Archive for the 'bread' Category

Meyer Lemon Scones with Lemon Drizzle + Lemon Curd

meyer lemon scones 1

Sorry I’ve been neglectful of you guys this week – I’ve been off meeting and eating from Toronto to Richmond. Today I’m still digesting noodles and soup dumplings and what feels like half a dozen pineapple buns from the Lido, but today I have a baby shower to bake for.

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I’ve been planning a Meyer lemon tart, but since tart pan rings and bottoms have a way of losing each other in the basement, Meyer lemon scones it is. And curd, just to up the ante. Meyer lemons are here – they’re bigger (or sometimes, smaller) and smoother, with a slightly orange tinge, which can be credited to their breeding; a Meyer lemon is a regular lemon crossed with a mandarin orange.

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Which makes them milder than a regular lemon – more floral, less acidic, with less pucker power. Sometimes, particularly when I make something tart, like curd, I like to combine the two – Meyer and regular lemons – to get the best of both worlds.

meyer lemon scones 3

This online shower is for our friend Jan, who is due to have a baby boy any second now – and since we can’t all live in the same city, we had to do something virtually, as we food bloggers are wont to do. On the upside, I can stay in my PJs and keep this entire batch to myself.

(Update: I packaged them up and brought them to the hospital for the nurses – we’ve been spending a lot of time these past few weeks there with Mike’s mom – and when I got home found them still sitting on the back seat of the car. Facepalm.)

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For a shower (or even a brunch), cut these small and dainty – two or three bites – which means no one has to commit to an enormous scone, and can always have seconds. Besides, maximizing surface area means more crunchy, crispy bits.

Meyer Lemon Scones with Lemon Drizzle

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
grated zest and juice of 2 Meyer lemons, divided
1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
3/4 cup (ish) milk or cream
1 large egg

extra milk or cream, for brushing (optional)
coarse or turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
1/2 cup (ish) icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 425F.

In a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the lemon zest and butter and pulse or blend with a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers until the mixture is crumbly.

Squeeze the juice of one of the lemons into a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 3/4 cup. Add the egg and stir with a fork.

Add to the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until the dough comes together. Gather it into a ball and pat it out into a square or rectangle about an inch thick on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cut into squares or rounds, gathering up any scraps and rerolling them gently (if you have any).

If you cut them, pull the scones apart so that there’s space for the heat to move around them. If you like, brush the tops with a little cream and/or sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden.

Meanwhile, whisk together the juice of the remaining lemon with the icing sugar, adding a little more if necessary (this will depend on the juiciness of the lemon), until you have a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the warm scones using a fork.

Makes about 9 scones.

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This particular occasion seemed to call for lemon curd – a trio of lemon in one bite is never a bad thing – but these really don’t need it. In fact, I’ve been seeing lemon combined with chocolate on restaurant menus lately, which makes me think that these – especially with their mandarin orange heritage – would do just fine with some chopped white or dark chocolate thrown in.

lemon curd ingredients

Once you’ve made it, lemon curd is about as simple as it gets – just remember not to leave the pot on the stove while you go check your email. (Burnt curd is not a thing. Trust me, I’ve tried.) Since Meyer lemons don’t have the same tartness as regular lemons, I like to top it up with regular lemon juice to add a little more pucker. Whisk on the stovetop until it thickens, then whisk in the butter, which will kickstart the cooling process. Easy. Eat with a spoon to ward off winter.

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Meyer Lemon Curd

6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
zest of two Meyer lemons
1/2 cup Meyer and regular lemon juice
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring often (if not constantly) with a whisk, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Set aside to cool.

Makes about 2 cups.

Join the rest of the party! There’s plenty to eat.

Mardi from eat. live. travel. write made Blueberry Cheesecake Macarons
Heather from The Tasty Gardener made Cream Puffs w Caramel Cream + Chocolate Pretzel Top
Isabelle from Crumb: A Food Blog made Blackberry Meringue Bars
Jennifer from Seasons and Suppers made Baby Blueberry Beignets
Christina from Strawberries For Supper made Chocolate Madeleines
Jenny from The Brunette Baker made Wild Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins
Liliana from My Cookbook Addiction made Vanilla Mini Cupcakes
Carole from The Yum Yum Factor made Beet and Blue Cheese Canapes
Charmian from The Messy Baker made Piglet Muffins
Amy from Family Feedbag made Marmalade Poke Cake
Brittany from My Daily Randomness made a Caramel + Pumpkin Parfait
Meg from Sweet Twist of Blogging made an Apple Carrot Loaf
Aimee from Simple Bites made Roasted Turnip Hummus
Libby from Libby Roach Photography made Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Robyn from Planet Byn made Milk & Cookies Shooters

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February 16 2015 | bread and breakfast | 14 Comments »

Pear, Caramelized Onion & Brie Pizza

Pear & Brie Flatbread 2

People often ask me what pizza dough recipe I use. The truth is, most formulas for pizza dough are the same – flour, yeast, water, olive oil and salt. The key ingredient not many recipes call for is time.

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Yeast doughs are a lot like people – the longer it’s alive before it’s baked, the more character it develops. Which means mixing up a batch of dough on Thursday if Friday is pizza night will make all the difference in the world. Let it hang out in the counter, on the fridge – wherever it won’t get into any trouble. Punch it down when it needs taming. The next day, you’ll see its potential in the stretchy bubbles interspersed throughout the dough. Which I apparently took no photos of, I was so preoccupied with the stretching and the topping. And the chilling of the wine – do you know this trick? Wrap a bottle in wet paper towel and put it into the freezer to chill fast.

(Just make sure it’s not in the vicinity of any bananas. Which in our freezer is impossible.)

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Pear, Caramelized Onion & Brie Pizza

Dough:
1 pkg. (2 tsp.) active dry yeast
pinch sugar
2 1/2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. (or a good glug) olive oil
1 tsp. salt

canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 ripe but firm pear, thinly sliced
4 oz. Brie, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil

Put 1 cup warm water into a large bowl, add the sugar and sprinkle the yeast overtop; let stand for 5 minutes, until it gets foamy. Add 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, the olive oil and salt and stir until you have a shaggy dough. Let rest for 20 minutes, then knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if you need it – the dough should be tacky, but not too sticky.

If you like, place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat all over. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place – if you’re in a hurry, it only needs to wait for about an hour, until it’s doubled in bulk. If you have time, leave it. When it gets too big, punch it down. If you’re going out or to bed, cover it and put it in the fridge, which will slow the rise. Or freeze it. Take it out to thaw or warm up before you use it.

When you’re ready for pizza, heat a generous drizzle of oil in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, or until soft and turning golden. Preheat the oven to 450F.

Divide the dough in half and roll or stretch each out into a 9-inch circle or oval. Place each on a parchment-lined or floured baking sheet and top with half the caramelized onions, half the pear slices and half the Brie. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until deep golden. Let rest for a few minutes, then drizzle with honey before slicing.

Makes 2 pizzas; serves 12-16.

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January 28 2015 | appetizers and bread | 10 Comments »

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