The process of making Yossi Arefi’s soft chocolate and fig cake is highly reminiscent of the recipe for Alice Medrich’s flourless chocolate cake, which I’m a big fan of. …
Sweeter Off the Vine
A dessert recipe that combines browned butter, seasonal summer fruit, and crispy pieces of oat cobbler topping is basically guaranteed to be a success. Certainly that’s the case for these nectarine and blackberry pie bars, winner of Saturday’s vote for a post. As an added bonus, this is the perfect season for blackberries and nectarines and they were on special this week, so it was an ideal time to make them.
Yossy Arefi’s Sweeter Off the Vine has turned out to be an incredible cookbook for fruit-based desserts. Her nectarine and blackberry pie bars are the third (but probably not final) recipe I’ve blogged about, and these are as phenomenal as her brown butter blondies and cherry poppyseed yogurt cake. These aren’t two fruits that I’d ever given much thought to combining, but they work together very well. However, you should consider this recipe to be a template for your own pie bars – use the same ratios but vary the fruits, spices, crisp topping, and/or even the whole grain flour to make your own version. For example, I’ve made this with Santa Rosa plums and blueberries, two of my favorite summer fruits, cardamom instead of nutmeg, and whole wheat instead of the rye I used this time – the results were similarly outstanding….
These brown butter blondies from Sweeter Off the Vine are incredible. I hesitate to say it, but I think they are even better than the Back in the Day Bakery blondies I’ve made at least 25 times in the last year. With Yossy’s blondies, you get a hint of the browned butter flavor, chewiness from the dried fruit, a hint of mellow bourbon, and fudginess from the chocolate chunks. They smell amazing when they come out of the oven, but you’ll miss out on the brown butter flavor if you don’t wait for them to cool. I could not stop eating these and one friend actually drooled while eating these, because, he said, they were so good. I had people asking me if there were any left hours after the last piece had disappeared.
I have been so impatient to start baking from Sweeter Off the Vine. I love Yossy Arefi’s Apt 2B Baking Co blog; I want to make everything she cooks, but the arrival of her cookbook meant I got to test the recipes and post about them here! Reading through Sweeter Off the Vine the day it arrived (last Tuesday), I picked out about 5 things I felt I needed to make immediately and tried to plan my week such that I could pull them all off. I haven’t quite had time because work likes to get in the way of my baking plans, but I cannot seem to stop eating what I have baked, and I’ll be posting the top three within the week because they were outrageously good and everyone should be baking along with Yossy….