Desserts

    Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

    Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

    Recipe and photo credit:
    Angie Norwood Browne Photography

    Crumble Top
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
    1 cup all purpose flower
    Pinch of salt

    Filling
    1 1/2 lb rhubarb stems, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick slices
    2 cups sliced strawberries
    1 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon instant tapioca
    1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
    Pinch of salt
    Roasted hazelnuts, skins removed

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

    For crumble top:
    Put butter, brown sugar and orange zest together in a bowl and cream. Sift in flour and salt. Work mixture through fingers until it forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Set aside.

    For filling:
    Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, orange zest, orange juice and salt in a bowl. Let set for 15 minutes (stirring occasionally).

    Divide rhubarb mixture among 6 small ceramic baking dishes (1 cup capacity).

    Transfer baking dishes to a rimmed baking sheet.

    Sprinkle with topping and hazelnuts.

    Bake until topping turns golden brown and juices are bubbling (30-35 min). Cool for 30 minutes and serve.

    Apple Pie with Hazelnut Crust

    Apple Pie

    Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

    Crust
    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted
    2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch   cubes
    5 tablespoons frozen lard or solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch   cubes
    4 tablespoons (or more) ice water

    Filling
    3 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 6 large), peeled, cored, cut into   1/3-inch-thick slices (about 6 cups)
    1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
    1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
    2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    1 tablespoon (scant) ground cinnamon
    2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

    Milk

    Vanilla ice cream

    For crust:
    Blend flour and hazelnuts in processor until nuts are   finely ground. Add brown sugar and salt; blend 20 seconds. Add butter and   lard; using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles coarse meal.   Transfer mixture to bowl. Add 4 tablespoons ice water; stir until moist   clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather   dough together; divide into 2 equal pieces. Form each into ball; flatten each   into disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.

    For filling:
    Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F.   Toss apples, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in large bowl.   Roll out 1 dough disk on generously floured surface to 12-inch round,   rotating crust often to prevent sticking. Generously flour 11- or 12-inch   tart pan bottom. Slide tart pan bottom under dough round. Carefully slide   dough round into 9-inch pie dish. Press crust onto bottom and up sides of   dish; pinch and press to seal any cracks. Spoon filling into crust; drizzle   with melted butter.

    Roll out second dough disk on generously floured surface   to 13-inch round. Slide same floured tart pan bottom under dough round.   Carefully allow dough round to slide off tart pan bottom onto pie filling;   pinch to seal any cracks in crust. Press top crust and bottom crust together   at edge. Fold edge under; crimp decoratively. Cut X in center of top crust.   Brush top crust lightly with milk. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon   sugar. Transfer pie to rimmed baking sheet. Bake pie 30 minutes. Reduce oven   temperature to 350°F. Bake pie 25 minutes. Cover crust edges with foil collar   to prevent overbrowning; continue baking until crust is golden, apples are   tender, and juices are bubbling thickly in center, about 20 minutes longer.   Transfer pie to rack and cool. Serve with ice cream.

    Roasted Hazelnut Toffee

    toffee_small

    Makes 4-1/4 pounds of toffee
    (100 pieces measuring 1 x 2 inches)

    1 pound (4 sticks) butter
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
    1 tablespoon light corn syrup
    1/4 cup water
    2-1/2 cups raw hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
    (either chips, or squares that have been broken into chunks)
    2 cups chopped dark-roasted and skinned hazelnuts

    Grease one large (12 x 17- inch) rimmed baking sheet or two smaller (10 x 15-inch or less) ones with butter.

    Melt the pound of butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat on a wide-diameter burner. While the butter is melting, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar and corn syrup. Add this mixture to the melted butter, along with the water. When the sugars have dissolved, increase the burner setting to medium high, stirring with a flat-edged wooden spoon. Attach a candy thermometer to the pot and cook the mixture, stirring constantly to keep it from scorching. When the temperature reaches 240 degrees F, add the nuts and continue stirring. At 260 degrees, reduce the burner setting to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring occasionally, until the toffee reaches 300 degrees (“hard crack”).

    Remove the pot from the burner and stir in the vanilla and salt, stirring quickly because the toffee will become quite thick at this point. Scrape it out onto the prepared baking sheet(s) or marble slab, spreading it out to a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. A silicon spatula is the best tool for spreading the sticky toffee.

    Allow the toffee about 5 minutes to set up, then distribute the chocolate pieces evenly over the surface. The heat from the toffee will melt them. While it’s still soft, gently even out the layer of chocolate and then sprinkle it with the roasted and chopped hazelnuts.

    At this point, you can refrigerate the toffee until it is cold and hard. Or you can just let it cool to room temperature over several hours or overnight. Once the toffee is very firm, it can be broken into smaller, irregular-sized pieces.

    NOTE: If you use unsalted butter, increase the amount of salt in the recipe from 1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.