Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blueberry Tart

Today, as promised to my husband, I made him a Blueberry Tart. My inspiration was from the Joy of Cooking (75th edition) book, but I changed some ingredients around. I made a chocolate cheesecake on sunday but it was eaten before I had a chance to take pictures of it so that will have to wait again.





Let's get started!

The dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks) softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the flour and sugar until mixed. Add the softened butter until the dough resembles little crumbs of dough (about 2 minutes of mixing by electric mixer). Place the dough into a tart pan and spread it out to the sides and up the sides of the pan. Poke holes in the dough so that steam may escape during baking. Bake the pan at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool after baking. Turn your oven down to 325 degrees F.

The filling:
2 cups fresh blueberries (you can used thawed drained blueberries too)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cream cheese, cut into pieces

In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs until combined. Place the sugar and cream with the eggs. Add the cream cheese and combine. Finally, add the blueberries. Place the filling into the prepared tart pan. Do not overfill. Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour. Watch your crust!! It could start to burn towards the end. Also, watch the top of your tart as it might burn as well. If that is the case, simply bake for 45 to 50 minutes instead of the 1 hour. Let cool before serving and enjoy with some vanilla ice cream.

Verdict:

I think I should have used the sour cream like the original recipe asked. I did not have any sour cream and had cream cheese instead. It made the tart have a creamy filling but it wasn't sweet like I expected it to be. I would like to have put fresh blueberries on top if I had some. That is an option for the future. The crust was thick around the edges, so it made it a little hard to cut through. All in all, my husband gave it a 9. I, myself, give it a 7. I was a little disappointed with the way it looked in the end, but that's something else to strive for with round 2. Enjoy!

-Joanna

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oatmeal Banana Bread

When you're bored, baking is therapeutic. Well, at least for me it is.
So, to cure my boredom, I made Oatmeal Banana Bread. The recipe I used was a variation from the famous Joy of Cooking cookbook.



Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups sugar
3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 large ( or 2 small) eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 bananas)

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-1/2 by 4-1/2 inch loaf pan.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, and salt.
In a bowl of an electric mixer (or a handheld one), cream the butter and sugar until lighter in color. Then, add the beaten eggs, and after incorporated, ass the mashed bananas. Mix well.
Finally, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, adding the next part after the incorporation of the previous part. Do not over beat!
Transfer the batter into the greased pan and into the middle rack of the oven.
Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then depan, and cool completely before slicing.

Verdict:
My husband gave this bread an 8 out of 10 points, but then again he hadn't had too many banana breads thus far. I would say that the crumb was soft, not hard, but still slightly crumbly, as all breads are. The softness of the bread made it appealing to the taste buds and not too dry. The banana flavor was distinct in the bread, which I loved. I hate banana breads that don't even taste like bananas. The top browned perfectly to the point where it gave that slightly crunch as you bit into it. It wasn't very sweet, but still slightly sweet enough from the sugar and the bananas in the batter. Finally, the oatmeal it always a good thing!

I liked this recipe overall. I would most likely change the all-purpose flour to whole wheat flour in the future. I would also make this recipe vegan at one point by using soy margarine instead of butter and substituting the eggs or just getting rid of them all together, which in turn would make it low-fat, but wouldn't give it the nice rise that the bread had.

Ah, the versatility of eggs.

I hoped you enjoyed this recipe and will make it in the future. The Joy of Cooking version uses lemon zest and omits the oatmeal. I love oatmeal, but if you don't omit it in the batter. Enjoy! Let me know how yours turns out!

Also, if you have any requests for recipes, comment, please!

-Joanna