This time of year, everything seems to be heart-shaped. From candies to baked goods and every sort of decorative item. ‘Tis the season, I suppose. Unfortunately, so many of these heart-shaped and Valentine’s Day themed projects, crafts, and recipes involve detailed steps and specialty supplies that I don’t have any use for until February 14th arrives again next year.
I prefer to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a much simpler, rustic manner. That rustic sensibility makes this method for creating a heart-shaped cake one of my favorite ways to make something delicious for my Valentines. With standard baking pans and a knife, you’ll have a beautifully shaped heart cake in moments.
The technique is amazingly simple and based much more on simple geometry than any special baking skills. By dividing a round cake in half and joining it with a square-shaped cake turned on the diagonal, a heart is created. It’s simple and extraordinary all in the same motion. You’ll feel like a baking genius when the finished cake is presented in its perfect heart shape without anyone but you knowing the secret of its construction.
I like to use my cake recipe from our Chocolate Malt Cupcakes as the base for this cake. It has a moist, dense crumb and a delicious flavor. The malt flavor is subtle and pairs wonderfully with the chocolate. It will be delicious frosted with our malted buttercream frosting, strawberry buttercream, or your favorite traditional buttercream. I hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as we do year after year!
1. Using your favorite cake recipe, bake one square cake and one round cake. They should be similar in size, but can be trimmed before frosting if necessary.
2. Once the cakes are completely cool, use a sharp knife to divide the round cake in half. I like to use a serrated knife to make a clean cut without creating too many crumbs.
3. Turn the square cake on the diagonal to represent a diamond. Place one half of the round cake on each of the top two sides of the diamond. Trim the cake if necessary to create the heart shape.
Frost and decorate the heart-shaped cake as you wish and marvel at your creation!
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/02/a-heart-shaped-cake/
Valentine’s Day usually comes and goes in a flash. This year, it falls on a Saturday during a three-day weekend here at 1840 Farm. That seems like the perfect excuse to dust off all of our favorite Valentine’s Day recipes and enjoy each and every one of them before the holiday has passed us by. For my Valentine, only chocolate will do. Now I just have to decide which of our favorite recipes to bake!
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/02/valentines-day-favorites-at-1840-farm/
During the busy holiday season, I find myself looking for recipes that are simple to prepare for our family table. I find that this time of year is all about finding time to spend together and creating holiday memories that will last a lifetime.
While I may be short on time during the last month of the year, I still want to serve something full of comfort, flavor, and nourishment to my family. Creating a dish using pantry and refrigerator staples makes that a much simpler task. It also allows me to spend more time with my family whether we’re gathered at the dinner table or finding ways to celebrate the season together.
When Mezzetta invited me to share a recipe using their products with the members of The 1840 Farm Community, I was thrilled. We love their products and keep a supply of them in our pantry all year long. I love to add them to recipes or serve them as part of our afternoon cheese course.
Warm Chickpea Salad is just that type of dish. It is delicious, full of flavor, and simple to prepare. It can be served as a main course with pita bread or chips and a green salad or as a side dish paired perfectly with grilled meats or a burger. This warm salad is also perfect for entertaining and serving with appetizers or a cheese course. When entertaining, I prepare a double batch and serve the remaining kalamata olives and Giardiniera to accompany the other nibbles we’ve prepared for our guests.
These ingredients work so well together that you can adjust the quantities to suit your taste or make use of what you happen to have on hand. I love the combination of the earthy chickpeas and hummus with the briny kalamata olives, smoky sweet roasted bell peppers, and the brightness of the crunchy cauliflower, carrots, and celery from the Giardiniera. Together, they combine to make a delicious dish that my family is happy to see during the holiday season and beyond!
If you’d like to try Mezzetta products, then you’ll want to be sure to enter Mezzetta’s Daily Holiday Gift Basket Giveaway is going on now. They’re generously giving away a fabulous prize package each day during the month of December. To enter, visit Mezzetta and share one of your favorite holiday memories. Each day a winner will be selected at random. Prizes will be shipped within 2 weeks.
This recipe can be made using canned chickpeas or dried chickpeas that have been fully cooked. When using dried chickpeas, I like to cook them in the oven. Bring a large pot of water to boil in an oven safe pot with a lid. Boil the water on the stove top for five minutes before covering and transferring to a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven. Allow the chickpeas to cook until tender. The length of cooking time will vary slightly due to oven temperature and the age of the dried beans. I check the chickpeas after 60, 90, and 120 minutes, removing them from the oven when they are nearly tender. I allow the covered pot to sit on the stove top and cool to room temperature before using in any recipe that calls for chickpeas.
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced (or ½ teaspoon dried)
2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Mezzetta Roasted Bell Pepper halves, diced
12 Mezzetta Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives, halved
2 Tablespoons hummus
¼ cup Mezzetta Italian Mix Giardiniera, cut into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
balsamic glaze to garnish
warm pita bread
Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, swirling to coat the bottom surface of the pan. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, approximately one minute. Add the chickpeas and cook for until warm, stirring to prevent sticking, approximately 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers, olives, and hummus, stirring to warm the hummus and coat all of the ingredients.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the Giardiniera and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic glaze and serve with toasted triangles of pita bread.
Mezzetta is offering a downloadable $.50 off coupon on any Mezzetta products. The coupon is located here and is available from December 1st through December 31st.
This recipe was sponsored by Mezzetta. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share one of our favorite brands with our readers. 1840 Farm abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. Compensation received from sponsors will not influence the topics or posts made on this blog. Sponsored posts will be clearly labeled as such. Product reviews will include our honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. Samples of the products that I review are sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to use the product and evaluate its performance. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/12/warm-chickpea-salad/
For years, I have heard from professional and home cooks about the wonders of the Vitamix. Chefs extol its virtues in their professional kitchens. Home cooks like myself are just as taken with its abilities. From their accounts, it seemed that there wasn’t anything that the Vitamix couldn’t handle.
Several weeks ago, our sponsor JL Hufford sent me a Vitamix Pro 750 to test in our 1840 Farmhouse kitchen. Finally, I would be able to form my own opinion about the Vitamix. From the moment I began to unpack the unit from its box, I was taken with the sturdy construction. This is a very solidly constructed piece of equipment.
Once I had unpacked the Vitamix, it was time to put it to work in our kitchen. First up was one of my son’s favorite beverages, our homemade take on the Orange Julius. We’ve been making this recipe for years in our standard blender. Unfortunately, we have never been able to achieve that frothy, smooth texture that we hoped for using our blender. No matter how long we blended the ingredients, it just didn’t become a homogeneous mixture.
So, we gathered the ingredients, placed them in the Vitamix container, and selected the smoothie setting. We turned on the power and watched as the ingredients were effortlessly transformed into that frothy, silky consistency that we had tried so hard to achieve in the past. After pouring the mixture from the container, I added warm water and a touch of dish soap, returned the container to the base, and powered it on using the cleaning setting. In moments, the unit was clean, needing only a quick rinse with fresh water to remove the soapy solution.
During that first week, we used the Vitamix Pro 750 to blend many other smoothies, soups, and liquids. We made a recipe of our Smoky Chili Puree to flavor a batch of Black Bean Chili. In seconds, the tomatoes and chilies in the container were pureed and smooth. It was clear that liquids were no match for the VItamix.
Now that we had established the ability of the Vitamix to handle smoothies, sauces, and soups, it was time to move on to processing items that weren’t liquid based. First up was a batch of pizza dough. I would have never thought of making pizza dough in this machine before reading the extensive 350 page cookbook that was included in the package. The Vitamix effortlessly transformed the ingredients into a smooth ball of pizza dough.
After pizza dough, I set out to make a family favorite using the Vitamix. It was time to make a Gooey Butter Cake. The Vitamix powered through the buttery crust without any trouble. Next up was the gooey mixture of cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. I’ve made this recipe dozens of times, but both my stand mixer and food processor fail to create a completely smooth mixture. No matter how long I allow the butter and cream cheese to come to room temperature, no matter how long I blend or process the ingredients, lumps are still present.
After placing the ingredients in the Vitamix container, I processed it on setting 3. After the blade had stopped, I removed the lid to inspect the mixture. It was completely velvety and smooth. There wasn’t a single lump in sight. The Vitamix had done what my blender, stand mixer, and food processor had failed to do. It was official: I was now a member of the contingent of cooks who believe that the Vitamix can handle anything. This machine had passed the1840 Farmhouse test with flying colors.
I am very grateful that JL Hufford allowed me to put the Vitamix Pro 750 to the test. It passed every challenge I gave it and earned my resounding seal of approval. I’m even more grateful that they’re offering a special 10% savings on this amazing machine to the members of our 1840 Farm Community! This is a limited time offer, so don’t delay. If you’ve been dreaming of adding a Vitamix to your kitchen’s arsenal or giving one as a gift, this is an amazing opportunity to save.
Visit JL Hufford and enter the coupon code “skyhigh10″ to save 10% on your purchase of the Vitamix Pro 750 until 12/14/14. I hope that you’ll take advantage of this amazing savings and then you’ll share with me what delicious dishes you’re making using your new Vitamix. Until then, here are the recipes that we tested with our Vitamix. Enjoy!
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/12/vitamixpro750/
If you’ve been following this blog for very long, you know how much I love pie. I was fortunate to grow up with a Grandmother who loved to bake pie. She loved to serve me and the other members of our family one of her pies. Now I find myself making homemade pies for my family and our friends.
I don’t have my Grandmother’s recipe. In fact, I doubt that she had a recipe that was written down on paper. She cooked and baked by feel, adding a bit of this or a bit of that. She had been honing her skills for decades, recipes were no longer necessary by the time I was sitting in the kitchen watching her work her magic.
Pie was one of the first dishes that I taught myself to make. I wanted so badly to master that flaky, delicious crust that my Grandmother had seemed to make so effortlessly. I tried in vain, turning out pies that had tough, chewy dough where I had hoped that the light, flaky crust would be.
With each pie, my skills improved. Along the way, I picked up a few tricks that have helped me to make flaky, light pie crusts without fail. It seemed only fair for me to share a few of those tips with you. I hope that you’ll find them helpful and that you’ll be enjoying a delicious homemade pie with your family this holiday season.
I love to make pie. I have written several times about the reasons why I enjoy making and eating homemade pie. I shared them last year during The Daily Meal and Kikkoman's Tradition Exchange. In fact, I truly enjoy writing pie recipes and incorporating my memories of my Grandmother and the pies that were always…
I adore fresh pie. I love to make it as much as I love to enjoy a slice with my family. One bite of a freshly baked berry pie and I am magically transformed to a time and place deeply imbedded in my childhood. I simply can’t eat a slice of berry pie without thinking…
I love to make homemade pies from scratch. It's a family tradition that started with my paternal grandmother. She was a gifted pie baker and enjoyed making pies in her tiny kitchen. More importantly, she wanted to share those pies with the people she loved. I was lucky enough to be one of those people. …
When fall arrives at our house, baked goods turn to pumpkin in every form from pumpkin pie to pumpkin bars with dark chocolate chips. This recipe leans more toward the old-fashioned end of the spectrum, but the cream cheese filling elevates it to a family favorite at our house.
If you’re looking for a Thanksgiving dessert that can be made ahead, this is a beautiful and delicious alternative to pumpkin pie. I love pie, but a slice of this delicious cake is almost impossible to turn down!
Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling
When rolling this cake (or any other), I like to use a powdered sugar dusted tea towel and a rolling pin wrapped in a small piece of parchment paper. I find that the tea towel helps to retain some of the moisture as the cake cools and also prevents the cooling cake from sticking to itself. Using a rolling pin in the center helps to prevent the cake from breaking as it is formed into the rolled shape.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position baking rack in the middle of the oven. Line a sheet pan or jelly roll pan with a Silpat liner or parchment paper. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and sea salt. Set aside.
In large bowl, whisk the eggs and both sugars until well combined. Add vanilla extract and pumpkin puree and stir until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and fold until just combined.
Pour the smooth batter into the prepared baking sheet. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter until it is evenly distributed in the pan. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven.
Bake the cake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only crumbs attached. Remove the cake from oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle a clean tea towel with powdered sugar to help prevent sticking. Carefully turn the cake onto the tea towel and allow to cool another ten minutes. Place a rolling pin on top of the cake and gently roll the cake around the pin in the towel. Alow to cool completely.
As the cake cools, prepare the cream cheese filling. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Set aside until the cake is completely cool.
Carefully unroll the cooled cake and spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the cake. Using the towel, gently roll the cake. Wrap the roll in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator at least one hour. Slice and serve sprinkled with powdered sugar if desired.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/11/pumpkin-cake-roll-with-cream-cheese-filling/
Of all the dishes that make an annual appearance on our Thanksgiving table, this is the hands down favorite. Everyone clamors for this dressing as soon as it exits the oven. As it bakes, the farmhouse is infused with the intoxicating aroma of toasting bread, celery, and savory spices. It’s no wonder we all love this comforting, hearty side dish so much.
I like to prepare our dressing in an oversized, deep-dish cast iron skillet or Dutch Oven. It allows me to prepare the entire dish in a single pan, saving me the trouble of washing extra dishes on a day when dirty dishes seem to multiply at an alarming rate. The cast iron also creates the most delicious and beautiful caramelized layer on the bread cubes that are on the bottom and sides of the pan.
If you don’t have a cast iron skillet large enough to hold the dressing, you can use an oven ready skillet or casserole dish brushed with a bit of butter to prevent sticking. You can also cut this recipe in half in order to fit it comfortably in a standard 10 inch cast iron skillet.
I love to use a few loaves of our favorite 1840 Farmhouse Brioche bread for this stuffing, but two standard sized loaves of any type of bread can be substituted. I have tested the recipe using loaves of stuffing bread from our local grocery store with very good results. While the homemade bread was a bit more flavorful and rustic, both versions were delicious and beautiful.
No matter the loaf of bread you use or type of vessel you choose to bake the dressing in, the end result will be comforting and delicious. Our family’s favorite dressing is sure to please the diners gathered around your Thanksgiving table.
1840 Farm Cast Iron Skillet Thanksgiving Dressing
This recipe was adapted from Artichoke, Sausage, and Parmesan Stuffing which appeared in the November 2002 issue of Bon Appétit Magazine. As soon as I read the ingredients, I knew that I had to try it!
makes 8 side dish servings
2 pounds bread (1840 Farmhouse Brioche)
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
2 large onions, chopped
1 leek (white and light green parts only), sliced and washed to remove grit
1 cup chopped celery stalks and leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
1 Tablespoon fresh sage
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
2 cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup chicken broth (more as needed)
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the bread by slicing the loaves into 1 inch thick slices before dividing each slice into 1 inch cubes. Place the cubes in a single layer on two large baking sheets. Transfer the bread cubes to the warm oven and toast for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The goal is to dry and toast the cubes without drying them to the point that they resemble croutons. Remove the toasted cubes from the oven and allow them to cool. If desired, the bread cubes can be toasted the day before and kept at room temperature until needed.
Heat your large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the pan and cook, using a large spoon or fork to break the sausage into bite-sized pieces. This will allow the sausage to be evenly distributed in the finished dish.
When the sausage is no longer pink, add the onions, washed leeks, and celery to the pan. Incorporating the celery leaves will add a boost of celery flavor to the dish as the leaves have a more concentrated flavor than the stalks. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the celery begins to soften and the onions become translucent.
Prepare the aromatics as the sausage and onion mixture sautés. Mince the garlic with the rosemary and sage before adding them to the pan along with the fennel seeds and drained artichoke hearts. Cook until warmed through, stirring to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, and broth, stirring to combine. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and add more broth to moisten if necessary. Transfer the entire mixture to the cast iron pan or your chosen baking dish. Top with remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese. Cover the pan with a piece of buttered aluminum foil, placing the buttered side down on the surface of the dressing.
Place the pan in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
I am always looking for a recipe that offers me a new way to prepare our fresh eggs to serve at our family table. If that new recipe also includes heirloom tomatoes, all the better. I happened upon this recipe in a copy of Martha Stewart Living from June 2011. The technique was so simple…
As a student in the Intermediate Herbal Course offered by The Herbal Academy of New England, I have spent a lot of time reading about the use of herbs to boost natural immunity and support good health. One of the preparations that continued to appear in my search results was Golden Milk. I was intrigued by its color and interesting components. I couldn’t wait to give it a try.
Each recipe I that read seemed to include turmeric and some form of milk, but that is where the similarities ended. There was a wealth of different recipes for golden milk, each with a slightly different base of ingredients to draw upon for flavor. The more I read, the more I discovered that there were as many different ways to create golden milk as there were people who loved to incorporate it into their daily diets.
A few constants seems to remain true throughout the recipes. They each used some form of milk for a base and incorporated a source of healthy fat to enrich the flavor. Each one contained turmeric which contributed the beautiful golden color the drink was named for. Luckily, I had a bag of Flavor of the Earth’s Organic Turmeric that I couldn’t wait to use sitting right in the farmhouse kitchen. I just had to decide what other ingredients I wanted to work into the recipe.
I was drawn to a recipe from The Nourished Kitchen which also included ginger and ghee. I loved the idea of adding a buttery element to the recipe. I had a supply of candied ginger slices in the refrigerator, which seemed like a wonderful way to incorporate the gingery zing that I love with a touch of sweetness. I had a copy of The Nourished Kitchen’s cookbook that I received to review, so I was also eager to try one of Jennifer McGruther’s recipes for myself.
I tried several different versions of this recipe before deciding that this one was my clear favorite. The rich flavor of the ghee and bright note of the candied ginger really enriched the herbal notes from the turmeric. Together, it was the perfect blend of flavors paired with a beautiful color and intoxicating aroma.
I have found this drink to be a wonderful way to warm up on a brisk fall day. The aroma and taste are so rich and luscious that I find myself coming back for more. With the long New England winter fast approaching, I’m certain to be reaching for this drink often.
Golden Milk with Turmeric, Ginger, and Ghee
This recipe is quite simple to prepare once you have created the base ingredients. I like to use turmeric paste rather than dry turmeric as I find that it is much easier to fully incorporate into the milk. The ghee adds a delightful buttery flavor that I love. I keep a steady supply of candied ginger slices in our refrigerator, so they were an easy choice for adding ginger to the mix.
Each of these components can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. If you prefer, you could substitute dry turmeric powder, freshly grated ginger with a touch of honey, and a teaspoon of either butter of coconut oil. I use cow milk when preparing this recipe, but you can substitute whatever kind of milk you have on hand. Feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your taste buds.
Prepare a batch of turmeric paste by combining 1/4 cup turmeric powder and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir (using a spoon that you don’t mind turning a lovely yellow color from the turmeric) until the turmeric is fully incorporated into the water. As the mixture warms, it will become a lovely thick paste similar in consistency to natural nut butter. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.
Prepare the ghee by placing one stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. I use organic, grass-fed butter when available, but you can prepare the ghee using whatever kind of butter you typically use in your kitchen. Melt the butter and continue to cook, stirring occasionally as the butter solids begin to separate and a foamy layer forms on the top of the mixture. The butter will make a popping sound as it cooks which signals that the solids are separating. The sound will subside when the ghee is finished cooking. Using a spoon, you can part the foamy layer to inspect the butter below. It should be golden-yellow and clear.. The butter is now clarified. Remove the pan from the heat to cool for 15 minutes.
Once the ghee has cooled, you can either strain it through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove the butter solids or carefully remove the solids from the top using a spoon. The ghee can be stored in the refrigerator for use in any dish that calls for butter. Ghee has a much higher smoking point than butter and a more intense flavor. You’ll find that it adds amazing flavor to any recipe that calls for butter.
Now, we’re ready to make the golden milk. You can either prepare it much as you would a cup of hot chocolate by placing all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally until the milk warms to the desired temperature. Or, you can place the ingredients in the bottom of a mug, and add steamed milk to the mug, stirring to incorporate the ingredients. Either way, the turmeric, ghee, and ginger will infuse their flavor into the milk as it is heated and the end results will be aromatic and delicious.
I prefer the version made with steamed milk, which I prepare in the following manner. Combine 1 teaspoon of the turmeric paste, 1 teaspoon ghee, and a few slices of the candied ginger in the bottom of a mug. I like to muddle the ginger slices a bit with the end of the handle of a wooden spoon in order to release more of the ginger flavor before adding the steamed milk. Slowly add warm, steamed milk to the mug, stirring gently. Taste and add a drizzle of the ginger simple syrup or honey to sweeten if desired. Enjoy!
I first became aware of The Nourished Kitchen and its author Jennifer McGruther through their blog. As a student in the Intermediate Herbal Course offered by The Herbal Academy of New England, I was searching for a few new recipes to try. One of the first I discovered was a recipe for Golden Milk that…
I first made brioche bread about a dozen years ago. I made it out of necessity. I loved the taste and texture of brioche bread, but didn’t have a local bakery that turned out those lovely golden loaves. While Standard Baking Co. in Portland, Maine creates fantastic brioche, driving two hours for bread (no matter how delicious) seemed a bit extreme.
So, I went to the farmhouse kitchen armed with one of my favorite cookbooks: Baking with Julia. I read the detailed recipe and followed its instructions to the letter. It was a somewhat disarming undertaking giving the precision of the directions. I pressed on, inspired by the promise of creating my own brioche loaves right here in our farmhouse.
Traditional brioche is baked from dough enriched by fresh eggs and butter. Each addition must be perfectly timed before advancing to the next step. If these steps are rushed, the dough will break apart, forming several small clumps that will resist coming back together into one congruous ball of dough. Yet care must be taken not to over mix the dough as too much mixing can ruin the airy texture that makes brioche so wonderful.
Once the eggs have been successfully integrated into the dough, butter must be added in much the same way. It is added a bit at a time, allowing the butter to fully blend with the dough. This process can take thirty minutes or more. All of this kneading puts a heavy toll on a stand mixer. As the dough is kneaded, the mixer must be monitored to ensure that it does not overheat or, worse yet, burn out completely. Kneading this dough for such a long time is a herculean task for a residential kitchen’s mixer.
My first few batches of brioche were made with great success. They were delicious in every way and a big hit with my family. It seemed that I had conquered this dough and learned how to make loaves of delicious brioche bread. I delighted in the knowledge that we would have brioche whenever we wanted without the need for a two hour road trip.
I continued to mix up batches of brioche dough regularly. I heeded the warning within the recipe. I took care to judiciously pace the half hour of mixing, stopping if the mixer seemed to be approaching the point of overheating or causing damage to the motor.
And then, one day as I was finishing a batch of dough, the motor ground to an abrupt halt. It cried uncle and refused to do anything other than emit a high pitched grinding noise when I turned the motor on. My mixer had seen its last batch of brioche dough. I was afraid that I might have also seen mine.
I tried in vain to repair the mixer’s worn gear to no avail. Next, I did what any serious baker would do. I started saving for a new mixer. When the day finally came that Mr. 1840 Farm treated me to the wonderful surprise of a replacement mixer, I couldn’t wait to make a batch of brioche bread.
I was a bit hesitant. I worried that working my beloved dough would put my latest mixer in jeopardy. My fear of a repeat performance led me to wonder if I might be able to simplify the brioche recipe to require less precision from me and less muscle from my mixer’s motor.
I tried several times to simplify the recipe by consolidating steps and simplifying the recipe without sacrificing the flavor and texture of the traditional brioche that I love so much. Most of the loaves were edible, but did not resemble brioche at all. A few of the loaves were painfully dense and decidedly inedible.
While I am fairly confident in my baking abilities, I began to wonder if it was time to give up. Thankfully, I didn’t. Instead, I decided to abandon most of what I knew about the techniques that I had used to create traditional brioche. I focused on the dough itself. I set out to create a heavily enriched dough that would yield a baked loaf with brioche’s hallmark golden, papery thin crust and rich, airy texture.
Gradually, I made minor changes to the proportions of the ingredients and the method I used to create the dough. Several batches later, the loaves were exactly as I had hoped. The crust was golden and flaky and surrounded an interior that was light and punctuated with the rich flavor of eggs and butter.
My mixer had survived this bread experiment and so had I. Better yet, my family had delicious brioche bread to enjoy that was everything we hoped it would be. To celebrate, I did what any dedicated bread baker would do: I started working on a new recipe. I’m hoping to develop a brioche recipe that will incorporate our freshly milled whole wheat flour. Don’t worry; I’ll share that recipe with you as soon as I finish testing it!
1840 Farmhouse Brioche Makes two loaves
I find that adding Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer helps to extend the shelf life of my homemade loaves by several days, but if you don’t have it on hand, you can omit it from the recipe. The resulting loaf will still be delicious, but the texture will be slightly more dense and the shelf life will be several days shorter. You can learn more about the dough enhancer on my recipe for our Farmhouse Country Loaf.
12 ounces (1 ¾ cup) warm water
21 grams (1 Tablespoon) honey
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon Dough Enhancer
840 grams (7 cups) All-purpose flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, grated
If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough. Whisk the warm water and honey in the bowl of a large stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the liquid. Allow the yeast to rest as you prepare the remaining ingredients.
In a medium bowl, combine the salt, dough enhancer (if using), and flour. Grate the butter and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth.
Add the eggs to the bowl with the warm water and honey. Whisk until combined. Mount the bowl on the mixer’s base and attach the dough hook. Add the dry ingredients all in one addition before turning the mixer’s motor on low speed.
Mix for a few minutes, until the dough begins to take shape. The dough will appear to be slightly dry. With the motor running, begin adding the grated butter a bit at a time, allowing the butter to be incorporated into the dough before adding more. Continue this process until all of the butter has been added.
Stop the mixer and asses the dough. It should be shiny and moist, but not excessively sticky. The ball of dough should be smooth and elastic. If it is too sticky, simply start the mixer and gradually add up to ½ cup of All-purpose flour to the dough. Take care not to add too much flour as it will yield a finished loaf that is too dry.
Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl to rise in a dough proofer or a warm, draft free location. Allow the dough to rise until it has nearly doubled in size. Using my dough proofer set at 82 degrees, this takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
Once the dough has nearly doubled in size, divide it into two equal sections. Form each section into a loaf and place in a buttered or oiled loaf pan. Be sure to oil the top rim of the loaf pan as this dough has a tendency to rise well above the top of the pan. Oiling the top rim of the pan will make releasing the baked loaf from the pan much easier.
Transfer the two loaves back to the proofing chamber or warm, draft free location for rising. Allow the loaves to rise until they have reached a height of more than one inch above the top edge of the loaf pans. Using my dough proofer, this takes about one 60 – 90 minutes.
As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, this is a great time to put it to use. I like to use stones when baking bread in order to deliver even heat to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes. I find that my loaves bake more evenly when I have the stones in the oven during preheating and baking.
Once the loaves have risen sufficiently and the oven has reached the proper temperature, transfer the loaves to the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning near the halfway mark to ensure even browning. When the loaves are fully baked, they will be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove the baked loaves from their pans to a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely before slicing or storing.
I first made a version of this recipe back in the 1990s. In March of 1995, a recipe for Oatmeal Bread from Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont appeared in Gourmet Magazine. Gourmet was my source for culinary inspiration and I decided immediately after seeing this recipe that I would give it a try.…
For the past several years, I have been making refrigerator dill pickles using the cucumbers we harvest fresh from our garden. Making those simple, fresh pickles is a great way of pickling cucumbers without needing to spend hours standing over the canning pot. In minutes, I can prepare several mason jars full of cucumber pickles that will be enjoyed by the whole family.
I do make several batches of pickles each summer that are canned for long term pantry storage. With luck and little planning, those water bath processed jars of pickles last us well into the winter. They’re delicious and we enjoy every last bite. Yet, there’s something altogether wonderful about a pickle that can be made in minutes, kept cold in the refrigerator, and eaten fresh during the season when heirloom vegetables are so plentiful in our garden.
Once I mastered the refrigerator cucumber pickles, I started experimenting with other fresh garden produce. These dilly beans are now just as beloved at 1840 Farm as the cucumber variety. Because these quick pickled green beans will be consumed within days instead of months, the vegetables require no cooking and stay crisp and brightly colored.
Much like the cucumber pickles we look forward to each summer, these dilly beans are quick and easy to put together. Simply prepare the brining liquid as you prep the fresh green beans. Once the beans have been trimmed to remove the ends and sized to fit in the mason jars, simply fill the jars with the brine. Within hours, the beans will be infused with the flavor of dill and vinegar. By the next day, they will be dilly bean perfection.
I keep several wide mouth canning jars full of refrigerator dilly beans in our refrigerator. As one jar is emptied, I simply prep enough fresh green beans to refill the jar, add the beans to the brining liquid, and return the jar to the refrigerator I use plastic canning lids and write the day that the fresh beans were added using a dry erase marker. That way, I always know which jar been brined the longest and can serve those dilly beans first.
I find myself making more refrigerator dilly beans and refrigerator dill pickles almost every other day during the summer. They are both irresistibly fresh and vibrant in color and flavor. We can’t seem to get enough of them. Rest assured, I will be planting more cucumbers and green beans in our garden next summer!
If you’re interested in expanding your garden, visit our sponsor and join the Seeds of the Month Club. Every month, you’ll receive non-GMO seeds to add to your garden just like we do. Better yet, you can save 25% off the price of a membership by clicking on the “join now” button.
1840 Farm Refrigerator Dilly Beans makes two wide mouth pint jars
Because these dilly beans are refrigerated instead of prepared for long term storage, the recipe can be adjusted to your preference. If you prefer a sweeter dilly bean, more sugar can be added. If you like your pickled beans with more zing, reduce the sugar to intensify the flavor of the vinegar. If you like a little heat, a small dried pepper could be placed in each jar before adding the trimmed green beans. I reuse the brining liquid several times during the course of a few weeks before making a fresh batch and starting the process all over again.
12 ounces white vinegar
4 ½ Tablespoons pickling salt
3/4 cup (144 grams) sugar
12 whole black peppercorns
4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 bunch fresh dill
fresh green beans, washed and drained
Prepare the brining liquid by combining the white vinegar, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Simmer gently over medium heat until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Gather two pint sized glass jars with lids. I prefer to use wide mouth jars as they are easier to fill, but any clean jar will do. To each jar, add 6 whole peppercorns, 2 clove of peeled and quartered garlic, and 1 generous handful of dill.
Trim the ends from the green beans before placing vertically in the prepared jars. Trim longer beans as necessary to fit in the jar. Continue to add trimmed beans until the jar is full.
Once the brining liquid has cooled to room temperature, pour approximately half of the liquid into each jar. Cover and swirl slightly to disperse the spices.
Refrigerate the beans until ready to use. These dilly beans must be refrigerated. They are not intended for long term pantry storage.
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Most strawberry jam recipes call for adding pectin in order to properly gel the jam. Strawberries have very little pectin, so a source of pectin must be added. I prefer to use the natural pectin in an apple rather than add commercially produced powdered pectin. I find that an apple adds plenty of pectin along with a touch of tangy flavor that offers a nice counterpoint to the sweet earthiness of the fresh strawberries.
The grated apple softens as the jam cooks, releasing its pectin and becoming nearly unrecognizable in the finished jam. The apple peel should be removed before canning the finished jam. At our house, the apple peel coated in rich strawberry jam is a delicacy. It’s like the best fruit leather on earth and is happily devoured by the whole family!
1 ½ pounds strawberries, washed, stemmed, and cut into small pieces
2 cups (384 grams) granulated sugar
1 medium apple, prepared as directed below
Juice of ½ lemon (approximately 2 Tablespoons)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Place several plates or large spoons in the freezer for use in gel test. If you are planning to can the jam, ready your canning pot, jars, lids, rings, and canning equipment. I like to use 4 or 8 ounce canning jars when processing this jam.
Using a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the apple in long strips. Core and quarter the apple. Use a grater to grate the apple quarters. Add the grated apple and apple peel to a large non-reactive pot with the strawberries and sugar. Stir gently to combine and place the pot on a burner over medium heat.
Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to boil for 15 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent the sugars from burning. Using a slotted spoon, remove the strawberry pieces from the pot and transfer to a medium bowl. Removing the strawberries will help them to maintain a firmer texture in the final jam.
Continue to boil the liquid in the pot for another 15 minutes. Return the reserved berries to the pot and add the lemon juice. Stir to combine and continue to boil gently for another 15 minutes or until the mixture passes the gel test when allowed to cool on the chilled plates or spoons set aside in the freezer.
While the gel test may sound like a daunting scientific experiment, it is actually a simple, visual method for determining if your jam has reached the ideal consistency. This test will allow you to measure the finished consistency of your jam. If the mixture is too loose, it can be boiled further to allow a bit more of the liquid to evaporate. If the mixture has boiled too long and is slightly too thick, a small bit of liquid can be added to loosen the mixture before canning.
Performing the gel test involves placing a bit of the hot jam on a plate or large spoon that has been chilled in the freezer. When the mixture has been allowed to cool, the consistency can be accurately gauged. When cool, the jam should form a cohesive mixture, forming a wrinkle as it moves when pressed with your finger. If you run a finger through the small puddle of jam, it should split apart and then return to a cohesive puddle moments later.
Once the mixture has passed the gel test, remove the pot from the heat. Remove the apple peel and stir in the vanilla. Ladle hot jam into sterilized 4 or 8 ounce jars leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles from the side of the jar. Using a clean cloth, remove any residue from the rim of the jar. Place a lid on the jar and tighten with band. Gently lower the filled jar into the boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars have been added to the pot. Place lid on canning pot. Return water to a boil.
Once the water has returned to a boil, process half-pint jars of jam for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the lid from pot. Allow the jars to rest in the water for at least five minutes. Carefully remove jars to a towel lined baking sheet. Allow jars to cool up to 24 hours before checking the seals and labeling the jars for storage. A properly sealed jar of strawberry jam can be stored and used for up to one year.
This recipe appeared in the June 2014 issue of From Scratch Magazine.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/06/strawberry-jam/
Earlier this week, the June issue of From Scratch Magazine was published. The issue is filled with great seasonal content including three of my favorite strawberry recipes. In its pages, you’ll find my recipe for Strawberry Jam, Oat Scones with Fresh Strawberries, and Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake. We have been enjoying the crumble cake all spring as our rhubarb is harvested fresh from the garden. You’ll find the recipe for the crumble below so that you can bake it for your friends and family.
When making my family’s favorite Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble, I used my favorite brand of cinnamon, Flavor of the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon. Unlike most of the cinnamon I find in the grocery store, this cinnamon powder is freshly ground from 100% real cinnamon bark. Flavor the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon has an amazing flavor and is a great source of Manganese, Fiber, Calcium and Iron.
I don’t want you to simply take my word for it that this cookbook and cinnamon are fantastic. Thanks to the book’s publisher, Sasquatch Books, you can win a copy of this beautiful cookbook and find inspiration to add whole grains and natural sweeteners to your family’s favorite recipes. Flavor of the Earth has also generously added a one pound bag of their Ceylon Cinnamon Powder to our giveaway. I wanted to join in the fun, so I added one of our 1840 Farm Vanilla Extract Kits. The winner of this giveaway will be ready to bake something amazing using this prize package!
You can enter by leaving a comment on this post sharing what you love to make using cinnamon and by liking a trio of Facebook pages. Don’t worry, if you already follow 1840 Farm on Facebook, you can simply confirm that status with a click of the button below and claim your entries. The contest closes on Thursday, June 12, 2014. Good luck to all who enter!
Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake makes 6-8 servings
This cake is the perfect way to enjoy the amazing flavor of fresh rhubarb and strawberries all year long. Long after the season has ended, I can prepare delicious recipes that highlight the delicious flavor of rhubarb and strawberries.
Rhubarb freezes incredibly well, so I stock the freezer with plenty of rhubarb to last all winter long in our favorite baking recipes. Each year, I harvest ripe stalks of rhubarb before washing and slicing into ½ inch pieces. I place them in a single layer on a small sheet pan in the freezer and leave them to freeze overnight. Once they are frozen solid, I transfer them to a freezer bag for long term storage.
While rhubarb freezes well, I prefer to utilize our homemade strawberry jam rather than freeze the strawberries. By using jam, I can control the amount of liquid in the recipe and create a fruit filling that has a beautiful appearance and consistency. When combined with the rhubarb, brown butter, and oats, the results are delicious.
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) rhubarb, cut into ½ inch slices
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (2 ounces) strawberry jam
1 ½ cups (180 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (80 grams) old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup (120 grams) brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (6 ounces) butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter an 8 inch springform pan. Set aside.
Wash and trim the rhubarb stalks. Slice each stalk into ½ inch pieces and place them in a medium bowl. Add the cornstarch and toss gently to coat the rhubarb.
Make the brown butter. In a small skillet, melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. After the butter melts, you will notice that the milk solids will begin to separate. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally to allow those solids to brown slightly. You will notice a slight change in color and aroma. Brown butter has a slightly nutty aroma which will signal that the solids have caramelized and that the brown butter has finished cooking. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and strawberry jam to the warm skillet. Stir gently to fully combine the ingredients before adding them to the bowl with the rhubarb. Stir to coat the rhubarb with the brown butter mixture. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, add the butter gradually. Add the vanilla extract and process until the mixture comes together and forms large clumps.
Transfer two thirds of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Press the mixture lightly to form a crust that completely covers the bottom the pan. Stir the rhubarb strawberry mixture and pour over the crust, spreading to cover evenly. Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture evenly on top of the fruit filling.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the crumble in the preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes until the topping has browned lightly and the fruit filling has thickened. Remove from the oven to cool. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
This recipe appeared in the June 2014 issue of From Scratch Magazine.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/06/rhubarb-and-strawberry-brown-butter-crumble-cake/