TWD: Mixed Berry Cobbler

This week's selection, Mixed Berry Cobbler, was chosen by Beth of Our Sweet Life. It is a great selection for summertime, even though I used frozen berries which I consider to be bordering on sinful given all the fresh raspberries, etc that are available! I had never made a pie crust before {I made the cobbler before making the blueberry pie} so I was happy to start with the cobbler (which according to Mom is easier than making a pie if you've never made one before).

I made the cobbler in a deep 8" square pan and the only change I made to Dorie's recipe was adding a teaspoon of vanilla to the crust. It ended up taking about 75 minutes to bake and the last 10 minutes was pure torture! The cobbler smelled so delicious! It's a good thing I left the apartment while it cooled so I wasn't tempted to dig in early. We ended up eating it about 7 hours later with some homemade whipped cream (heavy cream, confectioners sugar & vanilla beat up with a mixer)

We were both really happy with this recipe and the only change I would make is baking it with fresh berries (who knows, maybe we'll try it this week. Never mind, I forgot we were moving. Back to packing boxes for us!)


Martha's 4th of July Blueberry Pie

Not bad for a 1st attempt!

As I was flipping through Dorie's book, the picture of the blueberry pie happened to catch my husband's eye. it's amazing how an image can resurrect so many memories! Just by seeing the picture he was transported back to his grandma's house in Pennsylvania- coming to visit and she would have a fresh blueberry pie waiting. I found out it had been several years since he had had freshly baked blueberry pie and I realized then that I knew what my next baking task would be. Mind you, the closest I've gotten to making my own pie was watching my Mom. So I did the best I could, realizing this was going to be a learning experience for me!

For whatever reason, I decided to make Martha's blueberry pie instead (from the Baking Handbook) and pretty much followed all of the directions except for the crust. The top layer of the 4th of July pie had stars cut out from the rolled crust and I knew that was pushing it for me (and I didn't have a star cut out anyway). The crust ended up being the hardest part for me. Especially rolling it out. Looking at the pictures, you can see how thin the crust was on the bottom (ignore the shadow on the left side of the pan). While I was rolling out the crust sections of it just kept breaking off (and I was determined to show the crust who was boss so I kept sticking it back together). I wonder if the problem was, the food processor just wasn't big enough to really give the crust a chance to get together.

Okay, so maybe the crust was a little thin on the bottom

Fresh blueberry filling! Nice & sweet!

Overall, my husband was very happy with how the blueberry pie turned out. Could it have been better? Absolutely. Could it have been worse? Even more absolutely. Either way, if someone had told me 1 year ago that I would be making a blueberry pie for our anniversary, I would have laughed. :-) 
Happy 1st Anniversary honey!!!!!


TWD: Peppermint Cream Puff Ring

This week's recipe was chosen by Caroline of A Consuming Passion and I have to admit- I was very nervous reading the recipe. This was my first pastry- usually when I bake I stick to muffins, brownies, cupcakes, etc so a thanks to Caroline for choosing this & thus pushing me out of my comfort zone!

I was very grateful that Dorie included pictures so I had an idea of what my dessert should look like (even though I still have some work to do to get there!)  

Instead of the peppermint cream I chose to make the chocolate cream that she recommended in her side bar. That cream was so good I was worried I wasn't going to have enough for the pastry because I kept eating it out of the bowl (never with the same spoon of course) :-)

The biggest problem I had with the recipe was using my newly purchased cake decorating kit. I was having a really hard time getting the dough out so I put the rest in a ziploc bag, cut it and continued making my rings (thanks to Zakia of The Frosted Bake Shop for posting that suggestion!). After baking, the pastry didn't puff up as much as I think it should of (probably because there wasn't enough dough in the rings that I made). I didn't want to slice it in half because it was so thin, so I decided to cut the circle in half and make a semi-circle pastry instead.

For my first real attempt at making a pastry, I was pretty happy with my results & my husband gave it 2 thumbs up!