August 28, 2012
August 28: National Cherry Turnover Day
As an alternative to cherry pie or tarts, Highlander indulges in cherry turnovers once in a while. Like his favorite cherry pie pockets, these sweet snacks are portable and petite and an easy-to-make treat! These dessert dumplings are prepared with puff pastry encasing cherry pie filling. The technique is to “turn over” the puff pastry squares into triangular shapes, hence the name. Try this turnover recipe for a tasty pastry on National Cherry Turnover Day.
(Adapted from Group Recipes)
- 1 package (17.25 ounces) frozen puff pastry (we used Pepperidge Farm brand)
- 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
- 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water, lightly beaten
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons milk, water or kirsch (cherry liqueur)
Thaw the frozen puff pastry according to the package directions. Unfold each sheet on a lightly floured surface. Lightly press finger to smooth out the folded creases. Cut each sheet into quarters for a total of eight squares. Drain the cherry pie filling in a colander.
Spoon the filling in the middle of each puff pastry square. Moisten the edges with egg wash. Turn over and fold the pastry square in half to make a triangle; repeat for all.
Seal the edges with the tines of a fork. Cut small slits with a knife to vent the turnovers. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been lightly greased with cooking spray. Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and puffed. Remove from the oven.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, make the glaze by stirring the milk/water/kirsch into the powdered sugar until smooth. Place in a zip-top plastic bag. Snip a small hole at the point of the bag. Drizzle the glaze over the cherry turnovers. Let set slightly. Serve while warm.
- Instead of drizzling glaze over the baked turnovers, try sprinkling a bit of turbinado/coarse sugar or sliced almonds on top of the egg wash before baking them.
- Check out other cherry recipes by searching our blog.
August 21, 2012
Fudge Pecan Torte
August 21: National Pecan Torte Day
Pecans are popular in the South (especially in South Texas where we live) and we have put them in pies, cookies, cakes, tarts and now a torte. Like the Pioneer Woman’s “Texas Fudge Sheet Cake” recipe, Southern celebrity chef Paula Deen’s “Fudge Pecan Torte” is its richer cousin. Both cakes are deliciously fudgy, but the torte is also studded with pecans and slathered with a silky-smooth icing. While the sheet cake is a casual crowd pleaser at potlucks, the torte is a decadent dessert centerpiece and showstopper at posher parties! Indulge on National Pecan Torte Day with this Fudge Pecan Torte recipe.
(Adapted from Paula Deen via Good Housekeeping)
For the torte
- 11 tablespoons butter, unsalted, cold, sliced
- 4 ounces/squares bittersweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup coffee liqueur (we used Godiva brand cappuccino liqueur)
- ¾ cup pecan chips (coarsely chopped pecan pieces)
Grease a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease it as well. In a microwavable bowl, place the butter and bittersweet chocolate. Microwave until it is melted (about 1 ½ minutes). Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar. Pour in the melted chocolate and blend well. Stir in the coffee liqueur.
Gradually add the flour mixture. Fold in the pecans with a spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack in the pan. Invert the torte onto a wire rack set over a lipped pan lined with foil. Carefully peel away the parchment paper from the top of the torte. Prepare the chocolate ganache icing.
For the icing and pecan decorations
- 8 ounces/squares semi-sweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- ¼ cup pecan chips (coarsely chopped pecan pieces)
- 3 whole pecans, toasted
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate. In a small saucepan on the stovetop, heat the whipping cream over medium heat until bubbly, being careful not to burn the bottom of the pan. Pour over the melted chocolate and mix well. Stir in the corn syrup until well blended. Let set to thicken for about five minutes.
Slowly pour the icing over the top of the torte, allowing it to drip down the sides. Use a spatula to smooth out the icing over the top and sides. Let set for around 10 minutes. Carefully transfer the torte to a cake plate, board or stand/pedestal. Decorate with a ring of pecan chips on top of the torte. Garnish the middle with the whole pecans.
- We used a Wilton cake lifter to transfer the iced torte onto a cake board.
- Nuts about pecans? Search our blog for more recipes using pecans as an ingredient.
August 17, 2012
Easy Leche Flan
August 17: National Vanilla Custard Day
A fiesta is not complete without leche flan at the dessert table! Influenced by Spanish cuisine, this Filipino version of vanilla-flavored “milk custard” has a thicker texture and rich, sweet taste. When Islander prepares Pinoy-style leche flan with lots of leftover egg yolks from making macarons, she is too lazy to caramelize the sugar for the custard’s distinctively dark top. So she uses pancake syrup instead! But it still tastes terrific enough to take to potluck parties and to fiestas! Celebrate National Vanilla Custard Day with a favorite Filipino food and try our easy leche flan recipe.
- pancake syrup
- 8-12 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
Separate the egg yolks from the whites, reserving the latter for another recipe. Pour pancake syrup in an 8-inch round pan and swirl enough of it to coat the bottom completely and moisten the sides. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the vanilla. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk.
Add the evaporated milk and blend well until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Let the bubbles settle as much as possible. Place this pan into another larger pan. Pour hot or boiling water halfway up the sides to create a steam water bath. Cover both pans loosely with foil. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for at least an hour (depending on individual ovens, add 15-minute increments to the baking time).
Remove from the oven, testing for doneness with a toothpick (it should come out clean after inserting it into the leche flan). When cooked, carefully remove the foil. Use a spatula to loosen the edges of the leche flan, allowing the pancake syrup to spread on the sides and top. Place on a wire rack to cool at room temperature. Cover the 8-inch pan with foil and refrigerate overnight to set. When ready to serve, remove the foil and place a serving plate on top of the opening of the pan. Carefully invert the plate, spooning some of the pancake syrup on top of the leche flan for a sweet gloss. Slice and serve.
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