Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Cream together sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, egg yolks and milk. Blend until thoroughly mixed.
- Beat egg whites until stiff, then gently fold into the lemon mixture. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat heat to 325° F and continue baking for 35-40 minutes or until the pie is set and lightly golden brown on top.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Maple Spice Pie
- Put the flour and salt in a large bowl - large enough to hold the ingredients, with room for your hands - and stir them together with your fingers.
- Drop in the shortening, and then, with your fingers, break it into several pieces as you push it around the flour. Now put both hands in the bowl, right into the flour and shortening, and rub the fingers of each hand against the thumbs, lightly blending the shortening and flour together into smaller lumps and flake-shaped pieces. Your goal is to rub the shortening into the flour while keeping the mixture light-textured and dry. Work as quickly and comfortably as you can, lifting your hands often and letting the mixture fall back into the bowl. You know you've blended enough when you don't see any lumps of shortening and you have a mixture of particles the size of coarse and fine bread crumbs.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over the dough and stir briskly with a fork. Continue adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition and concentrating on the areas of dough that seem the driest. When the dough forms a rough, cohesive mass, reach into the bowl and press the dough together into a roundish ball. If it doesn't hold together, or if parts of it seem crumbly and dry, sprinkle on a little more water. The amount of water vary slightly from time to time, depending on your ingredients. If in doubt, it is better to add too much than not enough, because a dry dough is difficult to roll out.
- Have a handful of additional flour nearby in a small cup, for flouring your hands and the rolling surfaces. Rub some flour on your hands and pat the dough into a smooth disk about 1 inch thick and 3 to 4 inches across.
- Sprinkle your rolling surface lightly with flour, spreading the flour to cover an area about 12-inches in diameter. Put the dough in the center, and sprinkle it lightly with flour. Flatten the dough a little with your hands, then begin rolling it into a circle. Do most of the rolling from the center out to the edges of the dough, lifting and turning it slightly ever 5 or 6 rolls to help keep it round. If it sticks on the bottom, slide a long metal spatula underneath to loosen it, tossing some more flour under the dough as you lift it gently with the spatula. If the top of the dough is damp and sticky, dust it with additional flour as well. When you have a circle 11 to 12 inches across and about 2 inches larger than the top of your pie pan, you have rolled enough.
- To put the dough in the pie pan, roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, like a carpet. Then put the edge of the dough at the edge of the pan and unroll it, letting it drop into the pan. Slide it gently to center it. If it tears, push it back together. Pat the dough snugly into the pan, staring around the edges and easing toward the center. You should have 1/2 to 1 inch of overhang all around the pan. In places where there is more than an inch, cut it off with scissors or a sharp knife. In spots where there is less, brush the edge lightly with water and press one of the scraps of trimmed dough onto it.
- Fold the overhanging dough over itself and pinch it together to make a double-thick, upstanding rim all around. Pinch the rim to make a scalloped edge - called fluting or crimping. Fill the shel and bake as directed in the recipe.
- Preheat oven to 450° F. Roll out the dough and fit it into a 9-inch glass pie pan, then trim and flute the edges.
- Combine the flour, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt and sift them together, or shake them through a strainer, onto a sheet of waxed paper. Set aside.
- Put the butter in a large bowl, and using a big wooden spoon, beat for a moment, until it is smooth and creamy. Add the flour mixture and beat again until evenly mixed. Add the egg yolks and beat until incorporated, then whisk in the maple syrup. Add the cream and stir or whisk until blended and smooth. Pour into the prepared pie shell.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325° F and continue baking for 40 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted slightly off-center comes out clean. Remove the pie and set aside to cool for about 20 minutes.
- Serve cooled pie with whipped cream.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
"Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.” – Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Monday, October 18, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, just softened, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
3 1/2 tbsp chilled water
2 pounds apples (Golden Delicious or another tart, firm variety), peeled, cored (save peels and cores), and sliced
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
5 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup sugar
MIX flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl; add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Blend in a mixer until dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Add remaining butter; mix until biggest pieces look like large peas.
DRIBBLE in water, stir, then dribble in more, until dough just holds together. Toss with hands, letting it fall through fingers, until it’s ropy with some dry patches. If dry patches predominate, add another tablespoon water. Keep tossing until you can roll dough into a ball.
Flatten into a 4-inch-thick disk; refrigerate. After at least 30 minutes, remove; let soften so it’s malleable but still cold. Smooth cracks at edges. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Dust excess flour from both sides with a dry pastry brush.
PLACE dough in a lightly greased 9-inch round tart pan, or simply on a parchment-lined baking sheet if you wish to go free-form, or galette-style with it. Heat oven to 400°F. (If you have a pizza stone, place it in the center of the rack.)
OVERLAP apples on dough in a ring 2 inches from edge if going galette-style, or up to the sides if using the tart pan. Continue inward until you reach the center. Fold any dough hanging over pan back onto itself; crimp edges at 1-inch intervals.
BRUSH melted butter over apples and onto dough edge. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over dough edge and the other 3 tablespoons over apples. (I don't like overly sweet desserts so I only use about 3 tablespoons of sugar total.)
BAKE in center of oven until apples are soft, with browned edges, and crust has caramelized to a dark golden brown (about 45 minutes), making sure to rotate tart every 15 minutes.
MAKE glaze: Put reserved peels and cores in a large saucepan, along with sugar. Pour in just enough water to cover; simmer for 25 minutes. Strain syrup through cheesecloth.
REMOVE tart from oven, and slide off parchment onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 15 minutes.
BRUSH glaze over tart, slice, and serve.