Keep Your Eye On The Ball

Every Little Leaguer heard to “keep their eye on the ball” ad nauseam. It’s good advice—in more ways than being able to hit a ball.

I had some fresh blueberries and a sheet of puff pastry left over from a previous bake so decided to make some blueberry hand pies. At the same time, as long as the over was hot, I made our granddaughters’ heart shaped Valentine’s Day cakes.

I made the blueberry filling and set it aside to cool to room temperature, then made the two cakes (plus five cupcakes from the extra batter. QC has to have her input, doesn’t she?) I rolled out the puff pastry, cut it into 9 pieces about 3.5” square, put about a half teaspoon of filling on one side, painted half with an egg wash, folded each square into a triangle and sealed the edge with a fork before slashing a small vent hole in the top. Cover with egg wash, a sprinkling of sparkling sugar and put into in the oven at 425 deg for 18 minutes. (The directions said 18- 22 min.)

Well… there’s 18 minutes, and then there’s 18 minutes. In this case 18 minutes was about 3 minutes too long. My hand pies were “well done,” instead of “just right” done. I did not keep my eye on the ball… or the hand pies. QC said they tasted fine, but were too dark to leave the bakery. Oh the trials and tribulations of being the QC department for such a demanding Manufacturing organization. Lesson learned.

The cakes and cupcakes were perfect. More on that closer to Valentine’s Day.

Berry, Berry, Berry Good Scones

Half of our Q.C. department requested we make some scones. Having never tried our hand at them we finally made some this morning. I found a recipe and modified it to suit my needs. They will become a regular treat here!

These are 3 berry drop scones. They are 3 berry ‘cause I forgot I was making raspberry/blueberry scones and added blackberries. Once I realized what I did I added a half cup of blueberries.

Once mixed, large tablespoon portions are “dropped” onto a parchment covered baking sheet. I ended up baking them for the full 19 minutes at 400F. It was just about right. I forgot to sprinkle some coarse or turbinado sugar, but they didn’t really need it.

Raspberry/Blueberry Drop Scones

Ingredients
• 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/3 cup sugar
• Zest of 1 small lemon (or half a large lemon)
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
• 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
• 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
• 1 cup heavy cream
• Coarse or turbinado sugar for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and lemon zest. Pulse a few times to incorporate.
  3. Add the cubed butter and pulse to incorporate. The mixture should resemble very coarse sand.
  4. Empty the flour mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the cream and stir until just barely incorporated.
  5. Gently fold in the berries. It’s fine if the raspberries break up a little – it adds a nice pink stain to the dough. The dough should just be moist, not wet, but also not crumbly or powdery looking. If it looks too dry, add a tablespoon of cold water.
  6. Spoon the dough into 12 equally-sized pieces on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle some coarse or turbinado sugar over the top, if desired.
  7. Bake for 16-19 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The scones should be lightly golden and cooked through.
  8. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes then carefully remove to a cooling rack.

Pies, Pies, Pies, Pies….

Raspberry

What do you do when left home alone for a week? It obvious isn’t it? You cook whatever you want! I decided this would be desert week (plus one “Dave’s Dinner” that I only make when Fran is not home.)

This week was pies. To not be gluttonous, I decided to make mini-pies in little 5″ pie plates. The recipes all come from Allrecipies.comand I did not change them at all. I made a raspberry, a blueberry, a raspberry/blueberry and

Granny Smith Apple

an apple pie. It was a good time to learn how to lattice the crust of a pie. (Alone time is good for experimentation and practice, practice practice.)  Double wrapped in  Darnel wrap, they froze perfectly. I defrosted at 350 until no longer frozen, then nuked the serving for that night separately.

Blueberry

Blueberry/Raspberry