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Cherry Potpies

potpies

Potpies don’t have to be savory. They make adorable desserts, and are a lot easier to put together than a large pie — there’s no need to line the bottom of a pan or worry about excess liquid, as when you slice into a pie. These cherry potpies are wonderful, especially if you can get your hands on a basket of fresh sour cherries.

This recipe calls for jarred cherries, but if you’re using fresh ones, follow these steps: stem and pit the cherries, then simmer them in a saucepan over medium-low heat for a few minutes to release some of the juices, which you can then use as directed in the recipe.

 

Cherry Potpies

1 batch Flaky Pie Dough for single crust (recipe below)

2 large jars (24 oz./750 g. each) sour cherries in juice or light syrup ( you should have about 3 heaping cups of cherries without juice)

1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) all-purpose flour

2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g.) granulated sugar

1 large egg, well beaten with about 1 tsp. water

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Vanilla ice cream for serving

Prepare the flaky pie dough and chill as directed.

Drain the cherries, saving about 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) of the juice. Put the cherries in a bowl. In a small bowl, mix the reserved juice with the flour and strain over the cherries. Stir in the granulated sugar. Divide the cherries and juice among four 1-cup (8-fl. oz./250-ml.) ramekins.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch (3 mm.) thick. Cut out 4 rounds of dough, each about 1/2 inch (12 mm.) larger than the diameter of the ramekins. Place a dough round on top of each ramekin and press the edges down over the rim to secure. Cut a few vents in the dough. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, if desired.

Place the ramekins on the prepared pan and bake until the crust is golden and the cherry juices are bubbling, 35-40 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Serve the potpies topped with scoops of ice cream. Makes 4 potpies.

 

Flaky Pie Dough

1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g.) all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

7 Tbs. (3 1/2 oz./105 g.) very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

5 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) ice water, plus more if needed

In the bowl of a food processor, stir together the flour, salt, and sugar, if using. Sprinkle the butter over the top and pulse for a few seconds, or just until the butter is slightly broken into the flour but still in visible pieces. Evenly sprinkle the water over the flour mixture, then process just until the mixture starts to come together.

Dump the dough into a large lock-top plastic bag, and press into a flat disk. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or up to 1 day, or freeze for up to 1 month. Makes enough for one 9-inch (23-cm.) pie or tart.

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Brownies with Raspberries

raspberries

Garnishing brownies with raspberries puts a fresh summertime spin on this year-round treat. Serve the brownies with raspberry swirl ice cream to beat the heat, or drizzle them with a sweet-tart raspberry sauce.

 

Brownies with Raspberries

8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

3 oz. (90 g) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar

Pinch of salt

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) cake flour, sifted

2 cups (8 oz./250 g) fresh raspberries

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish.

In a saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and unsweetened chocolate. Heat, stirring often, until melted, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and salt. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until well blended. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir until just blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared dish and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out almost completely clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Do not overbake. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Cut the brownies in 9 equal squares. Using your finger, make a shallow indentation in the center of each brownie. Place one raspberry in each indentation. Serve the brownies with the remaining raspberries alongside. Makes 9 large brownies.

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Olive Oil Cake with Cherry Compote

olive

Olive oil imparts richness and moisture to this simple sponge cake. Choose a subtle and slightly fruity olive oil, and your guests won’t guess your secret ingredient. The cherry compote delivers a splash of color and tart flavor.

 

Olive Oil Cake with Cherry Compote

For the cherry compote:

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar

1 lb. (500 g) fresh or thawed frozen cherries, pitted

1 lemon zest strip

2 tsp. cornstarch

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 g) cake flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

3 large eggs

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar

1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) olive oil

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

To make the compote, in a saucepan, bring the sugar and 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) water to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add the cherries and lemon zest strip, return to a simmer and cook until the cherries are tender but still firm, about 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together 2 Tbs. water and the cornstarch. Add to the simmering cherries and cook, stirring gently, until the liquid is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer the compote to a bowl, discard the lemon zest and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan.

To make the cake, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Continuing to beat, slowly add the sugar in a thin, steady stream.

Then add the oil in a thin, steady stream, continuing to beat constantly. Beat in the vanilla and the lemon zest and juice. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture in 3 batches. Do not overmix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back when pressed in the center, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, Remove the pan sides. Serve slices of the cake accompanied by the compote. Serves 8.

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Sour Cherry “Toaster” Tarts

tarts

Put a smile on your sweetheart’s face this morning by preparing these homemade, adult versions of the cherry Pop-Tarts you may have enjoyed as a kid. Just don’t put them in the toaster! You can embellish the tarts with all sorts of fancy sprinkles, or stir a little food coloring into a portion of the glaze and sling it across the top. Experiment with your favorite types of jam to re-create a flavor you loved as a kid.

Sour Cherry “Toaster” Tarts

For the dough:

2 cups (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) confectioners’ sugar

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

10 Tbs. (5 oz./155 g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 large egg yolk

1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) plus 2 Tbs. whole milk

 

For the filling:

3/4 cup (7 1/2 oz./235 g) sour cherry jam, or your favorite flavor

2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tsp. cold water

1 large egg beaten with 1 tsp. warm water

 

For the glaze:

1 cup (4 oz./125 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 tsp. whole milk

2 tsp. corn syrup

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Sprinkles (optional)

 

To make the dough, in a food processor, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt and process until blended. Add the butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and milk and process until the dough just comes together. Dump the dough onto 2 large sheets of overlapping plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or overnight.

 

To make the filling, in a small saucepan, cook the jam and cornstarch mixture over medium heat, stirring, until slightly thickened and bubbly. Let cool.

 

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough in half and form each half into a rough rectangle. Roll one rectangle until it measures about 16 by 9 inches (40 by 23 cm). Using a ruler and a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 12 small rectangles, each about 3 by 4 inches (7.5 by 10 cm). Set the rectangles on a baking sheet and refrigerate while you repeat with the other piece of dough.

 

Lay half of the rectangles on the work surface and lightly brush with the beaten egg. Dollop a tablespoon of the filling into the center of each. Spread it out on the dough, leaving a border of about 1/2 inch (12 mm). Top with a plain dough rectangle and press the edges together with your fingertips, being careful not to let the filling ooze out the sides. Crimp the edges with a fork. Put 6 tarts on each baking sheet, spacing them evenly, and prick the centers all over with the fork. Refrigerate while the oven preheats.

 

Position 2 oven racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Bake the tarts, rotating the pans once halfway through, until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

 

Meanwhile, to make the glaze, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, corn syrup and vanilla until smooth. Smear the glaze on the tarts and decorate with sprinkles, if you like. Makes 12 toaster tarts.

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Best of the Web: Chocolate Treats

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What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with rich, dark, decadent chocolate? For creative ways to savor the holiday’s signature flavor, we turned to some of our favorite bloggers, where we found mouthwatering inspiration for truffles, cakes, cookies, brownies and more. Here are a handful that made us swoon.

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer HeartsChocolate Hazelnut Linzer Hearts by Smitten Kitchen
These nutty cookie sandwiches are cut into hearts and spread with Nutella — perfect for a Valentine’s Day party.
Dark Chocolate Whipped CreamDark Chocolate Whipped Cream by Food52
No matter what you’re baking for Valentine’s Day, a dollop of this will take it over the top.
Dried Cherry and Cacao Nib BrowniesDried Cherry and Cacao Nib Brownies by Brooklyn Supper
These brownies are filled with festive (and colorful!) surprises: tart dried cherries and crunchy cocoa nibs.
Nibby Chocolate Rye MuffinsNibby Chocolate Rye Muffins by A Sweet Spoonful
These chocolatey muffins rely on whole-grain rye flour for an extra dose of hearty flavor.
Chocolate Shortbread Heart CookiesChocolate Shortbread Heart Cookies by Two Peas & Their Pod
A smattering of red, pink and white sprinkles gives these crispy shortbread cookies a touch of charm.
Chocolate Chocolate DonutChocolate Chocolate Donut by Table for Two
Surprise your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day with a breakfast of one of these cakey, creamy doughnuts, and you’ll earn big brownie points.
Red Velvet Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes with Chocolate Ganache Center.Red Velvet Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes with Chocolate Ganache Center by Half Baked Harvest
Filled with gooey chocolate ganache, these crimson cakes would make a gorgeous finale to a special dinner.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry CupcakesChocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes by Heather Christo
Moist chocolate cupcakes, a layer of strawberry-cream cheese frosting, and a fresh chocolate-dipped strawberry — these cupcakes were meant for a V-day celebration.
Dark Chocolate BrowniesDark Chocolate Brownies by The Pioneer Woman
No need to mess with a classic — these rich and decadent brownies will delight any chocoholic.
Flourless Chocolate Almond CakesFlourless Chocolate Almond Cakes by A Couple Cooks
These gluten-free treats are filled with ground almonds instead of flour, and they get an extra kick from a pinch of cinnamon and cayenne.
Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie BitesRaspberry Cheesecake Brownie Bites by Just a Taste
A swirl of raspberry-laced cream cheese gives brownie bites a pop of color. These would make great gifts!
Raw Chamomile + Lavender + Bee Pollen Chocolate TrufflesRaw Chamomile + Lavender + Bee Pollen Chocolate Truffles by Local Milk
The mild, natural flavors of chamomile, lavender and bee pollen are unexpected pairings for rich chocolate truffles. (P.S.: T