Homebakers Collective March Challenge:

A little bit fussy, Homebakers Collective Challenge, Pie

Pie Challenge: Raspberry Lemon Chess Pie

This is an optimistic pie. Dedicated to my preggo sister.

Check out the other baker’s pies on: https://homebakerscollective.com/2020/03/31/march-challenge-a-pie-to-say-goodbye-to-winter/

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 60g lard, cut into tablespoons
  • 5 TBSP ice water

Raspberry Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Chess Pie Filling:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 6 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Fancy Pants Pie Decoration:

  • powdered sugar
  • freeze dried raspberries

Make crust: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pulse flour, salt, butter, and lard in food processor until butter and lard are the size of peas. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Add ice water and stir with a fork until incorporated. Turn out onto work surface and work dough together until it forms a ball.
Roll out between sheets of wax paper.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with dough, prick with a fork and freeze for at least 15 minutes.

Partially Bake Pie Crust: Line the frozen pie dough with foil, fill with dried beans, rice or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool and remove foil.

Make Raspberry Filling: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes, breaking down raspberries with a spoon if necessary. Pour into a fine mesh strainer and press through to remove raspberry seeds. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of strained filling (no seeds) for decorating on top if desired. Then, if desired, add back in about 2 tablespoons of seeds to the rest of the raspberry filling for texture. Chill until ready to use.

Make Chess Filling: Combine sugar, cream, butter, eggs, egg yolks, cornmeal, lemon zest and lemon juice and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thick, about 7 minutes. Whisk in vanilla.

Spread chilled raspberry filling in the prepared pie shell. Pour thickened chess pie filling over raspberry. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the filling has set in the center and is just starting to brown.

Let pie cool completely.

For Plaid Design: Cut several 2″ strips of paper. Place paper on chilled pie, leaving 2″ between strips. Dust with powdered sugar. Remove strips. Place paper strips across the pie perpendicular to the white stripes. Combine equal weights of powdered sugar and powdered freeze dried raspberries (pulverized in blender or food processor). Sift over pie to create the pink stripes. Dust the sugar off of the exposed pie crust with a pastry brush. Place reserved raspberry filling in a piping bag with a small round tip. Pipe one raspberry stripe along the side of every pink stripe and two raspberry stripes along the side of every white stripes. Chill until ready to serve.

Chocolate Black Sesame Rugelach

A little bit fussy, Cookies, Food Hoarding Confessions

A little leftover hand pie dough, black sesame paste from my freezer, and a bar of chocolate with almonds all found each other today.

Dough

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, straight from the refrigerator
  • 1 stick butter, straight from the refrigerator
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Black Sesame and Chocolate Filling

  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (with or without almonds), chopped

1 beaten egg and coarse sugar for topping

For the dough: Cut the cream cheese and butter into cubes. Place flour, sugar and salt in food processor and blend. Toss in cream cheese and butter. Pulse until the dough comes together – check it by taking the lid of and pinching some dough – if it sticks together it is ready.

Divide dough into two pieces and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.

For the filling: Toast sesame seeds in a small skillet. Let cool completely. In a food processor or blender, combine cooled sesame seeds, butter and sugar. Process into a paste.

Chop chocolate into small pieces and set aside.

When ready to assemble: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil (these will leak a bit).

Divide the dough into two. One at a time, roll out on lightly floured surface to about a 10-inch circle. Spread 1/2 of black sesame paste onto one circle and sprinkle half the chopped chocolate on top.

Cut the circle into 16 pieces, like a pizza, first in half, then quarters, then into eighths, etc… Roll up each triangle starting with the fat end of the triangle. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

If desired, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Kolaches – Cherry or Black Sesame

A little bit fussy

My Grandma Jean used to make us cherry kolaches and they were my very favorite treat. Using all white flour weighed on her conscience, so they were always made with part whole wheat flour. I did the same, adjusting my favorite dough -Julia Moskin’s japanese milk bread- with half whole wheat flour. This recipe makes 18 kolaches, and if you make both cherry and black sesame you will have filling leftover. I’m thinking pop-tarts…

For the Dough:

  • 1/3 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

Cherry Filling:

  • 2 lbs. pie cherries, liquid drained and reserved
  • 1 cup reserved cherry liquid
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 almond extract, optional

Black Sesame Filling

  • 1/2 cup black sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

Make Starter: Combine 1/3 cup bread flour, 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thickened, whisking constantly. Transfer to mixing bowl.

Make Dough: Combine starter with milk, eggs, sugar and salt in a stand mixer with dough hook. Mix to cool the starter. Add flour and yeast and mix for 5 minutes, until a dough has formed. Add softened butter, one tablespoon at a time and mix until a smooth dough is formed – about 10 minutes. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

Make Cherry filling: Whisk to combine sugar, salt and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Whisk in 1 cup reserved cherry liquid and lemon juice. Add cherries and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula until very thick and translucent. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and almond extract, if using. Let sit a room temperature until ready to use.

Make Black Sesame filling: Toast sesame seeds in a small skillet. Let cool completely. In a food processor or blender, combine cooled seeds, butter and sugar. Process into a paste.

Grease or line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.

When dough has risen, pinch off pieces of dough a little larger than the size of golf ball, or if using a scale, about 75g per piece. Shape into a ball by hand, then roll on the counter with your palm in a circular motion to even it out. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until you have 18 balls total – 9 on each sheet. Spray with cooking spray, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Assemble kolaches: Make a large indentation in the center of each dough ball, about 2″ in diameter. Fill with about 2 tablespoons of the cherry or black sesame filling. Repeat with remaining dough balls.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the bottoms are just starting to brown. Eat while they are warm, or reheat slightly for best eating.

Passion Fruit & Vanilla Marshmallows

A little bit fussy

Along with toffee, I make marshmallows to give away around the holidays. This year they were jazzed up with some passion fruit. Passion fruit is so hot right now.

  • 1/2 cup frozen passion fruit puree, thawed
  • 1/2 cup passion fruit juice 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3/4oz total)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup potato starch (or corn starch)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Special equipment: candy thermometer stand mixer with whisk attachment

Line a 13×9-inch pan with foil, letting some overhang to make lifting the marshmallow out easier. Coat lightly with non-stick spray or butter.

Combine the passion fruit puree and juice well. Pour 1/2 cup into bowl of stand-mixer. Sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand.

Combine 2 cups sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup passion fruit mixture in heavy medium saucepan (with a handle preferably). Over medium heat, stir super-gently with a heatproof spatula, or swirl the pan every so slightly, just for the first couple minutes to dissolve the sugar, being careful not to let any sugar granules stick to the sides of the pan (if they do, wash them down with a wet pastry brush).

Once sugar had dissolved, attach a candy thermometer and never stir it again until it reaches 240º, about 8 minutes. It will boil up the pan quite a bit as it gets going- just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over, adjusting the heat accordingly.

With the mixer running on low speed with the whisk attachment, slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin in a thin stream, running down the side of the bowl so the whisk doesn’t splash it all over. Don’t worry about the syrup that sticks to the bowl.

Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until very stiff and cooled to lukewarm – it should take 10-15 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to blend, about 30 seconds.

Spread the marshmallow into the greased pan and smooth the top as best you can. You can spray a piece of wax paper with non-stick spray and pat it over the top to smooth it out better. Let stand for at least 4 hours before cutting. Overnight is even better. Pictured above is one recipe of passion fruit marshmallow, topped with one recipe of vanilla marshmallow (https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/bakersanonymous.org/175) – after the passion fruit mallow is smoothed in the pan, leave it uncovered while you make the vanilla marshmallow and spread that on top. Then smooth with greased parchment. Sift starch and powdered sugar together and dust your work surface. Lift marshmallow out and cut into squares using a rotary pizza cutter dusted with sugar/starch. Or a large knife also coated. Roll in sugar/starch until all sides are coated before stacking or packing. ​

Toffee

A little bit fussy

During the month of December my house becomes a toffee factory. This is my mom’s recipe – she started this tradition. Some have said that toffee is “finicky” but I prefer to think of it as superstitious. I always use the same pot, same spatula, same brand of butter, etc. Just keep trying until you find the magic and don’t mess around.

  • 1 lb. salted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • about 2 cups chocolate chips
  • about 2 cups chopped walnuts

Very lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet. Place a candy thermometer at the ready, or if you don’t have one, get a small glass of ice water and put it within reach.

In a medium dutch oven (or heavy-bottomed saucepan) combine butter, sugar and sliced almonds over medium-low heat. With a heat-resistant spatula, stir gently – making sure not to have rogue grains of sugar working up the side of the pan or spatula itself. Wipe them down or rinse off the spatula if it looks dicey. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly in a figure eight motion – pretty much leave the sides of the pan alone.

After the butter and sugar melt together, you may attach the candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Keep stirring constantly until the toffee reaches 285 degrees – it can go to 300 without burning, so don’t pull it off too soon. If you don’t have a thermometer, when the toffee looks dark golden brown (it may take 30 minutes, depending on the size of your pot), drop a little tiny bit into the glass of ice water, let it cool for a minute, then fish it out and test it between your front teeth. If it breaks cleanly, it is good to go. If it is still a little sticky/tacky, let it cook longer and try again.

Carefully and quickly, pour the toffee onto the prepared baking sheet. Smooth with an offset spatula (or just lift up the pan and rotate it around until the toffee fills in everywhere). Let sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle generously with chocolate chips. Let sit 5 more minutes to let the chocolate melt. Smooth the chocolate over the toffee with an offset spatula and immediately sprinkle generously with chopped walnuts.

Let cool completely. Turn toffee over onto a flat surface and remove it from the pan by pressing down on the overturned baking sheet. Smack it with a metal spoon or spatula or something to break it into irregular pieces. Try not to eat an entire pound while you are packaging it up for others.