Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Can we expand this?

I'm craving cobblers and crisps and all of that lately. Any family recipes for those lying around?


So this is literally one of the first things I ever baked. I have not had it in many years and my recent pie obsession got me thinking back and I am so very glad I remembered it. It's unbelievable the next day after a nice sit in the fridge. sorry no pic of it, made at my Oscar party (which almost no one came to thanks to a snowstorm- haha more for me-it has been my breakfast the past two days..!). It can have a top crust or not..I was raised on top crust but the one I made was one crust. Just play around with it but don't let it go- I am telling you it is comfort pie, try it.

Sophie Lang's (my Dad's mom, but he also made a mean one) Ricotta Pie:

For the crust
3 c. flour
3/4 c. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. lemon rind

1 lb. Ricotta cheese
4 eggs
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Dash of cinnamon or nutmeg
1 pie shell (unbaked)

Beat all ingredients together and pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until knife inserted comes out clean, as for a custard pie.

I added some lemon juice, increased the sugar a bit cos I actually made mine with low fat (LAME, I had it on hand) but I encourage you to use whole.


I am giving you
my favorite savory pie recipe. It's so simple, but the ultimate delicious.
I have brought this pie to many many pot lucks and received the praise that
I am always secretly seeking at such events.

Leek and Mustard Pie (from the Greens)

4 to 5 cups leeks, cut into 1/4" rings
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 c white wine or water
1/2 tsp salt
Peeper to taste
2 eggs
1 cup crème fraiche (or cream or half and half)
3 tablespoons of good quality mustard
3 oz gruyere cheese
3 ounces 2 tablespoons chives, cut into narrow rounds.

Your favorite crust partially pre-baked.

Pre heat oven to 375. Wash leeks and set them aside. Melt butter in wide
skillet med heat. Add leeks w/ water that clings to them, stir for 2-3 min.
Add wine/water and salt, cover reduce heat and cook slowly till leeks are
tender, 10 to 15 min. Check after 7 and add more liquid if ness. In bowl
beat eggs. Add crème, mustard, leeks and cheese. Pour into crust. Scatter
chives on top. Bake this baby till it's golden brown about 35/ 40 min.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Lime Pie, oh my.

Nicole has made a request I can't refuse...an entry on our favorite pies.
As much of a dessert fiend as I am, I've never been much of a pie gal, honestly, save for ONE kind: key lime pie.
I love it because it's sweet and tart and most importantly, requires minimal baking, making it almost foolproof. I learned a very basic recipe from an old college boyfriend (who, incidentally, Nicole ALSO dated... but that's a hilarious story for another time) about ten years ago. I ended up making it for my husband shortly after we met, and it blew his mind as he is British and they don't have key lime pies across the Atlantic. They have gross things like dried fruit and custard "spotted dicks" and "Christmas puddings' that are filled with prunes and barf syrup that he makes me eat once a year. But I digress...

Though many associate this pie with Florida, I personally think of Red Hook, Brooklyn, where I discovered Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies. If you've never tried his pies, and you live in the area, get over there, you won't regret it. And if you're not local, you're in luck- cuz you can order one here!

I'm going to refer to my own recipe as a Lime Pie, as I don't always find actual key limes and have to resort to using regular limes. Either way, I think both work well.

Here's the basic recipe I follow:

For crust:
Take about a cup of crushed graham cracker and mix with half a cup of melted, unsalted butter.
Mush together until you get a workable crust consistency and pat into pie pan, forming a bottom and side crust. Bake until golden and firm, roughly 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees.
Once is has cooled down, pour in the filling.

The filling:
1 can of sweetened, condensed milk
5 (large) egg yolks
1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice (maybe 8-10 limes?)

First blend condensed milk with the yolks, careful not to overblend.
Once thoroughly mixed in, you can add the lime juice. Add more lime juice to taste, as some people want it milder and others, like me, like it really tarty.

Pour filling into cooled pie shell, refrigerate to set, at least 2 hours.
Optional: before refrigerating, I like to zest some lime peel on top. Serve with a small dollop of fresh whipped cream. Or keep it lo-fi and plain, which I prefer. I don't like lime pies that are covered in a solid layer of whipped fluff. It's too rich and buries the sharpness of the lime juice, which is the whole point of the pie, duh.

I don't own many fancy kitchen gadgets, but I highly recommend investing in one of those lime/lemon squeezers. They're so handy, for drinks, salads, juicing for this pie, fish, etc. We use ours constantly. It looks like this:

Also, if you're not into your stomach curdling and performing spastic somersaults, don't eat with coffee. And don't worry...you won't get salmonella poisoning unless you let your raw yolks hang out at room temperature for an inordinate amount of time. Enjoy! xo kat

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Accidental Muffin

Have you ever experienced that "Oh shit, I'm supposed to bring a dish to the party but I'm too lazy to go to the store" moment? Well, that's the way this recipe came about and I want to share it with you. And please don't let the half-assedness of my last-minute recipe quest deter you, because these suckers are actually really good.

It all came together for Nicole and Agatha'a President's Day Dessert Party at Daddy's. I had to create something sweet and edible from what I had sitting around at home. Not much...so I ultimately winged it with the ingredients, largely basing my decisions on how good the batter tasted. It was very scientific.

Behold the result:

This is the closest I've come to an actual recipe. I made it again this week, and found it's very similar to the Dessert Party original (that ended up being a freak surprise hit with everyone). Here's how it breaks down:

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted. Don't put less than this, as the butter is key. If anything, put a little too much.
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted.
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar.
  • 1/4 cup (any kind of) milk, plus more to moisten dough if necessary.
  • 1 egg.
  • Just under 1 teaspoon baking powder.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
* For the special chocolate bit on top, I used a fancy chocolate raspberry truffle bar, broken into pieces. Any fancy/high quality chocolate bar will be good.

I sifted the flour into a big bowl (using a large tea strainer as I don't actually own a sifter), then added all the rest of the ingredients. The brown sugar was really hard so I put it in a bowl with some of the milk and microwaved it until it was syrupy, then added it to the rest of the batter.

Once the batter was thoroughly mixed, nice and sticky and cookie-dough thick, I put dollops into a greased (or nonstick) muffin tin, filling about 2/3 of the way up. Then I took a bit of chocolate, about the size of a quarter, and placed it in the middle of each muffin cookie, slightly pressing it in. I baked at 375 for 11-12 minutes.

The muffins should be soft but firm to the touch, or you can do that clean toothpick/fork/knife test to be sure. Don't wait for it to turn golden, as color means nothing. It will always look....tan.
Be careful not to overcook or it will become dry, hard, and somewhat weaponized. I personally always try to slightly under cook desserts because I prefer too moist to too dry.

The chocolate will still be very melty when you pull it out of the oven, which is lovely...but if you need to travel with it, just throw it in the fridge for a half hour and it will solidify nicely. I'm sure putting pieces of banana, apples, nuts, etc would also work well if you don't want chocolate.

These are not overly sweet and are really good with milk, coffee, tea, or as we found out the night of the Dessert Party, hot toddies! Enjoy! xo kat

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Punch Down's February Valentine

Ooh la la- here is our February recipe card from Punch Down! From the perfect calligraphic envelope lettering to the overall valentine hotness to all of us now owning a tried-n-true coffeecake recipe...amazing! My scanner doesn't do the glitter hearts and red foil justice, but there's no mistaking the brilliance:

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

January DOTMC recipe!

Behold, Hottie Biscotti's recipe...
It must look crazy and black and gloopy and amazing. I can't wait to make it! I put it against a black background, to show the lovely deckled edges better...hope that's alright.