If you happen to subscribe to The Philadelphia Inquirer, head to the Food section today for my feature on cooking with tea that includes three fall inspired recipes (while I always prefer print- you can also find the digital version right here).
And as a bonus, I have shared an alternate Pear Galette recipe that is infused with Ruby Oolong Tea. You will find a similar recipe for the Pear Galette incorporating Earl Grey tea in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Keep in mind that with each tea the steep time and quantity of leaves will vary....all discussed in the article. The Ruby Oolong tea plays hide and seek in the recipe, as it inconspicuously mingles in the crust with a quiet earthy nature. And then it shouts its whereabouts in the whipped cream, adding a noticeable roasted oolong depth to an often one-note creamy creation. And if you're waiting to head home to greet the paper, I hope that these brief introductions below excite your taste buds in anticipation. How do you cook with tea?
Hojicha is a roasted Japanese green tea with flavors reminiscent of toasted barley, sesame and amber caramel. The nutty earthy notes of this tea enhance the roasted nature of this dish, while balancing creamy butter, savory miso paste and sweet honey. Make a double batch and save half to use on toast for an afternoon tea treat (with a steeped cup of hojicha, of course). Note that tea butters are a wonderful way to begin your steeped journey with a variety of teas-(think of all of the delicious possibilities beyond toast: melted over popcorn, as a base for roasted vegetables, etc. Or opt for a sweet and spicy route with a masala chai butter with a bit more honey added in).
Lapsang Souchong Smoked Black Tea Turmeric Pickled Cauliflower
Lapsang Souchong is a Chinese black tea with a clean, slightly sweet (think menthol) smoky flavor reminiscent of a campfire, as the black tea leaves are often dried over smoking pine needles. When infused in the pickling liquid and spice mix, the cauliflower tastes as though it was slowly smoked for hours. This robust taste can stand up to the warming spices, assertive turmeric and vinegar. Whether served as a small bite as part of a cheese spread, or sliced and layered on a sandwich, this pickled cauliflower is bold in both flavor and color.
Earl Grey Tea often consists of a black tea base blended with bergamot oil, a citrus fruit grown in Italy. The classic bold and zesty tea offers a bright finish to this dessert. Infused in three ways, you’ll find the tea in the crust, the glaze and the whipped cream. Need a shortcut? Keep the tea glaze and whipped cream (where the flavor shines the strongest), but opt for a store-bought crust. Wind up with extra whipped cream? Stir a teaspoon or two into a cup of Earl Grey tea for a sweet and creamy treat.
Oolong, what? There are categories for tea (white tea, green tea, black tea…and then oolong tea). This semi-oxidized category of tea can range from green and floral to one that is dark and incredibly earthy. Falling somewhere in between, this Ruby Oolong from Thailand has depth with flavor notes of woodsy cedar and sweet yet tart notes of baked pear pastries. Hence, why it works so well here. Infused in three ways, you’ll find the tea in the crust, the glaze and the whipped cream. Need a shortcut? Keep the tea glaze and whipped cream (where the flavor shines the strongest), but opt for a store-bought crust.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1/3rd cup water
- 2 heaping teaspoons Ruby Oolong tea (to be steeped in water)
- 1½ teaspoons Ruby Oolong tea (for dry dough mix)
- 4 semi-firm pears (Bartlett recommended)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- ½ cup sugar
- 5 oz. water
- 1 tablespoon Ruby Oolong Tea
Tea Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Ruby Oolong Tea
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Make the Crust
Heat 1/3 cup water to 195 degrees and steep 2 teaspoons of the Ruby Oolong tea for 4 minutes. Strain the tea leaves and discard. Place steeped tea in freezer until ice cold. Add the remainder of Ruby Oolong tea (1½ teaspoons), flour, sugar, salt to a food processor and pulse to break up tea and combine ingredients. Add the cold butter and pulse for 5 seconds until texture is sandy and butter is shape of peas. Slowly drizzle in chilled tea 1 teaspoon at a time and pulse until the dough just holds together (approx. 10 seconds) Note that you may not need to use all the chilled tea. Gather dough and roll into a ball. Flatten into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Make the Tea Whipped Cream
Add the cream to a small pot over medium heat and stir in sugar and vanilla. Heat to a simmer and stir in the tea. Reduce the heat to low and stir for 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the burner, cover, and let the tea steep for 30 minutes. Strain out tea leaves and chill in the refrigerator until completely cold. Place a large mixing bowl and metal whisk in freezer.
Make The Filling and Glaze
Place oven rack in middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and core the pears. Slice into ¼ inch thick pieces. While the dough chills, make the tea glaze. Heat 5oz water to 195 degrees. Pour over tea leaves and steep for 4 minutes. Strain into a small saucepan and discard the leaves. Stir in the sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 9 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Let completely cool so that the consistency is syrupy.
Finish the Galette
Place one piece of parchment paper (as least 13 inches long) on counter and dust with flour. Place dough disc in the center of the parchment paper and dust the dough with flower. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and roll into a 13-inch circle. Remove the top piece of parchment paper. Arrange sliced pears in overlapping rows on the dough within 1.5 inches of the edge. Evenly sprinkle the sugar over the pears and dot with butter. Fold the dough over the pears. Carefully lift parchment paper and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until pears are tender. Rotate the pan every 15 minutes for even cooking. Remove the galette from the oven and slide it onto a cooling rack. Let cool for 15 minutes.
As the galette cools, finish the tea whipped cream. When the tea infused cream is completely chilled, add the cream to the chilled bowl and whip with a whisk or electric mixer until the cream has soft peaks. Do not overmix. Once the galette has cooled, brush the glaze over the tart and serve (note: you will not use all the glaze. Use remainder to sweeten iced tea). Dollop whipped cream on each piece of the galette and serve.
Optional: Dust with powdered sugar.