dessert

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!

post41 // blueberry crumb pie

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hi there! how are you? i hope you’re having a lovely day, made even better by looking at photos of ice cream melting in this blueberry crumb pie. i promise it really does taste as good as it looks. so keep reading!

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my past couple of days were filled with so much good food and fun. my two ex-roomies from new york came down for a visit and we somehow wound up at a peruvian independence day party. it was a blast! and for the first time in three years, i ate authentic aji de gallina — a peruvian dish made out of shredded and creamed chicken with aji pepper, potatoes, and eggs. it tasted just like what i had eaten when living in peru: comforting and delicious. speaking of which, maybe i’ll have to work on an aji de gallina recipe of my own soon. more coming there!

in the meantime, i think this blueberry crumb pie will keep you warm and comforted in a different way. a sweeter way. to start, i’ll let you know that this recipe is the result of no real direction. all i knew going into baking yesterday was that i wanted to make some sort of pie/galette/crisp/crumble/buckle/streusel type dessert (or breakfast!) with fresh blueberries since they’re in season. i ended up with a cross between a crumble, galette, and pie — but that seemed like too many words to fit in the title. so blueberry crumb pie it is!

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i began with my favorite trusty pie crust, an all-butter variety adapted from Kate Lebo’s butter crust, as seen in Pie School. i used a 13×6″ pyrex pan and rolled the entire double-pie crust out into a rectangular shape, then transferred it to the pan. at first, i thought that i would keep the pie crust crimped but after loading in the blueberry and sugar filling, i realized i had some room for the crust to fold over. i layered on the crumb topping and then folded the extra crust over, completing the galette portion of this dessert (see what normal galettes look like here).

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before baking, i swiped on a light egg wash and then dropped some sugar onto the pie crust. i used granulated sugar but i’d recommend sanding sugar if you can get it — it adds an extra crunch to your crust.

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of course, any baked good like this isn’t complete without a bit of vanilla ice cream dressed on top. as you can see, a bit in my family = three very large spoonfuls.

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so go on, give this recipe a whirl! it’s perfectly doable after-work, but even more enjoyable on a day off. it’s something you can pick at throughout the day or serve to a dinner party at night. pro tip: the ice cream spoonfuls are a nice way to “present” the pie if you’re hosting!

and in other news, here’s this week’s other stuff!!

my ex-roomie melissa got a job at glossier !!! 👏👏👏 i celebrated her win by buying their newly released wowder. will report on how it looks next week!

a really sound article on wellness and diet trends in this month’s elle: “every day, people” by lucy danziger

ikea’s 2018 catalog is everything.

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blueberry crumb pie

serves 10-12, in a 13×6″ pyrex

fixings

pie crust:

2½ cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) well-chilled unsalted butter

filling:

3 pints blueberries, washed and de-stemmed

2/3 cup sugar (+more for egg wash)

2 tablespoons corn starch

zest from 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

crumb:

1/4 keebler graham cracker crust, broken up

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 egg

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 1 balls and form the dough into a thick disk using your palms and thumbs. wrap the disk in plastic wrap. refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 days before rolling.

filling, crumb, and assembly:

  1. preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. combine sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, cornstarch, and blueberries in a large bowl. mix and let sit for 10-30 minutes.
  3. in the meantime, prepare your crumb. mix graham cracker crumbs with the rest of the crumb ingredients and toss to combine.
  4. roll out your pie crust as described above, in a rectangle slightly larger than the pyrex pan. (if it’s not perfect, don’t worry!) butter/spray your baking pan and then transfer the pie crust to the pan.
  5. pour the filling in the pan and then follow with the crumb.
  6. beat together the egg and a bit of water in a mug, brush your pie crust with the egg wash and sprinkle some sugar to finish.
  7. bake pie at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, and then at an additionally 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  8. eat!!!

 

post36 // flag trifle

hello people! happy 4th of july!

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i know you might be thinking it’s too late to make a dessert for the holiday but i promise, it’s not! over the past 5 years, i’ve had high hopes for my independence day desserts. i’ve dreamed of making this flag cake and this flag cake and this flag cake. but year after year, even after purchasing ingredients to make said cakes, i never do it. who wants to spend their whole day-off baking when they could be napping, drinking, sunbathing, swimming, vegging out, etc? not me.

so this year, i vowed that i would finally make a dessert for july 4th. the only way i knew i would actually get it done was if this dessert was easy — simple, quick, and unfussy. after seeing a number of trifles pop through my email and instagram, i decided i’d give it a go. what’s easier (and tastier) than cake, fresh berries, and whipped cream? not too much in my opinion.

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this dessert is simple because the only baking required is mixing one big bowl of batter, plopping it in two cake pans, and baking for 30 minutes. after that, all that’s left is cutting the cake into chunky pieces, whipping up some cream (or buying whipped cream), and chopping some berries. for an even lazier route, you can purchase a store-bought cake, no baking required. no judgment here.

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also, the fact that i made a trifle for the fourth of july is a big joke! trifles are traditionally british. but i made sure to make an ~american statement~ with this one, 50 blueberries and 13 strawberry-and-whipped-cream stripes complete.

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so go on, make your own flag trifle! your family and friends will be a) impressed and b) very full after they eat it.

but, on the “off” chance you don’t get to it this year, that’s okay too. take it from me, there’s always next year!

oh, and this week’s other stuff!

been listening to these guys all morning

the weirdest/funniest video if you’re trying to learn the french alphabet


flag trifle

makes one 9-inch trifle cake

fixings

cake:

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh baking powder

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 eggs, separated

1 cup buttermilk

assembly:

2 pints heavy whipping cream

3 pints blueberries

2 quarts strawberries

1 lb cherries

anything else you want to throw in there that’s red or blue! i added blackberries to mine.

special tools

trifle bowl (i used this one and would highly recommend!)

hand mixer

instructions

cake (adapted from Divas Can Cook, Moist Yellow Cake):

  1. preheat oven to 325 degrees and generously butter two 9-inch cake pans.
  2. cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
  3. mix all the dry ingredients (baking powder, salt, and cake flour) in a smaller bowl.
  4. add the vanilla extract and egg yolks to the butter and sugar mixture. whisk the egg whites but do not add them to the mixture yet.
  5. slowly add the buttermilk to the wet ingredients, alternating with adding the flour mixture.
  6. once all buttermilk and flour is added to the big bowl, gently fold in the whipped egg whites.
  7. pour batter evenly into the two cake pans and pop them in the oven. set a timer for 30 minutes. (mine baked a bit over, around 35 minutes so keep watching the cakes once they’ve passed 30.)
  8. take pans out of the oven and let cool before cutting into 1-inch pieces.

assembly (this two recipes really helped me visualize the assembly: Tasting Table’s Cherry-Pistachio Trifle and The Feed Feed’s Red, White, and Blue Trifle Cake):

  1. whip your cream and hull and chop all your berries.
  2. layer in the trifle bowl, starting with cream, then cake, then berry. repeat.
  3. layer until you’re just short of the top of the trifle bowl. to assemble the flag on top, delicately place 50 blueberries in the left-hand corner, and thinly slice your strawberries and place them across, 7 red stripes.
  4. eat!!!

post33 // melting berry pie

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there was a lot to celebrate this past month, most notably my big brother rob’s move up to the big apple. i’ve been hoping he’d make the move since, well since i moved up here, and on saturday april first it came true! i was glad it wasn’t an april fool’s joke. he showed up with my brother jake and i showed up with the best thing i could think of: pie.

pie, pie, pie. we really love pie in my family. probably because i really love making it. on summer weekends together, pie is my baking project of choice. i run out of hands when i start counting the number of friends and family i’ve made pies with.¹ so it seemed only right that upon rob’s arrival, a pie would be a nice treat. not to mention, a really good mid-move snack.

fullsizeoutput_75fi had planned to make the pie saturday morning and bring it over to my brother’s new place that afternoon when they arrived. butttt my plans got a bit meddled after a night out on friday, spent very wisely at my favorite place in nyc: sid gold’s request room, which led to sleeping in on saturday.  who can blame me? needless to say, pie making was pushed a bit later in the day. and my brothers’ plans? they were actually arriving *earlier* than expected. not exactly what i wanted to hear. i got to baking right away.

two hours later and the brothers had arrived in brooklyn as i was just pulling out a hot berry pie from the oven. wow it looked good. but how the hell was i going to get this thing over there? i live seven stops away in manhattan requiring two trains to get to my brother’s new place. would i bring the pie on the subway? i thought about this. for like a second. hell no i was not taking a warm pie in the subway. how would i swipe my subway card and hold it? this pie was still hot so i would have to carry it on a cookie sheet. nope.

the pie didn’t make it on the subway. instead, i went with uber. i was already late anyways so hopefully a car would get me there faster.

fullsizeoutput_760my uber driver was not happy with my entrance. i had to ask a random man on the street to open the car for me and i didn’t really think through driving on nyc streets in a car with a liquidy, bubbling pie. as i sat clutching the pie plate so hard, the dessert spilled and leaked onto the cookie sheet. one big pothole and that pie would’ve leaked all over my uber driver’s car. and boy was he noticing. “is that going to spill??” he kept asking me. “everything okay?” came out of his mouth at each stoplight. i felt terrible, but what could i do! i needed to get the pie there! and i did. a few sticky fingerprints were left on my uber man’s car (sorry sir), but i made it and greeted my brother with a “welcome to new york city” shout and a pie shoved right into his face. a warm welcome right there.

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¹s/o to some special folks i’ve made memorable pies with: this thanksgiving apple w/ my mom, this lattice beauty with stella, this strawberry cream version w/ my dad, this low-res pie w/ yarbs (from my ig’s days of infancy), and this berry number showing off pie process with avh.


berry melt pie

makes 1 double-crust pie

fixings

pie crust:

2½ cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) well-chilled unsalted butter

filling:

1 1/2 cups sugar

5 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

7 cups fresh berry medley (i used strawberries blueberries, and blackberries but cherries, peaches, plums, and any other fruit will be delicious.)

1 tablespoon milk

2 teaspoons sugar

special tools

rolling pin (or wine bottle!)

pie plate

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.

filling: 

  1. heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. in large bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups sugar, the cornstarch and salt. gently toss with all the berries and let stand for 15 minutes. dump into the bottom crust-lined pie pan. fold the top crust over the pie plate and arrange strips in a lattice if desired! crimp edges and brush crust with milk, followed by a sprinkle of sugar.
  3. place pie in the middle oven rack and put a cookie sheet below it in case of leakage. bake 20 minutes and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. cover edge of crust with foil strips to prevent burning. bake 40-45 minutes longer or until middle part of crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. recommended: let stand 2 hours before serving (we know I didn’t do that…).

photography by catherine o’donnell/foodstuffs

post26 // a day with chef joel: where i gained an irreplaceable wealth of culinary knowledge

Imagewith Chef Joel Delmond and our Tarte Tatin

It all began on a warm Palm Springs night, under an umbrella-covered dining table where I sat languidly, dead from the parties of Mardi Gras that had slowly sipped the life out of my body. My mom and I sat in the chairs of Pinzimini, the new dining spot in the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa. Despite my normal rash approval of my mothers’ occasional wine offer at dinner, tonight, I declined. Yet, when our waiter circled back around, his news enlivened my drained sensibility. He pointed over to the corner of the veranda, identifying a tall man clad in a pleated tall pearly hat as a James Beard honored chef. For those of you lost as to what “James Beard honored” indicates, the James Beard Award is the highest of national culinary awards, typically referred to as the “Oscar’s” of the food world. While Chef Joel Delmond is not a recipient of this award, he has cooked in the James Beard House, a sensational recognition of its own. In this moment, my ears perked up like those of a puppy hearing the word walk. My mother and I immediately wrapped our friendly waiter into a conversation where we relayed my infatuation with all things culinary, the blog that I began writing in Peru, my obsession with photographing meals from every imaginable angle, and so on. Before I could add another detail about peruvian cuisine, the waiter had brought the amiable Chef Joel to our very table.

My mother, Chef Joel, and I began discussing my love of food, rummaging through the details of my ever-developing blog. In his impeccable English, dusted with a distinct layer of french inflection, Chef Joel spoke of peruvian gastronomy with a striking fluidity. Though soon to get back to the kitchen, Chef Joel did not leave without sharing his information and inviting me to bake with him in the coming days. We exchanged e-mails the next day and decided on an afternoon spent baking a Tarte Tatin, an upside-down apple tart from the Loir-et-Cher region of France, along the Loire River. I later learned that the tart originates from the Hotel Tatin, where the two sisters and owners, Stephanie and Caroline Tatin, famously baked the first Tarte Tatin, the result of a horrid kitchen diaster. Fittingly, Chef Joel hails from this specific part of France and after hearing my stories on peruvian cuisine, he was anxious to share a quintessential french dish.

My afternoon spent in the kitchen was beyond any of my expectations for baking the Tarte Tatin. Not only did I learn an irreplaceable amount of information on pastry-making from Chef Joel, but he elected other members of his staff to introduce me to their large-scale operations of sushi making, pizza dough molding, and the like. When I say other members, I allude to Chef Shawn Aoki, a former Iron Chef contestant. I could not then and still cannot fathom my luck!

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Rolling sushi with Chef Shawn Aoki

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Learning how to handle the pizza peel

By the end of the day, Chef Joel and I had two baked Tarte Tatins. During the assembling of the first tarte, Chef Joel took me on a detailed journey through the art of pie-crust making and caramelizing. He shared tips only a pro would know like how to flour your dough before using your rolling pin, what kind of surfaces you should use for specific actions, how to caramelize for different end results (looking for a sweet and light caramel or an almost-bitter type?), the list never ends.

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Letting the apples soak in water to keep fresh before baking

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Constructing the upside-down tart

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Top layer of the upside-down tart

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Rolling the dough between two sheets of plastic to keep the dough from melting or sticking to the pin

Both Tarte Tatins slowly evolved into beautiful, really striking pieces of culinary art. Smothered in buttery caramel, the apples congealed together in a perfect geometric form, seated upon a thick base of flaky pastry crust. After many Friday afternoons and Christmas seasons spent baking, I cannot say I have made such a beautiful dish as this Tarte Tatin.

With our finished product, Chef Joel and I took the fore-picture of this blog post, a student and instructor, both grinning happily at a Tarte Tatin well done. That evening, my parents and I ate our final meal in Palm Springs at Pinzimini, electing Chef Shawn’s Tasting Menu. We couldn’t have chosen a better meal and to cap it off, we each engulfed our hardy servings of the Tarte Tatin, brought out by Chef Joel himself. I waddled home in the eighty-five degree paradise, brain full with improved pastry techniques and a stomach wide with caramelized apples.

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The baked Tarte Tatin, before being flipped

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The flipped and final Tarte Tatin

Unfortunately, I do not have Chef Joel’s Tarte Tatin recipe for you yet. However, in the meantime I thought that Julia Child’s rendition will do. Bon Appetit!

Ingredients
For the Tart Dough:
3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cake flour
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons chilled butter, diced
2 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening
1/4 cup ice water, or as needed
For the Tart Tatin:
6 Golden Delicious apples, cored, peeled and halved
1 lemon, zested and juiced
11/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, as accompaniment

Directions
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, place the flours, sugar and butter. Pulse 5 or 6 times in 1/2-second bursts to break up the butter. Add the shortening, turn on the machine and immediately add the ice water, pulsing 2 or 3 times. The dough should look like a mass of smallish lumps and should just hold together in a mass when a handful is pressed together. If the mixture is too dry, pulse in more water by droplets.

Turn the dough out onto the work surface and with the heel of your hand, rapidly and roughly push egg-size blobs into a 6-inch smear. Gather the dough into a relatively smooth cake, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).

Slice the halved apples into 4 lengthwise wedges each, and toss in a large bowl with the lemon juice and zest and 1/2 cup sugar. Drain the apples after macerating 20 minutes.

In a 9-inch skillet melt the butter over high heat. Stir in the remaining sugar and cook until the syrup bubbles and caramelizes, and turns a brown color. Remove the pan from the heat and arrange a layer of apple slices in a neat pattern on the caramel in the skillet, then arrange the remaining apples neatly on top.

Return the pan to moderately high heat and cook for about 25 minutes, covering the pan after 10 minutes. Every few minutes press down on the apples and baste them with the exuded juices. When the juices are thick and syrupy, remove the pan from the heat.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a circle, 3/16-inch thick and 1-inch larger than the top of the pan. Drape the dough over the apples, pressing the edge of the dough between the apples and the inside of the pan. Cut 4 small steam holes on the top of the dough. Bake until the pastry has browned and crisped, about 20 minutes.

Unmold the tart onto a serving dish (so the pastry is on the bottom), and serve warm or cold with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, as desired.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tarte-tatin-recipe.html?oc=linkback

post24 // a valentine tradition in the making: dark chocolate raspberry pie bars

ImageIf you are not a baker, keep reading. While other recipes that I’ve posted on my blog have proved difficult but reaped delectably rewarding results, this recipe cuts to the chase, blending a perfect ratio of raspberry pie with dark chocolate crumbly excellence. The triple-layered bars feature a pie crust bottom, a thick layer of dark chocolate, and a sprinkled pie crust crumble topped with halved fresh raspberries and mini chocolate chips. The ingredients, with the exception of the raspberries, are all common pantry holders so you’ll have no excuse for leaving this recipe in your to-do list. The prep time churns unbelievably quickly and the oven time leaves you with enough time for a fast nap, if you can wake up!

Kate and I wanted to make a Valentine themed baked good around the holiday to give away to both our single friends and some admirers. We naturally turned to the lovely Pinterest and found a slew of dessert recipes that ranged from drunken chocolate cherry cake to gooey red velvet s’mores bars. Though overwhelming, our choice was made on dark chocolate raspberry pie bars from the dessert blog, Deliciously Sprinkled. We figured a straight-forward recipe would be easy to duplicate for the growing audience of #Bakedby2Kates!

With the help of our friend Natalia, Kate and I successfully baked almost fifty of these sugary delights, each batch calling for a full can of sweetened condensed sugarmy Peruvian favorite! I will not advertise the bars as a “healthier dessert option,” but it was for Valentine’s Day, a sublime twenty-four hours of sugar. In any case, my most lasting image of baking this recipe was the environment outside. I trekked over to Kate’s apartment as half a foot of snow was blasting down on Davidson, North Carolina. For those who fail to venture far south of the Mason-Dixon line, six inches is unheard of in these parts. Seriously, if I had told you it would snow six inches when it was 60 degrees two days before, you would not have heard me. We baked in the middle of an uncharacteristically wintry scene, indulging in the warm pie bars as the sun went down. In my most melodramatic of words, that frosty afternoon will be one of my best memories at Davidson.

Some of you may now be adding events together and realizing that what! Valentine’s Day was on a Friday this year! Where did all the baked goods go? Who saved them for the special day? Well, in an attempt to make a Valentine’s Day treat, our pie bars were inhaled by every friend possible, two full days before the holiday. The last-standing individual was the boyfriend of Natalia, who, due to snow, received his bars in the mail the Monday after Valentine’s Day. Despite time and space, the air-tight seal of Tupperware and love had him send a dazzling report back.

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From Jenn Kurkiewicz with Deliciously Sprinkled Blog:

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Pie Bars

Prep time: 20 mins; Cook time: 45 mins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup fresh raspberries, semi crushed and sweetened with a little sugar.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Generously spray 9×13 inch baking pan with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric or stand mixer, mix butter until creamy. Mix in brown sugar, flour and salt continue mixing until crumbly. Press 1¾ cups of crumb mixture into prepared baking pan. Set remaining crumbs aside.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven.
  4. While crust is baking, pour sweetened condensed milk in small sauce pan and add one cup of dark chocolate chips. Stir over low heat until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth.
  5. Pour over warm crust.
  6. Sprinkle remaining crumbs evenly over chocolate layer. Spoon raspberries over crumb mixture and top with mini chocolate chips.
  7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool before cutting into bars.

post22 // the unfailing and nausEating union of chocolate and peanut butter takes the form of a whoopie pie

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Let’s launch our minds back to a favorite childhood film of mine, The Parent Trap. I can imagine that when my mom reads said movie title, she will remember the 1960s film where two campers discover their twin identities and plot to reunite their divorce-stricken parents. While the key blocks of the plot remain unchanging, I come from a different age where The Parent Trap means a pre-house arrest Lindsay Lohan playing each twin, a dazzling love between Elizabeth James and Nick Parker, credits running as “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” blares from the television, and most importantly, a beginning to my obsession with eating chocolate and peanut butter in symphonic unison. I don’t know many girls my age who could forget the following scene:

Hallie: [takes out a box of Oreos] Want one?

Annie: Oh, sure, I love Oreos. At home, I eat them with… I eat them with peanut butter.

Hallie: You do? That is so weird.

[takes out a jar of peanut butter]

Hallie: So do I!

Annie: You’re kidding! Most people find that totally disgusting.

Hallie: I know, I don’t get it.

Annie: Me either.

I don’t get it either Hallie and Annie. Instead, I adore the peanut butter and chocolate combination, so much so, that I couldn’t resist making these ever-scrumptious chocolate peanut butter whoopie pies, adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe that dates back to her 2005 Holiday Cookies segment. As part of Bakedby2Kates, my friend Kate and I rotate who picks the recipe for each week. As my second pick, I prolonged my calorie-popping dessert choices with these two rounded chocolate cookies smushed together by a spoonful of fluffy peanut butter buttercream. The whoopie pies were nauseatingly rich but unbelievably delicious. One was definitely enough but that didn’t stop some of our friends from enjoying a second helping.

Baking the cookies was simple enough. Although we didn’t have an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, our hand-mixing of the batter—using a wooden spoon—worked perfectly well. Other changes we made to Martha’s recipe were using a store-bought vanilla buttercream mixed in a 1:1 ratio with spoonfuls of creamy peanut butter (Betty Crocker and Jif respectively), replacing our parchment paper deficiency with buttering the cookie pan, and microwaving the bittersweet chocolate in lieu of heating it on the stove. Oh yeah, and we ate the pies less than ten minutes after piping on the spiral chocolate pattern!

If you had the chance to taste one of these whoopie pies, I hope you enjoyed every bite! If not, I suggest giving this recipe a try, chocolate and peanut butter can never fail you.

Adapted from Martha Stewart, Holiday Cookies 2005:

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Peanut Butter Buttercream *we combined a store-brand vanilla buttercream with creamy peanut butter at a 1:1 ratio
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl; set aside. *You can butter the baking sheets if you don’t have parchment paper

2. Add butter, shortening, and sugars to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; cream on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add half the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla; beat until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture. Beat together, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. *You can use a wooden spoon to mix if you don’t have an electric mixer

3. Drop 12 slightly rounded tablespoons of batter 2 inches apart on each baking sheet. Use a metal spoon to slightly flatten the cookie dough into rounder circles. Bake the cookies in the upper and lower thirds of over, 10 minutes; switch the positions of the baking sheets, and rotate each one. Continue baking until the cookies spring back to the touch, 2 to 4 minutes more.

4. Remove from over; let cookies cool on baking sheets, 10 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a wire rack; let cool completely. Meanwhile, line a cooled baking sheet with a new piece of parchment; repeat process with remaining batter.

5. Spread 1 scant tablespoon buttercream on flat sides of half the cookies. Top each with one of the remaining cookies, flat side down, and gently press together. Transfer pies to a tray. *We gave our pies a little more buttercream in the middle, I’d suggest it!

6. Melt half the chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; add remaining chocolate, and stir until melted and smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip (Ateco #2 or #3) or a small parchment cone. Pipe chocolate in a spiral pattern on top of each pie. Let chocolate set before serving, about 1 hour.