It seems it was a long, cold winter and only now are we seeing a bit of sunlight again. Karin has been busy with training Halgrim, our 3 year old German Shepherd Dog and Bruce had an operation and was in rehab for over a month. Now we are ready for new activities, and especially trying some new recipes, making more decorated pies and also getting out and working in the garden. Please watch here for new uploads!
After a cool, rainy summer and some stressful experiences we are now enjoying autumn, with a few lovely weather, but also some blustery, chilly, windy days, we are back in the kitchen, trying out some new recipes and enjoying some of our favourite, tried-and-true golden oldies.
We saw some gorgeous Queen’s Forelle pears at a local market and couldn’t resist making this amazingly simple, but gorgeous and delicious pie. It uses a simple pastry cream, but whenever we have served it people rave about it and invariably ask for seconds. The recipe was in the text a few years ago, but we’re not putting it on the recipe page, too. If you you would like to try it please click here Simple Pear Pie.
Spring has finally arrived. It seemed to take forever. The winter was long and cold, so cold that all of the leaves on our cherry laurel bushes died, turned brown and fell off. Even the daffodils froze because we had such low temperatures so late in the spring. Now, however, the apple trees are in full bloom and the yards and gardens are beaming in bright, fresh green.
A friend from California mentioned making Shrimp Louie, a takeoff on the famous Crab Louie of San Francisco fame, and we took it as a reason to try the recipe ourselves. Not being from California we had not had the pleasure of this “king of all salads,” and having a couple of bags of beautiful, diver-caught shrimp, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try something new. A look around the Internet took us to Chef John Mitzewich of Foodwishes.com and his take on this classic recipe with the special treat of grilled shrimp. His dressing for this salad is so delicious that it is worth making even if you are not going to prepare the full salad. Please click here to go to the full recipe in our recipe archive.
Just as spring was about to show itself our sweet 2-year old German Shepherd Halgrim became seriously ill. After about 10 days of frantic efforts to determine what was wrong with him we learned that he had tetanus or lockjaw, stemming from an infected tooth. We are relieved that after about four weeks of intensive care and treatment Halgrim is almost completely recovered. He has lost a lot of weight and will need some time to regain it.
Taking care of Halgrim was an around-the-clock endeavour, so other activities such as pie baking or working on projects around the house came to a halt. Finally, Karin found time to try out some new designs for pie decorations and some new fillings, as well. We will be posting more pie-related material here and on Karin’s site: elegant-pie.com.
After about five months of cold, rainy weather we have finally had a week of sunshine and friendly temperatures. This afternoon it was 19 °C (66 °F) there were a few puffy clouds and no wind. We sat outside much of the day, Karin trimmed some box hedges and Halgrim dug in a number of his “construction sites.” Nonetheless, Karin finds time to create more artistic designs for her pies and Bruce has been preparing the lawn mowers, brush cutters, string trimmers and chainsaws for the gardening season.
Even before the bad weather hit we were rather silent here on Our Delicious Food. A combination of getting Karin’s book “Elegant Pie” to press and website (www.elegant-pie.com) on-line, subduing Halgrim, a healthy, strong-as-an-ox German Shepherd puppy and some health issues we were a bit overwhelmed. Just as life began to feel a bit less challenging Covid-19 came on the scene.
For us, being quarantined at home is not a hardship and as far as we know we are healthy. We do some shopping every other week and are otherwise self-sufficient. Our home is beautiful and we love being here. We certainly miss being with out friends and hosting dinners, but that is hopefully just temporary. We think of those who are not so fortunate, living in small apartments with children, or directly affected by the virus. Like everyone else, we hope that this terrifying situation can somehow be remedied as soon as possible.
Being at home during the inclement weather of the last month gave us some time to experiment with cooking and baking. Of course, Karin continues to make artistically decorated pies, but she also wanted to “return to her roots” with some yeast dough, using her grandmother’s recipe. It really is a rather standard yeast dough recipe, but Karin always remembered it as being quite special, especially when still slightly warm out of the oven. Whether for bread rolls, for pizza or sticky buns, it just cannot be beaten.
Since our kitchen is not reliably warm the year around Bruce built a proofing box for the dough to rise in. His instructions for making one on YouTube. You can also let the dough rise in any warm spot, near a heater or in the oven with the door open and at the lowest setting.
If she was going to make yeast pastry Karin decided it should be sweet, sticky and delicious.
For the dough
For the filling
For the glaze
To make the yeast sponge place the flour in a large bowl and make a depression in the middle. Warm half of the milk to hand warm and pour it into the depression, stirring in the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Cover the bowl and put it in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Butter (or spray with baking spray) the bottom and sides of a 28 cm spring form.
When the 30 minutes have passed add the rest of the ingredients for the dough and knead to form a smooth mass. Cover again and put in a warm place for 1 hour.
In the meantime prepare the filling by mixing the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place the soft butter in a medium sized bowl, add a small amount of the sugar mixture and mash together with a fork. Keep adding sugar small amounts of sugar mixture and mixing until the full amount is incorporated. Cover and place aside until needed, but do not refrigerate.
After the dough has risen 1 hour punch it down and place on a lightly floured work top. Roll out to a rectangle approximately 2 cm (3/4 inch) thick and approximately 30 cm wide x 40 cm (12 x 15 inches) long. Using a long palette knife spread the filling on the rolled out dough, leaving an edge free by about 1 cm (1/2 inch).
Beginning with the side closest to you begin rolling the dough to a long roll. Cut the roll into sections roughly 4.5 cm (1 inch) thick and place the section in the prepared spring pan. Cover the pan with a tea towel and put in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Allow 10 minutes to cool before glazing.
For the glaze place the confectioner’s sugar in a bowl and slowly add the liquid stirring with a fork until the desired consistency is obtained. The mixture should be liquid-like, but not runny. Add the vanilla, if using (Note: Vanilla extract or paste is dark brown in colour and will make the glaze somewhat off-colour. I have heard that there is clear vanilla extract, but have never seen it. If the off-colour bothers you just leave out the vanilla altogether).
Cinnamon rolls are best when they are still slightly warm from the oven and the glaze is sticky and oozy. Beware, however. It is difficult to stop eating these, they are so delicious. Guten Appetit!
You can click on the picture above to go to Amazon to learn more about the book or pre-order it. Just one week until it will be available on Amazon and at your favourite bookstore.
You may also want to visit the new Elegant Pie website. The site will be updated regularly and there will be new tips and tricks about artistic pie decoration. In addition, you will have a chance to ask Karin questions or make comments there.