Blueberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberries were not quite out when I started tinkering with this. This is the edited version, as the test version came out a bit too sweet and too heavy on the cardamom.

Ingredients
1 pie dough recipe
8 stalks of rhubarb
4 cups blueberries
1 cup sugar
2 green cardamom pods
1/2 tea spoon vanilla seeds
2 table spoon cornstarch
2 table spoon instant tapioca
pinch of salt
zest of a lime and half the juice
egg and coarse sugar, for the top
ingredients

***

1. Roll the bottom disk of the dough and line a pie plate. Put in the fridge so it stays cold.
bottom

2. Slice the rhubarb stalk lengthwise into halves or thirds depending on the stalk then dice finely and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
rhubarb

3. Add the blueberries to the bowl.
blueberries

4. Add the sugar.
spices

5. Grind the cardamom pods. Discard the husks.
cardamom

6. Add the cardamom and the vanilla to the blueberries and rhubarb.
spices

7. Add the cornstarch, the tapioca, and the salt.
starches

8. Stir gently to coat evenly. then put in the fridge for later.
stir

9. Roll out the top of the pie in a squarish shape. Cut into 8 strips.
roll-top

10. Retrieve the pie and filling from the fridge. Pour the filling into the pie shell.
filling

11. Put 4 strips of dough horizontally across the pie.
strips

12. Fold the top and middle strip of dough from the right toward the middle and add a vertical strip. Unfold the dough. Fold the other two bands and add the second band. Unfold and repeat on the left side (starting with the middle and bottom strips). Put the whole thing back in the fridge for 20 minutes for the dough to firm up.
lattice

13.Pre-heat the oven to 375F

Beat an egg in a small bowl and brush the strips with the eggwash. Sprinkle coarse sugar.

Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. The juices will bubble up and spill and you don’t want them on the bottom of the oven.
eggwash

14. Bake for 55-60 minutes. The spilled juices are awesome over ice cream.
juices

15. Allow to cool fully.
baked-pie

16. Slice and serve.
cut-pie

 

Chocolate Praliné

Probably the evilest most addicting thing that can be made with simple ingredients. This is better than Nutella. You’ve been warned.

Ingredient
300g almonds
300g hazelnuts
400g sugar
2/3 cup water
355g Milk Chocolate chips
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 300F.
Mix the nuts and spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Put in the oven for 5 minutes then turn off the oven (leave the nuts in the warm oven)
nuts

2. In a thick bottomed pan, combine the sugar and water. Attach a candy thermometer, making sure the probe touches neither the bottom nor the sides.
sugar1

3. Over medium heat, bring the sugar to 224F.
sugar2

4. Working quickly, add the warm nuts. From this point on you’ll want to be stirring constantly.
sugar3

5. The sugar will crystallize. This is normal. Resist the urge to panic and think you messed things up. Keep stirring until it melts back down into caramel (5-10 minutes after step 4).
sugar4

6. Spread the nuts on a parchment lined cookie sheet and allow to cool fully.
nuts2

7. Break the cooled down nuts into small clusters. Add them a few at a time to a food processor and pulse until mostly broken down. Go slow at this step. You don’t want to burn out the motor of the food processor.
buzz1

8. Repeat until all the nuts are in.
buzz2

9. Slowly increase the length of time the blade runs. Take the time to stop and scrape down the sides every other pulse. As it processes the nuts will turn first into a dry mass.
buzz3

10. Then eventually into a nice, shiny, elastic paste as the oils emulsify. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside. The paste will likely be warm from the friction of the blade.
buzz4

11. Measure out the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set-up a double boiler.
choco1

12. Melt the chocolate (no need to temper it)
choco2

13. Add the melted chocolate to the nuts paste.
combine1

14. Mix to combine.
combine2

15. Seal and allow to cool to room temperature. Resist the urge to eat with a spoon.
done

Baked cider doughnuts

Tiny bites, perfect with tea or coffee or just to eat by the handful. Slightly modified from the recipe found here.

Next time I make them I might add a shredded Granny Smith apple to the dough.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup apple cider
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tea spoon baking soda
1 tea spoon baking powder
1 tea spoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tea spoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
2 table spoon melted butter
1 tea spoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tea spoon cinnamon (or more, to taste)
4 table spoon melted butter
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F
Pour the apple cider in a pot and boil for 15-20 minutes until reduced and syrupy.
reduced

2. Meanwhile, combine all of the dry ingredients.
dry

3. Whisk the wet ingredients in with the reduced apple cider.
wet

4. Combine the wet into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. If you over-reduced the apple cider, add some more until the batter is loose enough that no more dry flour remains.
combine

5. Spoon into a non-stick mini-muffin pan (or spray the thing with something like Pam). Or use a doughnut pan if you own one.

Put in the oven for 15 minutes.
spoon

6. In the meantime, melt the butter for the glaze. In a large shallow plate (pie dish, here) combine the sugar and cinnamon.
dusting

7. Remove the warm little doughnuts from the pan (they should just fall out).
baked

8. Using a pastry brush, brush some melted butter on each doughnut. Dust with the cinnamon sugar (or roll it in the sugar for a thicker glaze) then allow to cool fully.

Yields 48 mini doughnuts. Enjoy!
dust

Tiramisù

As requested by my brother as his birthday cake. I think next time I’ll swap the rum for some coffee liquor, but otherwise this a creamy not too sweet nearly perfect version of the classic Italian cake.

Ingredients:
For the syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 freshly brewed espresso
1/3 cup rum
1/3 cup water

For the cake
1/3 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream
450g mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 tea spoon vanilla extract.
45 ladyfingers (approx)
1-2 table spoon unsweetened cocoa powder
ingredients

***

1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water for the syrup. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar.
syrup1

2. While the sugar is melting, brew the coffee.
syrup2

3. Pour the coffee into the sugar syrup and set aside to cool to room temperature.
syrup3

4. In a heat proof bowl combine the sugar and egg yolks for the filling.
filling1

5. Whisk together until the sugar is fully dissolved and the color lightens (2 minutes or so).
filling2

6. Pour about 2 inches of water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Put the bowl over the saucepan (making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water) and heat the egg yolks while whisking continually until tripled in volume and thick (8-10 minutes).
filling3

7. Remove the eggs from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Keep an eye on them and stir often as they cool.
Add the rum to the coffee syrup.
syrup4

8. While the eggs are cooling whip the heavy cream.
filling4

9. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the mascarpone cheese and the vanilla extract. Whisk together until fluffy.
filling5

10. The eggs should be cool by now. The picture isn’t clear, but they will have continued to thicken as they cool, turning into a nice ribbon texture.
filling6

11. Add the eggs to the mascarpone.
filling7

12. Beat until well combined and smooth.
filling8

13. Remove from the mixer and fold in the whipped cream with a spatula.
filling9

14. Assembly time!
Pour the coffee syrup in a large shallow plate (here, I’m using a pie plate).
assemble1

15. Soak lady fingers one or two at a time and line the bottom of an 8×8 pyrex baking dish.
Note : 9×9 would probably yield a cleaner result, but 8×8 is what I have so meh.
assemble2

16. Spread 1/3 of the filling over the ladyfingers.
assemble3

17. Repeat with more cookies.
assemble4

18. Spread over 1/2 of the remaining filling.
assemble5

19. Last layer of cookies.
assemble6

20. Bang the dish a bit on the counter to make everything settle then add as much of the filling as will fit (here is the reason for the note about the dish’s size).
Wipe anything that spilled over, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight.
assemble7

21. When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and dust cocoa over the surface.
serve1

22. Spoon out into portions and enjoy!
serve2

Pana Cotta

I totally stole this super simple recipe from Ros. It’s is very simple but absolutely fantastic at the same time. The spices are the absolute star of this. Really really recommend giving this blend a try. The rose petal and warmer spices are just right for the very light fresh milk.

Ingredients:
4 cups milk (5% milk if you can get it OR a mix of 10% cream and whole milk)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tea spoon Silk Road spices.
1 1/2 table spoon gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water
ingredients

***

1. In a large pot, combine the milk and sugar. Put the spices in a spice bag or tea infuser and turn the heat on medium-low. Stir to dissolve the sugar and allow the spices to infuse into the milk for a few minutes.
combine1

2. Once the milk is simmering, measure out the gelatin into a bowl.
gelatin1

3. Add the boiling water and stir to dissolve.
gelatin2

4. Remove the spices from the milk and discard. Whisk in the gelatin.
milk2

5. Ladle in to ramekins. Put in the refrigerator for a few hours or until fully cold.
split

6. Serve with the berries of your choice.
eat

Hoisin pork & eggplant stir-fry

This was an exercise in pantry diving more than anything, but it turned out quite tasty.

Ingredients:
1 pork tenderloin
1 eggplant, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup snow peas
1 table spoon soy sauce
1 table spoon sugar
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
3 table sauce rice vinegar
2 table spoon Sambal oelek
3 tea spoon cornstarch
peanut oil
ingredients

***

1. In a bowl, combine the hoisin, rice vinegar, sambal oelek and 1 tea spoon of the cornstarch. Stor together and set aside.
sauce

2. Thinly slice the pork. Combine the remaining cornstarch, the soy sauce and the sugar. Marinade the pork in this mixture for 30 minutes (See here).

Sear the pork until colored, set aside.
pork

3. Throw the onions in the pan and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant.
onions

4. Add the eggplants and cook until they start to soften.
eggplant

5. Add the snow peas.
snap-peas

6. Add the hoisin sauce mix.
add-sauce

7. Return the pork to the pan. Stir to combine.
combine

8. Simmer until the eggplants are done.
simmer

9. Serve over rice.
plate

Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

Another one from the Preservation Society book. Have I mentioned how much I love that book?

So ingredients and pictures, but no instruction below.

Ingredients:
700g strawberries, quartered
1.2 kg rhubarb, chopped
1 green apple, cored and chopped
5 cups sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice