Cranberry Mince Tart

Now that it is officially Autumn, it’s pumpkin and cranberry time. I’ve been wanting to make this tart since last year and I had to call 3 different stores to find cranberries. Apparently, September is too early. But never fear! Whole Foods saved the day.

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Mmm cranberries. This pie added a hint of zing with some orange zest and of course the traditional cinnamon and nutmeg. I have never used golden raisins or currants before and I have to say they’re absolutely wonderful with cranberries. Speaking of ingredients, the list of things for the filling does seem quite long but it’s actually quite easy. I bought the pecans already chopped and all the dried fruit gets added in as is. The only prep you have to do is zest an orange and mince a little crystallized ginger. All in all, the filling is actually quite quick to put together so don’t be worried! Photo_6

In my last post, the Spiced Fig Pie, I mentioned I had an issue with the filling amount; too little in that particular dish. For this one, I had the opposite problem, too much! I’d probably scale down to 4 or 5 cups of cranberries instead of 6, and change the other ingredients accordingly. Photo_3

Overall, this pie was well worth the wait. All my favorite autumn things plus a little orange whipped cream? Done and done. Just missing chocolate and pumpkin….maybe next week!

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Cranberry Mince Tart – Recipe from A Year of Pies

You will need:

  • 1/2 recipe basic pie dough
  • 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom

Orange Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract

Filling

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 6 cups cranberries
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  2. Prepare the crust: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and fit it into the tart pan. Trim the overhang to 1 inch, then fold it inside the tart pan, pressing it against the pan’s fluted sides.
  3. Prick the bottom of the crust 6 or 7 times with a fork, then place the crust in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  4. Line the crust with parchment paper, and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, then remove from the oven, leaving the oven on and reducing the temperature to 375˚F.
  5. Remove the dried beans or pie weights and the parchment paper from the crust, and cool it slightly before filling.
  6. Prepare the orange whipped cream: Combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and orange extract in a medium-size bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat at highest speed until billowy peaks form.
  7. Transfer the whipped cream to a serving bowl and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve with the pie.
  8. Prepare the filling: Combine the sugar, water, and orange juice in a medium-size saucepan and heat, stirring, over medium-high heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  9. Add the cranberries and orange zest and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, 5 to 7 minutes, until some of the cranberries have popped and the liquid is gently simmering.
  10. Remove from the heat and whisk in the arrowroot or cornstarch until fully incorporated into the cranberry mixture. Set aside.
  11. Combine the pecans, dark raisins, gold raisins, currants, crystallized ginger, spices, and salt in a medium-size bowl. Stir to mix thoroughly.
  12. Add the cranberry mixture to the bowl with nuts and fruits, and stir again to mix thoroughly.
  13. Assemble the tart: Pour the filling into the prepared crust, using a spatula to spread it evenly. Bake in the 375˚F oven for 25 minutes, until the crust edges are golden brown and the filling is set.
  14. Cool at least 1 hour before serving with the orange whipped cream, and first remove the sides of the pan.

Spiced Fig Pie

Autumn officially begins this Tuesday! I’ve been talking about it for weeks and now its SO CLOSE!  To celebrate the occasion, I thought I’d try a spiced pie with fall figs.

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I loved the spice of the filling in this pie. It called for star anise pods, which I had never used before, fresh ground in a coffee mill to get the most flavor.  Smelled absolutely amazing while baking!Photo_4

I did run into an issue with the amounts called for in the recipe (as you might be able to tell from the photos). It seems as though I had about half the amount of figs necessary to fill the pie dish, even though I definitely had a full pound. There was enough of the filling for 2 lbs of figs so I would suggest doubling the figs while keeping the rest of the ingredients the same.

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The lemon zest on the top is optional but I wouldn’t skimp on it. Adds a nice zing to a very autumn spice flavor. The filling is quite strong, the anise being the predominate flavor. I found it delicious but definitely only needed a small slice. Add some french vanilla ice cream as a base and it’s a great autumn dessert!Photo_2

Spiced Fig Pie – Recipe from First Prize Pies 

Ingredients:

  • Classic pie crust for one 9-inch pie
  • 1 pound fresh figs (Mission or Turkish), sliced in half lengthwise and stemmed
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • dark one is good for this recipe
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Lemon zest for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Roll out the dough into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate, trim the overhang to about 1 inch, tuck the overhang under, and crimp decoratively. Blind bake the pie crust until partially baked; set it aside to cool. Lower the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Make the filling: Arrange the figs, cut side up, in the bottom of the pie crust, keeping them pressed closely together.
  3. In a spice grinder, coffee mill, or mortar and pestle, finely grind the star anise and cloves.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together honey, sugar, butter, cornstarch, allspice, and salt until combined. Pour the mixture over the figs.
  5. Put the pie on the baking sheet and bake it for 30 to 50 minutes, until the figs are tender and the juices are thickened. Remove it to a rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour. Sprinkle with lemon zest, if using. This pie can be kept refrigerated, covered in plastic wrap, for up to 5 days. Allow it to come to room temperature or warm it through in a love oven, before serving.

Honey Raspberry Custard Tart

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I know I said the watermelon cream pie I made a couple weeks ago was my last summer pie, but I found myself jonesin’ for one last taste of summer raspberries. I decided on a custard based tart with fresh raspberries and honey drizzled over each slice. A wonderful way to say goodbye to those balmy, summer days. Photo_5

For the custard base, I used the healthier alternative of yogurt as opposed to milk or cream. This pie was just as creamy as a regular custard and just as delicious. It was a little on the tart side as I used plain honey yogurt, which I didn’t mind in the slightest, but if you prefer your tarts with a sweeter side, definitely go for the vanilla yogurt.

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The crust also requires a little blind baking, just to give it some crunch. I would say it’s not entirely necessary, but I strongly recommend it, otherwise you might end up with a  soggy bottom to your pie. Make sure to bake it once for 10 minutes with the beans or pie weights in the tart pan and then another 10 without, or you could a huge puffball instead of a flat crust!

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I also added a little of that orange blossom water I love so much to the pie dough, for a tidge of extra flavor; compliments the raspberry custard filling wonderfully. Very light, and not too sweet, this pie keeps the summer going just a little longer. Photo

Honey Raspberry Custard Tart – Recipe by Aberdeen Gielow

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • 3/4 cup cold water

For the Filling:

  • 12 oz raspberries
  • 1 cup honey yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey for drizzling

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F
  2. Prepare the crust: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt until fully combined.
  3. Add the cubed butter, and using either a pastry blender or two forks, cut the butter into the mixture until the pieces are around the size of a pea.
  4. Pour in the rose water, then the ice water starting with 8 tablespoons. Stir until the dough clumps together. If it is too dry, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of water.
  5. Move the dough to a floured surface (you can keep the dough in the bowl as long as you add enough flour to your hands) and fold the dough into itself until the flour is incorporated (if it is too sticky, add some more flour to the surface or your hands) and forms a ball.
  6. Divide the dough in half and pat the halves down into two discs, about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap each one in plastic and chill in the fridge for 15-30 minutes. An hour is best but it’ll do fine with less time, as long as its chilled.
  7. Remove one disc from the fridge. Roll it out into a 12 inch circle on a lightly floured surface and  use to line the tart pan.
  8. Prick the bottom with a fork. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 15 minutes.
  9. Line the chilled dough crust with was paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the paper and beans, and bake for another 10 minutes or until pale golden. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  10. Make the filling: Whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract together and then stir in the honey yogurt.
  11. Place the raspberries on top of the cooled rust. Pour the filling over the raspberries.
  12. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until crust is golden and custard filling is set.
  13. Cool for 5 minutes and drizzle with honey to serve.

Candied Apple Pie

 A couple weeks ago I went on a night time excursion down to the space needle and saw the Chiluly Garden and Glass Exhibit. One particular piece in the large glass atrium looked like delicious flower shaped candy. Not longer after I was flipping through my new cookbook and found a recipe for a Candied Apple Pie. The candy topping was the same color as the exhibit and It even looks like glass! 

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This pie doesn’t have your typical apple pie filling. Sure there’s sugar and cinnamon and all that jazz but it also has an apple cider reduction, making a sort of caramel filling with extra flavoring. The apple cider caramel apple inside was probably my favorite part of this pie. 

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Now don’t get me wrong. The candied topping was a close second. I’m not a frequent candy maker myself so I don’t own a candy thermometer. However, I did make caramel from scratch back in culinary school and remembered something about sugar cooking stages. 

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After some quick googling, I found that the “hard-crack stage” is when sugar reaches the temperature required to make hard candy, around 300˚F. When you’re making this, you cannot leave the stove. Since the sugar has to get to such a high temperature, it’s pretty much just about to burn when you take it off the heat. Completely worth it though.  Photo_6

It’s fantastic. There’s a hint of spice to the candy topping due to the addition of cayenne pepper that goes really nicely with the sweet filling inside the pie. I also added some colored decorating sugar to the top to give it even more of a candy look. Definitely a crowd pleaser, and perfect for the upcoming autumn!

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Candied Apple Pie – Recipe from First Prize Pies 

Ingredients: 

  • Classic pie crust for one double crust pie

Filling: 

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 pounds tart apples
  • egg wash or milk, for glaze
  • raw sugar, for garnish

Candy Topping: 

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 10 to 15 drops food coloring

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F. 
  2. Roll out half of the dough into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the overhang to 1 inch and refrigerate the crust. 
  3. Make the filling: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat, cook the cider until it’s reduced down to 1/2 cup.
  4. Lower the heat to sugar, cream, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and cook down for 7 to 10 minutes, until it is dark, thick, and glossy. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool to just warm. 
  5. Layer the apple slices in the pie plate, and pour the caramel sauce over. Brush the pie shell edges with egg wash, milk, or extra cream. 
  6. Roll the second half of the dough into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. Lay it over the filled i.e. plate, and press the edges down to seal. Trim the overhang to 1 inch, and roll the edges of the dough inward or outward. Crimp the edge into whatever pattern you like, and brush the top with egg wash or milk. 
  7. Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake it for 20 minutes, rotating it once halfway through. Lower the temperature to 350˚F and bake it for 30 to 40 minutes more, until the crust is golden and the juices are thickened. Remove it to a wire rack to cool it completely. 
  8. Make the topping: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/3 cup water over hight heat. Cook until the syrup reaches 300˚F on a candy thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cayenne, cinnamon, and food coloring (be careful, it will bubble up and release a lot of steam). 
  9. Using a fork, drizzle the hot candy over the top of the pie in circles, or whatever pattern pleases you. Do this immediately to prevent the candy from hardening too quickly. If it becomes difficult to use, heat it gently over low heat to soften it again. 
  10. This pie is best served shortly after it’s been baked, and leftovers should be kept boxed in a cardboard or plastic container at room temperature. The condensation in the refrigerator will soften the candy topping, and you’ll lose that delightful crush. 

Watermelon Cream Pie

Labor Day Weekend is upon us! Ergo, this is my final summer pie (I’ve been dying for Autumn since the end of June). With the last of the watermelon left from those sweltering august days, I decided to test out a watermelon cream pie. Right off the bat, I’ll say it turned out quite well!

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First off, I was halfway through making this pie and realized I didn’t have any lime (gasp!) but I did have lemon juice. This substitution worked out perfectly. In my opinion, you can use either citrus depending on your personal preferences. Also, my lemon juice was definitely not “freshly squeezed” and it tasted exactly the same. Again, up to you!

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I made a little extra of the whipped cream topping because, seriously, who doesn’t love a whipped cream topping? Had to make sure there was enough. Also, I had some leftover mint in the fridge and sprinkled some on top for extra flavor and color. 

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I’ll admit, I was a bit apprehensive about a watermelon pie. I’d never heard of it before! After a taste of this pie, my nerves were nullified. Pretty much all of summer in a bite; watermelon, lemon and mint. Creamy, sweet and simple. Trust me on this one, it seems like it might be an odd choice for a pie but it’s definitely worth it! One last slice of summer before the leaves start falling and the apple pies start taking over  :-) 

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Watermelon Cream Pie – Recipe from First Prize Pies

Ingredients 

  • Classic pie crust for one 9-inch pie 

FIlling:

  • 6 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F. 
  2. Roll out the dough into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate, trim the overhang to about 1 inch, tuck the overhang under, and crimp decoratively. Blind bake the pie crust until it is fully baked; set it aside to cool. 
  3. Make the filling: In a blender, puree the watermelon chunks until smooth. Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve into a large saucepan, pushing on the solids to extract all the juice. Discard the solids. You should have about 4 cups of strained puree. If you have extra, use it for cocktails, popsicles, or drink it fresh! 
  4. Ladle out about 1/4 cup of the puree into a small bowl, whisk in the corn starch, and set aside. 
  5. Add the granulated sugar, lime juice, and salt to the remaining puree in the pan, and bring it to a boil, whisking frequently.
  6. When the juice is boiling, stir the cornstarch mixture again to make sure it’s completely smooth, and then whisk it into the boiling pot.
  7. Simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until the filling has thickened to coat the back of a spoon. 
  8. Put the pie crust on a baking sheet. Pour the filling into the crust, smoothing the surface with a spatula.
  9. Refrigerate it, uncovered for about 1 hours, then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours or overnight. 
  10. Make the topping: In a stand mixer, with a hand mixer, or by hand with a whisk, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the filling, slice the pie, and serve. 
  11. This pie can be made ahead, without the topping, and refrigerated for up to 3 days, covered in plastic wrap. Add the whipped cream topping right before serving. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie

So lets combine those Pretzel M&M’s with a Reeses Cup, then make it a pie. Absolutely, right? Who wouldn’t die for a slice of that?

Well.

I found it. Chocolate, peanut butter and pretzels AKA the “Trifecta Pie”:

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I was on a search for a pie to make my mom for her birthday and I remembered any time we went to Baskin Robbins she would always get the peanut butter chocolate ice cream. I would also have to say a particular Achilles Heel of hers is the potato chip. Thus I found the Trifecta Pie. Salt, peanut and chocolate? Done. Photo_3

Not only is this pie unbelievably delicious, there is zero baking involved. Perfect for these August dog days of summer we’ve been having. Since the crust is made of literally pretzels and butter, there’s no need for a blind bake. In fact, just throw it in the freezer for 10 minutes and it’s ready to go! The filling is a simple peanut butter “mousse;” fluffy, creamy and no baking necessary, just a firm up in the fridge. Amazing. Photo_2

I did run into a tidge of a struggle trying to grind up the pretzels. My food processor couldn’t seem to break them down enough to form a crust so I had to take them out, put them in a plastic bag and smash the rolling pin over them. When I say smash, I mean smash. I rolled the pin over them for a bit and then proceeded to whack the bag to get them to break down. Then I put them back in the food processor and ground them down enough to be acceptable for a crust. However, my crust looks much chunkier than the one in the cookbook so I would suggest using more butter than less to get a fine enough grind.Photo

As for the chocolate ganache, don’t stress! I combined both of the methods listed in the recipe directions. I scalded the cream and melted the chocolate in the microwave so there wouldn’t be any temperature differences that could result in chipped, cooled chocolate. My ganache turned out perfectly! I even made a little extra just to make sure there was enough to spread on top. If you are a sweet and salty lover, or just a peanut butter chocolate lover in general, this is the pie for you!

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Trifecta Pie (Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie) – Recipe from First Prize Pies

Pretzel Crust:

  • 8 ounces salted pretzels
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (pretzels can be very dry, so you may need more)

Filling:

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (if unsalted, add 1/4 teaspoon salt)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or pieces
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Crumbled preset pieces, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Make the crust: Grind the pretzels in a food processor until finely ground or seal them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Pour in the butter and mix (hands are best for this) until the texture is that of wet sand (you may need more or less butter, depending on the texture of the pretzels.)
  2. Firmly press the crumbs in a 9-inch pie pan. Chill the crust in the freezer or fridge until ready to use.
  3. Make the filling: In a stand mixer, with a hand mixer, or by hand with a whisk, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Set the whipped cream aside.
  4. Using the paddle attachment of the stand mixer (or a wooden spoon in a mixing bowl), mix together the cream cheese, peanut butter, and powdered sugar, starting at a low speed and increasing the speed until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, pour the whipped cream into the bowl, and mix again until all ingredients are fully blended.
  5. Pour the peanut butter cream into the pretzel shell. Refrigerate it for 15 minutes to allow the cream to firm up.
  6. Make the topping: Heat the cream over medium-high heat until it is scalded. Pour it over the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl. Allow it to stand for 1 minute, then whisk together to form a ganache. (You can also heat the cream and chocolate in the microwave at medium power for 1 minute, or in a double boiler.)
  7. Pour the glaze over the peanut butter cream and spread it to the edges with a spatula. Decorate the top with pretzel pieces and refrigerate it for 15 minutes to firm to the ganache. This pie can be refrigerated, covered in plastic wrap, for up to 1 week. It’s also fantastic frozen, and can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Summer Peach Caprese Pie

I’m a huge fan of pretty much anything Caprese; Caprese salad, Caprese towers and of course, Caprese pizza. This pie is a fruity summer version, perfect for the almost overwhelming abundance of ripe, juicy peaches.

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Ohemgee is this delicious. The pie itself is super easy to make, you just want to be careful with the balsamic reduction. It’s simple enough (1 cup boiling away on the stove) but make sure you stand there and watch it! I definitely burned my first batch after leaving it on the stove for a minute too long (embarrassing but true). Photo_2

 

Slightly different from the original recipe, I still used my basic pie dough recipe and not a pizza dough recipe. Because of this, I had to bake mine for about 10 minutes longer than the recipe specified. Next time I’ll use a lower oven temp, around 425˚F, so that the toppings don’t become quite as toasty. Photo

 

Also, instead of dicing the basil, I decided to go with a chiffonade. That way, you get larger bits of basil flavor but not too much to overpower the rest of the bite. This pie is the wonderful combination of savory and sweet, and so light it’s perfect for summer!Photo_5

Summer Peach Caprese Pie – Recipe adapted from Love and Oil 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 recipe homemade pie dough
  • 1 cup basalmic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup freshly diced basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  2. To make the balsamic reduction, pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vinegar has reduced to 1/4 cup. Set aside, and cool to room temperature.
  3. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a circle. Place the pizza on a pizza peel or pan.
  4. Lightly brush the dough with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Top the dough with fresh shredded mozzarella, peach slices, goat cheese crumbles and fresh basil. Drizzle the pizza with balsamic reduction.
  5. Place the pizza in the oven-directly on the pizza stone, if using one, or on the oven rack. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until pizza crust is golden and cheese is melted.
  6. Remove from oven and let the pizza cool for a few minutes and then cut into slices and serve warm.

Peaches and Cream Crumble Top Pie

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Peaches and Cream Pie!!! With a sugary, nutty, buttery topping. Need I say more?Photo_4

First off, the cream in this pie is actually sour cream! You’d have no idea from the taste of it, the sweetness of the peaches and added sugar completely mask any “sour” taste. The texture of the sour cream is absolutely perfect for this filling; similar a custard and not too rich.

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This pie is definitely on my favorites list. The crumble topping is unbelievable. One thing I would change is the amount of almond extract. I’m not the biggest fan of that particular flavoring (tastes like marzipan). The recipe only calls for 1 teaspoon but it’s extremely potent. I would reduce it to 1/2 teaspoon and then add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Photo

Seriously though. You need to make this pie. One warning: You will get the Peaches n’ Cream song stuck on your for days (now what I meeean, peaches n’creeeam)

….but it’s worth it. Photo_3

Peaches and Cream Crumble Top Pie – Recipe by Ashley English

You will need:

  • 1/2 recipe basic pie dough
  • a 9 inch deep dish pie plate

Crumble Topping:

  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (to toast, bake at 275˚F for 4 to 5 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup packed, dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Filling:

  • 3 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 pounds peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/2 inch slices

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  2. Prepare the crust: Roll our the dough on a lightly floured surface and fit it into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Trim the crust overhang to 1 inch and crimp the edges decoratively.
  3. Prick the bottom of the crust 6 or 7 times, with a fork, then place the crust in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  4. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or pie weights.
  5. Bake 10 minutes, then remove it from the oven, leaving the oven on and reducing the temperature to 375˚F.
  6. Remove the dried beans or pie weights and parchment paper from the crust, and cool it completely before filling.
  7. Prepare the crumble topping: Combine all the top pin ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Using your hands, mix everything together until the butter is well-incorporated and the mixture forms pea-size crumbles.
  8. Cover the b owl with a kitchen cloth and place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to use.
  9. Prepare the filling: Whisk together the eggs and egg yolks, sour crew,. flour, sugar and almond extract in another medium-size bowl.
  10. Assemble the pie: Arrange the peach slices over the bottom of the cooled crust. Pour the filing over the peach slices. Set the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the 375˚F oven for 35 minutes.
  11. Remove the pie from the oven, leaving the oven on.
  12. Sprinkle the chilled crumble topping evenly over the custard filling, then return the pie to the oven to bake an additional 15 minutes, until the crumble is golden brown.
  13. Cool at least one hour before serving.

 

 

Veggie Pot Pie

A while back I made a chicken pot pie from the cook book A Year of Pies by Ashley English. I remember thinking it to be the richest, most delectable chicken pot pie I had ever tasted. Although, since it was quite rich, I haven’t made it since then. I decided to try it as a vegetable pot pie instead, hoping that maybe the more basic, understated flavor of the potatoes would balance better with the richness of the creamy filling.

Oh man. I’ll be making this version quite frequently. Photo

In love with this pie. Simple, basic, yet so creamy, delicious and filling, even without the meat! I jam packed my deep dish pie pan until it was almost overflowing with the veggie mixture. Even though it was encased in a pie crust on top, definitely use an unrimmed baking pan with this recipe! (Otherwise have a fantastic time cleaning creamy filling off the bottom of your oven).

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Even though chicken pot pie is usually considered an autumn or winter dish, substituting the chicken for potatoes makes this pie much lighter. Magically, it is still quite filling, and doesn’t leave you with an uncomfortable food coma during the August heat. Photo_4

 

Served with a summer salad and chilled glass of white, this vegetable pot pie is perfect for any warm summer evening. Test it out and let me know what you think!Photo_5

Vegetable Pot Pie – Recipe Adapted from Ashley English

You will need:

  • 1/2 recipe basic pie dough
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 9 X 9 inch baking dish or 9-inch deep-dish pie plate
  • Large un-rimmed baking sheet
  • Egg wash (1 large egg yolk, 1 tablespoon cold water)

For the Filling:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 stalk celery, trimmed and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup rosé or white wine
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, diced

Directions:

  1. Butter the 9 X 9-inch baking dish or deep-dish pie plate. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the crust: Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and roll it out into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface.
  3. Sprinkle the celery seeds across the surface of the dough and roll over it lightly several times with the rolling pin until the seeds are imbedded in the dough.
  4. Transfer the dough circle to a large un-rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate while preparing the filling.
  5. Prepare the filling: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté for 10 or so minutes, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned.
  6. Add the garlic and sauté for 15 seconds, until aromatic.
  7. Add the mushrooms and potatoes, sauté for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and transfer to a medium-size bowl. Set aside.
  9. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  10. Make a roux by melting the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in the same saucepan, and then adding the flour.
  11. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes, until the mixture turns a sort of blond color.
  12. Little by little, stir in the vegetable stock, whisking with each addition to create a creamy sauce.
  13. Whisk in the wine, half and half, and thyme, then cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes longer until thickened.
  14. Return the vegetable mixture to the saucepan, and stir until everything is fully coated with the sauce.
  15. Assemble the pie: Pour the  vegetable mixture into the prepared baking dish or pie plate and cover with the chilled piecrust.
  16. Fold the dough overhang over on the edges of the dish and crimp decoratively as desired.
  17. Whisk the egg yolk and water in a small bowl, then use a pastry brush to brush the wash over the edges of the crust. Cut four to six 2-inch slits in the crust, creating steam vents. You’ll need to work quickly while doing this, as the vegetable mixture will heat up the dough, potentially causing the fat within it to melt.
  18. Set the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
  19. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving.

Raspberry, Peach and Honey Galette

Summer = peaches. And berries. Now add a touch of honey and orange and we’ve got ourselves a winner.

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It was too hot for a full on pie so I decided on a galette, with an orange blossom infused crust. Easy peez and delicious.

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Other than slicing the peaches, there’s not much prep involved for the filling. Throw it all into a bowl and arrange it on top of your pie dough. Done. Photo_4

I chose to do white and yellow peaches for more colors :-) The slightly varying flavor added more depth to the pie as well. Also, I opted out of baking the raspberries. I just love the taste of fresh raspberries and with them so in season it seemed a shame to turn them into mush. However, if I was making this pie when raspberries are down on their luck and somewhat sour, I would definitely bake them along with the filling.

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This pie is summer in a bite. Perfect for an after dinner dessert on your patio, along with a glass of sparkling white wine to celebrate the endless hours of daylight and the warm breeze that we miss so much in the dead of winter. Give this one a try and let me know what you think!Photo_6

Raspberry and Peach Galette – Recipe by Aberdeen Gielow

For the Crust: (this makes 1 full pie dough recipe or 2 discs but you will only use one)

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
  • 8 – 10 tablespoons ice water
  • Egg wash – 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water, whisked together

For the Filling:

  • 1 lb ripe yellow peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1 lb ripe white peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 pints raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon honey for drizzling

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  2. Prepare the crust: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt until fully combined.
  3. Add the cubed butter, and using either a pastry blender or two forks, cut the butter into the mixture until the pieces are around the size of a pea.
  4. Pour in the rose water, then the ice water starting with 8 tablespoons. Stir until the dough clumps together. If it is too dry, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of water.
  5. Move the dough to a floured surface (you can keep the dough in the bowl as long as you add enough flour to your hands) and fold the dough into itself until the flour is incorporated (if it is too sticky, add some more flour to the surface or your hands) and forms a ball.
  6. Divide the dough in half and pat the halves down into two discs, about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap each one in plastic and chill in the fridge for 15-30 minutes. An hour is best but it’ll do fine with less time, as long as its chilled.
  7. Remove one disc from the fridge. Roll it out into a 12 inch circle on a lightly floured surface.
  8. Place the dough on an un-rimmed baking sheet (I use a pizza pan) and refrigerate.
  9. Prepare the filling: Combine the peaches, cornstarch, sugar, and extracts in a large bowl. Arrange the peaches decoratively on top of the dough, leaving about 2 inches of space between the fruit and the edge of the crust.
  10. Dot the top of the filling with the diced butter and fold the dough up over the filling, overlapping the edges and pressing the folds down.
  11. Egg wash the edge of the crust.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes, until the crust is golden in color and the filling is bubbling.
  13. Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh raspberries, and drizzle the honey on top.
  14. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.