Archive for category Baketogether
While summer was a little shy here this year, Autumn has been more than happy to put in a punctual appearance so using apples and plums were the perfect seasonal choice for me when taking part in this months #Baketogether, the monthly blog event organised by Abby Dodge, inviting us to take one of her recipes and put our own spin on it.
This months #Baketogether recipe was for Brown Butter Apple Hand tarts. I’ve heard a lot about brown butter but only made it once before and wasn’t convinced that I’d done it correctly so this month I didn’t want to change the recipe too much as it sounded perfect as it was! The only changes I made was to make apple plum filling, I also halved the recipe as the original recipe is for 18 hand tarts which was far too many for 2 of us!
I loved these pies! The brown butter crust was so good I admit to trying some of it raw! It’s the brown butter! It’s so good and the smell is amazing! The aroma of the brown butter mixed with the apple, plums and cinnamon in the filling was wonderful, I’m surprised Yankee Candle didn’t come knocking on my door for a new Autumn fragrance! I was really happy with my filling and only wish I hadn’t halved the recipe as the pies disappeared far too quickly!
As I am not a regular pastry maker I thought these pies would be more difficult to make but as usual Abby’s instructions are easy to follow and give great results, therefore I have linked to her page for the making of the dough and the putting together of the pies.
Apple and Plum Brown Butter Hand Tarts ( makes 8 hand tarts)
For the brown butter pie dough
- 4 0z unsalted butter
- 3.5 oz (1/2 cup) sugar, I used unrefined
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 7 1/4 oz ( 1.5 cups) plain flour
For the Pie filling (more than enough for the pies with some left over to enjoy as a compote)
- 8 oz apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped.
- 8 oz plums, stoned and sliced
- 1 tbsp sugar, I used unrefined
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
To Finish off
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp water
- demerara sugar for sprinkling
- To make the dough for these tarts follow Abby’s expert instructions here
- To make the filling, place the apples, plums, sugar and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently until the apples are soft but not mushy.
- Remove from the heat and allow to completely cool.
- Preheat oven to 190 c, 375 f, gas 5.
- To assemble the pies follow Abby’s instructions here
Unbelievably July 4th is almost upon us. I often have a family barbecue to celebrate, I love having it, I put up my “stars and stripes” decorations and I just love planning my menu. This year for one reason or another I’m not having my barbecue, a decision I regret but the year has gone by so fast I just wasn’t organised enough. Another decision I regretted was not taking part in this months baketogether, this months recipe is Very Berry Mini Pies and it marks the one year anniversary of baketogether! However as my husband is not the biggest sweet pie fan and I can’t be trusted not to eat all the pie (and it shows!) I decided not to take part. I may seem to be jumping from one subject to another but they end up connected!
I got to thinking how it was almost July 4th and I often make a pie of some kind and the baketogether recipe is for mini pies, maybe I could make the recipe “mini” by halving it. That was it, the idea was planted and I had to quickly make these pies before I changed my mind and before June ended, along with the challenge! The next decision was how to change the recipe for baketogether, I never can decide what pie is my favourite, its between cherry, peach or blueberry. For these mini pies I decided on using both cherries and blueberries, which are both plentiful right now. It would be kind of a red, white (the pastry) and blue pie!
The results were great! I really like the cherry blueberry combination, I used vanilla sugar and topped the pies with pastry stars as I was short on time, also stars seemed July 4th appropriate.
Cherry Blueberry Mini Pies ( adapted from Abby Dodge )
makes 6-7 muffin tin sized pies
For the dough – use Abby’s recipe here
For the filling
- 200 grams cherries, pitted
- 150 grams blueberries
- 45 grams caster sugar, vanilla sugar if you have some if not use 1/4 tsp Vanilla essence
- 1tbsp plain flour
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 190 C, 375 F, Gas 5 and lightly grease a muffin tin.
- Make the dough following Abbys instructions save some of the dough to roll out and cut 12-14 star shapes for the pie tops.
- To make the filling mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a bowl.
- Add half the fruit and using a fork stir into the floured sugar mix, crushing the fruit lightly as you mix.
- Add the remaining fruit and vanilla if using, mix well.
- Having lined the muffin tin with the pastry rounds spoon the filling mixture evenly into each pastry lined muffin cup.
- Top each mini pie with 2 stars, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry looks golden and the pie filling is bubbling hot.
- Remove from the oven and run a knife around each pie to loosen from tin, after 20 minutes carefully remove the pies and cool on a cooling rack.
May is here already and with it came a new #Baketogether challenge from Abby Dodge this months lovely recipe was Abby’s Cornmeal Buttermilk muffins. Usually with the Bake together challenge you are invited to use Abby’s recipe but to “switch it up” and change things to suit yourself, this month there was also the choice between making sweet or savory muffins, thus dividing us into “team sweet” or “team savory”. When I saw this recipe I knew that I was going to be on team sweet, I love muffins and have never made savory ones, just didn’t fancy them. Then two things happened, I saw the muffins that Carol and her daughter made for #Baketogether and they looked so good. Then later that weekend I was making oven fried chicken for dinner and what goes better with fried chicken than cornbread? I think Carol’s muffins had strayed into my subconscious because suddenly I found myself gathering the ingredients for the savory version of Abby’s muffins and voila I am on team savory!
I did some switching up and used olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Sheer laziness had me using mini loaf tins rather than dig my muffin tin out so strictly speaking these are loaves rather than muffins! As I hadn’t planned to make savory muffins, (I had bought blueberries!) I used what I had, cheddar cheese in the fridge and chives in the garden and for a little kick I added chilli flakes. This is another fool-proof recipe from Abby, the muffins have a fantastic light texture and they cooked perfectly. I loved this combination, the chives were subtle as was the cheese and the hot bursts of pepper (oh they were hot sometimes too!) added the final touch.
Here is my version of Abby’s Cornmeal Buttermilk Muffins, see the original version here I used the US cup measurements but weighed my cup contents for the gram equivalent.
Cornmeal Buttermilk Muffins with Chilli Cheese and Chives
- 3/4 cup (115 gram) Plain flour
- 1/3 cup ( 50 gram) Fine ground cornmeal
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) Buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- I tsp dried chilli pepper flakes
- 60 gram cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tbsp Fresh Chives, chopped finely
- Preheat oven to 350 F, 180 C, Gas 4.
- Grease and line 6 muffin cup tin with muffin cases (or if you have them 4 mini loaf tins, lined with baking paper).
- Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, whisk until mixed well.
- In a separate bowl add the buttermilk and to that add the egg and olive oil, whisk until well blended.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, fold in gently with a rubber spatula( gently, no stirring).
- Add the chilli, cheese and chives and fold in gently with the spatula.
- Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes
- Best when warm but still delicious cold.
I love angel food cake but I’ve never made it before and actually I havent had it since for years, maybe since I was a child. I’m certain that I remember my mother making angel food cake out of a pack too so maybe I havent even had real Angel food cake!
This months Baketogether was Angel Food Cake, arranged by Abby Dodge, using her Tangerine Angel Food Cake recipe when I saw this my first thought was “yes, I love Angel food cake!” I thought of how I would “switch it up” as Abby encourages us to do. Lemon would be my theme, I was looking forward to this! Last weekend, for Easter, I made a different lemon cake that required a lemon curd filling, using 10 egg yolks, this meant I had 10 egg whites ready for the Baketogether, serendipity at work! Then through twitter I found out that the bundt pan I had intended on using wasnt the right pan! In my mind a bundt pan and an angel food cake pan were the same thing, this is not the case, my memory was playing with me again! A few tweets and a forwarded article later and it seemed that although not advisable an angel food cake could be made in a bundt with limited success. What did I have to lose? Anyway those egg whites needed using!
I followed Abby’s instructions exactly, the only difference was swapping in the zest of a lemon for her tangerine zest. I let it completely cool upside down resting on 4 cans of soup! When it was cool it had shrunk away a little from the middle, I used a small thin spatula and ran it around the top then gently slid it up and down all the way around. I put a plate over the bottom of the pan and turned it upside down and that baby slipped right out! I was so pleased! True it’s not perfect and it has a few little rustic edges, but it’s not the disaster I had dreaded ! This cake is like eating a cloud! Amazingly light and fluffy with a subtle taste of lemon. Whether my mother’s angel food cake came out of a pack or not my memory served me well, I do love angel food cake!
To go with it I did another switch and rather than Abby’s caramel sauce I made a lemon sauce, inspired by the lemon curd I had made the week before. Thanks Abby for another great recipe and a great baketogether!
Lemon Angel Food Cake
Note, superfine sugar is caster sugar and confectioners sugar is icing sugar if making in UK.
- 115 grams butter
- 150 grams caster sugar
- 50 ml water
- 50 ml lemon juice
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp of fresh lemon zest
- Put the butter, sugar, water, and lemon juice into a medium-sized pan, heat slowly whisking all the time.
- When the butter is starting melt add the egg and zest, keep whisking. Heat slowly, constantly whisking until the mix comes to the boil and thickens. If too thick add a little more water, if not so thick don’t worry this firms up as it cools.
- Sieve the sauce to remove any egg solids. Let cool before serving.