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Posts Tagged ‘puff pastry’

Ebelskivers_7498

 

What are ebelskivers?  Not nearly as scary as the name sounds….. they are Danish treats that are sometimes called Danish pancakes or Danish puffs.  They are more puff than pancake as they are cooked into little round balls in a pan made especially for them.  My friends at ScanpanUSA (www.scanpan.com)  presented me with an ebelskiver pan some time ago and although I have used it I have infrequently made the dessert it is named for.  However, they are so easy to do and just enough work that I am willing to put my “no sweets diet” aside.  With this batch I made half with jam filling and half with bittersweet chocolate – I loved them both.  Next, I am going to try to make a savory version which I will report on once done.

I make this small recipe otherwise I’d eat too many of them, but you can easily double the recipe.  If you have children or a sweet tooth, I’d recommend doing that as these are rather like doughnut holes that you can just pop into your mouth.

 

Æbelskiversor Ebelskivers

Makes about 18

 

2 large eggs, separated

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ cup milk

½ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Raspberry or other jam of choice (you’ll need about ¼ cup)

9 bits of bittersweet chocolate or 3 bittersweet chocolate chips per ebelskiver

Butter for brushing ebelskiver cups

Cinnamon sugar or confectioners’ sugar for dusting

 

Place the egg whites in a small bowl and beat, using a hand-held electric mixer, for about 4 minutes or until stiff, but not dry.  Set aside.

Combine the flour, sugar and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl, whisking to blend well.

Combine the milk, cream, butter and vanilla with the reserved egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk to blend.  Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and beat to just combine.  The mixture should be a bit lumpy.

Fold the egg whites into the batter until incorporated, yet still light and airy.

Place the ebelskiver pan over medium-high heat.  Add a dab of butter to each cup and, using a pastry brush, lightly coat the entire cup with the melting butter.

When the butter bubbles, add about a tablespoon of the batter to each cup.  As the batter begins to set, place either a teaspoon of jam or the chocolate bits in the center.  When the batter is fully set, add a tablespoon of batter to cover the filling.  Carefully turn the cooked half and continue to cook until the batter has cooked through and the filling is hot and/or melted.  I use a long wooden skewer and my fingers – take care not to burn them – to turn the ball.

Remove from the pan and set on a wire rack.  Dust with sugar and serve warm.

Continue making ebelskivers until all of the batter is used.

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tarte_tatin_DSC_0666

I always like to give my kitchen a few farewells as the hot weather approaches and one of those “farewells” is a last oven turn-on.  So, what better way to say adieu than with a tarte tatin, that quintessentially French winter dessert.  I don’t know why more home cooks don’t make these beautiful and very tasty tarts as making one is easier than making a pie or cake, particularly since it nicely uses frozen puff pastry.  When I made the one in the photo I cut my apples into eighths instead of quarters – don’t know what I was thinking.  Quarters just seem to look better when you turn the tart upside down.  Anyway, here’s how you bring a little bit of France to your dessert table.  I use a nonstick, oven-proof frying pan and recommend that you do, also.

¾ cup sugar – either granulated or light brown, whichever you prefer
¼ cup water
½ cup unsalted butter
4 large tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into quarters
One block frozen puff pastry, thawed (I’m not sure of the weight – use either Dufour or Trader Joes – they are both made with butter)
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Combine the sugar and water in an 8-inch nonstick, oven-proof frying pan over low heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.  Raise the heat to medium and bring to a boil.  Allow to cook, without stirring, at a gentle boil for about 8 minutes or until a golden syrup has formed.  Stir in the butter and cook, stirring, until well-blended.
Remove the pan from the heat and carefully arrange the apples, cut side facing up, in a slightly overlapping circle down into the caramel.
Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface and then cut it into a circle about 9-inches in diameter.  Place the pastry over the apples and fold the excess edge under to enclose the apples.
Using a paring knife, cut at least 4 slits in the center of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 35 minutes or until the pastry has puffed and is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to set for about 5 minutes.  
Using a small, sharp knife, loosen the edges from the pan and then carefully turn the tart out onto a serving plate.
Serve warm with whipped cream, crème fraîche, frozen vanilla or coffee yogurt, or caramel ice cream, if desired.  It is absolutely fine on its own, also.

tarte_tatin_DSC_0669

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