Baking

Dates&Figs Tart

When experiments in the kitchen end up like this amazing tart, all I can say is – you have to try it as soon as possible! Really! It is luxurious and creamy, and as many other my recipes is very easy to prepare, especially if you already have a ready shortcrust pastry in your fridge or freezer! Preferably homemade.. Seriously, don’t go out and buy ready pastry. Do try to prepare it yourself, at least once and you will see how easy it is. 😀 Have a look at my unsweetened pastry recipe here (super tasty quiches).
 The tender custard-ish filling was done in almost no time. Simple and unbelievably good! Of course it’s hard to get fresh figs, so I do think you can substitute with dried ones, but then reduce the sugar. Fig&Date tart-2
 Sweet and tender fruits, rich and flaky crust – all these words make my mouth water!
Fig&Date tart-1
What you need is to get ingredients and follow instructions. Very easy recipe, believe me. And don’t forget to stand back and admire this beautiful tart before enjoying! 😉
Date and fig tart

Dates&Figs Tart

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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For 20cm baking tin
*Substitute with orange juice or simply omit.
Ingredients
Unsweeten or sweet shortcrust pastry, any one you like/have.
10-11 medium-size dates
3 fresh figs
1 tbsp orange liqueur or cognac*
2 large eggs
80g brown sugar
250ml creme fraiche (30%)
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
almond flakes
Method
  1. Line the baking tin with baking paper if need. Otherwise, roll out the pastry to fit the tin. Prick the pastry base with a fork and chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. If you have a time you can prebake the pastry base.
  2. Pit the dates, keeping them whole; cut figs; put both in a bowl and drizzle with liquor and leave to infuse for 15 minutes.
  3. Beat eggs with sugar.
  4. In another large mixing bowl, whisk creme fraiche with vanilla, nutmeg, add the egg mixture and whisk again.
  5. Arrange the dates and figs over the pastry. Pour over the batter. Sprinkle with almond flakes.
  6. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 20-25 minutes or until the centre is set. Leave to cool in a tin, then carefully take the tart out and serve.
Enjoy! 
DATE TART

News + Plum tart tatin

 Hello my dear blogofriends, foodies and readers! Hope you’ve been missing my posts. I’ve got a huge news for you – I birthed new life: became a first time mom. 🙂 I am literally in a different world. World filled with love, joy, sleepless nights and all kind of things. Needless to say, it’s all new, overwhelming and touchy to me. Almost all the time I’m busy with by little bear, the rest hours I’m eating, sleeping and again eating. I haven’t cooked anything interesting for ages, but I do hope I will be back into the foodblogolife soon..

 I know there are many mothers of newborns out there, who could join baby feeding and caring with blogging, but that seems a bit hard for me right now. I’m sure I will be alright and get into this new life soon. So.. what about you? How it was, what did you feel being a new mom? Please do share.

my little bear_feets

 This widely-popular French Tart Tatin is the treat, that I was able to prepare in a short time. A perfect dessert for the new mom. If you remember I always prefer homemade pastry and I made it myself (yay!), of course you can switch to a store-bough but try to find the good one with butter (no any palm or margarine). PlumTartTatin

Plum tart tatin

Ingredients
Pastry
250g plain flour
1 tbsp white sugar
a pinch of salt
150g butter, cubed and cold
2 tsp cold water
Filling
6-8 plums, cut into halves (or more, depends on the size of your pan)
80g white sugar
40ml water
40g butter, cubed
Method
  • For the pastry, sift flour and add all other ingredients until just combined. Shape into a disk and chill for 20 minutes. Roll into a 3-4mm  disk to suit your baking dish.
  • In a pan add sugar with water, leave to soak for few minutes. Heat on a medium heat until golden. Turn off the heat. Stir in butter, add plums and saute for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer plums into baking tin (or leave in the same pan if it’s oven-safe) with the liquid. Cover with pastry (slightly tuck the edges).
  • Bake in preheated 190C oven for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden-brown.
  • Leave to cool for 10 minutes or so, then carefully flip over into a large serving plate.
  • You can eat it as is or there are few options to serve it with: whipped or Greek cream, creme fraiche or frozen vanilla yogurt.
Enjoy! and stay turned!

Russian roll with Argentinian pears

 Everything is simple here. A few days ago, Argentinian pears were sold in a supermarket here, I’ve never tried them before and the price was attractive, so I bought a huge pack. Even though they turned out juicy and very delicious I still had some not-so-ripe left. Good to highlight, that using a bit hard but ripe pears that retain its shape during the baking process is a key to the good and not mushy filling.
I added tvorog (as I mentioned many times in my blog – it’s very Russian product) into the dough for my roll, it makes the dough softer and more tasty. Don’t worry, the dough won’t rip but make sure you carefully roll it out on a floured surface. Pear Roll
 The roll looks like a strudel, but the dough is absolutely different, it’s not that thin and thus much easier to roll out! It is tender&delicious and absolutely deserves to make it again and again. Another bonus, the dough can be make a day ahead! Plus juicy pears, sweet black raisins and crunchy nuts in the filling! Doesn’t it sound luscious? It is! 😀Russian roll with Argentinian pears

Russian roll with Argentinian pears

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

Dough

250g tvorog
90g soft butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 tbsp white sugar
200-210g plain flour
a pinch of fine salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
Filling
40g black raisins
hot strong black tea or water
1 egg white, optional
80-100g roasted almonds, chopped
450g (3-4) pears, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp brown or raw sugar
Glaze
1 egg yolk
2 tsp milk
1 tbsp demerara or raw sugar, optional
Method
  1. For the roll dough, whisk tvorog with butter.
  2. In another small bowl, whisk egg with sugar until pale. Add beaten egg into the mixture.
  3. Sift the flour along with salt and baking powder into the dough. Combine to get the soft dough, shape into the disk. Cover in a plastic wrap and put in a fridge for 30-60 minutes to cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 180C/360F.
  5. Wash raisins and cover with hot strong black tea or water. Leave to soak while ready to use. Drain.
  6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into 30x40cm rectangle, making sure it doesn’t stick to the surface.
  7. Brush the surface of the roll with egg white (optional). Sprinkle with nuts, spread pears and raisins. Sprinkle with sugar. Slightly fold in all sides (thus the filling will stay inside the roll and don’t fall out). Roll the dough into a barrel.
  8. Carefully transfer the roll on a greased lined baking tray. Brush the roll with egg glaze and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden-brown.
  9. Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes. Slice and serve as is or with whipped cream/frozen vanilla yogurt/ice cream.
Enjoy!

Russian pirogki

 Small, large, festive, with cabbage and eggs, potatoes, with wild mushrooms or rice&fish, with jam.. It’s all about pirogi (pies in Russian) and pirogki (small pies). Pies have been always prepared and enjoyed in Russia. The word “pirog” came from a word “pir” that means feast and therefore in old Russia every festival and banquet could be hardly imagine without a large, beautiful and delicious pie.
 In old times pies were generally made with rye, wholegrain or any similar flour (which is considered very healthy nowadays), such flour were available among poor people and thus pies could be eaten very often. While the white wheat flour was an expensive thing and using it was an luxury, affordable only among novelty, bourgeoisie and other high classes.
 The dough could be prepared with yeast or simple unleavened, based on a soured milk or cream, also made with oil or butter (shortbread pastry). Pies fillings were diverse as well, it could be meat of wild birds like pheasant and black grouse, vegetarian – with fresh forest mushrooms during summer and autumn, with soured cabbage, eggs or dried mushrooms on a winter time, sweet – with wild berries, dried fruits or homemade preserve.
 Without a doubt, serving a large pie or even several pies on a festive table was an indication of the host’s wealth and prosperity.
Russian pirogki
 The dough for these pies was made with yeast and soured liquid yogurt (I used local soured drink-laban, which is very similar to Russian kefir). The dough is very tender and fluffy, and of course very easy to prepare. Pies made from this dough stay soft even on the next day!
 I’m loving mashed potatoes filling since childhood, I haven’t made it pretty long time.. Second favourite filling is a mixture of chopped hard-boiled eggs&spring onions, that reminds me spring! I posted the recipe that you can find here, moreover the dough I made that time is unleavened (no any yeast) and even more quickly to prepare, but not thick and fluffy as this one. The choice is up to you, I love both. 🙂
Russian pirogki with potato filling

Russian pirogki with potato filling /sour milk&yeast dough/

  • Difficulty: moderate
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Instead of kefir you can use laban, buttermilk or any soured milk.
Ingredients
Dough
180g plain flour
6g instant yeast
250ml kefir, warm/at room temperature
50ml sunflower oil
a good pinch of fine salt (about 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp white sugar
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk, for glazing
Potato filling
400g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 bay leave
1 tbsp oil (olive or sunflower)
a small knob of butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves)
15g butter
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, optional
salt, black paper to taste
some finely chopped parsley (2-3 tbsp)
Method
 
Dough
  • Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, combine with yeast.
  • In a cup/bowl stir kefir with oil, salt and sugar.
  • Pour kefir mixture into flour. Mix to combine a dough. Cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and leave to prove for 45-60 minutes.
  • While the dough is proving, prepare the potato filling (recipe below).
  • When it’s risen, divide the dough into several equal balls. The size depends on your taste: if you wish to make small pirogki – you need small dough balls. Roll each ball slightly into round shape. The dough is soft and tender, that sometimes I don’t use rolling-pin and carefully stretch the dough with hands.
  • Put a tablespoon or two of potato filing into each round, close and arrange onto lined with baking paper baking tray.
  • Leave to rise for 10-15 minutes. Brush with egg wash.
  • Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 20 minutes.
  • Optionally, you can brush pirogki with butter. Cover with kitchen towel: it helps the dough to stay softer.
  • Serve warm with milk or tea.
Potato filling
  • In a large pan, bring water to boil. Add potatoes and bay leave, bring to boil again, reduce the heat and simmer on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft and ready.
  • Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, heat oil and butter, fry onions on a medium heat until soft and lightly brown. Stir in thyme and saute for a minute more.
  • Drain potatoes (leave 2 tbsp of water in a pan). Add butter, nutmeg and season to taste. Mash it. Stir in fried onion and fresh parsley.
Enjoy Russian pies!

Mandarin-lemon pudding

 There are so many recipes in this world, including pudding recipes: some are baked, another prepared with gelatin and then cooled in a fridge.. and then I’m feeling stuck and really don’t know which one to try. 🙂 I like easy-to-make recipes like this one – baked pudding. It has the amazing mandarin-lemon flavour and bright tasting. The pudding is good on its own, but I also prepared a simple citrus sauce, that I made for this peach pie, and it was absolutely delicious! 🙂
 Any favourite pudding recipes, guys? I’d like to hear which one do you like and cook.
Mandarin-lemon pudding

Baked mandarin-lemon pudding

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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For the citrus sauce recipe click here.
 
Ingredients
2 medium eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of nutmeg, optional
50g white sugar
zest from 1 mandarin +1/2 lemon
100ml full-fat milk
50g plain flour
1 tsp melted butter, for greasing
Preparation
  1. Beat eggs until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla, nutmeg, sugar, zests and whisk for a few minutes.
  3. Pour in milk.
  4. Sift in flour, whisk to combine.
  5. Grease tins with butter. Divide the batter between tins. Optionally sprinkle with citrus zest.
  6. Bake in preheated 200C oven for 18-20 minutes. Then reduce to 190C and bake for 7-10 minutes more.
  7. Serve warm with sauce. Enjoy!
Adapted from Russian telecast “Cook with A.Zimin”