Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Parisian Apple Tartlets

Second to the last recipe in Dorie's book!

Wegman's used to carry all butter puff pastry, but seems to have dropped it.  Fortunately, Trader Joe's just opened here in Rochester, NY, and they do carry all butter puff pastry.

This was so easy.  I cut 4" circles of pastry, put the peeled, halved, and then quartered apples on the pastry, sprinkled with brown sugar and slid them into the oven.

The result was delicious, although I did think that the puff pastry would have more puff to it.  No complaints from my taste testers!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Creme Brulee

I fretted about making these because I do not own the preferred baking dishes, nor do I own a torch,  but Dorie says I can go ahead and use ramekins so that's what I'll do.  And she says you can use the broiler, so here I go!
Getting ready

Ramekins on a silpat lined baking sheet, bowl for eggs and sugar and vanilla,
pan on the stove to heat the cream and milk.

This was incredibly easy to prepare.  And once it was in the oven, it was just a matter of waiting till the custards were set.  When at room temperature, they went into the refrigerator overnight.  Then I sprinkled them with sugar:  the one on the left had demerera sugar, the other two had brown sugar.  I don't own a torch so I filled a pan with ice, placed the ramekins on them, and put them under the broiler.  (Dorie is so clever!)  And here they are!

Out of the oven.

This one is mine!

Yummy!  And the brown sugar caramelized and hardened up perfectly.
These were delightful, no doubt about it.  We'll eat the other three tomorrow.

And now, I only have two recipes left and I will have baked through Dorie Greenspan's fabulous book, Baking from my Home to Yours.  Watch for Floating Islands and Parisian Apple Tartlets before the end of the year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mrs. Vogel's Scherben

These little fried dough cookies are fun to make because they puff up into unique shapes when you drop the into the hot oil.  "Scherben" means snowflakes and I suppose that's an appropriate name because no two cookies look alike.

I procrastinated making these cookies because they require 4" of oil and I know from experience that oil used to deep fry something can't be reused.  It seems wasteful to me.  But as I'm down to just 4 recipes in Baking by Dorie Greenspan, it was time to make them.

The dough rests in the refrigerator then is rolled out thin.

Cut into strips and then each strip is slit down the center, leaving a bit of dough on either end.  Then back into the refrigerator.

Heating up the oil.  I was a bit skimpy--maybe 3".

Getting the paper towels ready.

Frying the dough a few at a time.

Rolling them in cinnamon and sugar.

Sprinkled with powder sugar just before serving.
As I said, these were fun to make.  And if eaten immediately, they were quite tasty.  But I covered them loosely with a towel, and served them two hours later by which time they were no longer crispy.  Must have been the towel!

I now have just three recipes to make and I will have baked EVERYTHING in Dorie's terrific book.  I hope to finish by the end of the year:
  • Parisian Apple Tartlet (Rich found butter puff pastry at Trader Joe's)
  • Creme Brulee (I don't have the right pans so ramekins will have to do)
  • Floating Islands (Need to be eaten right away, so I'll have to invite people over.  Maybe Christmas guests?)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Rosy Poached Pear and Pistachio Tart

For Thanksgiving, I wanted a do-ahead dessert and I didn't feel like making my traditional apple pie.  I decided on Dorie Greenspan's Rosy Poached Pear Pistachio Tart, which is one of the few that I have not baked in her fabulous book, Baking from My Home to Yours.  What makes this a good recipe is that you can make all the parts of it a couple of days ahead.  However, once it's assembled, you really have to eat it up.

I made the nut tart dough using pistachios.  Yummy!

The pears are peeled and then poached in a mixture of shiraz with lemon zest, orange zest and some sugar.  Boy, did the kitchen smell good!

The cream is made with ground pistachios, nuts, egg yolks, milk and a little butter.  I refrigerated it and then added a little sour cream to thin it out before spreading it into the tart shell.

And finally, getting ready to assemble.

My finished product with decorative caramelized pistachios sprinkled on top.

My tart next to the picture in Dorie's Baking book.

The key to this tart, I think, is that the pears be ripe but not squishy.  I used a variety of pears and the ripe ones were by far the best.

And now I have just 4 recipes to bake in Dorie's book and I will have finished them all!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Depths of Fall Butternut Squash Pie

Perhaps the reason I've postponed making this recipe from Dorie Greenspan's wonderful cookbook, Baking from my Home to Yours,  is because I'm not a big fan of squash.  I should have known to trust Dorie!  This pie was delicious, even for people who don't like squash!

I made Dorie's delicious pie crust and refrigerated it overnight.

Then began to cut up the squash from the CSA (she says she likes to buy already cut up squash at the supermarket because it is hard to do--I see what she means!)

The squash is partially cooked in the microwave, then combined with diced pears, orange zest and orange juice (key ingredients, I think), dried cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon, bread crumbs.  A very tasty combination.

Here's the end result.  It surely didn't last long at our house and I expect I'll be baking this recipe again.

And now I have only 5 recipes to bake to finish the whole book.  Whew!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Only six recipes to go!

My goal is to finish baking all of the recipes in Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking from my Home to Yours, by the end of the year.  Here's what I have left:
  • Mrs. Vogel's Scherben, p. 157.  I have put off making these little fried cookies because you need to use about 4" of oil.  I never know what to do with leftover used oil.
  • Parisian Apple Tartlet, p. 319.  Now that apples are in season, I ought to be able to make these simple tartlets!
  • Depths of Fall Butternut Squash Pie p. 328 Well.  I'm not a fan of butternut squash, but tis the season so I suspect I'll be baking this soon.
  • Rosy Poached Pear and Pistachio Tart p. 370   Poaching pears in wine sounds delicious!  I have to remember to buy pears and let them ripen.
  • Creme Brulee  p. 393  I don't have a torch to carmelize the top but I should just get on with it and do the best I can with a broiler.
  • Floating Islands p. 401   I need to assemble and eat these right away.  Also need to make it on a non-humid day.  Now that the season has changed, I should be able to make this.

Whittling down: Honey Almond Fig Tart and Chocolate Souffle

I very much want to finish baking all of the recipes in Dorie Greenspan's wonderful book, Baking from My Home to Yours.  

Honey Almond Fig Tart
The reason this recipe is among the final ones is because of the difficulty in finding ripe figs.  When Rich finally bought some, he brought them home and left them on the kitchen counter. The next day they were covered with fuzz!  He took them back for a replacement and here they are, baked up in the Honey Almond Tart.

I think a lovely variation of this tart would be to make it with peaches--and peach season is longer than that of figs!

Tart out of the oven

Tart with the beautiful glaze

Chocolate Souffle
On Rich's birthday, a baked up my first souffle.  Actually, this was not only the first time that I baked a souffle, but also it was the first time that I ever tasted a souffle!  Dorie says souffles are dramatic but they have an undeserved reputation for finickiness.  Her directions were great and the results were wonderful.

Preparing the chocolate

Whipping the whites

Combining the chocolate and meringue

More folding

About ready to put into the prepared pan

The finished souffle