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Archive for the ‘Pies and Tarts’ Category

We had a big bag of Bing cherries from our cherry U-pick back in last May, sitting at the bottom of my freezer. In an attempt to clean it out of my freezer in a glorious way, I had planned to make cherry pie as dessert, to go with Honey Baked Ham dinner on Christmas Day.

Perfect, right?

NO!…..

I got sick… (and never been happier that Walgreen is open on Christmas Day!)

Needless to say, no pie on Christmas Day.

And then my children were taking turn getting sick. My pie mood was fading away, just thinking about the hassles of making two pie crust, fitting into pie pan, seal the edge, slit the top… (and cross my fingers that bottom crust is not soggy when it’s baked)… All too much for just making a cherry pie.

Then I suddenly thought of ONE word: GALETTE– The easy, open face pie with a rustic look. Yes!

I walked to the kitchen, put on my apron, rolled up my sleeves…

Hours later, five happy satisfied faces walking out of the kitchen. Happy New Year!

Sweet Cherry Galette

Sweet Cherry Galette (yields 1 galette, 4-6 serving)

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cup flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter– dice into small cubes and freeze until ready to use
3-5 tbsp ice water

For the Filling:
4 cups Bing cherries, pitted (see note below)
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tbsp cornstarch

1 egg– beaten for egg wash
Turbinado sugar– for sprinkle on top

Method:

  1. Sift flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Add frozen butter. Use fingers to break butter apart and rub into flour, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Add just enough ice water, one tbsp at a time, until the dough just incorporated. Do not knead. Shape the dough into a disc. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. Combine all filling ingredients in a different bowl.
  4. Roll out chilled pie dough to 12-14 inch diameter. Piling cherries to the center of the dough using a spoon. Spoon in 1 tbsp of the juice if desired but not all, as it will flood the galette, thus higher chance of soggy crust. Use a paper towel to soak up the juice if it’s flowing out the dough.
  5. Fold in the edge of the dough. Apply egg wash over the edge and sprinkle turbinado sugar. Bake in preheated 425F oven for 35-45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Regina’s Note:

  • Butter: To produce flaky baked goods like pies, scones and biscuits, butter needs to be chilled and worked quickly into flour (so it will remain cold). I like to dice my butter into small cubes then freeze it before use. I take the frozen butter cubes (straight from freezer) and break apart in the flour. The small cube size not only speeds up freezing time, but also makes it easy to break apart/rub in flour even just with fingers.
  • Cherries: If you use frozen cherries like I did, be sure to thaw the cherries first. Drain the juice really well, because when lemon juice and sugar were added later, more liquid will draw out.
  • Baking position: Although the bottom crust wasn’t soggy, it could be browned more. Next time I should try changing baking position– bake galette at lower rack for maybe 25 minutes to brown bottom crust, then switch to upper rack for remaining baking time to brown the top.

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Hi all! I am excited to tell you that I was invited to be a guest blogger on my friend, Luisa Ormonde’s blog– Tales of Three Bakers. It is my very first guest blog and I feel very honorable. The recipe I chose was chocolate hazelnut tart. I am only posting the pictures here, for recipe please visit her website 🙂

I met Luisa through the Nishihiras, close friends of our family. She is a very good cook, and runs a gourmet food catering business. We are always drooling over the pictures of delicious food that she made. If you have catering needs for any occasions, check out her catering website. I am sure you won’t be disappointed!

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

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My neighbor gave me some lemons, and I just happened to have a little sour cream leftover, so I decided to make a lemon tart. This is by far one of my best tart crust recipe (actually it’s same ingredients as in my Tarte aux Noix II). The crust has a much flakier/crumbly crunchy texture (even eaten the next day) than traditional pastry recipes that call for cold butter and cold water. Tips: don’t fork the dough too hard, or the filling will leak through the crust and the tart will stick to the pan. Also, always place a baking tray under the tart while baking to prevent leaked filling dripping down to the bottom of the oven.

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart Recipe (makes one 9.5 inch tart)

Ingredients:

for Crust:
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter– softened
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp beaten egg
1/2 cup toasted ground almond
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

for Filling:
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp sour cream
4 eggs– beaten

powder sugar for dusting

Method:

Prepare crust:

  1. Whisk butter with a hand whisk until smooth and creamy, add sugar and continue whisking until fluffy. Add beaten eggs, one tbsp at a time, and mix well. Sift in 1/3 of combined dry ingredients (flour, ground almond and salt). Use a spatula to gently mix to combine. Sift in remaining dry ingredients in 2 batches, but use the spatula to gently stir and press down so the dough will stick together to form a dough.
  2. Transfer dough onto a work surface cover with large sheet of plastic wrap. Pat dough into a disc of 1 inch thick, then place another large sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough (this is to keep work surface cleaner, see picture 1). Use a rolling pin, roll out the dough large enough to cover the bottom of tart pan, plus extra 1.5 inch extra around the bottom tart pan for the side of tart shell (place the removable tart pan bottom on top of roll out dough– plastic wrap will keep the pan clean).
  3. Remove the top plastic wrap and carefully flip the dough into greased tart pan (at this point the bottom plastic wrap will end up on the top, see picture 2). Peel away the remaining plastic wrap and tuck in/trim the over hang dough (picture 3 & 4).
  4. Prick the bottom with a fork. Blind bake in preheated 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden, piercing with fork if crust bubbles. Cool crust on rack for 15 minutes before adding filling.

Prepare filling:

  1. Add lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in sour cream. Slowly pour in beaten eggs and whisk to blend well. Strain the mixture into the cooled crust.
  2. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 30-35 minutes until the filling is set. Cover the crust edge with foil if it browns too quickly. Cool tart completely in the pan on a rack then chill in the fridge. Dust with powder sugar before serving.

Regina’s Note:

  • For the pastry, make the side of the tart slightly taller than the rim since it will shrink after baking.
  • To prevent lemon tart from sticking to the tart pan, always grease the tart pan, and don’t prick the dough too hard, or the filling will leak through the crust.
  • Always place a baking tray under the tart pan while baking, this will help transporting the tart and also to prevent leaked filling dripping down onto the oven racks.
Making almond tart shell-- picture 1.

Making almond tart shell-- picture 1

Making almond tart shell-- picture 2

Making almond tart shell-- picture 2

Making almond tart shell-- picture 3

Making almond tart shell-- picture 3

Making almond tart shell-- picture 4

Making almond tart shell-- picture 4

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