Raspberry Deep Dish Mini-Pies with Black Tea Crust
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Prepare 1 cup black tea (plain black teas or flavored will all work, I used earl grey!). Measure out 3 tbsp of tea and chill in fridge. Drink the rest!
In a large bowl mix 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2tsp salt, 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp shortening.
Mix with a hand held pastry blender or with the tips of your fingers. When it resembles pebbles sprinkle the cold tea and blend until the dough is moist and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Form dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 45 minutes. This will result in a flakier crust.
Divide crust into 4 parts and roll out. Press into mini ramekins, trimming any loose edges. You can also make 1 pie approximately 9 inches in diameter, or 2 mini tarts approxiately 4.5 inches in diameter, depending on the containers you have.
In a bowl toss together 5 cups raspberries, 2/3 cup sugar and 2 tbsp cornstarch. Pour into the prepared dishes.
Mix together 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar (mixture of brown and white) and 1/3 cup “butter” until crumbly. Sprinkle over the berries but only partially cover.
Bake 30 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is light golden in color. Remember that the crust will continue to brown a little as it cools.
Top with whipped cream!
Everything Springtime Salad
- 1 head of Romain lettuce (or other green leafy vegetables) - chopped finely
- 1 large apple, such as Fuji or Gala - cored and shredded on the large-holed side of a box grater
- 1-2 carrots - peeled and finely shredded
- 1-2 small cucumbers - peeled, optionally seeded and finely chopped
- 1-2 tomatoes - finely chopped
- 1 pear - cored, finely chopped
- 2 ripe kiwi - peeled and chopped
- handful of strawberries - finely chopped
- handful of radishes - finely chopped
- 1 ripe mango - peeled, pitted and finely chopped
Parsley, dill, basil, mint, radicchio, celery, salad turnips, rutabaga, celery root, blueberries, starfruit, peas, green beans, edamame.
Place all the ingredients in a large bowl, toss gently, and enjoy the flavors of spring!
Homemade Oreos with Vanilla Butter Cream
For the cookies:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons half and half
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 3 – 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, whisked to remove any lumps
Begin by preparing the cookies. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well incorporated.
Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture, beating on the lowest speed. Continue to mix on the lowest setting until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.
Divide the dough in half, and shape into two discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
When the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Set aside.
Taking only one portion of dough out of the refrigerator at a time, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough to 1/8 – 1/4-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter (approximately 2 inches in diameter) to cut out cookies and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cookies are cooled, prepare the filling. Combine the softened butter, half and half, vanilla, and salt and beat until combined. The mixture may be a bit lumpy, but will come together. Add the powdered sugar gradually, approximately 1/2 cup at a time, until the filling comes together. It will be slightly stiffer than a cupcake frosting.
Transfer the filling to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe the filling onto half of the cookies, and top with the remaining cookies to form cookie sandwiches.
When I buy fruit and veggies, I always soak them in a 1:4 ratio of vinegar and water to help remove toxins and pesticides. I leave them soaking for up to an hour, longer with nonorganic apples. At the end of the bath, sometimes you can even see cloudy like stuff in the water from the skins and waxes, and dirt on the bottom.