Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Summer makes me think of pie, Berry Pie!

An afternoon at home with such summery weather had me torn between staying in and writing recipes (like I promised I would!) or getting out in this beautiful sunshine! I managed a bit of both and while I was contemplating which next formula to tackle, I remembered the great post on Michael Ruhlman's blog about pie dough from his new book Ratio. It made me go back and revisit our formula, just to see if it could use a little tweaking. In the end, I reduced the butter by a smidge, but other than that I think we have a winner. Pie crust purists may scoff at the addition of an egg yolk and sugar, but it adds a tenderness to the crust that we really enjoy! Since the rhubarb is still looking like an alien we have to turn to the freezer to use up the rest of the berries.
For the crust:
2 1/2 cup unbleached flour
7 ounces cold butter, cut into little pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup ice cold water
1 egg yolk
splash lemon juice
Cut cold butter into flour, working the mixture with your hands and rubbing between your fingers in a sheeting motion. When it is well combined add sugar and salt and mix together wet ingredients... Add to flour mix and work to form a ball of dough, using more flour or water as needed to keep it from being too dry or too sticky. Wrap tightly and refridgerate for an hour or up to a week. Will freeze for one month.

Berry filling;
5 cups IQF frozen Berries- thawed just slightly
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup corn starch

toss all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside

To Assemble:
On a well floured surface roll out 1/2 the ball of dough to about a 12" circle, Place this into a 9 inch deep dish pie plate.
Fill the center with the berries. Roll out the other half of dough into a rectangle this time, about 14" x 10". cut 1 1/2" strips the short way...about 10 strips total. Lay 5 strips across berry-filled pie, folding back the two alternate ones from the middle. Lay one strip down perpendicular to these across the middle of the pie. lay the two strips back into place and pulling back the three alternating ones, lay another strip down and repeat process on other side until all 5 remaining are used. Tuck the ends up under the edge of the pie plate and crimp around the edges. At this point, I like to guild the lily even more by brushing with egg wash and sprinkling with a little sugar. place on parchment lined sheet pan in a 375 degree oven. Bake one hour or until bubbly in the center.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

This soup is familiar to many out there as a favorite from the Moosewood Cookbook. For a long time I made their recipe at the different establishments I cooked for, and it was always great. Then when we started making large batches at the bakery, we had a problem burning the bechmel that was used to thicken it. Because it had a milk base, it would also curdle if you added too much lemon or let the mixture come to a boil. It was then that I decided to rethink our approach to produce a more reliable and shelf stable and, I think, TASTIER, soup!


1 medium onion- diced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds fresh button mushrooms, sliced 1/8th inch
3 Tablespoons Paprika
2 teaspoons Salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Dill
1/2 cup Flour
8 cups Vegetable Stock or water (I usually use water!)
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 cup Heavy Cream


In a heavy bottom soup pot on medium heat:
Saute onion in olive oil until just translucent...2 minutes
Add mushrooms and turn up the heat slightly...saute 2-3 minutes more
Stir in: Paprika, Salt and Dill
Saute 5 minutes more, stirring frequently.
Add the flour and mix well to hydrate all the flour
Pour in Liquid (Water or Stock) and whisk well with a large whisk
being sure to scrape all bits of bottom of pan.
Switch to a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat
Stirring quite frequently and being careful the flour doesn't stick
to the bottom of the pan.
Once the soup comes to a low boil, simmer 5 more minutes to
thoroughly cook the flour.
Add Heavy Cream, Lemon Juice and Soy sauce.

Bench Notes:
This soup has infinite possibilties for variations:
Use wild mushrooms, leave out cream and use sour cream or no cream
Deglaze the pan with Red Wine, add mustard powder...go crazy people!