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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Blackberry Cornbread Cake With Maple Whipped Cream

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My sister, Tina was coming over to do a photoshoot of a few of my favorite traditional Greek dishes. She took a lot of amazing pictures so I had a little something in store for her. For dessert, I’m made a Blackberry Cornbread Cake With Maple Whipped Cream.

Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Mint

Fresh Mint Leaves

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 to 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 10-inch cast-iron (ovenproof) skillet, 2 large mixing bowls, 1medium-size mixing bowl, hand-held electric mixer, whisk

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
2 cups of whole-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons of whole milk ricotta, room temperature
1 cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of fine white cornmeal
3/4 cup of maple sugar
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 cup of heavy cream
2 pints of blackberries, reserve 1/2 of 1 pint for garnish
Pure Maple syrup for serving
Sprigs of fresh mint for garnish

Ingredients For Maple Whipped Cream:
1 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of Maple emulsion (extract)
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
Cinnamon sugar for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Grease a 10-inch cast-iron (ovenproof) skillet with butter.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla extract, ricotta, and eggs. In a separate medium-size mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, maple sugar, baking soda, and salt, whisk dry ingredients together until combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the buttermilk mixture until smooth.

Line the blackberries in the buttered skillet, then pour the batter over the top. Finally, pour heavy cream into the center of the batter. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Directions For Maple Whipped Cream:
In the meantime, in a pre-chilled large mixing bowl, add heavy cream. Using a hand-held mixer, beat the whipped cream until soft peaks form. Add maple emulsion (extract) and powdered sugar. Beat until firm. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill.

I like to serve my Blackberry Cornbread Cake warm with a dollop of cold Maple Whipped Cream on top. Finish with a light sprinkling of cinnamon sugar and a sprig of fresh mint.

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Savory And Sweet Puff Pastry Treats

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Puff Pastry is a staple in my house. I use Puff Pastry for both sweet and savory recipes. I’ve been making these two for many years.  Ina Garten, from the Food Network, also had an episode where she made these recipes. What was crazy about it was, my recipe for Elephant Ears was close to Ina Garten’s recipe. The Cheese Straws, well they were a bit different. I used Grana Padano cheese with mine, whereas she used two kinds of cheese, Parmesan and Gruyere. When I made this recipe, I added the Gruyere to mine too and they were delicious. Two kinds of cheese are better than one!

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 16 elephant ears
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, parchment paper, and rolling pin

Ingredients: (for one sheet of puff pastry)
1 cup of granulated sugar divided into 2 bowls (1/2 cup per bowl)
1/8 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 sheet of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry

Directions For The Elephant Ears:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

The first thing is to move the puff pastry to the frig the day before so it will thaw out overnight. You want to work with it as cold as possible. Set up two bowls, one with granulated sugar mixed with a pinch of Kosher, and one with sugar and cinnamon combined.

Spread the bowl with the sugar and salt mixture all over a flat surface like my cutting board. A marble surface is fine too. I unfold the pastry and lay in right on top of the sugar mixture. The top of the pastry, pour the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly all over covering the top. So now there’s sugar on the bottom surface of the pastry, and cinnamon sugar on the top surface.

You need to move quickly so the dough remains as cold as possible. Take a rolling pin and roll the pastry out into a rectangle, about 12 inches square. Doing this it allows for the sugar to be pushed into the pastry on both sides. Next, fold the sides of the square towards the center so they meet in the middle. Repeat this process again with those halves to the folds meet in the middle, as shown in the pictures above. Then fold both halves on top of each other making 6 layers.

Next, slice the dough into slightly under 1-inch slices. Place the slices, cut side up onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake the pastry for 5 minutes, or until the bottoms are caramelized and brown, then flip them over with a spatula, and bake for another 4 to 5 minutes. This will allow for the other side to caramelize. Carefully move each one to a rack to cool.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 24 cheese straws
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheets pans, food processor parchment paper, pizza cutter

Ingredients:
2 sheets of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry thawed overnight in the frig
1 large egg for the egg wash (beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)
1/2 cup of freshly grated Grana Padano cheese ( divided into two bowls)
1 cup of freshly grated Gruyere cheese ( divided into two bowls)
1 teaspoon of freshly minced basil leaves
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Directions For Cheese Straws:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
First, grate the cheese in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Once all the cheese has been grated, then roll out each sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured board. You want it to be a rectangle, about roughly 10 by 12 inches.

Divided equally into two bowls add the grated Gruyere, Grana Padano cheese, chopped basil, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Brush egg wash over the top surface of one of the pastry sheets.  From one of the prepared cheese bowls, spread the cheese over the top of the brushed pastry.

Using a rolling pin, press the cheese mixture into the pastry. Next, use a pizza cutter to slice crosswise the pastry into 10 strips. Twist each strip and lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed. Turn each one over and bake for another 2 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on them, watching that the cheese doesn’t burn.

Cool and serve at room temperature.

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Fresh Peach Cake Topped With Pistachios

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Family and friends always ask me if it took me all day to make my Fresh Peach Cake Topped With Pistachios. Truth is it doesn’t. I’ll show you how easy this dessert is to make.

The sweetness from the fresh peaches with and that kiss of saltiness from the pistachios gives this cake great flavor and texture. This cake is so moist you’re not going to believe it! I do have a secret ingredient and I’ll explain that in a minute.

I start with making the batter.

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Fresh Peach Cake Topped With Pistachios

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 to 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: Stand Mixer, large mixing bowl, medium-size mixing bowl, small mixing bowl, offset spatula, 9 x 9-inch baking pan

Ingredients:
1/4 pound of unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar (reserve 1/2 a cup for the cinnamon sugar mixture)
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
4 ounces sour cream, room temperature
4 ounces of ricotta cheese, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups of sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sifted baking powder
1 teaspoon of sifted baking soda
1 teaspoon of sifted Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of pistachios, roughly chopped
garnish with powdered sugar or a dollop of fresh whipped cream

Directions:
Butter a 9 x 9-inch baking pan really well.

In a Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, start by adding the room temperature unsalted butter. With the mixer on low speed, add the sugar and turn the mixer up to medium speed for about 3 to 4 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy.

Next, reduce the speed to low, add the vanilla and two room temperature eggs, one at a time. Let that mix together for a minute before adding the room temperature sour cream. To that add, my secret ingredient, the ricotta cheese. Let that all combine. Turn the mixer off scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the dry ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and Kosher salt. Turn the mixer back to low speed and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined, Turn the mixer off. You don’t want to over mix the ingredients once the dry has been added to the wet. Remove the paddle attachment and scrape as much batter off the paddle as possible. You want all that delicious batter for the cake.

Next, I’ve peeled, cored and then sliced five peaches in a medium-size bowl. In a small bowl add the ground cinnamon and sugar, whisk to combine.

Add half the batter to the bottom of the greased baking pan. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter out evenly on the bottom of the pan.

Arrange half of the sliced peaches into the batter, sprinkle them with a dusting of the cinnamon sugar. Next, add the remaining half of the batter and spread that over the sliced peaches. Arrange the rest of the sliced peaches, pressing them gently down slightly into the batter. Once more with the rest of the cinnamon sugar, really sprinkling it all over every part of the cake.

Finally, sprinkle the top of the peach cake with chopped pistachios. Transfer the cake to the refrigerator for 15 minutes to rest.

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, if a toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting.

Serve my Fresh Peach Cake Topped With Pistachios warm or at room temperature. Maybe with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, or a dusting of powdered sugar, YUM!

 

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