Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Simplest Plum Tart

September 26, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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simplest plum tart

The Simplest Plum Tart was a recipe that I wanted to try but was skeptical of at the same time. It’s really just a sweet tart shell and plums. Ok, there are also some cake or cookie crumbs to soak up juice and some cinnamon sugar to add sweetness and bring out a bit of said juice. But there’s no real binder here and the plums are no more than halved and pitted (well, washed, too, of course). I thought it might be a little blah, but if you love plums, there is something quite satisfying about biting into a fat, juicy baked plum half. Dorie suggests serving this with crème anglaise, and maybe after throwing together the simplest tart ever, I should put in at least a little effort to make some custard, but I thought store-bought vanilla ice cream was just as good. Let’s not start to complicate things.

I think this would look so pretty baked in a long rectangular tart pan…I do have one, but like most of my good ideas, I didn’t think of it until after the fact. If I make it again, I’ll use that. I’ll also smear the crust with some almond frangipane. I almost always have some in the freezer, so really it’s just as simple as cake or cookie crumbs.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Pistachio and Summer Fruit Gratins

May 23, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Posted in BCM, cobbler, crisps, shortcakes, general pastry, groups, jams & preserves, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 1 Comment
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pistachio and summer fruit gratins

What to say about these Pistachio and Summer Fruit Gratins? Well for one thing, they are pretty tasty. A layer of fruit and berries topped with pistachio frangipane could almost not be a winning dessert. I will fess up that I fudged the frangipane and used the “regular” almond kind, which I have a stash of in the freezer.  I sprinkled a bunch of pistachios on top to fool everyone, though! Haha– I have a few tricks up my sleeve now and then. The fruit in this can be pretty much whatever’s in season…I went with a rhubarb/raspberry combo. The ‘barb and ‘berries bubbled up in the oven and turned into a jammy layer that was the most gorgeous shade of hot pink. Hot pink and pistachio green might be my favorite color combo, but I can see myself making this one over and over again this summer as different fruits roll though the farmers’ market.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Pithiviers

March 28, 2017 at 10:33 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, general pastry, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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pithiviers

 

The last time I made Pithiviers was in cooking school about 15 years ago. I have never forgotten how delicious it was though. I’m all for two rounds of flaky puff pastry with a filling in between, traditionally almond frangipane (one of my favorite things) and a bit of jammy fruit. The pithiviers recipe is in the “Fancy Cakes” section of the book, but this was a pretty simple one for me. I used store bought puff pastry, had some frangipane in the freezer from another project and instead of making prune filling, I used some black plum jam that I made last summer. Really, the only thing I did have to make for this was egg wash!

Rather than make one large round Pithiviers (that’s too much for us in one sitting), I made a couple of babies. The puff rose nice and high. Because I was making an odd size, I eyeballed the filling amounts. I do wish that I’d used a bit more of the plum jam. I was worried about leakage (there wasn’t any), so I was too skimpy. Next time– these are so easy and good. I’d like to experiment with savory fillings, too, as the concept isn’t really any different from a turnover.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Pear Tart with Crunchy Almond Topping

October 25, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 12 Comments
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pear tart with crunchy almond topping

I do like a good baked pear dessert.   Apples and pumpkins will be around for a long while yet, but pears are more delicate and have a quicker season.  Use ’em while you can!  This Pear Tart with Crunchy Almond Topping has Dorie’s Sweet Tart Dough holding a mound of lightly caramelized pears and a topping of sweet and crispy glazed sliced almonds.  Pear-plus-almond is a classic combo, and for good reason– it’s delicious!  I did one thing to my tart that wasn’t in the recipe.  I had a little bit of almond frangipane in the freezer that I’d been looking for a home for.  After blind baking the tart shell, I spread it on in a thin later before piling on the pears and the almond topping.  Not a bad call, if I do say so myself.

This tart is really best the day it’s made.  The topping and the tart shell both go a little soggy after sitting overnight…although that sure didn’t stop us from finishing it!

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Danish Slices

May 17, 2016 at 10:44 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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danish slices

I don’t have much more to say about Beatrice Ojakangas’s Danish recipe, since I’ve covered most of it once or twice before.  It’s damn good, no matter what form it takes, even the simplest Danish Slice.

I had half a batch of dough left in the freezer from the spandauer pockets I made a couple of weeks ago, and rolled it into a long rectangular that I folded up and around a duo of almond frangipane and pureed prune paste.  I brushed the top of my formed Danish with egg wash and sprinkled on some granulated almond bits before baking it.  After it had cooled a bit, I made a quick coffee glaze and spooned it over.  This is just.so.good.  And a piece left over for dessert the next day is nice heated slightly with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I think the Danish would be proud.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  There’s even a video of Beatrice and Julia making Danish together. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Twice-Baked Brioche

September 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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twice-baked brioche

After making the dough for Nancy Silverton’s Brioche Tart with White Secret Sauce, I had enough of it leftover for a brioche loaf to tuck into the freezer.  Twice-Baked Brioche, or bostock, is just the thing to make with extra brioche, especially if it’s a little stale.  It’s the brioche equivalent of an almond croissant.  Take slices of brioche, douse them in a orange flavored syrup, smear them with almond fangipane and sprinkle them with sliced almonds.  Then pop them in the oven until toasty brown.

With a cup of strong coffee in the morning or warm, with a little scoop of ice cream for dessert, this is really good…yup, really good.  Going on the repeat list.  I may even keep a little pot of frangipane in the freezer to have on hand whenever I crave bostock.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here). Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Cherry Crumb Tart

August 11, 2015 at 1:25 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 13 Comments
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cherry crumb tart

We’re on a roll with tasty tarts from Baking Chez Moi and this week we’re continuing to make the most out of summer fruit with a Cherry Crumb Tart.  Here, we have our old friend STD (sweet tart dough, that is) housing lots of fresh cherries that are nestled in an almond frangipane filling and topped with streusel crumbs.  Yum, right!?!   This tart sounds like it has a lot of components, but you can make your dough (and roll and pan it, too), frangipane and crumb topping all a day or two ahead of time.  Then when you’re ready to go, just par-bake your crust, pit your cherries and follow the bake-off instructions.

When I came home from vacay, I was pretty sure the summer’s cherries were a thing of the past (just like that gorgeous Montana view…boo) and I planned to pick up a punnet of blackberries to use in this tart instead.  But lo and behold, I found some sour cherries at the greenmarket and snapped them right up.  Sweet cherries would be just as good here, btw.  My streusel didn’t really keep it’s crumbly, piecey shapes in the oven but kind of melded together into a (quite sweet) crispy shell.  Not sure why, since I used cold ingredients and chilled it overnight, but it was still delicious.  I flavored it only with cardamom, no orange zest, and thought it was the perfect subtle flavoring to go with the cherries and almonds.  I liked the tart with a little whipped cream and thought it held up just fine in the fridge for a couple of days, as we cut off slices after dinner and whittled it down to nothing.

I’m wishing now that I’d taken a side view photo of a slice.  It really was full of red cherries!  For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Blood Orange Tart

February 24, 2015 at 8:05 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 16 Comments
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blood orange tart

I only seem to get my hands on a few blood oranges each winter and when I do, I always think I should to do something special with them.  That’s why last week I took Dorie’s Pink Grapefruit Tart and turned it into a blood orange one.  This tart is a take on a favorite of hers called Pétale de Pamplemousse from Hugo & Victor, a swanky shop in Paris.  It has a sweet tart shell with a layer of lemon-almond frangipane cream hidden under a rich citrusy crémeux.  Frangipane we’ve done before, but crémeux is a pastry cream luxuriously enriched with heaps of butter and softly set with gelatin. These several steps each have their own wait times as well, so it’s best to spread the process out over two days.

OK, here’s where I ran into trouble on this one…I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat red meat so I try to avoid gelatin, too.  I also try to not get too crazy about it, because I’ve worked in kitchens for years and I know that gelatin gets slipped into things one would never even suspect.  But if I know it’s in there, I don’t go for it on a menu and I don’t make it at home.  The word “crémeux” is a tip-off that gelatin is involved (although some chocolate ones don’t need it to set), so I wanted to find my way around that to make this tart.  I tried agar-agar once, likely messed it up, and haven’t tried it again (although Zosia did and it looks great!).  I tried fish gelatin another time, had good success, but have since decided that I’m creeped out by it.  Poking around, I found that I had half a packet of a plant-based kosher gelatin in the cupboard.  I have absolutely no clue what I did with the other half of the packet…I remember buying the stuff but have no memory of using it….but it was about equal in amount to half the gelatin called for in the recipe, so I made a half-batch of everything (for a 7-inch tart) and added that to my cremeux base.  The next morning, however, my crémeux was still very loose, so either the setting ratio is different (the packet didn’t compare it to regular gelatin), or it was too old (I admit that I’d had it in the cupboard for quite a long time).  I broke down and brought home a leaf of sheet gelatin from work that night, scraped the cremeux back into the mixer, blitzed in the bloomed gelatin leaf and poured it straight into the crust to set.  Fine, that worked.

This tart was beautiful and perfectly delicious, and fresh citrus can certainly brighten up a frosty late Februaury day.  Dorie says you could omit the almond cream to skip a step and keep it simpler, but I really think the flavor adds a lot to the tart.  All that said, while I’m willing to tinker around with different gelatin alternatives (has anyone tried Natural Desserts Vegan Jel??), I’m not sure this will be a repeater for me.  If I make something this butter-heavy, generally I want it to be because frosting is involved…yeah, yeah, I’m a cake person.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

P.S.:  Enter my blogoversary GIVEAWAY here!

TWD Rewind: Honey-Almond Prune Tart

January 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Posted in groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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honey-almond prune tart

When Kayte chose a Honey-Almond Fig Tart for TWD pick last month, I didn’t bake the recipe because figs were out of season and I was drawing a blank on a good sub.  Then it dawned on me that prunes would be a delicious partner for a honey-almond cream tart…especially if those prunes were quickly poached in simmering red wine and that almond cream had a little orange zest in it.  So that’s exactly what I did.  And it was great.  I’m a fan of frangipane tarts (here’s another good one), and I could really taste the honey in this almond cream.  The prunes gave the tart a bit of sticky chewiness.

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or read Grandma’s Kitchen Table, as it was Kayte’s pick about a month ago.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Tarte Fine

September 28, 2010 at 12:37 am | Posted in groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 23 Comments

tarte fine

So, our move is done, and we are now residents of Fort Greene, Brooklyn!  Thanks for all the good wishes in your comments last time.  Apart from a couple chunks taken out of a hall wall by a dresser, all went surprisingly well.  We have moved five times in four years, so I’m pretty good at packing up by now, but I’m looking forward to not doing it again for at least another ten years!  Now to finish tackling the home improvements…

These Tartes Fines were the last TWD project to come out of my old apartment oven.  I had some puff pastry in the freezer already, so they were fast and so simple to crank out, which I really appreciated last week. (Thanks, Leslie!)  If you have made other puff and apple desserts, then you will know what a great combo these two things are.  Really browned and crisped puff is the way to go.  If you have either a little apple butter or almond frangipane hiding in the fridge, then a schmear underneath the apples is a nice extra touch. 

tarte fine

For the recipe for this super easy, yet totally elegant dessert, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, or read Lethally Delicious.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

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