Category Archives: Fruit

Dorie Greenspan’s Chunky Lemon Cornmeal Cake (With Sumac)

Sumac and fresh lemons used two ways give this loaf cake a wonderful citrusy lift.
Sumac and fresh lemons used two ways give this loaf cake a wonderful citrusy lift.

At first glance, you might think this lovely lemon loaf cake also has poppy seeds.

But those tiny dark red specs are actually ground sumac berries.

Yes, the Middle Eastern spice that’s typically used in savory preparations goes for a sweet spin here instead.

And to great effect.

“Chunky Lemon Cornmeal Cake” is from the one and only Dorie Greenspan, the James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and baker extraordinaire. It’s from her latest cookbook, “Baking with Dorie” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021), of which I received a review copy.

Pick up a copy and no doubt you’ll be running to turn on the oven to bake temptations such as “Miso-Maple Loaf,” “Lemon Meringue Layer Cake,” “Lick-the-Pot Chocolate Pudding Pie,” and “Coffee Shortbread.”

With its tangy, floral, and citrusy notes, sumac is a natural for baking, so it’s a wonder that it’s not widely used that way already.

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Preserved Apple Cores — Yes, It’s A Thing

Roast chicken that gets marinated in not just preserved lemons, but preserved apple cores, too.
Roast chicken that gets marinated in not just preserved lemons, but preserved apple cores, too.

Admittedly, I love all things Danish — the timeless architecture, the clean-lined furniture, and the haunting murder-mystery thrillers.

And of course, the food.

So, when a review copy of “Nordic Family Kitchen” (Prestel, 2021) landed on my porch, I found myself beyond intrigued.

The book is by Mikkel Karstad, a Danish chef who cooked for years at world-renowned Noma in Copenhagen.

The book features 73 recipes that espouse Karstad’s eco-conscious sensibilities that prize foraged, home-grown and good-for-you ingredients in dishes such as “Seaweed Flatbread with Sea Salt, Herbs, Flowers, and Olive Oil,” “Elderflower Lemonade with Herbs,” “Pickled Chanterelles with Spruce, Apple, and Shallots,” and “Rhubarb and Marzipan Cake.”

All it takes is salt -- and time -- to make preserved apple cores.
All it takes is salt — and time — to make preserved apple cores.

Now, I’ve salt-preserved lemons for years. But apple cores?

That was a new one on me.

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Dining Outside at Pomet

Smoked Half Moon Bay black cod at Pomet.
Smoked Half Moon Bay black cod at Pomet.

Second-generation farmer Aomboon Deasy admits she never harbored fantasies about owning a restaurant.

After all, being a part of a family-run farm, K&J Orchards in Winters and Yuba City, was work enough. But when the owners of Homestead restaurant in Oakland — longtime buyers of the farm’s produce — approached her about taking over the space, she thought it over for a few weeks, then decided to dive in whole-heartedly.

“It was another challenge, another chapter,” she told me.

And one she obviously couldn’t resist.

The result is Pomet on Piedmont Avenue, which I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant to try last weekend. The cozy establishment takes its name from the Romanian word for “orchard,” a fitting choice for the farm, founded by her parents, whose pristine fruit can be found at farmers markets around the Bay Area, as well as incorporated into dishes at some of the region’s most respected restaurants.

Chef Alan Hsu and Proprietor Aomboon Deasy.
Chef Alan Hsu and Proprietor Aomboon Deasy.

Pomet represents farm-to-table cooking — beyond.

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Raspberry Amaretti Cookies With A Fun Surprise Center

Freeze-dried and fresh raspberries make these amaretti extra special.
Freeze-dried and fresh raspberries make these amaretti extra special.

Like the best Easter confections that tempt at this time of year, these cookies are adorable, colorful, and sport a surprise filling sure to delight.

What’s more, “Raspberry Amaretti Cookies” are also gluten-free.

Made with almond meal, egg whites, and sugar, its dough gets fruity tang and a smidge of pink from pulverized freeze-dried raspberries mixed in. And at the center of each cookie hides a single fresh raspberry that you don’t see until you take a bite.

This fun recipe is from “Nadiya Bakes” (Clarkson Potter, 2020), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Nadiya Hussain, the season 6 winner of “The Great British Baking Show.” The cookbook is a companion to her BBC and Netflix series of the same name.

The U.K.-based baker emphatically calls baking her true first love. This book includes both sweet and savory treats. Her recipes take influence from both her Bangladeshi heritage and her British upbringing in creations such as “Matcha and Kiwi Hurricane Roll,” “Scotch Creme Eggs,” “Rainbow Veg Pakora Picnic Pie,” and “Cherry Chelsea Buns.”

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Sponsored Post: Crunchy, Delicious Pazazz Apple Pickles

You'll wonder how you ever lived without these pickled apples topping a sandwich.
You’ll wonder how you ever lived without these pickled apples topping a sandwich.

Sure, back in the day, Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

But today’s more learned Peter Piper would surely pick a peck of pickled apples instead.

Especially in the form of these additive “Quick Bread-And-Butter Apple Pickles” that are made with Pazazz apples, that brilliantly ruby red variety with flashes of yellow-green, an arresting crunch, and a burst of sweet, tangy juiciness.

This snappy, late-season apple that’s descended from the popular Honeycrisp, is at its flavor peak now through June. Lucky for you, Pazazz apples are easy to find at Albertsons, Safeway, and Vons.

February is an especially appropriate time to indulge in them, too, because it’s National Cancer Prevention Month. Pazazz has partnered with the American Institute of Cancer Research to promote the benefits of a diet rich in foods high in fiber and antioxidants such as fresh apples that are thought to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

When enjoying apples, don’t toss the peel, a valuable prebiotic that induces the growth of good-for-you microorganisms to ensure a healthy gut.

Late-season Pazazz apples to enjoy now.
Late-season Pazazz apples to enjoy now.

Indeed, the flesh and peel star in this easy-as-it-gets pickled apple recipe. When I received a sample of Pazazz, I wouldn’t wait to highlight them in this genius recipe by Amy Traverso, food editor of Yankee Magazine.

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