Haute Hot Food

Only for the adventurous in eating that want to tantalize their taste-buds and make food dance on their palate.

For I am not afraid of letting the food
overtake my desires, nor am I afraid of letting my desires be my food. Food is my expression, not just my livelihood. Cooking is my art, not out of responsibility, but purely out of passion.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer in the South

Yes, the temperatures reach at least 100 for numerous weeks on end, the pools slowly feel like bath water, and the humidity seems to stick to every inch of your body, but there is something I adore about Texas summers that seem to make the heat vanish from my memory. The gardens are full with the hottest peppers around, the tomato bushes droop from the Big Boy clusters, and my basil gets as big as a Texas Mequite. As wonderful as that all sounds, it's the staring at purple stained fingers, and a bucket full of berries that burst in your mouth that is the simple pleasure of living here that makes my heart jump. I'll be honest, more are eaten when picking than seem to make it to the kitchen, but when I've managed to have some sort of self control, my excitement quickly turns to a delicious  and juicy berry bubbling up from a buttery sweet crust. Cobblers are a staple at my home so much so that many a time they are picked over cakes on birthdays, and the leftovers (if there are any) are always on the breakfast menu when the sun comes up. The smells of fruit saturate the air, and the anticipation of warm fruit bathed in cold cream makes the awaiting audience salivate. Spooned out and dolleped perfectly with a scoop of sweetened cream or fresh home-churnned ice cream is my summer staple.  No one says it better......
 "Simply perfect in every way" - Mary Poppins

Here are two of my favorites:

Black Berry Cobbler:

3c. black berries
2/3c. sugar (divided)
1 1/2c. flour
1/2tsp salt
1TBL baking powder
Berry Pickin' at it's best!
1 1/2 stick butter
1/2c whole milk or cream
3 TBL  raw cane sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350
Butter a 9x13 baking dish.  place berries on bottom and sprinkle  1/3c sugar evenly.  In a food processor, pulse flour,  salt, baking powder, sugar, and 1 stck of butter until "peas" are formed. Add milk and pulse just until it comes together.  Spoon over berries.  Melt remaining butter and pour over the dough.  Sprinkle with cane sugar.
Bake 30-40 minutes or until lightly brown.

I prefer a mix of granny smith and fuji
Apple Cobbler With Honey Crust and Fresh Caramel Drizzle
2 1/2 lbs apples, peeled and sliced and tossed with juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
2 TBLS Flour
1TBL Vanilla
3TBL butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2c. flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 TBL cold butter
1tsp cinnamon
1/4c + 1TBL. Honey
Honey adds just enough sweetness.....try to find your honey as local as possible
1/4 c. Half and Half
2TBLS heavy cream - to brush on top
Preheat oven to 375
Toss all filling ingredients together in a bowl and spread into 9x13 baking dish.  In processor, combine all dough infredients until dough comes together.  Drop by spoonfulls over apple mixture.  Brush cream on dough and bake 35 minutes. Serve with ice cream and Caramel Sauce:

Homemade Caramel Sauce

  • 1 1/4c sugar
  • 1/3c water
  • 3/4c whipping cream 
  • 1/3c butter 
  • 1/2tsp vanilla 
  • Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high, and boil gently, without stirring, until syrup turns a deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush and swirling pan (about 8 minutes).  Gradually add cream (sauce will bubble). Add butter; stir gently until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

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