Jelly Roll Over

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Today I tried to make two recipes from Baking Illustrated: Raspberry Jelly Roll and Free-Form Summer Fruit Tartlets

It was a very lazy weekend. DVDs, catching up on reality television (LPBW, Top Chef, and too much Food TV), multiple naps, and a little baking.

First, the Raspberry Jelly Roll (page 369). You need to make a genoise or sponge cake...which involves beating 6 eggs over simmering water til warm and then letting the KitchenAid mixer go to town. Yes, nothing like whipping eggs while holding the instant read thermometer in this egg batter - sorry no photo of that one!

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, you invert it onto a kitchen towel that has been doused with powdered sugar. There was a serious error in choosing my raspberry jam. I thought I had some good raspberry jam from Whole Foods, but I was out. So that left my janky Ralphs...and some not so good raspberry jam.

Fresh raspberries were also thrown into the roll. I'm going to try the jelly roll again - perhaps with a different filling like lemon curd or nutella. By the way, the genoise had a familiar smell and taste. I couldn't place it until I thought way back to my childhood.

It's sorta like Twinkies - only with fresh ingredients and vanilla!

Next up was my first attempt at any type of pie crust. I used the Free-Form Tart recipe from Baking Illustrated (page 219). This recipe calls for a small amount of cornmeal. I used the food processor and I ended up mixing it a lot longer than their "5 one-second pulses" because it wasn't coming together like they described. I rolled out the dough on my nifty Tupperwave pie making plastic sheet thing that had circles under it so you know how large to roll out the dough.

I used fruit I picked up at the Farmer's Market, added some sugar and dots of butter, and free-formed the crust.

The result? Um. Well, perhaps I should have left my lovely fruit raw. Or, I shouldn't have started with the crust and tried a cobbler instead. Because the warm fruit (sans the crust) was quite tasty. Really, how could you go wrong with wonderful fruit, sugar and butter?!

The crust was tough and not flaky and almost chewy. Oh well, I'll try again next week.

By the way, I'm reading "American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America's Back Roads" by Pascale Le Draoulec. She's a journalist who traveled from SF to NYC and tried to find good pie along the way. Cute book so far...and it even has recipes. I'm half-way through and she has never made a pie. She fears the crust too. Who knows, that might end up happening to me too!
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