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Apricot-Ginger Scones

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These simple scones are easy to get on the breakfast table in about 30 minutes. If you prefer, you can
replace with apricots with 3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) dried cherries or cranberries, and the ginger with 1 Tbs.
of grated lemon or orange zest.

Apricot-Ginger Scones

1 3/4 cups (9 oz./280 g) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g) sugar

1 Tbs. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) cold unsalted butter, diced

2/3 cup (4 oz./125 g) chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) chopped crystallized ginger

1 egg

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) buttermilk

Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C). Line a rimless baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Stir in the apricots and ginger. In a bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk until blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and, using a rubber spatula, stir just until evenly moistened. The dough will be sticky.

 

Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and press together gently into a circle about 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut the circle into 6 equal wedges. Place the wedges on the prepared sheet, spacing them about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Bake until the scones are golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, let cool slightly and serve warm. Makes 6 scones.

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Three-Layer Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Baking batter in three 8-inch (20-cm) round pans results in a gorgeous carrot cake that is sure to impress guests. Here we have spread just a thin layer of frosting on the sides so that the cake underneath shows through for a modern presentation, but you can coat the cake entirely with the frosting if you prefer.

Three-Layer Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cake:

3 cups (15 oz./470 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 Tbs. baking soda

1 Tbs. baking powder

1 Tbs. ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 tsp. ground allspice

5 eggs

1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) plus 2 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g) firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) buttermilk

1 1/2 lb. (750 g) peeled and shredded carrots

1 cup (4 oz./125 g) toasted chopped walnuts

1 cup (3 oz./90g) toasted flaked coconut, plus more for garnish

 

For the frosting:

1 1/2 lb. (750 g) cream cheese, at room temperature

6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 3/4 cups (7 oz./220 g) confectioners’ sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour three 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pans.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and allspice. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar and buttermilk until blended. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture just until combined. Fold in the carrots, walnuts and coconut.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Reduce the speed to low, add the
confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract until well blended.

Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter. Spread about a quarter of the frosting over the top of the cake. Place another cake layer on top of the first and spread another quarter of the frosting over the cake. Top with the third cake layer, and spread the remaining frosting decoratively over the top and sides of the cake.

Serve immediately, or cover with a cake dome and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature and garnish with coconut flakes before cutting into slices and serving.

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Gingered Rhubarb Crisp

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Fresh ginger adds a warm, spicy bite to this classic crisp with a crunchy oat topping. We like to serve this comforting dessert on a rainy spring evening topped with vanilla ice cream. As the ice cream melts onto the warm crisp, it offers a nice contrast in temperature and texture.

Gingered Rhubarb Crisp

1 1/2 lb. (750 g) rhubarb stalks, cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices

3 oranges

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) granulated sugar

3-inch (7.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) quick-cooking rolled oats

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Vanilla ice cream for serving

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

Place the rhubarb in 9-by-13-inch (23-by- 33-cm) baking dish. Finely grate the zest from one of the oranges and add it to the dish. Squeeze 2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) juice from the remaining oranges and add it to the dish along with the granulated sugar. Toss the rhubarb mixture well, then spread it out evenly in the dish.

In a bowl, using a fork, stir together the ginger, flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until the ingredients are evenly moistened. Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the rhubarb. Bake for 15 minutes.

Loosely cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and continue to bake until the topping is browned and the juices are thick and bubbling around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Let cool, uncovered, on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes.

To serve, spoon the warm crisp into bowls, top with scoops of ice cream, and serve immediately. Serves 8.

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5 Fantastic Sides to Go with That Ham

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So you’ve lined up a gorgeous ham for this Easter. (If you’re anything like us, you opted for a bone-in spiral ham.) But you don’t know what to serve alongside the main event. That’s A-OK: We’ve taken the guesswork out of Sunday’s spread by selecting five fittingly spring-themed accompaniments, from soup to a salad featuring peak-season produce.

 

 

Spring Salad with artichokes and peas Spring Salad with Baby Artichokes and Peas 

Celebrate the arrival of the new season by combining several types of at-their-peak vegetables in this beautiful salad. For the tastiest possible plate, be sure to buy the freshest peas possible from the farmers’ market and use them within a few days of purchase, so they retain their tender texture and sweet flavor.

Carrot ginger soupCarrot Ginger Soup 

The key to this soup’s velvety texture is slowly cooking the onions and carrots over low heat before pureeing them. Garnishing the soup with toasted almonds adds crunch.

Pan-Roasted AsparagusPan-Roasted Asparagus with Garlic and Lemon 

Welcome the holiday with a classic vernal vegetable, asparagus. Use fresh, snappy stalks for this recipe, which is topped with lemon zest, garlic and Japanese bread crumbs for crunch.

Spinach and Potato GratinSpinach and Potato Gratin 

Thinly sliced potatoes soak up heavy cream perfumed with garlic and fresh herbs in this luxurious side dish, which is perfect for serving alongside roast meats. The spinach adds fresh flavor and makes the dish a little lighter than your typical gratin.

Meyer Lemon French ToastMeyer Lemon French Toast 

Golden, egg-rich challah makes the most decadent French toast, since it really soaks up the custard and adds a richness of its own. And, because the entire dish can be assembled the night before it’s popped into the oven, it’s the ideal dish for serving brunch to a house full of guests.