Tag Archives: pastry dough

Apple Dumplings

Apple Dumplings

Apple Dumplings

As I mentioned in my last post, we are hosting Thanksgiving this year and working hard at menu planning.  One interesting fact about Thanksgiving with Marc’s family is that it is mandatory that there are nearly as many desserts as there are adults joining us for the meal.  Marc’s mother is a great baker and his sister is a trained pastry chef so you can imagine how high the dessert bar is set.  So in addition to the obligatory pumpkin pie, we have a whole bunch of great desserts planned, including this one.

Fresh Apples

Fresh Apples

Of course, many people go the apple pie route.  It’s a great choice and a Thanksgiving classic.  We love apple pie around these parts which is one of the reasons why this recipe is a family favorite.  It has all the flavors of apple pie – the flaky pastry, the apple, and the sweet cinnamon-infused sauce – but in a neat little individual package.  Because the apples are whole you save time chopping and you only have one crust to manage (which makes life just that much easier).

Apples waiting for their wrapping

Apples waiting for their wrapping

This recipe is the one that my mother-in-law has been making for years.  It is delicious as is so we really didn’t make many changes.  If you like, you could increase the spices a little bit, maybe adding a dash of cloves for a little spicy flavor.  But really, this recipe is as good as it gets, just the way it is.  Make sure to have some vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream on hand for serving.  After all, it is Thanksgiving.

Pouring the sauce

Pouring the sauce

Apple Dumplings

Recipe from Charlene Marino

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups sugar, plus additional for sprinkling if desired

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbls butter, plus more for dotting the apples

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup lard (or shortening)

1/2 cup milk

6 medium apples, peeled and cored

To Make:

First, make a simple syrup by combining the sugar, water, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium sauce pan.  Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Remove the syrup from heat and add 3 tbls of butter and the vanilla.  Stir until combined and set aside.

To make the pastry, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in the lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add milk all at once and stir until flour is just moistened.  Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and roll dough into a 12×18 inch rectangle.  Cut the pastry into 6, 6-inch squares.

To assemble the dumplings start by placing an apple on each dough square.  Sprinkle apples generously with sugar, cinnamon, and freshly ground nutmeg and dot with butter.  Moisten edges of pastry, bring corners to the center of the apple, and pinch the edges together.

Place the wrapped apples about 1 inch apart in an ungreased baking pan.  Pour syrup over dumplings and sprinkle with more cinnamon and sugar if desired.  Bake in a 375 degree oven until the apples are tender, about 35 minutes.

To Serve:

Serve warm with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.  Serves six.  Recipe can be doubled.  Also, if you want your dumplings really saucy, feel free to double the syrup.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dessert, Fruit, Recipes

Potato and Onion Quiche

Potato and Onion Quiche

Alex, I’ll take “Stereotypical Myths – Fact or Fiction” for $200.

A:  Real men don’t eat quiche

Q:  What is fiction?

Roasted potatoes and onions

Of course it’s fiction.  Real man absolutely eat quiche.  As a kid, I never liked eggs.  However, put a piece of my mother’s bacon, onion, and tomato quiche in front of me and I’d be stuffing it in as quick as possible so I could get to the last piece before my father could.  Today, I serve quiche to my three old and bill it as “egg pie”.  Thing One hears “pie” and will devour it, regardless of the ingredients involved.

Ready to bake

One of the best thing about quiche is that you can unleash your creativity and the sky is the limit for what you can include.  The most important rule to keep in mind is that less is more.  Pick two or three good quality ingredients and let the taste shine through.  My wife and I have made a lot of quiches in our lives but this one is one of the most delectable we have tried.  The usage of creme fraiche and sour cream instead of cream or milk adds a wonderful tangy richness to the quiche while still keeping the egg light and tender.  This base works well for any combination of ingredients.  For this recipe, we were inspired by the Spanish tortilla (a potato and egg dish traditionally served as tapas) and put roasted potatoes and onions in the quiche base.  Because of the richness of the quiche, you don’t really even need to add cheese, though it certainly doesn’t hurt.

Freshly baked

Potato and Onion Quiche

Ingredients:

Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp sugar

1/4 cup lard

12 tbls butter (1 and 1/2 sticks)

ice cold water

Quiche Filling

1 small potato

2 medium onions

3 eggs

8 oz (weight) creme fraiche

6 oz (weight) sour cream

2 oz mild cheddar cheese, shredded

To Make:

Crust

This recipe makes a top and bottom pie crust.  The quiche only uses half the dough so feel free to freeze half for a later date, or cut the ingredients in half and make one crust.

Whisk flour and sugar together in a bowl.  Cut the butter into small pieces.  Add the butter and lard to the flour sugar mixture.  Using a pastry blender, cut the lard and butter into the flour until the mixture resembles course bread crumbs.  Slowly, drizzle in the ice water a few tablespoons at a time until the dough comes together into a large ball.  If you are making a full recipe, cut the dough in half.  Form each half into a thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Quiche

Combine the potato and onions with salt and pepper and toss with olive oil.  Roast in a 350F oven for about 45 minutes, stirring them around every so often.  Set aside.  The crust and vegetables can be done up to a day ahead.  If making ahead, refrigerate the potatoes and onions.  Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature before adding to the quiche.

When you are ready to bake the quiche, roll out your pastry dough in a round large enough to fill a deep dish 9″ pie plate.  Place the dough in the pie plate and scatter the onions and potatoes over the crust.  In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.  Stir in the sour cream and creme fresh.

Roll out your pastry dough to fill a 9″ pie plate.  Place the dough in the pie plate.  Add in the roasted potatoes and onions.  Add the shredded cheese.  Added the egg, creme fresh, and sour cream mixture.  Bake 40 minutes at 350F, until the center is barely set.

To Serve:

Serve immediately (hot) or later (room temp) or the next day (cold from the fridge).  This makes a great brunch, lunch, or dinner option.  Serves 4-6.

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Eggs, Recipes, Vegetarian

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