Sunday, April 2, 2017

Crustless Spinach and Red Pepper Quiche

Easy and delicious and not too strong on flavours for those early morning tummies!
This recipe is from a delightful calendar that so many Canadians look forward to receiving every January- the "Milk Calendar" which is delivered in one of our large newspapers. They always have delicious recipes for each month and I try to make as many as I can during the year.

1 Tbsp dry bread crumbs
1 Tbsp butter
2 green onions, thinly sliced
4 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup (I used more) of roasted red pepper strips
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp each, salt and dried oregano
3/4 cup crumbled feta (well drained)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 10" pie pan (I used 9.5" and it was just fine); dust bottom and sides with the bread crumbs. Place pie pan on a baking sheet and set aside.
2. Melt butter in a large frying pan and add the sliced green onions. Cook about a minute. Add the spinach and stir until very wilted (2 minutes or so).
3. Spoon spinach mixture into the pie plate. Place red pepper strips on paper towels and squeeze out the oil as well as possible.  Place strips of red pepper on top of spinach like spokes on a wheel.
4. In a large bowl, whisk milk with eggs, cornstarch, salt, oregano, and pepper until well blended. Pour over spinach mixture. Arrange feta over top (it will sink a bit).
5. Bake about 35 minutes or until egg mixture is just set in middle. (For me this was too short-- I added about 10 minutes).
6. Remove from oven, let stand about 10 minutes. To serve, cut into wedges. Like pie, the first wedge may not be perfect.

Variation: You could try different combinations, like sundried tomatoes and dill.

(I forgot to take finished photos so these last two are photos of the recipe on the calendar where I found the recipe. This is the 2017 Milk Calendar from the Dairy Farmers of Canada. Next time I will take photos and replace these!)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Buttermilk-Glazed Mini Fig Cakes

These turned out really well and I received several compliments and requests for the recipe. I overfilled the muffin tins so my cakes ended up with rounded tops which when turned upside down (to look more like little cakes) meant they wouldn't sit flat. So I had to right them and they look like muffins. So that's a good lesson. I would have preferred more of a cake look. Nonetheless they are delicious!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup fig preserves (I used fig jam)
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Stir together flour and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Gradually add oil, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended. Add buttermilk and vanilla, beating until blended. Fold in preserves and pecans.

2. Spoon batter into 2 (12-cup) lightly greased (with cooking spray) muffin pans, filling 20 muffin cups about 3/4 full.

3. Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire racks. Cool completely about 45 minutes.

4. Drizzle cakes with Buttermilk glaze. Cool 10 minutes. Pipe vanilla Hard Sauce onto warm cakes, and serve.

Buttermilk Glaze
Bring 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup buttermilk, 4 Tbsp butter, 2 tsp cornstarch, and 1/4 tsp baking soda to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Immediately remove mixture from heat, and cool 10 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 tsp vanilla. (Makes about 3/4 cup)

Vanilla Hard Sauce
Split 1 vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape seeds into a large bowl. Stir in 2 cups 
powdered sugar. Beat 1 cup softened butter into sugar mixture at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. (Makes about 1 1/2 cups)

From one of my favourite baking books- Southern Living's The Southern Cake Book

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