Category: Pastries

Fig Galette

Remember when I made a pie back in…2013? Wow, that long ago.

Anyway, when I made that pie, I tossed the extra crust in the freezer because I make pie next to never in case you hadn’t gathered that already.

I clearly forgot about it had been saving it for just such occasion. I was really surprised it hadn’t been subjected to freezer burn. It was a little dry, but unnoticeable once baked. You’d have had no idea if I hadn’t said anything.

This whole thing started because of figs being on sale. I haven’t really eaten a whole lot of figs in my lifetime except in the last year or three. I’d even guess I never had them growing up, unless in Fig Newton form. While that might not be the same thing [or even close], they’re such a guilty pleasure. I was so giddy last tax season when the office brought some in as snacks. I always just want one, not the whole box.

Anyway, the galette speaks to me. It’s my kind of pie, a lazy [wo]man’s pie. You roll it out, put things on it, fold up the edges, brush with an egg, sprinkle with sugar, and bake. Does it get much easier? I mean, it’s meant to look ugly. I believe they call it “rustic” or “free-form.” I’m all for calling it like I see it. Speaking of guilty pleasures, once baked, the galette pretty much reminds me of a figgy Pop Tart. I pretty much lived on fudge Pop Tarts, beef jerky, and Mountain Dew growing up. Epitome of health!

PS – apparently galette and crostata are the same thing, just French vs. Italian. I’m used to hearing galette, so I went with that. Interchange at your own leisure.

Inspiration: William-Sonoma

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust
  • 1lb fresh figs, quartered
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vermouth
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Turbinado sugar, for dusting

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400°. Roll out the pie crust to about 1/8″ thickness on top of either parchment paper or a SILPAT. If your pie crust cracks because it’s been sitting in the freezer for years, just moisten your fingers and press it back together. You can trim the dough into a round or really go extra rustic. Place the paper/SILPAT onto a baking sheet.

In a bowl, mix together the figs, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and vermouth. Toss to combine. Arrange the fig mixture on the crust in an even layer, leaving about an inch border. Fold up the the border over the top of the fig mixture. Brush the dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Remove and allow to cool before slicing and eating. It’ll be nice and juicy.

Cinnamon Buns

One of the greatest, loving, and caring women I’ve ever known is no longer with us. Grammy is in a much better place now, and for that I am grateful. I spent most of my life living next door to her, which made her the coolest grandma ever [dying my hair, making hamburgers by hand, checking out boys, working out together and flexing, teaching me to play the piano, going to the symphony, playing video games until 2am, going out for Thai…]. I learned so much about life and love, and have so many great memories. She was a giver, and a lover of life and family. It sucks to know that I can’t call her on my drive home from work anymore, but she will always be with me, most definitely in my cooking. She’s a huge reason that I started this blog, and one of my biggest fans. Words will never, ever portray how incredible she was. If you ever had the chance to meet her, you’ll know exactly what I mean. If you didn’t, I’m sorry you didn’t get the chance. I will love her and miss her. Always.

Grammy
09/26/1946 – 02/19/2013

One of the first foods I associate with Grammy is cinnamon rolls. She picked up a recipe from her mom that she ultimately passed down to me a time or two. I haven’t learned the ways of just feeling a recipe. She never had to write anything down or measure. She just felt it. We always talked about getting it down on paper for me before she was gone, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. She inspired a craving for some a few weeks ago. While I didn’t have her recipe, I had this one to go off of. There is plenty in the Smitten Kitchen repertoire that would make my grandma proud. I have no doubt that she would have loved these all the same, so these are for her.

Inspiration: The Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar, separated into two 1/4 cup amounts, plus a pinch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for the counter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature, plus more for the muffin tin(s)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preparation

Warm the milk and the pinch of sugar in a bowl or a measuring cup so it’s just warm to the touch. Sprinkle in the yeast and let it sit for a good five minutes until it’s all foamy. In another small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of sugar with the egg. Slowly mix it into the yeast mixture.

Whisk together the flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. With a paddle attachment, and it running on its slowest setting, pour in the yeasty egg mixture, mixing until combined. Add three tablespoons of butter and let it knead with a dough hook for 10 minutes. Butter a large bowl, cover it, and allow it to rise in a draft free place for an hour until it has doubled in size.

Butter your muffin tin(s) for 12 muffins and set aside. Whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, three tablespoons of butter, and cinnamon. It’ll be a gooey, buttery, delicious mess. Try not to eat it all while you wait for the dough.

When the dough has risen, clear a floured spot on a table or counter. Deflate it and let it rest for five minutes. Roll the dough out until it’s at least 20″ long and the other side as big as you can get it. Spread the cinnamon sugar butter over the dough. Roll it up, starting with the 20″+ side. Using a serrated knife, cut 12 equal pieces of dough. Place them in your prepared muffin tin(s). Cover them and allow them to rise 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. When the muffins are ready to go in, let them back for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. If you have a thermometer, the middle will be about 190° in the center. Allow them to cool before popping them out of the pan. Eat immediately because they’re gooey and awesome, or let them sit on a wire rack. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap if you’re not eating that day. Share them with a loved one.

Chocolate Chip Scones

Guess who ate too much this weekend? Friday night we went to Eddie’s, a local pizza place. It’s really, really good. I started with an order of kale rolls because fresh bread rolled with a ton of mozzarella, roasted garlic, and kale is never a bad thing. Think savory cinnamon roll. I had one of those followed by the largest “small” salad I’ve had in awhile. It was of the mixed greens variety. Then, a 12″ Chicago Italian Beef sandwich. I hadn’t ever had one before. Fresh baked bread. A ton of thin sliced beef. A brick of of mozzarella cheese. Complete with a bowl of au jus for dipping. The owner could not believe I took the entire thing down in one sitting. I couldn’t believe I did either to be honest. Last night we lightened up the meals to compensate for eating a ton over the weekend—that is what you do when friends are in town, don’t you? That would have been fine, except we went to meet up with some friends. That turned into another heaping plate of delicious Nepali food after eating chicken curry for dinner, drinking way too much wine, and stopping at Voodoo Doughnut on the way home. Surely you’ve heard of this place? I think it’s one of the most overrated places in Portland, but it serves a purpose. That meant I’d eat not only a Butterfingering (chocolate cake with chocolate glaze + crushed butterfinger) but an ODB (raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting, Oreo’s and peanut butter). Unnecessary. Delicious. You can see the rest of the insane menu on their website. It was an absolute food overload.

We also ate an entire batch of chocolate almond biscotti [not this weekend, thank god], and I didn’t take a single photo. I guess this means I’ll have to make more—darn. This is what happens when I try to hold out on some of the baked goods for natural light. It’s finally starting to stay light out when I get home. I’ve been counting down to these days. We’ll just ignore the fact that it was snowing this morning. It’s not like it’s March or anything.

Meet these lovely chocolate chip scones. They’re not chocolate biscotti, but they’re equally awesome with a cup of coffee. Or tea. Or standing over your sink watching the craziness going on in the parking lot across the way. Do you know what kind of entertainment can come from a phone booth? That’s a whole other blog entirely…

I’m starting to really like this whole oat flour thing. It’s not from a gluten standpoint, but from a nutrient standpoint. I’ll gladly take extra fiber and nutrients. I don’t bother buying a separate package. I almost always have rolled oats in the pantry, so I usually pop it into the blender, food processor, or coffee grinder. It’s really easy.

Inspiration: Peas and Thank You

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup milk [I used almond]
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment.
  2. Whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl.
  3. In a smaller bowl, or the measuring cup, whisk together the applesauce, milk, coconut oil, brown sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, combining gently. Don’t overmix.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface.
  7. Shape into a circle about 1 1/2″ high.
  8. Cut into 12 wedges and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
  10. Cool and eat. The chocolate chips melt all over the place and life is good. Just try not to eat them all in one sitting.

Cheese and Herb Straws

I had the day off [Thank you, Presidents], and have the house to myself. It was a weird day. This hasn’t happened in a long time.

I cleaned the shower.

Yeah, I am the epitome of excitement. I can’t be stopped.

I headed toward normal kinds of excitement for the rest of the day—wandering the streets waiting for the impending rain storm, coveting an entire shop of succulents and terrariums, eating a biscuit topped with fried chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, and apple butter, manhandling bottles of spices, inhaling the scent of books and spending an obscene amount of time in the young adult section, sucking down a cappuccino in the presence of an amazing owl painting, playing in the rain with Roma, watching Smoke Signals, mindlessly eating all the leftover cheese and herb straws and stuffed mushroom filling for dinner, and bending to the brink of exhaustion at a yin yoga class.

I’m currently half asleep in bed with toothpicks propping my eyelids open. No joke. This is what happens when left to my own devices.

We’ll just pretend I didn’t eat an entire sheet of puff pastry. Is that kind of like gorging on a pint of ice cream?

Inspiration: Joy the Baker

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, unthawed
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • Hot sauce, to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parment or a silpat.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. You want about a 10×12″ rectangle.
  3. Whisk the egg, a splash of water, and hot sauce in a bowl. Brush it on the entire surface of puff pastry.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese, shallot, and thyme.
  5. Use the rolling pin to press the toppings into the pastry. Your hands work, too.
  6. Using a pizza cutter [or knife], cut the pastry into 1/2″ strips.
  7. Taking both ends in each of your hands, twist up the dough. It’s forgiving. The more twists the better it looks.
  8. Place twists on prepared baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

Pumpkin Scones

Hello, pumpkin bandwagon!

Yep, I’m on it. I was mildly disappointed that I had to hunt around the grocery store for the pumpkin. Isn’t that stuff usually out in massive pyramid displays by this point in the year? Is there another shortage I don’t know about?

Of course, I could only find the massive 28oz can, so there are leftovers. I’ve been adding it to breakfast smoothies and protein oats, but still have enough for another recipe. Ohhhhh the madness. >insert evil laugh here<

These are definitely healthier than your average scone, not that I really care. They end up cake-like and dense [thanks, spelt flour!], and chewy the longer they’re stored. No, I didn’t eat all 20. I probably ate 16. At that point I was really just eating them to eat them, and they didn’t even taste all that awesome anymore. I didn’t glaze them, but I’m weird like that, as you know. I almost did it just for picture reasons [like I do with the cheese on Andrew’s plate that I usually photograph], but I couldn’t be bothered. My convenience will be my downfall.

Inspiration: Side of Sneakers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter [Earth Balance!], keep it cold
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup almond milk

Preparation

  1. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Cut in the butter, incorporating it into the flour mixture until it feels like sand.
  3. Stir in milk and pumpkin.
  4. Combine into dough. You might want to use your hands for this. It takes a bit.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  6. Line a baking sheet with a silpat [or parchment].
  7. Roll the dough out into a rectangle on the baking sheet.
  8. Cut in half lengthwise and then into small triangles. I was able to get 20.
  9. Separate them on the baking sheet so they’re not touching.
  10. Bake for 12 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool before covering with glaze, if using.