Archive for the 'Pies and Tarts' Category

Toasted oat flour mazarins with rhubarb

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

I experimented yesterday and did a twist on the traditional mazarins, which are small pastries made of short crust filled with almond paste and then glazed. However I used toasted oat flour and rhubarb instead of normal flour and basic almond paste filling. The toasted out flour provides a lovely nutty flavour that goes very well with the sweetness of the almond paste and the tanginess of the rhubarb.

I made the recipe especially for the contest “Cake of Sweden”. Not only will the winning cake be served at the Shanghai World Expo later this year but the winner will also get to go to Shanghai. I would love to go there, especially since we have a couple of friends there. If you like the recipe, then please vote here .

    Toasted oat flour mazarins with rhubarb
    (makes 20-25)

    175 gram cold butter
    400 ml wheat flour
    300 ml toasted oat flour (skrädmjöl)
    100 ml sugar
    1 egg
    2 tsp water

    Filling 1:
    300 gram grated almond paste
    150 gram butter, at a room temperature
    2 eggs
    2 tbsp flour

    Filling 2:
    300 gram pink rhubarb
    50 ml sugar

    200 ml icing sugar
    1 tbsp water
    1 tbsp lemon juice

    Disposable aluminum pans

    Combine all ingredients for the dough quickly in a food processor, adding the egg and water at the end. Chill for at least 1 hour.

    Cut the rhubarb in 2 cm wide pieces. Heat with sugar in a pot. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes and let cool.

    Blend softened butter with grated almond paste in a food processor until smooth, add each egg separately. Stir in flour.
    Preheat convection oven to 175 degrees C.

    Roll out the dough, preferable between cling film as it’s rather hard to handle, and cover each pan with dough.

    Divide almond paste filling between pans. Divide the rhubarb mix between the pans.

    Bake the mazarins on a cookie sheet in the middle part of the oven for about 15 minutes. Let cool.

    Sift the sugar for the glaze, stir in water and juice gradually until glaze is smooth and shiny. Spread thinly on cooled mazarins.

Sweet green tomato pies with almond paste and lemon

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

We had a minor storm last night and when I woke up this morning some of the branches on the tomato plants were broken. I went out on the terrace in the pouring rain to raise the fallen plants, thinking about all those green tomatos on the broken branches and what to do with them. I first thought of making a green tomato jam, but after looking in one of the cookbooks I saw a green tomato pie recipe. Aha, perfect! I didn’t follow the recipe at all (except for the fact that I used green unripe tomatos) and decided that the tomatos would go well with almond paste and lemon. So I collected all my unripe tomatos, put on my kitchen music (the best of Dean Martin) and just after hearing the first tones F shouted from the ground flour asking what I was baking. For a second I didn’t know what I should say. Should I tell him about my crazy plan, with the risk of having to eat everything by myself as he sometimes is a bit fuzzy with vegetables and vegetable cakes? But I was honest and he answered that it sounded “interesting” wondering how on earth such a thing could be edible…

I used a Donna Hay recipe for the pastry and the filling was just a gamble that turned out excellent! Next time I’ll try with cinnamon instead of lemon or maybe something else. And there will be a next time because we both really liked these mini pies and I’m sure that by the end of summer I’ll end up with more unripe green tomatoes. If you’re tired of making green tomato jam or fried green tomatoes every time the summer ends to quickly or a storm splits your plants resulting in a lot of unripe tomatoes, bake these sweet and delicious pies. As soon as you taste them you’ll forget all about bad weather and the end of the summer.

Unripe tomatoes of different kinds: yellow pear shaped, black cherry and bloody butcher.

    Mini green tomato pies with almond paste and lemon
    (makes 5 pies, using 12 cm * 2 cm metal pie tins)

    basic vanilla pastry (adapted from Donna Hay):
    250 gram flour
    1 tbsp icing sugar
    180 gram unsalted butter, cold and chopped
    80 ml ice water
    1 vanilla pod, the interior

    180 gram unripe tomatoes, mixed sorts (mostly cherry tomatoes)
    200 gram almond paste
    50 gram unsalted butter, softened
    zest from one lemon
    1 tbsp Grand Marnier
    0.5 tbsp flour

    milk for brushing
    caster sugar to sprinkle on top of pies

    Combine flour, sugar, vanilla and butter in a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. While still running the food processor, add water little by little until a smooth dough is created. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes before using.

    Grate almond paste and combine with softened butter. Chop the tomatoes coursly. Add tomatoes, lemon zest, Grand Marnier and flour to the butter/almond paste mixture. Combine.

    Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C (convection oven). Lightly grease the metal tins with butter.
    Take 2/3 of the pastry and roll out to 3-4 mm thick. Cut out 5 rounds, around 2 cm wider than the tins. Line the pie tins with the pastry and trim the edges.

    Divide the tomato filling between the pies. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut in strips. Arrange the strips on the pies to a lattice pattern. Press and trim the edges. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pies are golden.

Filling with tomatoes and almond paste

Daring Bakers: Lemon Meringue Pie

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Lemon meringue pie

It’s time for another Daring Bakers challenge! Due to postponing December’s challenge until last minute and then catching a really bad cold on the day for publishing, I didn’t manage to bake the yule log that everyone was supposed to bake. But it feels good to have done the first challenge of 2008. The idea of the Daring Bakers is that every month one baking recipe is presented that all members have to follow exactly without any modifications except where specifically allowed. During the month we share our experiences and learn to be better bakers. The recipe, our photos and experiences are then officially posted on a specified day, this time on the 28th of January.

This month’s challenge was to bake a lemon meringue pie from Wanda’s Pie in the Sky by Wanda Beaver, and the recipe was picked by Jen from The Canadian Baker. I like lemon meringue pie but in the past, when I was around 14 years old, me and my mother took turns in making it once a week and gradually we got tired of our favourite pie. So these small lemon meringue pies were the first since then and it was like meeting an old friend again. I love the tart lemon filling and the crispy crust, and between the bites I asked myself how I could have neglected this lovely pie for such a long time.

The pie is very sweet, but the sweetness is balanced a bit thanks to the tartness of the lemons. It was nice to try a new recipe for lemon meringue pie and I had no problems what so ever, even though I just as usual waited with the challenge until the last minute. Both the filling and meringue came out perfect, however I must admit that I didn’t follow the recipe completely as I decided to cover the lemon filling while it was still warm. I’m not sure if that really matters, but it didn’t feel like a good idea to put the meringue on a cold filling as I thought that the bottom of the meringue would take longer time to cook. I choose to make 6 small pies instead of one large as the pie can get a bit messy after cutting it. But I felt that the servings were too big, so I would recommend to do more and smaller pies if you want to do individual ones.

Edit: The pies were perfect even on the day after baking. I kept them in the fridge, but completely uncovered. The meringue and filling were still perfect without any liquid, and the crust was great as well. The meringue didn’t sweat at all.

    Lemon Meringue Pie
    Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie or 6 small ones.
    Recipe from: Wanda’s Pie in the Sky by Wanda Beaver.

    For the Crust:
    3/4 cup (170 gram) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
    2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
    1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
    1/3 cup (80 mL) ice water

    For the Filling:
    2 cups (475 mL) water
    1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (120 mL) cornstarch
    5 egg yolks, beaten
    1/4 cup (50 gram) butter
    3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice
    1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
    1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

    For the Meringue:
    5 egg whites, room temperature
    1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
    1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
    1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

    To Make the Crust:
    Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt.Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

    Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch (0.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

    Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling. [I have a convection oven and baked the crusts in 175ºC.]

    To Make the Filling:
    Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated. Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature. [I didn't let the filling cool, but did the meringue and covered the pies directly]

    To Make the Meringue:
    Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust. [Here I did a misstake, I forgot to change the oven temperature so I baked them in 175ºC for 15 minutes. But the result was great.]

Mini bilberry crumbles with hazelnuts

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

Mini bilberry crumble with hazelnuts and custard.

One of the easiest and most delicious desserts that you can make is a crumble. It’s almost impossible to fail and you can vary the filling depending on your current craving or on which fruit you have available at home. In the summer a gorgeous nectarine and raspberry crumble is exactly what you need and during autumn the perfect crumble contains bilberries accompanied by hazelnuts, which is what I did today. To add some more nut flavour I added toasted oat flour to the crumble, which is called skrädmjöl in Swedish. It’s a brown flour made of toasted oats and since I bought it for the first time not long ago I love to try it out in old recipes as it gives a kind of nutty flavour. Next time I’ll substitute some of the whole wheat flour in sunflower seed cookies with the toasted oat flour, I think it will add a nice touch to the cookies.

    Mini bilberry crumbles with hazelnuts
    (makes 4 small crumbles)

    60 gram butter
    50 ml caster sugar (of which half is vanilla infused)
    200 ml flour (125 ml wheat flour and 75 ml toasted oat flour – skrädmjöl)
    50 ml hazelnuts, chopped

    bilberry filling:
    225 gram bilberries (about 400 ml)
    1 tsp sugar
    1 tsp potato flour

    Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.

    Divide the bilberries evenly in four small oven proof ramekins. Divide the sugar and potato flour evenly over the bilberries.

    Place the sugar, butter and flour in a bowl. With the tips of your fingers rub the ingredients together until you have a crumbly mixture. Add the hazelnuts. Cover the bilberries with the crumbles and bake for 15 minutes until the topping is nicely browned. Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard.

Daring Bakers: Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Milk chocolate and caramel tart decorated with caramel containing ground hazelnuts

This is my second month as a member of the amazing Daring Bakers. The Daring bakers consist of proud women and men that love to bake and are not afraid of baking challenges. The idea of the Daring Bakers is that every month one baking recipe is presented that all members have to follow exactly without any modifications. During the month we share our experiences and learn to be better bakers. The recipe, our photos and experiences are then officially posted on a specified day, this time on the 29th of August. This month’s challenge was a Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart consisting of a pastry with hazelnuts, cocoa and cinnamon which was filled with caramel mixture and then milk chocolate mousse topped with pieces of caramel. The recipe was picked by Veronica and Patricia.

How it all went:
I love the beginning of every month as that is when the new Daring Bakers challenge is presented. I always get enthusiastic, thinking a lot about the recipe. This time I was looking forward to bake the tart, as always, but the days passed by and I baked all sorts of cakes and cookies instead of the challenge. Eventually the month end was getting closer and last Sunday evening I finally made the dough. On Monday evening after work I made the caramel filling, which started really fine using the dry method when melting the caster sugar. I was pretty scared though, as I got a really nasty burn when making sugar candies many years ago. When I added the room temperatured cream to the melted sugar I instantly got a hard sugar layer on top of the cream. I was sure that everything would just explode in my face as the cream beneath the sugar started to simmer. I tried to calm down and started stirring the hard sugar and cream on a low temperature until I finally managed the sugar to melt again. After baking the filling in the oven I noticed that the filling was way too loose, so I had it in the oven for an additional 8 or even 10 minutes. It was still very wobbly when I took it out but I thought that it would set fine after being refrigerated (but it didn’t set completely. I still don’t know if it’s the fan ovens fault or what I did wrong). As the caramel filling was cooling, I made the caramel for the decoration. Anne had mentioned that hazelnuts made the creation less sweet so I added some ground hazelnuts and the sugar came out very well and I managed not to burn myself. Then I started on the chocolate mousse. I melted my chocolate in the micro wave and let it cool a bit. I stirred it every now and then when I suddenly noticed that it was starting to stiffen even though it was still quite warm. So I took the stupid decision to combine it with the whipped cream, which of course kind of separated from the heat. Maybe separated it the wrong word, but it looked a bit weird. I had no problems with putting the mousse on top of the caramel filling and left the cake in the fridge until Tuesday evening when I decorated the cake with the burnt sugar and finally served it to Fredrik and a friend. And today Wednesday I’m writing the post :-)

The tart is absolutely too sweet. Although my “jury” agreed on that the tart would be pretty good if cut in really small pieces and served with strong coffee.The milk chocolate mousse set very nicely but was way too sweet even if I tried hard with finding a not too sweet and yet not over priced milk chocolate. And also as I wrote earlier it kind of separated. I thought that the caramel filling would get firmer after spending almost 24 hours in the fridge, but it was quite loose and you definetly can’t hold up a piece of the cake with a fork in the caramel filling, like on the original photo which was provided when the Daring Bakers received the recipe.

Lessons learned (nb that some of these lessons should have been learned already last month):
1. Don’t start baking too late in the evening.
2. Bake the cake on a weekend and not in the evening after work.
3. Make sure to use milk chocolate that isn’t too sweet.
4. Don’t be cocky and think that it’s easy peasy, there are always things that can go wrong when baking a cake with so many parts.
5. Sometimes room temperatured ingredients just are not enough. In the case with the caramel filling I should have heated the cream before pouring it on the melted sugar.
6. You can’t always succeed :-)

Will I do this tart again?
Probably some day in the future, with a few modifications though; at least a less sweet chocolate and less cinnamon.

To see how the other Daring Bakers managed the challenge, check out our blog roll.

    Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart
    (The August challenge for the Daring Bakers. Source: Sweet and Savory tarts by Eric Kayser)

    Preparation time: 40 minutes
    Baking Time: 30 minutes
    Refrigeration time: 1 hour
    One 9-inch(24-cm) square pan; 1 10-inch (26-cm) round baking pan

    ½ lb (250 g) chocolate shortbread pastry (see recipe below)
    1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
    1 cup (250 g) heavy cream (30-40 percent butterfat) or crème fraiche
    ¼ cup (50 g) butter
    2 whole eggs
    1 egg yolk
    2 ½ tablespoons (15 g) flour
    1 ¼ cups (300 g) whipping cream
    ½ lb (250 g) milk chocolate

    1. Preheat oven to 325 °F (160 °C).
    2. Line the baking pan with the chocolate shortbread pastry and bake blind for 15 minutes.
    3. In a saucepan, caramelize 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar using the dry method until it turns a golden caramel color. Incorporate the heavy cream or crème fraiche and then add butter. Mix thoroughly. Set aside to cool.
    4. In a mixing bowl, beat the whole eggs with the extra egg yolk, then incorporate the flour.
    5. Pour this into the cream-caramel mixture and mix thoroughly.
    6. Spread it out in the tart shell and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
    7. Prepare the milk chocolate mousse: beat the whipping cream until stiff. Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave or in a bain-marie, and fold it gently into the whipped cream.
    8. Pour the chocolate mousse over the cooled caramel mixture, smoothing it with a spatula. Chill for one hour in the refrigerator.

    To decorate: melt ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar in a saucepan until it reaches an amber color. Pour it onto waxed paper laid out on a flat surface. Leave to cool. Break it into small fragments and stick them lightly into the top of the tart.

    Chocolate Shortbread Pastry

    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Refrigeration :overnight
    To make 3 tarts, 9 ½ inches (24 cm) square
    or 10 inches (26 cm round)

    1 cup (250g ) unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 g) confectioners’ sugar
    ½ cup (50 g) ground hazelnuts
    2 level teaspoons (5 g) ground cinnamon
    2 eggs
    4 ½ cups (400 g) cake flour
    2 ½ teaspoons (10 g) baking powder
    1 ½ tablespoons (10 g) cocoa powder

    A day ahead
    1. In a mixing bowl of a food processor, cream the butter.
    2. Add the confectioners’ sugar, the ground hazelnuts, and the cinnamon, and mix together
    3. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing constantly
    4. Sift in the flour, the baking powder, and the cocoa powder, and mix well.
    5. Form a ball with the dough, cover in plastic wrap, and chill overnight.

Nectarine and raspberry crumble

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

When I took out this nectarine and raspberry crumble from the oven, a divine smell spread all over the appartment that woke up the cats from their lazy naps. Nectarines and raspberries are a winner combination and makes a perfect summer day even more perfect. Take a large serving with some vanilla custard, find a good spot in your garden, balcony or window and indulge.

    Nectarine and raspberry crumble

    125 gram butter
    300 ml flour
    100 ml caster sugar (of which half is vanilla infused, i.e. from a sealed jar with caster sugar and vanilla pods)

    5 ripe nectarines
    200-250 gram raspberries
    2 pinches of sugar
    5 pinches of potato flour

    Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.

    Peel the nectarines and slice thinly. Place the nectarine slices and raspberries in a baking pan. Sprinkle sugar and potato flour over the fruit.

    Place the sugar, butter and flour in a bowl. With the tips of your fingers rub the ingredients together until you have a crumbly mixture. Cover the fruit with the crumbles and bake for 25 minutes until the topping is nicely browned. Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard.

Creamy Pineapple Tart

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Simple pineapple tart decorated with a rose from my balcony, made to go thereby the single use pan.

Sometimes you want to bake something fast and simple with ingredients you have at home instead of going shopping groceries. Well, then this popular recipe with unknown origin is perfect if you have canned pineapple. The original recipe calls for much more sugar, but the below amounts are enough. I’ve also added lemon zest and lemon juice to freshen it up a bit. The tart itself looks quite boring, so don’t hesitate to decorate it with (edible) flowers or fresh fruit. Serve with vanilla ice cream or vanilla custard.

    Creamy Pineapple Tart

    150 gram butter
    3 tbsp vanilla infused caster sugar
    300 ml flour
    1 tsp baking powder

    1 egg
    200 ml Crème fraîche (15% or 34%)
    50 ml vanilla infused caster sugar
    2 cans (227 gram each) of canned crushed pineapple with juice
    1 tsp lemon zest (lemon zest from 1 lemon)
    2 tbsp lemon juice

    Heat the oven to 170 °C.

    Strain the crushed pineapple and set aside, don’t discard the juice: drink it!

    Blend the ingredients for the crust in a food processor until the dough form clumps, it will take about 1 minute. Place the dough in a tart pan and using your fingertips, evenly press the dough onto the sides and bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the fridge for 30 minutes.

    Prebake the crust for about 14 minutes.

    Combine the ingredients for the filling and pour them into the crust. Bake the tart for another 20 minutes.

Rhubarb and Apple Crumble

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Last Sunday I finally decided to harvest my rhubarb plant. As the plant was beautiful it was actually quite sad, but I hope that more stalks will grow up this and coming years. After trimming the stalks I only ended up with 300 grams of rhubarb. So what to do with 300 grams of precious home grown rhubarb? I recalled a rhubarb crumble recipe from the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, apparently a Gordon Ramsay recipe, which I modified and then baked.

I served the crumble with vanilla custard and it was very appreciated by the boys (my husband and his friend). I’ve improvised with hazelnuts in my crumble toppings before and they give a really chunky and delicious crumble. The filling was creamy and tasty but I thought that something was missing, maybe more spices or more rhubarb? Probably more rhubarb! The others just devoured the crumble with ooohs and aaahs while watching the latest episode of Jamie at home.

    Rhubarb and Apple Crumble
    (Source: Gordon Ramsay via Svenska Dagbladet and then modified)

    300 gram fresh rhubarb stalks, trimmed from leaves
    400 gram apples
    1 tbsp butter
    1.5 tbsp runny honey
    1 tsp fresh ginger, very finely grated
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1.5 tbsp raspberry syrup

    50 gram hazelnuts
    350 ml flour
    150 gram butter
    2.5 tbsp demerara sugar

    Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.

    Cut the rhubarb in 2 cm long chunks. Peel the apples and cut them in 2 cm chunks. Put the fruit in a sauce pan together with the butter, honey, ginger, cinnamon and syrup. Heat and let simmer for a few minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Don’t let the fruit become too soft though.

    Pour the fruit filling in a baking pan.

    Roast the hazelnuts in a dry warm frying pan for a few minutes. Remove from heat and place the hazelnuts in a clean and dry kitchen towel. Rub the nuts in the towel to remove the outer papery inner skin. Chop the hazelnuts coarsly.

    Place the demerara sugar, butter, flour and hazelnuts in a bowl. With the tips of your fingers rub the ingredients together until you have a crumbly mixture. Cover the fruit with the crumbles and bake for 25 minutes until the topping is nicely browned.
    Serve luke warm with vanilla custard.

Harvesting the rhubarb plant.

Tanuki is in shock. “Where did the rhubarb dissapear?”