Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category


Vegan Apple Pie

IMG_0119My fiancé, Andrew, has been making this pie for years.  On our first date, we wandered a farmer’s market, where he picked out some green apples.  On our second date, he made a version of this pie recipe for me.  It has become my favorite apple pie recipe – its quick and tasty, and has never failed. The sour cream gives the filling a unique creaminess. Below, we’ve modified the recipe to make it vegan by replacing the egg with pear purée and the sour cream with Tofutti. We used a combination of Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Newton Pippin apples for this year’s pie (pictured here).  It is delicious!


  • 1 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 pears, cored and cubed, then puréed
  • 3 cups peeled, sliced tart apples (about 1 1/4 pounds of slices)
  • 9″ unbaked pie shell, frozen OR your favorite pie crust recipe (here is mine)



  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the pears in a blender or food processor to puree.  If the pears are not yet ripe, you can steam and soften the fruit in a small sauce pan or crock pot. You need about a fourth cup of purée for the next step. (The leftovers can be used to make pear butter).
  3. Beat together sour cream, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla and pear puree (can beat by hand). Add apples, mixing carefully to coat well.
  4. Put filling into a pie shell and bake at 400 degrees initially for 25 min.
  5. Mix together all topping ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Cinnamon Crumb Topping. Bake for and additional 20 more minutes.

Let cool for a hour before serving. Serves 8. This recipe is inspired by Simply Recipes’ Sour Cream Apple Pie.

Kate is the executive director of City Fruit.  


Recipe: Crab Apple Pie

Do you have a crab apple tree that is bursting with fruit but you don’t know what to do with it? There aren’t that many crab apple recipes out there but this one, submitted to us by Tom Douglas Pastry Chef Stacy Fortner, sounds so delicious it makes me sad this unique fruit so often goes to waste.

crab apple pieIngredients (1 batch yield in 9″ pie)

Crab Apples 6 Cups

Sugar 7.5 oz

Flour 3 tsp

Salt 3 tiny pinches

Vanilla 1.5 tsp

Lemon Juice 1.5 tsp

Water 3 oz.

Butter, cold cubes 6 tsp


Crab apples should be cut ahead of time.

We cut the sides away from the pit like an olive.

Toss crab apples with dry ingredients.

Fill pie and pour liquid over.

Sprinkle with cold cubed butter.

Bake at 375 for the first 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 and bake until the juices begin to bubble and crust is gold brown.


Recipe: Strawberry Pie Filling

Photo by Fried Dough on Flickr

Did you know that May is National Strawberry Month? To celebrate we’re posting Betsy Moyer’s delicious recipe for strawberry pie filling.


2  cups  ripe strawberries

1/2  cup  water

2/3  cup  sugar

2  tablespoons  cornstarch

1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice

6  cups  small ripe strawberries

1  cup  whipped cream



To prepare filling, mash 2 cups strawberries with a potato masher. Combine mashed strawberries and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Press the strawberry mixture through a sieve into a bowl, and reserve 1 cup strawberry liquid (add enough water to measure 1 cup, if necessary). Compost pulp or use it for ice cream topping!

Combine 2/3 cup sugar and cornstarch in a pan; add strawberry liquid, stirring well with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.

Arrange a layer of small strawberries, stem sides down, in the crust. Spoon about one-third of sauce over the strawberries. Arrange the remaining strawberries on top, and spoon the remaining sauce over the strawberries. Chill for at least 3 hours. Serve with whipped cream.


Mirabelle Tart, English Style

I found this great recipe by Rowley Leigh in the Financial Times of London for this Mirabelle Tart. Not only is it beautiful and delicious, but it will test your metric ability in the kitchen!










Mirabelle Tart
The pastry
100g unsalted butter
100g light brown caster sugar
1 egg
200g plain flour
Pinch of salt
• Cream the butter and sugar with the beater of a food mixer or in a bowl with a wooden spoon. When they are perfectly smooth, add the beaten egg and incorporate it into the mass to form a wet paste. Sieve the flour and salt and add to the mixture, folding it in very gently without over working the dough. Collect together and roll into a thick log about 12cm in diameter. Refrigerate.

Pastry cream
1 vanilla pod
500ml milk
6 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
75g flour
• Split the vanilla pod and put it in a saucepan with the milk and bring gently to the boil. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar very well until they are pale and increase a little in volume. Add the flour and mix to a smooth paste. Pour the boiling milk on to this mixture, whisk it well and return to the heat. Bring this gently back to the boil, stirring constantly and making sure none is catching on the sides or corners of the pan. Turn down the heat and continue stirring for 3-4 minutes. You should now have a thick, rich and lump- free custard. Pour into a bowl, sprinkle with icing sugar and then cover the surface with cling film (unless you have that strange but not unusual predilection for custard skin) and cool.
The tart
750g Mirabelles
1 tbs icing sugar
• Soften the pastry by hitting it vigorously with a rolling pin. Roll it out in a circle to a thickness of 3mm and, rolling it around the pin, lift it off the table and drop it into a tart ring 26cm in diameter. Make sure that there is no gap in the corners and that there is a 1cm overhang at the edge. Crimp the border gently over the rim of the ring, slide the tart case on to a metal baking sheet and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C. Dock the base of the tart shell with a fork and cook it in the oven for 15 minutes. While still soft, take a sharp knife and run it around the top edge of the tart and remove the overhanging pastry. Let the case cool down.
• Fill the cool tart case with the pastry cream. Lay the Mirabelles in tightly fitting concentric circles on top. Wrap a twist of foil in a ring to protect the exposed pastry, dust the Mirabelles with the icing sugar and return the tart to the oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.


Cherries are in full swing!

I went to the farmers’ market on Saturday and found cherries, cherries, & more cherries…all local! And local apricots! Here is a recipe combining both of these wonderful fruits.


Cherry Apricot Almond Tart

Buttery, crumbly tart crust
¼ cup toasted almonds
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-⅓ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
½ cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg + 1 yolk, beaten
3 tablespoons cold water
Pulse the almonds and sugar together in a food processor until finely ground. Add flours, butter and salt and process until consistency of wet sand. Add egg and as much water as needed, little by little, until dough comes together into a ball. Divide into two balls, flatten into 4-inch discs, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.
Makes 2 crusts
Preheat oven to 400 F.
1 disc of Buttery, Crumbly Tart Crust, chilled
¼ cup blanched almonds
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 large egg
½ cup creme fraiche
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 pound cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 pound apricots, halved and pitted
Roll out the pastry dough on a silicone mat or floured surface to a 13-inch circle. Spray a 10- or 11-inch tart pan with cooking spray and carefully lay the dough on top. Tuck it in to fit to the pan and trim the top, leaving a ¼ inch above the pan. Crimp edges along the ridges of the pan.
Spray a sheet of parchment paper with cooking spray and lay, spray side down, on the pastry shell. Fill with dried beans or pie weights and bake for 10 minutes. Remove beans or weights and paper, and let crust cool on a rack.
Pulse together almonds and ¼ cup sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add egg, creme fraiche and almond extract, and and run the processor until the mixture is smooth. Scoop mixture onto tart shell and spread evenly.
Arrange the halved cherries and apricots on top of the tart, cut side up. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and bake 30-40 minutes, until filling is set.
Let cool and serve.
Serves 12


Michael Natkin Supports City Fruit!

herbivoracious .  Chef, blogger and author Michael Natkin writes:  “I don’t care if you are a vegetarian, omnivore, carnivore, vegan, pescetarian, or flexitarian! Labels don’t matter. If you want to eat a meatless meal tonight, I want to make sure it is hearty, beautiful, and absolutely delicious.”  I bought his cookbook – I couldn’t resist.  herbivoracious makes you want to rush into the kitchen and get started.  NPR and Amazon voted it one of the 10 best cookbooks in 2012.  Michael is supporting City Fruit by donating $5 to us for every cookbook he sells online.  Buy it here. 



To fabulous rhubarb, add strawberries….

My garden is still producing buckets of rhubarb for which I am grateful as we use it in sweet and savory ways. And now, the local strawberries are arriving! Here is a recipe I found on Food52 and it is easy and delicious.

Makes 5 cups
2 cups hulled strawberries, cut in half
3 cups roughly chopped rhubarb
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sweet vermouth
1 tablespoon basalmic vineagar
1 teaspoon sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack positioned in the middle of the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet or large cooking dish with parchment paper, this is a juicy dish and you don’t want the delicious juices running all over your oven.
2. In a large bowl mix the strawberries and rhubarb. In a small bowl whisk together the maple syrup, sweet vermouth, balsamic vinegar and salt. Pour this over the rhubarb and strawberries, gently tossing until coated. Spread the fruit out on the baking dish in a single layer, drizzling the juices over the fruit and slide into the oven.
3. Roast the fruit for about 40 minutes, the juices should be thick and the rhubarb tender to touch. Transfer to a bowl once out of the oven and still warm. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to one week Serve spooned onto ice cream or a slice of sweet bread, a biscuit, oatmeal or french toast.


Another wonderful way to use your rhubarb!

Our plants are more productive than ever….and am I glad! The New York Times’ Dining section had a great recipe for Rhubarb Ice Cream with a Caramel Swirl.

Rhubarb Ice Cream with a Caramel Swirl
1 hour 15 minutes plus chilling and freezing time
• 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
• 1 and 3/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
• Pinch fine sea salt
• 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
• 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
• 1 and 1/2 cups sour cream
• 3/4 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch dice
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, whisk together the milk, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, vanilla bean seeds and its pod. Simmer gently until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and steep 30 minutes. Discard the vanilla pod and return mixture to a bare simmer.
Place the yolks in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in hot milk mixture. Scrape the custard back into the pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Whisk in sour cream. Chill at least 3 hours or overnight.
In a saucepan, combine the rhubarb with 1 cup sugar. Simmer until rhubarb is just tender and has begun releasing its juices, but has not started to fall apart, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rhubarb to a bowl. Continue to simmer the juices until syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes more. Pour the syrup over the rhubarb. Cool completely.
In a clean, dry and preferably nonstick skillet, sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over medium heat. When it begins to melt and lightly color, sprinkle in 2 more tablespoons and start swirling pan to help evenly distribute sugar. Add the final 2 tablespoons and cook, swirling pan until all the sugar has melted. Let cook, swirling occasionally, until the sugar syrup caramelizes and turns dark brown. Pour in the heavy cream and 2 tablespoons water (stand back; it may splatter). Simmer, stirring with a heatproof rubber spatula until smooth. Cool completely.
Pour the custard base into an ice cream machine and churn. Add rhubarb compote for the last minute of churning.
Scrape a quarter of the caramel into the bottom of a freezer-proof quart container. Top with a quarter of the ice cream. Repeat layering until all of the caramel and ice cream has been used, ending with the ice cream. Freeze until firm for at least 2 hours and up to 1 week.
YIELD one scant quart


It’s Rhubarb Season!

My rhubarb plants are so productive already, I have plenty of stalks for crisps and sauces. See our recipe index for previous rhubarb recipes and here is one that is sure to please family and friends. I found it in the Williams Sonoma online recipe collection: a great go-to site if you are looking for new recipes.

Grilled Double-Cut Pork Chops with Rhubarb Mostarda

Pork marries well with many fruits, and in the spring, this rhubarb-mustard condiment, known as mostarda in Italy, makes a wonderful accompaniment. If possible, make the mostarda the day before, which will allow its complex flavors to meld. Purchase chops from the rib end for the most flavor. If you are cooking over charcoal, be sure to create a cooler area on the grill where you can finish cooking these big, thick chops.
For the rhubarb mostarda:
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
• 1 Tbs. peeled and minced fresh ginger
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 1/2 lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
• 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
• 2 Tbs. dry mustard
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste

• 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
• 2 Tbs. olive oil
• 2 small garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 4 double-cut pork chops, each about 1 lb. and 1 1/2 inches thick
• 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
To make the mostarda, in a large, heavy pot, combine the sugar, vinegar, ginger, garlic and cumin. Place over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Add the rhubarb and onion, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently to break up the rhubarb, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard, season with pepper and stir until smooth. Let cool completely. If desired, refrigerate overnight. Return the mostarda to room temperature before serving.

In a shallow nonreactive dish that will hold the pork chops in a single layer, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Whisk in the salt and pepper. Place the chops in the dish and brush both sides thoroughly with the lemon mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours, turning the chops occasionally.

Remove the chops from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove the chops from the marinade and pat dry. Reserve the marinade if using a charcoal grill.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill, or preheat a cast-iron grill pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat.

Place the chops on the grill rack over the hottest part of the fire or in the grill pan and cook without moving them for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Move the chops after 1 minute if the fire flares up. Turn the chops over and cook until they are golden brown and crusty, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes more. If using a charcoal grill, brush the chops occasionally with the reserved marinade. Move the chops to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat, and cook until the chops are firm to the touch but still have a little give, 10 to 12 minutes more.

Transfer the chops to a platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately with the mostarda. Serves 4.


Cozy Food in Winter

Looking for a delicious recipe to serve friends and family at a winter brunch? Try this one out.

Spicy Ginger Muffins With Currants and Toasted Pecans

Butter for greasing muffin tin
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
5 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup dried currants
1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Pour into a large bowl. Whisk in baking soda until dissolved. Whisk in molasses and oil until mixture is tepid. Whisk in eggs and 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, ground ginger, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry. Fold in 4 tablespoons crystallized ginger, then the pecans and currants. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
4. Meanwhile, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and remaining 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger until mixture forms a smooth glaze. Spoon glaze evenly over muffins. Sprinkle tops with remaining 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger.


Pears for the Season

Nell’s restaurant recently shared the following recipe with their email list. It is the perfect treat at this time of year.

Red Wine & Star Anise Poached Pears
with Pear Ice Cream
. . .


6 Bosc or D’Anjou pears
3 cups full bodied red wine
1 cup sugar
5 pieces Star Anise
1 bay leaf
2 cloves

* Add wine, sugar and spices to a saucepan and bring to a boil.

* Peel pears and cut in half. With a melon baller, cut out pits and use knife to cut bottom and stem. Also with knife slice a bit off rounded side to flatten pear allowing it to sit in bowl.

* Add to simmering wine and cook till tender about 10 – 20 minutes depending upon how ripe pears are.

* Cool in liquid.
. . .

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 ¼ cup sugar
9 egg yolks
4 Bosc or D’Anjou pear, ripe
* Peel and core pears. Cut into pieces, add ½ cup sugar and 2 TBLS water and cook in covered sauce pan till tender

* Combine cream, milk and ¾ cup sugar in a sauce pan and bring to a boil

* Let cool for one minutes and add ¾ cup hot cream to egg yolks, stir and add back into sauce pan of cream. Depending upon temperature of cream, it may thicken or you may need to heat further stirring constantly till mixture coats the back of a spoon.

* Strain through a fine strainer and cool
* Puree pears, strain and add to custard
* Spin in ice cream machine

– Makes about 1 ½ quarts (12 or more servings) –
. . .

Serve pears in a bowl, drizzle with the red wine and a scoop of pear ice cream on top


Apple Custard Tart

There are so many wonderful apples appearing in the markets, it is time to get cooking! Here is a wonderful tart for friends and family.

Apple Custard Tart
Instead of apples baked in a crust, this apple tart relies on poached apples tucked into a tart that’s baked “blind” or empty. Most fruit tarts like this one use a milk custard, but we think the poaching liquid, in this case a cup of apple cider spiked with a cinnamon stick and a little lemon juice or cider vinegar to cut the sweetness, makes a brighter and more appropriate filling. So making the tart involves three steps: making the crust, poaching the apples, then transforming the poaching liquid into a custard. Assembly of the three elements should take place just before the tart is served.
For the crust:
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch bits
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 egg white
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest, optional
For the Filling:
3 medium Fuji apples, preferably organic
1 cup apple cider, preferably organic
2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter

1.) Preheat the oven to 375.
2.) To make the pastry for the crust, put the flour in the work bowl of a food processor, or in a mixing bowl. Work in the butter, sugar and salt. If using a food processor, process just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; leave some chunks of butter about the size of bee-bees. Add the egg white and pulse the motor or work the mixture with a wooden spoon just until the dough comes together into a scrappy heap. Do not knead or overwork; it is not necessary to make the dough into a smooth ball.
3.) On a floured surface, roll the pastry dough into a 10-inch circle and plant the circle in a pie pan. Line the pastry with a piece of baker’s parchment or aluminum foil and fill it with rice or beans or special pie weights. Bake the pastry until the edges are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove the parchment with the rice or beans and bake until the center of the crust is dry and just beginning to turn golden, about 5 minutes more.
4.) While the crust is baking and cooling, poach the apples for the filling. Start by poaching the apples. Peel and core the apples and cut each one into 8 wedges. Pile them along with the cinnamon stick into a large, enameled cast iron soup kettle or Dutch oven and pour on the apple cider. Cook over medium-high heat until the cider is boiling, then reduce heat to low and simmer just until apples are tender, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the apples from the simmering cider to a clean plate and allow them to cool while you make custard with the poaching liquid.
5.) To make the custard, whisk together the egg, the egg yolk, the sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl; whisk in about half of the simmering cider then transfer the tempered egg mixture to the pot and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is boiling vigorously. Transfer the cooked custard back to the mixing bowl, whisk in the butter, and let it cool for 15 minutes or so.
6.) When the tart shell has cooled completely, fill it with the apple cider custard and arrange the poached apple slices over the surface. Serve it at room temperature or refrigerate and serve chilled.


Nectarines and Peaches, oh my!

At the University District Farmers’ Market last Saturday, Jerry Pipitone of Pipitone Farms in Wenatchee, WA had some lovely apricots and peaches. It is not quite peach season here yet, but when you can find peaches and nectarines, try the recipe from Melissa Clark.


Cherry Apricot Almond Tart

Last Saturday at the University District Farmer’s Market I stopped by the Rock Island Red and Orchardist Pippitone stalls, where they were selling fabulous tom-cots and apricots. I was delighted to see that the first Washington cherries were in, too. So, here is a cherry-apricot recipe sure to be eaten up as fast as you put it out!

Cherry Apricot Almond Tart

Buttery, crumbly tart crust
¼ cup toasted almonds
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-⅓ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
½ cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg + 1 yolk, beaten
3 tablespoons cold water

Pulse the almonds and sugar together in a food processor until finely ground. Add flours, butter and salt and process until consistency of wet sand. Add egg and as much water as needed, little by little, until dough comes together into a ball. Divide into two balls, flatten into 4-inch discs, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer. Makes 2 crusts
Preparing the Tart
1 disc of Buttery, Crumbly Tart Crust, chilled
¼ cup blanched almonds
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 large egg
½ cup creme fraiche
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 pound cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 pound apricots, halved and pitted

1. Preheat oven to 400° F and then roll out the pastry dough on a silicone mat or floured surface to a 13-inch circle.

2. Spray a 10- or 11-inch tart pan with cooking spray and carefully lay the dough on top. Tuck it in to fit to the pan and trim the top, leaving a ¼ inch above the pan. Crimp edges along the ridges of the pan.

3. Spray a sheet of parchment paper with cooking spray and lay, spray side down, on the pastry shell. Fill with dried beans or pie weights and bake for 10 minutes. Remove beans or weights and paper, and let crust cool on a rack.

4. Pulse together almonds and ¼ cup sugar in a food processor until finely ground.

5. Add egg, creme fraiche and almond extract, and and run the processor until the mixture is smooth. Scoop mixture onto tart shell and spread evenly.

6. Arrange the halved cherries and apricots on top of the tart, cut side up. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and bake 30-40 minutes, until filling is set.

7. Let cool and serve.
Serves 12


Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

My rhubarb plants are going gang busters! This recipe, from Melissa Clark, is a nice change from my usual recipe.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, more to grease pans
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, rinsed and sliced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice.
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and sides of the pan. Wrap two layers of foil under the pan, and place it on a buttered baking sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, mix rhubarb, cornstarch and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.
3. Mix the brown sugar and 1/2 stick butter in a pan over medium heat. Whisk until smooth and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Whip 2 sticks butter in a mixer with a paddle attachment for 2 minutes. With your fingers, blend the remaining 1 cup sugar with lemon zest until the mixture is uniform in color. Cream together with the butter at medium-high speed until it is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl halfway through. Add the vanilla and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the sour cream, then the lemon juice. (It’s O.K. if the mixture looks curdled.) With the mixer set to low speed, add the flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, until well combined. Scrape down the mixer bowl in between the additions.
5. Pour the brown-sugar mixture into the cake pan, then spoon in the rhubarb and its juices. Spoon in the batter so it covers all of the rhubarb. Smooth out the top.
6. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the top of the cake is firm to touch and a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out without any large, moist crumbs.
7. Place the pan on a wire rack, and cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the cake, place a plate on top of the pan and turn it upside-down. Release the cake from the pan while still warm or else it will stick.
Yield: 8 servings.


Rhubarb & Raspberry Crostata

I was just noticing that my rhubarb plants (I have 5) are starting to tell me that spring is here. And then I saw this recipe in the current issue of Bon Appetit. It is just delicious!

Recipe by Karen DeMasco, Locanda Verde, New York City

Photograph by Romulo Yanes
May 2011
Rhubarb and Raspberry Crostata
* 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
* 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
* 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
* 1 large egg
* 1 Tbsp. whole milk

* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* 4 cups 1/2″-thick slices rhubarb (about 1-1 1/4 lb.)
* 1 6-oz. container fresh raspberries
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1 large egg, beaten
* Raw sugar
* Sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (for serving)


*Combine both flours, sugar, and salt in a processor; blend for 5 seconds. Add butter; pulse until butter is reduced to pea-size pieces. Whisk egg and milk in a small bowl to blend; add to processor and pulse until moist clumps form. Gather dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill at least 1 1/2hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.


*Dissolve cornstarch in 3 Tbsp. water in a small bowl; set aside. Combine rhubarb, raspberries, and sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and juices are released, about 4 minutes. Stir in cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil (rhubarb will not be tender and slices will still be intact). Transfer to a bowl. Chill until cool, about 30 minutes.

*Preheat oven to 400°. Roll out dough on floured parchment paper to 12″ round; brush with beaten egg. Mound filling in center of crust; gently spread out, leaving 1 1/2″ border. Gently fold edges of dough over filling, pleating as needed. Brush border with egg; sprinkle with raw sugar. Slide parchment with crostata onto a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes. Let crostata cool on baking sheet on a rack. Transfer crostata to a platter, cut into wedges, and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.


Board Meeting Beet Dip

City Fruit Board member, Jen, brought this delicious dip to our February meeting. It is ideal for lunches, parties, in any season.

Beet Dip

6 oz. beets
4 Tablespoons walnuts
1 slice stale or toasted bread
1 garlic clove
6 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)

Cook beets.
Blend all ingredients together in food processor or blender.
Eat with bread, crackers, vegetables, whatever!


Cranberry Tart

If you still have cranberries left over from your holiday celebrations, here is a wonderful recipe that will see you into a healthy fruitful New Year!
Cranberry Tart
Time: 2 hours plus 1 hour’s chilling
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup instant or fine polenta
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg plus 3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 cups (12-ounce bag) fresh cranberries, picked over
1/2 cup heavy cream
Confectioners’ sugar, optional.
1. Place 1 1/4 cups flour, polenta, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and lemon zest in a food processor and process to blend. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand. In a small bowl, beat whole egg with oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Uncover processor, pour in liquid ingredients and pulse until a ball of dough forms. This may take 20 or more quick pulses. If necessary, sprinkle in a little water if mixture does not come together. Form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour.
2. In a 3-quart saucepan, melt remaining sugar over low heat. Stir in syrup and bring to a boil. Add cranberries and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes, until they begin to release juice. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool about 20 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough to an 12-inch circle and fit into a 10-inch loose-bottom tart pan. If dough tears, it can easily be pressed together.
4. In a bowl, whisk together cream and 2 tablespoons flour. Whisk in three egg yolks, remaining vanilla and a pinch of salt. Pour over cranberries and fold together. Pour into tart shell, place pan on a baking sheet and bake about 40 minutes, until filling bubbles but is not yet firm, and pastry browns. Cool in pan before removing sides; if desired, dust with confectioners’ sugar.


Quinces are very special

Quinces are a “backyard” fruit: very little is commercially grown. You can use a quince in whatever dish you would normally use an apple. Quinces can be found in a few grocery stores and at the farmers’ markets, but the best ones are those grown by you, your neighbours, or friends. This is a great recipe to share with a friend who has a quince tree!

Quince Tart Tatin.
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2–inch cubes
3 tablespoons (or more) ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 small quinces (about 3 1/4 pounds), peeled, each cut into 1–inch–wide wedges, cored

For crust:
Mix first 3 ingredients in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix 3 tablespoons ice water and vinegar in small bowl; add to processor. Blend until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate at least 1 hour. Do ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.

For filling:
Fill large skillet with ice cubes; set aside.
Combine first 3 ingredients in heavy 11–inch–diameter ovenproof skillet. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium–high; boil until caramel is deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of skillet with wet pastry brush and swirling skillet, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter and cinnamon. Immediately place skillet with caramel atop ice in large skillet; let stand until caramel is cold and hardened, about 30 minutes. Remove skillet from ice.
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°F. Arrange quince wedges tightly together, rounded side down, in concentric circles atop caramel in skillet. Fill center with any broken quince pieces. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12 1/2–inch round. Place dough atop quinces; tuck edges of dough down around sides of quinces. Make three 2–inch–long cuts in center of dough to allow steam to escape during baking. Place skillet on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until quinces are tender and crust is deep golden brown, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool 30 minutes.
Place large platter atop skillet. Using oven mitts, hold platter and skillet firmly together and invert, allowing tart to slide out onto platter. Rearrange any dislodged quince wedges, if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature.



At City Fruit’s recent Harvest Party, Diana Vinh’s home made pickled beets were such a hit (especially with me!), that I was inspired dig up this great how-to article from the New York Times:

Beets: The New Spinach

Recently in the Well blog, Tara Parker-Pope wondered if she has been missing out on beets, which one researcher recently identified as nutritional powerhouses, high in folate, manganese and potassium.

If you, like Ms. Parker-Pope, have never made beets, then yes, you really are missing out. It’s easy to love fresh beets, and not just for their nutritional advantages. Beets have an earthy, hard-to-define flavor like no other vegetable’s, one reason they so often appear on high-end restaurant menus. But they’re perfect at home, too, and so this week we’ll be offering some simple ways to prepare them.

Beets are available year-round, but the best time to buy them is June through October, when they are at their most tender. Look for unblemished bulbs with sturdy, unwilted greens. In addition to the usual red variety, you may find beautiful golden beets, and pink-and-white striated Chioggia beets. Unless a red color is important to the dish, either type can be used interchangeably with red beets.

Often purchasers ask that the greens be chopped off. That’s a mistake — the greens bring an additional set of nutrients to the plate, most notably beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron and calcium. Take your beets home from the farmer’s market with the greens intact.

Roasting is the easiest way to cook beets, not least because the skins will slip right off. Cooking them this way is easy.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the greens away from the beets, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. (Later this week, we’ll show you how to sauté the greens.) Scrub the beets and place in a baking dish (or lidded ovenproof casserole dish). Add 1/4 inch of water to the dish. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and roast small beets (three ounces or less) for 30 to 40 minutes, medium beets (four to six ounces) for 40 to 45 minutes, and large beets (eight ounces or more) for 50 to 60 minutes. They’re done when they’re easily penetrated with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the covered baking dish. Cut away the ends and slip off the skins.

Roasted beets are wonderful on their own or simply dressed with a vinaigrette, and they will keep for five days in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. Best not to peel them until you plan to eat them.