Sunday, April 10, 2016

Very Cherry Pie

Tried making a cherry pie for the first time after having found nice tasting frozen, pitted, dark cherries at the local grocery. They've been a pleasant change to oatmeal in the morning. Normally cherry pie is too sweet or too gloppy but I found a combo of recipes that I wanted to try. This comes out not too sweet at all, and the crust is fun to eat in star form. I probably over mixed it but given the hint of coconut and the thick shapes it was a bit like shortbread. Yes those are little stars around big stars around a sweater vest!

Crust

  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c coconut flour (or substitute almond flour)
  • 1 c butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t sugar
  • 6-10 T water, ice cold

Filling

  • 32 oz pitted frozen dark/sweet cherries
  • 8 oz mixed frozen berries (I used strawberries and raspberries)
  • 3 T sugar
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 4 T tapioca flour (can sub cornstarch)
  • ~1 t butter
  1. Cut the butter into 1/2" cubes and freeze for 15-30 min.
  2. In a food processor, mix the flours, salt and sugar.
  3. Pulse the butter in just until lumpy.
  4. Add a 1/4 c water and pulse. Add in remaining water through spout until finely coarse. 
  5. Turn out into bowl and divide into 2 uneven pieces. Place each piece in saran wrap and flatten to disc. Refrigerate at least 30 min.
  6. For filling, thaw berries in large bowl.
  7. Add the sugar, juice and tapioca flour. Stir well. Let sit 15 minutes.
  8. Roll larger dough piece into pie plate. Smooth out edges.
  9. Fill with cherry mixture. Dot with butter.
  10. Roll the smaller dough piece and cut out shapes, placing on top of filling.
  11. Cover edges with foil. Place tray with parchment paper on lower rack.
  12. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes on middle rack. Remove foil and continue to bake until bubbly and crust is nicely browned. NOTE: This took well over 40 minutes for me at 350. It could be my oven runs low. I was out of patience waiting for it. A toothpick test showed some of the cherries were done and others were al dante. I was not too particular about having a perfect pie so a pie with bite is ok with me.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Craisin Chocolate Brandy Bread

Based on Cranberry Eggnog loaf from 300 best Canadian Bread Machine Recipes book. Used maple syrup instead of honey, replaced some of craisins with chocolate chips and used raspberry brandy. Tastes great day of - brandy is noticeable, nutmeg was not. Chips melted in and turned bread brown, craisins stayed bigger.

  • 3/4 c milk, room temp
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T brandy
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 2 T butter, room temp
  • 2 3/4 c flour
  • 1.5 t nutmeg
  • 1 t yeast
  • 3/4 c craisins and chocolate chips
  1. Measure all ingredients except craisins and chips into bread machine. Set to Sweet Cycle, 1.5 pound loaf.
  2. Add sweets at beep signal.
  3. Let cool.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Peanut Butter Cocoa Cookies

Based on a recipe from a healthy cookbook. Didn't have whole wheat flour or wheat germ, and ran out of canola oil so used part vegetable oil that someone left in the house. They are only lightly sweet. A chunky pb might add a nice texture for next time. Just plopped dough for the first batch (top of picture) and rolled and fork flattened for second batch (bottom of picture).

  • 3/4 c natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 c canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/4 c cocoa
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  1. Combine pb and oil. Use electric mixer to combine well.
  2. Mix in egg.
  3. Add brown sugar and mix.
  4. Add water and vanilla. Mix again.
  5. Add cocoa and stir gently. Mix on low speed (to prevent cocoa spraying out).
  6. In separate bowl, combine flour, soda and cinnamon. Stir into wet ingredients.
  7. Spoon onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Optional: Roll lightly and flatten with fork.
  8. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.
  9. Remove to cooling rack.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Challah

This one is based on the Challah from the best canadian bread machine recipes book. XBD requested French Toast for breakfast so we made the bread the day before (since shops are closed on Easter). Turned out pretty well.  Very easy to throw together in separate stages built around XBD and MM life. Made 4 eggs worth of french toast. ****
4/23/16 Made this again and used 2/3 T water for the glaze and it came out a nicer, darker color. Also baked at 400 for 20 min before noticing it was too high a temperature. Was done after 30 min. Used for french toast in the morning again.
  • 1 c water
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1.25 t salt
  • 3 T butter, room temp
  • 3 2/3 c flour
  • 1 t yeast
  • Glaze: one egg yolk + 1 T water
  1. Add ingredients to bread machine pan and set to dough cycle. 
  2. Turn out onto well floured surface and let rest covered for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Divide into 3/5 and 2/5. Divide each into 3 strands about 1" in diameter. Braid each set with tapered ends. Place bigger braid on parchment paper on cookie sheet. Place smaller braid on top. 
  4. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30-45 min). 
  5. Preheat oven to 375F. 
  6. Combine one egg yolk with 1 T water (or try less next time). Brush dough.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  8. Let cool. 
  9. Slice for French Toast in the morning or eat plain.

Challah by starter *

3/31/16 Based on recipe from Rustic European Breads From Your Bread Machine. The appeal is using a starter dough done in the bread machine that has lots of flexibility on timing. Fun to make, however, the taste is not to my liking. I like a deeper colored bread and wouldn't use so much water in the glaze next time. It came out very pale. ...after more than a week no one finished this bread. Reducing to 1 *. Will not make again.
  • 3 c flour, divided
  • 1 c water
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 T yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 T butter
  • glaze: 1 egg yolk + 2 T water
  1. Add half the flour, water, sugar and yeast to bread machine. Set to dough cycle. Then let sit for 8-24 hours.
  2. Add remaining flour, egg, salt and butter. Set to dough cycle again.
  3. Remove to floured surface and lightly knead for a few seconds. Cover with bread pan for 10 minutes.
  4. Divide into 3 pieces. Shape into 16" long strips about 1" in diameter.
  5. Braid on top of parchment paper.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
  7. Brush with glaze just before baking.
  8. Bake at 350F for 40-50 min until golden. *Note, I raised temperature to 375 for an additional 10 minutes.
  9. Let cool on rack.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Berry Pie

Made a pie on pi day finally. Easy and delicious. Only had a handful of blueberries so subbed more frozen strawberries and raspberries. Not too sweet.
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2/3 c butter
  • 6-8 T water
Filling
  • 2 c raspberries
  • 1 c sliced strawberries
  • 1.5 c blueberries
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/4 cornstarch
  • cinnamon
  1. If using frozen berries, measure berries and let sit in large bowl.
  2. Combine flour and salt in food processor. Briefly blend in butter. Add cold water and blitz until powdery but not lumpy. Smoosh with hands, separate in half, wrap pieces in saran wrap and chill for at least 30 min.
  3. Combine sugar and cornstarch. Set aside ~1 T. Sprinkle remaining over [drained] berries. Sprinkle in cinnamon. Mix to combine. Let sit 15 minutes.
  4. Roll one dough piece to fit pie pan. Return to fridge.
  5. Preheat oven to 375F. Place lined baking tray on lower shelf to catch drippings.
  6. To finish, sprinkle 1 T sugar mixture on bottom pie crust. Pour in berries and spread evenly. Roll out second dough piece. Layer on top and seal edges.
  7. Cut out vents. Cover edges with foil. Bake for 25 min [or 40 min if using frozen fruit].
  8. Remove foil and bake an additional 30-40 min until filling is bubbling and crust is golden.

Variations

Use blackberries.
Lemon juice.
Cut out shapes from top crust or do lattice.