Tag Archives: dessert

Christmas Quilted Pastry

More Quilted Pastry! My son loves these. Filling: organic heavy cream, arrowroot powder, ground walnuts, anise, cinnamon, turbinado sugar, organic cherries. A little pre-Christmas spice to get us in the holiday mood. For a holiday we don't celebrate!

For the original Quilted Pastry post, click here.  For the laminated pie dough recipe used in this cookie, click here.

I have been buying produce from the discount carts at Ward's lately. You can tell I am in Florida because everything is pre-packaged. What is up with that, I have no idea. But it occurs at epidemic proportions. Anyway, these organic cherries were massively reduced. They weren't firm for eating but they weren't squishy rotten either. Just a little imperfect here and there. No matter. Baked fruit is forgiving. Cherries, thank you for accepting my apology.

I had leftover pie dough from when I made the pumpkin pie for The Client*. Organic whole wheat pastry flour and organic butter pretty much sum up the ingredients here. For my own family, I rolled it out using organic white spelt.

*By the way, this blog has been graced by The Client’s own remarks! He loved the pie. Thought you should know.

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Recipe : Eggless Pumpkin Pie

Eggless Pumpkin Pie. For The Client. All organic food rules apply.

 

The Client is back! Not permanently back in my life, but back from some international travel. A few days ago he Facebooked me from India asking if I could have a pumpkin pie ready for him on the 10th, since he missed Thanksgiving. Of course, all The Client’s food rules applied: all organic, whole wheat, sucanat, no soy, no aluminum. As if I would forget!

I am indiscriminately loading pie pics to this post. Since the pie was for sale, there was no slicing it up for the camera. Nevertheless, I will give you whatever I’ve got, including the recipe.

 

RECIPE : EGGLESS PUMPKIN PIE

*Laminated Pie Crust Recipe (click here)

The first thing to do is begin the pie dough. even if you are not laminating your pie dough, it is a good idea to make your dough and stick it in the fridge so it is cold when you are rolling it out. The pie dough can even be made a couple of days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Leftover dough can be frozen for later use.

INGREDIENTS

1 pie pumpkin

1/2 c arrowroot powder

1 cup heavy whipping  cream

2 cups sucanat

big pinch o’ salt

1 tablespoon butter

2 tspn ground cinnamon

1/2 tspn nutmeg

1/2 tspn ground ginger

pinch o’ cloves

1/2 tspn cardamom

 

1) Wash outside of pumpkin, removing any stickers. Slice in half, bake at 400 on a cookie sheet for about an hour or until a knife easily pierces pumpkin.

2) Remove pumpkin from oven, cool, remove seeds and strings. Much easier to do after pumpkin is cooked than before. Baking of pumpkin can be done hours or even as much as a day ahead of time

3) Preheat oven to 400. Combine in bowl or food processor the scooped out pumpkin and all the other ingredients.

4) Roll out pie dough and press into pie plate.

5) Pour mixture into pie plate, evenly spreading.

6) Put pie in oven. Reduce heat to 350. Bake for one hour. Remove from oven to cool.

7) Serve pie once cooled.

Love my Ikea pie plate!

In the past I’ve baked my pies in a 9″ pyrex pie plate, a new skool Jadeite pie plate and in a Fiestaware pie plate. They are all rather deep dishy. But on a recent voyage to the Swedish Embassy, aka Ikea, I purchased the 11″ SMARTA pie plate for seven dollars and seven dollars ONLY (plus tax). It is more quichey and I have no idea how easily the pie scoops out since I left the honor of cutting to The Client, but I love that it is not as deep. Seems like a more even bake. Next time I get my passport stamped at Ikea, I am definitely picking up a few more of these. The simple white design is perfect for food photographing and the priset är rätt! Also, I’m seriously thinking of stockpiling them for thrifty gifts.

Don’t feel like you can’t repeat pumpkin pie for your Christmas dessert table. As long as they are selling fresh pumpkins in the store, the season is right for this pie!

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Quilted Pastry Bars

Better than pop tarts...

While a French pastry chef I am not, a fridge of leftover this n’ thats inspired me to come up with something a little different, a little divine, a little buttery and a lot perfect. This delicate pastry is subtle and sweet, flaky and fabulous, rich and relishable. I didn’t write up any recipe, but I will surely revisit this in the future, as it was such a hit with the family. Eggless dairy and full vegan recipes to come!

Another use for my leftover laminated pie dough. I generously floured the work surface and the dough and rolled and rolled and rolled. I actually don't think I will be using the pasta maker much anymore, aside for cutting noodles. And entertaining the kids.

More leftovers. I combined half a brick of cream cheese with the cranberry relish leftover from Thanksgiving, nut/spice mixture leftover from baklava + a couple of tablespoons of turbinado and arrowroot powder. Looks frighteningly similar to the pink fluff they used to serve out at lunch in grade school.

The technique I envisioned was the same exact way I make my ravioli. This prompted me to do a Google search for "Ravioli Dolci"--sweet ravioli. Yes, it's out there. But I don't really like the sound of it and honestly, what I had in mind wasn't exactly what Google Image was turning up.

After I spread the filling thinly on one half of the dough, I folded the dough over and got out my ravioli rolling pin. That. I. Love.

As simple as that.

For some reason this strikes me as a very Scandinavian pastry. Finnish? Swedish? I guess it is the fact that I photogged it on a plate from Ikea.

If I was a bit more motivated, I may have gotten up to get my pastry roller. But I am weighted down by this baby, so I just used my dough cutter to break the solid sheet into bars. After baking in the oven at 350 for about 18 minutes, they were nicely golden and crisp. After cooling, I sprinkled with powdered sugar. Obviously. The quilted pastry bars (see, now doesn't that sound all Nordic?) were in puffs of 6 but my daughter had me cut off individual squares for her own eating pleasure.

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Baklava Made from Homemade Spelt Phyllo Dough

Remember the laminated pie dough? Yes, well, there was leftover dough so I promptly wrapped and froze it. I let it thaw in my fridge overnite and today thought I would try my hands at making my own phyllo dough. Especially after my husband looked at me like I was a loon. Ahem.

 

Initially, I thought to use the pasta maker. The dough was very delicate going through the machine. There was no way I was able to crank it past the 4 setting. The dough just got all wholly and a mess.

This was a lucky roll through 5. As Kate Moss said, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels." Okay, I think she used the word skinny, but who cares about Kate Moss anyway.

Eventually, I abandoned the pasta maker and just went for rolling it out by hand. Lots and lots of flour was needed to keep the delicate dough from tearing. Flour, roll, flip, repeat. I ended up with papery thin, translucent dough--pretty similar to store bought.

Here are my layers of buttered dough laid out in the baking dish. The filling is ground almonds, cinnamon, cardamom and sucanat.

I baked the baklava for about 40 minutes at 350, until crisp and golden.

Syrup was made from orange juice, water, turbinado sugar and honey. The baklava needs alone time to soak up the syrup overnite, but I took pictures today because, well, tomorrow I am moving on to cooking other things. So...spelt flour baklava looks good enough to me.

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Grapefruit Jelly Jam Yes Ma’am

Can you handle the gorgeousness of this fruit? Such amazingly fresh grapefruit, picked last weekend by the amazing boys of my life! XOXOX Vm & Babu.

 

Using his powers for good, my son climbed this grapefruit tree in a parking lot of the hotel we stayed at in Siesta Key and, with a little assistance from my husband, filled two re-usable shopping bags with ripe, sweet grapefruit.

 

Total nectar! Okay, you have to channel a German Hare Krishna monk to get the full effect of that phrase. I juiced a lot of grapefruits last nite. I learned that my $30 citrus juicer was not meant to juice a lot of grapefruit. I also learned that fresh grapefruit juice tastes best when drunk from a cheers cup.

 

The Babu, home from work and freshly showered, drinking his antioxidants and bioflavinoids.

 

Around 10 o'clock in the evening, I revealed on Facebook my plans for Friday nite: JAM MAKING! Mohini was all like, "Not without me!" And I was all like, "Duh, come over." And so she did. She even went home to get her own juicer when she saw what a dying sick animal mine was. Moaning and wheezing. It was terrible. This was Mohini's second time making jam--her first using natural pectin and doing it low sugar! Exciting times, I tell ya!

 

We stayed up till 3 in the morning, acting like young girls on a chitty chatty jam making binge. Only we are in our thirties and I am way pregnant and we both have demanding offspring. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

 

The next morning, I stumbled out of bed at an unbelievably late 9 am and was greeted in the kitchen by these jarred jewels! Grapefruit jelly and cranberry grapefruit jam.

 

I set aside some for gifts and some for the family.

 

I have these corny gift tags from Target, so tonite I scribbled out some I.D.'s for tiny jams.

 

While Florida may not have a proper fall–no crabapple, no quince, no pear–we do have winter citrus! Not a bad deal at all…if you have a good juicer!

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A Mostly Vegan Thanksgiving

Fresh Cranberry Relish Garnished w/ Lime Zest

Absolutely simple to make, this no-cook prep brings a burst of freshness and color to the holiday table.

I had leftover dough from my won ton experiment. The combination of semolina and rice flour was very pliable but a bit delicate.

I combined the leftover won ton seitan/spinach/ginger mixture with freshly cooked potatoes and spices to create a samosa filling.

Pleating

This unusually smooth samosa was rolled by my daughter using the semolina/rice flour dough (we made a second batch of dough that was all white flour). When you see them all fried up, this one stands out as a smooth beauty!

I lay my samosas out on parchment paper because I have a very terrible track record of having things stick. I really love parchment paper. And yes, I wash and re-use it.

Samosas--traditional Indian food for Thanksgiving. These took the place of mashed potatoes at our holiday table.

Our hostess, Padi, made these ridiculously good vegan sticky buns. She has perfected the art of buns.

Padi's husband Braj is also excellent in the kitchen. He cooked at a Govinda's restaurant in New Zealand and now he makes his friends delicious things, like this vegan pot pie, whenever the occasion merits.

Adi Gopi brought along the roasted carrots (I know they were made by her because they appeared on the buffet in a FiestaWare bowl). Padi made the roasted root veggies--parsnips being her very favorite and very British signature tuber.

The gorgeous auburn haired hostess, Ms. Padi Sutherland, nurse, student and mom extraordinaire, master of no-knead artisan bread recipes and a damn nice person. Here she is holding a platter of green beans, brought by Adi Gopi (notice the FiestaWare!).

Also on the menu that night: Marmite (England version) based gravy,  vegan turkey roast, 3 pumpkin pies, cranberry shortbread bars, peanut butter cookies and  full dairy whipped cream. Did I miss anything?

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Vegan Cranberry Shortbread Bars : Recipe

Thanksgiving Dessert : Cranberry Shortbread Bars

I was so enchanted by yesterday’s post on The Kitchn for Cranberry Curd Bars that I *had to* attempt a veganized version. Check out that post and just try to tell me those pictures are not magical. Makes me want to dance The Nutcracker or something. Great dessert for Thanksgiving, even better for Christmas.

The challenge though would be the 8 eggs in the recipe. When you get into numbers like that, you just have to know that what you come up with is going to be a variation on a theme and not an exact replica.

*I used too much shortbread, so I am halving my recipe here, which is coincidentally super similar to The Kitchn recipe.

*I didn’t do the jelly technique for the cranberry like the original recipe. Too time consuming for an 8 month pregnant mom of 2 and to be honest, I could use the fiber.

*Have you seen the price of walnuts lately? Ridiculous. Used to be one of the cheaper nuts, now it is way high. I don’t know if this is a seasonal hike or what, but I used almonds and my shortbread is no worse for the crunch.

*Coconut oil. I would have used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks but I only buy it for specific projects and I did that this weekend and now it is all gone. This is not the first time I’ve used coconut oil for vegan baking (cookies and pie crusts) and it works just fine in my opinion. And, I think if you buy it in larger quantities, it is most likely cheaper than the Buttery Sticks. But it doesn’t taste buttery, so your call.

*I don’t refrigerate the crust before baking. What’s that about anyway?

Okay. On to the specifics.

9 x 13 baking pan (I love parchment paper but didn’t use any with this recipe)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1 c flour
1 c ground nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.)
1/2 c coconut oil
1 tspn lemon juice
1/2 tspn salt

Combine in food processor (make sure nuts ground first). Press into baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

While the crust is in the oven, make your cranberry topping, which will not be like curd.

3 cups fresh cranberries, minced in food processor
1 cup sugar
2 TBSP lemon juice
pinch salt
1/4 tspn cardamon
1/2 tspn cinnamon
1 can (13.6 oz) coconut milk
1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

Combine ingredients in a wide bottomed pot with tallish sides. Cook over medium heat, whisking more frequently as cooking progresses–approximately 15 minutes total. Cooking is done when cranberry concoction is bubbling, spitting at you and pulling away from bottom of pan.

When shortbread is done baking in oven, gently spread cranberry mixture on top. Return to oven for approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool. When cooled, refrigerate and then cut.

Garnish with powdered sugar, which will melt into cranberry, creating sweet glaze.


To be cut...

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