Spritz Cookies

  • 1 c softened butter
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 t almond extract
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/3 – 2 1/2 c flour (it depends on the size of the eggs we collect that day)
  1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the almond extract, salt and egg and mix to incorporate well.  Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  3. Mix in the flour until just combined.
  4. Use a cookie press (mine is a Kuhn Rikon) to make various shapes on an ungreased cookie sheet.  I had to use a clean, cold cookie sheet for each batch or the cookies would not come off of the press and stick to the cookie sheet.
  5. Add jam, candies, or sugar crystals to the cookies for decoration.
  6. Bake them at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until just beginning to color.  We do not want these cookies to brown.
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Panettone

Ingredients

  • 1 T dry yeast 
  • 1 cup warm water 
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt 
  • 1 t vanilla extract 
  • 1 T lemon zest 
  • 1/4 t salt 
  • 4 cups flour 
  • 1 T confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, water and sugar.  Cover it and let it stand  for 10 minutes, or until it goes foamy.
  2. Add the eggs, yogurt, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Mix in the flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough forms into a manageable ball (I sometimes have to add 1/4 c extra).
  4. Use the mixer to knead for 5 to 10 minutes until dough is soft but not sticky.
  5. Proof until the dough doubles in size.
  6. In a small bowl, toss dried fruit with confectioners’ sugar.
  7. Punch down the dough in the bowl and transfer it to floured surface. Knead in the fruit.
  8. Place in prepared cake pan (buttered 8″ pan with parchment in the bottom and a buttered 4″ parchment collar).  Cover it loosely with dish towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
  9. Brush the top with melted butter. and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

A busy weekend of harvesting and leftovers

It was chilly in the morning over the weekend so I made a trip down to the garden to harvest some herbs for drying.  I collected sage, hyssop, parsley, lavender, bay and even fennel seeds to dry for winter use.  I finely chopped rosemary in the processor and added salt for a batch of rosemary salt.  I also started a jar of vanilla extract using vanilla beans and Everclear.

I also was busy in the kitchen using up some leftovers the ripe tomatoes became one last jar of sauce, the green ones were made into salsa.  The basil from the backyard was mixed with olive oil, walnuts, and parmesan cheese for pesto. Finally, the big cheeseball leftover from the library conference became a wonderful batch of macaroni and cheeseball casserole.

More Apples from Queener Farms

 

 

We drove down to Scio this morning to pick up a gallon of cider and another lovely bunch of apples from Queener Farms. Along the way we went to the Willamette Valley Pie Company store for a pumpkin pie, a couple of scones and two yummy hand-pies. On the way home we stopped by the Silverton Farmer’s Market for some potatoes, garlic and a lovely winter squash.

Bramley’s Seedling is the famous English cooking apple. We found it made a mushy pie, but cooked down to a smooth puree for applesauce.

Blenheim Orange was found at Woodstock, Oxfordshire near Blenheim in England in about 1740. It has been described as a fine cooking apple.

Cox Orange Pippin is the benchmark for flavor in apples -delicious, sweet-tart fruit with crisp and aromatic flesh.

Zabergau Reinette is a German russet-style apple, tasting of nettles when straight from the tree. Keeps for 3-4 months.

Devonshire Crimson Queen is a medium size dessert apple. It has deep red skin and darker red stripes with pink extending into the sweet and juicy flesh.

Karmijn de Sonnaville is a Cox-style apple from the Netherlands with a very attractive autumnal color and the potential for very good flavor.

Ribston Pippin is a famous Yorkshire apple variety, probably the parent of Cox’s Orange Pippin.

Honeycrisp, sometimes marketed as Honey Crisp or Honeycrunch, is a crisp and predominantly sweet, modern variety from the USA.

Belle de Boskoop is popular old dual-purpose apple from the Netherlands.

King is an old American variety from New Jersey. The fruit is very large, and keeps well.

 

Bramley’s Seedling Pie

Included in our box from Queener Farm this week, were enough Bramley’s Seedling apples to make a pie.  The Bramley’s seedling is a classic English cooking apple.

The first Bramley’s Seedling tree grew from seeds planted in 1809 bya young girl, Mary Ann Brailsford, in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, UK.  The tree in the garden was later included in the purchase of the cottage by a local butcher, Matthew Bramley, in 1846. In 1856, a local nurseryman, Henry Merryweather, asked if he could take cuttings from the tree and start to sell the apples. Bramley agreed but insisted that the apples should bear his name.

In 1900, the original tree was knocked over during a storm. The tree survived, and is still bearing fruit two centuries after it was planted.

The variety is now the most important cooking apple in England and Wales

I decided to make a classic apple pie with my Bramleys – – COnclusion below.

I don’t really like this apple for pie – not bad, but maybe not for the whole pie.  It was really, really tart and turned to apple sauce in the pie.  I like a little more bite in my apples.

Canning Corn

We picked up 12 ears of corn from a roadside stand on our Saturday trip to collect our apples from Queener Farm.  It’s a beautiful drive down to Scio through Silverton, Stayton and Sublimity – rolling hills, tidy fields and beautiful old barns.

This morning I set about to shuck the corn and cut off the kernels (into a large wooden bowl which helps contain the kernels).  To each preheated pint jar, I added 1/2 t salt corn kernels to about 3/4″ from the top and then added boiling water to top them off.  Then I popped on the lids and rings and processed them for 55 minutes.  I have 6 pints in the canner now with more ready to go when those come out.

I also scraped the ‘milk’ off the cobs to make a pint or so of cream corn.

All of this for $3.00.