Raspberry Fig Crostata AND Johnnycake Cobbler

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For our second recipe of the month we were given the option of baking the Raspberry Fig Crostata and/or the Johnnycake Cobbler.  I chose to bake both but there was a moment I almost did not bake the crostata and it had nothing to do with two recipes or being busy.  I saw FIG and thought no way…

We are having a problem with raccoons coming into our yard after they feast on our neighbors FIG tree.  I am not really liking raccoons or FIGs right now so it was funny this was the recipe picked.  I couldn’t bring myself to pick those figs hanging over the fence knowing those raccoons have been all over them. 😦  Off to the store I went…

This crostata had an interesting crust that ended up being the deciding factor on whether my tasters liked this dessert.  Everyone liked the raspberry/fig filling but this almond/sesame crust, not so much.  Half the people loved this and the other half thought the crust was too dry.  Everyone said it would have tasted great with a scoop of ice cream on top.

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I found the dough hard to work with.  Even after chilling the dough, the butter warmed very quickly.  I even resorted to briefly freezing my strips to make the lattice because I couldn’t get them off the parchment paper.

DSCF7405It said to add sanding sugar on top…I only had the colorful variety. 🙂

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DSCF7417I personally didn’t try this recipe…surprise, surprise…but I can’t see making this one again. Although everyone either liked it or loved it, no one thought it was bad, I think there are better recipes I have made…and easier dough to work with.  Not a keeper for me.

I was thankful the Johnnycake Cobbler seemed to be a much easier recipe.  With the exception of heavy cream, all the ingredients I would normally have on hand.  I like recipes like that!  I think the next time I would make this one, I would try substituting my FF milk in place of the cream and see if it makes a difference.

This recipe called for nectarines and plums for the filling but all I had to see was “feel free to experiment with the fruit and spices”.  Those who have followed my blog know that usually means I will be using apples, which is what I did.  I used a variety: granny, gala, and golden delicious.  I also added cinnamon and nutmeg to the mixture.  This recipe was so easy to whip up.  Sautee the filling and mix together the biscuit topping.

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I was pleasantly surprised with the “cornbread” topping!  It went well with the sugar and cinnamon apples.  Everyone loved this recipe!!  This one is a keeper and so easy which is even better! 🙂

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Eastern Mediterranean Pizzas

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This was my kind of recipe…lots of firsts:

  • first time to taste or cook with lamb
  • first time to taste or cook with shallots
  • first time to cook pita bread
  • first time to have the butcher grind up what you need…I had no idea they would so kindly do that for you!

I have to say even though I was not sure we would like these, I was excited to try all the new things this recipe presented.  The lamb was a stretch for us but the allspice and cinnamon seemed to put it over the edge for me….weird combo!

I started my pita bread sponge early in the morning since the recipe suggested it is best to let it sit as close to 8 hours as possible.  Mine sat for about 7 hours.   I could actually hear it fermenting on the countertop!

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After the waiting time, I added the remaining flour and ingredients.  I went ahead and made the full recipe since I figured it was more likely that we would eat the plain pita bread than the pizza anyway.  This needed to rest another 2 to 3 hours.

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The dough was ready…onto the topping!

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I sauteed the ingredients and then got started on making my pitas.  I rolled out the dough and topped it with the lamb mixture.  The recipe said to bake these in a 450 degree oven.

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DSCF7387I did not get too much color out of these being cooked in the oven.  I read on the pita page if you were doing individual pitas to cook them on a griddle…much the same way you do pancakes.  I liked this method much better…and got MUCH better results.  If I was to ever make these again, I would cook them on the griddle and then top them and serve.

Here are my cooking pitas…

DSCF7384DSCF7389and look at the inside!!

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They look a lot like flat bread…like a “big fat chicken taco” at Del Taco to be exact!!  The verdict on these…the combination on the pizza was strange.  I am glad I can say I have tried lamb now, but can’t say I really enjoyed it.  It was just ok…not a keeper in our family…BUT the plain pitas were a keeper for sure!!  So tasty and fresh!!  I think they were pretty easy to make too! 🙂