I’m all about quick and easy here on Flurries of Flour, and this recipe for homemade ice cream sandwiches is a quick and easy recipe that gives you a fun, sweet and delightful dessert that belies its simplicity. It makes a perfect special treat for special occasions or holidays like Valentine’s Day, and you the best part is that you can make them any way you want! Just start with the basic recipe and go from there! Plus, you can make these gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo—it’s up to you!…
I had no idea what to call this except for what it is—sweet, effervescent sparkling apple cider gelatin mixed with mellow, creamy panna cotta. It’s what holiday dessert dreams are made of. It’s light, sweet, and perfect for any holiday party from Christmas to Hanukkah to New Years. Plus, it’s so pretty! It’s also very easy to make, which makes it a perfect holiday dessert when you’re crunched for time, and you can make it dairy-free, and it’s naturally gluten-free, too!…
I’m not the biggest fan of all barks, especially if there’s brittle involved. They’re a little too sticky for me, a little too candy-like (I’m not a big candy person, either, although I will never say no to Chupa Chups…). But throw some chocolate in and I’m there (I love chocolate-peppermint bark)! And that’s why I adore this recipe! It takes the idea of brittle and adds some of my favorite things: chocolate, granola, salty and sweet, nuts and berries. It’s crispy, crunchy, and I love the contrast between the nut-based granola and sweet, but not too sweet, chocolate. It also makes a perfect, and uncommon, homemade holiday food gift!…
I’m starting a new series this week. I’ve already posted a few recipes from the archives, so you may already get the idea, but I’m posting sweet treat recipes you can give as gifts this holiday season! And I’m starting with these simple, delicious, and fun to make Mexican chocolate cookie dough truffles! Sweet, no-bake and easy to make cookie dough enrobed in sweet, cinnamon-scented chocolate—they are obsessively good and anyone you gift these to will be delighted!
I know, I’m on a fall dessert kick, first with the last week’s warm Calvados apple galette, and now with a rice pudding! This rice pudding is special—it’s full of pumpkin spice goodness and it’s also ready in 30 minutes! Plus, it’s dairy-free and gluten-free, and doesn’t require the hours of stirring of traditional rice pudding methods. This pumpkin spice rice pudding is creamy, sweet, spiced, finished in a hurry, and absolutely delicious. It’s a dessert to enjoy warm on cold fall evenings!…
I love pumpkin and pumpkin spice as much as the next person (just look at my recipes for pumpkin spice panna cotta and spiced pumpkin and carrot soup), but I also love the fact that fall is apple season! And there’s almost nothing as perfect to celebrate apple season with as this warm Calvados apple galette! It’s fall in a crust—seriously! Warm, spiced, and everything you think about when you think cozy!…
Late summer is the season for stone fruit—peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, and cherries. (They’re called stone fruit because of the large, dense seed you find in the middle.) I’ve see baskets and baskets of peaches at the farmers market last weekend and this weekend and there are mountains tumbling off displays at the grocery store.
Late summer. Can you believe it?
I feel like we’re rushing to get as much out of summer as possible because it’s barely before it’s begun. So, to squeeze in as much summer as possible, we’ve been taking weekly trips to the farmers markets and eating up every last ounce of the tastes of summer, and this honey and stone fruit clafouti fits the bill perfectly!
You do have to turn on the oven, but the result is full of flavor and completely worth it: sweet plums and cherries, tart apricots, mellowly sweet peaches together with honey in a slightly cakey, slightly custardy clafouti.
A clafouti (or as my husband calls is a “kerfuffle”, not to be confused with a “kerfluffle”, which is what we call a group of huskies…) is a beautifully simple French dessert—it takes minutes to put together and has a minimal number of ingredients.
Besides the fact that it’s delicious and simple, why did I choose it for this particular blog post? Because the simplicity of the ingredients allows the fruit—whatever fruit you’re using—to shine. It’s the perfect way to savor the summer.
A few notes: the recipe usually calls for a ceramic dish, but I don’t have one as of yet, so I used a nine-inch cake pan with low sides.
You also need to make sure you really beat the eggs until they’re foaming—it will help whip air into the mixture and ensure the custard inflates.
Allergy-Friendly Options: this recipe is perfectly good with gluten-free flour! In fact, the cake I used for these photos was made with gluten-free flour. I used the Trader Joe’s brand, which is pretty good and cheaper than most, but you can use your favorite brand of gluten-free flour.
You can also make this dairy free by using almond milk, or another type of non-dairy milk. While I haven’t tested this recipe with all non-dairy milks, it certainly works just as well with almond milk as with dairy milk (husband tested, husband approved. And he’s not a fan of almond milk. “You can’t milk an almond,” as he says).
- 2 to 3 pieces of stone fruit cut into ⅛ inch slices and/or a handful of pitted cherries cut in half
- 1 C. whole milk or almond milk
- ½ C. all-purpose flour or gluten free flour
- ¼ to ½ C. honey, plus more for drizzling
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- Butter a nine-inch cake pan or ceramic dish and preheat the oven to 350°.
- Slice all the stone fruit into ⅛ inch slices, or, if using cherries, in half.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk until light in color and frothy. Stir in the vanilla, milk, salt, and cinnamon and whisk until combined.
- Melt the butter and pour it into the pan, then drizzle honey over the butter.
- Arrange the stone fruit pieces in the bottom of the pan in a single layer, then pour the batter over the stone fruit.
- Place the clafouti into the oven for 50 to 60 minutes until set, puffed, and browned.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
This dessert pairs beautifully right out of the oven with vanilla ice cream or even a crème anglaise, but it’s also perfectly good just the way it is.
‘Till next time!
As I promised in last week’s warm summer berry compote blog, I’m posting a recipe for a dessert over which the compote goes absolutely perfectly: buttermilk panna cotta.
In Italian, panna cotta means “cooked cream”, and that’s really what this recipe is. I believe I extolled upon the virtues of, and my love for, panna cotta in the pumpkin spice panna cotta recipe I posted last fall. It’s one of my favorite desserts to make and to eat: soft, creamy, cool, sweet but not too sweet, and with a little tang and fresh tartness from the buttermilk and lemon zest. It’s also a perfect low-heat dessert for these, the hottest days of summer (and wow has this summer been hot…). You don’t need an oven, there’s not a lot of work, you barely need to turn the stove on, and it comes out of the fridge nice and cold. There are also very few ingredients.
So let’s say you’re having friends over for a summer dinner on the patio. Spend twenty minutes that morning (at the most) in the kitchen, put the panna cotta in the fridge, and it will be ready to pull out and serve whenever you and your guests are ready. Just spoon the berry compote (warm or not) on top and you have a delicious and very pretty dessert!
A quick note: The recipe states that the gelatin needs to “bloom”. It will look a little odd and look like it’s already hardened, but no need to worry. It will melt when combined with the warmed milk and set beautifully. Blooming gelatin looks a little bit like this:
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup milk
- 1 packet of gelatin
- ¼ - ½ cup sugar or honey
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 vanilla bean and seeds or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. lemon zest
- 1 recipe of warm berry compote
- Stir together the gelatin and 2 Tbsp. water until combined and set aside to let “bloom”.
- Heat the milk, sugar or honey, and vanilla bean and seeds (or the extract over medium-low heat). Stir until the sugar has fully dissolved and the milk is just barely simmering. There will be tiny bubbles around the sides and just a few bubbles under the surface.
- Take the milk off the heat (remove the vanilla bean, if using) and stir in the gelatin and lemon zest.
- Pour into dessert dishes, ramekins, or molds and place in the fridge. Allow to set for at least two hours or until the panna cotta is fully set.
- Serve topped with warm (or cooled) berry compote and enjoy!
Simple and so good! It even looks pretty in whatever you serve it, especially with the deep reds and purples of the berry compote.
‘Till next time! (There’s one more dessert coming in this summer’s dessert series!)
This summer on the blog is, apparently, all about berries. I made a berry compote to top a sweet cornbread for Fourth of July a few weeks ago and let me tell you, it was a miracle any of it made it to the top of the cornbread. It took a lot of self-control not to eat the entire pot with a spoon. It’s like eating the filling of a berry pie, which is really my favorite part.
This compote is also super, super simple to make. I know, I always say that. But, really, all you do it pour whole berries into a pot, squeeze honey over them, turn on the heat and let them simmer down to sweet, sweet goodness. It’s sweet and slightly tart and bursting with berry flavor.
You can use this berry compote:
- In pie
- In a hand pie or turnover
- Spooned over ice cream
- Mixed into a milkshake or smoothie
- Frozen in a homemade Popsicle
- Over grilled angel food cake or pound cake
And, really, this compote is just as good on its own, served warm in a bowl with just a spoon.
And although I’m making this with fresh summer berries, frozen berries are also a perfectly good option! (You can get more information on choosing summer berries at the store in last week’s blog, by the way.) Also, I’m adding a few ideas for add-ins that aren’t needed, but add some extra layers of flavor.
- 2 cups of fresh or frozen mixed berries (like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cherries)
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
- ½ tsp. vanilla (optional)
- 1 tsp. lemon zest (optional)
- Pour the berries in to a heavy-bottomed pan and squeeze 3 tablespoons of honey over top. Stir to combine.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and let the berries simmer, stirring frequently, for about twenty minutes, or until the berries are melting and the liquid is reduced and thickened. Don’t let it go too long or you will burn the berries.
Tada! That’s it. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I think I’ll go make some more, actually.
‘Till next time! (Sneak peek: next week I’ll be posting a recipe for you to serve these berries over…)
So this is my second blog in my summer ’16 dessert series (the first was the homemade horchata popsicles). I don’t know about you, but most of my summer desserts contain, or are piled high with, or dumped over, fresh summer berries! I wait all winter, and most of spring, for those bright, juicy, tender, and sweet summer berries to start appearing at the store. Maybe it’s mental, but there is something so… summery about biting into a strawberry you know is fresh and in-season. It’s corny, but the thought that it tastes like sunshine has occurred to me (I know, I know. I’m a writer. I can wax too poetical, sometimes…)
Anyway, first things first: how to choose berries at the store. Summer desserts just aren’t the same with sub-par, tasteless berries. I covered the basics, along with what to look for when shopping for other summer fruits in last year’s summer produce blog, but I’m sharing a few more tips that I use for finding the juiciest, sweetest, and freshest berries in the grocery stores.
A note: These aren’t full-proof—they work most of the time. But, more often than not, they work when berries are in season.
- Look for Deep Color
While not an indicator of taste and freshness 100% of the time (I’ve been very disappointed on that account…), deep color can usually tell you whether a bunch of berries are ripe, juicy, and tasty. Look for deeply crimson raspberries, deeply red and shiny strawberries, shiny, almost black raspberries, and deeply blue blueberries.
The colors will deepen as the fruit gets older, but your eye will probably notice a difference between old berries and fresh, ripe berries. You’ll probably also notice some wrinkling, soft spots, or dullness.
- Smell the Berries
Have you ever been walking through the produce section of your grocery store and stopped because a sweet, summer smell made you stop in your tracks as you passed the strawberries? Fresh, ripe berries smell like they’re supposed to—you can smell the sweet perfume of ripe summer strawberries and the earthier, slightly sharp aroma of raspberries. Underripe, out-of-season berries usually don’t smell like much.
- Take a Close Look at the Carton
This takes a combination of your senses and the tips above. Before you put it in your cart, look at the carton: what do they smell like? Can you see any mold, dark spots, or soft spots? Do the berries look bright and fresh or wrinkly and old? What is the color like?
Your senses will do a good job at telling you what’s good and what’s not a majority of the time.
- Ask for Delivery Date
Stores receive deliveries of certain items on certain days of the week, so ask if they know when their deliveries come in and specifically when the berries come in. There’s a better chance of getting fresh berries if you go in that day!
- Know Seasons
Just like all veggies and fruit, berries all have their seasons, and in-season berries are often the most flavorful and juicy. Knowing which berries are in season when will help you know what to look for at the store. You can find more about seasons for specific berries on the blog about summer produce!
So those are the guides I use to find the best berries during the summer. Admittedly, it doesn’t work all the time, as I said above—there are always a few trips to the store that end with a disappointing carton of berries that *looked* perfect, but turn out to be duds. But! More often than not, I’ll end up with those amazing, sweet, juicy, brightly flavorful berries that I start eating in the car on the way home (which is why I usually buy two cartons…).
What’s your favorite type of berry? Tell me in the comments below!
‘Till next time!