Key Lime Pie crust

Foundation recipes

Yield: crust for one 9-inch pie or 18 mini tarts
Recipe: 107/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 263

    This recipe is part of the “Key Lime Pie” recipe. I have not yet done the pie, but the crust was necessary for another recipe, so I will only show this part. Essentially, just mix together all the ingredients for the crust.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Stir together the flour, oil, sugar, honey, cinnamon and salt until it is a rough, crumbly texture.

Valerie

Sable Tart Shell

Foundation recipes

Yield: one 9-inch baked tart shell
Recipe: 91/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 108

    Next up: Lemon Tarte, also known as Tarte au Citron. To do this, of course, requires an appropriate and delicate tart shell.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake and pastry flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Beat the butter and the icing sugar together until fluffy using a hand or stand mixer.
  2. Stir in the egg, then add in the milk and vanilla extract.
  3. Stir in the flour and salt until the dough comes together as a ball. Note: the dough will be quite sticky.
  4. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and then chill it for at least two hours in the fridge, until firm.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Knead the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface to soften it just slightly. Dust the pastry with a little flour and roll in out to just over 11 inches in diameter and just under 1/4 inch thick. Line a 9-inch removable-bottom fluted tart pan and trim the dough that hangs over the edges. Chill the pastry for 20 minutes in the fridge, or for 10 minutes in the freezer.
  6. Placed the chilled tart pan on a baking tray. Dock the bottom of the pastry shell with a fork* and bake the dough for 20-24 minutes, until just the edges are golden brown and the centre of the shell looks dry. Cool completely before filling.

Notes from Anna:

  • Fill the tart shell soon after baking it, as it is fragile when not filled. However, the dough can be chilled for up to 3 days and then baked.

Notes from Valerie:

  • *So that the tart shell doesn’t shrink within the tart pan as it bakes, I strongly recommend that you place a layer of parchment paper or aluminium foil over the forked dough, then cover this with pie weights (or something heavy than can withstand high temperatures) to weigh down the shell as it bakes and bubbles.

Valerie

Basic White Sugar Cookie Dough

Foundation recipes

Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies
Recipe: 33/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 22

     I haven’t baked in a little while. I guess work and responsibilities took over my life these past weeks! Fortunately, I now have more time (if not I’ll make time!) to dedicate to my primary passion of baking. I felt like making cookies, more specifically Snickerdoodles! First, here is the foundation recipe for a white sugar cookie dough used for many cookies. This recipe is pretty straightforward and not complicated to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs and blend well after each addition with a stand or hand mixer.
  3. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar and salt to combine the ingredients.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing well with a stand or hand mixer.
  6. Follow instructions to make the appropriate cookies with this dough.

Valerie

Nut-Crust Tart Shell

Foundation recipes

Yield: one 9-inch baked tart shell
Recipe: 25/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 113

    This nutty dough recipe somehow looks good even before it is baked, even just rolled up in a ball. As seems to be often the case for me, I had a little trouble making this dough. I have now come to realize that I am not very good at making dough and crusts. Practice makes perfect, I guess! My main problem I think is that I tend to follow a recipe to the letter, even if I feel that something is amiss. In my case, it is usually water. This time I followed my gut and added a little extra water to ensure that the dough stays together. It did the trick. Of course I made this recipe for a specific dessert which I will post next: the rocky road tart (it looks as good as it sounds!).

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped nuts (e.g. walnuts, pecans, almonds or hazelnuts)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (90 mL) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, pulse the nuts and 2 tablespoons of the flour until the nuts are finely ground.
  2. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour, the sugar and the salt in the food processor. Pulse to blend.
  3. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture has a sandy texture.
  4. Add the cold water and pulse until the dough comes together in a ball. If necessary, add a little extra water to ensure that the dough is cohesive.
  5. Shape the dough into a disc a cover in plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator until the dough is firm, at least one hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a lightly floured surface, break the chilled dough into 4 pieces and knead them back together to soften them. Knead the dough briefly and roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness. Delicately transfer the dough to a 9-inch, removable-bottom tart pan. Make sure to press the dough into the corners and trim away the excess dough. Chill the dough for 10 minutes.
  7. Pierce the bottom of the dough with a fork. Place the tart pan on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown around the edges and dry in the centre. Let the tart shell cool prior to placing the filling.

Notes from Anna:

  • The dough can be frozen at step 5 if desired and thawed in the refrigerator before rolling.

Valerie

Basic Brown Sugar Cookie Dough

Foundation recipes

Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies
Recipe: 7/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 17

    It is finally that time of the year. My favorite time of the year: the holiday season! I simply love this period of the year spent amongst family and friends, baking and cooking, laughing and eating. It is that time of the year that I bake the most; for parties, for family, for gifts, etc. It is thus the perfect time to make oatmeal raisin cookies, my dad’s favorite! First, however, it was necessary to use a basic yet instrumental cookie dough recipe for such cookies. This basic brown sugar cookie dough recipe is the base for several types of cookies in Anna’s cookbook. Make sure to read the instructions to the specific cookie recipe to adapt this basic dough recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter, light brown sugar and sugar together until the mixture is fluffy.
  2. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until homogeneously blended.
  5. Follow instructions from the specific cookie recipe for particular additions and baking instructions.

Notes from Anna:

  • The cornstarch is the key ingredient in this recipe to obtain cookies that are tender and soft in the centre.
  • If you ever run out of light brown sugar, you can re-create it by adding 1 tablespoon of fancy molasses to a recipe for every cup of light brown sugar called for.

Valerie