I haven't been baking too many sweet confections lately.
Erin's been taking care of that.
She baked these cupcakes to celebrate a friend's birthday (hence the "K"), but made extras for us to enjoy.
I've been doing baking of a different variety. This morning was the meeting of my "breakfast club," a more-or-less-monthly standing date with four of my dearest, sweetest-most-wonderful friends.
We take turns hosting our little breakfast dates, with the hostess providing the coffee and the guests each contributing a breakfast item.
Gayle hosted this morning's soiree. It gave me the opportunity to bake a breakfast torte, a recipe perfectly suited for any breakfast gathering, from cozy little get-togethers to glitzy Christmas brunches.
This recipe is very easy to prepare. Total prep and baking time is about 1 1/2 hours. You can also prepare it ahead of time, refrigerate it overnight and bake it the next day.
- "Blue Christmas"........Elvis Presley
- "Jingle Bell Rock".......Randy Travis
- "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer"........Dean Martin
- "Glow Worm/It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas"........Rockapella
- "Mr. Heatmiser".........Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
- "Baby It's Cold Outside".........The Brian Setzer Orchestra
- "Run Run Rudolph"........Keith Richards
- "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"..........John Mellencamp
Puff Pastry Omelette Torte (adapted from Land O'Lakes)
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 cups sliced (1/8" thick) potatoes
- 1 cup (about 1 medium) sliced onion
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 pound thinly sliced deli ham
- 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
Be sure to thaw the puff pastry in advance. Just put it in your refrigerator the day before you prepare the torte and it will be ready to go.
Gather your ingredients.
Those two items in the back with their heads chopped off would be salt and pepper
Do your advance prep work.
Unfold one sheet of the puff pastry and put it into a 10-inch pie plate.
Due to its square shape, the puff pastry isn't quite long enough to reach up the sides of the pie pan in four spots.
I take care of this by squishing the dough upward in those spots. Just put your thumbs at the base and squish, squish, squish the dough up to the rim.
Sort of looks like the marks a turtle leaves in the sand, doesn't it? Just thought I'd share my thoughts.
Continue on with the prep work.
Slice your potatoes. I used the slicer on the side of a box grater, but you can use a mandolin or a sharp knife.
Slice your onions. I lop off the root and the stem ends, cut the onion in half, lay it on its side and thinly slice it into half moons.
In a 10-inch skillet or saute pan over medium/high heat, heat the 1/4 cup of butter until it sizzles. Add the onions..........
and the potatoes.
Add salt and pepper to taste, I used about 1/4 teaspoon of each.
Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until they are lightly browned and crisply tender--not mushy. This will take about 12 minutes, and I find myself gradually turning the heat down a bit each time I stir them, to prevent them from sticking to the pan.
While the potatoes/onions are cooking, prep your omelette ingredients.
Happily chop the parsley.
Well, I happily chopped my parsley. Happy because it is December and I still have fresh herbs growing in my herb garden outside. Makes me happy. Did I mention how happy I am to have fresh herbs?
It's the small things, baby.
Crack the six eggs for your omelette into a medium bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons of water.......
and salt and pepper to taste. I used just about 1/4 teaspoon of each.
Add the parsley..........
and whisk together.
By now your potatoes should be done.
In a 10-inch skillet or omelette pan, melt one tablespoon of butter until sizzling.
Swirl it around and coat the bottom of the pan.
Pour half of the omelette mixture (about 3/4 cup) into the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium, and as the omelette begins to set, use a spatula to pull the sides of the omelette toward the middle of the pan so that the uncooked portion will flow under it and to the sides to cook.
Continue cooking in this manner until set.
When it's set, slide it out of the pan and repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and omelette mixture.
I put a piece of parchment paper on my counter and slid the first omelette onto it while I cooked the second.
If you are not preparing this torte ahead of time and are planning on cooking it immediately, now would be the time to preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
After the second omelette is cooked, start layering the ingredients into the pie pan with the puff pastry, in the following order:
I slid the second omelette right onto the puff pastry.
Then I layered on half of the ham slices.
For the record, I used rosemary ham. Rosemary ham is awesome.
Then half of the potato/onion mixture.
Then half of the shredded Cheddar.
Then the rest of the potatoes.
Followed by the rest of the ham.
And then the rest of the cheese.
Topped with the other omelette.
And finally, the second sheet of puff pastry.
Form a rim, press together and crimp the edges of the puff pastry.
I make sure to put the top sheet of puff pastry on at a 90-degree angle to the first sheet, so that the corners are not lined up. That leaves lots of excess pastry all around to crimp.
(If you are not baking the torte immediately, cover and refrigerate at this time. If you are refrigerating the torte overnight, remove it from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.)
In a small bowl, stir together the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon of water.
Poke a few holes in the top to let steam out.
Brush the egg/water over the puff pastry.
Place the torte in your preheated 375 degree oven.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
If you prepared your torte ahead of time and refrigerated it over night, it may need a few extra minutes baking time.