What are you baking these days? December, 2011 [OLD]
Hi all, here we are in major baking territory, with the holidays coming up. Family recipes or new favorites, what's making your family happy these days?
I am making (in no particular order) Mochi, Challah, Rugelach, Babka, All In One Holiday Bundt and maybe Tiramisu Cake.
I'm planning to make mincemeat tarts, using RLB's recipe for sweetcrust pastry, and mincemeat made by Crosse & Blackwell in Merrye England. Is it heresy to not make my own mincemeat ? It is just chopped dried fruit in rum and brandy. Funny thing is that I like mincemeat tarts but not fruitcake.
Also in the plans, but not baking as such are marrons glacés.
New to me--Florentines. The ones I first saw in the Penzey's catalog drew me, but after trying one and tasting, I added a little salt and doubled the flour, then drizzled lightly with melted chocolate rather than frosting with a thick coat. Oh, and I used almonds rather than the walnuts the lady in the catalog did.
Never having tried them previously, I can't say how they compare to anyone else's, but I ate too many of them yesterday if you want to know how good they were. :) Luckily it made a fairly small batch (29 cookies)...and I'll have more people to share them with soon.
Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Double Pie Crust
3 cups flour
1 cup (2 sticks cold unsalted butter)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup to ¾ cup ice cold water
Combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor or with pastry tool until it looks like coarse small ball (don’t use your hands will take away from having a flaky crust). Gently fold in water until just holds together. You can cut the dough in half and form into disks in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 cup unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean slit and add seeds to cream
1/2 tsp good vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp salt (sea salt or grey salt a light flaky salt)
Combine the sugar and water and heat on a temperature until sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved add the butter and let bubble on low. Make sure you’re watching it…if it burns you’ll have to start over. The caramel should bubble on a lower setting until it is a beautiful rich brown color. Remove from heat and pour in the cream making sure you get all the vanilla seeds. If you don’t have or feel like paying for a vanilla bean just use a good vanilla extract (approx 1 tsp). Continue to stir the caramel until it is smooth and stir in the salt. Set aside until ready to use (there should be leftover caramel sauce to have your way with).
Apple Pie Filling
8-9 mixed apples such as granny smiths, honeycrisp, macintosh, fuji (any good baking apple will do)
¼ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
3 ½ Tbsp flour
½ tsp plus a little extra good cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp clove
1/16 tsp maybe more if you like it ground cardamom
Peel, core and slice apples thin and immerse in the lemon juice to prevent apples from turning brown. Add the remaining ingredients and combine. Taste apples and adjust spices to your liking.
Roll out one pie crust for a deep dish pie dish. Place a 1/3 of the apple mixture in the pie crust. Pour some of the caramel sauce in a layer over the apples. Repeat this process two more times. Fold out second pie crust (can be whole or done in a lattice, whichever is your preference). Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle raw sugar and tiny amount of salt on the top of the crust. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes in the lower half of the oven. Turn over down to 350 and bake for another 30-50 minutes (will depend on your oven). Apples should be bubbly and crust golden and cooked through.