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3 Delicious Holiday Baking Recipes

My Tennessee grandmother was famous for her delicious Southern pecan pie, and I've added chocolate and updated her recipe using less sugar. I also used walnuts, as pecans are difficult to find in Germany. However, both walnuts and pecans work well in this recipe and if you prefer a thicker filling, you can use a smaller pie pan too. Enjoy! 

My Tennessee grandmother was famous for her delicious Southern pecan pie, and I've added chocolate and updated her recipe using less sugar. I also used walnuts, as pecans are difficult to find in Germany. However, both walnuts and pecans work well in this recipe and if you prefer a thicker filling, you can use a smaller pie pan too. Enjoy! 

Tennessee Walnut Chocolate Pie

Grandma's Butter Crust Pastry

1 cup flour + more to roll out
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
2 Tbsp. / 30 g cold butter
1/4-1/2 cup cold milk

Walnut Chocolate Filling

4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup / 140 g brown or fine raw sugar
1/2 cup / 125 ml maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. whiskey or rum
3 Tbsp. melted butter, cooled
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups chopped walnuts (or pecans)
4 oz. / 100 g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
whipped cream or ice cream for serving, if desired

Preheat oven to 350ºF / 175ºC and prepare a 10“ / 26 cm pie/tart/quiche pan.

To make pastry, mix flour, salt, and sugar together, then rub in cold butter until mixture resembles course meal. Stir in milk slowly with a fork, just enough for dough to form a soft ball. 

Turn out pastry dough onto a floured surface, and roll out to a thin circle large enough to cover pie or tart pan. Fold dough into quarters, transfer gently to pie pan and unfold. Trim crust as needed to fit pan.

Prick dough with a fork all over and pre-bake crust slightly for about 6-7 minutes. If any bubbles appear in dough, simply prick and press down with a fork. Let cool.

Meanwhile, prepare Walnut Chocolate Filling. Mix together eggs, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, whiskey, melted butter, and salt until smooth. Gradually sprinkle in flour and cocoa powder, stirring well to prevent lumps. When mixture is smooth, add chopped nuts and chocolate.

Pour walnut chocolate filling into cooled pie crust. Place tart in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until puffed and golden.

This is especially wonderful when served slightly warm with a dollop of whipped or vanilla ice cream. Greetings from Tennessee!

This simple open-faced apple tart is easy to make, very yummy, and it's beautiful to look at too. Serve warm and you and your guests will be happy! 

This simple open-faced apple tart is easy to make, very yummy, and it's beautiful to look at too. Serve warm and you and your guests will be happy! 

Apple Cinnamon Creme Fraiche Tart

Pastry: 

2 cups / 250 g flour
1/2 cup / 125 g cold butter
1 egg yolk
6-7 Tbsp. ice water, as needed

Topping:

1/2 cup (125 g) creme fraiche or sour cream
4-5 tart apples (like Granny Smith), peeled + sliced + tossed in the juice of one lemon to prevent browning
3 Tbsp. brown or raw sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. finely chopped almonds or walnuts (optional)

To make pastry: Combine all ingredients to make a smooth dough, adding water as needed, then wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. Meanwhile, you could peel and slice your apples...

Roll out the dough as thinly as possible into a large free form rectangle. I generally roll out this dough directly onto my baking paper, so that there is no need to transfer the dough. 

Spread the creme fraiche or sour cream over the dough, then top with apples in a nice pattern.

Mix together sugar + cinnamon, then sprinkle evenly over the apples. Scatter over chopped almonds or walnuts, if you'd like.

Bake at 375ºF/190ºC for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown and apples are tender. Serve warm + this tart will disappear fast. 

These fresh cranberry scones are one of our favorite breakfast treats on the weekends or holidays. Lovely served hot, right out of the oven with a pat of butter or cream cheese :)

These fresh cranberry scones are one of our favorite breakfast treats on the weekends or holidays. Lovely served hot, right out of the oven with a pat of butter or cream cheese :)

Quick Cranberry Scones

3 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 egg
about 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400ºF / 200ºC. Grease or line a large baking sheet. 

Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture using fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gently mix in cranberries very carefully. Break egg into a measuring cup for liquids and beat well. Add enough milk to egg to make 3/4 cup, and stir well to blend with egg. 

Add milk/egg mixture to dry ingredients; mix gently until particles cling together. Mixture will be very crumbly. Form a ball of dough and divide into two parts. With floured hands, form into 2 balls of dough and place onto the baking sheet. Press each ball of dough into a 6 inch circle (about 3/4 inch / 2 cm high). Using a sharp knife, cut each circle into 6 wedges, and pull apart to separate wedges, leaving at least 1/2 inch between them (dough will expand while baking). 

Brush tops with milk, and sprinkle with a bit of sugar if desired.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve hot with butter and enjoy!

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Happy holiday baking + warm greetings from Berlin,

Stephanie