Crunchy Top Bananas

Remember this?

Topping:

2 Tbls brown sugar
2 Tbls melted butter
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Shredded Wheat biscuts, crumbled
2 large bananas

Combine topping ingredients.
Cut peeled bananas in half, then slice lengthwise.
Place in square baking pan.
Spoon topping over each banana slice.
Broil 1 – 2 minutes or until golden brown.

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Rustic Rhubarb Tarts

All text below from Smitten Kitchen, recipe adapted by SK from Good to the Grain.

The original recipe included a rhubarb hibiscus compote which I am sure would be wonderful, but I’m not so into the floral thing and quite into the rhubarb-vanilla bean combination, so I changed it. Because I’m the boss in my own kitchen. The original recipe also used 2 pounds of rhubarb. I discovered I’d only brought home 1 1/2 pounds of rhubarb, scaled the recipe down, then found that my tarts did best with less than the recommend amount of compote, 3 tablespoons instead of 4, which meant than I only needed 3/4 of the volume — brilliant! It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly and I am recommending the same below.

I bet you would also like to know, “Why corn flour?” Well, Kim Boyce says that she loves cornmeal but found that by combining it with corn flour she could get the full flavor and pretty color of cornmeal without the rough bite. It also makes for a wonderfully delicate crust, as it has no gluten in it, but by combining it with regular flour, you can get the structure you need. How about that!

1 cup corn flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher or coarse salt
1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1 batch Rhubarb Vanilla Compote (recipe below)

In a food processor: Combine the dry ingredients in the work bowl of your food processor. Add the butter and pulse in short bursts, until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add heavy cream and egg yolks and pulse until combined; it will look crumbly but it will become one mass when kneaded together.

In a stand mixer: Whisk the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, add the butter and turn the mixture speed to low (you’ll want to lock the top, so the mixture doesn’t fly about) and mix to break up the butter. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the butter is as coarse as cornmeal. Add the heavy cream and egg yolks and mix until combined. The dough will look crumbly but when pinched between your fingers, it will come together.

By hand: The butter can also be blended into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender, or you fingertips. The cream and egg yolks can be mixed into the butter mixture with a wooden spoon. You’ll likely want to turn the dough out onto a counter to gently knead it into one mass.

Shape the tarts: Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Lightly flour a work surface and using the heel of your hand, flatten the dough into a rough circle. Continue flattening until it is approximately 5 inches in diameter. Try to work quickly, so the dough doesn’t get too warm and soft, making it harder to handle. For more elegant edges, gently flatten the outer edge of the circle with your fingertips, making it thinner than the rest of the dough.

Spoon 3 tablespoons of the Rhubarb Vanilla Compote into the center of the dough. Fold the edge of the dough toward the compote and up, to create a ruffled edge; continue around the perimeter, letting the ruffles be their bad irregular selves. Slide a bench scraper or spatula under the tart and transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough. Freeze the tarts on their tray for at least 1 hour or up to 2 weeks, wrapped tightly in plastic.

Bake the tarts: Preheat over to 375°F. Bake tarts, still frozen, for about 35 minutes or until the edges of the tarts are brown and the rhubarb is bubbling and thick. Serve warm or at room temperature. The tarts keep in an airtight container (or not, as I forgot to wrap mine and they were still awesome the next day) for up to 2 days.

Rhubarb Vanilla Compote

1 1/2 pounds rhubarb stalks
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar (i.e. 15 tablespoons, if you want to drive yourself mad)
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Rinse the rhubarb stalks and trim the very ends. Cut them in half lengthwise (unless they’re very slim) and then on the diagonal into 3/4-inch chunks. Leaving the last 1 1/2 cups aside, put 3 cups of the rhubarb into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the brown sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pods and turn the heat to medium low. (You want to start at a low temperature to encourage the rhubarb to release its liquid. Unlike most compotes, this one adds no water.) Cook the rhubarb mixture, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is saucy. Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium, cooking an additional 15 to 17 minutes, or until the rhubarb is completely broken down and thick enough that a spoon leaves a trail at the bottom of the pan. Discard your vanilla bean pods and add remaining rhubarb chunks to the compote. Pour the compote out onto a large plate to cool.

Do ahead: This keeps for one week in the fridge. It can also be used to fill pies, crisps and cobblers.

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rustic rhubarb tarts was originally published on smittenkitchen.com

all content and photos © 2006 – 2009 smitten kitchen

Peach Cobblers

For the Filling
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 pounds peaches, halved, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and cut in half again crosswise (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For the Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk

  1. Make the filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Add peaches and lemon juice; toss to combine. Divide filling evenly among four 8-ounce custard cups (or one 2-quart baking dish); transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Make the topping and bake: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk; stir just until a dough forms. Drop dough onto peaches, using about 1/3 cup dough for each custard cup. Sprinkle dough with remaining teaspoon sugar. Bake until fruit is bubbling and biscuit topping is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes; serve warm.

Rustic Plum Tart

For the Crust
1 cup all purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface
1/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the Filling
1 1/2 pounds red plums, quartered, pitted, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 large egg yolk, mixed with 1 teaspoon water (egg wash)

Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt several times to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces remaining. Add 2 tablespoons ice water; pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed. (If needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Do not overmix.

Turn dough out onto a floured work surface; knead once or twice. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Flour a large (about 16 inches long) piece of parchment paper. Place dough on paper. Using your knuckles, press edges of dough so it doesn’t crack during rolling. Lightly flour top of dough to prevent sticking; roll out to a 14-inch round. Transfer dough (still on parchment) to prepared baking sheet.

Make the filling and bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together plums, sugar, and flour. Mound plum mixture in center of prepared crust, leaving a 2-inch border all around. Fold border over fruit in a pleated pattern. Brush dough with egg wash.

Bake tart until crust is brown and filling is bubbling (see note), about 45 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a rack; let cool 20 minutes. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Watermelon, Peach and Tomato Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is my favorite of Mark Bittman’s wonderful salads from his article in the NYT featuring 100 summer salads. I could eat this pretty much every day when in season. At times I’ve added mint leaves and some kind of mild tangy cheese (sheep, like ricotta salata) for a little extra substance and yum.

Watermelon, seeded and cut into bit sized chunks
Peaches, sliced
Tomatoes, sliced

Toss together with a light balsamic vinaigrette and a bit of coarse salt. Great on the patio in summer with a glass of white wine and some grilled chicken.