Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Normandy Apple Tart & Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie Tart

We are on the home stretch in baking through Dorie Greenspan's fabulous book, Baking from my Home to Yours.  Since I joined the Tuesdays with Dorie crowd after they got  started, I had already begun to bake some of the recipes.  That's the deal with this week's two tarts.

I baked the Normandy Apple Tart for New Year's Day 2010.  It was very apple-y and very beautiful.  The thing I remember about this tart is the lovely applesauce which is spread on the lovely sweet tart crust.  And how gloriously beautiful the tart is.  For the recipe, scoot on over to Tracey's Culinary Adventures.
Normandy Apple Tart

I also baked the Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie/Tart last year.  Pumpkin pie is not my favorite dish, but boy did people love this.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture!  The filling made quite a bit more than would fill the crust, but I baked it up in custard cups and people ate it right up.  For the recipe, check with Judy of Judy's Gross Eats.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Dorie's Favorite Pecan Pie

For Thanksgiving, I baked Dorie Greenspan's Favorite Pecan Pie, one of the last of the recipes in her great book, Baking from My Home to Yours.   In her comments, Dorie says that she has thought that most pecan pies are too sweet and so she kept experimenting until she figured out  how to make a non-sweet pecan pie.  The secret is to add bittersweet chocolate and 2 teaspoons of espresso powder.

People loved this pie!

I was disappointed in the shrinking crust, but I knew it would taste great.
Mixing up the filling

Adding in the pecans
Covering the already browned crust rim

The end result!  Puffy and yummy!
With my traditional apple pie and its crumb topping.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bittersweet Brownies and Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte

As I close in on the last couple of dozen recipes in Dorie Greenspan's fabulous book, Baking from My Home to Yours, I am trying to bake the choices of the Tuesdays with Dorie gang and also catch up by baking some recipes that were chosen before I joined the group.

This week, I baked Bittersweet Brownies (one of the TWD selections) and Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte (my catch-up recipe).  First off, I got out lots of butter and eggs and allowed them to come to room temperature.

Getting ready with eggs and BUTTER
The brownies are easy to make with butter, sugar, melted bittersweet chocolate and just a little flour.  There are no nuts in this recipe, but the texture of the finished product is so wonderfully fudgy that I didn't miss the nuts.  I cut them in gorgeous pieces . . . .but you'll just have to take my word for it because I neglected to get a picture before they were consumed by the attendees of our contra dance planning committee!

The Torte has a lovely pre-baked crust which is supposed to go up the sides of a spring form pan.  It's chilled, then partially baked while lined with form-fitting foil and pie weights.  What happened to my crust, however, was that the sides squished down so I couldn't pour in as much of the filling as I wanted to.  There is a layer of cherry preserves on the crust, then the cream cheese/eggs/cottage cheese/vanilla filling.

Baking the crust
It was super tasty, although my "hidden" berries snuck up to the top.

A little bit of cherry preserves sneaking out

A lovely week of baking!  Next time, I'll try to remember to keep my camera handy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Far Breton

Two great advantages of baking through Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking from My Home to Yours, are learning some new techniques (it's so much fun to set something on fire!), and baking creations that are beloved in other parts of the world but previously unknown to me.  Such is the case with this week's pick, a Far Breton.  It's a lovely pudding-y cake with prunes that have been soaked in Armagnac.  It was so much fun to light the cognac and watch the lovely blue flames burn away the alcohol, leaving only the amazing taste behind.

I took this to my weekly brunch and the gentlemen were particularly pleased with it.

Going into the oven

Coming out of the oven

Ready to serve