sweet

post65 // strawberry tart

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it’s officially strawberry season !!! well maybe not “officially,” but the strawberries are out and about here in paris and i’ve received news that they are springing up stateside as well.

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the dutiful strawberry happens to be one of my favorite fruits to use in desserts. watch out if you’re baking with me in the summertime, i sneak them into everything! (example a and example b.) last week, i decided to use them in a cake i baked for one of my first “clients” — yes, i got paid! i made a fraisier, a french cake with strawberry layers on the outside, genoise sponge cake as the base and pastry cream and more strawberries filling the middle. it’s called a fraisier because “fraise” means strawberry in french. the fraisier is usually topped with a thick layer of marzipan (almond paste) on top but i decided to forego this in order to let the strawberries truly shine.

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in this week’s recipe, i adapted the fraisier to a tart base and added in a thick layer of strawberry jam to the bottom of the tart. one thing i’ve learned in pastry school is that a surprise layer inside a cake or tart is a really fun way to jazz up a dessert. also when someone cuts into the dessert, they’ll see these different layers and colors, which can be super appealing to a customer.

if you’re like me and keep leftover pie crust in the freezer, go ahead and defrost it straight away! if not, i’ve listed my classic pie crust in the bottom for you to start on. it’s easy peasy!

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the actual assembly of this tart was super fun and i bounced around a lot of ideas for layering the strawberries before i landed on this one. it’s simple and makes a statement — that’s a twofer i’m always a fan of.

i opted for a “rustic” pie crust but if you’d like to shape or microplane your crust to make it perfect, go for it! i just liked the look of something not too fussy.

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and in this week’s other stuff! 


strawberry tart

fixings

pie crust (for a 9-inch tart ring, you will have leftover):

2½ cups ap (all-purpose) flour // 320 grams

1 teaspoon salt // 6 grams

1 tablespoon sugar // 12 grams

1 cup (2 sticks) well-chilled unsalted butter // 225 grams

extra butter or oil to prep pan

pastry cream

1½ cups milk // 360 grams

4 medium-sized or 3 large-sized egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar // 120 grams

2 tablespoons cornstarch // 24 grams

2 tablespoons flour // 24 grams

1/3 cup butter // 80 grams

1 cup beans for blind bake

assembly

1/4 cup good-quality strawberry jam // 80 grams

basket of strawberries (at least 20 small to medium-sized)

directions

crust (adapted from Kate Lebo’s, Pie School):

  1. preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. fill a spouted liquid measuring cup with about 3/4 cups of water, plop in some ice cubes, and place it in the freezer while you prep the following steps.
  3. in a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. drop 1-tablespoon pieces of butter into the flour and toss the fat with the flour to evenly distribute it.
  4. place your palms up and curl your fingers back to scoop up the flour and fat. rub, rub, rub it between your thumb and fingers, letting it fall back into the bowl after rubbing. make sure you reach into the bottom and around the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the flour into the fat, until the mixture is slightly yellow, slightly damp. it should be chunky—mostly cherry-size pieces, the smaller bits resembling coarse cornmeal.
  5. take the water out of the freezer. pour it (slowly!) in a steady thin stream around the bowl for about 5 seconds. toss to distribute the moisture. as you add a bit more water and toss, the dough will become a bit shaggy and slightly tacky to the touch. press a small bit of the mixture together and toss it gently in the air. if it breaks apart when you catch it, add more water, toss to distribute the moisture, and test again. if the dough ball keeps its shape, it’s done.
  6. split the dough into 2 and form each ball into a thick disk using your palms and thumbs. wrap both disks in plastic wrap. refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 days before rolling.
  7. butter or oil the tart pan. once rested, take the crust out of the fridge and roll to fit your tart or pie pan. use the rolling pin to run along the top of the tart pan in order to remove excess dough from the sides.
  8. layer a sheet of tin foil on the crust. pour the beans or rice onto the tin foil to prep the crust for par-baking.
  9. bake the crust for 5 minutes at 425 degrees, then lower the heat to 375 degrees and bake for 15 more minutes. warning: these cooking times may vary from oven to oven so just keep watch on your tart!

pastry cream (while your crust is baking!):

  1. whisk together egg yolks and sugar while putting milk onto boil. combine egg yolks with dry components: cornstarch, flour, sugar.
  2. once milk reaches a boil, pour gently over the other ingredients while whisking. transfer all ingredients back to pot and heat together until thickened and bloopy. take off heat and add the butter. mix well and transfer to the fridge to cool down. (this can be done up to 3 days ahead of time.)

assembly:

  1. while tart is cooling (in fridge, freezer, or just at room-temp), hull strawberries and cut to ~1/2cm thick slices. for reference, i got about 4 slices out of each medium-sized strawberry.
  2. once tart is cool, fill bottom with a thin layer of strawberry jam. follow with a thick layer of pastry cream, spiraling from the inside out. make sure to fill any gaps with extra pastry cream.
  3. layering the strawbs: organize your strawberries from large to small before putting them on the tart. start by placing strawberries along edge of the tart. once the first row is complete around the tart, add a second layer that staggers the first. repeat until you fill the entire tart, leaving just a small hole in the middle to plop three strawberries in for garnish. voilà!
  4. store tart in a sealed container in fridge. it should keep for up to 3 days depending on when you made your pastry cream.

post62 // a chocolatey babka to bake this weekend

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ready, set, dough!

this recipe is one that i am very excited to share as it’s a great introduction to working with yeasted products. if you’re someone who homemade bread and doughs have intimidated, you’re not alone.

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working with yeasted products is pretty adventurous for the average person’s sense of baking. instead, brownies, box cakes, and cookies are what we’re taught to start with. well today, that changes! i’m here to show you that dough can be easy too.

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i first became (very!) interested in doughs when i set out to discover a special recipe: kindred’s milk bread. after recipe testing, testing, and testing again, i quickly grew acquainted with my instant packets of yeast. fast forward two years and i’ve had four months of working in an award-winning bread bakery and six months of pastry school under my belt. i am still by no means an expert but dough making is now my very favorite of kitchen activities.

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a couple tricks of the trade to get comfortable:

  • try working the dough without a mixer. while most dough recipes for home cooks call for a kitchenaid with a dough hook, almost all of these final doughs can be achieved without a mixer. mixing by hand also helps you get familiar with the texture, elasticity, and form the dough should take.
  • work on a cold surface. marble or butcher block is preferable and make sure your ac is cranking!
  • salt and yeast aren’t friends. salt slows down fermentation (a.k.a. what the yeast is doing!) so don’t combine them at the onset of your recipe making. instead, dissolve the yeast in a bit of water and stagger adding it with the salt.

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now that you’re a bit more comfortable with the basics, let’s dig into this babka recipe! it’s truly foolproof and the filling options are endless. pictured here is my dough, filled with dark chocolate, banana, olive oil, and sea salt.

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next comes the braiding. youtube is a god send for these kind of video tutorials and much like pie crust braiding and cake decorating, videos for babka braiding are a great way to get familiar. i found this one super helpful when i braided my first babka. while i added some twists to my dough, you get the basic gist!

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while on the babka subject, i wanted to share two of my favorite loaves:

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so get going and make your own! you can find the recipe below as usual and always know that my inbox and instagram are awaiting all your questions!

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and to add a bit more to your daytime scrolling, here’s this week’s other stuff. enjoy!

major mid century vibes in urban outfitter’s latest collection

the best congratulations card that ever did exist #corgis

i’m heading to normandy in a couple of weeks, any recos??


chocolate and olive oil babka

serves 6-8

fixings

dough

3.5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading

1 packet active dry yeast

3 eggs

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup warm milk

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (a quality brand)

filling and assembly

1 bar dark chocolate (100g)

1 banana, mushed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finish

sea salt flakes to finish

the lowdown 

dough

  1. heat milk to just warm and add yeast. while yeast is dissolving, combine the butter and sugar. in a separate bowl, whisk eggs and olive oil to combine. gradually, add egg mix into sugar and butter and mix until well combined.
  2. add flour and salt into wet ingredients, bit by bit. the dough at this point should be shaggy and does not need to be well combined. add yeast and milk to mixture and begin to knead the dough.
  3. knead dough until smooth, about 10 minutes. dust work surface with flour as necessary throughout kneading. once dough is regular and well-combined, transfer to a well-oiled bowl and cover with plastic. let dough rise 1 hour in a warm room, 2 hours in a cooler room, or overnight in the fridge.

filling and assembly

  1. grease loaf pan. break chocolate bar into small portions and melt in a microwave or saucepan. mush banana and combine with chocolate, and olive oil.
  2. roll dough out to the size of a baking sheet. the dough will retract a bit while shaping so make sure it truly is as large as a baking sheet. brush dough with filling mixture and use a spoon or offset spatula to smooth out evenly. do not brush filling on outer edges of dough for a clean finish. sprinkle salt flakes on to finish.
  3. time to roll! turn dough so that the longest edge is facing you, crosswise. tightly roll up babka dough. once rolled, use a serrated knife or bench scraper, to cut dough down middle. criss-cross dough ends down entire strand. tuck ends underneath dough to finish. transfer braided dough to loaf pan and let rest, uncovered for the same resting times as before, 1 hour in a warm room, 2 hours in a cooler room, or overnight in the fridge.
  4. preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. bake babka for 35-45 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean and dough has browned on top. check on dough halfway through cooking and cover with aluminum foil if already well-browned. (this will vary oven by oven.)
  5. once out of oven, brush another layer of olive oil on top for added shine.

post58 // roasted winter citrus

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wahoo!!!! it’s friday. time to weekend a.k.a. sleep and eat and do all the fun things.

it may not feel very bright outside but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the brightest, sweetest, best-looking part of the winter blues: winter citrus!! last week my french host mom, martine, brought home a gigantic grapefruit. seriously, the biggest grapefruit i’d ever seen! it reminded me how tasty our citrus is this time of year and that this ingredient needs to be recipe-fied.

enter roasted winter citrus. sound weird to you? it isn’t. roasted citrus is one of the best desserts to eat right now and luckily it checks all the boxes for your dry january/whole30/diet efforts/lol i’m actually out here eating cakes every day lifestyle!

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i modeled this recipe off an easy one martine puts together with roasted apples in place of citrus. above, you can see all the citrus i used! lemon, clementine, orange, blood orange, and grapefruit. i found that those with a tarter taste (lemon, blood orange, grapefruit) had an even tangier taste after roasting. brushed with a blend of melted butter, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and honey, these slices will fulfill all your wildest sweet and sour dreams.

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and you may notice that foodstuffs has a brand new look this week! the lovely sarah ku, cousin of the equally as lovely eunice choi (my former colleague at food52), helped me get one of her beautiful banners up on my website this week. along with martine’s apple recipe, the colorfully fruity banner helped inspire my recipe for this week! that’s what i like to call a win, win.

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i served my citrus slices with just a light topping of honey, but there are many other options! some sweet ideas: serve alongside uncooked slices for a contrast of flavors, with a sprinkling of fresh herbs (e.g. basil), or with yogurt, cheese, ice cream, etc. some savory ideas: a sprinkling of herbier herbs like rosemary and thyme or as a garnish for a main dish cooked with citrus elements (e.g. veal or pork chop). you really can’t go wrong here.

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anddd in this week’s other stuff!

a beautiful quote shared by a certain butterfly in my life

i’m on the overall bandwagon (has anyone else been seeing them everywhere?!)

you should dance to this throwback song all weekend

that’s all for this week folks. short and sweet (and sour)!


roasted winter citrus

serves 4

fixings

4-5 medium pieces of fruit, be it oranges, grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, clementine, etc.

2 tablespoon butter (1/4 stick)

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

the lowdown

  1. heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit, 180 degrees celsius.
  2. wash fruit well and slice to medium thickness, 1-2cm worth.
  3. heat butter in a small saucepan. once melted, add honey, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. mix to combine.
  4. brush each slice with butter blend on both sides and place on baking sheet.
  5. roast for 20-25 minutes! once out of oven, brush with butter blend one more time to give some shine. top with a bit of honey to serve.

post56 // corgi spice cookies

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merry merry! how’s everyone feeling this holiday weekend? lots of elf-ing to get done before now in christmas morning? i hear you.

just in case you’re interested in a *bit* more elf-ing, i’ve got a pretty stellar recipe for you to impress all your corgi-loving frands and family. inspired by the lovely adrianna from a cozy kitchen and stephanie from i am a food blog, i made my very first corgi cookies! i’ve been eyeing the two of their recipes for a while now and it was about time i finally let a corgi cookie cutter into my kitchen.

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i’ll be very honest with you: this recipe is a toughie. you’re good through the cookie dough and cookie cutting, all the way until the royal icing. make sure your icing is runny enough! this video gives a great tutorial for what your consistency should be.

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you can see in the image below that i changed my icing consistency — the top two cookies on the right have a thicker consistency while the bottom i thinned out by mixing in a bit more water. i made one batch of this royal icing and divided it into thirds: white, brown, and black. in order to get the café brown color, i combined brown and golden yellow food gels from wilton to my desired color brownness.

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i first outlined the bottom white part of the corgis, filled that in, and then filled in the top sections (ears, head, and top fur) wth the brown icing.

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it’s a corgi cookie parade!

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so pull out your best small-motor skills and start decorating! these corgi cookies are a true showstopper, conversation starter, and lovely decoration for your christmas table. hey, maybe you’ll even need to get a corgi to match! (see below.)

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^hi sandi!!


and in this week’s other stuff!!

must-see exhibit in nyc

fell in love with this dress. fingers crossed for some major sale to fall upon it!

what i’m cooking with my dad this christmas dinner


corgi spice cookies (adapted slightly from iamafoodblog’s)

makes 30 corgi cookies

fixings

cookies:

3 cups ap flour / 380 grams

3/4 teaspoon baking powder / 3 grams

3/4 teaspoon baking soda / 3 grams

1 1/3 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced / 5.5 grams

1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg, minced or microplaned / 2 grams

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon / 6 grams

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves / 3 grams

1/2 teaspoon cayenne / 2 grams

1/2 teaspoon all-spice / 2 grams

1/2 teaspoon salt / 2 grams

3/4 cup butter / 170 grams

3/4 cup sugar / 170 grams

3/4 cup molasses / 170 grams

1 1/2 large egg yolks / 30 grams

icing recipe

the lowdown

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. combine all dry ingredients [all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne, salt] together in a mixing bowl (the smaller of your two).
  3. in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar. once creamed, add molasses and egg yolks. in order to get half an egg yolk, just whisk together the egg yolks and put 3/4 total mixture in.
  4. add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in thirds on a low speed. this ensures a smooth and incorporated batter!
  5. bake cookies for 9 minutes — they should brown to a dark golden, nothing past that. once done cooking, cool on wire racks.
  6. combine icing ingredients together and follow directions written here. divide icing in thirds and add in brown and yellow food coloring to desired corgi browness for one third. keep another third white and add black food coloring to another third.
  7. once cookies are completely cool (preferably overnight), outline corgi cookies with white frosting and then follow with brown on top. the 5th image gives a good idea of what this should look like.
  8. refrigerate cookies for 30 minutes to cool white and brown frostings. then add black frosting for nose and eyes and return to fridge to cool for 30 minutes. you can leave them in there for up to 3 days.

post53 // dark chocolate chip cookies

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friends!! happy friday! what are you getting up to this weekend? nothing? great, because i have a weekend baking project for you.

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i haven’t had a true chocolate chip cookie in a minute. in preparation of my yearly christmas cookie bake with my mama, i decided to test out a new iteration of my chocolate chip cookies.

yes i know, chocolate chip cookies are a recipe well overdone and written about in blogs and cookbooks galore. but this one is different! i’ll tell you the three reasons why.

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1. cremage:

in the photo above you can see how creamy this batter is. one thing i’ve learned in culinary school is to truly cream your butter and sugar together (cremage in french) to ensure a homogenous and smooth batter. this means no lumps of hardened sugars! or flour for that matter! i creamed my butter and sugar for about 5 minutes with a hand mixer for reference.

2. dark chocolate chunks:

i much prefer dark chocolate in my cookies to milk chocolate. give it a whirl! and make sure to buy chunks in lieu of chips — they’ll amp up your batter’s chocolate to batter ratio, lending to a richer, chocolate cookie.

3. dark brown sugar:

most chocolate chip cookie recipes use a balance of regular granulated sugar and light brown sugar. i love the nuttier, deeper flavor in dark brown sugar that comes from the heightened molasses in this sugar. for a dark chocolate cookie, it’s a great addition to your ingredient list.

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pre-bake

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post-bake

wherever you are, these chocolate chips are good to have on hand. take it from me, i’m heading up to new york today with them bundled in my bag for all my friends and family up there. i never like to visit empty-handed.

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santa, are you here yet?

a couple cookies will skip the journey to new york and stay right at home, waiting for my dad to munch on this weekend. into the cookie monster they go! (fun fact: this cookie jar has been a part of my family home’s kitchen countertop for over 30 years.)

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and in this week’s other stuff!

my latest glossier obsession

lady bird was amazing!!! you need to see it asap. and rotten tomatoes just gave it the best rating of any film. ever.

this 20-minute clam chowda recipe from the wsj is a+. tbh it actually takes 30 minutes lol.

my friend greta’s mom makes some stellar traditional german christmas cookies! hoping to get a recipe soon to share with you this december.

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dark chocolate chip cookies

makes 16 extra-large cookies or 32 regular-sized

fixings

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups dark chocolate chunks

instructions
  1. preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. grease baking sheets.
  2. mix dry ingredients together: salt, all-purpose flour, and baking soda.
  3. cream butter and all sugars (light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar) together, very well. for reference, i creamed mine with a hand mixer for 5 minutes. no lumps! add vanilla extract and egg.
  4. fold dry ingredients into wet and mix using hand mixer for 30 seconds. then fold dark chocolate chunks in with a spatula. mix well with a spatula.
  5. let batter rest in fridge for 30 minutes-2 hours (optional, but recommended).
  6. spoon large rounds of batter (1 overflowing tablespoon) onto the baking sheet, leaving 3 inches of space between cookies.
  7. bake cookies for 5 minutes, turn baking sheet around, and bake for 5 more minutes. (baking time will vary if cookies are smaller).

post52 // salted butterscotch apple pie

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happy turkey day!! we’re gobble gobblin’ over here at my parents house in maryland. and yes, that means i’m back in the usa, home just in time for the holidays! what are you cooking today?

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i’m still feeling some serious jet lag but not enough to keep me from whipping up a pie for our feast this afternoon! we’ve been making lots of tarts and quiches in culinary school but oh how i’ve missed their fatter, thicker, buttery cousin: the pie. today i got back to my roots and rolled out my all-butter pie crust to hold an apple compote, filled with salted butterscotch.

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it’s been fun being back in my parent’s kitchen, especially since i’m not on a clock or graded while i’m cooking here! we’ve learned a lot about caramel sauces in my pastry classes and i decided to make a light and buttery caramel sauce, also known as butterscotch. it’s the perfect complement to the granny-smith apples, which i sautéed with butter and sugar to make a compote.

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i knew i wanted a lattice pie, using thick strips of pie crust to line the top crust. i watched some handy videos like this one from molly yeh and this one from erin mcdowell to help guide my pie crimping! those two ladies are pie pros and definitely good resources for more pie recipes and techniques.

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once the pie was cool, i brushed some more of the butterscotch sauce on top to give the pie a nice glaze. topped with vanilla bean ice cream, this pie is ready for the thanksgiving table!

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that’s all for me pie-wise, check out the recipe below! and in this week’s other stuff:

i think i found my spirit-writer

when your former office has a bomb-@SS cookware deal for black friday weekend!!!

winter coat envy (feat. one of my favorite fashion bloggers)


salted butterscotch apple pie

serves 8, making 1 double-crust pie

fixings

pie crust

2½ cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) well-chilled unsalted butter

apple compote

5 apples, washed, cored, and peeled (i used granny-smith)

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 lemon

salted butterscotch sauce

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1 cup cream

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1 teaspoon kosher salt

assembly

flour, for dusting

1 egg

sugar

instructions

pie crust (adapted from Kate Lebo’s, Pie School)

  1. fill a spouted liquid measuring cup with about 3/4 cups of water, plop in some ice cubes, and place it in the freezer while you prep the following steps.
  2. in a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. drop 1-tablespoon pieces of butter into the flour and toss the fat with the flour to evenly distribute it.
  3. place your palms up and curl your fingers back to scoop up the flour and fat. rub, rub, rub it between your thumb and fingers, letting it fall back into the bowl after rubbing. make sure you reach into the bottom and around the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the flour into the fat, until the mixture is slightly yellow, slightly damp. it should be chunky—mostly cherry-size pieces, the smaller bits resembling coarse cornmeal.
  4. take the water out of the freezer. pour it (slowly!) in a steady thin stream around the bowl for about 5 seconds. toss to distribute the moisture. as you add a bit more water and toss, the dough will become a bit shaggy and slightly tacky to the touch. press a small bit of the mixture together and toss it gently in the air. if it breaks apart when you catch it, add more water, toss to distribute the moisture, and test again. if the dough ball keeps its shape, it’s done.
  5. gather the dough in 2 balls, one slightly larger for the bottom crust. quickly form the dough into thick disks using your palms and thumbs. wrap the disks individually in plastic wrap. refrigerate for an 30 minutes to 3 days before rolling.

apple compote

  1. cut all apples in half, and then into cubes.
  2. combine apple cubes, sugar, juice from the 1/2 lemon, and butter in a saucepan. cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, until apples are tender.
  3. take off heat and cool in fridge before using.

salted butterscotch sauce (adapted from serious eats’ easy homemade caramel sauce)

  1. put water in a pot followed by sugar and bring to a boil. stir with a fork or heat-resistant spatula until the mixture comes to a boil. once at a boil, let cook for ~10 minutes, until the sauce turns a very light amber, having reached a soft-ball candy stage.
  2. take sauce off heat and add cream, use fork or spatula to whisk well as you add the cream. throw in butter and salt and mix well. use right away or store in the refrigerator.

assembly

  1. preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. butter your pie plate.
  2. roll out one of the pie discs for your bottom crust. when rolling, make sure your crust will completely cover the entire pie plate, and then some. transfer the crust to your pie plate and press firmly against the plate to adhere the crust.
  3. fill your crust with the apple compote and then ladle 1/2 of the butterscotch sauce on top. smooth out the top of the pie with a spoon to make an even surface.
  4. roll out your second pie disc for the lattice work. use a knife to cut thick lattice strips and layer in a criss-cross pattern.
  5. use a pair of scissors or a pairing knife to cut off excess pie dough around the edges of your pie. tuck the crust under the inner side of the pie pan, making a smooth surface for your crimping. once all tucked in, squeeze your index and thumb of one hand together and poke your other index finger into the crust to make the curved edges. it’s almost like your poking a little indentation into the pie crust.
  6. brush your pie top with egg wash and top with sugar.
  7. bake pie at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes. cover with foil if the pie begins to brown too much.
  8. once out of the oven, brush pie with a bit of the extra butterscotch sauce to make shiny. top with vanilla bean ice cream!

post50 // pumpkin spice french toast

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happy happy halloween!!! i hope you aren’t still hungover from celebrating this past weekend buttttt if you are, i have the perfect thing to mop up any ghoulish liquor left in your tummy!

french toast. after making homemade brioche in class last week and eyeing a beautiful brioche feuilletée — a brioche loaf treated like a puff pastry at the end, giving it one turn of flaky dough — at le cordon bleu’s cafe, i knew french toast would be on my agenda for the week. i’m in france anyways, french toast is a must!*

but how could i forget halloween! i wanted to make a themed recipe, celebrating all the pumpkins i could find.

that was until i couldn’t find any pumpkins.

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my neighborhood is a calm one relative to the rest of paris. it’s full of families and grocery shops, little bistros and schools. upon deciding to make a pumpkin-flavored french toast, i visited all my neighborhood markets and grocery stores in search for either a full pumpkin to roast or pumpkin puree.

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i walked into seven different grocery stores and no one carried pumpkins or puree. what was this! at home, grocery stores essentially turned into pumpkin parties in october. (see trader joe’s pumpkin o’s that i usually buy in bulk this time of year.)

weary from aisle searching, i walked down the street in hopes of finding the winning grocery store. instead, i saw starbucks.

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starbucks, the home of the infamous psl: pumpkin spice latte. could i? yes! i entered the coffeeshop and immediately googled (using starbucks’ free wifi 🙌**) the ingredients in their pumpkin spice latte: milk, espresso, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin purée! it was decided. i was to make my #basic, american-themed french toast with the most basic of pumpkinites.

given that my working recipe for a classic brioche french toast already called for milk, i substituted the milk for psl. in went the eggs to the batter, and a bit more of nutmeg, cinnamon, and then cardamom to round out the flavor.

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this is one of the simplest recipes you can make. just cut your slices of brioche (regular sandwich bread works too!) and dredge in the batter. transfer directly to a hot frying pan and cook until brown and colored on each side. serve with a thick pad of butter and maple syrup. dunzo.

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the pumpkin flavoring is subtle with a nice kick from the bit of espresso. it may sound odd but given that the psl consists of majority milk, it works great for working into a french toast batter.

if you’re not feeling adventurous enough for the psl mix, i’ve made notes below on how you can adapt this recipe for a simple french toast or using the pumpkin puree. (if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on it!)

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aaaand in this week’s other stuff:

for anyone who is a big fan of cards, check out yellow daisy paper co. their covers are incredible!!

discovered this gem of a cafe last week.

wanna be a ceo one day? some required reading.

happy halloween and long live pumpkin spice!!!

*for those wondering, french toast is actually called pain perdu in french, meaning lost bread.

**this is not an #ad but wouldn’t it be lovely if i was getting paid! ha


pumpkin spice french toast

serves 6

fixings

6 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups pumpkin spice latte, chilled (or whole milk + 1/4 cup pumpkin puree)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

salted butter

brioche loaf (regular sandwich bread works too!), sliced to 1cm thickness

good maple syrup

tools

frying pan

spatula

bowl for dreding

instructions

  1. preheat oven to 200 degrees, fahrenheit.
  2. mix pumpkin spice latte, 6 eggs, and spices together. place in a wide-rimmed bowl or rectangular pan that will be easy to dunk your brioche slices into.
  3. heat a frying pan to medium-high. add a pad of butter to your pan and let cook until butter browns and foams.
  4. dunk brioche slices into your dredging batter. transfer immediately to hot frying pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until well colored. once cooked through, put slices in an oven-safe pan and keep warm in oven as you continue to work.
  5. serve warm on hot plates with lots of butter and maple syrup. bon appétit!