Cherry-Cranberry Lattice Pie

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Before this summer, if you had said “cherry pie,” a crust filled with gelatinous-y marble shapes would have popped into my head.

That was before I met Ellen Gray. She is a “pie-o-neer woman” as she likes to say. Cherry was one of the eight pies we baked for the Longhouse Food Revival. I looked at her with an enormous amount of skepticism when she suggested we make cherry.

Then a white bucket of fruit, swimming in their juices, arrived from Wisconsin. Ellen’s eyes turned into saucers as she pried back the lid. I placed a cherry on my tongue. It looked something like the maraschino cherries that I only eat after 1 am. But instead, I tasted summer. Sweet and tart at the same time.

I tasted this same sensation on Thanksgiving when I made Kate Lebo’s cherry-cranberry pie. Like Ellen, Kate knows the balance of sugar and lemon. Cherry and cranberry. Swoon and pucker.

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Makes one pie//Kate Lebo’s Pie School 

Ingredients

  • Double crust pie dough
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen pie cherries
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Egg white wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
  • Demerara sugar for sprinkling

Take your pie dough out of the fridge and roll out the bottom crust. Fit it into a 9 or 10 inch pie plate. Return to fridge.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the cherries and cranberries with the granulated sugar, lemon juice, almond extract, nutmeg and salt. Stir in the flour and butter and set aside.

Roll out the top crust and cut it into strips for a lattice. Retrieve the bottom crust from the fridge. Pour the filling into the bottom crust. Weave the lattice strips accordingly. Trim, fold and crimp the edges. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with demerara sugar.

Place the pie in the middle of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust looks blistered. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden and the juices bubble.

Cool completely.

Pecan Pie

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My dad loves pecan pie. Except he doesn’t like it for the reasons most people probably like it. He just likes the nuts. “I don’t want all of that goop,” he says.

This year, I made him his own special pie with extra pecans, less goop and mild sweetness. His eyes lit up at the 3 hefty cups of nuts. It was also the first time I’ve liked pecan pie. Usually the sweetness gives me an instant cavity. Not really. Well, probably.

If you like normal pecan pie skip this recipe. If you like pecans like Ryan Mackey, then this is for you. We tried to come up with a name for this pie. I looked at my dad and suggested, “Daddy’s Double Nuts?” At the thought of this he turned toward me revealing the front of his sweatshirt which said, “Everyday I’m Musselin.'” He didn’t like the name…

1 pie

Ingredients

  • 1/2 recipe any double-crust
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups pecan halves

Roll out your single pie crust. Slide it into a 9-inch pie plate, crimping the edges. Put in the freezer while you make the filling.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with an electric hand mixer (or with strong hands and a mighty whisk) until frothy. Stir in the maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, vinegar, orange juice and salt. Mix in the pecans. Pour the filling into the pie shell and smooth the surface with a spoon. Bake for 45 minutes, until the crust is golden and the center is mostly firm.

Cool for 1 hour before serving. Serve heated or at room temperature.

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

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You know you got dressed for work at 3:30 a.m. when you get home from your shift and realize your underwear is both inside out and backwards.

I’ve been baking professionally for a month now at a sweet bakery a couple blocks from my house. This morning I was daydreaming of my head hitting the yellow polka dotted pillow on my bed and accidentally burned the lemon scones. Not terribly, just in an over-caramelized singed way.

The other day I made these cookies to then make them into a crust for a pumpkin cheesecake. I hadn’t made cheesecake in years and regretfully didn’t let the cream cheese come to room temperature, resulting in a lumpy cake. In my defense, I had to expedite the process; I was eating the would-be crust cookies at an impossibly high rate. Though the cheesecake wasn’t worthy of posting, these have become my favorite cookies.

Makes 40 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons peel and grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • About 1/2 cup of turbinado sugar for rolling

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves.

In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment (or a hand mixer), beat the butter and white sugar together until it is light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, fresh ginger and molasses. Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until combined.

Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour. When you’re ready to bake them, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll the dough into ball about an inch in diameter (I vary them in size every time I make these and they turn out). Roll in turbinado sugar and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Bake in several batches for at least 7 minutes. If I make them bigger in size I have to bake them for up to 12 minutes. Set a timer for 7 and then go from there. Remove them from the oven. Let cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack. This will allow them to firm up. Repeat.

 

Caramelized Carrot & Leek Hand Pies

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I thought waking up at 3:30 a.m. for my baking shift would be the end of me. Turns out, I love getting home from working at approximately 9:15 a.m., caffeinated, with a day’s work under my belt and a cookie in my bag.

I also thought baking for a living would deter me from baking at home. Wrong again. I happily made these hand pies with half spelt flour, half all purpose. This has become my thing. I love the color spelt gives pastry, not to mention the nutty bite.

After biking to the Ballard Market last Sunday, I ate a hand pie with a salad made of the freshest, crispest greens. While the farmer bagged my greens, another woman broached the stand with a mellow baby flopped in a front pack. The farmer bagging my greens asked the mom if the carrots she was waiting to purchase were to make homemade baby food. The mom said yes, and the farmer gave her the carrots for free saying, “It’s a good cause.”

Makes 6 hand pies//Adapted from The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook

For the pastry

  • 1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cups (7 ounces) spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, freezer cold, diced
  • 1/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) sour cream
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons ice-cold water

Begin the pastry by putting the flours, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse. Add the butter and pulse a few times until the butter is crumbly and in the size of peas.

Add sour cream and pulse a few times. Add 3/4 cup of ice-cold water and pulse again. Remove the lid of the food processor and pinch the dough between your fingers to see if it will come together. If the dough seems too crumbly still, add more cold water a tablespoon at a time.

Dump the dough onto a floured work surface. Gather it together and form a flattened rectangle about 5 by 6 inches. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.

For the filling 

  • 1 medium large leek (about 14 ounces), white and light green parts only
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup (4 1/2 ounces) soft fresh goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Slice the leek in half lengthwise and run it under water to wash. Slice into half moons.

Heat the butter and two teaspoons of the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the sliced leek and stir with a pinch of salt. Continue to cook until caramelized and golden. If they are cooking too quickly, turn the heat down.

Put carrots on a baking sheet with 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix. Roast until the carrots are soft, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan and sprinkle with garlic and thyme. Return to the oven for about 10 more minutes.

Put half of the roasted carrots (about 1 3/4 cups) into the food processor and puree until smooth. Stir in leeks. Taste for salt and pepper. Gently fold in crumbled goat cheese, leaving it in crumbles as much as possible.

Unwrap the rectangle of dough. On a lightly floured surface, cut dough into 6 equal pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a 8 1/2 by 6 inch rectangle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put a rectangle of dough down with the short end facing you. Make an egg wash with the egg yolk and one tablespoon of water. Brush a 1-inch border of egg wash around the edges of the rectangle.

Place about 1/2 cup of the filling on the rectangle of dough, placing it closer to one of the short edges. Slightly flatten the filling.

Fold one short edge over the other, folding over the filling. Use a fork to crimp the edges to seal. Trim the edges with a knife if needed to make straight lines. Repeat until all of the hand pies are formed. Place them on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush the tops with egg wash and using a knife, cut two little slits into the tops to vent.

Bake the pies until they are golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm.

Parsley & Scallion Savory Scones

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Having just finished my first shift working at Irwin’s Neighborhood Bakery & Cafe, I’m posting my sort-of-whole-wheat-scones to celebrate. I will be mostly baking at Irwin’s, but today I learned the art of being a barista. I tried my hand at latte art, successfully and accidentally making a tooth design with foam.

Situated on the corner of Badgley and 40th street, the robin’s egg blue bakery serves many regulars. Liz, the patient soul who trained me, knew nearly everyone who came in by their name.

These particular scones were an accident in my own kitchen. I tried following another recipe but didn’t have most of the ingredients, so I just winged it and ended up loving the nutty, wholesome flavor of whole wheat flour. The subtle tang of lemon is somewhat surprising, but I think it’s what makes them special. I’m a sucker for most anything savory and baked with scallions. They’re great fresh out of the oven on their own, or split in half and spread with butter or goat cheese and sprinkled with sea salt.

Makes 12 scones

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine white flour, wheat flour, sugar, salt, pepper, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the dry mixture using a pastry blender, until the butter is in the size of peas or smaller.

Stir the lemon zest, scallions and parsley into the dry mixture. Gradually add the buttermilk, stirring until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands until it comes together into a ball. Divide the dough into two parts, and pat each piece into a flat round about 1/2-inch thick. Cut each round into six wedges.

Place the scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Baked until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and serve warm.

Zucchini Bread

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I won my middle school class spelling bee with the word, “zucchini.” My teacher smirked as she recited the word. She thought she had me with the silent “h,” but little did she know…I was born a foodie.

My first memorable encounter with zucchini happened when I was about seven, living in Maple Valley, Washington. My mom kept an abundant vegetable garden, which of course, had its fair share of overgrown zucc’s. Naturally, I snuck into her garden, tore them off the stem and ran down my gravel driveway to Lake Frances Road to watch people run over the squashy vegetable with their cars. This was before the iPad.

Now when I have an overgrown zucchini, I make bread. Actually, I made three different kinds of bread from one zucchini. This one was my favorite. The turbinado sugar and oatmeal creates a nice crust on the top. To give it a nuttier flavor, I used half spelt flour instead of all white.

Makes 2 loaves//Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (from about a 1 pound zucchini)
  • 1 1/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats, divided
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ loaf pans leaving an overhang on the long sides.

Toast the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet for 8-10 minutes until golden and fragrant. Let cool and coarsely chop.

Whisk eggs, oil, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg in a large bowl to combine.

Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. The batter will be dry, but the moisture from the zucchini will loosen it. Fold in the zucchini, walnuts and 3/4 cup of oats. Distribute batter into the prepared pans.

Toss the turbinado sugar with the remaining 1/2 cup of oats. Sprinkle over the batter and slide them into the oven, letting the flaps of parchment flop over the top of the bread to protect it from over-browning. Bake until a knife comes out of the center clean, about 70-80 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pans for about 30 minutes. Turn bread out onto the rack and cool completely.

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

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The moment I saw Ellen the baker, a fellow participant, pulling a tin of homemade biscotti from underneath her bed, I knew I was in the right place. Molly O’Neill’s Longhouse Food Scholars program in Rensselaerville, New York—a place where food would be discussed all day long and where a group of people from all over the country could gush about their shared passion.

Normally when I think of biscotti, I imagine long, stale logs of cookie, which you inevitably slobber on it as it cuts the sides of your mouth. Ellen’s biscotti are something else, something special. They’re toothsome and soft, giving way to fudgy graceful bites.

Of course, I asked Ellen to teach me the craft of making biscotti.

Ellen reminded me I should always sift the dry ingredients—a step I usually skip over—and later when it seemed like the dough might crack, she said, “It’s okay. At the end of the day, it’s just a cookie.”

While chopping chocolate, Ellen told me about creating this recipe during years of working in restaurants and bakeries. She made it her personal mission to take the idea of a biscotti but make it more chocolaty. We melted butter with the chocolate in a double boiler. Her trick is to use melted chocolate, combined with an under baked approach for a richer flavor and texture.

While waiting for the biscotti to bake, we were sitting writing and heard a friendly neighbor through the window, “What’re you all making in there? Chocolate chip cookies?”

Ellen sprung from her chair and said, “When you smell the chocolate take them out!”

Makes 24 biscotti/Ellen Gray

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (Ellen uses Dutch Process)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 egg white for a wash
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 ounces chopped dark chocolate
  • 6-8 ounces coarsely chopped almonds (or your preferred nut)

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baker powder and salt. Set aside.

In a double boiler, or very carefully in the microwave, melt the 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate with the butter.

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the eggs and almond extract with the sugar until fluffy. Add the melted chocolate mixture. In three parts, slowly add the dry ingredients. Add the 6 ounces of chopped dark chocolate pieces.

The dough will be sticky. Turn the dough onto parchment paper, form a ball and cut in half. Roll each half into a log, cover in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap, and slightly press the tops of the logs to form a flattened cylinder. Place the logs on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Mix the egg white with a tablespoon of water and brush all over the tops.

Bake for about 25 minutes. The tops will still be soft to the touch. Let them cool.

IMG_1995 Slice the logs crosswise with a serrated knife into the size of biscotti you prefer. Then stand them up on a sheet tray again and bake at 325 degrees for 5-10 minutes depending on how crispy you like them. I would do closer to five. Then let the biscotti cool again before eating.