Category Archives: Pies

Egg Foam Pie {Šampita}

Egg Foam Pie? I know it sounds weird, but that would be a literal translation for one of my favorite childhood desserts. All of my Bosnian friends know what I’m talking about here – šampita! :)

Šampita is one of many traditional Bosnian desserts. It’s been around for a very long time when fancy ingredients were not available and the most basic ingredients were used to make a dessert. It’s easy and quick to make. Bakeries usually make it with just a layer of puff pastry on the bottom, but this is a kind that’s made at home and it belongs to the category of sugar syrup soaked desserts, such as baklava, gulab jamun, etc. The cake part will soak up the syrup from the meringue and it will be moist and meringue is just sweet enough, fluffy with a hint of lemon.

To me, šampita tastes like childhood, like worry free days, like playing outside, picking flowers, and endless laughter and happiness.

Egg Foam Pie

Egg Foam Pie {Šampita}

[Printable recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs at room temperature (divided)
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 6 TBSP sugar
  • 6 TBSP milk
  • 6 TBSP cooking oil
  • 6 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Syrup:

  • 24 TBSP (about 250 g) sugar
  • About 0.85 cup (2 dl) water

Also needed:

  • 9 X 13 inch baking pan 2 or 3 inches deep (22 X 23 X 5 cm)
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 oz chocolate (about 50 g)
  • 2 TBSP sour cream

Preparation:

  1. Divide eggs. Place egg whites into a large mixing bowl. Beat egg yolks with sugar until pale yellow, then add milk, oil and at the end flour combined with baking powder.
  2. Pour the batter into the baking pan covered with parchment paper and bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until you notice edges starting to get lightly brown.
  3. While the cake is baking, add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and mix them at the highest speed. When they are done add lemon juice and mix some more. They are done when you turn the bowl upside down and they don’t move. Leave the egg whites in the bowl as you will have to add the syrup.
  4. While the meringue is in making, place sugar and water for the syrup into a small pot and bring it to boil. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Then remove from heat and slowly start pouring into the egg whites while they’re still at the highest speed. You will notice the volume of the mixture quickly increasing.
  5. Now the cake should be done too, so remove it from the oven and spread the meringue all over the cake. It doesn’t matter that it’s too hot. Spread evenly and smooth it out and place it in the oven for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove it from the oven and set it on the counter.
  6. If you wish, you can melt chocolate, combine with some sour cream and drizzle over the cake.
  7. Place it in the fridge and let it cool completely. Enjoy this moist, light and fluffy dessert.

Egg Foam Pie 1

 ♦

Egg Foam Pie

Egg Foam Pie

Egg Foam Cake

Egg Foam Cake

 

Peach Tarteletts with Hazelnut Streusel Topping

Last Saturday I visited our local farmers market in search of some good peaches to make jam. Oh, what a great place to be at this time of the year! There was a great variety of veggies and fruit, herbs and flowers on display! I picked up a large container of Michigan peaches for my jam, but they were so juicy and sweet that we couldn’t stop eating them and from what was left I made these lovely tarteletts. I am making jam next week (said with determination)! :) This recipe is a combination of three different recipes with addition/subtraction of some ingredients, which resulted in this recipe. Isn’t that what baking is all about?!

The tarteletts turned out to be delicious and not too sweet, which I really favor. You could taste the natural sweetness of the peaches, creamy filling and hazelnuts. Next time I would try to use almonds instead of hazelnuts. I would also sprinkle some sliced almonds on the top for decoration.

Peach Tarteletts

Peach Tarteletts with Hazelnut Streusel Topping

{Printable Recipe}

Yields 16 tarteletts

Sweet Pastry:

***All ingredients need to be refrigerated before using for the pastry. This is a ½ of quantity of the recipe for the sweet pastry from The Bourke Street Bakery Cookbook. Original recipe doesn’t call for hazelnuts/almonds.

  • 332 g (11.7 oz) flour
  • 5 g (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 130 g (4.5 oz) powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 3 TBSP hazelnuts or almonds
  • 250 g (8.8 oz) butter (thinly sliced)
  • 40 g (2-3) eggs

Also needed: Tartelett tins – 10 cm (about 4 inches) in diameter

Combine flour, salt, powdered sugar and hazelnuts and mix thoroughly. Add butter and start mixing slowly to incorporate all into flour. Add one by one egg and form the dough into a ball. Divide the ball into two equally weighing discs. Wrap each disc with plastic and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Sweet pastry dough

Hazelnut Streusel

Streusel is basically a crumbled mixture of butter, sugar and flour and it’s used for sprinkling over pies or cakes to add an extra crunch.

  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 TBSP chopped hazelnuts (or almonds)
  • 2 TBSP cold butter (cut into pieces)

Combine and mix all ingredients until they resemble ¼ inch (1/2 cm) crumbs. Set aside.

Hazelnut streusel

Tarteletts filling

  • 8 medium to large size ripe peaches
  • 350 ml (about 1.5 cup) heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

Cut a small cross on the top and the bottom of each peach. Place the peaches shortly into boiling water, remove and let cool. Peel, half and pit the peaches. Cover with plastic until ready to used them.

Combine milk with sugar and both extracts, stir by hand for a couple of minutes. Add eggs and stir for another two to three minutes, until you get a smooth mixture. Set aside.

Peeling peaches

Prepare Tarteletts

Remove the sweet pastry dough from the fridge about 15 minutes before you start making tarteletts. I lightly grease the tins with butter.

Roll the dough out to about 1/2 cm (or just under 1/4 inch) thickness. Use a tartelett tin as a cookie cutter and place the cut out dough into the tin. Lightly press in and make sure to have a nice and clean edge.

Cut each peach half into thin slices and arrange them on the top of the tartelett. Pour the filling over the peaches. Do not overfill. Sprinkle with hazelnut streusel. You can also choose to sprinkle streusel in the middle of baking time. (I figured it doesn’t make much difference for the final product).

Making peach tarteletts

Making peach tarteletts

Place the tins onto a baking sheet. Bake at 215 C (about 425 F) for 20-25 minutes, or until edges of tarteletts start getting golden-brown. Cool completely, remove from the tins and serve. You may choose to sprinkle them with powdered sugar. You can also serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Bon Appétit!

Peach Tarteletts

Peach Tarteletts

Citrus Tart

Isn’t this time of the year perfect for making some citrussy treats?! This past weekend I was totally obsessed with thoughts of making a dessert with the citrus fruits that were waiting in my fridge for their turn to be used. I went through pages and pages of familiar recipes but nothing was really calling my name.

That same weekend my daughter asked me to take her to the library, and while I was waiting for her to checkout her books, a displayed cookbook caught my eye. I went over to take a look and saw that it was John Barricelli’s “The Seasonal Baker”. I picked up the book, which suddenly flipped open to a recipe for a French Lemon Tart. Ha! It sounded super delicious so I decided to give it a try. Instead of just using only lemons I used some oranges and a lime. I also adapted ingredients for the filling and maybe next time I would reduce the baking time because my crust turned out quite dark. Nonetheless, the tart was to-die-for, citrussy, sweet with a hint of pungent lime. For those who don’t favor lime taste, I would suggest to go for oranges and lemons only (or lemons only as the original). And yes, I am totally ordering this cookbook from Amazon! :)

S

Citrus Tart

[print recipe]

Crust: this quantity of ingredients is enough for one double crust or two single 9-inch crusts

  • 2 cups (255 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk.

Filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 6 TBSP (85 g) melted butter
  • 3 TBSP crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
  • Zest of 1 organic orange, 1 organic lemon and 1/2 organic lime (coarsely grated)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 TSP salt
  • 1/2 TSP almond extract

Candied lemon and orange slices:

  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar
  • 1/2 lemon and ½ orange sliced thinly
  • 1 cup (236 ml) water
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) of orange jam
  • 1 TBSP of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP water

Preparation:

  1. In a mixer bowl beat the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add the whole egg and the yolk and mix to combine. Add the flour and mixed until it has been absorbed. Divide the dough in half, flatten each half into a disk, wrap in plastic and leave to rest in the fridge for about 2 hours.
  2. On a floured surface roll out the half of the dough and press into a 9 –inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Chill 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 365 F. Put the tart pan on a cookie sheet and place it all together into the lower part of the oven. Bake until edges just start to darken (about 15 minutes). Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  3. To make the filling in a medium bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, melted butter, crème fraiche, citrus zest, lemon/orange juice, salt and almond extract. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Place the tart shell on to a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the oven. Carefully pour the filling mixture into the tart shell. Bake until filling is completely set and no longer jiggles in the center (about 30 minutes). The filling will remain bright yellow.
  5. Transfer baked tart to a wire rack and let cool. Chill completely in the refrigerator.
  6. To make the candied citrus slices place the sugar and water in a medium sauce pan and bring it to boil. Reduce to a simmer. Add the lemon and orange slices and poach at very low simmer until the rinds are translucent (about 40 minutes). Let cool completely in the syrup. Drain the slices and pat dry with paper towels.
  7. Set the cooled tart on a top a large can and allow sides of the pan to fall. Place the tart on a serving plate. Arrange candied lemon and orange slices on the top of the tart. In a small saucepan, stir together jam, lemon juice and water. Bring to boil. Set a fine strainer over a small bowl. Strain the glaze into the bowl. With a pastry brush, brush the glaze over the candied fruit slices and crust.

 

S

S

Citrus Zest

Citrus Tart

Orange slices

Citrus Syrup

Citrus Tart

 

SONY DSC

Classic Vienna Apple Strudel or Wiener Apfelstrudel

Autumn without apple strudel would be like spring without the rain, summer without the sunshine or movies without popcorn. Autumn harvest in Bosnia/Balkan region usually brings a bounty of different kind of apples. Mostly every backyard has some type of a fruit tree, be it a plum, pear, apple or a quince tree. Of course that bounty of different kinds of fruit needs to be preserved in some way or used for delicious desserts. I vividly remember my mom and grandmother making jams, juices and baking in the fall. Nothing was allowed to go to waste.

Now what does Bosnia and Vienna Apple Strudel have in common? For about 40  years at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century Bosnia was under Austria-Hungary Empire rule, which resulted in mixing of cultures and of course influences on Bosnian cuisine (which before reflected mainly Turkish/Ottoman and Eastern influences).

Apple strudel in Bosnia is also known as ‘apple pita’ and can be made in a few different ways. Usually it is made out of paper thin phyllo dough with shredded or sliced apple filling and with addition of sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, almonds, raisins, etc.

Here is one really great recipe for Vienna Apple Strudel. This strudel can be served by itself with a nice cup of coffee or also paired up with vanilla sauce or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Classic Vienna Apple Strudel

[printable recipe]

Serving 8-10

Strudel Dough:

  • 150 ml  (1/2 cup + 2 TBSP)warm milk
  • 250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP oil
  • 1 TBSP white wine
  • a pinch of salt
    +
    oil for brushing and
    flour for kneading

Filling:

  • 60 g (2.1 oz) bread crumbs
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 50 g (1.8 oz )butter
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) sliced almonds
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) apples
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 40 ml (3 TBSP) dark rum
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) raisins
  • 1/2 TSP cinnamon

+
50 g (1.8 oz) melted butter for brushing
powdered sugar for sprinkling

Preparation:

  1. In a mixer bowl with the spiral hooks add flour, egg, oil, white wine and a pinch of salt. Start mixing slowly adding warm milk. Mix for a few minutes until smooth dough forms.  Sprinkle some flour right into the bowl and knead the dough by hand few times and form it into a ball. Place the dough into an oil coated bowl. Make sure the dough is well coated with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at a warm place for about two hours.
  2. While the dough is resting prepare bread crumbs and almonds for the filling. In a pan melt the butter on a low temperature. Mix bread crumbs and sugar and add it to the butter and let it brown just very lightly (2-3 minutes). Let it cool. Roast the sliced almonds on a low temperature in the pan until fragrant and just starting to brown.
  3. Squeeze the lemon and put the lemon juice into a bowl. Peel the apples, core them and quarter them. Slice into very thin slices. As you slice them, brush some lemon juice over them so they don’t get brown. When done slicing, add all the remaining lemon juice to the apples, add sugar, rum, raisins, cinnamon and almonds. Toss it lightly and set aside.
  4. Melt the rest of the butter and keep it handy. Prepare a clean, large kitchen towel where you will stretch the dough. Dust the towel with some flour.  (I’ve used a 16 X 26 inch/ 40 X 66 cm towel). Now take the dough out of the bowl and place it onto a floured surface (not towel) and roll it a bit with a rolling pin. Transfer it to the kitchen towel and start stretching by placing your hands underneath the dough and pulling from the middle to the sides.  When the dough is nice and thin, cut of the thick edges.   Brush the dough with melted butter.  Spread the bread crumbs over the dough leaving a 2 inch (5 cm) edge all around. Spread the apple filling on the top of the bread crumbs.
  5. This is how to roll the strudel. Flap the 2 short and 1 long edge over the filling. Taking the kitchen towel by the longer flapped edge, roll up the strudel. Still holding the towel transfer strudel to the baking sheet. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for about 20-25 minutes in the lower portion of the oven. Serve warm sprinkled with powdered sugar.  If desired you can also add a side of vanilla sauce or vanilla ice cream to it.

Bon Appétit!

Red Currant Meringue Pie (Tom and Jerry would be proud)

I have finally decided to give it a try and make a pie. As you may have read in my previous posts, pies are not my specialty… I didn’t grow up in the United States and my grandma didn’t bake pies, so I never learned how to make them. The first time I saw a pie was in a Tom and Jerry cartoon when I was a kid. I wasn’t sure what it was, I knew it was some kind of desert that you can throw in a person’s face! :D

The first time I ever tried a pie was when I came to live in the United States. Since then, I’ve made many deserts, but never a good old, classic pie. It took me quite some time to work up the courage to make one and here it is:

Red Currant Meringue Pie

[Printable recipe]

Crust:

  • 1 ½ cup (200 g) flour
  • 1 stick (115 g) butter
  • 2/3 cup (80 g) powdered sugar
  • 0.7 oz (20 g) ground almonds
  • 1 egg yolk
  • A pinch of salt

+  wax or parchment paper (to fit the bottom of the pie dish), dry beans or chick peas

Pie Filling:

  • 10 oz (285 g) red currants
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup (100 g) powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Meringue:

  • 3 egg whites (weighed)
  • Sugar (double weight of the egg withes weight)*

* 1 measure of egg whites = 2 measures of sugar

Preparation:

  1. For the crust combine flour, powder sugar, ground almonds and a pinch of salt. Add sliced butter and work it into flour, add the egg yolk. Mix and knead until well combined. Form a dough ball, wrap in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare a pie dish, grease it well with butter. Heat the oven to  355 F (180 C).
  3. On a floured surface roll out the dough in a circle to fit the pie dish. With the help of the rolling pin transfer the dough from the working surface to the dish, poke the bottom few times with a fork, trim the dough evenly and crimp the edges.
  4. Place the wax paper on the bottom, place the dry chick peas on the top of it. Bake for about 10-12 minutes (don’t let it brown).
  5. Remove the pie crust from the oven, cool for just a few minutes, then remove chick peas and the wax paper.
  6. Place the washed red currants on the top of the crust.
  7. In a bowl mix together eggs, powder sugar, heavy cream and corn starch until smooth. Pour over red currants and bake for another 20-25 minutes until pie sets. If desired place a ring of aluminum foil over the edges of the pie to prevent burning.
  8. While the pie is baking, weigh the egg whites. Your sugar amount will depend on the weight of the egg whites (egg whites 1 measure = sugar 2 measures).
  9. Prepare the meringue: combine egg whites and sugar and mix together until combined using a whisk. Heat it lightly over a hot water dish (bain marie) about 3 minutes mixing constantly. Don’t let the water boil. Transfer the mixture into a mixer bowl and mix on high speed for about 10 minutes or until mixture becomes very shiny and firm.
  10. Place the meringue in a cake frosting bag and decorate the pie top. Place in the oven to 250 F (120 C) for 5 minutes and then lower to 200 F (95 C)  for another 10 minutes until nice crust forms.
  11. Cool completely and enjoy!

Bon Appetite!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette

This Saturday my daughter and I made a trip to our local Farmers’ Market, which is a quite busy place this time of the year. For a while now that has been our mother-daughter special time. It’s almost our tradition to stop by the Thai stand at the entrance and get a spring roll. After eating those crispy, delicious wraps, we were so ready to browse and shop. The farmers’ stands had most beautiful, crisp looking asparagus that was just calling my name (bought 2 pounds for 4 $). We also bought some farm fresh eggs, strawberries and rhubarb. I planned to make my usual strawberry-rhubarb cake with egg whites frosting, but then for some reason galette came to my mind and I decided to make a strawberry-rhubarb galette instead. This recipe was adapted from marthastewart.com plum galette. Strawberry-rhubarb is a match made in heaven! You will love every bite of it!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette                                  Printable recipe

Crust:

    • 2 1/2 cups (320 g) all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup (226 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 1/2 cup (118 ml)  ice water

Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 pounds (700 g) strawberries and rhubarb
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of smooth strawberry jam

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Preparation:

Combine flour and salt. Add cold butter and work it into flour until large crumbs form, then start adding water. You can do all this in the food processor, but I just prefer doing it by hand. The dough will be smooth. If sticky, add a bit more flour. Form a disc, wrap in plastic and leave it in the fridge to rest for an hour.

For the filling wash and quarter strawberries, wash rhubarb and cut into ½ inch (1.3 cm) pieces. Set aside. Combine flour, bread crumbs, corn starch, brown sugar and vanilla.

Roll out the dough to an 18 X 16 inch (46 X 41 cm) rectangle. Transfer it to the parchment lined large baking sheet. Spread the bread crumb mixture in the middle of the dough leaving 2-3 inches ( 5-8 cm) border. Arrange the fruit on the top of the mixture and sprinkle with 3 tbsp of sugar.

Fold the both longer sides inward and then do the same with the shorter sides (as to form a package). Brush the folded sides with the egg wash. Bake at 400 F (200 C) until crust starts getting a nice golden-brown color.

Remove from the oven and let it cool down. Heat the strawberry jam. If it has pieces of strawberry and seed, first strain it through a fine mesh, then brush over the fruit in the middle of the galette.

All is left is to enjoy it! Bon Appetit! :)

Dark Chocolate Pie in Toasted Coconut Crust

I must admit – I am a chocoholic. I am especially crazy about good Swiss chocolate such as Lindt, Cailler or Toblerone! Baking with these is really fun and the taste is always superb! Since living in the United States I became very fond of Girardelli chocolate and I use it often when baking. For this pie I used 60% cocoa Girardelli chocolate, which is quite dark and rich and the light coconut crust goes perfectly with it.

For the crust:                                                              Printable recipe

  • 6 tbsp (85 g) butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 6 cups (480 g) flaked sweetened coconut

For the pie filling:

  • 15 oz (450 g) dark chocolate (60% cocoa)
  • 1 ¾ cups (410 ml) heavy cream

For the decoration:

  • 1.5 oz (42 g) white chocolate
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  1. For the crust beat the butter and rum until fluffy. Add 2 cups of shredded coconut and work it into butter. Add remaining 4 cups and knead it good with your hands.
  2. Prepare a 9 inch pie dish and line it with parchment paper.
  3. First press coconut mixture onto the bottom of the dish and then onto sides. Cover the top edge with a ring made from aluminum foil to prevent burning.
  4. Bake about 15 minutes at 365 F or until bottom start to brown very lightly. Cool completely.
  5. For the filling, break the chocolate into small pieces and place it into a bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a quick boil and pour it over the chocolate. Do the same with the white chocolate in a separate bowl.
  6. Let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes, then mix well and pour it into crust. Before decorating let the pie set for at least 45 minutes.
  7. If the white chocolate mixture has hardened, melt is shortly and place it into a small plastic zip-loc bag. Cut off a tiny tip and make a swirl on the pie starting from the center.
  8. Take a toothpick and make a line with it starting at the center towards the edge, make another line now starting from the edge to the center. Alternate like this until you come to the first line you made.

Let the pie set in the fridge best over night. Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving!

BON APPETIT! ;)

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