Monday, November 16, 2009

Berries Leftover Part 2: Strawberry Hand Pies

This is the last of the Berries Leftover series and I've used the strawberries left over from my mini fruit tarts. i found the recipe on Martha Stewart's website and, needless to say, another delicious treat! The Pâte Brisée is just absolutely fabulous!

Strawberry Hand Pies
Makes 6

1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and cut in half or quarters, depending on size
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
All-purpose flour, for work surface
1/2 recipe Pâte Brisée (see below)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, add strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch; stir to combine, set aside.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough into a large rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 5-inch cookie cutter, cut out 6 rounds. Transfer rounds to prepared baking sheet.

Place about 2 tablespoons of the strawberry mixture onto one-half of each round. Lightly brush egg around the edge of the covered half of each round. Fold remaining dough over to enclose, forming a half moon. Gently press edges together to seal. Brush the tops of each pie with egg. Using a paring knife, slash the top of each pie. Sprinkle generously with sanding sugar.

Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pies to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving. Or let cool completely, and store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days.

Pâte Brisée

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.

With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator, and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Leftover Berries Part 1: Raspberry and Blueberry Vanilla Pound Cake

After a week of cake decorating, I wanted to bake something really simple but oh so flavorfull. I also had some raspberries and blueberries left over from the mini tarts that I wanted to use, hence the berry pound cake.

Let's just say it's so yummy, that half of it was gone in less than an hour... and we are only 3 at home!!

Vanilla Pound Cake

Adapted from Dinner with Kirsten

fresh raspberries
fresh blueberries
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature, whisked to blend
1 cup milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Position a rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Mix the berries with 2 tablespoons of the flour and keep in fridge.

Sift the remaining flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl or onto a sheet of waxed paper. Set the mixed ingredients aside.

Put the butter into the bowl of a mixer and beat at medium speed until smooth. With the mixer running, add the sugar in a steady stream. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue to beat at medium speed until the mixture is very light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.

With the mixer still at medium speed, begin to add the eggs in small additions, about a tablespoon at a time. If the mixture becomes watery or shiny, stop adding the eggs and beat at an increased speed just until it smooths out. When the batter has come together again, decrease the speed to medium and continue adding the eggs, scraping down the paddle and sides of the bowl from time to time; it will take 3 to 4 minutes to incorporate the eggs. The mixture is properly combined when it appears white, fluffy and increased in volume.

Reduce the mixter speed to low and add the flour mixture and the milk alternately—4 additions of flour, 3 of milk—scraping the paddle and bowl frequently and mixing until the batter is smooth after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix just to blend. Fold in very gently the berries with a spatula.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto a rack, remove the pan, and cool to room temperature.