Tag archive for "featured"

A Sure-Fire Love Potion You Can Make At Home – Easy Chocolate Truffles

1 Comment 13 February 2014

It’s hardly news that eating chocolate fires the same endorphins that kick in when we fall in love. Science has noted that a sneaky little alkaloid known as theobromine, found in cacao, flips the switch on our warm and fuzzies whenever we take a nibble. It’s no wonder we reach for the pint of double dark brownie chunk when our beau is a no-show – chocolate is nature’s way of saying I love you, or better yet, I love me.

Though the gift of chocolates on Valentine’s Day is a clichéd no-brainer, the extra endorphins that come with making the chocolates yourself take them into another dimension of sweet. There’s hard science to back this up – studies have tracked the feel-good effect on both giver and receiver, and the biggest endorphin spike appears in the one who hands over the gift. So why not tickle both yourself and your sweetie this Valentine’s Day and stir up a batch of these luscious truffles? The basic recipe has only three ingredients, and with the combination of chocolate, Kerrygold butter and cream, well, it’s almost as good as falling in love.

Easy Chocolate Truffles

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet (60% cocoa) or bittersweet (70% cocoa, or higher %, if you like)
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Kerrygold Unsalted Butter
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons alcohol of choice – Cognac, Bourbon, Grand Marnier, Frangelico, Kahlua, rum (coconut rum is delicious, as is spiced rum)
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (goes very well with Grand Marnier) – use a microplane to grate zest, for best results

Topping choices; roll finished truffles in any of the following:

  • Crushed toasted coconut “chips” (Try Danielle’s or Trader Joe’s brand), or unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted
  • Shaved chocolate, (white chocolate is also nice)
  • Chopped, roasted pistachios (salted)
  • Crushed toffee
  • Roasted, chopped hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, or other nuts
  • Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Sprinkle on a tiny bit of coarse sea salt

Dip one side in a bit of the following (optional):

  • Turbinado sugar, with or without cinnamon
  • Chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans

Instructions:

  • Place the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside.
  •  Heat cream and butter until the cream comes to a gentle simmer and the butter is just melted.
  • Pour cream over chocolate
  • Stir the mixture with whisk until the chocolate is melted and mixture is quite smooth
  • If using alcohol or orange zest, stir in now.
  • Cover mixture with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for a minimum of four hours (you can leave it in overnight, and up to several days, if you’re not ready to form the truffles).

To Form Truffles:

  • Remove truffle mixture from refrigerator, remove plastic wrap
  • Place coating(s) on small plate(s)
  • Using your hands or a small scoop, melon baller or small spoon, form the chocolate into small bite-sized balls (or, in the traditional French style, make them a bit misshapen so they look like real truffles, the precious fungi)
  • Once you form a truffle, roll it immediately in the coating of your choice
  • Set finished truffles on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic
  • Return truffles to the refrigerator until firm

Suggestion: Before eating, let truffles come to near room temperature

Note: Truffles may be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container, or frozen for up to a month. But really, who can show that much restraint?

 

A Cherry Pie with A Lot of Heart!

4 Comments 06 February 2014

How do I love thee? With a freshly baked cherry pie, festooned with hearts—that’s how I do! This pie may be one of the best ways to wear your heart on your sleeve, or in this case, on top of the PIE!

Fresh sour cherries (also known as pie cherries) are a treat, but their season is short—just a few weeks in the summertime. But, when fresh cherries are not available, frozen or canned fruit will do just fine. A few tablespoons of an orange liqueur, or orange zest and juice added to the filling make this pie extra special.

This is a great opportunity to use your heart-shaped cookie cutters, too. I cut out about twenty 2.5 inch hearts and the same amount of 1.5 inch hearts, and placed the big hearts in concentric rings and the smaller ones near the edge. Or you might place different size hearts in a carefree manner with some here and there. Be creative!

Ingredients

For one 9” deep-dish pie plate

  • 1 recipe for double crust pie dough
  • 6 cups sour cherries, fresh and pitted, canned and drained, or frozen (you won’t need to defrost them)
  • 1 cup sugar + a few teaspoons more for sprinkling the top
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • A very small grating of whole nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons orange liqueur or zest and juice of half an orange (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Kerrygold Irish Butter for dotting the top of the filling

Egg White Wash

  • 1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water for an egg white wash

Procedure

  • Make dough, divide into two disks, wrap in plastic and chill.
  • Put cherries, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, quick cooking tapioca, salt into a bowl and gently mix together until well coated.
  • Roll out the bottom dough and place in your pie pan.
  • Pour filling into crust. (Note: Cherries are a very juicy fruit so fill your pie pan to within 1/2 inch of the rim so they won’t boil over when baking.)
  • Dot with Kerrygold Irish Butter and set aside.
  • Roll out remaining dough, cut out heart shapes and arrange on top of the filling in a pattern that is pleasing to you.
  • Trim excess dough from edges and crimp.
  • Brush crust with some egg white wash and sprinkle evenly and lightly with 1-2 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Place pie in refrigerator to chill while oven is preheating to 425° F.
  • Bake at 425° F on the middle rack of the oven until crust is just golden, about 20 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to 375° F; bake until golden brown and there is some steady bubbling in the filling, about 30-35 minutes more.
  • Let cool before serving.

Serves 8

 

Smokin’ Cheddar Oven-Baked Steak Fries – Super, Healthy Finger Food for the Super Bowl

No Comments 30 January 2014

The Super Bowl – our unofficial holiday when it’s perfectly okay to eat with your hands and yell with your mouth full. On this raucous occasion, most of the snacks we grab for tip well into caloric overload, with fat and salt sliding way off the chart. While a chip-and-dip, all-meat-pizza-induced food coma might take the edge off having bet on the losing team, there are tasty ways to celebrate that won’t take you down for a long winter’s nap.

Smokin’ Cheddar Oven-Baked Steak Fries fit the bill perfectly. The love-child of nachos and fried potato skins, these finger-lickin’ spuds spare us the frying oil and the sea of gooey sauce. Made with Yukon Gold potatoes, these husky wedges take on earthy, bacon-y notes from cumin and smoked paprika, a hint of heat from minced jalapenos and the fresh, bright taste of a sprinkle of cilantro. A judicious handful of grated Kerrygold Aged Cheddar brings the dish nicely into nacho territory, and still lets you respect yourself in the morning.

 
Smokin’ Cheddar Oven-Baked Steak Fries (serves 6-8)

  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes, washed, dried and cut into 3/4” wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (“pimenton ahumado”) or 1 teaspoon chipotle powder and 2 teaspoons regular paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup (or more if you like) Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno (or 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes)
  • 1/2 cup minced red or yellow bell peppers

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Place potatoes in a large bowl and toss with olive oil until thoroughly covered
  • Mix paprika, cumin and garlic in a small bowl
  • Sprinkle spice mix over potatoes and toss until potatoes are completely covered
  • Spread potatoes out on large, foil-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt
  • Bake 10 minutes on center rack of oven, then turn potatoes over
  • Return potatoes to oven for another 7-8 minutes
  • Remove sheet from oven, move potatoes close together on sheet, top with cheese
  • Return to oven for another 2 minutes or so, just until cheese begins to melt
  • Place in serving dish, top with jalapeno, cilantro and bell peppers and serve immediately

*Note: Chipotle powder and minced jalapenos add spicy heat. If you don’t want heat, use only the smoked paprika and skip the jalapenos.

 

 

 

Bubble and Squeak – It’s What’s For Dinner…Or Brunch…Or…

No Comments 23 January 2014

Some things, like love, and occasionally leftovers, are better the second time around. Granted, day-old mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts can be pretty sad on the
rebound. But turn them into bubble and squeak, and they become a sum, much more delectable than its parts.

A homespun British classic with a long history, bubble and squeak is a versatile dish. More formula than recipe, it traditionally combines potatoes and some member of the brassica family (cabbage, brussel sprouts, etc.) panfried in a bit of fat to form a crisp cake with a creamy middle. (The quirky name, sounding a bit like Cockney slang, comes from the sound the vegetables make sizzling in the pan). While cabbage or sprouts are the go-to greens, anything from string beans to peas are fair game, and parsnips and carrots also find their way into the mash. Bacon, too, may make an appearance – adding a nice bit of smokiness, and delicious fat for frying.

Our version sticks close to the classic, with a luscious cap of Kerrygold Aged Cheddar for another layer of flavor and richness. What comes next is up to you. Form it into patties, or fry it into one large cake. Serve it at dinner next to roast chicken or a pansizzled pork chop, slide it next to a salad at midday, or top it with a poached egg and call it brunch. Delicious in any form, bubble and squeak makes yesterday’s veggies easy to love.

 

Bubble and Squeak
3 cups cold mashed or boiled and crushed potatoes
2 cups cold brussel sprouts, cut in 1/4” slices
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
4-6 tablespoons Kerrygold Salted Butter
1 cup (or more) Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, grated
Salt, pepper to taste

  • Combine the potatoes and brussel sprouts in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium-sized, heavy, non-stick skillet.
  • Saute the onion in butter until translucent.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of butter to pan, add potatoes and sprouts, mix thoroughly with onions, season with salt and pepper.
  • Press mixture down well to make a large pancake.
  • Let brown, undisturbed, for 6-10 minutes.
  • Once the bottom is browned, turn “cake” to brown other side.* When turning the cake, add another two tablespoons butter to the pan.
  • Once second side is browned, top with grated cheese, run under the broiler just until cheese is melted.
  • Serve in wedges straight from the pan.

[*Note: An easy way to turn the cake is to thoroughly loosen it around the edges and bottom with a spatula, set a plate over the skillet, hold the plate on the skillet and flip, turning the cake onto the plate. Return the pan to the heat, add the butter and slide the cake into the pan, browned side up.]

This recipe can also be made in individual patties. Simply form the patties with wet hands and brown as you would the cake.

A Lemon Tart to Chase the Winter Blues Away

No Comments 15 January 2014

Kate McDermott is the creator and founder of Art of the Pie. Since 2006 she has taught the time-honored craft of pie making to thousands. One of the most highly sought-after culinary instructors nationally, Kate is widely acknowledged as one of the best makers of pie ever. Named “Food Rock Star” by Seattle Magazine, Kate has given her Art of the Pie workshop to food luminaries as well as receiving high praise from Ruth Reichl, former editor of “Gourmet,” Dorie Greenspan, Elise Bauer of SimplyRecipes.com and many others. She has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and countless other publications. In 2008 her pie was featured in “Saveur” Magazine’s Top 100 Issue and appeared on the cover. She has been written about in many books, magazines & blogs by award-winning authors. Always friendly, fun, and down-to-earth, Kate, a practitioner of kindness, aspires to pass on the craft of pie-making to as many as she can.

A bright lemony tart is a lovely way to perk up the darkest day and help chase those Wintertime blues away.  As soon as I make one and it is ready to eat, friends just seem to show up at my cottage to say “hello”. I’m delighted to invite them in for a cup of tea and piece of tart around my table. In short time, all that is left are delicious crumbs and memories of good conversations and smiles. So, what to do when it’s all gone? Well, make another of course!

Lemon Tart is made in three stages and not all of them have to happen at once, so this can fit into busy schedules.

  1. Blind bake a crust and while it is still warm, paint it with egg white wash and let cool.
  2. Make homemade lemon curd.
  3. Put it all together and bake for a few minutes. Cool and enjoy!

And if you have any extra lemon curd left, it’s great to spread on freshly baked scones with some Kerrygold Irish Butter, too!

 

LEMON TART

Serves 8-10

I. The Dough

Ingredients

1 chilled disc of pie dough

Egg white wash (1 egg white + 1 Tablespoon water)

 

Instructions

Roll out one chilled disc of your favorite pie dough to about 12 inches.

Place it in the 10 inch tart pan.

Run a rolling pin over the edges to trim off the extra dough.

Using a fork, prick it all over with a fork—sides, too.

Let this chill while the oven preheats to 425 F.

 

Blind Baking the Crust

When the oven has preheated, use a sheet of parchment paper to cover the dough, and fill with pie-weights so that the pan is nearly full. I use beans that I save and can use again for blind baking.

Bake for about 25 minutes in a 425 F oven.

Carefully remove the parchment paper and pie-weights.

While the crust is still warm, lightly brush with an egg white wash. You won’t need to use the entire egg wash.

Note: You can blind bake in individual 5” tart pans for individual servings.

 

II. Lemon Curd (makes about 2-1/4 cups)

Ingredients

8 Tablespoons Kerrygold Irish Butter, salted

1 cup of granulated cane sugar

Zest of 4 lemons, chopped finely

Juice of 4 lemons

4 eggs + 2 egg yolks, beaten

 

Directions

  1. Melt the Kerrygold Irish Butter on low heat
  2. In this order; add sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and eggs.
  3. Over low heat, stir gently until mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

 

III. Assembling & Baking the Tart

  1. Using a spatula, pour the lemon curd into the blind-baked pie shells.
  2. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 300 F.
  3. It will be slightly jiggly when you remove from the oven, but will set up as it cools.
  4. Some like to sprinkle powdered sugar on top, but I prefer to scatter a bit of extra zest on top.

A YEAR IN PICTURES: OUR BEST MOMENTS FROM 2013

No Comments 08 January 2014

2013 has been a fantastic year for us and we could never have done it without all of you. Thanks for making this our best year ever! Please enjoy this gallery of some of our best moments in 2013.

A Holiday For Grownups – A New Year’s Cocktail Party with Cashel Blue Cheese Fondue

No Comments 27 December 2013

Once the kid-happy swirl of Christmas is past and both naughty and nice have gotten their due, it’s time to get ready for the year’s most grown-up holiday. New Year’s is the time to slip into something sophisticated, to serve food and drink that is truly adult. It’s the perfect moment to throw a cocktail gathering, where martinis make the conversation sparkle, and a decadent mix of Kerrygold Cashel Blue Cheese and cream turns fondue into the life of the party.
Like all things truly sophisticated, this fondue is deceptively simple. A culinary little black dress, it lets the quality of the few ingredients speak for itself. Here, Cashel Blue Cheese is the star. This historic farmhouse cheese, lovingly hand-crafted by the Grubb family in Tipperary, plays mellow blue notes against a very buttery richness. Gorgeous on its own, it proves glorious in the presence of a touch of garlic and heavy cream.

Blue Cheese Beauty web
And just like the little black dress, this dish is all about the accessories. Keep it simple as a dip for crisp potato chips and chilled celery, alongside spiced olives and an array of charcuterie. Or serve it with a generous spread – cubes of rare steak, butter-broiled mushrooms, blanched broccolini, tiny roast potatoes, slices of ripe pear, seeded bread sticks – and it becomes an interactive dinner party. Offered fancy or plain, it’s a stylish way to dip into the New Year…

For the fondue:

  • 12 oz Kerrygold Cashel Blue Cheese, crumbled
  • 6 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Kerrygold Unsalted Butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  1. Toss the crumbled Cashel Blue Cheese with the cornstarch in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-low flame add garlic and rosemary, saute just until the garlic is fragrant – about a minute.  Add the wine, raise the heat to medium and let simmer until it reduces by half.
  3. Lower the heat a bit, whisk in the cream, and let simmer till it reduces a just little bit.
  4. On a very low flame, add cheese a bit at a time, whisking steadily to incorporate.  Once all the cheese is incorporated, add pepper and transfer mixture to fondue pot.
  5. Light candle to keep fondue warm, stir occasionally.

Note: If martinis aren’t your drink, the fondue pairs well with sparkling wine, hard cider, or a slightly sweet sherry or port. Sparkling non-alcoholic cider is also delicious.

Christmas Morning Celebration – Smoked Ham and Skellig Bread Pudding

No Comments 23 December 2013

After weeks of anticipation, the full thrill of Christmas seems to happen in one short, giddy burst. The festivities zip along with whiplash speed, and by noon you’re ankle deep in wrapping paper and the kids are sliding toward a meltdown amped-up on holiday sweets. While visions of a well-mannered Christmas dinner may dance in your head, attempting to corral the happy chaos can feel pretty Grinch-y. Rather than fight the tumble of excitement, why not feed the fun while it’s happening? Let brunch be the new dinner, and make this savory bread pudding the centerpiece.

A heavenly hybrid of bread-and-butter pudding and French pain perdu, this dish is perfect do-ahead fare. While Santa is busy wrapping the X-Box, a designated elf can easily assemble and refrigerate the unbaked pudding the night before. When Christmas Day dawns, just slip the dish into the oven and bake till it’s custardy and nicely browned. Add a bright citrus salad of blood oranges, navels and mint, a pot of French Roast for the adults and cocoa for the kids (and whipped cream for all), and you’ve got a simply delicious way to celebrate.
For the pudding: (An adaptation of a recipe from chef David Tanis)

  • 2  - 8-oz day-old baguettes, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 6 tablespoons Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 package Kerrygold Skellig Cheese, grated
  • 1/3 pound smoked ham, diced
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 4 large eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup snipped chives, (optional)
  1. Lightly coat the interior of a rectangular baking dish with butter
  2. Lightly butter bread slices on both sides
  3. Place one layer of bread slices in the pan (trim to fit)
  4. Scatter with 1/2 of the cheese and ham, and chives, if using
  5. Top with a second layer of bread, ham, cheese and chives
  6. Whisk the eggs and half-and-half together with salt, pepper and nutmeg
  7. Pour half-and-half mixture over the bread
  8. Press down on bread to help submerge and soak up liquid
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (from 2 hours to overnight)

The next day:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Bake pudding until the top browns and custard set but still a bit jiggly
  3. Let cool briefly and serve

Note: This dish can also be assembled and baked immediately – no need to refrigerate.

To Give and to Cherish: Salted Caramel Sauce

No Comments 18 December 2013

We are pleased to have Marge Perry back again as a guest blogger this week. Marge is the publisher and author of the blog, A Sweet and Savory Life and her food writing appears frequently in Cooking Light, Everyday with Rachael Ray, Self, and more. She writes the daily Ask the Expert column for MyRecipes.com and is a long time newspaper columnist. She recently was awarded the Association of Food Journalists award for Best Food Essay of the Year.  Visit her blog and learn more about Marge.

Sometimes it is just really, really hard to let go. Like when your child goes to kindergarten or college, or when you have a great idea that your boss just doesn’t get or when you think about that thing your spouse said 100 years ago that still ticks you off.

Or like when you make salted caramel sauce, and you mean to give it out as holiday gifts, but it is just so darn good and you keep finding amazing new ways to use it. You already knew how great it would be on ice cream (duh), and dipping apple slices was a no-brainer—but drizzled over cheese…who knew??

So then you have to make more, because you used up all the sauce that was supposed to be your holiday gifts… And really, making it is just so fun and a little magical. There is so much caramel that happens to drip everywhere, and those untidy drips make it from counter to finger to mouth is 3 seconds flat. In fact, clean-up is a breeze, because you have been cleaning up as you go, haven’t you?

Now it really is time to make the sweet and salty caramel sauce that is just part of our human nature to love. You can give it to your closest, most beloved friends, who will appreciate that you are giving them a gift you made—a gift of your time and effort, which is about the best gift you can give. (Especially when your time and effort taste like this.)

Pour this lustrous, rich salted caramel sauce into simple ball jars and tie twine or ribbon around them. Go ahead: release your salted caramel sauce into equally loving hands (and mouths) – but tuck one little jar away for you.

Salted Caramel Sauce

The sauce takes less than 15 minutes to make, but timing is important. Have all your ingredients measured and next to the stove before you start cooking. Be sure to use a larger pot than you think you will need: when you add the cream to the cooked sugar it will foam and bubble—and you want that contained within the pot. When making multiple batches, bear in mind that the sugar will take longer to reach 350 degrees.
Using a thermometer takes the guesswork out, but you can make caramel without it: pay close attention to the color of the sugar as it cooks, and add the cream when the sugar is the deep golden brown color of honey.

2 cups sugar
½ cup water
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, cut in bits and brought to room temperature
2 teaspoons flake or coarse sea salt, such as Malden

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a 5-quart (large) sauce pan. Bring to a boil and continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is amber-brown and reaches 350 degrees, about 9 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour in the cream—the mixture will foam and bubble, so pour away from you. Stir, adding the butter, until both are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the salt and allow to cool.

Makes about 2 3/4 cups

A Pie Exchange for the Holidays…or Anytime!

17 Comments 11 December 2013

Kate McDermott is the creator and founder of Art of the Pie. Since 2006 she has taught the time-honored craft of pie making to thousands. One of the most highly sought-after culinary instructors nationally, Kate is widely acknowledged as one of the best makers of pie ever. Named “Food Rock Star” by Seattle Magazine, Kate has given her Art of the Pie workshop to food luminaries as well as receiving high praise from Ruth Reichl, former editor of “Gourmet,” Dorie Greenspan, Elise Bauer of SimplyRecipes.com and many others. She has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and countless other publications. In 2008 her pie was featured in “Saveur” Magazine’s Top 100 Issue and appeared on the cover. She has been written about in many books, magazines & blogs by award-winning authors. Always friendly, fun, and down-to-earth, Kate, a practitioner of kindness, aspires to pass on the craft of pie-making to as many as she can.

How about a pie exchange?

A what?

A pie exchange! Well, not an entire pie but, bunches of mini handheld pies…sweet little creations that you make, bake and share with your friends. It’s like a cookie exchange but with pie dough!

I first came up with this idea when I was hosting a pie-making social for the wedding of my best friend’s son several years ago. We all had such a good time telling stories and creating pies for the wedding reception I wondered, what other way could we enjoy time together making gifts from our hearts and hands. Then it struck me. A Holiday Pie Exchange!

Here’s how to do it:

TO BRING

Everyone will bring a box or basket in which to bring their finished creations home. I put this right up front because sometimes this is the one thing that I forget to bring with me.

Everyone brings their favorite double-crust pie dough, already made and chilled.

My favorite uses:

  • 2.5 cups of flour
  • 14 tablespoons of Kerrygold Irish Butter (either salted of unsalted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of additional salt
  • 8 Tablespoons of water (more if needed)

Details are here.

Each guest will also bring a little something to add as a filling. Ideas to choose from are

  • lemon curd
  • mincemeat
  • marscapone cheese
  • orange marmalade
  • homemade jam
  • raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
  • apple pie filling
  • pecans or other nuts (candied is nice)
  • chocolate bits
  • cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices you like

You might coordinate this so that you end up with a variety of choices rather than 12 cups of mascarpone cheese! But, the “pies” the limit (excuse the pun) as far as fillings go!

You’ll want to have on hand some sugar and eggs for an egg wash, too.

When guests arrive, pop their dough into fridge so that the fats will be well-chilled for rolling while you all get settled and share the latest news over a cup of tea.

Now for the fun!

TO MAKE

  1. Roll out the dough on a pastry cloth, parchment paper or well floured surface.  Using round, square or rectangle dough presses, cut out as many shapes as you can. If you don’t have dough presses, take a tuna-fish can and cut out the top and bottom with your can opener and you have an instant form to use! I found some delicious little mini pie press forms a my local kitchen store recently.
  2. When you have these cut out, place a scant teaspoon or less* on one half of the dough, brush the edge with a tiny bit of water, and press firmly to make a seal. The first time I did this, I really whomped hard on it with my hand and the filling ended up on the counter! If you don’t have a dough press, place the filling between two of the same shape pastry pieces, or one that is larger that you fold in half, to seal the filling inside, and crimp the edges with a fork.  *Do be careful about how much filling you put in. In a small empanada-sized pastry, I put only one raspberry, a 1/3 teaspoon of lemon curd, 1/8 teaspoon of sugar and only the very slightest pinch of nutmeg—really just a few tiny grains. Adding more than one berry might seem like a good idea, but when you attempt to seal the dough, you may end up with the extra berry exiting from it in a somewhat messy fashion as I did! Less is more in this case.
  3. Brush lightly with an egg wash and sprinkle with a wee bit of sugar.
  4. Take a fork or knife and poke a little vent on top not too many or the yummy filling will ooze out in the baking.

TO BAKE

  1. Place your creations on a parchment covered baking sheet, and chill them for a few minutes before popping them in the oven at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. Each oven is different so your time may vary.
  2. Once out of the oven, let them cool completely. Then divide them up between all your friends.

Depending on the size of press you use, the dough recipe can make two dozen (or more) sweet treats that are like little holiday kisses! And, don’t forget that you can roll up some cinnamon-sugar in a dough jelly-roll style, cut into 1 inch pieces, and bake for a few extra nibbles, too!

ART OF THE PIE 2013

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