Archive | September, 2016

Cold Plum Soup

20 Sep

Cold Plum Soup

This is adapted from a recipe I clipped from the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent many years ago. It’s a great recipe for this time of year, when it’s still hot enough outside to enjoy a cold fruit soup and when plums are plentiful in the markets. You can use any kind of plums, but prune plums (also called Stanley or damson plums) are available now and they’re generally cheaper and easier to pit and quarter. Cutting up the plums is the hardest part of the recipe.

The soup will keep for a week or so in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:

2 lb. plums, pitted and quartered
3 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Grated zest of half an orange (about 1 tsp.)
Grated zest of half a lemon (about 1 tsp.)
2 cups orange juice
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1-2 cups water
Fresh mint leaves to garnish (optional)

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine the plums, brown sugar, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests and just enough water to cover.

Simmer, partly covered, until the plums break down, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a blender or food processor (or using an immersion blender), puree the plum mixture with the orange juice, lemon juice, half the almonds. If the soup seems too thick, add a cup or two of water.

Chill for at least 2 hours. Before serving, sprinkle with the remaining almonds and garnish with fresh mint leaves if desired.

Serves 4 to 6

Hazelnut Biscuits

13 Sep

hazelnut-biscuitsIn a fit of I-don’t-know’what I bought a package of hazelnut meal (actually labeled Natural Ground Filberts) last Passover, and never used them. So when I saw this recipe in the New York Times I was thrilled. It was part of a fruit cobbler recipe (this was the topping) – and I’m sure that would be yummy, but I tried them without the fruit, as biscuits for breakfast, spread with butter and marmalade and served with scrambled eggs. They were deelish! I used milk instead of cream with no ill effect. And the recipe would probably work just as well (though taste a little different) with almond meal instead of hazelnut.

Ingredients:

½ cup hazelnut meal
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup cold heavy cream, plus more for brushing biscuit tops
¼ cup cold whole milk

Directions:

In a small skillet, cook the hazelnut meal over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown and fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine cooled hazelnut meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives (or your fingers) until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces. If the butter starts to get warm, put the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the cream and milk and quickly stir it into the flour mixture with a fork. Do not overwork the dough.

Drop the dough in 8 to 10 mounds on a baking sheet. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake about 15 minutes, until lightly browned.

(If using to top cobbler, use a favorite filling or make one from 2 lb. peaches, 2 cups blueberries, 2 to 4 Tbs. sugar, ½ tsp. vanilla. 1 Tbs. cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine and place in baking dish.)