The 9th recipe I made from the Sweet Tarts and Pies section for the Modern Baker Challenge – Sour-Cream Apple Pie. I sooo looked forward to making this pie because I love apple pie and sour cream. So the recipe sounded like the perfect combination. It called for the Sweet Tart Dough, and making the apple filling, sour-cream custard and the crumb topping wasn’t complicated at all. I should have listened to my instinct feeling when I read the recipe called for Golden Delicious apples. I’m not a Golden Delicious apple person. Not at all! These apples don’t have a character, soft, bland and sweet. I prefer firm apples that are sour and sweet at the same time, but the recipe said Golden Delicious, so I bought Golden Delicious. I should have gone for tart apples. Really! The pie was ok, and to be honest, the hubby really loved it, but I thought it was without character, just sweet… I didn’t even notice the sour cream. So, next time I’ll try this pie with a different kind of apples, because the custard and crumb topping were great!
The 8th recipe I made from the Sweet Tarts and Pies section for the Modern Baker Challenge – Lemony Cheese Tart with Sour-Cream Glaze. You need the Sweet Tart Dough, and the ingredients for the filling are: cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon zest, eggs, egg yolks, and sour cream. For the sour cream glaze, you need more sour cream, sugar and vanilla extract. The filling comes together easily, next time I’ll probably add the lemon juice from the lemon I grated the zest of. The filling is scraped into the tart crust, then I baked it for 35 minutes. While the tart was baking, I prepared the glaze which you spread on the tart when it is done baking. Then, I returned the tart to the oven and baked it 10 minutes longer. My verdict: AWESOME TART!!!!!!! I refrigerated the leftovers and we had them the next day right from the fridge: EVEN BETTER than at room temperature!!!!!! This one is a keeper!
The 7th recipe I made from the Sweet Tarts and Pies section for the Modern Baker Challenge – Breton Apple Pie. I explicitely chose this recipe because NM says this pie freezes well. I wanted to bring this pie to work for my co-workers, and the only good day for bringing in stuff like that is Wednesday, but with my crazy work schedule right now (Mondays 12 hours and Tuesdays 13 hours) I knew I would NOT manage to make this pie on a Tuesday night. Thus, I made it on Sunday and stuck it into the freezer. First I thought this recipe was time-consuming, but it really isn’t. You just should pay very close attention to the apples so they don’t scorch – I almost had a mishap like that. But everything else was easy and rather quick. And yes, this pie freezes well and tastes like fresh when thawed. My co-workers loved it and said I could bring it in again ;o).
The 6th recipe I made from the Sweet Tarts and Pies section for the Modern Baker Challenge – Neapolitan Easter Pie. This pie was really time-consuming: you have to cook wheat berries and pastry cream and then prepare the filling. Before that, you have to prepare the dough because one half of it has to be chilled. And as I happened to NOT have candied orange peel, I had to make it myself which took another day. So I was hoping this pie would be worth all the work. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. The orange flavor in the filling is weird, absolutely overpowering. I’m not even sure we’ll eat the whole pie. Maybe I take the rest of it to the in-laws’ house to see if they like it better. So, this is not a keeper, even though it does look really nice.
My 2nd assigned recipe in the new section for the Modern Baker Challenge – Lemon Lime Tartlets. I REALLY tried to find organic limes, but was not successful, so I made Lemon Tartlets instead. The recipe called for the sweet tart dough which I don’t think is the right choice. Imho, the press-in cookie dough would have complemented the lemony flavor better. Maybe it would have been different if I had used limes as the author had intended. Anyway, the lemon curd, though, was a dream! I had made a double batch because I KNOW that I’m a big fan of lemon curd, so we had the rest of it on toast or rolls. YUM! Verdict: tartlets so-so, lemon curd AMAZING!
The next tart on my Modern Baker Challenge lineup was the Bittersweet Chocolate Tart. This one is REALLY heavy – like, you can eat one piece of it and you’re full for the rest of the day, but it is oh so yummy!!! I gave the press-in cookie dough a second chance (when I made the Parisian Fruit Tarts it was too crumbly to get it out of the pan) because I have a TART PAN with a removable bottom now! And it worked out just fine. The chocolate ganache was easy. Only problem here: you need to be patient – heated cream mixture has to cool, same goes for the melted chocolate. Then you mix both and let the ganache cool again. Butter is added, filling is scraped into the tart shell and AGAIN it has to be refrigerated. The recipe says to bring the tart to room temperature for 1 or 2 hours before serving – I thought, it tasted even better right from the fridge. Oh, and the raspberries on top complemented the sweetness of the ganache really well!!! Definitely on my make-again list!
We’ve started with a new section of “The Modern Baker” by Nick Malgieri in the Modern Baker Challenge – Sweet Tarts and Pies. I already made 2 recipes from this section long ago: the Parisian Fruit Tarts and the Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Tart. Both were fantastic! One of the official recipes I claimed from this section is the Mango & Rice Tart. Continue reading