Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Pies & Tarts’ Category

untitled

Warren Brown, back with his 4th cookbook to date, Pie Love, Inventive Recipes for Sweet and Savory Pie, Galettes, Pastry Cremes, Tarts and Turnovers.

I’ve got to tell  you that this book covers it all.  Everything you wanted to know about pies, and recipes galore.  I made his apple pie, and fell in love with the cinnamon Pie crust recipe. I used that as my base, and loved his apple pie recipe!  The thing that I liked about the pie, is that it was not an overly sweet pie, the recipe didn’t over do it on the spices, which allowed the flavor of the apples to shine through.  I will be using his cinnamon pie crust recipes in some of my favorite pies, where the cinnamon will complement the filling. I liked it that much. I’m hooked!

The book starts with an introduction, The Basics of Pie, covering ingredients, sweeteners, Butters & Fats, Fruits & Vegetables, and pans and tools both small and large.  Next, he explains “what goes on in a pie?”.

Chapter one, is Pie Crusts. You’ll find step by step pie crust making (Although his instructions are not based on mixing by hand.  I happen to agree with him and use my food processor for my pie crust making.) from mixing the dough in a food processor, to rolling, and crimping, so even a novice can accomplish the sometimes intimidating pie crust!   The pie crust recipes were a plus and a pleasant surprise. Crust recipes such as Cinnamon Butter pie crust (my favorite), Vanilla Bean Pie crust, Anise & Mace Spiced Pie crust and Paprika Butter crust are just a few of the pie crust recipes you’ll find here, along with whole wheat, vegan, cheese, lard, chocolate and gluten-free pie crusts. A delightful assortment of Pie crust in this chapter!

Chapter 2 is Sweet Pie fillings. Two Apple Pie fillings, Blueberry Maple, Peach Pie, Traditional Cherry Pie, Red Berry Pie, an assortment and wide variety of fillings to please any palate.  I was pleasantly pleased with the large variety of pie filling recipes that were included in this chapter, including a Sugar Cream Pie, Apple turnovers, Blueberry cobbler, Bourbon Pie and even a Hickory Pie.

Chapter 3 is Tart Crusts. Pecan Caramel tart crust, Almond Caramel tart crust, Lemon Shortbread, and a Peanut tart crust. He’ll have you trying to decide which pie and crust to use first, and it won’t be an easy pick either. They will all sound intriguing and mouth-watering.

Chapter 4 is Sweet Tarts.  Chocolate Amaretto Tart with Candied Almond around the outside of the pie, looks absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to try that one, and a Vanilla Pudding Cream Tart, Raspberry Lemon Tart, Apricot Tart, Mixed Fruit Tart are just some of the tarts included in this chapter. Chapter 4 also includes that Sauces, Toppings, Pastry Cream and Glazes.

Chapter 5 is Savory Pies. He includes an Apple Lasagna, Meatball Pie, Chicken Pot Pie, Shepard’s Pie, Eggplant & Carrot Pie, and a recipe for Jamaican Beef Patties.

Finishing up the book is the Index to help you find what you’re looking for even faster.

ApplePie2

The book is beautifully illustrated! This book is chock full of beautiful pictures of the finished product that are just mouth-watering!  I am a visual, like to see the end results kind of person, and this book does not disappoint in the photography department!  As an added bonus, throughout the book you’ll find little  boxes with helpful hints, and instructions.

This book is a must have in every kitchen! Especially if you like pie. This fast became one of my favorite cookbooks after sitting down and going through it.  It surprised me, and delighted me with its unique recipes, pictures, and information. There are so many pies I want to make out of this cookbook that almost all of the pages are dog-eared waiting for me to make them.  This link has a sneak peek feature and I encourage you to go take a look. I think you will be as delighted as I am with Pie Love!

Heirloom Apple Pie

This is my go-to apple pie.  It’s simple, classic, and easy to make all year-long.  If heirloom apples aren’t available, just substitute Granny Smiths, which work well in baking and have a consistent flavor year round.  My colleague at CakeLove suggested prepping the apples as cubes, which seemed weird, but in the end, I really liked them that way.  Assembling the pie is much faster, the apple cubes retain a nicer texture after baking than slices, and I love the way they spill out of the slice when it’s served.

My goal with this filling was just a touch of sweetness in the syrup; the natural sugars of the apples should be center stage.  You’ll notice a bit of juice pooling on top of the crust at the edges toward the end of baking time, but this recedes and blends back into the pie once it cools.  I like the Cinnamon-Butter Pie Crust with its nuance of spice, for this pie and extra dough cookies across the top crust. – Warren Brown

7 1/2 Cups (2 Pounds) Heirloom Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 and 1/4 inch cubes (I used apples from my backyard apple trees, using 3 different types. My trees are LOADED this year!)

1/2 cup (4 oz.) Superfine Granulated Sugar, plus additional for sprinkling

2 Tbsp. Light Brown Sugar, packed

1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

2 Tbsp. Unbleached All Purpose Flour

2 Tbsp. Cornstarch

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon, plus additional for sprinkling

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg, freshly grated (I only used 1/4 tsp.)

1/4 tsp. Allspice (Optional)

4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

1 Tbsp. Honey

1 Recipe, bottom crust blind baked Cinnamon ButterPie crust, Flaky Butter Crust or Whole Wheat Piecrust  (I didn’t blind bake the bottom crust. I put it together with a top crust and baked it for an hour and a half. If you choose this route, keep an eye on the pie, and if the top crust begins to get to dark, cover the top of the pie with aluminum foil to prevent over browning. We prefer this method, and my pie came out great!)

1 Egg (Optional)

1/4 tsp. Vanilla (Optional)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Place the apple cubes in a 6 quart pot.

3.  Mix  both sugars, the salt, flour, cornstarch, and spices in a bowl.  Combine this mixture with the apples, add the butter, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the juices bubble and thicken.

4.  Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the honey, and allow the filling to cool a bit.

5.  Scoop the filling into the cooled crust.

6.  Cover with the top crust of your choice and style.  If desired, whisk together the egg and vanilla to make an egg wash.  Brush the crust with the wash and lightly sprinkle the top of the pie with sugar and cinnamon.

7.  Bake the pie for 40 to 45 minutes.  When finished,, the juices should simmer around the edges and the top crust should be golden brown.

8.  Allow the pie to cool for 1 hour to let the filling set before slicing.

Note: Crust cookies are especially festive pie decorations. To make them, ball up any extra dough and roll it in granulated sugar.  Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick and cut it with cookie cutters into the desired shapes.  Press the cookies onto the top crust of the pie in a decorative pattern and brush with egg wash, then bake as directed in step 7.

Read Full Post »

At long last, the much awaited Pie it Forward is finally here. The official release date is/was for April 1st.  I know that it has been available for a couple of weeks now, and I’m sure those that have picked it up, have been happily making the goodies of the contents within!  This is an amazing book!   Well written, humorous, and smack dab full of mouth-watering pie recipes and other pastries are what await you.  And again, to help you along, a website to match the cookbook, www.pieitforwardcookbook.com.  The book is inspiring and will have you wanting to bake in just a few pages. The question will be – What to make first?  This book is for the beginning baker as well as the advanced baker. A lot of the recipes are step by step, and explained well enough for the beginning baker to gain enough confidence to give it a go.  You can make with confidence almost anything in the book! The last chapter has the more advanced recipes in it, but once you bake some of the goodies in the rest of the book, you’ll be ready for that last chapter.

In Chapter One, you get all the  basics, Crusts – All Butter Easy Pie Dough, Simple Tart Dough, Hand Pie Dough, Quick Puff Pastry, Traditional Puff Pastry, Sweet Tart Dough, Chocolate Cookie Tart crust, Strudel Dough and even a pizza dough.

In the Second Chapter, comes the Master Recipes, for making things such as: Pastry Cream, Caramels, Ganache, & Fruit Glaze.

In the Third Chapter, The Sweets: Galette’s, Tarts, Tartlets, Hand Pies, & Pie, there’s something here to entice even the most disconcerting sweet tooth!

The Savories are next, with Cornish Pastries, Fried Green Tomato Pie, Quiche, and Potpies, just to name a few.

Last, but not least, we have Pie it Forward Chapter. In here, you will find some specialty desserts, with stacked pie crusts (Puff Pastry) desserts that will leave your mouth-watering.

This book is one, that you will pick up and bake out of all the time.  I know this will be used in my kitchen quite often.

For my review recipe, I picked a couple of things to try. First, the Key Lime Mascarpone Cream Pie.  Delicious!  I added the strawberry and Mango for the top of my pie. Very nice touch to the top of the pie if your interested.  Also, I did not post her Sweet Tart Dough recipe, but you can use this recipe, I promise it will work fantastically!

Key Lime Pie with Strawberries & Mango

Key Lime Mascarpone Cream Pie

From: Pie it Forward – Pies, Tarts, Tortes, Gallettes & Other Pastries Reinvented

By: Gesine Bullock – Prado

Key Lime is such a happy citrus – what other sour fruit brings to mind two of the loveliest things on the planet, the beach and pie, when you utter her name?  And she never fails to please, this lovely pie. Key lime pie is as silky sweet and tangy as a lazy day on the soft sands of Florida. Mascarpone is a natural addition, providing an extra dose of creaminess and tang. – Gesine Bullock – Prado

1/2 Batch Sweet Tart Dough

1/2 Cup, Plus 3 Tablespoons Key Lime Juice (I used Manhattan brand), Divided

1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

4 Egg Yolks

Pinch of Salt

1/4 Cup Mascarpone Cheese

1 Cup Heavy Cream

1/4 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar

Mini Key Lime Tartlets with Strawberries & Mango Topping.

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (175 Degrees C).  Line an 8 inch tart pan with the dough, then dock the bottom and freeze it for 20 minutes.  Line the crust with parchment, fill it with pie weights or dried beans, and bake it for 20 minutes.  Remove the weights and lining, then bake the crust for 15 minutes more, or until it no longer has a raw – dough sheen.

2.  For the filling, whisk together 1/2 cup of the Key lime juice with the condensed milk, egg yolks, and salt.  Pour the mixture into the crust and bake it for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the filling is set.  Allow it to cool completely.

3.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the mascarpone cheese, cream, confectioner’s sugar, and remaining key lime juice until the cream hold stiff peaks.  Transfer the cream to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe it onto the cooled Key Lime Pie.

Makes One (9 inch/20-cm) Pie.

*Note:  I made my pie into little tartlets, and added Strawberry and Mango to the top of the tarts.  I used this crust recipe here, filled the shells unbaked with the key lime filling and baked them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 – 15 minutes.  Cool completely before removing from the mini muffin pans.

If you haven’t gotten the book Pie it forward yet, you can use that same crust recipe to make this pie. It is truly delicious and not to be missed!

I also made the German Apple Custard Tart.  I love apple custard pies and this one fit the bill.

Don’t forget to stop by the Author’s blog too where you will find more inspiration and recipes!

Full Disclosure: I was given this book in exchange for a review.  However, the contents of my review are my honest opinion of reviewed product.  I will always give my honest opinion of any product reviewed.

Read Full Post »

Today, is Pie it Forward Day!  If you haven’t read about it and don’t know about it, follow the link above or you can read about it here.

 

 

 

The Ever Requested Lemon Meringue Pie.

However, it’s a fairly simple procedure for today.  Pick your favorite pie recipe, Bake it, and then – Pie it Forward to someone you love, or someone who could use a smile.  Share the recipe too so they can make it sometime.  The idea is, the recipient of the pie, would then do the same thing. Pick their favorite pie, Bake it, and then Bake it Forward and so on. Oh, the idea of it puts a smile on my face. What a great idea.  Just imagine if everyone did Pie it Forward!

How did this come about?

Well to have a little fun, and celebrate the release of  Gesine Bullock-Prado’s new book, Pie it Forward!   (Author of “My Life from Scratch”, and “Sugar Baby”)    Abrams books, (Stewart Tabori & Chang) are featuring a Pie it Forward Day, which is today, March 14th 2012.

Also, available is a recipe for Wild Blueberry Pie (click on download pdf and pick one of the sizes in order to download.) from Gesine’s “Pie it Forward Book. Watch how to make it here. (Go ahead, you’ll enjoy it and I’ll wait for ya)

Wild Blueberry Pie

So, to join in the fun, I made a couple of pies.  Lemon Meringue and this wonderful, delicious (although I have to tell you that this pie is a lot of work. However, I find it worth the work!) Caramel Apple Pie.  The original recipe can be found in Blue Ribbon Desserts, by Stan C. Strom.

Caramel Apple Pie

Adapted from: Blue Ribbon Desserts

By: Stan C. Strom

1 9 inch Blind Baked Pie Crust

Caramel Apple Filling:

9 large Apples (I used Golden Delicious, Pink Lady& Gala

4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

1 Cup Sugar

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/3 Cup Flour

1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

Pinch of Salt

1/4 to 1 Cup Apple Cider

1/2 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste (Or Vanilla extract)

1 Egg, Whisked and set aside for Crust

Topping:

1/3 Cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 Cup Quick Cooking Oats

2/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

Pinch of Baking Soda

Pinch of Kosher Salt

1 Stick unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 Cup Caramel Ice Cream Topping (I used Smucker’s)

Caramel Apple Pie

Directions:

Caramel Apple Filling:

Peel and slice apples in thick wedges. (Quarter the apple, and cut in 2 to 3 slices per quarter, like orange segments.) Put in a bowl of water with 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice to keep the apples from browning.   Dump apples out on a towel to dry.  Meanwhile, combine the cinnamon, flour, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.

Melt the butter and sugar in an extra-large skillet or wok; then add the apples. (Mixture will seize up and the caramel will become chunky.) Keep cooking the apples, stirring the caramel chunks until they melt again, about 10 to 20 minutes.  Stir in the flour-spice mixture, adding the cider a little at a time as it thickens. (I have always used the whole cup of cider when I make this pie.) Cook apples about another 8 to 10 minutes until apples are cooked through, and mixture is nice and caramelized.  Remove from heat and add the Caramel Ice Cream topping and stir to incorporate.  Brush the bottom and sides of the blind baked pie shell with the egg wash, and place apple mixture in the pie shell.  Gently press down apples in place.

Topping:

In a large bowl, mix the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, soda and salt.  Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the walnuts. Crumble and scatter the crumb mixture over the top of the pie and gently press down.

Bake in the center of a 350 degree convection oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. You can bake 40 to 45 minutes in a regular oven.  Remove  from oven and let cool on a wire rack.  Refrigerate or serve at room temperature.  Arrange pastry cutouts on top if desired.

Come join in on the fun, Pie it Forward Day!  You’re sure to put a smile on someones face.

Read Full Post »

In anticipation and to do something fun, Abrams books, (Stewart Tabori & Chang) are featuring a Pie it Forward Day, set for March 14th 2012, in connection with the release of  Gesine Bullock-Prado’s new book, Pie it Forward!   Available Everywhere in April 2012!! (Oh, I just can’t wait!  Author of:  “My Life from Scratch”, “Sugar Baby” and now coming in April – “Pie it Forward”.)

Now, any type of pie will do whether it’s a savory or sweet!  potpie, cottage pie, apple pie, rhubarb pie –  if it has the word “PIE”  in it, – it qualifies. 

Here’s what you do:

1.  Find your favorite pie recipe. (OR try – Free downloadable pdf of Gesine Bullock-Prado’s Wild Blueberry Pie, from her soon to be released: Pie it forward cookbook)

Gesine's Wild Blueberry Pie - From: Pie it Forward

2.  Bake!

3. Now – Pie it forward! – Deliver the pie to a friend. Pass along the recipe and share a day of baking.

What a great idea. It’s sure to put a smile on someone’s face, and that’s the idea.  Imagine, if everyone made a pie for Pie it Forward Day!

Have some fun March 14th, roll up your sleeves, fire up the oven, and bake a pie for someone you love.

Look forward to a lip smacking apple pie recipe, coming on March 14th – Pie it Forward Day!

Possibly more than one, you never know. I love pie!

Now if you have no one to forward your pie to, I volunteer to be the recipient of your baked wonder!

I’m just sayin…..

Read Full Post »

I came across this recipe on Allrecipes.com.  See my notes at the bottom.

Clark’s Quiche

“This recipe is excellent served for breakfast with fruit or at lunch or dinnertime with a salad. This recipe makes two 9 inch pies. The reason for this is because if you only make one you will hate yourself the next day when there are no leftovers. The Quiche microwaves well the next day. In fact most people say that the flavors have blended better on the second day… If in the strange case that you are filled up with one pie, this is a great gift to give a friend or relative, or if you are stingy…it freezes well with tin foil.”

Clark’s Quiche
Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 1 Hr
Ready In: 1 Hr 25 Min
Original Recipe Yield 2 (9 inch) pies
Ingredients
1/2 lb thick sliced bacon
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, finely diced
2 cups finely diced smoked ham
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 oz Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
1 Tbs dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside. Cook spinach according to package instructions. Allow to cool, then squeeze dry.

2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until soft and translucent. Stir in mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft. Stir in ham and cooked bacon. Remove from heat.

3. In a large bowl, combine spinach, sour cream, salt and pepper. Divide, and spread into pie crusts. Layer with bacon mixture. Mix together Monterey Jack, Cheddar and Parmesan, and sprinkle over pies. Whisk together eggs, half-and-half and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, and pour over pies.

4. Place pies on baking sheet, and bake on middle shelf in preheated oven for 40 minutes. The top will be puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Yield: Original Recipe Yield 2 (9 inch) pies

Source
Author: By: Clark Hamblen
Web Page: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/clarks-quiche/detail.aspx

Notes:

I made my Quiche with breakfast sausage instead of the ham and bacon. Turned out perfect.  This Quiche is delicious!

If you like Quiche, do give this recipe a try.  It got rave reviews from those who tried it, and I will be adding this to my regular rotation of recipes.

Read Full Post »

You know it’s rare to find a cookbook that inspires you to want to make every recipe in it!   The recipes are simple, easy to follow, with most ingredients readily available at your local market, producing spectacular results.  (Sources are listed for the few ingredients that might require a specialty store.) Beautifully photographed, well written, and inspiring, this book will turn you into an Italian Dessert Guru:  Dolci:  Italy’s sweets by Francine Segan.

Francine Segan is an acclaimed food historian and author of four cookbooks, read more about her here.   In Dolci: Italy’s Sweets, Segan introduces us to the real Italy.  None of the recipes in this book are actually hers.  She gathered recipes from all corners of Italy.  Her recipes come from hip young food bloggers, grandmas in remote villages, from important Italian pastry manufactures and pastry chefs at small cafes. From thousands of recipes, she has selected the very best – a list that includes both the classics and desserts that contemporary Italians prepare in their homes today.

Chapters Include; Cookies & Bite sized sweets, Cakes & Sweet Breads, Refrigerator Cakes, Pies, Freezer Desserts, Spoon Sweets, Weird & Wonderful, unique & Unusual Desserts, Holiday Traditions, After Dinner Beverages, and last but not least; Basics.

While the book is beautifully photographed, the down side is the number of pictures.  There is not a lot of pictures, and for most of the recipes you’ll have to make it to find out what the finished product looks like.  I personally do not find this a deterrent. While I love to see more pictures in a book as most of us are visual, the book will still inspire you to make the contents within. With or without pictures.

Chocolate & Jam “Little Mouthfuls”

Filled with chocolate, ground almonds, and grape jam, these tiny, two-bite pies have an intriguing combination of flavors.  If the idea of making pie crust seems daunting, you’ll love this recipe.  Unlike most dough for pies and tarts, this one doesn’t require rolling or chilling and is just pressed into molds.  Made with olive oil, not butter, these mini pies are healthy as well as tasty.   Like so many dish in Italy, bocconotti vary from region to region.  This recipe is from Abruzzo, where they are filled with either a cooked reduced dessert wine called “Vin Cotto” or with a jam made from the local exquisite Montelpuciano grapes.  In Calabria, they are filled instead with just marmalade, and in the Lazio region, with sweetened ricotta. – Francine Segan

From: Dolci: Italy’s Sweets

Bocconotti

Makes about 3 Dozen

Region: Abruzzo, Calabria, and Lazio

6 Large Egg Yolks

1/2 Cup (100g) Sugar

1/2 Cup (120 ml) Olive or other Vegetable Oil

1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Grated Zest of 1 Lemon

1 7/8 Cup (225g) All Purpose Flour

3/4 Cup (180ml) Grape Jam

1/3 Cup (45g) Almond flour or very finely ground blanched almonds

2 oz. (55g) Dark Chocolate, grated on a cheese grater

Pinch of Ground Cinnamon

(click pictures for another view.)

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. (180 Degrees C.)  In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar and beat with an electric mixer until golden-yellow and creamy.  Add the oil, vanilla, and half of the lemon zest and beat until combined. Gradually add the flour, mixing until a dough forms. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, combine the jam, almond flour, chocolate, cinnamon, and remaining lemon zest and stir until well combined.

Lightly oil 36 mini muffin cups or 2 inch (5 centimeters) tart molds.  Press about 1 rounded tablespoon of the dough into the bottom of each mold.  Top with a heaping tablespoon of the jam mixture.  Take another tablespoon of the dough and press it flat with your palms.  Top the filling with the disk of dough and press it flat with your palms.  Top the filling with the disk of dough and press it into the edges of the mold to seal  Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

Verdict:  These little tarts are delicious. Easy and fun to make, they come together fast. The best part?  Eating them!   If you have the time, homemade jam would be best here.  If not, store-bought works just as well.  I see no reason these couldn’t be made in whatever flavor jam you might like.  I also plan on making them with the sweetened ricotta filling.

 

This beautiful, high quality, inspiring cookbook will attract all dessert lovers, especially, with its simplicity of the recipes, and in the ease of obtaining such spectacular results. This is a book that I will reach for over and over.  Recommended?  Highly! This book will not disappoint.

Full Disclosure:  I was given this book in exchange for a review.  The above review is my honest opinion of this book and the contents with in.

Read Full Post »

Yvette Van Boven’s Home Made Cookbook Review

Recently I was sent Yvette Van Boven’s New cookbook “Home Made The Ultimate DIY Cookbook, featuring over 200 From – Scratch Recipes”, in exchange for a review.  Does this book deliver?  Oh, yeah and then some!

This book has everything in it!  Not only does it have everything in it, but it’s also a beautifully photographed, Do it yourself, wonder.   From Making Jam, Bread, Ginger Coffee, Teas, Cocktails & Liqueurs, Soups, Preserving Fruits, Preserving Meat & Fish, Gnocchi, pastas, Smoking foods, Roast it, On the side, Cheese Making, to making homemade, DIY, Ice creams, Sorbets and Semifreddo’s, Desserts with eggs including Zabaglioni, custard, fondant, pavlova, tarts, and everything in between.  Making chocolates, marzipan, shortbread’s, cookies, and truffles.  A chapter with making mustard’s, ketchup, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce and there’s even a chapter to cover man’s best friend, our four-legged companions, “Do not forget the Dog”.

For my recipe, I decided (and it was a hard choice, out of all these delectable recipes) on Parisian Apple Tartlets.  These were some of the best Apple tarts I have ever tasted. And the recipe is user-friendly and easy to follow.

Parisian Apple Tartlets

From: Homemade – by Yvette Van Boven

For 6 individual tartlet bases:

2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 1/4 sticks chilled Butter

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Egg

1 tsp. Cinnamon

Pinch of Salt

For the Filling:

3 Tart Cooking Apples, with red skin

1/3 Cup Superfine Sugar (Regular sugar works just fine here)

2 Tbsp. All Purpose Flour

2 Eggs

3/4 Cup Heavy Cream

Seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean

Mix of 1 Tbsp. Sugar & 1/2 Tbsp. Cinnamon

2/3 Cup Apricot Jam

2-3 Tbsp. Calvados

6 Tbsp. Creme Fraiche

Directions:

Combine the tartlet base ingredients swiftly into an even dough. This is easiest in a food processor.  Use a few drops of ice-cold water if necessary. (I did end up using 1 Tbsp. of Ice water)

Leave the dough to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  Then roll out the dough on a countertop dusted with flour and use to cover 6 well buttered individual pie dishes.  Prick the bottoms with a fork.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/Gas 4.

Blind bake the tartlet bases for 10 minutes (If you are making a large pie, say 9 inch diameter, bake a little longer, i.e. 15 to 20 minutes).

Quarter the apples, remove the cores, but not the attractive peel. (I peeled mine, I have tart green apples, and I don’t like the skin of the apple!, I know – Shame!) Cut the sections into very thin slices. Stir the sugar through the flour. Stir in the eggs to make a nice paste.  Heat the cream, vanilla, and bean, bring to the boil and then remove from the heat.  Remove the bean, and add the hot cream to the flour-egg paste, while stirring.  Pour that cream into the prebaked pie crusts and cover with the overlapping apple slices.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mix.

Bake the tartlets in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes (a larger version will be done in approx. 25 minute).  Leave to slightly cool.

Heat the apricot jam in a pan.  Dilute with a tbsp. of Calvados or water.  Press the jam through a strainer over a bowl and spread the collected apricot jelly on the tartlets.  Serve the tartlets with a tablespoon of unsweetened good quality creme fraiche.

Makes 6 individual tartlets.

This is one of those books that you will reach for time, and time, again.  An encyclopedia of Do it yourself treasures that has everything in it that you can imagine, and always wondered about how to do.  The quality of the book is first-rate, the pages nice and thick, not at all flimsy, and a nice touch that I really liked, 2 ribbons attached to the book to mark your place.  (Although, you’ll need many more book markers, to save the recipes you’ll want to try.)

Read Full Post »

Recently, I was sent the book “The Complete Kitchen Garden” by Ellen Ecker Ogden (Whom by the way, has a website too) for review. If  you plan on doing any gardening, this book certainly will help you along your way. (I need all the help I can get! I find gardening challenging!)  We plant a garden every year and after reading this book, I think that I will have a much improved design and yield in my garden. I admit to the traditional straight rows, space hogging crops and design!  She will bring me out of my shell, encouraging and teaching me to use my creativity and come up with something better than what I’ve been doing! If you’ve never, ever thought about planting a garden, but would like to, you will acquire enough knowledge and then some to come out ahead in the design, yield and know-how, and she’ll have you thinking about what kind of garden you’d like to plant.  There are several different designs to choose from to design the kind of garden that appeals to the kind of foods you like. (Check out her website for pictures of some of these designs). For example, we have The Salad Lover’s Garden, The Organic Rotation Garden, The Cook’s Garden, The Children’s Garden, The Culinary Herb Garden, The Paint Box Garden, The Patio Garden, The Heirloom Maze Garden, The Garnish Garden, The Chef’s Garden, The Family Garden, The Artist’s Garden, The Country Garden and The Four Friend’s Garden. In each Garden theme, she gives the best layout for that type, plant lists, veggie profiles and recipes for the future crops.

(Paint-box Garden)

In this book the Author gives us her own designs along with techniques and organic gardening methods to get us started, expecting us to adapt to fit our own style, individual landscape, and personal appetite. A Kitchen Garden that expresses our own personality and to enjoy the process as much as the harvest, each being equally important. I think the Author delivers this in the pages that follow and I believe is a must have for all people who love gardening and cooking! What could be better than eating locally, right in your own backyard? Break ground on your own garden this year and pick up this book to find the best ways to do it, and some of the best ways to cook it when it’s time to harvest it!  I can’t wait to explore the ideas in my own garden this year!

I chose the Fresh Strawberry Creme Tart to make. I love fresh, juicy, colorful, tasty strawberries at the height of their season. I can never get enough of them.   This tart is DELICIOUS!! Simple, and delightful.  I was able to put this together in no time, even in time for dinner.  The pie crust was a dream to work with, rolling out with no problems what so ever.  The macerated strawberry juice, gets mixed in with the pastry cream and it tastes heavenly! This tart will go in the regular rotation of my best desserts, make again recipes!

Fresh Strawberry Creme Tart

From: The Complete Kitchen Garden, by Ellen Ecker Ogden

This old-fashioned dessert in a sweet tart shell is still my favorite way to celebrate the arrival of Strawberry season.  Select the freshest, most beautiful berries.  Serves 8.

4 Cups Whole Strawberries, washed, stem ends removed (I sliced and quartered mine)

3/4 Cup, Plus 1 Tablespoon Sugar, Divided

1 1/2 Cups, Plus 1 Tablespoon Unbleached White Flour, Divided

1/2 tsp. Salt

9 Tbsp. (1 stick, plus 1 Tbsp) Cold, Unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 Cup Water, chilled with Ice Cubes

3/4 Cup Milk

1/2 Vanilla Bean, Split Lengthwise

3 Egg Yolks

Lemon Verbena, finely Chopped, for Garnish

1.  Place the strawberries in a bowl, sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the sugar, and set aside to macerate for 30 minutes at room temperature.

2.  Sift the 1 1/2 Cups flour, salt and 1 Tbsp. sugar into a bowl.  With your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of the ice water. Work the dough on a floured surface until it just holds together, adding more ice water as needed.  Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.

3.  Place the milk and vanilla bean in a heavy saucepan. Bring almost to a boil over medium heat, then remove the pan from the heat and cool. Remove the vanilla bean.

4.  In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until blended.  Sprinkle in the 1 tablespoon flour, then gradually whisk in the heated milk.  Return the mixture to the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened and custard-like, about 10 minutes.

5.  Set up a strainer over a bowl or large measuring cup with a spout, and pour the custard through, pushing with a wooden spoon. Set aside to cool completely.

6.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Bring the dough out of the refrigerator and roll  it out on a floured surface to as thin as you can, about 1/4 inch.  Fold it in half, transfer it to a 9 inch tart pan, and trim to fit.  Crimp the edges, and prick all over with a fork.

7.  Cover the dough with foil and fill with dried beans.  Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and beans, then continue to baking until the shell is golden, 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool.

8.  Stir the macerated juice from the strawberries into the pastry cream and incorporate completely.  Spread the cream evenly over the baked tart shell.  Arrange the strawberries upright, cut edge facing down, on the custard. Garnish with lemon verbena and serve.  Serves 8.

Read Full Post »

Homemade Turkey Potpies

To use up our leftover Thanksgiving Turkey, I decided to make homemade potpie.  These pot pies are delicious and a favorite of my husbands. Even the picky Grandbabies will eat these!!  I have made them several times with chicken too! Here’s how I make my pot pies:

Turkey or Chicken Potpies

By: Fire up the Oven

1 Cup Chopped Onions

1 Cup Chopped Celery

1 1/2 Cups Diced Potatoes

1 Cup Chopped Carrots

1 Cup Frozen (or Fresh) Corn

1 Cup Frozen (or Fresh) Peas

1 Stick Butter

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Gravy:

1/2 Cup Butter (1 stick)

3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour

2 Cups Water

Half and Half or Milk (Add enough to achieve desired thickness)

3 Tbsp. Minor’s Chicken Base (or use Better than Bouillon Chicken Base)

1/4 tsp. Pepper

1/2 tsp. Thyme

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp. Marjoram

1/4 tsp. Sage

Salt to taste (Chicken base is salty, so go sparingly and taste!)

4 Cups Diced Turkey or Chicken

2 (15 oz.) pkg. Refrigerated pie Crusts (or Homemade from my dessert blog)

Directions:

Allow refrigerated Pie crusts to come to room temperature (or make homemade pie crusts).  In a large skillet, melt butter and olive oil.  When hot, add onions, celery, potatoes, and carrots.  Saute mixture until carrots are just fork tender.  Remove from heat and add corn and Peas.  Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, melt butter. Add flour, and cook and stir for 5 minutes.  Add water and half and half until you reach desired consistency for gravy.  Add spices.  Remove from heat.  Add diced turkey or chicken to potato mixture and add enough gravy to potato/turkey mixture to make vegetables and turkey mixture creamy.  Reserve leftover gravy for over the top of potpies.   Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line 2 9 inch deep dish pie plates with crust. (You can also use a 9X13 inch square baking pan if desired.)  Fill pie crusts with potpie mixture. Add a top crust, cutting vents into the crust.  Bake at 400 Degrees for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Let pot pie rest and cool for about 15 minutes. Serve with remaining gravy if desired.

Yield: 2 9 inch Pies, or one 13X9 inch pie.

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: