Saturday, March 27, 2010
"There was a blur, and then shootin'. I didn't see no draw."
- Bring the doug to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Roll out the dough thinly on a lightly floured work surface., and use to line the tart pan. Chill or freeze for 15 minutes, then bake blind (instructions below).
- Turn the oven down to 300° F. To make the lemon filling, put the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and butter into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Set the baked pie curst on a baking sheet and pour in the filling. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour (it may need a little longer, depending on your oven), until just set. Remove from the oven and cool completely before serving.
- Serve at room temperature, maybe with a spoonful of sour cream or creme fraiche, if using.
- Sift the flour, confectioners sugar, and the salt together in a bowl, then rub in the butter.
- Mix the egg yolks with the 2 tbsp ice water. Add to the flour, mixing lightly with a knife. The dough must have some water in it or it will be too difficult to handle. If it is still too dry, add a little more water, sprinkling it over the flour mixture 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Invert the mixture onto a lightly floured work surface.
- Knead lightly with your hands until smooth.
- For the dough into a ball.
- Flatten slightly, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out the dough as thinly as necessary, about 1/8 inch thick, to line the dish you are using.
- To line the tart pan, roll the flour-dusted dough around the rolling pin to help you pick it up – this will avoid stretching the dough, which might shrink during cooking. Lower the dough over the pan and unroll to cover. Use a small piece of extra dough wrapped in plastic wrap to help to push the dough into the edges of the pan. Once this is done you can press the dough up the sides of the pan.
- Use the rolling pin to roll over the top – it will cut off any excess dough very neatly (or cut off the overhang with a sharp knife.)
- Prick the base all over with a fork, then chill or freeze for 15 minutes to set the dough.
- Line with foil or parchment paper, then fill with baking beans. Set on a baking sheet and bake blind in the center of the oven for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove the foil or parchment paper and the baking beans, and return tart crust to oven for 5-7 minutes longer to dry out completely.
- To prevent the crust from becoming soggy from liquid filling, brush the blind-baked crust with beaten egg – you can do this when it is hot or cold. Bake again for 5-10 minutes until set and shiny. This will also fill and seal any holes made when pricking before the blind baking.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
"All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways." - Yann Martel Life of Pi
- Bring Pâte Brisée to room temperature before rolling out.
- Peel the pears, halve lengthwise, and carefully scoop out the core with a teaspoon or a melon baller. Arrange them around the base of the skillet in concentric circles, wide ends outwards and the points facing into the center. Any pears remaining should be cut up and used to fill any gaps.
- Add all the spices over the top and sprinkle with the sugar. Carefully pour the red wine, then bring to a boil. Lower the stove to medium low heat. Cover and simmer gently for about 1 hour or until tender. A fork should slide easily into the flesh, but it should not be mushy, like canned pears.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Uncover the pan and hold the plate or pan lid over the pears to hold them back while you pour off the juices into a saucepan. Boil the juices hard until well reduced and syrupy, then sprinkle them back over the pears.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a circle slightly larger than the diameter of the pan. Lift the dough over the pears and tuck the edges of the dough down into the a pan. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until the curst is crisp and golden.
- As soon as it is ready, invert the tart onto a plate or it will stick - the fruit will be very hot, so be careful you don't burn your fingers. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with the pistachios or almonds and a good dollop of crème fraiche or whipped cream.
- Lightly grease an 9-inch deep pie pan. Combine flour, butter, and nuts. Press firmly into pie pan. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
- Mix cream cheese and sugar thoroughly. Fold in whipped cream. Spread over cooled crust to make first layer.
- For second layer: mix pudding mixes and the amount of milk called for on package directions to make pie filling. Pour over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until cool.
- Before serving, top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate and nuts.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
- Make the dough; divide in half and form each half into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425° F.
- Remove 1 dough disc from fridge. Butter or spray pie pan. On a well-floured surface or between two sheets of plastic, roll out first dough disc to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch deep pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1/2-inch. Place in fridge.
- Pit all the cherries and place them in a medium bowl. Sprinkle sugar and cornstarch over the cherries and then pour the water and lemon juice on top. Add almond extract. Gently mix until no trace of sugar or cornstarch remains. Leave for 15 minutes and then drain the cherries of most of the liquid.
- Roll out second dough disc on well-floured surface or between two sheets of plastic to a 12-inch round. Using a pastry wheel with fluted edge, cut ten 3/4-inch wide strips from dough round. More detailed instructions on lattice top pie crust can be found at simplyrecipes.
- Transfer filling to dough-lined pie dish, mounding slightly in center. Dot with butter.
- Arrange dough strips atop filling, forming lattice; trim dough strips overhang to 1/2-inch. Fold bottom crust up over ends of strips and crimp edges to seal. Brush lattice crust (not edges) with milk. Sprinkle lattice with remaining 1 tbsp sugar.
- Place pie on rimmed baking sheet (to catch juices) and bake 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375° F. Bake pie until filling is bubbling and crust in golden brown, cover edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 1 hour longer.
- Transfer to rack and cool completely. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
"She did not talk to people as if they were strange hard shells she had to crack open to get inside. She talked as if she were already in the shell. In their very shell."
"Repose is a quality too many undervalue... In the clamor one is irresistibly drawn to the woman who sits gracefully relaxed, who keeps her hands still, talks in a low voice and listens with responsive eyes and smiles. She creates a spell around her, charming to the ear, the eye and the mind." - Good Housekeeping, November 1947
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan, set aside.
- In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add the flour in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with flour. Make sure each addition is incorporated before adding next. Add the salt, vanilla, baking powder, and nutmeg and mix until combined.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake until top is golden and tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Friday, March 19, 2010
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Make the filling (basic fruit pie filling recipe for one 9-inch pie). You can also used pre-made canned filling, or home-made jarred ones. For small jars of different flavored fillings specifically for these pie lollipops simply combine a cup of fruit, pitted, diced, or mashed with 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 2 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/8 tsp of spices.
- Roll out your pie dough on a floured surface, or on plastic wrap. Dust the opposite with a dust of flour. This will make the dough easier to work with and move around. With a round cookie cutter cut out two circles for each pie, one for the bottom crust, and one for the top. You can make about 8 or 9 pops with 1 9-inch pie crust.
- Place a stick in the center of your cut out. Using a teaspoon fill the pie center on top of the stick. Be careful as your filling is liquid, and will run. Carefully lay the second cut out on top, using the end of another stick to press the edges together.
- Using the egg wash, brush the tops of the pies with egg white. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops start to brown. Cool on wire rack.
- When completely cool you can bag these with small plastic treat bags and tie with ribbon to give as gifts.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Step 1 - Gather your materials: 1 box of cake mix, lollipop sticks, 1 package chocolate bark (white chocolate or yellow colored chocolate), 1 can of cream cheese frosting (16 oz), sanding sugar, food coloring spray mist, and styrofoam block.
Step 2 - Bake your yellow cake following the instructions on the box. When the cake is cooled completely, crumble into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with your can of frosting, a little at a time, until its consistency allows you to roll it into a ball.
Step 3 - Start rolling mixture into balls. Size is bakers choice but a melon-baller gadget might come in handy. Quarter sized balls are good. Lay them on wax paper on a cookie sheet. Cover with foil or plastic and stick them in the fridge to chill for several hours (you can speed up by sticking them in a freezer).
Step 4 - Melt the chocolate in the microwave per directions on the package (you can also use candy coating, just follow directions) until the right consistency to dip balls. ONLY melt a few pieces of chocolate bark at a time as it cools quickly and starts to thicken. It's easier to work with when hot. Most recommended heating for 30 second intervals at a time and stirring in between. You can also do the double boiler method.
Step 5 - Take the cake balls from the fridge. Dip your lollipop stick in the melted chocolate before inserting them half to three-quarters way in each cake ball. Put the balls with sticks back in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. When chocolate has cooled and the sticks hold in the cake balls, then dip the newly-sticked cake pops into the melted chocolate, rotating to ensure even coverage. Stand the dipped pops into styrofoam block you've already poked holes into and let drip-dry for 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 6 - Once dry decorate your pop by rolling it in sanding sugar and spraying with food coloring spray mist until the cake pops resemble dinosaur eggs. When completely dry, cover the lollipops with small plastic treat bags and tie with a ribbon.
original idea from bellabaker