Fruit Tart

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I really should be studying right now. I have three midterms and a paper next week, and here I am, lounging in my room, looking at recipes, video chatting, blogging…and not doing work. After I finish this, I promise!

I really got into making macarons (which I’ll blog about eventually) this past summer, and it was great! The only problem was that I always had a bunch of egg yolks leftover that I didn’t want to waste. Occasionally the egg yolks would go into my roommate’s crème brûlées or into my mom’s fried rice, but there were always those days where I had to find some use for them myself. I stumbled upon this site which was great because it gave me tons of ideas on how to use up old egg yolks! It even categorizes them into the number of egg yolks you had.

Anyway, one of them was pastry cream. The possibilities are endless with that one, but Sam bugging me about making fruit tarts using these tart ramekins she had bought from Daiso. So I finally fulfilled her request and made her her fruit tarts. And in return, Samantha Ho took and edited pictures for me (was that a subtle enough photo credit? Oops if it wasn’t, then…PHOTO CREDIT: SAMANTHA HO).

I found this great recipe on Joy of Baking‘s website. I love her recipes because they’re always foolproof for me, and she has these great instructional videos along with each recipe. Not only that, she has this great substitution list (which I turn to all the time because I’m always too lazy to check that I have all my ingredients–not a good idea, by the way–or I’m too stingy to spend money on a certain ingredient) and all these other videos to answer your baking questions. I know they answered mine!

The fruit tart turned out to be delicious! It was perfect timing because my apartment had both golden kiwis and strawberries on hand. My boss loved it–the crust was cookie like and slightly sweet, and the pastry cream was a great combination with the fruit. What made it even better was the chocolate! The recipe says to use a layer of fruit preserves between the crust and the cream to seal the crust, but I used chocolate instead. I melted some semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave and spread it on the crust. It was a perfect touch to the tart. J would definitely differ (he hates chocolate! There goes half of my recipes…), so I guess I’ll opt out of the chocolate if I do ever make it for him. We’ll just have to see!

Fruit Tart
Makes one 8- to 9-inch tart
Adapted from 
Joy of Baking

Ingredients:

For the sweet pastry crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the pastry cream:
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch

For assembly:
Melted chocolate, enough to have a layer over the crust

Topping:
3 cups fruit (kiwis, strawberries, plums, blueberries, anything you want!)

For the sweet pastry crust: In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the butter until softened. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg and beat until just incorporated. Add the flour mixture and mix until it forms a ball. Flatten the pastry into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes or freeze for 10-15 minutes or until firm.

Lightly grease a 8 or 9 inch tart pan. Evenly pat the chilled pastry dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap; freeze for 15 minutes.

Lightly prick the bottom of the pastry crust with a fork (to prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes). Place the tart pan on a larger baking sheet and bake the crust in a preheated 400˚F oven on the center rack for 5 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚F and bake for 15 minutes or until dry and lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack, and cool completely.

*Side note. I actually made little tarts and forgot to bake one of them. I baked it up later and Sam ate it with nutella. Delicious!

For the pastry cream: In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together. Don’t let the mixture sit too long or you will get pieces of egg forming. Sift the flour and cornstarch together, add it to the egg mixture, and mix until you get a smooth paste.

In a saucepan, bring the milk just until the milk starts to foam up. Remove from head and add it slowly to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30-60 seconds until it becomes thick. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Poor the mixture into a clean bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool to room temperature, refrigerate if no using right away. Whisk the mixture before using to get rid of any lumps.

For Assembly: (You can remove the tart from the pan if it has a removeable bottom; I assembled it without removing the tart)

Spread the melted chocolate over the tart, and let it harden completely.

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(This is what you’ll get. Mmm, chocolate!)

Then spread the pastry cream onto the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange the fruit in any way you choose.

The fruit tart is definitely better the same day that it’s made, but you can also refrigerate the leftovers and eat it the next day.

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Yum.Until next time,

Soli deo Gloria, and happy reading, eating, and baking!

 

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S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

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(Photo Credit: Samantha Ho)

I love summer. Even with summer school and work going on, it feels so…free. The warm weather, clear skies, summer fashion trends, and having everyone home for vacation—I love it. I actually spent most of my summer at school because of work and summer school, but the only thing I looked forward to when I got home at the end of the day was baking. Actually, this was when I started baking a lot of the recipes you’ll find here on the blog—I’d go to work/class in the morning, come home at the end of the day, and bake to my heart’s content. Of course, it wasn’t a daily activity (because after all, I am still a student with lots of studying to do…and not a lot of money to spend on ingredients), but it was definitely something I did often. I baked so much during the summer that when I left for a family vacation for two weeks, the utility bill in my apartment went down by $8. Woops.

Anyway, another thing that I really enjoy about summer is the beach. I love how friends get together to catch up and pig out with each other, I love playing beach volleyball and football even though I’m a total loser when it comes to sports, and I love sitting around a bonfire where you can roast marshmallows to make s’mores and cuddle around a warm fire. I’m lucky to be a SoCal girl because the beach is always within an hour away. I can go to the beach pretty much anytime I want…but that was not the case this summer. I spent most of my time hibernating at school. So…because I couldn’t get to that bonfire for that s’more, I brought it to my very own apartment, firepit, wood, and everything. Just kidding—that would have totally been a disaster and I would have been evicted by now if I ever did anything like that.

This is what I did with that s’more—I stuffed it into a thick, rich, and chewy chocolate chip cookie. The results were sooo delicious and a total hit at the office and within the apartment, but with my health…not so much. Eh, once in a while is okay right? I didn’t get a chance to make my own graham crackers like Smells Like Home did, but that would have been pretty cool—I’ll give that a shot next time.

I really recommend you to try this recipe, because this is what you’ll get:

1) hamburger patty-sized  cookie dough balls

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2) giant 5-inch cookies

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3) a delicious, gooey, and chewy mess (look at that marshmallow ready to burst!)

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Okay, enough yapping—here’s the recipe. Just do it, it’ll be worth it. It’ll be like…summertime in your mouth, I suppose :P

S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 4 giant cookies
From Smells Like Home

Ingredients:

For the cookie dough (Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies):
2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

For assembly:
1 cookie dough recipe, at room temperature
4 (1.5” x 3” ) graham cracker rectangles, broken into halves (yielding 8 graham cracker squares)
4 large marshmallows, snipped in half lengthwise
1 full-size Hershey’s bar, divided between each of the prospective cookies

For the cookie dough:
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Add in the egg, the egg yolk, and the vanilla just until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat until combined—do not overmix. Don’t worry, the batter will look a little lumpy. Stir in the chocolate chips.

For Assembly:
Preheat the oven to 325˚F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Lay two graham cracker squares on each baking sheet. Top each cracker with 3-4 pieces of chocolate, then with two marshmallow halves side-by-side, then with another cracker. Take the assembled s’mores and wrap each one between two large spoonfuls of the cookie dough. Use extra dough to wrap around each of the s’mores if necessary.

Bake the cookies for 20-24 minutes, spacing them at least 4 inches apart on the two baking sheets, just until the tops and edges are lightly browned and the edges barely life off the pan with a spatula). Cool the cookies on wire racks for at least 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies onto wire racks and cool slightly before serving. Enjoy! I enjoyed mine with some milk and warmed them up in the microwave for a few seconds the next day.

Again, I hope you try it out, and if you do, let me know! Until next time,

Soli deo Gloria, and happy reading, eating, and baking!

P.S. I know I’m blogging about the summer during the wintertime. S’mores are good all year round. That is all. And I like the summertime.

Blueberry Pull Apart Bread

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My roommate bought a two pound box of blueberries from Costco which led to snacks for class and a new ingredient for dessert. There’s something about blueberries (besides the fact that they are not blue on the inside at all! Before they’re baked, that is. They’re like mini grapes pre-cooking/baking!) that make you want to keep eating.

Anyway, blueberries in a dessert is just as good, maybe a little less healthy, but once in a while is okay right?? In that case, blueberry pull apart bread: soft, yummy bread filled with cinnamon-y and buttery and BLUEBERRY goodness. It’s a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it in the end. Anyways, enough yapping; here’s the recipe! And some step-by-step photos by my lovely roommate aka blueberry purchaser Samantha Ho!

Blueberry Pull Apart Bread
Makes one loaf
from 
Bex Built a Family

Ingredients:

For the dough:
2 3/4 cups bread flour (or all-purpose)
1/4 cup sugar (you might want to increase this; the bread wasn’t very sweet. BUT it should be perfect with the icing!)
1 envelope rapid rise yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup whole milk
half stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temp.
1 tbsp. cinnamon

Blueberry filling:
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen is fine)
half stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 – 2 tbsp. cinnamon
2-3 tbsp. sugar

Icing (optional):
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp. whole milk

Warm the 1/3 cup of milk (in a saucepan or the microwave), then stir in the yeast to activate. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the bread flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add in the water, eggs, and vanilla extract. It’ll look a little dry, but add in your milk and yeast mixture until it starts to come together. Don’t worry if the dough is sticky–that’s how it’ll be.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, adding flour and kneading until the dough isn’t sticky anymore. Keep kneading until the dough turns into a smooth ball, but don’t over knead. Place your dough ball into a greased bowl, cover with a warm towel, and let is rise until doubled. It should look like this after it rises:

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Nice and puffy! Poke the dough; if it holds the shape of your thumb, you’re good to go.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and use a rolling pin (or even cup) to roll the dough into a rectangle that’s about 1/4″ thick. Brush the top with the butter, then sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon:

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Slice the rectangle into 6 even strips. Sprinkle some blueberries on a strip (save about 1/4 cup for later), then lay another strip on top. Add more blueberries, lay another strip, add more blueberries, then lay another strip. This is how it should look like:

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Look at all those blueberries!! Anyways, almost done! Cut the strip stack into four even squares (as seen in the left part of the above picture). Don’t worry if it’s not perfect–everything will get stuffed into a loaf pan.

Layer your dough squares into a greased loaf pan, with the squares on their sides. It should look like a long flip book! Stuff the blueberries into the cracks of squares and sprinkle some over the top.

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(I kept stuffing it with blueberries…I couldn’t help myself. My roommates had to stop me before I used the whole box…)

The loaf pan won’t be completely stuffed, but don’t worry, the bread has to go for a second rise. Cover the loaf pan and let it rise for another hour. Remove cover, and bake in a preheated 350˚F oven until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. It depends on your oven, but it took me 30-45 minutes. You can make the icing and drizzle it on top just whisk the powdered sugar and milk until smooth), but it’s totally optional. I opted out and drizzled my bread pieces with honey instead.

This bread is definitely better the day it’s made, but it’s still good the next day too. Just warm up the pieces in the microwave and drizzle with honey. So so good.

Anyways, I hope y’all try it out. And if you do, let me know in the comments below! Until next time,

Soli deo Gloria, and happy reading, eating, and baking!

Aside

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Baking treats (mostly sweets)–this is what I love. The pictures shown above are things that you’ll see on this blog: cookies, macarons, muffins, breads, pies, etc. Basically…anything that involves the oven.

I am grace(full)eats…which probably makes no sense to any of you. My name is Grace, and I am the proud owner of this blog. This is my first food blog, and…I’m a little confused about what I’m doing. I’m confused by WordPress (though it looks pretty cool!), and I honestly have no idea where this’ll take me, but one thing I know is this: my ultimate purpose.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)

This is my ultimate purpose–to glorify God. My purpose is to share with you all the treats and all other food items I make, but it is also to show you the grace that God has given me, the unconditional love Jesus Christ has shown me on the cross. This is why my name is grace(full)eats. I hope that you all will become full (at least your eyes!) from the things I post, but I hope that you can all come to see how my life is full of God’s grace and how it is by His grace that I am Grace.

This is my intro–food posts coming soon!

Soli deo Gloria, and happy reading, eating, and baking!

Greetings!

After spending so much time looking at food blogs, recipes, and pictures, and after baking day, after day, after day…I think it’s time that I log everything onto a food blog.

So with that said…

Hello! My name is Grace, and welcome to grace(full)eats! Here you’ll find all my baking adventures (provided that I keep up with them), recipes, photos, etc., and anything else that I find interesting.

More on this blog later, but for now:

Happy reading, eating, and baking!