26 December 2019

Apple Bread and Butter Pudding

Apple Bread and Butter Pudding - Classic British Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com

I love a well made Bread and Butter Pudding, don't you? I've never really cared for ones with raisins or other dried fruits, but I do love one with some lightly cooked apples. And, of course, I used all organic ingredients and far less sugar than most recipes call for, so it's practically health food!

It's the perfect traditional comfort food dessert to warm you up on a cold evening. And you can make it ahead, which always makes me happy. I made this one large batch to serve to guests on two different evenings, putting half in the refrigerator for the first guests and half in the freezer for the others.

My ingredient quantities exactly fill a 13x9x2-inch 3-quart Pyrex baking dish. So don't get all loosey-goosey with the measurements unless you don't mind using an additional dish for the extra mixture. You can freeze it whole or cut into servings. Either way, move it from freezer to refrigerator the night before and then reheat in oven or microwave just before serving.

Mr Delightful likes the pudding cold with whipped cream. I like it warm, not hot, with a small scoop of organic vanilla ice cream. What's your preference?

Apple Bread and Butter Pudding - Classic British Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Apple Bread and Butter Pudding


(Makes 12 servings)

16 ounces (454 grams) good sliced white bread
3 medium (about 6 ounces/grams each) Golden Delicious or other good baking apples, skin on, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter
1/4 packed cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 large eggs (medium in UK)
1/2 cup (2.33 ounces/66 grams) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
2 cups (16 fluid ounces/473 ml) milk
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) heavy cream
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) brandy
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Using bread that's a few days old (I often use 12 slices from the 1 1/2-pound loaf of Arnold/Brownberry/Oroweat potato bread), leave the crusts on, stack the bread a few slices at a time and cut into cubes, 16 squares per slice.

Note: This Fallue - Norman Brioche is excellent for bread puddings. Cut 1-inch thick slices and cut them into 1-inch cubes.

2 In a very large skillet (or Dutch oven) over medium heat, cook apples, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until butter and sugar are melted and apples are softening a bit, about 10 minutes or so. Remove from heat and let stand to cool a bit while preparing the custard.

3 In 2-quart bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, mace, salt, milk, cream, brandy and vanilla extract.

4 Add bread cubes to apples in skillet, mixing gently (you may use your impeccably clean hands!). Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, and spread evenly. Pour custard over all. And I don't know if you really need to, but I like to press the top down gently just to settle everything in. Let stand for 30 minutes or so. During the last 10 or 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4.

5 Bake until puffed and golden and knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer dish to rack and cool about 20 to 30 minutes to serve warm with either ice cream or Custard Sauce. Or refrigerate for at least 3 hours to serve chilled with whipped cream. It's also delicious at room temperature. Will keep in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days; in the freezer, for 2 to 3 months.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

19 December 2019

One-Pan French Onion Chicken

One-Pan French Onion Chicken / www.delightfulrepast.com

One-Pan French Onion Chicken is a great dinner party dish. And for a speedy weeknight dinner, you can make the caramelized onions in advance to hurry things along. Caramelized onions can't be rushed, but the cooking time is pretty much hands-off. I like to make a double batch and freeze half for future convenience.

You can easily double the recipe, but you'll need to cook the chicken in two batches. The chicken will not brown properly if the pan is crowded. It's okay to crowd the pan a bit for the broiling.

One-Pan French Onion Chicken / www.delightfulrepast.com


If your eyes are as sensitive to onions as mine are, you'll want to don a pair of these fabulous onion goggles before slicing the onions. Getting those goggles several years ago was life-changing! They come in several trim colors; mine have the lime green trim and really look quite cute!

The perfect "starch" to go with this for a dinner party is Pomme Rosti, but for family dinner I like Mashed Potatoes. Seasonal vegetables or salad round out the meal. We paired it with a decent French rosé, but lots of wines would work.

One-Pan French Onion Chicken / www.delightfulrepast.com

One-Pan French Onion Chicken 

Though I usually post strictly original recipes, this is one is adapted from one I saw on thekitchn website. I've made changes, added flavor and added a lot of my own info to the directions that I think will be helpful to you. 

(Makes 4 servings)

1 1/2 pounds (2 medium/24 ounces/680 grams) yellow onions, quartered and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons (1.5 fluid ounces/44 ml) extra virgin olive oil, divided
5/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon sugar 
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (total weight 1.25 to 2 pounds/567 to 907 grams), halved horizontally starting at the thick end 
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) dry sherry or brandy 
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) low-sodium chicken broth 
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon marjoram
1/8 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/2 packed cup (2 ounces/57 grams) shredded Gruyere (or mozzarella)
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley 

1 In heavy-bottomed large skillet that is broiler-safe (I use the All-Clad Stainless 12-Inch Fry Pan), cook the onions in butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over low heat, covered, for 15 minutes. No need to watch them, just set the timer and walk away. 

2 Stir in the sugar (helps with browning) and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, uncovered, over moderate heat (onions should be sizzling), stirring occasionally,* for about 35 to 45 minutes or more, or until onions are well caramelized, evenly brown. Transfer onions to one side of a large plate. 

* Check the onions every 5 minutes, but do not stir until they're sticking to the pan a bit. You need to let the onions stick a little to brown, then stir and scrape the pan. Just do not let it burn, or it's all over! 

3 Pat the chicken dry and season with pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste). 

4 In same skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil (and whatever oil is left in the pan from the onions) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook the chicken over medium-high heat until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness. If the chicken is sticking to the pan, it's not ready to turn; keep cooking. It should register 165F/74C on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer chicken to plate with the onions. 

5 Place an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler and turn oven to Broil. Add sherry or brandy to skillet to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits. Whisk in broth and Dijon mustard. Bring to a boil. Boil gently for 5 minutes or so until sauce is reduced by half. 

6 Return the four chicken pieces to the skillet. Top each with caramelized onions and shredded cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and browned, about 2 minutes. Garnish with minced parsley.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean 

12 December 2019

Pâte Brisée - Pie and Tart Crust

Pate Brisee - Classic French Pastry - perfect for pecan pie (as pictured), tarts, and quiches / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pie and tart crust is something I've been making since I was a teenager and, with the exception of Pâte Sucrée which is not supposed to be flaky, always with the aim of visible butter in the dough for maximum flakiness. I make my basic non-sweet pie crust, or pâte brisée, by whatever method suits my mood, by hand or in the food processor.

I know some people make it in a heavy-duty stand mixer, but all I've seen are still aiming for visible butter and a flaky crust. Then I saw Thomas Keller's recipe at The Splendid Table

As I commented at that site, "This flies in the face of everything I've read and practiced in many years of pie crust making, but I'm going to try it because Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel said so! Sounds far easier to incorporate all the butter than to keep from incorporating it! Wonder how it will compare to my lovely flaky pastry. We shall see!" 


Pate Brisee - Classic French Pastry - perfect for quiches (as pictured here) or very sweet pies and tarts / www.delightfulrepast.com


So I put on my lab coat and headed into my laboratory, dusted off the stand mixer and tried it his way. He said this pâte brisée reflects his enduring respect for classical technique and is used for savory tarts, such as quiches, and for very sweet tarts. I used it for my Pecan Pie - Without Corn Syrup. And will use it for my Pecan Tart - Without Corn Syrup and Vegetable Quiche

I liked it! Have you tried it? What do you think?


Pate Brisee - Classic French Pastry - perfect for quiches or very sweet pies and tarts / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pâte Brisée 


Adapted from Bouchon Bakery Pate Brisee recipe 

(Makes 20 ounces/567 grams)

2 1/8 dip-and-sweep cups (10.625 ounces/301 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 sticks (8 ounces/227 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and chilled until very cold 
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) ice water

1 Place 1 cup (5 ounces/142 grams) of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix to combine. With the mixer running on low speed, add the butter a small handful at a time. When all the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium-low and mix for about 1 minute, until the butter is thoroughly blended. 

2 Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn the speed to medium-low, add the remaining 1 1/8 cup (5.625 ounces/159 grams) of flour, and mix just to combine. Add the water and mix until incorporated. The dough will come up around the paddle and should feel smooth, not sticky, to the touch. 

3 Remove the dough from the mixer and check to be certain that there are no visible pieces of butter remaining; if necessary, return the dough to the mixer and mix again briefly. 

4 Divide the dough into two equal pieces, pat each into a 5-inch disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 1 month.)

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

05 December 2019

Pumpkin Nut Bread - Pumpkin Tea Loaf

Pumpkin Nut Bread - Pumpkin Tea Loaf / www.delightfulrepast.com

This pumpkin nut bread doesn't have to be made with pumpkin. You can use an equal amount of butternut squash or persimmon or "whatever" puree.

Back in the day (my teens and twenties), nut breads of every stripe were my "thing." Then for some reason they fell by the wayside. Maybe it was when I got into cake decorating. Even though I don't eat frosting, it was the "medium" for my art in those days. But after mastering that, I moved on and haven't decorated a cake in years.

You can make this loaf in a 9x5-inch standard loaf tin, but I make it in a 12x4x2.5-inch tea loaf tin because I like the small slices. I bought it years ago from King Arthur Flour, but they no longer carry it. Now they carry a ceramic tea loaf pan in the same size. I'll list a few links in the recipe directions for similar tins, in case you prefer metal as I do.

I took this to a get-together at a friend's house recently. It was a hit. One of the guests remarked on the wonderful texture and also noted that it was not overly sweet, so that you could actually taste what it was rather than just tasting sugar. Which, of course, is what I always aim for in desserts.

Just looked online to see if my Mikasa 'Margaux' sandwich tray is still available. The pattern was discontinued long ago, but I found a used one at Replacements, Ltd at a much higher price than I paid for it new not long after it was discontinued.


Pumpkin Nut Bread - Pumpkin Tea Loaf / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Pumpkin Nut Bread - Pumpkin Tea Loaf


(Makes one 12x4x2.5-inch tea loaf or one standard 9x5-inch loaf)

1 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (7.5 ounces/213 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/3 cup (2.67 fluid ounces/79 ml) milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 15-ounce can (7.5 ounces/213 grams, about 7/8 cup) pumpkin puree

1/2 cup (2 ounces/57 grams) chopped pecans

1 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Grease (I use softened butter) and lightly flour one 12x4x2.5-inch tea loaf pan.

Note: Here are some pans I found that are similar to mine: Wilton tea loaf pan and  Westmark tea loaf pan.

2 In small bowl, whisk together flour, soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, baking powder and cloves.

3 In cup, combine milk and vanilla extract.

4 In mixing bowl, with electric hand mixer, beat butter until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, about 30 seconds after each. Stir in the pumpkin puree just until blended.

5 Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the liquid in 2 parts, stirring until smooth. Fold in nuts.

6 Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes; remove from pan and continue cooling on wire rack.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

28 November 2019

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala / www.delightfulrepast.com

Chicken Tikka Masala was the first Indian food I attempted 8 years ago. Actually, some say it's not really Indian food, but rather the national dish of Britain!

In that Chicken Tikka Masala recipe, I used serrano chile. But in this streamlined slow cooker version, I opted for the always-on-hand cayenne pepper for a little heat.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala / www.delightfulrepast.com


My next foray into Indian cookery was Dal Makhani, a vegetarian lentil curry I really like. And next up will be some of the wonderful flatbreads because, like my father before me, I can hardly consider dinner complete without bread on the table.

The chopped cilantro is more than a garnish to this dish; the flavor complements the sauce perfectly and is a must! 

I served it with Turmeric Rice. Just added 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric for 1 cup of uncooked rice to my usual recipe for plain rice. A spicy main dish calls for plain rice. 


Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala / www.delightfulrepast.com

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala


(Makes 6 servings)

2 pounds (32 ounces/0.9 kg) boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup (6 ounces/170 grams) whole or low-fat (2%) plain yogurt
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1/2 small yellow onion, diced (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons peeled and grated* fresh ginger 
1 teaspoon finely minced shallot
2 teaspoons garam masala
3/4 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 14.5-ounce (411 grams) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) heavy cream

1/4 packed cup chopped fresh cilantro

* I use the Microplane Classic Zester/Grater.

1 Place the chicken, yogurt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker or the 6-quart Instant Pot and stir to combine. (I used all organic ingredients except for a couple of the spices.)

2 In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the ginger, shallot, garam masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper; cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and bring to a simmer, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 

3 Add the cooked mixture to the slow cooker or Instant Pot and stir to combine with the chicken.

Note: With the Instant Pot, you can saute right in it, then switch it to Slow Cooker mode.

4 Put on the optional Instant Pot glass lid, or use the pressure cooking lid with the steam release handle turned to Venting. Select the Slow Cook program. Within 10 seconds, press Slow Cook to set temperature to Normal. Within 10 seconds, press “+ or –“ to set time to 6 hours.

Note: If using a slow cooker, cover and cook on Low for 6 hours. 

5 Stir in the cream. Leave the slow cooker uncovered and cook on the High setting for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or naan or both. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.

Jean

21 November 2019

Chunky Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Chunky Southern Sweet Potato Casserole / www.delightfulrepast.com

I know people go mad for the Southern Sweet Potato Casserole, but oh my goodness! Even when people say, "I've cut way back on the sugar," it has way more sugar than I ever put in desserts. "Bless their hearts!" 

Sometimes I make my Maple-Pecan Sweet Potato Puree, but when I'm in the mood for more texture, I make this, which I've decided to call Chunky Southern Sweet Potato Casserole. Either one is more "side dishy" than most out there and allows you to enjoy your dessert more fully.

Don't give in to the temptation to add more cinnamon. It isn't meant to be noticed. The 1/4 teaspoon is just enough to add to the illusion of sweetness. You know, in case any of your guests are used to a high-sugar sweet potato casserole.

Chunky Southern Sweet Potato Casserole / www.delightfulrepast.com


Chunky Southern Sweet Potato Casserole


(Makes 12 servings)

The Sweet Potatoes 

3 pounds (48 ounces/1.36 kg) red-skinned orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, sliced 1/3-inch thick
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) real maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

The Topping 

1/4 packed cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) dark brown sugar
1/3 dip-and-sweep cup (1.67 ounces/47 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) chopped pecans

1/2 cup (2 ounces/57 grams) rolled oats OR dried Biscuit crumbs
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Lightly butter or spray with cooking spray a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Put the sliced raw sweet potatoes in it.

2 In 1-quart saucepan or in 1- or 2-cup glass measure, melt butter and whisk in maple syrup, salt and cinnamon. Pour over sweet potatoes and toss until they are well coated. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

3 In small mixing bowl, mix topping ingredients with a fork until it's clumping together into large crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over the sweet potato mixture. Bake uncovered right away for about 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate until 45 minutes or so before serving time. 

4 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or until heated through. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

14 November 2019

Turkey and Dressing for Two - Classic Bread Stuffing

Turkey and Dressing for Two / www.delightfulrepast.com

We enjoy a turkey dinner a few times throughout the year, and since it's just the two of us most of the time, this is an easy way to do it. Just enough turkey for two and just enough dressing for two--if one of the two is crazy about dressing (that would be me!). 

My father would have appreciated this post. He was not a turkey fan, did not appreciate leftovers, and refused to eat turkey more than once a year. 

Do you call it stuffing or dressing? My family called it dressing, whether it was baked inside the turkey or in a dish. Like my mother before me, I've tried all kinds of variations/add-ins--sausage, dried fruits, nuts--someone even snuck an egg into it once; but my favorite is the classic bread stuffing.

Unfortunately, I'd used up my stash of Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth (in anticipation of having to switch everything to a new refrigerator last week), but we made do. But do make that first if you're going to be doing the full-on, big deal turkey dinner. 


To serve four people, use a 13x9x2-inch baking dish and two packages of cutlets; no need to double the dressing recipe. I might post just one more turkey dinner related recipe next week. What is your favorite item on the menu?

Turkey and Dressing for Two / www.delightfulrepast.com
May not look pretty or colorful in the baking dish, but when you plate
it up with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and green vegetables,
it looks verrrry photogenic!
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Turkey and Dressing for Two 


The Dressing

3/4 pound (12 ounces/340 grams) good white and/or French bread, sliced and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 3/4 cup (14 fluid ounces/414 ml) homemade turkey broth or low sodium chicken broth

The Turkey

1 14.4-ounce (408 grams) turkey breast cutlets (5 cutlets, boneless and skinless)

Note: Of course, you can skip the bread, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning AND Step 1 if you pick up a box of seasoned stuffing mix. There are even some organic brands now. It all depends on whether you can find one seasoned the way you like, and that might prove very difficult. 

1 Lay the cubed bread out on a sheet pan and place it in the cold oven for 48 hours, stirring twice a day, to dry it out. My mother always dried the bread out in a warm oven because she couldn't have her oven tied up for two days! Just preheat the oven to 325F/165C/Gas3, and pop the sheet pan in for 50 minutes or so, stirring halfway through; cool completely.

2 In a 3-quart saucepan, melt the butter and cook the chopped celery and onion, with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, until very soft, about 15 minutes. About 5 minutes in, preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and the poultry seasoning. Add the bread cubes, lightly crushing some or all of the cubes, depending on what texture you prefer. Stir until bread and vegetable mixture are thoroughly combined, then gradually stir in broth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add a bit more broth if you like a moister dressing. 

3 Transfer the dressing to a greased 8x8x2-inch baking dish, pressing it down lightly.* Season the cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper. Lay them on top of the dressing; they will be overlapping a bit. Cover the baking dish tightly with a square of aluminum foil. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes. Both the cutlets and the dressing should register 165F/74C on an instant-read thermometer.

* You can do this a day ahead, then add the turkey cutlets just before baking.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.

Jean

07 November 2019

Pumpkin Slab Pie - Perfect for a Party Dessert Bar

Pumpkin Slab Pie - Perfect for a Party Dessert Bar / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pumpkin pie is an autumn favorite, and for everyday purposes a regular 9-inch pie is great. But when you're serving lots of people, especially if there will be multiple desserts on offer, it's time for pumpkin slab pie.

Even if you're not doing a "dessert bar," chances are if it's a special occasion or you're having lots of people over, there will be two or three different kinds of pie and most people won't choose just one. You know the drill: "I'll take just a sliver of each." And those slivers are impossible to cut, so it turns into a big old mess.

Easy solution: slab pie. Made in a 13x9x1-inch quarter sheet pan, it can be cut neatly into squares or triangles as small as you like.

Pumpkin Slab Pie - Perfect for a Party Dessert Bar / www.delightfulrepast.com


The problem with most pumpkin pie recipes is that they attempt to address the issue of high temperature needed for the crust and low needed for the custard by starting high and turning it down, and the compromise doesn’t always succeed. The filling is overcooked and, well, soggy bottoms! For a pumpkin or any custard pie, I fully pre-bake the crust to avoid the soggy bottom problem.

When I'm being fancy, I cut off the edges of the pie and save those for snacks, cutting uniform "center cuts" to put on a pretty platter or tiered stand. For less formal occasions, serve directly from the pan, edges and all.


What are your favorite items for a dessert bar?

Pumpkin Slab Pie - Perfect for a Party Dessert Bar / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pumpkin Slab Pie 


(Makes one 13x9x1-inch pie, 12 to 16 servings)

The Pastry

1 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (7.5 ounces/213 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon non-GMO baking powder
1 1/4 sticks (5 ounces/142 grams) unsalted butter, well chilled

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons ice water
Additional ice water, a teaspoon at a time, if needed


The Filling


2/3 cup (4.67 ounces/132 grams) sugar* 
1 tablespoon non-GMO cornstarch 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs 
1 15-ounce (425 grams) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) or 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) milk 

* I use just 1/4 cup when making it for just us.

1 In medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. With coarse grater, grate about 3/4 stick of butter into flour bowl. Cut the remaining butter into 1/2-inch cubes. With fingers, quickly work the grated butter into the flour until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add the cubed butter and work it into the crumbs, leaving some pieces the size of small peas. 

2 In small bowl, combine vinegar and ice water. Sprinkle over flour mixture while stirring with large fork. Add a little more water, a teaspoon at a time, if needed. 

3 Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten slightly into a 5-inch round disk with smooth edges; double wrap; refrigerate for one hour or up to four days. May be frozen for up to a month; defrost, wrapped, in the refrigerator.

4 If dough is thoroughly chilled, let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling. Line a 13x9x1-inch quarter sheet pan with a piece of baking parchment. On lightly floured surface, roll out disk to a 16x12-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Place pastry in pan, being careful to not stretch the dough. Leave a 1/2-inch overhang of dough. Crimp the edge. (Sometimes you need to chill the pastry a bit before crimping.) Flute the edge higher than usual to contain the filling. Cover loosely and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. 

5 Fit the sheet of aluminum foil in the shell and fill with ceramic pie weights (baking beans). Bake the thoroughly chilled crust for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes.

Note: I use two boxes of the ceramic pie weights (which fit nicely into a 200-gram tea tin for storage) for a 9-inch pie or this quarter-sheet slab pie.

6 Remove fully pre-baked pie shell from the oven; let cool completely before filling, at least 30 minutes or hours ahead, whatever suits your schedule.

7 Once pie shell is cool, preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. In medium bowl (using a 2-quart glass measure makes it easy to pour the filling into the crust), whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt and spices. Whisk in the eggs, then the pumpkin and then the milk and cream. 

8 Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell. Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted midway between edge and center comes out clean or until it registers 185F/85C on an instant-read thermometer.

Note: After you've made pumpkin pie a few times, you can tell just by looking whether or not it's done. It will look darker and shinier and may have puffed up a bit and then fallen, and it should be fairly firm but still have a little jiggle left in the center.

9 Cool completely on wire rack for 2 hours, then lay a square of wax paper over the top and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve with softly whipped cream. I sweetened and flavored 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with 4 teaspoons of real maple syrup and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.


Note: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

31 October 2019

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth / www.delightfulrepast.com

Turkey Gravy is the highlight of any turkey dinner. Whether you're hosting a turkey dinner or doing a make-and-take side for dinner at someone else's house, you can be in charge of the gravy!

(I first posted this three years ago, though I've been making it for decades. If you read it then but didn't try it, please read it again and give it a go now!)

If you've never made the gravy ahead of time, you're going to thank me for this. It's the only way to go when you've got a dozen things on the menu, some of which need doing at the last minute. 

You know what I'm talking about. The classic mashed potatoes are mashed at the last minute, the dinner rolls are heated at the last minute, so many things to see to. By the time you sit down at the table, you're exhausted! 

But you can get the turkey broth and gravy done well in advance. You'll have enough broth for stuffing/dressing as well as gravy. Just freeze both until a day or two before you need them. If you make it two or three days ahead, just refrigerate it.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth / www.delightfulrepast.com
Don't forget to Pin it! 



(You can make the Cranberry Sauce two days ahead. Try it! You'll never go back to canned! Actually, some people love the canned cut into slices, so I sometimes serve both.)

Though it's made with just 2 pounds of turkey, the gravy tastes wonderful. But, if you want added flavor or want to increase the amount of gravy, when you take your turkey out of the pan on the big day, combine the pan drippings (minus the fat) and make-ahead gravy for added oomph.

About the broth: I'm a huge fan of store-bought organic free-range low-sodium chicken broth, but NOT for anything to do with a turkey dinner. You MUST make turkey broth, whether this way or with the neck, etc, on the day you roast the turkey, or both.

Do you like to make things ahead or do it all on the day? My mother always did pretty much everything on the day, but she was made of sterner stuff. I have to stretch it out!

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth (this photo - the roasted drumsticks) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy


(Makes about 4 cups)

The Turkey

2 turkey drumsticks* (about 2 pounds/0.91 kg total)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dry sherry plus enough water to make 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml)


* Other parts might work, too, but I've only ever used drumsticks as they are more readily available where I shop.

The Broth


The Turkey, above, cooked
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
2 medium carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
4 medium celery stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces
Handful of fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

2 1/2 quarts (80 fluid ounces/2.36 litres) water

The Gravy


1/3 dip-and-sweep cup (1.67 ounces/47 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour

4 cups (32 fluid ounces/946 ml) of The Broth

1 Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. Lightly oil (about 1/2 teaspoon) a heavy-duty quarter sheet pan. Pat the drumsticks dry and place them in the prepared pan. Sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Roast for 60 to 70 minutes. Sixty minutes would probably be enough, but I like to get maximum brown bits in the roasting pan.

Note: If you don't see lots of brown in your pan after 70 minutes, let it go longer. This is a crucial step. Just be sure you don't let it burn.

2 Transfer the drumsticks to a 5-quart pot (I use a Le Creuset 5.5-quart round French oven); set aside for the moment.

3 Place the roasting pan on the stove and pour in the liquid a little at a time, stirring and scraping up the browned bits. When pan is completely deglazed, pour the liquid into a jar, bowl or 1-cup glass measure; refrigerate. You'll see from the photo that I ended up with about 1/4 cup of fat, which is perfect!

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth (this photo - pan drippings) / www.delightfulrepast.com


4 Add vegetables and seasonings to the pot, along with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with lid slightly ajar for 4 hours, checking liquid level after second and third hours and adding more water only if needed.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth (this photo - the broth) / www.delightfulrepast.com


5 Strain the broth into a 2-quart glass measure. You will have 6 to 8 cups of broth.

6 Transfer your refrigerated pan drippings to a 2-quart saucepan and begin heating. Add flour to pan drippings and cook, whisking or stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

7 Add about 1/2 cup of the stock and whisk briskly until very smooth, then add remaining broth. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently, until the gravy thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

8 Leave the gravy as is or strain into a 4-cup glass measure. Pour it into a 6-cup glass freezer container. Let cool a bit at room temperature, refrigerate until cold, then freeze until the day before you want to serve it.


9 The day before you want to use it, transfer the gravy from freezer to refrigerator. Reheat the thawed gravy, combining it with the defatted pan drippings for even more flavor.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean
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