• Apricot Cherry Crostata

    Welcome!! I hope you all survived this weekend’s heat wave by not leaving the house, it was the only way to survive. At my house, we spent the majority of Saturday inside, making brownies and playing Clue, which for once, didn’t end in fighting! We went mini golfing at night and were promptly attacked by bugs, but the ice cream afterwards made it all worth it. Sunday we spent the day at the beach, where the waves were very refreshing but I was pinched by not one, but TWO crabs. You can’t win them all I guess.

    ANYWAY, today’s recipe is another one of those ones pulled from my childhood memory vault, one that my Grandpa used to make in the summer when we were over for dinner. Whenever we would spend time at their house, the first thing we’d peruse was my grandpa’s stack of Bon Appetit magazines, which went years and years back. Come to think of it, I’m almost sure that is what sparked my interest in food in the first place. My grandpa was and still is an amazing cook, but with time, it’s gotten harder for him to make elaborate meals. So, last weekend, after saying for years that I would dig out this Apricot Cherry Crostata recipe, I did! I finally got to present it to my grandpa for dessert, and I’ll be honest I teared up when he saw it. He has always had a huge influence on what I cook and has been one of my biggest cheerleaders since the beginning, gosh I love him.

    This tart is the perfect summer dessert, its relatively quick, very easy, and it LOOKS so glamorous. Apricot Cherry Crostata, it even SOUNDS fancy. It’s best with peak-of-summer apricots and cherries, but my grandpa always made it with dried tart cherries and it was just as incredible. Nestled in a crisp, buttery crust, and topped with the shiniest apricot glaze, it looks so professional you might have to show your friends the dishes to prove you made this and didn’t buy it.

    OH ALSO. Something I have to mention, I met a real hero of mine this past week. If you’ve been around Sweet D for long enough, you’ve seen that I make a lot of recipes from Erin McDowell. She’s a food blogger and writer and so so cool. Well, this past week, I got to take a cake decorating class in the city taught by, you guessed it, HER. It was everything I dreamed it would be. We decorated chocolate cakes with macarons and other treats, and she remembered me and Sweet D and I almost cried. Life made.

    Me trying to keep it together

    Before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today!!
    ONE. A peach so juicy you have to eat it standing over the sink.
    TWO. Meeting your heroes.
    THREE. Baseball games in the summer.
    FOUR. A weekend with no plans.
    FIVE. Turning over a new leaf.

    Let’s bake!!

    Apricot Cherry Crostata

    Honey-sweet apricots, dark cherries, a buttery crust, sealed with a shiny jam glaze, this is the most impressive and deceivingly easy tart you'll ever make!
    Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
    Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
    Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Keyword: apricot, cherry, summer tart
    Servings: 8 people

    Ingredients

    Tart Crust

    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 Tbsp white sugar
    • ¼ tsp kosher salt
    • ½ cup unsalted butter; chilled and cut into small pieces
    • 2 Tbsp ice water

    Fruit Filling

    • 7 large apricots
    • 1 cup dark cherries; pitted and halved
    • cup white sugar
    • ½ cup apricot preserves

    Instructions

    Tart Crust

    • Blend together the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add in the butter and pulse 10-12 times, until the butter is pea-sized and evenly distributed.
    • Blend in the water by the tablespoon until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten to a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes before working.
    • When the dough is chilled, roll between 2 sheets of parchment paper to slightly larger than the size of your tart pan, about 11 inches. Carefully remove the top sheet of parchment and invert the dough into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
    • Gently press the dough into the pan, folding the excess into the tart pan so that the sides are double thick. Pierce the dough all over with a fork and freeze for 20 minutes. At this point, preheat the oven to 375°F.
    • Bake the tart shell for 25 minutes until set but still pale, and allow to cool before filling.

    Filling and Assembly

    • Blanch apricots in boiling water for 1 minute, then transfer to ice water. Peel, halve, and pit each apricot, then slice each half into 3 to 4 wedges.
    • Arrange the apricot slices in the tart shell as desired, then top with the pitted cherries. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top and bake the tart until the apricots are tender, about 50 minutes.
    • In a small saucepan, heat the apricot preserves until warm and pourable. Strain through a mesh sieve so that only the smooth jam is left.
    • Using a pastry brush or a spoon, cover the tart with a layer of the apricot jam. Remove the tart from its pan and serve warm or room temperature, preferably with ice cream!

    Looking for more summer fruit desserts? Look here, here, and here!

  • Roasted Rhubarb Sandwich Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze

    TODAY’S THE DAY!! At long last, I bring you our first rhubarb recipe of the season. I know you’re all just as excited as I am right???? Even if you’re not, once you see what’s in store you won’t be able to resist and that’s a fact. Let’s set the scene, shall we? It all started sometime last year, I was perusing my Instagram explore page as one does, and I came across this recipe. Except, as often happens, it was saved and then promptly forgotten about and it was soon buried under all the other recipes I save on a daily basis.

    Cut to two weeks ago, I am once again glued to my Instagram, and what do I see? The very same picture, except now I come to realize that the recipe is from one of my absolute FAVORITE blogs, A Cozy Kitchen! It was meant to be, and I simply had to try them out this time.

    This weekend I watched my sisters while my parents were away, and apart from getting up ungodly early on Saturday to take them to their SATs, I had a lot of free time to mess around with recipes I’d been saving. Obviously I started with this one, and oh boy did we start the weekend off right. The sweet-but-sour roasted rhubarb is such a surprise when sandwiched between a buttery scone dough, and the vanilla bean glaze is DECADENT. The recipe was so perfect that I changed very little, my only wish is that it made three times as many so I could eat these for breakfast forever.

    And how did the rest of the weekend go you ask? Well, I was determined to finally conquer my fear of grocery store seafood counters (is that a thing?), so I found a New York Times recipe for Seared Scallop Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes that seemed perfect. HA. The moment I began to sear my scallops, the ENTIRE house soon filled with smoke. I’m talking fire alarms on both floors, and a smokey haze within 5 minutes. Thank god I had my sisters on hand to open every window in the house and turn on every fan, but I cannot tell what happened! Some comments said don’t use a cast iron skillet, others said you should only use a cast iron skillet (????). I always thought that olive oil smokes easily on high heat, but the recipe requested it!

    Will I try it again? Who’s to say. Just know that if I do, it’s on the grill stovetop outside because I’m sure as hell not going through THAT mess a second time, I’m pretty sure the house will smell like scallops for weeks.

    But anyway, now that that’s settled, here are 5 things to be happy about today:
    ONE. Comfortable silence.
    TWO. Being the only person awake and having the house to yourself for a while.
    THREE. Treating yourself to a face mask.
    FOUR. A house full of plants.
    FIVE. Turning up the air conditioner so that you can keep using a blanket, even in the summer.

    Let’s bake!!

    Roasted Rhubarb Sandwich Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze

    The perfect combination of rich vanilla and tart rhubarb, these scones prove that there's more to rhubarb than strawberry rhubarb pie!
    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time25 mins
    Inactive Time20 mins
    Total Time1 hr 15 mins
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
    Keyword: breakfast, dessert, glaze, rhubarb, scone, vanilla bean
    Servings: 6 scones

    Ingredients

    Roasted Rhubarb

    • 2 cups diced rhubarb
    • ¼ cup white sugar
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
    • zest of ½ a lemon

    Scone Dough

    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 Tbsp white sugar
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp kosher salt
    • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter cold
    • 1 cup buttermilk plus more for brushing on top

    Vanilla Bean Glaze

    • cups powdered sugar
    • 5 to 6 Tbsp heavy cream
    • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
    • pinch of salt

    Instructions

    Roasted Rhubarb Steps

    • Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss together the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, and lemon zest until all the rhubarb is coated.
    • Pour onto the prepared pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft and juicy. Set aside to cool.

    Scone Dough Steps

    • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a box grater, grate the cold butter onto a cutting board or plate and add to the flour mixture. Freeze for 5 minutes.
    • Remove the bowl from the freezer and toss the butter pieces with the flour so that they're spread uniformly. Press the butter into the flour with your fingers until it's mixed throughout.
    • Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the dough begins to hold together, then dump onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until the dough is fully uniform (about 4 or 5 times, it's important not to overwork this or it will get tough).
    • Press or roll the dough into a ¼" thick rectangle, with one long end closest to you (so it folds hot dog style rather than hamburger style if you know what I mean). Spoon the rhubarb filling onto the front half of the dough, then carefully fold the other half of the dough over the rhubarb filling. Trim the edges so that they're neat and even.
    • Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 6 or 7 large scones and transfer them to your prepared sheet pan. Place the entire pan in the freezer for 15 minutes, while your oven preheats to 400°F.
    • Remove the tray from the freezer, brush the scones with some extra buttermilk and sprinkle with demarara sugar (optional). Bake the scones for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and risen. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before glazing.

    Vanilla Bean Glaze Steps

    • In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla bean paste, and pinch of salt. Feel free to adjust as you see fit, adding more powdered sugar or heavy cream as necessary. The glaze should be thicker than a normal glaze, just barely pourable so that when you spoon it over a slightly warm scone, it spreads as it melts.

    Notes

    If you don’t have vanilla bean paste, do not fret! Regular vanilla can be substituted just as easily here, as can a whole scraped vanilla bean. Additionally, if rhubarb isn’t your thing, this recipe could just as easily be done with strawberries or blueberries, just adjust the sugar level and baking time as necessary. YUM! xoxoxoxoxo

    Looking for more rhubarb recipes?? Look no further than here, here, and here! Happy baking!

  • Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

    I will warn you all right now, I’m on something of a blueberry kick right now, so be prepared for several blueberry recipes to come. It seems like the time, right? To be fair, there’s really never a time that’s not for blueberries, but now that Memorial Day has passed and summer has ~unofficially~ started, I find myself craving blueberry desserts all the time. Not to worry, I’ll soon bring out the rhubarb recipes I swear it, but until then, this glorious cake will do just as well.

    It all started when I came across this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I was looking for something simple for a weeknight birthday cake, without sacrificing taste. Imagine my displeasure when I went to buy raspberries at the store and discovered that they were $6 per tiny package!! I may act like I’m made of money when I step into Sephora but alas I am not. I decided that blueberries would just have to suffice, added some cinnamon to the batter and the topping, and voila, a beautiful cake was created! The cinnamon is a lovely compliment to blueberries, the buttermilk makes this cake impossibly moist, and the cinnamon sugar sprinkle on top lends a satisfying crunch to round the whole thing out. We stuck in some candles and called it birthday cake for my wonderful mom, and it was a hit! Second only to how good it was the next morning, slightly warmed and with a cup of coffee. If I started my day like that every day, maybe I’d consider becoming a morning person. CONSIDER it, but don’t hold me to that.

    Some quick notes about Sweet D, you may start to notice some little updates here and there, the largest being my fancy new recipe blocks (see below), over the next few posts. In an effort to bring forth the best blog that I can, I’m learning some new bits and pieces, along with the help of my computer science trained (recently graduated!) brother, to make my site easier to navigate and really get myself out there. In the coming weeks I’m hoping to reorganize my Recipes page as well, so I’ll be sure to keep you posted. It felt like the right time to take Sweet D to the next level, because I love having my little corner to bake and write, and I’m hoping other people do too. I’m not always a huge fan of change, but this feels like a good one!

    Before we get started of course, here are 5 things to be happy about:
    ONE. Checking up on a friend “just because”.
    TWO. Reflections on wet pavement.
    THREE. Measuring and setting out all your ingredients before you start cooking.
    FOUR. Sitting on the porch just to enjoy the weather.
    FIVE. Finding a new song that you listen to over and over.

    Let’s bake!!

    Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

    A play on an equally beautiful recipe from Smitten Kitchen, this incredibly simple recipe is as good for dessert as it is for breakfast, with bursts of jammy blueberry and a crisp, cinnamon sugar top.
    Prep Time20 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert
    Keyword: blueberries, cake, dessert, fruit, spring baking
    Servings: 8 people

    Ingredients

    Buttermilk Cake Ingredients

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • ½ stick unsalted butter softened
    • cup sugar
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • ½ tsp lemon zest
    • 1 egg
    • ½ cup buttermilk
    • 1 cup blueberries

    Cinnamon Sugar Topping

    • Tbsp sugar
    • ½ Tbsp ground cinnamon

    Instructions

    • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder + soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and the ⅔ cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
    • At this point, add in the vanilla and lemon zest, then the egg. Mix until all is well combined.
    • With the mixer on low, add the flour in three installments, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 installments. Mix until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.
    • Drop the blueberries on top of the batter in the pan, it doesn't matter how you arrange them, they'll sink into the cake as it bakes. Mix together the cinnamon sugar topping and sprinkle evenly over the entire batter.
    • Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cake in its pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate to serve. Best eaten warm!

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoD