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Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’

From Dish Amelia:
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I was casting about for what I would post this month for my SLD, and the topic ended up finding me in the most natural and planetary of ways. There were so many signs in fact, that I had to list the indicators just to look at because everything seemed so connected and clear. (Cycle, Spring, oval, egg, Easter eggs, Easter…)

I decided to try making the kolache. The kolache are a Czech pastry, but it is so much more. I know what these are because both of my parents are from Texas and we would visit sometimes when I was growing up. There is a solid old Czech community near my dad’s hometown, and he impressed on me the importance and specialness of getting the good kolaches in the tiny town of Snook when passing through. (Mom, Dad, kolaches, fruit, wildflowers, jewel tone colors…) It happened that my mom just went on a little road trip to see the wildflowers, and she sent a few pics. And, I just happened to work a catering job at Lincoln Center for the new play “Ann”, abut Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas. To add to the Texan reminders, large swaths of Brooklyn were just looking towards or went to Austin for the South by Southwest music festival. (Ann Richards gig, SXSW, Texas, New York, Brooklyn, Greenpoint, Poland, Eastern Europe, Czech Republic…)

I figured that the Tall Pole might have some awareness of this pastry, because many eastern European traditions carry a level of crossover, like poppy seeds. (Traditions, poppy seeds…) The Pole was not really sure, but was not opposed to my investigation, sweet-toothed as he is. I turned to the Eastern European Food section of About.com, an excellent resource, and found the related Polish kolaczki, which was interesting. But this was not the type I was going for, which led me to the obvious next stop: awesome food blog Homesick Texan written by Lisa Fain (who also has a great cookbook). Of course she did a post on kolaches. And weirdly enough she had posted in March of 2007, leading me to wonder about kolaches and springtime. (…food blogs, springtime, traditions, New York…) Her post is wonderful, and I can only add a slightly different angle, and also a bit more sugar, as the kolaches I remember are a bit sweeter than her recipe. I also left off the sprinkled topping. (Hers is adapted from Texas Monthly and the Houston Chronicle, mine is adapted from hers.)

1 packet active dry yeast

1 cup warm milk

1.2 cup sugar

3 cups AP flour

2 large eggs

3/4 cups melted butter

1 tsp salt

fillings at your discretion

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Photo from mom.

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Prepare your starter. Combine sugar, yeast, 1 cup of flour (whisk) and then milk

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Cover and let it double in size and get foamy.

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Mix together melted butter, salt and eggs

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The starter has become foamy! Mix the butter/egg mixture into this.

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Then mix in flour, a 1/2 cup at a time.

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Knead ten minutes. So fun. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise one hour.

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Look at that! I’m always impressed by yeast.

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Pull off pieces and roll into egg-sized balls…

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Flatten into disks and brush with melted butter. Cover and let rise another half hour.

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Prepare your fillings. I chose mine based on tradition and color variety. There are several Polish pastries I’ve seen in Greenpoint that utilize this chocolaty looking (not chocolate) paste. With some investigation and many questions directed at the Tall Pole (who probably never imagined he would field so many) I found that this ingredient in Polish is called masa makowa, or poppy seed butter, and usually contains almonds and sugar. One can make this easily, but to save time, and invest in some authenticity, I braved the crazy Easter line of the Polish deli to grab some. It’s quite good. I also got some crumbly farmer’s cheese

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The fillings: strawberry, sour cherry, orange ginger, farmer’s cheese (with maple syrup drizzle, my one liberty), and poppy seed paste. Obviously you could (should?) make these too, but for maximum variety I used high quality, few ingredient jams. In the future I think I would just make my favorite or be more experimental, but I wanted to tap into tradition, not expand on it just yet.

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Make a decent indentation with your fingers and spoon in the filling.

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Bake at 375 for 13 minutes. Brush them with melted butter (why not?) when they come out. Let them cool a bit and savor this new rite of spring.

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From Dish Danielle:

Pinch a Pisces!
…Or maybe make them some ice cream instead?

pretty

March marks my birthday month and to celebrate like any sweet-toothed Pisces should, I gathered my nearest & dearest round for some cones & cocktails.  I’d tried my hand at this recipe the weekend prior, but on my 31st, I wondered if the wisdom of this new prime number might perhaps enable me to make a more sophisticated batch…?

I was absolutely spot on, and my second try absolutely bested my first.

Did you know Pisces are apparently very intuitive?

zest again

Ingredients:

2c whole milk

2c heavy cream

6 blood oranges: 4tbs zest & 1c juice

6 large egg yolks

¾ c sugar

zest infusing 2

In a small pot, place milk & cream over low heat.  Add 3tbs zest, whisking to incorporate. Allow liquid to come to temp slowly, letting the zest impart its delicious flavor.

yolks

Put yolks in a small bowl next to the pot on the stove. When milk/cream is hot enough, (just before boiling), add juice & sugar to yolks.

orange juice

Whisk vigorously to incorporate. Use a spouted receptacle and scoop up approx. 1c of hot liquid. Pour liquid in a slow and steady stream into the yolk mixture while SIMULTANEOUSLY whisking like hell. Once the yolks have been tempered, (that’s what that last move is called), dump that mixture back into the pot. Using a wooden spoon, stir slowly while custard continues to cook over low heat. Prepare an ice bath with a glass or metal bowl nested on top. The custard will eventually begin to thicken considerably, which means the yolks have been cooked properly (don’t raise the heat much—that could result in an overly eggy-flavored ice cream. Patience is a virtue that this Piscean dish barely has. If I can wait it out, you can too!).

straingin

Once the custard has thickened, immediately pour it through a fine strainer and into the bowl in the ice bath. This will strain out the zest—we’ll add a bit of fresh stuff later. Stir gently to cool. Once the custard has come down in temp, place it in the fridge for a good 5-6 hours, or overnight.

icecream

Once you’re ready to churn, get your ice cream making apparatus ready. Before pouring the custard in, buzz the liquid with an immersion blender if you have one, (if not, pour it into a well sealed container and shake it like mad). After 20-25 mins of churning, your ice cream should be close to ready. At this point, with the machine still running, sprinkle in the remaining 1tbsp of fresh zest for a pop of color and an added zip of flavor. Store in a freezer friendly container once it’s finished. I usually allow the ice cream to sit in the freezer for another few hours before serving.

ladies eating icecream

Scoop into sugar cones and dole out to your guests during your next social gathering!

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From Dish Danielle:

upclose churn

I know it’s freezing out, but I am an ice cream maniac who finds any excuse to whip up a homemade batch. My latest ice cream intention was for a New Years Eve party I co-hosted for some dear friends who recently got engaged, (Congrats DZF & VMF!)… A party at the Whisk & Ladle ain’t no party without ice cream cones served around midnight, so I got to work.

engagment party pic

Ingredients:
2 c buttermilk (try to get full fat if you can find it)
2 c heavy cream
5 egg yolks
¾-1 c sugar, give or take
pinch of salt
zest & juice of 1 lemon

*you’ll also need some sort of ice cream churning apparatus

yolk

Gently bring buttermilk & heavy cream to just under a boil in a medium stockpot. While it’s warming, crack your eggs and toss yolks into a med sized bowl. Whisk sugar (start with ¾ c) into yolks once liquid is up to temp.

whisk

Now you’ll need to temper your yolks, which is the one delicate part of this recipe: If you’re doing this alone place yolk bowl atop a pot holder/dish towel so it doesn’t slide around your counter. Using a liquid measuring cup with a spout, scoop up 1c of the warm mixture. Begin whisking yolks with one hand. Don’t stop. Use other to pour the hot mixture into yolks in a very slow, steady stream. Don’t stop whisking. Once it’s all in there you can dump the tempered yolks back into the stockpot. Over a med-low flame, continue to cook custard, stirring constantly. Add dash of salt. Taste the custard to see if you’d like to add a little more sugar, (do that now if so). You’ll know it’s ready when the custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

stir

Immediately remove custard from pot and pour into metal bowl. Ice-bath it to cool it down before storing it in fridge, (meaning, place the metal bowl of hot custard into a larger bowl full of ice & cold water. Stir to speed up cooling process).

zest

Leave the custard in fridge until it’s as cold as the fridge, (either overnight or about 3 hours). Once the custard is cold, zest & juice your lemon. Toss the zest & half of its juice in. Taste the custard and decide if you want to add the remaining lemon juice.

churn

Now you’re ready to churn this delicious batch of ice cream!  Serve some killer ice cream cones to your favorite peeps. Happy New Years y’all!

midnight

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