Saturday, November 27, 2010
The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.
1/3 cup [80 ml, 75 g, 2 2/3 oz.] superfine sugar or 1/2 cup [120ml, 60 g, 2 oz]powdered sugar (see Note 1.)
1/2 cup [120 ml, 65 g, 2 3/8 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup [120ml, 65 g. 2 1/4 oz.] whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup [60ml, 28 g, 1 oz] almond flour, or almond meal, or coconut flour
1/4 cup [60ml, 28 g, 1 oz.] whole-grain barley flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
6 tablespoons[90ml, 85 g, 3 oz] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together sugar, flours and salt in a bowl.
Rub or cut the butter into the sugar and flour mixture until it has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
Make a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten egg and vanilla extract into it.
Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into mixture and then use your fingertips.
Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.
Heat the oven to 375ºF [190ºC/gas mark 5].
Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.
To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer.
Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.
Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.
If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.
Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.
Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places.
Take out of the fridge the reserved pasta frolla you had cut away earlier. Roll it with your pin and cut into strips or use cookie cutters to make small shapes (this is not traditional, but it looks cute); or roll with your hands into ropes.
Spread the jam or fruit preserves evenly over the bottom of the crostata.
Use the prepared strips or rolls of dough to make a lattice over the surface, or decorate with the cut shapes.
Brush the border and strips of dough with the reserved beaten eggs. You can add a drop or two of water to the beaten eggs if you don’t have enough liquid.
Put the tart in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, check the tart and continue baking until the tart is of a nice golden hue. (Note: Every oven is different. In my oven it took 34 minutes to bake the tart until golden.)
When done, remove the tart from the oven and let cool. If you have used a tart pan with a removable bottom, then release the tart base from the fluted tart ring. Make sure the tart is completely cool before slicing and serving.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Lime Tart With Brown Butter Crust
from Luscious Creamy Desserts
1/2 cup unsalted butter
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (roughly 2-3 medium limes)
zest of one lime, finely grated
3/4 cup heavy cream
Brown Butter Crust
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lime zest
Start with the curd, as it will need time to chill after cooking.
Melt the butter over medium low heat in a medium sauce pan. Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar, lime juice, zest, salt and eggs. Return to the heat and cook, stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes, until the curd has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow the curd to boil, if it begins to steam pull it off the heat and stir to cool it down.
Place a fine sieve over a bowl and strain the curd. Cover the curd and place in the refrigerator to cool completely (at least 2 hours).
For the brown butter crust, pre-heat your oven to 350°F and ready a 9" tart pan.
Place the butter into a skillet and melt over medium/medium-low heat. Allow it to cook without stirring until the butter is golden brown and has a warm, nutty fragrance.
Meanwhile, combine the salt, sugar and flour in a small mixing bowl. When the butter is ready, pour it into the bowl in a steady stream while stirring with a fork. Mix well and then pour the crumbs into your tart pan.
Press the crumbs into the pan to form the crust. Stab the crust liberally with a fork and bake for 20 minutes until light golden brown.
Pull out of the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack completely.
When both the crust and the curd are cool you can fill the tart.
Beat the 3/4 cup of heavy cream to stiff peaks and then add the lime curd. Beat in the curd until just incorporated and then pour into your crust. Smooth with an offset spatula.
Lightly cover the tart and chill for 4 hours.
Make the topping by blending the sugar and lime zest into a fine powder in your food processor or blender.
Just before serving, sprinkle the tart with the lime sugar.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
A basic pizza dough
or as I used a gluten free pre-mix.
500g ground lamb
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
small pinch of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 purple onion finely sliced
200g of crumbled feta
fresh coriander washed and pulled apart.
Preheat oven to 230°C. Place a pizza stone or baking tray in the oven to heat.
Heat the some oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the lamb and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until lamb changes colour and is cooked through. Remove from heat. Add all the spices.
Divide the dough into 4 even portions. Roll a dough portion out on a lightly floured surface to a 20cm diameter disc. Repeat with remaining dough portions. Remove the preheated tray from the oven. Place 2 discs on the tray. Spoon the lamb mixture over each flatbread. Sprinkle with onion and feta. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the bread is golden and crisp. Remove from oven. Repeat with remaining flatbreads.
Place the flatbreads on serving plates. Drizzle with yoghurt and sprinkle with coriander. Serve immediately.