Sunday, May 18, 2008

Blueberry Turnovers

I recently borrowed Williams-Sonoma Collection: Desserts from the library. There a lot of good recipes in this book. I have bookmarked 6 recipes and when I make them I will post about them.

First up is Blueberry Turnovers.

Blueberry Turnovers
makes 8 turnovers

1/1/4 cups (5oz/155g) blueberries
2 tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp finely grated lemon zest
pinch of salt
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tsp water

Double recipe Basic Pastry Dough, divided into 2 equal disks and chilled


2 tbsp sliced almonds (optional)
2 tsp granulated sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl toss the blueberries with the brown sugar, flour lemon juice, vanilla, zest, and salt, crushing the berries slightly with the back of a spoon, until the dry ingredients are evenly moist. Set the mixture aside.

In a small bowl, using a fork, make an egg wash by stirring together the egg and water until well blended. Set aside.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one dough disk into a 10½-inch (27-cm) square about ⅛ inch (3 mm) thick. Use a dough scraper or an icing spatula to loosen the pastry if it sticks. Trim away the ragged edges, removing about ¼ inch (6 mm) from each side. Repeat with the second disk. Cut each square into four 5-inch (13-cm) squares.

Spoon some of the blueberry filling onto the center of each square, dividing the filling evenly. Lightly brush the edges of the squares with some of the egg wash, then fold the dough over the filling to form triangles. Crimp the edges with tines of a fork to seal. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 1½ inches (4 cm) apart. Brush the turnovers with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle evenly with the almonds and granulated sugar, if desired. Cut 2 or 3 small slits in the top of each turnover to vent.

Bake the turnover until, golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Dough rolled, filled and ready for baking.

Baked, cooled and ready for grubbing!

END VERDICT - 4 stars

I thought these little things were yummy. I halved this recipe and made 4 turnovers. I will need to give that pastry dough another run before I give a definitive answer. I think I added too much water but it was still good. I would recommend you use fresh blueberry instead of frozen.

Until next time,
Happy Smacking!

Basic Pastry Dough

Basic Pastry Dough
from Williams-Sonoma Desserts Book

1¼ cups (5¾ oz/175 g) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ cup (2oz/60 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¾-inch (2-cm) pieces
3 tbsp cold vegetable shortening cut into ¾ (2 cm) pieces
3 tbsp very cold water

To make the dough in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl. Pulse to blend. Add the pieces of butter and shortening and pulse until reduced to ½ (12-mm) pieces. Add the water a little at a time and pulse until the dough just begins to come together in a rough mass.

Remove the dough to a work surface and shape into a 5-inch (13-cm) disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours. Makes enough dough for 1 single-crust pie, tart, or galette.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Lemon Cupcakes with Blueberry Buttercream

I have to admit. I am a little bit of a cupcake snob. I don't like cakes or cupcakes made out of cake mix. I'm saying I won't eat them (haha) but I won't make them.

I was cruising Cassie's baking blog when I came across a post regarding Sprinkles Cupcakes. I know I heard of these cupcakes before. I know Martha Stewart had them on her show recently but I think I remember seeing their cake mix somewhere. Suddenly I remembered. I saw it while going through a Williams-Sonoma catalog. I decided to get off my high horse and stop by my local Williams-Sonoma and pick up a canister of Sprinkles Cupcake Mix. I didn't take pictures because I wasn't going to blog about it but I thought since I made cake box cupcakes the least I could do was make some homemade frosting, and it was sooooo good I felt the need to post it.

Blueberry Buttercream
adapted from Martha's Strawberry Buttercream
Makes 2 cups

3 large egg whites
½ cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks)unsalted butter, room temperature
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp blueberry jam

1. In the heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees).
2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 4 minutes.
3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 2 to 4 minutes more.)
4. Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes.
5. Stir in blueberry jam with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.

END VERDICT - 4 stars

The frosting makes up for the dryness in the cupcake. For ding dong $14 you would think the cupcakes could taste better but I could have baked some lemon cupcakes from scratch that could have tasted better. On the real the frosting made the cupcake. Without it, those cupcakes would have gotten 3 stars. I say, save your money and make your own cupcakes or go ahead and buy some Betty.

Until next time,

Happy Smacking!