Wednesday, January 14, 2009

TWD - Coming Soon :)

I made the savory corn pepper muffins...but life is a bit out of control at the moment. I will post the pictures/etc as soon as I can.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Sorry these pictures are a bit late. But here is a picture of the french pie tart fresh out of the oven...I think I maybe cooked it a few minutes too long. It was good, but I think I would have liked it better if the almond filling was a bit less cooked.

Some Birthday creating essentials...such as powdered sugar and a candle.

Picture before I lit the candle. I think the powdered sugar definitely makes it look better, you can't tell that the pears aren't symmetrical...and smooched in to one side.

And a picture of my officemate as she blew out the candle :)

I loved it, my officemate loved it...and my husband loved it (he is lucky he works nearby and got a piece at lunch ;). So all in all I would definitely make this recipe again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

TWD - French Pear Tart

So this week's TWD choice was picked by none other than Dorie Greenspan herself. Dorie has graciously answered many TWDer's questions throughout the past year. She picked a French Pear Tart and says that this week's recipe is her husband's favorite. You can find the recipe on Dorie's personal website or on pages 368 and 369 of Baking from My Home to Yours (by Dorie Greenspan). To be honest, I had to tweak this recipe ever so slightly. I have never made a tart...and therefore do not have a tart pan. So instead I just used a regular Pyrex pie plate and made the edges look all pretty :)

Also I do not have a food processor (even though my mom gave me hers over Christmas break...and I decided...perhaps leave it behind until we move in May). And this recipe tells you to use a food processor twice. For the dough I attempted to achieve the same results in a blender...I ended up having to scoop it all out and do most of the work by hand. For the almond cream filling, I just used her suggested alternate method of using my mixer with a whisk attachment.

Slight problem is that when I was at the grocery store this evening, I forgot that I needed corn starch. And as it is Tuesday already (really need to start being more on the ball about this group) and I was already at home...I found a substitution for cornstarch as 1 tsp Cornstarch = 2 tsp Flour. And I didn't buy blanched almonds (also forgot them at the store) but luckily I had whole natural ones in the freezer. So I looked up online how to blanch them. And maybe everyone knows what that means and how to do it, but I did not. Definitely leave them in the boiling water for at least a minute, I pulled them out early the first time and it was kind of difficult to get the skin off, I had to do it a second time and they came off super fast.

Sorry for the bad picture of peeled just took so much time I had to include it. Definitely make sure you boil them for a really should have been easy.

P.S. I also used the blender to grind up the almonds. Not sure if this is how I was supposed to do it, but it appears to have worked.

Here is the almost finished product.

So Dorie definitely says to use 6 pear halves...but in her post on her blog she only used 5 and everything is perfectly proportioned. As you can see mine are slightly smooched. And I am wondering if I shouldn't have pushed the pears into the almond filling...Dorie's pictures look a little different.

I am planning on giving this tart to my officemate tomorrow for her birthday. Her birthday was actually today, but she didn't say anything. I found out through facebook (silly I know). Also she is from South Korea, and I thought she needed something "birthday cake-ish". Oh and here is an interesting tradition I found out today. In South Korea they have a tradition of Birthday Soup. Apparently it is a tradition to give women who just have had babies a Seaweed and Beef Soup. It is super nutritious and helpful to new mothers. But it is also a tradition to eat the same type of soup on your birthday. It is called Miyeok guk in Korean, and here is a link to a site with a recipe. I think I might just have to give my hubby "birthday soup" for his birthday on the 25th.

It is late, and the pie wont be out for another 20 minutes or I will post the finished product, and maybe my officemate blowing out the candle(s) tomorrow :) I promise it was finished before midnight central time...I am just too tired to wait til after the tart comes out to finish this post ;)

Next week's recipe is Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins...yum.