We've all had the same experience the last few weeks- staring into the void of the freezer, wondering what to make of it all. You can't manifest Ben and Jerry's, fresh berries don't last a day, and the last of the chocolate was consumed days ago.
We're going to focus for the foreseeable future on recipes that will work with a variety of options from the larder, and invite you to enjoy cooking or baking. Less "a cup of this" and more.... "a dash to taste". Cook on Clay pots are about the journey- so we welcome you sharing yours, as well.
Its the perfect time for cobbler, and this recipe makes it easy. Work with frozen berries (and if you don't have them, its an easy to store, stable, inexpensive item to grab next visit to the store). If you've got rhubarb or strawberries in the garden, they can be used fresh.
Throw your fruit into a Cook on Clay casserole on the stovetop. Frozen, fresh, it doesn't matter. How much? How much do you have?
Add an inch of water to the bottom of the pot- this is just so the fruit doesn't burn.
Now add some sweetness. Sugar (white or brown), honey, corn syrup, even maple syrup can work. Start with a ratio of 1 part sweet to 5 parts fruit.
Stir, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Taste for sweetness and adjust.
Now- for the herbs and seasoning. Play with what's in your spice cabinet- sure, you can use cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. But you could go another way- pepper, or star anise. Try something a little spicy.
Finally, add some acid to balance the sweet. Try a splash of balsamic, or red wine vinegar, or lemon or lime juice.
Once you've got a flavor you enjoy, just reduce the fruit by simmering over a medium low heat, stirring every few minutes. You want to reduce the volume by atleast half.
Once you have, pour it into a Cook on Clay square baker, and then build a topping.
It can be as simple as crumbled graham cracker. If you have flour, you can make a fully proper pie crust, but we love a crumble. Flour, butter, brown sugar, white sugar and vanilla blended in a Cuisinart, and then gently laid on top of the fruit.
We bubbled this away in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Then we scooped it over imaginary ice cream into Cook on Clay bowls while watching the only thing left on television we hadn't seen, the 7th season of Hunter, PI.
We used raspberries and strawberries, with balsalmic vinegar, brown sugar, a little maple syrup and cardamon. Here are some other ideas to consider:
Blueberries, lemon, molasses and mint.
Rhubarb, pepper, red wine vinegar and honey.
Blackberry, lime, brown sugar, and basil.
So enjoy the last glimpses of Winter as we transition into Spring by helping fruit find some new meaning.