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how to make lemon / lime curd + lemon curd pie

22 Aug

lemon curd2

how to make lemon / lime curd + lemon curd pie

I love lemon curd and lime curd.  When they’re done right they balance sweet and tangy in just the right way and I was lucky enough to have a friend of mine (who’s training to be a pastry chef so… legitimate knowledge here) share her own simple but perfect recipe with me.  They’re really very easy to make, a little demanding in the stirring department but otherwise super simple.

The pie I made sort of by accident, with the help of my beautiful and talented mother.  We made the curd and improvised the rest.  The sugar cookie recipe that we used to make together every Christmas and decorate with icing and shiny sprinkles make a beautiful soft crust for the pie.  The whipped cream folded into the curd makes the filling light and fluffy, perfect for a summer evening after a rich meal.  The leftover curd swirled into the pie is there because i wasn’t sure how much filling would fit in our crust.

But it turned out looking pretty and tasting amazing.  So I’m sharing it with you.

I also think that a lime curd pie with blackberries would be really good… so if someone tries making that let me know how it is.

Makes 1/2 litre (2 cups) of lemon / lime curd – enough for 1 pie

lemon curd3

Ingredients

lemon / lime curd

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 c lime or lemon juice (aprox. 8 limes or 4 lemons)
  • 12 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 nub of unsalted butter (aprox. 2 tbsp) at room temperature

lemon curd pie

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp milk or cream
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c whipping cream
  • fresh berries (raspeberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, currants etc.)
  • fresh herbs (basil, mint, lavender etc.)

lemon curd4

Preparation

lemon / lime curd

Combine egg yolks, whole egg, lemon or lime juice, sugar, salt & vanilla in a double boiler or heat proof bowl over simmering water (medium-high heat).  Whisk constantly.  After a while the mixture will form a thick froth, then subside.  Shortly after subsiding it will start to thicken.  Whisk for another 1-2 minutes after the mixture begins to thicken the transfer to another bowl and let cool.

When the curd reaches almost room temperature (but still just a little warm) stir in the butter.  If the butter is added too early the curd will break and get chunky.  Give it some time to calm down.  Maybe about 15 minutes.  Then refrigerate.  Will keep in the fridge for about a week, maybe a bit more.

lemon curd pie

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease a 9″ tart pan or pie pan.

Mix flour, baking powder & salt.  In a separate bowl, cream butter & sugar until light yellow and fluffy then add eggs, milk & 1/2 tsp vanilla and mix well.  Add dry ingredients in thirds.  Mix until just combined.

Roll out the dough and fit to the pan.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, crust should be cooked through and barely browned.  Set aside for a couple of hours until completely cooled – if the crust is still warm when the filling goes in it will get soggy.

Beat the whipping cream and remaining 1 tsp vanilla until it holds peaks.  Gently fold in all but 1/4 c of the lemon curd until just combined and pour the mixture into the pie shell.  Place dollops of the remaining curd on top of the pie and swirl with a butter knife.

Chill the pie for an hour or so or overnight to let it set.  Serve garnished with fresh herbs and berries.

lemon curd

apple almond crumble

27 Nov

Simple apple crumble.

For Minji.

xo

apple almond crumble

ingredients

crumble

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 1/3 c flour
  • 2/3 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c demerara sugar (can be replaced with regular brown sugar)
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds, toasted and cooled

apples

  • 5 tart red apples such as empire or macintosh
  • 1/4 c demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut butter into chunks and place it in a medium bowl.  Add flour, oats, salt and sugar and use hands to mix into butter until well combined.  Add almonds and mix for a few seconds more, until evenly distributed through butter mixture.  Set aside in refrigerator.

Peel the apples and slice them.  In a bowl combine cinnamon and sugar.  Add the apple slices and toss until coated.

Place 1/3 of the crumble mixture in a pie pan or small casserole and press it down until the bottom is covered in a thin layer of the mixture.  Pile the apples into the pan and top with small chunks the remaining crumble until most of the apple is covered.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust on top is golden brown.

Note: the crumble mixture will keep just fine covered in the fridge for two or three days, I often make it in advance to save some time.

plum + cherry yoghurt cake

12 Aug

So I made panna cotta from a recipe I had used before (successfully, I might add) but made the mistake of trying to transport it to a friend’s house before it was fully set.  It ended up being less of a dessert and more of a sloppy yoghurt and cream mess.  But was I discouraged?  Nay!  I soldiered on.  I brought that mess home with me and used it, along with the compote I had made to serve with it, to make a cake.

It turned out moist and yummy and not too sweet (so it makes a good breakfast?  yes.)

You see sometimes, when a genius gets impatient and makes a mess of things, it turns into a tasty cake…

plum + cherry yoghurt cake

ingredients

compote

  • 4-5 plums
  • 2 large handfuls fresh cherries (or 2-3 extra plums if cherries aren’t in season)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract – real stuff not synthetic, it makes a big difference here)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise

cake

  • 4 tbsp butter, at room temp.
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c plain greek yoghurt (I particularly like Liberté Mediterranean)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 c flour

preparation

compote

Cut the plums in half, remove pits, and cut each half into 4-6 chunks.  Put plums along with pitted cherries in a large saucepan along with sugar, star anise and cinnamon and turn heat to medium.  Cut the vanilla bean in half, scrape the seeds into the saucepan then add the pod.

Once the fruit starts to bubble turn heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes or until the fruit is soft enough to mash easily with back of a spoon.

Let it cool and it can be refrigerated up to 3 days.  Any extra compote left after the cake is made is delicious on ice cream or yoghurt.

cake

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream butter and sugar.  Whisk in eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Whisk in baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk in flour (in three parts) alternating with yoghurt (in two parts) until fully combined.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9″ cake pan.  Place about 1/4 cup of compote in the center of each quarter of the cake (about 1 cup total) and swirl it in and around the batter with a spoon so there are ribbons of fruit throughout but it’s not fully combined.

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

strawberry + goat cheese galettes

22 Jun

My parents came to visit and brought along some beautiful fresh, local strawberries (thank you!).  I had this recipe idea kicking around in my head for a while so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Turns out it’s very good.

For the pastry I used this recipe for pasta frolla (sweet pastry dough) but cut the recipe by a third so I’ve included the reduced measurements for convenience.

I’m thinking a balsamic glaze drizzled over top, or maybe some fresh basil mixed in with the strawberries would be really tasty… but I could be wrong.  Eventually I’ll revisit this and see but in the meantime if any of you, you beautiful sophisticated intelligent readers, try a variation that works let me know.

Makes 5 galettes.

strawberry + goat cheese galettes

ingredients

pastry – from Kitchen Window

  • 2 c flour
  • 2/3 c confectioner’s sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 2/3 c unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs

filling

  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries, sliced
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 150 g goat cheese

preparation

For pastry – Mix flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest in a large bowl.  Add butter and mix with a pastry cutter until small, pea sized clumps are formed.  Add one whole egg and the yolk of the second egg (set the white aside for later) and mix until just combined.

Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead briefly, form into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before using to make it pliable enough to work with.  Divide the dough into 5 chunks and roll each into a ball.  Roll each ball out on a well floured surface – they should be thin, rough edged circles – and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.

For filling – Combine strawberries, lemon zest and sugar.

Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle.

Top each rolled out pastry round with a heaping tablespoon of goat cheese and spread it, leaving a 2 inch border with no cheese.  Top the cheese area with a mound of strawberries and fold the pastry border up over the edges of the filling.  Repeat with each round.  Pile any leftover strawberry mixture in the middle of the pastries.

Remember that egg white we set aside?  If not that’s ok but if yes brush egg white over the pastry so it gets nice and crispy and shiny.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden-brown.

cinnamon + sea salt chocolate chip cookies

5 Jun

I’m not really a sweet tooth kind of person.  I like desserts.  Even candy sometimes (especially these…), but sweet always takes a back seat to my unhealthy, artery hardening passion for salt.  I love it.  I really really love it.

I used to live down the street from Ezra’s Pound and on some lucky days when I went in to get my coffee they would have these chewy chocolate chip cookies dusted with cinnamon and sea salt.  Normally, I wouldn’t get excited about cookies but these were different.  These were salty.  And sweet.  And cinnamon-y.  And just wonderful.

I moved and now I make my coffee at home and after many cookieless months I realized I could probably make them for myself.  And so I did, and I think they turned out rather nicely.  I used a basic recipe from Gourmet, as I mentioned I’m not much of a cookie person so I don’t have my own favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe… but if you do, use it.

Just one last little thing.  I’m rambling a bit, I know…  Get some flaked sea salt – such as Maldon – if you can.  The texture is perfect for the cookies.  It can be a touch pricey but it’s worth it, great to have around for any dish where a good quality sea salt is called for.

Makes about 36 cookies

cinnamon + sea salt chocolate chip cookies

adapted from Gourmet, October 2003

ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 heaping tbsp flaked sea salt

preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F with a rack positioned in the middle.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and sugars in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time until mixture is creamy.  Beat in vanilla.  Add flour mixture slowly and mix until just blended, then stir in chips.

Scoop 1 heaping tbsp of batter for each cookie and roll into a ball, arranging balls 3 inches apart on 2 baking sheets. Flatten mounds into 3-inch rounds using moistened palm of your hand.  Take a generous pinch of cinnamon (about 1 tbsp for each baking sheet) and dust over cookies lightly then sprinkle with a generous amount of flaked sea salt.

Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until golden, 10-11 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool and continue making cookies in same manner until batter is used up.

honey soaked date + toasted almond biscotti

17 Feb

I helped a close friend of mine move just over a month ago. In return, she demanded that I make her biscotti as a housewarming gift. So I’ve finally gotten around to it. This is one of many many variations on this basic biscotti recipe that I’ve tried and they turned out to be delicious, once again. The dates and almonds can be swapped out for just about any dried fruit / nut combination that pleases you so follow your rainbow!

Note: it seems tempting (or it did to me when I first started using this recipe) to add a little more than a cup of ground almonds to the batter. Do not do this. Use a cup exactly, a little less if anything. The almonds give the cookie a wonderful flavour but too much will leave you with a crumbly mess instead of a crunchy delight.

honey soaked date & toasted almond biscotti

Adapted from Food & Drink Fall 2011

ingredients

  • 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c ground almonds1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3/4 c dried dates
  • 1/4 c whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped

preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F

Cut dates in quarters (cut lengthwise and then crosswise) and place in a small bowl.  Drizzle with honey and let stand while preparing the dough.

In large bowl, stir flour with ground almonds and baking powder with a fork or whisk.

Cream butter and sugar in large bowl.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla and beat until evenly mixed.  Add flour mixture.  Beat until almost incorporated and dough comes together.  Stir in honey dates and almonds until evenly distributed.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place dough on sheet and form into a log, about 12 inches long, 3 inches wide and 1 inch tall.  The dough will be very sticky so wet your hands to work with it.

Bake in centre of preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly golden on top.  Remove from oven and allow log to cool completely, at least 30 minutes.  meanwhile, reduce oven temperature to 300°F.  When log is cool slice 1/2 inch thick slices.  Place slices on a rack set on baking sheet (or turn half way through second baking).

Bake again for 20 to 30 minutes, until lightly golden and dry.  Cool completely before serving.

Biscotti will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or freeze up to 1 month.