Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday, May 10th - Sunchoke Gratin, Crab cakes and Bada bing cherry pie

Breakfast were lovely raspberry scones that D picked up at a bakery in Blaine. Yumm. We pick up scones whenever we go down there.

Blind bake the crust by poking it all over with a fork and baking 10-15 minutes. We used store bought because it was about the cherries tonight.

4 cups Bing cherries, pitted
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar (depending on the sweetness of the fruit)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamonPinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Prepare the crust for a 9-inch double-crust pie.
2. Place the cherries in a large bowl. Mix orange and lemon juices with the cornstarch, then combine with sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Toss with the cherries. Let rest for 15 minutes.
3. Add the almond extract and the orange zest; toss well.
4. Line a 9-inch pie plate with one crust and prick all over with a fork. Spoon the cherry filling evenly into the crust. Dot all over with butter. Cover with a top crust. With water, moisten the crusts where they meet, then turn the top crust under the bottom and flute the edge. Cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Decorate the surface if you wish by rolling out the scraps and cutting several cherry, leaf, and stem shapes.
5. Bake pie in center of the oven for 10 minutes at 450°F. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake 45 to 55 minutes more, or until the crust is nicely golden. Let cool on a rack before serving warm or at room temperature.

Sunchoke Gratin
1 lb sunchokes
1 small potato
1/2 lemon
1 T butter
1/2 veggie stock cube
1/2 - 3/4 c parmesan fresh, real no green plastic containers please
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375. In a small sauce pan squeeze the lemon juice into it.

Peel most of the rough bits of skin off the sunchokes and the potato. If you're using a baking potato, just rub it with the cut lemon and set aside. Place the sunchokes into the water as you peel. Bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain.

Butter a square baking dish or pie dish.

Careful, they're hot. Slice into 1/4 inch slices. The potato too. Layer in the slices and add dots of butter and cover with grated parmesan or any nice hard cheese. Continue to layer.

Bake covered with foil for 20-30 minutes or until fork tender. Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.
This was a bit of a disappointment because the sunchokes never get really soft. And that's their nature. It's just in a Gratin, you expect them to get soft like potatoes. The sliced of potato interspersed were great :-P

Crab cakes

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