The base is just a standard loaf recipe - flour, baking soda, baking powder, eggs, etc. To that, I have added Granny Smith apples that have been left to rest in sugar and cinnamon to bring out the sweetness.
Did I mention that last week I was able to finally perfect my apple crisp while the baby was sleeping? Since the beginning of the summer I've been on a quest for the ultimate apple crisp, which to me means big juicy chunks of apples, a little tart a little sweet, slightly soft with a little crunch, bathed in a thick sweet syrupy liquid topped with a buttery, nutty crumble, but not too crumbly.
First things first. I just want to take this time to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, for stopping by my blog, for leaving a comment, for sending me an email, and for taking the time to make my recipes. It means so much to me, every single one of you are so special and thoughtful. I received some pretty exciting news this week. My blog was selected as a finalist in the Saveur Food Blog Award. The Flourishing Foodie was nominated for Most Delicious Food, which I couldn't be happier about. Trying to create the most delicious food is my number one priority with this site, and I am so touched/moved/shocked/ecstatic that you guys think so as well. There are some really fantastic food blogs nominated this year, including some good friends. If you guys have a chance, you should head on over to the Saveur site and take a peak. I don't know about you, but I love stumbling onto new sites! Voting is open through April 30th.
Things have been pretty quiet around my home these days. Brent is on a work trip, my neighbors with their two small children have moved. Everyone seems to be either on vacation to somewhere warm and tropical or involved in a bit of Spring cleaning, house repairs, garden work etc. I have been keeping busy, trying to create a whole lot of delicious recipes for the months to come. I've also been trying to sort out my backyard, develop plans, choose plants etc. I have a blank canvas as we speak, oh, except those gorgeous David Austin roses I received last week. I planted them yesterday, and I am really looking forward to seeing them bloom this summer. I'm thinking about also planting a few trees in the backyard, but I'm having difficulty choosing ones that wont spread giant roots into our sewer lines. I think I'm narrowing in on a medium size Japanese maple, a lilac, and a sour cherry tree. We need a few tall trees to block the view of our hot tub that we're installing next Spring, and yes, you're all invited for hot tub-bing and wine.
For the last month or so I have been really looking forward to this years first rhubarb. Each week I have been trolling the grocery stores and markets in search, like a kid at the candy store. I've had a serious craving for rhubarb and raspberry tart, ever since I bought this rhubarb raspberry jam this winter. I finally found some rhubarb at the local Safeway last week. There were a few stalks, maybe 7 or 8, in a small bin in the corner. I was so excited, because they were as ruby red as can be, tall and slender. The prettiest things. I picked up a pint of raspberries from Mexico that cost me an arm and a leg, and then I reconsidered planting that raspberry bush that Brent brought home from a friend. Maybe I'll plant it in a pot at first, so it doesn't spread like crazy.
I made this tart a few days ago, and the hardest thing about it, was letting it cool overnight so that the fruit could set. If you cut into it too quick when warm, it will all fall apart. And I learned that lesson the hard way. I tried to do everything in my power to prevent the tart from being too runny. I added cornstarch, baked it for 45 minutes, drained the excess liquid, but the tart was still determined to be a bit runny. In my opinion, this is not a bad thing, unless the fruit falls out of the tart, I think the little extra liquid that soaks into the crust makes it even more delicious. I'm thinking about heading to the store today to see if there is anymore rhubarb. I foresee another one of these tarts in my future.
RASPBERRY RHUBARB TART
makes a 9" round tart - 8 slices
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
10 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
5 - 7 tbsp ice water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp purpose flour
1 pint (12 oz) fresh raspberries
2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup oats
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, chopped
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender, until the mixture is crumbly with larger dime size pieces.
Drizzle in 1 tbsp of ice water at a time, and mix until the dough just comes together, being careful not to overwork. Do not exceed 7 tbsp of water. Place the dough onto a work surface, shape it into a flat 6-inch disk and wrap it with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the rack in the middle.
In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp flour. In a large bowl, toss the raspberries and rhubarb with the flour sugar mixture and 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Let the fruit sit on the counter until you are ready to fill the tart.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature until slightly softened. Roll the dough into a 1/4 inch thick circle, slightly larger than the tart pan. Press the dough into the tart pan with your fingers, and trim away any excess. Make a few pricks in the base of the tart with a fork. Place the dough into the freezer and chill for 15 minutes.
Remove the tart shell from the freezer. Drain the excess juice from the berries. Fill the tart shell with the berry mixture.
In a small bowl, crumble the butter into 1/3 cup oats, and 1 tbsp flour. Sprinkle onto the tart.
Place the tart pan onto a baking sheet, and into the oven.
Bake for 45 - 50 minutes, until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbly.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Place in the fridge overnight, to help the fruit set. Remove the next day and slice. Can be stored in the fridge for 4 days.
Strawberries and rhubarb are such a powerful combination. They compliment each other in such a perfect way, it is hard to compete with anything else. This cake is truly spectacular. After a few tweaks and adjustments, I think I have finally come up with a cake version of the strawberry rhubarb pie. This cake is moist, with a delicate crumb. It has a slight sour component from the buttermilk that is fantastic.