Roasting refers to proteins and vegetables cooked mostly at high temperatures in the oven. Baking uses a lower temperature to cook breads, baked goods, and casseroles.
Roasting makes any vegetable taste better. It brings out their flavor, caramelizes their natural sugars, and adds crunch. If your family doesn’t love certain vegetables like broccoli or Brussels sprouts, roasting is a great way to change their mind. Double what you’re roasting and then turn extra servings into quick meals later in the week. Cooking a little extra with one meal lets you make the most of value-sized packages of proteins and other store sales. With leftover already planned, you won’t need to lean on takeout.
Why we love to roast:
It’s Affordable! Inexpensive ingredients are tastiest when roasted. Root vegetables are browned and crisp, tomatoes and grapes are extra juicy and sweet, and tough cuts of beef are fall-apart tender. You also don’t need any special equipment to roast.
Roasting Is Healthful! Roasted foods need very little fat to cook compared to frying or sautéing. Roasting also intensifies flavors without added salt, sugar, or other ingredients.
It’s Easy! Roasted foods need little prep before they cook. And once the oven door closes, you can walk away. Fewer pans and utensils are needed, making cleanup easier too.
Essential Tools For Roasting:
Rimmed Sheet Pan: The rim keeps vegetables from falling off the sides and catches any juices from meats and fish.
Oven-Save Skillet: Go from stovetop to oven and back. Sear meats before roasting or make a pan sauce with the meat drippings after roasting.
Roasting Pan: Best for large roasts, hams, and turkeys. An inner rack lifts the meat so it can brown and crisp underneath.
Parchment Paper: Line pans to keep foods from burning and sticking, then toss for easy cleanup. If roasting at a higher temp or broiling use foil.
Metal Tongs: Flip and stir foods on a hot pan with ease. Look for tongs with a heat resistant grip.
Silicone Brush: Brush on a sticky glaze or baste foods with sauce. The silicone bristles are easy to clean.
Tips For Sheet Pan Roasting:
Jump Start Browning by preheating your sheet pan before adding vegetables.
Pat foods very dry with paper towels so the outside browns while the inside cooks through.
Cut foods to the same size and thickness so smaller pieces don’t burn.
Space out foods on the sheet pan so they have room to crisp and brown.
Let sheet pans cool before rinsing to keep the metal from warping.
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved
Whether you’re baking summer pies or getting ready for holiday baking it’s important to have some key information about pie dough.
Blind baking is prebaking a crust before you add an unbaked or especially wet filling. To ensure that your crust turns out crisp while blind baking, you can either dock it or use pie weights.
Docking is pricking the dough all over with the tines of a fork. The tiny holes allow steam to escape, so that the crust doesn’t puff up. After rolling out your dough and pressing it into the pan, gently prick it, leaving an inch or two between each mark. Be sure to check your crust several times throughout its bake time. If you notice it puffing up in any way, simply prick the puffy spots a few times and keep baking.
Pie weights are tiny ceramic or metal balls or a thin metal chain that prevent the bottom of your crust from forming air pockets and bubbling up while baking. While docking is less fussy than using pie weights, I prefer pie weights because of the additional support they give the crust. Line your unbaked crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil before adding the weights to keep them from baking into the dough. I prefer parchment paper because its permeable structure allows the crust to breathe and brown more evenly. If you don’t own pie weights, dried beans work just as well.
Blind Bake Ahead
You can blind bake a crust up to three days ahead of time. Allow the crust to cool completely in the pan, wrap with plastic wrap, and store at room temperature until you are ready to fill and serve.
Happy Pie Baking!
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved
I love to bake all year long, but during the holidays I’m on “baking overdrive.” To make better cakes here are some simple tips to help you with the best outcome possible.
Don’t use cold eggs. The eggs really should be at room temperature, otherwise the mixture won’t emulsify properly. If you’re short on time place eggs in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes.
Make sure to measure all ingredients precisely. Baking is an art form, but also a science.
Position pans as close to the center of the oven as possible. If you’re placing more than one pan in the oven, they should not touch each other or the oven walls. If your oven isn’t wide enough to put pans side by side, place them on different racks.
If a recipe calls for 1 cup of sifted flour, then first sift the flour and then measure it. If it calls for 1 cup flour sifted, measure the flour, then sift it. It may seem subtle, but it can make the difference between a light, fluffy cake and a heavy one.
Allow at least 20 minutes for your oven to preheat. It’s best to turn the oven on before you start working on your recipe.
Avoid opening the oven door. Opening the oven door too often can make a cake fall, so use the window in your oven door to check the cake’s process when possible.
Remember that each oven heats differently. Check for doneness 10 minutes before the recipe suggests. For most recipes, a cake is ready when it starts pulling away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Invest in wire cooling racks. Cakes cool faster and don’t get soggy when set out on a rack. Leave them in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes before unmolding, and then place on a rack to cool completely before frosting. Angel, chiffon and sponge cakes should be left in the pan to cool to prevent collapsing.
Unfrosted cakes can be stored, well wrapped in plastic, at room temperature for 24 hours. If storing unfrosted cakes for more than 24 hours, it is best to freeze them rather than refrigerate them. Wrap the layers in plastic wrap and then heavy-duty foil to freeze, let cake thaw in the refrigerator before frosting.
To store frosted cakes, keep at room temperature under a cake dome or large bowl unless the recipe specifies refrigeration.
For smooth and easy cake removal, prep your pans properly. When a recipe calls for greasing and flouring, place a piece of parchment or waxed paper on the bottom of a pan (trace and cut it to fit). Coat the sides and bottom with softened butter, and then dust with flour, turning the pan on its side to get full coverage and tapping out the excess. For chocolate cakes, swap in cocoa powder for flour.
Angel, chiffon, and sponge cakes should go into clean, untreated pans since they need to adhere to the sides in order to rise properly.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserve
A pre-baked pie crust (sometimes called a blind baked pastry case) is one that has been partially baked without a filling so it can still cook and crisp thoroughly if the filling needs a shorter time to bake than the pastry. Pre-baking a pie crust also stops the pastry from getting soggy by a moist filling.
- Prick the base of the pie crust all over with a fork to stop the pastry from bubbling up and getting out of shape.
- Chill the pie crust in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before baking. This will stop it from shrinking during baking. Preheat your oven to 350º F.
- Place a large piece of parchment paper inside the pie crust, then fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Ceramic beans or pie weights are available from most cooking stores or Amazon. Make sure that the paper is touching the pastry, eve at the edges.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes for a large pie crust or 8 to 10 minutes for a small one until the pastry is cooked and opaque.
- Carefully remove the parchment paper and the beans/rice/weights and then return the empty pie crust back in the oven for 10 minutes for a large pie crust or 4 to 5 minutes for a small one. When it is ready the base will be a sandy color, dry and crisp. The top edges of the pie crust should be golden. Leave in the pie tin or pie plate and continue with your chosen recipe.