Peach Blackberry Crumble Pie

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The weather’s chillier, PSL is already making its appearance, but I will still forever be in denial! #suMm3r2015 4ev3Rszzz. Summer has been and will always be my favourite season for several reasons– being outdoors, the hot weather, daytime extends into nighttime, the fresh produce, the abundance of farmers markets, and everyone seems generally happier and more smiley when the sun’s out.

Let’s be in denial together with this peach blackberry crumble pie. Inspired by my trusty Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie book and urged on by my quickly ripening flat of sunshiny peaches, the pie is more than an apt farewell to the fading summer season.

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White Chocolate Honey Matcha Mochi Cake

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Glutinous rice flour is a wonderful thing– when cooked, it’s chewy and dense in the most pleasant way possible. Rice flour comes in two types, either glutinous or non-glutinous. Glutinous rice flour (aka sweet rice flour) is made from grinding short grain sticky rice, and its starch content is very high, making it a great thickening agent. Despite its name, it’s neither sweet nor does it contain gluten. Regular rice flour can be made from medium or long grain rice, and it’s used more commonly in gluten-free baking. I’m super partial towards the glutinous type, just because lots of my childhood favourites were made with glutinous rice flour… I can see myself going through a phase of subbing out regular flour with glutinous flour in my recipes, just to see how well that chewy factor fits with the recipe.

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Tiramisu Domes

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Do these domes scream WELCOME TO CANADA?!?!???!

Because (yay) it’s been just over a week since meeting my sister in law, and I’m just excited to get to know her and make her feel at home–it’s not often that we’re welcoming a new family member from Korea!

I knew she didn’t have a sweet tooth at all, but the one dessert she does like is tiramisu. Which surprised me, because I think that’s a pretty strong-flavoured, punchy dessert (which means, there may be a potential sweet tooth in there…….). I mean, it doesn’t shy away from anything– it’s creamy, rich, boozy, sweet. Tiramisu as I know it, at least.

But I didn’t want to just leave it at that, because I felt like layering store-bought ladyfingers, soaked with espresso and liquor, with mascarpone cream was the easy way out. And all those Masterchef Australia dessert pressure tests got me thinking about dome molds. They were sort of overused on the show, but I can see why– spherify anything and its fancy factor goes up a few notches.

And with a little last minute Amazon shopping (silicone demi molds are the greatest), googling, recipe-adapting, and substituting later– we have tiramisu domes: mascarpone kirsch mousse with a chocolate-espresso centre, espresso-soaked coffee stracciatella sponge, and a boozy white chocolate glaze.

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Cherry Kirsch Crisp

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A large part of the joy of cooking is witnessing the perfection of nature.

I believe in respecting the integrity of foods– as Brooks Headley so eloquently put it, above. He also said, “the key to making great food is to get the best possible stuff and avoid fucking it up”. Okay Brooks, simple enough.

His cookbook Fancy Desserts is a real pleasure to read. It’s one of the quirkiest, unique, personal, thought-provoking, and creative-juice-stimulating ones I’ve ever read. (“I genuinely love holding a piece of fruit in its perfect state, barely able to contain its own fragile insides, a few hours away from rot. It is magic.”)

Although I haven’t gotten around to making anything from it yet (chocolate eggplant sounds a bit far fetched, even for me…), it just reminded me again how lucky I am to be spoiled by the bounty of local, fresh summer fruit.

For me, there’s a sort of default dessert they’ll be siphoned off to– a crisp. It always goes back to the crisp. It’s quick, easy, simple, versatile, and respectful. You’re fully in charge of how much or how little sugar to add, the combination of fruits, how “whole” you want to leave the fruit, the types of oats and nuts in the topping. Whether or not you want an element of surprise. Black pepper and strawberry, perhaps. A bit of herb in the topping, like thyme, perhaps. It’s easier to make than a pie, since there’s no waiting for the crust to chill, no need to dirty your counters rolling out the crust… it’s pretty much a mix-and-dump type deal. Plus, there’s the added bonus of being able to sneak in oats, your choice of nuts and seeds, and even almond flour into your crisp topping, so you can convince yourself it’s breakfast food. Serve it à la mode, and you’ve got yourself the perfect summer dessert.  Continue reading →