Berry Crumble

One day I watching Ina Garten on her food network show, Barefoot Contessa, she was baking a peach blueberry crumble and I thought oh my goodness, that looks so delicious! I have to make it! Actually almost everything that she makes I also want to make because it looks delicious, even a simple fruit platter or antipasto. Ina Garten is by far one of my favorite cooks because she always looks happy, relaxed and easy going, then again who wouldn’t when you live in the Hamptons. Plus, she has all these fabulous friends that come over and help her cook or decorate. awesome! Speaking of fabulous friends, I have a friend (J.Z.) that also loves Ina Garten as much as I do. My friend has a few of her cookbooks, sadly I only have one but that one has her signature in it!
I realized that I haven’t really talked about music in a while, the songs I am listening to now are by Lana del Rey. Her music has a more low and slow, sometimes a sadder, tone to her tunes but I guess her music grew on me and I like it. Some of her more popular songs are blue jeans, blue velvet (this song was played in an H&M commercial with her in it) and young & beautiful (this song was on The Great Gatsby soundtrack and trailer). Now on to the food!

Berry Crumble
Adapted from Ina Garten
Instead of using peaches I used frozen raspberry and strawberry along with the blueberries, just because I didn’t have peaches. Also I found that the recipe asked for a lot more flour than I thought it needed or it could be because I didn’t have enough fruit. It’s a bit of both, to remedy that I would add on two more cups of any berry of your choice and lowering the amount of flour (which is done below).
If there is anyone out there that is following a gluten-free diet then instead of using flour you can use cornstarch and you don’t have to make the crumble, this is great over other things such as gluten free ice cream or banana bread…..Hi Amy!
In the original recipe the dessert was plated in ramekins but if you don’t have those you can put it in a baking dish or casserole dish.
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Colorful ingredients.
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Berries combined with the flour mixture.
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The crumble and fruit mixture.
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Ready for the oven.
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Top it off with some ice cream and its ready to eat!

For the fruit:
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cup raspberry
1 cup strawberry
2 cup fresh blueberries (1/2 pint)
For the crumble:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and flour in a large bowl. Toss well. Gently mix in the blueberries, strawberry, raspberry. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into ramekins or baking dish.For the topping, combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas, or if you are like me then use a knife to cut the butter into itty bitty bits. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until it’s in big crumbles, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit. Place the ramekins on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If you want to make these early, store the unbaked crumbles in the refrigerator and bake before dinner.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my father’s birthday! I made cheesecake with a slight lemon flavor. This is what what I think a New York style cheesecake is suppose to taste like, thick slice and creamy consistency, yum! Don’t feel too guilty for eating it since I cut half the amount of sugar in the recipe. I had a mango and strawberries in my fridge, used those to make a pretty flower design.

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all the ingredients and tools you need. Vanilla extract is optional, I accidentally put it there, it’s for a sour cream topping in the original recipe.

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Once again if you are feeling stressed use that meat tenderizer to crush those graham crackers!

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The egg, cream cheese, sugar, lemon and flour. A bit lumpy buts it’s okay, keep going!

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Added the egg whites and folded it into the batter. Do not stir the egg whites or else all the work you did to make the egg whites peak will be for nothing. To fold the egg whites you should use a spatula and gently lift the batter from underneath to “fold” the batter over its self.

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When you take off the springform you are left with a lovely plain cheesecake. Mine did not brown on top but its okay.

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Sliced up the mango and strawberry and make this flower design. I thought about this design all day and had a little day dream about it too.

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Added sliced strawberries to the side of the cheesecake to make it more colorful.

Lemon Cheesecake
adapted from Mark Bittman: How to cook everything.
For this recipe you need a springform pan and put it in a water bath. What I learned is to wrap the pan in two layers of aluminum foil to prevent the water from seeping into the cake. Now you don’t have to do this but for my own sanity I had to do it cause who wants a damp crust.  Although, once you put the cake into the fridge to let it cool you will not notice it.  If you do take the aluminum foil route, the water level will stop just a little under the lowest edge of the aluminum foil.
If you do not have a large baking pan to put the springform pan into, don’t fret, use a aluminum foil pan. When using that aluminum foil pan I suggest that you pour the water in when you put the pan in the oven since the foil pan might be wobbly when moved to the oven.

1 double recipe Graham cracker crust (see below)4 eggs, separated
24 ounces (3 [8-ounce] packages) cream cheese, soften
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Use an electric mixer to beat the egg yolks until light; add the cheese, lemon zest and juice, and 1/2 cup of the sugar and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour.

Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks; use a rubber spatula or your hand to fold them into the yolk-cheese mixture gently but thoroughly. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and place the pan in a baking pan or aluminum foil pan large enough to hold it comfortably.

Add warm water to the baking pan, so that it comes to within an inch of the top of the springform pan. Transfer carefully to the oven and bake until the cake is just set and very lightly browned, about an hour.

Graham cracker crust
You can line your springform pan with parchment paper to make it easier to transfer the cake and not scratch the bottom of the pan.

6 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 ounces crushed graham crackers, about one package ( 1 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°
Crush the graham crackers with a meat tenderizer or food processor.
Melt butter in a saucepan or microwave for 35 seconds.
Combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter in a bowl.
Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes till browned and let it cool.