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Louis Remolde: The Single Baker

Month

January 2017

Lemon Meringue Pie 

So If you Ask or hint out that you love a certain dessert or pastry, there is a 100% chance I will make it for you. I love when people ask for one of my specialies ,but really really love when people ask for something I haven’t made or is gonna be a challenge. My friend Karen hinted about a month before her birthday she loved Lemon Meringue Pie ….so when the time was right thats what she got ! 

Its always an adrenaline rush when you haven’t done something before, right? I will say you may run into the risk of the pie not setting and once you place the Meringue top on and bake its hard to tell whats going on inside .(so pay attention to the directions and timing) Then there is the Meringue. The Meringue knows it’s the opening act for the rest of the pie , so it can be alittle finicky if not properly done .  So here it goes . This recipe is adapted from The American Test KItchen Baking Book,  my Bible . If you don’t own this book GET IT NOW I swear on this book. The great thing about this baking book, they do all these recipes until they get the right one perfected. Its totally up to you but I would make the pie crust but I understand that if you have a favorite store bought one …. use on. 

Three parts to this pie . Crust. Lemon Filling. Meringue.

Pie Dough For Prebaked Pie Shell

Ingredients 

 1 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoon vegetable shortening, chilled 

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

4-5  tablespoons ice water 

About a half cup of  Graham Cracker Crumbs

Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and blend until combined. Add the shortening and process until the mixture and texture resembles course sand, about 10 seconds. Place the butter pieces over the flour mixture, cut the butter and flour until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, small peas size butter. Usually about ten 1 second pulses. Place the mixture into a medium bowl.

Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. With a rubber Spatula, fold into the mix. Press down on the dough until it sticks together. Adding up to 1 tablespoon of ice water if dough is not coming together . Flatten into a disk about 4 inches. Wrap in Plastic, refrigerate at least 1 hour. But can be done 2 days before. 

Remove the dough from the refrigerator Sprinkle 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs on the work surface when rolling out the dough. Sprinkle more crumbs over dough. Continue this process until heavyily covered in graham cracker. (place the dough in between two peices of parchment paper to a 12 inch circle. transfer the dough to a 9 inch pie pan.) Working Clockwise ease the pie dough by lifting and pressing into the pan . Trim off some of the excess dough hanging over pan.Tuck the remainder under . Then you can flute, pinch or use fork tongs for the outer edges. Place in the pie dough in the refrigerator for about 40 minutes then place in the freezer for another 20 mimutes.

Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle postion and heat oven to 375 degrees. remove the dough lined pie pan. Press heavy duty foil inside the pie shell, you want to fold the foil under the edges. If you have baking weights use them or do what I do and use Rice to place over the foil. Bake for about 25 -30 minutes, dough should look dry and light in color. Remove the foil, continue baking until deep golden brown about another 10-12 minutes, tranfer and let cool completely. 

Lemon Fillling

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup cold water

6 large Egg yolks

1 tablespoon grated zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice ( 2-4 lemons)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

Meringue

1 tablespoon cornstarch 

1/3 cup water 

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup sugar

4 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanila extract 

For the filling . Mix the sugar, cornstarch, salt and water in a large saucepan.Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Whisking  occasionally at the beginning and more frequently as the mixture begins to thicken. When the mixture starts to simmer and turns translucent, start to whisk in the egg yolk, 2 at a time. Whisk the zest, then the lemon juice, and finally the butter. Bring the mixture to a good simmer , whisking constantly. Remove from the heat , place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling . This prevents a skin from forming and keeps it hot .

Meringue: Mix the cornstrach with the water in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally at the beginning and more as the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat when the mixtures start to simmer and turn translucent .

Heat the oven 325 degrees. Mix the cream of tartar and sugar togehter. Beat the egg whites and vanilla until frothy. Beat in the sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture forms soft peaks. Add the cornstarch mixture, one  tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat the meringue to stiff peaks. Remove the plastic from the lemon filling and return to very low heat during the last minute of beating the meringue. Pour the hot filling into the pie shell. Using a rubber spatula, distribute the meringue around the edge and then the center of the pie to keep it from sinking into the filling. Make sure the Meringue attaches to the crust. Create peaks all over the meringue. Bake the pie until the meringue is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool . 

I was totally nervous about the filling setting ….but later on Karen sent a reinsuring picture. 

I hope you get a chance to make this soon .Keep me posted ! Send Pics !

Pear-Quick-Bread

Yes! Another Pear recipe .I was fortunate enough to recieve delicious  pears from two local sources in Philadelphia , Chef George from Aldine and Mr. Wenk from 3 Springs Farm. If you live in Phildelphia, I know 3 springs has a stand at the Head house  Farmers Market. 
Back to the pear bread. I was invited over  to a friends house . The reason to check out many of his antiques he collected over the years. He said the dinner for the night would be take out pizza .I thought well what could I make that would be quick, easy to transport on bike, and something that we didnt need to eat that night.  Quick Breads are perfect for these types and many other casual meet ups with friends. They are easy to make, usually only have a few ingriedents, and can be made the night or a few days before. These breads actually are better a day or two later. 

So now comes the recipe. Easy enough when I was reserching for pear scones, another recipe for pears came up. Smittten Kitchen is of course my go to for inspiration and guidance, the pictures alone are worth checking out the site. I of course tweeked it to my liking and the rest is ….hopefuly being eaten for breakfast as I type !

So I changed up the original. Check out theirs see what appeals to you. 

The Recipe called for all All-Purpose flour , I subbed whole wheat flour for one of the three cups,this added a nice earthy aroma and taste. I decided to add Nutmeg, ground ginger, and Meyer lemon zest . The sugar I added one cup natural sugar and one cup granulated fine white sugar. Again I  was seeing what would happen , and to my surprise it didn’t make the bread too sweet. You have the choice of using butter or vegetable oil. Instead of walnuts I used pulsed almond meal. Vanilla and Almond extracts were divided up and both did wonders on the bread. Last change, The pan is also up to you. The Smitten Kitchen uses a tube pan and it looks beautiful try it when you are having quest over. I  decided to use a loaf pan . I recently was at Ikea and found a skinny loaf pan that I love , its 11 x 4  so I made one loaf plus two mini loafs using 4.5 x 4.5 throw aways , perfect ! The Ikea pan is wonderful I like the look and honsetly the shape is nicer to slice and serve, if you fool the eyes the brain follows . 

** one tube pan, two 9.5 loaf pans , one 11×4 loaf pan and two 4.5×4.5 throw away tins. But really have fun use whatever you like !!!! as you can read I did change many things around, but thats the fun! Sometimes I  dont have the Ingridents ready available at the time of baking. Remember HAVE FUN AND BE CREATIVE!

Ingridents 

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour 

1/4 cup almond meal 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt 

3/4 cups vegetable oil

3 eggs lightly beaten 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 teaspoon almond extract 

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamom

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 

half a nutmeg grated and zest from small meyer lemon.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees. Lightly grease and flour the pans you are using.  (See Above)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, almond meal,baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and  ginger. Whisk these ingridents together . If you are using chopped nuts, take 1/4 cup of the flour mixture out add them to the nuts and coat .

Peel,core the pears grate them. 2cups total.set aside. In a medium bowl, combine oil, eggs, sugar,pears,zest  and vanilla, almond extracts.(if you are using chopped nuts add them ) Stir to mix everything well together. Scrape the pear mixture into the flour mixture and stir . You want all of the flour to disappear .

Scrape the batter into the prepared pans. Bake 60 minutes. Insert a toothpick if comes out clean its all good .If you used the half loaf pans cut the time in half .  Cool the Bread on a wire rack in the pan for 10mins. Turn out onto the rack and let cool completely. 

Roasted Pear-Raisin scones 

These  scones are amazingly tender.  I love the big chunks of delicious pears and plump raisins. I had some beautiful Pears from 3 springs farms, hence the pear and almond tart  on the blog earlier this week. Give yourself some time with these scones. The pears are roasted for 20 mins and then need to cool to room tempeture.A quick fix place the pears on a plate and put in the freezer. 

These are adapted from  my favorite blog ” The Smitten Kitchen “. I switched out the Chocolate chunks for the raisins. And the heavy cream for light cream.

Ingridents 

3 Medium pears i pound or 455 grams 

1 1/2 cups all -purpose flour. Lower protein flours like Gold Medal 

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold unsalted buter, cut into small cubes

1/4 cup light cream *

3/4 cup raisins

1 egg 

* the original recipe called for heavy cream I was out and only had light cream …. it worked but try with the heavy cream 1/4 cup.

Instructions

Heat the oven 375 degrees. Peel and core pears. Cut into 1 inch chunks. line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roast the pears for about 20mins, they should feel dry to the touch and have little brown underneath. Remove from the baking sheet. Either let cool on the parchment on a rack, or place on a plate and in the freezer to cool quickly. Turn oven up to 400 degrees. 

Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together in the bowl of your electric mixer. Add the cooled pears, and the cubes of butter, cream, and egg.  With the paddle attachment, mix the dough on low speed until just combined .add the raisins and mix about 5 more seconds.

Take the dough from the mixing bowl. Place on a floured surface and knead a few times. Place the dough into a round cake pan and pat out. Release the cirlce of dough onto your work space and cut into 8 wedges. Transfer the wedges to a baking sheet and brush with cream wash. 

Bake the scones about 30-35 minutes. you want them to be nice and golden. Tranfer them to cooling rack. Let them rest for 10 minutes.(believe me let them rest it firms them up)

Serve with Whipped sweet butter and your favorite perserves… or with nothing at all.

Let me know how yours turn out !

Cranberry-Orange- Scones

When I first started my baking adventure,one of the first recipes was scones.

I thought these seem easy enough and would be perfect for my dear friend Dorothy Tomassini. Well I wasn’t really expecting the dough to be so wet and hard to deal with. Since then its a breeze to combine and whip up a batch of scones.

 I was invited for tea with Mrs. Tomassini, and was asked to bring scones. I  was excited and forgot I had made them a few years earlier for her. Delighted with a challenge and having more knowledge about baking.

The first time I did these biscuit gems I simply used a large spoon and dropped the dough on the baking sheet. This time around I learned  two amazing techniques from America’s test Kitchen. Use a food processor and place the dough in a round cake pan to form a nice circle, easier to cut the scones into eight.

Ingridents

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour( try and use a lower protein brand     like Gold Medal) 

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt 

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes

3/4  cup dried cranberries 

Zest from one large orange 

1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

Set oven to 425 degrees. in the work bowl of the food processor fitted with the metal blade ,place flour,baking powder, salt and sugar. Process with six 1-second pulses.

With the food processor, remove the cover and place the butter and zest  evenly over the dry ingredients. Cover and process with 12 1-second pulses. Add the crannberries and pulse one more time. Remove the dough into  large bowl.

Stir in the heavy cream with a rubber spatula until dough begins to form about 30 seconds .Transfer the dough onto your work space ( I tend to lightly flour my work board), knead the dough by hand just until it comes together. The ball will be slightly sticky, this kneading process is 5-10 seconds. You don’t want to over Knead the dough. Press the dough into a cake pan , then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut into 8 wedges.

Place the wedges on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with cream. Bake 12-15 mins you want the tops to have a nice light brown color. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 min…( dont skip this part! it improves the texture) 

Serve with whipped sweet butter and your favorite preserves! 

Let me know about your tea party and how the guest loved your scones…… 

This recipe is adapted from the American Test Kitchen baking cookbook .

Pear-Almond-Tart

So I love this recipe. Super Quick and Easy. EVEN BETTER. Inspired from the amazing food stylist and cookbook author Donna Hay.

I added my twist on it, instead of using ordinary lemon,  I chose to use Meyer lemon.  I bet orange zest would work just as well.

Ok lets get started. 

So something you can do ahead and save time is roast the almonds. Let cool (in a rush I put them in the freezer to cool). Place them in the food processor and pulse 10 or more times . You want finely ground  almond meal. 

Ingredients 

90 grams (about 6 tablespoons ), butter softened 

1/2 cup brown sugar  (90grams) 

2 eggs 

1/4 cup (35grams) all purpose flour 

1/4 teaspoon baking powder 

finely grated meyer lemon . (We will use the juice)

2 pears, peeled, cored, and quartered

1/2 cup (90grams) brown sugar, separate from above measurement 

raw sugar for sprinkling 

juice from the myer lemon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 320 F. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of the food processor. Process until just combined.add the egg, almond meal, flour, baking powder,and citrus rind. Process until just combined. Spoon the mixture into a greased fluted tart pan.( loose bottom)  Place the pears and brown sugar in a bowl and toss, I squeezed the meyer lemon juice over the pears.Press the pears into the tart mixture and bake for 35- 40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a toothpick. Sprinkle the raw sugar and allow to cool in the tin. Once the tart has cooled, press the bottom of the pan and lift the tart out . Slice and serve with whipped cream or plain . 

Let me know what you think.

I love any chance to use my fluted tart tin !!!!


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