Truth be told, it’s National Blueberry Month in Canada! My homeland loves to differentiate itself from its neighbor to the south. In the US, National Blueberry Month is held in July. Well, it’s colder up north and perhaps their crop doesn’t come into its own until now. And come to think of it, Andrew actually made both of this salute to Blueberries in July! But this recipe is so good, you could make them any month of the year and they’d be a celebration of the wonderful taste of Blueberries. And there’s this: You can freeze summer blueberries for three to six months, without any loss of the antioxidants Blueberries are famous for. (By the way, if you can’t find fresh blueberries to freeze, the ones you will find in the frozen food section have all the health benefits of the home-frozen variety. And there’s even better news: Research shows that the antioxidants in blueberries not only benefit the nervous system and brain health, there’s new evidence that blueberries improve memory. And the more you eat, the greater the results: 12 weeks of eating ¾ lbs. of blueberries daily improved cognitive function in two different tests. What a wonderful thought! Preserving your memory with a Blueberry Muffin. But this is not just any old blueberry muffin.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
It's National Blueberry Month...and we're celebrating with the famous Blueberry Muffin recipe from Jordan Marsh and Stern's Department Stores
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Rhubarb season, like asparagus season, is eagerly awaited at our house. Andrew cannot wait to get his hands on the slender red and green stalks and get into the kitchen to bake. The first rhubarb of the season is always preferable to what comes later: The thicker the stalks, the tougher and stringier the rhubarb. This may account for the love it or hate it reputation rhubarb has. Notoriously tart, its natural companion is sugar to compensate for the bite. These muffins however are not overly sweet, the Sour cream added to the batter keeps them that way. The cinnamon gives them an irresistible scent.
Botanically rhubarb is a vegetable. But in 1947 a court in New York ruled, in a burst of judicial clarity, that since it was used as a fruit in the US, it should be counted as a fruit for “purposes of regulations and duties”. Since tariffs were higher for vegetables than fruits, the net effect of this ruling was that rhubarb was cheaper to import. Despite having been grown in China for at least 2700 years and being brought to Europe by Marco Polo, rhubarb has only been grown in this country since about 1820. It was brought to Maine and Massachusetts by European settlers and moved westward from there. If you do grow your own rhubarb –which is relatively easy to do as it’s a hardy perennial--note that only the stalks are edible. The leaves in fact are poisonous. Here’s the recipe for this wonderful seasonal treat, best served warm which can easily be accomplished by re-heating them at 350 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
At one point or another, savory cooks have to conclude their cooking is far less complicated than the exact science baking requires. A savory cook can pretty much play it by ear, adding or subtracting ingredients, substituting one thing for another and still end up with a winning dish. But leave out an ingredient in a cake or confuse baking soda with baking powder and a baker’s end result is often doomed. That’s what impressed me with Andrew’s latest version of Coffee Cake. Anyone whose been lucky enough to sample his baked goods knows this is a guy who knows his way around a Kitchen-Aid. But this latest creation was so over-the-top delicious, so perfectly baked, I’d like him to take a deep bow.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Joanne Chang's Sugar and Spice Brioche Buns, Cousin of one of our most popular posts ever--the Doughnut Muffin
|The incomparable |
When we published Joanne Chang’s Sticky Bun recipe, winner of “Throwndown” with Bobby Flay, we heard from no less than Bobby himself. “Joanne Chang's sticky buns are by far the best sticky buns I have ever eaten..hands down! If you are ever in Boston, stop in at Flour or try her recipe online on Foodnetwork.com or buy her great cookbook Flour...the recipe is there too...Yum” Now if you haven’t already made these sticky buns, what are you waiting for? But if you have made them, then you may remember that the recipe for the dough was a double recipe. Now of course, if you’ve gotten over your sugar shock from the sticky buns, you can make another batch. But if you want to try something equally delicious, this is for you.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
One day last summer, Andrew was in a huge rush to catch the Jitney out to Bridgehampton. Starving, he ran into a gourmet shop on Lexington Avenue. Prior to this occasion, Andrew’s only encounter with Babka was on an episode of Seinfeld in which Jerry and Elaine were thwarted in their attempt to buy a Chocolate Babka and had to take a Cinnamon Babka instead. Andrew was much more fortunate and was soon tucking into this glorious over-the-top indulgence with obscene amounts of chocolate miraculously held together by Brioche-like bread. And something more: A great Babka not only contains masses of chocolate, it combines all that chocolate with, yes, Cinnamon! And as if the whole piece wasn’t already flawless, the Babka Andrew ate was covered in streusel. I don’t think he was off the Jitney five minutes before he headed straight to the cookbook library we keep in our kitchen. In very little time, he landed on a recipe calling for staggering amounts of chocolate, tablespoons full of cinnamon, streusel topping and no less than 5 sticks of butter. Eureka! Martha Stewart’s Mother’s Babka was coming to our kitchen. And as I started to think of Thanksgiving recipes, I thought back to that Babka.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Have you seen the current crop of blueberries in the markets? They are truly enormous and so tantalizing that Andrew couldn’t wait to get home and make a batch of blueberry muffins. He found an ideal recipe in Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook. We’ve baked from this book before and since Kathleen King is a Southampton native and we live in neighboring Bridgehampton, we take a certain amount of pride in her recipes.