Tuesday, July 16, 2013

TWD & BWJ: Summer Vegetable Tart

I was looking forward to making this Summer Vegetable Tart, this being summer and all. It doesn't need very long in the oven at all, so baking during the very hot weather isn't too much of a problem. I would say that this tart is a snap to make, but I hadn't worked with phyllo in a very long time and as you can see in the photo the results were less than photogenic.

I would say that the tart was a semi-success. Two out of three teenagers loved it and the third won't eat a veggie that is not broccoli, green beans or corn. I found the phyllo crust difficult to cut. So while the filling was delicious, I would pick another crust for the base.  Or, if I were to use phyllo dough again (I have a whole lot left over), I might make these as little tarts or bourekas.

To see how others fared with this tart check out Tuesdays with Dorie. Better yet, join us. There's always room for more.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

TWD & BWJ: Baked Yogurt Tart

I almost didn't make the Baked Yogurt Tart (page 378 from Baking with Julia). But I have missed so many other recipes from the book and frankly, this looked very easy to make. As it turns out it was easy to make. So why the reluctance?  Well, the recipe looked kind of bland. Plain, non-fat yogurt is the basis of this tart with some vanilla and fruit thrown in for good measure.  The tart is also a contradiction of sorts; the basis of the filling is non-fat, but it's encased in the loveliest, flakiest, crust loaded with butter and shortening.  Hmm...but also, yum.

Baked Yogurt Tart
This tart comes out very creamy and tangy. The vanilla flavor comes through. The blackberries would have a been a wonderful addition, but they were too sour. I had even let them sit in some sugar before adding them to the tart, but apparently I didn't add enough or I didn't let them sit long enough. Certainly, most any soft fruit could be added. Some of my fellow Tuesdays with Dorie bloggers added lemon zest and other flavorings. Next time, maybe I'll try adding cinnamon. Any recipe that is great on its own, yet allows for variation is a keeper in my book.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

TWD & BWJ: Tomato Galette

I love pizza and was looking forward to this galette. It is made with cheese and tomatoes after all.  But -- lesson one -- a galette is no pizza and if you are considering  serving this as a main course for dinner, don't. It makes a great snack or appetizer, but I can only say that three teenagers and two adults went rather hungry last night. And this is after I made a full recipe for the galette dough instead of half. Even two galettes were not enough.

The second lesson for me is this: read the instructions through before starting and then read them again. Although I read the recipe a couple of times, I managed to forget to put the rolled out galette dough on the baking pan before adding the toppings and folding over the edges. Oh, rats. The galette, not very round to begin with, got rather misshaped in transference. It was tasty enough, but I think next time I want pizza, I will make pizza. The Oasis Naan (page 149 in Baking with Julia) or the pizza dough (page 157) are perfect for pizza.  The galette dough is better suited to a sweet, fruit filling

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

TWD & BWJ: Fresh Rhubarb Upside Down Baby Cakes

Okay. So I didn't use rhubarb and I made one large cake instead of baby cakes. Still I would recommend this recipe.  The cake is moist and flavorful. The caramel-pecan topping is rich and delicious. I didn't use rhubarb because we're not crazy about it and I couldn't find it at the one grocery where I looked.  Fortunately, this is a versatile recipe that can accommodate any number of fruits. We had lots of bananas on hand, so that is what I used.

I did have a little trouble taking the cake out of the cake pan, as you can tell from the photo. It just kind of slipped out. Next time, I might use more pecans and fruit in the topping.
I have to say that left to my own devices, I would never have tried this recipe. Both the rhubarb and baby cake aspects did not appeal to me. But it is one awesome cake. And even though it didn't look very pretty, it disappeared very quickly.

Check out Erin's blog for this recipe. She's hosting this time. You can also check out other's posts at Tuesdays with Dorie.

Monday, April 29, 2013

TWD & BWJ: Rustic Potato Loaves (Rewind Tuesday)

I began this blog with the best of intentions to participate regularly, but I find I have let three months go by without a word. In February 2011, I was unemployed and had loads of time to participate. In September 2012, I unexpectedly found a job and took on more volunteer responsibility at our small synagogue.  And while Pecan Sticky Buns, Best Ever Brownies and similar sugary treats were very, very tempting, I was also slowly gaining weight.  I decided a break was in order.

I haven't given up baking altogether. Now my weekly baking is with 3 and 4 year olds at the preschool where I work. The recipes have to be made start to finish within 30 to 45 minutes and made without dairy products or nuts. The main challenge is keeping all the kids interested, especially when we have eight or nine kids crowded around the table waiting for their turn to do something. And then there are the ones who would rather be playing with legos.

Frankly, I've missed the enjoyment of baking and learning from the amazing community of bakers that participate in Tuesdays with Dorie.  Rewind Tuesday gives me the opportunity to pick one of the many recipes I haven't made yet. Most of my successes with this group have been with bread,so. I picked Rustic Potato Loaves. The recipe was hosted by Dawn of Simply Sweet. Check out her site for the recipe and her wonderful variation.

Potato Loaves are simple to make. There's no kneading, but there is a lot of mixing. We are warned; the dough will fall apart and look like pie crust dough at first, but if you keep mixing and mixing and mix some more, it will come together. Even if you are using a trusty Sunbeam hand mixer. I didn't believe it would really work, but it did. I loved the texture of the bread. It was a bit salty for my liking, but definitely worth making again, just with less salt.  I served this with split pea soup on a cool Spring evening. It was a perfect meal.

Monday, January 21, 2013

TWD & BWJ: French Apple Tart

Gaye hosts this week's recipe for French Apple Tart for the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group. You will be able to find the recipe here.  Although there are a lot of steps to making this tart and it is time consuming, it really is a straight forward recipe and no special equipment is needed.  I don't have a tart pan, so I made a French Apple Pie.
I will say that this is one delicious pie...er, tart and the crust is the flakiest crust I've ever made. I didn't have high hopes as I baked this; I didn't have the right pan, the filling was very lumpy and both the crust and the finished pie took twice as long to bake as the recipe said it should. Still, this recipe is a keeper. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

TWD & BWJ: Pizza with Onion Confit

Our first outing for 2013 is Pizza with Onion Confit, a yummy way to start the new year. While I have had mixed results with the sweet recipes from Baking with Julia, I have always enjoyed the breads and my efforts have usually been rewarded with success.

I will let this week's host, Paul describe the process in more detail. He will also post the recipe if you want to try it. I will just say that the recipe uses common ingredients. Even though it is time consuming, each step is very easy. I did have some problem with the stickiness of the dough. I added about an extra 1/4 cup of flour, but I didn't want to add too much. In the end, I made one pizza. I then made four smaller calzones filled with tomato paste, cheese, olives and onion confit. I found folding over the dough made it easier to place on the pizza stone. It's probably time to invest in a pizza peel.