Friday, July 2, 2010

Blueberry Buckle

I had never heard of a "Buckle," let alone a "Blueberry Buckle," until this week on an episode of Good Eats. When I saw good ol' AB making it, I knew I'd have to try it out. Luckily it's blueberry season and they are fresh and inexpensive right now. I bought 4 pints this morning, and I'm going to freeze what's left over. Maybe I can use them in the dead of winter to make this again and remember the hot days of summer :)

Blueberry Buckle (Recipe from Alton Brown)

Cake Ingredients

9 ounces (by weight) cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
5 1/4 ounces sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup whole milk
15 ounces fresh whole blueberries

Topping Ingredients

3 1/2 ounces sugar
1 1/2 ounces cake flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 ounces butter, cubed and cold

1. Preheat oven to 375 *F and spray a 9x9 inch glass pan with nonstick spray.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and ginger. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer (with paddle attachment), beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well mixed.
4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture until well mixed, then 1/3 of the milk until well mixed. Repeatedly add flour then milk until everything is mixed.
5. Gently fold in the blueberries and pour the mixture into the baking pan.
6. To prepare the topping, whisk together the flour, sugar, and nutmeg. Add the butter cubes and mix with your hands or a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Spread on the top of the batter in the pan.
7. Bake for 35 minutes or until the top begins to turn golden brown. Cool and enjoy!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Grilled Pizza

This recipe is courtesy of Alton Brown, as transcribed from a new episode - "Flat is Beautiful V". As I mentioned in my first post, I am always hunting for the world's best pizza dough recipe, and I have found a contender. This recipe creates a crust that is chewy in the middle, super crunchy around the crust, has the wonderful look and taste of grill marks, and best of all (in the summer) is cooked outside. Not only is it amazingly tasty, it's also a lot of fun to make! It only required me to buy one ingredient that I didn't already have on hand, which is important to me, and now I have enough malted barley syrup to make approximately 100 pizzas :) Try this recipe, you will not be disappointed!

AB's Grilled Pizza Dough

16 oz all purpose flour (weighed)
1 envelope rapid rise yeast
1/2 T salt
2 T olive oil, plus some for oiling dough before grilling
1 T malted barley syrup (sometimes called malt barley extract, I found some at whole foods)
10 fluid ounces of warm water

1. Put all ingredients into stand mixer and combine on low for 1.5 minutes with the dough hook.
2. Increase speed to medium and knead for 15 minutes. The dough will be sticky.
3. Lightly oil a large container (such as a large pitcher) and scrape dough into the container. Cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour in a warm spot.
4. Turn out dough onto a floured surface, divide into three sections, and form each section into a ball. Cover with a towel and let rest for 45 minutes.
5. While you wait, contemplate toppings!
6. Just before the 45 minutes is up, turn your grill on high. If you are working with a charcoal grill, you should get it started sooner.
7. Take one section of the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface (a pizza peel would be ideal, but I don't have one. I use my counter). Either by stretching or rolling, create a 16 inch round with the dough. Transfer to a pizza peel or an upside down sheet pan.
8. Brush the top side of the dough with olive oil. Reduce heat to medium.
9. If your grill grates tend to stick to food, lightly oil them with a rag wet with vegetable oil.
10. Here comes the tricky part! Very quickly flip the pizza, oil side down, onto the grill. I never get it perfectly flat in one attempt, so I just
reach on in and adjust it. Very carefully of course.
11. Close the lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is. You want to look for the dough to form bubbles and blisters, this is how you know it's getting done on the underside. Or you can peek with a metal spatula.
12. Oil the top (dry side) of the dough, then slide it onto the peel or pan to flip it over. Quickly put on whatever toppings sound good, and close the lid to let the cheese melt. At this point I let the heat stay on medium for 1-2 minutes, then turn it down to low to keep it warm enough to melt the cheese, but not so hot that the crust burns.
13. Voila! After a few minutes, you will have a wonderful grilled pizza.

*The only change I made was to use less salt than AB called for. His original recipe used 1 full tablespoon, but a few online reviews said that was too much, so I cut it in half. The salt was not missed!