Thursday, July 25, 2013

NecPear Puff - Home grown Nectarine and Japanese Pear baked in Phyllo pastry

This year, my garden has a fewer crops then the previous years.  Either I did not prep the soil correctly or the weather temperature is just too crazy.   There are no tomatoes growing, yet.  The corn that grows heartily did not even show up.  The young nectarine tree, however, had some 15 fruits that I appreciate, and my 20 feet tall "dwarf 21st century Japanese Pear" had some fruits.  So, I sliced them up, added some stuvia sugar, potato starch, wrapped them in buttered Phyllo pastry sheets, and voila!, NecPear Puff!

Pennsylvania Dutch Crumb Coffee Cake

This is the testing of Pennsylvania Dutch Crumb Coffee Cake recipe from the Baker's Odyssey cookbook.  It was fun making it.  By mistake, I script the name of the baked goods as Blum's Coffee Crunch Cake on the each Photo.  Sorry about the mistake.  I will repost it later when I have more time to edit them in the Picasa.


 Layer the bottom with half of the crumbles, then, pour the main batter mixture on top.
 Top with the other halves of crumbles and bake till golden brown.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Polly's First Rhubarb Crisp

I have eaten Rhubarb pie just once, maybe about thirty some years ago.   It was tart and sweet and delicious.  I always wondered how it is made.  I've seen it sold in the grocery store, and I even remember our garden in Japan had Rhubarb growing.  I don't know how our Japanese nurse mother prepared it, but we all know that we are not suppose to eat the leaves.  I planted my Rhubarb 2 springs ago, this will be the third year.  I think it is ready to test them.  Interestingly my Rhubarbs grew heartedly in the pot.  It has some awesomely beautiful leaves.  I used the scissors to cut them.  Rhubarb stalks are crisp.  If you are not careful when cutting and bump the next stalk or bend the stalk to get to the big ones that you want, it snaps easily. 

 It didn't like to be cropped, though.  I notice the rest of the stalks wilted downward in the afternoon, and I had to put it back in the shady home it ones was located. 

 I thought it will take a long time to cook this Rhubarb chunks with the sugar, but I was totally wrong.  As soon as the sugar melted, the Rhubarbs chunks, too, started to dissolve.  Quick!  Turn off the heat!
 So, here is my very first Rhubarb Crisp.

 I also added a few freshly picked strawberries from my garden.
8 Cups chopped Victoria Rhubarb   -- Victoria Rhubarb looks like mine above in the photo.  The bottom part is reddish and top stalk is greenish.  But any Rhubarbs would do.
3/4 Cup water
1 tsp salt
3 to 4 Tbsp cornstarch, but I use Japanese Potato starch  
1-3/4 C fructose, but I use 1-1/2 C regular sugar mixed with 1/4 C of water.  Fructose is not really good for your liver.
1 Tbsp vanilla

Combine rhubarb, water, and salt in a large heavy pot.  Premix potato starch with 1 Tbsp water.  Set Aside.  Bring rhubarb pot to a boil.  Watch carefully.  If your rhubarb shows the sign of 'tender', 'ready', 'melting away', 'cooked', when you stir, that's enough.  No need to simmer with the lid on until tender.  Give the potato starch mix a stir.   Add to the pot while stirring quickly.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour into a 9x13" glass baking dish and set aside.  or use two deep dish pie pan - one for you and one for your relative or friend or office co-worker, .... 

To make Crispy Crust:
1-1/2 C Flour
1-1/2 C quick oats
3/4 C some sort of your favorite nuts - crushed almonds, chopped walnuts, but this is optional
1/2 C brown sugar
1 C butter, cut into small chunks
or any of your favorite Crisp crust topping recipe will do.
Combine flour, oats, nuts, and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Mix well.  Preheat oven to 350'F.
Add butter and mix with fingers till crumbly.  Crumble over rhubarb filling.  Bake at 350'F for 25-30 minutes or till the crispy crust look beautiful.

My Pink Lips Lotus 2013

It came once again quietly and at early morning before I woke to realize that my beautiful Pink Lips has been up and stretching almost for 5 hours.  By the time I discovered it's scent in the garden, it was already  a couple of days past.  Luckily there was another Pink Lips showing up next to it, tall and proud.... this is my photo journal of my Pink Lips Lotus 2013.  Enjoy.  Namaste.


I found the 3rd blossom coming up the other day.  Can't wait to see its blossom.