Showing posts with label baked. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baked. Show all posts

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Apple Rhubarb Strawberry Pie - Happy Pi(e) Day

Juicy apples, sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb, tossed with sugar and baked, bubble out pinkly through the flakey pie crust, saying “Slice me, eat me. Go, go get your fork!” 

I have no idea what age I was when I first learned about pi, that is to say π or the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which turns out to be a number that starts 3.1415 and goes on forever and ever and ever in a pattern-less, never-repeating type way. We certainly never celebrated Pi Day that I can recall and, for once my memory hasn’t failed me because according to a little quick research (Thanks, Wikipedia!) Pi Day was first officially celebrated in 1988, more than two years after I had already graduated from university and had deliberately stopped thinking about math concepts in any concerted way.

This a special year to celebrate Pi Day, because today, as happens only once in each century, is 3/14/15 - at least in the US way of writing dates month first - so I am delighted to join our pi and pie loving organizer, Terri from Love and Confections and 18 fellow food bloggers to bring you 20 fabulous pies.

(P.S. If you set an alarm for 9:26:53 a.m and p.m. you can celebrate twice today to the ninth place! This may call for a cocktail!)

A note about the fruit amounts: All in all, I used a little more than two pounds or one kilo of fruit before peeling, hulling, etc. If you have less rhubarb, add more apples or strawberries. How much of each is completely flexible but I’ll give you my amounts as a guideline. Do keep in mind if you go with all rhubarb, you are probably going to need more sugar though. That stuff is pretty tart.

Double recipe of shortcrust pastry – from this link here or use your own favorite crust recipe for a two-crust pie.
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 apples (about 11 oz or 315g)
3 long stalks rhubarb (about 14 oz or 400g)
1/2 punnet strawberries (about 11 2/3 oz or 330g)
3/4 cup or 150g sugar plus a little extra to sprinkle on the pie before baking
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1-2 tablespoons milk

Make the dough for the pastry and divide it into two balls, one slightly bigger than the other. Wrap them in cling film and put them in the refrigerator.

Peel and chop your apples and toss them in a big bowl with the lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

Cut the brown ends off the rhubarb, if any, and cut the stalks into chunks.

Hull your strawberries and halve the big ones. Little ones can be left whole.

Pile the rhubarb and strawberries into the apple bowl and pour in the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir well.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Remove the bigger ball of dough from the refrigerator and roll it out in a circle. Fold it over your rolling pin and ease it into your 8 in or 20cm pie plate – not deep dish.

Dock it with the tip of a sharp knife or the tines of a fork.

Add in the sugared fruit and dot the top with the butter in several small pieces.

I forgot the butter in this shot, but not in the pie!

Roll out the second ball of dough in a circle and fit it on top the pie.  I am a fan of shortcrust so I trim very little of the excess and fold the rest under the edges with the bottom crust and then crimp the dough all the way around the pan. If you want to trim yours more and then just stick the bottom and top together by crimping, that works too. Use a sharp knife to cut a few slits in the top to let the steam out.

Brush the crust with the milk and sprinkle it with a little sugar.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 50-55 minutes or until the crust is golden all over and a little juice is bubbling out the slits in the top crust.


Many thanks to Terri from Love and Confections for hosting this fun event! 

Twenty fabulous pies to celebrate! Come join us!  

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Baked Lemon Dessert #SundaySupper

Fresh lemon zest and lemon juice are the stars of this tart, sweet dessert baked in a buttered casserole dish until light and fluffy. The supporting role is played by the raspberries or whatever berry you can get your hands on this time of year. 

Gin and bear it
Over the weekend, which regular readers might remember is Friday and Saturday here in the United Arab Emirates, we went out sailing offshore Abu Dhabi and then stayed over at a friend’s house on Friday night. Our friend is quite a collector of gin so it is not uncommon for the evening cocktail hour to start with a tasting of the new additions to his collection. One gin and tonic is mixed with each new gin and then we pass the glasses around, sipping the cocktails and discussing the attributes of the different gins. One in particular caught my fancy. It was made in Wales and contained an unusual ingredient: kelp or seaweed. After enjoying the gin and tonic and to extrapolate on the suggestion that we serve it in an oyster shell, we mixed a small shot of the Dà Mhìle seaweed gin with ice, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of sea salt, which really brought out the kelp. Which led to a discussion of whether Americans use the word kelp. Or do we just call it seaweed? I honestly could not remember so if anyone wants to weigh in, please leave me a comment. What do you call the green stuff on the seashore?

Pudding is dessert, pudding as dessert
As I straddle UK/US divide both in my home and with friends, I often lose track of whom uses which word for what but as a majority of my readers are US-based, I tend to name dishes in a way that they will understand. Way back in October, when I was trolling the internet and my cookbooks for a dessert to fit our budget friendly Sunday Supper theme, I came across a recipe on All Recipes UK. It was called lemon pudding in the British sense, meaning dessert. Because if they were actually making what we Americans call pudding, they’d call it custard and eat it for pudding. If you know what I mean. Anyway, I ended up making profiteroles for that occasion in October but this dish has been on my list of “things to make” every since, no matter what you want to call it.

Captivating Casseroles
Lemons are like eating a healthy dose of sunshine and while we get that almost every day here in Dubai, I know that there are a lot of folks in the northern hemisphere that could use some sunlight and warmth right about now. This Sunday Supper is for you all! If you are trying to keep warm, may I suggest you turn the oven on to bake a casserole or two? Scroll on down to the Sunday Supper link list to see all the fabulous captivating casseroles we are sharing, along with our talented, over-achiever of a host, Alice from A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen, who is in the middle of an international move but still stepped forward to host. You are a star, Alice!

4 eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons or 90ml fresh lemon juice
Zest 1 lemon
1/8 cup or 30g butter, softened, plus extra for buttering casserole
1 cup or 230g sugar
4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups or 350ml milk

Optional for serving: fresh berries and a sprig or three of mint

Butter your casserole dish (about 8x8in or 20x20cm square – or equivalent volume in another shape) and preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Separate your eggs and put the whites in the bowl of your stand mixer or in one that is deep enough to use electric beaters. You can certainly whisk egg whites to stiff peaks by hand but it’s hard work!

In another mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter until well combined. If your eggs are too cold, the butter is going to break up into little pieces again rather than whisking in. If you’ve made this mistake, just keep whisking. Eventually it will all soften again and create a homogeneous mixture.

How you know your eggs were still too cold. Ugh.

In yet another bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt then mix well.

Add about a third of the dry ingredients at a time to the yolk mixture, along with one third of the milk, whisking well after each addition, until all of the flour/sugar is incorporated.

Beat your egg whites until stiff.

Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk/milk mixture.

Pour into your prepared baking dish.

Put your baking dish into another larger baking pan and fill it with hot water (should not be boiling) halfway up the baking dish.

Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 40-45 or until set and puffy, but still jiggly when you shake it gently to check.

Remove from the oven and take the baking dish out of the baking pan.

This can be served hot, warm, room temperature or even cold.

Garnish with berries and mint if desired.


It's kind of soufflé-like except then it's saucy on the bottom, which tastes pretty amazing, actually.

Check out all the lovely casseroles we have for you today!

Captivating Breakfast Casseroles
Appetizing Casserole Sides
Main Event Casseroles
Decadent Dessert and Sweet Casseroles
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cheese-Stuffed Soft Pretzels #FoodieExtravaganza

These pretzels are a bit fiddly to stuff, but the chewy texture created by the melted cheese inside is well worth the extra effort. And, honestly, it took very little time. 

Bread Making 101
My husband is a good sport. Last year I signed us up for a bread making class, so that we could accompany a couple of good friends who are interested in culinary pursuits. We ate breakfast, drank coffee and took notes while German master baker, Chef Rainer Scharold mixed flour and yeast and butter into a wonderful soft brioche dough, all the while explaining those steps but expounding on the virtues of real German pretzels. He asserted that the lye bath before baking was absolutely essential to achieve their proper golden brown color, then he dashed our hopes by saying it was not available in the UAE. So, when it was our turn to get our hands on the dough, we made little braided brioche loaves instead. I must admit that part of the fun for me was watching my husband roll out his three strands and then braid them, not his usual métier. He’s more of a hammer and nails get-things-done type.

Such concentration! That's him in the middle.

Much to my delight, I found a short video of our very class while searching for information on the chef so I'll put a link at the bottom of this post for anyone who wants to watch.

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates the pretzel
The point of this story is that when the “pretzel” theme for this month’s Foodie Extravaganza Party was announced, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make traditional German ones here without lye, but I had learned from the bread class that an egg wash helped with the browning. That would have to do. And instead of boiling them in water before baking, as some folks on the internet suggested, it occurred to me that I could probably add chewiness to my pretzels from the inside by stuffing the dough with cheese.

I was right. These were fantabulous straight out of the oven but they also made wonderful sandwiches in the next couple of days, sliced in half and filled with roast chicken or salami and mustard with even more cheese.

For the dough:
1 1/2 cups or 360ml warm water
1/4oz or 7g active instant yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup or 120g whole wheat
1 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups or 345g strong white bread flour plus extra for rolling and kneading

For the filling:
7 oz or 200g Tomme de Brebis (a semi-hard cheese made from sheep's milk) or other strong cheese - A good sharp cheddar would work well too. I used a little bit of this for sprinkling on before baking as well.

To finish:
1 large egg, beaten
Sprinkling of cheese, optional

In a large bowl, mix the sugar and the yeast and add the warm water. Stir or swish the bowl around to mix the yeast in. Leave for a few minutes to make sure your yeast starts foaming up, which means it’s still active.

Add in the cup of whole wheat flour and the salt. Mix well.

Add in the bread flour a cup or so at a time, mixing well in between. You should end up with a sturdy but pliant dough.

Knead thoroughly for at least five to seven minutes.

Set aside to rest, covered in cling film, for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, grate your cheese and prepare your baking pan by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Now use a sharp knife to divide the ball into eight equal pieces.

Roll them out into sausages about 22 in or 56cm long and then flatten the sausages.

Add healthy pinches of grated cheese all along the middle.

Start at one side and pinch the dough together the whole length of the roll, enclosing the cheese, and trying not to leave any air inside.  Fold the seam over just a little to make sure it won’t split right back open.

Shaping the pretzel
Make an upside down U shape with the dough roll and cross the ends over.

Now cross them under again to make a little twist.

Bring the crossed ends up and lay them on the circle of dough and move the pretzel to your prepared baking sheet. Continue until all the the pretzels are done.

Make sure to leave some room between them on the cookie sheet for when the dough rises. My cookie sheet isn’t very large, so I put the first four on the prepared cookie sheet and then put the next four on another piece of parchment so I could slide that easily to the cookie sheet when the first batch were baked.

Brush the pretzels all over with some of the beaten egg and sprinkle on grated cheese, if desired.

Put the pretzels in a warm place to rise for about 15 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 425°F or 220°C.

Bake in your preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until desired brown color is reached.


Dough adapted from this recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction.

The cheesy inside

We are a group of bloggers who love to blog about food! And each month we all incorporate one main ingredient or theme into a recipe. This month we are celebrating pretzels. We hope you all enjoy our delicious pretzels this month and come see what next month's new ingredient or theme is. If you would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza.  We would love to have you!

15 Pretzel Recipes via Foodie Extravaganza 600x600.jpg

If you are a fan of pretzels, this month’s Foodie Extravaganza, hosted by Lauren of From Gate to Plate,  is right up your twisted alley!

The video - I'm in the purple t-shirt. 

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baked Egg Boats

Today was a day of staying home and hanging out with the dog on his leash while various workmen 1. Repaired things  2. Changed all the house locks.  3. Looked at things for quite a while and said they would return to repair them.  4. Removed vital parts of the equipment like the water pump and promised to return with said parts repaired.

Moving into any new house is always like this so I try to remain patient and thank God for the internet and the lovely lady who works for me and can translate when the workers do not speak English.

Meanwhile on the internets, I had plenty of time for browsing.  I found this recipe which sounded different and fun.  I just happened to have, because I usually do, some half baguettes in my freezer so I thought I’d give it a try for dinner tonight.

2 whole wheat demi baguettes
3 eggs
1/4  cup or 59ml heavy cream
2 oz or 57g smoked bacon
2 oz or 57g cheese of your choice – I used one that was called Red Hot Dutch.
1 green onion
Sea salt
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Build a stand out of heavy duty foil by folding the foil up in three places so the baguette canoes remain upright.

Cut a deep “V” through the tops of each baguette until about a 1/2 inch to the bottom. Take some of the insides out of the loaves. 

Chop the bacon into little pieces and fry it till it’s crispy.  Drain well.

Grate your cheese and chop your green onion finely.

Place the eggs and cream into a mixing bowl and lightly beat together. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and lightly season with salt, black pepper and a sprinkle of cayenne.

Pour half the mixture into each baguette, which should be standing upright in their foil stand.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown, puffed and set in the center. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.  (The original recipe said 20-25 minutes but the egg was still quite runny so I had to put them back in.)  Mine also didn't puff very much. 

Allow to cool for about five minutes.  Cut and serve along side a mixed green salad.  We thought they were very tasty!  Kind of like quiche without having to make a crust. 

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