Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bubble Eclairs

Eclairs always look so fancy in the pastry shop window, but having a little experience baking from Dorie Greenspan's books made me confident that mine would both taste great and look fabulous.

Cream puff dough is surprisingly easy to make and I am so happy that I own OXO cookie scoops because I was able to scoop up three "bubbles" with no problem.

Because there were only three of us for dinner, I made just four eclairs, then scooped out the rest of the dough to be frozen and baked later this week for my birthday celebration treats!

I topped our bubble eclairs with crackle top cookies and filled them with ice cream and chocolate sauce.  Then each of us had one, then 1/3 more and they were gone!  Will bake up the frozen ones on Saturday and I'm sure they will be a hit.


To see what the other Tuesday with Dorie bakers did this week, click here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cherry Crumb Tart

I am committed to baking through Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi, with the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers, but I missed the July bakes!  The first miss was due to an absence of apricots, and the second was due to an absence of me (vacation).  But I am home now and happy to be back on the baking bus.

This week's recipe is a Cherry Crumb Tart.  Dorie introduced me to baking tarts in Baking from My Home to Yours and I love them because they are beautiful, parts of them can be made ahead, and above all, they are delicious.  The Cherry Crumb Tart was a bit of a project, but it was thoroughly enjoyable to bake.

Dorie suggests using a square tart pan and I had to resist the urge to walk down to the nearby Cook's World and buy one.  But I already own a variety of round tart pans so decided I'd make due with what I had.

In this new book, Dorie says she likes to roll out the tart dough.  I've grown quite fond of her alternative method which is to pat the dough into the pan so that's what I did here.  Once it was in the freezer, I started on the other components of the tart.

I made the streusel topping, using the optional orange zest.  At first I thought the amount of zest would make the topping too orange-y but of course it was just the right amount of tanginess on the finished tart.

Once the streusel was in the refrigerator I made the filling, which was quite easy to do once I found the almond flour which I had sensibly hidden in the freezer.  Since I had the food processor out, I intended to use that but discovered that there was so little butter (only 6 Tbsp.) that the whirling blade didn't reach the butter so I got out my reliable stand mixer.  Using the right tool made it easy.  I intended to use vanilla but after searching through the little bottles of alcohol--all of which we have acquired for cooking and baking--I found the kirsch so in it went.

Later in the day I partially baked the tart shells, then pitted the cherries.  My mother owned a really wonderful cherry pitter which I still have.  Unfortunately, it seems to be missing a critical piece on the pit-plunger so it no longer works!  The hand-held OXO pitter is  functional, but it's not as cool to splat the cherry pits into a bowl as it is to plunk them into a mason jar.

Filling on the partially baked tart shell

My old cherry pitter and the new OXO
The pitted cherries
Tart into the oven
I assembled the tart except for the streusel and popped it into the oven.  I wish I'd taken a picture of how it looked when the filling puffed up around the cherries before I added the streusel.  It was beautiful!

Out of the oven
The finished tart was also beautiful and everyone enjoyed it after dinner.  Another winner as far as I'm concerned.
Onto the serving plate

Click here to see what the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers have to say about this tart and rush right out to buy Baking Chez Moi if you want this recipe and lots more fabulous recipes from Dorie Greenspan.