Monday, September 28, 2009

plum galette

the goods:

2 and 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ice water
1/4 cup almonds toasted
5 to 6 plums, halved, pitted, and 1/4 inch thick (keep slices together)
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream

In a food processor, combine 2 and 1/2 cups flour, butter, 1 teaspoon sugar, and salt; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough holds together (if necessary, add up to 1/4 cup remaining ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Don't overmix.

Remove dough from processor and shape into a disc; wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour.

Meanwhile, wipe out food processor and add almonds, 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons flour; pulse until ground to a coarse meal.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle almond mixture over dough. With a spatula, transfer plums to dough; pressing lightly to fan out, leaving a 2-inch border.

Fold edge of dough over fruit. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Brush crust with cream; sprinkle galette with 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake until crust is golden and underside is cooked through, about 70 minutes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Flourless double-chocolate pecan cookies

for Candice

the goods:

3 cups confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 and 1/2 cups chopped pecans
4 large egg whites, room temperature

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa, and salt.

Stir in Chocolate and pecans.

Add egg whites and stir just until incorporated (do not overmix).

Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls, 3 inches apart, onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Bake until cookie tops are dry and crackled, about 25 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.

Transfer sheet to a wire rack to let cookies cool completely.

Monday, September 14, 2009

lemon curd tartlets

the goods:

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grate lemon zest, plus 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
8 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 sticks unsalted butter (10 tablespoons), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 store-bought tartlet shells
whipped cream

In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, zest, and egg yolks.

Whisk in lemon juice and salt.

Add butter and place pan over medium-high. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted, mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and small bubbles form around the edge of the pan, 5 minutes (do not boil).

Remove pan from heat while continuing to whisk. Pour curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl.

Press plastic wrap against the surface of curd and refrigerate until cool.

(If tartlet shells come frozen, thaw in the refrigerator and bake on a sheet pan for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.)

Fill tartlet shells with chilled lemon curd and smooth tops.

Top tartlets with whipped cream (homemade or store bought).


Monday, September 7, 2009

chocolate peanut-butter icebox cake

the goods:

2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 box (9 ounces) chocolate wafer cookies

In a large bowl, whip 1 and 1/2 cups cream with sugar until soft peaks form.

In a small bowl, whisk peanut butter until soft and smooth; whisk in 1/2 cup cream until light and fluffy.

Fold peanut-butter mixture into whipped cream until incorporated.

Dab the bottom of 6 cookies with a very small amount of filling and arrange in a circle on a serving plate; place 1 cookie in the middle of circle.

Top with 2/3 cup cream mixture, spreading outward to cover all but outer edges of cookies.

Repeat process 5 more times (staggering the cookie layers), ending with cream.

Cut 3 cookies in half; decorate top of cake with cookie halves. Refrigerate cake at least 8 hours (or up to overnight).

To serve, cut into wedges using a serrated knife.