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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sugarlaw(s) Has Moved!

Sugarlaw is now at !!!

This is my very, very belated notice that this website has moved (a month ago). Those who visited the site directly were automatically transferred to my new site, but I never wrote (this) post for the original blog!

Please update your bookmarks and I hope to hear from you all soon!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Pumpkin Tart

I was such a huge fan of the chocolate tart I made a few weeks ago that I decided to adapt the recipe to pumpkin for Thanksgiving. And not only was my creation delicious, but it was sturdy too! This little tart managed to survive a frantic cab ride to Grand Central, a crowded train ride to Connecticut, and a car ride to my house in the trunk, all without a single crack. The store-bought pastries I brought to Thanksgiving last year were destroyed within about ten minutes of leaving my apartment. Major improvement.

This was so good. The crust/filling ratio is higher for this tart than it is for pumpkin pie, but otherwise, the recipe is exactly the same. So, if you want to make a pie, just double the filling and it should fit perfectly. You shouldn't have to change any measurements for the crust part of the recipe, it easily makes enough to fit a pie dish. Yum!

Pumpkin Tart


For crust:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 large egg
2 tbsp water

For filling:
1/2 of a 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
1/2 of a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
Pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place flour, sugar, salt, butter, one egg, and water in a food processor. Pulse until blended into one large ball of dough.
3. Roll dough out on a floured surface, into an approximately 12" circle. Roll the dough up onto the pin and lay it on top of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
4. Press the dough into the pan so it fits into all the edges, particularly on the sides of the tart pan. Trim the excess dough from the edges of the pan.
5. Refrigerate the tart dough for 10 minutes.
6. Remove the tart from the refridgerator, and line the inside of the tart with aluminum foil. Place pie weights (or dried beans, or rice) in the foil.
7. Bake for 30 minutes (the tart is easier to bake if you place the tart shell on a cookie sheet).
8. Remove the tart from the oven and remove the foil and pie weights. Return to the oven and continue to bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until the tart's edges are is golden, but not browned. Place on a counter or table to cool the tart shell.
9. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
10. In a medium saucepan, on low heat, heat the pumpkin, salt and spices for 2-3 minutes. Add sweetened condensed milk, and heat to a scald (bubbles around the edges of the pan but not boiling).
11. Remove from heat and whisk in egg, until blended.
12. Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell and bake 25 minutes, or until the filling is set but still wobbly. Allow to cool, and serve.

Serves 8.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cinnamon Muffins

I don't actually like muffins. To me, they're basically just big greasy, high-calorie cakes that offer zero nutritional value and will leave you hungry again in an hour or two. (I love cupcakes, though. Go figure.) But it's hard for me to dislike anything that I make myself. And don't they look pretty? It's even harder to dislike anything that pretty.

These were my contribution to our breakfast the day after Thanksgiving. I think cinnamon muffins are a southern thing, because I've never really seen them in bakeries in New York. I don't really know what else to day about them. If you like cinnamon, and you like muffins, I feel pretty confident that you'll like these. I didn't particularly care for them. But aren't they pretty?

Cinnamon Muffins

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups sifted, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/8 tsp nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Slowly add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir into wet mix. Pour in milk and stir until well combined.
3. Pour into greased muffin pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into one of the muffins comes out dry. Allow to cool before removing from muffin pan. Serve.

Makes 12-14 medium size muffins.

Cipollini Onion Tart

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Remember earlier this week when I said that the squash chowder was my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner? That was a total lie. This tart was, by far, my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner, but I couldn't post the recipe until today because it's not on the Williams Sonoma website. My poor mother actually had to scan her Williams Sonoma Thanksgiving recipe booklet and email it to me. Yay technology.

My mom also says that cippolini onions are expensive, but I saw them at the farmer's market on Saturday for $2 a pound, seriously. And since they were the most amazing thing that has ever been a part of our Thanksgiving dinner, they might be popping up in my own dishes in the near future...

Cipollini Onion Tart

For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6-7 tbsp ice water, or as needed

For the filling:
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 lb cipollini onions, peeled and ends trimmed
1/4 cup cabernet sauvingon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse. Add the water a little at a time and pulse until the dough just begins to come together in a rough mass.
2. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and roll into a 13-inch disk, about 1/4" thick. Fold over the edges of the dough, about 1" around, and crimp to seal. Transfer to baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat an oven to 375°F.
4. To make the filling, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add salt and combine, then add onions. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frquently, until carmelized on all sides.
5. Add the wine and reduce until syrupy, about 6-8 minutes.
6. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
7. Remove the pan from the oven and place the dough on top of the onions. Prick the surface to let air escape.
8. Return the pan to the oven and bake until crust is golden brown, about 35 minutes.
9. Remove the pan from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Place a serving platter upside down on top of the pan and turn both upside down together. Lift off the pan, leaving the onion tart on the serving dish. Serve immediately!

Serves 4-6 (or one very hungry Katy, who could probably eat this whole thing by herself).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cinnamon Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée is one of those ubiquitous dessert items that you see on just about every menu in New York. Because of that, I pretty much assumed that it would be easy to make. And it is, for sure, but it takes a while to cook and then chill in the refrigerator. I wouldn't whip this up for myself on a random weeknight, but it's a good dessert if you're having a dinner party, because it requires you to to make it in advance. Just be very, very careful if you're trying to blow-torch the tops after a few glasses of wine!

I own a crème brûlée blowtorch. I'm vaguely puzzled by that fact, because this weekend was the second time I've ever made crème brûlée in my life. But it was on sale, and I was talking to the most persuasive salesperson at Williams Sonoma ever. She was all, "oh, you'll be surprised how much you use this. You can even use it to grill cheese on sandwiches!" And I was all, "oh, that's a great idea! I've always wanted to eat untoasted bread with melted cheese on top, thanks to my blowtorch." So, I bought it.

If you don't have a crème brûlée mini-blowtorch, you can use your oven broiler (or toaster oven, actually). Which is actually how normal people melt cheese on their sandwiches. Sigh.

Cinnamon Crème Brûlée

2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp sugar
2 large egg yolks
Additional sugar, for topping

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, vanilla and cinnamon to a scald (small bubbles around the edge of the pan but not boiling). Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and the egg yolks until pale in color.
4. Whisk in the cream to the egg yolks a little at a time. Pour the liquid into 2 ramekins.
5. Place the ramekins into a large pan, and fill the pan with warm water halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
6. Bake just until the crème brûlée is set, but still wobbly in the center (about 30 minutes).
7. Refrigerate the ramekins for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days before serving.
8. Before serving, dust sugar on the tops of crème brûlée with sugar, and melt sugar with a crème brûlée torch or over broiler. Serve!

Serves two.