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July 23, 2019

Peach & Blueberry Crumble Tart


Last week, I took a favorite classic peach and blueberry crumble recipe and turned it into a tart.   I love very old fashioned desserts that are presented in a new way.  I don't need it deconstructed or transformed into a milkshake, but just as simple as baking it in a pretty shape usually does the trick for me.  

This is a delicious recipe.  The crust is crumbly and crunchy and sweet, like a big cookie.  I'm not typically a crust person, but this is amazing.  


I'm also planning to make the Barefoot Contessa's Key Lime Tart in this in a couple of weeks, too.  



I always bake my pies on a parchment lined baking sheet because they always bubble over.  It is so much easier to just throw the parchment paper away vs. cleaning burnt pie filling from the bottom of your oven : )

Parchment Paper Sheets, $10 for 100 sheets



Crust & Crumble :

2 cups of flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold butter, cut into pieces

......

Filling :

5 peaches, chunks (skin on or off, I leave mine on)
1/2 pint of blueberries
2 teaspoons of lemon zest
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of flour


Crust & Crumble : Preheat oven to 350.  In a food processor of mixer, combine flour, sugars and salt.  Mix.  Add diced butter and mix/pulse until combined and crumbly.  Dump 2/3's of the mix into the Tart Pan.  Reserve the remaining 1/3 to crumble on top.  Press against sides and bottom.   Place tart pan on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 14 minutes.

Filling : In a bowl, combine peaches, blueberries, lemon juice and zest, sugar and flour.  Toss to coat. Pour in pre-baked tart crust.  Crumble remaining 1/3 of crust mix on top of the fruit.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbly.



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July 22, 2019

Homemade Nut & Fruit Granola Bars


I've been trying to add more nutrient dense foods to my daily routine.  Because I am a creature of habit, I noticed I had gotten into the habit of not eating foods that were not packed with nutrients.  My typical day looked like Coffee, PBJ for lunch, big huge homemade dinner.  It was starting to mess with my energy and sleep.  It is probably something to do with aging, double ugh.  So, I've been making an effort to thing about nourishing myself more than I had been before.

Breakfast is a huge whole in my day.  I am just not hungry when I wake up.  I used to just go on coffee until about 11am (when the PBJ came in).  Instead, I've been making this granola for the last couple of months.  I pair it with my coffee and a banana, or on top of yogurt with fruit.  To say we're obsessed would be an understatement.  I am obsessed, but Mike is majorly obsessed.  

I tried to pack it with very nutrient heavy things, plus some filling things, plus some taste good things.  You can customize the ingredients to include/exclude whatever you like.  I have never even considered myself a nut person, but I love the nuts in whole because of the crunch and texture.   I'm excited to try more versions for other seasons - maybe adding cinnamon and cranberries for fall?  Or doing a version with some chocolate chips folded in?

It is so filling and satisfying and convent to grab on your way out the door.  I make a big batch and put half in a canister on the counter with some Kraft Treat Bags close by for an easy to-go.  Sometimes I even have them pre-packaged in a Kraft Bag to make it easier to grab.  I put the other half in a ziplock in the freezer to keep it fresh.  I kind of like to eat it frozen too - how weird is that?



Essentials Used :

Large Baking Sheet (Small Baking Sheet for 1/2 batch)
Parchment Paper (essential for keeping the granola from sticking to the pan)
Kitchen Containers (for keeping ingredients organized)
Kraft Treat Bags

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Parchment Paper is a lifesaver for recipes like these.


Here they are packed up in Kraft Treat Bags for an easy breakfast or snack heading out the door.  



Kitchen Containers for keeping ingredients on hand.


Mike's Favorite Granola Bars

4 cups of oats
3 cups of almonds
2 cups of walnuts
1 cup of pecans
1/2 cup of pepitas
1/4 cup of ground flax seeds
1 cup of dried cherries (or cranberries)
5 tablespoons of butter
1 cup of honey
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt

Preheat oven to 300.

On a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper, place pepitas, oats and nuts, then put them in the oven for 10 minutes to roast, then transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt together butter, brown sugar and honey.  Bring to a medium simmer and let bubble for about 2 minutes.

Pour honey mixture over nut mixture, add flax seeds, sea salt and dried cherries.  Mix together until all coated.  Pour out onto the parchment lined sheet pan and press down with a spoon to pack it together.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool (best a couple of hours or over night), then cut into squares or crumble.







When it is cool, it should lift completely off of the pan with the help of the parchment paper.





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July 15, 2019

Blueberry Crumble Muffins | What you'll be making tomorrow morning...




So, you know I've had a scone 'thing' for a couple of months... well, I've moved on to a muffin thing now.  This recipe is the combination of classic Blueberry Muffins with the crumbly top of a coffee cake.  After stirring these together in 10 minutes on a Saturday morning (without even getting out your mixer...) you'll ask yourself- why don't I make muffins from scratch every day?  I promise, they are so easy and so delicious. 

......



Disposable Piping Bags | My Muffin Shortcut

One of my favorite shortcuts that I use almost every week, is to make a large batch of muffin batter and keep it in the fridge or freezer in a Disposable Piping Bag.  If we want fresh baked muffins, I just get the bag out of the fridge in the morning, snip off the end, squeeze the batter into muffin papers, and in 15 minutes we have warm muffins.



If you keep the batter in the freezer, just put the bag of batter in the fridge the night before and it should be perfectly thawed in the morning.

I always keep a couple bags of Muffin batter and unbaked Scones (Scones Recipes Here) in the freezer. 



White Cupcake Liners

These aren't just any cupcake papers. 
Most cupcake papers are only 1 inch tall and 2 inches in diameter and Jumbo papers are taller, but are 2 1/4 inches in diameter - too big to fit in a standard cupcake pan.  These liners are 1 1/2 inch, for a nice and tall cupcake, but are only 2 inches in diameter, fitting perfectly in a standard pan. 
It took me forever to find these perfect cupcake papers!  Sometimes it is the little details that help make your treats look their best.


Blueberry Crumble Muffins
the upgraded classic


1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups granulated sugar
2¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
6 oz. fresh blueberries
.........
Topping
½ cup + 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

For the muffin batter, stir together flour sugar baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl.  Add melted butter, eggs and milk and stir just until combined.   Fold in blueberries.  With an ice cream Scoop (sold here), scoop batter into a muffin tin lined with Cupcake Baking Papers (my favorite here- the secret is that they are a little taller than average, fitting in a standard muffin pan, but making a plumper muffin/cupcake).

For the topping, combine flour, brown sugar ans salt in a medium bowl.  Cut butter into small cubes and put it into the flour mixture.  With a fork, work the butter into the dry mix until it is a crumbly texture.  With your hands, crumble the mixture on top of each muffin.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

**To make ahead, scoop batter into a Disposable Piping Bags and keep in the fridge or freezer.  If you keep the batter in the freezer, just put the bag of batter in the fridge the night before and it should be perfectly thawed in the morning.

Products Used :

Muffin Liners (Brown or White available)
Disposable Piping Bags
Scoops


July 11, 2019

The School House Garden Update


The School House Garden Update

I'm a new gardener and pretty green, but I love experimenting and just growing pretty things.  The School House is just down the road from a couple of great produce farms with plenty of the staples, so I like to grow things that are harder to find - herbs, flowers, and heirloom varieties.  I think once you get bit by the gardening bug it is hard to shake - I've grown to get so much enjoyment out of it.  It is the project that never ends and I love it.

I thought I'd share an update on the School House Garden today.  I shared my master garden plans earlier in the spring and now we're in the thick of the summer growing season.  The garden is really growing well now after a slow start due to wet and cold conditions.  We were just there yesterday and in just the last couple of weeks everything has really taken off - this is the point of the summer when it is too hot to want to weed, but the weeds grow like crazy.  I spent an hour weeding this week to try to keep up.  I'm sure I'll lose the battle at some point : )



The Summer Sale Continues
20% off orders $50+, Summer-20
30% off orders $150+, Summer-30
40% off orders $250, Summer-40

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 Last year when we purchased The School House (which serves as our headquarters + where all of the product is stored and shipped, more details here if you are new!) we did lots of new plantings.  My favorite is the mass of hydrangeas tucked into the corner.


We have 6 lilacs that are growing along the fence line that should be beautiful in a couple of years.


I started with 3 hydrangea (Nantucket Blues), then quickly added 3 more.  I was planning to enrich the soil to make sure they were blue blooms, but when the pink started developing I loved it too, so we just went with it this year.   This is the most exposed corner and enjoyed by everyone heading down the road to Pat's produce farm.  I love that we're adding some life to this old building that was a little neglected for a while.



We have all white Annabelle Hydrangeas at our house, so I wanted to have some color at The School House.




I started a grouping of pots on the front porch that I change out seasonally.  During the spring it was all pansies.


We brought an old picnic table from our house and settled it underneath this shady spot.  We use it for coffee or lunch (when it was cooler).  It will be great this fall for bonfire dinners.  (It was $100 from Lowes!)


The Vegetable Garden

We have picked some cherry tomatoes, a few cucumbers and plenty of herbs.  We've completely harvested all of the carrots and spinach and replaced them with zinnias.  We need to do the same for the lettuce patch, but I haven't decided what to replace it with. 


Our big harvest will be our heirloom tomatoes in a week or two that will last through September.  We plan to make salsas and our favorite Heirloom Tomato Sauce (recipe link and photo from last years batch) we use all year long.




Cucumbers climbing.


This is a patch of wildflowers we spread.  It has been fun to see the tiny little blooms pop up and surprise us.

The Summer Sale Continues
20% off orders $50+, Summer-20
30% off orders $150+, Summer-30
40% off orders $250, Summer-40

Shop the Sale >




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