Monday 12 July 2010

Fresh Cherry and Apricot Pie

I was planning on making a cherry pie with a packet of fresh cherries...But the cherry was a little less so I added some Apricots ...the quantity below yields a small pie sufficient for serving 4 people... Addition of Apricots was really good and we all liked it very much....

Fresh Cherry and Apricot Pie

½ cup Sugar
1 ½ tbsp Cornstarch
¼ tsp Cinnamon
A small pinch of salt
1 ¼ cup pitted Fresh cherries
1 ¼ cup peeled and pitted Apricots, cut in to small pieces
1 ½ tsp fresh Lemon juice
¼ tsp grated Lemon zest
Mostly Butter Pastry
1 tbsp Butter, cut up

  • Preheat oven to 425F. In a large bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Stir in cherries, apricots, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out larger pastry disk into a 1/8 inch thick round. Fold into half and ease gently into a small pie pan. Unfold dough, letting pastry overhang edge. Spoon cherry-apricot filling into pie shell and dot with butter.
  • Roll out remaining pastry disk into a 1/8 inch thick round. Cut into ¾ inch wide strips and arrange in a lattice pattern on top of filling, fold edge of bottom pastry up over ends of stripes, building a high edge. Seal and flute.
  • Place pie on a cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375F. bake 40-45 minutes longer, or until bubbly in center and crust is golden. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Mostly Butter Pastry
1 ½ cups flour
¼ tsp salt
6 tbsp cold butter, cut up
3 tbsp solid vegetable shortening
3-4 tbsp ice water
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Add butter and shortening, tossing gently, until all pieces are coated with flour. With pastry blender or 2 knives, or in food processer or electric mixture, cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add ice water, 1 tbsp at a time, drizzling over flour mixture, then tossing vigorously with a fork or pulsing or beating very briefly, just until dough begins to hold together.
  • Turn dough out onto smooth surface and gather gently into a ball. Shape dough into 2 balls, one slightly larger than the other. Tightly wrap dough in plastic wrap and flatten into 1 or 2 disks. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.

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Wednesday 7 July 2010

Sweet Punch ~ Devil's Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream filling

Sweet Punch challenge for July was hosted by Divya of Easy Cooking and she selected Devil's Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream filling from Baking Bites. The recipe consists of three components: making the cupcakes, the filling and the frosting. All three components require lot of butter and it is a very rich cake. I halved the recipe and I regretted it later as my little one really liked it. I enjoyed the challenge and we all appreciated the cake.

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream filling
Recipe source - Baking Bites

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream (low fat or full) -can be substituted with yogurt or cream mixed with a tsp of yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2-oz dark chocolate
1 cup water, boiling

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease two 12-cup muffin tins.
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by sour cream and vanilla extract.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
  • Add half of flour mixture to the butter mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla extract, followed by the addition of the rest of the flour mix.
  • Stir well between each addition and mix until no streaks of flour remain.
  • Stir the cocoa powder and the dark chocolate into the boiling water (easiest in a large measuring cup).
  • Pour chocolate water into the rest of the batter and stir until uniform.
  • Evenly distribute batter into prepared baking cups.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. (It’s fine if you can’t fit both trays into the oven at the same time, just wait until one batch finishes before putting in the second pan)
  • Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting and filling.

Vanilla Cream Filling
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1/2 cup butter (or trans fat-free shortening)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 scraped vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Whisk together the flour and milk and cook in a small saucepan over medium heat until thick. This will only take a few minutes.
  • Stir continuously to prevent the mixture from clumping and do not bring all the way to a boil.
  • When thickened (consistency will be that of a thin pudding or custard), strain with a mesh strainer into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely to room temperature.
  • When the milk mixture is cool, cream the butter (or shortening) and sugar together in a medium bowl until lightl.
  • Add in the milk/flour mixture and the scraped vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract) and beat at high speed with an electrick mixer for 7 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Scrape into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, or a large ziplock bag with the corner cut off, and set aside until ready to fill your cupcakes.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat, with an electric mixer, until frosting is creamy, 3-5 minutes.
  • Add additional powdered sugar as needed to achieve a thick, but not stiff, frosting that is easy to spread.
  • Add additional milk, if necessary, to thin the frosting if it gets too thick.
Assembly (A photo how-to of the assembly method can be found here,,,
  • Take a cooled cupcake and, using a small pairing knife, cut a cone of cake (1-inch across by 1-inch deep) out of the top. Trim off the pointy end of the cone, leaving a flat circle of cake. Set aside and repeat this process for all the cupcakes.Take the cream filling and squeeze a tablespoon or so into each cupcake cavity, filling the hole up to the top with filling. Top off with a flat circle of cake to plug the hole and keep the filling in place.
  • Using a butter knife or a small offset spatula, frost each cupcake with a layer of chocolate buttercream frosting. Place a dollop of icing in the center of the cupcake (on top of the cut out circle of cake) and spread from the center to the sides of the cupcake.If you have leftover filling, transfer it to a fresh ziploc bag and cut a very small opening in one corner. Pipe a swirly line down the center of each cupcake.Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
  • Makes 2-dozen.

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