Savor The Earth

eat tastier, eat greener, eat cheaper

Be Fruitful and Popsicle April 18, 2010

Filed under: blueberries,dessert,easy,locavore,sunset valley farmers market,thrift — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 7:05 pm

why yes, I did run out of time to put the sticks in

Spying an incredible deal at the SFC Farmers Market at Sunset Valley this past Saturday,  I snatched up eight baskets of locally-grown, chemical -free strawberries for only $2 a pint from Flint Rock Hill.  These fraises were priced to move and had to be processed very soon.  I remembered that big bag of organic blueberries from Costco still hogging up freezer space (I don’t think my cooking/eating style suits warehouse shopping).  And on a couple of recent warm-day walks home from school with the kindergartner, I recalled our refreshing Cantaloupe Popsicles that we enjoyed all season long last year, rewards for the brutal 20 minute Death Valley trek home.  So, popsicles it be!

I loosely followed my cantaloupe popsicle recipe, without the benefit of lemons or limes, replacing the Amaretto with Frangelico, adding Texas orange zest and playing around with varying proportions of strawberries to blueberries.  Local honey is a must!

We’re well stocked with frozen novelties for now.  Even on a cool spring day like today, a cold fruity treat revives the family.

 

blueberry chutney July 21, 2009

Filed under: blueberries,Indian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 12:15 pm
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I can’t think of a snappy title this time.  But here’s a great chutney that shows off Texas ingredients in season right now.  Our local  farmers markets are offering plenty of organic options for onions, garlic and blueberries.  And those Texas pears!  If you steer clear of these rather rustic fruits on account of their tough hides or occasionally granular insides, I urge you to give ’em a try.  Let them ripen up to a yielding texture–they may still feel surprisingly firm–and peel that thick skin off.  These pears can be really luscious, and may even surprise your palate with a hint of walnut!  This recipe is very customizable.  It’s like a choose your own texture adventure.

BLUEBERRY CHUTNEY

  • 2 1/2 to 3 Tablespoons oil–organic virgin coconut is good.  Whole Foods brand is usually the best buy.  Most nut oils and any neutral oil would be fine.
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds.  If you have only yellow, that will do.
  • 1″ piece of cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 whole dried red chiles–crush them if you want the heat.
  • 2 small or 1 medium-ish onion,  sliced thin or chopped medium fine, you decide.  Choose your color, too.  Mix it up if you want.  Pairing a red and a sweet yellow worked great for me.
  • 1 large clove of garlic, prepped as you please.  From whole or whole smashed to pressed or any form in between.
  • a pecan shell-size finger of ginger, preferably organic and domestic.  You can fine shred, microplane or mince this.  By the way, I almost never peel ginger.  Don’t tell anyone.  On second thought, tell everybody!
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium-sized Texas pear (about 5 ounces), hard or ripe, peeled, cored and diced medium or fine or shredded thick or thin.
  • 1/2 cup organic raisins–I love the Central Market Bulk raisins.
  • 1/4-1/3 cup organic apple cider vinegar
  • 80 grams (about 3/8 cup plus a scant teaspoon) turbinado sugar
  • 1 pint organic Texas blueberries–about $4 still at our farmers markets and Central Market–rinsed and drained.  Don’t bother to dry them.

Heat your oil and whole spices in 10″ to 12″ skillet on medium high heat.  Let the spices toast and the mustard seeds pop. Add the onions.  Stir and cook the onions to brown them nicely.  Adjust the heat as necessaryStir in your garlic and lightly brown it if you like.  Stir in the ginger.  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium-low to medium heat about 20 minutes,  until the chutney has thickened well and the blueberries are as popped as you please.  Add a dash of water if it’s thickening up too soon.  Don’t eat the whole spices if you can help it!

You’ll love the royal hue of this sweet condiment.  Eat it with the usual kebabs and pilafs or try some on a tangy cheese.  Enjoy the Texas bounty!

 

cornmeal cakes tripled and berried July 7, 2009

Filed under: blueberries,cake — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 5:00 pm
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“BLUEBERRY CORNMEAL CAKE TRIPTYCH”

I’ve been goin’ at it with my Logan’s Turnpike Mill stoneground Georgia cornmeal and our organic Texas blueberries (still showing up in the local markets for around $4 per pint).   We enjoyed these three cakes recently (yes, we go through cake pretty fast around here).  If you gotta mind to you can enhance the cake of your choice with a little lemon zest or lemon oil added with the butter.  And if you really want to trip out try blue or even red cornmeal (make sure the grind’s not too coarse).

Here’s a terrific pound cake, with or without blueberries.


Cake and fireworks---can't be beat!

BLUEBERRY CORNMEAL POUND CAKE

  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, preferably organic, softened
  • 38 grams cornmeal
  • 181.5 grams (1 1/2 cups) organic all-purpose flour
  • 125 grams (5/8 cup) sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • up to 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 151 grams (7/8 cup) sour cream, homemade yogurt 1/2-n-1/2 is fine
  • 42 grams (2 Tablespoons) honey, preferably local
  • scant Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, preferably local
  • 1/2 pint fresh blueberries, preferably local and organic, rinsed and dried well

Preheat oven to 350º and grease and flour (I like Spectrum baking spray) a 6-cup Bundt® style tube pan.  I use a Turk’s head pan.

Combine dry ingredients (cornmeal through salt) in a bowl with a whisk.  Lightly beat eggs with vanilla and about a third of the sour cream.  Mix the remaining sour cream with the honey.

Combine butter and dry ingredients in a mixer bowl (a stand mixer works best for this).  Add sour cream with honey and mix on medium speed with the paddle for 90 seconds.  Scrape down sides of bowl and add the egg mixture in three parts, beating for 20 seconds  after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl each time.

Fill the pan halfway with batter.  Gently stir blueberries into the remaining batter and finish filling the pan.  Bake for about 35 minutes, until cake tests done.  If the top seems to be overbrowning you can lightly lay a piece of foil on the top or  turn the oven down to 325º.

Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes.  Loosen sides by gently jostling pan and turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

A light lemon glaze is nice but not essential.  Combine 1 Tablespoon lemon juice with 6 or more Tablespoons powdered sugar to make a drizzly drizzle.  Pour over cooled cake.


This next cake is good as a 1 or 2 layer cake with super buttery frosting or as a single layer served with tartened whipped cream (1 cup heavy cream and 1/3 cup sour cream whooped together til softly peaking), fresh blueberries and local honey.


BROWN SUGAR CORNMEAL CAKE makes 1  9″ round layer

  • 3 ounces (6 Tablespoons) organic butter, softened
  • 155 grams (3/4 cup) organic light brown sugar–Central Market Organics is usually the best buy
  • 1 1/2 eggs–75 grams or 4 1/2 Tablespoons–preferably local
  • 121 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour, preferably organic
  • 2 ounces (about a rounded 1/2 cup) cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup yogurt or buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350º and grease and flour a 9″ X 2″ round cake pan.  For a surefire smooth move at unmolding time lay a circle of waxed paper on the bottom of the pan before greasing and flouring or spraying with baking spray.

Cream butter and sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in eggs.  Whisk together dry ingredients.  Stir vanilla into yogurt.  Add dry ingredients to butter in three parts alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat well and brieflybetween additions and don’t forget to scrape the mixing bowl.

Fill your pan, jiggling it to level batter, and bake about 20-25 minutes, until cake tests done.  Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes before loosening the sides with a metal spatula and inverting onto a cooling rack.  Reinvert if that’s your style. Let cake cool completely if you’re gonna frost it.  Otherwise eat it warm.  Go ahead.


Almost a cross between the first two cakes, this tall, rich layer is downright decadent without being fancy.  Dense with butter (nearly unctuous with Organic Valley Pasture butter), it’s irresistible when warm.  The blueberries actually help cut the richness.  So eat another piece before I eat it all!

that's rich!

RICH BLUEBERRY CORNMEAL CAKE makes one 9″ round cake

  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) organic butter, softened
  • 83 grams (about 7/8 cup) organic whole wheat pastry flour
  • 35 grams (about 1/4 cup ) cornmeal
  • 83 grams (about 1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons) organic all-purpose flour
  • 200 grams (1 cup) organic sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • a little freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt–slightly less if using Pasture butter
  • 160 grams (2/3 cup) homemade 1/2-n-1/2 yogurt or sour cream (light is fine.  This cake is rich enough.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs, preferably local
  • up to 1/2 pint fresh blueberries, preferably local and organic, rinsed and dried well

Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease and flour a 9″ X 3″ round pan.  Lining  the bottom with a round of waxed paper is a good idea here.

Combine dry ingredients, through salt, in a bowl with a whisk.  Stir about 3 Tablespoons (don’t bother to measure) yogurt or sour cream and extracts into the eggs.  Combine flour mixture, butter, and remaining yogurt in a mixer bowl and beat on medium speed for 90 seconds.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Add egg mixture to batter in three parts, beating for 20 seconds after each addition and scraping the bowl in between.

Pour two-thirds of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle  the blueberries evenly over the batter.  Top with the remaining batter and the sprinkle with the blueberries.  Bake for 35 minutes or so until cake tests done.  Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes before loosening the sides and unmolding. Let cool as long as you can stand it.