Archive for the 'cake' Category

Browned Butter Cherry & Apricot Slump

Cherry-Apricot Browned Butter Bliss 1

As you may have seen on twitter, we’ve slumped into Tofino for some beach time, family time, book reading and kayaking and eating. I’ve mostly stayed out of the kitchen, although having one here – one that looks out over the water, even – has meant getting my baking fix before we head back to the gutted room that will hopefully be our kitchen once again before the snow flies.

Cherry apricot collage

There are apricots and cherries in the wee one-room Beaches grocery, and I can never resist baking them into something. With browned butter, if possible.

browned butter 2

This isn’t quite a cake, but it’s not a crumble, either… it most closely resembles a slump – thick batter poured over fruit of any kind, then baked. It’s just enough to hold it together, and the cake part is more sugary-buttery than cakey. You could manage wedges, but it’s more of a spoon dessert, served warm with vanilla ice cream if you can swing it. Or for breakfast with yogurt, natch.

Cherry-Apricot Browned Butter Bliss 4

It’s one of those things you can mix up from scratch and use whatever happens to be within reach – on the counter, at the market, on the bushes out back. (I’ll be making another with blackberries soon. And peaches, maybe? Definitely plums.)

Cherry-Apricot Browned Butter Bliss 3

And there is no better way to warm up, slumping into a cozy couch, after coming in from a chilly, windy afternoon at the beach.

Cherry-Apricot Browned Butter Bliss 2

Browned Butter Cherry & Apricot Slump

6 apricots, pitted and thickly sliced
1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp. sugar (or to taste, according to the sweetness of the fruit)
pinch cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a pie plate.

Toss the apricots and cherries in the pie plate with about 2 Tbsp. sugar and the cinnamon; spread into the plate. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and keep cooking it, swirling the pan occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until it turns golden. Pour into a bowl.

Stir the 3/4 cup of sugar into the butter, then the eggs, then the flour. Pour over the fruit and sprinkle with the last tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden and crusty, and the juices are bubbling around the edges. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or thick vanilla yogurt.

Serves 8.

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August 05 2014 | breakfast and cake | 7 Comments »

Raspberry Cheesecake

raspberry cheesecake 2

This would be pretty for Canada Day, don’t you think? (I knew better than to attempt to arrange a maple leaf out of raspberries.) It looks pretty enough that people asked me where I bought it, but in reality if you can stand a raspberry upright, you can cover a cheesecake with them. The truth is, here they’re covering a gaping chasm of a crack in the top – something so common in cheesecakes it’s traditional to cover the plain ones with a sour cream topping to conceal any flaws.

raspberry cheesecake 1

Cheesecake was my dessert of choice back in the 90s – it was Mike’s birthday cake of choice for decades – and yet I never think to make them these days. They’re pretty low-maintenance, as far as desserts go – once baked, it needs to sit in the fridge to firm up, so it may as well just hang out in there until you’re ready for it. A plain cheesecake like this – a classic recipe I started baking from the Canadian Living Cookbook around 1987 – can be dolled up with berries, fresh or sauced, or you can douse it in chocolate or caramel, spike it with citrus or leave it plain.

Raspberry Cheesecake

1 cup graham cracker crumbs or chocolate wafer crumbs
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. sugar

3 8 oz. (250 g) pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
Grated zest of a lemon (optional)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs

1 pint fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

To make the crust, combine the graham crumbs, butter and sugar and press the mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set it aside. Turn the oven up to 425°F.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until it’s smooth. Add the sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla and beat it again, just until it’s smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour the batter over the crust.

Bake the cheesecake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 250°F and continue to bake the cheesecake for another 30-35 minutes. (If you have trouble with the top of your cheesecakes cracking, spray some water inside the oven with a spray bottle before you put your cheesecake in to keep the oven humid inside as the cake bakes.) You can tell when the cheesecake is done when it’s barely firm around the edges and the center is just slightly jiggly – it will firm up as it cools. Immediately run a thin knife around the edge to loosen it from the pan, but allow it to cool completely and then refrigerate it for at least an hour before you remove the sides of the springform pan. Once chilled top with raspberries, sitting them upright and close together.

Makes one 9-inch cheesecake; serves 12.

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June 29 2014 | cake and dessert | 4 Comments »

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