desserts

Buttermilk Pie Dough by Madeline Chen

by Judy Kim

Buttermilk Pie Dough Judy Kim

Buttermilk Pie Dough

Yield: Two 8 to 10-inch single-crust pies or one double-crust pie

This is an easy and forgiving recipe for a tender and flaky crust. I also developed it to make more dough than your average double crust pie recipe. Which is very handy if you’re making a lattice or decorative pie.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, additional for rolling

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoon sugar

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted European style butter, cut into ½-inch cubes and chilled

1/2 cup chilled buttermilk

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large deep mixing bowl combine flour, salt, and sugar. Bring pre-cut butter to room temperature for a few minutes and add all at once into flour mixture. Toss until each piece of butter is coated. Using your hands, break butter into the flour by pressing it between your index finger and thumbs while using a slow snapping or sliding motion. It will create large flattened shards of butter covered in flour. Rotate through all the pieces of butter until they have all been fully flattened out and well coated. There should not be any large pieces of butter left and the mixture should look shaggy at this stage.

  2. Using your hands, level the flour mixture and create a slight well in the center. For even distribution use a pour spout liquid measure to drizzle small amounts of chilled buttermilk all over the center of the flour. Using your hands toss mixture from the side to the top in order to keep liquid away from your hands and from touching the bowl; buttermilk should be incorporated rather than all over your hands or creating wet spots on the bowl. Wait until buttermilk is fully absorbed before each addition. Keep mixing with your hands and eventually squeeze the mixture together in your fist to test the consistency, it should just stick together.

  3. Spread a light dusting of bench flour on a clean surface and knead the dough 5 to 7 turns until it forms a ball. The dough will be slightly wet so add flour as needed to prevent sticking. Don’t be afraid to knead the dough until it’s smooth and all the loose bits are incorporated. Lightly coat the dough all over with flour. Cut the dough in two pieces, about 1/3 and 2/3 ratio. Place cut side down onto plastic wrap; tightly wrap and form the smaller piece into a flattened round about 1-inch thick, ideal for the base of your pie. Form the larger piece into a flattened rectangle also 1-inch thick. Sometimes I even cut the dough into equal 1/3 pieces, it’s often easier to work with smaller pieces and keep other pieces in the refrigerator. Chill for one hour to rest, at minimum 20 minutes. Bring dough to room temperature for a few minutes before rolling. I like to soften the edges of the dough while it’s still wrapped before rolling to prevent cracking.

  4. Dust surface and rolling pin with bench flour. This dough is well hydrated, so no need to be worried about adding bench flour, use when needed. Roll smaller round into a circle between 1/8 to ¼-inch thickness. Roll from the center outwards and lighten pressure of the rolling pin before you reach the edge, this keeps the thickness even. Slightly turn pastry after each roll to prevent sticking and add bench flour when needed. When the pastry begins to flatten out, concentrate the rolling pin movement in an upward and circular motion mimicking the curve of the dough, again lightening pressure before reaching the edge, this helps keep it round. When dough is larger than the size of your pie dish, gently fold into quarters and place inside the pie dish. Ensure it is well centered and nestled into the corners without stretching to prevent shrinkage while baking. Using your dominant hand, take the flat part of your upper index finger and gently press the dough into the base corners of the pie dish, while the other hand gently lifts each edge of dough to ensure it is not being stretched.

  5. For a classic crimp, trim dough ½-inch past the rim, reserving leftover pieces of dough. Fold under and crimp using the thumb of your dominant hand while pushing into the index finger and thumb of your other hand forming a subtle v-shape. Place pie dish and dough trimmings on rimmed sheet pan, and chill in refrigerator while you roll your second piece of dough into a rectangle. Use dough to make a dough crust, long strips for a lattice or use pie cutters to create embellishment pieces. Leftover trimmings from the base crust can be rolled out to be used with a pie cutter.

 

Pro Tip: Make a double batch of pie dough and label the plastic wrap (I prefer this brand as it is the stickiest and has a convenient slide for cutting) with the date for future use. You'll make your next pie in half the time. Keep dough tightly wrapped up to 5 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight.

Rustic Pie Dough by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Rustic Pie Dough

Yield: Two 8 to 10-inch single-crust pies or one double-crust pie

This is a no-fuss dough recipe made without a food processor or pastry cutter. Living proof that pastry can be made on a hot Summer day but still be delicious and flaky. I made this on a trip to Charleston, SC in August, so you can imagine the high humidity in an already hot kitchen. Needless to say, it was not an ideal situation for baking. Since I was in the South, the use of lard just seemed apropos and I paired it with my favorite high butterfat European butter. Most likely the reason this rustic thrown together dough tastes so delicate despite the thrown together process.

I would suggest using this pastry for simple galettes or tarts. If you're looking for pastry to make a decorative pie, use my Vodka Pie Crust or Vodka Pâte Brisée Pie Crust


INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, additional for rolling

1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen Salt

12 tablespoons unsalted European style butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/2-inch cubes, I use Vermont Creamery European Cultured Butter with 86% butterfat

1/4 cup lard (or shortening)

1/4 cup cold water

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine flour and sea salt. Add butter and break butter into the flour by pressing the butter between your index finger and thumbs using a slow snapping motion. It will create large chards of butter. Rotate through all the pieces of butter until they have all been flattened out and coated in flour to avoid clumps. Add the lard and continue to mix with your hands. Work quickly to prevent the butter from melting from the warmth of your hands. The mixture should look slightly lumpy.

  2. Add 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time and combine until the dough comes together. I used 1/4 cup of cold water. Chilled water using ice cubes is the most ideal, but cold filtered tap water is fine.

  3. Spread a thin dusting of bench flour and knead the dough just until it forms a ball. Avoid using too much bench flour and over kneading or the pastry will get tough. Cut the dough in half and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and form into a round or rectangle, based on your final desired shape. Chill in the fridge until ready for use. Bring to room temperature for a few minutes before rolling.

Note: European butter is different than regular butter, it has a high level of butterfat and will soften very easily. I typically keep this butter in the freezer until I'm ready to use it. At minimum keep it in the fridge. 

Pro Tip: Make a double batch of pie dough and label the plastic wrap with the date for a future use. You'll make your next pie in half the time. Freeze dough up to 3 months.

Rustic Pear Galette by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Rustic Pear Galette

Yield: 1 (10-inch) Galette, 6 - 8 servings

This is a rustic dessert perfect for any occasion, especially because it's easy to make and looks super impressive. I made this last minute for a photoshoot and only had about 90 minutes to make it. I kept the ingredients and steps simple. It's perfect for the holidays when there's never enough time to prepare for a last minute dinner party. If you have pre-prepared pie dough in the freezer, that's a big time saver. You can easily substitute the pears for any seasonal fruit, although I'm partial to these Starkrimson pears. If vibrant fruit isn't available, finish the baked galette with a dusting of powdered sugar for a pretty presentation.

INGREDIENTS

Single crust pie dough, such as Buttermilk Pie Dough

1 /2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

3-4 Starkrimson or red Anjou pears

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt or flaky sea salt crushed by hand

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and frozen

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the pie crust recipe, which can be made in advance. Line 10-inch tart pan with parchment paper, leave over hang (see photo for reference) to make it easier to remove later. Set aside.

  2. Before rolling, let the pie dough come to room temperature, about 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out round disk to thickness between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch. Keep dough moving and apply just enough flour to prevent it from sticking. Gently fold into quarters and transfer onto parchment lined tart pan. Gently push the pastry into the corners of the tart pan. Trim pastry with scissors or a sharp paring knife, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold excess pastry backwards into the tart pan and press into the sides, it will make a nice imprint from the crimped edge. Chill tart pan in freezer or refrigerator.

  3. Place oven rack in the middle fitted with a Baking Steel or a pizza stone and preheat oven to 375°F. I like that it ensures a crispy bottom.

  4. Prepare pears by cutting around the core into four pieces. Cut vertically parallel to the core and continue around all sides. Carefully slice the pears thinly about 1/4-inch. I recommend a mandoline, used with a protective cut resistant glove, or cut by hand. Keep the slices in groups.

  5. Dust bottom of prepared pastry evenly with cinnamon. (I like using OXO’s Bakers Dusting Wand because it gives great control). I prefer dusting the bottom so you don't cover up the beautiful color of the pears. Arrange pear slices in slightly fanned out groups by keeping one of the pointy ends slightly together (see photo for reference). Alternate directions of the pears until the tart pan is filled. Use more pears for a denser filling. Sprinkle sea salt and sugar evenly all over the pears. Finish with pieces of frozen butter.

  6. Place the tart pan on rimmed half sheet pan and bake directly on the Baking Steel. Bake until golden brown, for about 1 hour. Rotate midway if needed for even browning.

  7. Transfer to a cooling rack. After cooled, lift the pastry out of the pan by holding the parchment. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Apple Tart with Ruffled Edges by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


APPLE TART WITH RUFFLED EDGES

Yield: 1 (10-inch) Tart, 6 - 8 servings

An apple tart that looks like it took hours to make but without the fuss. The fluttery pastry gives a nice texture and a decorative touch. The technique is simply to stretch the dough. But don't worry, if the edge gets torn and tattered, it will look even more charming. 

INGREDIENTS

Single crust pie dough, such as Buttermilk Pie Dough

3-4 apples with a thin skin, such as Macoun 

1 lemon zested

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt crushed by hand, divided

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and frozen

Confectioners sugar for finishing

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the Buttermilk Pie Dough recipe, which can be made in advance. Line 10-inch tart pan with parchment paper, set aside.

  2. Before rolling, let the pie dough come to room temperature, about 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out round disk to thickness between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch. Keep dough moving and apply just enough flour to prevent it from sticking. Lightly fold dough into quarters and transfer onto parchment lined tart pan. Gently push the pastry into the corners of the tart pan. Trim pastry with scissors or a sharp paring knife, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

  3. Place oven rack in middle with Baking Steel or a pizza stone and preheat oven to 375°F.

  4. Prepare apples by cutting around the core into four pieces, discard the core. Using the mandoline, carefully slice the apples thinly about 1/4-inch. Keep the slices in groups.

  5. Zest lemon evenly over the pastry along and sprinkle with cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Place groupings of apple slices, slightly fanned out on top of the pastry. See photo for reference. Alternate directions of the apples until the tart pan is filled. Sprinkle sugar and remaining salt evenly all over the apples and top with pieces of cold butter.

  6. Gently pinch and stretch the pastry all around the rim, giving the pastry a ruffled edge.

  7. Place the tart pan directly on the Baking Steel. Bake until apples are softened and pastry is golden brown, about 1 hour.

  8. Place on cooling rack. After completely cool, remove from tart pan and dust with confectioners sugar. Serve with créme frâiche, whipped cream or ice cream.

Apple & Blood Orange Garden Trellis Pie by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Apple & Blood Orange Garden Trellis Pie

Yield: 1 (9-inch) Pie

Created a new twist on apple pie. Blood oranges aren't a typical addition to pie, but I had them around and wanted to use them in place of lemon for some acidity. This design was inspired by a garden trellis woven with twisty vines. I've always had an affinity to gardening and all things floral, I get it from my Mother. I've included directions to create this design but the truth is, all designs don't go exactly as planned, so feel free to go rogue. I often utilize leaf and floral cut outs to cover up mistakes like broken pastry. There are some trouble shooting tips below. Regardless, true beauty and imperfection sit side by side in my book. 

You can watch my pie demo video below.

INGREDIENTS

1 double crust, such as Buttermilk Pie Dough

1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling pastry

1 egg

1 tablespoon heavy cream

1 blood orange, zested and cut into supremes

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon kosher, such as Jacobsen sea salt

1/4 teaspoon aromatic bitters

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 (about 3 pounds) medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced on mandoline

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and frozen

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the Buttermilk Pie Dough recipe, which can be made in advance.

  2. Before rolling, let the pie dough come to room temperature, about 5 minutes, to prevent cracking. On a lightly floured surface, roll out round disk to thickness between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch. Keep dough moving and apply just enough flour to prevent it from sticking. Try avoid using too much flour to prevent the pastry from getting tough. Gently fold in half and again into a quarter, then transfer over your pie dish. Drape dough and nestle into the corners of the pie dish. Trim pastry with scissors or a sharp paring knife along the rim, chill trimmed pastry; roll out pastry a bit thinner and cut out leaves using a small leaf pie cutter. These will be used to make the leaf crown around the crust. Place on a generously floured rimmed sheet pan. Keep pie dish and sheet pan in fridge until ready to use.

  3. Roll out rectangular piece of pastry to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a fluted edge pastry wheel, cut a variety of narrow and wide strips to create the lattice and twisted cables. Use remaining dough to cut out shapes such as flowers and leaves for decoration. To make the leaves look more realistic, try bending them a bit. Place lattice strips in a single layer on a new floured sheet pan; chill in refrigerator. Add flowers and leaves to previously prepared sheet pan with leaves and keep in the fridge, preferably freezer until ready to use.

  4. Place oven rack in middle and preheat oven to 425°F. In a small bowl beat egg with heavy cream; set aside.

  5. In a large mixing bowl, add blood orange zest and supreme orange segments. Drain and discard any excess liquid from the oranges. Mix in sugar, salt, bitters, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Fold in apples until well coated; sprinkle 1/4 cup flour and toss again. Transfer apple mixture into pie dish and try to keep the mixture even. Scatter frozen butter cubes evenly all over the apples.

  6. Remove sheet pans with remaining pastry from the fridge or freezer. To create a simple lattice design, place strips (any width you prefer) in one direction across the entire pie. Lift every other row, place another strip in the opposite direction and flip the strips back down. Alternatively lift every other row, place another strip in the opposite direction and flip strips back down again until the lattice is complete. Try to keep the lattice pieces close together to cover most of the filling, this will help trap in steam and make a tender filling.

  7. To create cable knit roping, loosely twist 2 strips of similar width together to create a cable knit effect. Try to keep the strips flat to create an even cable. For my Garden Trellis design I mixed in cable knit ropes, a row of leaves and a row of flowers with the wavy flat strips.

  8. Using a sharp paring knife, trim the excess lattice work. Gently lift the ends of the lattice work and brush a light coating of egg wash to glue down the strips to the pie shell. Brush the top edge of the crust with egg wash. Place leaves on a 45° angle, press down lightly and alternatively place leaves in opposite directions to create a crown crust.

  9. Brush a light coating of egg wash evenly all over the pie. Place pie dish on a sheet pan and bake on the center rack for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 375°F, bake until bubbling and golden brown, about 75 minutes. If necessary, rotate the pie for even baking and cover with foil if the top is browning too much. For best results, let pie cool for 4 to 6 hours before serving. Or bake the day before. Note: pie must be bubbling or filling will not be tender and crust will not be crispy.


Confetti Christmas Shortbread Cookies by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Confetti Christmas Shortbread Cookies

Yield: Approximately 50 (2 1/2-inch) cookies

Happy Holidays! This is a tender sweet and salty shortbread cookie that has incredible texture. The toasted walnut and almond topping combined with sparkling sugar adds just the right amount of crunch and glitz. Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season. But don't limit these cookies to the month of December, try different shapes to enjoy them any time of the year.


INGREDIENTS

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling, such as Jacobsen Salt Co.

1 egg, room temperature

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, extra for rolling

1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts

1/4 cup roughly chopped almonds

Assorted sparkling sugar, I used pink and white

Your favorite holiday cookie cutter

DIRECTIONS

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add butter and beat on high until pale in color, about 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar and sea salt. Start on low and increase speed to high; beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix until incorporated. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula and don't miss the very bottom.

  2. With the mixer on low, add flour in 3 increments; scraping in between in addition. Careful not to overmix or you'll get a tough dough. Cookie mixture will be a bit crumbly. Divide cookie dough in half and wrap each half with plastic wrap and shape into a flat disk. I even like to roll the dough in the plastic to make it even, which will make it easier to roll later. Let dough rest in fridge for 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 2 rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper.

  4. In a dry large sized skillet on medium-low heat, toast walnuts and almonds until fragrant. Shake pan to prevent nuts from burning. Transfer to a plate until cool to the touch. Place nuts in a plastic bag and gently crush nuts with a rolling pin into small pieces. To protect your counter, place the bag on a folded kitchen towel. Transfer to a bowl.

  5. Lightly flour your counter and rolling pin. Roll cookie dough into 1/4-inch thickness. Using a bench scraper loosen and lift the dough; lightly flour the counter again. This will make it easier to remove the cookies after cutting them out.

  6. While dipping your cookie cutter in flour, cut out cookies placing them as close together as possible. Dip the cutters in flour as needed. Gather leftover scraps and re-roll to cut out remaining dough. Transfer cookies to sheet pans; top with crushed nuts and sprinkle your color choice of sparkling sugar. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately sprinkle with flaky sea salt and transfer to a cooling rack.

NOTES:

You can make this dough in advance and keep in the fridge. Bring dough to room temperature before baking for best results.

Since the dough is crumbly and soft, I suggest to use a simple cookie cutter shape without too many tiny details as the dough may get stuck. I used a Christmas Tree shape, but you can use a cutter for any year round holiday. Originally I tried an oversized detailed tree shape and the size made it difficult to transfer without falling apart. 

When decorating the cookies, I used white sparkling sugar at the top and mixed the pink and white sugar over the nuts to help create texture and sparkle. 

Sea Salt Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Sea Salt Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie

Yield: Approximately 25 large (4-inch) cookies or 38 medium (3-inch) cookies

The ultimate chocolate chocolate chip cookie. Thin, crispy yet chewy and completely addicting. 

These cookies were made for Natalie Mortimer and Holly Erickson, The Modern Proper's  #calmandbrightcookienight.  Check out their Coconut Thumbprint Cookie and the full roster of other amazing bakers that participated.


INGREDIENTS

Coconut oil spray

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Guittard

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or wafers, such as Guittard Akoma semi-sweet chocolate chips or Guittard Bittersweet Chocolate Wafers

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 2, preferably 3 half sheet pans with a light coating of coconut oil, or your favorite cooking spray. Do not use parchment paper or the cookies won't spread properly.

  2. Add butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Start on low, increase speed to high and beat until light in color and creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula as needed. Add vanilla and egg, one at a time until combined. Place bowl in fridge to chill for 30 minutes or wrap well in plastic and chill overnight.

  3. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt. Add flour mixture in 4 increments and mix on low; scrape the bowl as needed. After 3rd addition of flour, fold remaining flour mixture by hand until just combined. Do not over mix. Fold chocolate chips in by hand.

  4. For 4-inch cookies, use a small cookie scoop or spoon about 2 tablespoons of dough on to a greased half sheet pan 2-inches apart. Do not use parchment as the cookies will not spread evenly. Place maximum of 6 cookies per half sheet pan, but I prefer 5 to avoid the cookies from crowding each other. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. For 3-inch cookies, use a 1 tablespoon scoop and place 8 cookies evenly spaced on a half sheet pan. Timing is important for this cookie. Check oven temperature with a thermometer, test a single cookie to determine the right timing and see if your oven requires you to rotate the pan. Center about the size of a quarter should be slightly undercooked and remaining outer edges should spread into rings. This ensures a chewy yet crunchy cookie.

  5. Remove sheet pan from oven and cool for a few minutes before transferring cookies to a cooling rack. Optional to sprinkle cookies with sea salt right after removing from the oven. Repeat steps for additional batches, but cool sheet pans before adding cookie dough.

NOTES:

Cookie dough can be made in advance. Keep in the fridge well wrapped or freeze individual cookie dough balls and place in a plastic bag after frozen; remove as much air from the bag as possible. Bring dough to room temperature before baking for best results. Baking frozen dough will still taste great, but the overall baked cookie appearance may vary slightly.

If you don't have a silicone spatula, try spraying your spatula with oil to make it easier to handle the cookies.

*recipe updated Dec 2018

 

Apple Cardamom Cable Knit Pie by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Apple Cardamom Cable Knit Pie

Yield: 1 (9-inch) Pie

This cable knit design was inspired by Aran Irish Sweaters, something I learned about during my first job as a design assistant at Ralph Lauren when I worked in Men’s sweaters. Not surprising as we used to make knit downs of cable knit designs all day long, always looking for new combinations. I use a similar approach when designing this pie crust.

INGREDIENTS

1 egg

1 tablespoon heavy cream

1 double crust, buttermilk pie crust recipe

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling pastry

2 meyer lemons, zested and juiced

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 (about 3 1/2 pounds) medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced on mandolin

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and frozen

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place Baking Steel on the middle rack of your oven. Preheat oven 425°F. The pizza stone ensures a crispy bottom crust. Preferably preheat oven for 30 to 60 minutes. In a small bowl beat egg with heavy cream; set aside.

  2. Prepare the buttermilk pie crust recipe, cut into one third and two thirds ratio, wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Shape smaller piece into a flat round disk and shape other half into a narrow flat rectangle. Let dough rest 20 minutes or overnight in refrigerator. Note: This dough makes more dough than average recipes, great for decorative pie crusts.

  3. Let the dough come to room temperature for 5 minutes before rolling out to prevent cracking. On a lightly floured surface, roll out round disk to thickness between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch. Keep dough moving and apply flour as needed to prevent it from sticking. Gently roll onto rolling pin and transfer to pie dish. Trim with scissors or a knife along the rim leaving a 1/2-inch border. Note: Be careful not to stretch the dough or it will shrink back. 

  4. Cut second rectangular pie dough in half lengthwise. Roll one half (Dough A) to 9-inches in length and 1/4-inch thick. Roll remaining dough (Dough B) to 9-inches in length and 1/8-inch thickness. Work quickly to prevent the dough from getting warm. If needed, place them in the fridge to firm up during the process.

  5. Dough A: Use a ruler to cut long even strips. For a square edge braid, cut into 1/4-inch strips with a sharp paring knife. Braid together keeping both ends loose; transfer to a sheet pan. For rounded edge braid, cut dough into six 1/4-inch strips and roll against floured board to round edges. Repeat braiding technique and transfer to the sheet pan, keep in the fridge while you roll the remaining dough. Separate layers with parchment if needed. Dough B: Cut four 1-inch strips. Loosely twist 2 pieces together to create a cable knit effect and repeat; transfer to the same sheet pan. Cut three diamonds from any leftover dough and score with a knife in a diagonal direction. Roll four balls of dough and flatten slightly to create 4 small buttons; score with a curved fork to mimic a leather football button. (Fashion is clearly still in me). Transfer sheet pan back to the fridge. NOTE: If you are having trouble with the dough breaking while braiding, the butter pieces may be too large or the dough is too warm. For decorative pies, I formulated a pie crust that is ideal and hopefully breakage won’t be an issue.

  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine zest of 2 Meyer lemons, 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice, sugar, sea salt, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Fold in apples until well coated; sprinkle 3 tablespoons flour and toss again. Transfer apple mixture into pie dish, try to keep the mixture even. Scatter frozen butter cubes evenly all over the apples.

  7. Remove sheet pan with pastry from the fridge. Start in the middle and place cable knit pieces tightly next to each other. Try to avoid large gaps between pastry. Trim pieces to fit within the pie dish. Fold edge of pie inward neatly and crimp together by pinching. Chill in freezer or fridge for 15 minutes.

  8. Brush evenly with light coating of egg wash and cover loosely with foil. Adjust oven to 425°F, gently place pie dish directly onto Baking Steel or pizza stone and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375°F, remove foil and bake until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, about 1 hour more. If necessary, rotate the pie for even baking. For best results, let pie cool for 4 to 6 hours before serving.

Note:

You can use leftover dough for decorative cut outs. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Dip pie cutters or cookie cutters in flour and cut out shapes. Lay them evenly on a quarter sheet pan and layer using parchment paper. I didn't use any cut outs for this cable knit design, but you can keep these in the freezer for a future use. Suggestion: Bake and add them to a bowl of ice cream or berries and cream.

 

Farmstand Berry Skillet Cake by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Farmstand Berry Skillet Cake

Yield: One 8 or 10-inch skillet or two 6-inch skillets

One of my favorite cakes this Summer. A simple cast iron skillet cake loaded with seasonal fresh berries. I'm a fan of Lodge Cast Iron's cast iron skillets. I used 9-inch in these photos, but I recently made them with two 5-inch skillets that were such a cute presentation. *Special note: make a little mini skillet for taste testing! 

Highly suggest serving this with ice cream or whipped cream. I just wrote a recipe for Cinnamon Cashew Cream that I bet would be a great addition too. 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup fine cornmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg at room temperature

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 to 2 lemons, zested

2 cups mixed berries (strawberries, red and white currants, blackberries)

Edible flowers for garnish

Fresh mint for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder and sea salt.

  2. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together. Gradually increase speed to high; beat until pale, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add egg, buttermilk, and lemon zest. Mix until fully incorporated, about 1 minute.

  3. While mixer is still on low add half of flour mixture, beat until almost incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add remaining flour mixture and repeat. Transfer cake batter to cast iron skillet(s). Batter will be thick, spread evenly using an offset spatula.

  4. If strawberries are large, cut them in half lengthwise. I prefer the tiny sweet strawberries available in the Summer. Remove currants from the stems. Mix berries with blackberries in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle half of the berry mixture all over the cake batter. Press berries lightly into the batter. For visual presentation arrange a few clusters of currants on the stem.

  5. Bake for 1 hour for large skillet or until cake is golden brown and puffy. 30 minutes for smaller skillets. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake, it should come out clean. Cool skillet on wire rack. Garnish with balance of berries, edible flowers and fresh mint leaves. Serve cake while warm or at room temperature.

  6. Suggest serve with ice cream, fresh whipped cream or cinnamon cashew cream.

 

Cinnamon Cashew Cream by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Cinnamon Cashew Cream

Yield: Approximately 1 1/2 cups

Curiosity got the best of me. I've been seeing cashew cream everywhere lately and really wanted to try it out. Let me tell you, it's pretty damn good. I'm sure it's a great dairy substitute, but I love it as is. It would be a great addition to any dessert or simply topped on a bowl of berries. Can I be honest? I might have eaten it straight out of the bowl by the spoonful, just like peanut butter, don't judge me. (I usually see this recipe made raw and vegan. My version isn't but try maple syrup if you'd like a vegan version).

My version came about because I was raiding my pantry and after several trips this year I wanted to try out a few things I had collected. The honey and sea salt made by Jacobsen Salt Co. were a gift after a trip to Portland or PDX as they say. Instant fan of their stuff. My friend Emily Elyse Miller of Trends on Trends curated the coolest trip with Visit Portland. I can't wait to go back, it has a killer local makers community. In January, a trip to Zanzibar resulted in a suitcase loaded with spices including cinnamon. Who can resist those spice markets? By the way, we stayed at the most amazing private villa Casadamare, I'll let the photos speak for itself, trust me, just GO. It was the perfect retreat after climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. 

When styling the photos I reached for my friend and amazing local NYC artisan, Jono Pandolfi's white ceramic bowl. Such a beautiful simple and clean design. I gave the scene a little French twist with some pretty patterned ceramic bowls I bought in Arles, France. Much more on that trip another time, but special thanks to my friend Armand Arnal a local and Chef from Arles but also a co-owner of one of my favorite cafes Maman in NYC. He made visiting a little town in Provence so special including a heavenly lunch at his restaurant La Chassagnette.

It turns out this 6 ingredient recipe takes me on a stroll through memory lane and around the world. I can't wait to travel again and see what I collect or get inspired by.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in filtered water 4 to 6 hours (minimum 2 hours) 

1/2 cup filtered water

2 teaspoons mild honey such as Bee Local by Jacobsen's

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, such Nielsen-Massey

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or try cinnamon sticks ground in a spice grinder)

Pinch of flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen's

DIRECTIONS

  1. Drain and rinse cashews; discard soaking liquid. Add cashews and 1/4 cup filtered water to Vitamix or high powered blender. Pulse until just barely incorporated.

  2. Add balance of ingredients. Blend on low and increase speed. Add more water until you reach desired consistency.

  3. Transfer to a bowl and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve chilled.

Note: I like my sweets on the milder side, feel free to adjust the honey quantity to your taste. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Verbena Sugar by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Lemon Verbena Sugar

Lemon Verbena Sugar

Yield: 2 cups

This was created after the purchase of a lemon verbena plant, bought on a whim at the farmers market. It is so fragrant and just seemed perfect for an infused sugar. It can be enjoyed in tea, on the rim of a cocktail or any baking project. 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups sugar

3 sprigs lemon verbena, leaves only

Zest of 1 lemon (meyer lemon if possible)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In the bowl of a mini prep or food processor, add all ingredients and blend until mixture is finely ground.

Note: If you want more flavor, add more leaves or combine with another complimentary of your choice. Use this ratio to help create larger batches of herbed sugar. Keep in refrigerator.


Sources:

Ceramics: Jono Pandolfi

Photography Surface: Erickson Woodworks

Thyme Lemonade Popsicles with Nectarine and Kiwi by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Thyme Lemonade Popsicles with Nectarine and Kiwi 

Yield: 10 popsicles

Popsicles make me smile. They bring me back to Summer days when my Mom would pass out these delicious treats on the hottest of days. We would break them in half and share, or not if we were greedy or because they broke and probably fell on the ground. They would drip all over our hands and turn into a sticky mess so we preferred eating them in our swimsuits. What's better than diving into a pool or run under a ghetto sprinkler on the lawn to wash off popsicle juice, remember those days?

Fast forward to the adult version of popsicles. I tried to make these boozy and haven't figured out the right amount of gin or tequila and still have them freeze solid. So these pretty popsicles are perfect for landing into a giant glass of rosé or just eating. Hope you make new Summer memories of your own with these treats. I like that these popsicles have a built in snack. I hear someone, did they say Happy Hour?

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup sugar

4 sprigs thyme

Zest of 3 lemons

1/4 cup lemon juice

Pinch of sea salt, such as Jacobsens (try their habenero salt too)

1 nectarine

1 kiwi

Handful of small mint leaves

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small pot add sugar, thyme sprigs and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Mix with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Remove thyme after the simple syrup has cooled. This can be made in advance and kept in the fridge.

  2. In a pitcher combine lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, simple syrup; stir well and add water until desired level of sweetness. At minimum add 20 ounces water.

  3. Cut nectarine in half, remove seed and thinly slice using a mandoline. Trim end of kiwi and thinly slice with mandoline. If the kiwi is organic, no need to peel the skin.

  4. Stir lemonade and fill the popsicle molds halfway. Place a few slices of nectarine, kiwi and mint as a pretty edible garnish. Freeze for 2 years. Add a few more garnishes and fill molds with lemonade. Place wooden stick and freeze until solid. Run mold under warm water to help remove popsicles.

 

Lemon Chiffon Berry Flag Cake with Mini Meringues by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

LEMON CHIFFON BERRY FLAG CAKE WITH MINI MERINGUES

Yield:  1 sheet cake (12 x 18 x 1-inch)

Are you ready to enjoy berry season? I am!  Flag day is fast approaching and I partnered up with Driscoll's and feedfeed to create a new Flag Cake. This is a take on Eton Mess, one of my favorite summer desserts, in the form of a cake. What's not to like? Perfect for the 4th of July or any summer picnic. The frosting is actually a swiss meringue buttercream that holds up well in warm weather.

There are a lot of Flag Cakes out there, so let's try something new. I wanted a sense of air and lightness with crunch for texture. The cake batter incorporates egg whites to give it air, there's a thin layer of vanilla buttercream frosting for creaminess and to keep it from being overloaded with frosting, the white stripes are made of adorable swirled meringue kisses. The baby star meringues are my personal favorite. For a summery twist I've incorporated lemon into the meringues, but I'm sticking to the classic combo of raspberries and blueberries. They are classic for a reason.

Julie Resnick, co-founder of feedfeed and I are doing a demo of this Flag Cake on June 7, 2016, 2pm EST. Check out the Facebook Live Video on my FB page, The Judy Lab. We're happy to be back with Driscoll's after the pie demo Julie and I did last year. I'll post the Flag Cake video in this recipe post after it airs. The video will include a piping bag demo for the meringues and frosting. If you're new to baking or using a piping bag, I think you'll love it once you've done it a few times. Don't be afraid to experiment, you can always scoop up the meringue, put it back into the piping bag and start over. Shhhh, no one will ever know. note: highly suggest to make meringues in advance for a chewy center.

note: If you are looking to shortcut this recipe, you can assemble the cake using store bought meringue kisses. Many grocery stores now carry them ready made. The baby stars can be piped out of frosting.

INGREDIENTS

For lemon meringues:

4 egg whites, at room temperature

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted

Zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon lemon juice

For the lemon chiffon cake:

1/2 pounds (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra to butter the sheet pan

3 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

5 large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup buttermilk, well shaken

For decoration:

3 packages (6 ounces each or 1 1/3 cups each) packages Driscoll's Raspberries

1 package (6 ounces or 1 1/4 cups) package Driscoll's Blueberries

For the vanilla swiss buttercream:

6 fresh large egg whites, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups confectioners sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Make the lemon meringue kisses and stars:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper trimmed to fit the inside of the pan. Prepare a large 18-inch piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M star tip. Place bag upside down in a tall jar or glass and fold piping bag backwards. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat egg whites and salt on medium speed until frothy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add sugar in 2 tablespoon increments on slow speed. Sugar should be incorporated slowly to reduce gritty texture. Scrape side of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Begin to increase speed to medium for 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Add lemon zest and lemon juice; increase speed to high and beat until firm. Reduce speed and add confectioners sugar in 3 batches. Scrape sides of bowl and beat on high speed for 5 minutes. Batter should be shiny and glossy. Test for doneness by removing whisk and batter should have a long nose like a birds beak.

  4. Remove the piping bag from the jar and hold with one hand; transfer meringue with a rubber spatula. Carefully fold the bag upwards and tie with a rubber icing bag tie or use butchers twine. Twist the bag to create pressure.

  5. Press a small amount of meringue under each corner of parchment paper so it will stick to the sheet pan. This will also remove any excess air before starting to pipe the meringue stars and kisses.

  6. Use a separate sheet pan for kisses and stars as they will have different baking times. Starting with the little stars, place tip vertically down on parchment paper and press for 2 seconds, begin to pull up slowly and reduce hand pressure as you pull up. The star should be approximately the diameter of a large blueberry. Try practicing on a separate piece of parchment paper until you create consistent sizes. The practice stars can be scraped up with a rubber spatula and put back into the piping bag. At minimum make 30 stars, but I suggest to make 45 stars. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and place on a cooling rack. Center may seem too loose but overnight they will dry to create a chewy center. If there is a problem with consistency or creating a chewy center a common issue is humidity. Baking meringues on dry weather days should ensure success.

  7. To make kisses, pipe the meringue in a 1-inch circle pressing firmly and evenly. Continue to coil around and create a swirl by finishing in the center; decrease pressure as you lift the tip. Piping even sized meringue kisses will make your cake look more uniform and make it easier to cut. Bake minimum of 26 meringues kisses, but suggest to make 40. Finish balance of meringue batter in any shape of your choice. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and place on cooling rack. Dry overnight on counter.

Note: You can substitute homemade meringues with store bought and use frosting to represent the stars.

Make the lemon chiffon cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter sheet pan, don't forget to get in the corners.

  2. In a large mixing bowl sift together cake flour (see substitute below), baking powder and baking soda. Mix in salt and set aside.

  3. Separate eggs and put yolks aside in a small bowl. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites until you reach stiff peaks. Transfer egg whites into a separate bowl.

  4. Change mixer to paddle attachment. In a clean bowl cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow. Start mixer at low speed and gradually set on high speed for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and buttermilk; mix until combined and add egg yolks one at a time until fully incorporated.

  5. Add flour mixture in 2 to 3 batches while mixer is on low speed. Scrape side and bottom of bowl as necessary. Do not overbeat. Turn off mixer and gently fold in egg whites with a large rubber spatula until just barely incorporated; keep as much air in the batter as possible.

  6. Spread batter evenly in the sheet pan. Smooth it out using an off-set spatula. Bake until lightly golden brown, approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting toothpick in center of cake, it should come out clean. Set on rack and cool completely, preferably 3 to 4 hours, minimum 1 hour.

Substitution notes:

Cake flour substitute: 1 cup cake flour = 2 tablespoons cornstarch into 1 cup measuring cup and fill with all-purpose flour, make sure to level flour. 

Buttermilk substitute: Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup; add enough milk till it reaches 1 cup. Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes. It will thicken and look curdled.

Make the vanilla swiss buttercream:

  1. In a large metal bowl whisk together sugar and egg whites. Set bowl over a pot of boiling water as a double boiler, constantly whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.

  2. Pour mixture in bowl of electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and whip on high speed until it is thick, shiny and white. The peaks should be very firm. If they are not firm, the frosting will not be as stable.

  3. While the egg whites are whipping, sift confectioners sugar. After you reach stiff peaks, add confections sugar and salt all at once into mixer on very low speed until it is fully incorporated.

  4. Quickly add butter and shortening in 2 to 3 additions. Add vanilla extract.

  5. Switch to paddle attachment and beat on high speed until smooth, approximately 5 minutes. The longer you beat the frosting, the whiter the color will become.

Note: The buttercream can be stored at room temperature for 4 days, up to 2 weeks in refrigerator, 2 months in the freezer.

Assemble the Flag Cake:

  1. Add frosting to center of cake and spread evenly using an off set spatula. Start with half the frosting to determine if you want a light or heavy layer of frosting.

  2. Starting with the bottom of the cake, begin placing 2 rows of raspberries along the bottom edge of the cake. Place a single row of meringue kisses and alternate with double row of raspberries. Top row should end with a double row of raspberries.

  3. Leave room for the blueberry section. Place 10 blueberries across the top left corner and 8 blueberries down vertically. This should be the equivalent of the height of the top 3 rows of raspberries and meringue kisses; horizontally it will match 4 meringue kisses across. If you can make it even, this will just make it easier to cut the cake for serving.

  4. Finish the cake with little meringue stars. Place a small amount of frosting on the backside of the meringue star and place on top of the blueberry section, the frosting will act as a glue. As an alternative, the stars can be made out of frosting using a Wilton 1M tip.

 

Note: If you make the cake in advance, wrap it tightly with plastic after the cake has completely cooled. Fruit can be assembled in advance but suggest to place them on the same day as serving to eliminate the need to refrigerate the entire sheet cake. If you want the meringues to stay crisp and chewy, place them on the cake just before serving as they can begin to absorb moisture from the frosting.

Julie Resnick & Judy Kim @thejudylab show you how to decorate a beautiful flag cake with meringues and fresh Blueberries & Raspberries for your Flag Day & 4th of July celebrations!

 

Coconut Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting Rosettes by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Coconut Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting & Rosettes

Yield: 4 layer (9-inch) cake or approximately 22 - 24 cupcakes

Coconut cake, probably my favorite cake. I doubled this cake recipe once and half the layers ended up tasting like churros. If I can figure out a way to duplicate that, I'll let you know.  

Try variations on this recipe using different sizes of cake and types of shredded coconut. See my mini version above.

INGREDIENTS

COCONUT CAKE:

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature plus extra for greasing pans

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting pans

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ cup sugar

3 large eggs separated, plus 3 whites

1 ½ cups cream of coconut

1 ¼ cups unsweetened coconut milk (such as So Delicious)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon orange zest

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

3 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut

SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:

6 large egg whites, at room temperature

1 ½ cups sugar

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 ½ cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut, tasted

1 ½ cups unsweetened large flaked coconut, toasted for flavor and a rustic look or untoasted for an elegant white cake.

DIRECTIONS

COCONUT CAKE:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Cut 2 rounds of parchment paper to fit the base of each cake pan. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with room temperature butter, place a parchment round in each cake pan and grease the top of the parchment paper. Dust with flour and discard any excess.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, using a fork whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together until pale in color and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add yolks 1 at a time until each is incorporated. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Lower speed and add flour mixture in 2 to 3 batches. Batter will be very thick.

  4. In a mixing bowl (I prefer a large Pyrex liquid measuring cup since it has a pour spout), whisk together cream of coconut, coconut milk, vanilla, orange zest and orange juice. Add coconut cream mixture and shredded coconut to the batter in 2 to 3 batches. Beat on low until just combined, do not overmix. Transfer to large mixing bowl used previously for flour.

  5. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip remaining 6 egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold into batter with a large rubber spatula.

  6. Divide batter between the prepared cake pans. Smooth batter using an off-set spatula. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake, it should come out clean. Cool cake on wire rack. Unmold cakes once they are just cool enough to handle, about 15 to 20 minutes. If the cake is completely cooled it will be difficult to unmold.

  7. Using a serrated bread knife, place one hand on top of cake to hold it steady and cut each layer in half horizontally through the center of the cake into two layers. If cake layers are domed during baking, level cake by using the serrated knife. Those are the best parts of the cake to snack on!

  8. Cake should be completely cooled for several hours before frosting, or made the day before. If you make the cake in advance wrap each cooled cake tightly with plastic wrap before cutting into layers. Store in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or freezer.

 

SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:

  1. In a large metal bowl whisk together sugar and egg whites until fully combined. Set bowl over a pot of boiling water as a double boiler, constantly whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.

  2. Pour mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip on high speed until it is thick, shiny and white. The peaks should be very firm. If they are not firm, the frosting will not be stable.

  3. While the egg whites are whipping, sift confectioner’s sugar. After you reach stiff peaks, add confectioner’s sugar all at once into mixer on very low speed until it is fully incorporated.

  4. Add butter and shortening in 2 to 3 additions.

  5. Add vanilla extract.

  6. Switch to paddle attachment and beat on high speed until smooth, approximately 5 minutes. The longer you beat the frosting, the whiter the color will become.

The buttercream can be stored at room temperature for 4 days, up to 2 weeks in refrigerator, 2 months in the freezer.

 

CAKE ASSEMBLY AND DECORATIVE ROSETTES:

  1. Add 1 small dollop of frosting in the center of a cake stand or plate. Optional to place cake onto a cardboard round available at any baking supply store or online. Place 1 of the 4 layers of cake, cut side up. Cut 5 strips of parchment paper cut 3-inches wide. Fan out each piece of parchment by tucking in the center of the paper under the cake while covering the cake stand. This will ensure easy cleanup of the cake stand after decoration.

  2. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of the first layer of cake using an offset spatula. It's easiest by starting with a large dollop of frosting in the center and spread it out. Push enough frosting to the edge of the cake, it’s helpful if the frosting extends past the cake. This helps keep the layers even and aids in frosting the exterior. Sprinkle top with toasted coconut. Place next cake layer on top and repeat with frosting and coconut. Repeat with the third layer and for the final layer place cut side down (I prefer the bottom piece of the cake rounds as they are flat). Optional: For stability place a bamboo skewer into the center of the cake and trim to height of cake, it will be covered with frosting. Spread frosting in a thin layer on top since it will be covered in roses and 1/4-inch thickness of frosting on the sides of cake, otherwise you may run out of frosting while piping the rosettes.

  3. Transfer remaining frosting into a large pastry bag fitted with 1M pastry tip. Place a large 18-inch pastry bag in a pint class, fold back the sides and fill frosting using a rubber spatula. Unfold sides upwards and twist to create pressure. Pro-tip: To keep things tidy, use an icing bag tie to keep the bag closed. And while frosting the cake you can rest the pastry bag in the pint glass.

  4. Hold the pastry bag in your dominant hand and keep the bag firmly twisted, use your other hand to guide the base near the tip for control. Starting from the center of the rose, press the pastry bag at the top and guide the tip to move in an outward circle until the rose is created. Keep even pressure but as you approach the final edge of the rose, begin to lighten the pressure to create a tapered finish. Optional to make the roses uniform or varied in size.

  5. Remove parchment paper from the cake stand and any excess coconut flakes that have fallen during the decorating process.

Pro-tip: When piping a new cake design, I practice frosting techniques on parchment paper. It’s easy to scoop up the frosting and re-use it while you're practicing your skills or planning a new design concept.  

Salted Caramel Pear Pie by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim


Salted Caramel Pear Pie

Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie

I love this lesser known combination in comparison to apples and caramel, but it easily interchangeable, perhaps one the things I love most about pie. Recipes are suggestions and hope that with each pie, each baker personalizes them with small changes and substitutions when necessary.

This Springtime Garden Wreath pie design is a labor of love. In many ways the making of this is no different than the arts and crafts techniques I learned from my Mom. But I say, make a pie that suits you, and if time is a factor use a full pie crust in lieu of this detailed design, it will still taste delicious. See the video below for a demo.

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

1 double crust pie dough, such as Buttermilk Pie Crust

All-purpose flour, for rollling dough

1 egg

1 tablespoon heavy cream for egg wash

Salted Caramel:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter (preferably European butter), sliced into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup heavy cream, extra for egg wash

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Filling:

4 Anjou pears - peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon lemon zest (suggest Meyer lemon if available)

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons tapioca flour (or cornstarch)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and frozen

DIRECTIONS

  1. To make the salted almond caramel, heat a large sauce pan over medium heat. Combine 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup sugar, swirl the pan to help them dissolve. Add slices of butter, bring to a boil and simmer until golden brown, about 10 minutes. At this stage, stir occasionally using a wooden spoon. Watch the mixture carefully as it can burn. Turn off heat and add heavy cream carefully as it will bubble intensely. While continuing to stir, add almond extract (for stronger flavor add 1 teaspoon almond extract instead) and sea salt. Set aside to cool. This can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

  2. Let the prepared Buttermilk Pie Crust come to room temperature, about 5 to 7 minutes before rolling out. On a lightly floured surface, roll out round disk to 1/8-inch thickness and larger than the circumference of your 9-inch pie dish. Gently fold into quarters and transfer to the pie dish. Trim excess with scissors or a knife along the rim and place pie dish in the fridge.

  3. Leftover dough from the bottom crust can be used for decorative cut outs in the shape of leaves and flowers. I prefer to use two different leaf shapes when possible. It may be necessary to roll a bit thinner and chill in the freezer for a few minutes. Dust each side of chilled leftover dough before using pie cutters or cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Lay them in a single layer on a quarter sheet pan dusted with flour, lay parchment paper between layers of pastry as needed. Place cut outs in the freezer.

  4. Remove second piece of pie dough from fridge and let come to room temperature before rolling to 1/8-inch thickness. To make this design, it is preferred if dough is pre-shaped into a rectangular. Use a ruler to cut long strips for the lattice work. To re-create my design, you will need a mix of braids using either narrow or wide strips. Work quickly to prevent the dough from getting warm, chill dough in fridge to firm up when necessary. After cutting enough strips, use leftover scraps for more cut outs; transfer to the chilled sheet pan with other cut outs. Place lattice strips and braids on a separate sheet pan, chill in the fridge until you are ready for final assembly; avoid the freezer as strips may become too stiff to handle later.

  5. In a large mixing bowl, fold pears, lemon zest (sometimes I zest the entire lemon for extra flavor), juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup sugar, tapioca flour, cinnamon, vanilla extract and sea salt. In a small bowl beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Set aside.

  6. For the final assembly, add even layer of 1/4 cup caramel at room temperature into chilled pie crust. If caramel is too thick to handle, warm on low heat, just enough to loosen but not too hot that it will melt the pastry. Layer half of the pear mixture in an even layer, top with 1/4 cup caramel, layer remaining pears and drizzle about 1/8 cup caramel. Scatter frozen butter cubes evenly all over the top layer. If time permits, chill pie in fridge or freezer for 10 minutes. NOTE: There will be some leftover caramel, keep in fridge for a few weeks or drizzle warm caramel over each slice when serving.

  7. Apply a very thin layer of egg wash around the rim of the pie using a small pastry brush, it will act as glue. Remove lattice pieces from fridge and bring to room temperature for a few minutes to prevent breakage. Begin lattice work by lightly arranging each element to create your design. When you're satisfied, trim the edges with scissors or a sharp paring knife. Begin to lift each piece alternatively to create the lattice and press down lightly along the rim to seal edges. For a traditional lattice layout, create 90° angles, but for an argyle arrangement try 45° angles.

  8. To complete the design, add a leaf and floral wreath border. Brush the back of the leave cut outs one at a time with egg wash to secure and place in a random pattern or alternate directions. Use a variety of flower shapes if possible and nestle them into the leaves trying not to cover up too much of the lattice work. For visual interest you can stack different sized flowers on top of each other. However be cautious to create too many layers as the pie thickness will affect the taste. Place pie in freezer preferable to the fridge to chill pastry, minimum of 20 minutes.

  9. Preheat oven to 425°F, with a pizza stone or Baking Steel on middle rack if possible. Just before baking, gently brush the pastry with a thin even layer of egg wash all over, avoid pooling. If any pieces become loose, glue them down with a small dab of egg wash. Place pie on a rimmed sheet pan and loosely tent entire pie with foil avoiding contact with the pie. Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 375°F and remove foil. Finish baking until filling is bubbling, and golden brown about 60 minutes more. Watch the pie carefully, rotate if necessary. Pro-tip, pie must be violently bubbling to ensure filling is cooked and bottom crust is crispy. Let pie cool completely before serving, minimum of 4 to 6 hours.

Springtime Garden Wreath pie design demo.