Saturday, November 28, 2009

Coconut Lime Curd Scrolls

This summer, I made quite a lot of lime curd to use in tarts and cupcakes, I usually keep lime or lemon curd in the freezer to use for last minute tart recipes or on scones.
This recipe is adapted from Baking Bites and seemed like a good way to use up odd amounts of lime curd, my change was to use homemade lime curd instead of lemon.
These were nice, I think would add a bit more curd next time, the scrolls could have been tarter and I think the lime curd was spread a little thin in spots. Some pinwheels were limier than others (I had to eat them all to discover this, you see), but in general, these were a good scone, pretty, pinwheel, need no embellishment. The scroll dough was a nice basic scone type dough, and next time I plan to try the nutella version. These spirally scones were toasty on the outside tender in centre, good with fresh berries for brunch or breakfast.
The best part is eating them warm from the oven when the coconut gets toasted and crunchy, while the scone stays tender.

Coconut Lime Curd Scrolls
this recipe was adapted from baking my only change was to use my homemade lime curd in place of lemon curd.

time: 40 minutes
makes 12-14 scrolls

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, cold
  • 1/2 cup lime or lemon curd, homemade or storebought
  • 3/4 - 1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in butter using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. The largest should be about the size of a large pea. Alternatively, you can combine these ingredients in a food processor and pulse to achieve crumbs, then transfer to a large bowl.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in cold milk, gradually stirring with a butter knife or a fork until a soft dough forms.
Sprinkle dough with flour and turn out onto a lightly-floured surface. Knead lightly until smooth, then roll out to a 12×14 inch rectangle. If dough gets too soft or sticky, even with the extra flour, put in fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
Spread lemon curd over dough, leaving a 2cm border along the longer edges, but going all the way to the end of the short edges of the rectangle. Sprinkle coconut generously over the lemon curd.
Starting with a long end, roll up dough in a jelly-roll fashion. Using a sharp, serrated knife to gently cut the roll into about 12 even slices. Use a damp paper towel in between slices to keep knife clean and press gently to avoid squishing the roll. Lay scrolls flat on prepared baking sheet, allowing about 1 inch or so between each.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until scroll are light gold. Stand for 5 minutes on tray before gently pulling apart. Serve warm.

Lime curd


Makes: about 1/2 cup lime curd

Time including chilling: 50 minutes

Active time: 8 minutes

  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • ¼ cup key lime or lime juice ( about 1-1/2 regular limes)
  • ¼ sweetened condensed milk
    1. In heatproof bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, sugar, lime rind, and lime juice; cook over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until thick enough to mound on a spoon, about 8 minutes.
    2. Strain through a sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate until cold, about 45 minute. Stir in condensed milk.

Adapted from Canadian Living June 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Baked Apples with Warm Apple Cider Caramel

One of my goals this fall was to try baking things with apple cider. I really felt like an apple dessert this week. So, flipping through my cookbook I came across this recipe for warm cider caramel baked apples and decided that i needed to make them as soon as possible.
While these were baking my kitchen was filed with the warm, fragrant, heady smell of apples. Another dimensions of flavour and texture is added in the filling, a sweet mixture of orange zest, pecans, golden raisins, and cinnamon.

The soft yet firm baked apples are surrounded by a sticky caramel sauce that is made by adding reduced apple cider to the bubbling caramel.
I was particularly proud of accomplishing this recipe because the caramel sauce did not turn black or give me terrible third degree burns or scorch the pot or do any of those horribly scary things that caramel is wont to do. ( burning sugar scares the crap out of me, can you tell?) In fact all it did was bubble and hiss when I added the reduced cider and then its insatiable rage fizzled out and I was left with a dreamy, apple-y caramel.
All that and there's only a few tablespoons of butter in the recipe! Of course that particular asset was nullified since I accompanied mine with ice cream .
These baked apples are fairly hands off dessert that comes together fast using pantry staples. They are a wholesome comfort food dessert, which is just what an overworked undergrad like me needs.

Baked Apples with Warm Cider Caramel

Time: about 1 hour, 15 minutes hands on time
Makes: 4 baked apples

• ¼ cup pecans
• 4 large cooking apples,(Northern Spy, Pink Lady, Ida Red)
• ¼ cup golden raisins
• 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
• 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
• 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ cup apple cider or juice

Cider caramel
• ½ cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons orange juice
• ¼ cup reduced reserved apple baking juices

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from baking sheet and cool. Chop pecans and reserve.
3. Peel skin from the top third of each apple. Use a melon baler or paring knife to core the apples, leaving about ½ inch of the bottoms intact to hold the filling.
4. Combine pecans, raisins, brown sugar, butter, orange rind, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Toss to combine well. Use a small spoon to stuff filling into apples, pressing in with fingers to compact filling. Set apples upright in a small baking dish or pie plate.
5. Pour apple cider over apples. Cover baking dish tightly with foil, and bake for 45 minutes or until apples can be easily pierced with the point of a knife.
6. Remove apples from oven and drain apple cider juices into small pot. Keep apples covered in a warm place while you make sauce.
7. Place pot over medium-high heat and simmer for 4 minutes or until, juices are reduced to about ¼ cup. Reserve.
8. For caramel, heat sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir until sugar is moistened. Allow mixture to come to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes or until sugar has turned golden. Standing back slightly, pour in the reduced apple cider, (the caramel will bubble and spit vigorously). When the bubbling has subsided somewhat, stir to incorporate the juice and the caramel. Don’t be tempted to stick your finger into the sauce to taste it until it has cooled slightly, as molten sugar is painfully hot. Pour sauce over and around apples. Serve warm with ice cream.

Adapted from: LCBO Food and Drink Holiday 2006

Monday, November 23, 2009

Walnut Brown Sugar Rugelach

Rugelach are really the quintessential Jewish holiday cookie. They show up at just about every Jewish holiday. I made these for Hanuka one year. They are a good basic version of the recipe. These are not too sweet, but they are certainly addictive. My hypothesis is that the addictiveness of baked goods directly corresponds to the amount of butter and cream cheese in the recipe. Both of those ingredients make these cute little rugelach tender and flaky. They are delicate enough for a fancy brunch, or just for a teatime treat, they are exactly like the kind found at Kosher bakeries.

Brown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach

Makes 32

Prep time: 25 minutes

Total time 55 minutes plus chilling


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

    1. In food processor, blend butter, cream cheese, granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla until well combined. Add flour, and pulse just until a dough forms. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least two hours and up to 2 days, or freeze up to 3 months (thaw before baking).
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with racks set in upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In small bowl combine egg with 1 teaspoon water to make an egg wash.
    3. Working with one disk at a time, roll dough on lightly floured surface into an 11 inch circle about ¼ inch thick. Brush circles with egg wash; sprinkle with ½ cup of the walnuts, ¼ cup of the brown sugar and ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon.
    4. Using sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut each circle into 16 equal triangles. Starting from the wide end, roll up each triangle of dough; place on baking sheets seam side down. Brush rolls with egg wash. Repeat with remaining dough and topping.
    5. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Transfer rugelach to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted From: Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, December 2007

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Marshmallows, Crushed Pineapple and Cherries, Oh My?!

On a recent trip to Ontario, My mom and I went to an antiques mall and bought a vintage cookbook. In the car on the way home, I read some of the recipes aloud for fun. I love vintage cookbooks because some of the recipes, particularly those from the 50’s are horrendous. Almost all of the recipes in this book (The Beta Sigma Phi Baking Book) used marshmallows, crushed pineapple and maraschino cherries. Imagine a concoction of melted marshmallows, crushed pineapple, and maraschino cherries folded into whipped cream…it sounds quite bizarre.
But it seems I spoke too soon, the next day I was baking and Mom, told me I had given her a craving for something with pineapple and maraschino cherries in it. We did a quick search through some of her older cookbooks and found this recipe for tropical bars---a shortbread base with a sticky topping of brown sugar, coconut, pineapple and maraschino cherries.
A quick trip to the grocery store was all we needed to get the cherries, the only ingredient not already in the pantry, and we had a really retro style bar cookie in no time.
Ok so this isn’t quite as terrifying or “out there” as the marshmallow confection I described earlier but it’s still sweet, sticky, fun and retro.
And of course my other buy from the antiques mall had to make his way into the photo!
Say hello to Monsieur Ananas! I miss Telefrancais!
Les ananas n’est danser pas! But these bars are very excellent and will have you longing for the days of marshmallows and maraschino cherries.

Tropical Bars


Time: about 1 hour

  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • ½ cup sifted all purpose flour
  • ½ baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • ¼ cup cut up maraschino cherries
  • ½ cup well-drained crushed pineapple

    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 inch square cake pan.
    2. Sift 1 cup flour and ¼ teaspoon salt into bowl. Add ¼ cup brown sugar and blend lightly. Add butter and work into dry ingredients first with a fork and then with fingers until mixture is crumbly.
    3. Press firmly into into bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
    4. Beat egg thoroughly. Add 1 cup brown sugar gradually, beating well after each addition. Beat in rum extract.
    5. Sift ½ cup flour baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt into mixture and stir to blend. Stir in coconut, pineapple and cherries. Spread over hot pastry layer and return to oven. Bake about 35 minutes or until well-browned. Cool in pan and cut into bars.

From: Mennonite Relief Sale Cookbook: A Collection of Traditional and Family Favourites

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pumpin Raisin Scones

When the Internet revealed to me that pumpkin scones existed I knew I would track down a recipe and devour these elusive scones with relish.

Pumpkin is one of my food obsessions. It bridges the gap between sweet and savoury and you can use it in just about everything. At the risk of sounding like Forrest’s good friend Bubba—you can make pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin soup, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bars, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin bread and these here pumpkin scones.

behold the scone circle of unity:

Pumpkin just screams fall. It is the quintessential autumn food, and it melds perfectly with other traditional autumn flavours, be it spices like cinnamon and ginger, or herbs like sage and rosemary.

While I’m not so keen on the whole “back to school” season, I’ve always seen fall as a renewing season. Spring and summer are more for shedding the baggage of winter but fall is the beginning, the time to start preparing yourself for a new year and the trials of a new winter.

Anyways this digression into my love of fall is related to these pumpkin scones because to me scones mean tea parties! And tea parties are rarely ever Fall themed. Now why is that? As far as I am concerned Afternoon tea should occur year round. This recipe is my attempt to rectify this dire situation, as these scones are fall personified; they represent the gentler aspects of fall. They are tender and soft, flecked with fall spices and studded with raisins. These scones are a great addition to a teaparty menu or just on their own with a chai latte. (Or a regular latte, whatever you like) I like these best dusted lightly with confectioner’s sugar and served with honey and butter. They are the perfect addition to a crisp fall afternoon.

Pumpkin Raisin Scones


Prep time: 20 minutes

Bake:12-15 minutes

Makes: 8-12 scones

  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chilled butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ½ cup raisins
  • extra milk for brushing
  • granulated sugar and icing sugar for sprinkling

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a mixing bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and salt. With a pastry blender cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the centre of dry mixture; set aside.
    2. In another bowl, combine egg, pumpkin, and milk. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir in raisins. Using a wooden spoon, stir just until moistened.
    3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Quickly knead dough by folding and pressing gently for 10-12 strokes or until nearly smooth. Pat dough into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8-12 wedges.
    4. Place wedges 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush tops with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Remove scones from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve scones warm with honey and butter.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chocolate Pear Tart

Chocolate pear tart

Sigh, midterms. Lithography and my other classes leave me no time to bake...luckily this tart takes no time to whip up. The recipe comes together in the food processor, and takes minimal effort. The hardest step in this recipe was peeling the pears!
It's a perfect recipe for midterm-addled students. I definitely needed the chocolate this week
this isn't a tart in the sense of having a crust or filling, it is more like a fudgy brownie with pears arranged ever so artfully on top. It is an elegant version of brownies, baked in a 9-inch tart pan so it has pretty fluted edges.

This recipe s flourless, it uses almonds instead which makes for a delicate flavour that offsets the delicate floral pears, and mellows the intensity of the chocolate. The tart is meant to have a fudgy texture with a slight grit from the ground almonds. I accidentally overloaded the tart with pear slices despite my better judgement, and it took much longer to bake and didn't look quite like i'd hoped. tasted good, so i forgive it. Although the recipe called for 3 pears, i think one or two would be more than enough.Do not overload this with pears. I blame my midterm stress-addled brain, i needed chocolate and the stress of it all was getting to me. Nonetheless I would make this again, moving forward with the benefit of my experience, and moving on to new baking mishaps in the future. This is why it helps to have some chocolate on hand. Or a recipe for a very simple tart.

Chocolate Pear Tart
makes 1 tart
time: 1-1/2 hours

• ½ cup butter, room temperature
• 1 cup whole blanched almond
• ¾ cup sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon almond extract
• 3 firm, ripe Bartlett pears (I really only needed one or two pears depnding on rthe sze)
• ½ lemon (optional I didn’t need it)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a 9-inch tart pan with a removeable bottom with butter.
2. In a food processor, combine almonds and sugar; process until very finely ground. Add butter, eggs, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and almond extract. Process until combined. Spread mixyure evenly in prepared pan.
3. Pell halve, and core pears; cut lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices, rubbing them with ½ a lemon to prevent discoloration as you work. Arrange slices on chocolate mixture, slightly overlapping, WITHOUT pressing in. Do not, overload the tart with pears, the batter will take too long to bake, and will not look as pretty.
4. Place pan on a baking sheet; bake until top is puffed and a toothpick inserted in centre of chocolate mixture comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 45-50 minutes. Transfer tart to a wire rack, and cool completely in pan.
5. Remove tart from pan and serve.

adapted from: Martha Stewart Everyday Food Holiday 2007