Saturday, July 5, 2014

Almond pie crust - mantelitaikina

Simple crust recipe for the typical Finnish sweet piirakka / pie.
I just love them with all sorts of fillings, so I am adding the crust recipes one by one, as they get to our table.
Hope you'll enjoy.

125 g butter
3/4 dl sugar (1/3 cup)
3/4 dl almond flour (1/3 cup)
3 dl (1 1/4 cup) flour

Mix well the butter with the sugar until creamy. Add the flour and almond flour, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Ready to be used.
It is also possible to freeze and use when needed. It is ready to be used in about 15-20 minutes as you got it out of the freezer.

PS.  If you use powdered sugar, you can just mix the ingredients without worrying about the creaminess.

Túrósbukta - cottage cheese buns

Long time since I baked the last yeast based goodie, so I decided today is the day when I should bake some.
No better choice for a fresh start than the cottage cheese buns. We just looove them!
As a bonus I found a new way to fold them at "Bucataresele vesele"... This provokes action!

I didn't use the recipe from "Bucataresele vesele" this time for many reasons, mainly because I wasn't sure how the dough with 3 eggs will look like, so I stick to my well working yeast dough. Next, when I have some inclination for experimenting I will try.

600 g flour
1/2 tsp salt
350 ml milk (maybe less is enough, you can try starting with 320, but with my Costco bread flour I have to add the 350 ml)
3 humpy tbps sugar 
1.5 tsp dry yeast 
1 egg
1/2 lemon zest
dash of vanilla extract
60 g melted butter or 50 ml oil 
1/2 tsp cardamom, optional


500 g cottage cheese (in US you'll need to place the cottage cheese in a gauze and squeeze the liquid out of it as much as you can you'll get a too runny filling to work with)
100 g sugar

2-3 egg yolks
1/2 lemon zest
dash of vanilla extract
3 tbsp grits
1-2 tbsp lemon juice

1 egg for brushing

Warm up the milk a little bit, sprinkle the yeast to the top, spread a good pinch of sugar on the yeast and sprinkle some flour. Let it trot for 10 minutes.

Start mixing in the remaining sugar, dash of vanilla extract, salt, egg, lemon zest and flour. Work the dough together for about 10 minutes with a food processor or with hands.

Melt the butter, and last mix it in the dough. When the dough is elastic, leave it for 60+ minutes to grow to about double.
Meanwhile prepare the filling. Mix the egg yolks with the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract, and add it to the cottage cheese. Mix in the grits, and let it sit covered in the fridge until the dough is ready.
When the dough had risen nicely, cut it into two parts, and let it sit for 15 more minutes.
Heat up the oven to 400 F, 200 C and line two large trays with parchment paper.
Cut each half into 8 equal parts, and form the buns either in the traditional way (squares folded like an envelope) or in roses.

For the traditional shapes roll out the dough into squares, place a humpy tbsp filling in the middle and fold up the corners, pinch them together tightly, and place the buns on a tray lined with parchment paper.
For the roses, roll out the dough into circles and follow the image instructions from  "Bucataresele vesele". Again, place the buns on the tray, and let them sit covered for 5 minutes. Meanwhile whip the egg lightly with some water for the eggwash.
Brush the buns with the egg and bake them on the middle shelve for 17 minutes.
Let them cool on a rack covered with a kitchen towel for 10-15 minutes, and they are ready to enjoy!
Bonn appetite!

Crumbled biscuity tea cake

Guests? Relax.. This cake has some "sure to find in the party" ingredients, gets put together in max 10 minutes, and in an hour you just have to wait to cool a bit.
Bonus: kids can be totally involved into the making.
Holidays are for gatherings, and cookie munching anyway. :)
Hanging around the house and not doing much will definitely bring our youngest one, and mom, looking for the next cookie to be baked.
To make things worse, I found a German pastry, cookie, cake book given a long while ago by my mom, and I decided to bake as many of them as I can and of course find appealing.
Here is one easy tea cake, more like a butter biscuit coming in form of a cookie.

200 g butter
200 g sugar
500 g flour
1 egg
50 g almond flour
1lemon zest
dash of vanilla extract
1 tp baking powder
100 g sourish jam, like apricot, raspberry or plum. I chose plum 'cause I love it :)

Prepare a 26 cm round cake form by lining the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180 C, 350 F.
Mix the baking powder in the flour.
Mix the butter with the sugar until creamy. Add the egg and mix few spoons of flour. The batter becomes drier, and exchange the mixer to your bare hands to mix in lightly the rest of the flour, until a crumble like batter forms.
Divide it into two equal parts.
Add half to the bottom of the form, spread and kinda press lightly until the surface is a bit homogeneous and the jam can be spread on top. Spread the jam evenly.
Mix the almond flour to the remaining butter and leave some larger crumbles. Spread it on top of the jam.
Place the cake on the lower (or second lowest if you have 5 racks) level, and bake for 45 minutes.
Let it cool a bit on a rack, sift some powder sugar on the top, and enjoy with warm tea. Bonne appetite!