May I Offer You Pumpkin Spice Pancakes?

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Dear friends,

Has autumn arrived yet in your area? We had a big cool-off here in Colorado this weekend, and I pulled out my favorite flannel shirt and cooked a batch of pumpkin spice pancakes.

Pumpkin It Up! cookbook by Eliza CrossThese flapjacks are rich with pumpkin-y goodness, and have the comforting, homespun flavor and aroma of pumpkin spice. This recipe appears in my cookbook Pumpkin It Up!, and I won’t blame you if you feel somewhat alarmed by one of the ingredients. Who puts white vinegar in pancakes?! But don’t worry. The vinegar has a chemical reaction with the baking powder and baking soda, adding air to the batter. The pancakes come out light and fluffy, even though the recipe calls for a full cup of pumpkin puree. I promise you won’t taste even a hint of the vinegar.

 

pumpkin pancakes on the griddle

 

I serve these pancakes with butter, maple syrup, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar, but you can serve them plain, too. Or you can add another tablespoon of brown sugar to the batter for a slightly sweeter result.

 

pumpkin spice pancake recipe

 

Here’s the easy recipe. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • maple syrup

In a large bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil, and vinegar. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined.

Heat a lightly greased griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter on the griddle and spread out slightly using a spatula or spoon. Brown on both sides and serve hot with maple syrup. Makes about 12 pancakes.

Hugs,

The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. If you’re a pumpkin spice lover, you might also enjoy these recipes for Pumpkin Caramel Cinnamon Rolls and Pumpkin Maple Donut Holes.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Yummy Easy Homemade Meatballs

homemade meatballs

 

My favorite technique for preparing homemade meatballs also happens to be incredibly simple. These are my three tips for delicious meatballs that are browned on the outside and tender on the inside:

Secret #1: Most meatball recipes call for raw onion to be added to the mixture, but I prefer to saute the onion in butter first along with a little minced garlic. This pre-cooking step allows the onion and garlic to “melt” into the mixture as the meatballs cook, resulting in a pleasing caramelized flavor.

Secret #2: I like to use a blend of half Italian sausage and half ground beef. The Italian sausage adds a little zing (and admittedly, a little extra fat) to the ground beef, taking the meatballs from sodden to spectacular.

Secret #3:  Instead of laboriously trying to evenly brown the meatballs on all sides and dealing with spattering fat in a frying pan, I simply shape them and bake them in a hot oven. After just 20 minutes, they’re miraculously browned and perfectly cooked inside.

Shall we make some beautiful meatballs together?

To begin, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat and cook 1/4 cup chopped onion just until it turns translucent. Add 1 clove minced garlic and continue cooking for about 90 seconds, until the mixture barely begins to brown. Remove from heat and reserve.

 

saute onion and garlic

 

Next, combine a half pound each of ground Italian sausage and ground beef, 1 piece of fresh bread processed into crumbs, an egg, a teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl until well combined.

 

meatball mixture

 

(No matter how hard you try, it’s hard to make a bowl of meatball mixture look photogenic.)

Use a tablespoon to shape the mixture into meatballs.

 

 

Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet.

 

 

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. You can see how the onion becomes caramelized after cooking. Yum.

 

homemade meatball

 

At this point you can add the meatballs to a spaghetti sauce like I did in the photo at the top of this post, and serve over spaghetti.

Or, you can toast some buns, sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese, and make meatball sandwiches.

 

meatball sandwich

 

You can also freeze the cooled meatballs, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months. Here’s the complete recipe:

Mama Eliza’s Easy Baked Meatballs

1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic
1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
1/2 pound ground beef (I like ground chuck for this recipe)
1 piece of bread
1 egg
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease or spray with cooking spray.

Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When it melts, add the onion and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 90 seconds. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together the sausage and ground beef. Pulse the bread in a food processor or blender to make crumbs and sprinkle over the meat mixture. Add the onion mixture, egg, salt, and pepper and combine until well blended.

Use a tablespoon to form the mixture into balls. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the meatballs are lightly browned and cooked all the way through, about 20 minutes. Cool the baking sheet on a wire rack. Makes about 18 to 20 meatballs.

Enjoy!

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Mini BLT Cups – An Easy Appetizer Recipe for Holiday Gatherings

easy BLT cups

Could you use a home-kitchen-tested recipe for a simple, festive hors d’oeuvre? These little appetizers contain all the flavors of your favorite BLT in one small bite. A crispy toast shell holds a delicious filling of chopped tomatoes, Romaine lettuce, smoky bacon and creamy mayonnaise. A variation of this recipe originally appeared in my cookbook, 101 Things To Do With Bacon.

You can prepare the tiny shells in advance and do most of the prep work for the filling early. I love appetizers that can be made ahead of time, because then you can enjoy your own party instead of fussing in the kitchen.

The crispy shells look special, but they couldn’t be easier. The secret? They’re made with soft sliced bread. You can fill them with other fillings, too — finely chopped salads of chicken, shrimp, or crab are all delicious.

To begin, roll the bread slices firmly with a rolling pin to flatten.

 

Making mini BLT cups

 

Then, cut out little circles with a 2-inch round cutter. I used a fluted cutter, but you can use a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter.

 

BLT appetizer shell

 

Use your fingers to gently press the rounds into a mini muffin tin:

 

appetizer toast cups

 

Bake at 450 degrees F until the toast cups are just starting to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool in the pan for a minute, and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

appetizer bread cups

 

The shells can be prepared ahead of time and stored in a tightly sealed container for 1 to 2 days.

You can also fry up the crispy bacon bits for the filling a day or two ahead of time, drain and refrigerate.

 

frying chopped bacon

 

On the day of the party, all that’s left to do is combine the bacon, chopped Romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Just before the party, fill the little toast cups with the filling. Arrange on a platter and serve.

 

Mini BLT appetizer

 

Here’s the recipe:

Mini BLT Cups

6 slices soft white or wheat bread
6 slices finely chopped bacon, cooked and drained
1 cup shredded Romaine lettuce
1 pound ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded and finely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and lightly grease a mini-muffin pan. Flatten each slice of bread with a rolling pin, and cut 4 rounds from each slice with a 2-inch cookie cutter. Press the rounds into the mini-muffin pans to form shallow cups and bake until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Combine the bacon, lettuce, and chopped tomato in a large bowl. Stir in mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Fill each bread cup with a generous portion of the BLT mixture and serve immediately. Makes 24 mini BLT cups.

Enjoy!

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Browned Butter Roasted Almonds Recipe

Roasted almonds | Happy Simple Living blog

Do you ever get the mid-afternoon hungries? I do (EVERY afternoon), and I’m always looking for delicious snacks that satisfy my craving for something crunchy and salty.

Almonds nicely fit the bill, and they’re happily wholesome, too. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, which are the “good” fats that are associated with reduced heart attack risk.

They’re are a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamin E, and almonds also contain nutrients like magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.

These toasted almonds are based on a tried-and-true family recipe that our mom makes every Thanksgiving to serve with pre-meal drinks. Back in the day, Mom would have to remove the skins from the almonds by covering them with boiling water and letting them soak. Then she would painstakingly remove the skin from each almond with a dishtowel.

One can understand why Mom only prepared these nuts once a year, but today you can find whole, peeled almonds in bulk from stores like Natural Grocers. Don’t you love progress?

 

Blanched almonds | Happy Simple Living blog

 

But wait… aren’t almonds healthier if you leave the peel on? In researching this question I found pros and cons for both peeled and unpeeled almonds. Some sources suggest that the skins contain good antioxidants, while others suggest that removing the peels makes the almonds easier to digest and therefore increases the absorption of nutrients and vitamins. I prefer the flavor of peeled almonds, but if you like the peels you can leave them on.

Almonds are perfectly delicious raw, so if you don’t feel like cooking you can just stop reading right now and go eat some yummy, plain almonds straight from the bag. I like to store them in the refrigerator, which keeps them fresh longer and also gives them a nice crunch.

But I do love the nutty flavor they develop when they’re slow roasted. So let’s proceed.

The Magical Process of Browning Butter

You may have heard the term “browned butter” in recipes for cookies and cakes. The French call it beurre noisette, which is such a nice, fancy way to describe what happens when butter is heated until the milk solids cook and turn lightly brown, giving the butter a rich, nutty flavor. In this recipe, the butter turns into beurre noisette just as the almonds turn golden brown. C’est magique!

Before we begin, I would also like to mention that if you’re a vegan or want to try an alternative preparation, you can make these almonds with olive oil. They won’t have the browned butter element, but they’ll still be wonderful and fragrant and toasty and delicious. Just substitute olive oil in place of the butter, and watch the almonds carefully while you’re cooking them so they don’t burn.

How to Pan Roast Almonds

Before you begin, put a couple of layers of paper towels (a couple layers of plain brown paper bag will work, too) on a plate and reserve. You’ll need 1 tablespoon of butter for each 1 cup of almonds. Select a sauté pan in which the almonds all fit in a single layer. It’s okay if they’re a bit crowded, as that will help prevent over-browning. Also, dig around in your kitchen drawer and find a nice large, shallow spoon. You’ll use this to transfer the cooked almonds to the paper towels, and you don’t want to use a slotted spoon because that would leave behind all of the browned butter.

Heat the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. The second the butter melts, but before it starts to foam, add the almonds and stir to coat them all over with the butter.

 

Toasted almonds | Happy Simple Living blog

 

Cook the almonds, stirring frequently and watching carefully so that they don’t burn or over-brown. Soon they’ll start to roast, and your kitchen will smell amazing.

I pity the poor squirrels in your neighborhood, languishing outside as this irresistible aroma wafts from your home. If you open a window, make sure your screens are tightly secured.

Toasting almonds in butter | Happy Simple Living blog

 

Now you are going to have to watch the nuts very carefully, as they can turn from perfectly roasted to slightly burned in a matter of seconds.

This would not be an ideal time to click on, say, Buzzfeed’s “26 Crazy Cat Photos That Will Totally Blow Your Mind.”

Continue to cook, stirring constantly, focusing with intent, and ignoring all attempts by the evil forces of the universe to distract you. The moment the almonds are evenly browned, remove them with a spoon to the prepared paper towels. Use the spoon to ladle some of the browned butter over the nuts. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Toasted almonds | Happy Simple Living blog

 

Let them cool for about 10 minutes before serving. If you serve a bowl of these warm nuts to your guests accompanied by a cold drink, I promise that you will hear nice compliments.

If you’re not planning to eat the almonds now (a scenario that, frankly, I find hard to imagine), you can cool them to room temperature and transfer to a covered container. (If you pack some of these almonds in a pretty container, they make a terrific gift. Let me know if you need my shipping address.)

Toasted almonds | Happy Simple Living blog

 

Here’s the recipe, all in one place:

Browned Butter Roasted Almonds with Sea Salt

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw, peeled almonds
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions:  Arrange paper towels or several layers of a brown paper bag on a plate and reserve.

Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. As soon as the butter melts, add the almonds and stir to coat them all over. Cook, stirring frequently and watching carefully so that they don’t burn or over-brown. As the nuts begin to brown, continue to cook, stirring constantly. The moment the almonds are evenly browned, remove them with a spoon to the prepared paper towels. Use the spoon to ladle some of the browned butter over the nuts. Sprinkle with sea salt.  Cool for about 10 minutes before serving, or cool to room temperature and transfer to a covered container. The nuts will keep well in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks. You can also freeze them for up to 2 months. Makes about 4 servings.

That’s it! These toasted almonds couldn’t be simpler to prepare. I hope you enjoy them, and if you make the recipe I’d love to hear what you think.

Here’s to staying nutty,

The signature for Eliza Cross

squirrel

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Free Cookbook Giveaway – Pumpkin It Up!

Pumpkin It Up cookbook by Eliza Cross

My newest cookbook, Pumpkin It Up!, has just been released by Gibbs Smith. I had so much fun developing and testing recipes that highlight the mild, earthy, slightly sweet flavor of pumpkin, and the result is a 128 page, four-color book that retails for $16.99. This month I’m giving away a free signed copy to one lucky, pumpkin-loving reader.

Pumpkin It Up! has 75 recipes that feature pumpkin in both sweet and savory ways.

Pumpkin It Up cookbook by Eliza Cross

 

It begins with a section about preparing pumpkins for cooking, with basic recipes for homemade pumpkin puree and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin It Up cookbook by Eliza Cross

 

It has recipes for breakfast treats like Pumpkin Cheesecake Crescents:

Pumpkin It Up cookbook by Eliza Cross

 

…and soups like Pumpkin, Corn and Shrimp Bisque:

Pumpkin It Up cookbook by Eliza Cross

 

It features pumpkin in side dishes like Maple-Roasted Pumpkin and Brussels Sprouts:

Pumpkin It Up cookbook by Eliza Cross

 

…and dinners like soul-soothing Pumpkin Risotto:

Pumpkin It Up cookbook by Eliza Cross

 

Pumpkin stars in desserts like Creamy Pumpkin Tiramisu:

Pumpkin It Up cookbook by Eliza Cross

 

…and an old-fashioned Pumpkin Roll:

Pumpkin It Up cookbook by Eliza Cross

 

…in sweets like Pumpkin Cream Chocolate Cups:

Pumpkin It Up cookbook by Eliza Cross

 

and in treats like these pretty Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Brownies:

Pumpkin It Up cookbook by Eliza Cross

 

You’ll even find a recipe for homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte in this book. #PSL!

Pumpkin It Up cookbook by Eliza Cross

 

To enter the drawing to win your own signed copy of Pumpkin It Up!, just answer this question in the Comments section at the bottom of this post:

What do you love best about autumn?

I can’t wait to read your answers. Be sure to include your e-mail address on the form when you post your comment (it won’t show to anyone but me). The giveaway is open to anyone with a shipping address in the U.S. and Canada, and you can enter between now and midnight MST on Friday, October 14.

Hugs and happy October!

The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. Be sure to check out yesterday’s post featuring the recipe for Pumpkin Caramel Cinnamon Rolls.

The beautiful photos shown in Pumpkin It Up! are by Susan Barnson Hayward for Gibbs Smith.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Pumpkin Caramel Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Pumpkin Caramel Cinnamon Rolls | Happy Simple Living blog

Photo by Susan Barnson Hayward for Gibbs Smith

The flavor of pumpkin spice seems to be everywhere right now, and is even the subject of some good-natured debate; some folks are complaining of Pumpkin Spice overload with so many manufacturers jumping on the #PS bandwagon. The TODAY show is even running an online poll where viewers can vote on whether the pumpkin spice craze has “gone too far.”

Pumpkin It Up cookbook by Eliza CrossIf you’re overloaded on #PS, you may wish to skip this post. If you’re a pumpkin spice lover, read on!

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from my newest cookbook, Pumpkin It Up! (128 pages, hardback, $16.99; Gibbs Smith, Publisher). Perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch, these flaky cinnamon rolls are filled with a pumpkin spice-pecan mixture and drizzled with a caramel icing while they’re still warm. The rolls are extra easy because they begin with a tube of refrigerated crescent roll dough. If you like, you can use an organic brand such as Immaculate.

For the filling, you can use canned pumpkin or make your own pumpkin puree; I’ve included complete instructions after the cinnamon roll recipe. Steaming or baking the pumpkin is quite easy, and pumpkin puree freezes really well so that you can have it on hand whenever you get a pumpkin spice craving.

Now is a great time to visit your favorite farmer’s market or pumpkin patch and buy good cooking pumpkins. Stay away from the gigantic Jack O’Lantern pumpkins, which tend to be tough and stringy, and look for look for smaller, sweeter baking varieties. Some of my favorites are Little Giant, Cinnamon Girl, Baby Pam, Amish Pie and Winter Luxury.

Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1 can (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls or seamless dough sheet
  • 1/3 cup cooked or canned pumpkin puree
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch round cake pan.

If using crescent rolls, unroll dough and separate in 2 long rectangles. Overlap long sides 1/2 inch to form 1 large rectangle. Press seam and perforations to seal. If using dough sheet, unroll dough and pat in large rectangle.

In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, 4 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, pie spice, and salt, and stir until well blended. Spread the mixture over the dough and sprinkle with pecans. Starting at long side, roll up; pinch seam to seal. Cut in 12 equal slices and arrange cut side up in prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan until melted. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon milk; cook over medium low heat 1 minute. Cool for 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla and 1/4 cup powdered sugar and beat until well blended, adding more powdered sugar if needed until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle rolls with icing. Makes 12 rolls.

Oven-Cooked Pumpkin Puree

  • 1 medium pie pumpkin, about 4 pounds
  • 1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash the pumpkin and cut out the top and stem with a sharp knife. Lay on a cutting board and carefully cut in half. Scrape out stringy pulp and seeds. (Rinse and reserve seeds to make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, if desired.)

Cut pumpkin in large pieces and arrange skin-side up in a roasting pan. Pour water in the bottom of the pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake 45–60 minutes, or until pumpkin is soft and easily pierced with a fork. Cool to room temperature.

Scrape the soft pulp from the skin into a food processor or heavy-duty blender, discarding the skin. Pulse until evenly pureed, adding a little water if necessary to make a smooth puree. Alternately, mash the pulp in a large bowl with a potato masher or run it through a food mill. If finished puree is too watery, drain in a fine mesh strainer for 30 minutes.

The puree can be used immediately or refrigerated, covered, and used within 3 days. The puree may also be frozen, tightly wrapped, or stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Makes about 8 cups.

Steamed Pumpkin Puree

  • 1 small pie pumpkin, about 2 pounds
  • 1 cup water

Wash the pumpkin and cut out the top and stem with a sharp knife. Lay on a cutting board and carefully cut in half. Scrape out stringy pulp and seeds. (Rinse and reserve seeds to make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, if desired.) Cut pumpkin in 4-inch pieces.

Stovetop steaming method: In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket, heat water to boiling. Add the pumpkin, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook until pumpkin is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and cool to room temperature.

Microwave steaming method: Place the pumpkin pieces in a microwave-safe bowl, add the water, cover, and cook on high until pumpkin is fork tender, about 15–20 minutes depending on microwave. Cool to room temperature.

Scrape the soft pulp from the skin into a food processor or heavy-duty blender, discarding the skin. Pulse until evenly pureed, adding a little water if necessary to make a smooth puree. Alternately, mash the pulp in a large bowl with a potato masher or run it through a food mill. If finished puree is too watery, drain in a fine mesh strainer for 30 minutes.

The puree can be used immediately or refrigerated, covered, and used within 3 days. The puree may also be frozen, tightly wrapped, or stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Makes about 4 cups.

Hugs,

The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. You might also enjoy this recipe for Pumpkin Quick Bread.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Fried Sweet Corn with Bacon

Fried Corn with Bacon | Happy Simple Living blog

Have you been enjoying the summer?

And when I say “enjoying the summer,” what I really mean is, have you been enjoying the foods of summer?

Here in Colorado, the local sweet corn is hitting the farmer’s markets and grocery stores and it’s a race to eat as much of it as we can while it’s at its finest.

This easy recipe is one that I developed for my cookbook 101 Things To Do With Bacon (Gibbs Smith, Publisher), and I think you’ll love the way the sauteed bell pepper and bacon enhance the sweet, tender fresh corn. It’s a great dish to serve at a barbecue or potluck, and it can easily be multiplied for bigger groups.

Southern Fried Sweet Corn with Bacon

Corn and bacon recipe | Happy Simple Living blog

6 ears fresh sweet corn, husked and cleaned
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
6 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, slice the corn off of the cob and scrape each cob into the bowl to release the milk.

Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Add the bell pepper and cook until softened. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in the crumbled bacon, salt, and pepper and cook 1 minute more. Makes 6 servings.

Hugs and enjoy the weekend,

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

A Springtime Strawberry Tart

Strawberry tart | Happy Simple Living blog

I’m working on a new cookbook this spring that will be all about beautiful BERRIES. I’m having such a good time tasting and testing blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, and of course, luscious strawberries.

This is a simple recipe that combines a crunchy, lightly sweet, shortbread-y crust with a creamy filling and fresh strawberries. Even though it’s very easy to make, it looks spectacular — my kind of recipe! Here’s how to make it:

Springtime Strawberry Tart

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cornstarch until combined. Add butter and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and pulse until fine crumbs form and dough just begins to come together. Press evenly into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable rim.

Bake until edges are golden, about 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on a rack, then remove tart crust from pan and transfer to a serving plate.

In a bowl with a mixer on high speed, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and beat until thick. Gently fold the sour cream in the mixture and spread in cooled crust. Arrange strawberries in circles on top. (If you want to create the same effect I did in the photo above, you can alternate the cut sides down and up.) Cover and chill the tart for 3 to 4 hours to firm up the filling. Cut in slices and serve. Makes 8 servings.

My friend and fabulous photographer Alan Hill took the beautiful image of this tart, and I am grateful for his talent.

Hugs and happy Easter,

The signature for Eliza Cross

 

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

My Favorite Recipe for Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs with bacon

Summertime means cookouts and barbeques, and Deviled Eggs are one of my family’s favorite side dishes. I’ve tinkered with the classic recipe over the years, and this version makes filled eggs that are especially light and creamy. I top them with a sprinkle of crispy, crunchy bacon, and I usually leave a few of the eggs ungarnished for any purists in the group.

This recipe is adapted from the one I originally developed for my cookbook 101 Things To Do With Bacon.

CREAMY DEVILED EGGS WITH BACON

  • 12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
  • 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard (or more or less to suit your taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and finely crumbled

Cut each egg in half lengthwise; gently scoop out yolks and place in a bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork until they are very fine, then stir in mayonnaise, mustard, and curry powder until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon about 1 tablespoon yolk mixture into the hollow of each egg-white half. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 4 hours, garnishing with crumbled bacon just before serving. Makes 24 deviled eggs.

Enjoy!

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.