Tag Archive for: tips for better baking

Tips for Better Baking – Always Taste Pie Filling Before Baking (#46)

Tips for Better Baking | www.thehungrytravelerblog.com

Tip for Better Baking #45

When baking pies, make sure to taste the filling before putting the pie in the oven. The flavor of the filling can completely change depending on the quality of the fruit. When you taste the filling, you can add a bit more sugar, another pinch of salt, or a teaspoon of cinnamon and adjust the flavors according to your preferences. Tasting the filling is most important with fruit pies but I try to taste all fillings to give myself a chance for a last minute adjustment.

For more Tips for Better Baking, check out the complete index of tips or subscribe to my mailing list to receive a Tip for Better Baking in your inbox every week.

Tips for Better Baking: Crack Eggs into a Dark Bowl to Spot Shells (#45)

In this week’s issue of  Tips for Better Baking, the tip is short but very helpful. When cracking eggs, try cracking them into a dark-colored bowl. It may seem simple, but it makes it much easier to spot any stray pieces of shell that may have fallen into the bowl.

Tips for Better Baking - Crack eggs into a dark bowl to easily spot pieces of shell | www.TheHungryTravelerBlog.com

Tips for Better Baking

Crack eggs into a dark colored bowl to easily spot pieces stray pieces of shell.

For more ways to improve your baking, check out the complete list of Tips for Better Baking.

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Tips for Better Baking: How to Make Vanilla Sugar (#43)

Many recipes call for split and scraped vanilla beans where you are supposed to split the vanilla pod down the center and scrape the beans into whatever you’re cooking.  Other recipes call for you to steep vanilla beans in a liquid to extract the flavor.  Both of these methods provide for great vanilla flavor but it can seem like a waste to throw the beans away when you’re finished.

Here’s a trick: instead of throwing the used vanilla beans away, you can use them to make vanilla sugar. All you need to do is dry the pods and then bury them in some sugar. It will take a few weeks for the vanilla to absorb into the sugar, but to get a head start, you could start with a whole vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sugar. From there, you can continuously add any extra vanilla beans you have after using them in other recipes.

How to Make Vanilla Sugar | www.TheHungryTravelerBlog.com

Tips for Better Baking – How to Make Vanilla Sugar

Instead of throwing away used vanilla beans, dry them and use them to make vanilla sugar. Simply add a few cups of white granulated sugar to an airtight storage container (this is the container I use) then bury any excess vanilla beans into the sugar and seal with the lid. Let the sugar rest for 1-2 weeks and then use as desired. Continue to add more vanilla beans over time. Vanilla sugar can be used in place of granulated sugar in any recipe.

Bonus tip: For better quality and less expensive vanilla beans, try ordering them online instead of buying them at the grocery store.

To learn more tricks and become a better baker, check out my full list of  Tips for Better Baking.

Tips for Better Baking – Freeze Extra Citrus Zest (#42)

Tips for Better Baking: Freeze Extra Citrus Zest

It’s always helpful to have extra citrus zest on hand to use for anything from brightening salads and pastas to incorporating into cookies and cakes. Next time you have a bunch of fresh citrus fruits, be sure to zest them before slicing or juicing them. The zest can be kept in a freezer bag and frozen for up to a few months. It might lose its vibrant color but it will still add a nice flavor to your cooking and baking. This is an especially helpful tip when citrus fruits at at their prime in winter months.

Tips for Better Baking

Before juicing or slicing a lemon, take a moment to zest it first. You can store the extra zest in a zipper bag in the freezer for up to a few months and use it as needed.