Category Archives: baking

Happy Fourth!

Make-It Monday goes to the kitchen this week for a Fourth of July tart! It’s just perfect (go figure, it’s from Martha)!  Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!

berry_tart

For the crust:
5 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
2 cup (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup ice water

For the creme fraiche filling:
2 packages cream cheese (8 ounces each), room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces creme fraiche
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

For the tart:
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup apricot jam, for glazing blueberries
1/2 cup raspberry jam, for glazing raspberries
2 tablespoons water
2 pints red raspberries
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1 pint blueberries, picked over

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Strawberry Pie

Oh strawberry pie, how have I never heard of you or thought that you might be the most delicious concoction I’ve ever tasted?  I just don’t know, but I sincerely apologize for neglecting to make you until now!

If you’ve never had strawberry pie (obviously, I hadn’t – I know, I must be living in the hole), please run, don’t walk, to the grocery store and/or market to get the supplies for this most scrumptious dessert!  I promise, you’ll be wondering why you waited so long to make this!

Last week after returning from the National Stationery Show in NYC, we were driving by Mom’s Apple Pie in Leesburg and there was a giant strawberry cutout sitting by the side of the road and a sign for Strawberry Pie in the window.  We meant to stop, but then forgot, but once I remembered, I couldn’t get the thought of strawberries nestled inside a pie crust out of my head, so I had to find a recipe STAT.  Here’s the recipe I put together using a strawberry pie filling recipe from Cook’s Country and my Cornmeal Pie Crust.


Crust
I used my Cornmeal Pie Crust recipe.

Filling
2 pounds frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin

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Royal Wedding Watching Scones

I’ve shared this recipe before, but it’s one of my favorites and will be perfect for the Royal Wedding Watching Party I’m attending at 3am!  If ginger and pecans aren’t your thing, try my recipe for Chocolate Scones.  Read more about the Royal Wedding food on Epicurious.com.

Ginger Pecan Scones
3 3/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 1/4 cups whole milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In the food processor, combine the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder.  Add the butter and process until the butter has been cut into the flour mixture and you can still see little pea-sized pieces.  Add the ginger, pecans and milk.  Process only until the mixture comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and flatten to 1 inch thick.  Use a cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to make into rounds.  Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with sanding sugar, if you like.

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden brown.

Serve with whipping cream and fresh fruit, or just dig in with a little butter right when they come out of the oven.

Enjoy!

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Mardi Gras… a little late!

I surprised my husband with a trip to New Orleans the first weekend in February, which happened to be the start of the Mardi Gras celebration in the Crescent City!  From fried oysters with brie at Clancy’s to Muffulettas at Cochon Butcher to a new retail vendor for Haute Papier in The Stationer New Orleans to macarons and king’s cake at Sucre to the irresistible beignets at Cafe du Monde, it was a wonderful glutenous and relaxing trip!

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Cafe du Monde Beignets

I’ve been saving this one for ya… After a trip to New Orleans at the beginning of February, I knew I had to wait until today – Fat Tuesday – to share this recipe inspired by the deliciousness beyond coasted in powdered sugar from Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans’s legendary bakery.  Bon Appetit!

Cafe Du Monde Inspired Beignets
makes about six dozen

1 envelope active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115F)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening
6-7 cups bread flour
vegetable oil for frying
sifted powdered sugar Continue reading

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Wake Up with FREE Muffins!

Between 8 and 11am on Tuesday, February 1, stop by Red Velvet Cupcakery in Dupont for a sampling of their new muffin line – which will be available for purchase every morning – including these Banana Nut Muffins (think roasted bananas, toasted black walnuts and rolled oats).

Other flavors include Scrumptious Apple Bran, a heart-healthy mix of raisins and apples, a hint of fresh pineapple and warming spices and Bits of Heaven, a classic chocolate chip recipe topped with streusel.  In the coming months, the store will offer additional seasonal flavors, like apple cinnamon and blueberry.  Muffins are priced at $2.65 each and $30.00 per dozen.

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Walnut Fig Sandwich Cookies

This is a recipe I tested for The Post a few weeks ago that completely surprised and delighted me!  I love figs, but didn’t think I’d like the walnut cookie part as much as I did.  The recipe is very similar to a shortbread, and the nuttiness of the walnuts gave it a rich, graham cracker feel.  It’s a great addition to your Christmas platter!

Walnut Fig Sandwich Cookies

For the cookies

  • 1 cup walnut halves, toasted (see NOTE)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached flour, plus more for working the dough
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (see headnote)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg

For the filling

  • 8 ounces (about 13) dried Calimyrna figs (tough stems removed), chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Peel (without pith) from 1/2 orange
  • 1 cup water

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