Category Archive: Baking

Boston Cream Pie

BostonCreamPie at 1840 FarmBoston Cream Pie has always been one of my favorite desserts.  It’s difficult to beat the combination of a light sponge cake layered with vanilla pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache.  It wins on flavor and appearance in my book.

Sure, it isn’t really a pie in spite of its name.  As a pie lover, I could choose to hold that against this dessert.  Or, I could choose to love it more because it was made in a pie plate instead of a cake pan.  I’ll go with the second option because it doesn’t prevent me from loving Boston Cream Pie for any reason at all.

If you’re not familiar with the story behind Boston Cream Pie, here it is.  Once upon a time (around 1856), a chef by the name of Sanzian at Boston’s Parker House Hotel made a sponge cake layered with rum infused pastry cream, garnished with toasted almonds, and topped with chocolate fondant.  As was common practice at the time, he baked the cake in pie tins which were often used for cake baking.  The cake was called “Chocolate Cream Pie” and the name stuck.BostonCreamDrip

Years later, it came to be called Boston Cream Pie in a nod to its birthplace.  The Parker House became the Omni Parker House and the rest is culinary history of the most delicious kind.  In 1996, this dessert with a history became the official state dessert of Massachusetts.

No matter the reason this dessert was originally baked in pie tins, it is more common to find it baked in a cake pan these days.  Doing so creates a more symmetrical cake that can be sliced horizontally into layers for the finished dessert.  I like a challenge, so I prefer to use pie plates which create the rustic appearance of the homemade dessert that I love. 

In addition to using pie plates, I like to create three layers of cake rather than the customary two layers.  I find that the ratio of cake to pastry cream and ganache is just right when I create three thin layers of cake.  There’s also something decadent about a triple layer cake.

Once we moved to New England, it seemed fitting to master my own homemade version of Boston Cream Pie.  We even took a trip in to Boston to have a slice at the Omni Parker House just to experience it at the very place it was first created. 

Once we became chicken keepers and had a steady supply of the fresh eggs that give this cake and pastry cream such a rich flavor, my recipe really took shape. I have been making it the same way ever since.

You can call this dessert a pie or a cake, either is fine by me.  I’ll call it homemade and delicious and enjoy every last bite!

Boston Cream Pie
This recipe makes use of several foundation recipes and techniques. You’ll make a sponge cake with a meringue that is folded into the batter to deliver the most amazing texture. Then you’ll move on to make a beautiful pastry cream followed by the chocolate ganache. These three components can be used time and time again making a wide range of delicious dishes to share with your friends and family.
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For the Vanilla Sponge Cake
  1. 1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk
  2. ½ vanilla bean pod
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. ½ cup (96 grams) granulated sugar
  5. 200 grams (1 ¾ minus 1 Tablespoon) All-purpose flour
  6. 4 heaping Tablespoons cornstarch (36 grams)
  7. 1 cup (192 grams) granulated sugar
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  10. 3 ounces oil (I prefer a sunflower oil blend, but any neutral tasting oil will do)
  11. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  12. butter or coconut oil and sugar to prepare pie pans
For the Pastry Cream
  1. 12 ounces whole milk
  2. ½ vanilla bean pod
  3. 2 eggs
  4. pinch of salt
  5. ¼ cup (30 grams) All-purpose flour
  6. 6 Tablespoons (72 grams) granulated sugar
  7. 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Ganache
  1. 4 ounces heavy cream
  2. 4 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate
For the Vanilla Sponge Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Position the oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Prepare three pie pans by coating with butter or coconut oil and granulated sugar. Set aside as you prepare the cake batter.
  2. Place the cup of whole milk a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise using a sharp knife. Using the dull edge of the knife, scrape along the length of the inside of the pod to remove the thousands of beans inside. Transfer the beans and pod to the pot with the milk and place over low heat. The heat will help to infuse the flavor and aroma of the vanilla bean into the milk.
  3. Prepare a large mixing bowl and the beaters for your mixer by wiping with a paper towel lightly moistened with white vinegar. This will remove any trace of fat, allowing you to create a fluffy, beautiful meringue from the egg whites.
  4. Separate the three eggs, placing the whites in the prepared mixing bowl. Beat the egg whites on high speed until they become frothy. Continue beating while adding the ½ cup of granulated sugar one Tablespoon at a time. Beat until all of the sugar has been incorporated and the meringue has come to stiff peaks. You can test the meringue by removing the beater and holding it upright. If the peak of the meringue holds, it has come to stiff peaks and is ready to use.
  5. Remove the milk and vanilla bean from the heat to cool slightly. Remove the vanilla bean pod from the milk.Transfer the whipped egg white meringue to a small bowl and return the mixing bowl and beater to your mixer.
  6. Add the flour, cornstarch, 1 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder to the mixing bowl. Add the oil and half of the warm milk to the bowl. Mix slowly to combine. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract, mixing again on slow speed just to combine. Add the remaining milk to the bowl and beat slowly for approximately one minute until the batter is smooth and well combined.
  7. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a spatula, gently fold the reserved egg white meringue into the cake batter. Continue folding until the mixture is smooth and even.
  8. Transfer the batter to the prepared pie pans, dividing equally among them. Transfer the pie pans to the preheated oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. The cakes are done when the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean or with small crumbs attached.
  9. Remove the cakes from the oven to a wire rack to cool. When the pans are cool enough to handle, use an offset spatula to loosen the cakes from the pans. Turn each cake out on to the wire racks to cool completely.
For the Pastry Cream
  1. Place the whole milk in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise using a sharp knife. Using the dull edge of the knife, scrape along the length of the inside of the pod to remove the thousands of beans inside. Transfer the beans and pod to the pot with the milk and place over low heat.
  2. As the milk is warming, combine the eggs and dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. The resulting batter should be thick and smooth.
  3. Move the pan of milk from the burner. Remove the vanilla bean pod from the milk. Slowly add the egg mixture, whisking to incorporate the thick batter into the warm milk.
  4. Return the pan to medium low heat and bring to a simmer, whisking continuously until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove from the heat.
  5. Transfer the pastry cream from the pan (straining if necessary to remove lumps) to a bowl. Add the vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it firmly against the mixture to prevent a skin from forming as it cools. Refrigerate until the cake is ready to be assembled.
For the Chocolate Ganache
  1. Prepare the ganache by warming the heavy cream in a small pan or in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat source and add the chocolate. Allow the mixture to rest for two minutes before whisking to incorporate. When the cream and chocolate have become a satiny glaze, set the ganache aside to cool.
To Assemble the Boston Cream Pie
  1. Remove the pastry cream from the refrigerator. Whisk the mixture to ensure that it is completely smooth. Whisk the chocolate ganache.
  2. Place one of the cake layers on a large plate or platter. Transfer half of the pastry cream to the top of the cake. Using a spatula, spread the pastry cream to evenly cover the cake, leaving a narrow margin around the edge of the cake. Repeat this process with the second layer of cake and remaining pastry cream.
  3. Place the third cake layer on top. Transfer all of the chocolate ganache to the top of the cake. If the ganache is warm enough, it can be poured, if not, simply use a spatula to spread the ganache to fully cover the top of the cake. I like to completely cover the cake and allow a small bit of the ganache to drip over the edge. There’s just something inviting about seeing this cake with chocolate reaching down to the cake plate below.
  4. Transfer the fully assembled Boston Cream Pie to the refrigerator. The cake can be kept in the refrigerator for several days, although they never last that long here!
Notes
  1. This cake benefits from the use of cake flour. Due to food allergies, I struggled to find a brand of cake flour that was safe to use in our kitchen. Fortunately, I discovered that I could combine All-purpose flour and cornstarch to deliver the benefits of cake flour without adding allergens to our kitchen and one more specialty ingredient to our pantry. For each cup of cake flour called for in a recipe, simply weigh out one cup of All-purpose flour, remove 2 Tablespoons of the flour and add 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. Problem solved!
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My Favorite Baking How To Posts

Favorite Baking How To Posts Collage

This morning, I published a new issue of our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter filled with links to my favorite baking how to posts.  I hope that each of them will help you to enjoy baking in your kitchen and turning out delicious breads and dessert for your friends and family.  Here they are, all gathered together in one place so that you can access each and every one of them!

If you enjoy reading our posts, why not subscribe to our FREE newsletter?  It’s the best way to ensure that you don’t miss a single recipe, new handmade product, or special offer for our Etsy Shop.  We’ll never share your email and send our best posts  directly to your inbox.  Take a look through our past issues to see what you’ve been missing.

MakeYourOwnCakeFlourSubstituteBranded  TheBestWaytoStoreFreshBreadBranded

HowtoMakeYourOwnBakingPowderBranded  FarmhouseKitchenScienceBakingPowdervsBakingSodaBranded

PieCrustTipsBranded

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/06/my-favorite-baking-how-to-posts/

Make Your Own: Cake Flour Substitute

MakeYourOwnCakeFlourSubstituteBrandedThere I was, reading a recipe for what sounded like a delicious cake.  I was inspired to head into the farmhouse kitchen to make one for my family.  I scanned through the list of ingredients, mentally placing a check mark on each line, happy to see that I had each ingredient on hand.  Then I came to cake flour and everything came to a screeching halt. 

Cake flour is all but impossible for me to purchase at the grocery store.  Each box seems to carry an allergy warning that prevents me from being able to invite the ingredient into our kitchen. We are completely peanut and tree nut free, so buying a box of cake flour that might contain both simply wasn’t an option.

I knew that cake flour was designed specifically for cake baking. In fact, each type of flour is designed to deliver differing levels of protein, gluten, and density to recipes.  Bread flour often promises a protein content in excess of 12%.  All-purpose flour typically has a protein content in the range of 11% while cake flour comes in at between 6-8%,  A lower protein content helps to create a cake that is tender, airy, and light. 

After a bit of reading, I found that I could indeed make my own cake flour substitute using two ingredients that I always have on hand in the pantry:  All-purpose flour and cornstarch.  By combining the two, I can create a flour that has a reduced protein content with less gluten, a silky texture, and the density that  cake flour is known for.  I could also sidestep peanuts and tree nuts, keeping our kitchen safe for the whole family.

This substitution is simple and I have used it with great success to bake light and delicious cakes.  I hope that you’ll find that it works just as well for you in your favorite recipes calling for cake flour.

Homemade Cake Flour Substitute
Our food allergies prevent me from purchasing cake flour at the grocery store, but they don't keep me from making recipes that call for cake flour. This homemade cake flour substitute works well, I can control the allergens, and I can use ingredients that I already have on hand. Now you can too!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup All-purpose flour
  2. 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Instructions
  1. For each cup of cake flour called for in a recipe, you can easily create your own substitute. This substitute can be used in any recipe that calls for cake flour. There's no need to adjust the amount of flour used.
  2. Measure 1 cup of All-purpose flour into a small bowl. Remove 2 Tablespoons of the flour. Add 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch to the bowl and whisk lightly to combine.
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/06/cake-flour-substitute/

Memorial Day Favorites from 1840 Farm

MemorialDayFavoritesCollage

Memorial Day is the official kickoff to Summer and we feel like celebrating!  We’ll be enjoying a few of our favorite warm weather recipes with family and friends this weekend.  The temperatures are predicted to hit 90 degrees tomorrow, so we’ll be ready for a cold refreshing Franklin Cooler made with our homemade Raspberry and Rhubarb Syrup by midday!

Monday morning will start off with a Strawberry Puff Pancake using the bounty of fresh eggs our hens are providing.  For dinner, we’ll be grilling burgers and local sausages and topping them with Spicy Ginger & Garlic Quick Pickles and Classic Sauerkraut.  A Grilled Romaine Salad will be perfect as a side or as a main course for our friends that live a vegetarian lifestyle.  Add in a square of Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake and everyone will leave our farmhouse table full and happy. PatrioticHolidayGraphic

Each year, we choose to commemorate Memorial Day by making a donation from our 1840 Farm Community to a veteran’s charity for every handmade basket sold in our Etsy Shop. It’s our small way of showing our deep appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who serve in our military and the families that support them.

This year, I want to give you the opportunity to help select the charity that will receive that donation. If you have a favorite charity that focuses on those who serve our nation, please visit our Facebook page and join in our discussion. Together, we’ll choose the charity that receives our donation. Then we’ll repeat the nomination process for Independence Day, Labor Day, and Veteran’s Day.

For all of you who have served in the military or are on active duty, please accept my heartfelt thanks for your service to our country.  To the families and friends who support those who serve, thank you for the sacrifices you make to support the bravest Americans among us.  As the flag flaps on our farmer’s porch, I am forever reminded that we owe a debt of gratitude to all who serve that can never be repaid.

I hope that you have a holiday weekend spent with friends and family filled to the brim with laughter, delicious food and drink, and memories in the making.

 

Warmly,

 

You can access any of the recipes by clicking on the photos below.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/05/memorialdayfavorites/

1840 Farmhouse Kitchen Breakfast and Brunch Favorites

 

OvenPoachedEggWMJust in time for Mother’s Day, I have gathered together a collection of our favorite recipes to make for breakfast and brunch.  These recipes have been made time and time again in our Farmhouse Kitchen here at 1840 Farm. Now you can make them for your friends and family.  They’re sure to love them as much as mine do!

 

Click on any of the photos to view the recipe for each dish.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/05/1840-farmhouse-kitchen-breakfast-and-brunch-favorites/

Farmhouse Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies and a Cookbook Review

Farmhouse Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies at 1840 FarmI have long believed that any day can be made better with a homemade cookie.  If the cookie happens to a perfectly made chocolate chip cookie still warm from the oven, all the better.  While I make many different types of cookies in our farmhouse kitchen, this chocolate chip cookie recipe is hands down our favorite.Cookie Love

This recipe was inspired by a cookbook I was sent to review for our readers.  I was ready to love this book immediately based on the delicious cookies shown on the cover.  Any book titled “Cookie Love” has my attention from the first page.

Cookie Love by Mindy Segal and Kate Leahy is filled with 60 intriguing cookie recipes from drop cookies to shortbread, sandwich, rugelach, and bars.  These aren’t the same recipes you’ve seen over and over again.  When I turned to page 23 and discovered a recipe for Smoky Bacon Candy Bar Cookies, I stopped in my tracks.

When I accept a cookbook to review, I like to select a recipe to test before sharing the cookbook with you.  To me, it seems like the best way for me to review a cookbook.   If the recipe doesn’t have clear instructions or produces something that doesn’t pass my family’s taste test, I don’t feel like I can encourage you to add it to your cookbook collection.

So, as I read through Cookie Love, I gave thought to which recipe I should choose for my review.  Smoky Bacon Candy Bar Cookies were definitely on the list, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand.  A recipe for homemade Milanos definitely caught my eye.  Due to food allergies, my family can’t safely purchase the store bought version, so making a homemade take on these classics was very appealing.  There were so many beautiful photos of scrumptious looking cookies that it was a very difficult task to choose the first recipe to attempt.

WonderMixCookiesWMIn the end, I went with the Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie.  I was drawn to the story behind this recipe and the fact that my family would be sure to enjoy taste testing a batch of chocolate chip cookies.   I was right.  They loved these cookies and happily tasted one after another before giving them a collective thumbs up.

Since then, I have adjusted the recipe slightly, adding more of our homemade vanilla extract to deepen the vanilla flavor and reducing the salt called for in the original recipe.  I also like to reduce the baking temperature and slightly increase the baking time.  Doing so encourages the butter in the dough to melt a bit, spreading out to create a cookie that is thin and crisp around the edge and soft and chewy in the middle. 

These cookies are so popular with my family, that I keep our freezer stocked with balls of cookie dough that can be baked at a moment’s notice.   I allow the frozen dough to warm up as the oven preheats and then pop them in the oven.  With a few extra minutes added to the baking time, the cookies are perfectly baked and we can enjoy warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies in less than 20 minutes.

Cookie Love also includes helpful tips for choosing ingredients, mixing, shaping, and baking cookies.  I can’t wait to try a few more recipes here in the farmhouse kitchen.  Now I just have to decide which recipe to try next!

You’ll find Cookie Love listed in our Amazon Affiliate shop along with a full collection of my favorite cookbooks. You can also learn more about the book and its author by visiting the publisher’s site.  If you’re on the hunt for a new great cookbook, you can read more of my cookbook reviews and recipes inspired by my favorite cookbooks.

Farmhouse Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 36
I like to use bittersweet chocolate chips in this recipe, but you can substitute your favorite chocolate chips or chunks. I often replace ½ - 1 cup of the All-purpose flour with an equal amount of our home milled whole wheat flour. The freshly milled flour adds a lovely bit of texture and earthly flavor to the finished cookies.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup (8 ounces) butter, softened and cubed
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 cup brown sugar
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  6. 2 ½ cups All-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  9. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  10. 8 ounces (2 generous cups) chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Place the cubed butter in the bowl of your mixer fitted with a paddle or dough beaters. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds, until the butter begins to smooth out a bit. Add the sugar and brown sugar before beating on medium speed until the mixture is completely smooth, approximately 2-4 minutes.
  2. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl and beat on low for a 10-20 seconds, just until combined. The batter may break up a bit, but don’t worry. It will come together when the dry ingredients are worked into the mix. Scrape down the bowl and beaters if necessary to gather the batter together before continuing.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and chocolate chips. Stir to mix the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in one addition to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients have completely integrated into the dough. This should only take 30-60 seconds depending on the strength of your mixer. Take great care not to overmix the dough. Mixing develops the gluten in the flour and overmixing will encourage the dough to become tough.
  5. Transfer the dough to a covered container for storage in the refrigerator. Allow the dough to chill for a few hours or overnight. I often make a batch of dough and keep it in the refrigerator, baking a single evening’s cookies each night. Portioned balls of dough can also be frozen on a small tray and then transferred to a freezer bag for long term storage. Frozen dough can be baked by simply adding a few minutes to the baking time.
  6. When you are ready to bake some or all of the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and position the oven racks to the top and bottom third of your oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a Silpat style liner.
  7. Create balls of dough using heaping 1 ½ Tablespoons (approximately 1 ounce or so). Place six balls on each baking sheet, spacing evenly to prevent the cookies from touching as they bake. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until the cookies have flattened and browned. Rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time will help to ensure that the cookies are evenly baked.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven, allowing them to cool for a few minutes. As with any cookie, these are even more delicious when eaten while still warm with a cup of coffee or cold glass of milk.
Notes
  1. Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Dough can be refrigerated for one week and frozen for several months.
Adapted from Cookie Love by Mindy Segal with Kate Leahy
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 Farmhouse Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies Group


 

The book reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge by the Blogging for Books Program in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm. The book that I reviewed was sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to evaluate it. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life. It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.

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Farmhouse Style Valentine’s Day Favorites

ValentineBasket Card RecipeHere at 1840 Farm, we’re counting down the days until Valentine’s Day.  We’ve been making dozens of our heart shaped baskets and sending them on their way to customers from coast to coast.  We’ve also been dreaming of getting into the farmhouse kitchen to make up a few of our favorite Valentine’s Day treats.   Now I just have to decide which recipe to make first!

We have highlighted our favorite Valentine’s Day recipes in the photo gallery below.  These are the recipes we love to share with friends and family to celebrate the holiday that is all about taking time to tell those people near and dear to you just how important they are.  From dark chocolate butter cookies and brownies to delicious buttercream frosting flavored with a bit of a great stout beer, you’re sure to find something to put a smile on your Valentine’s face.

You can access any of the posts by clicking on the photos below. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/02/valentinesday/

Jelly Doughnut Muffins

Jelly Doughnut Muffins at 1840 FarmThe other day, my son mentioned that he would love to have jelly donuts for breakfast over the weekend. It’s a seemingly simple request with a delicious treat for the whole family. Unfortunately, his food request isn’t quite that simple here at our house.

With food allergies to contend with, certain foods are incredibly difficult for us to purchase. We’re incredibly fortunate to have discovered what I think are the most delicious donuts on earth at Holy Donut. We’re even luckier that they don’t use any peanuts or other nuts in their bakery, so we can safely enjoy their amazing donuts here at home. Of course, it isn’t always possible for us to take a two and a half hour road trip to pick up donuts. If Portland, Maine was a little closer to home, their donuts might be on our breakfast table every weekend.

I have made homemade donuts before, but this time I decided to move in a different direction. I remembered having an old recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine for a doughnut muffin from Downtown Bakery & Creamery in California. I had been holding on to that recipe for several years. These muffins are often talked about in food magazines and television shows. I’ve seen them chosen as the “favorite” bite of many famous foodies. Now it was my turn to try them.

JellyDonutMuffinWMEverything I read mentioned that these muffins had the taste and texture of a great cinnamon sugar cake doughnut without the need for me to roll out the dough, cut out the doughnuts, and fry them in oil before serving. Better yet, the batter could be prepared and stored in the refrigerator for several days, allowing me to bake fresh muffins for days to come.

I reasoned that the muffins could only be made better by adding a spoonful of homemade jelly inside before serving. My son would enjoy the flavor of jelly donuts and we’d get to try out a recipe for a muffin that is so beloved by those who line up to buy them at Downtown Bakery.

The recipe was simple to prepare. I baked them each day for four days. The fresh muffins on the fourth day were every bit as delicious as those prepared on day one. Each morning, my family couldn’t stop commenting about how amazing they were. Without jelly, they taste like the world’s best coffeecake in muffin form. With a bit of our homemade jelly, jam, or marmalade spooned into the center, they deliver jelly doughnut flavor with every single bite.

My son loved these muffins as much as I hoped he would. This recipe is definitely the path to a sweeter weekend for the whole family and an easy treat for me to add to our farmhouse table at breakfast time. Because the batter can be made ahead of time, I can prepare the batter on Friday and then bake them each weekend morning for our breakfast.  While they bake in the oven, I can accomplish my morning farm chores and start enjoying my first cup of coffee. As they cool on the counter, I’ll struggle to decide what sort of filling I want to enjoy. No matter what I chose, they’re bound to be delicious!

Jelly Doughnut Muffins
Yields 16
I love to bake these muffins in my extra-large muffin pan. The large, fluffy muffins are beautiful and perfect for filling with our favorite homemade jam, jelly, or marmalade. I bake enough for the crowd and serve them with a full array of our homemade preserves, allowing each person to choose their favorite filling. If you prefer, you could bake your muffins in a standard sized muffin pan. Simply reduce the baking time, checking the muffins after fifteen minutes to ensure that they don’t overbake.
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For the muffins
  1. 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, softened and cubed
  2. 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  3. 4 ounces (1/2 cup) oil (any neutral tasting oil will do)
  4. 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  5. 4 large eggs
  6. 6 cups All-purpose flour
  7. 5 teaspoons baking powder
  8. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1 ¾ teaspoon salt
  10. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  11. 1/3 cup buttermilk
  12. 1 2/3 cup whole milk
For the topping
  1. melted butter for brushing on warm muffins
  2. ½ cup granulated sugar
  3. 1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the cavities of a muffin tin with paper liners. You can also use silicone cupcake liners if you prefer. Set aside as you prepare the batter.
  2. Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Add the oil and vanilla extract, mixing briefly to incorporate. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Use a whisk to blend and aerate the dry ingredients.
  4. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and whole milk.
  5. Add approximately one third of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Slowly mix to incorporate. Add half of the milk/buttermilk and mix gently. Repeat until all of the dry and wet ingredients have been fully incorporated. Take care not to overmix. Stop the mixer as soon as the batter is smooth. Overmixing will encourage the gluten in the flour to develop, creating a chewy muffin rather than the flaky, light muffin we’re trying to create.
  6. Scoop around ½ to 2/3 cup batter into each lined muffin tin. I use an ice cream scoop, adding two scoops of batter to each liner. The batter should be almost even with the top of the liner.
  7. Transfer the muffin pan to the preheated oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the muffins are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out with small crumbs attached.
  8. Remove the baked muffins from the oven. Allow them to cool for a few minutes as you prepare the cinnamon sugar topping.
  9. In a small bowl, melt a few tablespoons of butter. In a second small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon, adjusting the amount of cinnamon based on your preferences.
  10. Brush or dip each warm muffin in the melted butter. Dip the butter topped muffins in the cinnamon sugar or spoon the cinnamon sugar on top, allowing the cinnamon sugar to adhere to the top of each muffin. Set the muffins aside to cool slightly.
  11. At this point, the muffins can be allowed to cool to room temperature and stored in an airtight container before serving. The batter can also be held for several days in the refrigerator, baking fresh muffins for breakfast each morning.
  12. Right before serving, use a small paring knife or apple corer to remove a small portion of the center of the muffin. Spoon a teaspoon of your favorite jam, jelly, or marmalade into the cavity before serving your Jelly Doughnut Muffins. Enjoy!
Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/02/jelly-doughnut-muffins/

Deep and Dark Chocolate Brownies

Deep and Dark Chocolate Brownies BrandedWhen we need a warm and comforting dessert, this brownie recipe immediately comes to mind. I’d love to take credit for baking them, but these are my daughter’s triumph. She began making them a few years ago and quickly became the brownie baker in our family.

We enjoy these amazing brownies all year long, but they’re especially popular during the deep, dark New England winter. When the snow is falling outside and the temperatures are cruel, comfort food is needed. A warm brownie packed with chocolate is just what the doctor ordered on those dark days.

This recipe is simple to follow and the results are delicious. The brownies are fudgy and packed with chocolate flavor. They can easily be adapted to include different types of additions, making the possibilities nearly endless.

No matter what you choose to add to this recipe, I can promise that the results will be delicious. Your family and friends will come to request these fabulous brownies as much as our family and my daughter’s friends do. Prepare to become the brownie baker in your family once they’ve had a taste of these delicious brownies!

Deep and Dark Chocolate Brownies
We keep this brownie recipe interesting by including a variety of different additions. You can add in 2 cups of your favorite brownie mix-ins from chocolate chips to flavored baking chips, nuts, or even coarsely chopped candies that bake well. This holiday season, we found ourselves using 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips and 1 cup of chopped Hershey’s Candy Cane KISSES. The results were festive, beautiful, and delicious!
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Ingredients
  1. 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened and cubed
  2. 192 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
  3. 1 Tablespoon homemade vanilla extract
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 60 grams (1/2 cup) All-purpose flour
  6. 40 grams (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
  7. ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  8. ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  9. 2 cups chocolate chips, flavored baking chips, or other delicious additions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper to prevent the brownies from sticking to the pan as they bake.
  2. Combine the softened butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using a mixer, beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy before adding the vanilla extract. Add the eggs and beat to fully incorporate.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add your chosen chocolate chips or other additions and stir lightly to evenly distribute them throughout the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in a single addition to the butter mixture. Beat just long enough to fully incorporate the dry ingredients. Take care not to overmix.
  5. Using a spatula, transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. The batter will be very thick. Spread the batter to evenly cover the bottom of the pan.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until just set. Because of their fudgy texture and high chocolate content, the brownies can seem underbaked. Once they have cooled to room temperature, they will set up nicely. Resist the urge to overbake them and you’ll be rewarded with delicious fudge like brownies.
  7. Allow the brownies to cool to room temperature. If desired, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream before serving. Enjoy!
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To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

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You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
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We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/12/deep-and-dark-chocolate-brownies/

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie – Nut Free

Nut Free Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie As a child, every Thanksgiving and Christmas was celebrated with my paternal grandmother’s homemade pies. She always had a collection of them fresh out of the oven, ready to mark the end of another family meal. I could always count on finding some sort of seasonal pie along with pecan and her famous schwatzenberry.

ChocolateBourbonPecanPieTopThose warm memories have stayed with me over the years. They’ve also ensured that we mark Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations with homemade pies at our farmhouse table.   Because of the food allergies we cook and bake around, we haven’t always been able to enjoy the flavor of a pecan pie at our family table. I missed the earthy, nutty flavor of pecan pie, but there was simply no safe way to enjoy the flavor without worry of cross contamination and allergic reactions.

It was almost five years ago that I first discovered that I could create completely nut free baked goods in our farmhouse kitchen that had the delicious nutty flavor we were missing due to nut allergies.  Wheat Nuts® became a pantry staple, allowing me to bring back a few flavors from my past without introducing nuts into our home.

Sadly, Wheat Nuts® products disappeared from the market in 2013, leaving us without the ingredient and snack we loved so much. Earlier this year, I received the wonderful news that these nut free and tasty snacks were being produced and were available to purchase. It was a moment worth celebrating in our nut free kitchen. When we discovered that there was an entirely new collection of nut free snacks and ingredients being offered, I couldn’t wait to place my order and start creating new recipes to enjoy during the holiday season and beyond.

You can order the following varieties which are all manufactured in a 100% nut free facility:Wheat Nuts and Nadanut

Wheat Nuts®
Nadanut® Salted Pecans
Nadanut® Unsalted Pecans
Nadanut® Salted Cashews
Nadanut® small chopped pecan pieces
Nadanut® medium chopped pecan pieces
Nadanut® small chopped walnut pieces
Nadanut® small chopped pistachio pieces

For the first time in far too many years, I will be serving this nut free pecan pie at our Thanksgiving table.  I hope that you will join us in serving this delicious pie to your friends and family and that they will enjoy it as much as we do.

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

In our nut free home, we use Nadanut® snacks to add the flavor of pecans without any worry of allergens paying a visit to our family table. If you aren’t baking with nut allergies in mind, you can easily substitute 2 cups of pecans in this recipe with delicious results. If you find yourself struggling when making homemade pie crust, read my simple pie crust tips and make flaky, delicious pie crust like a pro.

1 ½ cups (180 grams) All-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, grated
4-6 Tablespoons ice water

2 Tablespoons butter
¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 large eggs
1 cup (120 grams) dark brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons bourbon
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup Nadanut® small chopped pecan pieces
½ cup Nadanut® Unsalted Pecans
½ cup Nadanut® medium chopped pecan pieces

To make the crust, place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse the dry ingredients to combine.  Add the grated butter and pulse until the butter has begun to incorporate into the flour and resembles small grains of rice.

With the motor running, add ice water one Tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a ball.  Take care not to over process the dough.  Over processing will help to develop the gluten in the flour and lead to a crust that is chewy and tough.  Less is more when it comes to working pie crust and will result in a flaky, light crust.

Transfer the pie crust dough to a pie plate.  Using your fingers, press the dough into shape gently until it is a uniform thickness and completely covers the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Work around the plate, rolling any excess crust underneath to form a thick ridge along the edge of the pie.  Using your fingers, flute the edge of the crust or use a fork to crimp along the edge.  Continue until the entire perimeter has been sealed. Transfer the pie plate to the refrigerator to chill while the oven warms and the filling is prepared.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch any pie filling that may bubble over during baking.  Set aside.

In a small pan set over low heat, warm the butter and chocolate until melted and smooth, stirring often to prevent scorching. Remove the pan from the heat and add the heavy cream, stirring until completely smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and maple syrup. Whisk until smooth. Add the bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Stir to combine before adding the Nadanut® pieces (or pecans). Add the melted chocolate mixture to the bowl and stir until the filling is well combined.

Remove the pie plate from the refrigerator. Transfer the filling to the pie plate, spreading evenly. Place the pie on top of the prepared baking sheet and transfer it to the preheated oven.  Bake for 55 minutes or until the top of the filling has developed a crisp golden brown shell and the pie crust is evenly brown.  Rotating the pie midway through the baking time will help to ensure that your pie is evenly baked.

Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Top with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream if desired.


This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes and crafts all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration.  I’ll be adding new recipes and DIY projects right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

ThanksgivingGallery1114

 


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/11/chocolate-bourbon-pecan-pie-nut-free/

Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Purée

Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Puree at 1840 FarmFor me, Thanksgiving would be incomplete without a homemade pumpkin pie. In fact, I hold pumpkin pie in such high regard that I spent weeks perfecting my artwork of a pumpkin pie for our Etsy Shop.Slie of Pumpkin Pie Block

For years, I made my pumpkin pie using canned pumpkin purée. Organic canned pumpkin purée was readily available at my local grocery store and both the color and flavor were good enough to be included in our holiday pumpkin pie. Then I noticed that the supply seemed to dwindle each year and the price increased every season. Suddenly, I began to wonder if I could make my own homemade pumpkin purée.

We had some sugar pie pumpkins from our garden that year and our local farmer’s markets and farm stands had them in abundance and at a very affordable price. Once I made my first batch, I found myself wondering why I hadn’t started making my own fresh pumpkin purée sooner. The process was simple, hands off, and produced a thick, rich purée full of fresh flavor.

This homemade pumpkin purée will be featured in the pumpkin pie at our Thanksgiving feast this year. Now you can follow this simple recipe and make your own fresh pumpkin purée for yours!

PumpkinPureeFinalHomemade Fresh Pumpkin Purée

I choose small Sugar Pie Pumpkins for my homemade purée. I find that they are full of earthy pumpkin flavor and are easy to work with. Their small size makes them easy to handle and fit two or more in the slow cooker at once. A small pumpkin that weighs around 1 ½ pounds will produce approximately one pound of purée, slightly more than a single can of store bought pumpkin purée.

Wash the pumpkins to remove any dirt and debris from the exterior. Using a sharp knife, quarter the pumpkin and remove the stem. With a spoon, remove the seeds and pulpy flesh connecting the seeds to the pumpkin.

PumpkinPureeSeedsPulpI reserve this pumpkin to share with our hens. You can read my post to learn more about pumpkin’s health benefits for your hens and learn how to make them a warm, nutritious oatmeal. The seeds and flesh provide our flock with a delicious and healthy treat.

Place the pumpkin quarters in the slow cooker. Place the cover on the slow cooker and turn the heat on high.

At the two hour mark, check the pumpkin for doneness with the tip of a sharp knife or fork. It should easily yield and be soft and fully cooked. At this point, I turn off the heat, return the lid to the pot, and allow the pumpkin to cool to room temperature.

When cool, scrape the tender pulp from the skin using a large spoon. Purée the pulp in a food processor, blender, or by hand with a potato masher.

Homemade pumpkin purée can be used immediately, stored for several days in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to one year.

This process can also be used with other winter squashes to create homemade squash puree for soups and savory dishes.


I love to share my favorite products from our 1840 Farmhouse Kitchen.  Here are the tools I used when creating this recipe.  I know that you will love using them as much as I do.

 


This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes and crafts all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration.  I’ll be adding new recipes and DIY projects right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

 

ThanksgivingGallery1111

 


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/11/homemade-fresh-pumpkin-puree/

Nut Free Pecanless Pie Bars

It was almost five years ago that I first discovered that I could create completely nut free baked goods in our farmhouse kitchen that had the delicious nutty flavor we were missing due to nut allergies.  Our home has been nut free for nearly a decade since we discovered that our son has food allergies.  Suddenly, the peanuts and tree nuts that we had turned to as nutritious snacks and baking ingredients were off limits.

I learned to enjoy brownies and cookies that didn’t contain nuts.  I even experimented until I found a peanut butter replacement that could be used to create a tasty substitute for peanut butter cookies.  But there were a few recipes that I just couldn’t seem to create nut free versions of.  Pecan pie, peanut brittle, and trail mix were eventually written off as something that we just couldn’t make in our kitchen.

Then I discovered a product called Wheat Nuts®.  I doubted that they would have the nutty flavor we missed so much, but I couldn’t help but give them a hopeful taste.  I was so happy to be wrong after taking the first bite and enjoying the flavor of nuts all over again.

I came to learn that Wheat Nuts® had been developed in the late 1970s, well before nut allergies became such a common issue for so many families.  I was so grateful to be able to keep our pantry stocked with them and set to work on recipes for the elusive pecan pie and peanut brittle.

As I was working to perfect my pecan pie filling in time for Thanksgiving that year, I decided to try my hand at creating a recipe for a nut free pecan pie bar.  The recipe became an immediate hit with our family and was a staple in our farmhouse kitchen during the colder months of the year when fresh berries for pies and crumbles weren’t being harvested from our gardens.

Sadly, Wheat Nuts® were pulled from the market in 2013, leaving us to meter out our remaining supply until it was gone.  We used the last of our stash to make a pan of these bars and then returned to the reality of not being able to enjoy the flavor of nuts in our nut free home.

Since that time, I have received countless messages and comments from nut free families just like ours who were desperate to find Wheat Nuts® again.  We shared in the disappointment of not being able to enjoy their delicious flavor in our homes without worry of cross contamination or allergic reactions.Wheat Nuts and Nadanut

On a morning a few months ago, I received a comment that changed my disappointment into sheer excitement.  Imagine my surprise when I read a message sharing the happy news that the product we loved was back!  Even better, there were several new products to try that were also nut free.

You can order the following varieties which are all manufactured in a 100% nut free facility:

Wheat Nuts®
Nadanut® Salted Pecans
Nadanut® Unsalted Pecans
Nadanut® Salted Cashews
Nadanut® small chopped pecan pieces
Nadanut® medium chopped pecan pieces
Nadanut® small chopped walnut pieces
Nadanut® small chopped pistachio pieces

For the first time in far too many years, we will be enjoying the flavor of pecan pie at our Thanksgiving table.  We couldn’t bear to wait until Thanksgiving dinner to enjoy the flavor that we have missed so much, so a celebratory batch of these completely nut free pecanless pie bars is definitely in order!

Nut Free Pecanless Pie Bars
makes 24 bars

Shortbread Crust
240 grams (2 cups) All-purpose flour
72 grams (6 Tablespoons) brown sugar
6 ounces butter, cubed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper.

Place all ingredients in food processor.  Process using on/off turns until the mixture has just formed small clumps.  Do not over process.  Sprinkle mixture over the bottom of prepared pan.  Lightly press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 20 minutes until light golden brown.  Prepare filling as the crust is baking.

Nut Free Pecanless Pie Filling
168 grams (2 cups) Nadanut® medium chopped pecan pieces
144 grams (3/4 cup) brown sugar
4 ounces butter
63 grams (3 Tablespoons) honey
1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) half and half

Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in brown sugar, honey, and half and half.  Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in chopped Wheat Nuts.

When the shortbread crust is finished baking, remove it from the oven and  immediately pour warm filling over the top.  If necessary, spread filling evenly over the crust.  Return pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Run a sharp knife or spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cooled bars.  Use the edges of the parchment paper to lift cooled bars from the pan to a cutting board.  Using serrated knife, cut into bars.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


I love to share my favorite products from our 1840 Farmhouse Kitchen.  Here are the tools and ingredients I used when creating this recipe.  I know that you will love using them as much as I do.


This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes and crafts all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration.  I’ll be adding new recipes and DIY projects right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

 

ThanksgivingGallery1111

 


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/11/nut-free-pecanless-pie-bars/

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