I am happy to have a fitting post to share on Pi day! 🙂
Dorie Greenspan described this Polish dessert as a “combination of a cake, a crumble, and a torte.” After reading this in her book, I expected something different. I would describe it as a fruit-packed deep dish pie.
Because I served it warm, the slices had a little bit of trouble keeping their shape! Ice cream was not an essential accompaniment, but we preferred it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The recipe was adapted from Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty, & Simple by Dorie Greenspan. Next time I would add some cinnamon and nutmeg to the filling.
The original recipe includes ideas for variations in the filling including mixing pears with the apples and using dried cherries or dried cranberries instead of raisins. Toasted nuts would also be delicious in the filling.
Yield: One 9-inch pie (serves 8 to 10)
For the Crust:
306 g (2 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
11 T (5 1/2 oz / 155 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cold large egg
1 cold large egg white
For the Filling:
3 pounds (1.3 kg) sweet apples, such as Fuji or Gala, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
67 g (1/3 cup / 5 T) packed light brown sugar (or more, to taste)
1 1/2 T all-purpose flour
160 g (1 cup) moist, plump raisins, preferably golden
cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or allspice, to taste, optional
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste (I used 1/2 a large lemon)
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
ice cream or whipped cream, for serving, optional
To Make the Crust:
Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Place the prepared pan on a parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheet.
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend.
Drop in the pieces of butter and pulse, about 15 times, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl a couple to times. The mixture should resemble crumbs.
Lightly beat the egg and egg white; add to the flour mixture in 3 additions, pulsing after each. Scrape the bowl as needed. The mixture should form moist clumps and curds.
Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and gather it together.
Remove 1/3 of the dough, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and place it in the freezer. (This dough will be used for the topping.)
Shape the remaining dough into a ball, flatten it and sandwich it between sheets of parchment paper.
Roll the dough into a round about 14-inches in diameter. Peel the parchment back intermittently to make sure it’s not creasing the dough. (The round will be about 1/8-inch thick.)
Place the dough (still between the parchment sheets) on a flat surface and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
After chilling, transfer the dough to the springform pan. Gently press it against the bottom and up the sides, patching and folding if necessary. Trim the top even with the pan.
Place the pan/crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
To Make the Filling:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. (I set my oven to the convection setting.)
Toss the chopped apples, brown sugar, flour, and raisins in a large bowl and mix to coat the apples with sugar and flour. Add the spices at this time as well, if using.
Mix in the lemon juice; mix.
Taste a piece of apple and adjust the sweetness and/or spices, to taste. Let rest for 5 minutes and mix again.
Place the dough-lined pan on the prepared baking sheet.
Scoop the filling into the crust, including any juices that have accumulated in the bowl.
Remove the chunk of dough from the freezer and, using the large holes of a box grater, grate the frozen dough. Intermittently stop and sprinkle the pieces over the top of the apples.
Bake the pie for 40 minutes.
Tent it loosely with foil and bake another 25 minutes or so, until the top is golden brown and, most importantly, the juices are bubbling up thorough the top crust. (I baked it for an additional 35 minutes once tented but would add even more time next time- the apples could have been even more tender.)
Transfer the szarlotka, on the baking sheet, to a rack and let rest for 20 minutes.
Gently run a table knife between the pie and the sides of the pan and remove the sides of the springform pan.
Let the pie cool until it’s just warm or reaches room temperature.
Dust the pie with confectioners’ sugar.
Slice the pie using a serrated knife using a sawing motion.
Serve with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream, if desired- I recommend it!
Note: The szarlotka is best the day it is made. To store it you can keep it covered at room temperature for one day or refrigerate it for a second day.
Wow. We just loved this! The pudding was fabulously creamy and a little bit salty. The sweet streusel crumble and toasted pecan toppings complemented it perfectly.
This recipe was adapted from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book: Recipes for Irresistible Everyday Favorites and Reinvented Classics by Sarah Kieffer. I weighed the ingredients, when possible, omitted the rum or bourbon in the pudding, and modified the method.
Yield: Serves 8
For the Butterscotch Pudding:
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (99 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (99 g) packed light brown sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (28 g) cornstarch
8 T (1 stick, 113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 4 pieces
1 T pure vanilla extract
1 T blackstrap rum or bourbon, optional (I omitted it)
For the Streusel Crumble: (Makes 1 cup)
48 g (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
33 g (2 1/2 T) granulated sugar
33 g (2 1/2 T packed) light brown sugar
25 g (1/4 cup) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
3 T (43 g) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 3 pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup (27 to 57 g) whole pecans, toasted and chopped into small pieces
To Make the Butterscotch Pudding:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the granulated and brown sugars, salt, and egg yolks on low until combined.
Increase the heat to medium-high and beat until very thick, about 5 minutes.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the cornstarch. Mix on low until combined.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and heavy cream until just simmering. Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium liquid measuring cup with a pourable spout.
With the mixer running on low, slowly pour the hot milk-cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Beat until incorporated.
Transfer the mixture to a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly, until the mixture becomes thick and begins to boil, 3 to 4 minutes.
Whisk for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture becomes the consistency of pudding and is glossy.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and rum, if using. Mix until the butter is completely melted.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap sits directly on top of the pudding (this will help keep it from forming a skin).
Place the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator until well chilled, at least 4 hours. While the pudding chills, make the streusel crumble.
To Make the Streusel Crumble:
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed quarter sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, sugars, oats, salt, and cinnamon.
Add the butter and incorporate using a pastry blender until the mixture comes together but is still quite crumbly.
Place the streusel on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer; press into the pan.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.
To serve, crumble into chunky pieces.
Divide the pudding between 8 ramekins and top with toasted pecans and streusel.
Pass additional streusel at the table, if desired.
It seems like a good time to share more cookie recipes. 😉
Before the holidays, I started receiving weekly cookie emails (I subscribed ) from The New York Times- a pretty dangerous and crazy idea! This “pantry cookie” recipe caught my eye right away. A crowd-pleaser for sure.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Jerrelle Guy. The recipe starts by creaming the sugar with eggs rather than butter. The end result is a cookie with a crusty exterior and chewy interior. Cracks also form on the surface which are highlighted by the essential glaze. Great.
Yield: 15 to 16 cookies
1 cup/95 grams old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup/128 grams all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar
1/4 packed cup/55 grams light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 T/57 grams unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup/92 grams confectioners’ sugar
5 teaspoons whole or oat milk, plus more as needed
Heat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection, and line two large rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a bowl, combine the oats, flour and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat both sugars with the egg, cinnamon, vanilla and baking soda on high speed, scraping the bowl as needed, until glossy, pale and thick, a full 2 minutes.
Reduce the speed to medium. Very slowly drizzle in the melted butter and whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
Add the oat mixture and gently fold by hand using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula just until incorporated, being careful not to over mix.
Using a small cookie scoop or two spoons, drop 15 golf ball-size mounds of dough onto the sheet pan, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. (I used a 1 1/2 T cookie scoop.)
Bake until the edges and surface are set and lightly golden brown, but the center is still gooey, 10 to 11 minutes on convection or up to 12 to 14 minutes in a standard oven.
Remove from the oven and immediately rap the cookie sheet on the counter or stovetop a couple of times to help the cookies flatten a little more, and cool on the sheet for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar and milk using a small whisk or fork until the icing is completely smooth and very thick but still moves if you tilt the bowl. Add more milk in small increments as needed. (I add the milk 1 teaspoon at a time to make sure the consistency is not too thin.)
Dip only the very tops of the cookies into the bowl of icing, leaving the deeper cracks in the cookies uncoated and allowing any excess icing to drip back into the bowl.
Flip the cookies over and return them to the cookie sheet to allow the icing to harden, 10 to 15 minutes. The iced cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
I cannot resist trying a new Speculoos recipe. I am mildly obsessed with these crispy spice cookies! 😉 I love the spiced sugar sprinkle on this delicious version. They may be my new favorite!
This recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com, contributed by Erika Bruce. I modified the method and used a combination of molasses and light corn syrup instead of dark corn syrup. Next year I need to make a double batch!
Yield: about 60 2-inch square cookies
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp ground allspice
2 T granulated sugar
320 g (2 2/3 cups) cake flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp freshly ground cloves
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cool room temperature
218 g (1 cup) packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
1 1/2 T light corn syrup
1/2 T molasses
Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Line 4 baking sheets with kitchen parchment.
In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon, coriander and allspice. Measure 1 teaspoon of the mixture into another small bowl, then whisk the white sugar into it and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking soda, cloves and the remaining spice mixture.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and salt on low until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase to medium-high and beat until fluffy and pale, about 5 minutes.
With the mixer running, gradually add the corn syrup, molasses, and 2 tablespoons water.
Using a silicone spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl, then mix for another 30 seconds.
Reduce to low, add the flour mixture and mix until the ingredients just begin to form an evenly moistened dough, about 15 seconds.
Dust the counter liberally with flour and scrape the dough onto it. Gently knead the dough, giving it 2 or 3 turns, until smooth; it should feel moist and supple but should not be sticky.
Divide the dough in half; wrap 1 piece in plastic and set aside. With your hands, pat the second piece into a rough 8-by-6-inch rectangle.
Using a well-floured rolling pin, or between layers of plastic wrap, roll the dough rectangle to an even 1/8-inch thickness. Wrap well and place in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes. (I place the dough on a plastic cutting board to keep it flat.)
With a 2-inch rectangular or round cookie cutter (ideally with a fluted edge), cut out cookies as close together as possible. Use an offset spatula to carefully transfer the cutouts to one of the prepared pieces of parchment paper, spacing them about 1/2-inch apart. (I used a square cookie cutter.)
Gently pat the dough scraps together, then re-roll and cut out additional cookies; transfer the cutouts to parchment paper.
If desired, use a slightly smaller cutter of the same shape to imprint a decorative border (do not cut all the way through the dough) and use a toothpick to poke a few holes in the centers. (I put 4 holes in the center of each square.)
Sprinkle the cookies evenly with half of the spiced sugar, then freeze or refrigerate uncovered for 15 minutes. (I place the parchment paper on a plastic cutting board to put it in the freezer.)
Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
Place the first sheet of cookies in the oven. Bake until the cookies are firm and beginning to brown, 14 minutes, on convection, or up to 18 minutes in a standard oven, rotating once halfway through.
Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
Repeat with the remaining cookies. Cool completely before serving.
This flavor-packed weeknight dish was included in Milk Street Magazine’s “Tuesday Nights” series which features weeknight dishes with bold and fresh flavors. I have found that meatballs that incorporate a panade, hydrated breadcrumbs, are very tender- great.
The recipe was adapted from Milk Street Magazine, contributed by Calvin Cox. According to the original article, these Greek oblong shaped meatballs are known as soutzoukakia smyrneika. Traditionally, they are served with tiganites patates (potatoes fried in olive oil). We ate them with crusty bread to sop up every bit of sauce. The dish could also be served with roasted potatoes or a rice or orzo pilaf.
Yield: Serves 4
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 large garlic cloves, 2 finely gratedn(I used a garlic press), 1 thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey
In a medium bowl, combine the panko, egg and 1/2 cup water, then mix until homogeneous. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the panko to hydrate. (This step is very important in order to create soft and tender meatballs.)
Add the pork, cumin, the grated (or pressed) garlic, 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon oregano, 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, then mix well.
Divide into 11 or 12 portions (each about a scant 1/4 cup), then shape each into a 2 1/2-inch-long cigar (oblong) shape.
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. (Non-stick can be used; I used a 12-inch stainless all-in-one pan.)
Add the meatballs and cook without disturbing until browned on the bottoms, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip the meatballs and cook until browned on the second sides, another 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat, transfer the meatballs to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside.
Return the skillet to medium-high and add the sliced garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and starting to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomatoes, cinnamon, honey and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, then bring to a simmer.
Place the meatballs in the pan and return to a simmer. Cover and simmer, undisturbed, until the centers of the meatballs reach 160°F, 12 to 14 minutes.
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper.
Transfer the meatballs and sauce to serving dish. Drizzle with additional oil, if desired, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oregano.
This pie is an autumn version of a classic Greek milk pie, or galatopita. I already have my eye on a summer version. 😉 It was very pretty and elegant. The pumpkin flavor was understated.
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Fruit Desserts: 100+ Ways to Savor the Best of Every Season via MarthaStewart.com. I baked the pie in a ceramic baking dish and modified the method. I served it as one of our Thanksgiving desserts this year. I made the pie a day in advance and refrigerated it overnight.
According to the original recipe, clarified butter or ghee is used in lieu of melted butter to eliminate the chance of pockets of moisture in the finished pie.
Yield: Serves 8
8 T (1/2 cup) clarified butter or ghee, melted
14 to 18 sheets store-bought phyllo (each 14 by 18 inches), thawed if frozen
6 large eggs
3/4 cup pure pumpkin purée
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom, sifted (I ground 8 pods)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp coarse salt
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350°F, preferably on convection.
Lightly brush a 9 or 10-inch round cake pan with clarified butter. Line pan with a 13-inch parchment round; brush parchment. (I used a ceramic baking dish so I omitted the parchment paper.)
Place 1 phyllo sheet on a work surface, with one long side parallel to edge. Lightly brush phyllo with clarified butter.
Using your hands, loosely ruffle phyllo by pushing long sides toward each other to create a long accordion shape, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches tall. Place upright in center of prepared cake pan, folding around to create a spiral. Repeat process with remaining sheets, continuing spiral outward until bottom of pan is covered.
Brush remaining clarified butter over tops of phyllo ruffles in pan.
Place the cake pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 22 minutes on convection or up to 25 to 30 minutes in a standard oven.
Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool while making filling (leave the oven on).
In a large bowl with a spout, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, milk, cream, granulated sugar, vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt until smooth.
Gradually pour the egg mixture over baked phyllo, evenly covering surface.
Return pan to oven and bake until filling is set, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Use parchment to lift pie out of pan; carefully remove parchment and transfer pie to a platter. (I served the pie in my ceramic baking dish.)
Wow. These cookies may be my new favorite autumn dessert. I knew that we would love them when they were described as if “a caramel apple and a snickerdoodle got together and created some seriously delicious magic.” 🙂
This recipe is from Bon Appétit, contributed by Kelly Janke. I used Kanzi apples. Apparently, any type of apple will work in these cookies.
The original recipe stresses the importance of cooking the apple caramel to the proper consistency. It was a little tricky, but the instructions were very helpful. All of the liquid from the apples is cooked down until it has evaporated, leaving behind a “tacky and pliable” caramel. This wonderful caramel is folded into the cookie dough to create swirls in the finished cookies- fabulous.
Yield: Makes 25 cookies
For the Apple Caramel:
3 medium apples (about 1 1/2 lbs total), peeled, cored (I used 3 (1 lb 6 oz total) Kanzi apples)
1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
2 T chilled unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp Morton kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (I used freshly ground cardamom, sifted)
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
For the Dough & Assembly:
3 1/2 cups (438 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp Morton kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup, packed (100 g) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 T vanilla extract
flaky sea salt (I used Maldon)
To Make the Apple Caramel:
In a food processor with the grater attachment, coarsely grate apples (or use large holes of a box grater).
Transfer grated apples to a clean kitchen towel and squeeze over a medium bowl to extract all the juice possible. (I just squeezed the grated apples with my clean hands!)
Measure out 1/4 cup (4 T) apple juice and set aside (save any leftover apple juice for another use).
Set grated apples aside (you should have about 2 1/2 cups).
Bring sugar, cream of tartar, and reserved 1/4 cup (4 T) apple juice to a rapid boil in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring just to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring but swirling pan often, until bubbles slow and caramel turns a deep amber color, 5–7 minutes.
Remove caramel from heat and stir in butter, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg.
Set pan over medium-low heat and add reserved grated apples, stirring quickly to combine (don’t worry if the caramel mixture looks like it’s seizing at first). Cook apple caramel, stirring constantly, until it’s noticeably stickier, the liquid has evaporated, and it almost forms a ball as you stir, 10–14 minutes. (Don’t be tempted to continue cooking- if the caramel becomes too dry it will be more of a fruit leather when it cools.)
Scrape apple caramel onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread out in an even layer. Let cool, at least 30 minutes.
Set 1/4 cup apple caramel aside for topping cookies.
To Make the Dough, Assemble, & Bake:
Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 375°. (I used the true convection setting.)
Whisk flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a medium bowl to combine.
Beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, starting on low speed, then increasing speed to medium, until combined, about 2 minutes total.
Add eggs one at a time, incorporating thoroughly before adding the next, then add vanilla.
Reduce speed to low; add dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Add apple caramel and pulse mixer two or three times to swirl caramel throughout dough or fold in caramel using a sturdy rubber spatula (take care not to overmix or else you’ll lose the swirled caramel effect as the cookies bake).
Using a 3 T (#20) cookie scoop portion out 16 balls and divide between 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing at least 2″ apart (you will have dough left over for a 2nd batch).
Top each cookie with a few small pieces of reserved apple caramel and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until golden brown at the edges, 12 to 16 minutes.
Let cookies cool 5 minutes on baking sheets then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
On cool cookie sheets, repeat process with remaining dough to make 8 (or 9) more cookies.
Do ahead: Cookies can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature. (True! Still delicious the next day.)