baked yogurt tart with summer fruit; a tuesdays with dorie post

what’s in a name?  when it comes to a menu or a recipe title, everything.  the title “baked yogurt tart” just does nothing for me.  a picture would help sell it but the publisher must have decided not to include one, too bad, it might have helped.  might being the key word.
so shy would i bother to make one?  curiosity and a husband who never fails to ask me, “what’s for dessert?” after every dinner we have together.  the catch, neither one of us eats much dairy.  sure a splash of half and half in coffee or a little butter on toast, maybe the occasional slice of cheese but a slice of a yogurt filled tart?  not likely.  while i tolerate it better than my husband can (physically-as in gastrointestinal abilities), i still prefer to avoid it since i generally feel better if i do.  the only way i could make this would be to use a soy or coconut yogurt.  honestly, neither one is something i eat much of just because of the long list of stuff they add to it to give it a texture similar to real dairy yogurt.  but since i want to bake along with the tuesdays with dorie followers and i know my husband will ask that burning question, i baked the tart.  
the recipe is easy to follow.  it calls for 1/4 of the pie dough recipe.  i cheated.  i had two prebaked mini pie shells in the freezer; i thawed them for the recipe.  to make the filling, i mixed up 1/3 of the recipe which resulted in the perfect amount for 2 little pies.  for the fruit, i topped one with peach slices and the other with strawberry slices.  the baking time had to be reduced to 25-30 minutes and they came out of the oven a tiny bit jiggly in the center.  they set up just fine.  the only criticism, they look rather dry and a little leathery on top.  i may have to brush a little warm honey over them before serving.  
to see the full recipe, check out this great website from a la carte communications.  and as always, to see the what the other bakers came up with, be sure to visit the tuesdays with dorie page.

coconut yogurt looks a lot like regular low-fat yogurt.  it has a lot of vegetable stabilizers in it to accomplish that so it is hardly an unprocessed food.  the taste was more vanilla than coconut but even more surprising was just how sweet it was since it was labelled “plain.”

 i love that the recipe was so easy to divide.  i just needed one egg.
 yeah, it was a lazy day in my kitchen; the hand mixer came out for this recipe.
 i love summer fruit, i was able to control myself and slice enough of it for the tarts.
 looking good
 fresh from the oven-pretty!

 the fruit looks a little dry and leathery.  it needs a little glaze over the top to give it a shine.

if my husband is lucky, i will let him have a bite or two…

peaches and cream pie

 did you know that august was national peach month?  i learned that fact the hard way-i had to make a peachy dessert for the cafe for each day of the month.  hello, september!!!  really, though, i had fun with it and came up with a couple worth sharing.  one is the peaches and cream pie.  lovely, creamy, vanilla custard poured over fresh, ripe peach slices and finished off with a crunchy, crumb topping.

 many were baked over the course of the month.  many were sold.
peaches ‘n cream pie
1 (9″) pie shell
3 cups sliced peaches-peel them first!
2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup half and half
1 batch of crumb topping-recipe follows

preheat the oven to 325.  place the pie shell on a sturdy baking sheet, line it with parchment paper and fill it with 2-3 cups of dry rice or beans.  bake until the bottom no longer looks shiny and wet but seems mostly opaque and the edges are lightly golden, about 20 minutes.  remove from the oven and carefully spoon out the rice/beans and remove the paper.  turn the oven up to 350.

to mix the filling, place the peach slices into the prepared pie shell and set aside.  in a mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, flour and salt together.  whisk in the eggs and vanilla and mix until completely combined.  whisk in the half and half.  pour the custard over the peaches and sprinkle the crumb topping over the pie evenly.  bake until the crumb topping is evenly browned and the filling puffs up and the pie is somewhat firm in the center, 50-60 minutes.  allow it to cool completely before slicing for the best looking slices.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
combine the ingredients in a bowl and using a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour and sugar until it resembles coarse meal.  

just one more reason i made so many of these pies-my coworkers.  when they like the desserts, many more get sold.  go kaylin!

beware of the angry peach

august is national peach month.  it has been nothing but peach pies, peach cobblers, peach upside down cakes-you name it, if it has peaches in it, i probably baked it in the cafe this month.  from oatmeal cookies with dried peaches to peach cheesecakes, the desserts were well received and many peaches were peeled and sliced.  then i ran into this guy.  he wasn’t too thrilled with the carnage on the cutting board.  time to move on to a new flavor and quickly-angry peach has got fangs…

fig and peach galette; tuesdays with dorie

ordinarily, i have my act together; i don’t miss appointments, i am usually early so that i am not late, i remember things.  not this week.  instead of being on the ball, i have been hit by it.  somehow, i managed to miss, and i mean completely miss, this weeks challenge for tuesdays with dorie.  i read the post, i knew it was coming.  i just assumed it was next week.  time to get my head out of my (insert the noun of your choice here) and get to work.
the challenge this week is the berry galette and it is hosted by lisa of tomato thymes in the kitchen and andrea of the kitchen lioness.  to read the full recipes, visit either of their sites and to see the entries from the other members, visit tuesdays with dorie.
i love to make galettes.  they are easy to assemble and they aren’t supposed to look picture perfect.  how can you not love that?  the dough is quickly mixed up in the food processor.  the recipe called for 1/4 cup of cornmeal and i immediately went to the freezer and pulled out the bag of blue cornmeal that i keep stashed in there.  blue cornmeal gives doughs and odd shade of grey but the nutty flavor and slight crunch it adds make it a wonderful addition to any recipe calling for cornmeal.
blue cornmeal

 the instructions for using a food processor tell you to pulse it to a consistency of moist curds and that is just what it looks like when it is properly mixed.  according to those instructions, you can use it without a resting period but are cautioned to use ample flour to prevent sticking.  that sounded like work and a set up for failure to me.  needless to say, i chilled the dough by setting it in the freezer while i made the filling.

 our fig tree was producing figs like crazy two weeks ago but it has slowed down considerably.  i found  a flat in the fridge that had been forgotten and decided to use them.  since it was only about 3/4 cups, i threw in some chopped up peaches too.  a little lemon zest, vanilla bean and cardamom finished it off.

 the chilled dough rolled out easily with absolutely not sticking.  to eliminate the flour, brush off the top of the dough.  turn it over onto the baking pan and then brush the flour off the other side-this can be done easily if the dough is chilled since it will not tear and stretch as much.
 look at the blue cornmeal flecks in the dough

 once the filling is on the dough round, you are instructed to sprinkle sugar and honey over it.  well, i skipped the sugar and used a double dip of the honey from our bees.

 ready to go into the oven…
a special thanks to our hostesses with the mostesses-truly a job well done!

peach-basil custard pie, #30 of 52

summer brings some of my favorite flavors; ripe, juicy peaches and basil.  my little peach tree is years away from providing an abundance of fruit so i must content myself with what i can find at the farmers market and the grocery store(my last resort).  however, i have plenty of basil in the herb garden to keep me stocked for the rest of the year!  we let it grow until the frost takes it and if we are paying attention, we pick as much as possible before it is killed off, puree it and freeze it in ice trays.  during the summer, basil ends up in lots of things; salads, vinaigrette, sauces and desserts.  wait, desserts?  yes desserts.  it blends beautifully with peaches!

for this weeks pie, i infused some milk with lemon grass, basil, star anise and cardamom pods.  it was then strained and used to make a custard with a lovely herbal flavor to fill the baked pie shell and topped with ripe, juicy slices of peaches.

anyone that has looked in a seed catalog or visited a nursery has seen the many different varieties of basil out there.  i plant as many as i can in my herb garden.  one of my favorites, pictured above, is from a friend.  jim, a fellow gardener, shared a plant with me two years ago and it has been reseeding itself in abundance.  this year, i returned the favor and gave away at least 25 of the plants but i still have at least that many left in the garden!  it is the most unusual basil i have ever encountered; it doesn’t have the strong licorice flavor that most basils have, including the flavored varieties.  they only thing i can say about the flavor is that the scent of it makes me think of juicy fruit gum and as soon as i mention that out loud, everyone agrees.  another characteristic of this plant, it is a little hairy in comparison to other basils. so if you know what variety it is, let me know-and if it isn’t a basil, tell me that too.  we have compared the flowers as well as the stems and leaves to all of the other basils and they are almost identical except for the hairiness and the scent.

peach-basil custard pie
1 (9″) pie that serves 8
1 (9″) fully baked pie shell, purchased or home made
basil custard, recipe follows
4-6 ripe, freestone peaches
1/4 cup peach jelly, jam or preserves (for glazing the tart)
for the pie shell,  use the recipe from pie #18 or pie #29 but follow the instructions for prebaking, regardless of which it is, by following the recipe for pie #29.  while the pie shell bakes, prepare the custard according to the recipe and chill it completely.  scrape the chilled custard into the cooled pie shell and top it with slices of peaches.  i made a circular design starting at the outer edge and working my way to the center.  place the jelly in a microwave safe bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of water.  heat on the low or defrost setting until the jelly boils.  stir it to smooth it out and using a brush, coat the peaches to seal them and prevent them from changing color.  
basil custard
2 1/4 cups milk
several lemon grass leaves, tied in a bundle
2-3 large sprigs of basil
3 green cardamom pods
1 star anise pod
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
place the milk into a sauce pot with the lemon grass, basil, cardamom and star anise.  bring to a low boil and turn off the heat.  allow it to steep for at least 30 minutes.  strain the milk back into the sauce pot.  place the cornstarch in a heat proof bowl and dissolve it with some of the milk.  add the sugar to the sauce pot and over medium heat, bring it to a boil.  whisk the eggs into the cornstarch mixture.  using the directions for pastry cream in pie #29, temper the eggs and cook the custard until thickened.  strain the custard into a heat proof dish and press plastic to the surface.  chill until completely cold.
and as always, make one and send me a photo-i will post it here!
may the power of basil be with you…

8/24 is national peach pie day!

ooooh it’s a holiday, let’s par-tay!!! we’ll bake a pie together, it’ll be such fun…
grated lemon zest, vanilla bean-scraped (save the pod for something else), cardamom and pumpkin pie spice…add some sugar and cornstarch and rub it all together.

add the peaches and toss them together
make thin strips of dough and lay 5 across the top, just like the photo…

5 more strips of dough, just like so…

into the oven she goes. golden brown and bubbly…who’s got the ice cream?

for more information, read all about it in my latest article for the

ain’t that just peachy? ttb 7/16

i have spent my week looking at a large basket of peaches and many little baskets of blueberries. the peaches are starting to ripen-perfectly. slightly firm but bite into one and the juices run. they are also full of flavor and hard to resist even if they are a bit on the fuzzy side. earlier in the week i made a peach brown betty with biscuits but today, i made one of my favorite recipes from the book, blueberry peach cornbread buckle. the cake goes together like so:

peeled and diced peaches
toss them with blueberries, lemon zest and sugar-let them macerate
mix up some cornbread, slightly sweet, and pour it into the pan
spread the macerated fruit and juices evenly over the top then sprinkle the crumb topping over the fruit. into the oven she goes
fully baked and out of the pan-waiting to be cut into squares
some of the fruit sinks, some stays at the top-it buckles, get it?
cake for breakfast-what more could you possibly need?

totally pietastic

today found me completing the first chapter of the book. it is all about pies and i was able to get the last of them finished today. guess the fact that we have been slightly snowbound wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

country pies are easy to make. what are they you ask, galettes in southern speak. just little free form tarts/pies. not too fancy but very quick and tasty.
toss some ripe fruit with sugar, flour and any spices or other flavors if you like.
roll out a little piece of dough. it doesn’t need to be perfect.
top it with the fruit filling.
fold the edges in towards the middle but be sure to let a little of the fruit peek out.
it should look like this. then a quick brush of egg wash and a sprinkle of large crystal sugar and into the oven it goes.
warm tasty pies. where’s the ice cream…