Thursday, December 24, 2015

CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE

ph: s winesett

Surprisingly this is my very first pecan pie. I searched far and wide for the very best recipe but there were so many variations to choose from. I finally settled on Melissa Clark's recipe for Chocolate Pecan Pie, which was featured at cooking.nytimes.com. I liked the idea of adding a bit of depth to an otherwise very sweet pie with bittersweet chocolate and bourbon. The proof is in the first bite. Delicious. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

BLACK & WILD BLUEBERRY LATTICE PIE


Black & Wild Blueberry Lattice Pie
All-Butter Crust for a 9-inch double-crust pie:
½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup cold water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
½ cup ice
Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula.
1. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay; be careful not to overblend).
2. Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or bowl.
3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated.
4. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the bench scraper or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. (approximately 6-7 tablespoons).
5. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine.
6. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow.
7. Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.
For the Filling:
1 small baking apple
1 cup fresh blueberries 
3 to 4 cups frozen wild blueberries (do not thaw)
1 to 2 cups frozen blackberries (do not thaw)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons ground arrowroot
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
Demerara sugar, for finishing
1. Have ready and refrigerated one pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan and pastry round or lattice to top.
2. Peel and then shred the apple on the large holes of a box grater.
3. Combine with the fresh & frozen blueberries, frozen blackberries, lemon juice, granulated and brown sugars, arrowroot, allspice, and salt in a large bowl and stir until well mixed, crushing some of the fresh blueberries in the process (your hands work great for this).
4. Pour the filling into the refrigerated pie shell, arrange the lattice or pastry round on top, and crimp as desired.
5. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the pastry.
6. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack, and preheat the oven to 425°F.
7. Brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat; if your pie has a lattice top, be careful not to drag the filling onto the pastry (it will burn).
8. Sprinkle with the desired amount of Demerara sugar.
9. Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven.
10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown.
11. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 30 to 35 minutes longer.
12. Cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature. The pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

MILE-HIGH LEMON MERINGUE PIE


Meringue pie can be tricky to prepare. Cook's Country figured out how to make a perfect lemon meringue pie with a sky-high topping that doesn't weep.

We wanted our Mile-High Lemon Meringue Pie recipe to produce a tall and fluffy topping, so we made the meringue with a hot sugar syrup, and added a bit of cream of tartar to the egg whites before we beat them. This ensured that the meringue was cooked through and stable enough to be piled high on top of the filling. For our Mile-High Lemon Meringue Pie’s bright citrus flavor, we flavored the filling with lemon zest and lemon juice, then strained the filling to remove the zest. If left in the filling, the zest would mar the texture of our recipe’s silky smooth filling.

If using a hand-held mixer, you will need a very large, deep bowl and should move the beaters vigorously in step 3 to avoid under beating the egg whites. This pie is best on the day it’s made.

Mile-High Lemon Meringue Pie
lemon filling:
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice (from 6 lemons)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon table salt
8 large egg yolks (reserve 4 whites for meringue)
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
1 9-inch pie shell, fully baked and cooled

meringue:
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites (reserved from filling)
pinch table salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. For the filling: Whisk sugar, lemon juice, water, cornstarch, and salt together in large nonreactive saucepan until cornstarch is dissolved. Bring to simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until mixture becomes translucent and begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Whisk in yolks until combined. Stir in zest and butter. Bring to simmer and stir constantly until mixture is thick enough to coat back of spoon, about 2 minutes. Strain through fine-mesh strainer into pie shell and scrape filling off underside of strainer. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of filling and refrigerate until set and well chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
  2. For the meringue: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to vigorous boil over medium-high heat. Once syrup comes to rolling boil, cook 4 minutes (mixture will become slightly thickened and syrupy). Remove from heat and set aside while beating whites.
  3. With electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl at medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Add salt and cream of tartar and beat, gradually increasing speed to medium-high, until whites hold soft peaks, about 2 minutes. With mixer running, slowly pour hot syrup into whites (avoid pouring syrup onto whisk or it will splash). Add vanilla and beat until meringue has cooled and becomes very thick and shiny, 5 to 9 minutes.
  4. Using rubber spatula, mound meringue over filling, making sure meringue touches edges of crust. Use spatula to create peaks all over meringue. Bake until peaks turn golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature. Serve.
WEEP NO MORE: 
For our meringue, you don’t need a thermometer, but you do need a timer.
  1. After the sugar syrup comes to a full boil, cook it for exactly 4 minutes.
  2. Beat the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar until they hold soft peaks.
  3. With the mixer still running, carefully pour the hot sugar syrup directly into the beaten egg whites.
  4. Continue beating until the meringue has cooled to room temperature and is thick and fluffy.
MAKING A MERINGUE MOUNTAIN: 
These tricks guarantee meringue that looks as good as it tastes.
  1. Use a rubber spatula to press the meringue onto the edge of the pie crust. This will keep the meringue from shrinking.
  2. Use the spatula to make dramatic peaks and swirls all over the meringue.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

COOK'S COUNTRY CHOCOLATE ANGEL PIE


I was watching an episode of Cook's Country and was pleasantly surprised when they featured a pie I'd never heard of - Chocolate Angel Pie. Instead of a traditional pastry crust, the vintage recipe calls for a crisp meringue shell to hold the chocolate custard filling that is then generously topped with fluffy whipped cream. What I love about this recipe is not only is it kitchen-tested but you also get those often undisclosed but helpful tips that can make or break a great dessert. For instance, did you know that the trick to preventing baked meringue from sticking to your pie plate is to use a double dose of cornstarch - first in the egg whites and then as coating for the pie plate? Or that confectioner's sugar helps whipped cream to hold its  fluffy shape? I can tell you stories about the countless times I've tried a new recipe only to have it fail miserably. I can guarantee this recipe is full-proof. Happy baking!

Chocolate Angel Pie
filling:
9 ounces milk chocolate, chopped fine
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 1/4 cups heavy cream, chilled

meringue crust:
1 tablespoon cornstarch, plus extra for pie plate
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
pinch cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

topping:
1 1/3 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
unsweetened cocoa powder

  1. FOR THE FILLING: Microwave milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate in large bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 4 minutes. Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in medium bowl until combined, about 1 minute. Bring half-and-half to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, slowly add hot half-and-half to egg yolk mixture in 2 additions until incorporated. Return half-and-half mixture to now-empty saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened slightly, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir half-and-half mixture into melted chocolate until combined. Let cool slightly, about 8 minutes.
  2. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip cream on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Gently whisk one-third of whipped cream into cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until ready to assemble pie. (Filling can be made up to 24 hours in advance.)
  3. FOR THE MERINGUE CRUST: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Grease 9-inch pie plate and dust well with extra cornstarch, using pastry brush to distribute evenly. Combine sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft, billowy mounds, 1 to 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar mixture and whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla to meringue and whip until incorporated.
  4. Spread meringue into prepared pie plate, following contours of plate to cover bottom, sides, and edges. Bake for 1½ hours. Rotate pie plate, reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees, and bake until completely dried out, about 1 hour longer. (Shell will rise above rim of pie plate; some cracking is OK.) Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  5. FOR THE TOPPING: Spoon cooled chocolate filling into cavity of pie shell, distributing evenly. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip cream and sugar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Spread whipped cream evenly over chocolate. Refrigerate until filling is set, about 1 hour. Dust with cocoa. Slice with sharp knife and serve.
Don't make this mistake: Busted Crust
The egg white crust is part of what distinguishes angel pie. To avoid a sticky, broken meringue shell, we added cornstarch to the whites, and we greased the pie plate and dusted it with more cornstarch. We also figured out the ideal baking time and temperatures to ensure that the interior and exterior of the meringue cooked properly. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS, MAKE LEMON SOUR CREAM PIE


I came across this Lemon Sour Cream Pie at Ashlee Marie and had to try it. It's a pretty simple recipe, made simpler by the fact that I used store-bought pie crust. 

Lemon Sour Cream Pie
cooked 9-inch pie crust
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp lemon rind grated
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 egg yolks slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) butter
1 cup sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F. Place rolled pie dough in 9-inch pie pan. Crimp edges, then place in freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from freezer, then place sheet of parchment paper on top of pie shell, add pie weights (or dry beans or dry rice) and bake in oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove parchment paper and pie weights, then bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon rind, lemon juice, egg yolks and milk in a heavy saucepan, and whisk constantly as it cooks over medium heat until thick. 
  3. Stir in the butter (frozen to help it cool) and cool to room temperature. Place a piece of saran wrap directly on top of the custard to prevent film from forming.
  4. When completely cool, add the sour cream and pour into cooled pie shell. 
  5. Refrigerate and serve with whipped cream. Garnish with grated lemon rind. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

GIMME S'MORE PIE


What better way is there to say goodbye to summer and transition into fall than with S'more Pie. This prize-winning recipe comes from Keavy Landreth (Kumquat Cupcakery) and Allison Kave (First Prize Pies) of Butter & Scotch. In pursuit of their "drunken baking" dreams the wonder duo opened a bar-bakery hybrid in Crown Heights, Brooklyn late last year. Here you can order a liquor infused confection or slice of pie by day and a cocktail by night. Pretty perfect if you ask me. 

S'more Pie
Graham cracker crust:
1 1/2 ups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

pie filling:
1 cup heavy cream
7 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, chopped or chips
1 large egg, at room temperature
pinch of salt

pie topping:
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water, divided
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. For Graham cracker crust, preheat oven to 350º F. Crumble the graham crackers into a food processor and process until finely gourd. Pour melted butter into the crumbs and mix until the butter is fully incorporated and the texture is that of wet sand. Firmly press the crumbs against the sides of a 9-inch pie pan, then against the bottom of the pan. Chill the crust for at least 15 minutes to help prevent it from crumbling when serving. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool before filling. 
  2. For the S'more pie filling, preheat the oven 350º F. In a saucepan, heat the cream over medium-high heat until it is scalded - do not boil. Pour it over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and let stand for 1 minutes. Whisk it thoroughly until combine into a glossy ganache. Whisk in the egg and salt until fully incorporated. Put the crust on a baking sheet. Pour the chocolate filling into the crust and bake 20-25 minutes, until the filling has just set and is still slightly wobbly in the center. Remove the pie to cool completely.
  3. Make the topping: Pour 1/4 cup water into a bowl of a stand mixer, and sprinkle the gelatin evenly on top. In a clean, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and remaining 1/4 cup water. Cook the sugar mixture over medium-high heat, stirring only at the begging to dissolve the sugar, and boil it until a candy thermometer reaches the hard-ball stage or 260º F.  
  4. Remove from heat, turn on the stand mixer to low speed, and slowly pour the hot syrup in a steady stream into the bloomed gelatin while mixing. Try to avoid the sides of the bowl and aim for the space between the beater and the side. When all of the syrup is in, increase the speed gradually to high to avoid splashing, and continue to beat until the mixture is white, fluffy, and very thick,  and has tripled in volume, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the vanilla, beat for a minute more, and then pour the topping over the pie. It will slowly spread to cover the surface, or you can use a spatula to spread it. 
  5. Allow the topping to cool at room temperature or in the fridge until it has set, about 30 minutes. If you are using a torch (preferred method), make sure the area you are working in is clear of any plastic, paper, or other flammable items, an that the surface you are working on is fireproof (steel, marble, etc.). You can put a baking sheet under the pie to protect your countertops. Light the torch and start to lightly toast the surface of the pie, going darker or lighter according to your preference. When the pie is perfectly blurred, turn off the torch, and allow the pie to cool for 10 minutes. NOTE: if you are torch-less, you can do this in the broiler, but keep a close eye. Preheat your broiler, put the pie on a baking sheet, and use foil or pie shield to cover the crust edges. Broil the pie about 3 inches from the heat source, rotating the pie for even toasting until the topping is your desired color. It burns easily to keep watch! It's best to keep the oven door cracked open and watch and rotate the entire time. Remove the pie and allow it to cool for atlas 10 minutes. 
Tips: To cover, spray foil or plastic wrap very lightly with oil spray to prevent it from sticking to the topping. For easier slicing, run your knife under hot water first to prevent the marshmallow from sticking to the blade. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

NOT DERBY PIE


Not Derby Pie
9-inch unbaked pie shell
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup of sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 325º F. 
  2. Place the unbaked pie shell in a 9-inch pie pan. 
  3. Mix together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Add salt and sugar, and mix well.
  5. Fold in pecans and chips.
  6. Pour mixture into pie crust and bake at 325º F for 1 hour.
  7. Let cool for 1-2 hours before slicing. 
Derby Pie was created in Prospect, Kentucky in 1950 as a signature dessert of the Melrose Inn. Derby Pie became a registered trademark of the Kern's Kitchen in 1968, and more than 25 lawsuits have been filed by the family to protect it. The makers of similar pies have had to come up with different names, including Not Derby Pie. 

I baked this pie for my company's annual BBQ at the Belmont Park horse races. I thought the name was apt since it's NOT the Kentucky Derby. It must have been good because I didn't even get a slice.

Monday, May 18, 2015

BLUEBERRY PIE MONDAY


Blueberry Pie
Crust for a 9-inch double-crust pie:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 tablespoons cold shortening, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
6 tablespoons ice water
  1. Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a bowl. Add the butter and shortening pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula. 
  2. With a pastry blender, cut the butter/shortening into the flour mixture, working quickly and mostly pea-size pieces of butter/shortening remain ( a few larger pieces are okay, be careful not to over-blend). 
  3. Sprinkle ice water over the flour mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix and cut it in with a spatula until it is full incorporated and until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining (approx. 6 tablespoons ice water total). 
  4. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water, if necessary, to combine.
  5. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow. 
  6. Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month. 
For the filling: 
1 small baking apple
5 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen, if frozen do not thaw)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground arrowroot
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon cream)
Demerara sugar, for finishing
  1. Have ready and refrigerated one pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan and pastry round or lattice to top. 
  2. Peel and then shred the apple on the large holes of a box grater. 
  3. Combine with the blueberries, lemon zest and juice, granulated and brown sugars, arrowroot, allspice, salt, and bitters in a large bowl and stir until well mixed, crushing some of the blueberries in the process (use hands for this). 
  4. Pour the filling into the refrigerated pie shell, arrange the lattice or pastry round on top, and crimp as desired.
  5. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the pastry. 
  6. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack, and preheat the oven to 425º F. 
  7. Brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat; if your pie has a lattice top, be careful not to drag the filling onto the pastry (it will burn). 
  8. Sprinkle with the desired around of Demerara sugar.
  9. Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. 
  10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. 
  11. Lower the temperature to 375º F, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juice are bubbling thought, 30 to 35 minutes longer. 
  12. Cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature. The pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

BLACK BOTTOM LEMON PIE

ph: Gentil & Hyers via serious eats
The following recipe is from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book by Emily and Melissa Elsen. This is the first time I've baked this pie and I'm eager to see how it turned out. It's unusual to see a chocolate bottom lemon pie recipe but the combination of sweet, slightly tart, and bitter sounds intriguing. 

Black Bottom Lemon Pie
9-inch par-baked All Butter Pie Crust
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon kosher
1/2 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (from 3 to 4 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
Finely grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon
Finely grated zest of 1/4 orange
  1. To make the ganache layer, bring 1/4 cup of the heavy cream just to a boil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Remove from the heat and pour in the chocolate pieces. Swirl the cream around to distribute and cover the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, and then whisk gently to combine. Scrape the ganache into the cooled pie shell and spread evenly over the bottom and halfway up the sides. Refrigerate the shell to set the ganache while making the filling. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325º F. 
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, egg yolk, sugar, and salt, and mix on medium speed until thick and well combined. Stir in the lemon and orange juices and zests and the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream and blend well. 
  3. Place the ganache-lined pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet. Strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the pie shell, or strain it into a separate bowl and then pour it into the shell. 
  4. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating 180 degrees when the edges start to set, 15 to 20 minutes through baking. The pie is finished when the edge are set and the center is no longer liquid but still quite wobbly. Be careful not to over-bake or the custard can separate. The filling will continue to cook and set after the pie is removed from the oven. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm, at room temperature, or cool. The pie will keep refrigerated for 2 days or at room temperature 1 day. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

NUTMEG MAPLE CREAM PIE


Nutmeg Maple Cream Pie
9-inch par-baked All Butter Pie Crust
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 300º F. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce maple syrup by a quarter, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in cream and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and egg. Whisking constantly, slowly add cream mixture to eggs. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a cup or bowl with pouring spout. Stir in salt, nutmeg, and vanilla.
  4. Pour filling into crust and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until pie is firm to touch but jiggles slightly when moved, about 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NO BONES ABOUT IT

ph: via garence dore
Hello tart! I saw this recipe for Bones' Meyer Lemon Tart on Garence Dore. Had to share...

Monday, April 6, 2015

ORANGE JULIUS / BUTTERMILK ORANGE CHESS PIE


My attempt two weeks ago to make a buttermilk orange chess pie turned into a big goopy mess but the idea of it was still irresistible. Who could resist a creamsicle-flavored Orange Julius inspired pie?  I was determined for a do-over but this time with a different recipe. But all I really needed was a tweak of that and a pinch of this. Devilishly Delicious! 

Growing up, I distinctly remember hanging out at the local mall and lining up for an icy cold, frothy Orange Julius. I'd be surprised if most people haven't tried this beverage - a mixture of orange juice, sweetener, milk, powered egg whites and vanilla flavoring - at least once. Did you know that the drink grew out of an orange juice stand in Los Angles in 1926 by Julius Freed? His real estate broker, Bill Hamlin, couldn't handle the acidity of plain OJ and developed a mixture that gave him less of a bellyache. Freed started serving this frothier, creamier textured drink at his stands. Folks lined up at the stand shouting, "Give me an Orange, Julius!" The new drink would eventually be known as Orange Julius. It was named as the official drink of the 1964 New York World's Fair. In 1987, the chain was bought by Dairy Queen. 



Buttermilk Orange Chess Pie
9-inch par-baked all-butter single pie crust *see below

Filling:
1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon cornmeal
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
5 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup buttermilk
7 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
5 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine orange and lemon zest, and both sugars using your fingers. Add cornmeal, flour, and salt.
  3. Stir in melted butter. Add eggs, mixing well between each addition. When all the eggs are added, stir filling briskly until thickened and light in color.
  4. Stir in buttermilk, lemon juice, orange juice, and vanilla extract. 
  5. Strain mixture into partial pre baked pie crust and place in preheated oven. Bake until the  edges are puffed up and set and the center jiggles just a tad when nudged. The top will be golden brown. About 40 to 50 minutes. Don't over-bake.

All Butter Pie Crust (one single)
1 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tablespoons, cold unsalted butter
2 1/2 to 3 tbsp ice water, more or less
  1. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. 
  2. Dice one stick of very cold butter into 1/2-inch pieces. 
  3. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour, and using the pastry blender, cut butter into the flour. Make sure to work the pastry blender evenly over the mixture until the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas.
  4. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of ice water (not the ice) over the flour mixture. I find 3 tablespoons of ice water usually is enough but sometimes 1 or 2 additional tablespoons may be necessary BUT add 1 tablespoon at a time. It's always easier to add more water, then to try and repair a too wet dough. Using a rubber spatula, gather the dough together. Remember, you want just enough water for the dough to come together. Once you start to get large clumps with the spatula, use your hands to gather the rest of the clumps together into a single mound. 
  5. Place mound on a large sheet of saran wrap. Shape into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate for one to two hours, before rolling out.
Prepare Crust:
  1. I find rolling out dough between two sheets of plastic makes the cleanup easier. Roll out dough into an 11-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge but leave a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under and flute the edges. 
  2. Prick bottom of pie shell, then chill shell in freezer for 30 minutes. This will prevent shrinkage. 
  3. While shell is chilling, preheat oven to 350º F with a baking sheet in the middle rack. 
  4. Butter the shiny side of a sheet of an aluminum foil. Firmly line the frozen pie shell with the foil (buttered side down.) No pie weights necessary.
  5. Bake on baking sheet until pastry is set and edge is pale golden, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove foil, then bake shell another 5 minutes, just until crust is dry but not browned. Cool shell completely.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

MINNY'S CHOCOLATE PIE


In the film, The Help, there's an infamous scene involving Minny's famous chocolate pie. The following is one of 53 chocolate pies newspaper columnist Lee Ann Flemming baked for actress Bryce Dallas Howard during the filming.

All Butter Pie Crust (one single)
1 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tablespoons, cold unsalted butter
2 1/2 to 3 tbsp ice water, more or less
  1. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. 
  2. Dice one stick of very cold butter into 1/2-inch pieces. 
  3. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour, and using the pastry blender, cut butter into the flour. Make sure to work the pastry blender evenly over the mixture until the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas.
  4. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of ice water (not the ice) over the flour mixture. I find 3 tablespoons of ice water usually is enough but sometimes 1 or 2 additional tablespoons may be necessary BUT add 1 tablespoon at a time. It's always easier to add more water, then to try and repair a too wet dough. Using a rubber spatula, gather the dough together. Remember, you want just enough water for the dough to come together. Once you start to get large clumps with the spatula, use your hands to gather the rest of the clumps together into a single mound. 
  5. Place mound on a large sheet of saran wrap. Shape into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate for one to two hours, before rolling out.
Prepare Crust:
  1. I find rolling out dough between two sheets of plastic makes the cleanup easier. Roll out dough into an 11-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge but leave a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under and flute the edges. 
  2. Prick bottom of pie shell, then chill shell in freezer for 30 minutes. This will prevent shrinkage. 
  3. While shell is chilling, preheat oven to 350º F with a baking sheet in the middle rack. 
  4. Butter the shiny side of a sheet of an aluminum foil. Firmly line the frozen pie shell with the foil (buttered side down.) No pie weights necessary.
  5. Bake on baking sheet until pastry is set and edge is pale golden, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove foil, then bake shell another 5 minutes, just until crust is dry but not browned. Cool shell completely.

Minny's Chocolate Pie 
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, for serving
  1. In a bowl, whisk the sugar with the cocoa powder, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and slat until smooth. 
  2. Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell and bake about 45 minutes, until the filling is set around the edges but a little jiggly in the center. Cover the crust with strips of foil halfway through baking. 
  3. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely before cutting into wedges. Serve with whipped cream. The chocolate pie can be refrigerated overnight. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

PETEE'S PIE COMPANY, L.E.S., NY


Last weekend I had a slice of Salty Chocolate Chess pie at Petee's Pie Company in the Lower East Side. It was love at first bite. Second generation pie baker, Petra "Petee Paradez, grew up in her family's acclaimed bakery, Mom's Apple Pie Company, in Leesburg, Virginia. I instantly recognized her Southern roots in her scrumptious chess pie. True to her promise - "damn fine pie for damn fine people." I can't wait to try the rest of her pies. 




Petee's Pie Company
61 Delancey Street
NYC 10002
(212) 966-2526
10am-11pm Su-Th / 10am-12am Fr-Sa

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

MAPLE BUTTERMILK CUSTARD PIE

via food & wine / PHOTO © ANNA WATSON CARL
My favorite baking duo, sisters Emily and Melissa Elsen, of Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn, New York make, hands down, some of the best pies I've ever eaten. The standard classics in their cookbook, The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book, make me feel all warm and fuzzy but the uncommon pies with their unusual pairings and flavor profiles inspire me to bake. 

As a Southerner I'm a huge fan of buttermilk pie but this recipe for Maple Buttermilk Custard Pie takes the slice! In a weird way the flavor reminds me of my grandma's homemade biscuits - piping hot from the oven - and topped with a swirl of melted butter and Winesett honey (orange blossom). Yum. This pie is worth every bit of time it takes to bake it. 

Maple Buttermilk Custard Pie

Cornmeal Crust for a 9-inch single-crust pie, partially pre-baked (recipe below)
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon stone-ground white cornmeal
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
1 cup sour cream
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
¾ cup maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
1 cup buttermilk

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the prebaked pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter. Add the vanilla paste (or vanilla extract) and the sour cream and stir until smooth. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the maple syrup and buttermilk and mix until smooth.
  3. Strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the pie shell, or strain it into a separate bowl and then pour it into the shell. (FYI: I was left with about 1/3 cup of filling that would not make it through the strainer.) 
  4. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, rotating 180 degrees when the edges start to set, 30 to 35 minutes through baking.
  5. The pie is finished when the edges are set and puffed slightly and the center is no longer liquid but still quite wobbly.
  6. Be careful not to over-bake or the custard can separate; the filling will continue to cook and set after the pie is removed from the oven.
  7. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm, at room temperature, or cool. The pie will keep refrigerated for 2 days or at room temperature for 1 day.
Cornmeal Crust (for a single-crust pie)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup stone-ground cornmeal
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
¼ pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup cold water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
½ cup ice
  1. Stir the flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a spatula. With a pastry blender (or using your fingers like we did), cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay; be careful not to over blend). 
  2. Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, and mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine.
  3. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow. Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.

How to partially pre-bake it:
  1. Once dough has been chilled in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, roll it out and shape it into a 9-inch pie plate. Use a fork to prick all over the bottom and sides, 15 to 20 times. Place the shaped crust in the freezer. Position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack, and preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. When the crust is frozen solid (about 10 minutes), line it tightly with a piece or two of aluminum foil. Make sure the edges are completely covered and there are no gaps between the foil and the crust.
  3. Pour pie weights or dried beans into the pan and spread them so they are concentrated more around the edge of the shell than in the center. Place the pan on the preheated baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until crimped edges are set but not browned.
  4. Remove the pan and the baking sheet from the oven, lift out the foil and pie weights, and let the crust cool for a minute. Use a pastry brush to coat the bottom and sides with a thin layer of egg white glaze (1 egg white whisked with 1 teaspoon of water) to moisture-proof the crust. Return the pan, on the baking sheet, to the oven’s middle rack and continue baking for 3 more minutes. Remove and cool completely before filling.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

CALIFORNIA: MEYER LEMON MERINGUE PIE


When I thought about different possibilities for California's state pie, I considered two fruits - avocado and Meyer lemons. I chose the latter. Plump, smooth skinned and the color of canary yellow, Meyer lemons are sweeter and less acidic than their sour cousins. Once hard to find outside of California, these aromatic lemons have become increasingly common in grocery stores. Originally imported from China about 100 years ago, Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and a sweet orange. With their sweeter juice, thinner peel, less acid and a more floral scent and taste, Meyers are the perfect ingredient for desserts. 

Lemon meringue is a custard base pie with a fluffy meringue topping. Because of its few ingredients, be choosy - there's no substitute for fresh, juicy lemons. This recipe is topped with Swiss meringue instead of a raw French meringue topping. 

Ph: Lauren Weisenthal via Serious Eats 
Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
2 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
4 egg whites
pinch salt
pinch cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 425º F. Line the shaped, chilled, pie crust with parchment or foil and fill with weights and bake for 15 minutes on the lower rack. Remove the liner and weights and bake until the whole crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. 
  2. Place the lemon juice, water, and zest in a medium sized saucepan. Whisk together the cornstarch, 1 1/3 cups sugar, and salt, and add it to the saucepan. Whisk the egg yolks then add them to the mixture and whisk continuously over medium heat until the mixture becomes thick and bubbles, 7 to 8 minutes. Whisk for an additional two minutes once it's begun to bubble, without stopping, then remove from heat. Whisk in the butter until it is completely melted. Pour the mixture into the baked pie shell and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Allow the pie to come to room temperature, then chill for at least four hours (ideally, overnight) with the plastic wrap still on top. 
  3. Before serving: Fill medium saucepan on quarter full with water. Set the saucepan over medium heat, and bring water to a simmer. Combine egg whites, remaining sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of electric mixer and place over saucepan. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Test by rubbing between your fingers. Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Remove the plastic from the top of the chilled pie and top with the meringue. Place the pie under the broiler and watch it carefully, the top should brown but not burn, and it charges quickly. Chill for 10 minutes, then serve. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

ARKANSAS: POSSUM PIE


The pie that just about shows up on Arkansas menus everywhere is known as "possum" pie. So named because it "plays possum," in that it represents itself as something else. It's also known by a lot of other monikers in Arkansas such as Four-Layer Pie, Striped Delight, and Chocolate Layer Pie. The traditional pie starts with a sandy bottom, a mix of flour and pecan pieces pressed directly onto the pie pan and blind-baked before assembly. The rest of the pie isn't baked. The filling consists of a cream-cheese layer, followed by a layer of rich chocolate pudding, topped with a layer of whipped cream toasted pecan bits. If you don't know the chocolate is in there, it looks like some sort of strange pecan-cream pie hybrid.

ph via cookbook wall

Possum Pie 
Pecan Shortbread Crust:
1  cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter, grated
3/4 cups finely chopped toasted pecans
pinch of salt
  1. Toast pecans first by baking whole nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet for about 8 minutes at 350 F. Stir once or twice while they bake. Keep an eye on them, nuts burn easily. 
  2. Pulse all of these ingredients together in a food processor. Alternatively, mix thoroughly with an electric mixer or by hand.
  3. Press into the bottom and up the side of a 10-inch pie plate. Place in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Preheat oven to 350º F. Bake crust for approximately 12-15 minutes until lightly golden; set aside to cool completely. It can be frozen at this point.
First Layer:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  1. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Evenly distribute this filling over the graham cracker crust - OR -  pecan shortbread crust. 
Second Layer:

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding *alt homemade pudding
1/4 cup instant chocolate pudding *alt homemade pudding
1 3/4 cups cold whole milk
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  1. In a bowl, whisk the milk, vanilla, and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Sprinkle chopped pecans over cream cheese layer, then spoon pudding over both. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
    - OR for homemade pudding-
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, cornstarch, and salt. 
  2. Combine the eggs yolks and milk, breaking up the yolks with a fork, and then pour the mixture over the dry ingredients in the saucepan. Whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the pudding thickens and boils, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, and stir in the butter and vanilla. Scrape into a shallow bowl, smoothing the top of the pudding, and press a piece of waxed paper over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool for 30 minutes. 
Third Layer:
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
12 -16 pecan halves, toasted
  1. Spread whipped cream over the chocolate layer. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and grate some of the dark chocolate bar over the top.