Posts by tag: pie

  • Rhubarb-Berry Hand Pies with Chocolate

Rhubarb-Berry Hand Pies with Chocolate

Posted on March 14, 2017
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Whether you’re a baker, math nerd or just a straight up hungry person, today is a day worthy of celebration. It’s Pi Day. The annual observance of the mathematical constant π (pi), who’s first three digits are 3.14 ( = March 14).

So of course, the best way to celebrate Pi Day is by making, eating and sharing actual pies. Right?

Did you know that I basically spent all of my 20’s in either a research laboratory or a classroom? Yup, it’s true. I was busy getting my PhD in Biochemistry, and then later completing a post-doctoral fellowship in Cancer Biology. And I was blinding men with my scientific prowess left and right (not really, but a girl can dream). Full on goggles and lab coat and all that good stuff. So as a bona fide science dork turned food blogger, Pi Day hits home for me on so many levels. Thus, it’s a day that I couldn’t let pass without some recognition.

Rhubarb-Berry Hand Pies with Chocolate | www.floatingkitchen.net

As much as I love desserts, I must admit that pie is never really my go-to. I’m much more of a cake and ice cream kind of gal. So for my Pi Day inspiration, I asked my Mom for some help. She sent me a rhubarb and berry pie recipe that she had torn out from the pages of a 2001 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It’s a recipe that she’s made successfully dozens of times over the years. And with some early season rhubarb in hand, I decided it would be a good one to adapt for today’s post.

The original recipe is for a full pie. But I flipped the script and turn it into individual hand pies instead. Because who doesn’t love cute little hand pies?!?!

Rhubarb-Berry Hand Pies with Chocolate | www.floatingkitchen.net

Because these hand pies don’t take as long to bake as a full sized pie, I pre-cooked the filling ingredients on the stove top for a few minutes. This also helps to get rid of some of the excess juices from the fruits, so the hand pies come out with a wonderfully flakey crust that isn’t mushy at all. The filling is almost jam-like, and these Rhubarb-Berry Hand Pies with Chocolate kind of remind me of a Pop-Tart, which were a childhood favorite of mine.

Rhubarb-Berry Hand Pies with Chocolate | www.floatingkitchen.net

The buttermilk pie crust recipe is from Joy the Baker. It’s hands down my favorite pie crust recipe ever. I can’t imagine ever needing another one. If you’ve ever made pie dough before, I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “pea-sized pieces of butter”. This is the size of butter that most recipes will tell you to aim for as you work the butter into the dry ingredients. I actually find this to be misleading. You want the butter to be pea-sized by the END of making/shaping the dough. Not during the middle of the process. Because as you work the dough, the butter pieces will just keep getting smaller and smaller. So I aim for kidney bean-sized pieces of butter, which by the end will be reduced in size closer to that of a pea. Does that make sense?

To make sure all my hand pies were the same size, I actually created a template with a piece of paper and used that as a guide to cut out the rectangles of dough. You certainly don’t have to be that fussy, but I wouldn’t be my overly obsessive scientific self if I didn’t go the extra mile to make them all evenly sized. Using a 4 X 5-inch template, I was able to cut out 14 rectangles, giving me a total of seven hand pies. If you need more pies, just make and use a smaller template.

Rhubarb-Berry Hand Pies with Chocolate | www.floatingkitchen.net

The final ingredient worth mentioning here is the chocolate. I added chopped dark chocolate to the filling, which melts into deliciously decadent little pockets of goodness during baking. And for the finishing touch, I channeled Jackson Pollock and drizzled some melted chocolate over top. Personally, I LOVE chocolate paired with fruit. But if you’re a purest either way, you can leave it out.

Happy Pi Day! I hope you all get the chance to celebrate!

Cheers,

Liz

Rhubarb-Berry Hand Pies with Chocolate

Yield: Makes 7 hand pies

Rhubarb-Berry Hand Pies with Chocolate

Ingredients

  • For the Pie Crust
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • About 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • Melted dark chocolate for drizzling, if desired

  • For the Filling
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 cups trimmed and sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. To make the pie crust, combine the flour, granulated sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and toss to coat the butter in the dry ingredients. Then, using your hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients by squeezing it between your fingers. Try to work quickly so the butter doesn’t get too warm. Once the butter pieces are about kidney bean-sized, make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add about 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and use a fork to incorporate the flour mixture into the buttermilk. Add more buttermilk as necessary to make sure all the flour is moistened. The dough will be a bit shaggy at this point. Dump the dough out onto a floured work surface and using your hands, knead and shape the dough together into a ball. Divide the dough ball in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap the disks with plastic wrap and chill them in your refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, make the filling. Add the rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, sugar and lemon juice to a medium saucepan. Bring the filling to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the filling to cool for 10 minutes. Then stir in the tapioca and vanilla extract. Allow to filling to cool completely before stirring in the chopped chocolate.
  3. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon of water. Set aside.
  5. Remove the dough disks from your refrigerator and unwrap them. Working with one dough disk at a time, roll it out onto a well floured work surface until it’s about 1/8-inch thick. As you’re rolling the dough, occasionally rotate it a quarter of a turn to ensure it’s not sticking to your work surface. Once the dough is rolled out, cut out rectangles 4 X 5-inches in size. Place the dough rectangles on one of your parchment paper lined baking sheets. Re-shape and re-roll the scrapes, continuing to cut out as many rectangles as possible. Repeat the same process with the second dough disk.
  6. Add 2 rounded tablespoons of filling to the center of half of the dough rectangles. Brush the edges of the rectangles with some of the egg wash. Then top with the other half of the dough rectangles. Press the edges together gently with your fingers. Then use the tines of a fork to press more firmly and seal the edges. Transfer the baking sheets to your refrigerator to chill the pies for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Remove the baking sheets from your refrigerator. Use the tines of a fork to poke a vent in the top of each pie. Then brush the tops of the pies with some of the remaining egg wash. Sprinkle with a little turbinado sugar.
  8. Transfer the baking sheets to your pre-heated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the pies to cool slightly before serving. If desired, you can drizzle melted chocolate on top before serving.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/rhubarb-berry-hand-pies-with-chocolate/
  • Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Tart {Gluten-Free}

Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Tart {Gluten-Free}

Posted on October 19, 2016
Category:

Disclosure: I’m so happy to be able to give you all a peek into Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin. Thanks for letting me share this beautiful cookbook with you!

Little known fact about me: I spent almost 2 years cooking and baking exclusively gluten-free.

This was back in my California days. And it wasn’t for my own benefit. But for a man that I was with at the time. I was determined to be the “good girlfriend” and make him all the things that he had enjoyed in his younger years, but had to forgo since excluding gluten from his diet. So with the help of the internet and the local hippie-dippy market (which at the time was the best place to find gluten-free products), I armed myself with a pantry full of alternative flours and got to work. I spent endless hours in the kitchen. And we indulged ourselves in all my creations.

But those days are very far away now. That man is gone. And with his exit, so went the dozen bags of flours that had taken up residency in my kitchen. I returned to my usual baking ways (albeit for the occasional use of almond or hazelnut flour in a recipe). And eventually, all the other parts of my life returned to normal as well.

Truth be told, I did enjoy my walk on the gluten-free side of life. Sure, gluten-free baking can intimidating at times. But it can also open up a brand new world of flavors and textures. And recently, I’ve found myself kind of missing that. So with a copy of Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s new cookbook, Alternative Baker, firmly in my hands, I’m taking the plunge again.

Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin | www.floatingkitchen.net

Alanna is one of the sweetest blogging friends that I have. She is soft-spoken, silly, genuine and humble. And I knew I would love her before I even met her in person. Oh and let’s not forget to mention how amazingly talented she is in the kitchen and behind the camera. Like, I want to cry when I look at her beautiful cookbook and blog. It’s just too lovely to even process sometimes.

Boss Babes Fest MSP Retreat | www.floatingkitchen.net

I knew right away when I spotted her recipe for this Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Tart that it would be the first thing I would make from Alternative Baker. I’m a big fan of pecan pie, but sometimes it can be too cloyingly sweet, even for me. Alanna’s recipe, however, hits just the right balance of tart and sweet. With enough chocolate to keep any chocoholic very satisfied. The gluten-free tart dough comes together easily enough. And Alanna gives lots of tips and tricks so you’ll be sure to nail it on your first attempt. This is definitely one dessert to put on your Holiday baking list!

Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Tart {Gluten-Free} | www.floatingkitchen.net

Check out Alanna’s adorable trailer of her cookbook on over on her blog. And pick up a copy of Alternative Baker today!

Cheers,

Liz

Reprinted with minimal adaptations from Alternative Baker. Copyright © 2016, Alanna Taylor-Tobin.

Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Tart {Gluten-Free}

Serves 10-12

Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Tart {Gluten-Free}

Ingredients

  • For the Tart Dough
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • For the Filling
  • 1 cup raw pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons sweet white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, halved

Instructions

  1. Prepare the tart dough. Position a rack in the center of your oven and pre-heat it to 375 degrees. Place a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom on a rimmed baking sheet and set it aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the cocoa powder, almond flour, rice flour, tapioca flour, sugar and salt until well combined. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and drizzle with the vanilla extract. Then turn your mixer to medium-low and run it until the dough comes together in clumps and the butter is worked through, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Dump the crumbs into your tart pan and use your hands to press the dough evenly into the pan, starting with the sides and then moving to the bottom, keeping the edges square. The dough will be about 1/4-inch thick. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with the tines of a fork. Then transfer the pan to your freezer to chill the dough until firm, about 15-30 minutes.
  4. Once chilled, transfer the pan to your pre-heated oven and bake until the crust is firm to the touch, about 18-22 minutes. Remove the pan the from the oven and while the crust is still hot, use the back of a spoon to press down firmly but gently on the bottom and sides of the crust to help it hold together. Set aside.
  5. Prepare the filling. Lower your oven temperature to 325 degrees and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
  6. Spread the pecans out onto a small rimmed baking sheet and toast them in your pre-heated oven until fragrant, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the pecans from the oven and set them aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, use your fingers to break the pecan halves up into smaller pieces.
  7. In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, brown sugar and salt. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Then whisk in the maple syrup and vanilla extract, being careful not to over work the filling. Whisk in the melted butter. Fold in the toasted pecans.
  8. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the bottom of your prepared crust. Top with the cranberry halves. Then pour the filling over top, distributing it evenly. Transfer the tart to your pre-heated oven and bake until the sides are gently puffed and the center is still slightly wobbly, about 20-30 minutes.
  9. Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
  10. The tart is best when enjoyed the day of baking. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-4 days.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/chocolate-cranberry-pecan-tart-gluten-free/

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