Archive for the ‘pies/pastry’ Category

Spinach and Cheese Lattice Pies (KBB 17)

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

From: Cook’s Library – Baking, 2003, pg: 35

I basically followed the posted recipe, except changing the filling as below:
Spinach fillings (inspired by Mbak Rieke @ sexychef)
4-6 shallots, sliced
1-2 garlic, sliced
spinach (amount to your liking)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of milk
cheddar cheese, grated (amount to your liking)
sugar and pepper to taste

methods: Stir fry onions until they turn translucent. Add in the spinach. Turn off heat and grate cheese over the spinach mixture. Let it cool. In another bowl, combine two eggs with a cup of milk. Transfer the egg mixture onto the spinach mixture just before you pour it onto your pie; it is the intention that the eggs are still raw at this point.

These pretty lattice pies are equally delicious served hot or cold. They make a good picnic food served with salad.
2 Tbsp butter, for greasing
250 g fresh ready-made puff pastry
50 g ham, chopped finely
125 g full-fat soft cheese
2 Tbsp snipped fresh chives
1 egg, beaten
35 g freshly grated parmesan cheese

Grease 2 baking trays with the butter
Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured work surface and cut out 12 rectangles, each measuring 15 x 5 cm/6 x 2 inches. Place the rectangles on the prepared baking trays and leave to chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the ham, soft cheese and chives together in a small bowl. Season with pepper to taste, then spread the mixture along the centre of 6 of the rectangles, leaving 2.5 cm/1 inch border around each one.
To make lattice pattern, fold the remaining rectangles lengthways, then, leaving a 2.5 cm/1 inch border, cut vertical lines across the folded edge.
Unfold the latticed rectangles and place them over the rectangles topped with the ham and cheese mixture. Seal the pastry edges well and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake in preheated oven, 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4, for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Cook’s tip:
These pies can be made in advance, then frozen uncooked and baked fresh when required.


Bakewell Tart uhm Pudding

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

taste-o-meter: 8/10
makes: 1 pie

People says that books is your window to the world. You don’t have to be on Mars to know about Mars. I honestly can say the same about Daring Bakers. Daring Bakers is my window to the world. I don’t have to be in Italy to try lasagna nor I have to be in UK to try Bakewell tarts. Before reading this month’s challenge, I don’t even know what Bakewell tarts are. As you may have noticed, I have a limited exposure to English cuisine and culture. All English cuisines that I can come up with is “fish and chips” :D . Learning is a process, right? :)

This month’s recipe is quite a challenge for me. First, I do not own any blender nor I spot any ground-almond in nearby stores. I don’t feel like buying a blender since I’m about to move abroad in a few months. Let’s not add more things to my already-overloaded luggages. I had to grind my own almond people! Well, I did not start from whole almonds. I managed to find sliced almonds. I didn’t do it in one day either. It was more of like two days of 15-minutes incremental works. I started out using a mortar and pestle. But, the progress was slow. Finally, I dumped the almond on a big bowl, took one of my biggest coffee mug, and proceeded to crunch the heck out of these sliced almonds. The result was not perfect, But it was close enough. I used apricot jams. I like it as it complements the sweetness of frangipane.

I’ve never worked with a pie crust that has eggs in it. I found it a bit hard to work with. It crumbled a lot and was not as cohesive as the sans egg pie crust. Maybe I did something wrong? I only used one egg yolk instead of two, because it was an extra large egg instead of medium sized ones. The top of my bakewell tart is also a bit overdone *haha*. 200 degree Celsius is way too high for my oven. At the end of the first 30 minutes, the top is already brown. It was too late to scatter the sliced almonds. Next time, I’ll bake it at 175 degrees or even at 150 and scatter the sliced almonds after the first 10 minutes elapses.

Here’s the recipe and a little of history on Bakewell tarts as Annemarie and Jasmine wrote them. Thank you hosts!

Is it a tart or is it a pudding?

Someone once said something like “The Bakewell pudding is a dessert. The Bakewell tart is that girl over there.”

It’s a debate that rages on and we aren’t taking sides on this one. But we will say that many people call this pudding a tart.

While we’re at it…
The etymology of pudding is a rather interesting and slightly convoluted one.* The naming confusion may come from the British manner of referring to the dessert course as ‘pudding’ (as well as referring to fat babies by the same name, though we don’t think that is what was the inspiration in this case). And so any dessert is a pudding until another name comes along and adds clarity to what it really is.

* nb: Annemarie had to electronically restrain Jasmine from delving into another treatise, threatening to remove her digital scale, personally autographed copies of How To Eat by Nigella Lawson and A.S. Byatt’s Possession and toss her kitchen footstool into the squidgy marsh up the road (really…Jasmine’s kitchen appears to be designed by a 6’4” fast food-eating engineer named Martin, Chuck or perhaps Buford) Anyone interested in hearing or reading her wax lyrical about puddings should just email her directly.
The Challenge

Rough Durations: Please see individual recipe elements to see how much time you’ll need. You may pull it together in more time or less—it all depends upon your kitchen’s pace. You can complete the tart in an afternoon, or break it up into a couple of days by making the pastry one day in advance.
• Measurements: These recipes were developed using weight and not volume metrics, so for better results, pull out your scales. We’ve done our best with the Metric to Imperial conversions.
• A giant tart, medium tarts or little tartlettes: We’ll leave that to you.
• Mandatory and Optional Elements
Mandatory element 1: Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
Yes, it’s a pie pastry. Don’t look at us like that. It’s sweet and tender and it’s not scary…and we’re encouraging you to do it by hand and put the food processor away (but if you really want to pull out the gadget, go ahead).

Mandatory element 2: Frangipane
We love onomatopoeia of frangipane: it’s rich, sweet and feels slightly luxurious, and can be used in several confections.

Optional element: Home made jam or curd
We know several amongst us are rather jammy with making their own jams and preserves. Go ahead get wild and creative or simply showcase whatever’s local and in season. If you haven’t jammed before and want some hints or recipes, take a look at Bernardin’s If you want to just make some jam for this challenge and not go through sterilising jars and snap lids, you can try a pan jam, similar to Jasmine’s Blackberry Pan Jam. If you do use homemade jam, please include your recipe or the link to the one you used in your post.
Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds

Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Jasmine’s notes:
• If you cannot have nuts, you can try substituting Victoria sponge for the frangipane. It’s a pretty popular popular cake, so you shouldn’t have any troubles finding one in one of your cookbooks or through a Google search. That said, our dear Natalie at Gluten a Go Go has sourced some recipes and linked to them in the related alt.db thread.
• You can use whichever jam you wish, but if you choose something with a lot of seeds, such as raspberry or blackberry, you should sieve them out.
• The jam quantity can be anywhere from 60ml (1/4 cup) to 250ml (1cup), depending upon how “damp” and strongly flavoured your preserves are. I made it with the lesser quantity of home made strawberry jam, while Annemarie made it with the greater quantity of cherry jam; we both had fabulous results. If in doubt, just split the difference and spread 150ml (2/3cup) on the crust.
Annemarie’s notes:
• The excess shortcrust can be rolled out and cut into cookie-shapes (heck, it’s pretty darned close to a shortbread dough).
Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional, I used vanilla extract)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Jasmine’s notes:
• I make this using vanilla salt and vanilla sugar.
• If you wish, you can substitute the seeds of one vanilla bean, one teaspoon of vanilla paste or one teaspoon of vanilla extract for the almond extract

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract ( I used vanilla extract)
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.

Annemarie’s notes:
• Add another five minutes or more if you’re grinding your own almonds or if you’re mixing by hand (Heaven help you).

Strawberry Jam Pinwheel, KBB#9 – Classic Puff Pastry (Pate Feuilletee)

Thursday, January 29th, 2009


It turns out that puff pastry is not hard to make at all! Wohooo. Now, you can expect loads and loads of puff pastry coming out my kitchen :-) . Thanks KBB!

Source: King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook

1 pound (4 cups) unbleached all purposed flour/plain flour (or 3 ½ cups all-purposed/plain flour + ½ cup cornstarch/cornflour)

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, ½ stick chilled, the rest at room temperature
1 – 2 tsp salt (1 for sweet, 2 for savory)

1 ¼ cups cold water (or substitute it with 1 Tbs lemon juice for 1 water if you wish to further temper the gluten in the flour)


Measure the flour into a mixing bowl. Remove ½ cup and set it aside in another bowl.

Take the half stick of chilled butter, cut it into small pieces and drop it into the flour. With two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut or rub the butter into the flour until it resembles cornmeal.

Add the salt (and optional lemon juice) to the water and add this to the flour. Mix gently with a fork until you have a rough dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If you need to add more water, do it a tablespoon at a time until the dough holds together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and the gluten has been somewhat developed, about 2-3 minutes. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.



Take the remainder of the butter and the reserved flour and mix the two together until they’re well blended and smooth. You can do this with a mixer, a food processor or with a spoon, by hand.

Pat this butter/flour mixture into an 8-inch square on a lightly floured piece of waxed paper. Cover it with second sheet of waxed paper and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. By mixing the butter with flour, you stabilize it somewhat so it won’t decide to ‘flow’.



Remove the dough from the refrigerator and put it on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll it into a square about 12 inches on a side. You don’t have to be obsessive about the dimension but be pretty close.

Put the butter square in the centre of the dough square but turn it so that the corners of the butter square point toward the sides of the dough square. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter until they meet in the middle. Pinch and seal the edges of the dough together.

Turn the square over and tap it gently with your rolling pin or by hand into a rectangular shape. Rolling the dough into a larger rectangle 20 inches long and 10 inches wide.

When the dough is the right size, fold the bottom third of the dough up to the centre and the top third over and turn the dough package ¼ turn to the right so it looks like a book ready to be opened. If the dough is still nice and cold and still relaxed, do another rolling and turning the same way. (If it begins feel too soft or wants to resist being rolled, cover it, put it on a small baking sheet and refrigerate it for 15 minutes).

If you’ve successfully rolled it out and folded it twice, you’ve completed 2 turns. Classic puff pastry gets six. Continue refrigerating it after each 2 turns (or more often if necessary) until all 6 turns are completed.



When all 6 turns are done, put the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour (and preferable overnight) before shaping.


After being thoroughly chilled, the dough can be shaped into croissants, patty shells, twists, straws, etc. Scraps can be chilled and rerolled.


Like other pastry doughs, you can freeze puff pasty in a non-self defrosting freezer for up to a year if it’s well wrapped. It can also be frozen at any time during rolling, folding, turning process. Defrost it thoroughly before you use it, just to make sure it does not get too soft.

Shaping the pinwheel puff pastry:
Cut the puff pastry in equal-sized squares (you dont have to be obsessive about the measurements).
Cut along the two diagonal lines, but leave the middle part intact (you’ll end up with 4 ‘leaves’ of dough).
Take every side of the ‘leaf’ and pin it to the middle
Drop the jam on the middle part.
Heat the oven 200 degrees celsius. Bake until it turns into a light golden brown, decrease the temperature to 190 deg celsius. Bake until it is done.