Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

I was away last week and it felt very strange to be unable to bake for a whole week!  I missed the Apple Tart, but will make it up soon, I promise!

I was eager to bake today and realized that as simple as this week's pick for the TWD gang is, lemon zest seemed key. We haven't yet been to the grocery store and I wasn't all that eager to go.  I decided to substitute orange zest for the lemon as I just love the bright, happy aroma of the orange zest being worked into sugar.

The dough went together very easily and it was fun to roll it out in the plastic bag.  My bag did wrinkle a bit, but I decided if I can ignore the wrinkles in my aging face, I can certainly overlook a few faint wrinkles in cookie dough.

The wrinkles smoothed out in the baking and the cookies were thoroughly enjoyed as an after-dinner treat.  Thanks Valerie for this week's choice.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rewind! Lemon Custard

Although it is disappointing to have to pass on the Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp this week, (Sarah of Teapots and Cakestands chose this week for  the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers), you just can't make a rhubarb crisp without the rhubarb!  It is undoubtedly well into spring in other parts of the world, but there's no rhubarb to be found in Rochester, NY.

As a substitute for all that delicious red fruit, I decided to make Dorie Greenspan's lovely yellow Lemon Custard.
Zesting the lemon

Whisking the sugar and egg yolks.

Preparing the ramekins in their roasting-pan bath tub.

Skimming off the foam.

Baking the custards.

The delicious end product!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Coffee Ice Cream Tart (sans coffee)

One of the great things about Dorie Greenspan's book Baking from my Home to Yours, is that for most recipes, there's a little paragraph labeled "Playing around."  Here she provides suggestions for modifications to the recipe and encouragement to tweak the recipe to make it your own.

This week, Jessica of Domestic Deep Thought of the Day, chose Dorie's Coffee Ice Cream Tart for the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers.  I am not a fan of coffee but I am a fan of ice cream tarts, so I decided to play around a bit with this recipe.

I made half the crust recipe and two 4-inch tarts. The crust seemed a bit thick, but not unreasonably so.   After baking the tart shells, Dorie has you sprinkle on some finely chopped chocolate and spread it around as the chocolate melts.  This was fun! I used the lovely home-made vanilla ice cream that was still in the freezer and drizzled some hot fudge sauce on to decorate.

These little tarts were gorgeous and we had no difficulty eating them.  I think that I prefer Dorie's wonderful Sweet Tart Dough to this almond dough.  I really liked the layer of chocolate on top of the dough.  And I can easily imagine these being spectacular with mint chip ice cream.