Fig, yogurt, and almond cake with extra figs

comments 6
Sweets

Yotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire BrigadeYotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire BrigadeYotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire BrigadeYotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire BrigadeYotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire BrigadeYotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire BrigadeYotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire Brigade

FIG, YOGURT, AND ALMOND CAKE WITH EXTRA FIGS / Serves 10-12
Recipe adapted by Yotam Ottolenghi

300g unsalted butter
300g caster sugar, plus 1 teaspoon extra
4 large free-range eggs
270g ground almonds
150g all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 3/4 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground star anise, from about 7-8 star anise pods
150g Greek yogurt
12 figs, quartered

For the extra figs:
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 cup red wine
6 ripe figs, quartered
Greek yogurt, for serving

Heat the oven to 400 F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9- inch loose-based cake tin with baking parchment. Put the butter and sugar in an electric mixer bowl, and use a beater to work them well until they turn light and pale. Beat the eggs lightly, then, with the machine on medium speed, add them gradually to the bowl, just a dribble at a time, adding more only once the previous addition is fully incorporated. Once all the egg is in, mix together the almonds, flour, salt, vanilla and anise, and fold into the batter. Mix until the batter is smooth, then fold in the yogurt.
Pour the batter into the lined tin and level roughly with a palette knife or a spoon. Cut each fig vertically into four long wedges, and arrange in circles on top of the cake, just slightly immersed in the batter. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 340 F and continue baking until it sets – about 40-45 minutes longer. Check this by inserting a skewer in the cake: it’s done if it comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool down before taking it out of the tin and sprinkling with a teaspoon of caster sugar.
You can eat the cake just as it is, but the addition of warm, syrupy figs turns it into something very special. Once the cake is cool enough, divide it into portions. Put three tablespoons of caster sugar in a medium saucepan and put on a high heat until the sugar starts to caramelise. Remove from the heat, carefully add the wine then return to the heat and let the caramel dissolve in the wine. Add the fig quarters and quickly toss them around just to warm them up. Spoon a generous dollop of Greek yogurt over each slice of cake, plus a few warm figs and their juice.

chopped greek salad with cherries, watermelon, and fresh oven toasted za’atar

comments 3
salads / sides

Chopped greek salad with cherries, watermelon, and fresh oven toasted za'atar - Lemon Fire BrigadeChopped greek salad with cherries, watermelon, and fresh oven toasted za'atar - Lemon Fire Brigade

CHOPPED GREEK SALAD WITH CHERRIES, WATERMELON, AND FRESH OVEN TOASTED ZA’ATAR | serves 4

50 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons finely ground sumac
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups diced watermelon, 1/2- to-3/4 inch dice
2 cups diced persian cucumbers, 1/2- to-3/4 inch dice
3 cups diced heirloom or vine-ripened tomatoes, 1/2- to-3/4 inch dice
2 cups bing cherries, pitted and halved lengthwise
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt
6 ounces mild + creamy feta, in one hunk
Finely chopped cilantro for sprinkling
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Place 40 thyme sprigs on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes at 300ºF until dry. Slide the leaves off both the dry and remaining fresh sprigs and finely chop into a loosely ground mixture. Transfer to a small bowl, add the toasted sesame seeds, sumac, and sea salt and set aside.

Lightly toss together all of the diced ingredients in a large bowl. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season with salt to taste. To assemble, place the feta on a serving plate and transfer the salad mixture to setup alongside the cheese. To serve, garnish the salad with fresh herbs, drizzle with lots of olive oil, and top with a heavy layer of zaatar.

The salad should be sharp and sweet. If not serving immediately, drain some of the liquid off later. Adjust the seasoning again afterward.

red fruit galettes

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baking / Dessert / Fruit / Pastry / Pie / Sweet

Red Fruit Galettes  -  Lemon Fire Brigade Red Fruit Galettes  -  Lemon Fire BrigadeRed Fruit Galettes - Lemon Fire BrigadeRed Fruit Galettes  -  Lemon Fire BrigadeRed Fruit Galettes  -  Lemon Fire BrigadeRed Fruit Galettes  -  Lemon Fire BrigadeRed Fruit Galettes  -  Lemon Fire BrigadeRed Fruit Galettes  -  Lemon Fire Brigade Red Fruit Galettes  -  Lemon Fire Brigade

YOSSY’S RED FRUIT GALETTES // yields 4 medium sized galettes
– Adapted from Apt. 2b Baking by Yossy Arefi

Dough
17 ounces all-purpose flour
1/4 ounce salt
1 ounce granulated sugar
12 ounces unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
8 ounces ice water (may use less or more of this)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut in half of the butter until it is the size of peas, then cut in the other half until it is the size lima beans. Some of the butter will be completely worked into the flour, but you should have lots of visible pieces of butter in the dough too.

Add the apple cider vinegar to the water and make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Use a gentle hand or wooden spoon to mix the water into the flour until just combined. If the dough seems very dry, add more water a couple of teaspoons at a time. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it together without it falling apart. Press the dough together, then split up into 4 equal dough parts, form into discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least one hour before using, or overnight.

Filling
About 2 1/2-3 pounds of assorted red fruits (strawberries, raspberries, cherries, sour cherries, currants, etc.)
2-3 ounces granulated sugar depending on the sweetness of the fruit (for example: currants will need more, sweet cherries less)
4 ounces raspberry or strawberry jam
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (only if the fruit seems very juicy
1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt for egg wash
2 ounces coarse sugar such as demerara or turbinado for sprinkling

Work with one piece of dough at a time and on a floured surface, roll the dough into a roughly 13” circle, 1/4-1/8” thick. Transfer the rounds to two or four large, parchment-lined sheet pans depending on how many gallettes being prepped. Store in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Pit the cherries and remove the stems from the strawberries. In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest and salt into the sugar. If you’re using flour, add it to the sugar mixture. Add all the fruit and the jam to the bowl and toss gently to combine.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and then divide the fruit evenly between the disks, leaving a 1 1/2” border around the edges. Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling and gently brush the egg wash between the folds to seal. Chill the formed tarts until the dough is very firm.

While the tarts are chilling, preheat your oven to 400º. When the tarts are nice and cold, remove them from the fridge, gently brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle the pastry and the fruit with coarse sugar. Bake until the fruit juices bubble and ooze and the pastry is a deep golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Red Fruit Galettes - Lemon Fire Brigade

blackberry chocolate chip and cream muffins

comments 7
baking / Chocolate / Sweet

Blackberry Chocolate Chip and Cream Muffins - Lemon Fire Brigade

BLACKBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP + CREAM MUFFINS  // Makes 12 large muffins

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups + 1 tablespoon granulated cane sugar (for sprinkling berries), plus extra for sprinkling tops of muffins
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup crème fraîche
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Demerara, turbinado, or coarse sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and place it with 12 paper cup muffin liners (I used these) or line two large muffin trays with liners. Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Lightly beat in the eggs, add the cream, crème fraîche, vanilla, and mix to incorporate.

Toss the blackberries in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar and set aside. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir gently to combine. Fold in the berries and chocolate chips being careful to not streak the batter blue with the blackberries. Drop the batter into the cup liners and generously sprinkle the tops with both the demerara and granulated sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the tops are golden brown and feel firm to the touch. Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature. They will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container.

Blackberry Chocolate Chip and Cream Muffins - Lemon Fire Brigade

maple bars

comments 7
Dessert / Pastry / Sweets

Maple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire Brigade_MG_4575Maple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire Brigade_MG_6499Maple Bars - Lemon Fire BrigadeMaple Bars - Lemon Fire Brigade

I love donuts sooooo bad and when I can get my hands on a hot maple bar I seriously die. Made these to celebrate. Happy donut day !! xo.

MAPLE BARS // makes 12 large donuts
Mostly adapted from this Food + Wine bomboloni recipe via chef Kate Neuman

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm water
1 1/2 envelopes active dry yeast (3 1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 tablespoons whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)
1/3 cup granulated cane sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
4-6 cups canola or peanut oil, for frying

Maple glaze
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup grade B maple syrup, 
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tablespoon maple extract (optional for that super maple-y flavor)

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, mix the water, yeast, maple syrup and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the flour. (Alternatively, whisk the ingredients by hand.) Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 1 hour. Return the bowl to the mixer, fitted with a dough hook. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of flour, along with the milk, egg yolks, vanilla, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and the salt. Mix at low speed until blended, then add the butter and knead at medium speed until silky but sticky, about 5 minutes; the dough wot entirely pull away from the sides of the bowl. Using an oiled spatula, scrape the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour in a warm area until doubled in size.

In a large saucepan, heat the canola oil to 360° over medium-low heat. Line a rack with paper towels. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough a scant 1/2 inch thick. Slice the dough into 12 long rectangles as uniform as possible in size. (A pizza cutter was perfect for this). Fry the rounds in batches until they are lightly browned, about 40 seconds to 1 minute per side. Be sure to keep the oil between 360° and 375°. Drain the donuts on paper towels and continue frying the remaining dough.

In a small saucepot over medium heat, add the brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, and salt and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the milk and confectioner’s sugar and mix until very smooth. Pour the glaze into a shallow bowl for dipping. Glaze the donuts in the maple and set on a wire rack or serving dish. Serve immeditaely. *The donuts can be popped in the microwave for 10-12 seconds to enjoy at a later time

smokey carrot bruschetta

comments 5
Appetizers / sides / vegetarian

Smokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta  - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta  - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta with Pesto - Lemon Fire BrigadeSmokey Carrot Bruschetta  - Lemon Fire Brigade

I brought a tray of these over to a friends house for a potluck thing last weekend. There’s fresh basil pesto up in there, melty smoked mozzarella, and lemon zest-roasted carrots on toasted sourdough. They hit all the salty, smoky, cheesy, and curiously sweet marks.

SMOKEY CARROT BRUSCHETTA WITH PESTO // makes 16 toasts

Carrots
1 1/2 pounds baby carrots, cleaned and trimmed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Pesto
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 small garlic clove
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups packed genovese or sweet basil leaves
25 grams (about 1/4 cup) finely grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Assemble
1 loaf freshly baked sourdough bread, cut into 8 chunky slices and halved into triangles
3/4 to 1 pound smoked mozzarella, sliced into 8-16 wedges about 1/4-inch thick
Small basil leaves for garnishing
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400°F.

Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, zest, and the salt. Toss the carrots with the olive oil and lemon mixture and spread them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the edges have browned.

Meanwhile, add the pine nuts and garlic to the bowl of a food processor, and pulse a few times just until lightly chopped. With the processor on, add half of the basil leaves and drizzle in the olive oil, with the processor only running for a few seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining basil and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. (The less the basil blitzes in the processor the better, over blending can affect the gorgeous bright green color and taste). Transfer the pesto to a bowl, stir in the grated parmesan cheese until evenly combined, season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside for serving. The pesto will keep well generously drizzled with olive oil and stored in an airtight container up to 5 days.

To assemble, toast the sourdough slices on a baking sheet in the oven for just a few minutes until crisp. Meanwhile, have the pesto, mozzarella slices, and roasted carrots ready to assemble the bruschetta. Once the bread has toasted, spread a generous amount of pesto onto each slice, top with the mozzarella, and a few roasted carrots balancing over the top. Bake the bruschetta for about 5 minutes just until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, drizzle with olive oil and enjoy immediately.

Smokey Carrot Bruschetta  - Lemon Fire Brigade