Wednesday, June 30, 2010

street fairs & iced tea

After a monotonous week, Saturdays are always highly anticipated. There's so many possibilities - especially in the summer - and yet many times I find that I waste the day. This past Saturday I started early and went to a local street fair. I love outdoor shopping, and that combined with the abundance of people and music made it a great event. My friend and I decided to check out a cafe that neither of us had ever been to, called the Rolling Pin Cafe. The decor alone was adorable, but their delicious sandwiches and homemade iced teas have me dying to go back.

[ I'm now on a hunt for these adorable glasses]

Sunday, June 27, 2010

blackberry crumb heaven

I love making pies, especially in the summer when there's tons of fresh fruit available. Last summer I experimented with which fruits worked the best, and discovered that blackberries create a thick and sweet, not to mention delicious pie. Instead of using a top layer of crust to contain the berries, I sprinkle a brown sugar crumb topping over the pie instead.

Here's the recipe!

- 4 cups fresh blackberries
- 1/2 c white sugar
- 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch pie crust (for this pie I used frozen pillsbury dough, I didn't have enough time)
- for crumb topping: 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup all-purpose flour, and 1/2 c butter diced (combine these until the topping is crumbly)

- combine 3 cups of the berries with the sugar and flour and cook in a saucepan until berries have slightly reduced
- spread the cooked berries over the bottom of the pie crust and pour remaining fresh berries on top.
- sprinkle crumb topping over the berries and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then reduce temp to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the Father's Day tart that never was

Father's Day is, oddly enough, one of my favorite holidays. Yes, I love my dad, but that's not why. Father's Day represents the beginning of the summer. School's finally out, it's hot enough to use the pool, and it's the first big bbq of the season. This year, I decided that I would bake a soft chocolate and blueberry tart for a bit of a fancier dessert than the usual cherry pie and ice cream. Everything was going according to plan, when the oven broke.

Of course things only go wrong when you need them the most. The finished (but still unbaked) tart shell sat in the freezer while the oven struggled to preheat past 200 degrees. Finally at 8 o'clock, after my family had left, it started working. I finished the rest of the tart and popped it back into the oven.

This tart comes out perfectly each time, soft and decadent with just a little tartness from the blueberries. And the short bread crust could honestly be eaten alone, it's that good.

You can find the unaltered version of the recipe here!