Making Pastries with Veggies

Everyone loves a classic fruit pastry like a cherry pie, apple strudel or kolache. However, baking and pastry arts students should always be prepared to embrace a variety of fresh ingredients and seasonal flavors. Emphasizing vegetables instead of fruits opens up intriguing and delicious new opportunities for your creations.

Try these vegetable pastry recipes to discover the possibilities of going beyond fruit:

Bake an extra-moist carrot cake

“Carrot cake is a classic way to pack veggie flavor into a great dessert.”

Carrot cake is a classic way to pack veggie flavor into a great dessert. The recipe from Inspired Taste is an easy way to get light, moist results. Start by peeling and grating three cups of carrots.

Use a whisk to combine flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, mix canola oil, granulated and brown sugars and vanilla extract. Add four eggs one at a time, whisking each into the mixture.

Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones with a rubber spatula. Add the carrots, plus chopped pecans and raisins. Divide the batter between two 9-inch cake pans, greased and lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting by using an electric mixer to beat cream cheese at medium speed for a minute. Then, beat in powdered sugar, followed by heavy whipping cream.

Keep the frosting covered in the refrigerator, and allow 15 minutes for the cake to rest in the pans. Transfer the cake onto a rack, and once it’s totally cooled, frost one layer, positioning the other on top. Swirl on some more frosting and scatter chopped pecans.

Enjoy a fresh spin on empanadas

With origins in Spain, empanadas are made around the world with countless variations. The Chew suggested a simple take on baked vegetable empanadas that’s perfect for any gathering.

First, make the dough by combining flour, baking powder and softened vegetable shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir milk with water and salt, and then slowly pour into the bowl, mixing at low speed. At the halfway point, slightly raise the speed and keep mixing until you have a ball of dough.

Knead the dough for five minutes on a floured surface. Split into 10 balls, covering with a cloth.

Place extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onions, garlic, and red and green peppers for five minutes before stirring in chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and a bay leaf. Add tomato, potato, zucchini, carrots, peas and green beans, cooking for 10 minutes. Then, throw in spinach for another five minutes.

Remove the vegetable mixture from heat and allow to cool, taking out the bay leaf. Use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough balls into six-inch circles. Add the vegetable mix to each circle, topping it off with a quarter of a hard boiled egg.

Dip your fingers into hot water to seal the dough, leaving about a half-inch of room inside and poking a few small holes in the tops. Glaze with an egg wash and move onto a floured baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for half an hour.

Add your favorite veggies to quiche for an irresistible meal.Add your favorite veggies to quiche for an irresistible meal.

Dig into a brunch tradition

Quiche is the quintessential brunch item, packing together a hearty helping of your favorite ingredients. Genius Kitchen provided a recipe to get you started, but half the fun of making this dish is customizing with what you have available in the kitchen.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, pepper and mushrooms for 10 minutes.

Toss shredded cheddar cheese in flour. In a separate bowl, mix four eggs with milk, cayenne and salt. Transfer the cheese and the vegetables into the egg mixture and thoroughly combine.

Move the mixture into a greased pie pan. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 45 minutes. Allow half an hour for the quiche to cool before serving.

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