Cherry Frangipane Tart

   
   

I highly recommend this tart for dessert or for breakfast with a cup of coffee! It’s simple to make, not too sweet, and so delicious. This recipe is adapted from the NYTimes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled, cut into half inch cubes
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tsp water
  • 1 cup raw, sliced almonds
  • 1 tbsp AP flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 12oz pitted cherries
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting

Recipe:

  1. To make tart dough, combine flour, sugar, salt in mixing bowl. Work in chilled butter quickly until it becomes the size of peas. Mix in egg yolk mixture and knead until dough is smooth. Flatten into disk and roll out into a large circle. Press dough into tart pan and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Blind bake tart shell for 15 minutes (no need to use pie weights).
  3. Meanwhile, combine almonds, flour, sugar, softened butter, 2 eggs, and almond extract in food processor and pulse until smooth (2 mins).
  4. Pour almond batter into pre-baked shell and smooth with spatula. Press cherries into batter. 
  5. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake until golden, about 35 minutes. 
  6. Once cool, dust tart with confectioners sugar. 

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Classic Challah

  
I learned how to make challah at last night’s @shabbosproject #challahbake in Brooklyn. Turns out it’s ridiculously easy to make. The braiding part is confusing though, so I’m not even going to try to explain. YouTube.

This recipe will make a lot of challah (3 or more challahs, depending on how large you want them to be), but you can always freeze the dough if you don’t want to bake immediately. I learned last night that one can only say the blessing over the challah dough if it uses 5 lbs of flour.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3 x .25oz packets dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 lbs all purpose flour
  • Poppy or sesame seeds

Recipe:

  1. Combine water, sugar, and yeast in large bowl. Let sit for 2 minutes.
  2. Add salt, eggs, oil, and flour.
  3. Knead for 5 minutes until dough comes together in a ball and is not sticky.
  4. Cover dough with a towel and let rise for 1 hour.
  5. Braid challah and let rise for 1 more hour.
  6. Brush top of dough with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water) and sprinkle poppy or sesame seeds over top.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden brown (about 1 hr)

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Mitsuwa Marketplace

Some scenes from today’s trip to Mitsuwa Marketplace. A little slice of Japan in Edgewater, NJ!

Miso Ramen

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Shrimp + Vegetable Tempura

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Pocky For Days

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Matcha Ice Cream

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Almond & Oat Pancakes with Berries

Ingredients:
1 cup AP flour, sifted
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, roughly chopped
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup plus 2 tbsp whole milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
Butter for greasing pan

Recipe:
In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Add egg, milk, vanilla, and stir until just combined. Gently fold in berries.

Over medium heat, melt butter (or bacon grease…) on a large pan and spread throughout. Spoon batter onto pan into desired size, and flip with spatula once pancake is set on bottom and bubbling on top. Let cook until batter is fully cooked through.

Serves 4 people with normal appetites, or 2 people like me.

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Rooftop Farm

Earlier this week, I visited the Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm in LIC. I love the idea of utilizing roof space to bring farms to NYC, and making city dwellers a little more connected to their food sources. The rooftop was huge – apparently it’s the largest rooftop soil farm in the world. You can see in the pics below some of the neat ways they fertilize their produce. At one point I commented on the incredible smelling brownies from a nearby bakery, but learned that it was actually coming from the nutrient rich, repurposed Mast Brothers cocoa husks in the soil! There were also oyster shells scattered around the ground to provide calcium to plants!

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Strawberry Balsamic Pie

Decided to give this blog another go! Three years later and I’m still baking up a storm. I’m hanging on to summer with this strawberry balsamic pie adapted from the Four & Twenty Blackbirds cookbook. I visit their shop in Brooklyn more frequently than I care to admit – they have the best pies in NYC, no, the world. Their Maine wild blueberry pie is also incredible (made exclusively for Luke’s Lobster in Park Slope!).

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup ice

For the filling:

1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 lb. fresh strawberries, rinsed and quartered
1 small, tart apple
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
5 dashes Angostura bitters
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. ground arrowroot
5 grinds fresh black pepper, medium-coarse
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
Demerara sugar, for top of pie

Crust: Stir flour, salt, sugar together in a bowl. Add butter and quickly cut it into flour mixture until butter is the size of peas. Combine water, cider vinegar, and ice in a small bowl. Add 2 tbsp at a time of this water to to the flour mixture, and mix dough together between each addition. Once the dough comes to a ball with some dry bits, stop adding ice water (you won’t need all the ice water). Divide dough in half and shape into two flat disks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, at least 1 hour.

Filling: While dough is chilling, mix 3 tbsp granulated sugar over the strawberries. Stir to combine and let sit at room temp for 30 minutes. Peel and shred apple (large holes of grater) and add to strawberries. Drain this mixture of excess liquid. Add vinegar and bitters and stir to combine. In separate bowl, mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, arrowroot, pepper, and salt. Stir this mixture into the strawberry mixture.

Roll one disk of dough out so that it is large enough to cover a 9-inch pie pan. Lay over pie pan and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Pour filling into pie shell, and lay lattice over top using the other disk of dough. Trim and crimp edges.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, put one oven rack in center and one at bottom. Carefully brush pastry with egg wash, and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Place pie on center rack, and put a baking tray on bottom rack to catch any juice that may spill over. Bake for 25 minutes, or until pastry is set and very lightly browned. Lower oven temp to 375 degrees, and continue to bake for 40 minutes longer, or until pastry is golden brown and juices are bubbling.

Let cool completely. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm. Pie will keep refrigerated for about 5 days.

 

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Ina Garten’s Frozen Key Lime Pie

Fresh lime juice, lime zest, and an easy-to-make homemade graham cracker crust give this pie much more authentic flavor than store-bought key lime pie. A slice of this cool and zesty dessert is the perfect remedy for lazy, heat-ridden August afternoons.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tbs grated lime zest
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 4 or 5 limes)
  •  1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl.
  3. Press into a 9-inch pie pan. Make sure the sides and bottom are an even thickness. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool completely.
  4. For the filling, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until thick.
  5. With mixer on medium speed, add condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour into baked pie shell and put in the freezer.
  6. Beat the heavy cream on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, until soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until firm. Spoon cream decoratively onto pie. If you wish, you can add decorative lime wedges on top.
  7. Freeze for several hours or overnight, and enjoy!

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Cardamom + Saffron Pots de Creme

with pistachio nuts on top

This dessert is a take on your more common vanilla pot de creme. It could easily be turned into a creme bruleé by burning some sugar on top. The cardamom and saffron add a unique flavor that is both delicious and unexpected.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups half + half
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp saffron strands
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped salted pistachios
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Heat half + half, vanilla, cardamom, and saffron in a saucepan over very low heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk yolks and sugar together until mixture turns pale yellow.
  4. While whisking, pour a ladle full of cream mixture into yolk mixture. Add this cream and yolk mixture into the rest of the cream in the saucepan and whisk for a couple minutes.
  5. Pour mixture into four individual sized ramekins and put them in a baking dish. Pour boiling water into baking dish until it reaches halfway up the sides of ramekins.
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until center is barely set. Chill, top with pistachios, then serve.

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Oregano Pork with Tzatziki

Roasted Pork with Onions

Delicious! I was hoping for the pork to be a texture closer to bbq pulled pork, but the big chunks of meat were still very tender. Next time I’m going to try roasting it at a lower temperature, maybe 300º F, for a bit longer. I served this with a Greek-style warm tomato and bean salad.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lb pork shoulder
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped oregano
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, shredded
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  • 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
1. Combine pork, vinegar, olive oil, onion, oregano, 2 cloves chopped garlic, salt, and pepper in a ziploc bag. Let marinate in fridge for at least an hour.
2. Preheat oven to 320º F. Pour contents of ziploc into a baking dish. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Roast for about 3 1/2 hours.
3. While pork is cooking, mix yogurt, cucumber, lemon, dill, 1 clove chopped garlic, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl.
4. Fill warm pita pockets with roast pork, onions, and tzatziki.

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Whole Wheat Pita Bread

It’s a bit of a process to make, but warm, freshly baked pita bead is worth the effort! I was hoping for even fluffier pita, and am wondering if I should have rolled the dough out slightly thicker. Does it matter that the yeast I used was about a year old? Not sure. I filled the pita pockets with slow-roasted lamb and lots of tzatziki sauce. Stay posted for those recipes and pictures!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Cornmeal for dusting baking sheets

1. In a mixing bowl, combine yeast, honey, and 1/2 cup warm water. Let mixture bubble, about 4 minutes.

2. In a second bowl, stir flours together. Mix 1/2 cup of flour mixture into yeast mixture. Cover with saran wrap and let stand for 40 minutes, or until dough doubles in size.

3. Add remaining flour mixture, remaining water, oil, and salt to dough. Knead dough on floured surface for about 10 minutes. Place ball of dough in a greased bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.

4. Punch dough. Separate dough into 8 balls. On a floured surface, flatten each dough ball and roll disks out with a rolling pin until they are about the size of average pieces of pita bread.

5. Place rounds of dough onto baking sheets dusted with cornmeal. Cover dough loosely with kitchen towels and let sit for 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 500º F. Place dough directly on oven rack and bake for 2 minutes per side.

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