Category Archive: Fresh Eggs at their Best

Heirloom Tomato and Eggs with Roasted Potatoes

In my experience, cooking with great ingredients requires more restraint than technique.  The better quality the ingredients, the less needs to be done in order to make the final dish extraordinary.  In fact, having the best, local and seasonal products from our farm and neighboring farms allows me to prepare simple meals that deliver incredible flavor without extra effort.

This was definitely the case earlier this week.  My husband had visited Butternut Farm and came home bearing the gifts of freshly picked strawberries and a few early season slicing tomatoes. The strawberries were destined to be enjoyed with my Great grandmother’s Daffodil Cake, a delicious way to welcome summer’s arrival.

As soon as I saw a tomato, I knew that it would be featured on our dinner plates.  We also happened to have fingerling potatoes on hand from a recent visit to Rosemont Produce Company.  Add in the fresh eggs collected from our beloved heritage breed hens and baby lettuce from the heirloom garden and dinner was indeed beginning to take shape.

I sliced the fingerlings into thick coins and sautéed them in a hot skillet with a generous Tablespoon of butter and rosemary, sage, and thyme pulled fresh from the garden.  I harvested our first Stuttgart onion and sliced it thinly before adding it to the potatoes and herbs.  I sautéed them for approximately 20 minutes, turning occasionally and seasoning liberally with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

I transferred the pan into a preheated 425 degree oven and began preparing the tomato and eggs.  I sliced the washed tomato into thick slices and placed two on each dinner plate.  I would usually season the tomato with sea salt and fresh pepper before I placed the egg on top.  Then I remembered that I had a new seasoning waiting to be used in the spice drawer.

A few months ago, I was invited to participate in the Fennel Friday Cooking Club by The Hungry Goddess. I happily accepted the invitation and joined Fennel Friday.  A few days later, my package of ingredients from Pollen Ranch arrived.  Last month, I shared my recipe for Smoked Cheddar Gougères with Fennel Pollen.  They were delicious and I had every confidence that the Zen-Sational fennel pollen would also help transform a simple slice of tomato into something extraordinary.

As the potatoes were nearing the end of their time roasting in the oven, I placed a cast iron skillet on the stove top over high heat.  Once the skillet had come up to temperature, I placed a large pat of butter in the skillet and swirled the pan to cover the entire surface with melted butter.  Cracked eggs were added next and each was seasoned with salt and pepper.

I placed the lid on the pan, reduced the heat to medium, and removed the potatoes from the oven.  As soon as the eggs were barely set, I removed the pan from the heat.  I topped each tomato slice with a sprinkle of Pollen Ranch’s Zen-Sational Blend.  An egg was placed on top of each tomato slice and then I decided to add a dash of Zen-Sational to each egg for good measure.  As soon as I did, the intoxicating aroma of fennel began to fill the farmhouse kitchen.

The roasted potatoes were added to each plate and dressed with our favorite roasted potato topping:  sour cream and sriracha,  Once a salad made with greens harvested from our garden was added, dinner was served.  It was simple and delicious.  The fennel was a perfect pairing to the acidity and earthiness of the tomato and richness of our fresh eggs.

Everyone agreed that this was a dinner plate we wanted to see more often on our family table.  Lucky for us, heirloom tomato season is fast approaching.   I know that I’ll be making this simple and delicious dinner all season long.

Heirloom Tomato and Eggs with Roasted Potatoes
serves 4 as a main course

The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity.  You can substitute your favorite herbs and use the best of your locally available, seasonal produce.

Fingerling potatoes,  sliced into 1/2″ thick coins
butter
fresh herbs
1 small onion, diced
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced thickly
8 fresh eggs
Pollen Ranch Zen-Sational Pollen Blend

Prepare as directed above.  Serve hot and enjoy!


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. In a few seconds, you’ll be the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

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We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/fennel-friday-tomato-and-eggs-with-zen-sational-fennel-pollen-blend/

Pear Clafouti

I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks:  Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten.  I have only made a few minor adjustments to the ingredients and it comes out perfectly every time.  Ripe, aromatic pears surrounded by eggy custard is always a welcome sight at our family table.

We enjoyed this delicious dessert last night and the leftovers will be fantastic when warmed slightly and topped with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream tonight.  Then we’ll be on to our Kentucky Derby Day Celebration and Bourbon Peach Pie with Streusel Topping.

Pear Clafouti

adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten
serves 6 – 8

1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons brandy
8 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces half and half or whole milk
1/2 cup All-purpose flour
3 firm, ripe pears
powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare an oven proof baking dish by coating the bottom with the melted butter.  Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar over the melted butter.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3-4 minutes.  Add the vanilla, sea salt, brandy, heavy cream, and half and half and whisk to blend.  Add the flour and mix until smooth.

Peel and core the ripe pears.  Slice the pears and arrange the slices in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.  Pour the batter over the sliced pears, distributing evenly.

Bake the clafouti in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custard is firm and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before topping with sifted powdered sugar.  Serve warm.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/05/pear-clafouti/

Strawberry Jam Meringue Cookies

Strawberry Meringue Cookies at 1840 FarmMy family loves meringue. I have made meringue cookies flavored with peppermint, vanilla, and chocolate chips for years. What’s not to love? A properly made meringue is equal parts light, crispy, and delicious. These cookies up the ante with the addition of sweet strawberry jam.Strawberry Jam Meringues at 1840 Farm

The prospect of making a meringue can seem daunting, but don’t be fooled. Successfully making a meringue is much more about technique than anything else. You don’t need fancy equipment or years of experience as a pastry chef. Instead, you need only a bowl, mixer, and a secret weapon: white vinegar.

Fat residue in your mixing bowl or on the beaters of your mixer is the mortal enemy of meringue. Fat will impair the egg white’s ability to be whipped into stiff, glossy peaks. You can prevent this disappointment with one teaspoon of white vinegar. Before beating the egg whites, simply wipe the mixing bowl and beaters with a paper towel lightly moistened with vinegar. Doing so will ensure that your bowl and the beaters are free of any traces of fat.

So go ahead and give it a try. In mere minutes, you’ll have a beautiful cloud of meringue ready to flavor and bake.  You can drop the meringue by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet or use a piping bag to make beautifully decorative shapes.  With a little practice, you can even make beautiful hearts for your Valentine.  The baked hearts can be dipped in melted chocolate for an extra special Valentine’s Day treat.

Trust me, once you’ve mastered making the perfect meringue, you’ll be on your way to making a whole host of meringue based recipes.  If you’re a henkeeper like me, you’ll love whipping fresh egg whites from your flock’s eggs into a mile high meringue before baking it to share with friends and family. If you’re looking for a few new recipes that feature meringue, I’d highly recommend Individual Baked Alaska or my Great Grandmother’s Daffodil Cake.  Your family will be glad that you became a master at making fresh meringue!

Strawberry Meringue Cookies
You can drop the delicious meringue by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet or use a piping bag to make beautifully decorative shapes. With a little practice, you can even make beautiful hearts for your Valentine. The baked hearts can be dipped in melted chocolate for an extra special Valentine's Day treat.
Print
Ingredients
  1. 4 egg whites
  2. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  4. 6 Tablespoons sugar
  5. 6 Tablespoons strawberry jam
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Prepare a large mixing bowl and the beaters for your mixer by wiping with a paper towel lightly moistened with white vinegar.
  2. Preheat oven to 240 degrees Fahrenheit and position oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. If you have an oven thermometer, this is the perfect time to use it. An oven that is too warm will cause the delicate meringue to brown and the outside edge of the cookie to dry out. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Place strawberry preserves in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds or until warm enough to stir easily with a spoon. Process warm preserves in food processor, blender, or using an immersion blender until smooth. Add vanilla extract to the smooth preserves and stir to combine. Set aside to cool as the meringue is prepared.
  4. Combine egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the prepared bowl. Mix on high speed until light and frothy. Continue to beat on high speed while adding the sugar one Tablespoon at a time. Beat the mixture until stiff peaks of meringue form. The meringue will be stiff and glossy and remain in the bowl when turned upside down. Gently fold in the strawberry mixture using a spatula. Fold until the mixture is well combined. I love the natural, pale pink color of the meringue. If you prefer a deeper, richer color, a few drops of food coloring can be added and folded into the meringue at this stage.
  5. One inch cookies can be formed using two spoons or a pastry bag. To use spoons, gently remove a spoonful of meringue from the mixing bowl and use the second spoon to slide the mixture on to the prepared baking sheet. A piping bag works well using a large round decorating tip.
  6. Bake the meringue cookies in the preheated oven for 90 minutes. When the meringue cookies are finished, they will have a dry exterior. Once they are cool, they will lift away cleanly from the parchment paper.
  7. Remove the baking sheets from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, the meringue cookies can be dipped in warm melted chocolate. Store cool cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/02/strawberry-jam-meringue-cookies-2/

Smoked Cheddar Gougères

It’s time for me to face the facts:  fall is here.  The air is unmistakably crisp, the summer garden is dwindling, and leaves are beginning to dance around the farm with each passing breeze.  I’m not ready to bid farewell to summer, but I am taking comfort in the fact that our favorite fall recipes will find their way onto our dinner plates in the coming weeks.

With cooler weather, smoky black bean chili with butternut squash will return to our family table.  Hachis Parmentier will become a Saturday staple.  Most importantly, smoked chedar gougères will help us celebrate the season.

When there is a special occasion to be celebrated at 1840 Farm, these delectable little bites always seem to be the most requested appetizer. They are incredibly delicious and can be prepared ahead of time. In my opinion, those are two excellent traits for a recipe when entertaining is also on the menu.

Gougères are made by enriching pate a choux dough with grated cheese. As they bake in the oven, the cheese melts and combines with the rich egg batter resulting in a cheese puff that is light and airy yet deliciously rich. They are a hit with children and adults alike and make an excellent addition to a cheese plate, or any plate for that matter.

When purchasing the cheese for this recipe, select a variety that demands your attention. This is not the time to use cheese with a delicate or subtle flavor. Instead, go for the boldest variety you can find. For me, the choice is a locally made variety from a family owned general store that has been in business since 1869. The cheese is an extremely sharp cheddar with a firm texture along with the same cheese in a smoked variety. The end result is cheesy perfection.

Smoked Cheddar Gougères
makes 60 one inch puffs

 

8 oz Whole Milk
4 oz Butter
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 cup Flour
4 large eggs
4 oz Sharp Cheddar, grated
2 oz Smoked Cheddar, grated

 

Position the racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper. Measure the flour into a small bowl. Crack all of the eggs into a bowl and set aside until they are needed. Grate the two cheeses and gently combine them.

Combine milk, butter, and salt in a medium sized pot over high heat. Monitor the mixture closely, stirring often, to avoid scorching. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and add the flour in one addition. Stir rapidly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Continue to stir continuously for two minutes until the dough is completely smooth and leaves a film on the bottom of the pot. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for five minutes.

Once the five minutes have elapsed, add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition. With the addition of each egg, the dough will break. This is normal; rest assured that the dough will be perfectly smooth by the time the fourth egg is incorporated. Once the eggs have all been added, stir in the grated cheese until it is evenly distributed.

Using a spoon or a Tablespoon sized cookie scoop, drop the dough by rounded Tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets leaving 1 inch of space between each gougère. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 20 – 28 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time.

The gougères will be done when they become golden brown in color and have a puffed appearance with a dry exterior. Remove the gougères from the oven and place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool. Gougères can be served warm or at room temperature.

Note: Rounded Tablespoons of dough can be frozen individually on a tray lined with freezer paper. Once they are completely frozen, store the gougères in a freezer bag until ready to use. To bake, simply place frozen gougères on a prepared baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 – 36 minutes.

To download a printable copy of this recipe, click the link below to open the PDF file.

Smoked Cheddar Gougères Recipe


This recipe was featured in our newsletter.  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.
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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.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/09/smoked-cheddar-gougeres/

Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake

Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake at 1840 FarmLast month, I shared  my recipe for blueberry gooey butter cake.  We were right in the heart of blueberry season here at 1840 Farm.  Adding fresh berries to our family favorite gooey butter cake was a natural way to celebrate our best blueberry season ever.

For me, there are certain ingredients that never go out of season.   Chocolate always seems to be near the top of that list.  We all love chocolate and it finds its way into many of our favorite baked goods.

Chocolate chips are a lovely addition to our favorite gooey butter cake recipe no matter the season.  They perfectly balance the sweet, creamy topping both in appearance and taste.  One bite and you’ll agree:  chocolate is always in season!

Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake
For me, there are certain ingredients that never go out of season. Chocolate always seems to be near the top of that list. We all love chocolate and it finds its way into many of our favorite baked goods. Chocolate chips are a lovely addition to our favorite gooey butter cake recipe no matter the season. They perfectly balance the sweet, creamy topping both in appearance and taste. One bite and you'll agree: chocolate is always in season!
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) All-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups (288 grams) granulated sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  5. 4 ounces butter, melted
  6. 1 large egg
  7. 2 ounces milk
  8. 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  9. 4 ounces butter, melted
  10. 2 large eggs
  11. 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  12. 3 cups (360 grams) powdered sugar
  13. 1/2 cup (60 grams) chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Make the crust by combining flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add melted butter and stir to combine. Add the egg and milk and stir to fully incorporate. The mixture should be crumbly and evenly moistened.
  3. Evenly press the crust mixture into an ungreased 13 x 9 inch pan. Set aside while the topping is prepared.
  4. To prepare the topping, combine softened cream cheese and melted butter in a large bowl and stir until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and stir until fully incorporated.
  5. Pour topping over the prepared crust and spread to completely cover the crust. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the filling. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes.
  6. The cake is done when the topping develops a light brown color. The topping should not be completely set in the middle as it will firm up as the cake cools. Remove the cake from the oven and cool at least 30 minutes before slicing. If desired, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar before serving.
Notes
  1. Our family lives and bakes around nut allergies, so our farmhouse kitchen is nut free. This recipe uses one of our nut free favorites: Vermont Nut Free Chocolates. You can learn all about them at www.vermontnutfree.com.
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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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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/09/chocolate-chip-gooey-butter-cake/

Blueberry Gooey Butter Cake

It’s blueberry season at 1840 Farm.  We’re enjoying our best year for harvesting blueberries since moving to the farm in 2005.  We’ve already picked an amazing 15 pounds of fresh berries.

With that many berries, I find myself searching for new recipes that call for blueberries.  I had never made gooey butter cake with blueberries, but I was confident that they would pair nicely with the delicious, rich topping.  I was also certain that my son, who adores gooey butter cake, would love the addition of blueberries.

To say that my son likes gooey butter cake is a massive understatement.  In fact, when he collects the day’s eggs from our chicken coop, he proudly announces when we have at least three eggs.  I don’t have to ask how many eggs are in the basket when I hear, “We have enough for a gooey butter cake, Mom!”

I am happy to say that my son did love this version of his beloved gooey butter cake.  In fact, we all did.  The tart blueberries were a lovely accent to the smooth, creamy topping and buttery crust.

I am sorry to say that we finished the last of the blueberry gooey butter cake last night.  The pan is empty.  Luckily, I have two pounds of freshly picked blueberries resting on the farmhouse kitchen counter.  Now I’ll have to wait and see how many eggs my son collects from the coop.  I know that he’ll let me know if we have enough to make another gooey butter cake!

Blueberry Gooey Butter Cake
serves 12

2 1/2 cups (300 grams) All-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (288 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 ounces butter, melted
1 large egg
2 ounces milk
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 cups (360 grams) powdered sugar
1/2 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make the crust by combining flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Add melted butter and stir to combine.  Add the egg and milk and stir to fully incorporate.  The mixture should be crumbly and evenly moistened.

Evenly press the crust mixture into an ungreased 13 x 9 inch pan.  Set aside while the topping is prepared.

To prepare the topping, combine softened cream cheese and melted butter in a large bowl and stir until smooth.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice and whisk until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and stir until fully incorporated.

Pour topping over the prepared crust and spread to completely cover the crust.  Sprinkle the blueberries over the top of the filling.  Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes

The cake is done when the topping develops a light brown color.  The topping should not be completely set in the middle as it will firm up as the cake cools.  Remove the cake from the oven and cool at least 30 minutes before slicing.  If desired, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar before serving.

GooeyButterSqYou won’t want to miss our recipe for Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake.  It’s just as delicious!


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
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, 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/2012/08/blueberry-gooey-butter-cake/

Boston Cream Pie Eclairs

EclairTruth be told, I never liked éclairs.  I didn’t understand the appeal.   All of the éclairs I had sampled were stale on the outside, soggy on the inside, and covered with bland chocolate glaze on the outside.

I didn’t have high hopes for my first batch of homemade éclairs.  I made them for my husband who has always loved them.  I never expected to take the first bite and happily think to myself, “Is this what an éclair is supposed to taste like?”

Apparently, I didn’t dislike the éclair.  Instead, I disliked what happened to an éclair that was forced to linger in a pastry case.   Now I know the secret and always fill and top them right before serving.  The end result is everything an éclair wants to be:  crisp on the outside,  creamy on the inside, and dressed with rich chocolate ganache.

After several modifications, this version is my family’s favorite.  It uses my recipes for pastry cream and ganache from our favorite Boston Cream Pie.  In fact, that may be why we all love it so much.  While Boston Cream Pie takes the better part of a day to make, these éclairs do not.

Now that I have mastered freezing the pâte à choux before baking, I try to always keep them on hand.   In less than thirty minutes, the taste of Boston Cream Pie can be on our farmhouse table.  Then we can get on to the best part of the éclair:  enjoying them together.

Boston Cream Pie Eclairs

Dough

4 ounces (8 Tablespoons) butter
8 ounces (1 cup) whole milk
¼ teaspoon salt
1 c (120 grams) All-purpose flour
4 large eggs
6 Tablespoons (72 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (30 grams) All-purpose flour

Pastry Cream

2 large eggs
12 ounces (1 ½ cups) whole milk
1 pinch salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ganache

3 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Position the racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper. Set aside.

Measure the flour into a small bowl. Crack all of the eggs into a bowl and set aside until they are needed.

Combine milk, butter, and salt in a medium sized pot over high heat. Monitor the mixture closely, stirring often, to avoid scorching. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and add the flour in one addition. Stir rapidly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Continue to stir continuously for two minutes until the dough is completely smooth and leaves a film on the bottom of the pot. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for five minutes.

Once the five minutes have elapsed, add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition. With the addition of each egg, the dough will break. This is normal; rest assured that the dough will be perfectly smooth by the time the fourth egg is incorporated.

Using a pastry bag with a large round tip, pipe dough onto the prepared sheets in 1 1/2 inch by 4 inch strips. Transfer the baking sheets to the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Rotate the baking sheets and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake 10 – 15 additional minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom.

Remove the baking sheets to a wire rack to cool completely. Pierce each éclair with a toothpick or skewer to allow steam to escape while cooling. This will allow the pastry to cool without deflating.

Meanwhile, prepare the pastry cream by combining 2 eggs with sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add the flour and whisk vigorously until completely smooth.

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles appear. Remove the pan from the heat and ladle 1/2 cup of warm milk into the egg mixture. Whisk rapidly to temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling. Add the egg mixture to the remaining warm milk in the saucepan. Return the pan to medium heat and whisk continuously until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove from heat.

Remove the pastry cream from the pan (straining if necessary to remove lumps) and place in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it firmly against the cream mixture to prevent a skin from forming as it cools. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the ganache by warming the heavy cream in a small pan or in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add the chocolate and allow to rest for two minutes. Whisk to incorporate. When the cream and chocolate have become a satiny glaze, set aside to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

To serve, the pastry cream can be added to a pastry bag with a large round tip. Place the tip in the end of the éclair and squeeze to fill. The éclair can also be split horizontally using a sharp knife before spooning the pastry cream over the surface of the bottom half and covering with the top half. Dress the filled éclair with the ganache. Serve immediately.

This dough can be frozen and baked directly from the freezer. Simply pipe dough onto a freezer paper lined pan. Place pan in the freezer until dough is completely frozen. Remove the dough from the freezer paper and store in a freezer bag until ready to use. To bake, simply place frozen dough directly on lined baking trays and bake as directed above. Frozen dough may take an additional 4-6 minutes of baking time.

 


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, Instagram, 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/2012/02/boston-cream-pie-eclairs/

Strawberry Jam Meringue Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day!

In case you’re looking for a little baking inspiration today, give my recipe for Strawberry Jam Meringue Cookies on Foodie.com a try.  They can be piped into beautiful hearts and dipped in chocolate just in time for sharing with your Valentine!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/02/strawberry-jam-meringue-cookies/

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

I should be tired of cookies.  Tired of baking them, tired of eating them.  It hasn’t happened in spite of the fact that December has been chock full of them here at 1840 Farm.  I don’t think that there has been a day during this entire month when there wasn’t a freshly baked cookie available for duty at bedtime snack.

We usually have plenty of cookies around the farmhouse during the holidays.  It just wouldn’t seem like the holidays here if there weren’t a few cookies cooling on the kitchen counter.  But this year there have been even more than usual.  I can’t blame Santa for this one.  Instead, there have been two other reasons why our cookie baking has been never-ending.

First, we were trying to promote OXO’s Cookies for Kids’ Cancer “Be a Good Cookie” campaign.  We’ve been sharing our favorite cookie recipes and trying to “bake a difference”.

The second reason we’ve been in such a cookie mood here is much simpler.  Our first pair of goat kids left the farm right before Christmas to make their new home in Vermont.  Since then, we’ve been bringing pounds of fresh milk into our farmhouse kitchen twice a day.   Nothing goes better with a cookie than a fresh glass of milk.  It seems only right to make sure that there are always homemade cookies to go with the glasses of fresh milk my children continue to request at every meal.

This week I felt the need to make a batch of chocolate chip meringue cookies.  My family felt the need to remind me how delicious they are and proceed to attack the plate of cookies.  I can’t entirely blame them for the fact that there are only a handful left.  I did help them a little.  I mean, I needed something to go with my fresh glass of goat’s milk.

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies
makes 6 dozen 1 inch cookies

These cookies have two requirements:  a properly beaten meringue and a constant oven temperature.  Both are easily achieved using a few simple steps.  First, wipe your mixing bowl and beaters with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar before beating your egg whites.  This will ensure that your bowl and beaters are free of any fat.  Fat residue will jeopardize your ability to whip the meringue into stiff, glossy peaks.  Secondly, if you have an oven thermometer, this is the perfect time to use it.  Meringues need a low constant temperature to dry their batter without browning them.  Preheat your oven and leave the door closed while the cookies bake.  The end result will be a snowy white meringue that tastes as delicious as it looks.

      

4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (144 grams) granulated sugar
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely

Preheat the oven to 240 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line three baking sheets with nonstick liners or parchment paper.  Wipe the inside of a large mixing bowl with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar.  Set bowl aside and wipe the surface of the beaters from a handheld or stand mixer.

Place egg whites in the prepared bowl with sea salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract.  Beat on high until the mixture is transformed into soft, foamy peaks.  Continue beating on high-speed while adding the sugar 2 Tablespoons at a time.  Beat until the meringue is stiff but remains glossy in appearance, approximately 2-4 minutes.  Using a spatula, gently fold in the chopped chocolate pieces until evenly distributed.

Meringues can be dropped by even teaspoons or piped using a piping bag without a tip (the chocolate pieces will prevent the meringue from piping correctly through a decorating tip).  Drop or pipe all of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake in a preheated oven for 60-90 minutes.  If the cookies begin to brown, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.  When the meringue cookies are finished, they will have a dry exterior and lift away cleanly from the parchment paper.  At this point, remove the baking sheets from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store cool cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Our family lives and bakes around nut allergies, so our farmhouse kitchen is nut free.  This recipe uses one of our nut free favorites: Vermont Nut Free Chocolates.  You can learn all about them at www.vermontnutfree.com

 


This post was featured in The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. 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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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/12/chocolate-chip-meringue-cookies/

Snowballs – Vanilla Bean Meringue Cookies

Seriously.  More snow?  I am tired of snow.  I have snow fatigue.  I’ve already posted about The Winter of My Discontent.  Yet here I sit, with more freshly fallen snow at 1840 Farm.  Enough already.

I couldn’t come up with anything to do to help me cope that didn’t involve a U-Haul and a permanent road trip to Florida.  So, I did the next best thing.  I started baking.

But what to bake? We’ll be celebrating a birthday here at 1840 Farm next week, so anything resembling cake seemed illogical.  Cookies would be good.  Vanilla bean meringue cookies seemed like a good idea.

These cookies were delicious and my family loved them.  They tasted of toasted marshmallows which helped us remember that eventually winter would give way to spring and summer.  If only they could make it happen a little sooner.  Until then, these are the only snowballs I want to see for a while.

Snowballs – Vanilla Bean Meringue Cookies

4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
144 grams (3/4 cup) sugar

Preheat oven to 225°.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In large bowl, combine egg whites, sea salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract.  Beat with mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.  Add sugar 2 Tablespoons at a time until fully incorporated.  Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

Fill pastry bag fitted with star tip with meringue mixture.  Pipe stars onto prepared baking sheets.  Bake for 90 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time.

Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.  Serve immediately.  Store in covered container at room temperature.


This post was featured in The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. 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, Instagram, 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.

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We’ll hope to see you there!

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/01/snowballs/

Aah, Humbugs – Candy Cane Meringue Cookies

Bah, humbug.  It just hasn’t seemed like the holidays here at 1840 Farm this year.  First, there is not a single flake of snow on the ground.  Not one.  The practical side of me is not upset about our lack of winter precipitation.  I’m quite content to try to keep warm by the fire inside our perpetually cold farmhouse without having to shovel snow outside.  I’m happy that the children’s new snow boots still have the tags firmly attached to them.  That being said,  I can usually count on a fresh blanket of white snow to set my holiday mood.  I mean, we live in New England don’t we?

So, here I sat the week after Thanksgiving trying to convince myself to get into a more festive holiday mood while failing miserably to do so.  I felt like a humbug myself.  A holiday hoax, if you will.  My children were happily buzzing with the mere thought of the holidays and I just couldn’t muster an ounce of spirit to join them.  Then the unthinkable happened.  We lost a close family member unexpectedly.  Their passing has left a sizable hole in our daily family life.  During a time of year that we’re supposed to be jolly and bright, we are all falling well short.

Something had to be done. We listened to the holiday playlist on my iPod.  Nothing, nada.  Next?  We tried decorating the tree.  That didn’t help either.  As I unwrapped ornaments and passed them to my children to hang on our tree, I found so many that had been given to us by grandmas and grandpas that would only be celebrating the holidays with us in spirit.  For me, it has been quite some time since the holidays ceased to be about the shiny packages under the tree.  They are now marked by the people I celebrate with and the shared traditions that we continue to practice year after year.  During this season, I am reminded of those people who helped make the holidays seem like, well, the holidays in my life.  It normally leaves me feeling both joy and sadness.  Joy for the good memories and sadness for my loss.  After hanging the last ornament on the tree my humbug mood didn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

I can usually count on baking to improve my mood no matter the reason.  So I set about doing what a mother of two young children who are incredibly excited about the impending holiday had to do.  I made myself select an unmistakably holiday recipe and bake it.  But what to make?  A bouche de Noel was a bit more than I was bargaining for during the first week of December.  Gingerbread cookies require for me to already be deep in the holiday mood.  Gingerbread houses are my Mother’s domain.  I find it nearly unbearable to spend hours working on something that while being totally edible, will never be eaten.

Luckily, I had just flipped through the December issue of Martha Stewart Living and remembered a beautiful photo of peppermint meringue cookies with chocolate ganache centers.  I hedged my bets.  Even if making them didn’t improve my mood, I was fairly certain that they would be good for our afternoon snack.

As soon as I started, I ran into my first problem.  If you’ve read much of this blog, you already know that my son has food allergies.  Food allergies require me to be a very resourceful baker.  For years, I needed to use egg substitutes of every variety.  Thankfully, we can now use eggs in our baked goods.  However, I have not been able to find flavored extracts that are not made in facilities that also produce nut extracts.  So, I would need to invent my own method of infusing our meringue cookies with peppermint flavor.  Move over Martha, we don’t use bottled extracts here at 1840 Farm.

My first thought was to attempt to make a highly reduced peppermint simple syrup.  I used 2 ounces of water and a crushed  Spangler candy cane in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  I allowed the mixture to boil for about 12 minutes.  It smelled and looked exactly as I had hoped.  Unfortunately, as it cooled the power of candy’s hard crack stage was too strong.  Instead of the thickened syrup that I was looking for, it turned into peppermint toffee.  Maybe Martha had tried this herself and thought the better of it.  Maybe I should know better than to question Martha.  Oh well, back to the drawing board.

The original recipe calls for a ganache filling to be piped onto the cooled meringue and then sprinkled with crushed candy canes.  That gave me my next idea.  I decided to try crushing another candy cane until it was a fine powder and then added it to my meringue batter after I had whipped it to stiff peaks.  After striping the inside of the pastry bags with red food paste, I filled each with meringue and proceeded to pipe them into the recommended shape.

Enter my next challenge.  I had two enthusiastic bakers helping me with the piping and they were a five-year old and a nine-year old.  This was not a time to stick to Martha’s strict instructions about piping each meringue into a perfectly round circle exactly 1 3/4 inches wide.  Yes, I had done as she had suggested and marked perfectly round circles underneath our parchment paper, but we were soon ignoring them.  Our cookies were not being made to grace the pages of a magazine.  With any luck, they would be so delicious that they wouldn’t last until tomorrow.

I took a deep breath and decided to let the meringues fall where they may.  We piped shapes that were a bit more oblong than circular, but they were red and white mounds nonetheless.  Due to our irregular shapes, our yield was not quite the 32 cookies that the original recipe calls for.  We were willing to accept this and move on to the eating.

We decided to taste them as soon as they had cooled.  No, we hadn’t yet topped them with ganache, but when your holiday spirit is at stake, you eat the cookie with or without ganache.  I was willing to take one for the team.  I was so glad that I had.  The cookies were peppermint perfection.  It was as if a candy cane had been crossed with a toasted marshmallow.  They were moist and chewy in the center while delicately crisp on the outside.  Add this to the fact that they were perfectly infused with the essence of a candy cane, and they were pronounced a new holiday family favorite.

It only took one cookie for the entire family to make a decision.  There would be no ganache on our peppermint meringue cookies.  I should mention that we all love ganache.  We commonly have a jar of homemade ganache in the refrigerator for topping cookies, cakes, or vanilla ice cream.  In this case, topping the meringue with ganache seemed like gilding a perfectly beautiful lily.  We decided not to.

As we sat down to enjoy our snack, we all remarked at just how deliciously simple these cookies were.  They made a perfect accompaniment with Peet’s Holiday Blend coffee and the kid’s cups of hot chocolate.  When my son unhappily realized that he would not have enough of these cookies to last him a few days, he looked at me with a hot chocolate mustache and said, “As soon as these are gone, will you promise to make me more?”

And just like that, my holiday spirit was restored.  Leave it to a five-year old and his cookie to propel me into a better mood.  Unknowingly, I had baked a cookie that combined two of his favorite things:  bravery and Christmas.  Nothing fills my heart with more joy than that.

Did I lose you?  The bravery is simple.  Last year, the mere sight of an egg made him nervous as he was supposed to be avoiding them at all costs because of his egg allergy.  Now he was eating an egg white cookie and loving every bite.  And what says childhood and Christmas more simply than a candy cane?  Here he sat, eating at the intersection of food bravery and Christmas.  Suddenly the emptiness I was trying to reconcile this holiday season was a little smaller.

Our cookies were far from perfect.  Martha’s are prettier and I’m sure that hers are perfectly round, perfectly sized, and perfectly perfect.  In the end, none of us minded the imperfections in our cookies.  I guess that a good homemade cookie is a lot like the people who are most important in your life.  You accept them as they are, and once they are gone, you miss them almost instantly.

Once our cookies were gone, I no longer felt like a humbug, but I was sure that this cookie would become part of our new holiday tradition.  Next year, I hope that I won’t need a cookie to propel me into a holiday mood.  Instead, I’m hoping to skip to the happy family gathered around our farmhouse table and hear my family exclaim, “Ah, humbugs!”


Peppermint Humbugs
adapted from Martha Stewart Living December 2010

This recipe is the perfect opportunity to break out your oven thermometer.  If your oven is too cool, the meringue will not dry adequately.  If the oven is too warm, the beautiful white and red cookie will brown and affect both the taste and appearance of the cookies.

3 large egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large candy cane, crushed finely

1.  Preheat oven to 175 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  Combine egg whites and sugar in a heatproof mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Stir constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.  Remove from heat and whisk on medium-high speed with whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.  Use a spatula to gently fold the crushed candy cane into the mixture.

3. Fit pastry bag with a plain 1/4 inch round tip.   Using a small pastry brush, paint 3 or 4 stripes of red paste food coloring inside a pastry bag from tip to end.  Carefully add meringue to pastry bag.  Pipe meringue into circles on prepared baking sheets.

4.  Bake meringue until crisp, but not browned, about 90 minutes.  The cookies should lift easily from the parchment paper when completely baked.  Move to a wire rack to cool completely.


This post was featured in The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. 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, Instagram, 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!

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2010/12/aah-humbugs/

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