Friday, September 14, 2007

Summer is Ending

The weather in Heidelberg hasn’t been that great. It’s been cold, damp, grey, and has rained every single day. Heidelberg is in a valley with a river running through it, so I’ve been told that this weather is, unfortunately, typical. But yesterday the sun deicded to poke through the clouds, and it looks like we’ll be having a sunny weekend. So instead of making yet another soup, I happily decided to make a dinner highlighting two of my favorite summer fruits and veggies that won’t be around much longer: tomatoes and peaches.

(Below: a very tasty lolo tester recipe: Squash, Apple, Cranberry Soup)

I won’t post a recipe for the stuffed tomatoes, as I followed a recipe from La Tartine Gourmande nearly exactly (a gorgeous and inspiring blog; I want to make nearly all of her recipes!). I didn’t have savory, so I used fresh basil instead.

And what better way to showcase fresh peaches than in a shortcake? (Actually, I wanted to make SusanV’s peach upside down cake, but I don’t have an oven proof skillet here.) But the shortcake was really good. The biscuits have an interesting texture due to some coarsely ground cornmeal. This recipe was adapted from a cookbook I’ve blogged about before, Sunday Suppers at Lucques.

I should point out that I do use honey, so this recipe calls for a little bit of honey. But you could easily substitute raw sugar or maple syrup or orange marmalade...

Cornmeal Shortcakes with Peaches and Honey Greek Yoghurt (serves 4)

2 8 oz containers plain soy yoghurt
2 tsp – 1 tbsp honey

Line a sieve or colander with cheesecloth or unbleached paper towels. Place it over a bowl. Pour the yoghurt into the sieve and let it drain for 4-5 hours, until it is thick. If it is really, really hot let it drain in the fridge. Otherwise it will be fine at room temperature. When the yoghurt is as thick as you would like, mix in the honey. Store it in the fridge if you won’t be serving it at once.

¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup stone-ground cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
2 tbsp raw sugar
2 tbsp cold “butter”, in small cubes
¼-1/3 cup vanilla soy milk

Preheat the oven to 425 F

Combine the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, work the “butter” into the flour until it resembles coarse meal. There should still be small lumps of butter. Make a well in the center, and pour in the soy milk. (Start with ¼ cup and add a little more if you need to). Using just a FEW, swift strokes, fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Stop before it looks entirely mixed.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured cutting board. Shape it into a circle. Cut into quarters. Place the shorcakes on a parchement-lined baking sheet. Brush each one with a little soymilk and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake about 15 minutes, until light golden brown.

3 – 4 peaches
Pinch of sugar

Cut each peach into 8ths or 12ths, depending on size. Peel, and let macerate with a little sugar for at least 10 minutes, until the juices start to flow.

To serve slice each biscuit in half. Place the bottom half on the plate, spoon on the peaches with their juices, and top with a generous dollop of yoghurt. Put the top half of the biscuit on and serve.


bazu said...

Oh, everything looks divine, especially the tomatoes and the shortcake. I'm also trying to cram as much summer food into these last few days as I can!
I think the tartine gourmand is an awesome blog.
Glad you're eating well!

VeggieGirl said...

sorry to hear that the weather hasn't been pleasant, but it certainly looks like all the cooking you've been doing has made up for that!! the soup and shortcake, especially, look positively scrumptious!!

urban vegan said...

gorgeous photos! hoep the weather perks up. it's not too great here, honestly.

Celine said...

the tomatoes and shortcake shots are killing me dead!