This coffee cake is decadent with its wealth of fruit and its crunchy topping. You can use almost any fruit in it. Feel free to experiment with strawberries, pears, nectarines, peaches, or blackberries instead of the apples and blueberries. Come up with your own favorite combinations. And, no mixer required to make this cake!

Also, a note about butter. I prefer to use European-style butter in all of my baking. It contains less water and more butter fat than regular butter. I think it yields a richer flavor and a moister texture (and flakier pie crusts).

1 stick (4 ounces) butter, melted, plus more for the pan
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unrefined or white sugar
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest from 1 large Meyer lemon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups apples, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups blueberries

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick (2 ounces) butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped almonds

You will also need:
9-inch springform pan
2 large bowls
1 medium bowl
Cake tester

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (about 175 degrees C).

Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Add a tablespoon of flour to the pan and shake it to coat the sides and bottom. Discard the excess flour.

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Mix in the sour cream, sea salt and vanilla. Add the egg and whisk to combine.

In a separate large bowl, combine the baking soda, baking powder, lemon zest and flours. Mix well. Add the chopped apples and blueberries and toss to coat the fruit with the flour mixture. Add this to the butter mixture in the other large bowl. Stir just to combine. Pour this mixture into the prepared springform pan.

Make the topping by combining the remaining brown sugar, softened butter, cinnamon and chopped almonds. Sprinkle on top of the cake batter.

Bake for approximately 1 hour. Begin testing at 45 minutes, as ovens can cook a little differently. The top might be slightly caved in, but the cake will be done when the tester comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let it cool for five minutes. Run a sharp knife around the inside rim of the pan to loosen the cake. Open the springform latch and let the cake continue to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Slice the cake just before serving. Serves 8.

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I adore the taste of coconut in savory dishes. This recipe uses coconut oil to add that rich coconutty goodness. You can use any kind of lentils. I typically use either green petite French lentils or the larger brown lentils. If you have a good curry blend that you like, then you can use that instead of making the spice blend below. See my note. This soup is a meal within itself but I like to serve it with cheesy toast that is baked in the oven.

1/2 cup dry lentils
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup onions, chopped
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 teaspoon turmeric*
1/4 teaspoon cumin*
1/8 teaspoon cardamon*
Pinch of cloves*
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
3/4 teaspoon your favorite chili powder blend
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped (fresh or canned will work)
4 cups stock (I use chicken stock but you can use whatever you prefer.)

You will also need:
Large pot
Immersion blender

Rinse and drain the lentils.

Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium flame. Add the onion and the salt. Let cook, stirring as needed, until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and saute for about a minute. Add the spices* and the lentils. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the spices become fragrant.

Add the carrots, celery and tomatoes. Stir to combine.

Add the stock. Cover and bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about an hour.

Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Blend the soup using an immersion blender. Serve while warm. (And do make the cheesy toast in the oven, if desired. Sprinkle some fresh herbs on top before baking. I make it in a cast iron skillet, and it is so good!)

Serves 2-4.

* If you have a curry blend that you really like, then you can use 1 teaspoon of that instead of the turmeric, cumin, cardamon and cloves mentioned above. Still add the 1/2 teaspoon of coarsely ground pepper and 3/4 teaspoon of your favorite chili powder blend.

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I first made this soup in Provence. The Cavaillon melons in the markets smelled so good that I wanted to feature them in a course of their own. Since we were on a Lavender Getaway at the time, I incorporated lavender honey and fresh lavender into the dish, as well, and loved the combination. If you don’t have access to fresh food-grade lavender, you can use basil instead, as noted below.

1 large ripe summer melon
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I prefer full-fat yogurt for this recipe)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 Tablespoon lavender honey
Pinch of freshly-ground nutmeg
Large pinch of sea salt
Fresh lavender (food-grade) for garnish

1/2 cup yogurt
1 Tablespoon lavender honey

You will also need:
Paring knife
Food processor or blender
Individual serving dishes

Peel and seed the melon. Cut it into medium-sized pieces and put them into the food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup plain yogurt, the orange juice, 1 Tablespoon lavender honey and the nutmeg. Process it until the mixture is puréed. Add the sea salt and mix to blend in. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the topping, mix together 1/2 cup yogurt and 1 Tablespoon lavender honey. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, remove the soup from the refrigerator and dish out into small individual serving bowls. Garnish with the yogurt mixture and fresh lavender.

Serves 4.

Note: If you don’t have access to lavender honey or fresh lavender, then use basil instead. In the soup and the topping, use plain honey and add 1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh basil to each. Garnish with fresh basil.

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It is the perfect time of year to make this easy and delicious summer tart. You can use any kind of ripe fruit. Mix the fruits or choose just one. I used yellow nectarines, blueberries and blackberries in this tart, but apricots and strawberries work great, too. This will quickly become a favorite recipe to use following a trip to your local farmer’s market.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almonds extract

3 medium-sized nectarines, pitted and thickly sliced
1 cup mixed berries

3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon almond flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) cold unsalted butter

You will also need:
Medium bowl
9-inch tart pan
Small bowl
2 knives

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (about 220 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, mix together the ingredients for the crust. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan.

Place the fruit in a decorative pattern on top of the crust.

Put all of the topping ingredients into the small bowl. Using 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the ingredients are crumbly.

Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until browned and bubbly. Let cool before slicing.

Top with whipped cream or creme fraiche, if desired.

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