Category Archives: Fruit

The Antidote to Pumpkin Pie: Cranberry Linzer Tart

Move over cranberry sauce. Make way for cranberry Linzer tart.
Move over cranberry sauce. Make way for cranberry Linzer tart.

Anyone who knows me well knows that pumpkin pie just isn’t my jam on Thanksgiving Day.

But “Cranberry Linzer Tart,” which actually has a jam-like filling most certainly is.

Over the years, I’ve become partial to cranberry desserts for the big holiday. With their vivid color, the berries add an especially festive look. And after a groaning meal, their wonderful tartness refreshes and resets the palate like nothing else.

This recipe is from the archives of Bon Appetit magazine. It was created by food writer Claire Saffitz, author of the cookbook, “Dessert Person” (Clarkson Potter, 2020), and a former contributing editor at the magazine.

A toasty, nutty crumbly double-crust full of warm spices nestles a jammy filling.
A toasty, nutty crumbly double-crust full of warm spices nestles a jammy filling.

As far as pies and tarts go, this one is fairly easy to do. Best yet, you can make not only the dough and filling ahead of time — always a plus when time is short during the holidays — but the entire tart can be baked the day before, then served at room temperature or reheated in the oven for serving.

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A Visit to Gold Ridge Organic Farms

Asian pear apples grown at Gold Ridge Farms. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)
Asian pear apples grown at Gold Ridge Farms. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Farmer Brooke Hazen knows every tree planted on his 88 acres in the rolling hills of Sebastopol. Not in the “Hi! How are you?” kind of way, he jokes. But in the truest sense of nurtured familiarity, having planted each and every one of them with the help of only one assistant.

He started his Gold Ridge Organic Farms in 2001 to create an edible wonderland. He’s more than succeeded, growing 13,000 olive trees of Spanish, Italian and French cultivars; 12,000 apple trees of 75 different varieties, including rare heirlooms; and a smattering of citrus, including Blood Oranges and Mandarin-Kumquats. All are grown organically, too.

You may very well know his apples already from his branded bags of Heirloom Apple Blend that are sold at Northern California Whole Foods. These treasure bags can contain such unusual antique varieties as Pitmaster Pineapple that actually tastes like pineapple, and Strawberry Parfait that — yes — tastes like strawberry. Indeed, Gold Ridge is one of the largest heirloom apple growers in California.

Farmer Brooke Hazen. (Photo by Dawn Heumann)
Farmer Brooke Hazen. (Photo by Dawn Heumann)

This month, you can get the opportunity to visit this wonderful farm for the first time.

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Sponsored Post: Honeycrisp Apple Cake With Rosemary

Welcome fall with this apple-licious treat.
Welcome fall with this apple-licious treat.

Fall means sweater-weather, new TV programs to binge, leaves turning a kaleidoscope of colors, and all things absolutely apple.

Indeed, few things beat biting into a fresh, sweet-tart, crunchy-as-can-be apple.

But apple cake just might.

So when samples of just-picked Honeybear Honeycrisp arrived on my porch, I eagerly set some aside to bake into fragrant, moist “Apple Cake with Rosemary.”

I am all about crackling-crisp apples. The ones that give when pressed gently with a thumb? They have no place in my life — or kitchen. With Honeybear Honeycrisp, there’s never a worry with that. Whether eaten out of hand or baked into a sweet treat, these apples live up to their name. They are delightfully crisp through and through, hold their shape well when cooked, and have a subtle honey note.

Now's the time to enjoy Honeybear Honeycrisp apples.
Now’s the time to enjoy Honeybear Honeycrisp apples.

Grown in Northern Washington alongside the Columbia River, and in the Midwest along the Mississippi River, these large, dappled apples are at peak season now through December. Load up on them at Safeway and Albertsons stores.

Then, turn up your oven and get ready to bake.

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Tasty For Kids, But Sure To Please Adults, Too!

Would you believe there's butternut squash in this ready-to-drink smoothie?
Would you believe there’s butternut squash in this ready-to-drink smoothie?

With their cheery, colorful designs featuring a cute, overall-clad cow on the bottles, Clover The Rainbow smoothies are clearly intended for kids.

But the worst kept secret is they are so delicious and satisfying that adults will surely be clamoring for them, too.

The new product by family-owned Clover Sonoma is all organic. It’s full of fruit. And psst, it also contains vegetables.

Just get a load of the three flavors: Blueberry Beet; Strawberry Carrot; and Strawberry Banana Butternut.

I had a chance to try samples recently of all three, which come in single-serve resealable bottles. Just keep refrigerated, and give it a good shake before enjoying.

Keep refrigerated until you're ready to refresh with one.
Keep refrigerated until you’re ready to refresh with one.

All three flavors are creamy, thick, and not overly sweet. Honestly, if you didn’t see the veggies listed predominantly on the front, you might not know they are there, as these smoothies are definitely fruit-forward tasting.

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The All-Natural Red Velvety Strawberry Cake

A most unique red velvet cake.
A most unique red velvet cake.

Admittedly, the hoopla over red velvet cake has always left me perplexed.

Sure, the dramatic color captures your fancy — for a hot second.

Then, as quickly, reality tells you that’s all due to red food coloring. At which point, I say, “Pass me a wedge of all-real devil’s food cake instead.”

“Red Velvety Strawberry Cake,” though, sparked a far different reaction.

It had me all in from the get-go.

Nope, no artificial anything in this stunning cake. No food coloring whatsoever — only an entire bottle of red wine.

And if that doesn’t grab you, I don’t know what will.

Now, that my friends, is a cake.
Now, that my friends, is a cake.

To be fair, this cake doesn’t possess that vivid maroon you expect from red velvet. Instead, the wine, which first gets reduced before being added into the batter, adds the merest bit of rosiness to the dark chocolate-colored cake. The wine (I used a Pinot Noir) also adds a touch of acidity to balance out all the sweetness.

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