Raisin Bread, Cherry Pie, and Mango Cheesecake

I’m playing a bit of catch up with the baking group I participate in (Rose’s Alpha Bakers), because I’m finally feeling like a routine is in the process of getting re-established after just a tiny bit of disruption in the last few weeks. The week that the rest of the baking group was making rum raisin french toast, I was in Boston on behalf of PTC, using robots to demonstrate the applicability of agile processes for hardware development. The following week, I took a couple of days off, and caught up with some baking, reading, hammocking, and friends (but not blogging). Then, I started a new job as a product manager at Tulip Retail. Yesterday, I completed my first race (5 km). Now, let’s pretend I’m back into routine. 😉

First, the raisin bread. This is composed basically like a cinnamon roll, but put into a loaf pan, rather than sliced up into sticky buns.

Making the raisin bread
Making the raisin bread

I made a double batch of the dough, and added the raisins and cinnamon mixture to only one of them, with the intention that the other one would be sandwich bread. I shaped them and left them to rise, and promptly forgot about them.

As a result, they overproofed, and when I disturbed them to put them into the oven, both loaves sank.

Overproofed
Overproofed

Instead of having a lovely spiral swirl, I had a very short loaf, and had to cut it on a diagonal like a baguette to get a decent sized slice. I never quite got around to making the “rum raisin french toast” out of it, but spread with peanut butter, it makes a delicious breakfast!

Next up was the cherry pie. I used frozen cherries, because we’re still a couple of weeks away from local cherries, here in Southern Ontario.

Cherry pie filling
Cherry pie filling

One thing I love about Rose’s fruit pies is that the filling is almost always thickened in some way or another before being put in the crust. It takes a little longer to prepare, but given the variability in water content from one apple or peach or cherry to another, it’s the only way to have any clue what type of texture you’ll end up with in the finished pie. Proper preparation prevents poor performance!

Lattice pies are so pretty
Lattice pies are so pretty

Another reason I ❤ Rose: taking the mystery out of lattice crusts. They’re so pretty, and deceptively complex looking, but easy to do!

Baked!
Baked!

Of course they never look quite as good after coming out of the oven as they do going into it, but this one was pretty good, all things considered.

Best breakfast
Best breakfast

I had cherry pie for breakfast on the patio in my back yard, on my second day of “unemployment.”

Then I made a cheesecake. It’s pretty similar to Rose’s ‘basic’ cheesecake, with yogurt substituted for the usual sour cream, lime for lemon juice, and some thickened mango puree swirled into the batter.

First dot the filling with small dollups of the mango puree.

Mango cheesecake filling
Mango cheesecake filling

Then swirl it in with a small whisk, so that it doesn’t stay in clumps that separate out from the creamy goodness.

Swirled into the batter
Swirled into the batter

Bake, cool, then top with more slightly thickened mango puree.

Complete!
Complete!

Just wanted to point out: Jay’s pretty awesome and can be really thoughtful when he wants to be. 😉 He gave me “Good luck on your first day of work” flowers. 😀

Since I sent the remainder of the cherry pie with Jay to his (also fairly new) co-workers, I ended up sharing this one with my own new co-workers on day 2 in the office. On my tour of the office, it was made clear where the treat table was. I just might be able to take a hint. When I posted in the relevant slack channel that there was cheesecake, an almost immediate a response came back from Gilad saying “oopse.. I need to start getting to the office earlier.” I really missed working with him, and it’s great to already have a friend at the new place!

The cheesecake was definitely a hit around the office. I found it a bit on the tart side. That’s likely because I wasn’t paying close attention and bought 0% fat greek yogurt, not full fat. The skim yogurt is also probably why several people commented on it not seeming as rich as a normal cheesecake, but that seems to have gone over quite well. It’s a small company and a small office, so it didn’t quite all disappear before I went home for the day. As a result, I got to bring a piece home to Jay, who also appreciated it. I wasn’t quite convinced of the use of a sponge cake crust, but that’s easy to change next time.

Whew! I think that catches me up for both baking and blogging. Time for bed!

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3 thoughts on “Raisin Bread, Cherry Pie, and Mango Cheesecake

  1. Oh my gosh that is a text book perfect lattice pie crust! I’m having trouble finding full fat Greek plain yogurt; lots of zero fat available. The topping on your cheesecake goes perfectly with your flowers. Congrat’s on the 5k and new job. By the way, you look really good with your hair tucked up. Shows off your great cheekbones.

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  2. Congratulations on your new job and on all the baking you managed to fit into one blog post! Your pie crust looks exceptionally neat and tidy even after baking. I’m afraid I’m not up on what I imagine is IT lingo but I hope your new job is exciting and interesting (whatever it is). 🙂

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