Mini Banoffee Pie Tarts

by kellybakes in , ,


Mini Banoffee Pie Tarts

Remember those Dulce de Leche Digestive Cookies I shared with you last week? What if I told you that they were one of the four ingredients needed to make a quick and simple version of a classic dessert popular in Ireland and the UK?

Curious, my dear reader? Read on! 

Ireland holds a special place in my heart. My dad's side is Irish, I'm born two days before St. Patrick's Day, my first name is Irish and I did my capstone project for my Master's on representations of women as Ireland in 19th century non-canonical literature (thrilling, I know!). Plus, I've spent time all over the country--from cupcakes in St. James Square and learning to pour the perfect pint of Guinness in Dublin, to curbside cheese feasts and hanging out with cute Irish rockstars in Cork, to breaking the rules at the Cliffs of Mohr and eating brown bread ice cream in Dingle.

inis mor, ireland

It wasn't until my most recent trip that I truly fell in love with the Emerald Isle. I was lucky enough to be the guinea pig in a study abroad program for graduate students and spent my summer in Galway. Being the only grad student in a group of 25 undergrads was challenging at times because I was in a different place in my life and it was sometimes hard to relate. When I needed some time to myself, I went on adventures, reading by the beautiful Bay, trying new pubs, chatting up locals, making friends with the Donut Monger and testing out nearly every bakery in the city center.

pastries
the galway donut man
Griffin's Pastries

On one of those trips, I had my first taste of Banoffee Pie, a simple but decadent dessert. The crust is traditionally made with crushed digestive cookies (similar to a graham cracker crust). Next comes a layer of gooey, caramel toffee. Slices of banana are placed on top of that and the whole thing is covered with fluffy whipped cream. It's like a banana cream pie that skips right to the good stuff and subs toffee for pudding. Genius, if you ask me.

When Jen of Jen's Favorite Cookies asked me to participate in a St. Patrick's Day recipe roundup, I knew I wanted to make this pie. In thinking about how to interpret this dessert, I originally wanted to make a whole pie and put a spin on it. It can be tough to find digestive cookies, so I thought about subbing graham cracker crumbs instead. A quick google search and a trip to the King Arthur Flour page showed me that I could easily make the digestive biscuits myself. And as I thought more about the size and shape of each cookie, I thought, "If banoffee pie is just digestives, toffee, bananas and whipped cream, why bother making a whole pie when I can just make individual servings?" Thus, I give you:

Mini Banoffee Pie Tarts. (Four ingredients and five steps, in pictures)

Digestive Biscuits

Step 1: Set out a few digestive biscuits (you can buy them or, if you can't find them, you can bake your own)

Dulce De Leche Digestive

Step 2: Cover with toffee, dulce de leche or caramel sauce.

Dulce de Leche Digestive

**Tip** Remember, to be generous with the toffee, caramel or dulce de leche! Traditional banoffee pie has a nice layer of caramelly goodness below the bananas!

Mini Banoffee Pie Tarts

Step 3. Top with a few sliced bananas. (Torching the bananas with a kitchen torch is also an option!)

Mini Banoffee Pie Tarts

Step 4. Pipe on a bit of whipped cream (homemade is best, but you could use canned in a pinch!)

Mini Banoffee Pie Tarts

Step 5: Plate the tart and drizzle with toffee, dulce de leche or caramel sauce & Enjoy!

We've got a ton of delicious recipes lined up to make your St. Paddy's Day a success, so be sure to check out the amazing dishes, drinks & desserts from the lovely ladies below!

St. Pats Day Group Photo

1. Key Lime Pound Cake by Joan at Chocolate Chocolate & More 2. Mini Banoffee Pie Tarts by Kelly at Kelly Bakes 3. Chocolate Bailey's Mousse Tart from Nancy at Gotta Get Baked 4. Irish Carbomb Cupcakes from Susan at Girl in the Little Red Kitchen 5. Pistachio Caramel Cookies from Jen at Jen's Favorite Cookies 6. Guinness Stout Mini Bundt Cake from Shanna at Pineapple and Coconut 7. Irish Cheese and Bacon Cheesecake with Walnut Crust by Carla at Chocolate Moosey 8. Bailey's Irish Cream Cheese Trifle from Anita at Hungry Couple NYC 9. Key Lime Pie Ice Cream from Renee at Magnolia Days 10. Pistachio Mousse Cups from Kim at Cravings of a Lunatic 11. Irish Eggs Benedict from Isabelle Crumb Blog 12. St. Patrick's Day Cookie Stack from Angie at Big Bears Wife 13. Guinness Chocolate Cake from Jen at Juanita's Cocina 14. Irish Potato Oatmeal Bread from Sarah at What Smells So Good


Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie Marshmallows

by kellybakes in ,


lemon meringue pie marshmallows

Admittedly, I made these meyer lemon meringue pie marshmallows a week ago. They were inspired by the loveliest, silky meyer lemon curd ever to come out of my kitchen. As I kept digging my spoon into the mason jar of buttery yellow slightly tart goodness, an idea struck me: the curd had the best part of a lemon meringue pie but without the hassle of baking a crust. And, as I gorged myself on several more spoonfuls mused upon the thought of pie, I was transfixed by the idea of dreamy meringue and my mind jumped straight to marshmallows.

lemon meringue pie marshmallows

It might just be for the best that I didn't post these right away. See, I've been sick for almost a week. Like, it started as a sinus headache for a day and then BOOM. I was canoodling with a tissue box, slathering Vicks Vapo-rub on myself (rubbing eucalyptus smelling ointment on your pale & wan skin is never as sexy as tanning oil on golden skin at the beach, no matter how hard you make duck lips and toss your hair), chugging Mucinex (why is there red dye 40 in it if it's blue?) and trying not to suffocate in the pile of used Kleenex on my bed. (I know, I know. I'm the epitome of attractiveness.)

ANYWAY, with all that staying-indoors-yucky-feeling-ism, I could use a little sunshine in my world. Enter these lemon meringue pie marshmallows. The unflavored marshmallow flavor and texture clearly lends itself to being meringue's stunt double, but the bright just barely tart flavor of the meyer lemon layer really steals the show. Because of the acidity in the lemon juice, it doesn't get quite as stiff as the normal layer of marshmallow; in fact, it whips up like a silky, dream. Rest assured, however, it should set just fine.

meyer lemon meringue pie marshmallows

Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie Marshmallows

For the top "meringue" layer One Half Batch Vanilla Marshmallows (I followed Shauna Sever's recipe directly; you can feel free to use a different recipe if you have a favorite! I originally made an entire batch, but didn't like the ratio to the lemon layer, which is why I recommend using half the recipe)

For the "lemon filling" layer (I adapted the above recipe)

Ingredients

For the mallows
4 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin (or, 2 packages Knox)
1/2 C meyer lemon juice (approximately the juice of 2 lemons; mine came up just short by a tablespoon or so, so I compensated with water until I reached the 1/2 cup line of my liquid measuring cup)
the zest of 2 meyer lemons
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C light corn syrup
1/4 C water pinch of salt
yellow food coloring (optional)

For dusting the pan
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup corn starch
1 T canola oil or non-stick spray
graham cracker crumbs (in retrospect, messy and totally optional)

Instructions

1. Combine corn starch & confectioner's sugar in a small bowl. Grease an 8x8" pan with cooking spray or canola oil. Dust with confectioner's sugar mixture to coat. Tap out excess sugar. Save remaining mixture for tossing the finished marshmallows in. 2. Prepare the half-batch of vanilla marshmallows and spread into the bottom of the prepared 8x8" pan. 3. Make the lemon layer. Pour 1/2 cup lemon juice into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle powdered gelatin over the top of juice and allow to bloom, approximately 5 minutes. (Note, the mixture does not bloom as solidly as a water-gelatin mixture would. Don't be alarmed). 4. Meanwhile, combine corn syrup, sugar, 1/4 cup water in a small pan. Heat on medium until mixture reaches soft-ball stage, or 240F. Remove from heat. 5. Turn stand mixer on low, begin drizzling hot syrup into the gelatin. Once combined, turn speed up to medium. Whisk for 5 minutes. 6. Turn mixer to high. Whisk for 7 minutes. Add yellow food coloring until desired color is reached. Add lemon zest. Whisk to thoroughly combine. 7. Using a greased off-set spatula (trust me on this one, it's gonna get sticky and messy!) evenly spread the lemon layer on top of the vanilla marshmallow layer. Allow to set for at least 8 hours. 8. Once set, slice into cubes (or wedges! Gah! why didn't I think of that until this very second?) and dust with confectioner's sugar/corn starch mixture. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


Pi Day: The best day of the year!

by kellybakes in


IMG_0955

I was destined to be a baker. My mom was due to have me on March 13th, but instead I decided to make my way into the world on the Ides of March (the 15th). Why does being born the day after Pi Day make me more inclined to love sweets? Well, I like to think that my wee little self had it perfectly planned out so that I would not only get to eat my fill of pies on the 14th, but I'd get to stretch out the sugary celebrations with birthday cake the next day. I couldn't, after all, share my birthday with pie. It's only fair that two great things each get their own day in the sun! [I'm so modest...]

Anyway, I've spent a good week wracking my brain thinking of ways to celebrate. Would I go the sweet route and stick with classics and old standbys?

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Thanksgiving, in pictures: http://waymorethancheesesteak.blogspot.com/2010/11/thanksgiving-in-pictures.html

Or would I shun my sweet tooth and make something savory instead?

chicken pot pie A chicken pot pie maybe...

IMG_4114 Or perhaps a quiche?

In the end, my sweet tooth won out, but flaky crusts did not. I went with graham cracker crusts, married them with Italian meringue, and took the combo in two totally different directions.

S'mores pie

S'mores pie

Meet the s'mores pie [recipe at the end of this post!]

Key lime pieKey lime pie. More pics: http://bit.ly/zFWgiy #baking #piday And the key lime!

Please excuse the poor lighting and the chocolate smudge on my messy stove. Knowing that I'd vowed to eat pie and only pie on 3.14, I took to biking 15 miles after work and then going to an hour and a half long yoga class, meaning I was up until the wee hours of the night, kitchenaid whirring and cocoa powder flying. Needless to say, my kitchen was a hot mess (okay I was too, who are we kidding?) and the lighting isn't the greatest at midnight...

Given my rush to get both pies done and my general end-of-the-day tiredness, I made a few blunders with both pies--adding too much meringue to the key lime and not enough to the s'mores pie, believing Bon Appetit when they suggested that Italian meringue would be a good substitute for marshmallow fluff...

Therefore, I give you my take on the s'mores pie with adjustments to how I'll most likely make it next time.

S'mores Pie Components:

1 graham cracker crust [pre-made or homemade--your call!] 1 batch chocolate pudding enough marshmallow to cover the top of a pie [this depends on your own personal preference of course and whether you'd prefer to use a marshmallow recipe or just a can of fluff]

For the crust: 1 1/2 C crushed graham crackers [I intended to make my own and skip the cornstarch in the store-bought but alas, I was short on time! 1 1/2 C is approximately one package of graham crackers in a box of three] 5 T melted unsalted butter 1/4 C sugar

Crush gram crackers in food processor or place in a ziplock bag and take a rolling pin and your aggression out on the poor things. Aim for a fine crumb. No one likes a hunk of graham cracker distracting them in the middle of their pie-eating! Add sugar to crumbs to combine. Mix in butter thoroughly and press mixture into a 9" pie plate. Bake in pre-heated 375 oven for 6 minutes.

For the pudding: [I used a recipe found on Smitten Kitchen with some adjustments as I could only get my hands on a 'semi-sweet' chocolate candy bar and it just didn't taste right]

1/4 cup cornstarch 1/2 cup sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt 3 cups whole milk 6 ounces 62% semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Hershey's Special Dark and had to adjust the flavor with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, but if you're not) 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate (if you're using sub-par chocolate like I did, the time for the supplemental cocoa is now! Add the sub-par chocolate first. Once it's melted, add the cocoa powder). Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

2. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer (I skipped this step. I'm lazy and had no lumps in my puddin') and into the pre-baked graham cracker crust. You'll most likely have extra pudding, so you can either grab a spoon [DON'T JUDGE ME!] or put the rest in ramekins, to which I will say, "OH YOU FANCY, HUH?"

For the topping 

Top with the marshmallow goodness of your choice: good ol' fluff, Italian meringue, or a layer of homemade marshmallow. I would recommend filling a piping bag with whatever marshmallow you choose (the latter choice especially) and a fancy tip (I used an Ateco 869 for the key lime) and making the top pretty. Then you can either get out your kitchen blow torch [muahahaha] or stick your pie under the broiler til things look just golden brown and if you burn it, tell everyone you were trying to capture that authentic camp-fire burnt marshmallow experience...riiight.


the product of my farmers market adventure

by kellybakes in


Yesterday I promised you the dramatic conclusion of what I made from my farmers market purchase. Well, dear readers, fear not. I am about to deliver on my promise. I present to you, completely from scratch: strawberry rhubarb pie!

Yes, you read right. Not only did I successfully bake my very first strawberry rhubarb pie, but I also made the crust from scratch and it was neither chewy nor greasy. The pictures are beautiful because of the amazing red color, so I'll let them speak for themselves [recipe at the end of the post].
IMG_0952 IMG_0930 IMG_0933 IMG_0947 IMG_0949 IMG_0955 IMG_0958

I left it in the oven for a smidge too long (hence the dark spot to the right), but I ate that part and it didn't even taste burnt to be completely honest! If you want to take advantage of in-season fruits, head over to your neighborhood farmers market and pick up some strawberries and rhubarb (and a pint of vanilla ice cream) and have yourself the perfect springtime tangy sweet treat!
For the pie crust, I'd recommend the award-winning recipe from my friends Mike & Charlie over at Brooklynauts.com.
by Terri (as seen on allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound fresh rhubarb, chopped
  • 2 pints fresh strawberries
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour and sugar. Add strawberries and chopped rhubarb. Toss with sugar and flour and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour filling into pie crust. Dot top with butter, and cover with top crust. Seal edges of top and bottom crust with water.
  4. Apply yolk to top of pie, using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut small holes in top to let steam escape.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C), for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and brown. Cool on rack.