Baking delicious and beautiful desserts is relaxing for a skilled Overland Park musician. In addition to his musical talent, Kevin Bogan, director of traditional blended worship arts for the Church of the Resurrection, is known for his baking skills.
Q: How did you learn to bake?
A: Originally I was self-taught. I grew up in a family that ate dinner together every night. After college, my first job was in Florida, and I found myself living on my own and first attempted baking.
Now I have taken some classes, especially at JCCC, and enjoy watching instructional videos on YouTube. The videos are a great way to learn the ideal consistency or desired color when trying a new recipe.
Q: Where do you find inspiration for the recipes you bake?
A: Pinterest is a great place to find ideas, and I enjoy the challenge of making it look beautiful. I feel the prettier it is, the better it tastes.
Q: Do you remember the first dessert you baked?
A: One of the first recipes I perfected was a white chocolate cheesecake, topped with bananas Foster.
It was wonderful, and I sent the recipe into a restaurant that was hosting a recipe contest. It won and was featured on their menu. I still enjoy making and serving it.
Q: When and to whom do you serve the desserts you bake?
A: I enjoy baking and love to entertain. One event I did was a tea for the choir volunteers. This hardworking group of volunteers spends a lot of time filing and organizing music for the 180 members in the choir, so to thank them, I invited them to my home for a tea.
I made a variety of food, including tea sandwiches and shortbread cookies. I even made macaroon cookies for the event.
Q: What are some of your other specialties?
A: My favorite cake is German chocolate, and I especially like the classic coconut pecan frosting, but I add some tweaks to the frosted cake to make it my own really delicious cake.
During the holidays, I am known for making caramel popcorn. I begin making it in September and package it in tins to give as gifts. Each year I give away over 100 tins.
I donated a “dessert of the month” to an auction that was sponsored by the Heartland Men’s Chorus, and that was very popular. In fact, the same individual purchased it two years in a row, tripling their bid the second year to ensure that they got it.
Q: Why did you choose to share this Spring Fruit Tart?
A: I like to use fresh and in season ingredients when possible, and that is especially true for this tart. It is ideal to serve this time of year. While it is beautiful and looks impressive, it is easy to make.
Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore are cookbook authors and food consultants that make up The Electrified Cooks. They have published 11 cookbooks and thousands of recipes. They are members of Les Dames d’Escoffier and blog at pluggedintocooking.com. Email them at KCComeIntoMyKitchen@gmail.com
Spring Fruit Tart
Makes 8 servings
For the custard:
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
For the pastry shell:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the glaze:
1/2 cup apricot jam
2 tablespoons water
Assorted fresh fruits, including kiwi, strawberries, blackberries and/or blueberries
For the custard: In a medium bowl, using a fork, beat together 1/4 cup sugar, the cornstarch and egg yolks. Set aside.
In a medium, nonstick saucepan, combine the milk, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a simmer.
Whisking constantly, pour about 1/2 cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking until smooth. Continue pouring all the warm milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly over medium heat, until the mixture thickens.
Pour the thickened mixture into a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter into the warm mixture, beating until the butter melts and is incorporated. Continue beating until the mixture cools. Pour the mixture into a medium glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the custard. Refrigerate until well chilled, preferably overnight or up to 3 days.
For the pastry shell: Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor. Add sugar (choosing 2 to 3 tablespoons, depending on how sweet you wish to make the pastry) and salt and pulse to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the flour. Pulse until the butter is evenly cut into the flour and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in enough ice water for the mixture to come together and form a dough. (As an estimate, begin with 2 to 4 tablespoons of ice water, then add additional if needed. Do not over process or add so much water that the dough is sticky.)
Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to stand at room temperature about 5 minutes.
On a lightly floured board, roll the dough into a large rectangle at least 16-by-6 inches and about 1/4 -inch thick. Gently transfer the dough to a 14-by-4-inch rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim the dough to fit the pan.
Place a piece of aluminum foil in the pan over the pastry, then fill with dry beans or pie weights. Bake 15 minutes. Remove the foil and the beans or weights. Gently prick the pastry with a fork. Bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
To assemble: When ready to assemble, first whisk or lightly beat the custard with a hand-held mixer until lightly blended. Spoon the custard evenly into the cooled pastry shell.
Peel and slice kiwi about 1/8 -inch thick. Halve the strawberries. Arrange a variety of fruit over the custard.
For the glaze: Combine the jam with the water in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently, until the jam is warm and melted. Lightly brush the glaze over the top of the fruit.
Note: Tart is best served the day it is assembled. Store in the refrigerator.