Category Archives: pastry

rustic apple tart

I love things that are rustic. And I especially love baking things that can be classified as rustic because they don’t have to be perfect.  A lot of baking requires very specific equations of ingredients, and that’s nice and rewarding and all when you want something fancy, but it’s also quite nice just to throw some ingredients together and create something perfectly flawed and handmade looking. Galettes or tarts are definitely handmade looking. I conquered the dough recently and would very much like to share with you how easy it is to make free form pies.

ingredients:

dough:

  • 1/2  c. whole wheat  flour
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tbsp. cold butter, roughly cubed
  • 1/4 c. ice water

filling:

  • 3 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp raisins or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in half of the butter with a pastry blender into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Then cut in the rest of the butter until those pieces are about the size of beans. Drizzle the water over the dough and use your hands to gather it into a disc. You may need to knead it 2 or 3 times to get all of the little pieces. Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

Peel and slice the apples, and drizzle with the lemon juice in a bowl. Mix  the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in the apple mixture. Add the raisins and stir. 

Roll dough into a 10-inch diameter. Place the apple mixture in the center, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold the edges up over the apple mixture, pleating the edges. The center will be open. Bake until golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Remove and let stand for 5 minutes. This tart can totally be savory too. I found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and it’s a really great way to use Fall harvest veggies.

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Filed under autumn, dessert, fruit, pastry, recipes, winter

apple scones

It’s officially Fall, and it’s my favorite time of year. But everyones says this, so that’s old news. But anyways, it’s that time of year where we have bags and bags of apples fresh from the orchard just waiting to be baked or eaten. I have in mind a lot of recipes that I want to try, so hopefully I stay on track and have some more apple posts coming soon. Have you ever looked at FoodGawker.com? I could spend hours and hours on that site. Type in any ingredient in the search bar and you will lose track of time I’m sure. Well that’s where I’ve found my list of apple things to bake. But this scone recipe was actually just something I adapted from some of my other scones recipes, because if you don’t already know this, I do love me some scones. My mornings are always happier when I can eat one with my coffee. And they are so quick to make too. I do believe these apple ones make for a nice welcome into the Autumn season.

ingredients:

  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 c. wheat flour
  • 5 tbsp. sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 6 tbsp. cold butter (roughly cubed)
  • 1 apple (peeled and roughly cubed)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg

directions:

Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl. With a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no big chunks of butter remain. Gently stir in the apple pieces. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla, and egg. Combine wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Form the dough into a ball. If it’s too sticky, slowly add a bit more flour so you can handle it. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick disc ( I pat my dough right out onto the parchment paper on the baking sheet because it’s one less thing to clean up). Use a knife to slice the dough into 6 equal triangle pieces. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden. After mine cooled a bit, I brushed a glaze of powdered sugar, cinnamon and a little bit of milk on the tops to sweeten them up slightly. You can add any sort of frosting or glaze you like really, or just eat them plain.

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Filed under autumn, breakfast, dessert, fruit, holidays, pastry, recipes, summer, winter

berry cobbler

Sometimes I panic when we have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. I hate throwing away any food, which isn’t always a good thing because I will sometimes overeat just so I won’t waste anything, but when it’s summer and there are constantly fresh things from our garden and overloaded family and friend gardens, I just throw things in the freezer. Like berries. But it makes for really easy desserts when you find recipes like this that are based on basically just throwing things in a pan and baking it. I came across this recipe and it caught my eye purely because of the crispy-looking crust. I’ve tried and failed at cobblers before because the doughy part didn’t rise properly or got soggy or too spongey, and this one just looks like the perfect texture on top of warm fruit. It was extremely easy to make, and I think I want to substitute lots of different fruits from different seasons. The original recipe used just blackberries, but I combined those with blueberries, and I imagine you could have any combination that you can think of really.

originally from here

ingredients:

dough:

  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 9 tbsp. cold butter
  • 1/3 c. boiling water

filling:

  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1/4 c. cold water
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice (I omitted this because I didn’t have any and it worked anyways so…)
  • 2 c. fresh blackberries (or thawed from freezer)
  • 2 c. fresh blueberries (or thawed from freezer)
  • 1/2 c. sugar

directions:

Preheat oven to 400 °F.  Grease an 8″x8″ pan.  For the dough, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with two knives or a pastry blender until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture. Pour in the boiling water and stir together well so that all of the dough is wet. Set aside. For the berries, dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice, berries, and sugar. Mix together well. Transfer berries to a sauce pan. Heat mixture over medium heat until boiling, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Transfer berry mixture into the greased pan. Drop spoonfuls of dough over the berry mixture place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and the berries are thick and bubbly.

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Filed under dessert, fruit, pastry, recipes, summer

rhubarb buckle

i had never heard of a buckle before in the baking world, until a few days ago when i received my cookie of the day recipe in my inbox from martha stewart. the world buckle just made me want to know more, and suddenly i wanted to bake everything that could be attached to that word. it’s also very fun to say. rhubarb buckle rolls of the tongue especially well. but anyways, from what i read, buckles are basically a rustic style baked fruit dessert similar to crumbles and crisps. my perfect dessert. i really do love chocolatey cakey sweets, but i think i’d almost always choose a warm, crumbly, cinnamony baked fruit dessert first.

makes about 9-12 bars | inspired by this martha stewart recipe

ingredients:

pastry:

  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. butter ( 1 1/2 stick butter) softened (not melted!)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 c. sour cream

filling:

  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • about 1 1/2 c. chopped rhubarb (about 1/2 inch size pieces)

topping:

  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter, melted

directions:

preheat oven to 350°F. spray a 9×9 baking pan with cooking spray. stir together the rhubarb pieces and white sugar in a bowl, and let sit while you make everything else. to make pastry, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. cut in the butter with two butter knives or a pastry cutter. in a separate smaller bowl, beat the egg and sour cream with a fork. mix this into the flour mixture with a fork. the mixture should now be moist, but a little clumpy looking.

pat about 3/4 of the pastry mixture onto the bottom of the baking dish. flatten slightly with a spoon. sprinkle the rhubarb mixture over this. then sprinkle the remaining pastry mixture over the rhubarb with your fingers.

make the topping by stirring together the flour, brown sugar and salt. then mix in the melted butter with the fork. sprinkle this topping over the rhubarb with your fingers. bake until golden on top and cooked through about 50 minutes. let cool completely on wire racks. 

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Filed under dessert, fruit, pastry, recipes, summer, vegetable

blueberry scones

i know, i know, it’s another scone recipe. i just can’t help it! a). i had leftover blueberries from homemade poptarts and b). i have a very profound love of carbs and breakfast pastries. one good thing about making so many scones is that i get to test very many recipes, and hopefully someday will be a scone expert. or maybe someday if i can dream big, i will have my very own cookbook full of scones.

with a cream cheese glaze. makes about 8 scones.

ingredients:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp cold butter, one stick, cubed
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
glaze:
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp. powdered sugar, plus extra if needed
  • 2 tbsp. milk, plus extra if needed
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

directions:

preheat oven to 400°. line a baking sheet with parchment paper. in a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. cube the butter, and then cut into the flour mixture using two butter knives or a pastry dough cutter. the mixture should look coarse, but the butter pieces should be no bigger than pea-sized. stir in blueberries. in another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. drizzle this over the flour mixture, and use a fork to stir lightly until dough comes together, leaving a small amount of flour at the bottom of the bowl. use your hands to turn the dough over a few times in the bowl, gathering most of the excess flour. it’s okay if you squish some of the blueberries. i definitely did and maybe it’s a little messy, but it makes for such a pretty color. pull apart pieces of dough that are slightly smaller than a baseball in size. form into a rough ball shape, and then pat down the tops slightly to make them into discs. place on baking sheet. repeat with the rest of the dough. it should divide into enough for 8 scones. bake for 15-17 minutes, until lightly golden. to make the glaze, beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. add in milk and vanilla extract. it should be pourable but not totally liquidy. you can use a traditional pastry bag to drizzle the icing over the scones, but i just poured it into a ziploc bag and trimmed off a corner before doing some pretty zig zags. 

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Filed under breakfast, dessert, fruit, pastry, recipes

blueberry poptarts

since i fell in love with baking, i try to avoid store-bought baked things, like cakes and cookies and poptarts. i feel like i’m cheating on the homemade kind. making homemade poptarts is not that hard, and they are somehow comforting to me. the poptarts i see in stores these days are pretty crazy with all of the flavors they have created. i don’t think they even count as breakfast food like they used to. but there is one kind that remains a weakness of mine, and that is the frosted cherry flavor. a) they are pink and sparkly. b) the artificial cherry flavor is a flavor like no other.

my favorite recipe for homemade poptarts is on smitten kitchen. i’ve made them before with the cinnamon-sugar filling, and those are real good. but this time i experimented with homemade blueberry filling and gave them as a valentine’s day gift to my mom. she too has a weakness for blueberry poptarts.

poptart recipe adapted from smitten kitchen, filling recipe adapted from moderate oven

pastry ingredients:

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, roughly cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 2-3 extra tbsp. of milk for brushing
filling ingredients:
  • 2 ½ c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
directions:

make the filling: 

combine the sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl.  wash and drain the blueberries and add them to the bowl, tossing well to combine them with the sugar and cornstarch.  set the bowl aside for 30 minutes, letting the berries stew in the sugar mixture.  gently stir in the lemon juice.

transfer the berries to a pot and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to thicken. this took me less than 10 minutes, but it could depend on your oven. make sure to not let the berries burn on the bottom of the pan.  remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before using.  filling can also be refrigerated.

make the pastries:

whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. cut in the butter, until the mixture is course and crumbly. the mixture should hold together if you squeeze it. whisk the egg and 2 tablespoons of milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything comes together. form the dough into a ball shape with your hands. at this point, you can wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for up to two days.if the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick. trim to about a 9″ x 12″size rectangle. set trimmings aside. cut into 3″x4″ rectangles. i was a bit rough with my measurements, so i had 5 large poptarts and 2 mini ones (14 single rectangles in all). place half of the cut rectangles on a greased baking sheet. brush the rest of the milk across the entire surface of those rectangles on the baking sheet. these will be the insides of the tart, and the milk will help seal the top pieces down. place a heaping spoonful of the blueberry filling in the center of those rectangles, keeping at least a half an inch border on all sides. place the remaining  other halves of dough onto these rectangles. first, use your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. press the tines of a fork all around the edges of the rectangles. prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork, which will allow the steam to escape. refrigerate the tarts for about 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F. then after a half hour, remove the tarts from the fridge, and then bake for about 20-23 minutes, until they are a light golden brown. remove from oven and cool in pan.

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valentine scones

happy valentine’s day! i love this day purely because everything is pink and pretty and chocolatey and sweet. i would be happy if every day could be decorated with polka dot hearts, pretty flowers, and red and pink candy. this recipe is partially devoted to my valentine’s day from last year, where i enjoyed real english scones and tea in london with my friend. read about that story here. that memory in my mind is so rosy and cozy. first of all, i love london. it’s one of my most favorite cities in the world, and everything british makes me so happy. and second of all, having rose tea and authentic scones in a tiny little tea shop we found by accident while wandering near butler’s wharf after visiting the tower of london is just going to be hard to beat in future valentine’s days i think. just thinking about it now makes me want to go back! since that day, i’ve loved scones. and as you have probably seen, there are a couple of scone recipes on this blog, including a cranberry walnut scone which might be similar to this valentine scone. because i make them so much, i usually say in each post how much i’m convinced that that recipe is the one. and then i go on and come across another recipe, and blah blah i’m convinced all over again. so if you will, humor me and go along with whatever scone i’m infatuated with at the moment. i can almost guarantee there will be bigger and better to come.

by the way, these are cranberry scones. along with being referenced to english scones i had on another valentine’s day, they are festively red and white. the recipe is adapted from a really great cookbook that i highly recommend, flour.

makes 8 scones

ingredients:

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 c. cold buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. cold creme fraiche
  • 1 cold egg
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp. extra granulated sugar for sprinkling

directions:

preheat oven to 350°F. in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, and cranberries. cut in the butter using two knives or a pastry cutter (i got one for christmas and was really excited to use it finally!), until the butter pieces are no bigger than pea-sized. in another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, creme fraiche, and whole egg until thoroughly mixed. slowly pour this buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, and stir just until the dough comes together. there might be some loose flour mixture at the bottom of the bowl. use your hands to gather the dough into a round shape, and turn it over a few times to pick up the loose flour on the bottom of the bowl. turn it over in your hands a few more times to make sure the loose flour is mixed in. you want to make sure that you handle the dough as little as possible. you can see in the pictures that there are big cracks and layers visible in the dough before it’s baked, and that is good. this is what becomes flaky in the oven!place parchment paper on a baking sheet, or lightly grease the sheet. pull apart large balls of dough, about 2-3 inches in diameter, and place on baking sheet. press down slightly on the tops to flatten the dough balls into disc shapes. make sure they are at least an inch apart because they will expand a little while baking. brush the egg yolk over the tops of each scone, and then dust with the extra granulated sugar. bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops and edges are golden brown. cool on a wire rack. 

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Filed under breakfast, dessert, fruit, holidays, pastry, recipes, winter