Sarabeth Levine - Goddess of Bakedom
 
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CATEGORY: At the Bakery

 

END OF SUMMER "FRUIT FANTASY" MARMALADE

 

IMG_2705.JPG fig MARMALADE

Summer season is coming to a close and the local berries are at their peak.  I cooked this 12 jar batch at my bakery in the Chelsea Market today. Once they cool, I am going to sell them at the counter. If you happen to be lucky enough to snag one, hooray! In preparation for my new book, pub date Fall 2014, I have been making all sorts of "quick jams". This deliciousness is composed of my favorite seasonal fruit— figs (grown in Brooklyn) and local blackberries (from the East End). To those, I added Valencia juice oranges and a touch of fresh pineapple and— there you have it, "End of Summer Fruit Fantasy Marmalade".


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MORNING COOKIES

 

IMG_1073.jpg oatmeal cookies

These Morning Cookies are beautiful and remind me of jewelry designer, Ted Muehling's, Queen Anne's Lace Earrings. If only I could transform them into a pair of his extraordinary baubles. Goddess, where are your powers?  

 

 

I love the light  almost lacy texture of these cookies. They are less fragile than lace cookies and as long as they are kept in an airtight container, will stay crisp and snappy forever—which is exactly how I like them. 
Now for some cookie talk and the recipe.


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SARABETH'S NEW SPREADABLE FRUIT-STRAWBERRY KIWI GINGER

 

IMG_1371.JPG Strawberry Kiwi

Introducing the newest addition to our product line of Spreadable Fruits— Strawberry Kiwi Ginger— it's on the shelves and to say the least, I am thrilled over the taste and color. You all know it takes time to develop good recipes and I am definitely not someone who just pops out a perfect recipe on the first go around. Our kettles are very large and a single product run can range from 600 to 900 jars at a time, depending on the flavor and the types of fruit we are using. Combining fruits is not random, it is a carefully thought out process. It is not just about the taste, its about the chemistry and how fruits interact and react with one another. I do not use pectin to thicken my jams. I depend on the amount of acidity in the fruit combined with the right amount of sugar, as well as the natural pectin present. This varies depending on which fruits your are cooking. When everything is in balance you will get a perfect gel. And believe me, this can be pretty tricky. This combination of strawberries and kiwi is a great marriage—and the crystallized ginger takes it to the next level with its signature little bite. I eat it on our sourdough bread with a smear of soft butter. Come visit me at the bakery and I will give you a taste!


SUPER BOWL BREAD PUDDING

 

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I love being in our bakery. In fact, I find it difficult to leave at the end of each day, especially when the bread puddings are just out of the oven and cooling on the rack.  I think these are the most decadently-delicious, magically- beautiful desserts I have ever eaten. For me, it is all about the crme anglaise— I have been known to sip it straight from the bowl, or seen pouring some over a slice of chocolate cake, and always churning it into my favorite ice cream. What you will need to make this winning dessert, is good quality bread, crème anglaise and some raspberries. Don't think of these as dinner parties desserts only— you can surprise everyone at your Super Bowl Party next week. If you think the ball game will put your friends over the edge—screaming for joy over the score, wait until you hear the wows, groans, and sighs while they devour the 'gold team line-up' in the photo above. You will be the one with the winning score. Here is the recipe from my cookbook, Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours.

  


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COOKIES FROM SCRAPS AKA "SCROOKIES"

 

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Recently, while working in the bakery, I noticed a pile of tart dough scraps on the marble work bench. The bakers had just finished lining small tart pans with dough. We make lots of tart shells, the scraps were plentiful, and they were just about to clean the bench and discard them.  Our dough is rolled out twice, as over handling activates the gluten and makes the tarts tough. Unfortunately, some dough is discarded. We try to minimize the waste by cutting the dough circles very close to one another. That morning, the thought of throwing out the delicious pile of perfectly good scraps, tugged at my heart strings. I just couldn't bear to waste all that dough and l quickly grabbed the scraps. I did not rework them, instead, using a pastry wheel, I cut the dough into  smaller pieces and mixed a few handfuls of our muffin streusel into the dough, wondering what they would be like if they were distributed through out the dough. Next, using a 2 1/2-inch-diameter plain cookie cutter as a mold, I pressed a 1/3-inch layer of the mixture into the cutter to form a round shape and then I removed the cutter. I had enough dough to make several dozen cookies. After chilling them 30 minutes, I finished them off with sprinkling sugar and a touch of coarse sea salt. If you like roasted cashews, chop a few and put them in with the mix. Omit the salt if you use salted cashews. Pop them in a 350°F. oven and bake them until golden brown, about 18 minutes. They were really terrific. Having the streusel crumbs through out the entire cookie, and the fact that you can break small little pieces of the cookie off like a puzzle piece, and pop them in your mouth makes them fun to eat.  Tart or cookie? If you serve them with ice-cream on top—a tart. If you eat them as they are—a cookie. Break them up and fold them in your favorite ice cream, heavenly—I call them Scrookies.


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THANKSGIVING RUSTIC APPLE PIE

 

This is the time of year that we make 1000 pies. You have no idea what it's like to make 1000 hand-made pies in one day! I only bake three varieties—Pumpkin, Apple and Pecan—otherwise it would get too crazy. We prepare all the pie dough about a week before so it can mature and the gluten can relax in our walk-in freezer. Today we will make the Pumpkin and Pecan fillings and they will chill in the refrigerator until very early tomorrow morning when the pies are filled and the oven madness begins. Twenty-five cases of fresh apples will arrive this morning and we will  peel and slice them tonight. Early tomorrow morning the apples will be seasoned in small batches and the unbaked shells will be filled, shaped and topped with our delicious streusel. Each pie is handcrafted, just the way you would make them at home. This is an  easy single-crusted covered pie— kind of resembles a big dumpling. You can make your own in your favorite pie dish, with my recipe that I posted recently in full detail —and here it is again. Or, if you have my book, open it to page 180  Oh, by the way, the recipe for my creamy Pumpkin Pie is also in my book.  

apple pieIMG_0576.JPG

               This is what it looks like UNBAKED and then...

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                                                               BAKED

If you don't have time to make your own, let us bake one for you. This pie won the Macy's Best Apple Pie Bake-Off this year. Available at the bakery and by special order and can be picked up at all of our Sarabeth's restaurants. Sarabeth's Bakery, 75 9th Avenue, NYC. It is best to order in advance, so give us a call 212-989-2424. Don't forget to buy a jar of my Cranberry Relish to go with your Thanksgiving Turkey. If you stop by, please wave at me through our glass window and I will wave back.   HAPPY THANKSGIVING


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MONET BUTTERY SHORTBREAD FOR THE ROYAL WEDDING

 

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I adore the French Impressionist painters as much as I do a perfect butter cookie. These shortbreads allow me to experience the thrill of both. Inspired by the unmistakable style of Claude Monet, I decorate my cookies with a painterly technique. It is easy to forget that one is baking as you dab and brush these cookies with pastel colored edible petal dust. If you have a chance to visit Paris, it is definitely worth the hour train ride to Giverny to see the glorious gardens that inspired Monet's masterpieces —and these cookies can become treasures to enjoy at your very own Royal Wedding. They are easy enough for a child to make, so grab your brushes and follow me...
 


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PHOTO-OP AT THE BAKERY

 

SOMETIMES I JUST WALK AROUND THE BAKERY WITH MY CAMERA CAPTURING THE EVENTS OF THE MOMENT. THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF THE BAKING PROCESS ARE EXTREMELY FASCINATING AND I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A NICE CHANGE TO SHARE THE VISUAL WITHOUT THE DISTRACTION OF A RECIPE. I AM EXCITED TO TELL YOU THAT I WILL BE STARTING PHOTOGRAPHY LESSONS NEXT WEEK.

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                 TENDER AND BEAUTIFUL DETREMPE (DOUGH)
                        WAITING FOR THE BEURRAGE (BUTTER)

           

            

                      


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A LESSON ON DECORATING COOKIES WITH TEMPERED CHOCOLATE

 

I love cookies and adore making them. Most of all I love to eat them. For me, the perfect cookie is always crispy, very buttery, not too sweet, has a hint of salt, and lots of vanilla flavor.  When Christmas rolls around gingerbread cookies take center stage at the bakery. 

 gingerbreadIMG_3422.JPG My cookies are very crisp and have a real snap when you bite into them, not to mention the right amount of ginger flavor. I always decorate these cookies with chocolate as I am not a lover of royal icing and food coloring. These ginger tree cookies are dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with small silver candy balls (dragees). The important thing to know is that you must temper the chocolate. You can use this technique for decorating your own favorite cookie recipes. 

 

 


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O, CHRISTMAS TREE

 

turnover.JPGYesterday morning began like any other day. I arrived at the bakery and passed through the retail area, said good morning to the girls at the counter and whipped around the bend into the bakery kitchen. The production room was bustling with activity and my mind was whirring with thoughts of  chocolate dipped Christmas cookies and getting  ready to make the stollen. 


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