Pumpkin Pie

PumpkinPie_3

I think I’ve finally settled into my new flat – it’s only been 2 months! Baking has proven to be a challenge, as the oven cooks a bit unevenly. I was so looking forward to this pumpkin pie until it caught a little bit and the wonderful even color on top got marred by a few dark spots. Oh well, still tasted delicious.

Pumpkin pie is a very American dessert it seems. Most people in our London office had never had it before, so I had to show them what they were missing!!

Ramping back up into baking regularly again since we’ve moved has been a bit of a test of willpower. I’ve recently joined a gym again and have been trying to be good about snacking – something that is incredibly difficult when you’re a baker! But I’ve been good and I’ve stuck to only sampling the tiniest of slivers. At least this time!

This pie is incredible, and tastes wonderful served with a dollop of whipped cream!

Ingredients

  • 1 batch sweet shortcrust pastry (I added a tiny bit of cinnamon to my pastry this time as well)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 12-ounce can of evaporated milk

Pumpkin-Pie

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350° F (approx 175°C). Roll and place your pastry into the pie dish. Gently prick the bottom with a fork (don’t go all of the way through though!), line with baking paper, then fill with your ceramic baking beans. Blind bake your pastry for 10-15 minutes, then set aside to cool. Once cool, remove the baking beans by lifting out the baking paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix together all of your sugar, spices, and eggs. Then add in the pumpkin. Once everything is combined, stir in your evaporated milk.

3. Place the pie in the oven to bake for 40-50 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it bakes evenly. Test it with a cake tester to ensure it’s cooked all the way through. If you’d like to add a pastry garnish like the ones I’ve done, add the pastry cutouts about 10-15 minutes before the pie is finished baking so that you don’t burn them.

4. Once your pie is ready, let it cool completely, then serve with whipped cream!

PumpkinPie_2

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

 

I found this recipe over a year ago and never got around to actually making them.  I love the idea of putting these into cupcake liners so that they’re in equal portions. I had to adjust the recipe a bit, as I found the dough to be a bit too sticky.  I’d also recommend chopping the apples a little rougher, as I completely lost the flavor of them once they baked.

These are great for breakfast or with an afternoon tea. Just beware, because they get quite sticky!

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 8 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup (115 grams) butter, room temperature

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup (115 grams) butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups chopped apples

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • approximately 2 Tablespoons milk

Directions

1. In a heatproof bowl, microwave the milk for 30 seconds, stir, then heat for another 30 seconds making sure the milk doesn’t boil. Remove from the microwave and let sit for a few seconds to cool enough that you could dip your finger in it.

2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of your mixer, mix the yeast and sugar. Add in the milk and continue to stir until everything dissolves. At the salt and 2 cups of flour and beat for two minutes.

3. Beat in the eggs and butter. Once they are combined, add in the flour a 1/2 cup at a time, making sure everything’s incorporated before adding the next part. Once all the flour is in, knead the dough for about 5 minutes.

4. Coat a large bowl with a thin layer of cooking oil. Then place the kneaded dough, cover, and set in a warm place to rise for about 40 minutes, or until it is doubled in size.

5. While the dough is rising, mix all of the ingredients for the filling except for the butter in a small bowl.

6. Dust your work surface with flour, then roll out your dough into a rectangle until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter (reserving a bit for later), then sprinkle the filling mixture over the top, leaving about an inch of empty space around all the edges. Gently press the topping into the dough a bit so that it doesn’t move around when you roll it up.

7. Roll the dough into a log, beginning at the long edge of the rectangle. Then slice the log into 24 pieces. Place each slice into a cupcake tin with cupcake liners in each well, folding the edges together into a ‘C’ shape. Cover with a clean towel and set to rise in a warm place for another 40 minutes.

8. Once the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Brush the tops of each of the rolls with melted butter, then place in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops are golden.

9. Let the rolls cool before coating with a glaze made from icing sugar and milk.



Hot Cross Buns

As it comes up to Easter, all of the grocery stores around the UK start selling hot cross buns. So I figured I’d give them a go, having never had one in my life. They turned out alright, except that I’m pretty sure I overworked the dough a bit, so be sure to avoid that!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted

Directions

1. Heat the 3/4 cup milk until lukewarm, then gently stir in the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until it gets foamy. If the yeast does not foam, it is either too old or the milk was too warm, so dump the mixture and start again.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, salt and orange zest.

3. Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the milk and yeast mixture. Mix until combined, then add 2 eggs and mix until the yolk disappear. Add the butter and raisins then mix for about four minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

4. Place the dough into a large bowl coated with oil, cover with a clean towel, and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. (If your house is chilly, like mine, I suggest putting the bowl into a cool oven and placing a dish full of hot water below it. If it’s a sunny day though, a warm window sill works well!) 

5. Once the dough has risen, punch it down once, and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.

6. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form each piece into a round ball. (I used a scale to make sure everything was even.) Place each ball onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, making sure they are evenly spaced.

7. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of milk. Brush the tops of each dough ball with the mixture, and save the remaining egg wash. Place a clean towel over the tops of the rolls and set in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.

8. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Then brush the tops of the rolls again with the egg wash before placing in the oven to bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

9. Allow the rolls to cool completely on the baking sheet, then combine the icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk. Place the mixture into a pastry bag (or a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off), and pipe a cross over the top of each cool bun.