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February 8, 2007

Baking spray (Recipe: apple tart for non-bakers)

Bakingspray1

Am I the last person to learn about the joys of baking spray?

Though I claim not to bake, I do bake every now and then. And up until last year, when executive pastry chef Cindy Salvato came to teach a class at Ninecooks, I'd been using that popular canola-spray-with-a-girl's-name. I'd spray my cake pans, and watch the canola oil pool in the corners after sliding down the sides of the pans.

Then along came Cindy, with baking spray. "Grease and flour" — that standard instruction in cake recipes everywhere — grease and flour in a single can!

No sliding, no pooling. You spray, and it stays.

Baker's Joy, which has been around for 25 years, contains soybean oil; PAM Baking Spray contains canola oil, as does the Trader Joe's baking spray currently in my pantry. They all work well, add no calories or carbs to your baked goods, and have a shelf-life of forever. Try it; your cakes will come tumbling cleanly out of their pans.

Oh joy, oh joy.

Apple tart for non-bakers

I've made this tart in all shapes — rectangular, round, freeform — and all sizes, including as large as a pizza! Absolutely anyone can make this tart; there's very little measuring, and lots of room for error. The recipe below makes one standard size (9" round) tart, but you can easily double or triple the dough recipe and use more apples to accommodate larger sizes. Try it with pears, too. Serves 8.

Ingredients

For the pastry dough:
1-1/3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:
3-4 apples, sliced but not peeled
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Juice of one lemon
1/2 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions

Add flour, butter, salt and sugar to food processor bowl fitted with metal blade. Process 8-10 seconds until mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. With processor running, add ice water and process only until dough forms a ball. Turn out onto wax paper, form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate or freeze.

Preheat over to 350°F.

Spray tart pan (one with a removeable bottom, if you have it) with baking spray. Roll out dough and press into pan; trim edges if necessary for a nice apperance. Toss apples slices in lemon juice, half the sugar, and cinnamon, and arrange in tart pan. Sprinkle remaining sugar over apples, and paint butter on with a pastry brush. Bake 30 minutes until crust is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

Comments

Nope, you're not the only one, Lydia. I don't think I've ever heard of it either...but it sounds fantastic!

I LOVE baking spray! It works for everything!

No you're not the last. I still haven't tried baking spray but I'm hoping that when I do it will bring me joy. Something about food being sprayed ...

Sing loudly now...Baking spray is lovely, yes it is! I couldn't do without!

Yeah this stuff is great. I'm like you where I don't think of myself as a baker, but yet I do my fair share of baking. I just started using this stuff after I started playing around more with Bundt cakes. The instructions suggested it, so I bit. I didn't think much of it before because I didn't mind flouring and greasing, but now I've got a can of this and the regular in my cabinets as required tools.

Lydia,

I think I'll be the last person - haven't used it yet!

I'll buy it next time I go to the supermarket, tks for reminding me of it!

Genie, do give baking spray a try. It's saved several of my cake attempts!

Rachel and Tanna, I'm just beginning to appreciate how versatile this stuff is.

Stefanie, this gets sprayed on the food, not on the pans, and it disappears after baking. Spraying food? Yep, I agree with you on that one.

Husband, I started collecting Bundt pans last year -- never had one before -- and I couldn't figure out how to grease and flour them until I discovered baking spray. It's amazing how easy it is to prep the Bundt pans, isn't it?

Patricia, I do hope you can find this in the supermarket. It should work very well for those scones you're posting about.

I love baking spray, anything that shortens the steps standing between me, baking and eating. :)

How fantastic! A Trader Joe's product I haven't tried yet. I'll be picking one up this weekend.

I tried a different brand and was not impressed.

Clearly, Wisconsin needs Trader Joe.

Hmm...another addition that my pantry needs! I love your easy recipe for apple pie. Got to try that soon.

I love Pam and Pam for Baking!

Ari, I agree. I'm an impatient baker! Well, I'm an impatient measurer, which makes me not the best baker. I love these shortcuts.

Susan and Mimi, Rhode Island needs a Trader Joe's, too! I have to drive up to Boston to find one, but it's worth it, as their many house-brand products are really good quality at amazing prices.

Nupur, I need to clear out some pantry space to make room for all of the wonderful Indian spices I'm learning about on your blog!

Tom, I haven't tried the Pam baking spray, but I'm a big fan of regular Pam, too.

You're not alone, I don't use baking spray either. Thanks for the tip, anything to make life easier!

Stefanie, another Pantry reader pointed out my dyslexic response to your comment -- this gets sprayed on PANS, not on the FOOD. Sometimes my typing gets out of sync with my brain!

Lisa, I'd honestly never heard of it, and somehow needed the "approval" of a pastry chef before I would try it. Now I'm hooked!

I am skeptical. My problem is that cooking sprays can often leave a sticky residue in pans when used as directed to supposedly keep stuff from sticking, particularly if you're roasting something. After some bad experiences, I've sworn off them.

Has anyone else had this problem? Does the baking spray somehow manage to avoid it?

Hi, what I was trying to say was that oil is edible, and spraying something edible out of a can is weird to me. It's quite unnatural but I'm sure it's great and just something I need to push past!

Terry, I haven't had the sticky residue problem with cooking spray on the rare occasions when I use it for roasting. I wonder if the spray doesn't work well with high-heat cooking? I'll look into that.

The flour in the baking spray really does seem to help stabilize it, and I've had very good success with this product.

This is a godsend for the kitchen! Especially when the recipe calls for "butter and flour the ramekins" and you've got 12 to do. I always forget this part and I panic at the last minute. Believe it or not , I only found out that there was such a butter and flour spray only when I started to blog :).

I am going to try this recipe because I just bought some very nice looking apples at Whole Foods but they taste meely-so they might work better in a tart. I don't use cooking sprays because it does seem unnatural. I just use oil and flour however, if I ever did larger baking projects it would probably come in handy.

Veron, I agree -- whenever I'm doing any kind of production baking, even if it's just one muffin tin, I'm glad to have the baking spray.

Elle, it took me a while to realize that the spray is just a different way of delivering oil and flour, and that the amount you end up using is so much less with the spray than if you butter and flour a pan. For those of us who have to watch calories, the sprays are great. And if you're baking lots of little things (ramekins, muffin tins, miniature bundt pans), it's so much quicker to use the spray. I hope you'll try it.

I like the butter flavored spray. But then being from the south I like butter flavored anything!

Sandi, I've had the butter flavored spray, too -- PAM makes it -- but I don't think I've seen the baking spray (with flour) that also has the butter. Can anyone recommend a brand with flour and butter flavor?

A few months ago, we started a personal shopper site called www.myperfectpantry.com where we offer shopping online as well. One of the stops on our shopping route is Trader Joe's and we offer their baking spray on our site. So, if you can't get to a Trader Joe's and want to experience that awesome baking spray and many of their other products, then check out our site. We are happy to help!

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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