Tag Archives: Kim Boyce

Asparagus Ricotta Galette

BakedOnce local asparagus shows up, you know that flip flops and a chilled glass of rosé can’t be too far behind. This tart is a splendid way to showcase asparagus, Post-Asparagus Stinky-Urine Disorder, be damned.one sliceMild, milky ricotta is the ideal partner for asparagus. They complement each other perfectly. Ricotta can be a bit bland, so I added  lemon zest, lemon juice and red pepper flakes to ramp up the flavour. Some grated Gruyere cheese and a beaten egg add some heft to the filling.

For the dough, I decided to use Kim Boyce’s Rustic Rye Dough, from her book Good to the Grain. The hearty rye dough stands up quite well against asparagus’ strong flavour.

This dough takes a bit of time and needs several hours to chill. If you don’t have the time or the inclination, I think that this tart would still be very delicious using my go-to simple Galette Dough.making rye dough 1Rye flour, all purpose flour sugar and salt are sifted. Cold butter is worked in with your hands. Ice water and cider vinegar bring it all together.making rye dough 2Once the dough comes together, let it rest in the fridge for about an hour, then roll it into a rectangle, and fold the rectangle into thirds, like a letter. This is similar to the process of making puff pastry. The dough gets rolled and folded two more times and is then chilled for an additional hour. You can make the dough and the filling components a day ahead and then just assemble and bake before you are ready to eat. making rye dough 3making rye dough 4I decided to roll the dough into a rectangular shaped tart, but feel free to to roll it into a circle. I have a strong aesthetic sense and I prefer the linear way the asparagus line up in a rectangular tart.

To punch up the flavour profile even more, I spread the tart with a pistachio pesto (recipe from Anna Jones’ A Modern Way to Cook.)  Whole grain dijon mustard or a jarred basil pesto would  be good substitutes.Spreading pistachio pestoSpreading ricotta fillingThe border of the tart just gets folded over the filling. No need to be too precise or precious about it. It’s supposed to be rustic. galette ready for ovengalette cut upThis would be great as a light lunch or dinner, or cut up into smaller squares and served for aperitivo with a freezing cold glass of Prosecco, on the dock. (I have big plans for this tart!)3 plates

Click here to print recipe for Aspsaragus and Ricotta Galette.

Click here to print recipe for Rustic Rye Dough or here to print recipe for Galette Dough.

galette with a glass of wine

Maple Oat Waffles

waffles on red plates 2Don’t know what the weather’s like in your neck of the woods, but here in Ottawa we’ve been  under siege. Earlier this week we set a one-day-record for snowfall with over 50 centimetres (that’s almost 20 inches) burying the city. The old record of 41 centimetres was set in 1947. Whoopee for us!

Perfect time to cocoon, binge watch Netflix and make oat and maple waffles. I finished off all five seasons of Friday Night Lights in a few short weeks and I’m having Tim Riggins withdrawal. My husband can’t believe that after watching all those episodes, I still don’t understand football.

We started watching House of Cards, but my husband doesn’t understand the concept of binge watching. He restricts us to one episode a night. The man has incredible self-control. I decided to see if I could break down his will power with waffles. what you needThese waffles are the creation of whole grains maven Kim Boyce. Her 2011 book “Good to the Grain” is a veritable whole grains baking bible. Kim and co-author Amy Scattergood go beyond just substituting whole grains for all-purpose flour. They delve into 12 different whole grain flours and teach us what each one has to offer. I love that they are not whole grain militants. Many of the recipes have some all-purpose flour in the mix, because the lightness that you get from AP flour is sometimes necessary for superior taste. And first and foremost this book is focused on good taste!

Start with sifting the oat flour, oat bran and all purpose flour. sifting dry ingredientsThe batter is sweetened with maple syrup. They are light and fluffy, thanks to beaten egg whites.folding in egg whitesMake sure you preheat the waffle iron to high and brush on lots of butter. buttering waffle ironpouring batterWe topped ours with a fried egg, because everything tastes better with a fried egg on top! This is one food trend I am happy to follow.oat and maple waffle topped with fried eggbreak the yolk

Click here to print recipe for Maple Oat Waffles.

a bite taken

Peach Pie with Spelt Crust

I finally paid off a debt that had been owing for almost 27 years. I know how terrible that sounds. But let me explain. You see, I owed my husband a peach pie, well 4 peach pies if we’re going to be accurate. In the summer of 1984, I accidentally left the door of our freezer slightly ajar.  It was not until several days later that I discovered what I had done. Aside from having to throw out several hundred dollars worth of kosher meat and some mushy peas, it was not really that big a deal, in the overall scheme of life’s big tragedies.  Until I realized, that at the bottom of that freezer chest were the last peach pies my late mother-in-law had baked for my husband.  In the summer of 1983, she had baked him 12 peach pies, to be frozen and enjoyed over the long winter.  Unfortunately, she became ill and passed away in March of 1984.  At that time we still had 4 peach pies left in the freezer.  My husband could not bring himself to eat those last pies. They were to live in our freezer in perpetuity, sort of a frozen tribute to his mom.

I felt terrible and baked some peach pies right away to make up for the horrible mistake I made. He ate the pies but not with great joy. He smiled, said they were good, but I could tell that they just didn’t measure up to hims mom’s pies. Eventually I gave up because her damn pies grew more incredible with each passing year and I knew I could never bake anything to that would live up to that sainted memory.

I baked crisps, crumbles, grunts, cookies,biscotti, brownies, blondies, cakes, tarts, galettes, scones, hamentashen, rugelach, macarons and 43 kinds of bread, but never another peach pie… until this week, that is. I guess at some deep subconscious level, I still felt guilty about it. Plus, I wanted to show him how much I appreciate him. I mean, how many husbands take the time and care to roll towels for the bathroom like this? Plus, he has the fine motor skills of a surgeon and untangles my necklaces in 2 seconds flat. He always reads the instruction manuals and just last week he figured out how to get the new tamper proof cap off my toothpaste. How could I not bake this awesome guy a peach pie?

Peaches were at their early fall glory this week at our market.


I decided not to use his mom’s recipe but made a spelt crust instead, from Kim Boyce’s “Good to the Grain”. This dough uses a combination of all-purpose and spelt flours. The spelt flour adds a creamy colour and a nutty flavour to the dough. Kim uses a method known as fraisage to ensure a flaky crust. Kim explains how it works, “…you smear pea-sized pieces of fat into the flour to create alternating layers of dough and fat. During baking, the fat melts, creating steam that lifts up the layers of dough, creating a very flaky pastry.”

The peaches do need to be peeled, which adds an extra step, but is not difficult. An “X” is cut into the bottom of each peach and then they are slipped into boiling water for about 30 seconds. The skin slips off very easily after this.

The peaches are macerated with sugar for about half an hour and then the juices are strained off. I mixed in about 1/4 cup of Minute Tapioca for thickening, a tip I learned about from Cook’s Illustrated. Minute Tapioca is virtually flavorless, readily dissolves into the fruit’s exuded juices, and has a neutral texture, exhibiting none of the pastiness of flour or cornstarch. It can be found in the baking section of the supermarket.

After the top crust goes on, Kim recommends a 45 minute rest in the freezer (for the pie, not you!) to chill the dough and prevent shrinkage. Then the pie gets egg washed and sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar.

After an hour in the oven, this emerges.

The pie was met with much joy! The gesture was greatly appreciated and if he compared it to his mom’s pie, I certainly didn’t hear it, as his mouth was too full of pie.  Flaky crust, just a bit nutty from the addition of spelt flour and juicy filling, dripping down your chin, just like when you eat a really ripe peach. Really all you could ask for in a peach pie. I think my debt has been finally paid off. What will I feel guilty about now?

Click here to print the recipe for Peach Pie.

Rye Galette

When I started this blog over two years ago, I never imagined that it would be read by college and university students. Yet, somehow, I seem to have garnered a following among the 20 something crowd. It started with the daughters of my friends. One young woman, my god-daughter, has set my blog as her home page and was worried about me when I went 10 days without blogging.  She actually called her mom to ask if everything was ok with me . How sweet is that?

Then it grew to include my daughter’s friends. She was quite proud of her mom and told her friends about my blog. I am sure they checked it out, just to be polite, because they are such nice young women!

However, I think they kept returning to the blog because they loved to read stories about my daughter and then tease and embarrass her. This was when they were in high school. Over the past 2 years they have moved onto university and have just recently moved out of residence and into their own apartments. Now they are interested in cooking, so they read the blog for recipes. And they have told their friends about it. So a big shout out to all my girls at McGill, Queens, Emerson and Ryerson!

My daughter’s best friend, spent many hours at our home when they were in high school. She loved eating at our house, especially when I made peanut butter bark, as her brother has a peanut allergy, so she couldn’t have it at home. Once she moved into her own apartment, she began asking me for recipes. She has turned out to be a wonderful cook (one minor mishap with vegetarian chili – but we won’t talk about that). She became obsessed with my galettes (free form tarts) and in May she made a Roasted Tomato and Gruyère Galette for her mom for Mother’s day and told me it was one of her proudest moments! It makes me so happy to see the next generation taking an interest in cooking and baking.

My sons, by the way, do not tell anyone their mother is a blogger. The oldest, probably for fear that his friends will read something humiliating about him, and the youngest because he can’t imagine his mother has time for anything but him!

Flushed with success at my recent venture into whole grains baking, I decided to try Kim Boyce’s Rustic Rye Dough and create a galette with that. In her book, “Good to the Grain”, Kim gives a lyrical description of this dough.

“The method for making this dough is similar to that for a rough puff pastry, a method I learned while working with Sherry Yard at Spago. It calls for letting a rough dough, made from chunks of butter and moist clumps of flour, rest in the refrigerator to give the gluten time to relax and the flour time to absorb the water. After an hour, the dough is rolled and folded a few times to create long “laminated” layers of butter throughout the dough, which give it its flakiness.”

Of course I waited to make the galette until my daughter’s galette obsessed friend was coming for a visit to the cottage. I filled the tart with spinach, corn, Asiago and provolone cheese and sliced tomatoes. The nutty flavour of the rye dough was perfect with that filling. Now of course my daughter’s friend wants to know how to make this, so here is a step by step tutorial, with video, to help her on her way.

Click here to print the recipe for Rustic Rye Dough .

Click here to print recipe for Asiago, Spinach, Corn and Tomato Galette