What are you baking? Oct 2023

What’s in your oven?

Pitas from The Mezze Cookbook by Salma Hage or, as we refer to them: notpitas, since the pockets are always a random occurrence. Even without a pocket, notpitas are excellent buns. They’re super fast, yeast-risen and done in an hour and a half from start to finish, with most of that as rising time. They bake for 7 minutes in a hot oven. There are alway, always notpitas available. They freeze well and taste very good.


Pear almondine tart

with blackberries, my blackberries were so large that I cut them in half.

And on a “ silver” platter @mts :joy:

The additional fruit added to the cook time, I’d recommend the 7” size as Raymond Blanc has indicated rather then the 6”.



Pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars with Biscoff cookie crust.

Not the kind of thing I normally make, but this recipe came in a random circular in the mail and Mom thought it might be a good dish for her church’s social hour. I did a little research on the recipe author to ensure she was a reputable recipe developer, then hit the grocery store.

With the cost of the Biscoff cookies at $5/pack (and you need two for the recipe) and everything else you need, this ends up being a pretty pricey recipe. The quantity is huge though - a 9x13 pan, and you want to cut the small because they’re quite rich. If I had reason to make them again, I’d make a half-recipe.

Recipe here.


Erin Jeanne McDowell’s lemon meringue pie, this time featuring my first-ever spin with a culinary torch!

This is the second time I’ve made this. I chronically overbake pie crust such that the rim burns, so this time I underbaked a little, and I didn’t much care for that either. Ugh, why is it so finicky. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

The curd was nice and tart, just like last time, and I whipped the meringue sufficiently this time which made for a more dramatic topping. I was furiously trying to fuel up my torch and learn how to use it at the last minute, minutes before leaving to transport the pie on my lap to its intended recipient, but I think it came out OK. I’m not so great with the visual aspect of pastry, but I’m learning.

There are MANY things I’d love to do with my torch other than lemon meringue pie… at least now I can start branching out.


I love lemon meringue pie, and this looks fantastic.


Team meeting tomorrow, and some past their prime pears in my fridge: made SK’s pear and dark chocolate chunk cake ( the chocolate was a bar of dark Lindt) https://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/bittersweet-chocolate-and-pear-cake/


I enjoy making crusts with speculoos, gingersnaps, Bischoff’s etc.,
especially pumpkin swirl cheesecakes.


Curious what other brands you use besides Biscoff …?

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Morning Glory scones. My own version, which is derived from this Stella Parks recipe.

Omitting the chocolate, I add whole partial wheat flour, cinnamon, ginger, honey, boiled cider, currants, dried apples, rolled oats, coconut flakes, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and carrots. I was feeling generous today, and cut the scones extra large.

Side note for anyone interested: that original Stella Parks recipe for milk chocolate scones is killer good.


Those look and sound great.


It looks beautiful.
I have to admit I actually don’t like torched meringue on citrus tarts. I always end up preferring the flavor of untorched meringue. On the other hand I think torched meringue is awesome with chocolate and makes chocolate cream pie something I actually enjoy. So maybe now that you have your small pie tin you can give that a try.


I baked Cook’s Illustrated thin and crispy oatmeal cookies. I lowered the sugar to 150 g from 200 and since I wasn’t in the mood for salted cookies (as in topped with flakes), I added more salt to the dough. I ended up with 1 tsp of salt based on how the dough tasted.
The cookies for me are best when mostly crisp but still slightly chewy in the center rather than crisp all the way. I am glad I reduced the sugar.


My second favorite kind of cookie…by any other name would taste as sweet!

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Just the storebrand windmill speculoos, Nyacker’s that were gifts, Anna’s, etc. No special brands in particular.


Torta di Mele / Apple Cake Bolognese


I turned Dories Everything Cake from Baking withDorie into an upside down pear. For the glaze i melted butter, sugar and brown sugar with a sprinkle of chopped candied ginger. Caked baked for 50 minutes and flipped easily.


Standard Baking Company Wild Blueberry Oat Scone. This is the drop scone recipe from the book Pastries, page 36.

I subbed dried blueberries for fresh (personal preference), and in lieu of half-and-half, used a mixture of half-cream-and-half-almond-milk. I made a half-recipe for 5 scones using a #10 cookie scoop. I did not use quite all the dairy mixtue - maybe 2 tablsepoons left behind for the half-batch.

These came out great – better than my previous go-to for drop-style oat scones (Quaker Oats Scottish Scone recipe). Not too sweet or crumbly, and you can taste all of the butter, cream and fruit. My dried blueberries were sweetened, and next time I think I’ll try a fruit that is slightly more tart. I think the recipe would lend itself to any number of fruits, fresh or dried.

As a side note, I see there is another version of the SBC blueberry-oat scone popular on the internet. This recipe is also attributed to SBC, but calls for yogurt instead of half-and-half, and slightly different ratios of the remaining ingredients. I have not made this one.


I am planning on making Dorie’s oatmeal and nutmeg scones, which I haven’t made in years, but might add these to the list, too. We have ended up with multiple bags of oats and I’m trying to make use of them so we are left with one bag. I haven’t made Dorie’s in at least a decade.

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Just for kicks, here’s another with oats which I like.

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