Recipe test: NYT Chocolate Pumpkin Layer Cake

Chocolate pumpkin layer cake

Forget about the other things you have planned for this weekend. You need to make this New York Times Chocolate-Pumpkin Layer Cake. You’re probably already buying a pumpkin or two for carving. Add a good eating pumpkin to your cart, check out my pumpkin puree instructions here, and you’ll be well on your way to the perfect October dessert.

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This recipe is easy and works as written. First prepare your cake pans. Parchment tutorial is here. Then sift together the dry ingredients.

pumpkincakedrying

Cream together the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. The recipe says to mix for 3 minutes, but this is a variable amount of time, depending on the softness of your butter. It usually takes me more than 3 minutes to get any combination of butter and sugar to be light and fluffy.

With the mixer running on low, beat in the eggs one at a time. Allow the eggs to mix between additions so that the mixture comes back together. Add the pumpkin puree (Libby’s works too, but fresh puree is amazing). At this point the mixture will look curdled, but that’s okay.

Add flour in three additions and mix just until it is incorporated. Do not overmix the flour into the batter or your cake will end up rubbery. Mix in the chocolate chips and pecans just until they are incorporated.

Bake at 350°F until the cakes spring back to the touch and a skewer comes out clean. Cool, and prepare the icing.

Chocolate pumpkin layer cake

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a water bath. Because I did not have unsweetened chocolate, I used semi-sweet chocolate and cut out 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar. However, I felt the frosting was overly sweet, and recommend following the directions for unsweetened chocolate. While the chocolate is melting, beat together the butter and powdered sugar, then add the melted chocolate and vanilla.

To frost the cakes, place one layer bottom-side down on your plate or cake board. Spread 1/3 of frosting over the top, then place the second cake upside-down on top of that frosting, so that the bottom (flat side) of that cake is now on top. Spread next 1/3 of frosting on top of the top cake layer. Then spread remaining frosting around the sides of the cake.

You’ll now probably have a mess of excess frosting hanging off the top edge of the cake. Smooth the sides the way you want them, then going around the cake, make one short pass over the top edge of the cake and remove the excess frosting. You’ll make one pass along one edge of the cake, scrape the excess frosting back into the frosting bowl, then turn the cake and do it again. Repeat this until you have gone around the whole cake, and you should now have a smooth top.

Chocolate pumpkin layer cake

To pipe a design without a piping bag or tips: use a Ziploc sandwich bag. Take the excess frosting that you just scraped off the top edge of the cake and put it in a Ziploc sandwich bag.
Snip a 1/4″ hole out of the corner of the bag, and you can now pipe along the top and bottom of the cake.

piping

Now cut, eat and enjoy!

Masters Mama Chocolate pumpkin layer cake

Peach Blueberry Cake anyone can make

There’s nothing like a perfect peach.

Peachintree

And nothing like turning a perfect peach into an even better dessert.

Blueberry peach cake

A few weeks ago we had a tree full of ripe peaches and the corresponding debate about the best way to use them. Luckily, Epicurious came through with this awesome recipe for peach blueberry cake. Find the original recipe here.

This cake totally rocks. It falls somewhere between a cake and a pie, and is light enough to enjoy any time of day. I decreased the sugar in the fruit from the original recipe, giving me zero qualms about serving this morning or night. The best part about it? Anyone can make this. I mean it. You do not need any special skills or equipment.

Start by making the crust. The recipe calls for pulsing it in a food processor. If you don’t have one, just mix together the dry ingredients, then use two knives to “cut in” the butter to combine it with the flour. Use a spatula to add in the egg and vanilla to finish the dough.

The recipe also calls for using a springform pan. I always use a regular pan lined with parchment on the bottom. Find my parchment tutorial here. Press the crust into the pan, then chill while you make the fruit filling.

I made a couple of changes to the original recipe for the fruit filling. First, I substituted 3 Tbsp. tapioca flour for the 2 Tbsp. flour and 1 Tbsp. tapioca. I had tapioca flour on hand and didn’t feel like grinding tapioca. I also cut the amount of sugar back to 1/4 cup from the 1/2 cup in the original recipe. For the filling just toss everything together and spoon into the crust. Easy as… peach blueberry cake.

Peachblueberryprep

The Epicurious recipe says to bake it at 400°F, but that’s a bit high for my liking and people seemed to have issues with burning on the bottom. I baked it at 350°F and had no problems. Ovens vary, so I would start checking it at about an hour. Since I used a regular cake pan, I cooled it at room temperature a bit, then chilled it in the refrigerator to set up.

Getting it out of the pan is a little trickier than a regular cake, but not too bad. Make sure it is chilled and the fruit has set up. Run a knife around the edge to loosen the crust, then cover the top of the cake with a plate or cutting board. Turn everything upside down so that the plate/cutting board is on the bottom, and gently shake to turn it out. If it resists releasing, turn it right-side up and warm the bottom over a burner on your stovetop. Do this by moving it around for 10-15 seconds over a warm burner to slightly melt the butter in the crust. Then flip it back and try again and it should release. Place your serving platter atop the bottom crust (which is now on top), then flip it back over. Finally, cut, eat and enjoy!

Peach Blueberry Cake

NY Times Cherry Coconut Ice Cream Sandwiches

New York Times Cherry Coconut Ice Cream Sandwiches

We might have stumbled upon the perfect dessert. Seriously. The Cherry Coconut Ice Cream Sandwiches recipe from the New York Times might just be the total package. Find the recipe here.

Forget what you think you know about ice cream sandwiches. I would never be drawn by the component parts individually. Of all the flavors of ice cream, cherry probably ranks in my bottom third. And a lemon wafer cookie? Meh. But together, the flavors sing and the cookie brings a buttery crunch to the smooth ice cream. Suddenly cherry ice cream is actually worth something.

The best part about these ice cream sandwiches is that you don’t have to go to some hot new restaurant in Brooklyn to get it. You can make this yourself. TODAY. Do it, it’s totally worth the prep and planning that is required to make an ice cream dessert.

The recipe completely works as written. The first thing you do is make the ice cream base. Cherry ice cream does require the pitting of about a pound of cherries. Since this was going to be a Father’s Day dessert, I recruited a sous chef. I highly suggest getting yourself one of these.

Gotta take a selfie before you start working.

Gotta take a selfie before you start working.

Start by cooking the pitted cherries with the sugar, salt and lemon juice until they’re soft – it took me about 10 minutes – pretty simple.

The ice cream custard is a little trickier, but you can do it. I used milk in place of the cream/half & half and it worked just fine. Bring it to a boil with the sugar and vanilla.

Milk

Once that boils, you’re going to temper it into the egg yolks and tapioca starch (I was tempted to substitute corn starch here but since it will not boil again you might be left with a starchy taste) that you have whisked together. To temper a hot liquid into egg yolks means you’re introducing the heat gradually so that the eggs don’t cook and curdle like they would if you just dumped them into the boiling cream. While constantly whisking, pour 1/2 of the hot cream into the eggs.

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Now switch to a rubber spatula, and while stirring the mixture in the saucepan, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan.

Eggsintomilk

Over low-medium heat, gently but constantly stir to keep the eggs from cooking on the bottom of the saucepan. Cook until the mixture thickens and holds a line if you run your finger across the coated spatula, but do not let it boil. You want the eggs to cook enough that they will hold the custard together, but not so far that they cook into tiny egg particles.

Once cooked, add it to the cherry mixture in the blender, blend until smooth, then strain and chill (I like to use an ice bath).

This next part required the purchase of a new ice cream machine, after, ahem, an over-exuberant cleaning frenzy left me without a small, yet critical part, of our old machine. I found this Cuisinart on Amazon and was happy with the simplicity of it. There are only four large parts so hopefully I can avoid tossing another perfectly good machine. It did a great job freezing the ice cream in about 15 minutes.

Cuisinarticecream

The cookies are pretty straightforward. Mix the dough, let it chill, then roll and cut rounds to your liking.

Sandwichcookies

The fun part is the assembly. Let the cookies cool completely before you begin, and make sure the ice cream has had time to set in the freezer. I put the dried coconut on a plate and rolled the sides in it once the ice cream was sandwiched. Return the cookies to the freezer to set, call your friends, and wait for the compliments to come rolling in. These are the real deal.

NY Times Cherry Coconut Ice Cream Sandwiches

EASY Chocolate Whiskey Cake

You have no idea what my family had to go through for this post. They had to test not one, but two versions of this New York Times Chocolate Whiskey Cake recipe. It’s right up there with the potato famine, the Five Points slum, or perhaps it’s just the luck o’ the (1/4) Irish.

New York Times Chocolate Whiskey Cake, dutch processed cocoa

I made the first version of this for my 11-year-old’s birthday last Monday. Being a Monday, and Mondays being a long run day, grocery-shopping/errand day, and oh, by the way, early release from Bainbridge schools day, I needed something easy. And fast. That would still be a treat. This cake fit the bill perfectly.

You don’t need a fancy mixer to make this cake. And it tastes great on its own, without the need for frosting or any other time-consuming garnish.

On Monday when I made the cake, I followed the recipe exactly as written, though as I’ve said in the past, I don’t use a springform pan. Find my simple trick for releasing cakes from regular cake pans here. The variable ingredient between the two versions of the cakes was the cocoa powder.

I prefer my chocolate to be dark and strong, and therefore use dutch processed cocoa (which tends to be darker) in most recipes. However, if baking soda is the type of leavening used, dutch processed cocoa can cause the recipe to be overly alkaline. If this is the case and the alkalinity is not neutralized, you’re going to get a less desirable final product. This recipe does use baking soda, but does not specify the type of cocoa powder to use. So I went dark. The dutch processed cocoa.

The result was a super dark, somewhat dense, moist chocolate cake with a depth of flavor from the coffee and whiskey. It was somewhere between a cake and brownie in texture, with a strong dark chocolate flavor.

New York Times Chocolate Whiskey Cake dutch process

New York Times Chocolate Whiskey Cake with dutch processed cocoa powder

But I was curious. How would it differ if I used traditional (natural) cocoa powder but kept everything else the same?

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New York Times Chocolate Whiskey Cake with natural cocoa powder

This version of the cake was lighter, more cake-like in texture, and more mild in flavor. I would guess that this is the intended version of the recipe and two out of three McDevitts polled preferred this one to the other.

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But the adults in the household liked the darker flavor of the first cake, and Mike didn’t mind the denser texture. If you’re really torn about which to choose, try both. It’s a fun experiment.

This is a great recipe, and if you’re looking for something to accompany your corned beef and cabbage this week, this is it.

Kick ass while you’re hurt

Injured? Congratulations! You’re following advice from pro runner Kyle Merber:

Your coach will hate me for this debatably terrible advice I am about to give, but if he heard me out fully, then maybe he’d only respectfully disagree: I think you should get hurt.

Read the full post – he has a really great blog – here.

He’s right though. I agree that a performance breakthrough frequently comes on the heels of some sort of break in training.

You’re good at running? Now get good at being hurt.

I try to schedule a couple of two week training breaks throughout the year, usually one in the summer, and one over the winter holidays following cross country club nationals. This year I didn’t take the summer break, and I think that really came back to haunt me in the fall. But boy, did I take advantage of this last break. I really needed it, not only to rest an injury, but mentally as well.

When I take a break, I REALLY take a break. Instead of cross training, I head to the kitchen.

In The Sweet Kitchen Almond and Dried Bing Cherry Braid

Almond and Dried Bing Cherry Braid

This is a great recipe from In The Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley, the IACP cookbook of the year in 2001. This is one of my favorite pastry cookbooks of all-time, and if you’re going to invest shelf space and money in a cookbook, this is a good one. The recipes are well-written, easy to follow, and most importantly, they work. I have yet to have a disappointing result, and this bread was no different. It’s like a challah loaf stuffed with kirsch and amaretto-laced almond paste. I hadn’t thought it possible to improve upon the eggy goodness of a quality loaf of challah, but I was wrong.

For Christmas Eve, I tried to kick it up a notch. Having a quiet holiday at home, I had visions of a cozy day of baking with my kids: them, rapt with interest watching me perform feats of pastry-making as I assembled a tower of pâte-a-choux reaching for the sky. Instead, they had their faces in books all day and probably would have been just as happy if I threw a stack of Oreos on a plate.

Christmas Croquembouche

Christmas Croquembouche

How many things are just wasted on the young?

Thanks to a teammate, I discovered homemade Christmas ornaments.

Modular Christmas Star Origami Ornament

If you like origami, these are really fun to make. Check out the youtube video here. All you need is one of those block cubes of notepaper and some ribbon. The bell/ribbon I added inside came from Oriental Trading and made a fun stocking stuffer for the kids. As it turns out, needing to fold 30 units of paper before assembling the star is a little more delayed gratification than my children are willing to handle. So, I hijacked the project. No use wasting a perfectly good craft on them too.

I say this all with a bit of a caveat. This break was easy and enjoyable because I have exactly NO races on the calendar. And because I’m (hopefully) on the upswing and back to running again little by little. But it’s part of the deal. If you run competitively you’re going to get hurt. Might as well learn to get good at this part too.

Break Your Resolutions Pancakes

I can’t stand it. How can the party be over ALREADY? Didn’t the vacation just start? A large part of me wants to spend 2016 as Christmas Break me: a lot of cooking and baking, little working out, and no worries about getting kids to school, making school lunches, or the afternoon activity shuttle. I can get behind a year of nothing but pajamas.

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For those who are with me on this, I give you the best pancakes ever. Don’t start your resolutions yet. You need to try these fist.

Ricottapancakes

These are extra fluffy, setting up nice and high with the help of ricotta cheese and whipped egg whites. The base recipe lends itself well to additions of fruit and berries. Into the batch I made over the weekend I added thinly sliced applies, laying them over the batter after I scooped them onto the griddle. This recipe makes enough to feed 4 people who love pancakes. Double it if you like leftovers (I think these taste great cold the next day), or if you have anyone in the house like Alexa, who seems to have an extra pancake compartment in her stomach.

RICOTTA PANCAKES

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 oz. melted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 egg whites

Directions

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. Add sugar and stir together.

Whisk together the egg yolks, ricotta cheese, milk, melted butter and vanilla.

Fold the egg yolk mixture gently into the dry ingredients. ***The key to delicate pancakes is in this step. When you mix wet ingredients into flour, it works the gluten in the flour and develops its elasticity. This is desirable in bread making, which is why you knead bread dough so much. Elasticity in pancakes, however, is less appealing, so you want to work the flour as little as possible. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour the egg yolk mixture into the center of the well. Using a rubber spatula, run the spatula around the edge and bottom of 1/4 of the bowl, folding the spatula over the top of the mixture, which pulls the dry ingredients through the wet. Continue this around the bowl. Only fold until the flour is barely incorporated into the wet ingredients. You want to have lumps, otherwise the flour will start to get over-mixed, resulting in tough pancakes.

With a stand mixer, hand mixer, or with a large whisk, whip the egg whites until they reach soft peak.

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Carefully scoop the whites onto the pancake batter and gently fold just until it is incorporated in. Folding more than that will not only keep working the gluten in the flour, but will deflate the air you just whipped into the whites.

Preheat a skillet or griddle, then scoop batter (I use an ice cream scoop – it keeps things pretty neat) onto the griddle, cook and enjoy!

“Healthy” energy bar treats

Let’s face it: “healthy” is a relative term. The Cheez-Its I love to eat don’t seem so bad since they’re not Twinkies. Twinkies aren’t as bad if they’re not deep-fried. I mean, life has got to be about more than just kale and quinoa.

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See where I’m going here? I’m about to make you feel good about eating marshmallows.

Rice Krispie treats aren’t so bad if they look like this.

Granolabars

This is a fast, easy, “healthy” snack that’s not super sweet. They’re packed with protein and fiber (and marshmallows) and my kids love them. I make a big batch, cut them and keep them in the freezer. This recipe makes one 9″ x 13″ pan.

Ingredients

2 cups Rice Krispies
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup diced dried fruit
1 cup peanuts, roasted and unsalted
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
10 oz. marshmallows

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Directions

Stir together dry ingredients.

Baringredients

In a large stock pot (large enough to hold and mix all of the ingredients), melt together butter, peanut butter and marshmallows.

Add dry ingredients to marshmallow mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon.

Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with parchment paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Press mixture into pan.

Cool, cut and enjoy!

Super Fast Fig Jam

It’s ten o’clock in the morning, and it’s already been one of those days. You know, the kind when the alarm pulls you so far out of sleep that you don’t know where you are. Or what you’re supposed to be doing. When I finally figured out that the alarm really was FOR ME, it took me twice as long to brush my teeth and get to the pool, where I promptly realized that I hadn’t grabbed my goggles or swim cap. For most people this wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, but for this pathetic swimmer, it meant mouthfuls of water and a significantly slower workout. Which had the cascading effect of making me almost late for my date with my trainer. And new training partner, Accidental Runner’s Melisa, who has been such a fantastic addition to my strength routine this week.

Days like this beg for simplicity. A padded room and blunt objects. Fig jam that requires only five ingredients, one of them being water.

Our desert fig tree is about the only thing in the yard that doesn’t seem to mind this drought.

Figtree

We gathered an initial harvest a few weeks ago, and look to have a second crop ripening on the tree now.

Plateoffigs

This recipe is adapted from Food & Wine Magazine. See the original here. This filled a little more than two 1/2-pint jars for me.

Ingredients

2 pounds green or purple figs, stemmed and quartered
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cognac

figquarters

Directions

In a saucepan, toss the figs with the sugar and let stand 15 minutes until juicy.

Add lemon juice, water and cognac and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer over medium heat until fruit is soft and liquid runs off the side of the spoon in thick, heavy drops, about 30 minutes.

Spoon into 1/2-pint jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace at the top. Close jars and cool to room temperature. Store in refrigerator up to 3 months.

Summertime Blueberry Hand Pies

Tartlettes

There’s something magical about picking berries on a summer day with your children. Our first outing was a little less productive…

Colinberry

… but nine years later we’re like a well-oiled machine. Mike and I aren’t the only ones with a competitive streak. This year the 8-year-old was determined to outpick her older brother. Which she did.

Blueberries

The next problem, of course, is what to do with all of those berries. We decided on pie, blueberry being my favorite type. I had some leftover pie dough in the freezer, though not enough to make a full pie. I had a kid who was eager to help, and figured I’d lose some of that momentum stopping to make another batch of dough. So we went with hand pies. They are a little more work than full size, but the finished product is quite cute and would be great for a party. And isn’t everything more fun when eaten by hand? The following recipe makes 10-12 mini pies, and should also work if made into a 9″ pie.

For the dough (recipe based on a Julia Child recipe, hat tip to Metro Market Catering for introducing it to me):

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
8 oz. unsalted butter, cold
1/4 cup cold water

Directions
Sift together flour, sugar and salt.
Cube cold butter.

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Using a food processor (ideally), stand mixer, or by hand, “cut” butter into dry ingredients. The cut-in butter method is the same technique you would use to make any short dough: pie dough, biscuits, scones, etc. The idea is to incorporate the butter into the flour with as little mixing as possible. Overmixing the dough, even at this stage, works the protein in the gluten, making it more elastic and creating a tougher, more chewy final product. If you are using a food processor, pulse until the butter pieces are the size of dry lentils. If you are using a stand mixer, mix on the lowest speed until butter pieces are the size of dry lentils. If you are mixing by hand, rub the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of peas (I leave the butter a little bigger in this case since it is warmer from your hands).

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Add cold water and mix just to incorporate the water throughout the mixture. The dough will still be crumbly. At this point, turn the mixture onto a cutting board or counter. Using the palm of your hand, smash handful-sized portions of the mixture into the cutting board to turn the crumbs into a dough.

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Gather dough into a disk and chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax, and prevents the dough from shrinking as you roll it out.

For the blueberries (recipe taken from Allrecipes, find the original here):

4 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon, and toss together with blueberries.

At this point you can assemble a 9″ pie, or use a standard muffin pan to make minis.

For the hand pies (this recipe makes 10-12 mini pies):

Roll the dough to 1/8″ (or less) thickness. This is thinner than you would roll the crust for a regular pie, because you want a good crust-to-filling ratio. Since muffin cups vary in size and depth, you want to find a circular cutter (or template) that is 1-2″ larger than the diameter of the muffin cup. Spray muffin cups with nonstick coating. Cut rounds out of the dough, then press them into the muffin cup, leaving a bit extra over the edges.

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Fill cups with blueberry mixture.

Filledshells

Then roll and cut strips of dough to make the lattice top. Wet the edges of overhang with a little water, which will make the lattice stick, then arrange the lattice strips to your liking. This is a great job for a kid, if you can overcome your OCD enough to let it happen (I can only do this some of the time). Press them into the bottom dough to seal, and trim around the edges. Chill in the refrigerator 30 minutes. This allows the gluten in the dough to relax again, to keep it from shrinking as it bakes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Latticeshells

Bake in a 425 degree oven until crust is golden. Cool until they’re easy to handle, then unmold by carefully twisting to loosen, or running a knife along the edge.

Peach rhubarb shortcake

PeachRhuShortcake

The sh*t’s getting real in the McDevitt garden. Things are coming up all over the place.

Gardencollage

This has had the unfortunate effect of filling me with an overwhelming desire to lie down on the couch and order a pizza.

But this weekend I had a flash of inspiration. I could deal with the third round of rhubarb that is bursting at the seams, and the ripening crop of peaches that were planted as an afterthought last season, all in one go.

Peachrhufruitcollage
Doing it as a shortcake, instead of, say, cobbler, would keep the oven time to a minimum. Which was a must, since temperatures soared into the 90s again. It also has the additional benefit of transitioning easily into breakfast for the kids this week. I’ll put the fruit filling over plain yogurt and pair it with leftover shortcake or toast. Somehow this at least feels a little more parentally responsible than just dishing out last night’s pie.

This recipe makes a lot of filling. If you don’t have as much fruit to put to use, or don’t enjoy leftovers, then this recipe is easily halved. I also like to make extra shortcakes, which freeze well for future use. This recipe makes around a dozen shortcakes using a 2 1/2″ round cutter.

Perfect Peach Rhubarb Shortcake
Print
For the fruit filling
  1. 8 cups rhubarb, sliced into 1/2" pieces
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  4. 10 cups peaches, peeled, pitted and diced to 1/2" cubes
  5. 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  6. 1 cup sugar
  7. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
For the shortcake
  1. 3 cups all purpose flour
  2. 3 Tablespoons sugar
  3. 4 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 cup butter
  6. 1 cup buttermilk
For the yogurt cream
  1. 1 1/4 cup whipping cream
  2. 1/2 cup plain yogurt
For the fruit filling
  1. In a large saute pan, toss rhubarb with 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon.
  2. In a separate bowl, toss peaches with cornstarch, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg.
  3. Heat rhubarb on medium heat, stirring constantly so that the sugar melts. Cook until rhubarb softens and starts to break up. Add peaches and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for a minute to cook the cornstarch.
  4. Set aside and cool.
For the shortcake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Cut butter into 1/2" cubes.
  4. Add butter to dry ingredients and "cut in", mixing on low speed until it has a sandy texture and the biggest pieces of butter are the size of lentils.
  5. Add buttermilk and mix just until a dough comes together. Do not overmix.
  6. Roll dough to 1" thickness, and cut into circles (I use a 2 1/2" round cutter).
  7. Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned.
For the yogurt cream
  1. Combine cream and yogurt and whip until soft peaks form.
Assemble the shortcakes
  1. Cut shortcake in half. Place a generous scoop of fruit filling on top of bottom half. Top with yogurt cream, then cover with top half of shortcake.
  2. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. For the fruit filing: If you have very ripe peaches, wait until rhubarb is almost completely cooked to add, then cook as directed.
For the shortcake
  1. I don't keep buttermilk in the house, but make it by adding 1 Tbsp. lemon juice to a scant cup of milk.
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