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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Homemade Blackberry Liqueur and a Recipe for Blackberry Lime Spritzer

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While writing this post about this divine blackberry liqueur I made, it would be much more romantic to say my day was spent in the summer sun biking down an old dirt road with a pail of freshly picked blackberries dangling from my handlebars. Not so, but I did go foraging for blackberries at my neighborhood grocery store's berry sale. That doesn't diminish the fact that this lovely colored liqueur isn't bursting with  the flavors of summer. Had I known making blackberry liqueur was so easy, I wouldn't have wasted my time and money buying the hard to find Créme de Mûre.  Even if fresh blackberries aren't available, frozen ones can be used making this an all season project, just defrost the berries first. This recipe was adapted from Serious Eats, a great website for food and drink.


Homemade Blackberry Liqueur

Ingredients

2 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen (defrosted)
1 strip lime zest, white pith removed
3/4 cup brandy
1-1/4 cups vodka
1 cup simple syrup-recipe follows

Technique 

Place the blackberries and lime zest in a sealable sterilized quart jar, muddle the mixture lightly to release the blackberry juices. Add brandy and vodka, then seal and turn upside down a few times to combine all the ingredients. Let steep for 3 days away from direct sunlight.

Strain in a fine mesh strainer, pressing blackberries down to extract the juices. Next filter the mixture through a coffee filter or several layers of cheesecloth. This may take some time as it's a slow process. Discard the solids.

In a sterilized jar with a lid, combine the blackberry infusion and simple syrup-shake to mix. Let rest a day or so. Store in the refrigerator. for up to two months.



Simple Syrup

Ingredients

1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Technique

Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. The syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

To make the blackberry lime spritzer, combine 2 tablespoons of the blackberry liqueur, 1 teaspoon lime juice in a glass. Add sparkling water to the mixture. Serve over ice with a garnish of lime slices and fresh blackberries. I freeze a blackberry or two in an ice tray to use in this drink.


ALL CONTENT © CAFE LYNNYLU
Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Nan-e-Barbari-Classic Flatbread

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The most ancient of bread is the flatbread, often called the "original bread". This bread was a crude mixture of grains  and water,  often cooked on hot stones by the nomadic tribes of long ago. Flattened dough cooked much faster than thicker dough and was easily carried from place to place. Somehow and it's not known when or how, but wild yeast spores got into the dough which caused the dough to lighten and rise. Imagine the delight! 

I am so thrilled with this bread that I have made it twice more since baking it for this blog post. Split and toasted, it's great with butter and jam! Also, split, filled with fresh mozzarella, dead ripe tomatoes, and fresh basil, the bread makes a delicious panini. The chewy texture and numerous holes remind me of ciabatta. And the recipes works so well in the dough cycle of my bread machine. Original recipe fromThe Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook and adapted recipe from King Arthur Flour Baking-Nan-e-Barbari. My version adds a teaspoon of sugar to encourage the yeast. One more thing mention-after rising and prep for the oven, a flour/water glaze is brushed over the dough. This roomal or glaze gives the bread a crispy chewy crust reminiscent of a true barbari oven. I have not make this in my wood-fired oven, but that is my next project. I used a heated pizza stone is my conventional oven which I recommend.

Nan-e-Barbari
DOUGH
1-2/3 cups lukewarm water (in winter, increase water to 1-3/4 cups)
2-1/4 teaspoon active dry or bread machine yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry or bread machine yeast
4 cups +3 tablespoons bread flour (I used King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour)
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1/1/2 teaspoons table salt

GLAZE
2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 sugar
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup cool water

TOPPING
2 teaspoons seeds of choice-sesame, nigella or poppy seeds or an everything bagel mix of seeds.

TECHNIQUE
Combine dough ingredients in the pan of a bread machine according to the manufacturer's instructions for your bread machine- OR mix ingredients with a stand mixer or with your hands. In your bread machine, process dough in the dough cycle, OR knead mixed dough until you have a smooth, somewhat soft dough. In bread machine, when dough cycle has completed, OR when your mixed dough has risen from about an hour in a lightly greased bowl.

Gently deflate dough and divide into two equal pieces. Shape into a log about 9-inches long. Tent the logs with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rest about 30 minutes.

While dough is resting, in a small saucepan, combine ingredients for the glaze. Bring to a light boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until glaze has thickened and coats a metal spoon. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 450°F and place a pizza stone on the lowest rack. Preheat stone for at least 30 minutes.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, deflate and flatten into a 14-inch by 5-inch rectangle. Using your fingertips or the handle of a wooden spoon, pressed lengthwise grooves in the dough. Press firmly, but take care not to cut through the bottom of the dough.  Spread half the glaze over the dough and sprinkle with half the seeds. Slide bread onto the heated stone and bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a rack. 

Repeat with second piece of dough. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers well wrapped, for several days or freeze for longer storage.



ALL CONTENT © CAFE LYNNYLU
Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Simple Blueberry Lemonade

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If you have a few hours to prepare a cooling summer lemonade, this is the recipe for you! July is blueberry month and the berries are prolific in the grocery stores as well as local farmers' markets. A perfect  time to make a gallon or two of this beautiful crimson colored beverage. Tangy, yet mildly sweetened with a homemade blueberry syrup, this could be the beverage of your summer.

Not only do I love featuring recipes on Cafe Lynnylu, but I'm always on the hunt for photographic props to enhance my food related photos. Just recently while browsing in favorite antique market in the Atlanta area, I spied a small enamel topped table stuck in the corner of one of the booths. It was a great deal so it went home with me. These images are the first one's I shot using the table, but I see many more opportunities to use the table. I feel the patina of the table imparts a frosty feel to the images.


Blueberry Lemonade
6 servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar (3/4 cup for a sweeter lemonade)
1 cup water
1 cup blueberries, picked over, rinsed and drained
3/4 freshly squeezed lemon juice ( I have used Meyer Lemons as well as conventional ones)
5 cups water

Technique

To make the blueberry simple syrup, combine sugar and water in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add blueberries and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 3-4 minutes or until blueberries have broken down. Remove from heat.

Strain blueberries through a fine sieve and let cool. In a large pitcher, stir together the blueberry syrup, lemon juice and the water. Place in the refrigerator until well chilled. Serve over ice and garnish with blueberries and lemon slices.



ALL CONTENT © CAFE LYNNYLU
Please do not use images or text without my permission.

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