Thursday, January 29, 2009


So in honor of the one week anniversary of National Pie Day I am finally posting my NPD effort.
I'm not really a baker but I do enjoy the process of it and I want to get better. I made this savory tart at xmas and it was a big hit and I was thrilled with the crust results. For this pie I decided to try not to use refined sugars and went with maple crystals and grade B maple syrup (which has a deeper flavor) and that worked really well. In the crust I used butter from my raw dairy and that had a great flavor.

The positives: it was pretty easy to make (I'm not the best crust roller outer as you can see) and it tasted great.
The negatives: I forgot to egg wash the top crust so it wasn't shiny and I didn't let it rest long enough before breaking into the first piece so it sort of fell apart but was in better shape on days 2 and 3. 

I shall keep on it!

here's the crust recipe, for the sweet pie you just add a bit of sugar or in my case maple crystals to the dry ingredients and double it:

Recipe: Savory Pie Crust Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling

Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about 5 ounces) all-purpose flour, more for rolling

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into about 8 pieces

3 tablespoons ice water, more if necessary.

1. Combine flour and salt in a food processor and pulse once or twice. Add butter and turn on machine; process until butter and flour are blended and mixture looks like cornmeal, about 10 seconds.

2. Put mixture in a bowl and add 3 tablespoons ice water; mix with your hands until you can form dough into a ball, adding another tablespoon or two of ice water if necessary; if you overdo it and mixture becomes sodden, add a little more flour. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic and freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (You can refrigerate for up to a couple of days or freeze for up to a couple of weeks.)

3. Sprinkle a clean countertop with flour, put dough on it, and sprinkle top with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll with light pressure, from the center out. If dough is hard, let it rest for a few minutes. If dough is sticky, add a little flour; if it continues to become sticky and it is taking you more than a few minutes to roll it out, refrigerate or freeze again.

4. Roll, adding flour and rotating and turning dough as needed; use ragged edges of dough to repair any tears, adding a drop of water while you press patch into place.

Yield: Dough for one 12-inch tart.

Monday, January 26, 2009


My good pal Dave found these on an old book site and sent them to me. Aren't they so dreamy.

Praktische Konditorei Kunst, dated 1923

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I have eaten so much pie. Good Lord! I regret to say that I was only able to photograph one, but it is a special pie. A simple pie. A pie that when I make it, I wonder how many times it has been made. Apple pie always gets the spotlight and is our nation's darling, and I love apple pie don't get me wrong. I always add the juice of one small lemon to my apple pies and it creates a taste so vivid, I can recall it now -and the crackly texture of it's sugary crust! Man I feel another pie coming on! Back to the pie I made for National Pie day. A Southern favorite, Buttermilk Pie (and buttermilk crusts, breads and baked goods) were very popular when fruits were scarce. There was always plenty of buttermilk around, as it was a by product of churning butter and due to it's natural acidity, kept well. The traditional buttermilk pie consists of eggs, sugar, buttermilk and flour, however it easily adapts to all sorts of additions and tweaks. I have tried cardamom buttermilk, pecan buttermilk and I always add lemon to buttermilk pies too (I guess I just really love lemon!). Often times recipes instruct you to sprinkle cinnamon or flour and sugar on top of the pie prior to baking. I imagine the sugar makes a nice crust on top but I have yet to try it cos I am always rushing to get it into the oven.
(adapted from Southern Living Magazine)

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour, plus a little for dusting
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Beat eggs slightly and add sugar and flour. Then add melted butter and mix well. Add buttermilk and vanilla and mix.
Pour batter into shell, and then sprinkle a little more flour (or cinnamon or sugar) on top. Bake at 325 degrees until the custard is set. ( at least 45 min)

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Who is with me?
I think a pie is a lovely way to start off the weekend. I made a butterscotch banana pie last night but as usual forgot to photograph it (I know I have my hang ups). Anyway, this is a Dessert Club right? So can we get some pies up in this place? In honor of National Pie Day, let's make some pies!
Give pies!
Eat pies!
If you are in this club make a pie!
If you are a reader of this blog and make a pie tomorrow (or over the weekend) please send me a pic and I will post it and praise you!
It is your duty as an American and as a pie enthusiast!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009


A word of advice. Make this cake for someone's birthday , you will not regret it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Today I made Bread.

Disclaimer: I'm rather proud of myself today, I made bread. I know Nicole pops bread out her oven every other day, but this is my first loaf and I'm pretty stoked! I'm just so excited to toast a couple slices tomorrow for breakfast! I should have happy dreams tonight...sigh.

The recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen who got it from The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Oh man this was good. The brilliant heat from our cast iron skillet caramelized the brown sugar rum mixture so perfectly. It was a tragedy we did not have any heavy whipping cream in the house it would have cut the sweetness just so. Here is the recipe

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


I have been at home sick for two days. In between feeling lousy and sleeping I have energy spurts and get stir crazy. So I bake. I wash my hands! Yeah, it may seem gross, but this is what I do. At least I am coming clean about it. Yesterday when I thought I was better I made
Chocolate Bread:
(adapted from an adapted recipe given to me by Chef Jeff at ICE)

1.5 oz fresh yeast
2 cups warm water
12 oz high gluten flour (I used King Arthur Bread flour)
2 oz hazelnut flour (I used chesnut)
1/4 cardamom (did not use)
1/4 tsp ginger (I used a tblsp)
1/4 tsp of nutmeg (I did not measure)
1 tblsp kosher salt

8 oz chopped semi sweet choc
8 oz chopped dried cherries (my awesome addition)
14 oz all purpose flour
2 oz dutch cocoa (another addition)

Stir yeast into warm water and let it do it's magic. Add high gluten and nut flour and stir. Combine spices and salt and add in to yeast mixture. Sift cocoa into all purpose flour add chocolates and cherries. Add this to yeast mixture. Remove from bowl and knead till smooth. ( I dumped it into my Kitchen aid with the dough hook and let it do this part for me- I'm sick!)

Shape dough into a round or split it into 2 small rounds. Put on parchment lined sheet and let rise for a half hour someplace warm, but not too warm.

Slash each round
Bake in a preheated oven at 325 for 30 minutes.
Let cool completely

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Winging It Chocolate Pudding

Nicole is sick. In her honor I made dessert.

Winging It Chocolate Pudding

The only recipe I could find in my books called for corn starch as the thickener. I happened to have thrown out my unused huge thing of corn starch two days ago because at school on Saturday we talked about how un healthful it is (highly processed, probably irradiated or genetically modified) and how kuzu is a good natural replacement. So with that, I tried to make this! Notice there's lots of sugar in the recipe and in the cacao so.... whatchagonnado??

2 1/2 cups non homogenized whole milk
one cup organic sugar
one cup cacao blanxart (nicole you gave me this right?)
3 tablespoons kuzu crushed

In saucepan, combine and heat two cups of the milk with one cup sugar and heat on medium low until steam starts to form.
in separate bowl, combine kuzu with remaining milk and cacao blanxart until slightly thick
once saucepan begins to steam add thickened mixture
reduce heat and whisk for about 5 more minutes until thick
pour into a bowl, cover with plastic to avoid film forming and chill
eat it when you wanna!

Monday, January 05, 2009


If you slap some jam or Nutella or PB and honey or what have you on it. I made Bittman's Speedy No Knead bread yesterday afternoon and was thrilled with the result. Of course I committed the cardinal sin of digging in before it was cooled, thus sacrificing the development of deep flavors but you try to keep Marty away from fresh baked bread!!