I think this is the longest I have ever been MIA from this blog and it is for good reason. We finally moved down to Arlington and have been so busy getting settled into our new home. Work has also had me traveling, so between my NYC and Chicago trips, I was spread pretty thin.
Although we dearly miss our family and friends, we absolutely love it here! The DC area is so vibrant and full of activity. Within a 4 mile radius of our place, we have endless amounts of things to do and places to see. My brother Kevan and his wife Lauren already came to visit and we had a great time playing tourists with them (pictures coming soon).
Can I just talk about our neighborhood for a minute?
Within walking distance, we have stores, markets, restaurants, parks and views. Whole Foods is now our go-to market and there is a Williams-Sonoma right across the street. Trouble I tell you... big trouble.
We even found a fantastic local farmers market right down the road from us that operates every Saturday year round. I am in heaven knowing I have a source for local, sustainable vegetables and humanely raised meats!
I promise I will get around to taking some pictures of our new neighborhood to share with you all soon!
It feels good to be back to blogging. I was so comfortable with the lighting at our old home and it has been a process trying to create the ideal set-up for food photography. It is still a work in progress but we are lucky to have some nice natural light at our new place.
We picked up some gorgeous blackberries from the market this past Saturday and I wanted to make something special. This can also be called a clafoudi, but I prefer baked crepe cobbler. Because the batter is so egg heavy, this tastes exactly like a crepe. The best part is, you don't have to spend hours over a stove creating the perfect crepe. Just pour and bake!
After I made this, my mind was going in circles with all of the possibilities for desserts that can be made with this base. Let me just list some of them for you:
cherries with almond extract and sliced almonds
blueberries with lemon zest and limoncello
raspberries and lemon or orange flavorings
globs of nutella to make a chocolate swirl
Seriously. I could go on and on and on...
Thank you for hanging in there with me you guys. Looking forward to sharing more of what DC has to offer. Enjoy your weekend my friends!
Baked Blackberry Crepe Cobbler
adapted from Reluctant Entertainer
1 tablespoon softened butter (to butter pan or ramekins)
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (or orange juice)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blackberries
Powdered sugar to dust
Butter 4-6 ramekins or a large cast iron skillet. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, add the orange zest, eggs, milk, cream, Grand Marnier and vanilla. Whisk until mixture is thoroughly mixed. Gradually add a few tablespoons of flour in at a time, whisking to eliminate any clumps. Once flour is mixed in, add baking powder and whisk until thin batter forms.
Cover the bottom of each ramekin or skillet with blackberries. Pour batter over the berries until each dish is a little over halfway full. You need to leave some room in the dish as this will puff up in the oven.
Place ramekins or pan on a cookie sheet and put in oven. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes is up, reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 25 minutes.
Depending on the size of your pan, cooking times will vary. Always bake at 375 for 10 minutes then reduce the heat. After heat is reduced, monitor cooking by checking after 20 minutes has passed and every 5 minutes after until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Sweetened Creme Fraiche
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 tablespoons honey
* You could also use marscarpone or even sweetened whipped cream. The next day, I made more of this and subbed maple syrup for honey and it was equally delicious!