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Saturday I had a run in with some fruit at the farmer’s market and ended up with more than could fit in my ¬†smallish fridge.

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I found some blueberries, and some lovely ripe yellow apples. I set the apples on the counter in a bowl, and my house started smelling like September…time to throw everything in the pot to jar and fill the pantry.

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I mixed blueberries, a package of frozen dewberries, apples, and the juice and zest of two lemons. I added some sugar, but not too much. I simmered the whole thing for about 20 minutes or so, and then let it sit for a few hours. Then I reheated it, and processed the jars in a hot water bath. Image

I am planning on making fruit tarts with pastry cream in the fall and winter. Nothing like opening a can of fruit dump pouring it into a pie shell and calling it homemade. Very easy later on down the line.

oats and pie

April 14, 2013

My friend Darin posted a picture of oatmeal pie on her blog a few weeks ago, and I have been wanting to make it ever since.

holding pie

I started to think about all the things that I like about oatmeal. Milky, sweet, buttery…

I found a few recipes, and altered them a bit to find something that I thought would work. I don’t like things super sweet, so I cut down the sugar a lot. I also really like the toasted flavor of lyles golden syrup (my mom carries it at the At Home Store), so I substituted it for the corn syrup I saw in many recipes. And I added a lot of chopped pecans, some cream, and a dollop of yogurt for good measure.

The final recipe came out  like this.

 

Pie dough for one 9″ pie crust, no top (1/2 the recipe)

 

Mix the following dry ingredients and set aside:

1 cup old-fashioned oats

2/3 cup roughly chopped pecans

a shake or two of salt

eggsandsyrup

In a separate bowl combine the following ingredients:

2 eggs

1/4 cup cream

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup lyles golden syrup

1 t vanilla

3 T melted butter

1 dollop (a healthy tablespoon) of yogurt or sour cream

mixing oats

Stir the wet ingredients until everything is nicely mixed together. Add the dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Pour into 9″ pie crust. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 50-55 minutes. It will be a little bit golden on the top.

Cool on a metal rack.

The pie isn’t very sweet, and is a little bit crumbly, but I like it that way. It is very rich, but can almost pass off as healthy because of the lower sugar content.

pie with path

photo credit Chloe Hennesy (My guest, and excuse for pie baking!)

a pear tart

February 27, 2011

It is very exciting to turn these…

…into this….

…and this.


Emily and I picked these pears from a tree in my friend Mary’s back yard. They are seckel pears, a small, sweet, and delicate variety! Heli-Claire, my dad and I peeled them and preserved them in maple syrup with brown sugar and lemon juice last fall. Today I made tarts. I love the simplicity of opening a jar of preserved food, and having an almost instant dessert.

Tart crust: a basic pie dough. One recipe of dough makes two tarts.

Press the dough into tart pans and bake until dough is cooked through.

One quart jar of sickle pears preserved in maple syrup.

Reserve juice for boiling down into syrup.


Part of a vanilla bean, one cup cream, 1 T sugar, 1 T cornstarch, 1 T butter. Mixed, heated, and thickened to form a pastry cream.(Enough for one tart)

Layer the pastry cream in a baked tart shell. Place pears artistically on top. Don’t remove stems. (They were lovingly left in tact in the first place…) Drizzle tart with reduced maple syrup pear juice. Serve right away.

babka

January 4, 2011

I feel like this should be my grandmother’s recipe. But it isn’t. I found it in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison. A babka, from my understanding, is a cake made with a rich yeast dough, and filled with various things. In this case, almonds, cherries, etc.

I started with the dough. It is a simple yeasted sweet dough, with a bit of sugar, sour cream, butter, and eggs. I mixed it with my mom’s Polish dough whisk, which is my new favorite kitchen tool. By far! The way that it incorporates the wet and dry ingredients is almost magical, and so much easier. I think it has to do with the way the wire is shaped. And the handle is lovely to hold, too. So well thought out!

I set the dough aside to rise, in a buttered bowl, covered with a tea towel. In a cold room, as I was going out for a little bit too long. I never seem to be able to match up my rising and baking times with when I can actually be home to let the dough rise, shape, bake, etc…

I made up the dough and filling, went out for a bit, and returned to a balloon of dough in my red bowl. It punched down nicely, and I shaped it into a large rectangle.


The filling is made up of finely chopped toasted almonds, chopped dried cherries, an egg, sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Oh, and butter!

I spread out the filling and sprinkled the cherries on top.


Then rolled the entire thing up into a log, and made a crescent.

And covered with a tea towel and set to rise again. This time more quickly, right above the fire.


And then into the oven. Bakety bake bake bake. I was tired, so I set the oven timer and went to bed, thinking that I would wake up when it dinged. I am not sure that I did… When I got up, it was still cooking, and ‘nicely browned’ on the top.

This years babka might be a little bit drier and crisper than last years, but still quite yummy. I need to have some coffee for it!


40 days and counting

November 7, 2010

I was talking to my friend Emily a few days ago and we started discussing baking, and Christmas break, and I remembered that I needed to start another batch of grapefruit wine. I made (and blogged about) this recipe last year, and it turned out so well that I decided to make it again.

It is a recipe from Saving the Season, and originates in Southern France. It is a simple recipe. Place sugar in the bottom of several very large glass jars. Layer fruit on top, pressing down a bit as you go.

Add a little bit of chamomile and vanilla, and top with vodka and wine. Then let it sit for about 4o days before straining into bottles. The jars are mixed a bit and topped off during the first week.

This recipe makes me want to live near citrus trees so badly!!!


The weather has cooled off (relatively speaking), I have a box of ripe peaches in my kitchen, and a bag of this year’s pitted sour cherries in my freezer. Pie time!

I picked up a box of butter on my way home from work, and made up a double batch of pie dough. (I like to bake my pies in twos. When you go to all the trouble to bake a pie, might as well make another one…) For the filling, I used about 8 medium-sized peaches and one bag (about 6 cups of pitted cherries). I dropped the peaches in boiling water to skin, and sliced into wedges. I added about 1 1/4 cups sugar for both pies, and a bit of flour as the cherries were very juicy. And dotted the top of the fruit with a few tablespoons of butter.

I kept the tops covered, as opposed to lattice, as I have been doing a lot of crisscrossed tops lately and I wanted a change. I folded the tops and dough over, leaving a generous crust edge, which didn’t end up browning too much in the oven.


I ran home this afternoon with a brown paper bag filled with peaches to a fridge filled with blueberries (okay, not filled but containing blueberries). I had a few minutes, and wanted to put the fruits together into a baked something. It is too hot right now for me to bake a pie (my kitchen isn’t air-conditioned, and that makes for a wimpy crust, and lots of frustration), so I went for a cobbler.

It is important to peel peaches, and to do so, I dropped them into boiling water for 30 seconds (as per mother’s instructions!). The peels come off very easily after the quick blanch. Then I sliced the peaches and added the blueberries, sugar, a lot of butter and a squeeze of lime to the pans. I put the pans into the oven and let the fruit cook for about 20 minutes. While the fruit was cooking, I made a biscuit topping with cream, butter, flour, sour milk, etc. I topped the baking fruits with spoonfuls of biscuit batter and popped everything back in the oven to finish cooking.

The finished cobblers were really runny right after I took the out of the oven. I was taking them into town with me, and every curve, pothole, and stop sign made the juices come close to dripping out of the pans. I used pie pans, and I think that it would probably be better to use casserole pans to contain the juices.

After the cobblers sat for a while, the top crust soaked up a lot of the juice, and the desserts were a lovely balance of fruit, crust and juice.