Saturday, November 19, 2016



I'm in Florida with my folks for Thanksgiving. My dad requested a berry cobbler for tonight's dessert so I dug up this Three-Berry Cobbler recipe from Williams-Sonoma and made a few of my own modifications. This is typically a summer dessert as berries aren't really in season, even in sunny Florida, but I've always had good luck with frozen berries in pies. I dug around the fridge / freezer to see what I had to work with (after all, they don't call it a cobbler for nothing... you literally cobble together what you have in the house) and found partial bags of wild Maine blueberries and blackberries in the freezer (score!) and a pint and a half of fresh blueberries. There was no buttermilk on hand (who ever does?) but I used a baker's trick of 1/3 cup of milk with about a 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar and viola instant buttermilk! 

Here's my version of the berry cobbler ---

Two-Berry Cobbler --
2 cups fresh blueberries, washed
2 cups of frozen wild blueberries, do not thaw
2 cups of frozen blackberries, do not thaw
1/3 cup white sugar
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup whole milk mixed with 1/2 Tbs. of vinegar (I used apple cider)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch square nonreactive metal pan or 9-inch ceramic baking dish with a non-stick spray -- I used butter. (Do not use glass dish for this recipe.)
  2. To make the filling, in a bowl combine the fresh & frozen blueberries, blackberries, white sugar, and cornstarch. Mix gently coating the berries. Spread fruit evenly in the prepared pan. 
  3. To make the topping, in a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a different bowl, using a hand-mixer beat together the butter and brown sugar on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed and beat in about half of the milk/vinegar mixture (or buttermilk). Add about half of the dry ingredients and beat until almost combined. Beat in the remaining buttermilk. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat until a thick, sticky batter forms. Do not overmix. 
  4. Drop the batter by heaping spoonfuls over the fruit. Spread it as evenly as possible with a back of a spoon. Some of the fruits will be exposed. 
  5. Bake the cobbler until the crust is a deep golden brown and the fruit juices bubble up around the edges through any cracks, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to lukewarm before serving. Scoop the cobbler from the dish onto a dessert plate and serve a la mode with a scoop of vanilla icecream. 
We had the cobbler after dinner and it was scrumptious! Enjoy. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Today was the first hot summer day. All I could think about was ways to cool down from the inside out. It made me think of icebox pie, something everyone craves on a summer day. Only, I was way too lethargic to attempt to make one. The good thing about frozen pie is that you can make it ahead of time, storing it in the freezer until you're ready for a slice.

Here's a perfectly light frozen pie for any summer occasion... toasted coconut combined with greek yogurt, then topped with fresh blueberries. Recipe by Amy Johnson of She Wears Many Hats.

Frozen Blueberry-Coconut Yogurt Pie

1 cup toasted coconut
3 cups vanilla greek yogurt
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and dried
1 prepared graham cracker pie crust (*or see recipe below)
  1. Combine toasted coconut with the yogurt.
  2. Evenly spread mixture into prepared graham cracker crust, top with blueberries.
  3. Freeze covered for at least 6 hours. If frozen ahead of serve time, thaw in refrigerator or counter top for about 30-60 minutes before serving. 

The following recipe for Cherries Jubilee Ice Cream Pie is from Cooking Light. The cherries are soaked in a brandy glaze and swirled right in with the ice cream. Sounds like a crowd pleaser. 

Cherries Jubilee Ice Cream Pie
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp brandy
1 (12-ounce) package frozen pitted dark sweet cherries
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (approx. 9 cookie sheets)
4 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream, softened 
  1. Preheat oven to 375º F. 
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Cool completely. 
  3. *Combine butter and honey in a medium bowl. Add graham cracker crumbs, stirring to blend. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 375º F for 8 minutes. Cool completely. 
  4. Place 1/2 cup cooled cherry mixture in a food processor; process until smooth. Place the remaining cherry mixture in an airtight container; cover and chill. 
  5. Place softened ice cream in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add pureed cherry mixture, and gently fold in to achieve a swirl pattern. 
  6. Spoon mixture into the cooled crust. Cover and freeze 4 hours or until firm. Tom with reserved cherry sauce just before serving. 

And for those of you with dietary restrictions the following icebox pie recipe via Foodie with Family is grain free, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, and raw. All I can say is wow. The original recipe for this creamy, lemon-lime, mile-high icebox pie came courtesy her friend Joy Hinterkopf. 

These are some preparation notes from Rebecca - 
  • There are ranges instead of specific measurements of ingredients i.e. dates - number of dates depend on their size and moisture; the larger the dates the less you'll need. For those recipes with ranges, start with the lower amounts and work your way up, tasting as you go. 
  • This recipe can easily be made into individually sized pies. Use small single-serving pie plates to press your crust into and divide the filling between them to make mini icebox pies.
  • If you prefer lime over lemon, replace all the lemons with limes. Likewise, if you prefer all lemon to lime, sub in lemons for limes. 
  • This recipe can be made vegan by replacing the honey with agave syrup.
  • You can use less avocados to make half the amount of filling by using standard pie plate instead of a deep dish one. 
  • Don't be tempted to substitute the extra virgin coconut oil with another oil. Part of the alchemy that makes this pie filling so creamy is the viscosity and melting properties of coconut oil. It is creamy and solid at anything under 75º F. It also is mildly flavored compared to other oils. 
Tropical Icebox Pie
For the Crust:
3/4 cup whole, raw almonds
1 cup unsweetened, finely flaked coconut
6 to 20 pitted dates, depending on size

For the Filling:
6 perfectly ripe avocados
juice and zest of 4 lemons, or more
juice and zest of 2 limes
1 cup extra virgin coconut oil, heated just to the melting point: 76º F.
3/4 to 1 1/2 cups honey, or more to taste (use agave to make the pie vegan)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Optional Garnish:
thinly sliced limes
lime zest
  1. To make the crust: Add the almonds and coconut flakes to food processor; process until it is the texture of fine fresh bread crumbs. Add 6 pitted dates and process until the dates are completely ground into the nuts and coconut. If the mixture clumps when pressed firmly between your fingers, it's ready. If it falls apart, add more dates, 1 at a time, processing until it clumps when tested. Turn the mixture into a deep dish pie plate and press it firmly and evenly on the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Put the pie plate in the refrigerator while working on the filling. 
  2. To make the filling: Wipe clean the food processor. Halve and pit all the avocados. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh from the shells and into the food processor. Immediately add the lemon and lime juice and zest, coconut oil, 3/4 cup of the honey, vanilla extract and salt; process until smooth. Taste the mixture. If it needs additional sweetness or acidity, adjust with honey and/or lemon juice. It will taste less sweet after the pie is frozen so you may want to make the mixture slightly sweeter. Scrape the filling into the prepared pie crust and smooth. Put it directly in the freezer until the surface is firm, approx. 2 hours, then cover with plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pie. 
  3. To serve the pie: You can garnish the pie with thin slice of lime and lime zest. Slice the pie and serve still frozen. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


ph: good things grow
I love twists on classic dessert recipes and came across this unusual one for Lemon Tart with Rosemary Crust via happy yolks. The crust calls for spelt flour and fresh rosemary giving it a subtle earthy flavor. And the filling made from plain Greek yogurt keeps it light making it the perfect summer dessert. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016


ph: the pie academy

I recently made a Coconut Cream Pie from a recipe I found at The Pie Academy. This recipe has a Georgia twist in that instead of a traditional pastry crust, the base is a pecan graham crack crust. It made all the difference in the world. If you have yet to check out Ken Haedrich's website, then you're missing out. His recipes are kitchen-tested making them tried and true. Registration is now open for this year's Lowcountry Pie Getaway in Charleston, South Carolina. It's a chance to meet, mingle, and bake alongside other passionate pie makers from across the country. This year's dates are October 21st, 22nd, and 23rd. 

Coconut Cream Pie with Georgia Twist
Pecan Crust:
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Cream Filling:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk or half-and-half
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, in 1/2" pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional but highly recommended)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. TO MAKE THE PECAN CRUST, combine the pecans, sugar, and flour in the bowl of a food processor and pulse the mixture until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the graham cracker crumbs and salt. Add the melted butter and mix well with a large fork. Drizzle 2 teaspoons water over the mixture and then rub the mixture with your fingers until it is well combined and slightly clumpy.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter the bottom (but not the sides) of a 9 1/2" deep-dish pie pan. Add the crumbs and spread them evenly across the bottom and up the sides. Press evenly into the pan. Bake the shell on the center oven rack for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly.
  3. TO MAKE THE FILLING, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium size, heavy saucepan, preferably nonstick. Whisk in the milk (or half-and-half) and yolks. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking almost nonstop until the mixture thickens and starts to boil - about 5 to 7 minutes. Go easy, and don't try to make it boil too quickly.
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, vanilla, coconut extract, and coconut. Pour the filling into the pie shell and smooth with a spoon. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the filling so it doesn't form a skin. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool thoroughly. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. TO MAKE THE TOPPING, put the coconut and chopped pecans in a skillet over medium-low heat and toast, stirring virtually nonstop, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the coconut takes on a golden hue. Watch it carefully; it burns easily. Quickly transfer to a plate and cool completely.
  6. About 10 minutes before you plan to serve the pie, chill a bowl and your electric mixer's beaters for 5 minutes. Pour the cream into the cold bowl and beat until it holds soft peaks, then beat in the confectioners' sugar. Add the vanilla and beat until the cream is firm but not grainy. Spread the whipped cream over the pie then sprinkle the top with the cooled coconut and pecans. Makes 8 to 10 servings.


ph: liz andrew / styling: erin mcdowell
I couldn't resist including this recipe for a one-ingredient watermelon sorbet. I happen to have a gallon of cubed watermelon in my freezer with no idea what to do with it-- until now. Blend into a smooth puree, pack into a pan, freeze again, and viola-- watermelon sorbet. Genius.

Friday, May 20, 2016


Quirky photographer and self-taught baker Christine McConnell created this kitschy chicken pot pie by carving a beak and feet out of a carrot. Amazing. She has a new cookbook coming out called Deceptive Desserts. Follow her Instagram.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


via from the kitchen

Pear and Almond Frangipane Tart with Honey Semifreddo From The Kitchen. You can find the recipe here.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


ph: h. armstrong roberts/corbis c. 1950
For those days when even pie isn't enough. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


ph via the baking bird
Delicious Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Tart recipe from The Baking Bird. Dark chocolate, smooth peanut butter, and crunchy salted pretzels... sign me up.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


ph via love, cake
Found this recipe on Samantha Seneviratne's website Love, Cake. Amazing. Check out her cookbook, The New Sugar and Spice: A Recipe for Bolder Baking

Monday, April 25, 2016


A North Carolina pie that elicits an 'Oh My God' response... Atlantic Beach Pie from Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill, a cross between a key lime and a lemon meringue pie. A recipe shared by Katie Workman for All Things Considered's Found Recipe series. You can find the article and recipe here

Saturday, April 16, 2016


ph: country living

I came across Country Living's list of 50 classic All-American pie recipes. They scoured the country looking for the best in regional pies from Shaker Lemon to Chess to Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie. My favorite out of the bunch was the Lemon-Buttermilk Tart.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


ph: lee balterman, chicago c. 1955 via ASX 
I've spent quite a bit of time trying to identify the above photo. Here's what I know -- the photo was taken by photographer Lee Balterman in Chicago circa 1955 and the theater across the street is the Oriental Theater on Randolph Street. I think I've managed to narrow down the possibilities to either Thompson's Cafeteria, Holloway House Cafeteria, or maybe even DeMet's Candies. Regardless, it's a great photo. I love the multi-tiered wire pie racks in the background. I'm always so careful when handling pies but check out how carelessly she's stacked the pies on top of one another. I guess when you're baking them by the dozens you spend less time worrying about slight imperfections. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016


via piegram
What better way to remember the people you love then by sending them a PieGram. PieGrams are special packages of homemade mini pies made from scratch with locally and regionally sourced ingredients in Milwaukee, Wisconson at Honeypie Cafe. You choose the flavors, and they'll ship them off with a personal note from you. It's sure to make someone's day. Piegram packages come in packages of one, two, or four 6-inch pies. Flavors include Cherry Berry Crumb, Chocolate Turtle, Whiskey Walnut Pecan, Blueberry Almond Streusel, Bourbon Fudge, Caramel Apple Crumbel, Door County Cherry Lattice, Triple Chocolate Brownie, Wisconsin Salted Maple, Gingered Pear, and a Flavor of the Month. Don't wait, go and order you PieGram!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


via Pinterest
This old-fashioned pie recipe begins with raisin simmered with sugar and cornstarch, which removes their chewiness and makes them plump and juicy. The sweetness is balanced out by using milder golden raisins and adding a little lemon zest.

Raisin Pie
1 double-crust pie dough
1/2 cup milk, whole or low-fat
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups golden raisins
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 teaspoon lemon zest
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line 9-inch pie plate with 1 dough round and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Whisk milk and cornstarch in measuring cup until no lumps remain. Bring raisins, ½ cup sugar, and water to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and whisk in milk mixture, butter, and zest.
  3. Pour filling into chilled pie shell. Brush edges of dough with 1/3 egg white and top with remaining dough round. Seal and crimp edges. Brush top of dough with remaining egg white and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Using paring knife, cut four vents in top of dough.
  4. Bake until light golden, about 20 minutes, then decrease oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 1 hour. Serve. (Pie can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for 2 days.)