Tuesday, April 30, 2013

cream cheese biscuits

"Square is the new round."  

This recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen and has completely done away with the problem of over-handling/over-kneading biscuits by suggesting to cut them in squares.  

What!?!?!  Why didn't I ever think of that?  I'm telling you... it's the smartest thing I've seen in a long time.  Ingenious.

Now, I know to traditionalists it might take a while to accept a square biscuit.  But to those of us who just want a tender and great-tasting result, it's life-changing!  All three of the boys gobbled these up with no trouble at all.  They are full of flavor, and have a rustic flair.  Right up my alley.  And I think they might be my biscuits of choice for the time being.

If you are unfamiliar with America's Test Kitchen, do a little research.  They have perfected recipes from a scientific perspective, understanding the chemistry of food and altering recipes accordingly.  They've made all the mistakes so we don't have to!

I highly suggest you grab your favorite jar of jam or honey bear and bake up a basket of these biscuits.  Mark my words.  It's hip - and delicious - to be square!

Cream Cheese Biscuits - makes 12 biscuits

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and frozen 30 minutes
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and frozen 30 minutes
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp. buttermilk
~ Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. 
~ Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
~ Pulse all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cream cheese,
    and butter in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Transfer to a large
~ Stir in buttermilk until combined (dough may appear slightly dry).
~ Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead briefly until dough comes together
~ Roll dough into 8 by 6-inch rectangle, about 3/4 inch thick.
~ Cut into twelve 2-inch squares and transfer to prepared baking sheet.  
~ Bake until light brown, 12-15 minutes.
~ Transfer to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes.  Serve warm.

Tips and Tricks:
When kneading, dough will be crumbly.  Don't let this scare you.  Just bring together and roll out to cut.  The "crumbs" are actually the "pieces" of butter and cream cheese that will melt throughout the dough.  It works beautifully.

To make ahead, unbaked cut biscuits can be refrigerated on baking sheet, covered with plastic wrap, for 1 day.  To finish, heat oven to 450 degrees and bake as directed.  

Friday, April 26, 2013

book it and cook it - the mitford cookbook and lew boyd's chocolate cake

I know I've mentioned it before, but growing up within walking distance from the local library was the best!  Minus a few years with foster siblings, I grew up an only child, so having a book in my hands was like having a dear companion at my fingertips.  My bed... the "secret passageway" in our basement... the car... in my closet with the flashlight... in the swing in the backyard...  Those were just a few of my favorite reading spots during my younger years.

It would only take about two pages in, and I was lost in my own world.  I devoured books, but only as fast as my imagination would let me.  It was extremely important I take moments, periodically, to close my eyes and envision the setting as I traveled through the pages.  I can remember doing it like it was yesterday.   

I felt like a kid again a few years back when a friend introduced me to The Mitford Series by Jan Karon.  Based on the life of a kind (and slightly roundish) minister, Father Tim, the town of Mitford is everything I would ever want in a home-place... small, quaint, and tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains - charm at its best.  And to top it all off, lovable characters in all their feel-good interactions are infectiously mingled with delicious references to wonderful food.  In my opinion, the books could not be more perfect for me.  It's almost as if Ms. Karon knew everything about me and sat and wrote accordingly.  

So, needless to say, when I finished the series and learned of the accompanying cookbook, I was ecstatic.  Not only had the characters been as dear friends in my mind, but they came to life through recipes written in their honor.  I was sold.

As I cook my way through this book - my favorite recipe collection and anecdotal compilation of all time mind you - I will look forward to sharing the outcomes with you.  I even think it would be kind of fun to have a "book it and cook it" club of sorts as we go.  If you're so inclined to share your thoughts about any of the Mitford books you've read or are reading, how interesting it would be to hear from you! 

Today's feature is the very best layered chocolate cake I've ever made.  The recipe suggests keeping it in an airtight container for up to a week.  Let me just tell you... Day Seven's slice was even better than Day One's.  

With an easily spreadable, perfectly rich icing, and moist crumb in between, this one - hands down - is a keeper.  Listen. to. me.  Cook the cake today.

Lew Boyd's Chocolate Cake
makes one 2-layer cake

For the cake
  • Unsalted butter for greasing the pans
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, more for dusting the pans
  • 1 cup double strength hot coffee
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the frosting
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup double strength hot coffee
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Chocolate shavings, for garnish
~ Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
~ Lightly butter two 9-inch round cake pans, line with parchment or wax paper, and butter 
    and flour the paper, shaking out any excess.  Set aside.
~ In a large bowl, combine the hot coffee with the unsweetened chocolate and let it melt, 
    stirring constantly.
~ Sift the 2 cups sugar, flour, 1/2 teasponon salt, and baking soda into a separate large
~ Add the oil, eggs, sour cream, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla to the bolw with the melted 
    chocolate, and whisk until well combined.
~ Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, in thirds, stirring well after each addition, until 
    completely blended.
~ Divide the batter between the pans, rap each pan on the counter to expel any air pockets 
    or bubbles, and place in the oven.
~ Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick instered int the center comes out clean.
~ Place the cakes on racks to cool for 5 minutes, then invert them onto the racks to cool 
~ Carefully peel off the waxed paper.

The frosting

~ In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the heavy cream, butter, 1/3 cup 
    sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Slowly heat the mixture, stirring, until hot.  
~ Add the semisweet chocolate and stir until just melted.
~ Remove the pan from the heat, pour the mixture into a large blow, and stir in the coffee 
    and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
~ Let cool, stirring occasionally, for up to one hour.  
~ Gradually add in confectioners' sugar, blending as you do so, until spreading consistency
    is reached.  

To assemble the cake

~ Arrange one cake layer on a serving platter, top side up, and frost the surface thickly.
~ Top with the second layer, top side down, and frost the top and sides.  
~ Garnish with chocolate shavings.
~ Let the cake sit for 3 hours or more before slicing.
~ Store, covered, at room temperature, for up to 1 week.

Recipe slightly adapted from the Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

lazy daisy's pica de gallo

There are recipes like this one that I just adore... not only because they are so full of flavor, but because it's a little like bringing all of the wonderful aspects of outside... well... in.  

I'm crazy about this time of year.  I know.  I say that about all the seasons.  But I really am. Everywhere I look, the green is greener, buds are opening, soil is being turned over after a long winter's nap... there's just hope for something new and fresh.  Everywhere.

I'm not sure there's a better herb that brings home the idea of "fresh" better than Cilantro.  A part of the Parsley family, I might have to say it's close to my favorite, if not the one.  It's clean and earthy.  It's highlighted beautifully in this appetizer.  

As with many of my recipes, there's not a thing fancy about this one.  I love it because it doesn't take much effort.  You do some chopping, some juicing, mix it all together and let it do its thing. 

These measurements are exactly the way we like it every time, but as I've said so many times before, it's versatile.  Add or take away to your liking.  

If you have a get-together coming soon... especially a cook-out or outdoor event... get the party started with a bowl full of Lazy Daisy's Pica de Gallo served up with a side of chips.  Expect no leftovers.

Lazy Daisy's Pica de Gallo - makes 2 1/2 cups
  • 1 pound fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium to large sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeƱo peppers, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
  • juice of one medium lime
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
~ Mix all ingredients together and chill 30 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, April 19, 2013

whole-wheat bread

Well, once again, Nashville weather has taken a turn and we've woken up to a drizzly and much cooler day.  It couldn't be a more perfect one to plan on making this wonderful bread!  I love baking bread on any kind of day, but there's something comforting about smelling it in the oven when it's overcast and cooler.  And call me silly, but I like to do so with the oven light on, so I can watch the masterpiece come to life right before my eyes!  I know... it doesn't take much for me!

Do not let the "rye" part of this recipe scare you.  If I didn't put the flour in it myself, I wouldn't know it's there.  I actually like rye, but I promise you can't taste it in the bread at all.  This is a hearty, nuttier loaf, and quite easy to make!  Make sure to cut off the heal as soon as it comes out of the oven, smear with a pat of butter and drizzle with honey.  Good to the last crumb!

Whole-Wheat Bread with Wheat Germ and Rye
makes two loaves
  • 2 1/3 cups warm water (about 100 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
~ In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix water, yeast, honey, butter and salt with a rubber
~ Mix in the rye flour, wheat germ, and 1 cup of each of the whole-wheat and all-purpose 
~ Add the remaining whole-wheat and all purpose flours, attach the dough hook and knead
    at low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the dough 
    to a lightly floured surface.  Knead just long enough to make sure that the dough is soft 
    and smooth, about 30 seconds.
~ Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in 
    a warm draft-free area until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
~ Heat the oven to 375 degrees. 
~ Gently press down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces.
~ Gently press each piece into a rectangle about 1-inch thick and no longer than 9 inches.
~ With the long side of the dough facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing 
    down to make sure the dough sticks to itself.
~ Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch to close.
~ Place each cylinder of dough into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan and gently press down until
    dough is touching four sides of pan.
~ Cover the pans and let rise until doubled, about 20-30 minutes.
~ Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the short end of the loaf reads 205 
    degrees, about 35-45 minutes.
~ Transfer immediately to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.

Recipe originally from Baking Illustrated.

Monday, April 15, 2013

gadget love - kitchen scale

Scales.  I got rid of mine years ago.  It collected dust, it took up valuable space, and I never liked what it had to say anyway!

A little over a year ago, though, I brought one back into our home.  It's quaint, accurate, and too small for me to stand on...  In other words, I never mind what it has to say!

I absolutely love this kitchen scale.  In years past, as I began cooking more, there were times I thought I could have used one.  But I never would have imagined how much I would until I actually had one sitting on my counter.  

There's no reason to guess anymore about anything!  In fact, besides the typical expected uses... say the accurate measuring of flour for tedious pastry or bread recipes, or the weighing of meat called for, I love knowing now I can get the same amount of batter in both pans of a layered cake, or anything to where you're spreading combined ingredients between multiple places, for that matter.  There are a ton of uses, and you'll appreciate them all.

With an easy push of a button, this scale measures in grams and ounces/pounds... and not the kind that get too personal, either - you gotta love it!

Friday, April 12, 2013

lunch on me - pork and rice stir-fry

I am a terrible lunch planner.  I mean terrible.  I always have these big ideas at the grocery store, buying wonderful ingredients, thinking I'll actually pre-prepare them so I can grab a great mid-day meal on my way out the door throughout the week.  

Then Monday morning hits.  

Three other lunch boxes are staring at me waiting to be filled, breakfast is necessary too, I suppose... Luke has gone to bed the night before with wet hair - major bed head - and there's at least one item that has found the absolute best hiding place ever, just moments before we're heading out the door.  It's at this point I stagger to the car with 49 things in my hands, none of which is lunch, and thank the Lord I work in a building with a cafeteria...  salad bar it is, one. more. time.  Or Mr. Marvin's grilled cheese with extra butter... love that guy!

But then there are moments when an aligning of the stars takes place, and I pull together something super-fast and super-easy, like this stir-fry, and wonder why in the world I don't do it more.

When we got home from our recent visit to Indiana, I pulled out a couple of pork loin chops Mom had gotten on sale.  Still frozen, I let them sit in just a little bit of Dale's seasoning and put them in the crock pot over night.  By the next morning, I had incredibly flavored meat to use for whatever.  Simple.  I stir-fried some veggies I had on hand, threw in a few flavor hits, a couple of cups of rice, stirred it all together, and bada bing!  Lunch is served.

I'm looking forward to a great weekend... a little cooler, but a lot of sunshine and a ton of baseball.  Grocery shopping is on the list as well.  I have some fun ideas in the works and a few cooking adventures up my sleeve.  I hope you're enjoying the blog as much as I am!  Come sit a spell, and bring your friends.  There's always room at the table!

Happy Friday to all!

Pork and Rice Stir-Fry - makes four servings
  • 1 lb pork or chicken, cooked and seasoned to taste, cut in pieces
  • 2-3 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, julienned
  • 1 cup bell pepper (orange, yellow, or red), sliced
  • 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. dark sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
~ In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
~ Add peas, peppers, and green onions, stirring until just beginning to soften.
~ Add soy sauce, lemon juice and brown sugar.
~ Continuing stirring and moving around veggies until only slightly crunchy.  
~ Add cooked meat and turn to coat.  
~ Add rice and red pepper to mixture in pan, stirring frequently until heated through.


Monday, April 8, 2013

cooking light, cooking right - thai shrimp cakes

I've never been a big diet person.  I don't like them at all, actually.  They're restrictive, they're trendy, and they're not fun.  Three things I don't think I am.  

I've always been fortunate to have a pretty healthy palate, which has definitely played in my favor, and somehow... for the most part... I've been able to balance a love of all the things one shouldn't eat too much of, with a sincere appreciation for most things one should.  

Out of all the cooking magazines I have historically, and currently do, subscribe to, Cooking Light ranks at the top of my list.  So, I thought it might be fun to have a reoccurring post to feature some of my favorite CL recipes.  I've titled it, Cooking Light, Cooking Right.  

The magazine has a great mix of quick recipes, edgy recipes, down-home recipes, and just plain good recipes with a lighter twist.  It's not a wipe-all-the-sugar-and-fat-out-of-a-recipe type magazine, but it is an everything-in-moderation kind of offering that gives a rather pleasant - but not in your face - nod towards healthy food decisions.  Best of all, it never sacrifices flavor for a few less calories!

Everywhere I look, I'm seeing Asian recipes.  It seems to have the covers and headlines of many food discussions, so I thought I'd try my hand at one I found in the latest edition of the magazine.  These cakes came together so incredibly fast, and John said - I quote - "This might have been the most flavorful thing I've eaten!"  

I couldn't have agreed more.

I followed this recipe to a "T" and didn't, nor wouldn't, change a thing.  Well, actually, you could add a bit more olive oil than called for, just so the cakes have enough for a quick seer/fry to help hold them together.  Don't be afraid to let them sizzle for a while.  You want to be able to successfully flip them.

I'm not sure what it is about these, specifically, that causes the immense flavor.  The ingredients fit together beautifully, and all I know is I already want more.  That's if I can beat John to the platter.  I was glad I had eaten one before I let him at 'em.  I'm still looking forward to a second.

A side of steamed Edamame with a nice sprinkling of Kosher salt made this meal on the patio at sunset a "10."  Thanks, Cooking Light.  With recipes like this, it's "cooking right" in my book!    

Thai Shrimp Cakes - makes 4 cakes
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
  • 1/4 cup minced unsweetened dried coconut, divided
  • 2 tbsp. minced green onions
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 ounces peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (or more, if needed)
  • 1 lime, quartered
~ Combine 1/3 cup panko, 2 tbsp coconut, and next 8 ingredients in a large bowl.  
~ Add shrimp and stir just until combined.
~ Using wet hands, shape mixture into 4 equal balls.
~ Combine remaining panko and coconut in a shallow dish.
~ Coat balls in panko mixture, pressing to form 4 (4-inch) patties.
~ Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
~ Add oil; swirl to coat.
~ Add patties; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
~ Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe from Cooking Light

Friday, April 5, 2013

flashback friday - ma's sweet rice

As frustrated as I can get with Luke about his preference for all things sweet, I have to remind myself it's a pot-calling-the-kettle-black kind of thing.  The sweet tooth is hereditary, I can promise you, and it came straight from me.  I had no choice, mind you.  Between my dad and my grandmother, I was destined to crave the more dessert-type fare, breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Today's flashback takes me to many, many mornings... especially those on the cooler side... when I would make my way up the stairs to my grandparent's kitchen to eat before leaving for school.  I'd sit at the far end of the kitchen table/bar - the kind made from white formica, complete with those teeny tiny golden flecks of paint - and watch the small black and white TV at the other end.  Following Captain Kangaroo was a local children's morning show, The Peggy Mitchell Show, that I loved.  So much so, I even made an appearance on it, once.  In fact, when Ms. Peggy's puppet asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told her, "deaf."  That was followed by the puppet's jolting turn towards me, and in Peggy's own voice rather than the puppet's, a squalling, "What?!?!?". 

It's hilarious for me to even think about now.  I can't imagine what the TV audience thought as they watched!  Obviously, I didn't want to be deaf, but I was very interested in working with special needs children and was learning sign language with my mom, a special education assistant at the time.  "I want to be an interpreter for the hearing impaired" was just not coming to mind at seven years old, so "deaf" it was.

At any rate, those mornings were precious to me as I'd watch Popie get ready for work and Ma stand at the stove, stirring and stirring.  Nine times out of the ten, she was making this rice... sweet rice, that is.  There was no other kind in Ma's book.  Right off the burner, I remember her always pouring it straight out of the pan into my bowl and wonder why I wasn't eating it up.  I didn't have the heart to tell her it would burn off my tongue if I did.  So I'd blow and blow (and blow some more) while she asked me one thousand times if it needed more sugar, a bit more milk, and on, and on... 

Bless her sweet four-foot-ten soul.

Nothing.  I mean nothing beats a bowl of this stuff when you need to feel good and warm down to your toes... buttery, creamy, sweet comfort absolutely rolled into every bite.  And if you're really good, you know how to ration the toast just right, so that the last crumb happens to end up right alongside the final spoonful of rice.

I do not measure anything in this.  I take a couple of cups of cooked rice and add whole milk, real butter, real sugar, and cinnamon until just right.  Then I pour it straight into the bowl, steaming hot, because carrying on tradition is half the fun, right?  It is a total "to-taste" deal. Easy, nostalgic...  perfect.    

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

apple almond chocolate chip cookies (no sugar added)

I have a confession to make.  I like All-Bran.

I know.  It's crazy.  When I was a kid, no lie, I was totally okay eating it for breakfast.  To tell you the truth, I kind of craved it.  That doesn't mean I didn't want all the other fun cereals.  In fact, my absolute favorite growing up was Golden Grahams.  Man, I loved that stuff!  But All-Bran was in my bowl many-a-mornings, and it was just fine with me.

I guess because of that, I'm also good with really hearty all-wheat breads, whole wheat pastas, and these "cookies."  This recipe is a result of noticing some dried apples in the pantry needing to be used, that made me think about caramel dipped apples at the fair, which took me to thoughts about the fancier versions found in specialty chocolate and candy stores, which made me think of my favorite dipped apple combo, chocolate dipped apples rolled in nuts.  And that, my friends, is exactly how this brain works most of the time - full speed ahead with a little free association thrown in.  

Thankfully, it turned out (this time) in a decent recipe.

I do want to stress that these treats have no added sugar, but just enough sweetness in the chocolate to satisfy, and they're absolutely perfect with a cup of coffee.  I haven't tried it yet, but I think these could be frozen and heated right before serving.  

Another grab-and-go option for the morning.  Love it!

Apple Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies -
makes about 18 
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups (12 oz. bag) dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried apples, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted and chopped
~ Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
~ Cream butter and vanilla until fluffy.
~ Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well.
~ In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, soda, and salt.  
~ Slowly add flour mixture to butter and vanilla while mixer is running.
~ Stir in oats, chips, apples and almonds until fully incorporated.
~ Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop dough into cup and place on baking sheet 2 inches 
    apart.  My batter came out with a little tapping on the back of the scoop.
~ Bake for 14-16 minutes until cooked through.  
~ Store in airtight container for several days or freeze immediately.

Monday, April 1, 2013

sunny spring lemon tarts - a lazy daisy favorite

O Sunshine, Sunshine... wherefore art thou, Sunshine?

If you live in Middle Tennessee, you are quoting the same.  We've been back in town for a week and a day from Spring Break, and I think we've had one day of sunlight since our return.  How I could use more!

I've had this recipe tucked away for a little while just waiting to try it on the perfect day.  To me, it says, "Spring.  Life.  Light!"  So, why not Easter Sunday?  

Yesterday, the four of us enjoyed a wonderful meal out and came home to beautifully colored eggs and these tangy tarts.  Outside our windows it poured, but inside there was at least a little brightness in the kitchen, if not in the whole house.

I am planning to use this crust recipe over and over.  It could not have been easier to work with, and it certainly couldn't have been more tender, yet sturdy.  The sweetness and zing of the filling needed its subtleness and buttery bite to balance them.

Easter.  I've always loved it, and with every year, I become more and more thankful for the empty tomb.  Lately, the boys have had so many questions about Heaven, what it will be like, if we'll know each other, when we will go.  To see their excitement, to hear their thoughts... I am thankful. Thankful for the promise.  Thankful for the message.  Thankful for our Savior who made it possible to tell my children they, too, will live forever in joy because their Jesus loved them enough.  

The Messiah.  

He is risen.  He is risen, indeed.  Hallelujah! 

Sunny Spring Lemon Tarts - makes 8-10 tarts

For the shells
  • 1/2 stick cold butter
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4-5 tbsp. ice water
For the filling
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon peel, grated
For the topping
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • powdered sugar to taste
~ In a stand mixer, with a pastry cutter or two forks, or in a food processor, mix butter, 
    flour and salt until dough becomes crumbly.  
~ Add water 2 tablespoons at a time until consistency is smooth.  
~ Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
~ Roll out dough on cutting board and cut 3" circles using a cookie cutter or top of drinking 
~ Place into greased cupcake pan, pressing sides of dough to fit.
~ Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  
~ Combine all filling ingredients in a heavy, non-aluminum saucepan.
~ Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until butter is melted and mixture 
    thickens slightly.  Do not allow to boil.
~ Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and cool.
~ Spoon filling into dough cups (about 3-4 tablespoons per cup).
~ Bake 15-18 minutes.
~ While baking, whip cream and sugar until stiff peaks form.  Refrigerate until baked tarts
    are cooled, then top.  Refrigerate leftover tarts.

Tips and Tricks
  • I ended up testing one tart first to accomplish the right cooking time for our oven.  At 17 minutes, the shell was golden brown, but the bottom of the shell was ever-so-slightly soft.  I didn't want to over-brown, so I heated a pan on the stove to medium and sat the tarts in it for about 1 minute until golden.
Recipe slightly adapted from Kroger