Tag Archives: sour cream

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

25 Feb

sour cream coffee cakeIt’s been awhile since I posted a dessert recipe, so this seemed a good time.

Who doesn’t love a sour cream coffee cake? I found this recipe online, but it’s originally from Barefoot Contessa Parties.

Ingredients:

1½ sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1½ tsp. vanilla
1¼ cups sour cream
2½ cups cake flour *
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt

Streusel:
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. kosher salt
3 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces¾ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Glaze:
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbs. maple syrup

*If you don’t have cake flour, you can either use all-purpose flour but use 5 Tbs. less, or you can take out 5 Tbs. of the all-purpose flour and replace it with 5 tbs. of cornstarch. Sift the two flours together before measuring.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes until light. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Make the streusel: Place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter in a bowl and pinch it together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts if you use them.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with ¾ cup of the streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter into the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water if necessary, to make a glaze. Drizzle over the cake.

(If you want to make this in a bundt pan, you probably won’t want the streusel to be on the top, because then it would be on the bottom when you take the cake out of the pan. In this case, you can make three layers of cake batter, with two layers of the streusel in between them.)

Serves 12 to 16

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Cold Cucumber Soup

30 Jul
Cucumber Soup

Cucumber Soup

If your backyard garden has a surfeit of cucumbers, or if your local farmers market is selling beautiful cukes at a good price, consider making this refreshing, cold summer soup. I got this recipe from my dear friend Mandy Garver.  It’s very easy if you have a food processor.

Ingredients:

3 large cucumbers
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 cups sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
3 cups parve “chicken” broth
3 Tbs. cider or red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt (optional)
parsley or chives for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Peel the cucumbers, quarter them and remove the seeds. Using the steel knife in a food processor, process the cucumbers and garlic by pulsing; the cucumbers should be chunky, not smooth. Add the broth, sour cream or Greek yogurt and vinegar, and salt if needed. Chill at least an hour before serving.

Serves 4

Sour Cream Banana Bread

2 Jul Banana Bread

Banana BreadI like bananas to be ripe, which means yellow with brown sugar spots on them. In warm-weather months like this, bananas go from green to ripe in just a few days, and then they’ve only got another few days to go until they’re over-ripe and too mushy to enjoy.  But there’s no need to fret when that happens — it’s a perfect excuse to make banana bread!

For a long time we relied on The Joy of Cooking’s Quick Banana Bread recipe. It’s a good recipe so I don’t want to denigrate it. But one day I had some sour cream that needed to be used, as well as over-ripe bananas, so I searched the Web for another recipe. This recipe is adapted from one I found on food.com. It’s very moist and rich-tasting but not too sweet, and it’s excellent with cream cheese.

Ingredients:

½ cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
½ cup sour cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a large loaf pan. (If you cut parchment paper to shape and put it on the bottom, you can be sure it won’t stick.)

Cream the butter or margarine and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Mix the dry ingredients and add to the egg mixture alternately with the bananas. Stir in the sour cream and the nuts and mix well. Bake for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Makes about 12 slices

Hungarian Sour Cherry Soup

25 Jun

Hungarian Sour Cherry SoupIn the first house we ever owned, there was a 30-foot-tall sour cherry tree in the back yard. It was magnificent. Every summer we would easily pick enough to make a couple of pies and other desserts, without even having to climb too high.

We moved to our current house 30 years ago, and I missed that cherry tree! A few years after we moved in, my husband bought me a cherry tree for my birthday and planted it in the backyard. It was barely more than a tall twig then. But it has grown, and is now about 12 feet high. For the last several years it’s been producing beautiful jewel-like cherries.

A couple of years ago I picked a big bowl of cherries, planning to make this soup. The cherries are small and fairly soft, so instead of using a cherry pitter, I just squirted the pits out by hand and put the pit-less cherries in a bowl. But after I measured the water into a pot and turned to get the bowl of cherries, I noticed that the contents of the bowl were moving! The cherries were full of tiny white worms – ugh! I had to throw the whole bowlful away.

Last year, I checked the cherries carefully before using them, and had to throw away most of them, even the ones that looked perfect, because of the worms. (The worms are not easy to see, because they’re tiny, there’s only one in each cherry, and they look almost like the  membrane in the inside of the fruit.) I’m not even sure if I had enough to make a soup or pie.

This year we sprayed the tree before it blossomed and before the fruit was set. That must have done the trick. I picked a big bowlful of cherries last Sunday and set out to make the soup. At first I was worried, because three out of the first four cherries I pitted had worms. But I kept plugging away, and in the end, I had to discard only about a quarter of the batch; I had just enough left for this soup.

If you don’t have a cherry tree, you may be able to find sour cherries in a specialty fruit store. Or you can use bing cherries, but you’d probably want to cut the sugar by about half.

Don’t be put off by its Pepto-Bismol color. This soup is light and very refreshing on a hot summer day!

Ingredients:

6 cups water
1 pound fresh sour cherries, pitted
¾ cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbs. flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

In a large saucepan, cook cherries with water and sugar until cherries are soft, about 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix sour cream with flour, salt and confectioners’sugar until smooth. Add about a half-cup of the hot cherry liquid to the sour cream mixture and whisk until smooth. Slowly add to the  saucepan with the cherries and stir or whisk until the liquid is smooth. Simmer for 5 minutes but don’t boil.

Cool to room temperature. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the soup so that a skin doesn’t form and refrigerate at least one hour. Serve cold as a first course or as a dessert. You may want to add a dollop of sour cream or whipped cream.

Serves 6

Sour Cream Apple Squares

6 Mar

Sour Cream Apple SquaresI knew I had a recipe for sour cream apple squares – but I couldn’t find it in my card box, my accordion file or my manila folder, where my hundreds of recipes are stashed, and it’s not the kind of thing I would have gotten from my cookbooks. Thank goodness for the Web! I found this recipe on a site called Taste of Home. The unidentified person who contributed it claimed to have invented it in the 1950s with her mother.

I didn’t think it was the same recipe but a few days later I was going through my recipe box and found my original Sour Cream Apple Squares recipe – which was exactly like the one I got from the Web, except that I could tell I cut it out many years earlier from a package of Pillsbury’s Best Unbleached Flour. No matter, it’s a delicious recipe, with a nutty, crunchy base and soft, apple-y top.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups packed brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup chopped nuts
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
1 cups chopped peeled tart apples (Granny Smith are good)
Whipped cream or ice cream for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and butter, and beat at low speed until even, small crumbs are formed. Stir in the nuts. Press about 2¾ cups of this mixture into an ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

To the remaining crumb mixture, add the cinnamon, baking soda, salt, sour cream, vanilla and egg. Beat until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chopped apples. Spoon this mixture over the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares to serve, garnished with whipped cream or ice cream if you like.

Serves 12 to 15

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

4 Feb

Hungarian Mushroom SoupI had a minor catastrophe in the kitchen the other day. I was reaching into the back of the fridge and I knocked over a plastic container with a loose lid, spilling soup all over the fridge.  As distressed as I was to have a real mess to clean up — the stuff seemed to get into every crevice of the refrigerator — I was almost equally upset to lose at least one serving of this wonderful soup!

I got the recipe from my friend Greta Zalman, who served it at our monthly Shabbat study group lunch to rave reviews. She adapted it from a recipe she found online at allrecipes.com. You can use regular button mushrooms, but I really recommend Baby Bellas, which you can buy in bulk at Costco (you need a lot of mushrooms). The photo doesn’t do this soup justice — trust me, it’s delicious!

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. olive or canola oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 ½ pounds fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
4½ tsp. fresh dill or 1½ tsp. dried dill
1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup milk
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
½ ripe tomato, not chopped
½ Hungarian wax pepper (This is a long, light green mildly hot pepper. You can probably find it at fancy produce stores. If not, use another mildly hot pepper, like a cubanelle.)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste (I didn’t need any extra salt, thanks to the soy sauce)
½ cup sour cream

Directions:

Melt the butter/oil in large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the onions in the butter until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes more. Stir the dill, paprika, soy sauce and vegetable broth into the mushroom mixture. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.

Whisk the milk and flour together in a small bowl.  Stir the mixture into the soup. Add the tomato and the Hungarian wax pepper. Return cover to the pot and simmer another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the sour cream into the soup and continue cooking and stirring until the soup has thickened, 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove the Hungarian wax pepper and tomato and discard before serving the soup.

Serves 6