whipped cream

Simple Trifles

Trfiles are one of those great little desserts that don't get nearly enough attention. Actually, most people I know had no idea that's what these are called. They're great though, simple, light, sweet and easy to change up to fit with whatever is seasonal or handy - that's a recipe for a great summer dessert in my book.

WHAT

I used this recipe for Classic Yellow Butter Cake from The Sisters Cafe blog (if you've never made cake from scratch just trust me and make this cake! It's pretty simple, not to mention even better then a box mix - I promise!), my go-to recipe for Homemade Whipped Cream (scroll to the bottom of the post for the recipe), and strawberries and blueberries I let macerate in a little demerara sugar for about a half hour.

HOW

Make the cake in a long sheet tray (you might need two for reglar size trays), let cool and turn out of the trays onto parchment paper. Using cookie cutters (or mason jar lids if you're doing them in a mason jar) cut round of cake out and add to the bottom of your jar, layer with a heaping spoonfull of whipped cream and fruit and repear until your jars are full, ending with fruit.

I made these for a Memorial Day party and everyone said they loved them! I stuck with a red, white a blue theme for these guys but am excited to try different variations in the future:)

Winter Shortcakes

I've definitely hit that "winter wall" where I am ready to move on. Ready for tulips to poke their little heads out of the ground, ready to get back to weekly horse riding, ready for local fresh fruits, ready for canning, ready for the chickens to finally get to stretch their legs and explore the whole yard, and just plain ready.

I have been trying to enjoy the winter this year, even though I've never been a big winter person. I could happily go straight from fall right into spring, but I suppose winter helps us appreciate spring more? At least that's what I try to tell myself. But I am definitely feeling that spring thaw craving. I went through all my canned peaches within about 2 weeks (note to self - can a TON this year!) and was borderline drooling when I came aross this recipe on A Better Happierthe other day, so I knew I had to make some.

Lemony Winter Shortcakes

(via A Better Happier)

adapted from Bon Appétit

Scant 1 and a half cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 egg, well beaten

1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2'' cubes

3/4 buttermilk

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 tablespoons sugar, or raw sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425°.  Combine first six dry ingredients with chilled butter in a food processor and pulse until mixture is a coarse meal.  Pour into a mixing bowl and set aside.  Add in buttermilk and lemon zest, stirring until just combined.  Transfer to a lightly floured surface and form into a ball.  Knead the dough about 4 to 5 times, dusting with flour as needed.  Roll out a 7" square that's about 3/4" in thickness.  Cut the dough in half, and each half crosswise into 4 rectangles.  Transfer the 8 pieces of dough to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush each biscuit with the beaten egg, sprinkling with sugar to finish.  Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.  Once cooled, split the biscuits in half and fill with whipped cream and jam.

Fine and Feathered
Fine and Feathered

I decided to do little circles instead of squares, but you can really do whatever shape you want (growing up my mom always baked shortcake in a pie pan - I think I'll try that next time with this recipe!). I think I also added a little too much flour when I kneaded the dough, but they still came out really good. And there's no other way to eat them then with strawberries and a huge dollop of homemade whipped cream (this is my favorite recipe). They now have Florida strawberries at our markets, which are no where near as good as Jersey ones during their peak, but they were great to hold me over a little while longer:)

What are you guys doing to stave off those winter blues?

Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler

When I was a teenager I spent at least a week or two at a camp up in the Pennsylvania mountains during the summer. To be honest, the food was horrible. My friends and I mainly survived off of the poptarts and bags of candy we'd bring from home and kept locked in my traveling trunk to keep the raccoons away. But one night every week we'd be blessed with the one thing I would each so much of, I'd get sick.

Peach Cobbler.

When me and my mom went peach picking last week I knew I had to make it! And what I wanted to make is not the cake-type kind where it stands up and looks all pretty. Nope. I'm talking about the warm and gooey kind where the fruit slides around the bottom of your bowl and the hard crumb topping is the perfect contrast to the super tender peaches.

It's such a simple dessert in theory, but when I went searching the internet I came back a little dissapointed with what I found. So I decided to dig through some of my vintage cookbooks instead. Most of them didn't have anything, but in "The Spice Cook Book" (written in 1964) I found a title that intrigued me. It was called "Old-Time Fresh Peach Crumb Pudding." After reading through this quick recipe I had a feeling it was exactly what I had been looking for, so I got to work.

It turned out to be just what I think of when I crave peach cobbler. Not to mention, it's my favorite kind of recipe (and anything, really) : Simple. Nothing weird or complicated. Just good, simple baking.

Old-Time Fresh Peach Crumb Pudding

(AKA The Best Peach Cobbler Ever)

From The Spice Cook Book

16 Medium-size Fresh Peaches

1 Cup of Sugar

1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1.5 Cups of Sifted AP Flour

1/2 Cup of Butter

Peel peaches and cut into quarters. Combine 1/2 cup of the sugar, cinnamon, and 3 tablespoons of the flour and mix with the peaches. Turn into a buttered 10x6x2 inch baking dish. Combine the remaining sugar and flour. Mix in butter until the mixture is of crumb cnsistency. Sprinkle over peaches, covering them uniformly. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven 1 hour or until peaches are tender and crumbs are brown.

Oh and did I mention you're required to make fresh whipped cream to go with this?

Sorry guys, it's just the law. You'll just have to lick the bowl clean and learn to enjoy it, somehow.

Fresh Whipped Cream

1 Cup of Heavy Cream

3 Tablespoons of Sugar

Put your metal bowl and whisk attachment from your mixer ino the freezer for 10 minutes. Halfway through, put the cream in the freezer as well (do not leave in longer, or you'll have chunky cream!). Pull everything right out of the freezer and attach to your mixer. Beat the cream and sugar on high for 1-3 minutes. Keep a very close eye on it, you want to beat just until you get stiff peaks, and no longer then that (in case you don't know how to tell stiff peaks, just stop your mixer and pull the top up. If the cream stands up by itself when the beater comes out, then your done!). Enjoy on your warm peach cobbler!