Tag Archives: fruit

Humble Beginnings: Tomato & Peach Salad

I’ve grown tomatoes from seed.  Well, a tomato so far, a single tear-drop, appearing a bit lonely but tenaciously hanging in (ahem):

I  planted tomato and basil seeds on March 14.  The basil had always flourished, while the tomato plant came from more humble beginnings.  It suffered through a considerable amount of legginess and demanded more sunlight than my small condo could provide at times.  But once we moved, the plant refreshed, sprouting small yellow flowers in early July.  The bees had a chance to pollinate and in about 4 months, the first fruit arrived upon the spindly, but determined, stems. Continue reading

A Personal DeLorean: Apricot Blueberry Bread

Hard to believe I’ve been out of college for a decade.   Seems like just yesterday I was pouring over Biochemistry text in between bottles of budget-friendly Boone’s wine.  Fast forward to today, I’m pouring over Benjamin Moore paint colors while debating how to handle the small family of ground hogs cavorting under our backyard shed.

I went to college in Virginia at James Madison University.  The campus felt like utopia the minute I set foot on the green grasses of the Quad, captivated by the gregarious tour guide with perma-smile and chivalrous behavior.  I spent four incredible years there, studying dietetics while wondering where my passion for food and health would take me once graduation somberly set the wheels in motion. Continue reading

A Plum Rescue: Blueberry Plum Crumble

Yellow plums showed up in my CSA share this week.  Admittedly, I wasn’t certain they were plums at first, despite being identical in shape and packaging to their purplish-red hued, already identified relative.  My brother and I quizzically looked at the perfectly round, yellow globes and raised an eyebrow to each other.  He then shrugged his shoulders and stated, “Well, at least I know I’ll be reading about them on your blog!”

He’s right.  And they are plums, as sweet as the other plums we have known.  To be honest, I hadn’t planned on using them for this recipe, but they proved to be a valuable, last-minute addition to this Blueberry Plum Crumble.

Plums are a stone fruit, like peaches and nectarines.  Science Daily reports that they have a very similar nutrient profile to blueberries, chock full of antioxidants and phytonutrients.  Combined with a good amount of dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium, plums help keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels low.

Not only does this recipe mark the first use of yellow plums, it marks the first recipe found and posted from an actual, physical cook book, rather than the internet.  The Complete Step-by-Step Cookbook (1999 version) was a gift from my garage-sale loving mother who, in a sleep-sacrificing Saturday morning search for the ultimate bargain, paid 50 cents for a beautiful, hard cover compilation filled with colorful pictures and in-depth instructions to help dummy-proof recipe re-creation.  Funny how I still manage to goof… but plums came to my rescue.

I’ve been wanting to try a crumble ever since my sort-of successful Rhubarb-Apple Delight.  With so much fruit in season, it’s fun to dress it up with a little bit of sugar, flour and butter — even for a dietitian.  The thought of soaking my taste buds with a nutrient-packed, tart and crunchy dessert (or breakfast, or snack) makes the idea of turning on the oven amidst a veritable heat wave significantly less distasteful.

So, what started as a Blueberry Crumble thanks to my purchase at Sunrise Sunflower Farm, ended with the addition of 6 plums to even out the fruit-to-crumble ratio.  But as you layer the fruit and the crumble, don’t be surprised if there’s some crumble left over – save it to experiment with other fruits, or, as Tartelette suggests, bake it separately to serve over ice cream or freeze it for up to three months for use at a later time.

Blueberry Plum Crumble

Adapted from Pear Crumble recipe from of The Complete Step-by-Step Cookbook – 1999 (page 357)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 6 small plums, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place blueberries in a small bowl.
  3. Mix turbinado sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and stir together with blueberries.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together remaining cinnamon, flour and brown sugar.  Rub or cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. In an 8×2 baking dish, layer crumble mixture and blueberries.  Add plums into rotation (see Recipe Notes below).  Finish with crumble layer on top.
  6. Bake 30 minutes or until golden on top.  Serve hot or cold.

Recipe Notes: The original recipe is for a Pear Crumble, which uses canned pear spears as well as the juice from the can.  Since I used fresh fruit, the fruit juice is missing from this recipe, although I really do not think it affected the quality (it’s still delicious!).  I also added the plums after I mixed the blueberries with the sugar and cinnamon mixture; feel free to add the plums at this point, as well (Step 3), so they get wrapped in cinnamon-sugar goodness, too!  Additionally, I substituted turbinado sugar for granulated sugar and butter for margarine.

Bar None: Rhubarb-Apple Delight

Everything’s coming up rhubarb.  Recipes on Chow, in the latest issue of Bon Appetit, and on the Serious Eats foodie blog.   It’s easy to rationalize why; besides it’s undeniably sweet taste and versatility, the fruit’s packed with nutrition.  Rhubarb contains lindleyin, a phytoestrogen shown to aid stomach and menstrual concerns, and it’s a powerhouse for calcium and potassium.  It may even inhibit the growth of cancer cells, thanks to the compound emodin.  It’s been awhile since I posted a dessert on CC&T, so I decided to play along and jump on the rhubarb bandwagon.

It turns out I may have been too playful with this recipe for Rhubarb Bars.  Baking is both an art and a science; a certain, distinct formula of ingredients create a visual harmony of consistency, taste, and texture.  While this recipe may not be the most beautiful, I feel it finished strong in both taste and texture.  Sweet, crunchy, tart and moist, this Rhubarb-Apple Delight is a promise that summer is right around the corner. Continue reading