Snapshots of life and crafts on our little homestead

Posts tagged ‘baking’

Mango cake

Mango cake slice

It is that time of year when mangos are plentiful and inexpensive and find their way into many dishes in my house. Today I used a few very ripe ones to make a mango upside down cake for desert.

The following is the recipe I used to make this moist and flavorful cake.

Ingredients

Base

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 ripe mangos chopped 

Cake

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
  2. Melt 1/4 cup of butter into a 1/4 sheet cake pan. Swirl the butter around the bottom and sides of pan and the sprinkle the brown sugar on the bottom of the pan. Set aside. 
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. 
  4. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk and 1/2 cup of the chopped mango until batter is smooth. 
  5. Sprinkle the remainder of the mango on top of the brown sugar in the pan. 
  6. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. 
  8. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.
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March bread day

It was time to feed my sourdough starter, which left me with 2 1/2 cups of waste. I used the waste starter to make sourdough rolls for burgers, a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread and some cheese crackers. The rolls will be packaged and frozen for warmer barbecue days, the crackers packaged for my honey’s lunches. The raisin bread probably will not last though weekend with my carb loving family.

Sourdough raisin bread
Cinnamon raisin bread


Hubbard Squash Pie

The winter squash harvest is starting to come in. Unfortunately, the squirrels have reeked havoc on crops this year. Many summer and winter squash were eaten prior to maturity or scared by their little nails.  Some of the Hubbard squash grew to maturity but were to scared for long term storage and needed to be processed immediately. I used one of these squash to make our first pie for the season since Hubbard, butternut, buttercup squash and pumpkin are interchangeable in pies and quick breads.

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The recipe that I used is as follows. I hope that your family enjoys it as much as mine does.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Hubbard squash
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • Maple Whipped Cream, optional, recipe follows

Maple Whipped Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  2. Slice into quarters, seed and bake squash for 1 hour in the oven on a baking sheet. When done, let cool.
  3. Scrape the pulp out of the skin, transfer to a large bowl, and mash. Set 4 cups of the mash aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt.
  5. Add evaporated milk and stir mixture into squash. Beat together with mixer until smooth and pour into an unbaked pie shell.
  6. Bake on bottom rack of oven for 1 hour or until center of pie is firm. Serve warm. Add dollop of whipped cream if desired.

Maple Whipped Topping:

In a medium bowl, beat together whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar. Add maple syrup. Beat together until soft peaks form.

 

Back to basics: Egg Custard

This time of year our chickens start producing a lot of eggs and there is a lot of milk avalable, so I make a lot of old fashioned recipes for family and friends. One recipe that I make often is egg custard. It only takes about five minutes to prepare, uses simple ingredients, and if made in single serving container can be pulled out and dressed up for guests.

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My family likes the custard plain with a healthy sprinkle of nutmeg on top. For guests it can be pulled out of the refrigator, topped with fresh seasonal fruit and some fresh whipped cream. Some of my favorite fruit toppings are blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in simple syrup.

The custard recipe that I use is:

  • 4 cups milk (room tempature)
  • 6 large eggs (room tempature)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • fresh ground nutmeg

Cooking Directions

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  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place all of the ingridents in a blinder and mix until will incorporated.
  3. Pour mixture into 8-one cup baking dishes or a 9×13 inch pan. Place in a large pan with enough water to reach about 1 inch  from the top of the custard dish(s).
  4. Sprinkle a bit more nutmeg on the top of each dish.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the custard has just set. Be careful not to over cook.
  6. Cool custard then cover and refrigerate. Will keep for 5-7 days in refrigerator.

 

The humble dandelion

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A lot of fun was had the past couple of weeks gathering produce for natures pantry. Over the course of the past two weeks I have started several wild herb and flower oils, tinctures and dehydrates mixtures for later use. One of the flowers that I have been collecting again and again is the humble dandelion, which root to flower is usable in a number of items. This morning I just picked the dandelion flowers which I incorporated into a batch of moist and slightly sweet quick breads. 

Baking Bread

It has been an especially cold weekend, and weather station forecast snow for today. So last night before retiring for the evening I staged whole wheat and raisin breads. The wonderful things about these breads is that they are no-knead artisan breads that come out perfect every time. The added benefit is the smell of baking bread on a cold day — add the aroma to a nice fire in the wood stove, and a good book  and you have a recipe for the perfect day.

The wood stove is lit and the breads rose overnight and are now on their second rise. The recepies for these lovely breads are listed below.

No-knead Whole Wheat Bread

whole wheat bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp active-dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs molasses
  • 2 2/3 cups water

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast and salt.
  2. Add the molasses and water, and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated; the dough should be wet and sticky.
  3. Cover the bowl (I use a large Tupperware salad bowl). Let the dough rest 12-18 hours on the counter at room temperature. When the surface of the risen dough has darkened slightly, smells yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready.
    IMG_1696
  4. Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle with bore flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball.
  5. Generously dust a cotton towel with enough flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran to prevent the dough from sticking to the towel as it rises.
    IMG_1697
  6. Place dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran. Cover with the edges of the towel or a piece of parchment paper and let rise for 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
  7. After about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot, such a a cast-iron Dutch oven, in the oven as it heats.
  8. When the dough is fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven. Remove top towel or paper from dough andslide your hand under the bottom towel; flip the dough over into the pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough looks unevenly distributed.
    IMG_1702
  9. Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 10-15 more minutes, until the crust is a deep brown. The internal temperature of the bread should be around 200 degrees.
    IMG_1703
  10. Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire-rack before slicing.
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  11. I cut the loaf in half, placing half in the dutch oven on the counter for the current week and freezing the other half for another week.

No-knead Rasin Bread

no kneed bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp active-dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup rasins
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast,  salt, cinnamon, and rasins.
  2. Add the water, and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated; the dough should be wet and sticky.
  3. Cover the bowl (I use a large Tupperware salad bowl). Let the dough rest 12-18 hours on the counter at room temperature. When the surface of the risen dough has darkened slightly, smells yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready.
  4. Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle with bore flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball.
  5. Generously dust a cotton towel with enough flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran to prevent the dough from sticking to the towel as it rises.
  6. Place dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran. Cover with the edges of the towel or a piece of parchment paper and let rise for 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
  7. After about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a 4-6 quart heavy covered pot, such a a cast-iron Dutch oven, in the oven as it heats.
  8. When the dough is fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven. Remove top towel or paper from dough and slide your hand under the bottom towel; flip the dough over into the pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough looks unevenly distributed.
  9. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 10-15 more minutes, until the crust is a deep brown. The internal temperature of the bread should be around 200 degrees.
  10. Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire-rack before slicing.
  11. I cut the loaf in half, placing half in the dutch oven on the counter for the current week and freezing the other half for another week.

 

Apple Harvest Pie

Our house guests from last week are on their way back to the west coast so we now have a bit of down time before our guest from Alaska arrives this coming Tuesday, so I decided to do a bit of cooking. Fortunately both apples and cranberries are in season, so a couple of things that I made are a harvest apple pie and some non-tomato ketchup (made with apples and cranberries among other ingredients) for the pantry.  The pie recipe is listed below — I didn’t include my pie crust recipe because everyone has their own favorite.

harvest apple pie

Ingredients

  • Pastry dough for a 9-inch single crust pie
  • 1 cup of organic raw sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 5 large tart apples
  • 2 tbsp butter

Crumb topping

  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 pound chilled butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Line a 9 inch pie pan with the dough.
  3. In a large bowl stir the sugar, salt and flour together.
  4. Add the cranberries, raisins, and lemon rind.
  5. Peel, core, and slice the apples and toss them in the sugar mixture.
  6. Pile the filling into the lined pie pan an dot with the butter.
    harvest apple pie
  7. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour until blended.
  8. Rub the 1/4 pound of butter into the flour mixture with your hands until it resembles course bread crumbs.
  9. Spread the crumb topping evenly over the apple mixture.
  10. Bake the pie in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes, and then lower the oven to 350 degrees and continue bake for another 30-40 minutes or until the apples are tender.

Kale Chips

Today I woke to temperatures that felt more like fall than summer. After two weeks in the 90s this morning registered 47 degrees. So before heading outside for some more gardening I decided to do a little cooking. I tore up some of the kale that I harvested yesterday and turned it into kale chips as a savory snack for the next few days.

It is such an easy, tasty and healthy recipe that I thought that I would share it with you.

kaleChips

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, torn
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast *
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over the kale in a large bowl and sprinkle with the nutritional yeast and salt. Stir with your hands to coat kale.
  3. Spread kale onto baking sheets.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until kale begins to get slightly crisp; rotate racks and flip the chips, and continue baking until completely crisp, 45 to 60 minutes total.
  5. Make sure to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn; if you notice certain chips ready much sooner than others, take them out.

* Nutritional values for nutritional yeast vary from one manufacturer to another. On average, 2 tablespoons provides 60 calories with 5 g of carbohydrates (of which 4 g is fiber). A serving also provides 9 g of protein and is a complete protein, providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce. It is also a source of selenium and potassium. While fortified and unfortified nutritional yeast both provide iron, the fortified yeast provides 20 percent of the recommended daily value, while unfortified yeast provides only 5 percent. Unfortified nutritional yeast provides from 35 to 100 percent of all of the B vitamins, except for B12. Fortified nutritional yeast adds 150 percent of vitamin B12 and 720 percent of riboflavin. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutritional_yeast#Nutrition)

 

Hazelnut Muffins

This weekend is filled with gardening and yard cleanup, so I got a quick start on our two days of outside fun by making gluten-free English muffins for Sunday and hazelnut muffins for today.

gf english muffins

Hot herbal tea and a couple of hazelnut muffins high in nutrients and fiber were a great way to start the day.

hazelnut muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup teff flour
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 eggs or egg substitute (to make it vegan)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened apple juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray a 12 unit muffin pan with oil.
  3. Combine sugar, flours, tapioca starch, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nuts and raisins.
  4. Mix eggs, oil and apple juice and add to flour mixture, mixing quickly.
  5. Fill prepared muffin 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Serve at room temperature and freeze all leftover muffins to keep them fresh.
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