Saturday, May 26, 2012

Poptarts with Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

I got the pastry recipe from Smitten Kitchen, who in turn tweaked it from King Arthur Flour

The jam I improvised using ideas from Bon Appetit for a roasted rhubarb and strawberry dessert.


For the pastry

2 cups all-purpose flour (or you can do 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup rye, like I did which was fabulous).
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk
1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)

For the Strawberry Rhubarb jam

2-2 1/2 cups hulled strawberries, chopped
4-5 stalks rhubarb trimmed and sliced thinly
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup sugar (I used half white, half brown sugar), or less if you prefer
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)


Start with the jam (since it needs time to cool).  Throw all of the ingredients into a saucepan, and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, stirring regularly as the fruits start to bubble and the sugar dissolves (to avoid burning the sugar at the bottom of the pan).  Scrape any scum off the top, and make sure to test the jam after about 15 minutes to make sure you're ok with the level of spices and flavor mixtures.  Continue to let the jam bubble away, and pull off the stove once the jam sticks to the spoon and isn't too runny.  Allow to cool to room temperature, or put the whole pot into the fridge to cool and thicken, stirring regularly so a film doesn't form across the top of the jam.

For the pastry dough, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. If you’ve used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter to distribute the butter.

Divide the dough in half , and shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate up to two days (but when it's time to roll it out, make sure it's at room temperature).

To assemble the pop tarts:  Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″. [You can use a 9" x 13" pan, laid on top, as guidance.] Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.

Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.

Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will get too puffed up. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.

Remove tarts from the fridge and bake for 25 minutes, until golden and brown.  Allow to cool in pan, then remove and enjoy!

P.S. The leftover jam is bomb.  We munched on it with brie wedges at work and it would be lovely also on pancakes, toast, or poundcake.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Strawberry Lemon Champagne Sorbet

Got this from Eat. Drink. Love., adapted slightly for moi.


2-2.5 cups uber-ripe strawberries (hulled), preferrably from a farmers market
2 lemons worth of zest and juice
1/3 cup filtered water
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup champagne
Handful of mint leaves


Smash the strawberries up, along with lemon zest in a blender.  Now, you can either (later) steep the mixture with the mint leaves then strain them (and the seeds) out, or you can zazz them up along with the strawberries and lemon zest here. Up to you!

Meanwhile, bring the sugar and water to a boil, then remove from heat. Make sure to stir so the sugar doesn't burn.  This will thicken slightly and be your simple sugar syrup.  Allow to cool slightly.

Combine the strawberry mixture with the lemon juice, champagne, and simple sugar syrup. Make sure to taste the awesomeness you want it more sweet? More sour?  Play with the flavors to your own palate here.

Place in a bowl and refrigerate for several hours before using your ice cream maker and following your manufacturer's instructions.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

French Lemon Yogurt Cake

For Maurice Sendak.  Adapted from Bon Appetit, shared by Andrew Knowlton.  This is a quick cake, like a banana bread or zucchini bread but with lemon and yogurt!  Lovely to meet you, perfect cake.  Lovely indeed.


1c all purpose flour
1/2c rye flour (alternatively you can use 1.5c all-purpose flour total)
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4c sugar
1 heaping tbsp. lemon zest (finely grated)
3/4 c. Greek yogurt
1/2c vegetable oil 
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a standard loaf pan with vegetable oil spray or butter and dust with flour; tap out excess.  

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl, rub the sugar together with the lemon zest with your fingers until the sugar is moist.  Add yogurt, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract and whisk to blend.  Fold in dry ingredients just to blend.  Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth the top.  Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes.  Let cake cool in pan for about 15 minutes, then remove to cool completely.