Meyer lemons tart

Recently I bought Meyer lemons for the first time in my life. They are hybrid between lemons and mandarins. The zest is dark, almost orange in colour, inside looks typical. They should be less sour and tangy than ordinary lemons. Mine were very sour but in addition more fragrant and herbal. Especially the zest has intensive smell and savour. To prepare this tart you may also use ordinary lemons. In any case this is delicious and citrus refreshing dessert. Enjoy!

 

1 tart ø 10 inch

 

Ingredients for the base:

  • ½  cup softened butter
  • 5 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 ¾  cups all purpose flour

Filling:

  • 300 ml (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup (185 ml) lemon juice (I used 3 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 2eggs
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch/corn flour

Topping:

  • 4/5 cup (200 ml) whipping cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 lemon

 

Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and cocoa powder, 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. If it is very flaky and not elastic add cold water, 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.

Preheat oven to 350°F /180°C. 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. Place the parchment paper over the base and weight the pastry with ceramic balls, peas, bean or another baking pan (empty). Bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard weight.

Make filling: in a bowl mix together condensed milk, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add cream and eggs, mix with a fork or balloon whisk until smooth. Add corn starch, mix until incorporated.

Pour the filling over pre-baked base (could be still warm) and bake for 30 minutes (until filling is set on the whole surface). Cool after baking then place the tart to the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

Before serving beat whipping cream with icing sugar until stiff. Decorate the tart with cream balls and optional with lemon slices/lemon zest.


 

Category: Pastries/tarts.

Tags: lemon.

Mochi

Mochi are Japanese cake/cookies. It is hard to say what they exactly are because it is not a cake in the Western culture meaning. It is a dessert shaped as a ball or oval made of rice flour. The rice dough could be neutral or flavoured with flavour of choice for instance matcha tea. Inside of mochi is usually red bean paste filling. Mochi are soft, slightly sticky, slightly chewy, not very sweet, glutenfree. Something like dumpling. They are hard to describe, I recommend to try!

 

about 25 pieces

 

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (150 g) rice flour Mochiko
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons matcha powder/freeze-dried strawberry powder
  • ½  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • ¾ cup (185 ml) full-fat coconut milk
  • corn starch/corn flour for dusting

Red bean paste:

  • 200 g red bean (canned in water)
  • 2 tablespoon solid fat of your choice (butter, lard, coconut oil)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

 

 

Red bean paste: drain bean, rinse with water and place to the sauce pan. Add water to cover. Bring to the boil, then simmer about 50 minutes until starts to fall into pieces. Drain, pass through the sieve to remove rind. Return to the saucepan, add fat and sugar (you may add more if you like sweet desserts), heat stirring constantly until thicken. Remove from the heat, cool.

Dough: in a bowl mix together flour (Mochiko is crucial), sugar, baking powder and flavouring powder of your choice (strawberry, matcha or something else). This recipe calls for one batch of mochi in one taste, I made mochi two times – one batch of matcha flavoured, the second batch of strawberry flavoured. In a second bowl mix together water and coconut milk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix with the spoon until smooth, elastic dough.

Line 9 x 13 inch shallow ceramic, glass or metal baking dish with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (the layer will be low) to the baking pan and bake at 275°F (135°C) for about 1 hour. The dough is ready when is soft, elastic and dry to the touch. Cool in pan.

Remove cooled dough from the pan and cut off hard and over baked strips around the edges. Divide the remaining cake into squares about 2 ½  x 2 ½ inch each. Place one square at the time on the palm of your not dominant hand. Place small ball of the bean paste in the middle and fold corners to the middle to cover the filling. Shape in hand as ball or oval. Make sure you dusted hands and working surfaces with corn starch to avoid stickiness. Dust each mochi with thin layer of corn starch after you shape it. Store in air tight container up to four days.


 
 

Category: Cookies.

Tags: bean, glutenfree, matcha, strawberry, vegan.

Sweet wreath buns with pistachio and white chocolate

Sweet buns shaped as small wreaths. The filling is placed in the whole surface not only in the center as often in that kind of buns. The dough is soft and fluffy thank to the brioche technology applied here. The pistachio white chocolate filling is very tasty and interesting greeny. Enjoy!

 

6 wreaths buns

 

 Ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 100 ml (3.5 oz) lukewarm milk
  • ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
  • 3 cups (480 g) bread flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼  cup (120 g) butter, softened

Filling:

  • 120 g (4 oz) white chocolate
  • 100 ml (3.5 oz) whipping cream
  • ½ cup finely chopped pistachios

 

  • egg wash made of 1 egg and 1 tablespoon milk

 

 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make filling: pour the cream to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add chocolate broken into pieces. Let stand for 5 minutes then mix chocolate until incorporated. Let it cool completely. Stir in chopped pistachios.

Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, lukewarm milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 minutes 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 vanilla extract. Gradually add butter (1 tablespoon at the time) and mix on medium speed until dough is smooth (8-10 minutes) and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If dough does not pull away from the bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the mixture remains too dry and crumbly, add lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once the dough is ready place it in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.

Place dough on a floured surface and roll out one into a 24 x 12 inch (60 x 30 cm) rectangular. Cut into six vertical strips (4 x 12 inch / 10 x 30 cm each). Spread the filling evenly onto each strip. Roll each strip into log starting with longer edge (you will have six logs 12 inch/30 cm long). Cut out each log lengthwise, turn both parts cut side up and braid together. Seal the ends together forming a wreath. Place wreaths on prepared sheet and let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes to rest and double in size while preheating oven to 350°F. You may also place tray in the fridge for overnight and bake buns the next morning. Remove them from the fridge 15 minutes before baking and place in a warm place. Brush the tops with egg wash before baking.

Bake for 25-30 minutes (depending on the oven type) until the dough is golden and sounds hollow by taping the base. Serve warm or cooled.


 
 

Category: Yeast cakes.

Tags: chocolate, pistachio, yeast.

Pistachio blood orange upside-down cake

Upside-down cake is baked different than usual and inverted after baking. This method let us save the pretty looking whole fruits on the top of the cake. In the recipe below they are blood oranges which are now widely available. Inside the cake along with orange hint we will find big load of pistachios which pair perfectly with citrus fruits. The cake has really nice structure, is not dry and stays fresh for three days at least. And looks beautiful on the table. Enjoy!

 

round spring pan 9 inch

 

 Ingredients:

  • 2 blood oranges
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

 

  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon (125 g) butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
  • zest of 1 blood orange
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Greek yoghurt (natural)
  • 1 ¼ cups ground pistachios (I used unsalted)
  • 1 cup (160 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

 

 

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Important: cake should be baked in spring pan (zipped). In the oven orange juice will drip off the pan (place baking sheet on the lower oven shelf) what causes in pretty look and proper structure of the fruits. If the pan would be tight the juice would stay inside and cook fruits which fall apart.  

Grease the pan with butter and line with parchment paper (sides and bottom). Grease again (sides and bottom - over the paper) and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Slice oranges (in zest) thinly. Place half circles on the side around the perimeter and place half circles on the bottom around the perimeter. Place whole slice in the middle of the bottom. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs (one at the time) and mix together. Add orange zest, mix together. Add yoghurt and pistachios, mix together. Add flour with baking powder, mix until incorporated. Spoon the cake mixture carefully over oranges. Bake for 1 hour (until the wooden skewer inserted into center comes out clean). Remove from the oven, leave in pan for 5 minutes.  Then remove cake from the pan and transfer to the cooling rack placing cake upside-down (oranges up). Cool completely. Cooled cake is very easy to be cut (even orange zest part).

 
 

Category: Fruit cakes.

Tags: orange, pistachio.

Rose mini pies with blood orange custard

I am sure you know pies – pastry pocket filled with fruits or anything else. Mine are shaped as cupcakes with lid. The crust is homemade ‘sweet crust pastry’ – classic patisserie shortbread enriched by almonds. I added new ingredient: rose and created ‘rose crust pastry’. Thanks to almonds the crust is delicate and more elastic (does not break so easily as typical shortbread). Thanks to rose – smells beautiful and has sweet flowery taste. Homemade custard is based on homemade blond orange curd which are more delicate, sweeter and flowery comparing to ordinary oranges. After I baked these pies I announce the combo of rose and blood oranges as my absolute top pairing in the kitchen. Cupcakes are delicious and sophisticated. Enjoy!

 

cupcakes (or other design) shaped mini tart pans abot 1.5 inch deep (8-9 pieces)

 

Ingredients for the base:

  • 2/3 cup (150 g) softened butter
  • 7 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon rose extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons (260 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon edible rose petals ground to powder
  • 4 tablespoons almond flour

Custard:

  • 1 ½ blood oranges
  • 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 g) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk (save the white)

 

  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch/corn flour

 

Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, rose and vanilla extracts, mix together. Gradually add flour with rose powder, salt and almond flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). 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.

Make custard: grate the rind and squeeze the juice of blood oranges into heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Add the sugar and butter and stir until dissolved and melted. Put the egg and egg yolk in a bowl and beat together. Pour them through the sieve into the orange mixture. Stir the mixture constantly over the heat until the orange curd thickens and lightly coats the wooden spoon (it could take 20 to 30 minutes). Once it is ready set aside. Pour the milk to the sauce pan and heat to boil. Meanwhile stir corn starch into orange curd and mix until incorporated. Pour the hot milk over the orange curd, mix and immediately return to sauce pan. Heat on a medium heat stirring constantly until thicken and start to bubble (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat, set aside.

Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick rectangular. Cut out proper shapes similar size as pans. Fill pans with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Re-roll the remaining pastry. Cut out the shapes like the top of pans. Spoon the blood orange custard to each pie almost to the top. Cover each with the top part already brushing the edges lightly with egg white (left from orange curd) and press to seal. Make small hole or cross in each pie (on the top cover).

Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes (until the pastry is golden beige). Cool after baking on a wire rack. During baking the top parts of pastry can lift themselves over the filling but after cooling they will return to place.


 

Category: Pastries/tarts.

Tags: oranges, rose.