Monday, September 25, 2017

Cinnamon Roll Pie with Apples from Lomelino's Pies

I often get access to advanced reader copies of cookbooks through Edelweiss, and usually flip through and note a few recipes to try. This is a recipe I could not get out of my head! So while I need to give a disclaimer and say that I was given a digital copy of this cookbook, the desire to make this pie is all my own. Lomelino's Pies: A Sweet Celebration of Pies, Galettes, and Tarts, comes out October 24.

This is a crowdstopper pie, a centerpiece pie, and it does take a little bit of extra effort, a little more than a typical two-crust pie would take. But I made it inside an afternoon, so it's absolutely doable.

What a genius idea is this, to use pie crust like cinnamon roll and make that into a crust? It is a stunning visual and I couldn't wait to try it, but I've been biding my time until I had local apples (Mutsu from Granddad's, just like last week) and time to make it.

The apples are mixed with dulce de leche, orange juice, and a few spices, so it isn't quite the typical apple pie inside.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
16 tbsp (8 oz) cold butter
5-7 tbsp ice-cold water

Apple Filling
2 3/4 lbs apples*
2 tbsp (1 oz) butter
3/4 cup dulce de leche
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

Crust Filling
5 1/4 tbsp (2 2/3 oz) butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom

1 egg
1 tbsp milk
pinch of sea salt
1-2 tbsp pearl sugar, Turbinado, or raw cane sugar

Pie Crust
  1. Mix the flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a bowl.  Dice the butter and add it to the flour mixture. Use your fingers to pinch in the butter until the dough is crunchy.
  2. Add the water (begin with the smaller amount and gradually add more if the dough feels too dry) and mix it with a fork. If you pick up a bit of the dough and it coheres when pressed together, it has enough water.
  3. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the dough, flatten the dough somewhat, and t hen cover the dough completely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.

Apple Filling
  1. Peel and core the apples. Cut them into thin slices and place them in a large bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the apple slices and saute them for 2-3 minutes, until the apples soften slightly. Carefully stir occasionally.
  3. Add the dulce de leche, cinnamon, and salt. In a small cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the orange juice and stir it into the saucepan. Let the mixture simmer over low heat as you stir for a few more minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Let the filling cool completely.

Rolling Out the Crust and Baking the Pie***
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. For the crust filing, mix the butter with the cinnamon and cardamom. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and divide it into two equal pieces. On a floured work surface, roll out one half of the dough into a rectangle about 15 3/4 and 13 3/4 inches. Spread this dough with half of the butter mixture and roll up the dough from the long side. Repeat with the other half of the dough and the remainder of the crust filling. Place the rolls on a cutting board and then put in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove one roll from the freezer and cut it into 3/8 inch slices (just as if you were preparing cinnamon buns).  Fill a pie pan with the slices, covering the bottom and sides (the spaces should have a little space between them). Press the slices together so they form a pie shell. Transfer the pie pan to the freezer.
  4. Take the other roll out of the freezer and slice it in the same way, but arrange the slices in a circle (large enough to cover the top of the pan) on parchment paper and then roll them out a little to firm up the circle. If the slices don't want to cohere, you can brush a little water between them. If it is difficult to roll the slices together, press them together.
  5. Take the pie shell out of the freezer and pour in the apple filling. Brush the edge with a little water and add the top crust. It is easiest to leave the crust on the parchment paper and fold it out over the pie filling, then remove the parchment. Cut away any overhang, leaving a rim about 1 1/4 inches wide all around if you want to make a decorative edge. Put the pie in the freezer for 15 minutes (to help it hold its shape better in the oven while baking).
  6. Remove the pie from the freezer. To make the glaze, whisk the egg, milk, and salt in a small bowl. Brush the pie dough with the egg mixture and sprinkle the pearl sugar on top. 
  7. Bake the pie on the lower rack of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 F and bake for another 45-50 minutes until the piecrust is golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool completely. Serve the pie with vanilla ice cream, if desired.****
 Jenny's Notes:

 * - I found this article from King Arthur Flour on converting apples between pounds and cups  incredibly helpful! So I sliced up the equivalent of 8 cups of apples, which was 3 huge Mutsu apples.
** - Not gonna lie, I skipped this entire section and just brushed the pie with some heavy cream and sprinkled with granulated sugar, lacking any fancy sugars.
*** - I'm not sure the crust filling shouldn't have a little sugar in it, but it really does bake well on both top and bottom in the time allotted, should that be a concern. I had to steal some slices from the second log to adequately cover the bottom and sides, but still ended up with enough for the top. I think I should have made the top crust and frozen it before attempting to apply it because although it flipped onto the pie from the parchment, the paper was still hard to get off and pulled up several of the roll pieces. I didn't do the overhang, just pressed the top into the bottom and it worked out okay.
In general I'd recommend baking the pie on a cookie sheet since there is a lot of sugar in there.
**** - I offered my eaters vanilla and dulce de leche, and both flavors of ice cream worked well. Pictured is the dulce de leche.

Disclaimers and credits galore: While this is not a post affiliated with the ABRAMS Dinner Party, the ice cream scoop pictured was sent as part of their commercial partners. Many thanks to OXO!

And as always, the publisher of Lomelino's Pies (Roost Books) provided access to the cookbook in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Apfel Quark Kuchen - Apple Quark Cake

I am always on the hunt for a new apple recipe, and when I decided to make the quark recipe from Slow Cook Modern, the hunt became a hunt for a recipe for apple and quark. I have encountered recipes calling for quark before, usually from Germany, and was excited to try this soft cheese. The end result was good, halfway between a cheesecake and a custard, at least how the recipe turned out with the quark mixed in with other things.

In the slow cooker, the recipe called for one ingredient - 1/2 gallon of buttermilk, which you cook on low for 2-8 hours, until the curd starts to set and separate from the whey. Mine cooker for 3.5 hours before I decided it was ready; I'm not sure if I should have left it longer but didn't want to overcook it. Then it went into a cheesecloth lined strainer for another 4 hours. Then the solids went into the fridge overnight, because I was going apple picking the next day.

Hendersonville, NC, is only about 45 minutes north of where we live. There is a magical road between it and Chimney Rock, NC, called Chimney Rock Road. It contains apple orchard after apple orchard. We've tried several places along there, and really like the apple selection at Granddad's Apples n' Such. It was packed full of people this weekend with long lines for the bakery and the apple line. I was relieved to find my favorite baking apple - the mutsu - in abundance. Last year I waited too long and they didn't have any.

Quark - check. Apples - check. I guess I had everything I needed!

Since quark is a German ingredient, the best recipes I found were also in German. I also discovered I only had a smaller springform pan, having thrown mine away because it no longer closed. So this was a big risk, both using Bing to translate a recipe and attempting to cut it in half. I'll leave the recipe with the same amounts as the normal recipe, and you can picture me cutting eggs in half. 

Apfel-Quark-Kuchen aka Apple Quark Cake
(recipe translated and slightly adapted from Annemarie Wildeisen's Kochen)

Crust ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk

Filling ingredients:
1 orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup quark
2-3 apples
powdered sugar to taste

1. Butter and flour a 9" springform pan and chill in fridge while making the crust. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Cream butter and sugar. Stir in eggs and don't worry about curdling.
3. Sift flour and baking powder and mix into the butter mixture. Stir in the milk. Transfer to springform pan and pull up slightly along the edge using a small spatula or spoon. Put back in fridge.
4. Zest the orange and squeeze it for juice. Blend orange juice, vanilla, cornstarch, sugar, eggs, and quark until smooth. 
5. Peel, quarter, and core the apples, then dice. Mix with quark mixture and spread on crust.
6. Bake about 50 minutes. If it browns too quickly, cover with foil.
7. When baked, rest at least 10 minutes before removing from the mold. Sprinkle as desired with powdered sugar.

This post is sponsored by ABRAMS Books, as part of the ABRAMS Dinner Party, well, partly. I was provided a copy of Slow Cook Modern, which is where the quark recipe comes from, but I found the cake recipe elsewhere.

I did make the eggplant tian with olive marinated mozzarella from Slow Cook Modern, the same weekend as this cake.  

Monday, September 11, 2017

Chocolate Chip Cookies and Salted Honey Butter

I thumbed through F*ck That's Delicious: An Annotated Guide to Eating Well by Action Bronson with Rachel Wharton, and found a lot of delicious things. The host of the show of the same name on VICELAND has created a book that seems a lot like him - a mixture of recipes from family and chef friends, some foods that are comfort or memory-based, like a cheese bagel, some recipes from his travels, and others that are just plain delicious. The cookbook is loud and randomly organized and has a big pasta section, but the recipes in here are the real deal.

Since I'm a baker first, I elected to make a baked good, although read through the end of this post to see a picture of the pasta recipe I had to try.

This cookie recipe is one he got from another chef. I will put shorter directions below, but you can find more background information and more detailed directions in the cookbook. (It's late and I don't want to type that much!)

Milton A. Abel Jr.'s Chocolate Chip Cookies and Salted Honey Butter

2 1/2 cups packed all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste*
1 pound chocolate chips
Salted Honey Butter, for spreading on the cookie

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy and well blended.
3. Add the eggs and vanilla paste and mix until fully incorporated.**
4. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the dry ingredients, and mix until the dough just comes together.
5. Stir the chocolate chips in by hand.
6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 2-ounce portions*** and roll them into rounds with your hands. Put them in one layer on the prepared baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes. You may freeze them in a zip-top bag if you're not baking them in the next day or two.
Preheat the oven to 350 F (325 if you have a convection oven.)
7. Line a second sheet with parchment paper, place 6 dough rounds on it, and flatten them slightly, keeping about 2 inches of space around them on all sides.****
8. Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the sheet, and bake for an additional 4 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges and look like they are just set on the top.*****

Action watching to make sure I use carry-over cooking technique.

Salted Honey Butter

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp salt

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a stiff rubber spatula until light and slightly whipped. To get it really light, use a paddle attachment in a stand mixer.

Notes from JennyBakes:

 * - I live in the south where vanilla bean paste is not stocked in the stores so I just used 1 tbsp vanilla extract.
** - I usually scrape down, add the vanilla and one egg, beat and scrape down, add another egg, repeat.
*** - Okay I didn't weigh this but 2 oz is usually 1/4 cup so that's how big I made them but WOW these are huge. Because of this I baked for 9 minutes and 4 before removing for carryover cooking to take care of the rest.
**** - HE REALLY MEANS THIS. My last batch got too close and made two giant cookies.
***** - I had to play with this timing because my cookies were huge and 1 more minute in the first round worked perfectly.

And now, gaze upon the wonder that is "Egg Noodles with Feta and Paprika," which is simple yet delicious. I mean, f*ck, that's delicious. Of course.


This post is sponsored by ABRAMS Books, as part of the ABRAMS Dinner Party

Monday, September 04, 2017

Balsamic Zabaglione with Peaches

I have long been intrigued by vinegar in desserts, ever since making my Grandma's pie crust recipe for the first time. She calls for vinegar, which I would later learn helps prevent the formation of gluten (and allowing for a flakier crust.) I have experimented with roasting strawberries with balsamic and using them with crepes for breakfast, mashed into sauce for pound cake, even turning the flavors into ice cream. My favorite pavlova has a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar, balancing the other flavors and adding depth.

I was asked this year to participate in the ABRAMS Dinner Party, so you will see a series of posts with recipes from their cookbooks. But of course, this is a baking blog, so when the first book was Acid Trip by Michael Harlan Turkell, I knew it would be fun to focus on the dessert aspect. I still really want to make the recipe for vinegar pie, but my tart pan is missing its middle at the moment.

Instead I was drawn to the zabaglione recipe. Traditionally, zabaglione (also sometimes called sabayon) is made with egg yolks, sugar, and wine. This recipe had fruit marinated in vinegar and vinegar in the custard. I was uncertain if it would work and that's why I had to try it! During my brief year of restaurant work, I spent the month of May making sabayon (featured for Mother's Day brunch but also served as a dessert special), so I knew the technique. With this recipe, the custard is much darker in color because of the balsamic, but by the time it has been whipped to coolness and the whipped cream is folded into it, the color is quite light.

I'm going to make a few notes and recommendations to the recipe below, so keep reading!

Balsamic Zabaglione with Peaches in Champagne Vinegar 
from Michael Friedman, The Red Hen, Washington, DC

4 peaches, cut in half, pits removed*
1/4 cup (60 ml) champagne vinegar**
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup (75 ml) balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup (75 ml) honey
5 large egg yolks
zest of 1 lemon, about 1 tbsp

In a medium bowl, toss the peaches in the champagne vinegar and marinate for an hour in the fridge.

In a stand mixer, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl and reserve in the refrigerator.

Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water. Heat the water until it comes to just under a boil - you want a good amount of steam. Maintain medium heat on the pot for the steam.

In a medium bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, egg yolks, and lemon zest. Place the bowl over the saucepan (it shouldn't be touching the water) and begin whisking. Rotate the bowl while whisking to ensure all the sauce is being moved.

After 5 to 7 minutes, the zabaglione should have almost doubled in size - if you run your whisk through it and the trail holds in the zabaglione, you're done. Remove the custard from the heat and whisk vigorously until it is cool to the touch.***

Fold the whipped cream into the zabaglione. This will help keep its structure and add great texture and body. Reserve in the refrigerator or immediately spoon over peaches.

Jenny's notes:
* - I sliced the peaches instead of halving them, but this means there is more vinegar flavor. If you slice, use less vinegar. This will be best with fruit that is ripe and sweet, because that balances the other flavors.
** - If I made this again, I'd either not marinate the fruit in vinegar or just sprinkle.
*** - To save your arms, just hook it back up to the stand mixer you used for the whipped cream. Set the timer for ten minutes and check back. If the bottom of the bowl is cool, you can move on to the folding step.

This post is sponsored by ABRAMS Books, as part of the ABRAMS Dinner Party