Polenta Cake with Italian Plums

This luscious cake is kissed with juicy Italian plums and citrus peel.

Ingredients:
4 Italian plums, pitted and cut into wedges
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup polenta or yellow cornmeal
1½ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks, plus 2 full eggs
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon or orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
Crème fraîche for serving (optional)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan; line bottom with a 9-inch circle of parchment paper. Arrange plums on parchment in pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over the plums. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and beat until light. Add egg yolks and eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add lemon peel and vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in the flour mixture. Spoon batter over plums in pan and spread evenly.

4. Bake about 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove sides of pan; cool cake completely. Invert cake onto serving platter; remove bottom of pan and parchment. If desired, serve with crème fraîche.

Blueberry-Nectarine Buckle

This easy dessert is sure to please the whole family!

Ingredients:
For the topping:
½ stick (¼ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

For the batter:
1½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups blueberries, picked over and rinsed
2 nectarines, pitted and cut into 1-inch wedges

Method:
1. Make the topping: In a small bowl, blend together the butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg until the mixture resembles coarse meal; chill the topping while making the batter.

2. Make the batter: In a small bowl with an electric mixer or a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar and beat in the vanilla. In a small bowl stir together the baking powder, the flour, and the salt, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and fold in the blueberries and the nectarines.

3. Spread the batter in a well-buttered 10-by 2-inch round cake pan or 2-quart baking pan, sprinkle the topping evenly over it and bake the buckle in the middle of a preheated 350° oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and the topping is crisp and golden. Serve the buckle with whipped cream or ice cream.

Fresh Flavors Recipes

Crisp and crunchy, verdant and vivacious, the flavors of spring are freshening up this week’s lineup with such ingredients as colorful radishes, romanesco, Cosmic Queen Oyster mushrooms and sunflower shoots, plus bright red rhubarb, Cara Cara oranges and Meyer lemons. Also featuring fresh lemon-pepper linguine, a French baguette and our own Nonna Pat’s traditional eggplant caponata, this lineup of seasonal favorites invites you to immerse yourself in the kitchen with a glass of wine—and enjoy!

Here are some recipe ideas for the week:

Fragrant Fried Herbs
Crisp-fried herbs are an unexpected (and delicious!) garnish for the likes of pastas, salads, soups and more.

Tempered-Butter Radishes
These dipped radishes make for a wonderful starter or snack!

Lemon-Pepper Linguine with Roasted Romanesco, Almonds & Capers
Seasonal romanesco is first roasted in the oven, then added to this luxurious pasta main.

Roasted Radishes
Seasoned with fresh thyme and red onions, these buttery radishes are an excellent accompaniment to just about any protein.

Garlicky Braised Greens
This flavor-packed side dish can be prepared with pretty much any hearty green.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli Salad
This room temperature salad from The Barefoot Contessa has just the right amount of crunch!

Roasted Rhubarb
This rosy-colored roasted dish makes for an excellent spring dessert, especially served with vanilla bean ice cream.

Roasted Rhubarb

This rosy-colored roasted dish makes for an excellent dessert, especially served with vanilla ice cream!

Ingredients:
14 ounces rhubarb
1 blood or navel orange (or 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Demerara sugar

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Cut the rhubarb into 2 to 2 ½ -inch pieces and place in a medium bowl. Finely grate the zest of half the orange over rhubarb, then squeeze the juice of the whole orange into the bowl. Add the vanilla and sugar and stir to combine.

2. Pour the rhubarb into a baking dish and arrange the pieces so that they lie flat. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with crème fraîche.

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