Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BAKE 52: WEEK 29


It's my turn to host this week and I wanted something fresh and summery, so I went for the lattice-top peach pie.  I love using fruits in their season and summer has so many great ones to choose from that I was tempted to toss some raspberries in with the peaches, but since I'm hosting I decided to stick to the recipe.  I'm excited to see if anyone in the group mixed it up.  
I should get right to the recipe, but since I am the host, I'm going to first shamelessly brag about who I met this week and had autograph a ladle.  A soup ladle.  And he is a famous soup Chef--and he plays one on T.V.  Have you guessed yet?  If not, I'm sure you're all on the edge of your seats...

Here's the ladle...

Can you read it?  It say's, "No Soup for You!".  Yes, my claim to fame is through the Soup Nazi.  How cool is that?!

And here is a picture of me and my family with him...

I was shocked, SHOCKED I say, to find out as I went about bragging this week, that many a younger folk do not know who the Soup Nazi is!  Please, be shaking you head too.  It is a shame.  I went from cool to old in a matter of days.  Thank goodness for pie!  Pie is for the young and old, cool and those who thought they were cool.  

And this pie was totally cool and fun to make!  I didn't have a fluted pastry wheel to cut the edges of the lattice strips, so I experimented on ways to cut the dough to still make it fancy.  I used Play-Doh rollers and different paper cutter blades until I found a winner with the wavy removable blade.  It had a hole in the middle so I fit (fitted?) it onto a chopstick and rolled the edges of my lattice strips with it for a prettier look.  
The pie baked up lovely and was delicious!  I served it warm with vanilla ice cream.  I hope you all enjoyed this recipe!


1 recipe double-crust pie dough
There were a few pie crusts to choose from, but I went with the All-Butter Double-Crust Pie Dough (p.359). 

(I cheated here; we've done this crust before so I went to Valerie's blog a copied and pasted her recipe.  Thanks, Valerie!)

All-Butter Double Crust Pie Dough
1/3 cup ice water
3 T sour cream
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2oz) all-purpose flour
1 T sugar
1 tsp. salt
16 T (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces and frozen for 10 to 15 minutes.

Mix 1/3 cup of the ice water and sour cream together in small bowl until combined. Process the flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor until combined. Scatter the b utter pieces over the top and pulse the mixture until the butter is the size of large peas, about 10 pulses.

Pour half of the sour cream mixture over the flour mixture and pulse until incorporated, about 3 pulses. Repeat with the remaining sour cream mixture. Pinch the dough with your fingers; if the dough feels dry and does not hold together, sprinkle 1 to 2 T more ice water over the mixture and pulse until the dough forms large clumps and no dry flour remains, 3 to 5 pulses

Divide the dough into 2 even pieces. Turn each piece of dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Before rolling the dough out, let it sit on the counter to soften slightly, about 10 min.

For Pie Filling:

2 1/2 pounds (5-7) peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced 1/3 inch thick (Freestone peaches are recommended because the pits are more easily removed)
1-1 1/4  cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten


1.  Roll one disk of dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured counter, then fit it into a 9-inch pie plate, letting the excess dough hang over the edge; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2.  Roll the other disk of dough into a 13 1/2 by 10 1/2-inch rectangle, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Trim the dough to a 13 by 10-inch rectangle with straight edges, and following the photos on page 379, slice it lengthwise into eight 13inch-long strips.  Separate the strips slightly, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until very firm, about 30minutes.

3.  Toss the peaches and 1 cup of the sugar together in a large bowl and let sit, tossing occasionally, until the peaches release their juice, about 1 hour. (Add up to 4 more tablespoons of sugar if the peaches taste tart.)  Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position, place a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 425 degrees.

4.  Drain the peaches thoroughly through a colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice.  In a large bowl, toss the drained fruit, 1/4 cup reserved juice, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt together until well combined.

5.  Spread the peaches into the dough-lined pie plate and weave the chilled strips of dough over the top into a lattice.  Let the strips soften for 5 to 10 minutes, then trim, fold, and crimp the edges.  Lightly brush the lattice with the egg white and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

6.  Place the pie on the heated baking sheet and bake until the top crust is golden, about 25 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees, rotate the baking sheet, and continue to bake until the juices are bubbling and the crust is deep golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes longer.  Let the pie cool on a wire rack until the filling has set, about 2 hours; serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Individual Fallen Chocolate Cakes

I baked out of The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book (TATKFBB) (Why haven't I abbreviated that before?!) twice this week.  The first was for Bake 52: Week 28 - Cinnamon Rolls (scroll down for those).  But I needed to satisfy my chocolate craving after that, and what better than with fallen chocolate cakes--better know in my neck of the woods as chocolate lava cakes.  These little cakes were surprisingly easy and went fast. It made 8 individual cakes and I could have easily eaten all of them.  That is my goal for next time.  By the way, the picture didn't do these justice.  You can see the chocolate starting to ooze, but the next cut into it produced a flowing lake of gooey chocolate.  I had to hurry and add a scoop of ice cream to complete the yumminess!  Check out page 319 in TATKFBB for the recipe.

BAKE 52: WEEK 28


For Father's Day in our ward, the women supply pans of cinnamon rolls for the men.  It's my husband's favorite day and he samples all the pans.  I just happened to make this recipe for Father's Day and he said mine were the best.  Of course, I could have brought store-bought cinnamon rolls and he probably would have said the same.  He's not dumb.  However, I did think they turned out pretty darn good.  I thought they were super moist and fluffy.  I didn't care for the cloves in the filling though, so when I made them this time I omitted the cloves and liked that better.  I also tried a tip from Michelle; bake them individually in muffin tins. That was a great way for the kids to handle them, but I did miss the satisfaction that comes from pulling them apart.  Anyway, great recipe, and you can get it from our host, Valerie, at her blog HERE.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

BAKE 52: WEEK 27


This was a great pick for a hot summer day; fresh fruit, cold pastry cream, and a sugary crust.  The original recipe called for raspberries, not peaches, but Walmart just happened to have every fruit available except raspberries, so I went with what was in season, juicy peaches!  The recipe also calls for current or apply jelly to drizzle over the top, but since I was lacking in the jelly department, I went with what was in the fridge--caramel topping.  It added a pretty glazed look and, well--caramel and fruit--you really can't go wrong.  The tart crust was hard to serve without braking apart, but perhaps that is the nature of tart crust?  I ate it right away, but I wonder if I should have waited a few hours to let the cream soften the crust some.  But then the fruit might not have been as good.  Hmm. Anyway, this was first attempt at a tart, and I don't think it will be my last. This week, Michelle (from Bake 52) and I had fun baking together, so don't be surprised that our tarts look identical:)  Amanda was our host this week and you can get the recipe HERE, and see her fabulous version of the tart!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fourth of July Fun



I found these on Pinterest (HERE) and knew I had to make them.  I loved how the sugar crystals on top made them look like snow cones. And the cake inside matched the icing colors outside.  So fun!  The directions sounded easy enough so I gave it a go.  First you dye the batter, then spoon the batter into three different pastry bags, then tape the bags together so they are at the same level and simply fill the muffin cups. 

 Sounds simple enough, but I should have known better!  For some reason, me and pastry bags do not get along.  I get messy, my kitchen gets messy, my language gets messy.  As you can see, it looks like my three-year-old filled them.  Fortunately, they came out better than they went in.  

Once the icing and sugar crystals were on, they looked presentable.  And I was happy with how cute they looked when bitten into.  Plus, the kids gobbled them up, so that was good enough for me!

4th Of July TRIFLE

This was super easy and fun.  I bought little pound cakes and used a star cookie cutter to cut stars out.  I used the cake scraps and started layering them with the stars, strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream till I got to the top.  It went about as fast as it took to make it!


This was so cool (again, thank you, Pinterest)!  I never knew you could layer drinks, but you can!  I just wish I would have added more cranberry juice at the beginning so the layers were more even, but over all it was a neat effect.  And it came out purple; the kids thought it was magical.

The picture just wasn't doing it justice, so my cute dad tried to help me out by setting up a spotlight.  Thanks, dad, that looks pretty!

You can get the science and directions of it HERE.  
I had a lot of fun getting into the spirit of the Fourth with these fun recipes.  And I went to 2 BBQs!  What a great day!