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Easy Healthy Watermelon Slushie (2 Ingredients + Vegan)

There’s nothing like a refreshing watermelon slushie on a hot summer day! This easy, healthy ice cold drink is a perfect way to beat the heat! And with only 2 ingredients, you’ll be making it all summer long!

 

homemade watermelon slushie

Summer wouldn’t be summer without watermelons! They’re cool and refreshing on their own, but they also make AMAZING, thirst-quenching slushies.

This frosty, watermelon slushie recipe is pure summertime in a glass!

Slushies bring back a lot of memories from my childhood! I used to drink them all the time, but I never made my own. When I first made this slushie, I gulped it down so fast I got a brain freeze, just like when I was a kid! 🤪

You will love this recipe because:

  • it’s healthy.
  • it’s great for kids.
  • there’s no added sugar.
  • it’s refreshing.
  • it’s SO easy to make.
  • it’s DELICIOUS!!!

To make it, you only need some watermelon and a little water. That’s literally it!

It can’t get any easier than that!

homemade watermelon slushie

If you want, of course, you could add a few other ingredients to kick it up a notch according to your preferences. Here are some ideas:

Sweetener: Depending on how ripe the watermelon is, you may not need to add any sweetener. But, if it’s not that sweet, you could add a little sugar, stevia, maple syrup, or honey. 

Lemon/Lime: You could use a little bit of lemon or lime juice to add a little tang and enhance the flavor.

Mint: I love mint! You could blend a few leaves to the slushie to make it even more refreshing, if you like!

HOW TO FREEZE WATERMELON

1 Cut the watermelon into even-sized cubes and remove any seeds.

2 Place the watermelon cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

3 Freeze for about 1-3 hours and then make the slushie or freeze overnight and make the slushie the next day.  I prefer freezing it overnight.

HOW TO MAKE EASY HOMEMADE WATERMELON SLUSHIE

1 Put the frozen watermelon in a food processor (or a high-powered blender).

2 Add a splash of water and blend.

That’s it!

homemade watermelon slushie

 

WATERMELON SLUSHIE VARIATIONS

Even though this slushie is great as is, there are lots of different variations you may want to try. 

  • You can use basil instead of mint. I think basil goes really well with watermelon.
  • You can add some strawberries. I also think blueberries would be nice, too. Of course, it would be better if the berries were frozen, but fresh would also work.
  • Coconut milk would give it a really nice tropical twist.
  • For those who drink alcohol, a splash Ouzo would add a nice Greek touch. You could also add Vodka, white wine, or your favorite liquor.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • I have made this without freezing the watermelon, but it turned out more like a juice, rather than a slushie. For best results, freeze the watermelon overnight before you make the slushies.
  • Start off by pulsing for about half a minute and continue until there aren’t any big chunks left, or it reaches the consistency you like. If it’s a bit too thick, you could add a little bit more water. You don’t want to overblend the mixture, though, otherwise it will end up too watery.
  • It’s best served immediately.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Looking for more summer recipes? You may also enjoy my Easy No-churn Vanilla Ice Cream (+ Secret Ingredient) or my Easy Strawberry Mint Sorbet – No Ice Cream Maker – Refined Sugar Free (+ Vegan Option)!

Let me know how this easy homemade watermelon slushie turned out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

~Voula 😀

 

Easy Healthy Watermelon Slushie (2 Ingredients + Vegan)

There’s nothing like a refreshing watermelon slushie on a hot summer day! This easy, healthy ice cold drink is a perfect way to beat the heat! And with only 2 ingredients, you’ll be making it all summer long!
Course: Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: healthy, watermelon, slushie, frozen, vegan, refined sugar free
Servings: 2 -3

Ingredients

  • 2 cups watermelon, cubed
  • about ½ cup water
  • lemon/lime slices (optional)
  • fresh mint sprigs (optional)

Instructions

Freeze the watermelon

  • Cut the watermelon into even-sized cubes and remove any seeds.
  • Place the watermelon cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  • Freeze for about 1-3 hours or overnight. I usually freeze the cubes overnight.

Make the slushies

  • Put the frozen watermelon cubes in a food processor (or a high-powered blender) and pulse for about half a minute, adding a splash of water. Continue until there aren’t any big chunks left, or it reaches the consistency you like, adding more water if necessary. Don't overblend.
  • Serve immediately.
  • If you like, garnish with lemon/lime slices and fresh mint sprigs.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

© Pastry Wishes
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EASY HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SYRUP (WITHOUT CORN SYRUP)

This incredibly easy homemade chocolate syrup is the perfect topping for all your favorite desserts! Make it without any corn syrup in less than 15 minutes! You won’t go back to buying store-bought ever again!

homemade chocolate syrup

Don’t you just want to lick that spoon?!?!?

This homemade chocolate syrup is AMAZING! 

It’s NOT to be confused with hot fudge, which is usually made with butter and cream. This chocolate syrup is like the popular one you would buy in a bottle, only MUCH BETTER!

It’s thick, but pourable!

It’s velvety!

It’s chocolaty!

It’s silky smooth!

It’s sooo delicious and rich in flavor!

AND… 

There is absolutely NO corn syrup in it!

homemade chocolate syrup

I’m not totally against using corn syrup in baking (because there is a difference between corn syrup and high fructose syrup), but I always prefer simple, easier methods, which include few ingredients and produce excellent results.

This recipe is one of them! Perfect, chocolate syrup with basic pantry ingredients!

Why you’ll love this homemade chocolate syrup recipe

  • You know EXACTLY what’s in it! There are only 4 ingredients and NONE of them are artificial!
  • It’s super inexpensive and remarkably easy to make!
  • It tastes so much better than store-bought chocolate syrup!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • Cocoa Powder: I use good quality, unsweetened cocoa powder. I prefer Dutch processed cocoa powder, but you could use natural cocoa powder, instead.
  • Sugar: I use granulated white sugar. You could adjust the sugar by using more or less, depending on your preferences.
  • Salt: I use a pinch of salt to enhance the chocolate flavor.
  • Cornstarch: I use it because I like my chocolate syrup on the thick side, but if you don’t want it too thick, you can omit it altogether. 
  • Water: I use water instead of cream or milk so that the syrup lasts longer.

HOW TO MAKE EASY HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SAUCE IN 3 EASY STEPS

STEP 1

Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, water, and salt over medium high heat. Stir constantly until it begins to simmer.

STEP 2

In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.

STEP 3

Add the slurry to the saucepan and stir until it thickens.

VARIATIONS

  • Add a shot of your favorite liquor.
  • Use light or dark brown sugar for a more caramel flavor.
  • Add ½ – 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
  • Make it spicy! Add a dash of cayenne pepper for a Mexican twist or a dash of black pepper for an ancient Greek twist.   Yes, you read that right! (Check out my post where I explain it!)

How long does it take to make?

It takes about 10 – 12 minutes to make this chocolate syrup. Then you need to wait about an hour for it to cool down before storing it.

What can you use it for?

There are SO many ways you can use this homemade chocolate syrup. Here are a few of my all-time favorites:

Stir it into hot or cold milk.

Stir it into coffee. 

Dip cookies in it.

Drizzle it over buttered toast topped with cinnamon. OMG! It’s one of my faves for breakfast! 

Drizzle it over your favorite desserts, like ice cream, cheesecake, cinnamon rolls, or warm brownies. 

Drizzle it over pancakes, waffles, or French toast.

Pour it over your favorite fruit salad.

Impress your guests by drizzling some on a plate before serving your favorite dessert for a fancy, gourmet food styling presentation!

 

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Try and get the best quality unsweetened cocoa powder you can!
  • Make sure you stir it constantly to prevent it from burning.

HERE ARE A FEW MORE AMAZING CHOCOLATE RECIPES YOU MAY WANT TO TRY: 

Ouzo-spiked Chocolate Orange Cake 

Cheater’s chocolate Mousse (+ Easy Chocolate Garnishes)

Sugar Free Whole Wheat Chocolate Cupcakes 

~Voula

Let me know how this Homemade Chocolate Syrup turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

 

homemade chocolate syrup
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EASY HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SYRUP (WITHOUT CORN SYRUP)

This incredibly easy homemade chocolate syrup is the perfect topping for all your favorite desserts! Make it without any corn syrup in less than 15 minutes! You won’t go back to buying store-bought ever again!
Cook Time12 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, easy,, homemade, syrup
Servings: 1 1/2 cups (approximately)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (110 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • a pinch of salt

For the slurry

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and the cup of water over medium high heat.
  • Stir constantly until it begins to simmer.

Make the slurry

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.
  • Add the slurry to the saucepan and stir until the syrup thickens, about 10 - 12 minutes.
  • Serve warm or allow it to cool completely (for about an hour) and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes

The chocolate sauce will thicken as it cools.
This homemade chocolate syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container (like a glass jar) for about 3 weeks.
If you want, you can reheat it over the stove or in 5 minute increments in the microwave, stirring regularly.
© Pastry Wishes
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Easy Blueberry Pie (With Lattice & Crimp Tutorial)

This homemade blueberry pie is loaded with juicy blueberries and baked inside a flaky, buttery crust! A delicious summer dessert that’ll wow your guests!

blueberry pie

Blueberry season is here! Take advantage of  it by making this amazing pie!  If fresh blueberries are unavailable, you can use frozen blueberries, instead! This recipe is simple and remarkably delicious!

What you’ll need to make Blueberry Pie.

Blueberries: Fresh or frozen.

Spices: I use cinnamon.

Lemon: I use some juice & zest.

Sugar: I use both white & brown sugar.

Butter: I use unsalted butter.

Flour: I use all-purpose flour.

Salt: I use a bit for the crust.

Cornstarch: I use some for the filling.

Egg & milk: I use these to make an egg wash to brush the pie before baking.

HOW TO MAKE BLUEBERRY PIE

The first thing to do is to make the filling. Then you make the pie crust.  I find it easier to use a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can make it by hand using a pastry blender. If you don’t have a pastry blender, you’ll need 2 knives or forks to cut the butter in the flour. This recipe is for 2 pie crusts (one for the bottom & one for the top).

After that, line your pie plate with the dough and crimp it.

How do you crimp a single pie crust?

Crimping the pie crust isn’t really necessary, but it really makes the pie look pretty. Here’s a photo tutorial on how to do it:

 

pie crimp

Then fill the pie crust with the filling and top it with a lattice crust.

How do you make a lattice pie crust?

For the photo tutorial, I used 4 strips, but you could use 5 or more, depending on how wide you make your strips.

Here’s how to make a lattice crust:

how to make a lattice crust

TOP TIP

  • If you tear any of the strips while making the lattice crust, just use a cookie cutter to make different shapes with the excess dough and place them on the pie. No one will ever know!
  • I like rolling out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper. That way I don’t have to flour my surface and it just makes cleanup a lot easier.
  • Making the pie crust may not be super quick, but it is SOOO worth it! Trust me, you won’t regret it! Nothing beats homemade pie crust!
  • Place the pie on a baking sheet in case it spills over while baking. I like using a pizza pan for this.

blueberry pie

VARIATIONS

This pie is also amazing with a cinnamon crust!

Just add 1/2 a tablespoon of ground cinnamon + 1/2 a teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cloves to the flour before making the pie crust.

blueberry pie

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • You need to give the pie some time to set before cutting it. I usually cut it the next day. However, if you don’t want to wait that long, wait at least 2-3 hours before serving, otherwise it will fall apart.
  • If the berries are too tart, add a little more sugar to the filling.
  • When using frozen berries, I like to thaw and drain them before making the filling. If you like a juicier pie, you can omit this step. Personally, I like perky pies, not runny ones!

Let me know how this Easy Blueberry pie turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

 ~ Voula

Easy Blueberry Pie (With Lattice & Crimp Tutorial)

This homemade blueberry pie is loaded with juicy blueberries and baked inside a flaky, buttery crust! A delicious summer dessert that'll wow your guests!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: blueberry, homemade pie crust, pie, summer,
Servings: 1 9-inch pie

Ingredients

For the homemade pie crust

  • 2 ½ cups (315 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6-8 tablespoons cold milk

For the filling

  • 4 ½ cups (615 g) blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

For the topping

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons light brown sugar

Instructions

Make the pie crust

  • Add the flour, salt and butter to a food processor. Pulse about 10-12 times, or until the butter is the size of peas.*
  • Add 3 tablespoons of the milk and pulse a few times until a dough forms, adding more milk if necessary. Do not overmix.
  • Divide the dough in two and wrap in plastic wrap. Gently flatten into 2 disks. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. I like putting the disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper to do this.
  • Put an inverted pie plate over the rolled out dough and cut about 2 inches (5 cm) around it.
  • Flip the pie plate over and fold any excess dough back to create a "wall".
  • Crimp the dough all around the pie plate by pressing your knuckle from one hand while pinching over it with your thumb and forefinger of your other hand.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 ° F / 190°C.

Make the filling

  • In a large bowl, gently toss the blueberries with the sugar, salt, cinnamon and cornstarch. Drain any excess liquid and add the filling to the bottom crust.

Make the lattice crust (see the photo tutorial in the post)

  • Roll out the remaining dough and cut it into even strips.
  • Top the filling with 4 strips, vertically.
  • Lift strip #1 and #3 and place another strip, horizontally. Cover the horizontal strip with vertical strip #1 and #3.
  • Repeat with vertical strips #2 and #4.
  • Cut off excess dough and fix the edges. Make different shapes out of the excess dough, if desired, and top the pie.

Make the egg wash

  • Add the milk to the beaten egg and brush the pie with it. Then sprinkle with the brown sugar.
  • Place the pie on a baking sheet or pizza pan and bake for about an hour. You'll know it's done when the filling bubbles.
  • Allow the pie to cool for at least 2 hours before serving.
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5-6 days.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

If you don't have a food processor to make the pie crust, you can use a pastry blender or 2 knives or forks to cut the butter into the flour and continue with the remaining steps.

 

 

 

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HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER (Step-by-step Tutorial)

This healthy, homemade peanut butter is refined sugar free and SO EASY TO MAKE! All you need is 4 simple ingredients and about 15 minutes!

homemadepeanutbutter

This homemade peanut butter is DELICIOUS! You will be surprised how easy it is to make peanut butter at home.

What I really love about this all-natural peanut butter is that I can control how sweet, creamy, or chunky I want it to be. Also, compared to store-bought, the flavor is unbeatable. And, most importantly, there are no strange ingredients or preservatives – you know exactly what’s in it!

What you’ll need to make homemade peanut butter:

homemade peanut butter ingredients

It only takes 4 simple steps to make your own peanut butter; that’s it! I think once you try this and see how easy it is, you’ll be making it often!

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER

 homemade peanut butter steps

 How to make creamy peanut butter

If your mixture isn’t creamy enough, just add a teaspoon of oil and start the processor again. Continue adding oil, a teaspoon at a time, until you get the consistency you like. Be careful, though, if you add too much oil, you could make the peanut butter too thin.

How to make chunky peanut butter

Take about 50 of the roasted peanuts and coarsely chop them. You don’t want to crush them completely, though. Set them aside. Process the remaining nuts (adding oil if needed) until the mixture reaches the consistency you like. Then add the coarsely chopped peanuts and mix until well combined.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Make sure the nuts are evenly spread out on the tray and they’re not overlapping.
  • Adding the vegetable oil (or peanut oil) will help make the peanut butter spreadable and prevent it from becoming too tough.
  • Adding honey or maple syrup is totally optional, but it really adds flavor.
  • This recipe turns out great with a high-powered food processor, but it should also work with a blender, depending on how powerful it is, however, you may need to blend it longer. Generally speaking, the higher the wattage, the more powerful the blender, which will affect how smooth the peanut butter will be.

 

homemade peanut butter

 

Enjoy!

~Voula 😀

Let me know how this homemade peanut butter turned out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER (Step-by-step Tutorial)

This healthy, homemade peanut butter is refined sugar free and SO EASY TO MAKE! All you need is 4 simple ingredients and about 15 minutes!
Prep Time15 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade, refined sugar free, how-to, healthy, peanut butter
Servings: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (250 g / 8.8 oz) raw, unsalted, shelled peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or peanut oil (+ 1-2 tablespoons extra)
  • maple syrup/honey to taste (optional)
  • salt to taste (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350 °F).
  • Spread a layer of peanuts on a baking tray and roast them for about 10-12 miunutes, or until they are golden brown.
  • Add the warm peanuts to a food processor. Pulse for about 3 seconds to break down the peanuts. Process the peanuts until the mixtur reaches the consistency you like. First they will become crumbly, then a thick wet paste will form.
  • Add the oil and continue processing until smooth and shiny, adding more oil if necessary.
  • Add the sweetener and salt to taste and process on high speed for 1-2 more minutes.
  • Transfer the peanut butter to a sterilized jar or an airtight container.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • This recipe turns out great with a high-powered food processor, but it should also work with a blender, depending on how powerful it is, however, you may need to blend it longer. Generally speaking, the higher the wattage, the more powerful the blender, which will affect how smooth the peanut butter will be.
© Pastry Wishes
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MANDARIN MARMALADE (Without Pectin + Tips)

This mandarin marmalade is spiced with cinnamon and has a unique, bittersweet flavor! The hint of brandy adds a balance to the sweet and tangy fruit. It’s great on toast for breakfast or over Greek yogurt!

Mandarin Marmalade

I love making jams and marmalades when the fruit is in season! That way I have different jams and marmalades all throughout the year!

My neighbors gave me a huge bag of mandarins from their organic citrus farm in Sparta, which is in the Peloponnese. Sparta is well-known for its citrus fruit, so I couldn’t wait to make this marmalade!

Mandarin Marmalade

I have to be upfront with you – this is not a very quick recipe and it tends to be a bit messy, BUT, believe me, it’s easy and totally worth it!

Like all my jams and marmalades, this recipe does not use commercial pectin. I always avoid it because you need a lot of sugar when using pectin, sometimes up to 80%  more! So I avoid commercial pectin like the plague!

This marmalade is made with only 5 ingredients, each with its own purpose and importance.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Mandarins: I used seedless mandarins for this recipe, but you could use tangerines or clementines.

Sugar: I always use regular, granulated sugar because it dissolves easily. You could use dark brown sugar as long as you don’t mind the marmalade turning dark in color.

Cinnamon Sticks: They really give an amazing mild flavor.

Lemon Juice: It has lots of pectin, which is needed to thicken the marmalade naturally.

Brandy or Cognac: This pairs well with citrus fruit and cinnamon! I really love the combination!

2 small plates: I always put 2 small plates in the refrigerator when I start making the marmalade. They are needed to test if the marmalade has set.

Mandarin Marmalade

How to make Mandarin Marmalade in 4 Steps:

STEP 1: PREP THE MANDARINS AND LEMON JUICE

Juice 2 lemons and set aside. Wash the mandarins well and pat dry. Juice half of them and set the juice aside. Put the peels in a heavy pot. Peel the remaining mandarins, discard the pith, and put all the peels in the pot. Chop the fruit into small pieces, removing any seeds. If you don’t like chunky pieces of fruit in the marmalade, you can put the fruit in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

STEP 2: PREP THE PEELS TO REMOVE THE BITTERNESS

Cover the peels in the pot with water. Boil for about 15 minutes and then drain the water. Stack a few peels one on top of the other, and cut into strips, as thick as you like. Put them back into the pot.

STEP 3: MAKE THE MARMALADE (OR PREP IT FOR THE NEXT DAY)

Add the fruit, the lemon juice and mandarin juice to the pot with the peels. Weigh this mixture and add the same amount of sugar (for example, if the fruit mixture weighs 1 kilo (2.2 pounds), add 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of sugar). Add the cinnamon sticks.

(Note: At this point, if you’re pressed for time, you could cover the pot now, put it in the refrigerator overnight, and continue making the marmalade the next day.)

Put the pot on medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. Then turn up the heat to high and bring to a rapid boil, uncovered. Remove any foam from the top. Stir often to prevent the fruit from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

STEP 4: TEST THE MARMALADE AND SEAL

After about 30-35 minutes, take the pot off the heat to test if the marmalade has set. The mixture will have reduced and become thick. Spoon some of the mixture onto a cold plate and put it back into the refrigerator for about 1-2 minutes. Then take it back out and push the mixture with the back of a teaspoon. If it crinkles while you’re pushing, the marmalade is set. Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then stir in the cognac/brandy. Pour into sterilized jars, leaving about 1 cm (1/2 inch) headspace. Clean the rim of the jars with damp paper towels and seal.

For a simple method of testing the marmalade, check out the photo tutorial in this post .

It’s what I use to test all my jams and marmalades.

TIPS FOR MAKING MARMALADE

1 Use sterilized jars and utensils.

2 Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before bringing everything to a rolling boil.

3 While you’re testing the marmalade to see if it has set, take the pot off the heat or you might overcook it and make it too thick and dry.

4 Allow about 1 cm (1/2 inch) headspace when filling the jars.

I hope you enjoy this mandarin marmalade!

~Voula

Let me know how this mandarin marmalade turns out for you in the comments! I would love to hear from you!

MANDARIN MARMALADE (Without Pectin + Tips)

This mandarin marmalade is spiced with cinnamon and has a unique, bittersweet flavor! The hint of brandy adds a balance to the sweet and tangy fruit. It’s great on toast for breakfast or over Greek yogurt!
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: mandarin, marmalade, tips, without pectin
Servings: 2 kilos (4.4 lbs)

Ingredients

  • 2 kilos (4.4 lbs) mandarins/tangerines/clementines
  • about 2 kilos (4.4 lbs) sugar (depending on the weight of the fruit mixture)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or cognac (optional)

Instructions

  • Put 2 small plates in the refrigerator (they'll be needed to test if the marmalade has set).

PREP THE MANDARINS AND LEMON JUICE

  • Juice 2 lemons and set aside.
  • Wash the mandarins well and pat dry. Juice half of them and set the juice aside.
  • Put the peels in a heavy pot.
  • Peel the remaining mandarins, discard the pith, and put all the peels in the pot.
  • Chop the fruit into small pieces, removing any seeds. If you don’t like chunky pieces of fruit in the marmalade, you can put the fruit in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

PREP THE PEELS TO REMOVE THE BITTERNESS

  • Cover the peels in the pot with water. Boil for about 15 minutes and then drain the water.
  • Stack a few peels one on top of the other, and cut into strips. Put them back into the pot.

MAKE THE MARMALADE (OR PREP IT FOR THE NEXT DAY)

  • Add the fruit, the lemon juice and mandarin juice to the pot with the peels.
  • Weigh this mixture and add the same amount of sugar (for example, if the fruit mixture weighs 1 kilo (2.2 pounds), add 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of sugar).
  • Add the cinnamon sticks.

(NOTE: At this point, if you're pressed for time, you could cover the pot now, put it in the refrigerator overnight, and continue making the marmalade the next day.)

  • Put the pot on medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. Then turn up the heat to high and bring to a rapid boil, uncovered.
  • Remove any foam from the top. Stir often to prevent the fruit from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

TEST THE MARMALADE AND SEAL

  • After about 30-35 minutes, take the pot off the heat to test if the marmalade has set. The mixture will have reduced and become thick. Spoon some of the mixture onto a cold plate and put it back into the refrigerator for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Then take it back out and push the mixture with the back of a teaspoon. If it crinkles while you’re pushing, the marmalade is set.
  • Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then stir in the brandy or cognac.
  • Pour into sterilized jars, leaving about 1 cm (1/2 inch) headspace. Clean the rim of the jars with damp paper towels and seal.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

The marmalade will thicken a bit as it cools.
© Pastry Wishes
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QUICK AND EASY BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

These no-mixer, bakery-style blueberry muffins are heavenly! They are moist, tender, low in sugar, and bursting with blueberries. They are so easy to make, that you’ll never go back to box mixes again!

Blueberry Muffins

There’s nothing quite like a delicious blueberry muffin for breakfast (or any time, actually)!

What I love the most about these muffins, is that they are unbelievably easy to make!

They have a tendency to disappear quickly in our house!

What you’ll need:

Blueberries: You can use fresh or frozen. I use frozen blueberries.

Flour: I use all-purpose flour.

Baking Powder: This helps make the muffins nice and tall.

Sugar: I use regular, granulated sugar. For the topping, you could also use coarse sugar.

Greek Yogurt: This is essential! Not only does Greek yogurt make these muffins A LOT healthier than your average blueberry muffins, but it also offers a nice tang, just like sour cream, but without all calories. I use 2% low-fat Greek yogurt, but you could use full fat, too.

An egg: I always use organic eggs.

Fresh Milk: I use low-fat milk, but feel free to use whole milk. You could also use dairy-free milk, too, like coconut or unsweetened almond milk.

Vegetable Oil: I usually bake with butter, but I found that these muffins were really moist and tender with light vegetable oil, instead. You could use a light corn oil or sunflower oil.

Vanilla: I always use pure vanilla extract, but you could use vanilla flavor.

Salt: It really enhances the overall flavor!

TIME-SAVING TIP: If you’re using frozen blueberries, there’s no need to thaw them; just add them to the batter frozen.

Blueberry Muffins

How do you prevent blueberries from sinking in muffins?

There’s a popular hack on the Internet which suggests tossing the blueberries in flour to coat them before adding them to the batter, but this never worked for me!

Not only that, but the extra flour can make the muffins dry, instead of moist!

Luckily, I came across a solution from one of my all-time favorite pastry gurus, Stella Parks!

Her suggestion is awesome:

Before adding the blueberries to the batter, drop some plain batter into the bottom of each muffin cup/liner. Then fold the blueberries into the remaining batter and then distribute it evenly among the muffin cups and bake.

And you know what? THIS REALLY WORKS! Check out my picture below. See?!

Blueberry Muffins

Yay! No more soggy-bottomed blueberry muffins! Thanks Stella!!

You can read her article about muffin myth-busting here: https://www.seriouseats.com/2016/07/how-to-stop-blueberries-from-sinking-muffin-baking.html; it is very informative. She really has this nailed down to a science.

How to make Quick & Easy Blueberry Muffins in 8 Simple Steps:

STEP 1: Preheat the oven, line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

STEP 2: In a large bowl whisk together the yogurt, milk, oil, egg and vanilla.

STEP 3: In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

STEP 4: Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until moistened and just combined – don’t overmix. The batter should be thick.

STEP 5: Drop some plain batter into the bottom of each muffin cup/liner.

STEP 6: Fold the blueberries into the remaining batter and then distribute it evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle the top with some sugar if you want.

STEP 7: Bake for about 20 – 30 minutes until they are golden brown.

STEP 8: Take them out of the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely.

TIPS FOR THE BEST EVER BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

1 Make sure you measure the flour properly beforehand.

2 Keep all the ingredients at room temperature (apart from the frozen blueberries).

3 Use good quality Greek yogurt to keep them soft and light.

4 DO NOT OVERMIX! Be very gently with the batter, otherwise the muffins could get dense and the blueberries will bleed into the batter and turn it blue!

5 The batter must be thick, not runny.

6 Fill the liners all the way to the top make them big.

I hope you enjoy these blueberry muffins!

~Voula

Blueberry Muffins

Let me know how these blueberry muffins turn out for you in the comments! I would love to hear from you!

Quick and Easy Blueberry Muffins

These no-mixer, bakery-style blueberry muffins are heavenly! They are moist, tender, low in sugar, and bursting with blueberries. They are so easy to make, that you’ll never go back to box mixes again!
Prep Time10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Quick
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 container (200 g / 7 oz) good quality Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup (60 ml / 2 fl. oz) milk
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml / 2.9 fl. oz) light vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups (270 g / 9.4 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (100 g / 3.5 oz) sugar (plus some extra for sprinkling)
  • 1 - 1 ½ cups (250 g / 9 oz) blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375 °F.
  • Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the yogurt, milk, oil, egg, and vanilla.
  • In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  • Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until moistened and just combined – don’t overmix. The batter should be thick.
  • Drop some plain batter into the bottom of each muffin cup/liner.
  • Fold the blueberries into the remaining batter and then distribute it evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle the top with some sugar.
  • Bake for about 20 – 30 minutes until they are golden brown, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Take them out of the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the muffins from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

If you prefer, you could also use dairy-free milk, like coconut or unsweetened almond milk.
If you’re using frozen blueberries, there’s no need to thaw them; just add them to the batter frozen.
Store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for about 2-3 days, or in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days.
You can warm them up in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
© Pastry Wishes
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Easy Apple Chips

Sweet, crunchy, healthy and delicious! Apple chips are so simple to make at home and the best thing is you DON’T need a dehydrator!

Easy Apple Chips

I usually make apple chips in the fall when I want something sweet to snack on, but healthy, too! 

This recipe has only 2 ingredients: apples & ground cinnamon! They’re baked, NOT fried, so they’re incredibly healthy. They’re also a great lunch box snack for kids! 

Easy Apple Chips

What’s the best apple for apple chips?

I like sweet apples for this recipe, but just about any apple will do. Some varieties have more moisture than others, which will affect the baking time and the color of the chips after they’re baked. 

How do you cut apple chips?

The thinner the slices, the crispier they become. Thick slices will not get crunchy, like chips should be! That’s why I always use a mandoline slicer to make them paper thin. If you don’t have one, you can just slice them with a sharp knife, but make sure you slice them as thinly as you possibly can. 

How long does it take to make easy apple chips?

The key to making apple chips is to bake them slowly at a low temperature. I found that baking them at 250 °F / 120°C for about 2 – 2 1/2 hours is ideal. Another factor that affects the baking time is the variety of apples you choose and how much moisture they have. Some varieties need more time in the oven. 

Can I add anything to the apple slices before I bake them?

Sure! You can add some sugar or brown sugar, or you can try one of the following variations:

  • Lightly sprinkle them with freshly grated nutmeg.
  • Brush each slice with honey or maple syrup.

Easy Apple Chips

 

HOW TO MAKE APPLE CHIPS IN 4 EASY STEPS

STEP 1: PREPARE YOUR APPLES

Wash and dry your apples. 

STEP 2: SLICE YOUR APPLES

Cut the top off the apples. Using a mandoline slicer and starting from the top, carefully slice your apples as thin as possible. By slicing them this way, each one will have a cute little “star” inside! You can core them if you like, but you won’t get the beautiful design in the middle! 

STEP 3: PREPARE YOUR BAKING TRAY

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place each slice on it, making sure that the slices don’t overlap.

STEP 4: BAKE

Sprinkle the slices with cinnamon and bake for about 2- 3 hours, flipping the slices over halfway. Turn off the oven when done and keep the chips inside. The slices will become crispier as they cool off.

What goes with apple chips?   

There are lots of ways to enjoy apple chips, depending on your mood.

If you want to stay healthy…

enjoy them straight out of the oven!

If you’re feeling more adventurous…

serve them with oatmeal or dip them in Greek yogurt topped with walnuts, raisins, and honey!

If you’re feeling naughty…

dip them in Nutella or pour some melted chocolate or caramel sauce over them (with a scoop or 2 of vanilla ice cream on the side)!

P.S. No matter what mood you’re in, these apple chips tend to disappear fast!

Please let me know how these easy apple chips turned out for you in the comments! I would love to hear from you!

EASY APPLE CHIPS

Sweet, crunchy, healthy and delicious! Apple chips are so simple to make at home and the best thing is you DON’T need a dehydrator!
Course: Snack

Ingredients

  • 2 medium apples
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 120°C / 250 °F.
  • Wash and dry the apples.
  • Cut the top off the apples. Starting from the top, carefully slice your apples as
    thin as possible using a mandoline slicer or a sharp knife. You can core them, if you like
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place each slice on it, making sure that the slices don’t overlap.
  • Sprinkle the slices with cinnamon and bake for about 2- 3 hours, flipping the slices over halfway. 
  • Turn off the oven when done and keep the chips inside. The slices will become crispier as they cool off.
  • Store them in an airtight container right away.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Apple chips can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
  2. They are best the day they are made because they lose their crispiness as days pass. If they become soft, you can put them back in the oven at 100 ° C / 212 °F, for about 15 -20 minutes and allow them to cool in the oven.
©Pastry Wishes

 

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