2014. július 2., szerda

Mulberry custard pie

So, I found that mulberry tree near our house next to an old road. Then an other one, in a park. I immediately had the idea of this pie.
Anyway, mulberries are so amazing. Unfortunately, I don't find mulberry trees very often, and finding the fruit in a shop is absolutely impossible. So if you happen to run into one, definitely go and make this pie! It is so yummy with the creamy vanilla custard. And the whole feeling of going and collecting some wild fruit in a wee basket or bowl is so great, almost magical. I think it makes you appreciate the fruit, thinking that it is a true gift from nature, not something you bought. Okay, I'm starting to be too romantic, let's move on!
I gave up my favorite 3:2:1 recipe this time to try something new I read in a magazine. It was great, but kind of similar to my original one. 
If you can't get mulberries (but please try), you can make this pie with raspberries or blackberries as well.

 scroll down for printable recipe!

1 egg yolk
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 tsp soured cream
350 g mulberries
70 g caster sugar
2 dl water
1 sachet custard powder (49 g)

Put the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Beat it with the icing sugar and egg yolk until pale. Add the flour, salt, lemon juice and baking powder, and mix together with a wooden spoon. Add the soured cream (you can use cream fraiche or yogurt if you want), and incorporate the mixture into a ball using your hand. Add more soured cream if necessary. Cover it with cling film and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Mix the mulberries with the caster sugar and cook it on medium heat for 5 minutes. Mix the custard powder with water and add it to the berry mixture. Mix constantly with a wooden spoon until it gets thick (around 5 minutes). Set aside.
Preheat the oven for 180 C. Divide the crust ball into to parts, leaving one of them bigger (2/3 - 1/3). Roll the bigger one on a floured surface. Grease a pie chart (I used a 32 cm wide one) and place the rolled crust in it. Bake for 10 minutes. Pour the mulberry mixture on the crust. Roll the other part as well, and cut 1,5 cm wide stripes. Place them on the berry mixture and bake together for 20 more minutes.
If you can, wait until it cools down, and the filling sets. 

2014. június 30., hétfő

Summer berry pizza

I'm back! No excuses, all you'd hear is bla bla bla. But I am soooo so back with a lot of yummy summer recipes in my pocket! Let's start with an extraordinary pizza.
I always have some restover linzer crust in my freezer, probably because I'm obsessed with pies, and I always use the simplest but best linzer recipe for the crust. The key is 3:2:1, 3 is flour, 2 is butter and 1 is icing sugar. There you go! You also have to add a bit of ice cold water to form a proper ball. Some people add an egg, I do that sometimes, but honestly, I don't really feel the difference. And water is cheaper
It's summer so wherever you live I doubt you don't have berries in your fridge. Or your garden. Or any other fruit like apricots, peaches etc. The linzer crust bakes in 10-15 minutes so you don't have to heat the already-sooo-hot house for hours, you just have to wait until the "pizza crust" gets cool. Yeah, that's probably the hardest part.
I recommend white chocolate for red berries, because they are incredibly great together. But you can skip it or use any other kind of chocolate as well.
Happy baking!

Scroll down for printable version!

200 g flour
125 g cold butter
60 g icing sugar
1-2 tblsp ice water

2 dl heavy cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
mixed berries, around 150 g
50 g white chocolate

Cut the cold butter into tiny cubes. Mix the icing sugar with the flour and add the butter. Use your fingertips
to create a crumbly mixture, then add some cold water and form a ball. Try to be as quick as you can so you won't heat up the ingredients with your hand. Cover the ball with cling film and put it in the fridge for half an hour. Preheat the oven for 180 C. Roll the crust ball into a circle, it shouldn't be very thin, around 1-2 cm. Leave it thicker at the edges. Bake it for 10-15 mins. Let cool completely. Grate the chocolate and chop the berries. Beat the heavy cream and add the sugar at half way. Place the heavy cream on the pizza crust, then the berries and sprinkle with chocolate. 

2014. április 18., péntek

Me and my brownies.

Almost Easter!! Everybody happy? This is going to be the first Easter in my life I don't spend at home. I am quite sad, but also relieved that I will miss all the watering drama. The only Hungarian tradition I don't like.
I'm hosting an Easter lunch on Sunday, and I'm preparing with plenty of food. Since I am going to make them tomorrow I'll try to post them before Easter, so you may give it a try. I am definitely making kalács [ˈkɒlaːtʃ], a Hungarian sweet bread. Similar taste as brioche, but it has a very lovely braided form, you'll see. And also I am going to make doubled eggs or stuffed eggs or whatever is the correct English tense. The two favourite Easter foods of mine.

But today, it's time for brownies! I am not sure if I shared this with you guys but most of the cakes and sweets I've made in my life turned out to be great, but I had a struggle with brownies. I know, right. Brownies. Damn easy thing.
It has never been horrible. Or uneatable. It has been alright. But we all agree brownies is not a thing what is supposed to be alright. Whenever brownies is mentioned, everybody want to pass out and they start craving for a little slice of chocolate goodness. My brownies were okay, especially for a non-British or American family, where this cake is not traditional. They didn't have high expectations.
I did. And after so many semi-bad attempts, I started to try different combinations, creating my own recipe. I don't know how is the real traditional brownie, but in my head, it has no nuts. 90% percent of the recipes I ran into had some kind of nuts in them. Well, if brownies have nuts, my almond-chocolate Christmas cake is brownies, end of story. So what I was looking for is a perfect combination of chocolate, butter, eggs and flour. And yeah, it happened... as you might have guessed reading all this. Here is my perfect brownie.

For a small tray, double the measurements if you have a normal baking tray. This is finished by me in a day.

185 g plain flour
185 g butter
185 g good quality dark chocolate
70 g sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg

First thing. I put one egg because somebody in the halls has been stealing my eggs and I had only one left. It is not easy to cut the brownie when it is hot, but when it is cold, it is totally alright. However, feel free to add another egg.
Preheat the oven for 180 C. Whisk the eggs, add the sugar and whisk them together for a minute. Melt the butter with the chocolate (I used the microwave). Add the chocolate and butter to the egg mixture and finally add the flour and baking powder. Grease a tray, pour the mixture and bake it until ready. In my oven it requires 25 minutes, but in a better owen, 17-20 minutes is enough I believe. Keep checking, when the middle is set, it is ready.
Always have a glass of milk while eating it.

2014. március 17., hétfő

Cheese & onion pie + NEW DESIGN!

Wohoo, new design!
As you have seen, I created new widgets recently with a hand-draw shelf theme. I always ask my friend who's a graphic designer to give me feedback, and she suggested to create the whole layout of the blog like that, so I finally drew the header. I hope you like it! Let's celebrate with pie.

I love this cheese & onion pie since it is soooo easy to make, you don't need any special ingredients, and it is good as a starter, a main or even a side! The crust is my favourite quiche crust, which is so easy to remember - the flour has to be the double of the salted butter so if you use 100 g butter you need 200 g flour etc etc. So easy to remember, and you can always create new variations.
This was made for a small pie chart, if you have a classical one, use 300 g flour and 150 g butter. You also have to cover it, don't forget!

Cheese & onion pie (for a 20 cm pie chart)

200 g flour
100 g salted butter 
1 egg

1 giant leek
100 g cheddar cheese
0,5 dl cream
salt, pepper
1 egg

Cut the butter into small pieces and using your fingertips, mix it with the flour. When it is crumby, add the egg and mix it together. If you don't have an egg, you can use 2 tblsp of water. Wrap it into folpack and put in the fridge for half an hour.
Cut the leek, and grate the cheese. Mix it together with the cream and egg, add salt and pepper (be careful - the crust is already salty!).

Butter the chart and preheat the oven (175 C) Half the dough, make the other half a bit bigger. Use 2/3 of this half to roll a circle for the bottom of the chart. Use the rest 1/3 for the sides. Put parchment paper and baking beans on it and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Wait a little bit so it chills down, then spoon the leek and cheese mixture on it. Roll the other half of the dough, and place it on the top. If it is bigger than the chart, squeeze the edges between the mixture and the baked dough. Otherwise just squeeze it to the baked layer gently with a fork. You may "draw" some marks on top with a knife. Pierce the top dough so the air could come out.
Bake for 35 minutes. Always serve hot! You can heat it up again in the oven or in the microwave.

2014. február 10., hétfő

A cheesecake week

I know it's my second cheesecake post in a while, but I got a bit obsessed. I made three, THREE cheesecakes in the past week. I ended up buying more cream cheese anytime I went grocery shopping, saying 'I'll make a cheesecake later tralala', I always made it on that day.
I kinda created my own, easy cheesecake recipe and now I am trying new variations. One thing happens all the time - when it's ready and I take it out from the oven it looks perfectly pretty, but as it chills down, the top's breaking. all. the. time. If anyone knows why and how to avoid it, I'd be really happy to know! I wanna eat pretty cakes.
What I do basically is having a simple batter, and creating a thin layer on the bottom with a different flavour. So far, I tried chocolate and different jams. If you work with jam, however, you should prebake the bottom layer, otherwise it won't stay a bottom layer. When I tried it for the first time, the bottom and the top layer perfectly changed place!! It was sort of funny and now I know what to do.
I share my white chocolate vanilla cheesecake this time. If you want berry or any fruit flavour, replace the white chocolate with 1,5 tbsp. jam, and after pouring the bottom layer on the crust, prebake it for 8 minutes or so.
What kind of cheesecake is your favourite? 

White chocolate vanilla cheesecake
400 g Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
250 g Digestive biscuits
100 g butter
90 g white chocolate

Grind the biscuits, and melt butter in a bowl. Spoon the grinded biscuits in the melted butter, and mix them together. Grease a spring form (I used a very small one), and cover it with parchment paper. Put a bit less than half of the crust mixture on the bottom, spread it and using the bottom of a glass, gently squeeze it down. Do the same on the sides with the rest of the crust. Put it in the fridge for 3 hours or if you don't have time, in the freezer for a shorter while.
Preheat the oven for 175 C.
Beat cream cheese for a minute, add sugar, vanilla extract and eggs, and beat together. Put approxiametly 1/3 of the batter in another bowl. Melt the white chocolate (in a pan or the microwave is fine), and mix it with the 1/3 of the batter.
Pour the white chocolate layer on the crust. Then very very carefully, spoon the plain layer on it. 
Bake for 50 minutes or until the middle is set. Let it cool completely, and put it in the fridge. The cooler the better!

2014. február 2., vasárnap

Spicy squash pie

I made this pie for Thanksgiving but forgot that I actually made photos too. (...) Reviewing them I remember how good this pie was, so I will redo it very soon. During the autumn, I made many versions of squash pies but this one turned out to be the best. This is one of the variations of the classic pie I bake very often - it is kinda impossible to forget the recipe as it follows the 3:2:1 rule; 30 dkg flour, 20 dkg butter and 10 dkg sugar. Well, these amounts apply for a classic, big ceramic pie chart - which I do not have at the moment, so I used a small one, halving everything The pastry was still a bit more than I needed, you can see on the pictures how tall it is.
Happy baking!

Spicy squash pie (for a 30 cm pie chart)
30 dkg flour
20 dkg butter
10 dkg icing sugar
1 egg

1 small butternut squash
2 eggs
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 dl cream

Mix the icing sugar with the flour. Chop the butter into tiny cubes and using your fingers, mix it together with the flour-sugar mixture. Add the egg and knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic foil and put in the fridge until the batter is ready.
If you have time, simply put the whole squash in the oven and bake on 180 C for about an hour or until it's soft. Then cut it into half, remove the seeds and simply spoon the inside into a bowl. You may cut the squash into half and remove the seeds, then cut into pieces before putting into the oven - in that case it will be ready quicker. Leave the oven on 180 C.
Once the soft, baked squash is a bit chilled, mix it with an electric food blender until smooth (I don't have one, and a fork worked as well). Add the cream, spices and eggs and mix with and electric hand mixer until smooth. 
Grease the pie chart, and using the 2/3 of the chilled dough, roll a circle and place it to the bottom. Use the remain of the dough for the sides. Gently squeeze the dough together everywhere. Place baking paper and baking beans/rice on the dough and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for another 5 minutes. Pour the squash mixture into the dough and bake on 180 C for 35-40 minutes or until the middle is set. Serve it hot or cold.

2014. január 29., szerda

Wait, what happened to the holiday food posts?!

10 kg hand baggage happened, and the fact that I didnt have space for my camera. Back at home my parents dont have one, so I couldnt take any photos about the foods and sweets I made during the holidays.
BUT for New Years Eve, I went to my cousins' house and they HAD ONE. I mean a camera. So some photos were taken of the great cheesecake I made for that night.

Cheesecakes have became popular in Hungary only a few years ago, and the reason for that is very simple: we didnt have soft creme cheese in the supermarkets before! Ridicolous, isnt it? We had some, but they were more like a spreadable thingy you use to put in sandwiches etc. I remember, some years ago I read in a cookbook that the writer brought entire New York cheesecakes home in her hand luggage from the US, because she just couldnt get the ingredients at home.

We do have Philadelphia creme cheese now, but they are incredibly expensive. And we know that for a cheesecake, you do not need one package, but at least three. I read many recipes on the internet using a little bit of creme cheese, and substituting the rest with sour cream. I'll try it once, but I am sure it isnt the same.
So I wanted a massive cheesecake for 8 people, found the perfect recipe on call-me-cupcake, but didnt really want to buy 600 g Philadelphia. So I used mascarpone since we had it at home (it was on sale somewhere, otherwise I do not think it would be THAT much cheaper). I was a bit worried, but it came out perfect. I created a bit simpler version of Linda's recipe.

One thing did not really work out for me: you supposed put the chocolate cheese layer first, then the plain one. How should it work out: put the brown layer, then slowly and carefuly spoon the white on it. How it worked out for me: I put the brown layer, then literally poured the rest on it. The result is a slightly weird-looking, shakey-wave pattern. Nobody complained, but next time I will be careful.

Chocolate oreo cheesecake
300 g oreos (or similar chocolate biscuits)
100 g butter, melted
500 g mascarpone
350 g sweetened condensed milk
1/2 dl sugar
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
90 g dark chocolate

Grind oreos in a food grinder, then mix it with melted butter. Cover the bottom and the sides of a greased springform with the mixture. It is a bit tricky to do it on the sides, but if you are patient and careful, it works out. Put the form in the fridge while you prepare the filling. Preheat the oven to 160 C.
Boil water in a saucepan, and place an other one on top. Mix the condensed milk and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add the eggs carefully: mix constantly with one hand while you add the egg with the other one, so it will not be cooked in the hot filling. Melt chocolate above the water bath and mix it with the 1/3 of the cheesecake batter.
Put the springform in an other big pan. Spoon the chocolate cheese batter first, then spoon the rest of the cheese batter on top. Boil water in a kettle, and pour it in the larger pan, around the springform, the water should reach halfway up the sides.
Bake for an 1 hour then let cool completely to serve.

this time, the photos were taken by Dorotea Engel, my lovely cousin.