Cannoli Cream/Chevre Calzone With Honey and Orange

Last weekend we made an apple strudel, with frozen puff pastry and frozen apples. It was ok, but I am swearing off frozen puff pastry because it tastes of vegetable oil instead of butter. Entirely unsatisfactory. Anyway, that less-than-successful endeavor set me up to be really curious about Mark Bittman’s intriguing dessert calzone, detailed below. And the picture. OMG, so seductive. So it’s back to dairy ingredients and real dough for this gal. Laced with honey and orange, such a dreamy confection! Thanks, Mark:)

Time: About 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Extra virgin olive oil, as needed

1 1/4 cups fresh ricotta or mix of ricotta and chèvre

1 1/2 tablespoons honey, more as needed Finely grated zest of 1 orange

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 8-ounce ball pizza dough, divided into 2 pieces

All-purpose flour, as needed

1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Confectioners’ sugar.

 Instructions

1. Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta, honey, orange zest and cinnamon.

3. Lightly flour a work surface, and stretch or roll each piece of dough into a 6-inch round. Spread half the ricotta mixture on one side of each round, leaving a half-inch border. Brush the edges of one dough round with water, and fold dough in half, over filling; pinch the edges of the dough together to seal. Repeat with second dough round.

4. Transfer calzones to baking sheet. Brush the tops with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Bake until crusts are golden brown and firm, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and drizzle with additional honey before serving.

Yield: 4 servings.

Variation: Sprinkle 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips over the ricotta in each calzone before sealing.

For those of you who really need to see something demo’d to get the hang of putting it together, here’s the NYT Food Editor Melissa Clark assembling a savory calzone:
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Flatbreads with Aged Goat Cheese, Honey, Thyme and Sea Salt

Gourmet magazine and Deb from Smitten Kitchen strike again! A lovely, savory summery (and easy!) recipe for a snackable food that goes perfectly with wine or iced tea! How perfect!

Sweet-salty, crunchy and warm. Lovely.

These crackers fit squarely between dinner and dessert — or at a cocktail party or maybe as a little summer afternoon with a glass of wine or even as a dessert for people who do not throw themselves into sweet things. The crackers play off the nutty cheese, which plays off the slick of honey and faint crunch of sea salt with bits of thyme throughout, and together they are even more than the sum of their parts. And they take NO time to make.

Makes about 16 flatbreads

1 3/4 cups (7 3/4 ounces or 220 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (118 ml) water
1/3 cup (79 ml) olive oil
2/3 to 3/4 cup (about 3 ounces or 85 grams) grated Mahon cheese (or aged goat Gouda or Raclette or Parmesan, any gratable cheese)
1/3 to 1/2 cup (79 to 118 ml) honey
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Flaky sea salt

Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet or pizza stone on a middle rack.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times. It will feel quite oily (but just think of how great your hands will look later!).

Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll out 1 piece at on a sheet of parchment paper into a longish irregular rustic shape; mine were about 12″x6″. The dough should be rolled thin; it is very oily but you’ll see in a few minutes how perfectly ungreasy it bakes up.

Slide rolled out dough and parchment paper together onto the preheated baking sheet or stone, and bake about 5 minutes, until lightly golden. Leaving the oven on, remove tray from oven and quickly sprinkle with 1/4 of grated cheese. Bake an additional 3 to 4 minutes, until browned at edges and in thinner spots. Remove flatbreads from oven a final time, quickly drizzle each with honey (about a tablespoon per flatbread), sprinkle with sea salt and garnish with thyme leaves. Cut each cracker width-wise into 4 sections (about 3″x6″ each) with a sharp knife. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Serve warm.

Do ahead: Should you want to prepare these ahead of time for a party, bake them including the cheese about 1 minute less than needed. Shortly before you’re ready to serve them, re-toast them in the oven and then drizzle on the honey/thyme/sea salt.

Honey & Goat Cheese Muffins

I love the food blog Farine (Bombance in her French language version), so was very happy to discover this recipe there, along with some delicious photos of the Ardèche in Southcentral France. This morning seems like a good time to share both with you!

First, the lovely Ardèche (a delight for my eyes, since they have had nothing but snow to look at for a full month now) — note the grazing sheep in the distance:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now for the muffins!

Ingredients (to make 12 muffins):

100 g crumbled soft goat cheese

30 g honey

grated zest of half a lemon

8 g vanilla extract, divided

317 g white whole wheat

5 g baking powder

3 g baking soda

1 pinch of salt

2 large eggs + 1 large egg white

260 g plain yogurt (you can use buttermilk, homemade or commercial yogurt, but don’t use Greek yogurt unless you thin it)

50 g extra-virgin olive oil

107 g dried figs, chopped

chopped caramelized hazelnuts for topping (you can also use turbinado or granulated sugar)

 

These are normal-sized, not mega-muffins, so they are actually good for you!

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF/218ºC. Line 12 regular muffin cups with paper liners or coat with cooking spray
  2. Thoroughly combine the cheese, honey, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon of the vanilla extract in a small bowl. Set aside
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl
  4. Lightly beat eggs and egg white in a medium bowl, add the sugar (if using) and the remaining vanilla extract and whisk until dissolved
  5. Gradually whisk in yogurt (or buttermilk) and oil until smooth
  6. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the chopped figs.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Add 1 generous teaspoon of the reserved cheese filling to the center of each muffin and cover with the remaining batter (the filling should not be visible). Sprinkle with finely chopped caramelized hazelnuts (or sugar if using)
  8. Bake the muffins until the edges start to brown and the top springs back when gently pressed (13 to 15 minutes, according to Speck. In my case, it was closer to 20 minutes)
  9. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

I think you could easily substitute dried apricots or cherries in these muffins with really enjoyable results, if you find figs lend too strong a flavor.

Thanks to MC from http://www.Farine-mc.com for the recipe and the pix!

Apple, goat cheese, honey and caramel tarts

Crunchy, creamy and sweet...what could be better?

Ooooh, these are just perfect for using up the frozen apple slices I have in the freezer! Gotta get ’em gone before the summer fruit season is on, or I will never have enough room for the strawberries and raspberries….and new apples coming up!

Apple, Goat Cheese, and Honey Tartlets

-serves 4-

Adapted from Bon Appétit, October 2007.

Ingredients

1 fourteen-ounce package puff pastry (single sheet), defrosted
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Scant 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Gala apple, peeled, quartered, and sliced (or frozen apple slices, thawed)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling
Light dusting of ground allspice

Pot of goat cheese dulce de leche for drizzling, if you can find it!

Procedure

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Unfold the puff pastry onto a cutting board. Using a 5-inch cookie cutter (or an overturned bowl and a small, sharp knife), cut four 5-inch circles from the dough. Place the rounds on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Press a 3 1/2-inch cookie cutter into the center of each round, stopping 3/4 of the way down so that the outer and inner portions are still attached at the bottom. This will allow the outer ring to rise around the center. Pierce the inner section of each round all over with a fork.

2. Place the goat cheese, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds or until soft but not melted. Stir to combine well, then divide and spread over the inner section of each round. Top with overlapping apple slices, making sure to stay within the inner section of each round.

3. Combine the butter and honey in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, or until the butter is almost melted. Stir to combine and complete the melting. (Be careful, as the honey gets hot surprisingly quickly.) Brush some honey butter over the entirety of each round. Dust lightly with ground allspice. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the pastry is nicely browned. Drizzle with goat cheese dulce de leche, which my sister generously brought us months ago!

4. Let the pastries cool slightly, then drizzle with additional honey if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thank you to Serious Eats!