French toast

This delicious and decadent Challah french toast is perfect for any Sunday morning. Flavored with vanilla, cinnamon and just a hint of nutmeg. It is easy to make and soon will be a favorite in your house!

Challah bread cut into1’ slices

Challah bread:

Challah is a braided loaf of bread. The simple dough is made with eggs, water, flour, yeast and salt. I used a store bought challah bread in this recipe but you definitely can bake your own. If you can’t get challah bread where you live, you can always use another soft white bread instead. You could even use my whole wheat bread recipe on my blog too.

Preparation:

When you have all your ingredients set out for your challah french toast, preheat the oven to 250 Fahrenheit. This will allow you to keep the prepared toast hot while you finish cooking the rest of it on the stove. 

The large eggs in the bowl

In a big bowl combine the eggs, milk, heavy cream, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and a dash of nutmeg. Whisk it all together in a bowl large enough to prevent spilling. 

Egg, milk, heavy whipped cream and spices

The addition of nutmeg is just a dash, no need to use measurement spoons. Sprinkle it in to your taste but I just use one tiny dash. Just enough to taste it, but not overwhelming or overpowering. The cinnamon and vanilla needs to be the star in this dish. 

Whisking all the ingredients really well before coating the bread

Mixed egg mixture for the french toast

 Baking the challah french toast:

Heat up your pan over a medium heat on the stove. I used a cast iron pan, which is one of my favorite pans in my kitchen. Once your pan is hot, melt a little butter in the pan. While the butter is melting coat the sliced bread in the egg mixture. Be careful not to let it soak up all the egg mixture or you will get soggy challah french toast. My pan was big enough for 2 slices at a time, so I coated 2 slices of 1’ challah bread and placed them in the warm pan. Cook them on medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side. Once done I placed them in an oven safe dish in the preheated oven. Continue this process until you have finished the rest of the challah loaf. If needed add more butter into your pan between slices.

Coating of the challah bread in the egg mixture

Baking the coated challah bread in cast iron skillet pan

Serving:

Serve your challah bread with some fresh fruit. I had some delicious raspberries in the fridge, but you can use any fruit you prefer. Sift some powdered sugar over the top of the Challah french toast and add some whipped cream or maple syrup and enjoy!

Challah french tast with powdered sugar whipped cream and fruit

 

 

Challah French Toast

Prep Time10 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: challah french toast
Keyword: Challah french toast
Author: Ester van Boesschoten

Ingredients

  • 6 Large eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Whole milk
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoon Maple syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • Dash Nutmug
  • 1 Loaf Challah bread Cut in 1’’ slices
  • 2-3 Tablespoon Unsalted butter

To serve:

  • Powdered sugar
  • Mable syrup
  • Powdered sugar
  • Fresh fruit raspberries, strawberries, blueberries etc.

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy whipping cream, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt and a little dash of nutmeg.
  • Slice the Challah bread into 1" slices.
  • Add the butter to a heated pan.
  • Coat 2 slices of bread in the egg mixture. Don’t let the bread soak up all the egg mixture or it will be too soggy when cooked. Let the outside coat with the egg mixture before putting in the pan. Repeat using two slices at a time.
  • Cook the slices of bread on medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side. Once done place them in an oven proof dish in the oven to keep them warm.
  • Add some additional butter into the pan if needed and repeat the soaking and baking with the rest of the bread.
  • Serve the Challah french toast with powdered sugar, fresh fruit, whipped cream and some maple syrup.

Custard

This creamy custard recipe is delicious! The fresh pod of vanilla that is cooked in the milk makes it super nice. The recipe requires a lot of fast whisking, but the end result is drooling good.

Ingredients for custard

In this creamy custard recipe I use tapioca flour, instead of cornstarch. If you don’t have tapioca, or prefer to use cornstarch, you can easily substitute. For every 2 tablespoon of tapioca, use one tablespoon of cornstarch. If you want to try the flour this is the one that I prefer: Tapioca flour. Another important note is to use an egg that is at room temperature.

Egg yolk ready to add cane sugar

Separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Instead of throwing the egg white out, consider saving it to make meringue. Mix in the cane sugar with the egg yolk. Measure out the tapioca flour in advance so it will be ready when the milk is at the right temperature, later in the recipe.

Egg yolk with sugar

The cute measuring spoon, seen in the picture, can be purchased here. Besides being cute, they are sturdy and one of my favorites.

Vanilla pod with vanilla removed from the podI added a fresh organic vanilla pod to the milk being warmed for the custard. Carefully cut it open with a sharp knife and remove the vanilla seeds from the pod. Place both in the milk before bringing it to a boil.

Milk with pod and vanilla ready to bring to a boil

Stirring with a whisk, bring the milk, pod and vanilla slowly to a boil.

Milk with thermometer

The milk has to come to a boil but the temperature needs to be closely monitored. I use this thermometer, which is made specifically for baking and cooking. The temperature of the milk has to be 180 degrees Fahrenheit, but can not get above 185 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets higher, and you add the yolk mixture, you will end up with scrambled eggs instead of a custard. Thus, the temperature is really important to keep an eye on.

Egg yolk with sugar and tapioca flour mixture

When you see that your milk is getting close to the 180 degree Fahrenheit, quickly whisk the tapioca flour into your egg yolk-sugar mixture. This will help you be ready when the milk reaches the right temperature. 

Milk wished with the egg yolk mixture

When the milk has the right temperature remove it from the heat. Slowly add the milk to the egg yolk mixture in small batches. Whisk it really well to combine everything and avoid lumps in your custard. This will get your arm workout in, so start whisking! After the milk is fully added to the egg yolk, you can return it to the pan and put it back onto a low heat. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.

If the custard separates you either had it too long on the heat, or the heat was too high. When this happens, take the custard off of the heat and whisk it really, really well. If this doesn’t work, then you can put the custard through a strainer.

Custard simmered for 4 minutes ready to cool down

After the custard has simmered for 3-4 minutes it is ready to eat warm. Alternatively, you can cool it down slowly on the counter. If you choose to cool the custard, it is important to whisk it again frequently to avoid a film forming on the top which can make lumps in the custard. Whisk it every few minutes while it slowly cools down on the counter. When it is fully cooled, you can transfer it to a jar and store it in the fridge. Freshly made custard can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days. 

Custard you can combine with my pound cake recipe and some whipped cream and fruit to create a trifle.

Custard

Homemade silky smooth custard.
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: custard
Keyword: custard, vanilla custard
Servings: 1
Author: Ester van Boesschoten

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Whole (full fat) milk
  • 1-2 Tablespoon Cane sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoon Tapioca flour or 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • Pinch Salt

Instructions

  • Crack the egg and separate the egg white from the egg yolk into two different bowls.
  • Add the sugar to the bowl with the egg yolk and whisk them together.
  • Put the milk into a pan and remove the vanilla seeds out of their pod. Add the vanilla and the pod into the milk.
  • Slowly bring the milk to a boil. The temperature of the milk should be 180 Fahrenheit but not higher then 185 Fahrenheit.
  • Just before the milk has reached 180 Fahrenheit, mix in the tapioca flour to the sugar mixture.
  • When the milk has reached 180 Fahrenheit, take the milk off of the heat. Slowly add the milk mixture to your egg-sugar mixture while whisking really well. Whisking is really important here!
  • When everything is whisked together, without any lumps, add the mixture back into the pan.
  • Let the custard simmer on low heat, for around 3-4 minutes, while constantly whisking.
  • After it has simmered for 3-4 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and remove the vanilla pod from the milk.
  • You can eat the custard warm, or if preferred, let it cool. It is important to stir during the cooling process, otherwise a film will form on top of the custard.

Meringue

Meringue is a light, airy cookie with a crisp exterior. They are one of my favorite cookies, but can be tricky to bake. The oven temperature needs to be just right or the cookies will turn a little brown. Fortunately, they will still be delicious if this happens.

Meringue has 2 main ingredients: egg whites and sugar. The final step is to add a pinch of salt. Three ingredients is all it takes to make these delicious cookies.

 
The first step is to whip up the egg whites in your stand mixer, until they become glossy and opaque. It is important to ensure your bowl and whisk are free from grease and moisture before starting. Once you are sure they are dry, I like to add a little lemon juice in the bowl. Then whip your egg whites till they are white and glossy.

Whipped egg whites

Next, add the sugar one spoon at a time while you continue to whisk on medium. Give the sugar a chance to dissolve into the egg white mixture. After all the sugar is added, whisk it until stiff peaks begin to form in the mixture, and it does not fold back in on itself. 

Sugar and egg white whisked till peaks formed

Transfer the meringue mixture into a piping bag. Placing the piping bag into a drinking glass will make the process easier and limit the mess made. Fold the ends of the bag  over the top of the glass and scoop in the mixture. See picture below.

Meringue mixture in piping bag

Cut off the small tip of the piping bag and you are ready to pipe! You can pipe your meringue pretty close to each other on the parchment lined baking sheet. They don’t spread out while baking and you need to bake all your cookies at the same time. So pay attention to the spacing when you begin so that you can be sure to fit them all on the one tray. 

Meringue bAked

Meringue gets baked in the oven on a low temperature. As I have mentioned in other recipes, every oven is different, so the temperature may vary for you. Mine turned out a little golden, but I prefer them more white. Since this was the first time making them in this oven, I will lower the oven temperature next time and have incorporated the correction in this recipe. After the baking time is done, turn off the oven without opening the door, allowing them to cool completely in the oven. They are ready to eat once they are fully cooled. 

Another cookie recipe can be also found on my site. Click here.

Meringue

Meringue are soft whipped egg white with sugar baked to perfection. Crunchy outside with a chewy and soft inside.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: meringue
Keyword: meringue
Author: Ester van Boesschoten

Ingredients

  • 3 Egg whites
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 Cup Cane sugar (200 gram)

Instructions

  • Check that you stand mixer bowl and whisk are dry and grease free. Add your whites and whisk with a pinch of salt until they are glossy and smooth.
  • With mixer on medium, add one spoon at a time of the sugar to your egg white mixture. Continue whipping the mixture until it forms stiff peaks. The sugar should be completely dissolved.
  • Transfer your mixture into a piping bag. Cut off the end and pipe the cookies onto your parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake in a preheated oven of 275 Farhenheit for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off when done, and do not open the oven door. Let them cool with the oven door closed 2-4 hours.

Trifle

Trifle is a traditional English dessert made by combining two of my favorites: cake and egg custard. It is a decadent looking dessert and always a success when served post dinner.

Essentially an English trifle needs sponge lady fingers, or pound cake, that have been soaked in sherry. To make it family friendly simply skip the sherry. Most recipes use a jelly or jam drizzle on top. I prefer to use fresh fruit because, in my opinion, it adds the sweetness without the extra sugar of jam.

Pound cake

Pound Cake:

As I mentioned, most recipes for trifle use sponge ladyfingers or pound cake. My pound cake recipe you can find here. It works perfect in this trifle. It is easy to bake, and after it is completely cooled, cut some thin slices to place on the bottom of your serving dish. I used single portion glasses this time. However, a beautiful bowl like this works well too. If you want to make some for adults and keep some kid-friendly the single portions is the way to go. 

Custard

Egg Custard:

My egg custard recipe you can find here. The custard recipe is for one person so to make this trifle I simply doubled it for 2 portions. If you are making a bigger serving bowl, I recommend tripling the recipe. If you want to make more than one layer I recommend multiplying the recipe 4 times. I used egg custard, but if you can get custard powder to make your custard, that is a lot easier and works too. 

Pound cake with cherry topped with fresh fruit

Assembling the Trifle:

After all your ingredients are done and cooled, you can start building your trifle. The first layer will be the pound cake. Slice some pieces and line the bottom of your serving glass or bowl with the cake. If using, drizzle your sherry over the cake. The next layer is fresh fruit. I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries but you can pick any type of fruit that is in season for the time. If using strawberries, thinly slice them. When using a big bowl it is fun the make a row of strawberries facing the glass, so you see them as a ring on top of the cake and get nice layers.

Pound cake with cherry and fresh fruit

Once you are happy with how your fruit is arranged, top it with the custard. Pour it in gently so that you do not disturb the fruit layers. At this point I prefer to let the trifle rest for a bit in the fridge, approximately one hour. This allows all the flavors to soak in.

Pound cake, cherry, fruit and egg custard

Serving:

Once you are ready to serve your trifle, prepare some fresh whipped cream. Remove the trifle from the fridge and top it with the whipped cream. Just before serving you may want to sprinkle some meringue on top for that extra crunch. This dessert is my favorite at a dinner party because you can do all the preparation in advance, even the day before. Since you can prepare it in advance you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when hosting. Simply whip up some cream to serve a dessert that looks and tastes amazing. Always a success! When crunched on time you can even buy a pound cake to use instead of baking one yourself. With the use of custard powder, this recipe gets even easier. This recipe can be as easy or difficult as you want, but the end result will dazzle either way.

Trifle

This delicious trifle is layered with vanilla pound cake, fresh berries and topped with homemade egg custard. It is finished off with whipped cream and crumbled meringue.
Prep Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Trifle
Keyword: Trifle

Ingredients

  • 6 Slices Pound cake
  • 3 Tablespoons Sherry
  • 1 Cup Mixed berries
  • 2 Cups Egg custard
  • Whipped cream
  • 1/2 Meringue crumbled

Instructions

  • Bake your pound cake. You can find the recipe I used here. Let it cool completely.
  • While the cake is in the oven get started on your custard. Recipe on my blog is here. Let it also cool completely.
  • Next, bake your meringue, or use store bought.
  • When all the ingredients for the trifle are ready and cooled you can start assembling it.
  • Cut your pound cake into pieces that fit in your serving bowl. If using, drizzle the sherry over the cake.
  • Wash your fruit. If using strawberries, slice them thin and place them on top of the sherry cake. On top of the fruit, pour your cooled custard. Cover your trifle and let it rest for a while in the fridge. At least one hour. This allows the cake to soak up the sherry and get even flavors.
  • Just before serving, whip up your whipped cream or use store bought. Layer it on top of the custard. As a finishing touch, to give the dessert a little crunch, crumble your meringue on top. Serve and enjoy!

Pound cake

This rich, buttery pound cake melts in your mouth while maintaining a light, fluffy texture. The hint of freshness from the lemon zest balances out the sweet from the sugar and vanilla. Pound cake is good on its own and delicious with some fresh fruit or whipped cream on top. If you double this recipe it can be used it as a base for a birthday cake, layered with frosting. I recommend using round baking pans for a celebration cake.

Ingrediënt pound cake

The recipe uses pastry flour instead of regular flour. Pastry flour is milled at a finer texture than all purpose flour and is made with soft wheat for a lower protein content. This helps baked goods to produce more tender results and a flakey crust. It is important to let your eggs and butter warm to room temperature. The day before I plan to bake a pound cake, I always take out my butter and egg to warm on the counter overnight. This allows me to start baking right away in the morning.

Cane sugar and softened butter

Room temperature butter is important for getting a nice, fluffy texture when beating it with the sugar. Soft butter blends really well with the sugar and gives the best results.

Fluffy white butter and sugar mixture

As you can see, in the standmixer bowl the butter is super fluffy here and ready to mix in the egg mixture.

Egg ilk and vanilla mixture

I added pure vanilla extract which gives the cake a delicious vanilla flavor. I put in 1 1/2 teaspoon of this vanilla extract before adding in the milk and giving it a gentle stir.

Egg vanilla and milk mixture

Now slowly add the egg into the sugar-butter mixture. In a thin stream, pour in the egg mixture. I tend to pour in one egg at a time, guiding with a spoon. I let each egg fully combine into the batter before adding the next one. 

Butter, sugar and egg mixture mixed

The batter combined with the egg mixture resembles scrambled egg at this point. Don’t worry, as soon you add flour it will look perfect.

First 1/2 cup of pastry flour added with a hint of lemon zest

Place 1/2 cup of pastry flour into your butter and egg batter. Sift it over the batter and add a little lemon zest as well onto the flour. Now gently fold the flour in with a spatula. Be sure to do this gently so you keep all the beaten air in the batter. Once the first addition is incorporated into the batter, add the next 1/2 cup of sifted pastry flour, and repeat until all the flour is incorporated.

Prepared pan with parchment paper

Grease the baking pan and line it with parchment paper as seen in the picture above. The parchment will allow you to easily remove your cake from the pan when it is done baking.

Pound cake batter in loaf pan

Gently pour the batter into your prepared pan, and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake in a preheated oven set to 325 degrees Fahrenheit until a toothpick comes out clean.  This takes around 60-70 minutes. Every oven bakes differently so keep a close eye on the pound cake near the end.

Pound cake

The cake can also be used in a trifle.

Pound Cake

This rich and buttery pound cake melts in your mouth. The hint of freshness from the lemon zest balances out the sweet from the sugar and vanilla. Pound cake is good on its own or delicious with some fresh fruit and whipped cream on top.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: cake
Keyword: pound cake, vanilla pound cake, vannila cake
Author: Ester van Boesschoten

Ingredients

  • 14 Tablespoons Unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 Cup Cane sugar
  • 4 Eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Whole milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Pastry flour
  • Zest Lemon

Instructions

  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 Fahrenheit. Grease a 9” by 5” loaf pan. Line it with parchement paper and grease it.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer at medium-high speed until light, fluffy and almost white. This takes about 4-5 minutes, stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • In a different bowl, stir together the eggs, vanilla and milk. With the mixer running at medium speed add egg mixture to the butter and sugar in a very slow, thin stream. Finally beat in the salt.
  • Place 1/2 cup of pastry flour in a sieve and sift it over the batter. Fold gently with a rubber spatula, scraping up from the bottom of the bowl, until the flour is incorporated. Repeat twice more, adding flour in 1/2 cup increments.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  • Bake in a preheated oven of 325 Fahrenheit until a toothpick comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes. The cake should be a nice golden brown.
  • Let the cake rest in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. After you remove it from the pan, let it cool to room temperature.

 Blueberry lemon scones

At my local coffee shop they have these delicious blueberry lemon scones. What I love about them is that they are blue on the inside. However, I often wish that blueberry taste was more powerful. I had to try and make my own version of them to kick that flavor up a notch!

These scones are light and have a cake-like texture. The blueberry compote I added made a beautiful blue dough that keeps its color even after it is baked. 

Ingredients for blueberry lemon scones

The base recipe for the blueberry lemon scones is similar to my other scone recipe you can find here. The added egg makes the scone have a nice cake-like texture and reduces the dryness. The combination of milk and heavy whipping cream makes it rich and creamy. Pastry flour is my preferred flour to use for any pastry I make. It is milled to a finer texture than all purpose flour, and is made with a soft wheat for a lower protein content, which helps baked goods produce very tender results.

Ingredients for blueberry compote

The compote is easy to make. Combine the blueberries, cane sugar, salt and water in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, slowly warm it until the blueberries burst open and the spoon or spatula you use leaves clear streaks on the bottom of your pan. When you can see the bottom of the pan you have the right thickness, and it is ready to be used in your scone mixture. Let it cool down while you prepare the rest of your dough.

Blueberries salt sugar and water in small saucepan

 

Compote done, clear streak on the bottom of the pan

 

Pastry flour must be sifted before use. The flour is so fine that it can clump together very easily. While large clumps can be broken up with a spatula, small clumps are more easily missed and can show up as lumps of uncooked flour in your finished product if you are not careful. After sifting your flour, add the other dry ingredients, salt and baking powder. The lemon zest is also added at this point so it doesn’t stick together.

Cut in butter into flour mixture

After the dry mixture is combined, grate your frozen, unsalted butter onto the flour mixture and cut it in with a pastry cutter. Grating the frozen butter is an easy process which prevents the butter from warming up too much since it can be done quickly.

Flour mixture with grated frozen butter

Combine all liquid ingredients, whole milk, heavy whipping cream, maple syrup and one egg. The cooled blueberry compote is adding after all the liquid ingredients are combined. The compote can be mixed in well with either a spatula or your hands. Work quickly so you don’t warm up the butter.

Combined blueberry scone dough

Remove the dough from your bowl onto a floured countertop. I love to use my silicone pastry mat for this because it is easy to use and clean. Gently form an 8 inch circle with your hands. Pat gently and don’t press too hard on your dough.

Cirkel or blueberry scone dough

After you form a circle, cut it into 8 equal triangles. The dough may be sticky, but adding a little flour to your knife will help to prevent it sticking.

Cutting of the blueberry scone dough

Put your scones on a baking tray with parchment paper. Bake them until golden brown in a preheated oven.

Blueberry scones on baking tray ready to bake

After the scones are done baking, let them cool completely on a cooling rack. While they are cooling prepare your lemon icing. Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice and the powdered sugar. The consistency of your icing depends on how much lemon juice you add. For a thinner drizzle simply add more juice. 

Preparing of the lemon icing

When the scone are completely cooled, drizzle on your icing. If you do this when they are still a little warm the icing will soak into the scones. 

Blueberry scones with icing

 

 

Blueberry Lemon Scone

These blueberry lemon scones are light and have a cake-like texture. The blueberry compote I added made a beautiful blue dough that keeps its color even after it is baked.  The added lemon zest in the dough gives it a freshness to it. The lemon drizzle on top is the right combination of sweet and fresh that really completes the scones.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: scones
Keyword: blueberry lemon scone, blueberry scone, scones
Author: Ester van Boesschoten

Ingredients

Blueberry compote

  • 1 Cup Blueberries fresh or frozen
  • 1/8 Cup Granulated sugar
  • 1/8 Cup Water
  • Pinch Kosher salt

Scone

  • 2 Cups Pastry flour or all purpose
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted butter frozen
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple syrup
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 Cup Whole milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • Lemon zest of 1 lemon

Lemon drizzle

  • 1/3 Cup Powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
  • Zest Of one lemon

Instructions

Blueberry Compote

  • Combine the blueberries, sugar, water and salt in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat untill the blueberries burst and a spoon or spatula makes a clear path on the bottom to the pan. This should take 10-15 minutes.
  • Take it off the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.

Scone

  • Position your oven rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 425 Farhenheit *.
  • Sift your flour and combine it with salt, baking powder and lemon zest.
  • In a separate bowl combine the heavy cream, milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract and the whisked egg. Stir to combine. When your blueberry compote is cooled enough, add it to this mixture.
  • Grate the frozen butter over your flour mixture . Cut in the butter with a pastry knife.
  • Gently stir the liquid into the flour mixture until it is just combined. Be careful not to overmix it.
  • If preferred you can add some (up to a half a cup) extra whole blueberries gently at this point.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured counter top. Gently form the dough into a circle approximately 7” round and 1-1 1/2” thick. Cut out 8 triangles.
  • Place your triangles onto a baking sheet line with parchment paper.
  • Bake them in the preheated oven until they are golden brown. This takes around 12-15 minutes.*
  • When done let them cool on a cooling rack.

Drizzle

  • Combine lemon juice, zest and powdered sugar until smooth consistency. If you prefer a thin glaze slowly add more lemon juice.
  • Drizzle over your cooled scones and enjoy!

Notes

*Every oven is different, so time and temperature may be different for your oven. Keep a close eye on your scones in the end of the baking time.

final result of the potato quiche

Quiches are one of my favorite dishes to bring to a potluck or share with a friend for dinner and this Potato bacon quiche is one of them. They are easy to make, and I typically have all the ingredients I need at home. To make it a complete meal just add a salad or some extra protein, but it can easily be filling enough all on its own.

The quickest option is to use puff pastry dough or prepared store bought pastry dough. However, when time allows, I prefer to use my own hearty pie dough. You can find the recipe here Savory Pie Dough on my blog.  Quiches are made with eggs and cream but the option of what else to add in is up to your imagination. For this recipe I used potato and bacon. Some additional ideas are: spinach, mushroom, tomato, cheese. This is originally a French dish and can be served hot or cold.

Ingredients filling of the potato quiche

Savory pie dough ready to rest in fridge

My savory pie dough has fresh ground black pepper in it. This adds extra flavor to the pie. You can see the pepper in the dough in the top picture. Typically, in my pie dough, I use ice cold Vodka instead of ice cold water. However, in this savory pie dough I used both water and Vodka. I just find it nicer to work with and the pies have always turned out really flavorful. When in a hurry, I sometimes use puff pastry or store bought prepared pie dough, because it’s quick and easy!

Pie dough rolled out in quiche baking dish

After you insert your pie dough into your greased quiche dish you blind bake it. For more details about blind baking check my pie recipe.

Egg and cream filling for the quiche

The base of the filling for any quiche is eggs and cream. I used crème fraiche, this is a French style of cultured cream. It is most similar to sour cream. If your store doesn’t have crème fraiche you can substitute it with sour cream. The difference is that crème fraiche is a bit less sour.

Potatoes soaking in cold water

After you peel the potatoes and thinly slice them, let them soak in cold water. This prevents them from turning brown due to the potato starch. Prepare the rest of the filling and drain the potatoes when you are ready to assemble the quiche. Dry the potatoes on a clean dish cloth and start to layer them into your quiche.

On bottom of quiche baked spring onions and bacon

The first layer is the baked spring onions and 1/2 of the crisped bacon. The next layer is potatoes and then more bacon. Repeating these layers till the crust is full.

Second layer potatoes and bacon

When you have layered all the filling you finish the quiche off by pouring the cream and egg mixture over the filling. Salt, pepper, paprika powder and chili powder were added to give it some extra depth of flavor. Fresh herbs is always a good addition, and I added some curled parsley.

Quiche topped with cream mixture

Final finishing touch is grated cheese, I use this grater by hand and “bigger” section of the grater. My preference is always Gouda, one of the few Dutch cheeses I can get here in the USA. Then you bake the quiche in a preheated oven at 375 Fahrenheit until golden brown and the potatoes are soft. The time required depends on each oven.

Note: my current oven takes some extra time to bake things, so always keep a close eye towards the end of your baking process.

Fished quiche ready to chill

After the quiche is done baking let is rest for at least 10 minutes before you cut into it. Using a cooling rack is preferable. This is the one I like to use. 

Finished cut and cooled quiche

 

 

Potato Quiche

Quiche with potatoes, bacon and a cream fraiche filling combined with eggs and cream. Made complete with some spices and fresh herbs.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: pie
Keyword: potato pie, potato quiche, quiche

Ingredients

  • 1 Savory pie crust homemade or store bought
  • 3.25 Oz Creme fraiche or Sour cream (3 tablespoons)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 Potatoes thinly sliced
  • 3-4 Bacon baked crispy and chopped
  • 4-5 Spring onions chopped and sautéed
  • 1/2 Cup Gouda cheese grated
  • 1-2 Tablespoon Parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black pepper freshly ground
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/8 Teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 Cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  • If you're using my homemade savory pie recipe, preheat your oven for 400 Farhenheit.
  • Roll out your dough thinly and place it in an 8 inch baking dish and softly press it into the pan. Place a piece of baking paper on the dough and add some pie weight. I used dry beans. Bake the crust in your preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare your filling. Bake the bacon till crisp, cooling it on a paper towel. In the meantime, saute the spring onion until soft. Peel the potatoes and slice thinly.
  • Combine the eggs, creme fraiche, salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, heavy whipping cream, parsley and half of the cheese.
  • When your pie is done with the blind bake, let it cool a bit until you can remove the weight from it safely.
  • Next we layer the filling into the pie crust. First put in your baked spring onions, and about half of your bacon. Then put a first layer of potatoes and the rest of the the bacon on top of that. Finish with a final layer of potatoes.
  • Carefully pour your egg mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top.
  • Lower the oven to 375 Farhenheit.
  • Bake the quicke until it is a nice golden brown. This takes around 35-40 minutes.
  • Let the quiche rest for 10 minutes on a cooling rack before cutting into it.

Savory pie dough ready to rest in fridge

This basic savory pie dough is easy to make and has a hint of black pepper combined with a buttery dough. It is a perfect base for all your savory pies or quiches. You will find it makes the perfect base for the quiche recipe on my website. 

The ingredients are simple and typically I have them at the ready in my pantry/fridge. Thus when I want a nice hearty quiche for lunch, or need something easy and quick for a picnic, I don’t have to run to the store. I can quickly make this basic pie dough, let it chill for a bit, and I am ready to bake whatever I am up for. This dough makes a great substitute for recipes requiring a puff pastry as a base. Since I don’t always have puff pastry in my fridge I have substituted this dough several times and it works great.Ingredients for the savory pie dough

As you can see in the picture above I use pastry flour for this recipe. You can substitute it with all purpose flour, preferably an unbleached one. I think that pastry flour yields a nicer end result, but it is not essential that you use it. Pastry flour is milled to a finer texture than all purpose flour, and is made with soft wheat for a lower protein content. This helps baked goods, like pie crusts, have more tender results and a finer crust.

Pastry flour salt, black pepper

Before you add the butter and liquid make sure you combine all the dry ingredients well. The pastry flour is sifted before use. Sifting is a process that breaks up any lumps in the flour. I always sift my flour before I go to any next step of baking. Sifted flour is easier to mix into other ingredients. Another tip is to fluff up your flour before measuring. When flour sits in the package it gets compressed together.  Measuring before fluffing may cause too much flour to be added and you will need more liquid in your recipes.

Graded butter

Frozen butter is easily grated and combined into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter.  It also doesn’t require as much strength as when you cut your butter into cubes and try to incorporate it with the flour. Since it is already tiny, it is quick and easy to cut in, and this prevents the butter from getting too warm. It is essential when making a pastry dough to work quickly and prevent warming the butter.

Cutting in th butter into the flour mixture

Butter combined with the flour mixture

When the butter is well combined with the flour, it is time to pour in your ice cold liquids, starting with the Vodka. After the Vodka is combined with the dough, you add one tablespoon at a time of the ice cold water, until the dough comes together and no longer feels dry. Keep adding more until you are satisfied your dough isn’t dehydrated. You will need to add enough liquid to form a circle. If you add too little of the liquid the dough will crack later when you roll it out.

Savory pastry dough ready to chil

Form a circle, wrapping it air tight, and put it in the fridge to chill for at least one hour. You can also prepare it the night before you need it. If it made the night before you may need to take it out 30 minutes before you are ready to roll out your dough.

Rolled out dough

When rolling out the dough it helps to start from the center and then roll outward. After you have done one side, flip the dough to the other side and repeat the rolling out from the center. This method will help you create a nice even circle. It may be helpful to dust the rolling pin with flour to prevent it from sticking to the dough. Once you have your desired circle width, gently roll it over your rolling pin and transfer it to your oiled baking dish.

Rolled out dough in quiche dish

Make sure the dough goes over your edges of your pastry dish because this will be a blind bake. During a blind baking, the pastry will shrink, and if you cut off your edges before the bake you won’t have a nice edge on your pie. Before we put it in the oven, place some parchment paper on the dough and fill it with pie weights. There is no need to buy specially made weights. I typically use any dried beans I have on hand.

Pie dough with parchment paper and pie weight

Cover your pie dough and let it rest in the fridge while you preheat your oven to 400 Fahrenheit.

When the oven is preheated, remove the cover ,and place it in the center of your oven to bake for 10 minutes. After it is done baking, carefully remove the pie weights without burning yourself. Now the pie base is ready to be filled and baked.

Savory pie dough used with my quiche recipe

 

Savory Pie Dough

This basic savory pie dough is easy to make and has a hint of black pepper combined with a buttery dough. It is a perfect base for all your savory pies or quiches.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: pie
Keyword: pie dough, savory pie dough

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 Cup Pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black pepper freshly ground
  • 8 Tablespoons Unsalted butter frozen and grated
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Vodka ice cold
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Filtered water ice cold

Instructions

  • Combine the flour with the salt and black pepper.
  • Cut in the frozen butter with a pastry knife until you have a crumbled flour and butter mixture.
  • Slowly add one tablespoon at a time of the vodka. After combining, if the dough still feels dry, add one tablespoon at a time of the cold water. Mix quickly with your hands so you don’t melt the butter. When it no longer feels dry, and nicely comes together, your dough is done.
  • Form a circle and wrap it in cling wrap so it is air tight. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. If you have the time an hour is preferred. It is ready to be used once chilled.

Blind Baking

  • Roll out your pastry on a floured counter top. It is best to roll it out from the center towards the edge. After each roll turn the dough over and roll again from the middle to the outside. Repeat rolling until you have a big enough circle.
  • Spray your pie pan with some oil. I used avocado oil. Roll the dough over your rolling pin and transfer it into the dish. Do not cut off the sides before blind baking. Pastry shrinks so let the dough hang over the edges.
  • Put some parchment paper over the dough and fill it with pie weights. I used dried beans for this.
  • While you preheat the oven to 400 Farhenheit set the pie in the fridge to rest.
  • When the oven is warm blind bake the pie for 10 minutes.
  • After blind baking remove the parchment paper and the pie weights. Now your ready to fill it with whatever you like and finish baking.

Tomato soup with garnish and heavy cream

Our family loves a good soup. My kids’ favorite is my creamy broccoli soup but my favorite is this tomato soup. The combination of butter, tomatoes and cream makes this a rich, delicious and filling soup that is good for dinner or lunch.

Ingredients for tomato soup

In addition to shallot, garlic and tomatoes, the soup is seasoned with salt/pepper, paprika and sambal oelek for an extra kick in this soup.

Fresh washed tomatoes

Nice fresh tomatoes can be either store bought or homegrown. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which is an antioxidant. They are also packed with vitamins A, C, calcium and potassium.

Cut up tomatoes

Cook your shallot until it is soft and light brown, then add in the garlic and simmer until it is fragrant. When it’s time to add these beautiful diced tomatoes we can include the spices as well. The paprika added with salt and pepper gives this soup more flavor and extra depth.

Added spices to diced tomatoes

Letting the tomatoes cook on low to medium heat with spices until they are nice and soft helps the flavors combine. Just before adding the broth, I like to stir in a little bit of sambal oelek for that extra kick of spice. You can find it in most supermarkets. If you can’t find it you can switch it out for a half a teaspoon of chili powder instead.

Parsley

I also enjoy adding in some fresh herbs depending on what I have in my garden or fridge. Either parsley or basil can make a nice addition to this soup.

Added parsley and broth to the cooked tomatoes

Once all the ingredients are added bring the soup to a boil and let it simmer on low until the tomatoes are nice and soft and ready to blend. I use a hand held blender for this. My family prefers our soup very smooth. Finish the soup with some fresh squeezed lemon juice and a drizzle of heavy whipping cream. Finally if you have some herbs left over, you can add them on top to give it a nice pop of color just before serving.

Cooked tomatoes soup before blended

Tomato soup with garnish and heavy cream

 

Tomato soup

Comforting, creamy tomato soup with beautiful fresh tomatoes, shallot, garlic and herbs.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: soup
Keyword: creamy tomato soup, tomato soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 1 Shallot minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 32 Oz tomatoes diced ((908 gram)
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 Teaspoon Sambal oelek
  • 2 Tablespoon Fresh parsley or basil if prefer
  • 2.3 Oz Tomato paste 65 gram
  • 20 Fl Oz Chicken bone broth 591 ml
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Lemon juice more or less to taste
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Heavy whipping cream more or less to taste

Instructions

  • Sauté the shallot with a pinch of salt, on medium low heat, until soft. This takes around 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic ,sauté until fragant, around 30 seconds.
  • Add the diced tomatoes to the pan with salt, paprika and black pepper. Cook until soft, around 5-7 minutes. Then add the sambal oelek, if using, parsley and the tomato paste. Stir to combine and let cook for 1 minute.
  • Pour in the broth and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer for around 15 minutes.
  • Blend your soup to your prefered consistency. Add the lemon juice and heavy whipping cream. Stir and enjoy!

Focaccia bread
This super easy focaccia bread is delicious. Focaccia bread is the easiest bread you can make. The dough is similar to pizza dough but with lots of olive oil. The other ingredients are bread flour, yeast, honey and sea salt. The topping can be anything you enjoy. 

Basic ingredients for focaccia bread

Most bread recipes require sugar to activate the yeast. As I’m not a fan of refined sugar, I always look for an appropriate replacement. In this case, I found raw honey adds a delicious flavor while being able to activate the yeast.

Ingredients for focaccia bread with topping ingredients

For the topping I experimented with potatoes, rosemary, bacon and Parmesan cheese.

Active dry yeast with 1/4 cup of water and honey to active the yeast
To start begin by mixing the 1/4 cup of warm water with the yeast and honey. The water needs to be  around 110 Fahrenheit to dissolve the yeast with the honey and to activate the yeast. It is important to let it stand until it is foamy and bubbly, around 5 minutes.

Active dry yeast mixture, nice foamy and bubbly

Here you can clearly see the foam and bubbles from the active dry yeast. It is ready to mix in with the flour and salt mixture after you can see the bubbles.

Salt and bread flour mixture

This recipe works best with a stand mixer and you will need to use the dough hook. My mixer https://www.boschmixers.com/product/bosch-universal-plus-mixer/ is Bosch, but any mixer with a dough hook will do.

The focaccia dough mixed and combined and coming away from the sides

When the dough comes away from the sides and is tacky, but doesn’t stick to your hands, it is ready. Grease a bowl with olive oil, and let it rest until it is doubled in size.

Focaccia dough before first riseWhen the dough has doubled in size you are ready to place it on a greased baking sheet, and shape it into a rectangle.  However, first you have to punch out the air in the dough.

After first rise dough doubled in size

Air punched out of the dough

After the air is out you shape it into a rectangle on the baking sheet. I used parchment paper on the baking sheet to make it easier to transfer to a cooling rack later.

Focaccia dough formed in rectangle

Focaccia dough covered for second rise

After you formed a rectangle with your dough, you cover it and place it in a warm area on your counter until it is doubled in size. This length of this rise will vary based on where you live and what season it is. It can take up to 1 hour or more if it is colder weather. It is important that you cover your dough and put it in a warm draft free area.

When it has doubled in size, you drizzle it with olive oil and make deep holes in the dough with your fingers. Don’t be shy!  Dig them in far, until you feel the baking dish.

Focaccia dough ready to be prepped to bake

Focaccia dough with finger holes

When you’re satisfied with the amount of holes, sprinkle the dough with sea salt (I used this French salt) and add your washed rosemary. You can bake it now, or add some extra toppings. I added potatoes, bacon and Parmesan cheese.

Focaccia bread with toppings

After adding the toppings, bake your dough in a preheated oven until it is golden brown. This can take around 20 minutes. Keep in mind that every oven is different, so the baking time may be more or less. Keep a close eye on the bread in the final baking minutes.

Golden brown baked focaccia

Light brown baked focaccia bread cut

You can enjoy this light, airy and delicious Focaccia bread after it cools a bit on a cooling rack!

Focaccia Bread

Flat Italian bread. The dough is similar to pizza dough but has the addition of a generous amount of olive oil. It is crispy on the outside while remaining soft inside. It is versatile enough to be served as a side dish or used as a sandwich bread.
Prep Time2 hrs 25 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Bread
Keyword: focaccia, focaccia bread
Author: Ester van Boesschoten

Ingredients

Bread

  • 1 3/4 Cups Warm water 95-100 Farhenheit
  • 2 1/4 Teaspoons Active dry yeast
  • 3 Teaspoons Raw honey
  • 4 Cups Bread flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Olive oil extra for greasing the tin

Topping

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Coarse sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh rosemary

Instructions

Bread

  • In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup water, yeast and one teaspoon of honey. Stir and let it stand until it is foamy. This takes around 5 minutes.
  • In the bowl of your mixer, with a dough hook, combine bread flour and salt. With the mixer on low slowly pour in the yeast mixture. When combined, add the rest of the honey, remaining water (1 1/2cup) and half a cup of the olive oil. Mix it on medium speed for 3-4 minutes.
  • Grease a bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the greased bowl. Cover and let it rest in a warm, draft free area until it is doubled in size. This takes around an hour.
  • Drizzle 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a rimmed sheet pan that is about 17×13 inches.
  • After the first rise, punch the dough down to release the air. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and shape the dough into a rectangle. The dough should be a 1/2 inch thick.
  • Cover the dough with cling wrap and place it in a warm draft free area on your counter until it is doubled in size. This takes about 1 hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Farhenheit.
  • After the second rise, use your fingers to poke and create deep dents in the dough. Then drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and top with fresh rosemary and sea salt. You can bake it now or add extra toppings.

Topping

  • Cook your bacon to a crisp and let them rest on a paper towel.
  • Thinly slice your potatoes and grate your cheese. Add your extra toppings to the bread.

Baking.

  • Bake the focaccia until it is slightly golden and cooked through. This takes around 20 minutes.
  • Let it cool on the cooling rack.

If you’re looking for more bread ideas, check out this Irish soda bread on my blog.