction

Let me introduce you to my friends Cadbury Mini Chocolate Eggs and Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. If you have never met, you definitely should. These guys are possibly my favorite part about Easter (food-wise, at least). I usually eat A LOT of them, but this year Aaron and I managed to only go through one bag of each in the last couple of days, in fact we actually have two more peanut butter eggs left and a couple of chocolate ones rolling around the bottom of the bag. I consider this a lesson in self control.

I also really miss being at home with my family for Easter so Aaron made cinnamon rolls! Granted, steaming hot rolls of sugary goodness isn't exactly the same thing as being at home, but it certainly helps soften the blow :) I took this picture a bit after the fact, so its not great, but I wanted to document Aaron's first foray into yeast rolls. It was an excellent first foray. So, that about sums up my Easter: candy eggs and cinnamon rolls, what more could one want? (For the record, mother, I also went to church)