Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Apple Cranberry Galette

1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled butter + 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons ice water (or more)

1 egg
1/2 tablespoon heavy cream (or milk)
sanding sugar

4 large granny smith apples
2/3 cups fresh cranberries
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Mix, flour, sugar and salt in food processor.  Add butter; pulse until course and crumbly.  Add water pulse until moist clumps form, add more water if needed.  Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill 2 hours.

While the dough is chilling make the filling.  Peel and cut the apples into very thin about 1/4 inch think, set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter at medium heat.  Once the butter is melted add lemon juice, sugar and spices. Cook the cranberries first without the apples.  Wait until they start "popping" and then remove from pan leaving the juices. Next cook apples until they are easily sliced with little pressure from your wooden spoon.  Remove from heat and add cranberries. (I thought the filling needed to be a little thicker so next time I would add a little cornstarch.)

Roll out the dough on a floured surface.  The dough should be about 1/2 thick, cut into 8 inch diameter circles (should make 4 circles, I tried making 2 bigger galettes instead of the 4 smaller, the smaller worked better) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place about 1/3 cup filling in the center of the circle and fold up edges of the dough in one direction.  Place a 1/2 tablespoon butter on the filling.  Beat the egg and cream, using a pastry brush, paint the sides of the galette with an eggwash and sprinkle with sanding sugar.  Bake for 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

*Recipe adapted from CakeSpy

Friday, February 12, 2010

High Altitude Baking

A friend asked me about baking at high altitudes and I thought it might be worth sharing some tips here as well.

1. Cut the leavening

Are your cakes falling?

Are your cookies spreading too far?

Are your breakfast breads overdone on the outside and raw in the middle?

High altitude baking will almost always be improved by cutting the leavening in baked goods. Three quarters of the original amount may be plenty of baking powder or soda if you are at 3,000 to 4,000 feet of elevation. If you are baking even higher than that, you can almost always automatically half the leavening called for in a recipe. Sometimes, you may even have to quarter the called-for amount to achieve ideal results.

2. Add flour

Can’t cut the leavening?

Sometimes, cutting the leavening is not an option. When you are using mixes that have pre-measured dry ingredients, your best bet is to add a little bit of flour. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of flour to a pre-measured mix, depending on your elevation. The additional flour will disperse the leavening in order to create a more uniform product at high altitudes.

3. Add liquid

Are your cakes crumbly and dry?

Whether or not you are adding flour to your recipes, some baked goods can tend to be over-dry at high altitude due to drier climates. The simple solution is to add more liquid. An additional egg or a quarter cup of additional liquid will work wonders in a dry cake or quick bread.

4. Cut rising time

Is your bread yeasty?

Are your cinnamon rolls too crusty and light?

Yeasted products can also suffer the ill effects of altitude. Because of the significantly reduced pressure above 3,000 feet, yeasted breads expand and rise much more quickly than at sea level. At very high altitudes, above 6,000 feet, breads may actually rise in half the prescribed time. To combat low quality breads at high altitude, monitor your dough carefully. Do not allow it to rise past double its original size. If you find that your bread’s flavor does not develop sufficiently in the reduced amount of time, you may punch it down and let it rise twice before shaping it. It is possible to have wonderful yeasted breads at high altitude!

I found these great tips online.  Epicurious also had some great thoughts on the subject.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Apple Cake

This is for all of you who have asked and asked for this recipe.  It is a crowd pleaser, especially warm out of the oven.  It also makes your house smell AMAZING!

1 1/3 c. oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 granny smith/gala apples (I prefer granny smith)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the oil, sugar and eggs until a light yellow.  Sift together in a separate bowl flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda, then mix into the yellow mixture.  Mix until just combined.  Peel, core and cut apples into roughly 1 inch pieces.  Add in apples, nuts and vanilla, mix.  Scoop batter into greased bundt pan (you can use other pans, bread, muffin, etc. - I prefer the bundt for this.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 70-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes and turn out onto a serving dish.  This is great plain, with ice cream, carmel sauce, whipping cream, etc.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound (16 oz) rotini or cavatappi pasta
2 cups whole milk
8 oz cream cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups (about 6-7 oz) grated smoked gouda

While the pasta is cooking. Combine the milk, cream cheese, butter, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally until, melted and well combined. In a large bowl or pan, mix the drained pasta, milk mixture and the cheese and stir. Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish and bake until the macaroni is set and the top is golden brown. About 25 minutes.

Mine is not so "golden brown" because the kids just couldn't wait.

Simple, but yummy!


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