Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bread Baking Day #44: Autumn Flavors

Barely in the nick of time, I've baked my entry for this month's Bread Baking Day (#44). The theme of Autumn Flavors was selected by Sarah of Winged Snail.

I discovered a delicious recipe on Kayte's blog, Herbed Carrot Cloverleaf Yeast Rolls. They are full of flavor and colorful as well.

Instead of making cloverleaf rolls, I chose to make just regular individual rolls. Basically, this is an all-purpose dough, so any shape would work. The recipe also makes just 12 rolls, the right amount for small families.

I plan to freeze some of these for times when I want a simple roll with dinner. This is definitely an easy and delicious recipe.

Many thanks to Sarah for choosing a great theme, and to Zorra for creating one of my favorite events.

Herbed Carrot Cloverleaf Yeast Rolls

Carrots: steam about 1/2 pound fresh carrots, peeled and cut into pieces, until easily pierced with a knife. Puree in a food processor until smooth. Cool to room temperature before using.


1/4 ounce active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees F)
3 tablespoons softened butter
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 cup pureed carrots
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and lightly chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 cups all-purpose flour

a little cream to brush on the tops

Measure the yeast into the warm milk and let sit for 5 minutes to proof

Combine the yeast mixture and the remaining ingredients (except the cream) in a large mixing bowl.

Stir to mix into a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes.

Place the dough into a clean, oiled bowl; turn so the top is oiled, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. To make cloverleaf rolls, divide each of the 12 pieces into 3 small pieces, form into balls, and place 3 balls into each cavity in a well-greased muffin tin.

Cover and let rise about 30 minutes.

Brush the tops with cream.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden on top.

Remove from pan and cool on rack.

Makes 12 rolls.

TWD: Normandy Apple Tart

Our second TWD Thanksgiving dessert this year was the Normandy Apple Tart. Essentially, it is a tart shell filled with homemade applesauce and topped with sliced apples.

Normally, I like anything apple, but this tart fell flat for me. It tasted bland and heavy. If I were to make it again, I would add some lemon zest and some spices to the applesauce.

To be fair, my mother thought it was delicious. But, that's a mother for you, liking anything you make.

This apple tart was chosen by Tracey of Tracey's Culinary Adventures. She'll have the recipe available on her website. While you're there, check out her other terrific recipes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TWD: Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie or Tart

We're approaching the end of our TWD adventure. This week I was lucky enough to choose for a second time, and since fall is in the air, I wanted to try another version of pumpkin pie.

I made this pie for Thanksgiving. This is the only photo I took, since it was devoured quickly, even without whipped cream. There was plenty of filling left over, so I poured it into four ramekins and baked them along with the tart. Pumpkin custard is a terrific breakfast treat.

Check out the Tuesdays with Dorie site for more pumpkin pie. (Normandy Apple Pie will show up soon.)

Here's the recipe if you want to give it a try.

Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie (or Tart)

1 9-inch single pie crust, partially baked and cooled, or one 9-inch tart shell, partially baked and cooled (recipes for the crusts can be found in BFMHTY on pages 442 and 444)

2 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons dark rum
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Lightly sweetened lightly whipped cream for topping

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat and put the pie plate (or tart pan) on it.

Put all of the filling ingredients in a food processor and process for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Alternatively, you can whisk the ingredients together vigorously in a mixing bowl. Rap the work bowl or mixing bowl against the counter to burst any surface bubbles, and pour the filling into the crust.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F and continue to bake for 35 to 45 minutes longer (20 to 25 minutes for a tart), or until a knife inserted close to the center comes out clean. If you don't want to create a slash in your masterpiece, tap the pan gently -- if the custard doesn't jiggle, or only jiggles a teensy bit in the very center, it's done. Transfer the pie or tart to a rack and cool to room temperature.

Can be served either chilled or at room temperature, topped with whipped cream. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Alternative version: Pumpkin-Banana Pie

Line the bottom of the pie or tart shell with sliced bananas. Cut them on the bias and don't make them too thin -- a scant 1/4 inch is good -- and pour the custard over the fruit; bake as directed.

Leftover filling can be used to make mini tarts/pies; bake the minis at 400 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Rewind TWD: Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet

Last week, for Tuesdays with Dorie, we were treated to a Rewind, where we could either re-bake something we liked, or make something we missed the first time round. (I didn't know we were supposed to be making something for Thanksgiving.)

With my summer schedule, I missed the week of Cream Dark Chocolate Sorbet, hosted by Stephanie of A Whisk and A Spoon. Even though it's November, I wanted to give it a try.

If you want something intensely chocolate, this is the dessert for you. Be warned: it has a tendency to melt quickly, even in November.

But don't let that stop you.

Just consume quickly.

Head over to Stephanie's blog for the recipe and for reading enjoyment.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

TWD: Alsatian Apple Tart

First up for TWD this week is Dorie's Alsatian Apple Tart. I adore apples in any form, especially in pies and tarts, and because it's just me now, I can have cooked apples anytime I wish. This particular tart only took two apples -- one large Braeburn and one small Gala.

The creamy custard that covers the apples is easy to mix up, making this dessert a good choice for a get-together.

I did share a portion of it with my neighbor so I wouldn't be tempted to eat it all.

This is also a very photogenic dessert, and definitely a dessert winner.

Jessica, of cookbookhabit, chose this apple tart. She'll have the recipe available on her blog. Take a few minutes to stop by the Tuesdays with Dorie site to see what the other bakers thought.

Not being in a chocolate mood lately, I took a pass on the second recipe of the week, Bittersweet Brownies. Perhaps I'll be able to bake them during the rewind week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

End of an Era

I knew this day would come -- my wonderful vanilla has been completely consumed, all 33.8 ounces of it.

I bought this in Ensenada, Mexico, while on a cruise in March 2002. It was my favorite vanilla and I used it in everything I baked. Who'd have thought it would have lasted this long?

This past January, I was, once again, on a cruise to Mexico, and my primary task was to find a replacement, knowing that the end was in sight. Sadly, I was unable to find anything in the same quantity. I did return with two small bottles of vanilla, but they won't last long at all at the rate I bake.

This vanilla was the best buy ever, in both taste and cost, so I guess the search will begin again.

National Bundt Day

This year I just couldn't resist participating in National Bundt Day, which is tomorrow (November 15). For all bundts wild and wonderful, check out Mary's blog, The Food Librarian.

Ha ha. Check out. That's a librarian joke. (From one librarian to another)

All joking aside, I haven't been in a chocolate mood lately, so I searched for a lemon-flavored bundt. I ended up using Ina Garten's lemon yogurt cake. It has triple-whammy lemony goodness with lemon zest and lemon oil in the cake, lemon syrup drizzled over the hot cake, and a creamy, lemon glaze to finish it off.

In the process, I used up all my lemons. Not to worry, though, because I think the lemons on my tree are just about ready to harvest.

Celebrate National Bundt Day by heading over to Mary's blog to see a terrific selection of delicious cakes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

TWD: Not-so-mini Madeleines

I had basically decided that I would not make the second TWD recipe this week because I don't own a mini-madeleine pan. I just have large, individual molds.

But then, some of the bakers said they made them anyway in a bigger size, so, I changed my mind.

Half a recipe produced 7 giant madeleines, although I think 8 or 9 would be more realistic.

I baked the cookies right after I baked the butternut squash pie. I'd made the batter the night before, so it seemed natural. The house was a bit chilly so I thought the heat from the oven would make the kitchen a cozy place for me and the dog.

The cookies started out with the traditional 'bump' on top, which promptly collapsed within seconds. On the bright side, they unmolded perfectly.

They sure were tasty cookies. Bites of light, lemony sponge cake. I spent Sunday nibbling away. After all, there were only seven of them, and everyone knows that madeleines don't hold up well, right?

I think I may just have to make these again soon.

The madeleine hostess this week is Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook. She'll have the recipe posted on her blog.

So, settle in with your madeleines and nice cup of tea and see what the other TWD bakers did.

TWD: Fall Butternut Squash Pie

It's another double-dip week for the Tuesdays with Dorie group.

First up is a fruity pie, loaded with butternut squash, pears, dried cranberries, and walnuts and spiced up with cinnamon and nutmeg. What a great flavor combination!

Even though I have a butternut squash on my counter, I wimped out and bought some pre-cut squash from Trader Joe's. They carry two sizes: 12 ounces and 2 pounds. I chose the smaller package, and it was more than enough for this recipe.

And, although I thought I had bought two Anjou pears, one turned out to be a Bartlett in Anjou clothing. Guess it must have jumped its bin.

I prepared the whole pie the night before, wrapped it well, and placed it in the fridge. First thing Sunday morning, I baked it. That extra hour of sleep made such a difference!

Now, as you look at the slice, it appears very brown. Trust me, it really doesn't look like this. It's more red and cheery. My Photoshop definitely has issues with reds and oranges.

If you want a delicious change from the usual fall holiday pies, why don't you give this one a try?

The hostess for this pie is Valerie of Une Gamine dans la Cuisine and she'll have the recipe posted on her blog. Then head over to the TWD site to see how the other bakers fared.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TWD: Far Breton

This is truly the last piece standing.

Today was my turn to host my quilt group and I also signed up to make dessert. Would you believe that I agonized over a week about what to make? So many possibilities, so few quilt meetings.

While I was planning to make this Far Breton anyway, I kept putting off. Finally, yesterday, I said what the heck and decided to bake it this morning for my friends.

It went together very easily and was a breeze to bake. I left it in a bit longer than instructed so it would have a pretty, golden top. I learned that part when I was researching far bretons.

The dessert came out of the pan with no difficulties.

At the end of our meeting, there was only one piece remaining, a good testament to its deliciousness. I did choose to soak the fruit in Earl Grey tea, since I have no Armagnac (that stuff is expensive!). However, the zing from the liqueur would be fun, so I'm putting Armagnac on my official Christmas list this year.

This is definitely a 'sleeper' dessert, one I would make again.

Two other notes, I did cut up the prunes so they were the same size as the raisins. I think it made the dessert easier to eat. Next time I might play with fruit combinations as well.

And, I made the batter in my blender. Seeing no need to dirty yet another container, I let it remain in the blender over night, then gave it a gentle spin right before using.

The hostess for the Far is Nicole of Cookies on Friday. She has the recipe posted on her blog.

Stop by the Tuesdays with Dorie site for more comments. .

TWD: Honey Nut Scones

The Tuesdays with Dories baking group is nearing the end of its run. We are that close to finishing the cookbook, sad to say.

This week we are featuring two recipes. First up are the honey nut scones. Scones are always a favorite here, but because there is just me now, I made the whole batch, freezing half and baking half.

Needless to say, the baked scones disappeared too quickly.

Especially when topped with butter

and homemade blood orange marmalade.

I'm really glad I still have some scones in the freezer so I can look forward to a special treat one morning.

The hostess for the scones is Jeannette of The Whimsical Cupcake. The recipe should be available on her blog. They are definitely worth baking.

And, as usual, head over to the TWD site for more comments.