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Baking With Gail Sokol 5/7/21

Gail Sokol in the WAMC studio with her Baked Alaska dish.
Jackie Orchard
Gail Sokol in the WAMC studio with her Baked Alaska dish.

Today we welcome back chef Gail Sokol! Chef Gail is going to bake some muffins live with us today, so you can follow along at home! WAMC's Ray Graf hosts. 

Chef-Educator Gail Sokol has been teaching children and adults about baking for over 20 years, beginning as an instructor at SUNY Schenectady in the Culinary Department and later at The Sage Colleges in the Nutrition Department. Chef Gail is the author of a professional textbook, “About Professional Baking,” and a cookbook “Baking With Success.”

Chef Gail has her own podcast -- “Baking Radio” -- she also has a series of YouTube baking videos where she teaches globally on all topics baking.

To join the conversation, give us a call at 1-800-348-2551 or you can e-mail us at VoxPop@wamc.org

Grandma Etta's Blueberry Muffins
Credit Gail Sokol
Grandma Etta's Blueberry Muffins

Grandma Etta's Blueberry Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries unthawed — mixed with 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • Extra granulated sugar for sprinkling


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and oil until blended.
  • Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix only until combined.
  • Toss the blueberries and 1 teaspoon of flour into a bowl and fold them gently into batter. Do not overmix!
  • Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. If there is remaining batter, spray another pan and fill in the same manner. Sprinkle each muffin with granulated sugar.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and a cake tester or sharp knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.


Grandma Etta's Blueberry Muffins
Credit Gail Sokol
Grandma Etta's Blueberry Muffins

  Strawberry Lemon Curd Tart 


  • Crust
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Filling and Topping
  • 2 recipes of Chef Gail Sokol’s Lemon Curd with Yolks
  • 2 quarts strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
  • 1 recipe Chef Gail Sokol’s Stabilized Whipped Cream for piping, if desired
  • 1 lemon, zested and cut into tiny slices, if desired for decorating


  • In a food processor, pulse flour and sugar until blended.
  • Add cold butter cubes, and pulse about 8 times, until mixture looks like oatmeal.
  • In a small bowl, combine sour cream and yolk, and add to flour mixture. Pulse until soft crumbs form.
  • Pour mixture into a medium bowl and gather together to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatter to a 1 inch thick disc. Chill in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Sprinkle a work surface lightly with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough to an approximately 9 by 12 inch rectangle, approximately 1/8 inch thick. Brush off extra flour, if any, with a pastry brush. Gently fit dough into pan, cutting and patching where necessary so dough fits evenly on the bottom and up the sides. Pinch off excess dough if any falls over the sides of the pan. Using a fork, prick the bottom and sides of the dough. Place a piece of parchment paper into the pan so that it fits across the bottom and overlaps the sides. Fill with pie weights or raw beans so that the pan is filled. Bake on the sheet pan for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and gently gather up the sides of the parchment paper to remove the beans.
  • Place the tart shell back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes or until bottom is cooked through. Remove from oven. Crust should not be too brown. Allow to cool.
  • Fill the cooled crust with lemon curd by spreading it evenly over the bottom using an offset spatula. Arrange sliced strawberries over the top of the tart in a decorative manner. Pipe stabilized whipped cream as desired over the top of the tart, also decorating with lemon zest and slices, if using.
  • Chill for about 1-2 hours. Unmold onto a serving platter when ready to serve.


Makes 1 8-by-11 inch rectangular tart

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