Category Archive: Fresh Eggs at their Best

Raspberry Rhubarb Curd

Raspberry Rhubarb Curd SquareA few weeks ago, I shared my recipe for Creamy Lemon Curd.  It’s a staple here during the spring when we’re all craving the light, crisp flavor of fresh fruit months before our New England gardens will have anything ready to harvest. 

This is also the time of year that we begin evaluating what we have on hand from last year’s harvest.  It’s time to start using the last of the pantry and freezer’s stores of raspberries, rhubarb, and heirloom tomatoes.  Last year’s banner crops of raspberries and rhubarb gave us plenty to enjoy over the winter with enough to carry us right into this year’s harvest.

So, when I made fresh pound cake a few weeks ago, I wondered if I could create a raspberry rhubarb curd to serve with it.  I knew that I could make a delicious raspberry rhubarb simple syrup because we use one all summer long to flavor lemonade and cocktails.  I also knew that I had some of that very syrup in the refrigerator, saving me a step.

In a few minutes, I had a pot of that syrup bubbling along, thickening into a gorgeous smooth curd.  It was sweet with just the right hint of tartness.  It was a beautiful orchid purple color.

Since making this curd, it has become even more popular here at the farmhouse than our Creamy Lemon Curd.  We love to spoon it over slices of Old Fashioned Pound Cake, Daffodil Cake, or on our homemade Lemon Drop Cookies.  It’s as beautiful as it is delicious.  I hope that your family will enjoy it as much as we do!

Raspberry Rhubarb Curd
I keep a jar of fresh raspberry rhubarb syrup on hand in the refrigerator during the spring and summer. We use that beautiful syrup to flavor lemonades and cocktails. When I have plenty of the syrup on hand, I simply use 1 cup of that syrup to make this curd. If not, I make a fresh batch of syrup, using 1 cup to make curd and keeping the rest on hand in the refrigerator.
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For the Raspberry Rhubarb Syrup
  1. 10 ounces raspberries, fresh or frozen
  2. 6 ounces sliced rhubarb stalks, fresh or frozen
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 1 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
For the Curd
  1. 1 cup raspberry rhubarb syrup
  2. 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  3. 4 large eggs
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 2 sticks (16 Tablespoons) butter
For the Raspberry Rhubarb Syrup
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan placed over medium heat. Stir gently to combine the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  2. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth to remove the fruit and seeds. Press the fruit to release all of the liquid.
  4. Transfer the strained syrup to a container with a tight fitting lid. I like to store my homemade syrups in glass bottles with a pour spout for easy dispensing. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Curd
  1. Cut the butter into Tablespoon sized pieces, reserving 2 Tablespoons to be added to the curd after it is finished cooking.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the raspberry rhubarb syrup, lemon juice, eggs, and salt. Whisk gently to combine Place a medium saucepan over low heat. Add 14 Tablespoons of the butter to the pan. Once the butter melts, add the raspberry rhubarb syrup mixture and whisk to combine. Increase the heat slightly and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens. A perfectly thickened curd will be what the French would call “Nappe”.
  3. Nappe is a fancy term for the consistency a sauce reaches when it is thick enough to coat a dish without being too thick. Checking to see if a curd or custard is nappe is simple. Immerse a clean spoon into the mixture; remove the spoon, turning it so that the back of the spoon is facing you. Run a finger down the length of the spoon from the handle to the tip. If a clean path is created and the curd remains on both sides of the spoon, you have achieved nappe. If not, simply continue to cook the sauce while whisking until it thickens properly.
  4. Once the curd reaches nappe consistency, remove the pan from the heat. I like to strain my curd to into a large bowl to ensure that there are no lumps or bits of scrambled egg in the finished curd, but this step can be skipped. Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter, whisking to incorporate the butter into the curd as it melts.
  5. Transfer the finished curd to a large bowl or Mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Curd can be kept in the refrigerator for one week.
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Boston Cream Pie

BostonCreamPie at 1840 FarmBoston Cream Pie has always been one of my favorite desserts.  It’s difficult to beat the combination of a light sponge cake layered with vanilla pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache.  It wins on flavor and appearance in my book.

Sure, it isn’t really a pie in spite of its name.  As a pie lover, I could choose to hold that against this dessert.  Or, I could choose to love it more because it was made in a pie plate instead of a cake pan.  I’ll go with the second option because it doesn’t prevent me from loving Boston Cream Pie for any reason at all.

If you’re not familiar with the story behind Boston Cream Pie, here it is.  Once upon a time (around 1856), a chef by the name of Sanzian at Boston’s Parker House Hotel made a sponge cake layered with rum infused pastry cream, garnished with toasted almonds, and topped with chocolate fondant.  As was common practice at the time, he baked the cake in pie tins which were often used for cake baking.  The cake was called “Chocolate Cream Pie” and the name stuck.BostonCreamDrip

Years later, it came to be called Boston Cream Pie in a nod to its birthplace.  The Parker House became the Omni Parker House and the rest is culinary history of the most delicious kind.  In 1996, this dessert with a history became the official state dessert of Massachusetts.

No matter the reason this dessert was originally baked in pie tins, it is more common to find it baked in a cake pan these days.  Doing so creates a more symmetrical cake that can be sliced horizontally into layers for the finished dessert.  I like a challenge, so I prefer to use pie plates which create the rustic appearance of the homemade dessert that I love. 

In addition to using pie plates, I like to create three layers of cake rather than the customary two layers.  I find that the ratio of cake to pastry cream and ganache is just right when I create three thin layers of cake.  There’s also something decadent about a triple layer cake.

Once we moved to New England, it seemed fitting to master my own homemade version of Boston Cream Pie.  We even took a trip in to Boston to have a slice at the Omni Parker House just to experience it at the very place it was first created. 

Once we became chicken keepers and had a steady supply of the fresh eggs that give this cake and pastry cream such a rich flavor, my recipe really took shape. I have been making it the same way ever since.

You can call this dessert a pie or a cake, either is fine by me.  I’ll call it homemade and delicious and enjoy every last bite!

Boston Cream Pie
This recipe makes use of several foundation recipes and techniques. You’ll make a sponge cake with a meringue that is folded into the batter to deliver the most amazing texture. Then you’ll move on to make a beautiful pastry cream followed by the chocolate ganache. These three components can be used time and time again making a wide range of delicious dishes to share with your friends and family.
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For the Vanilla Sponge Cake
  1. 1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk
  2. ½ vanilla bean pod
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. ½ cup (96 grams) granulated sugar
  5. 200 grams (1 ¾ minus 1 Tablespoon) All-purpose flour
  6. 4 heaping Tablespoons cornstarch (36 grams)
  7. 1 cup (192 grams) granulated sugar
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  10. 3 ounces oil (I prefer a sunflower oil blend, but any neutral tasting oil will do)
  11. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  12. butter or coconut oil and sugar to prepare pie pans
For the Pastry Cream
  1. 12 ounces whole milk
  2. ½ vanilla bean pod
  3. 2 eggs
  4. pinch of salt
  5. ¼ cup (30 grams) All-purpose flour
  6. 6 Tablespoons (72 grams) granulated sugar
  7. 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Ganache
  1. 4 ounces heavy cream
  2. 4 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate
For the Vanilla Sponge Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Position the oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Prepare three pie pans by coating with butter or coconut oil and granulated sugar. Set aside as you prepare the cake batter.
  2. Place the cup of whole milk a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise using a sharp knife. Using the dull edge of the knife, scrape along the length of the inside of the pod to remove the thousands of beans inside. Transfer the beans and pod to the pot with the milk and place over low heat. The heat will help to infuse the flavor and aroma of the vanilla bean into the milk.
  3. Prepare a large mixing bowl and the beaters for your mixer by wiping with a paper towel lightly moistened with white vinegar. This will remove any trace of fat, allowing you to create a fluffy, beautiful meringue from the egg whites.
  4. Separate the three eggs, placing the whites in the prepared mixing bowl. Beat the egg whites on high speed until they become frothy. Continue beating while adding the ½ cup of granulated sugar one Tablespoon at a time. Beat until all of the sugar has been incorporated and the meringue has come to stiff peaks. You can test the meringue by removing the beater and holding it upright. If the peak of the meringue holds, it has come to stiff peaks and is ready to use.
  5. Remove the milk and vanilla bean from the heat to cool slightly. Remove the vanilla bean pod from the milk.Transfer the whipped egg white meringue to a small bowl and return the mixing bowl and beater to your mixer.
  6. Add the flour, cornstarch, 1 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder to the mixing bowl. Add the oil and half of the warm milk to the bowl. Mix slowly to combine. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract, mixing again on slow speed just to combine. Add the remaining milk to the bowl and beat slowly for approximately one minute until the batter is smooth and well combined.
  7. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a spatula, gently fold the reserved egg white meringue into the cake batter. Continue folding until the mixture is smooth and even.
  8. Transfer the batter to the prepared pie pans, dividing equally among them. Transfer the pie pans to the preheated oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. The cakes are done when the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean or with small crumbs attached.
  9. Remove the cakes from the oven to a wire rack to cool. When the pans are cool enough to handle, use an offset spatula to loosen the cakes from the pans. Turn each cake out on to the wire racks to cool completely.
For the Pastry Cream
  1. Place the whole milk in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise using a sharp knife. Using the dull edge of the knife, scrape along the length of the inside of the pod to remove the thousands of beans inside. Transfer the beans and pod to the pot with the milk and place over low heat.
  2. As the milk is warming, combine the eggs and dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. The resulting batter should be thick and smooth.
  3. Move the pan of milk from the burner. Remove the vanilla bean pod from the milk. Slowly add the egg mixture, whisking to incorporate the thick batter into the warm milk.
  4. Return the pan to medium low heat and bring to a simmer, whisking continuously until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove from the heat.
  5. Transfer the pastry cream from the pan (straining if necessary to remove lumps) to a bowl. Add the vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it firmly against the mixture to prevent a skin from forming as it cools. Refrigerate until the cake is ready to be assembled.
For the Chocolate Ganache
  1. Prepare the ganache by warming the heavy cream in a small pan or in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat source and add the chocolate. Allow the mixture to rest for two minutes before whisking to incorporate. When the cream and chocolate have become a satiny glaze, set the ganache aside to cool.
To Assemble the Boston Cream Pie
  1. Remove the pastry cream from the refrigerator. Whisk the mixture to ensure that it is completely smooth. Whisk the chocolate ganache.
  2. Place one of the cake layers on a large plate or platter. Transfer half of the pastry cream to the top of the cake. Using a spatula, spread the pastry cream to evenly cover the cake, leaving a narrow margin around the edge of the cake. Repeat this process with the second layer of cake and remaining pastry cream.
  3. Place the third cake layer on top. Transfer all of the chocolate ganache to the top of the cake. If the ganache is warm enough, it can be poured, if not, simply use a spatula to spread the ganache to fully cover the top of the cake. I like to completely cover the cake and allow a small bit of the ganache to drip over the edge. There’s just something inviting about seeing this cake with chocolate reaching down to the cake plate below.
  4. Transfer the fully assembled Boston Cream Pie to the refrigerator. The cake can be kept in the refrigerator for several days, although they never last that long here!
Notes
  1. This cake benefits from the use of cake flour. Due to food allergies, I struggled to find a brand of cake flour that was safe to use in our kitchen. Fortunately, I discovered that I could combine All-purpose flour and cornstarch to deliver the benefits of cake flour without adding allergens to our kitchen and one more specialty ingredient to our pantry. For each cup of cake flour called for in a recipe, simply weigh out one cup of All-purpose flour, remove 2 Tablespoons of the flour and add 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. Problem solved!
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1840 Farmhouse Kitchen Breakfast and Brunch Favorites

 

OvenPoachedEggWMJust in time for Mother’s Day, I have gathered together a collection of our favorite recipes to make for breakfast and brunch.  These recipes have been made time and time again in our Farmhouse Kitchen here at 1840 Farm. Now you can make them for your friends and family.  They’re sure to love them as much as mine do!

 

Click on any of the photos to view the recipe for each dish.

 

 

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Oven Poached Eggs with Hollandaise Style Sauce

Oven Poached Eggs CollageI love a perfectly poached egg.  The texture is unlike any other egg preparation, firm enough to hold together yet delicate and smooth as velvet.  The perfectly poached yolk is thick and fluid, imparting an earthy richness to anything it is served with.

Oven Poached Eggs at 1840 FarmI first came to know poached eggs watching Julia Child on PBS as a teenager.  She waxed poetic about the luscious taste of a poached egg.  I remember her talking specifically about fresh eggs versus store bought eggs.  She belabored the point that eggs from the grocery store were in her words “unpoachable” due to their age.  She then went on to demonstrate several methods for poaching an egg, turning out lovely oval shaped specimens that were cooked to perfection.

At that point in my life, I didn’t have access to eggs fresh from the coop, so I was determined to make do with the eggs we had in the refrigerator.  I tried and tried, learning firsthand that Julia (of course) was right.  Those store bought eggs simply didn’t have the ability to stay tightly together when plunged into the hot water.  The results were a shaggy and disappointing mess.

Years later, but long before I became a chicken keeper, we purchased fresh eggs at our local farmer’s market.  I did poach those eggs using Julia’s instructions to guide me.  They were delicious.  Unfortunately, the process was time consuming and my kitchen looked like a war zone once we were finished.  There was the poaching pot, the double boiler used to make the Hollandaise, and all the implements used to make one meal for two people. 

I was thrilled with the results, but left wishing that there was an easier way to poach eggs.  I tried several methods with differing results, but was left with the conclusion that I was happy enough with a perfectly fried egg to just serve those when I wanted that lovely runny egg yolk and softly cooked white.

Now that we are chicken keepers, I find myself always on the lookout for a new way to prepare the eggs we collect fresh from the coop.  The time had come for me to revisit the poached egg and find a simple, foolproof method for creating them for the whole family.Oven Poached Egg at 1840 Farm

I had read about oven poaching eggs but was skeptical about the process.  It seemed too easy, too simple.  Yet, I couldn’t wait to give it a try.  I loved the thought of being able to poach dozens of eggs at once.  If I could perfect the timing, poached eggs would be making a regular appearance at our farmhouse table.

It took a few attempts for me to pin down the timing of oven poached eggs.  Once I did, I couldn’t believe how simple they were to make.  Not only were the eggs beautiful and delicious, but the process was so easy and forgiving.

It’s egg season here right now.  Our heritage breed hens are producing an abundance of delicious fresh eggs.  With a steady supply of fresh eggs and the garden harvest so far away, these poached eggs are a simple and comforting homegrown meal that my family requests time and time again. They’re a regular feature on our breakfast, lunch, and dinner plates and always a welcome sight.

This method certainly isn’t Julia’s way of poaching eggs, but I don’t think that she’d mind me finding an easy way to serve perfectly poached eggs to my family.  In fact, I think that she’d approve wholeheartedly. 

Oven Poached Eggs with Hollandaise Style Sauce
I find that room temperature eggs work best in this preparation. I reach for the eggs in our egg basket on the kitchen counter when making them. Choosing eggs that are similar in size will result in evenly cooked eggs and make the process of timing much easier. I choose eggs that would be considered large in size (approximately 60 grams in weight). Eggs of smaller or larger sizes can certainly be poached by adjusting the baking time slightly.
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For the Poached Eggs
  1. Large Eggs, room temperature
  2. Standard Sized Muffin Pan
  3. water
For the Hollandaise Style Sauce (Makes enough for four eggs)
  1. 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  2. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  3. hot sauce to taste
  4. 1 Tablespoon warm water
  5. salt and pepper or chives to garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Gather a standard sized muffin pan and the number of eggs you would like to poach.
  2. Add one Tablespoon of water to each compartment of the muffin tin that will be used for poaching. Crack a large egg into each of the water filled compartments. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven.
  3. Bake the eggs for 14 – 16 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through that time. The whites should be softly set and the surface of the egg should remain glossy. Remove the pan from the oven.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove each poached egg from the pan. Serve with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, chives, or your favorite egg topping. I like to serve them with an easy hollandaise style sauce made by stirring together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and a few dashes of hot sauce. I add the warm water to loosen the sauce and spoon it over the poached eggs before garnishing with a bit of salt and pepper or chopped chives.
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French Toast Bread Pudding

French Toast Bread Pudding at 1840 FarmFrench Toast Bread Pudding with a cup of hot coffee is one of my favorite ways to begin our Sunday mornings here at 1840 Farm. It’s tough to beat a dish that tastes this delicious and can be put together the night before. Humble day old bread never had it so good.

This recipe combines the flavor of French Toast with the texture and ease of bread pudding. Every cube of bread soaks up the eggy custard, puffing up as it bakes, creating both soft and crunchy textures. This dish has everything: beauty, flavor, texture, and the assumption that you must have spent hours in the kitchen creating such a delicious, comforting dish. Knowing that you didn’t just might make it taste even better.

This recipe is delicious and great for a crowd. Because all of the prep work is done the night before, I can spend my time enjoying the family and friends gathered for breakfast or brunch the next morning. I love knowing that something so delicious is baking in the oven while I’m enjoying the coffee and company around our farmhouse table. As the intoxicating aroma fills the farmhouse, we all become eager to dig in and taste that first delicious bite.

While the ingredients in this recipe are simple, the results are amazing. Each bite of bread is filled with the rich flavor of fresh eggs and earthiness of vanilla. As it bakes in the oven, the caramel beneath the bread cubes becomes thick and luscious. This really is a recipe where the finished dish is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. Believe me, you’ll serve this once to your family and friends and they will keep coming back for more!

French Toast Bread Pudding
Serves 8
This recipe combines the flavor of French Toast with the texture and ease of bread pudding. Every cube of bread soaks up the eggy custard, puffing up as it bakes, creating both soft and crunchy textures. This dish has everything: beauty, flavor, texture, and the assumption that you must have spent hours in the kitchen creating such a delicious, comforting dish. Knowing that you didn’t just might make it taste even better.
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Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 large eggs
  2. 6 ounces half and half
  3. 6 ounces whole milk
  4. 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  5. 1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier
  6. 1 large French baguette
  7. 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, cubed
  8. 1 cup (192 grams) brown sugar
  9. 1 Tablespoon honey
  10. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, milk, vanilla extract, and Grand Marnier. Using a serrated knife, cut the bread into 1 inch cubes. Add the bread cubes to the egg mixture and stir gently with a spatula to coat each cube. Allow the bread to rest in the egg mixture as the caramel is prepared.
  2. In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, honey, and salt. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Remove the caramel from heat.
  3. Transfer the caramel to a large oven safe casserole dish (I use my lasagna pan). Spread the caramel to fully cover the bottom of the pan. Using a spatula, gently transfer the soaked bread cubes to the pan, distributing them to evenly fill the pan and cover the caramel. Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight.
  4. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pan from the refrigerator and place on a large baking sheet. When the oven has come up to temperature, place the pan in the oven and bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes. When the bread is perfectly baked, it will be puffed and golden on the edges.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, pour the coffee, and serve. I like to use a large spatula to remove a serving from the baking pan. By turning the spatula upside down to plate the bread pudding, the gooey caramel will be on top, making its way through the bread cubes to the plate below. It’s a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. Enjoy!
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Jewel Toned Easter Eggs

EggsEvery holiday has its own unique food traditions. Easter has many. Creating brightly colored eggs would be near the top of the list.

For a few years, we were unable to participate in this tradition due to a food allergy to eggs. Those egg free Easter celebrations were every bit as joyous and memorable. We made new egg free traditions.

Shortly after we had accepted that egg coloring would not be a part of our Easter celebration, we learned that the egg allergy had cleared. Chicks were ordered, a coop was built, and we entered the world of chicken keeping.

The following February, we collected our first fresh egg. A few weeks later, we had enough of them to make a batch of colored eggs. It wasn’t Easter, but we had plenty to celebrate, so we gathered in the farmhouse kitchen to make a batch of colored eggs together. Since then, we’ve been known to color a batch of eggs for reasons other than celebrating Easter. Why not? There’s no reason to relegate all the egg coloring fun to one holiday a year.

When we returned to coloring eggs for our family table, we decided to put our own spin on it, creating our own method for adding intense color to the shells. We have been making our own egg dye for a few years now. It is an easy process that yields incredibly colorful, beautiful eggs.Eggs

Our hens are all brown egg layers. We find that beginning the egg coloring process with brown shelled eggs results in a more deeply colored egg. Pastel colors are more difficult to achieve without a white eggshell. That’s fine with me. I love the look of these rich, jewel toned eggs on our Easter table.

Before we get started adding beautiful color to the shells of our freshly gathered eggs, they need to be cooked. I have tried every method and none of them work as well for me as steaming by following the steaming method from Fresh Eggs Daily. It is my preferred way to prepare hard-cooked eggs. It has never failed to produce beautifully cooked eggs that are easily removed from their shells.

Once our eggs have been steamed using this method, I like to cool in the ice bath for approximately ten minutes. After ten minutes, remove the eggs from the icy water and allow them to air dry on a clean kitchen towel. Once the eggs have dried, they can be dyed immediately or refrigerated overnight until you are ready to decorate them.

Spring2015_Post_FoodGather a collection of small bowls or coffee cups to hold the colored solution. In each cup or bowl, mix four to six ounces of warm water with a Tablespoon of vinegar and enough liquid or paste food coloring to achieve the desired color. More food coloring will create a deeper, darker colored egg. Make sure that you are using a cup or bowl that can hold your colored liquid along with an egg. A container that is too small will overflow when you add your egg and leave you with a very colorful mess to clean up.

Gently transfer an egg to each of the cups and allow them to rest fully submerged in the colored liquid. We usually set a kitchen timer and check the eggs in ten minute increments. When the eggs are colored to your liking, remove them to a paper towel and allow them to dry completely. Colored, dry eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for three days or until you are ready to use them.

 

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The WonderMix Kitchen Mixer GIVEAWAY and My Multigrain Brioche Bread Recipe

WonderMix Kitchen MixerWhen I was offered the opportunity to try out the new WonderMix Kitchen Mixer in our farmhouse kitchen, I was thrilled. I have been using the company’s WonderMill Electric Grain Mill for several years now.  No matter how many times I use it, I am always astounded at how simple it is to use and how quickly it transforms the organic wheat berries I purchase through my local food co-op into beautiful, freshly milled flour. I couldn’t wait to see their new WonderMix stand mixer and put it through its paces in our farmhouse kitchen.

When the WonderMix arrived, I was taken with its unique design. I loved its square base and covered mixing bowl, knowing that dry ingredients would remain inside the bowl when mixing rather than ending up on the countertop.   After carefully measuring my ingredients with my food scale for a recipe, it can be so frustrating to watch as dry ingredients are flung from a mixer’s bowl and deposited all over the countertop.

The mixing bowl is large, with a capacity of 5.5 quarts or 22 cups. I don’t have a single recipe in my arsenal that requires that much capacity, but I’m glad to know that I can easily mix a double batch of bread dough with room to spare. Not only does this mixer have a high-capacity mixing bowl, it has the motor strength to handle heavy doughs and mixtures. The WonderMix has an impressive 900 watt motor. To put that in perspective, my current stand mixer has a 325 watt motor. The WonderMix has the capacity and the power to handle even the most grueling tasks in my kitchen and yours. With its innovative dough hook and dough divider attachment combination, I knew right away that this was a bread baker’s dream machine.

The WonderMix offers two different sets of whisk type attachments available for the WonderMix. A whisk is often the ideal tool for a recipe, but whisking egg whites into a fluffy meringue is quite a different task than mixing a batch of buttercream or cookie dough. I often find with my other stand mixer that the dough paddle doesn’t adequately beat a batch of buttercream or cookie dough into the smooth, silky texture I desire while the whisk isn’t strong enough to handle the thicker mixture. Having two different pairs of whisk attachments means that I’ll always have one that is well suited for the task at hand.

The WonderMix boasts a wide assortment of other attachments and accessories. They offer a full function blender, slicer/shredder, and meat grinder attachments. If you are interested in working with grain, both a grain flaker and grain mill attachment are also available. This sturdy, powerful unit can do the work of a multitude of appliances. Its rectangular footprint also makes it much easier for me to easily store it in our kitchen.

The helpful owner’s manual that accompanied my WonderMix was filled with helpful instructions for using the machine along with more than 40 recipes. I turned immediately to the section of bread recipes and learned that this mixer promised to fully develop the gluten in a batch of bread dough in five minutes. I couldn’t wait to put that promise to the test.

I make several types of bread for our family. My favorite bread to bake and to eat is brioche. I enjoy brioche’s texture and rich flavor. IMultigrain Brioche loaves at 1840 Farm love to toast a slice of homemade brioche, knowing that the enriched dough will yield the lovely browned surface that I enjoy so much. My family enjoys it just as much as I do, so I make a batch of two loaves every week or so.

The prospect of making a traditional brioche can be daunting for the baker and taxing for the baker’s mixer. 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 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 typical residential kitchen mixer.

Over the years, I have worked to develop my own brioche recipe. It delivers the same delicious flavor and airy texture without requiring so much precision from the bread baker.

In the past few months, I attempted to adapt my recipe to incorporate some of our freshly milled whole wheat flour into the recipe. I didn’t have much luck. The loaves lacked the airy texture I love. No matter how I adjusted the recipe, the resulting loaves were too dense. It seemed that no matter how long I worked the dough using my mixer, I fell short of creating that lovely smooth characteristic that my Farmhouse Brioche always delivers.

I did finally determine that I could use my stand mixer to work the dough for several minutes and then knead the dough by hand for between 5 to 10 minutes in order to create a dough that was smooth and elastic enough to pass the windowpane test.

I had almost given up any hope of creating a multigrain brioche recipe that could be worked entirely by a mixer. Then the WonderMix arrived and I returned to the farmhouse kitchen, hopeful that this powerful machine would have the muscle I needed to fully develop the gluten and create a loaf that was exactly what I was looking for.

As the dough came together, I set my kitchen timer for five minutes. The WonderMix worked the dough without straining. When the timer sounded, I turned off the mixer and removed the dough. It was smooth and elastic, easily passing the windowpane test. The WonderMix had delivered on its promise to fully develop the gluten in five minutes.

I have made several batches of bread since then. Each batch has been just as beautiful and delicious. From now on, I will be using the WonderMix to make this multigrain brioche and all of our other homemade breads.

Now you can use this recipe to make your own loaves of multigrain brioche. You can also enter to win your very own WonderMix! One winner will be randomly selected on April 21, 2015. All subscribers to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and In Season Magazine will be automatically entered to win. You can earn additional entries through the widget below and increase your odds of winning this amazing mixer. Good luck to all who enter!

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1840 Farm Multigrain Brioche
Makes two loaves

12 ounces (1 ¾ cup) warm water
21 grams (1 Tablespoon) honey
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon Dough Enhancer (optional)
600 grams (5 cups) All-purpose flour
240 grams (2 cups) whole wheat 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 and dough divider. 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. Increase the speed of the mixer slightly and work the dough until it passes the windowpane test, approximately five to ten minutes.

If you are unfamiliar with the windowpane test, the technique is quite simple but incredibly helpful when making a loaf of bread.  This windowpane test will help you to determine if your dough has been kneaded sufficiently to yield a wonderful finished loaf.  By using this technique, you will be certain that your homemade bread dough will produce a beautiful loaf of bread.

Conducting the windowpane test is simple.  After you have kneaded the dough to the point when you think that it has been worked sufficiently, take a small ball of dough and stretch it between your fingers until it is thin and translucent, allowing light to pass through it (much like a window).  If the dough stretches without breaking, it has been kneaded long enough to develop the gluten and is ready to prepare for its rise.  If the dough breaks, continue kneading until it passes the test.

Once your dough passes the windowpane test, 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.

 Don’t miss my post about the best way to store fresh bread to learn how you should be storing your fresh loaf of bread.  You can also learn more about My Favorite Bread Baking Tools and Ingredients and share your own with me.

2015_Spring_Post_FOOD

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/the-wondermix-kitchen-mixer-giveaway-and-my-multigrain-brioche-bread-recipe/

1840 Farmhouse Brioche

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.

Photo Sep 28, 9 47 42 AMSo, 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 10336599_733865503347292_2681057661619279851_nhad 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.

Photo Aug 04, 9 19 31 AMI 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 have made this recipe using All-purpose flour, bread flour, or a combination of the two with equally good results.  I chose to list All-purpose flour in thee recipe as I know that is the most common type of flour kept in most kitchens.  I use what I have on hand, often using half of each type of flour.

12 ounces (1 ¾ cup) warm waterPhoto Aug 03, 9 32 44 PM
21 grams (1 Tablespoon) honey
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
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.

Photo Aug 03, 10 52 09 PMMix 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.10600412_733618986705277_6540797265334883724_n

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.

Don’t miss my post about the best way to store fresh bread to learn how you should be storing your fresh loaf of bread.

 


This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration.  I’ll be adding new recipes  right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

 

thanksgiving-gallery-ss


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/09/farmhouse-brioche/

Strawberry Puff Pancake

Strawberry Puff Pancake at 1840 FarmI have many fond memories of this dish from my childhood.  My mother made this recipe for countless holiday morning breakfasts.  It was always topped with fresh strawberries, sour cream, and a sprinkling of brown sugar.  It was always called Strawberry Puff Pancake.

The name made sense given that the dish was topped with strawberries and the batter puffed dramatically while it baked in the oven.  It seemed magical to me that you could pour a thin batter into the pie plate, slide it in the oven and watch as it transformed into an airy, delicate concoction.

For a chicken keeper, this is a delicious celebration of the fresh eggs that we collect from our heritage breed hens.  The resulting pancake is full of the fresh, rich flavor of fresh eggs.  The flavor is paired with the beautiful golden color of the yolks provided by hens that enjoy sunshine, fresh air, and plenty of fresh green grass and treats.

I know now that this dish bears a remarkable resemblance to the German Dutch Baby or Dutch Pancake.  No matter its name, the recipe is similar to a popover and yields a light, eggy, custard-like pancake that is delicious when topped with fresh fruit. While the combination of sour cream and brown sugar with the fresh strawberries may seem curious at first, I promise that it won’t disappoint.  We have tried topping this pancake with whipped cream and syrup, but this is our favorite trio of toppings.

This is a family favorite here at 1840 Farm and sure to become one around your family table.  I hope that you’ll enjoy it just as much as we do!

Strawberry Puff Pancake (German Dutch Baby)
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 Tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) butter
  2. 3 large eggs
  3. 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) whole milk
  4. 6 Tablespoons (72 grams) granulated sugar
  5. ¾ cup (90 grams) All-purpose flour
  6. ¼ teaspoon salt
For Serving
  1. strawberries
  2. brown sugar
  3. sour cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the butter in a glass pie pan, 9 inch cast iron skillet, or similarly sized casserole dish and transfer to the warm oven as you prepare the batter. I like to place the baking dish or skillet on top of a cookie sheet to catch any excess batter that might overflow the pan as it bakes.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs using a whisk until they are light and frothy. Add the milk and whisk until well combined. Add the sugar, flour, and salt and whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.
  3. Remove the warm baking dish from the oven. Pour the batter into the pan and return it to the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are puffed and lightly brown. When the pancake is fully baked, a sharp knife inserted into the middle of the pan will come out clean.
  4. Remove the pancake from the oven and serve topped with a sprinkling of brown sugar, fresh sliced strawberries, and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/04/strawberry-puff-pancake-recipe/

Broiled Cast Iron Skillet Eggs with Heirloom Tomatoes

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 and the photo so beautiful, that I couldn’t wait to try it.

The original recipe calls for using a nonstick skillet, but I prefer to prepare it in one of our seasoned cast iron skillets. I chose to use a locally produced smoked cheddar cheese and the heirloom tomatoes fresh from our raised bed  garden.  In a matter of minutes, this dish was ready to be served alongside a salad of fresh greens and a homemade flatbread.

The eggs were delicious.  They paired so well with the melted smoked cheddar and heirloom tomatoes that we couldn’t wait to enjoy them again.  Of course, we also couldn’t wait to try them with other types of cheese.  When heirloom tomato season ends, we’ll be experimenting with other flavor combinations.  Don’t worry, we’ll share our seasonal favorites right here with you!

Broiled Cast Iron Skillet Eggs with Heirloom Tomatoes
Inspired by Eggs Kevin from Martha Stewart Living, June 2011
Serves 2 as a main course

When preparing this dish for more than two people, I like to use two skillets.  You could use a single skillet, increasing the cooking time as needed to compensate for the slightly crowded pan.

1 Tablespoon butter
4 fresh eggs
salt and pepper
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced
fresh thyme
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup smoked cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  By preheating the oven, your broiler will be better able to properly finish the eggs in an incredibly short amount of time.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  When the pan is hot, add the butter, swirling to coat the surface of the bottom of the pan.  Crack the eggs into the skillet and season with salt and pepper.  Allow the eggs to cook for 1-2 minutes or until the whites are beginning to set.

Remove from the pan from the heat.  Evenly arrange the heirloom tomato slices in the pan.  Top with a sprinkling of fresh thyme and cover with the shredded cheddar.

Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven.  Turn on the broiler and broil until the whites are completely set and the yolks are done to your liking, approximately 1-2 minutes.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/broiled-cast-iron-skillet-eggs-with-heirloom-tomatoes/

Great Grandma’s Daffodil Cake

 

Great Grandma's Daffodil Cake at 1840 FarmAngel food cake was one of the first recipes that I taught myself to bake.  I was around twelve years old when I first separated a dozen eggs and followed the recipe in one of my mother’s cookbooks.  I marveled at the egg whites as they were transformed into a light and airy meringue and baked into a delicious angel food cake.

That was decades ago.  Now I find myself with my own daughter who is twelve years old.  We love to spend time in the kitchen baking and cooking together.  I also find myself as a chicken keeper with a supply of fresh eggs to use in our baking recipes.

It’s the chicken keeper in me that shies away from making traditional angel food cake.  My reason is simple:  I can’t bear the thought of having a dozen egg yolks that are purposely cast aside from a recipe. I make an exception when it comes to meringue cookies.  It’s no great feat to find a way to use the three egg yolks left behind.  Twelve egg yolks left from an angel food cake are quite another thing.

Luckily, I don’’t have to.  Earlier this year, my Mom shared my Great grandmother’s handwritten recipe for daffodil cake with me.  Instead of twelve eggs, it called for only six.  My great grandparents were farmers and chicken keepers.  Apparently they didn’t want to cast aside twelve egg yolks either.

Instead, they baked Daffodil Cake.  As soon as I read the recipe, I understood why.  The technique was altogether simple and brilliant.  This cake would allow me to celebrate the best of both the egg white and egg yolk in one delicious cake.

My daughter and I gathered in our farmhouse kitchen this spring to make our first daffodil cake.  I watched the look on her face as she whipped the egg whites into a beautifully made meringue.  We worked together until the cake preparation was complete.  She slid the cake into the oven, set the timer and we wondered aloud how the finished cake would look and taste.

I am happy to report that we loved both the taste and appearance of the daffodil cake.  The color of the egg yolk mixture was a strikingly beautiful yellow.  The texture was light and airy and the flavor was everything I love about an angel food cake and more.

The egg yolks added a delicious richness to the cake without compromising the lightness of the meringue.  It wasn’t a fancy cake.  Instead, it was the cake of a farmer, the dessert of a chicken keeper.  This cake celebrated the beauty of fresh eggs.  Each bite reminded me that I was proud to be a chicken keeper and collect fresh eggs from our coop every day.

More than that, the whole experience created a memory that I will hold close for a lifetime.  Standing in our farmhouse kitchen with my daughter baking a cake from a recipe in her Great great grandmother‘s handwriting was a moment that connected the generations of my family past and present.  Having a delicious cake to share around our family table was merely a bonus.

 

Great Grandma's Daffodil Cake
Print
Ingredients
  1. 6 large eggs
  2. ¼ teaspoon salt
  3. ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  4. ¾ cup (144 grams) granulated sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. ½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
  7. 2 Tablespoons warm water
  8. ½ cup (96 grams) granulated sugar
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  11. ½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Position the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
  2. Separate all six eggs, placing the egg whites in a large bowl that has been wiped clean with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the salt to the egg whites and beat at medium-high speed using a hand mixer or stand mixer until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat at high speed, adding the ¾ cup sugar a few Tablespoons at a time until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. Set the meringue aside as you prepare the egg yolk mixture.
  4. Add the warm water to the egg yolks and mix on medium speed using a whisk or mixer. Add ½ cup sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, and flour. Mix until the batter is completely smooth.
  5. Using a spatula, gently move a portion of the meringue away from the side of its mixing bowl.
  6. Add the vanilla and ½ cup flour to the space created by moving the meringue. This step prevents the weight of the flour from deflating the airy meringue. Using the spatula, gently fold the meringue until the flour and vanilla extract are fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
  7. Transfer two thirds of the meringue mixture to an ungreased angel food cake pan, spreading lightly if necessary to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the egg yolk mixture to the pan. There is no need to spread the yolk mixture or completely cover the meringue. Add the remaining meringue to the pan. Using a skewer or toothpick, lightly swirl the two batters by moving in a random pattern around the pan.
  8. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. When fully baked, a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out with crumbs attached. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool.
  9. Once cool, run a sharp knife or small metal offset spatula around the outside of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert the cool cake onto a plate. Slice the cake into slices and serve plain or dressed with fresh berries and whipped cream.
Notes
  1. The light, airy texture of this cake depends on a properly beaten meringue. A mile high meringue is easily achievable with one easy step. Simply wipe your mixing bowl and beaters with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar before beating the egg whites. This will ensure that your bowl and beaters are free of any traces of fat. Fat residue jeopardizes your ability to whip the egg whites into a meringue with stiff, glossy peaks.
  2. To prevent batter from falling into the center tube as you are transferring the batter to the pan, place an overturned cupcake wrapper over the tube. Fill the pan, remove the wrapper, and bake as directed without letting any of the batter go to waste.
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Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/great-grandmas-daffodil-cake/

Heirloom Tomato and Eggs with Roasted Potatoes

In my experience, cooking with great ingredients requires more restraint than technique.  The better quality the ingredients, the less needs to be done in order to make the final dish extraordinary.  In fact, having the best, local and seasonal products from our farm and neighboring farms allows me to prepare simple meals that deliver incredible flavor without extra effort.

This was definitely the case earlier this week.  My husband had visited Butternut Farm and came home bearing the gifts of freshly picked strawberries and a few early season slicing tomatoes. The strawberries were destined to be enjoyed with my Great grandmother’s Daffodil Cake, a delicious way to welcome summer’s arrival.

As soon as I saw a tomato, I knew that it would be featured on our dinner plates.  We also happened to have fingerling potatoes on hand from a recent visit to Rosemont Produce Company.  Add in the fresh eggs collected from our beloved heritage breed hens and baby lettuce from the heirloom garden and dinner was indeed beginning to take shape.

I sliced the fingerlings into thick coins and sautéed them in a hot skillet with a generous Tablespoon of butter and rosemary, sage, and thyme pulled fresh from the garden.  I harvested our first Stuttgart onion and sliced it thinly before adding it to the potatoes and herbs.  I sautéed them for approximately 20 minutes, turning occasionally and seasoning liberally with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

I transferred the pan into a preheated 425 degree oven and began preparing the tomato and eggs.  I sliced the washed tomato into thick slices and placed two on each dinner plate.  I would usually season the tomato with sea salt and fresh pepper before I placed the egg on top.  Then I remembered that I had a new seasoning waiting to be used in the spice drawer.

A few months ago, I was invited to participate in the Fennel Friday Cooking Club by The Hungry Goddess. I happily accepted the invitation and joined Fennel Friday.  A few days later, my package of ingredients from Pollen Ranch arrived.  Last month, I shared my recipe for Smoked Cheddar Gougères with Fennel Pollen.  They were delicious and I had every confidence that the Zen-Sational fennel pollen would also help transform a simple slice of tomato into something extraordinary.

As the potatoes were nearing the end of their time roasting in the oven, I placed a cast iron skillet on the stove top over high heat.  Once the skillet had come up to temperature, I placed a large pat of butter in the skillet and swirled the pan to cover the entire surface with melted butter.  Cracked eggs were added next and each was seasoned with salt and pepper.

I placed the lid on the pan, reduced the heat to medium, and removed the potatoes from the oven.  As soon as the eggs were barely set, I removed the pan from the heat.  I topped each tomato slice with a sprinkle of Pollen Ranch’s Zen-Sational Blend.  An egg was placed on top of each tomato slice and then I decided to add a dash of Zen-Sational to each egg for good measure.  As soon as I did, the intoxicating aroma of fennel began to fill the farmhouse kitchen.

The roasted potatoes were added to each plate and dressed with our favorite roasted potato topping:  sour cream and sriracha,  Once a salad made with greens harvested from our garden was added, dinner was served.  It was simple and delicious.  The fennel was a perfect pairing to the acidity and earthiness of the tomato and richness of our fresh eggs.

Everyone agreed that this was a dinner plate we wanted to see more often on our family table.  Lucky for us, heirloom tomato season is fast approaching.   I know that I’ll be making this simple and delicious dinner all season long.

Heirloom Tomato and Eggs with Roasted Potatoes
serves 4 as a main course

The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity.  You can substitute your favorite herbs and use the best of your locally available, seasonal produce.

Fingerling potatoes,  sliced into 1/2″ thick coins
butter
fresh herbs
1 small onion, diced
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced thickly
8 fresh eggs
Pollen Ranch Zen-Sational Pollen Blend

Prepare as directed above.  Serve hot and enjoy!


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Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/fennel-friday-tomato-and-eggs-with-zen-sational-fennel-pollen-blend/

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