Archive for the ‘sweet’ Category

Giftmas Crostata

We hosted a small Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year. One of my friend brought her very own home made cranberry sauce. And quite a lot of it too.

It’s a delicious, spicy, citrus-y cran relish really and my mind immediately went to what else I could do with a surfeit of the stuff.

Well, make a cranberry and pear crostata for Giftmas, of course.

Kate’s Crostata, now in permanent rotation on the baking menu.

Since this is the season of giving, all y’all might have some Giftmas money burning a hole in your pockets, might I ask you to consider making a donation to Scarleteen? They’re halfway to their goal in fundraising, and it really is a damned shame that the best sexuality education site on the whole of the interwebthingynet has to struggle to make ends meet, and is run nearly single-handedly (thank goodness for well-trained volunteers) by a woman who is the most passionately dedicated person I have ever met.

So please, hit that donate button and give a little to an invaluable resource.

Consider yourselves nagged.


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Serious Chocolate

Bittersweet chocolate, chopped for espresso shortbread.

The melting point with this chocolate is so low… even my cold death-like touch melts it.

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When trapped in the house…

… make pie.

Someday, maybe my bathroom will be done. Until then, I’ll be enjoying apple season.

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Apples, Again

It’s that time of year, of course, for making wonderful things with apples. One of my favorite baking blogs to read is Confessions of a Tart. Great pictures and inspiring recipes. A few days ago, she posted this apple tartlet recipe which I knew instantly I had to try. I mean, how could I not?

Obviously, I need more practice at this one to get the ratio of apples to ricotta correct. But it was a fun and quick recipe to whip up on a cold, cloudy autumn morning, while contractors were tearing out my bathroom (finally!). I had to slice the apples very thin, as I was using a big old Mutsu. Next time, definitely more apple, even if I have to slice them paper thin like this.

Irene wasn’t kidding when she said her house filled with the scent of baking apples and vanilla. Right now, ours is redolent with the same.

Thanks, Irene, for hosting such a great site! Also, your chocolate cupcakes were a big hit here at the house a few weeks ago.

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Apple and Pear Cakes

At the farmers’ market this week, my favorite orchard had some lovely golden russet apples. I’d never seen them before, so I quickly nab a bunch of them for an apple cake. I also have a few pears remaining from Cynthia’s mother’s pear tree which are so ready to go.

The russets have a tough and slightly fuzzy skin, which translates to a powdery taste when eaten with the skin on. They’re a bit tart, a little like a granny smith, but with a sweeter aftertaste.

Sadly, I’ve no one here today to perform the sacred duty of licking the bowl and spatula clean.

Apple Cake Ready

And 40 minutes later, they’re out of the oven and resting before they get flipped out of their pans. These are double flip cakes: out of the pan to a plate, then to another plate so they’re right side up again.


You can just put those pear pieces back in, like a puzzle, as it’s going to be the bottom of the cake anyway.

However, sometimes no matter how much you’ve buttered the pan, your cake will stubbornly insist on clinging tightly to it. And then you have to perform some careful reconstructive surgery. Which is what happened with the apple version of today’s cake.

Slightly damaged cake still tastes delicious.

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Crust III: Crostata

Blueberry peach crostata, infused with vanilla, using the other half of the tart crust we made the other day.

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Pie and Tart Crust

This morning, I was just about to make short crust for tonight’s dinner (it’ll be quiche, thank you) and remembered that a couple of people had requested what has turned out to be the Perfect Tart and Pie Crust recipe. So here it is, after the cut…

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