Tag Archives: Baked goods

Cherry Almond Galette

Cherry Almond Galette

After a brief hiatus, we are back with yet another recipe for something sweet… and something tart… and something rich.  All in one.  The beginnings of this recipe were conceived when Marc brought home two very random ingredients, a jar of Morello cherries and a tube of almond paste.  These two things sat in our pantry for over two months as we contemplate how to use them.

Cutting in the butter

Then one day I found this recipe for a fig tart, and then this one for a pear and cherry tart.  The wheels started to turn and we starting thinking about making some type of cherry and almond tart.  However, that idea was soon shelved because we a) don’t have a good recipe for a tart crust and b) we don’t own a tart pan. 

Ready to assemble

Then Marc had a brainstorm… we could make the go-to sour cream pastry dough that we have used with great success for previous galettes.  We decided to spread the dough with the almond paste mixed with a little flour, sugar, butter, and eggs.  We topped the almond mixture with the drained cherries, folded the dough over and baked it until the dough was browned, the almond mixture was puffed, and the cherries were bubbling.

Galette ready to bake

This galette is a mix of sweet and sour, rich and fruity.  The almond paste is sweet, the cherries are tart and fruity, the pastry is rich and buttery.  Together, they make for a complex dessert that is sure to impress your guests.  Make sure to save the juice you drain from the cherries.  We reduced it until it was thick and syrupy and drizzled it over the finished galette.

Freshly baked

Cherry Almond Galette

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup frozen unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup ice water

6 ounces almond paste

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp almond meal (you can substitute with all-purpose flour)

3 ounces butter (salted or unsalted) cubed at room temperature

1 large egg plus 1 egg white at room temperature

1 27.4 ounce jar Dark Morello Cherries in Light Syrup (Trader Joe’s sells these, if you can’t find them, you need about 12 ounces of sour cherries), drained with syrup reserved

2 tbls heavy cream

1 tbls granulated sugar

softly whipped heavy cream (optional)

To Make:

The Pastry

Put the flour and salt in a bowl.  Add the butter and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice, and water and add half of this mixture to the flour mixture.  With your finger tips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form.  Remove the lumps and repeat the process with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture.  Pat all the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To assemble

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Using a mixer, beat the almond paste, flour, and sugar until crumbly.  Gradually beat in the butter, until smooth, and then beat in the egg and the egg white. 

Lightly flour a pastry board or other work surface.  Roll out the dough into a rough circle about 12 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick.  This does not need to be perfect, part of the charm of galettes is that they are rustic.

Spread the almond mixture on to the pastry, leaving a 2 inch border.  Place the drained cherries on the almond mixture.  Fold dough border over the cherries and almond mixture, pleating as necessary.  The center will be open.  Brush the exposed edges of the dough with the cream and sprinkle with the sugar.  Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet for 35-45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cherries are bubbly.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.  Remove to a cutting board.

While the galette is cooking, pour the reserved cherry syrup into a small saucepan.  Set the heat to medium-high and boil until the liquid is reduced by 3/4 and is syrupy.  Watch it closely as it gets to the end as it can go from syrupy to burned pretty quickly.

To Serve: 

Cut the galette into wedges.  Serve topped with softly whipped cream and drizzled with the cherry syrup.  Serves 8.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dessert, Recipes

Wayside Inn Corn Muffins

Wayside Inn Corn Muffins

And now for something a little different… something savory.  It seems like it has been all sweets, all the time around here lately.  I have been on a crazy cookie-making binge that finally seems to be coming to a close.  Rather than regale you all with even more sweet stuff, we thought we would share one of our favorite recipes for corn muffins. 

Muffin Batter

The recipe comes from the restaurant in Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA.  The Inn has been in existence since 1716 and is an historic landmark.  Down the road from the Inn is the historic grist mill that still grinds wheat and corn using the same process that has been used for centuries.  The stoneground corn meal that they produce is really delicious.  It has a light and fluffy consistency (unlike regular cornmeal which is like hard little pellets) and the flavor is much more corn-y.

Freshly Baked Corn Muffins

These muffins are a bit on the sweet side (which is how I like them) and have a bread-like texture.  It is worth it to seek out stoneground corn meal to use for these muffins as regular corn meal would change the texture.  Serve these up alongside some chili or another hearty stew. 

 Wayside Inn Corn Muffins

Recipe from Longfellow’s Wayside Inn 

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/3 cups stoneground corn meal

7 tsp baking powder

3 cups bread flour

1 1/2 cups cold milk

4 large eggs

1/2 cup neutral flavored vegetable oil

To Make:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all ingredients but the oil for three minutes, using either the first speed of your mixer or by hand.  Slowly add the oil as you continue to mix for another three minutes. 

Fill well greased muffin tins to 3/4 full.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

To Serve:

Serve warm or room temperature.  Makes 18 muffins.  If you are interested in a spicier option, add in 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped pickled jalapeno and 4 ounces softened cream cheese.  Yum.

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Filed under Baked goods, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Fudge Brownies

A Little Bowl of Heaven

A Little Bowl of Heaven

Fresh mint + cream + chocolate brownies = a little bit of heaven.  Anyone else agree?  Marc got an ice cream maker for Father’s Day and ever since we have been busy churning out batches of delicious homemade ice cream.  Most of our inspirations come from the fantastic David Lebovitz (who has a super food blog with Parisian flair) and his book, The Perfect Scoop

The ice creams in the book are divided into two main types, custard style and Philadelphia style.  Philadelphia style ice creams are pretty easy to make.  You simply mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth and don’t typically need to cook anything.  Custard-based ice creams, on the other hand, involve cooking cream and egg yolks (and other flavorings) to mak a custard base.  Making custard can be a little tricky because you have to temper the eggs to avoid making a not-so-appetizing mix of cream and scrambled eggs. 

We have been pretty lazy and have made only Philadelphia-style ice creams.  While they have been delicious, we finally decided we needed to put on the big kid undies and try out a custard.  We had a big bunch of fresh mint left over from a recipe earlier in the week, a quiet and rainy Sunday, and no ice cream in the freezer… it was time.

I am pleased to say that making the custard was pretty simple.  Nary a single egg yolk was scrambled.  Of course, it was absolutely necessary to make a pan of Dense Chewy Brownies to stir into the ice cream.  The brownies are amazing – rich, fudgy, and they still taste almost like the batter even when they are cooked. 

Did I mention there are chocolate chips in here?

Did I mention there are chocolate chips in here?

The mint ice cream is really nice.  The fresh mint adds an herbal, green flavor to the ice cream that traditional mint does not have.  The final result is absolutely delicious.

Churning the Mint Ice Cream

Churning the Mint Ice Cream

Since both of these recipes can only be found in The Perfect Scoop, and since we didn’t modify them at all, I am not going to post them here.  It somehow feels wrong to post recipes that aren’t available for free on the internet if you don’t make any changes.  Consider this your incentive to purchase the book.  You won’t be sorry.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dessert, Ice cream