blueberry – peach coconut cobbler

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I bet you won’t believe this.

I was a cobbler making virgin.

It’s TRUE!

I’ve made crisps. Heck … who doesn’t love baked fruit covered with a layer of oats, brown sugar and butter????

Crisps are … baked amazingness.  I think I was slightly worried about over-mixing the biscuit topping … resulting in a dry and heavy dessert.

I don’t think I ever realized that cobblers are equally as delightful and mouth-wateringly good.  Holy heck have I been missing out!

I have to thank the globe and mail for the inspiration.  Stephanie Eddy‘s article just make me want to grab a bowl and scoop out a generous portion of her peach blueberry cobbler (as well as “borrow” the page from the café I found it in).

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Am I ever glad that I “borrowed” that article :0)

This cobbler is absolutely … scrumptious.

Mother of pearl it’s got everything I love in a baked dish … warm, roasted fruit and berries.  A biscuit topping … plus I added a splash of (my new favourite thing) Rhubarb Esprit and flaked coconut.

A-MAZ-ING.  And … totally seasonal.  Which means you should make it TODAY! 

And then when you’ve eaten every last bite … you’ll probably want to go out and make another one.  Because there is no such thing as too much of this.

I promise you … this is GOOD.

blueberry – peach coconut cobbler (with a splash of rhubarb esprit)

ingredients:

fruit filling:

3 lbs ripe peaches (about 9), washed and dried and cut into 8 pieces each

2 c. blueberries

1/4 c. white sugar

1/4 c. packed brown sugar

2 tbsp rhubarb esprit (or lemon juice)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 1/2 tbsp tapioca starch or flour

Heat your oven to 375 F.

Place the peach slices and the blueberries into either a rectangular pan (9×13) or a 9inch round pan.  Sprinkle the sugars, rhubarb esprit (or lemon juice), cinnamon, salt and flour or tapioca startch on top.  Carefully stir with a large spoon (or your hands) until the ingredients coat the fruit.  Set aside.

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biscuit topping:

1 1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. cornmeal

1/3 c. sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c. butter, chilled and cut into cubes

1 tsp vanilla

1 c. buttermilk

1 1/2 c. blueberries

3/4 c. flaked coconut

In a large bowl, combine your flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt (just mix it around with your fingers).  Toss in your chilled cubes of butter, and, using your hands, squeeze the butter into the dry ingredients.  You end up with a sand-like texture.

Add the vanilla to the buttermilk, then pour it onto the flour mixture.   Use a fork to gently mix until everything just comes together.  Fold in the blueberries and flaked coconut.20120912-212419.jpg

The dough was a little sticky – so just grab a large spoon and scoop large spoonfuls over the filling: you end up with about 9 biscuits.  Bake your cobbler for about 50 minutes – the topping will be golden, and the filling will be bubbling over and it will all smell just ridiculiously delicious.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.  You want the filling to set slightly.  You can serve this warm … but it’s just as good the following day.  And the day after that.  And the day after that.

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lemons + blueberries + sprinkles = birthday cake love

I’ve been meaning to blog about this recipe since April.

It’s true.

I fell in love with this recipe … even before I tried it.  Because I knew it was going to be insanely delicious.

I wasn’t wrong.  It’s a great recipe … that never lets me down.

And I should know … I’ve made it a bunch of times … I’ve made it as a cake … and as cupcakes. I’ve made it for friends, for family, for a baby shower, for a wedding (actually 2 weddings)… and for my birthday.

This was my birthday cake.

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It made me ridiculiously happy.

How could it not?  It was chalk full of lemons and blueberries … and then topped with sprinkles.  And just when I thought I had enough sprinkles … I added more.  Since there’s no such thing as too many sprinkles … right Jenna???

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I could go on and on about how easy this cake is to make … because it is … but I seem to say that all the time. 

How about you make it and tell me how easy it is!?!

I like that idea! 

I do have a little recommendation … don’t forget to whisk (beat) the butter, sugar, and lemon zest for at least 5 minutes before adding the eggs.  Then beat the batter for another 5 minutes.  It smells delightful … and gets so light and fluffy …

lemon-blueberry cake:

ingredients:

2 c. plus 5 tbsp flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen … I used frozen)

1/2 c. sour cream

1/2 c. buttermilk

juice of 1 lemon

zest of 1 lemon

1 c. butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 c. white sugar

4 eggs

Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Spray 3 x 9-inch round baking pans with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In a large measuring cup, combine the sour cream, buttermilk and lemon juice together.  Set aside.

Grabbing your stand-mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest for about 5 minutes.  As I said before, it will get light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, until they are fully combined, another 5 minutes.  This should be done at medium-high speed.

Turn the mixer to low, and add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk mixture, in 5 additions (start and end with flour).  Once the flour has been completely incorporated, take 1/3 of the batter and pour it into one of the cake pans. 

Fold the blueberries into the remaining batter, and then divide it equally among the other two cake pans.

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Bake for about 25 minutes – the top of the cake should bounce back if you press your fingertips against it, or a tooth-pick will come out clean if inserted in the middle.

Allow to cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then invert the cakes and allow to cool completely on the racks.

Once the cakes have completely cooled, it’s time to pull out your yellow food colouring, piping bag … and SPRINKLES. 

I made a basic lemon buttercream: lots of butter, some powdered sugar, the juice of a lemon, a pinch of salt … and some vanilla.  The vanilla kinda mellows the frosting out a little.  It’s a nice addition (same with the salt). 

I’d love to give you an exact recipe … but I don’t follow one for buttercream … I just keep playing with it until it tastes the way I like.  You should do the same :0)  And remember … if it feels like it isn’t thick enough, add more butter: the butter will thicken it up nicely. 

I wasn’t sure what I wanted the cake to look like, so after I added my crumb layer of frosting, I put some buttercream into my piping bag and pulled out different tips and tried them out.

I was super happy with the final product.  The cake made me smile, it smelled ridiculiously delicious, tasted great … and had so many sprinkles. 

Oh yeah … and it weighed at least 10 lbs.  If not more. 

That’s what I call a really good birthday cake!

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lemon blueberry coconut bars

I have a friend who makes the BEST (absolute BEST) lemon squares.  EVER.

Micheline … I’m talking about you.

Her lemon squares are tart and fresh and light.  The side pieces are spectacular … the graham crust base adds a little sweetness.  Perfectly balanced.  Perfectly baked.  A complete delight.

I loves.

And so … although I heart all things lemon, I haven’t baked lemon squares in ages because I can’t imagine making a batch as wonderful as Micheline’s.

Until now.

These aren’t the same.  But they sure are good.  DARN GOOD.

I was co-hosting a female cocktails and bling thingy (you know … ladies gather to drink and try on jewelry) … and wanted to bring along some baked treats.

I decided that it was time to try a new recipe (friends and family are always the best people to taste-test new recipes on) … and upon mentioning a blueberry – coconut – lemon combo to another friend (Rose … I’m talking about you now) … she pretty much convinced me I absolutely had to make these.

I’m glad that I did.

The original recipe is from bon appétit’s desserts  recipe book (double-lemon bars).  It caught my eye because it promised big lemon flavour (a must) … and looked like it would have a firm enough base to hold the addition of toasted coconut and blueberries.

It lived up to my demands.

The one thing … and perhaps I’m noticing it because I haven’t made lemon squares recently … but these were really (and I mean REALLY) sticky and gooey: both good things … just have a napkin on hand … or don’t be afraid of licking your fingers.

I pretty much always opt for licking my fingers ;0)

crust:
ingredients:
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 c. butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp vanilla

lemon – blueberry filling:
ingredients:
1/2 c. coconut, toasted
1 1/2 c. frozen blueberries
1 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
6 eggs, room temperature

3 tbsp flour

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a rectangular pan (9×11) with foil or parchment paper and generously spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Using your food processor, blend together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter, and cut it in, using the pulse “on/off” method, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add vanilla and process until the dough comes together. You’ll know it’s ready when you take a bit and pinch it together and it holds.

Press the dough evenly into the pan – using a flat bottom measuring cup, evenly flatten the base. Bake until the crust is golden – about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling.
Toast the coconut for about 8 minutes on a cookie sheet in the oven. Set aside.

No need for fancy equipment – whisk together the sugar and eggs until well blended. Add the lemon juice and flour. Whisk to incorporate. Strain into another bowl (you’ll see that not all the flour dissolved, the whisk will catch that and any lemon pits you might have missed).

Mix in the lemon zest.

Reduce your oven to 325 F.

Spread the blueberries evenly over the base. Top with the toasted coconut. Pour the lemon mixture over-top; ensuring that the entire pan is evenly covered.

Bake until the sides are set and the filling no longer moves when the pan is shaken. About 35 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Cover and chill at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Using the foil or parchment as an aid, lift the dessert from the pan. Fold down the sides, cut away the edges, creating a clean side … and a little snack for the baker :0)

Cut into rectangular bars … or do like me, and cut the rectangular bars into 3 smaller cubes. I was able to get over 2 dozen pieces.

Remember this recipe creates a very gooey bar… a very delightful twist on a the traditional lemon square.

You should try it.