I wrote this post last week, but it was put on hold because of more important things, such as the Pumpkin Patch and Halloween. Adam and I had the pleasure of going to Mexico a couple weeks ago for our good friends wedding. It was such a great week, there were a lot of our friends there and we got to hang out with them and do fun stuff like go ATVing, swimming in the ocean at 1 am, playing football in the pool, eating ice cream for lunch. The typical vacation stuff. We’re both tanned, and settling back into the reality of work and school. Definitely wishing we were back on the beach, or cooling off in the pool.
It was a beautiful wedding ceremony on the beach, and the weather was perfect. We also had a delicious dinner afterwards!
I think the bride and I are already planning on re-creating the cream corn soup we had for the second course. It was so delicious! Everything went smoothly, and Adam was one of the groomsmen. He cleans up rather nicely ;).
The weekend before we left was Thanksgiving, and I made a pumpkin tart. I absolutely love anything with pumpkin. Who doesn’t? A traditional pumpkin pie is a must at the dinner table for holidays in the fall/winter. I used my new rectangle tart pan, you may have seen it here for my winning pecan tart recipe.
If you make a tart, you will have enough filling left over for small tartlets. I suggest making them, and if you don’t eat them all they freeze really well. Perfect for snacking.
(If you make this as a tart, you’ll have filling left over, which you can use to make mini-tartlets; bake the minis at 400 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes.)
- makes 6 to 8 servings -
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
Single crust pie dough
2 cups (canned) unsweetened pumpkin puree
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Lightly sweetened lightly whipped cream, for topping
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat and put the pie plate (or tart pan) on it.
Pour all ingredients into a stand mixer, and beat on medium with whisk attachment, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Rap the work bowl or mixing bowl against the counter to burst any surface bubbles, and pour the filling into the crust.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and continue to bake for 35 to 45 minutes longer (20 to 25 minutes for a tart), or until a knife inserted close to the center comes out clean. (If you don’t want to create a slash in your masterpiece, tap the pan gently—if the custard doesn’t jiggle, or only jiggles a teensy bit in the very center, it’s done.) Transfer the pie (or tart) to a rack and cool to room temperature.
This past weekend I entered a baking contest! It was the Second Annual Great BC Bake-Off held in Langely, hosted by Well Seasoned. It was a small part of a larger event, the BBQ on the Bypass. It is an all-day barbeque competition. There were free samples of every type of pork BBQ you could think of. It was delicious! I most definitely came home that day smelling of BBQ and smoke.
We were entertained by the wonderful Karen Lee Batten, a country singer from BC who was a finalist on the first season of Canadian Idol. Mom and I even got a picture with her between her show.
I had woken up early Sunday morning to prepare. I had made the tart dough the night before so that I would be ready to go in the morning, without having to wait for it to chill. I rolled out the dough, placed it carefully in my new rectangle tart pan(!), and began making the filling. It was only 8 am, and the kitchen already smelled of browned butter pecans and orange zest. It was wonderful. I even had a small amount left over to make a ‘mini’ tart, so I could taste test it ;) That was breakfast. Adam got up a little after me, I made him taste the tart (hard life!) and then we made our way out to Langley. Entries had to be submitted before noon.
There were about 30 pies in total entered in the contest. There were three categories, Fruit Pie, Open (anything goes), and Butter Tarts (of course). When I went to drop mine off, I did notice a few other Pecan pies/tarts that were also submitted. All of the pies looked very delicious! There were several judges, one of which was Follow Me Foodie.
We made our way around the BBQ tents, tasting what each had to offer. Adam was in BBQ heaven. By the second loop, I was pretty full! Adam’s mom and my mom met us there as well, so each time we took them around to the tents we had another sample. There was also homemade Perogies, and vegetarian Borscht. I can safely say no one was leaving the event hungry.
Adam and I had to stay until the awards ceremony, which said online, and on the entry form, was to be held at 4 pm. We had gone across the street for a little bit to shop, and returned around 3 to wait for the ceremony. As 4 o’clock passed, we began to wonder if it was going to begin soon. After asking an event coordinator, we were told it was actually at 5 pm. So, we sat down for another hour and listened to some more songs by Karen-Lee. If we had known earlier, I may have gone home for a few hours and perhaps done some homework.. but oh well. We also had a family dinner to get to at 5 pm.
However, the wait was worth it! My entry came in Second place! I was secretly hoping I would make some placement, after waiting around all day it would have been a little dissapointing if I did not. But, they did call my name! I came in second place for my Pecan tart! I was awarded a lovely ribbon (my first!) and a $100 gift certificate to the gourmet kitchen store, Well Seasoned. I thought only first place was going to receive a gift cetificate, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was going to be winning one as well! I have already begun thinking about what I may purchase with it..
I had only found out about the contest on the Tuesday before. So, I had to get moving! I made a whole pecan tart the next night, trying out a few new ideas and flavours. Then, the day before I made some mini tarts, using frozen dough just so I could try an idea I had after tweaking the filling recipe. That was it! I believe I had created something quite delicious.. !
me and the organizer Angie, photo from the flickr stream
So, here is my Award Winning recipe! The addition of the orange zest adds a lot of flavour to the filling! After making these brownies a few times before, I also decided to brown the butter instead of melting it in the microwave (because it also keeps exploding when I do that! anyone else have this problem of exploding butter..). I also wanted to do a tart dough with cream cheese, as I’ve heard of it before and thought it would be soft and prevent from an overly-hard crust that could be difficult to cut. I based mine off of this recipe I found.
This will definitely be making an appearance at our thanksgiving table this year :)
Royal Pecan Tart
Made with Crown Royal, Browned Butter Pecans & Orange Zest
Recipe by Bakeaholic
For the Crust
- 1/2 cup chilled cream cheese, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
To make the dough:
- Place the cream cheese, butter, flour and sugar in a food processor. Process until dough starts to form.
- Pour onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a ball.
- Flatten into a disk, and cover tightly with plastic wrap, being sure to seal all edges tightly.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or may be made and refrigerated for one night, or 24 hours in advance.
For the Filling:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Zest from 2 oranges
- 1 cups chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Just under 1/2 cup golden corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons organic blue agave syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Crown Royal Liquor
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out tart dough to ¼ inch thickness on slightly floured countertop.
I roll the dough over top of the rolling pin, and then unroll it over top of the pan. If using a round tart dish or pie plate, you would roll it in more of a circle, then fold it in half and then in a quarter, and place point in middle of pan and unfold.
Place over lightly buttered pan, and press down on sides and bottom lightly.
- Discard extra dough.
- Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat; cook two minutes, whisking until butter browns. Stir in pecans and cook a couple more minutes, continue stirring. Remove pan from heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs. Add orange zest, brown sugar, corn syrup, agave, Crown Royal and vanilla until well combined. Stir in pecans.
- Pour filling onto crust ¾ way full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until dough is golden brown and filling is set. Cool completely on wire rack. Best if served same day. Can be stored for 1-2 days.
Have you ever entered any baking or cooking contests!?
You can also make it in a round tart pan!
This Easter I was lucky enough to go to two easter dinners. And, both were different and unique. On Sunday I feasted on a traditional Italian dinner of Lasagna, Lamb, Smelt, Salad, Fried Artichoke hearts, Shrimp, Fennel etc. and delicious Italian desserts such as Torta Di Riso and Zuppa Inglese. On Saturday, I went to my boyfriends parents house for a turkey dinner! I love love love turkey dinners. It felt like christmas all over again, and the stormy weather made it feel even more like winter than spring! Even so, I felt like I wanted to make a truly spring-like dessert, and I had decided a week or so ago that it would be something with lemons. I think a lemon dessert is the epitome of spring, its tangy and sweet and usually on top of a delicious crust, be it graham or pastry.
This crust however, is a different story. I had decided on a recipe early on, thinking I would try something new, as I had made the Tarte Au Citron by Dorie before, I thought I would give something else a go. The ‘You Could Be in Paris’ Lemon Tart seemed promising, and looked even better. I was all ready to go, with a little distraction helper in the kitchen, and readied all the ingredients like a pro. I thought “this tart is going to be perfect!” I was right, ish.
You see, I had read all the ingredients and set them out on the counter, I began first with the crust, of course, and continued on my way. As I was making the crust I thought, how simple! I should tell you, I have never been a crust maker, not pies or tarts. For some reason It always turns out hard, even when I try to work it as little as possible. Now, this tart shell was appealing to me because I had never used melted butter, instead of cold butter to make the pastry. This intrigued me because I thought how could you possibly over work it. Well, you see I’m sure you can’t, but, you can however add about a cup too much of sugar, thus leaving you with a hardened tart shell.
Now I’m usually pretty careful when it comes to ingredients, but to no fault but my own, I didn’t realize all the ingredients were lumped into one, no differentiating between crust and filling. So, I measured out all my sugar and plopped it into the crust. When really, there was only supposed to be a 1/4 cup in the crust, and reserved the 1 cup for the filling. I did think to myself as I baked it “my, thats a shiny crust!” Oh well. It was delicious all the same, the filling was just tangy enough and smooth and creamy. I would recommend it if you love lemon, as I do, and you can even pretend you were in Paris.
I also had a smaller tart pan, so I moulded the rest of the dough into my tiny muffin tin and made mini ones. They were an excellent pre-dinner appy.
‘You Could Be In Paris’ Lemon Tart
from Luscious Lemon Desserts via Not so humble pie
For The Crust:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tbs. lemon zest
For the Filling:
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat your oven to 350°F and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Stir in one tablespoon of the lemon zest and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl or your food processor. Pour the butter into the bowl in a fine stream, mixing with a fork until well blended and it holds together when pinched. If using a food processor, blend the ingredients and then pour the butter into the feed tube and blend for roughly a minute.
- Empty the mixture into an 11″ tart pan with a removable bottom and press it with your fingertips to evenly line the sides and bottom.
- Bake the crust for 20 minutes, or until it is a light golden brown. Allow the crust to cool on a wire rack while making the filling.
- Process the remaining one cup of sugar with the remaining one tablespoon of lemon zest in your food processor for about 2-3 minutes, until the zest is finely ground.
- Pour the sugar into a bowl and add the eggs, lemon juice and whisk until smooth.
- Beat the 1/2 cup of heavy cream to soft peaks and then whisk the cream into the sugar/egg mixture until just blended. Pour this mixture into your still warm crust and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the filling is just set in the center.
- Allow the tart to cool completely.
- Just before serving, dust generously with powdered sugar, cut into wedges and enjoy.