MORE TARTS

Lemon Tart

June 9, 2016

Lemon is one of my families favorite flavors so this will certainly be a hit. With that said, here’s the next recipe. (Oh, and as a side note, I was informed that the tart dough that I’ve been having so much difficulty with was incorrect. Thanks Olan, the extra half cup of butter will make all the difference in the future.)

Ingredients: One 9 inch tart shell unbaked and chilled, 1 medium lemon, 1 1/2 c. sugar, 1 T. plus 1 t. cornstarch, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk and 7 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled.

Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Wash and dry the lemon. In a small bowl whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Then cut the ends off the lemon and slice into lengthwise quarters. Slice each quarter into 1/8ths removing seeds as you go along.

Add the sugar and lemon together then put into food processor and blend until nearly smooth. (I was amazed that the whole lemon is used in this filling.)

Now to add the egg, the yolk and melted butter. Pulse once or twice until all ingredients are combine well.             

                   

Remove the shell from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Baked for 40-45 minutes rotating the bake half way through the allotted time. When the surface is bubbling and specked with brown spots remove and set to cool. Puckeringly delicious. Not too tart, not too sweet. Just right.            

A couple garden shots.

 

 

 

 


Blueberry Lemon Tart

June 11, 2016

One 9 inch lemon tart, baked and cooled.  (I made two lemon tarts in my last bake making this a pretty easy recipe.)

I have to pause for a moment. My #2 grandson graduates from Morse High School tomorrow. Bittersweet event for sure but he is ready to spread his wings. Sad smile 

Now on to this recipe.

Again make a sweet tart dough chilled and unbaked.

Ingredients: 2 T. smooth apricot jam for the glaze and 2 cups blueberries or other seasonal fruits.

In a small pan melt the jam with 1 T. of water. Blend well and remove from the stove. Toss the blueberries and the jam together. With care scoop the berries onto the lemon tart. (As you can see, I decided to make this a graduation tart with an “M “smack, dab in the middle of this yummy bake…let the tears begin!)

 Sadly, I have to admit…I left the tart with the “M” smack, dab on the kitchen counter and left for Bath!! Sad smile By the time I realized it, we were in Woolwich…no time to turn around to get it. What a dweeb I’ve become.

June 20, 2016

Peach Brown Butter Streusel Tart

Now that southern fruits have made their way to our local grocery stores this recipe could not have come at a better time. (My sister lives in Alabama. When talking to her last week she said she was picking APPLES! Imagine that if you can???)

And, one more thing while I have you…last night Dick and I, daughter’s #1 and #2, the daughter’s rather temperance-minded aunt and their cousin and the son of the mentioned aunt from away, went to a place called, “THE WHARF” in Hallowell, Maine. What would bring all these fine  people ( btw the aunt never had a cigarette or any alcoholic beverage in her entire 72 years) to a loud, lively drinking establishment you ask? Well, #1 grandson was doing an open mic gig with his father (after all it was Father’s Day).  We all thought it would be nice to support the kid. I have to say, the aunt handle it like a pro…she never flinched or raised an eyebrow through the evening.  Btw, there were 3 acts before the grandson’s, each one doing 3 different songs.  Man, were those eclectic moments.  Finally and before the smelling salts, #1 grandson performed on the drums along with his dad on bass guitar and singing lead vocals.  A few guitarists and an electric key boardist (can’t remember the actual name of this instrument so did the best I could to describe it) made up the band. Sorry the grandson didn’t have a chance to let “loose” on the drums…he’s got talent.

Onto the BAKE!  Eight more tart recipes to go after this one Smile 

Making the tart dough was a delight. With enough butter the dough was a breeze. Popped it into the oven for a partial (pg. 159) bake. Set it aside to cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photos above: Peaches in the trash bin, dough ready to rock and finished tart!).

Ingredients: 1/4 to a 1/2 c. sugar, 1/8 c. flour, 1/2 t. cinnamon, 2 1/2 c. diced ripe peaches, zest from one lemon, 1 recipe brown butter streusel and confectioners sugar. 

Now to dice the peaches…oh, yuck!  They are just down right awful.  Hardly any useable flesh…what to do? I just happen to have some frozen fruit in the freezer. A mixture of blueberries, raspberries, peaches and plums. Perfect!

Whisked together the flour, sugar (used 1/2 c.) and the cinnamon together in a large bowl. The fruit was then added to the mixture making sure to coat each piece.

(The streusel…I have done this before so I’ll not bother you again.)

I will now spread the filling into the partially baked shell covering it with the streusel topping then popping it into a preheated oven at 375 degrees. Baked at 375 degrees for 30 minutes rotating the tart half way through. A lovely bake to be sure!!

(I did not dust the tart with confectioner’s sugar as Dick and I don’t  particularly care for it. Why you ask? There is this thing about old age…one tends to inhale the fine sugar into ones airway causing extreme coughing and visions of ones demise. Btw, we did not eat the  Lemon Tart due to the confectioners sugar…forgot to omit it Sad smile)

(Since my last “remarks” I have been to 6 summer basketball games in 1 week  at Cony High School – that remains the hottest gym in the state – for grandson’s #3 and #4. Now I’m off to Oxford Hills for grandson #2’s baseball game at 5.  Tomorrow is my day of rest except for the neglected gardens).

PS Sorry for the delay in posting once again!

More tarts to follow…just put the rhubarb streusel tart in the oven. But, I still have to get this sucker out there. Oh, btw, on PBS tonight at 10 tonight is the original show that lead me to doing this blog…A Few Great Bakeries………

Tarts Continued

Hazelnut Chocolate Tart

May 16, 2016

This elegant tart is one of our more elaborate holiday desserts”. With that quote from the Standard Baking Company ensconced in my mind, I’ll put on my apron, roll up my sleeves and get ready to complete this next bake.

This recipe requires a 9-inch sweet tart dough shell, unbaked and chilled. Again, I will use my 9-inch spring form pan.

I’m using the sweet tart dough shell recipe in the back of the cookbook. Again the dough was too crumbly (not as bad as the chocolate tart dough) to roll out. So, I did the “dump in the pan routine” then pressed the dough into the spring form pan. Put the shell into the refrigerator for 4 hours.

Tart Shell Ingredients: 1/2 c. almond meal/flour, 1/4 t. salt, 2 3/4 c. all purpose flour, 1/4 t. vanilla extract, 1 egg plus 1 yoke at room temperature, 14 T. (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.

Hazelnut Filling Ingredients: 2 c. sugar, 1/3 c. milk, 4 T. unsalted butter, 1/2 t. vanilla extract, 1/8 t. salt, 1 1/2 c. hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and finely chopped, 1 egg, beaten.

Apricot Glaze:  2 T. smooth apricot jam

Ganache Ingredients:  2/3 c. finely chopped bittersweet chocolate, 3 T. half n’ half, 12 Candied Hazelnuts (recipe in back of cookbook) Flake sea salt for garnish.

The hazelnut filling was a cinch. Combined the sugar, milk, butter, vanilla, and salt in small sauce pan bringing the mixture to a boil. Removed the pan and added the chopped hazelnuts and cinnamon stirring to combine. Then set aside to cool. After that the egg was added.

After the allotted time, the tart shell was removed for the refrigerator and the filling was poured into the shell. Baked the tart for 35 minutes at 375 degrees. Again, a lovely bake. Picture perfect if I do say so myself.

The apricot jam was then poured over the cooled tart spreading evenly with my off set spatula.

The ganache is the final step. Placed finely chopped bittersweet chocolate in a small bowl. Poured the 1/2 and 1/2 into a small saucepan and cooked to a boil. Removed this from the heat and poured the cream over the chopped chocolate stirring until completely incorporated. The ganache is then poured over the apricot glaze making sure to spread the chocolate evenly. Epically perfect!

So proud…not so fast, Miss Gaylie…you forgot to sprinkle the sea salt over the finished tart!!! Duh…daughter #1 didn’t seem to care as she gobbled up the tart. Love it when one of the kids stops by when I’m finishing up a recipe. Happy Mom!

Chocolate Irish Cream Tart

May 30, 2016

Baseball rules my time along with the garden. Grandsons are doing well pitching and batting, too. Love these lazy afternoon games…no more quilts and winter gear to wear. We are in full-fledged summer attire. Sunglasses, bug spray and light clothing are the items being used now. Goodbye hand warmers!

Along with the baseball games my time is spent in the gardens. The veggie garden is coming along nicely. Thought of growing potatoes but changed my mind. Kennebec seed potatoes where hard to come by locally so I’ll wait to grow them next year. The spinach is growing by leaps and bounds. The cukes have not shown themselves as of today…I do get impatient waiting for that first sign of  growth. Tomatoes and peppers along with various herbs are dotting the uneven rows. (I know, I know but the rows are quite good enough for me.)

June is also my #2 grandson’s 18th birthday. He’ll also be graduating from Morse High School in Bath on June 12th. Big year for this dear boy and a sad one for his Mamie who will miss him terribly when he heads off to Johnson & Wales in the fall. But, I’ll try to focus on the upcoming baseball playoffs and all the fun of the upcoming events. Hummmm….hard to watch them leave the nest but I’ll manage as I did with grandson #1.

Back to the latest bake…

The tart dough is called the perfect tart dough which can be found in the back of the cookbook. This is chilled for 4 hours. In the meantime…

The chocolate filling: 1 c. plus 1/4 c. chopped bittersweet chocolate. ( I think I am the sole user of this product at our local grocery store.) 1/4 c. whiskey, 1 T. vanilla extract, 3/4 c. instant espresso powder, pinch of salt, 3 eggs separated and a 1/3 c. sugar.

The ganache:  3 T. Irish Cream Liquor, 3/4 c. chopped white chocolate, 1/4 c. butter, softened and bittersweet shavings for garnish.

Cut out 6 inch parchment squares setting them aside. Then I positioned the oven rack in the middle position and set the temperature to 400 degrees. The dough is then cut into 5 1/2 inch circles placing them in the tins making sure to pierce the bottoms with a fork. The tins are then placed in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

After the tins are removed from the refrigerator the parchment circles are placed over the dough followed by the dried beans to hold the dough in place. Bake for 10 minutes then remove the tarts from the  oven and CAREFULLY remove the parchment and the beans. (That sounds easier said than done, btw!) After chasing

beans all over the kitchen, the tarts are placed in the oven for 3 minutes making sure to pierce any puffed down with a fork. Now I set the tarts in the tins to cool.

To fill the tins first set aside 1/4 c. of chocolate. Put the remaining chocolate in a medium bowl then place the bowl over simmering water. Stir until completely melted. That done, whisk in the whiskey until smooth then add the vanilla, espresso powder, salt and yolks.

In a standup mixer beat the egg whites until frothy. Gradually add the sugar until whites are stiff enough to hold a peak. Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  Continue adding half of the remaining egg whites followed by folding in the 1/4 c. chocolate. Then fold in the rest of the egg whites. Add by spoonful’s the chocolate mixture into the tart shells …about a 1/2 inch from the top. Put the prepared tarts in the freezer for 2 hours or until firm.

To make the ganache I used a small sauce pan to heat the Irish cream just to the boil stage. Removed the pan and stirred in the white chocolate (yum) and set aside until cooled. When cooled the butter is then whisked in making a delicious looking ganache that just begged for a swipe of my index finger. It’s more than “yum” it’s yum-delicious! The mixture needs to be refrigerated for a few minutes. Remove the ganache and beat again well until creamy. Repeat this process a couple of times. Now to set aside at room temperature.

Now to bake the tart. Preheated the oven to 350 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Then carefully removed the tarts from the tins and placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes and turn the pan and bake another 8 minutes. With great care, slide the parchment paper onto  a cookie rack. 

The last stage to this bake is to spoon about a T. of the ganache on each tart. The cookbook suggested using a small cookie scoop or a piping bag. I just went with the spoon to complete this DAY LONG bake. Garnished with chocolate shavings and headed to bed!!! All kidding aside, this is a fantastic dessert for any occasion…tea with friends would be perfect.

 

 

 

 

(I have added a few pictures of my spring gardens and a picture of my grandsons.  Thought you might enjoy seeing them.)

 

 

 

 

June 7, 2016

Sadly I have to report that both grandson’s, #2 and #3, have been eliminated from the Division B championship baseball games. That wraps up the season. So proud of these two fine young men who have been a source of  pride for me on and off the field.

Fruit and Cream Cheese Tart

To my delight this bake sounds good and quick! Decided to use cherries in the recipe.

Ingredients: One 9-inch Perfect Tart Dough shell, 1 c. cherry preserves, 1 (page 167) recipe cream cheese filling, at room temperature and 1 (page 170) recipe streusel.

Ingredients for the cream cheese filling:  1 egg yolk, room temperature, 1/2 t. vanilla, 1/4 t. almond extract, 1/8 t. orange zest,  pinch of salt, 1 c. (8oz.) cream cheese at room temperature and 1/8 c. sugar. Set aside.

In a small bowl stir the egg yolk, vanilla, almond extract, orange zest and salt using a fork.. In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar with a wooden spoon (yes, so it is written, so shall it be done!) until the mixture is completely incorporated. If not using now, then refrigerate until needed making sure to bring it to room temperature to insure the mixture spreads smoothly.

Ingredients for the streusel is on page 170 of this cookbook. Since I have made this prior to doing this tart I will not repeat the instructions. And, since I froze the remaining streusel from a prior bake I don’t have to mix this topping today before finishing the tart.

Then finally…put the oven rack in the middle position and set the oven for 350 degrees. With my small off-set spatula the preserve is spread evenly over the tart. Now, spoon the cream cheese filling over the fruit, spreading it evenly with a small off-set spatula. Spread the streusel over the cream cheese layer covering the entire top of the tart.

Bake 40 minutes, rotating the pan half way through the bake. Remove and set to cool on cookie rack. Tart and sweet…my idea of perfection and it is.

This is graduation week at Morse High School in Bath. Grandson #2 graduates on Sunday at McMann Field in Bath behind the Bath Middle School. Looks like rain is in the forecast but I’m calling on my mother in heaven to intervene. With that said, it will be a perfect day! I’ll miss #2  grandson…not sure if I ‘m ready to watch him spread his wings and head to Rhode Island in the fall. This is the second grandson to leave the nest and it doesn’t get any easier Sad smile …more later.

TARTS

Before beginning the many tart recipes I’d like to share a bit of my life according to…well, me.

This week started the high school baseball season. I have 3 grandsons who play this great sport…2 play for Morse High and 1 plays for Gardiner. The joy, the pride, the…it’s only what outside? Dick and I bring quilts, gloves and hats. We layer ourselves with the warmest clothes we have looking like the Pillsbury Dough Boys.

Bowling is over for the year. We had a great banquet at The Taste of Maine. Many awards were passed out…I received one…the most gutter balls award.

The MORSE H.S. Class of 1963 meet the last Saturday of each month for lunch and the second Tuesday of the month we meet for breakfast. Every year we have an outing on the last Sunday in July at Reid State Park. So proud of my classmates for staying tight knit after all these years.

In between all this we/I go to plays, concerts (when I know about them) and  take trips to Vermont to see grandson #1 who attends Norwich University. Grandson #2 will be attending Johnson and Wales in the fall. J & W is in R.I. and I look forward to visiting him there during his four years!  (Me too!)

Now, the tarts…

April 27,2016

Almond Raspberry Galette

This looks like a winner…can’t wait to begin this recipe. To start, I tore my kitchen up trying to locate my 8-inch tart ring. Success came when I looked in the most unlikely spot. Wanna take a quick guess? My son’s old bedroom…stored stuff not often used in a flat cardboard box and pushed it under the bunk beds. I have limited storage room in the kitchen and decided to make more room by placing stuff in remote (and forgotten places)…really, forgotten.

Ingredients: 1 c. unsalted butter, 2 c. all-purpose flour, pinch salt, 3/4 c. sugar, 1/3 c. almond meal/flour, 1/4 cup egg, beaten and 2/3 c. raspberry jam. For the egg wash:1 egg and a pinch of salt.

Beginning as always by reading the recipe thoroughly. The tart shell looks a lot like my shortbread recipe I found years ago in the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. Fail proof and delicious.

The dough mixes well forming a pliable crust made of sugar, almond flour, unsalted butter, a pinch of salt and all-purpose flour. (The butter is unsalted for two reasons…the first one is the freshness of the butter. The salted butter stays on the shelf much longer than the unsalted butter. Secondly, using unsalted butter allows you, the happy baker, to decide how much seasoning you want.) 

I’ll now put the dough on a floured working space. With the heel of my hand I begin smearing (called fraisage) the butter/flour mixture pressing down and away for me. This incorporated the butter into the flour.

I will now divide the dough in half. One half went into the refrigerator while I worked on the other half forming the bottom layer of the galette.  A circle of parchment paper is placed on the tart ring and is lightly greased. The dough is rolled 1/4 of an inch thick and placed in the ring.  An egg wash (1 egg and 2 t. water) is applied to the edge of the pastry with a 1 inch boarder.

The oven is set for 350 degrees. At this point the raspberry jam is applied to the bottom crust making sure to stay within the egg wash boarder. Now the top crust is removed from the refrigerator and rolled to a 1/4 inch thickness. Placing the crust over the raspberry jam filling, making sure it fits neatly, I then pressed the dough evenly sealing the two crusts together.

Now a coat of egg wash is applied to the scored top. I chilled the tart for 15 minutes then baked it for 40 minutes turning during the first 20 minutes. Removed the tart and sprinkled the crust with confectioners sugar, lightly coating the top crust. Baked an additional 6 minutes producing a lovely golden tart.

Can’t wait to cut a slice of this lovely tart. But, I will wait until the bake has cooled. Okay, I didn’t wait until it was completely cooled. It’s the best one yet in this series of tarts. You’ve gotta do this one, folks!

April 29, 2016

(Today marks the 109th birthday of my mother, Celia. Mom left us in 1977 while we were stationed in Hawaii. It was a grim call at 5 a.m. when her brother, Richie, called to inform me of her passing. A sad flight home to find the life I longed for was gone forever. Miss you mom…)

Bittersweet Truffle Tartelette

Turning to the back section of this cookbook, I find the recipe for the chocolate tart dough.

Chocolate tart:  confectioner’s sugar (1/3 c.), Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder (1/4 c. plus 1 T.), 1 c. all purpose flour, 4 T. of unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, 1 egg yolk and 1 T. plus 2 t. heavy cream.

The dry ingredients are sifted through a fine sieve. In the stand up mixer I’ll combine the dry ingredients with the cubed butter until they are reduce to a pea size consistency. Now I’ll add the egg yolk mixing the dough until it comes together. Hummm…doesn’t seem to want to do that. (Could this be the fly in the ointment?) I let the mixture go for 10 minutes without a change. Now what? I compressed the dough as tightly as I could on a piece of plastic wrap and set it in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Only one hour is recommended but this stuff needs  plenty of time to hopefully stay together.

The three hours didn’t make a hill of a beans of difference in the texture. I rolled it and the dough just crumbled. Time to begin again in hopes that I find an error in my understanding of the process.

In repeating the recipe, I’m taking extreme care in following the directions. My check list is complete. And I find no difference in the outcome.  (I hear that fly a buzzing!) I then added a wee bit more cream as the day is dry. Nothing. Added a bit more cream…too much. The dough is now tough and yucky.

I rolled out the dough and cut six, five inch circles. (The dough barely stayed together.) Placing a circle of parchment paper on the lightly greased pan(used  PAM) I begin forming the dough into the tart pans. What a mess…the circles of dough did not hold together (surprise) so I end up pressing pieces together against the sides of the pans. Placed beans in each one to prevent the crust from turning in on itself. HORRORS!…they look like a Pre-K project.

Into the oven set at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. The directions call for 15 minutes. Considering the recipe is so mess up I’ll bake this for less time then test to see if they are getting hard.

Ten minutes seems to be enough. I then CAREFULLY remove the beans and the parchment paper and place the tart shell back into the oven for 10 minutes making sure to turn half way through the baking.

Well, some stayed together…sort of. I’ll salvage what I can to complete this recipe. Feel sad…hate to have this failure. When I am done with all the recipes I will venture over to Portland and chat with the bakers. They’ll straighten me out I’m sure.

Now for the filling…yes, Virginia, there is more! I’m chopping bittersweet chocolate to make 1 cup and put it in a medium bowl. Placing a small sauce pan on the stove I add 1/2 cup of half and half on medium heat, cooking it until it just comes to the boil. Then I pour the liquid over the chopped bittersweet chocolate stirring until smooth.

I will now pour the chocolate mixture into the 3 baked shells that did stay together filling them nearly to the top. Now to put them in the refrigerator until they are set…about 30 minutes. (Well, that part went well.)

Taking the tarts out of the refrigerator I marvel at their glossy appearance. Feeling a bit better about myself, I add a garnish…chopped pecans will do it. Got to get away from this recipe. 

My daughter-in-law’s parents came up today. We are going to the Red Barn for clams and lobster rolls. How bad is that? I told the mother about my sad attempt at this tart recipe. She wanted to see them…bless her heart, she said they looked wonderful. I even think she took a nibble and lived to see another day.

CARAMEL APPLE TARTELETTE

May 1, 2016

A relief to say the tart dough is NOT chocolate but a buttery mixture of flour, cake flour, salt, lots of butter (1 2/3 c.) whole milk, an egg yolk and a scant amount of sugar.

Ingredients: One recipe for perfect tart dough found in back of cookbook and also in the back of the cookbook…………… caramel sauce.

Filling: 6 c. peeled, cored and sliced tart apples, 3/4 c. sugar, 1 t. lemon juice, 1/4 t. ground cinnamon, 1/8 t. ground allspice, 1/8 t. ground cloves and a pinch of salt.

For the tart dough: In a medium bowl, the all-purpose flour, cake flour and salt are whisked together. I attached the paddle attachment to the stand mixer and on medium speed beat the butter until a creamy texture was achieved.  Lowering the speed to low, I add the milk, egg yolk and sugar until blended. As the recipe says, the mixture will look curdled. Now to add the flour mixture, slowly until a soft dough forms.

Everything is going particularly well…I formed the dough into two discs.  Wrapped them in plastic wrap and set them in the refrigerator for 4 hours (but can be chilled overnight).

In the meantime, I’ll prepare the apple filling which consists of 6 cups of peeled, sliced and corded tart apples.  I used Granny Smith’s as this was the best one with the present selection at the grocery store.  

I then placed the apples, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and a pinch of salt in a sauce pan with a 1/2 cup of water. Mixed these ingredients together and set the pan on medium heat. Cooked the apples breaking up the larger pieces. The recipe suggested it would take between 1 1/2 to 2 hours to get a chunky applesauce. Guess my apples cooked really fast as this step only took twenty minutes. Set this aside and continued the next step…caramel sauce which is at the back of the cookbook.

(Note: the caramel sauce is on page 166 not 160.) This recipe includes sugar, corn syrup, butter, heavy cream, sour cream and a pinch of salt.

I placed the sugar, corn syrup and 1 1/2 teaspoons of water in a small sauce pan.  Cook the sugary mixture over medium heat. (They suggested using a pastry brush dipped in water to brush down the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals.)

Cook the mixture until a medium amber color is achieved removing immediately from the burner. These ingredients should be pre-measured as this happens quite quickly. Yes, it did…I whisked in the butter causing the sugar mixture to bubble up. Now whisked in the heavy cream and the sour cream. Added the salt. The sauce is a bit thin but will thicken when cooled. Set aside.

Now for the streusel that will top the tarts. In a large bowl whisk together the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, flour and salt. Then I added 7 tablespoons of cooled, melted butter blending everything together with my fingers or pastry blender until it forms coarse crumbs. (The remainder of the streusel can be kept in a tightly covered storage container for 3 days or up to 3 weeks in the freezer.) The crumbs should be kept in the refrigerator before topping the tarts. 

The  four hours are up. I placed a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet before putting the 12 cup muffin tin on the sheet.

Rolled the dough into a circle roughly 1/8 of an inch thick taking care to turn it during this process to prevent sticking. That done, I let the dough rest for a minute or two preventing shrinking.

Taking a 5 inch (used the bottom of my hand sifter which measures exactly 5 inches) and cut 6 circles placing them neatly into the tart pans. Then taking the remaining disc out I repeat the process until the 12 cup muffin tin was filled. Placed the tarts in the refrigerator for an hour.

Turning the oven on to 375 degrees I then removed the tart shells from the refrigerator. Now I add the cooled caramel sauce to the shells putting about a tablespoon in each. The apple filling is then put on top of the sauce leaving enough room for the streusel topping.

The streusel is then placed on top of the apple mixture…roughly 1/8 of a cup. With  aluminum foil placed on the bottom rack, I now put the tarts in the pre-heated oven for 23-24 minutes making sure to rotate the tarts half way through the baking.

Done. Removed the tarts and placed them on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool. Okay, this could be tricky…with a small off set spatula I GENTLY remove the tarts. Oopsie…not an easy task. One down ( and I mean DOWN) and five to go. The next five came out of the tin in better shape than the first tart which looks a bit sad.

That completes this rather lengthy, but delicious tart. My old self is now heading to the couch with a good cup of hot coffee and the sad little tart that fell apart  for a much anticipated rest and the completion of  a sad  little book,  A Voice In The Tide.

Chocolate Pecan Tart

May 3, 2016

Oh shoot!…the chocolate tart!!! Okay, I can figure this out. For heavens sake, I’ll go right at this recipe with full confidence of a successful bake. After all, how delicious do chocolate and pecans nestled in a chocolate tart sound? Deep breath, shoulders back, stomach in…ready for battle.

The recipe calls for a 9-inch tart shell, unbaked and chilled. My tart pan is only 8 inches but I do have a 9 inch spring form pan. That’s what I’ll use.

Chocolate tart dough recipe: 1/3 c. plus 1 T. confectioner’s sugar, 1/4 c. plus T. Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder, 1 c. all-purpose flour, 4 T. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, 1 egg yolk and 1 T. plus 2 t. heavy cream.

The dough is now assembled as instructed in the Bittersweet Truffle Tartelette recipe.

I’m looking at the mixture thinking I’m not rolling this mother out. Hummm…I could press it into the spring form pan kinda like I did the little chocolate tarts. So I just dumped the whole mixture into the pan.

With a spoon I press the dough firmly to the sides and bottom of the pan. I then took my thumb and pressed the dough against the sides of the pan. After that, I smoothed the bottom of the tart making sure it was firmly in place. Placed the tart in the refrigerator while making the filling. (I must say, it’s a fine looking tart. Moist enough, but just barely, to hold it’s shape.)

Filling: 1/4 c. sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 t. salt, 2 T. unsalted butter melted and cooled, 1/4 c. plus 1 T. light corn syrup, 1 1/2 t. molasses, 1 2/3 c. toasted pecans roughly chopped, 1/4 c. chopped bittersweet chocolate.

Carmel sauce: 3/4 c. sugar, 2 T. light corn syrup, 3 T. unsalted butter, 1/4 heavy cream, 1 T. sour cream and a pinch of salt

For the filling I whisked in a small bowl, the sugar and egg together. Then added the salt, butter (melted) corn syrup and molasses (odd I thought) and stirred to combine.

Now to assemble and bake the tart. But first, I  pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Done. In a medium bowl, and with a wooden spoon (as instructed to use) I stir to combine the caramel sauce ( had enough leftover from making the Caramel Apple Tartelettes ), the filling, the pecans and the chocolate that was chopped earlier . After the filling is evenly distributed onto the tart I placed it in the oven for 25 minutes until slightly puffed and lightly browned.  And, as if I need to repeat the following, turn the tart half way through the baking.

Removed the tart from the oven after allotted baking time and placed it on a wire rack to cool. My stars above, this looks fantastic!!! I’ll let you know how it came out when it’s room temperature.

WOW…perfect in every way…even the crust. So, I have conquered the chocolate tart shell. Not quite the way the cookbook instructed but it’s a lovely, crisp tart I am proud of.  So proud in fact, I am bringing a piece to Kathy down at city hall.  She’s my official taster and one great gal. 

(To Nadja, who commented on this blog…I do realize these recipes and dialogues are VERY slow in coming. I have only this to add…I’m old. My rotator cuff causes me pain in the easiest of tasks. Just incorporating the ingredients of these recipes my shoulder aches beyond belief. I also have gardens that this time of year take a great deal of time. Good news…my spinach is up! I will try to be more vigilant in the weeks ahead. Thank you for commenting…nice to know someone is out there.)

More tarts to follow…many, many more.

Babka

March 21, 2016

Chocolate Babka

Today is the beginning of three new recipes, the first being a chocolate babka. I brewed a cup of coffee, sat down and studied the recipe. ( Just a side note, the babka is steeped in Polish and Jewish tradition and may have various fillings other than chocolate.)

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The dough is mixed in an upright stand mixer. Flour, sugar, yeast, milk, almond extract, lemon oil and butter  are combined, put in a warm place to rest while the chocolate filling is assembled.

The chocolate filling, consisting of wonderful things like melted butter, brown sugar, Dutch processed cocoa, honey, an egg, vanilla extract and chocolate cookie crumbs. These are combined and set aside.

After an hour the dough is rolled into a 10 X 24 inch rectangle. (The dough didn’t rise much in the hour required even though it was set in a 75 degree environment. Checked the recipe fearing I had neglected some measurements. Everything looked A-okay so I continued.)

Spread the decadent chocolate filling onto the rolled dough leaving a 1/2 inch border. Now, with the bottom edge I rolled the dough into the middle of the rectangle (not perfect I have to admit) then did the same with the other edge meeting them both in the middle. With the “roll” done now comes the “fold.” Taking the ends in hand I fold the left side of the dough so it meets in the middle of the roll and doing the reverse side so both meet in the middle.

With the above process I flipped the dough over so the seam was on the board. Gently I gather the dough in my hands and make a slight twist in the middle. After that the dough is brushed with an egg wash then put in a bread pan to rise.

When the dough has “rested’’ for about an hour I again brush the bread with the egg wash and sprinkle the streusel over the top. Baked in a 375 degree oven for 40 (not 50 as suggested in the cookbook as my oven runs a bit hot) making sure to turn the bread half way through to insure even baking.

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What an amazing result before me as I slice the babka in half revealing the beautiful chocolate swirls. Very impressive presentation if I do say so myself…and I do. These were relatively easy compared to the croissants.

We have had a few hiccups slowing down my progress with “Next”. What I am realizing is this…starting this little project at 70 when the fingers aren’t as nimble, the eyes struggle to decipher small print, the shoulder is facing therapy or worse yet, an operation, Dick having carotid artery surgery and lastly, my two month battle with bronchitis was a bit of a folly.   However, being blessed with a stubborn nature and a strong determination to finish this from start to finish I will prevail!

March 22,2016

Hazelnut Babka

The same process as above for the dough. A nutty, cinnamon filling replaces the chocolate filling making it a very different mixture and , may I add, a surprisingly welcomed one!

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The ingredients are a combination of sugar, milk, butter, vanilla, salt, hazelnuts, cinnamon and an egg yolk.

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True to the recipe, I roasted the hazelnuts at 350 degrees until the were evenly toasted.  Then I proceeded to skin the hazelnuts by putting the nuts into a clean towel and rubbing the nuts against each other until most of the skins fall off. Following this technique, I then finely chopped them!

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.Then the above ingredients except the cinnamon and nuts were put in a small pot and brought to a boil. Removed the pot and added the nuts and the cinnamon. Cooled the mixture then whisked in the egg yolk.

Spread the mixture on the dough making sure to leave a half inch boarder and continued using the same technique as in the chocolate babka. Darn yummy!

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March 23, 2016

Apricot Cream Cheese Babka

Again, the same instructions for the dough as before is used. The filling, however, is far different than the prior two recipes.

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I combined orange juice, lemon juice, dried apricots and sugar in a small sauce pan brought them to a boil for 20 minutes. The mixture is then cooled and put in a food processor and mixed until a smooth jam is achieved. Set this aside and began the cream cheese filling.

The cream cheese filling is a creamy mixture of an egg yoke, vanilla and almond extract, orange zest, a pinch of salt, cream cheese and sugar. These, except the egg, were beaten together with a wooden spoon . When the filling is fully combined the egg is added.

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After the dough cooled the apricot jam was spread evenly over the surface leaving a half inch boarder as done in the previous babkas. This was topped with the luscious cream cheese filling.

With that done I proceeded to roll the babka as done in the other three recipes. How amazing this finished product is. Such wonderful taste filling the palate making just one not enough. This concludes the section on babkas…they are so worth the extra effort.

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April 10, 2016

FRENCH PUFF

(Today I am making French Puffs. They do not come under any specific category. Daughter #1 is coming over to do her taxes. Thought these little puffs would make the ordeal a bit sweeter for her, as it did for daughter #2.  We can easily see which daughter is the procrastinator.)

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Another great recipe to have in the morning or tea in the afternoon. Oh heck, they are great any time of day. Here we go…

The ingredients are readily at hand for these puffs. Buttermilk gives this batter a distinct  flavor one can’t mistake. To begin with, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder and freshly grated nutmeg in a large bowl. With your stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugars (white and dark brown) on medium speed until smooth. So far, so good but I’ve had a funny feeling there might be a fly in the ointment. Well, not really you know.)

Lower speed to low adding 2 eggs one at a time. Then add vanilla and half the buttermilk followed by half the dry ingredients making sure to scrape down the sides. (So far…no flies) Add the remaining buttermilk followed by the dry ingredients making sure the batter is mixed thoroughly.

Scoop two heaping tablespoons into well buttered muffin tins. Bake for 14 minutes making sure to rotate half way through the baking.

Meantime, prepare the topping which consists of butter, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon. When the muffins are removed from the oven cool them for a few minutes. Then, add vanilla to the melted butter, dip the tops of each muffin in the cinnamon mixture…set aside.

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With the conclusion of this recipe I am pleased to report NO FLIES appeared during this heavenly bake.

NEXT…TARTS

Scones continued

March 6, 2016

Wild Blueberry Oat Scones

My freezer at home stores many packages of Wyman’s Maine wild blueberries…always ready to make a pie or Marjorie Standish’s Melt In Your Mouth Blueberry Cake. Delighted to bake some of these little blue, juicy jewels into yum-delicious scones.

Prep done on the dry ingredients. Now to add the butter…a new way of doing this with the food processor came to me like the proverbial light bulb going off. Rather than using all the flour to mix in the butter, I decided it would be wiser to use just 1 cup of the flour pulsing 3 times leaving just the right consistency. (Still bothers me that I can’t use my fingertips to do this.)

Then, with my hands, I tossed in the oats and blueberries. Mixed the half and half with the vanilla in a glass measuring cup. Proceeded to add a bit of the liquid at a time until the dough was very moist. Pressed the mixture into a 1/2 cup measure plopping them on the prepared sheet pan. Topped the scones with a few oats and a dusting of turbinado sugar.

Gorgeous scones if I must say so myself. The blueberries just popped with flavor enhanced by the garnish making this a great baking day. YUM!

March 8, 2016

Pumpkin Cream Scones

Can’t wait,  REALLY, I can’t wait to make these. Nothing smells, tastes and bakes like something with pumpkin and molasses. They’ll come running for miles when the aroma whiffs through open windows. (By the way, it is mild enough today to open the kitchen window.)

After breakfast with classmates in Topsham I returned home to begin today’s scones. (Had planned to have coffee ONLY at the restaurant today but ended up with the #1 special on the chalkboard. It was the full meal deal.)

Preheated the oven to 400 degrees, lined the baking sheet with parchment paper, mixed the cinnamon and sugar for the garnish and now I’m ready to begin. Again I put just one cup of flour in the food processor then added a cup and a quarter chilled butter. Three pulses then flour/butter mixture went into a large bowl followed by the rest of the flour, the crystalized ginger, the dark brown sugar and spices along with baking powder and salt. Mix with a whisk and my finger tips (ugh) making sure all the large lumps were out.

Now the wet ingredients. Half and half, pumpkin puree and 1 egg. As quickly as possible I mixed all the components together. With my ice cream scoop I shaped the scones topping each with the cinnamon sugar and a few  pumpkin seeds. Into the oven for 25 minutes making sure to turn the baking  pan half way through in order have an even bake. (Wish you could smell them baking!)

Okay, 25 minutes might have been a tad too long. The scones didn’t burn but two more seconds and it would have been Sayonara Baby. Oh, but the taste is full and rich. The crystallized ginger adds so much flavor along with all the spices, pumpkin and molasses. Lord, I’m glad to be alive!

May have to drop a couple off at City Hall! What say you, Kathy?

March 11, 2016

(I have a problem…the next scone recipe is the dried pear and ginger scone. What’s the problem you ask?…where in the heck do you find dried pears! Looked locally without any success. So, I’m drying my own. OMG, what a ordeal this is turning into. Those little sliced pears have been in the oven for 5 hours (after soaking them in some weird solution) turning them into pear leather. Oh goodie…went back to Google to find the above recipe and I can’t find it. Read others articles on this process in Google but they were not one bit like the one I’ve been working on. Okay…this will take a bit of time so I am, for today, skipping over the dried pear and ginger scones and continuing on with the cheddar chive scones.)

Cheddar Chive Scones

After preparing the pans, mixing the topping of corn meal, cheese and pepper, I again took 1 cup of flour adding 1/2 cup chopped butter and pulsed 3 times in my food processor. I then added this to the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combined the egg and half and half with a whisk and poured this over the dry ingredients followed by the cheese and egg mixture being careful not to over mix. Then gently added the chives and extra sharp cheddar. YUM!

I was surprised at the amount of pepper used in this scone, 2 1/2 teaspoons. Baked the scones 20 minutes until golden brown. To my delight the pepper amount was perfect! No Doubting Thomas here, thank you…this cookbook is perfect in every sense. The scones are light with a peppery, cheesy, zing… very tasty. Thank you SBC!

(Okay, for those who REALLY know me, you must be impressed at the lack of expletives in this blog. It is with the utmost diligence this phenomenon has occurred. Of course, you have my permission to read between the lines.)

March 12, 2016

Pear Ginger Scones

Finishing the chapter on scones today with pear ginger scones. After dehydrating the sliced pears in the oven for 5 hours yesterday they are ready to be used in today’s recipe. Funny, after all that time turning these pear slices into pear leather, I now have to hydrate them in a cup of boiling water!

Prep work done…now to add the half and half, vanilla and eggs

into the dry ingredients along with the chopped butter. Lovely dough…moist and light. Added the ginger and the chopped pears. With an ice cream scoop I dropped the scones onto the parchment lined pans followed by the cinnamon/sugar topping.

Baked for twenty minutes, turning the pan after the first ten minutes. My, oh my, oh my are these delicious! I’m not kidding here…they are my favorite. Well, the pumpkin creams are a close second.

I do hope you folks out there get your fingers messy and try some of these scones. The cookbook, “Pastries” will be required but, to me, the price of the book vs. the pleasure of baking these recipes is minimal. A delight to the baker and those who enjoy the finished product.

NEXT…BABKA

Scones

February 29, 2016

Today begins the chapter on SCONES…a favorite of mine to make and EAT. These are currant scones made with 2 ingredients I’ve not used in making scones before…dark brown sugar and yogurt.

Right from the get-go I felt things were rather amiss. After preparing the sheet pan with parchment paper, setting the oven to 425 degrees and combining the cinnamon/sugar to top the scones before baking I began to combine the dry ingredients with the cubed butter. Using my finger tips I began the process of incorporating the butter into the flour mixture. Well, my arthritic hands rebelled! 

As much as I tried to complete this critical part of the scone I did not succeed. Should I pull out my food processor? The recipe did not call for any devices requiring an electrical cord. Humm…so, I continued with the recipe adding the rest of the ingredients and finally the yogurt. Oh dear, what a mess. The yogurt did not moisten the dough enough to form the 8 inch square required. As it stressed not to over work the dough, I just dumped the mess on my floured board and tried to mold it into a square. I then randomly cut out the scones, topped each with the cinnamon/sugar topping and baked. The result…DISASTER!

 (At this point, I wondered if perhaps all the meds I’ve been taking, especially the prednisone, might be causing me to hasten my work. Yes, I do think my need for detail and patience went out the window replaced by lack of attention to the recipe causing failure. Back to the drawing board tomorrow.)

March 1, 2016

Off to the grocery store to replenish the larder with flour, dark brown sugar among other staples. Mission accomplished.

Today I am doing the Currant Scones again…with patience and precision! Everything was in place before the actual mixing began.…currants, sugar/cinnamon mixture, flour and remaining dry ingredients.   I did have to use my food processor  which made me feel OLD. ( I have to interject a very valid point the book makes…read the entire recipe before beginning!)

After the dry ingredients were combined in the processor, I then dumped them into a large bowl, adding the yogurt. With a small hand scraper, I incorporated everything together without too much muscle action (as if). The moistened dough was then put on a floured work space, shaped into an 8 inch square and dusted with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Proceeded to cut the square into 6 squares then cut each of these squares on the diagonal.   The scones appear to be moist and light unlike yesterday’s fiasco. Popped them into the oven, made a cup of coffee and thumbed through the newspaper.

Oh my, they are rustic but lovely. I pulled one apart to see if they baked evenly…yes, they had. Now for the first bite…delightful. Light with a burst of flavor that lingers on the palate…I am truly pleased with todays results. Tomorrow I will make cranberry/walnut scones, a variation of the currant scone.

As a side comment, the above scones were delivered to my son and his family in Bath last evening. They were hosting a Bon Voyage gathering on the eve of their departure to the Caribbean. We had the most delicious tastes of the islands inspired by a buffet prepared by my daughter-in-law. My son made island rum drinks that had Mamie (me) relaxed and wishing she were going with them. We sang songs like, “Holiday” and “It’s not a dream your seeing down in the Caribbean”…remember that one?  The teenage boys were not too impressed and soon were off saying…”see you when we get back”…

A word from one who has to do everything at least twice, I have to tell you…if you take your time, plan your time and set aside any other business, follow the recipe with well rested eyes and body you will succeed the first time. The recipes are so instructional and detailed that one should nail it on the first go.

March 2, 2016

Cranberry/Walnut Variation

The same process as above was completed except dried cranberries and walnuts replaced the currants. The recipe suggested using Turbinado sugar instead of the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Since I do not have this item in my pantry I again used the c/s mixture. No oh-oh’s and with that, considered these scones a success.

Tonight is “Turbo Tax Night” with daughter No. 2.  Hopefully, a scone or two will help make the task less painful. 

March 3, 2016

Today I resumed my Thursday morning league bowling in Brunswick. After that, it will be a trip to Now You’re Cooking in Bath to find Turbinado sugar. Then on to the local fish market for crabmeat that will be made into “cakes” for lunch upon my arrival home. I love my life> <3

Returned from my Thursday outing successfully obtaining the Turbinado sugar. Mike, at Now You’re Cooking, told me they didn’t carry this item but did tell me that good old Reny’s did. Thanks, Mike!…you’ve always been so helpful over the years.

Dried Apricot/Toasted Almond Variation

Again, repeated the above scone recipe using chopped apricots and roasted almonds. (There is a guide on roasting nuts in the back of the cookbook that is very helpful.) The scones were dusted with the Turbinado sugar, which I have to say was well worth the extra effort to find.

 

March 4, 2016

Today is a busman’s holiday. Baking on the docket but switching from scones to cakes! Tomorrow Dick and I are headed to Phippsburg to have lunch with old friends who just happen to be the parent’s of my daughter-in-law. Thumbing through “Pastries” I found a flourless chocolate cake that will certainly be a perfect addition to the day. I will repeat this in my blog later. At that time I’ll do the play by play. (Just a side note…it’s a lovely cake topped with whipped cream and mixed berries.)

Butter Croissants

The first recipe in the cookbook is the scary Croissant. I have practiced the folds and techniques on plain white paper. I have to tell you, this will be one of the most difficult recipes to pull off for me. Here goes!

January 18, 2016

Okay, step one is under way. I combined the first ingredients including yeast, flour and water etc. setting it to proof for an hour.

The dough has now risen and this lovely glob of flour mixture will be rolled into a rectangle then placed in the refrigerator while preparing the butter.

Chopped, mixed and rolled the butter into a 6 inch square. Put it in the refrigerator to chill before rolling it with the dough.

Hummm…it has been now 59 mins. and the dough hasn’t risen quite high enough. I did test the liquid temperature before adding it to the dry ingredients (70 degrees). Tick tock…will wait another 15 mins.

Okay…now to laminate the butter on to the dough. This was the hardest part so far. Rolling the dough/butter to 12 X 6 inches using the envelope turn proved difficult for me. With the utmost perfection it took me too long. And, I forgot to dust off the dough in between each step. Duh! After much to do the dough is in the refrigerator for 45 mins. to an hour. Now to clean up the mess before making a new one. (I just remembered Alison, the star baker at TSBC) said to call her if I ran into any problems…will hold off…too many calls might not be wise at this point) The dough is ready for the next turn. So, once again it’s rolled, folded and put in the fridge for another 45 mins. or so. (I need another cuppa!!) Repeated this step again.

The final turn has now been completed. I have elected to freeze the dough at this point. Enough stress for one day.

January 19, 2016

Today we are off to purchase a kitchen table. That means no shaping and baking today. After seventy years without a microwave oven I have ordered one online. It should be here by week’s end. With the addition of this new kitchen appliance we discovered our present kitchen table is inadequate. Off to the furniture store…

We found the perfect table in Waldoboro. It’s assembled (thanks Dick) and placed by the chimney wall awaiting the UPS person who will bring the microwave oven on Friday.

January 20, 2016

Removed the dough from the oven and placed it on the prepared surface. The rolling commenced…12 X 25…seriously???? I rolled and rolled and finally the required dimensions were achieved.

Now the shaping. Trimmed off the rough edges and began cutting the triangles. After my first shaping, some looked like footballs!…Stopped!…took the remaining dough and rolled it thinner and not as wide or long. Rolled these out…cute, they are so cute. Of course, we don’t know at this point if the dough is properly layered. Resting the croissants on jelly roll pans in the oven (without turning it on) while they rise to a glorious height. Per the cookbook, I placed a pan of hot water on the bottom rack to ensure the temperature stays around 73 degrees.

After removing the pans and the pan of water the oven is now set for 430 degrees. The second brushing of the egg wash has been applied. Ready to put these suckers in the oven. Well, it’s back to the drawing board for me…not flaky….but tasty. Will do repeat again next week J

January 22, 2016

Uh-oh…the microwave, we thought, was ready to go wasn’t. It arrived all new and shiny but when we went to plug it in we found there was no outlet near enough to plug the darlin’ in. So, we have now called an electrician…he’ll get back to us. For now we will run a cord to the nearest outlet. Hope Dave the electrician calls soon. I knew there was a reason we’ve never had a microwave oven…buggar.

January 24, 2016

The electrician called, came over and wired a new outlet behind the new table that supports the new microwave. The total cost…$129.00 for microwave, $175.00 for the electrician and $300.00 for the table for a grand total of $604.00. Good night, Irene!

January 25, 2016

Today I attempted to make croissants AGAIN. Well, I knew I was in trouble. After the dough was ready for the butter to be laminated I felt it was too cold. It was…but, instead of stopping I continued. WRONG…now they are baking off and the butter is oozing from the croissants making a buttery mess on the parchment paper. My first attempt was far more successful.

At the same time I was doing the plain croissant I also did the Pain au Chocolat…of course, I had the same problem with the butter. Back to the drawing board…but not for a while.

Luncheon tomorrow with old friends from Morse High School, a trip to the hospital to see a friend then on to my grandson’s basketball game at Erskine Academy at 3:30…that’s enough for one day.

January 27, 2016

Here goes my third and final attempt at making a perfect croissant. (One good thing about the repeats I don’t hesitate when typing the word, “croissant”!)

Again, made the dough and put it in the refrigerator to rise. The three turns are done and so am I. Putting this dough in the freezer to roll another day.

January 28, 2016

Removed the dough from the freezer and put it into the refrigerator to thaw. After the thawing another arduous rolling begins.

The rectangle is now HUGE and ready to be cut into triangles. Another “not quite” perfect technique completed. These croissants will be rolled with parmesan cheese and ham.

These little darlins rolled out fairly well but I feel the dough is too soft. Time will tell. Baking is done and they are again too fat and the dough is really soft inside (that’s okay) and outside (this is not okay.) They taste great and the layers are distinct. That’s a first.

The final croissant recipe in this chapter…the Almond Croissant, will be completed on Sunday.

Tomorrow, the 30th of January is full so no baking for this rather tired gal. Lunch in Bath, a memorial service in Phippsburg for a dear friend and then on to another basketball game.

January 30, 2016

It’s now 3:30 am…guess I’ll continue with the final croissant…the Almond Croissant before my day really begins. 

Saved enough dough from yesterday to perform my last task in this chapter. Rolled out the dough, shaped it into triangles, brushed with egg wash and baked. When they cooled I proceeded making them into almond delights (I hope.) The simple syrup and the frangipane (similar to almond paste) where made yesterday in preparation for this final bake.

Sliced and spread cooled croissants with almond filling after coating each with simple syrup. Smeared each one with frangipane topped with sliced almonds. Baked for 15 min. and viola…they are fat but they are beautiful.

February 2, 2016

Today I’m moving onto the next recipe in “Pastries” the Morning Buns. My excitement soon left me when I discovered that the basic recipe in making these buns is the croissant! Oh no, I thought moving along would rid me of this rather painful technique. Wrong…so I will not bore you with another fold by fold and will proceed without comment.

February 3, 2016

Okay, one comment about rolling out the dough…it was a piece of…dough! Can’t believe how easy the rolling process was. So happy…

To make the buns the first step is to measure and mix 1 ½ cups of brown sugar with 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon. Next step, butter the 12 cupcake tin with butter. After that, a tablespoon on the brown sugar/cinnamon is place in each cup. Then the dough’s rolled out, cinnamon mixture placed evenly over the dough and rolled into a log. Cut the log into 12 pieces, placed the pieces into the tins and set to rise.

The buns are ready for the oven…baked 375 for 30 mins. turning once. After they baked I flipped them onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and to my amazement they all came tumbling out. Spooned the br.sugar/cinnamon sugar syrup left in the pan over the buns and so ends this recipe (sigh). Btw, I also made the breakfast buns with some of the dough.

In doing this blog I have found immense pleasure and gratification…releasing my inner creativity doing two things I love the best…cooking and writing. Thanks to you all for the support you have given me, especially to Dick, my SO, who has guided me through many a rough sea including the creation of this blog.

(No cooking today…bowling and a basketball game in Rockland. No sleep last night…bummer.)

February 28, 2016

Where have I been? Well, January found Dick and I headed to PA. and OH. to visit family. Then came February…bronchitis found me and has held me at bay for almost 4 weeks. After doses of prednisone and antibiotics my health is finally returning. In the meantime, my  blog has been on hold. I have forgone my annual trip to Florida to visit my dear high school buddies, missed my grandson’s tournament games, luncheons and bowling.  That being said, I’m now back in the saddle and ready to roll up my sleeves and BAKE!

NEXT