• Pumpkin Creme Brulee

    Yes hello and welcome, I know I bring you another pumpkin recipe this week, but this one is a real showstopper so you won’t be mad for long. I’ll start with a question: what’s better that a creme brûlée? The answer? A PUMPKIN creme brûlée!! There is nothing quite as satisfying as taking your spoon and cracking that top shell before digging in to one of these, but the combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, and caramel waiting for you inside is a close second. I have adapted today’s recipe from this one here, changing around some proportions and things to make eight bigger pots, because who wouldn’t want more?


    Creme Brûlée may sound daunting, but it’s actually one of the easiest things to make, the hardest part honestly being separating 12 eggs for the custard. I know, it feels like such a waste of egg whites, but save them for macarons like these or these how about?? You’ll be glad you did. But anyway, I promise you’ll be surprised how well these turn out, and how easily you’ll be able to trick people into thinking you’re a master of french desserts or something.

    Before we get started as always, here are 5 things for you to be happy about at this very moment:

    ONE. The fact that otters hold hands when they sleep so they don’t float away from each other.
    TWO. A hearty stew on a cold night, complete with buttered noodles.
    THREE. Finally thinking of a really great Halloween costume.
    FOUR. Buying Halloween candy but ending up eating it yourself.
    FIVE. Pumpkin beer with the cinnamon sugar on the rim.

    Let’s go!!

    Makes: 8 (9oz.) creme brûlées (4 oz. pots will yield about double)
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Bake Time: 40-45 minutes
    Inactive Time: 2 hours

    Ingredients

    12 egg yolks
    3 cups heavy cream
    9 tablespoons brown sugar (a little over ½ cup)
    ½ tsp kosher salt
    3 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
    1½ tsp cinnamon
    ¾ tsp ground ginger
    ¾ tsp ground allspice
    1 cup pumpkin puree
    White sugar, for brûléeing

    Steps

    ONE. Preheat your oven to 300ºF. Since my ramekins are large, I used a 9×13″ baking dish plus another 8×8″ baking dish to fit all 8 pots, but whatever you can fit is fine, as long as the dish is deep enough that the top of the ramekin is about flush with the top of the baking dish. Line your dishes with a folded dish towel and place the ramekins inside. They can be touching, but just make sure they all fit straight, otherwise some custards will bake up lopsided.

    TWO. Add all your egg yolks to a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the heavy cream, brown sugar, and salt until just simmering. Remove from the heat and add in your spices and vanilla, then allow to steep for 5-10 minutes.

    THREE. Whisking constantly, add a little of the warm cream to your egg yolks to temper them (this will prevent the heat of the cream from cooking the eggs). After this is done, continue to add the cream in a slow drizzle until it has all been added to the yolks and everything is combined.

    FOUR. Whisk in the pumpkin puree until smooth, then pour the whole mixture into a large measuring cup or something with a spout to easily pour. Evenly pour the custard into each pot, making sure to leave some room on the top.

    FIVE. Place the dishes side by side in the oven and, while they’re on the racks, create a bain-marie by pouring boiling water into the large baking dishes so that they’re filled 2/3 of the way up the side of the ramekins, avoiding spilling any water into the custards themselves. This makes sure the custards steam and cook properly, and putting them in the oven before you do this means you don’t have to carry a heavy dish filled with hot water across your kitchen!

    SIX. Bake the custards for 40-45 minutes, until set but still slightly jiggly. Cool the ramekins in the fridge for at least 2 hours before brûléeing.

    SEVEN. To brûlée, sprinkle about a teaspoon of white sugar onto the top of each custard and gently shake so that the entire top is evenly covered. Using a kitchen torch, heat the sugar so that it caramelizes and spreads, until the top is one unified sheet of solid, caramel colored sugar. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can use the broiler in your oven, but watch very carefully because it can go from toasted to burnt very quickly.

    ENJOY!! xoxoxoxD

  • Summer Fruit Galettes

    Hello and welcome back! I apologize for being M.I.A. last week, in the midst of spending time with friends I don’t get to see a lot, I realized I had nothing to share with you all and rather than throw something together last minute, I figured I would take some time this weekend to bring you something extra nice. SO, for today’s post, you get not one, but two summer fruit galette recipes!! I went to the farm on Saturday with no recipe ideas or direction and hoped that something would jump out and tell me what to bake, and lucky enough, I immediately found some ripe peaches, blueberries, and the most beautifully colored sweet cherries I’ve ever seen!  To my dismay, the cherries lost a lot of their vibrant color during the baking, but it was still SUCH a good combo. However, if this bothers you, you can use dark sweet cherries, or substitute with tart cherries and add a few tablespoons more sugar to compensate.

    We have finally hit peach season, and I could not be happier about it. In my humble opinion, peach season might be the greatest time of the year, you know?? Naturally, this means that peaches are the star of both of these galettes, which truly could not be simpler. For those who have never made or seen one of these before, a galette is a type of french tart (it can be sweet or savory), where the bottom crust folds up the sides and keeps all the juices ad flavors inside, WITHOUT a pie plate! That’s right, this is a pie that can be baked on a sheet pan! It is the ultimate combination of fancy and rustic in all the right ways.

    As if it couldn’t get any better, this is also probably the quickest pie/tart dessert, since there’s only one crust, a simple filling, and no fussy crimping of edges. Not counting dough chilling time, this galette could be warm out of the oven in less than an hour to satisfy your pie cravings at any time, day or night. Without further ado, let’s get baking!


    Makes: 
    2 galettes, 6-8 servings each
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Inactive Time: 1 hour
    Bake Time: 35 minutes
    Total Time: ~2 hours


    Galette Dough (makes 2 galettes)

    2½ cups all purpose flour
    2 tbs white sugar
    Pinch of Kosher salt
    16 tbs (2 sticks) unsalted butter
    ½ cup ice water

    Galette Dough Steps

    1. Using a food processor, blend together the flour, sugar, and salt to incorporate evenly.

    2. Cut the butter into relatively even cubes and add to the processor as well, pulsing 8-10 times until the butter is mixed in and resembles the size of peas in the flour.

    3. Slowly drizzle in the ice water while pulsing another 8-10 times, until the dough is crumbly, but still comes together when you pinch it. If your dough seems to dry, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water gradually. Divide the dough in half and form 2 discs, slightly flattened on top for easier rolling out later. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

     

    Peach-Blueberry Filling Ingredients

    3 peaches, peeled and cut into thin slices
    ½ pint blueberries
    Splash of vanilla extract
    ¼ cup sugar
    1½ tsp cornstarch

     


    Peach-Blueberry Filling Steps

    1. Combine peaches and blueberries in a large bowl.

    2. In a smaller bowl, mix together the sugar and the cornstarch. Add this mixture to the fruits and stir until everything is evenly coated. Let sit for 15 minutes or until the fruits start to release their juices.


    Peach-Cherry Filling Ingredients

    3 peaches, peeled and cut into thin slices
    1 rough cup cherries, pitted
    Splash of vanilla extract
    ¼ cup sugar (1/3 cup if using sour cherries)
    1½ tsp cornstarch


    Peach-Cherry Filling Steps

    1. Combine peaches and cherries in a large bowl.

    2. Like above, mix together the sugar and the cornstarch, then add this mixture to the fruits and let sit for 15 minutes.

     


    Galette Assembly Extras

    1 egg
    1 tbs water
    Demerara sugar

    Galette Assembly Steps

    1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

    2. On a floured surface, roll out one of your galette doughs into a rough circle about ¼ inch thick.

    3. Carefully transfer this dough to a piece of parchment paper on your baking tray. In the center of the dough, carefully mound your fruit filling, leaving plenty of room on all sides for folding of the crust. If you’re worried that your fruit filling will be too runny, use a slotted spoon to transfer to control how much of the fruit juices are added in.

    3. Gently fold the sides of the galette up over the fruit, as if you’re pleating the dough. This can be as messy as you like, I promise it will look beautiful no matter what!

    4. Once you’re happy with the look, beat the egg with the water and brush onto the dough and sprinkle generously with the sugar. This will give the crust a nice golden brown color and a beautiful crunch.

    5. Bake the galette for 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and thickened, and the pastry is golden brown and crisp.

    6. Allow to cool, at least slightly, before serving. Best eaten with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a good cup of tea.

    YUM! xoxoxo

  • Tart Cherry Clafoutis

    Alright folks, I’m here to talk to you about clafoutis. If you’re not familiar with what that is, it’s a type of baked French dessert with a thin, eggy batter that bakes into a custard-y cake studded with the fruit of your choice. This was my first attempt at clafoutis and let me tell you, I am a changed woman. The recipe I followed, which you can find here, used pitted sweet cherries, but because I had 2 jars of tart cherries I decided to try those out instead and let me tell you I was not disappointed. A generous sprinkling of sugar caramelizes into a crisp, top layer, while the vanilla-almond scented batter is perfectly offset by the slight sourness of the cherries.


    It reminds me slightly of a more substantial Dutch Baby, and I am not joking when I say this was the easiest baking project I have ever undertaken. You have 50 minutes total? You can make this, and 45 of those minutes are spent baking anyway. It’s crucial that the batter is completely mixed without lumps, so the entire thing should be blended before baking, preferably with an immersion blender, but it can also be done in a regular blender as well, never fear!

    I know this picture doesn’t do it justice, but i needed everyone to see how thin it baked up and the LAYER of custard it produces.

    I think I’m finally off my rhubarb kick, so thank you all for sticking with me! I also realized that it’s been ages since I’ve posted a savory recipe and for that I apologize, I find myself cooking the same meals lately (I’ve been in a bit of a dinner rut), and branching out more into baked goods. The good news is that with the warm months comes fresh produce, so some new dishes will be coming soon, never fear! But until then, I really suggest that you bake this dish up at your earliest convenience, most fruits can be substituted for the tart cherries, and it becomes the easiest (but also still impressive) dessert.
    Let’s get baking!

    Makes: 10-12 servings
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Bake Time: 45 minutes
    Total Time: 50-60 minutes

    Ingredients
    Adapted from “David Lebovit’s Cherry Clafoutis” on Food52
    2¼ cups (1¼ lbs) pitted cherries, I used tart, but sweet will also do! (Can also be done with berries, pears, peaches, etc.)
    3 eggs, room temperature
    ½ cup all-purpose flour
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    ¼ tsp almond extract
    ½ cup + 3 tbsp white sugar, divided- ½ cup is in the batter, remaining tablespoons go on top for baking
    1 1/3 cups milk
    Softened salted butter, for greasing the dish

    Steps

    1. Preheat your oven to 375ºF and generously grease a 2 quart baking dish (mine was roughly 9″x13″). When I say generously I really do mean it, I thought I had done enough and there was still some sticking in the corners.

    2. If your cherries are fresh, wash and pit them, or if they are jarred in juice, drain. Spread the pitted cherries on the bottom of the dish evenly, but don’t obsess over it because they will shift when the batter is poured in.

    As a side-note, look at this fun summer tablecloth!!!!

    3. In a large mixing bowl, add eggs, flour, vanilla and almond extracts, white sugar, and milk. Using the aforementioned immersion blender (or regular blender), blend this batter thoroughly until smooth, so that all the ingredients are fully incorporated.

    4. Pour the batter over the cherries and sprinkle the top with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar.

    5. Bake for 45 minutes until the top is brown and crisp, and a knife comes out ~mostly~ clean.

    This can be served warm, room temperature, or cold, with ice cream, whipped cream, but it’s also perfect on its own!
    xoxoxoxoD