Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pie, pie, pie and more pie ~

The cherries were so gorgeous, plump and dark, the pies came out looking like blackberry. Oh…but the sweet cherry taste. *swoon*

Rhubarb pie…which camp are you in? Love it? Don’t care for it? More, more, more, pretty please. Miss Mary Not So Contrary has it growing at her place in Redmond. Growing. Unused. Not clipped. More importantly, not in my home where it should be macerating in sugar on my kitchen counter! *ha* I hope to make a trip out that-a-way to pick up some pinkish stalks.

What is this post about? It’s about tapioca. Specifically, this tapioca in pies as the thickener. I remember tapioca in the cupboards of my childhood home, used for pudding and as a thickener. Sitting here a little puzzled, wondering what my Grandmother used in her pies. Being a farm wife of long ago, it could have been flour or cornstarch instead of tapioca…..hmmm… would be nice to know. But I don’t.

This recipe is for Bing cherries. If you use Royal Anne or Rainer, less sugar will be necessary. This amount is for smaller pies,or a medium pie, but not quite enough for a standard double crust pie. Double for a standard size, double crust pie.

Sweet cherry filling ~

4 c. pitted and halved Bing cherries
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. minute tapioca
Barely a pinch of salt
2 tsp. lemon juice
Lemon zest - if desired
Dot with bits of butter

Rhubarb filling ~

3 c. chopped rhubarb

1/2 -3/4 c. sugar - I like it tart

2 tsp. lemon juice
3 T. minute tapioca
Barely a pinch of salt
Dot with bits of butter

Gather your favorite pie crust recipe. What is your mood? Mini pies? Mini galette? Only have enough peaches like I did for a medium galette?

Notes ~

  • I don't care for really sweet pies, so if you like more sugar, add it. Take a taste of the raw fruit before you add the tapioca to gage what you prefer.
  • If you use tapioca with a pie that has exposed fruit, such as a galette, the exposed part will have some little hard bits of cooked tapioca. If you are making an open face pie, find a recipe using cornstarch instead.
  • I like to start the pies in a 400-425 degree oven for five minutes, then reduce to 350-375 degrees for the remaining bake time.
  • I don't care for sour cherry pies, so I have no input on the needed increased sugar amounts.
  • I brush the crust before baking with an egg wash. One egg, 2T. water. I like the look of raw sugar sprinkled on top.

Sweet seepage. MMMmmmm.

Toodles ~

Monday, July 20, 2009

Oy vey ~

One of those days? No. Mornings. No. Weeks? Oh, I hope not.

When my mind is vividly elsewhere - Muffin Monday for the kids ends up as Muffin Mess Monday. They ate them happily, even returning for another.....blob.

I will post this recipe later this week ~ *ha* I will hope that your mind is on the task at hand if you decide to use the recipe and that...

1. You use a good spray coating on the muffin tin and...
2. You know when to toss out an all too worn muffin tin that has seen it's day.

I did make this batch in the morning hours with my auburn hair baby, the one t
hat gets up before the others. Alone in the kitchen with my girl. Ain't love grand?

Toodles ~

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lemon cherry cake ~

I grew up in a time when the only cherries my family had were the ones we picked ourselves from my Grandmother’s trees. She had two trees, one Bing and one Royal Anne. I loved those trees. I would stand underneath it in rapture at *ALL* those cherries of mine. Mine. Mine-mine-mine-mine. Megidtyfregity birds stealing my jewels at the top. Just because I was afraid of heights and couldn’t reach them didn’t mean they weren’t mine.

During cherry season I’d say to my Grandma, “I’m going for a walk.” She’d reply, “Janet….don’t eat a lot of cherries, you’ll be too full for dinner!” It’s okay - I knew she would love me anyway. I’d lie if I had to….because there were cherries in their prime out on the side of the farmhouse. I was a weak girl.

I picked up some Bings from a grocery store this week (gasp) due to their appealing price. As suspected they were not prime. The farmers marke
t had some this past week, though the Royal Anne’s looked a little bruised from travel. I have such fond memories of how gorgeous they are right of my Grandmother’s tree, so I pass when I find them on the bruised side. What I had on hand mid-week were the Make Do Bings. They needed a little help. The color was there, but not the depth of flavor, so that meant help in the form of putting them in baked goods.

There is a lemon pound cake recipe from Lori Longbotham's book all over the food web as an adapted recipe. I’m not sure what has been adapted because it’s not been changed from what I can find. It is a lovely lemon cake.
I have made her recipe in the past and it is a fine one as is. I wanted a different result in texture with fruit added to it. I wanted a finer crumb that would be able to take some fruit, and because of the fresh fruit, I didn’t want the soaking method at the end of the original recipe. I went with a more concentrated lemon flavor on the exterior, provided by a glaze.

I made three batches with changes, the end result is the one here. I have changed it slightly with the replacement cake flour for all-purpose, changed the measurement of the flour, switched out buttermilk for milk, bumped up the sugar a bit in the batter, added more zest and nixed the syrup basting phase after it comes out of the oven. I added cherries. I can’t quite bring myself to call it pound cake, as it has dairy. It has a dense, yet fine crumb. It has red, it has yellow, it is a pretty little cake to give away. And I did. Twice. *smiling*

Lemon-cherry cake

3 ¼ c. cake flour
½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

¾ lb. unsalted butter ( *whoa*)

1 ¾ c. sugar - feel free to bump this up to 2 c. (I will next time)

6 eggs
1 c. milk

1 tsp. lemon oil

Zest of three large lemons

Zest of one ruby red grapefruit (? Really ? Yep.)
1 - 1 ½ c. cherries, pitted. Either halved or quartered.

  • Mix the dry ingredients, set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar. Whip it good, get ’er fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl before adding the next.
  • Alternate the milk and the flour mixture, in thirds, ending with the milk.
  • Remove from the mixer, then add the zest. If you used the whip attachment and you have a KitchenAid, then you know that zest gets caught in that cross section at the bottom…bothersome, isn’t it?
  • Add the cherries.
  • Scoop batter into preferred pan of choice - any 12 c. bundt style pan.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 1 ¼ - 1 ½ hours, start checking at 75 minutes.

Glaze ~

2 c. powdered sugar

Lemon juice

Lemon zest

A consistency a little thicker than maple syrup or heavy whipping cream, will give you a coating that doesn’t run off. If you prefer a thinner glaze, that is lovely too. I posted the various pictures so you see the difference in glazes.
The first picture is dusted with powdered sugar.

Notes ~

  • If you quarter the cherries -- just before adding to the batter, sprinkle them with flour. This give the perception they will not settle towards the bottom, but they do anyway. Ha. It’s a soft batter - what can one expect?
  • You could chop the cherries, but then miss impact of cherry flavor biting into a chunk.
  • Using a baking spray such as Baker’s Joy will give a better outer crumb than butter and flour - for the most part.

Toodles ~

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cinnamon chip scones ~ the kid friendly scone

Scones for my kidlets….their favorite….not mine…theirs. Cinnamon chip scones filled with these little bits. Artificial. Odd. They have pulled me in on several occasions. I tried them in a coffeecake, no, thank you - not again. I put them in cookies once, no, thank you - not again. Where they are fun to use is challah bread and scones. Great Harvest in Salem used to make a cinnamon chip bread, it was an egg based bread that was fun as a snack bread or toasted. So…if you have a good challah recipe (I do…someday it will show up here.) toss some in - - for fun.

I love the bounce on these things, the height is not lacking. See the fuzzy picture for proof. *ha*

Cinnamon chip scones ~

3 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ c. sugar

12 T. butter, cut into small pieces

1 egg
1 c. whipping cream

1 c. add in of choice

The usual scone drill.

  • Mix the egg with the cream.
  • Mix dry ingredients.
  • Cut the butter in until it’s small bits.
  • Add the egg/cream mixture and mix.
  • Fold in cinnamon chips.
  • Divide the dough in two, flatten out until ½”-¾” thick.
  • Cut each disk into six or eight wedges.
  • Baste each wedge with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar if desired.
  • Bake off at 425 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Start checking early at 15 minutes.

The kidlets #2 favorite on the scone list? Marionberry. They rate things, they’re fun.

Toodles ~ xoxo