Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cherry Clafoutis

My inlaws recently gifted us a small chest freezer, the perfect size for our small apartment. No more will I lament the lack of freezer space an apartment sized above fridge freezer allows!

Perhaps I overdid it a bit with 30 pounds of cherries...in any case, 70 cups later; stemmed, washed, pitted and sliced - plus pre measured for pies and I'm a happy girl.

Three cups leftover equals just the right amount for clafoutis!

Cherry Clafoutis
Martha Stewart
Serves 8

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds cherries, pitted
3 tablespoons flour
pinch salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 large whole eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, scraped of seeds
3 tablespoons kirsch

Heat oven to 375F. Butter a 10 inch porcelain tart dish, fill with cherries and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Add the sugar. Gradually whisk in whole eggs, egg yolks, milk and cream. Add vanilla bean scrapings and kirsch, whisk to combine.

Strain the batter through a sieve placed over the reserved cherries. Transfer clafoutis to oven, bake until puffed and browned, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly; dessert will sink slightly. Dust with confectioner's sugar, serve.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Apple Hand Pies

I found a Pampered Chef Cut n Seal at the thrift store for $.25! Wanted to use it as soon as possible, and I had a handful of translucent apples in my crisper...so I made Apple Hand Pies.

We're loving these 3 or 4 bite hand pies - no fork or plate necessary! Perfect for lunches, picnics, and more!

A recipe is almost unnecessary, really, but to wit:

Apple Hand Pies
Makes 2 dozen

1 recipe your favorite chunky applesauce (find my favorite here)
1 recipe your favorite pie crust (find my favorite here)
egg wash
sprinkling sugar

Using a 24 section mini muffin tin, spoon approximately 1-1 1/2 tablespoons applesauce into each cup. Freeze till the applesauce can hold it's shape but is not frozen solid.

In the meantime, prepare your pie dough. Use the Cut n Seal (without using the crimper) to cut out approximately 24 circles. Set aside half of these circles. With the remaining pie dough circles, make the top crusts of the hand pies by using an hors d'oeuvres cutter to cut out decorative shapes. You can also make simple slashes in the dough or use a paring knife to work free hand. The more opportunities the steam has to escape will make for a more flaky crust.

Brush half of the cut out dough circles with egg wash and place 1 frozen applesauce chunk in the center of these circles. Lay a top crust over the applesauce and using the palm of your hand, flatten gently. Repeat till you've used all of your cut out circles.

Using the Cut n Seal, seal each hand pie. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. If desired, add the cut out shapes to each hand pie.

Hand pies can be frozen at this point, or baked immediately.

Bake the hand pies in a 350 F oven on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet for 30-35 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.

You don't have to have the Cut n Seal to make this recipe. Use a medium sized round cookie cutter to cut out the circles, and use a fork to crimp and seal the edges.