Fresh Raspberry filling
1 cup good quality raspberry preserves
1½ cups fresh raspberries (dry the berries on paper towels)
In a small bowl, combine the jam and the fresh berries, using a fork to gently mash the berries.
Toast 1 cup of walnuts in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes until fragrant. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and let cool completely. Finely chop the walnuts.
Brown Sugar/Cinnamon mixture
Combine ½ cup of brown sugar with ¾ teaspoon of cinnamon.
Finely chop 2 oz. good quality dark chocolate (I use Trader Joe’s 60%)
The Dough (yields: 3+ pounds of dough; use what you need and freeze the rest)
3½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 pound of cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½ ” chunks
8 oz. cream cheese (do not use low fat) cut into ½ ” chunks
1 cup sour cream
egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with two tablespoons of heavy cream
(You can make this in a food processor, but I prefer to use my standing mixer.)
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour,
salt and sugar. Add the butter and cream cheese, mixing on low just until the mixture is crumbly. Add the sour cream and mix just until you have a soft dough. Remove the dough from the mixer and set it on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Using a bench scraper or a knife, divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2-3 hours. It is easiest to work with this dough when it has chilled in the refrigerator overnight.
Working with one portion of dough at a time, you can roll the dough into a rectangle, approximately 12” x 7” x ¼ “ thick or into a 10” circle, ¼” thick. (I generally use about 6 oz. of dough per 12” x 7” rectangle or per 10” circle.) You must roll the chilled dough out on parchment paper that has been generously floured. If the dough gets soft, place it (on the parchment paper) on a baking sheet and return it to the refrigerator. Spread about 2 to 3 tablespoons of raspberry filling on top of the dough, spreading it gently using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle it with a bit of the cinnamon sugar, then about ¼ cup of the toasted walnuts and a good handful of chocolate. Roll up the rectangle, (roll from the short end, not the long end) into a tight cylinder using the parchment paper to help you, then cover the filled cylinder of dough with plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator to chill thoroughly before baking. When ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Remove the rugelach from the refrigerator, brush the top and sides with a bit of the egg wash, then slice the cylinder into 1” slices using a sharp knife, and place the slices flat on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through, until they are puffed and golden.
If you prefer crescent shaped rugelach, roll about 6 oz. of chilled dough on a generously floured piece of parchment paper, into a 10” circle. Spread about 2 to 3 tablespoons of raspberry filling on top of the dough, spreading it gently using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle it with a bit of the cinnamon sugar, then about ¼ cup of the toasted walnuts and a good handful of chocolate. Cut the circle into 8 or 10 wedges, and roll up each wedge to form a crescent. Place the rugelach on a parchment lined baking sheet, brush the crescents with egg wash and return to the refrigerator to chill thoroughly before baking. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through, until they are puffed and golden.
Butterscotch Pudding Pie (makes one 9” pie)
(adapted from Maida Heatter’s New Book of Great Desserts and The Fannie Farmer Baking Book)
one 9” fully baked pie shell of your choice, cooled
4 egg yolks
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons water
½ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt (you can use ¼ teaspoon; I prefer salty with sweet)
2½ cups milk (don’t substitute skim or lowfat)
1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon bourbon
In a medium size bowl, whisk the egg yolks and set aside. In a heavy bottomed pan, melt the butter over medium heat until it just turns nutty brown. Carefully transfer the browned butter to a heatproof bowl. (This helps to prevent the butter from burning.) Place the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of water into the heavy pan you used to melt the butter. Stir to combine, then add the browned butter back to the pan with the brown sugar and water. Cook this mixture over medium heat until it boils and begins to caramelize; this takes about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully add ½ cup of heavy cream. The mixture will sputter; whisk until smooth and set aside.
In a 3 qt. saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, flour and salt. Gradually whisk in ½ cup of milk until the cornstarch and flour are completely dissolved. Gradually stir in the remaining 2 cups of milk. Then stir in the browned butter/brown sugar/cream mixture. Place over low to medium heat and cook, constantly scraping the bottom and sides of the pan with a rubber spatula, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to scrape the pan and let the mixture boil for one minute. Remove from the heat.
Set a kitchen towel beneath the bowl of egg yolks to keep it steady, and slowly whisk in a few large spoonfuls of the hot mixture to the egg yolks to temper them. Whisk in a few more spoonfuls of the mixture, then pour the yolk mixture back into the remaining hot milk mixture, whisking well. Place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring with a spatula, just until the mixture comes to a very low boil. Continue to stir and scrape the pan; let it simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract and the bourbon. Pour the filling into the cooled baked pie shell, cover with a piece of buttered plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours. (If you have the patience, the pie slices best when it sits in the refrigerator overnight. I do not.)
Just before serving, prepare the whipped cream.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, place:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Whip just until the cream holds stiff peaks. Remove the plastic wrap from the refrigerated pie and swirl the whipped cream decoratively on top of the pie.
Shaker Meyer Lemon Breakfast Biscuits (yields 16 biscuits, cut with a 2¾ “ cutter)
(adapted from Bernard Clayton's The Complete Book of Pastry and Slice of Heaven)
For the Shaker Meyer Lemon filling- (yields enough to fill 16 biscuits plus extra to enjoy as you wish. The filling will keep refrigerated for one week.)
(The lemons and sugar need to macerate for at least 3 hours in a non-reactive bowl. I prefer to let them sit in a covered bowl, overnight. )
2 Meyer lemons, sliced paper thin (mine weighed a total of 4½ oz.)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Prepare the lemons by slicing them paper-thin, (saving the juice) removing all seeds, and placing the lemon slices and the juice in a bowl with the sugar. Toss gently, cover with plastic wrap and let them sit for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. (There may be a few stray seeds that should float to the top after the sugar and lemons sit. Remove them.)
In a small bowl, whisk together the butter and flour, then whisk that into the lemon/sugar mixture. Add the eggs, and combine thoroughly. Place the lemon filling in the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water. Cook the lemon filling until it becomes very thick- I take it off the heat when my insta-read thermometer registers 195 degrees. Transfer the filling to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and set the bowl over ice to cool completely before filling the biscuits. (You can prepare the lemon filling ahead of time and keep it refrigerated.) When ready to bake the biscuits, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
For the Biscuit dough-
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons sugar
zest from 1 Meyer lemon
6 oz. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¾ cup cold buttermilk (you may need an additional tablespoon)
egg wash made of one egg yolk plus 2 tablespoons of cream
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and zest. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal; there should be a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl. Using a rubber scraper, stir in the buttermilk, just until the dough comes together. (If it seems a bit dry, add the additional tablespoon of buttermilk.) Do not overmix. Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper that has been lightly dusted with flour.
Dust your hands with flour and gently pat the dough into a rectangular shape. Use your rolling pin to roll the dough approximately ¼“ thick. Cut out 32 circles of dough. Brush the outside edge of 16 circles with a bit of egg wash. Place a generous teaspoon of cold Meyer lemon filling in the center of each egg washed circle. Top each circle of filled dough with a round of dough, gently sealing the edges together. Place the filled biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush them with egg wash. Bake on the middle shelf of the pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes, until golden.