Lavender tart with apricots

The combo of apricots and lavender is a baking classic. These flavours match themselves perfectly and are use together for many ways. In the last year I baked shortbread tart with the apricot lavender filling (here). It was delicious. This year I baked shortbread lavender tart with apricot filling. This time lavender is a part of pastry not filling. It is even better. The same ingredients, two different cakes. The same flavours, different taste experience. I highly recommend to try. Enjoy!

 

1 tart 10 inch

 

Ingredients for the base:

  • 2/3 cup softened butter
  • 7 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2  cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon dried lavender petals (ground to the powder)

Filling:

  • 2 lbs (880 g) fresh apricots
  • 3 ½ oz (100 g) almond flour
  • 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar
  • ¼  cup (50 g) butter, softened
  • 1 egg

Topping:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoons turbinado/raw cane sugar

 

Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the egg and lavender, mix together. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick piece. Fill pan with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Re-roll the remaining pastry.

Make the filling: beat all ingredients (except the apricots) together to thick smooth paste. Spread this paste over the pastry on the bottom of the pan. Wash apricots, remove pits, cut into thin slices. Arrange all slices over the almond paste in the pan. Starting at the outer edge shape the rosette over the bottom then repeat and make another layer of slices. You should have three or four layers of fruits.  

Cut out flowers (or other shapes of choice) from remaining pastry and arrange them over the filling. Beat the egg with milk in a small bowl and brush the top of the pastry with. Sprinkle with turbinado/raw cane sugar. Place the tart in the fridge until the oven is heated.

Bake at 400°F/200°C for 20 minutes then lower the temperature to 350°F/180°C and bake for further 20-25 minutes (until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling). Cool after baking on a wire rack.


 

Category: Pastries/tarts.

Tags: apricots, lavender.

Blue Japanese milk bread

Milk bread originates from Japan. It is soft fluffy bread, challah like but less buttery. It consists secret ingredient: Tangzhong which is flour-milk paste and guarantees freshness and moisture for many days. After I baked this bread in bicoloured version (here) I tried the blue one. Blue bread – sounds incredible, right? The colour which is an effect of adding butterfly pea powder (also known as a blue tea) surprised me with its intensity. Except the skin which changed to brown in the oven the whole bread is intensive and unbelievable blue. The butterfly pea powder does not change the taste – it is only the feast for the eyes. Bread tastes like fluffy, buttery challah. Enjoy!

 

standard loaf pan

 

Dough:

  • 3 cups 2 tablespoons (500 g) bread flour
  • 4 teaspoons dried yeast
  • ¾  cup (180 ml) lukewarm milk
  • 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butterfly pea powder

Tangzhong:

  • 2 tablespoons (20 g) bread flour
  • 3 ½ oz (100 ml) milk

Top:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

 

 

Make Tangzhong: place in a saucepan flour and milk and stirring constantly heat on a medium heat until thickens to custard consistency. Let cool to the room temperature.

Dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, butterfly pea powder, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture and Tangzhong. Mixing on medium speed gradually add butter. Knead until dough is smooth (5-6 minutes). Once the dough is ready place it to the oiled bowl, cover and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours to rest and rise.

Grease loaf pan with butter.

If you use standard American loaf pan (9 x 5 inch) divide dough into three equal pieces.

If you use standard European loaf pan (11 x 4 inch/28 x 10-11 cm) divide dough into four equal pieces.

Working with one piece at the time shape all pieces as that: roll out into an oval 5 x 9 inch. Fold right long side to the center. Fold the left long side over them. Roll out again into 5 x 9 inch oval. Roll into log starting with one short side. Arrange your logs in the pan: putting one by one across the pan.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Let stand pan in a warm place for 20-30 minutes to puff and rise (the dough should be over the pan height).

Make egg wash: in a small bowl beat egg and milk. Brush top of the loaf.

Bake to the ‘clean skewer’ for 30 minutes (after 20 minutes cover with aluminium foil to avoid burning).  Remove from pan just after baking and cool on a wire rack.


 
 

Category: Breads.

Tags: superfood, yeast.

Cobbler

Cobbler is a Summer dessert with fruits and dough. It is much easier and quicker to prepare than tart, pie or galette. We mix fruits with sugar and lemon juice, put them into baking dish and cover with scoops of dough. There is no kneading, cooling, rolling, waiting nor blind baking required. The cobbler’s taste is similar to pastry-fruit cakes and often served with ice cream. You may use fruits of your choice – bigger need to be core and chopped and berries are ready on demand. Enjoy!

 

baking porcelain dish 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm)

 

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 1 ½ cups (240 g) all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups (375 ml) whipping cream

Filling:

  • fresh fruits of your choice – I added:
  • 250 g blackberries
  • 250 g blueberries
  • 250 g strawberries
  • ½ - 1 cup sugar (100-200 g ) – depending on taste and fruit sweetness – I added 2/3 cup (130 g)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch/corn flour

Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

 

 

 

Preheat oven to 375 °F/190°C. Grease baking dish with butter.

Wash fruits, slice bigger once, remove pits. Place to the bowl, add sugar, lemon juice and corn starch. Shake the bowl gently several times to toss fruits. Put the mixture into baking dish.

In a bowl of a stand mixer mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add cream and mix just until combined. You may prepare the dough also mixing all with a spoon. Spoon the dough mixture over the fruits in a rough splash style way. Brush with a cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Put the dish to the preheated oven placing it on the baking sheet (the filling will drip). Bake for 45-55 minutes until the dough is golden brown around the edges and filling is bubbling.

Serve warm or cooled, with ice cream or plain.


 

 

Category: Fruit cakes.

Tags: blackberry, blueberry, strawberry.

Bicoloured Japanese milk bread

Milk bread originates from Japan. It is soft fluffy bread, challah like but less buttery. It consists secret ingredient: Tangzhong which is flour-milk paste and guarantees freshness and moisture for many days. I can confirm that the bread was fresh and fluffy to the last (sixth) day when we ate it. In classic recipes this bread is plain without any additional ingredients. I modified it adding freeze dried strawberry powder which gave the pink colour and strawberry smell. The taste of strawberries is detectable however does not overwhelmed another flavours of food put on the slice. Enjoy!

 

2 loaves 5 x 9 inch

 

Dough:

  • 5 ½  cups (880 g) bread flour
  • 5.5 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups (330 ml) lukewarm milk
  • 2/3 cup (130 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons freeze dried strawberries (powder)
  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm water

Tangzhong:

  • ¼ cup (40 g) bread flour
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) milk

Top:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

 

 

Make Tangzhong: place in a saucepan flour and milk and stirring constantly heat on a medium heat until thickens to custard consistency. Let cool to the room temperature.

Dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture, eggs and Tangzhong. Mixing on medium speed gradually add butter. Knead until dough is smooth (5-6 minutes). Once the dough is ready place it to the oiled bowl, cover and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours to rest and rise.

Grease two loaf pans with butter. Make the strawberry paste mixing powder with water.

Divide dough into half.  Knead in the strawberry paste into one half. Divide each dough into three equal pieces. Working with one piece at the time shape two white and two pink pieces as that: roll out into an oval 5 x 9 inch. Fold right long side to the center. Fold the left long side over them. Roll out again into 5 x 9 inch oval. Roll into log starting with one long side. Divide the remaining one white and one pink pieces into half each (4 pieces now). Roll out one white and one pink into ovals 5 x 9 inch. Stack one of the other and fold like above: right long side to the center and left long side over them. Roll out into oval 5 x 9 inch and roll into log starting with one long side. Repeat with last two pieces. Arrange three logs in every pan: along the long side – white and pink by the sides and bicoloured in the middle.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Let stand pans in a warm place for 30-40 minutes to puff and rise (the dough should be over the pan height).

Make egg wash: in a small bowl beat egg and milk. Brush tops of loaves.

Bake to the ‘clean skewer’ for 30 minutes (after 20 minutes cover with aluminium foil to avoid burning).  Remove from pans just after baking and cool on a wire rack.


 
 

Category: Breads.

Tags: strawberry, yeast.

Fig strawberry and tarragon galette

Galette is a kind of pie: shortbread crust filled with usually fruits, sometimes enriched with nuts, frangipane cream or other creamy filling. The difference is in shape: the pastry is baked without pan, formed with hands into irregular circle with folded edges. The pastry is often prepared with cream cheese which makes it more elastic before and flaky after baking. My today filling consists of fresh figs and strawberries brushed with apple cider vinegar and sprinkled with fresh tarragon. This combo is very delicious and all ingredients suit perfectly. The taste is slightly herbal, slightly savoury, a little sophisticated. It is a dessert rather for advanced than for sweet kinder party. The flavour could be different in every time because is strongly determined by figs’ ripeness and taste – the sweeter the better. Enjoy!

 

1 galette 10 inch

 

Ingredients for the base:

  • 1 ¼ cups (200 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) cold butter
  • 3 oz (100 g) cold cream cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold water (I added 1.5)

Filling:

  • 5-6 fresh figs
  • 10-15 fresh strawberries
  • 8 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch/corn flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh, finely chopped tarragon

Top:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

 

Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer mix flour, sugar and salt. Add cold butter cut into small pieces and process until crumble like mixture. Add cream cheese in pieces and continue to process. Gradually add cold water (half tablespoon at the time) until smooth and tight dough (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). Wrap the dough into cling film and let rest In the fridge for 1-2 hours.  

Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap and roll out into a circle about 1/5 inch thick. Place onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mark on the dough the shape of the dinner plate – do not cut out only stamp. In a small bowl mix together sugar and corn starch and sprinkle this mixture over the dough – inside the circle shape (save 2 tablespoons of the mixture for later). Slice fruits and arrange over the sprinkled mixture. Pour apple cider vinegar to the bowl and brush it over the fruits. Sprinkle with tarragon and the rest of sugar – corn starch mixture. Fold the free edges of the dough over the filling. Freeze before baking for at least one hour (I  left it for overnight) and bake from frozen.

Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Make the egg wash beating egg with milk and brush the dough (do not brush the filling). Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, Lower the oven temperature to 350°F/180°C and bake for further 20-25 minutes. The dough should be browned and filling must bubble. Remove from the oven, cool. Serve plain or with ice cream or dusted with icing sugar.

 

Category: Pastries/tarts.

Tags: cream cheese, figs, strawberry, tarragon, vinegar.