1 portion rough puff pastry as per my Saskatoon Berry Pie recipe
1/2 cup sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons cherry brandy liqueur
1 Tablespoon amaretto liqueur
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
3 Tablespoons warmed orange marmalade, sieved to remove the peel
1 egg beaten with
1 teaspoon milk
Preheat your oven to 400F
With the pastry divided into 2 as per original Saskatoon Berry Pie, roll to thickness 4mm thick. Using a 9″ plate or cake pan bottom, cut a disc shape from the pastry and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill, and repeat with the second portion of pastry on a separate lined baking sheet. You should now have 2 discs of pasty chilling in the refrigerator while you move on to making the filling
In a medium bowl combine the sugar and softened butter. Beat with an electric whisk until pale and well combined
Add the eggs, cherry brandy, amaretto, almond extract, cornstarch and whisk until well combined
Add in the ground almonds and fold to combine well
Once combined, cover and chill in the refrigerator
Remove one disc of chilled pastry (still on lined baking tray) from the refrigerator and brush on the warmed marmalade, leaving a 1″ border to the pastry disc
Transfer your almond mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle and pipe the filling mixture on top of the marmalade, keeping the 1″ border. Using a palette knife or spatula smooth the top of the filling for any major dips or bumps
Liberally wet the border area with water
Remove second disc of chilled pastry from your refrigerator and careful place on top of the first filled disc (I invert the second disc whilst on it’s baking parchment baking and then peel to remove the parchment). Press the edges over the wet area to seal the edge of the pastries
Using a knife (or a chopstick) push into the galette edge to crimp/ scallop it
Brush the top of the galette with the finishing egg mixture until fully covered and golden. Avoid brushing the side of the galette
Using a sharp knife or bakers lame, cut a decorative pattern into the top of the pasty, careful not to go the full way through
Transfer to your preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown (There may be some leakage of butter form the filling)
Once baked remove from the oven and transfer to cooling rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing
So I’m a sucker for cravings. Once I get something in my mind that’s it- I won’t rest until I’ve tasted it. That was that was the case with this cherry cobbler. Sure it’s a cheat’s version- using canned pin filling. But I craved it and the quicker I got it the better. Also lets face it- using canned filling cuts down on the stove-time involved in the making off this. If you feel so inclined, go right ahead with your favorite mix of cherries that you might use for your fillings. I’m definitely not one to dictate how you should run your kitchen.
The topping here is an adaption of a regular biscuit dough that I use to biscuit top stews and casseroles. Here I’ve slightly upped the sugar for a sweeter finish, adding in some cinnamon and oats for a more rustic dessert finish.
I love the flavor combination of cherries and almonds, thinking that it’s one of the best out there. Food trivia moment- both are linked by the compound Benzaldehyde, which is the second most popular flavor and fragrance after vanillin. Baking- educational too! (Darn! now I’m thinking I need to make a Cherry Bakewell…curse you infernal cravings!
With the use of pie filling these are so quick and easy that even making them in the current warmer weather can be justified. Plus adding a scoop of your favorite ice cream on top even more so!
1 can 540ml (20 oz) cherry pie filling
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup toasted, flaked almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Jumbo rolled oats
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup milk
4 Tablespoon Turbinado sugar
Butter four 0.25L ramekins
In a bowl mix the pie filling and the almond extract. Divide the pie filling equally among the ramekins
Sprinkle the tops of the pie filling with the toasted almond flakes. Set them aside on a foil-lined baking sheet until later
Preheat oven to 375 F
In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, ground cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine
Add the melted butter and milk, stirring just until moistened. The biscuit batter will be quite thick and lumpy. Drop batter by heaping scoopfuls onto the filling
Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the biscuit dough
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until biscuits are browned and filling is hot and bubbly
Leave to cool for about 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
It’s National Macaroon Day! So let’s celebrate these li’l nuggets of sweet coconutty goodness in all their chewy, toasty glory! These are fantastic treats which can have a universal appeal since they are in effect gluten-free. Any leavening required is done via the addition of whipped egg whites.
Speaking of additions in this recipe I’ve included a gentle tipple of almond liqueur in a reference to the cookies almond based begins. I also find that the combination of coconut and almond works really well. Think of these as a pimped up version of the fondly loved Almond Joy or Bounty bars for the grown-ups!
Don’t get me wrong – these also taste great without the addition of the alcohol. The added benefit being you can get the kids involved in the making of and then reward them for their efforts. It’s smiles all round!
Think of this as a pimped up Fruit & Nut bar. For me the recipe brings to mind a stroll through the woods and spying all the wild bounty. In fact, if I were anyone else, a foraging trip. Crunchy toasted almonds give a wonderful textural contrast to the smooth, creamy fudge studded with blueberry flavor. Being dried their flavor is that little bit more concentrated and works really well to provide pops of berry to counter the fudge becoming too cloying. As for the maple syrup? Well, IMO everything tastes better with maple syrup!
By the way- a date for your diary? May 12th is Nutty Fudge Day. There you have it- a perfect reason to try this recipe!
Line the bottom and sides of a 8″x 8″ x (at least) 2″ deep pan with baking parchment, leaving about 2” overhang on both the long sides
In a large, heavy saucepan bring the maple syrup to a boil over medium heat; simmer for 5 minutes, making sure to keep a very close watch as the syrup can rise quite a lot as it boils. If it starts to rise, lift the pan off the heat for a few seconds to allow the syrup to drop
After 5 minutes, pour in the evaporated milk and without stirring (but you can swirl the pan) bring the mixture back to the boil, be careful in case it bubbles and rises again, and let it simmer until it reaches 236°F (Soft Ball stage) on a candy thermometer. This usually takes about 20 minutes. It may be tempting to walk away but DON’T!
As soon as the mixture reaches that temperature, carefully remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter pieces to the pot but do not stir it in. Let the mixture cool for about 6 minutes
Carefully transfer the mixture a stand mixture bowl, scraping using heat-proof spatula and using the paddle attachment beat for about 6-7 minutes on high speed, until the sugar mixture gets thicker and lighter in color. It may look like it has crystalized, or separated, but beat on nonetheless
After the mixing time has passed fold in the dried blueberries and almonds
Transfer the fudge to the prepared pan, spreading to the edges. You may need to work quickly here as the fudge will start to the firm up
Transfer to the fridge until completely set, about 2 to 3 hours
Lift the fudge from the pan and cut into squares with a sharp knife. Dipping the knife into hot water and wiping dry between cuts helps to get smooth, clean cuts. The number of pieces will depend on the size of your cuts. I usually get 21-24 pieces
Store in a cool dry place in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Best served at room temperature
Almonds are a favorite of mine, no matter what the form. Whether it’s the sweet grainy Niederegger of Lubeck; soft indulgent amaretti of Italy or the crisp, salt sprinkled Grecian bar treats- I’m in. I get they can be divisive. Not everyone can take to the vaguely chemical woodiness of the nuts but whatever the form I remain a fan.
The lure of the almond nut has been such throughout time that people have even braved the high levels of hydrocyanic acid (HCN) of the wild, bitter almond to partake of it. Eating 50, or less, of the wild nut could potentially kill an adult with cyanide poisoning. Yet such was the allure of the nut that there are recipes from as far back as the 4th century as to how to neutralize the nutty nastiness within. St. Basil’s Hexaemeron, a Christian text from around the fourth century, contains the following guidance:
“Pierce an almond tree in the trunk near its roots, stick a fat plug of pine into its center and its almond seeds will undergo a remarkable change.”
It would seem that the introduction of a foreign botanical sample triggers a metabolic reaction which neutralizes the trees natural HCN production. I can’t testify to the effectiveness of this trick so in the words of all good PBS science programs- please don’t try this at home. But fear not folks, thanks to a genetic mutation thousands of years ago, modern domesticated sweet almonds are delicious and safe to eat. Unless consumed in massive quantities wherein constipation; Vitamin E overdose and weight gain (to name a few) might result. Everything in moderation as they say! Enough serious talk- you came here to bake (or accidentally got redirected here whilst researching Michael Keaton’s back catalogue).
In my view almonds and pears are one of those quintessentially ideal pairings for baking with. Maybe it’s because they both conjure up images of lush, bacchanal orchard woodlands in my head? Or maybe it’s some other more exacting culinary scientific reasoning unbeknownst to me. As it is, this time of year with bumper pear crops just begs for some autumnal-tinged goods to be baked in the kitchen. I love this recipe as it’s very much a no-fuss, rustic as you come affair. Cooking it in a skillet means no tin, springform or otherwise, to faff around with and presentation is as easy as pie (or should that be “cake” here? If you’re serving it warm why not go the whole way and slide a dollop of ice cream next to it on the plate? I can whole-heartedly recommend a French vanilla morphing into ribbons of silky, creaminess aside the fragrant cake.
I will hold my hands up and admit this – I also use the simple icing sugar dusting to hide the lack of my Instagram worthy pear pinwheel finish to the top of the cake. Of all the times I’ve made this cake I’ve only maneged the fluke of getting the pears to bake atop the surface twice. More often than not the pears sink that little bit and the batter rises that little bit so the pear slices get engulfed in the finish cake with morsels subtly peaking out here and there. Not that this is a bad thing I suppose? It could be argued that this adds an extra layer of interest with unexpected bites of fruitness throughout the cake. My point is don’t beat yourself up too much about not having the “pear wheel” on top or how it looks- this will taste seriously good anyway!
1 cup and 2 Tbspns (separated) salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups fine sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup AP flour
1/4 tspn kosher salt
1 Tbspn ground ginger
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 medium Bosc pears, cored and sliced into 8 vertically
Icing sugar, to dust
Preheat oven to 350°F, and place a 10″ cast iron skillet in to heat through
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until pale and fluffy, I usually do it for 6- 8 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl halfway through
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition
In a small separate bowl, whisk together ground almonds, flour, salt and ground ginger. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition
Beat in both the extracts until combined. Set mixture aside for now
Carefully remove the hot skillet from oven and melt the 2 Tbspns butter on it, swirling to coat the bottom and sides
Spoon batter into the heated, greased skillet and lightly spread to an even layer.
Arrange pear slices in a pinwheel fashion over the top of the batter
Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove and let the pan cool in pan for 10 minutes. Dust with icing sugar, and serve warm
The finished cake can be sliced and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days