Wildflower Honey Latte

Summer may be ending, but that doesn’t mean the flavors of the season need to leave us. You can still cling onto warm evenings catching glimpses of butterflies dancing in the trees. All it takes is a bit of imagination and the sweet taste of wildflower honey.

A local cafe crafted an array of seasonal summertime drinks, one of which was a wildflower honey latte. It quickly became my go-to summer drink, but now that the leaves are changing color, they have switched up their drink menu. My heart sank the day I could no longer order this latte, so I set out to recreate it at home.

It’s a simple drink to make, but with the addition of wildflower honey the latte feels like an indulgence. Therefore, it’s the perfect way to hang onto summer even when the temps are falling outside.

Wildflower Honey Latte

Ingredients:

  • 2 shots strong coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 C. steamed milk
  • 1.5 Tbs. wildflower honey

Directions:

  • Add the wildflower honey into a coffee mug
  • Pour the coffee on top of the honey and stir until combined
  • Top with the steamed milk and enjoy

Tasting History: Baked Alaska Cupcakes (1860s)

Conflicting tales are a common theme in history. Without thorough documentation, bits and pieces of information are strung together to form a general idea of the past. In the case of the Baked Alaska, historical chatter center around its popularization versus its creation. Originally called an omelette surprise in Norway, a New York chef popularized the Baked Alaska in 1867 to celebrate the acquisition of Alaska.

It’s clear the concept of the Baked Alaska wasn’t groundbreaking since cookbooks, such as The Philadelphia Housewife, printed recipes for baked meringue ice cream desserts as early as 1855. However, it wasn’t until 1867 that homemakers began attempting this technically difficult dessert to delight dinner guests.

While a traditional Baked Alaska is prepared as a cake, I took a modern approach to this vintage recipe and made them into cupcakes. A key to success with this recipe is to keep the ice cream as cold as possible and serve them immediately after you caramelize the meringue. This is not a make-ahead dessert as it needs to be prepared and served quickly. Therefore, these cupcakes are better suited for an intimate dinner party rather than a large-scale gathering.

Baked Alaska Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • White Cake Mix
  • Strawberry Ice Cream
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 C. sugar

Directions:

  • Preheat over to 350˙
  • Prepare the white cake mix according to box instructions.
  • Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Fill each muffin tin 1/3 full.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  • Let cupcakes cool.
  • Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of ice cream on top of the cupcakes.
  • Cover the cupcakes and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
  • Heat the oven to 450˙ and prepare the meringue by beating the egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the sugar until stiff peaks form.
  • Spoon the meringue mixture over the cupcakes and bake for 2-3 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned. Serve the cupcakes immediately.

Strawberry Hand Pies

In the summer Ian and I have a Saturday morning ritual which consists of waking up early, walking to the local farmers’ market, and buying hand pies for breakfast. While Ian opts for the savory meat pies, I favor the fresh fruit selection. Their offerings vary week to week, but I always keep my eye out for their strawberry hand pie.

This sweet summer flavor brings me back to my childhood when I would spend afternoons in the garden gathering produce. My mom would transform baskets of tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries and rhubarb into pickles, jams, and pies. One of my favorites was her fresh strawberry pie. It never lasted long, so you had to be quick to get a slice!

Therefore, when I saw the little farmers’ market stand selling strawberry hand pies it reignited my love for this sweet treat. I decided to modify my childhood pie recipe into and easy-to-eat hand pie that is perfect for outdoor gatherings. Enjoy!

 

Strawberry Hand Pies

Ingredients:

For the pies:

  • Pie Crust
  • 1.5 C. crushed strawberries
  • 1/2 C. sliced strawberries
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/2 C. water

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 C. powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs. water

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350˙
  • In a saucepan, simmer strawberries, sugar and water together for five minutes. Add cornstarch and stir until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, stir in the sliced strawberries and let cool.
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut out pie crust. Add a dollop of pie filling in the center of the dough, add the top layer of dough and crimp the edges shut with a fork.
  • Bake pies for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden.
  • Remove from heat and let cool. Drizzle with powder sugar glaze and let set before serving.