Pear Dutch Baby Pancake

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This morning’s breakfast: pears fresh from the tree by the kitchen, caramelized in butter. Fresh lemon and honey squeezed over top while still hot.

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Pickled Peppers

 

It’s the time of year to pickle everything – saving this season’s abundance for future seasons. We have a ton of hot peppers right now – jalapenos, fish peppers, habaneros, and a couple others. Pickling is the least dangerous way to deal with them without having to get your hands spicy. Just pack a jar full of peppers, adding a few cloves of garlic, and top off with a vinegar watered down to your liking, plus salt. Since the overall quantity of jars of peppers is still low compared to other harvests for salsa, sauce, etc, I don’t bother to can them – just keep them in the fridge. My favorite pickles retain most of the crispness of the raw vegetable, are sour, salty, garlicky, and spicy. Green beans are perfect for this. I don’t usually care for sweet pickles, but I did include some fruit in one of the pickled pepper jars. Apple slices, grapes, beets, ginger, and carrots accompany the hot peppers. I love the fruity-spicy-gingery combination, plus the color. The peppers are starting to soften up, but the apples are still very crisp.

I must repeat a flavorful hot sauce that I made this week, which is already eaten up! It’s half roasted garlic, a quarter roasted tomatoes, and a quarter roasted jalapenos & fish peppers, blended in a food processor with rice wine vinegar, salt, and oregano.

I’m enjoying picking the occasional pear to snack on, but the tree looms heavy with fruit to be processed soon. More pear tarts, sauce, cider, salads, dried chips, & perhaps wine.

Late Summer Treats

 

We’ve been gathering fruity riches this month: apples, grapes, pears, oh my! It is a very prosperous fruit year. Melons, jalapenos and fish peppers, as well as green beans, are also doing well this year.

Here we have some of the treats I’ve made this August: green tomato & cheese Dutch baby, strawberry-pear cobbler, and apple cake with a sweet hummus frosting.

For the Dutch baby, I sliced green tomatoes and placed them in the cast iron skilled with butter & oregano to pre-cook in a 415 F oven for 5 minutes. I added chunks of mozzarella to the egg/milk/flour batter and poured it over the tomato/butter skillet and quickly returned to the oven for 20 minutes. Squeeze a fresh lemon wedge over the pancake before serving.

For the cobbler, I pressed a shortbread crust into the bottom of a pan, topped with a mixture of strawberry chunks, thinly sliced pears, & sugar, and then crumbled some shortbread on top, streusel-style. Baked in a 375 F oven til firm.

For the apple cake, I diced our homegrown apples and mixed them into a VGF cake batter with buckwheat flour, cinnamon, fresh ginger, nutmeg, a pinch of cloves, a splash of apple cider vinegar, oil, sugar, molasses, and baking powder. While it baked for a good 35 minutes at 350 F, I made the frosting in our powerful new food processor. Chickpeas (cooked soft or from a can), tahini, vanilla, applesauce, and confectioners’ sugar, blended until ultra-smooth. Once the cake cooled, I spread the sweet hummus on top, then sprinkled with cinnamon & fresh apple slices. Some folks are unsure about the “sweet hummus” at first, but are sold at first taste – no garlic of course! It tastes reminiscent of halva, a sweet tahini treat.