This is as close as I can get to having a commercial bakery in my own home.
Reading, Pa. (PRWEB) December 09, 2015
Kathy Wakile, star of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey” has not only chosen the BlueStar® Platinum range and commercial style Electric Wall Ovens to be the showpieces in the kitchen of her newly-built New Jersey home, but the gas range also graces the cover of her cookbook, Indulge: Delicious Little Desserts That Keep Life Sweet.
Speaking of keeping life sweet, when Wakile is cooking for her family, her BlueStar® helps her achieve the results she wants. Wakile’s kitchen in her new home includes a BlueStar® Platinum series range in an Infused Copper color with custom copper trim and knobs. With 25,000 BTUs of power, an innovative PowR™ Oven, precision controls and an interchangeable griddle/charbroiler system and a choice of 750+ different color options and trims, the range offers the ultimate in flexibility.
And, since she is a baker at heart and constantly trying out new recipes and perfecting others, Wakile installed two matching Electric Wall Ovens, also from BlueStar. With room for a full commercial-sized baking sheet, 12 cooking modes with convection and a 2,500-watt bake element, Wakile can shift gears from cannoli making for her business to cooking for her family. A professional-style baking stone comes standard with every BlueStar® electric wall oven. The built-in, artisan baking stone is equipped with a precise temperature probe that delivers restaurant-quality results every time.
“This is as close as I can get to having a commercial bakery in my own home,” said Wakile. “The 2,500 watt bake is so powerful, and it has an extra large oven with true European convection. I love that both my BlueStar range and the eclectic wall ovens can each handle a full-size 18” x 26” baking sheet—just lets me indulge myself and my family and friends even more.”
In addition to her cookbook, Wakile is bringing a very personal dessert to holiday tables this year, via the BlueStar #HolidayTableTalk Blog.
“Growing up in Italian-American household, nothing reminded me more of the holiday feast than dried fruits and nuts,” said Wakile. “When my husband and I got engaged, my father presented my future Lebanese in-laws with a huge basket of his best fig harvest from our backyard. It was an immediate connection, the common fruit of the Mediterranean - this recipe is a tribute to that beautiful day,” she said.
Wakile’s Figs in Baskets showcases the fig while it is enclosed in a buttery crust and dusted with sugar. See Kathy Wakile Recipe, below.
“Figs are earthy, rich, and dense — overly so if the balance isn’t right. At the same time, you don’t want too much crust, either. These little goodies have just the right amount of each. A perfect two-bite treat — great with my Indulge specialty coffees,” she said.
Get more #holidaytabletalk recipe ideas from Kathy Wakile and BlueStar’s All Star Chefs on the BlueStar blog. Visit throughout the holiday season for tasty treats and culinary inspirations.
From the best-selling Platinum Series to the newly re-designed RNB, BlueStar ranges are unequaled in both performance and customization options. Create a complete look in the kitchen with a matching BlueStar hood. Handcrafted in Reading, PA since 1880, BlueStar® cooking products are designed for discerning home chefs who demand restaurant-quality results in their own kitchens. The BlueStar® product line features high-performance gas ranges, cooktops, wall ovens and hoods. BlueStar’s unique performance features include an open gas burner system that produces up to 25,000 BTUs of cooking power, precise 130 degree simmer burners, and oversized convection ovens with professional-grade infrared broilers. Available in over 750+ colors and finishes, and with almost infinite configuration possibilities, BlueStar® premium cooking products offer virtually unlimited personalization options. For more information, please visit http://www.bluestarcooking.com.
Kathy Wakile’s Figs in Baskets
1 cup soft dried figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2⁄3 cup water
1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice
1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3⁄4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, optional
1 recipe Rustica Pastry (See BlueStarCooking.com)
1 egg white (reserved from making pastry), for brushing
Coarse sugar, for dusting
To make the filling, combine the figs, orange juice, sugar, and 2/3 cup water in a medium heavy-bottom saucepan and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the figs soften, 10 to 15 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly, then pour it into the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until finely chopped (do not purée). (At this point, the fig mixture can be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.) Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the butter, eggs, vanilla, and walnuts. Mix well.
Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack positioned in the center. Lightly coat the baking pans with nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil from an oil mister.
To form the pastry baskets, on a smooth, lightly floured work surface roll out 1 disk of dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to a thickness of J inch. Use a 3½-inch cutter to cut 12 rounds, rerolling scraps as needed to make all 12 rounds. Carefully transfer each round to the baking pan, using a pastry tamper or your fingertips to neatly mold each circle into the pan. Use scissors or a small sharp knife to cut away any excess dough. If the dough tears when you are fitting it into the pan, no worries. You can easily patch it back together; it will hold and not show. (Gather up the dough scraps, pat together, wrap tightly, and reserve in the refrigerator; you will use it for the basket weave tops.) Repeat the process to make 12 more rounds, gathering up the dough scraps and adding to the packet of reserved dough in the refrigerator. Transfer the pans to the refrigerator to keep the dough cool while you roll and cut the strips for the basket weave tops.
To cut the dough for the basket weave tops, roll out the reserved trimmings into a large rectangle about 6 inches across and about 12 inches long, with an even thickness of 1-inch. Then use a knife, pastry cutter, or pizza wheel (and a ruler or straight edge if you like) to cut the rectangle in half crosswise and into thirds lengthwise.
This will give you 6 rectangles of dough. Cut each rectangle crosswise into 16 strips each, about ¼ inch wide and 4 inches long. Scoop about ¼ cup of fig filling into the chilled pastry shells (I like to use a mini scoop to keep things neat).
To weave the lattice tops, lay 2 strips parallel across each tartlet, spacing evenly. Lay a third pastry strip across the middle of the tartlet, perpendicular to the first strips.
Weave it over and under the first two strips, then add a fourth strip and weave it in the opposite direction. Fold back the rim of the shell over the edge of the lattice strips and crimp to secure.
Whisk together the egg white and 1 tablespoon water. Lightly brush the egg wash onto the tops of the pastries. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn light golden brown and the fig filling is bubbly. Rotate the pans halfway through baking time.
Set the pans on wire racks and cool to room temperature. Use a small spatula or a fork to carefully ease the pies out of the pans.
Serve at room temperature. Shortcut: Use store-bought puff pastry, premade pie dough, or shallow premade pastry shells.