Blueberry Pop Tarts

Blueberry Pop Tarts

Blueberry Pop Tarts

Sort of like a mini hand pie, the Blueberry Pop Tart is an American favorite!

I LIVED on these through my high school years and believe it or not they were a staple while I was in Culinary School too!

Breakfast, lunch or snacks (and sometimes dinner~ woops!)

As with all my Copy-Cat recipes, these little fruit pies are even better than the real thing!

This new recipe below for Pie Dough is ideal for this particular application.

It rolls super thin without tearing and that is exactly what we want here, since a thick bulky crust is not ideal in a pop tart!

Filled with blueberry compote (or canned pie filling works great too) and baked to flaky perfection!

I used my commercial grade cube fondant icing

but you can make a quick confectioners sugar and water (or milk) glaze by adding a couple tablespoons to about 1 cup of confectioners sugar and stir to your desired consistency.

The only thing about using these icings is we can’t really  pop them into the toaster once they are glazed, which is really what the “Pop Tart” is all about.

The icing sugar will melt and your toaster will not be a happy camper with that mess stuck to all the heating elements!

But in my opinion foregoing the toaster is a small price to pay when you compare this homemade recipe to those store bought ones!

If you have a toaster OVEN though~ Well, then problem solved! Toast away! (or use a conventional oven to warm them up again after you’ve baked them)

The recipe below makes about 8 – 10 Pop Tarts so you may want to consider doubling the recipe! (They freeze awesomely both before or after baking!)


Blueberry Pop Tarts
 
The amount of salt here can be adjusted down if you feel it may be too much.
At first I thought it was too much, but once I added the sugar glaze to the final pop tarts I felt this amount of salt really made a huge benefit to the overall taste and I changed my mind and decided it was a perfect balance just the way it is.
Author:
Serves: 8-10 Pop tarts
Ingredients
  • For the Dough:
  • All Purpose Flour 2 cups (250g)
  • Granulated Sugar 2 tablespoons (28g)
  • Salt 1 teaspoon (6g)
  • Unsalted Butter 1 cup (226g)
  • Milk ¼ cup (60ml)
  • For the Blueberry Filling:
  • Fresh or Frozen Blueberries 2 cups
  • Water as needed
  • Sugar as needed
Instructions
  1. For the Dough:
  2. In the workbowl of a food processor combine the flour, sugar and salt.
  3. Dice the cold butter into small ½" pieces and add to the flour mixture
  4. Pulse it several times to create a course mealy consistency
  5. Pour the cold milk through the feed tube as you are pulsing the dough to a sticky mass
  6. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and wrap well then chill for at least 2 hours.
  7. For the Blueberry Filling:
  8. Combine the blueberries and a tablespoon or two f water and granulated sugar to your taste (0- 4 tablespoons is good)
  9. Cook over low heat stirring often, until a sauce-like compote is achieved, the blueberries will burst and the sauce will thicken~ this should take no more than 20 minutes on low- medium heat
  10. To roll the dough you must break it up into pieces and it will be very dry & crumbly, you did nothing wrong.
  11. Refrigerate until cold and it will thicken more as it cools
  12. To prepare the pop tart dough:
  13. You will have to knead it with extra flour to get it to a roll-able, pliable consistency
  14. Roll the dough to less than ¼" thick
  15. Cut out rectangles to the desired size you want your pop tarts to be (I did 4" X4¾" rectangles for a total of 20 pieces that when sandwiched with the filling made 10 total pop tarts)
  16. You can re-roll the dough several times to utilize all the pieces.
  17. Fill each rectangle of dough fill with 2 tablespoons of blueberry filling.
  18. Cover with another rectangle of dough and with a fork crimp the edges to seal.
  19. Brush each pop tart with egg white and bake in a preheated 375°f oven for 18-22 minutes or until golden browned
  20. Cool slightly then glaze with sugar glaze (1 cup confectioners sugar + 2 tablespoons water or milk) Or use Commercial Cube Fondant
Notes
Pop Tarts can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze raw or baked pop tarts for up to 1 month.

Thaw before baking as the recipe directs or for prebaked pop tarts that you froze, thaw then completely & then warm them in a low heat oven until warmed to your liking
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Chocolate Cream Pie with Oreo Crust

chocolate-cream-pie

Chocolate Cream Pie with Oreo Crust.

I’m not so sure it can get any better than this.

This is baking magic in it’s purest form~ But wait! there is no baking required!

WooHoo! NO BAKE Chocolate Cream Pie with Oreo Crust is even better!

You can of course use a regular pie shell (blind baked of course) if you’re just not feeling the Oreos, but C’mon…who doesn’t feel Oreos!

Any cookie will do just fine here so get creative and do what you love!

This is a small building on recipes project, but honestly it can all be done from start to finish in just under 2 hours, the hardest part is waiting for the custard to cool before you can ice it with whipped cream!


Chocolate Cream Pie with Oreo Crust
 
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Author:
Serves: 8" Pie
Ingredients
  • Oreo Cookies ⅓ Package crushed (about 1½ cups)
  • Unsalted Butter 5 Tablespoons (70g)
  • Whole Milk 2 cups (480ml)
  • Granulated Sugar ½ cup (100g)
  • Cornstarch ¼ cup (28g)
  • Eggs large 1 (50g)
  • Egg Yolks large 2 (36g)
  • Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons
  • Baking Chocolate Semi Sweet 4 ounces (approx ¾ cup)
  • Unsalted Butter 3 Tablespoons
  • ½ Recipe Whipped Cream
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. First prepare the crust with the crushed Oreos and 5 tablespoons of melted butter
  2. Press into the bottom and sides of an 8" Pie Plate~ freeze while you prepare the custard
  3. For the custard, bring the milk and half of the sugar to a boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Meanwhile combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch and whisk to a smooth paste.
  5. Once the milk comes to a boil, add about half of it to the egg mixture and whip to combine.
  6. Then pour the egg mixture back into the main milk mixture while still cooking over a medium-high heat and whisk until it comes to a rapid boil.
  7. Once it boils for 30 seconds, turn off the heat and add the butter, vanilla extract and baking chocolate.
  8. Whisk smooth then pour the entire custard into the frozen Oreo Crust.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until completely cold and set.
  10. Prepare the whipped cream with the ¼ cup granulated sugar (stabilizer as per the whipped cream recipe is optional) just before you are ready to ice the pie and not any time before.
  11. Ice the pie as per the video instruction and garnish with optional Oreos
 

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Apple Raspberry Frangipane Tart

apple_raspberry_frangipane_tart

This recipe for Apple Raspberry Frangipane Tart has been with me for just about 20 years!

Wow! #1 I’m Old!

and #2 This must be a great recipe if it has stuck around with me in my repertoire for that long!

It’s one of those recipes that just never goes out of style.

For those who are not yet familiar with “frangipane” it is almond paste filling that has a very soft creamy cake-like consistency.

Baked in my cookie dough crust with a very thin layer of raspberry jam.

Thinly sliced apples layered on top to form the shape of a delicate rose.

This recipe screams French Patisserie.

Wait until you see how easy it is with some Building on Recipes pre- preparations and the taste…….. well- it’s perfectly sophisticated!

A dessert like this one brings elegance to any event.

For some reason I’m thinking New Year’s Eve dinner with a champagne toast!

And then breakfast is ready with a nice slice of leftover apple raspberry frangipane tart with a cup of coffee!

Now that’s the way to ring in the new year!


Apple Raspberry Frangipane Tart
 
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You will need a Tart Mold for this recipe - one with a removable bottom
This is a Building on Recipes project so be sure to get your base recipe of sugar cookie dough prepared first
Once you start to arrange the apple slices on the tart you can begin preheating your oven with a pizza stone in place to 400°F
If you do not have a pizza stone it is best to blind bake the tart shell for about 10 minutes just to set the crust before proceeding with the recipe
Author:
Serves: 1- 8" Tart
Ingredients
  • Almond Paste 8 ounces (226g)
  • Unsalted Butter 8 Tablespoons (113g)
  • Eggs large 2 (100g)
  • Salt pinch
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
  • Cake Flour 2 Tablespoons (15g)
  • Raspberry Jam ¼ cup
  • ¼ Recipe Cookie Dough
  • Baking Apples 3 medium
  • Apple or Apricot Jelly*optional for glaze ¼ cup
Instructions
  1. Prepare the sugar cookie recipe 1 day in advance, then prepare the tart shell. Keep it in the freezer until you are ready to use.
  2. I did not blind bake the tart shell here, the shell is filled raw and the entire tart and filling is baked together.
  3. Mix the frangipane filling by creaming the almond paste smooth.
  4. Add a bit of egg to help smooth it out, if your almond paste seems to be on the dry side.
  5. Add the softened butter and cream smooth.
  6. Add the salt and vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time.
  7. Add the cake flour last and mix just until combined.
  8. Spread the raspberry jam into the bottom of the raw tart shell
  9. Pour the frangipane filling into the tart shell.
  10. With a Mandoline "V" Slicer slice the un peeled apples (or slice by hand to 1/16 of an inch)
  11. Place the sliced apples on a microwaveable plate wrapped with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 45 seconds (Or you can steam the slices in a steamer basket just until pliable, not mushy!)
  12. Arrange the apples as shown in the video
  13. Sprinkle with granulated sugar *optional and bake in preheated 400°F oven directly on the pizza stone
  14. Turn the oven down to 375°F as soon as you place the tart in the oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the apples have started to caramelize and the filling is baked thoroughly. You can check that the filling is baked by moving one of the apple slices closer to the center and checking that the frangipane is not raw. It will be slightly puffed with no signs of raw filling. You can insert a toothpick and if moist crumbs are present, it is done
  15. Melt the apple jelly over a low heat and brush onto the apples immediately upon removing it from the oven.
  16. Cool before serving
Notes
Apple Raspberry Frangipane Tart can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days

Store in the refrigerator, wrapped well for longer storage- up to 8 days.

Best served warm or room temperature with ice cream or creme anglaise

VEGANIZE THIS RECIPE!

Vegan Apple Raspberry Frangipane Tart
 
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The cookie dough recipe can also be made vegan but substituting the butter for earth balance buttery sticks and flax eggs.
1 Egg= Ground Flax Seeds 1 Tablespoon (8g) + Hot Water 3 Tablespoons (45ml)
Combine and let stand for 15 minutes until thick, add to recipe in place of the egg
Author:
Serves: 1- 8" Tart
Ingredients
  • Almond Paste 8 ounces (226g)
  • Earth Balance Buttery Sticks 8 Tablespoons (113g)
  • Ground Flax Seeds 2 Tablespoon (16g)
  • Hot Water 6 Tablespoons (90ml)
  • Salt pinch
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
  • Cake Flour 2 Tablespoons (15g)
  • Raspberry Jam ¼ cup
  • ½ Recipe Cookie Dough
  • Baking Apples 3 medium
  • Apple or Apricot Jelly*optional for glaze ¼ cup
Instructions
  1. Prepare the sugar cookie recipe 1 day in advance, then prepare the tart shell. Keep it in the freezer until you are ready to use.
  2. I did not blind bake the tart shell here, the shell is filled raw and the entire tart and filling is baked together.
  3. Mix the frangipane filling by creaming the almond paste smooth.
  4. Add the softened earth balance and cream smooth.
  5. Add the salt and vanilla extract and the flax eggs
  6. Add the cake flour last and mix just until combined.
  7. Spread the raspberry jam into the bottom of the raw tart shell
  8. Pour the frangipane filling into the tart shell.
  9. With a Mandoline "V" Slicer slice the un peeled apples (or slice by hand to 1/16 of an inch)
  10. Place the sliced apples on a microwaveable plate wrapped with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 45 seconds (Or you can steam the slices in a steamer basket just until pliable, not mushy!)
  11. Arrange the apples as shown in the video
  12. Sprinkle with granulated sugar *optional and bake in preheated 400°F oven directly on the pizza stone
  13. Turn the oven down to 375°F as soon as you place the tart in the oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the apples have started to caramelize and the filling is baked thoroughly. You can check that the filling is baked by moving one of the apple slices closer to the center and checking that the frangipane is not raw. It will be slightly puffed with no signs of raw filling. You can insert a toothpick and if moist crumbs are present, it is done
  14. Melt the apple jelly over a low heat and brush onto the apples immediately upon removing it from the oven.
  15. Cool before serving
Notes
Apple Raspberry Frangipane Tart can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days


Store in the refrigerator, wrapped well for longer storage- up to 8 days.


Best served warm or room temperature with coconut ice cream!
 

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How to Bake The Perfect Pie

how-to-bake-the-perfect-pie

With Thanksgiving in sight, I want to give you some tips on how to bake the perfect pie.

I remember one of my Chef instructors at the Culinary Institute of America once said: “No matter what you do, even if it is a boring old apple pie, be sure to do it the best you can do.”

This always stuck with me, but I want to elaborate on that “boring old apple pie” since to me, it’s not so boring.

I mean pie in general though.

Have you heard the term “easy as pie”?

Well, pie may not be so easy after all~ at least not until we can master some of their finicky behaviors; and depending on what type of pie you are making those behaviors can change like the wind!

There are 2 kinds of pies, 1 that we call “cold preparation” and one that we call “baked preparation”

I’m sure some of you can name dozens of them off the top of your head that fall into either category but for those who may not be familiar with what I mean by “cold prep” it is basically a pie that is not going to be baked.

For example: Chocolate Cream, Banana Cream, Coconut Cream, Lemon Meringue, or Key Lime Pie just to name a few.

This type of pie is where you are basically just pouring in an already cooked (or not cooked, in the case of the chocolate mousse pie) filling into a prebaked pie shell.

Now we are opening up a can of worms here, because now you have more choices for the actual pie shell!

Typically in cold prep pies I like to make cookie crusts rather than pie dough crusts but I have done them both ways of course.

To me there is nothing better than a crunchy Oreo cookie crust in a silky chocolate mousse pie!

It is really your preference though.

If you decide to go the traditional route and make a pie dough pie shell, you will have to pre-bake it first. Also known as Blind Baking the pie shell

Since you surely will not be baking a pie filled with Chocolate or Nutella Mousse, you definitely have to bake that pie shell first!

I use dried beans as my pie weights and a piece of parchment paper to make sure my dough doesn’t go flopping!

If you click the link above for Blind Baking a Pie Shell you can read more about that whole process.

Now onto perfecting the “baked pie” method.

We are talking the Coconut Custard, Pumpkin, Peach, Pecan and Apple Pie types.

These are your what’s known as the “easy as pie” varieties……or are they??

Here is the trouble with a pie like that.

Pouring filling into a raw pie shell and baking it altogether will often times leave you with a soggy bottom crust because all that heavy filling (and in the case of pumpkin pie or a coconut custard- the filling is LIQUID!) making it almost impossible to ever bake properly.

Now here’s the interesting thing about this.

When I owned my bakery many moons ago, I had what is called a “deck oven” more commonly referred to as a pizza oven.

You know, the kind the guys at the pizzeria use everyday and bake your pizza directly on the”deck” giving your pizza a nice browned crispy crust on the bottom.

Well, that kind of oven is superior for not just Pizza Pies, but bakery pies too!

Now of course we don’t have deck ovens in our homes, so I recently came up with an idea to simulate the professional bakery oven and that is: baking your pie on a pizza stone.

Get your oven preheated to whatever the recipe calls for WITH THE STONE IN THE OVEN to get it nice and hot!

Then bake your pie directly on the stone and you will have a nicely browned NON-soggy crust for all your pies!

Alternatively, for those who do not have a pizza stone, you can go the method of blind baking the crust first, but not all the way- just until it is starting to turn pale not even golden, then add the filling, top with your other pie crust (yes it stays in place even after that slight baking – watch my Peach Pie Video and I do exactly that!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mixed Berry Cheesecake Tart

mixed-berry-cheesecake-tart

I was flipping through my recipe archives the other day and happened upon this recipe from about 20 years ago!

I couldn’t wait to share it with you all because I just know how much you will love it!

This is a building on recipes to the MAX!

Think: Mixed Berry Compote meets Cheesecake meets sugar cookie dough!

It is really simple to assemble this tart once you have the sugar cookie dough prepared ahead of time.

You will have a really nice rustic dessert in just about 30 minutes!

And it will probably be gone even faster than that!

Here I used a mixture of blackberries, blueberries & strawberries here but feel free to change it up with whatever combo you like!

Mango Cheesecake Tart anyone!?

Oh by the way, you will need a Tart Pan of course to make this tart!


Mixed Berry Cheesecake Tart
 
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Author:
Serves: 1-8" Tart
Ingredients
  • Cream Cheese 1 - 8ounce bar (226g)
  • Unsalted Butter 2 Tablespoons (28g)
  • Granulated Sugar ¼ cup (50g)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  • Egg large 1 (50g)
  • Mixed Berries 2 cups
  • Granulated Sugar 2 tablespoons (28g)
  • Cornstarch 1 tablespoon (10g)
  • Lemon Zest 1
  • Lemon Juice ½
  • Egg wash
  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • ½ Recipe Sugar Cookie Dough
Instructions
  1. Prepare the sugar cookie dough in advance (preferably the day before)
  2. Roll out the tart shell and pre bake it in a preheated 350°F oven for 12-15 minutes until light golden brown
  3. Prepare the cheesecake filling by creaming the softened cream cheese and butter together until smooth
  4. Add the granulated sugar and mix smooth
  5. Add the vanilla extract and then the egg
  6. Pour into the pre baked tart shell
  7. Combine the mixed berries with the other measure of granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice & zest.
  8. Pile the berries on top of the cheesecake batter
  9. Roll out the remaining cookie dough to ¼" thickness and make a lattice top to go over the fruit.
  10. Egg wash & sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
  11. bake in preheated 350° oven for 30 minutes or until the cookie dough lattice is golden browned.
  12. Cool completely before serving.
Notes
Cheesecake tart must stay refrigerated.

It will last for up to 6 days in the refrigerator or 2 months in the freezer wrapped well
 

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Pecan Pie Recipe

pecan-pie

I have been on a mission to find the best Pecan Pie Recipe since I was about 14 years old.

My first waitress job at the Minuteman Restaurant in Morristown NJ introduced me to a chocolate chip version of a Pecan Pie and from that day forward I was in love.

Now there are some very interesting Pecan Pie recipes out there.

Southerners may be the most bold when it comes to adding Bourbon!

I gotta tell ya, am not against that!

Yummmy! it sure does kick it up!

But in the interest of most people being against alcohol in their cooking, I will leave it out. (If you wish to add a splash I won’t tell!) (2 tablespoons will give it a nice kick!)

I have seen recipes with flour and those without and I have tried them both ways.

I have to be honest, I am a flour lover.

I really like it when my pie stays together bound lightly by the addition of flour.

Well, enough jabbering and trying to explain it, just TRY IT!

I hope you love my pecan pie recipe just as much as I do, and oh by the way- the orange zest…………………………………

Yeah….You will LOVE this!

Oh wait~ one last thing! With or without chocolate chips is your option.

If you choose to keep them out, make no adjustments except for the sadness you will feel when you realize you have made a grave mistake.

Just kidding!

More chips for me!


Pecan Pie
 
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Preheat oven to 350°F
Pie dough must be made ahead of time, in order to prepare the pie shell.
Blind Bake if desired
Author:
Serves: 1-9" Pie
Ingredients
  • ½ Recipe Pie Dough
  • Light Corn Syrup (or REAL Maple Syrup) ¾ cup (240g) (180ml)
  • Packed Dark Brown Sugar (or light is OK too) ¾ cup (158g)
  • All Purpose Flour 3 Tablespoons (24g)
  • Orange Zest from 1 large orange
  • Eggs Large 3 (150g)
  • Unsalted Butter 4 Tablespoons (56g)
  • Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons
  • Salt pinch
  • Pecan Halves 1½ cup (150g)
  • Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips 1 cup (170g)
Instructions
  1. Blind Bake the pie shell while preparing the pie ingredients.
  2. No need to cool the shell if you are ready at the same time the pie shell is done.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the brown sugar, flour and salt and whisk smooth.
  4. Add the corn syrup, eggs, vanilla extract, orange zest (and optional bourbon or brandy) and melted butter and whisk smooth.
  5. Add the pecans (and optional chocolate) and mix to coat evenly
  6. Pour the entire mixture into the pie shell and bake in a preheated oven at 350° F for approximately 45 minutes to an hour or until it has puffed and the center is not liquid, the same toothpick test that works fro brownies is appropriate here! No liquid should be on the pick, but very moist crumbs
  7. Cool completely and garnish with optional chocolate dipped pecan halves
  8. Serve warm but not piping hot. You must allow ample cooling for the filling to set so it is not too runny.
Notes
Pecan Pie can be stored at room temperature for 1 day, but longer storage requires refrigeration for up to 7 days.
 

 

 

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