Limes, coconuts & vacation things

fullsizeoutput_2384

Hi friends!

fullsizeoutput_236f

fullsizeoutput_2375

It’s been a little while… I took a tropical vacation (much needed) with my mama to Hawaii, and we had a blast! Photo evidence below, since word on the street says pics or it didn’t happen…

fullsizeoutput_22b7

fullsizeoutput_228f

fullsizeoutput_22ac

fullsizeoutput_22f1

fullsizeoutput_2302

fullsizeoutput_22a4

IMG_0926

This also means it’s been about three weeks since I’ve baked anything substantial (one batch of cookies for the plane doesn’t count) – this felt good! I wanted to carry over the nice island vibes, hence the coconut – not like I don’t use coconut all the time anyway, hahaa…

fullsizeoutput_2367

fullsizeoutput_2385

This one was delicious! I very rarely bake with limes – mostly because I get annoyed juicing a zillion of them for just a little bit of juice – but they work fabulously here with the coconut and poppyseed. C and I decided that panna cotta makes the perfect vehicle for all the winter and early spring citrus, since it really lets the citrus shine.

fullsizeoutput_2365

As per usual, it made a great dessert and late brunch post-hike. We further decided that it’s a little too easy to eat… as in, nothing stops you from eating the whole thing in one sitting! Ha, kidding, not like we’ve done that…. More like, it’s so light and delicate that it doesn’t way you down the way some desserts do.

fullsizeoutput_2393

fullsizeoutput_2392

Regardless, it’s become a huge favorite of ours, which if you read this regularly, you’ve probably noticed!

fullsizeoutput_2383

It’s nice to be back in the blogspace! I hope all of my blog friends are doing well :) Happy spring!

fullsizeoutput_236e

Toasted Coconut & Lime Panna Cotta Tart on an Almond Poppyseed Crust

Gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several.

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 c cornmeal
3 tbsp poppy seeds
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, poppy seeds, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.
Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

For the panna cotta:

1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.5 cup full-fat coconut milk
1.5 tbsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 c lime juice
1 tbsp lime zest, finely chopped
scant 1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt

For garnish: sliced limes + toasted coconut

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the lime juice. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the 1.5 cups of coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add vanilla, maple, salt, and lime zest into it. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours. Top with sliced limes, toasted coconut & sliced almonds.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight and is EXCELLENT for breakfast the next morning :)

fullsizeoutput_2369

Citrus Shenanigans

fullsizeoutput_2256

Hi!

fullsizeoutput_224b

Today, I have more citrus for you! Winter citrus is my favorite. I’m also obviously loving panna cotta tarts lately – for whatever reason they are supremely satisfying to make, and so simple!

fullsizeoutput_223e

Plus, there are a thousand and one variations waiting to be explored, which is the seriously fun part.

This one was definitely a winner (I say was, as I suspect it shall not last long) – lightly citrusy and served with extra citrus slices for that tart punch. The coconut milk comes through as a nice background note.

fullsizeoutput_2249

Besides, we both LOVE poppyseed – back in the day, those poppyseed muffins were my JAM (I know you know the ones I’m talking about)… C and I were discussing earlier how as you unwrapped them they were just aggressively MOIST. It’s a thing!!! But undeniably delicious, despite being full of, ahem… crap.

fullsizeoutput_2252

fullsizeoutput_2253

This tart totally solves the poppyseed craving without all the nasty crap in the muffins – and without putting you in a food coma after eating. Win all around!

fullsizeoutput_2244

We ate it last night as a quick late snack after the opera and then again this morning  as part of a light breakfast after a few hours of gym climbing (my arms are officially blown, but that fully laid back 11a is MINE! ha).

fullsizeoutput_2254

Happy weekend! I hope you are seriously enjoying yours :)

fullsizeoutput_2250

Grapefruit and Meyer Lemon Coconut Panna Cotta with an Almond Poppyseed Crust

A Wait are those Cookies original! Yield: 1 9″ tart; serves several. Gluten free, dairy free & refined sugar free! A perfectly light dessert or fancy breakfast. It needs to be made ahead anyway, making it perfect for breakfast!

fullsizeoutput_224c

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/3c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3c cornmeal
1/4c poppy seeds
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, poppy seeds, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.
Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

For the panna cotta:

1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.5 cup full-fat coconut milk
1.5 tbsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 c meyer lemon & grapefruit juice
scant 1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt

For garnish: sliced meyer lemons & grapefruit + poppy seeds & sliced almonds

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the citrus juice. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the 1.5 cups of coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add vanilla, maple, salt into it. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours. Top with sliced citrus, poppy seeds & sliced almonds.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight and is EXCELLENT for breakfast the next morning :)

fullsizeoutput_2246

fullsizeoutput_2246

All things lemon, almond & poppyseed

IMG_3080

Hi blog friends!

I have cream biscuits and meyer lemon curd for you today. These biscuits are a huge favorite around here; in fact, we ate all but one in two sittings but very nearly ate that last one too… I think it will last until tonight but I wouldn’t place bets past midnight!

fullsizeoutput_15b7

These cream biscuits are so fast to throw together and really, they are an excuse for me to use Straus cream, which is just the best thing ever. We ate them with lemon curd and ice cream for dessert, which is awesome, and then with just lemon curd alongside (any guesses?) eggs and kale for breakfast – also awesome, obviously!

fullsizeoutput_15ca

And yes, that mason jar was completely full of lemon curd as of last night. We might more appropriately call it a VAT of lemon curd… which I’m not at all sorry about.

fullsizeoutput_15a7

I am going to keep this short today – today was crazy busy and I’m tired of looking at a computer screen…

fullsizeoutput_15c3

I do want to leave these here:

fullsizeoutput_4a9

IMG_5089

Jessie has been featured on here regularly and as of last week I had to say goodbye to her for now. I miss her terribly but I know she’s happily off chasing bugs in kitty heaven with her brother. Such great cats – they are very missed.

fullsizeoutput_15c9

I did some therapy baking this weekend – a batch of my favorite cookies (I should post those eventually… they keep getting eaten before I can take any pictures) – and then of course these biscuits on Monday.

fullsizeoutput_15b1

Side note – lemon curd freezes really well – I’d frozen two batches back in March and it was perfect to pull them out to accompany these for dessert. Obviously they didn’t last long – I’d consider them winners.

Happy May Day!

fullsizeoutput_15a5

Almond Poppyseed Cream Biscuit Shortcakes with Meyer Lemon Curd

Barely sweetened but indescribably creamy, these biscuits are a perpetual favorite around here. They work with pretty much any fruit – we ate them this time with lemon curd and vanilla ice cream. I love this for dessert since it is barely sweetened – there is only a little sprinkled over the tops of the biscuits and the lemon curd only has 2.5 tbsp for the entire batch. The lemon curd is one you’ve seen many times on here, and the cream biscuits lightly adapted from Alice Medrich of Food52, here. Yield: 6 shortcakes.

For the cream biscuits:

1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
4 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tsp baking powder
heaping 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c + 6 tbsp cream
1 tsp coconut sugar, to sprinkle

Preheat the oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with three pieces of parchment, to prevent excess browning. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and sea salt. Create a well in the center and pour in the cream and almond & vanilla extracts. Using a rubber spatula, push the flour into the cream (not stirring), until everything is moistened. This really only takes a few seconds! The dough will look shaggy and porous. Drop large spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle generously with coconut sugar. Bake for 14-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet front to back once halfway through, until golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely (or eat warm).

Maple Lemon Curd:

2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1/3 c lemon juice
zest of 4 lemons
pinch of sea salt
2.5 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

I used a double boiler for this lemon curd, which literally is a game changer. Highly recommended! Heat water in the bottom of the double boiler until it’s at a high simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest and juice, sea salt, and maple syrup. Add in the coconut oil one tbsp at a time, whisking continuously, not adding the next tbsp until the first is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, until the lemon curd thickens and will coat the back of a spoon (or your whisk leaves tracks) – usually around 5 to 8 minutes. It’s a noticeable change when it happens, so just watch the cooking magic! Remove from heat and store in a glass container in the fridge until ready for use.

Serve biscuits with a giant dollop of lemon curd and vanilla ice cream for dessert, or just lemon curd alongside breakfast. The biscuits keep well loosely covered in foil on the counter overnight, but I would definitely bake them the day you plan to eat them – they are best that way!

fullsizeoutput_15c6

fullsizeoutput_15cd

When life hands you lemons… make curd, of course!

IMG_2589

Hello hello!

fullsizeoutput_13c8

My car died on a freeway on-ramp today, isn’t that special? So thankful nothing worse happened – no one rear ended me, and it didn’t happen on the bridge. Could have been so much worse! Whew.

fullsizeoutput_13cd

But before that happened, at least I had cake with brunch! Poppy seed cake with Meyer lemon curd, to be exact. So so delicious & so awesome for brunch and dessert.

IMG_2582

I believe this cake is actually old world Austrian in origin (actually – I had to look it up! It’s an Austrian-Northern Italian Alps hybrid beauty), but it happens to be naturally grain and gluten free. Interestingly, it also contains no added fats like butter or oil, but is leavened with whipped egg whites. I adapted it to be much less sweet and refined sugar free, making it pretty much paleo. It’s also dairy free, as is the lemon curd – which is appropriately tart, as per our joint penchant for tart things!

fullsizeoutput_13c1

We loved this cake both with ice cream for dessert and alongside eggs and kale for breakfast – it really shines both ways. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a super rich layer cake – it’s actually airy, light and refreshing. I made extra lemon curd for drizzle because our general motto is that you can never have too much curd! Ha.

fullsizeoutput_13d2

fullsizeoutput_13bf

In other news, I’ve been doing a lot of ridgeline hiking to take my mind off some persistent and uncomfortable health issues. The views are awesome and it’s great to get outside (and outside my head). More on that later, maybe or maybe not – I try to keep this space light. It’s just not been my best month, and I and I’d rather not pretend everything is rosy when it isn’t.

fullsizeoutput_139a

IMG_2588

I can make cake though, and eat it with my favorite human. That makes life so much brighter, and I always find solace in baking and in the company of loved ones.

fullsizeoutput_13a4

fullsizeoutput_13bd

Bake, eat, love; surround yourself with those who make you feel loved and safe, and feed them. To me, this is one life’s best gifts.

Happy weekend!

fullsizeoutput_13b7

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd

Grain and gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, pretty much paleo. Lightly sweet and plenty tart, in the best way! Prepare to floss excessively – this is for those who love poppy seeds! Yield: 2 8” cake layers or one 10” cake. Serves 6-8 (or two, for two meals with leftovers ;) cake adapted from Food52, here; the lemon curd is one I’ve made a zillion times; you’ll find it elsewhere on the blog and it is my current reigning favorite.

fullsizeoutput_13b2

For the cake

  • 1 Meyer lemon
  • heaping 1/4 c maple sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • large pinch of salt
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled & grated
  • 7 oz almond flour (~2c but weighing is better!)
  • 7 oz poppy seeds
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder

Heat oven to 350. Grease 2 8” cake pans (or one 10” pan) and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

Zest the lemon and place the zest along with the maple sugar in a large bowl. Rub the sugar and the zest together until the sugar is damp and fragrant. Separate the eggs and add the yolks to the bowl with the sugar and zest, and the whites to another large bowl. Beat the yolks with the zest and sugar until light in color and creamy. Juice the lemon and stir juice through the grated apple, then add to the bowl of yolks/sugar/zest along with maple syrup, vanilla, salt, almond flour, poppy seeds, and baking powder. Stir to combine – the batter will be thick. Wash the beaters thoroughly, and beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the rest of the batter, then pour it into the prepared pans.

Bake for 30 minutes (for 8” cakes; 40 minutes for a 10”), until the top is springy and golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

Once cool, layer with lemon curd and store in the fridge until serving or serve immediately. Keeps well covered in the fridge for about 2-3 days.

For the Meyer lemon curd

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 c Meyer lemon juice
  • zest of 4 Meyer lemons
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3.5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla

I use a double boiler for this lemon curd, which definitely is a game changer. Highly recommended! Heat water in the bottom of the double boiler until it’s at a high simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest and juice, sea salt, and maple syrup. Add in the coconut oil one tbsp at a time, whisking continuously, not adding the next tbsp until the first is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, until the lemon curd thickens and will coat the back of a spoon (or your whisk leaves tracks) – usually around 5 to 8 minutes. It’s a noticeable change when it happens, so just watch the cooking magic! Remove from heat, strain to remove any solids (ie lemon zest) – I use a metal mesh strainer over my storage jar of choice – and store in a glass container in the fridge until ready for use. Keeps for a week in an airtight jar, and freezes well for later use.

fullsizeoutput_13d3

fullsizeoutput_13d7