Several years ago, I stumbled upon and mastered the Apple Crisp recipe which has been my go to dessert. Most people I’ve made this for actually prefer this over Apple Pie and best of all, I feel that there’s less prep work with Apple Crisp as I don’t need to make the pie crust ahead of time.
I’ve since adapted that recipe with other fillings. We bought a bunch of blueberries the other week and since we couldn’t finish them all in time, we decided to make a Blueberry Crisp before they go bad.
To start, combine your pint of blueberries with 1 tbsp of sugar and 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice. Add the zest of half a lemon and 1 tbsp of flour. Toss to coat the blueberries evenly.
Meanwhile – make the crumble topping. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, rolled oats, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the cold butter and with a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the dry mixture until the mixture looks like cornmeal and the butter is cut into really fine pieces and fully integrated with the dry mixture.
Almost 3 hours later.. I finally finished making this Apple Tart recipe from Cedric Grolet.
About a year ago, the hubs got me a cookbook from Cedric Grolet. I’ve never heard of him until I got his cookbook but upon looking at some of his recipes, it appears he is a French pastry chef specializing in fruits.
Sadly, this was he easiest recipe I could find in the book that I dared attempt and the preparation process still took forever 🙁 Luckily I cleared my schedule today to do this!
Nothing says Fall is here than Pumpkins! It’s that time of year again and pumpkins are everywhere – whether it be for Halloween or in the form of Pumpkin Spiced flavored food and drinks. My favourite pumpkin dish would have to be Pumpkin Pie. It’s kind of sad because a lot of people I know don’t actually like Pumpkin pie and as a result, I rarely get to eat any of it 🙁
So what I like to do is make mini pumpkin pies (or tarts) so that it’s bite size to allow for portion control.
I like to make a batch of pre-made pie crust and pumpkin pie filling and just freeze them (already portioned) so that whenever I’m craving pies, I can just easily assemble them. In this case, I can easily assemble these pumpkin tarts! The filling is very easy to make and I like to re-use my pie tart recipe that I’ve used in other recipes like my Apple Hand Pies.
For the filling, all you need is a can of pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, and a can of sweetened condensed milk.
For the pumpkin puree, I cooked it over the stove for a bit along with the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, salt) to help the flavors meld a bit better and to get rid of the “canned” taste.
I set it aside and let it cool. Once cooled, I combine it with the condensed milk and eggs and whisk until thoroughly combined.
It has been a while since our last blog post. A lot has happened since then – we got engaged, we went on vacation for 2 weeks to Italy and Greece, and I got a new job!
I think that’s a good reason as to why we’ve been MIA, right?
Anyways, we are back and this time, with a classic Chinese pastry dish – egg tart! This is a very popular item that can typically be ordered at dim sum restaurants or bought at local chinese bakeries. They usually come in two types of crust – puff pastry or cookie crust. I personally prefer the cookie crust but my SO prefers the puff pastry kind.
Given I’m pretty lazy and making puff pastry from scratch is a lot of work (and requires A LOT of butter), I decided to cheat and buy the pre-made stuff (I know – blasphemy!) These frozen tart shells make making egg tarts so much easier. The custard itself is super easy and you can probably make this within 5 minutes. If you’re unsure what treat to bring to your friend’s dinner or potluck and you’re short on time, you can easily gravitate toward this recipe.
To make these egg tarts, whisk together eggs, sugar, milk, water, and salt into a bowl until thoroughly combined. You may have some residual egg whites not fully integrated into your custard mixture – to ensure a smooth batter, be sure to strain the custard mixture into a separate bowl to ensure a smoother custard texture. I like to strain my mixture into a measuring cup because it makes pouring into the tart shells much easier.
Fill them up to the brim and bake them at 365F for approximately 20 minutes.
It’s peach season!! Meaning peaches are the sweetest and most cost effective during this time of year 🙂
Not having gone as crazy last year as buying a giant basket of peaches from the farmer’s market where we used it to make our Summer Peach Crumble, we decided to used the peaches we bought from the grocery store to make this Peach and Blueberry crumble as somehow we ended up with 3 pints of blueberries that we barely touched throughout the week…. >_> It worked out pretty well because we had friends come over for dinner and we always prep a full course meal whenever we have people over and a full course meal would not be complete without dessert.
Although there is the option to make peach and blueberry pies instead of crumbles, our personal preference is to have crumble because of the nice texture that it has. Plus, it’s a lot easier to make the crumble from scratch than it is to make pie crust from scratch as it requires less prep time.
To make the peach and blueberry crumble, all you have to do is sprinkle some sugar, cornstarch, some lemon juice and lemon zest onto the peeled peaches and fresh blueberries and toss it around a bit. The corn starch will help thicken the fruit juices up once they are being baked.
One of our favourite things to do on a weekend is visit St. Lawrence Market. Every Saturday, we visit the Farmer’s market there to see what fresh produce they have available. Now that it’s summer, it’s exciting to see what’s in season and it’s always so refreshing to see all the vibrant colors of the different fruits and vegetables they have available. Although the produce looks super fresh and amazing, they’re often very expensive 🙁 We decided to go closer to the end of day to the farmer’s market to see if we could get an end of day sale and lucky for us, one of the vendors sold us a giant basket of peaches for a fraction of the price!
We were ecstatic! But the moment we got home, we realized how many peaches we had and there’s no way we could finish it all in a week…. So we tried to think of a few recipes we could make that would use up these peaches and one of them was peach crumble.
Instead of making it in a traditional baking dish, I decided to make them in individual ramekins instead so that it’s easier to serve since it’s already portioned for each person. The dish itself is pretty easy to make – I kinda improvised the measurements for the filling.
Happy New Years everyone! Last night we celebrated new years eve with a few friends and I decided to make some apple hand pies for everyone as a dessert. They’re definitely more convenient to eat than slicing an entire pie and it’s already portioned for everyone!
They’re surprisingly easy to make but it does require a bit of prep time. It’s also a bit tricky working with the pie crust because it needs to consistently be cold or it will be hard to work with.
Let’s begin by talking about how to make the pie crust. We followed a recipe by Alton Brown as we were looking for one that required the use of lard since we had some lying around. I cut up my butter and lard into small pieces and placed them in the freezer for 15 minutes to ensure that they’re super cold. In the meantime, I also prepared a bit of ice water in preparation of putting together the dough.
When the time was ready, I threw all the dough ingredients into a food processor. Yes a pastry cutter would’ve sufficed but this was easier. I pulsed the lard with the flour and salt first until it broke down into smaller pieces. I then added the cold butter and pulsed it until the mixture looked lumpy. I added the cold water in a little at a time and continued to pulse while ensuring I don’t overmix it. The end result should be something that looks like coarse meal.
You’ll know when your crust is ready when you try to squeeze the mixture into a ball and everything holds together. Once it holds together, you can stop and shape the dough into a disc and saran wrap it to chill in the fridge for approx 30 mins.
The other day I was watching “The Mind of a Chef” on Netflix, Season 2 featuring British chef April Bloomfield. That was when I saw her make this beautiful dessert – Bannoffee Pie.
I fell in love with it immediately and knew I had to learn how to make it! She’s already teaching us how on the show and it actually looked pretty simple to make. I’ve always known Bannoffee Pie as a classic English dessert and unfortunately never got a chance to try it when I was in London, England last year. But who am I kidding, I didn’t know about its existence at that time anyways.