The Perfect Fruit Tart

Fruit TartLast week we had to skip our first week of blogging since we launched Glü. Michelle travelled back to L.A. for a visit and the day we planned to make something, we both got job interviews, Michelle had to fly back to San Francisco, and then all of a sudden we were both employed! The chaos led to a slight moment of panic for me but I soon relaxed after everything settled down. This past weekend I was able to spend a warm Sunday afternoon making my favorite summer (or any season really) dessert – this fruit tart – for a game night with family and friends.

The beauty of this recipe is its ability to be both deceptively easy and show-stopping. It can make any amateur baker look like a professional, and can vary in difficulty depending on the variety of fruit you use. Plus this homemade version, with fresh fruit, a vanilla cream cheese filling, and a citrus glaze, is so much better than anything you will find in a grocery store.


Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cubed

Filling:

  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Fresh fruit (I chose raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and kiwi)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Glaze:

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 1 large orange (or two small ones)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat your oven to 350º F. In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, butter and flour until completely incorporated and you can form a compact ball.

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Press the crust into a buttered tart pan. I only had a deep dish tart pan so I filled the dough half way up the sides, but a shorter one would be much easier. Make sure that the crust is completely even on the base and sides, and use a sharp knife to trim the top of the edges for a cleaner presentation.

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Poke a few holes in the base of the crust and bake in the oven for approximately 15 – 20 minutes, until the crust is a pale golden color around the edges.

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While the crust cools, whisk the cream cheese, vanilla and sugar in a bowl until smooth.

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Then spread the mixture over the cooled crust with the back of a spoon until even.

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Wash your fruit and then go ahead and slice all of the pieces you plan to use. It’s much more enjoyable to have your materials ready so that you can sit down and enjoy the fun part – decorating.

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Now time to get creative! Arrange the fruit however you would like, in pretty circular patterns or stripes. My mom likes to make this tart with just raspberries, the perfect compliment for the cream cheese filling and much easier for those who don’t like the idea of decorating.

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To make the glaze, combine the citrus juices, water and sugar in a small sauce pan. Whisk over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Then add the cornstarch and whisk quickly until the cornstarch is fully incorporated. Bring the liquid to a rapid boil and then immediately remove from the heat. The glaze should be semi-thick and slightly yellow/orange in color. You can place it in the fridge or freezer to seed up the cooling process.

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Using a kitchen brush, gently coat the fruit with your cooled glaze to add the final glistening touch to this beautiful dessert.

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Serve right away or place in the fridge to eat later.

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Happy baking!

-Kirby

 

Thailand-Inspired Fresh Fruit Shakes

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In April, we treated ourselves to a graduation trip to Thailand. For two weeks, we travelled with our friend Maddy to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Koh Phi Phi, experiencing a culture that we will never forget. Three months later, we still reminisce daily about the people we met in hostels, the most incredible street food, the bustling markets, the $7 massages, the magnificent temples and the picturesque beaches. Some experiences, like the elephant sanctuary, were so impactful that they have really stayed with us back in our real non-vacationing lives. We’ve been educating our family and friends about the harm of riding elephants, something that neither of us and many other tourists don’t realize.

In the hundred degree humid weather, we found sanctuary in the small street stands on nearly every block that sold fresh fruit shakes. They were just four simple ingredients: fruit, water, ice and sugar, but they were so refreshing and flavorful, the second we finished one we were dying for another. We each had our go-to fruit (Kirby’s watermelon & Michelle’s mango) and we had about three a day, often times along with our Chang beers. It may seem almost comical to share such a simple recipe on this blog, but to keep these delicious drinks to ourselves would be outright selfish.


Ingredients & Materials:

  • 2 cups chopped fruit (your choice!)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Agave
  • Ice
  • A blender

Pick your favorite fruit to make your shake and be sure that it is ripe and in season. We opted for watermelon, pineapple and mango.

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Dice your fruit and remove seeds if necessary. You need about 2 cups of fruit per shake, though you could get away with less if you are using a richer and denser fruit like mango.

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Blend your fruit with a cup of water, a cup of ice and a tablespoon of agave.

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And that’s it!!! So simple. So good. Enjoy!

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Cheers!

-Kirby & Michelle

 

 

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

pie (13 of 17)There is nothing quite like pie for the 4th of July! When thinking about what dessert I wanted to make for this year’s celebration, I quickly settled on a summer staple in the Feagan household: strawberry rhubarb pie. It is the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and when homemade, it is so comforting and delicious. Served warm with vanilla ice cream and it is pure perfection. While apple pie is the typical American staple, I thought this recipe would fly for the holiday as long as I dressed it up a little for the festivities.

I hope everyone’s holiday is filled with friends and family, BBQs, parades, fireworks and sunshine. And for our non-American followers, this pie tastes good on any continent! 😉

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Ingredients & Materials:

  • Two pie crusts (I like this recipe)
  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 3 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 9-inch pie pan
  • vanilla ice cream (optional)

Dice your rhubarb and strawberries into approximately 1/4 inch pieces.

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Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated into the fruit juices, then set aside.

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Roll out your first pie crust on a floured surface and gently place in a greased pie pan.

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Trim the edges so that they just slightly extend past the pan edge.

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Pour your filling into the pie. Don’t worry if you don’t use all of the filling, you don’t want the pie to overflow. I always use all of the fruit but then pour in part of the liquid until the pie is full.

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Place the pie in the refrigerator to chill while you roll out the second pie crust. Use a sharp knife to cut your crust into inch-wide strips (you can use a ruler if you want to be more precise).

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Cut your butter into small chunks and evenly disperse them across the surface of your pie filling. Then use the strips to make your lattice. I like to lay half of the strips one way first.

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Then weave the remaining strips going the other direction. Trim the edges and press them down once the lattice is in place. Finish the crust by brushing whisked egg yolk over the surface and sprinkling with sugar. That will give it a nice shiny golden brown color and a sweet sugary crunch.

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Preheat the oven to 375º F and place the uncooked pie back in the fridge until your oven is fully heated. Once the oven is hot, bake your pie for approximately an hour and a half. Once the top and the edges begin to brown, cover the pie with foil so that it doesn’t burn as it continues to bake.

 

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Allow the pie to cool slightly before serving, and don’t forget the ice cream!

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Happy 4th of July!

-Kirby

Homemade Raspberry Jam

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Summer is coming! We honestly could not be more excited. With summer comes berries and with berries come all our favorite berry recipes — ice cream (if you haven’t seen last week’s post on homemade blackberry vanilla bean ice cream, definitely check it out), pies, and of course, berry jam! This week, we decided to share our favorite homemade raspberry jam recipe with you all. From morning breakfasts with toast, brunch with croissants and brie, or tea with scones, this jam is a staple item in our diets.

Whether you want to add a little something extra to your meals at home or you need the perfect summer gift for your friends, this jam is your answer. It’s surprisingly easy to make your own jams at home and delightfully better than anything you can buy at your local grocery store – guaranteed!


Ingredients/Materials:

  • 1 lb raspberries
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ladle
  • Candy thermometer
  • 5 8oz. mason jars
  • Twine
  • Labels

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Wash your berries well before you begin.

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Combine sugar, raspberries, and lemon juice into a large saucepan over high heat.

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Stir continuously until mixture is brought to a boil.

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Insert a candy thermometer and keep stirring and skimming foam from the surface (as needed) until the mixture reaches 221˚F.

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To test if the mixture is ready the be jarred, scoop a small amount into a bowl and place into the freezer for 3 minutes. If the jam has a gelatinous consistency when taken out, you’re ready to proceed.

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Using a ladle, transfer the jam from the saucepan into the mason jars. Seal and place in the fridge for 12-24 hours for best results. If you are gifting the jam and want to add an extra touch, create labels and attach to the jar with twine. Enjoy!

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** Note: in the interest of time, we did not go through the canning process. This process is not necessary unless you plan on storing the jam over a period of months.**

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Happy jamming!

– Kirby and Michelle

 

 

 

My Mom’s Deviled Eggs Recipe

Deviled eggs LA (20 of 22)Deviled eggs were one of those foods that as a kid, I decided I hated (despite trying them), and very adamantly stuck to that decision. I thought they were so gross, and I never understood why everyone flocked to them at family gatherings, gobbling down one after the other. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I was working in a restaurant and I had to taste everything on the menu, that I tried my first deviled egg. And I fell in love. Silly child me.

Although a bit fiddly, they are so simple to make, and everyone somehow has their own version of the recipe. In my family, my mom makes the most amazing deviled eggs and everyone knows it. They are a bit tangier and spicier than most – just the way I like them. A few weeks ago my boyfriend Alex and I (and our dog Lola) drove to Santa Fe to visit my mom. We had the most incredible visit filled with delicious food, cozy movie nights, and board games on the patio by the fire. It was perfect. I took advantage of the trip to get her famous deviled eggs recipe to share with you all. They go great with margaritas 😉

Happy belated Mother’s Day to my incredible mother Jody, the strongest, most inspiring woman I know.

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Ingredients: (yields 24 deviled eggs)

  • A dozen eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons mayonaise
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard or dijon mustard
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sieve
  • Piping bag or plastic ziplock bag
  • Star shaped piping tip

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Fill medium pot half way with water and bring to a boil. While the water heats, prepare an ice bath in a casserole dish or large bowl. Gently place the eggs into the boiling water and allow to cook for 11 minutes. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon

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Place the cooked eggs into the ice bath and leave them there until they are completely cool.

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Gently peel away the shells, careful not to peel away and of the egg whites. Discard the shells and rinse the peeled eggs so that no remaining shell bits are stuck to the outside.

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Cut each egg in half.

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Carefully pop the yolks out of the egg whites and place them in their own bowls.

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Mix all of the ingredients except the salt, pepper and hot sauce in with the yolks. Throughly mash with a fork to get rid of any lumps. Spoon the mixture into a sieve. Using the back of a spoon or your clean hands, press the yolk mixture into the sieve and into a bowl beneath it. This will give you a perfectly creamy consistency. And yes, I now realize I need to buy a new sieve.

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The mixture should be smooth and lump-free. Now you can add the salt, pepper and hot sauce to your liking. You can adjust the recipe at this point to however you like it. If you prefer it a little tangier, add more vinegar and mustard. If you want it creamier, add butter or mayo.

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Once the filling is exactly how you like it, spoon it into a piping bag or plastic ziplock fitted with a star shaped tip. Pipe the eggs full of mixture. Don’t be afraid of using too much because you won’t run out – remember you’ve added a bunch of stuff to the yolks!

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Finish by garnishing with paprika and/or dill.

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Serve with cornichons on the side. Margaritas are optional – but highly recommended.

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Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

-Kirby

Sugar Cookies & Royal Icing

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We love to bake, which might be obvious considering this blog. And by bake we mostly mean decorate. While our families might argue that eating our sweets is the best part, we love coming up with creative ways to decorate desserts for specific holidays, seasons, or celebrations.

Sugar cookies with royal icing are a staple in our lives. We make a batch at least once a month. Though simple in flavor, their decorating possibilities are endless. This cookie recipe holds its shape so well, unlike many recipes we’ve fiddled with in the past that turn into formless blobs once baked. Once we discovered this one, we haven’t gone back. Pair them with royal icing and your design possibilities are endless.


Sugar Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Once smooth, beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until the dough is formed. Don’t be afraid to use your hands. If it feels too sticky, add a little more flour.

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Wrap the dough in wax paper or plastic and chill for at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 400 ºF (204 ºC). Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cut the shapes that you want and then using a spatula, carefully place the cut outs onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving an inch between the cookies.

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Now the next step may seem pointless, but it is THE #1 SECRET to perfect cut out cookies. Place your sheets in the fridge for a few minutes before baking. Once the sheet is cool and the cookie dough is cold to the touch, remove them and immediately place them in the oven. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the edges are barely brown. The extra few minutes of refrigeration is the key to keeping the shapes that you so carefully cut out.

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Cool your cookies on a cooling rack and then onto the fun part – decorating!


Royal Icing Ingredients 

  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Sift the powdered sugar and cream of tartar together, then set aside. Beat the egg whites until frothy. Pour them into the powdered sugar mixer and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until the icing forms stiff peaks.

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Divide the icing in half. Leave one half as it is, the thick icing is what you want to use to make outlines and details.

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Add a tiny bit of water to the other half until it is smooth and slowly pours from a spoon. It is always better to add too little water than too much! The runny icing is what you will use to flood your cookies. From here you can mix the colors that you plan to use and distribute them into your piping bags.

 

Happy  baking!

Michelle & Kirby