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22 October 2009 @ 03:52 pm
For the sweet pie pastry

8oz/225 g soft butter

10oz/280 g caster sugar

1lb 4oz/550 g strong white flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

9floz/250 ml double cream

* Mix the butter and sugar together in a bowl with a wooden spoon.

* Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together.

* Add half of the flour mix to the butter and sugar and mix again with a wooden spoon until a smooth paste is formed, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

* Add the rest of the flour and bring to a “breadcrumb stage” by mixing. Pour the double cream into the mixture and mix to make a smooth dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before rolling. (Alternatively you can by good quality sweet pastry in a supermarket.)

For the filling

5oz/150 g butter

1 vanilla pod

7oz/200 g caster sugar

4 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and diced

4 Cox’s apples, peeled, cored and diced

* Put the butter in a saucepan and place over a moderate heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the butter, adding the caster sugar (may need to add more depending on sweetness of the apples).

* Add a third of the diced apples (mixed together) and cook until soft, then add another third, again cooking until soft. The mixture should begin to appear like a puree. Finally add the remaining apples and cook until soft.

* Take the mixture off the heat before the last lot of diced apples lose their cubed shape. As a nice addition you can throw in a handful of soaked raisins at this stage.

To assemble the pie

* Grease and sugar 6 little apple pie tins or muffin tins. Roll out the dough to about ½ cm thick. Cut a round disk for the base and a smaller disk to fit the top of the pie tin (you will want to make it a bit bigger than the top of the tin). Cut a small hole in the middle of the lid to allow the steam to escape when cooking.

* Take the base and line the tin (making sure you press the dough into the corners of the tin). Fill the lined pie base with the apple mixture, almost to the top. Place the pastry lid on top.

* Using your thumb press the edge of the lid on to the top of the base (this is called crimping). Glaze the pies with an egg white beaten with 1tbsp caster sugar.

* Rest the pies in the fridge for 20 minutes.

* Preheat to 180C/350F/Gas4. Bake the pies for 12 - 14 minutes, until the pastry is set and just beginning to colour.

* Turn the pies out of the tin once they have cooled a little but are still warm. (If you turn the pies out when they are too hot they may collapse.)
05 October 2009 @ 07:27 am
2 (20 ounce) rolls chocolate chip cookie dough
2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (softened)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs

Freeze rolls of cookie dough; slice one roll of frozen cookie dought into 40 (1/8th in) slices. Arrange cookie slices in a well greased 15x10x1 in pan. Press cookie dough together to form bottom crust. (It doesn't have to be 40 slices, so long as the slices over the bottom, you're good)

Beat cream cheese at high speed of an electric mixer until light and fluggy, gradually add sugar, and mix well. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Pour cream cheese mixture over cookie dough layer in pan. (I usually dump everything all at once, I haven't followed this part of the recipe in a while, but I'll say it doesn't really make a difference either way. Just make sure the cream cheese is soft before you start)

Slice remaining frozen roll of cookie dough into 40 (1/8th inch) slices and arrange over cream cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares. Yield 4 dozen. Enjoy!
21 August 2009 @ 02:58 am
Vanilla Cupcakes

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup white sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin cups with paper liners.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture and beat. Add milk and continue to beat. Add the rest of the flour and continue beating until well combined.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
10 June 2009 @ 10:50 pm
So I think a good project for me to do (not during the summer, but in general for life) is to read all the books on this list. Or a least as many as possible. Hopefully my vocabulary will improve...somewhat.

As of:
6-10-09: 11/1001 (.01%)

the list with the books read crossed outCollapse )