Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lobster Tails Tutorial and Trouble Shooting...

You may be alarmed how sticky and loose this dough is.  That's just how it is!  Just work with it and make sure you have a clean work surface covered with a clean tablecloth or sheet and sprinkle it thoroughly and evenly with flour.

The dough MUST be so thin you can read through it.
Continue stretching down and OUT as your roll.
Rolling rolling rolling.  Keep stretching as you roll.
As you finish up a roll, place the rolled portion seam to seam with the next strip of dough and get them as close together as if they are an unbroken strip of dough.  Continue rolling each strip of dough like this until you have one big roll.
Use an insanely sharp knife to cut the rounds.  A dull knife will smash the layers together, completely ruining the effect of the pastry.

Gently press into the round to create a cone-like shape.
Keep pulling gently down.

Keep pulling apart the layers.  This takes practice and patience.  If your layers aren't sufficiently pulled apart, the pastry won't look right and the dough will bake up doughy instead of flaky.  In very old school Italian pastry shops, they use shortening EXCLUSIVELY to brush the dough.  This provides a slicker surface to pull everything apart more successfully, creating a flakier dough but also brings along it's filmy mouth feel, which I don't care for.

Fill the pastry and pinch the ends together if you like.  If the filling is very thick, don't bother.

NOTE!  Ricotta cheese varies in moisture by brand and by batch.  Too much moisture and your filling will be soupy and will just OOOOZE from the pastry.  I suggest you drain the ricotta through a cheese cloth and add just enough cream until it's a very nice and firm filling that holds it's shape.  

Today I had no ricotta but I did have cream cheese.  I combined 1 package cream cheese, 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar, 1 egg, the zest of one lemon, a pinch of salt and a scant 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to create a filling.  It was lovely.  If your filling is thick enough you won't have to seal the ends of the pastry and it makes for a more "horn of plenty" look.

St. Patty's Day Pizza in Photos

Vegan Option!  Coat with olive oil, layer with the potatoes and sprinkle with the caramelized onions, apples and garlic.  Sprinkle again with olive oil, add some dry thyme and sea salt and bake until crispy around the edges.

Carnivore option:  everything plus bacon and cheese!

I'm a big fan of potatoes on pizza.  You'll find them gracing pizzas in Pie It Forward.

Today, St. Patty's Day, I just riffed off of what I like most on a crispy crust:  the spuds, caramelized onions and garlic, crispy bacon, CHEESE and a touch of sweetness that comes to us by way of apples and a touch of maple.

I chose Kerrygold's Dubliner cheese, for obvious reasons, and it really is a lovely cheese for this purpose.  It has flavor without being overwhelming.

I start by blooming the yeast in 3/4 cup lukewarm water in the mixer bowl.  Then add the remaining ingredients and start the mix.  It looks terribly shaggy when you begin.  Be patient.  At least 10 minutes worth of patient.
Stilly shaggy but getting there. 
Much better.  Very close.

Nice and smooth!  Coat dough with oil and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to rest in a warm area at least an hour until just about doubled in size.

Sorry for the fuzzy picture.  But at least you can see that this dough should be VERY stretchy.

No biggie if you don't have a pizza stone.  I used the back of my half sheetpan and sprinkled it with semolina.  Cornmeal is the norm for sprinkling but semolina works beautifully.  I stretch the pizza dough by hand on the sheetpan.
Stretchy stretchy!
I thinly sliced onions, garlic and apples and caramelized with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a teaspoon of maple syrup.

While the caramelization is happening, I thinly slice the potatoes.  I used to large Yukon gold.

Looking good!

Crisp some bacon and shred the cheese.

Coat the dough with a few tablespoons of olive oil and layer the potatoes neatly on top of the dough.  Sprinkle with the caramelized onions, apple and garlic and then with the cheese.  Break the bacon on top and bake as directed in Pie It Forward.  Add a little green by way of flat leaf parsley once the pizza is out of the oven.

For a lovely Vegan option, olive oil, potatoes, caramelized onions, apples & garlic sprinkled with extra olive oil, sea salt and dry thyme.

Vegan slice.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Oatmeal Date Turnovers in Pictures (with a bonus POP!)

The dough is very moist, not unlike a cookie dough.  Fridge for at least 30 minutes so it's easier to roll out.

While dough is chillin', make the filling.  You CAN replace the coffee with water but you'll lose some great depth of flavor.  I also suggest that if you make the substitution, halve the cinnamon in the recipe.

Cook until the filling thickens to a jam like consistency.

Roll the dough to 1/8" thick and stamp out with a round cookie cutter.

Brush edges with egg wash.

Fill with 1 tablespoon of room temp filling.

Gently fold over. Brush with egg wash and, if you like, sprinkle with Sugar in the Raw.

Also perfect for pie pops!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Pudding Tart

Meyer Lemon Pudding Tart!  But wait a second.  Meyer lemons aren't in season!  Easy peasy.  I'll just use Key Lime juice.  Just as good.

Line the cake ring or the springform.  Mine has very high walls so I used more than 1/2 the batch of Sweet Tart Dough.  See the Bakewell Tart post for a Sweet Tart Dough demo.

Freeze dough for 20 minutes and line with parchment (2 pieces best as the weights are very heavy) and fill to the rim with pie weights.

While you get your blind bake on, prepare the filling.  This is the egg white at a medium peak.

Fill the prepared tart pan with the batter.

Bake until the tart filling puffs and only slightly wiggles when you shake the sheetpan.

Top bakes as if a cake and the bottom has a pudding texture.  A magical tart.