TWD – Blueberry Pie

This week Amy of South in Your Mouth selected Double Crusted Blueberry Pie.  You can find the recipe on pages 361- 363.  I’ve been getting some great berries this summer and couldn’t wait to try my least favorite in a pie.  The dough used for this pie is the Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough.  Even though I had all my ingredients chilled, the butter and shortening were actually frozen I had a VERY hard time rolling out the dough. It was extremely sticky and hard to work with even after chilling.  I finally managed to get the crust in the pie plate and on top of the pie with some patch work having to be done.

As you can see the dough sort of sunk onto the pie since it was so sticky.  I actually like the look of it and thought that the dough was very tender once baked, especially with the blueberry filling it absorbed.

My husband and I both very much enjoyed this pie.  He mashed his up into a bowl of vanilla ice cream and I had mine plain.  My least favorite berry turned into on of my favorite berry pies!

TWD – Chocolate Pudding

This week Melissa from Its Melissas Kitchen has picked Chocolate pudding!  I’ve only made pudding once before from scratch.  When I was reading through the recipe I was surprised to see that it was made in a food processor and not entirely on the stove.  I gathered up all my ingredients and started following the recipe.  It was so fun to make even if it was a bit messy.

The finished pudding was unbelievably velvety and smooth.  Almost like a mousse.  I had one left over and even used it as a cake filling it was so delicious!

TWD: Apple Cheddar Scones – 7/1

This week’s TWD recipe was chosen by Karina of The Floured Apron. I had never made scones before so was excited to try something new again. The dough came together very easily and just as Dorie said it would. I used extra-sharp cheddar which added a great bite to the scones. The dried apple added just the right amount of sweetness and chewiness.

I ate the scones at room temperature as Dorie suggested. They were nice and light with a nice texture. These would be great with apple butter or jam.

TWD: Mixed Berry Cobbler – 6/24

My apologies for my tardiness on posting this. I actually baked this during the correct week and then my husband’s grandmother passed away keeping us a little more preoccupied then usual.

This recipe was chosen by Beth of Our Sweet Life. My favorite desserts have fruit in them and I especially love anything with berries. While reading the comments of the other Tuesday with Dorie bakers about the crust being very bland I thought of different variations to make it more interesting but ultimately decided to stick to the recipe as is and then change anything after making it a second time. I was pleasantly surprised with the crust and thought it did a great job of soaking up all the berry juice while staying moist on the bottom and crisp on the top.

My husband and I both enjoyed the Mixed Berry filling as well. I chose a frozen mix of Raspberries, Blackberries and Blueberries. It was a wonderful combination of tart and sweet. The fruit held up well and created a lovely sauce that was a perfect consistency. Not too thick and not too thin. A little lemon zest brought all the flavors together beautifully.

I’ll definitely make this cobbler again with different fruits and flavors added into the crust.

Barefoot Bloggers – Pasta, Pesto & Peas

One of the reasons I was so excited to join Barefoot Bloggers was to try out new dishes that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. Our fist dish was chosen by Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food and it was definitely not something I would have picked myself. Neither my husband or I are huge fans of Pesto but with the addition of the Spinach and the Peas it sounded great and I was happy to try out a new recipe.

I cut the recipe in 1/2 since the original made a ton and we still had a lot left over. I had leftover grilled chicken from our dinner last night so I cut that up and added it to my husbands to give him the extra protein.

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas
(Source: Ina Garten “Barefoot Contessa Parties!” p.98 and the show Barefoot Contessa)

Yield: 12 servings

3/4 pound fusilli pasta
3/4 pound bow tie pasta
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cups pesto, packaged or see recipe below
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise (I used low-fat)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignolis, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

Pesto:
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.

To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.

Yield: 4 cups

TWD – La Palette’s Strawberry Tart

This week’s recipe was chosen by Marie at A Year in Oak Cottage. I was thrilled this was a Strawberry recipe as my husband and I had plans to go Strawberry picking. I couldn’t wait to turn our amazingly sweet and juicy strawberries into this rustic tart.

Fruit tarts are among my favorite desserts and this one was perfect with it’s cookie-like crust. The dough is a sweet tart dough with a great crumbly texture. The recipe calls for you to fill the tart with Strawberry jam and then pile in as many berries as will fit. I used Strawberry-Rhubarb Preserves that I got at the farm stand where we did our picking. The Rhubarb added a wonderful tart dimension to compliment the super sweet freshly picking strawberries.

I cut the tart first and then layered on the preserves and topped with as many strawberries as I could fit! The traditional La Palette tart is served with Crème fraîche and topped with cracked black pepper.

I’ll definitely be keeping this sweet tart dough handy so that I can make these wonderful tarts with a variety of fruits and flavors throughout the summer.

TWD – French Chocolate Brownies

This weeks Tuesday’s with Dorie recipe is French Chocolate Brownies chosen by Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook. My first thought was, “a French Brownie?” What exactly makes a brownie French and what nationality are all the other brownies?? All joking aside I was excited to try out a new Brownie Recipe and this one was quite different from any other I’ve tried before. They were intensely rich and fudgy.

French Chocolate Brownies
(Source: Dorie Greenspan “Baking: From My Home to Yours pages 92-93)

-Makes 16 brownies-

Ingredients
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you’re using it.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It’s important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you’ve got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them—it’s better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.

Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated—you’ll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds—the dry ingredients won’t be completely incorporated and that’s fine. Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raisins along with any liquid remaining in the pan.

Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.

Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.

Serving: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they’re even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!

Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

The French Verdict: Very little flour and a delightful crackling crust on the top!

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