Thursday, July 29, 2010

Weekend Fare & Winners!

First, we are so pleased to announce that the winner (by popular vote!) of the Friday Feature naming contest is Amy E. with her suggestion of Foodie Fridays! Congratulations, Amy! We will send you the Salad Cookbook. Thanks to all of you for the great suggestions! We look forward to beginning our new feature in September and we hope that many of you will join in with your recipes and photos and food stories!

And the random winner of the Deceptively Delicious Cookbook is Monica! Congratulations!

Today I wanted to share a couple of baked blueberry recipes. Blueberries are my husbands favorite fruit and I grew up picking and freezing blueberries every year - something I have continued to do! So, needless to say, we make lots of blueberry items. I tried a couple new recipes this week. The first is a crumb cake which I thought was good but a little dry - I should have baked it for a little less time. The second is cheesecake bars which were absolutely wonderful and the recipe would be quite adaptable for a variety of flavors - it will definitely be added to my regular dessert repertoire.


BLUEBERRY CRUMB CAKE - Ina Garten
Print This Recipe

For the streusel:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.


For the streusel:




Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.


For the cake:

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high-speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low-speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. 



LEMON BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE BARS
(Adapted from Tyler Florence)
Print This Recipe

For the base:

Butter, for greasing
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
9 graham crackers
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries 


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.


For the base:




Grease the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with butter. Then place parchment paper over the top, pressing down at the corners. In a food processor, process the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers until you have the texture of bread crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate. Pour into the lined baking pan and gently pat down with the base of a glass. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until golden. When done set aside to cool.

For the filling:





Add cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar to the food processor and mix until well combined. It should have a smooth consistency. Gently mix in the blueberries.

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the center only slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice into 10 rectangular bars. Garnish with fresh blueberries if desired.