Blueberry Pie

July is blueberry month here in Vermont, and what better way to celebrate the advent of this tasty fruit is with blueberry pie!

Ingredients:

Crust :
2 cup all purpose flour
1 T. sugar
1 tsp salt
6 T unsalted butter
4 T Crisco
5 – 6 T. ice water

Filling:
6-7 cups of blueberries
juice and rind of one lemon
3/4 cups of sugar
3 T tapioca
.5 tsp mace

Combine flour, sugar and salt in Cuisinart. Blend. Add butter and crisco. Pulse til just blended. Add ice water by the T. until it starts to come together. Gather into a ball. Divide in half. Make 2 rounds, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl and toss.

Roll out the bottom crust 2 inches larger than your pie plate. Lay in pie plate. Fill with blueberry filling. Roll out top crust and cover. Crimp edges. Cut vents in the top.

Beat 1 egg yolk with 1 tsp water. Brush the top of the pie. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake on a sheet pan in a 400 degree oven approximately 50 minutes.

HALF WAY THROUGH COVER WITH TIN FOIL AS THE EGG WILL BROWN THE CRUST QUICKLY.

Serves 8 – 10

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Pear Tarte Tartin

This is a classic recipe usually made with apples. I love it with pears. Sometimes I also add raspberries to the dish.

Ingredients

Pear Tart Tartin BakedFILLING

3 or 4 ripe and flavorful pears. I used Bartletts
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup of white sugar
4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
Whipped cream, optional

TARTE TARTIN PASTRY CRUST

1 cup of all purpose flour
.5 tsp salt
1 stick of cold unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
2 – 3 Tablespoons of ice water as needed

One Black Cast Iron Skillet, 10 inch

Prepare the crust: pulse the flour and salt in a Cuisinart with the metal blade. Add the butter and pulse until small pieces form. Add the egg yolk , pulse. Add the water 1 T. at a time until it pulls from the sides of the bowl. Form in to a flat disk and refrigerate for atleast an hour.

When ready to assemble roll the dough out a bit larger than the pan. Flip over the pears and tuck the sides down around the pears.

FILLING

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Peal and quarter the pears. Sprinkle with the lemon juice to coat. Place the sugar in the pan over a low hear. When some of the sugar starts to melt begin stirring with a wooden spoon until it is all melted and begins to turn a light golden color.

Pear Tart Tartin UnbakedRemove the pan from the heat. Arrange the pears in the pan with the rounded side down. I have messed this up more than once so remember that the pan will be flipped and you want the rounded side up for the final presentation.

Fill the center with a piece of pear and fill in where needed with smaller pieces. Or fill in with fresh raspberries.

Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter over the pears. Place back on the stove top at medium heat. Cook until the sugar turns a deep caramel color and the juices released from the fruit has nearly evaporate. 15 – 20 minutes.

Roll out the dough and cover the pears, tucking the sides DOWN INTO the pan.

Bake for 25 – 30 minuted or until the crust is golden. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Using a knife run it around the edges of the pan. CAREFULLY place a larger plate over the pan. Using two hands and two pot holders, carefully flip the pan over releasing the tarte on to the platter.

Serve with whipped cream

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Challah Bread

Challah BreadEveryone seems to like this Challah Bread recipe. It is the traditional Friday night Shabbat offering. I make it for our Havarah and add raisins to this round version for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This recipe makes three normal sized loaves, either round or straight. For weddings and Bar Mitzvahs I use the whole recipe to make one large loaf.

Ingredients:

2 packages or dry yeast ( 2 Tbs )
.5 cup of warm water
pinch of sugar

5 whole eggs
3/4 cup of sugar
.5 cup vegetable oil
1.5 cup warm water
1 Tbs kosher salt
9 – 10 cups of all purpose flour

1 egg mixed with 1 Tbs of water
poppy seeds or sesame seeds for garnish
Optional: 1 cup of raisin, golden or dark

Mix yeast, warm water and a pinch of sugar in a large measuring cup. While this is blooming beat 5 eggs in a stranding mixer bowl. Add 3/4 cups of sugar and beat again. Add the yeast mixture. Beat lightly. Mix in .5 cup of oil and 1.5 cup of water with the 1 tbs salt.

Once this is all together slowly add 2 – 3 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Slowly add the remaining 6 or 7 cups of flour. The weather seems to determine how much I add. Once this is done and all flour is in, turn out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and turn into an oil coated bowl for rising. Cover with a lid or dish towel. If using raisins you can mix them in using the mixer or when forming into loaves.

Let rise twice, punching down between risings. Know that you can also put this in the refrigerator overnight to hold and rise if you are running out of time. Let it come to room temp. before trying to work with it.

Now here’s the fun part. Punch down and divide into thirds. Divide each third into three long coils. Braid these coils and place on a parchment lined pan. Brush with the egg water mixture. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

I have a commercial size oven so I can put them all on a full sheet pan to bake at once.

Turn the oven to 140 and put the challah in the oven for 20 minutes. Raise the oven temp to 200 and bake for 15 minutes. Raise the temp to 275 and bake for 15 minutes. Finally raise the oven temp to 375 and bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. If browning too fast cover with tin foil. I start on the bottom rack and turn and raise to the upper rack half way through cooking or when I turn the temp up for the last time. Let cool completely in the pan or on a wire rack.

Serve and make everyone happy! Shabbat Shalom

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Irish Soda Bread

I’m making Gravlax for a party this week and love to serve this bread with it.  It’s also good with cream cheese and Nova.

Irish Soda BreadMakes two loaves.

Ingredients:

6 cups whole wheat flour
2 cup all purpose flour
2 scant  tsp salt
2 Tbl sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 cup currents ( optional)
2 Tbl Whole Fennel Seed ( chopped or crushed )
3 eggs
6 Tbl melted unsalted butter
3.5 cups of buttermilk

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter two long loaf pans.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl , including the fennel and currents if using. Stir until well combined.

NOTE:  For the fennel, I put it in a plastic bag and hit it with my food mallet until it is broken down.

In a large measuring cup measure the buttermilk. Add the eggs and whisk. Add the melted butter and whisk again. Add this to the flour mixture.  Stir until well combined using a rubber spatula and then your hands. Turn out onto a floured board.

Divide in half. Knead each piece until workable and shape into the form of the pan. Long ropes. Place in the buttered pans. Cut crosses on each loaf.

Bake at 375 for 30 – 40 minutes until lightly browned, depending on the heat of your oven. Let sit in the pan 20 minutes and then turn out. Let rest.

Slice thinly to serve with salmon of your choice, or other smoked fish.
Garnishes could include cream cheese, mustard sauce, dill, chopped red onion, capers.

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