Getting My Bake On

This is the perfect weather to heat up the oven and do some baking. I am sharing my favorite recipes you can use to pull together a quick dessert or a meal out of leftovers. One of the styles of cooking I am good at is the ‘kitchen sink’ method. I love to bake, but I use what I have around me or whatever inspires me at the market. I have a few go-to recipes and techniques that once you learn them, they can be applied to many different ingredients.

Pie dough

Have a go-to pie dough recipe memorized. You can make tarts, pies, pot pies, savory pies and hand pies. I would recommend picking up Martha Stewart’s new Pie book. I have tried a few recipes and LOVE them. Martha’s recipe for pie dough is my hands down favorite. I always make my pie dough by hand, never in a food processor. I always mess it up! Anyone else have that problem? Old fashioned by hand or bust.

Sweet

If you have pie dough made up or in your freezer, you can throw together a dessert in no time. All you need is fruit, sugar and butter. In a saute pan, add sliced fruit, a tablespoon of butter, enough sugar till you have the taste you like, I find apples take a bit more sugar, while a ripe peach barely uses any. Add enough water to allow the fruit not to stick to the bottom of the pan. If you want to add cinnamon, a vanilla bean or nutmeg you can infuse flavor into your dish. I let the fruit simmer till soft, but not mushy, about 20 minutes.

Savory

When we have leftovers, I make a pot pie with the kitchen sink. Whatever we have I throw in. A good formula is a protein, a starch, veggies and broth. Now for the magic part, the roux. Roux is equal parts room temp butter and flour, about a tablespoon of each does the trick. Mix together, then add to the warm pan liquids, cooking until thickened.

Put it together

Add your filling to our prepared pie dough. My favorite are pies that are simple and rustic, no pan, just folded. You can use a muffin tin, or even make hand pies. Get creative and combine types of crusts and fillings.

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May 3, 2011

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