Cherry-rhubarb-chevre summertime tart

We’ve been watering the rhubarb in the garden faithfully over the past month, and we’re about to be rewarded…it looks fabulous! This recipe is the perfect ending to a rhubarb harvest, and since we have just a bag or two of last summer’s tart cherries left in the freezer, the rhubarb cherry tart is just the ticket! Belly up! Thanks to Firefly Farms for the recipe and photo:)

Begin by lining a 9-inch tart pan with a simple pastry crust.  If you have the time, make it from scratch.  Pre-bake the crust in a 400 degree oven until just golden — be careful not to overcook at this point; you don’t want the edges to burn when the custard is baking.  When you pull the crust out, drop the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

While the crust cools a bit, make the chèvre custard filling: whisk together 8 ounces of chèvre with a half-cup milk, two eggs, a bit of vanilla extract and 3/4 Cup of sugar.  Last, whisk in the juice of half a lemon.  Pour the custard mix into the pre-baked crust.

Now the fruit: slice the rhubarb- about one quarter-inch thick.  Use about 4 good-sized stalks.  Pit and halve a pint of cherries.  Mix the fruit together with a couple tablespoons of sugar — just enough to coat the fruit — then “sprinkle” the fruit evenly over the top of the tart.


Your mouth will be fully watering at this point.  Pop the tart back into the 350 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes.  Check frequently during the final 15 — you’ll want to pull it out when the surface of the custard begins to brown about the edges and the smell throughout your kitchen is irresistible.  Cool the tart in your fridge before you cut and serve.  You be glad you waited:  the custard develops a cheesecake texture, the flavors marry, and it cuts and serves beautifully.  (The freezer works too if you must eat it fast…).  Enjoy!
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Savory Carrot Cake with Chevre

A savory carrot cake? Oh, yes please! And with pepitas on top? Even better! There are some days when munching a piece of still-warm carrot cake for breakfast out on the deck as the day warms to summer temps really takes life to a whole new level. And then there’s the slightly-sweet chevre topping. Plus, the recipe is SUPER-easy — Dig in! And thank you to palate/palette/plate (a 2012 finalist in Saveur magazine’s top food blogs of the year) for the dreamy recipe and pix.

 

SAVORY CARROT CAKE WITH GOAT CHEESE
[Adapted from The Paris Baker, Rose Carrarini]

Ingredients

3 large eggs
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup grated carrots
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup all-purpose or white whole-wheat flour, sifted
1 tsp tumeric powder
2 tsp ground coriander
A pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
Small 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup ground flax seed
_____________
4 oz goat cheese
honey
almond milk

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine eggs and sugar; beat with a whisk until well-blended. Slowly add the olive oil, slowly, whisking continuously.  Add the carrots and cilantro; stir to combine.

2. In another bowl sift 1 cup flour and add the rest of the dry ingredients (including the ground flax and pepitas). Whisk gently to combine.

3. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet carrot mixture until just combined (do not overmix). Pour batter into a bread pan and bake for about 50-55 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

For the goat cheese spread: Combine fresh goat cheese with a drizzle of honey and about a tablespoon of almond milk to thin slightly. Stir to a smooth consistency and spread on slices of the warm bread.

Blackberry Goat Cheese Tart

Here in northern Michigan we are poised to enter the summer fruit season…with the prospect of NO fruit this year! Repeated spring frosts have decimated the blossoms on virtually all of our fruit crops. So no apricots, strawberries, peaches, raspberries, cherries (gasp!), even apples are threatened. Horrors.

I am just hoping that the wild blackberries have escaped this awful fate. As a talisman against this eventuality, I offer the following dessert, courtesy of Blondie’s Cakespot.

Blackberry Goat Cheese Tart
Adapted from Always With Butter

Crust:
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
7 Tbsp butter, room temp
3 oz cream cheese, room temp

Filling:
6 oz fresh goat cheese
4 oz cream cheese
2 eggs
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Topping:
12 oz blackberries (or more)
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp thyme leaves

Crust:
– Combine everything in a food processor and pulse a few times until the dough is uniform. Turn out onto a piece of saran wrap, shape into a flat disk and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. It will be a very soft dough at this point so you definitely need to chill it to make it workable.
– Preheat the oven to 350F. The original instructions tell you to grease a 12×8″ tart pan, but I used my 9″ round one and didn’t grease it and everything still came out beautifully.
– On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and fit into your tart pan, trimming the edges. Stick it into the freezer. If you have some extra dough left over, re-roll it and make an extra mini-tart for later.

Filling:
– Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and beat until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Pour into the pan, smooth the top and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Once the top is just slightly puffy and golden you should be all set.
– Let the tart cool completely, top with berries (as many as you like), a drizzle of honey over the top, and shower with the rest of the thyme leaves, if you like a savory note.

Mother’s Day Brunch Frittata

The asparagus this year is just the stuff of legends. It is fork-tender, sweet, juicy and flavorful without being sharply acidic. So I am delighted to have found a new recipe for using it in a breakfast dish, and since I have about 3 dozen eggs that need a culinary home, this frittata is perfect (thanks, Saveur)! We’ll be having this at church on Sunday morning with a few dozen hungry friends. Happy Mother’s Day~

SERVES 10 – 12

Frittatas are typically made on the stove in a skillet, but preparing them in a bundt pan offers a convenient and beautiful alternative. Serve as part of a hearty lunch or Sunday brunch.

1 tsp. butter
2 cups grated white cheddar or goat Gouda
1 small bunch chives, coarsely chopped
Salt
20 spears asparagus, trimmed
12 eggs, lightly beaten
2 small yellow onions, peeled and chopped
2 small carrots, peeled, trimmed, and finely grated
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan with butter; set aside. Mix 1/2 cup of the cheese and 1 tsp. of the chives together in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook asparagus until tender, 3–4 minutes. Drain; cool under cold running water, then pat dry. Cut asparagus into 1/4″-thick pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Add eggs, onions, carrots, flour, milk, remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper, and mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until firm, about 45 minutes. Allow frittata to cool in pan on a wire rack.

3. Preheat broiler. Invert frittata onto a sheet pan. Sprinkle top with cheese and chives, and broil until cheese just melts, 1–2 minutes. Transfer to serving plate.

Gouda Sweet Potato Souffle

Thanks again to Culture Magazine and to the Comté Association for this exquisite soufflé, which features (with my slight variation) two of my very favorites, Goat Gouda and baked sweet potatoes.

Forget the stress of a traditional soufflé; this simplified version provides all of the elegance and flavor with only a quarter of the work! Sweet potatoes get whipped together with spices, eggs, cream and Gouda right in the food processor, then baked with a sprinkling of extra Gouda and pecans on top.

Serves 6

Ingredients
3 pounds sweet potatoes (2-3 large potatoes), baked, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
4 ounces Goat Gouda, shredded (2 scant cups shredded)
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.

Put the potato chunks into a food processor with the butter. Process until smooth. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, pepper and heavy cream, along with 1 teaspoon salt. Pulse until mixed. Add the eggs and process until light and fluffy. Add half of the Gouda and pulse until combined.

Transfer the mixture into the prepared casserole dish; smooth out the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining Gouda over the top, followed by the chopped pecans.Bake 20 minutes, or until puffed and light golden around the edges.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Comté Cheese Association, Nicki Sizemore

Mini German Pancakes with Fruit Filling

OMG! These look like heaven on a plate! Must make now! Yeah, I am hopelessly addicted to such fluffy, eggy wonderfulness. See Dutch Baby recipe. But these are cute as well as delicious, and perfectly proportioned for a group of company at breakfast. YUMS.

Mini German Pancakes

1 cup milk
6 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange zest (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Blend first six ingredients (milk thru orange zest) in a blender.  Be careful to see that any flour clumps get well-blended.
Blend in butter a little at a time in order to temper the eggs.
Grease muffin tins well and distribute batter evenly between 18-24 cups . Bake for 15 minutes, or until puffy and golden on top.
Served with your favorite toppings.  Try a dusting of powdered sugar and this triple berry sauce. And of course, you could add a dollop of sweetened room temperature fresh goat cheese, just to gild the lily!

Thanks to Real Mom Kitchen!

Egg-on-Pita Quickie

Who has time and energy to cook these days? Between milking goats and making cheese, canning tomatoes and yard/garden work, I’m nuked. This is just the perfect thing. Takes about 8 minutes, maybe. Done.

Ingredients

1 pita
2 T marinara sauce
1 t butter
1 egg
1 t grated aged goat cheese

Directions

Turn on the broiler in your oven. Spread marinara sauce over pita bread and place on a baking sheet. Place it under the broiler to lightly toast the pita and warm the sauce – about 3-5 minutes should be good.

In a small frying pan, melt butter and fry an egg over med-high heat until the sides get crispy and the whites somewhat set. Do not flip. Remove the pita from the oven and slide the egg on top and cover with grated cheese. Broil for 1-3 minutes depending how soft you like your egg & until cheese melts.

Thanks to Everybody Likes Sandwiches for the idea and the photo!