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Archive for the ‘Pies’ Category

Have you ever thought about what you would want your last meal to be?

Clearly I have. Numerous times.

I’ve narrowed it down to a few options. I’m thinking that a full Thanksgiving dinner might suffice. Turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and sausage, yam and apple bake, mashed potatoes and throw in a few peas for some colour. Finish it all off with pumpkin pie and whipping cream. Obvs. (ps. this all has to be made by my mother, I’m for sure not settling for anything less than her best).

Or maybe I could do a southern meal. Say pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw and plenty of bbq sauce, or bbq ribs with corn bread and corn, for the sake of having a vegetable. Wash it all down with sweet tea and let’s have pecan pie too? After all, this is probably the only time in my life that I’ll be able to go big AND go home (literally)!

I had a sort of last meal a few weeks ago, nothing morbid at all, simply the last meal that I had at home before heading to south east Asia for over a month and a half. This strawberry pie was what I finished that last meal with.

Thailand is great, but now I’m missing fresh summer berries. This pie uses exactly that. Fresh strawberries picked by my mom and I, then glazed, thrown into a baked pie shell and topped with whipping cream. So summer appropriate and fresh. And fricking delicious. For real. And now exactly what I want as I sit here eating my bazillionth bowl of rice.

Maybe I’m going to have to reconsider my last dessert. Or maybe my last meal will be ALL desserts. I might be on to something there…

Strawberry Glaze Pie

1 baked pie shell                         1 cup strawberry juice
2 cups or more strawberries        3 tbsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt                                3/4 cup sugar

Prepare, bake and cool the pie shell.

Wash and hull the full berries.  Place in pie shell.

Make strawberry juice by crushing 1 extra cup of strawberries and adding water to make 1 cup in all.

Simmer for 3 minutes, strain; add water to make 1 cup juice.

Cook the juice on medium heat with cornstarch, sugar and salt stirring constantly until thick.

Cool slightly.  Pour over berries in shell glazing them.  Chill 2-3 hours.

Serve with whipped cream.

Ps. This recipe works just as well for raspberries too!

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Peach Pie

Things that are a good idea and that make me happy:

a.) Pie

b.) Homemade pie (even better)

c.) Eating pumpkin pie in April, I can’t even deny that this happened tonight and that I’m ecstatic about it.

d.) Making pies in the summer with fresh berries and then freezing the pies to enjoy throughout the year.

Point D is so key to my winter existence. Just as the song suggests, yes I do like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas, but enough is enough. Sometimes all that I crave are the warm summer months filled with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, nectarines, do you want me to keep going?

Back in August, when the peaches were fresh, I made this pie which I then froze and brought out for Easter dinner a few weeks ago. Such a good idea, you would think. Wrong. Note to self, next time bake the pie upon completion and then freeze. Why? Because that way you will be sure to avoid soppy, soggy crust. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good soppy crust, but this was more like not baked dough. Normally this isn’t a problem that I have, but I suppose that because the fresh peaches and filling were so liquid-y it became an issue.

Nevertheless, come August, you can be sure that I’ll be trying this pie again. Here’s to second chances.

Peach Pie

Adapted from The Food Network

Pie Crust

3 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp salt                    1 cup butter

1 tbsp white vinegar   1/3 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine flour, sugar and salt.

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add the white vinegar and gradually pour in the cold water.

Turn out onto a clean surface and press into a cohesive dough without overworking.

Wrap in plastic wrap and press into a 1 inch thick disk; refrigerate for an hour.

Divide the chilled dough in half; roll 1 piece into a 12-inch, 1/8-inch-thick circle on a lightly floured surface and transfer into a 9 inch pie place.

Add the peach filling to the crust.

Roll out the other piece of dough in whichever fashion your wish. I made mine a lattice crust.

Roll up or pinch the overhang to seal.

Peach Filling

2 1/2 lbs peaches   3/4 cup brown sugar

Juice of 1 lemon     2 tbsp tapioca

1/2 tsp vanilla        1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg      1/4 tsp salt

4 tbsp butter

Skin the peaches and cut into wedges.

Combine the wedges with the remaining ingredients except for the butter.

Pour into a prepared pie shell and dot with the butter.

Bake for 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

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What’s better than an individual galette? Getting the chance to choose what kind you want to eat.

Naturally that’s what I did. Mother’s Day was that much better having the choice of strawberry rhubarb, peach or apple galette. I have to shamefully admit that the peaches were not fresh, they were from a can. Embarrassing. Soon enough the peaches will be ripe and I will be able to avoid such a problem. The apple, for that one I used the same recipe from my previous apple galette attempt. Decent.

Have you ever asked a question and the person’s response was “decent.” What an insult. For example, when I was younger I asked my mom after one of my soccer games how she thought I had played. Her response was, “decent.” Decent? Really? So, not good, not bad, but decent!? Don’t use the word decent, in fact I apologize for saying that the mini apple galettes were decent, they were good, just nothing in comparison to strawberry rhubarb galettes.

Galettes are a good thing. The possible combinations are endless and always delicious, never decent.

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette Recipe

Apple Galette Recipe

 

 

Peach Galettes

Follow these directions to make the dough.

Preheat oven to 350F.

If cheating like I did, add peach pie filling to the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the border over the filling, overlapping where necessary and pressing gently to adhere the folds.

Lightly brush the edge of the dough with the egg and sprinkle with sugar (turbinado if you have it).  Use enough egg to brush the edge of the galette.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Strawberry Rhubarb. I told you it was next. Here it is.

Pie is good. Pumpkin pie will always rule as number 1 in my heart, peach is delicious, strawberry pie ranks right up there, apple is classic, tayberry, holy toledo, have you tried tayberry pie, or tayberries in general? You should. A tayberry is a combination of raspberry and blackberry. It’s delicious. I digress.

But strawberry rhubarb, I love it. Again rhubarb, it surprises me every time. Who would have thought that something that looks a bit like celery would be so delicious in a pie crust combined with strawberries. Perfect combination.

Rather than making an entire pie I opted to make strawberry rhubarb galettes. Mini pies. Or as I like to think of it, a whole pie all to myself. Aka a good decision. The galettes were very simple to make, attractive to look at, delicious to eat, and a winning dessert for Mother’s Day. Galettes are so beautiful. I’m obsessed.

I got to spend my Mother’s Day baking with my mom and then had dinner with grandma and the extended family. So blessed to have amazing women in my life, such role models. Except for that 1 time when my mother thought that fanny packs were a good idea. Fanny packs are never a good idea…

 

 Thanks, love you Mom!

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

Dough:
1 cup flour           1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt          6 tbsp butter

3 1/2 tbsp cold water

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Using a pastry cutter cut the butter into the mixture. Add the remaining butter, mixing until the largest pieces are the size of peas.

Dribble in water, stir, then dribble in more, until the dough just holds together. Toss with hands. If necessary add more water.

Roll the dough into a ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick.

Strawberry Rhubarb Filling

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries      

1/3 cup sugar           3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon zest       1 cup chopped rhubarb

1 egg, beaten          sugar for sprinkling

Preheat to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, and toss gently, making sure that the cornstarch coats the fruit.

Add the fruit mixture to the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the border over the filling, overlapping where necessary and pressing gently to adhere the folds.

Lightly brush the edge of the dough with the egg and sprinkle with sugar (turbinado if you have it).  Use enough egg to brush the edge of the galette.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Apple Galette

Good grief, it’s time for some fruit over here. I’m tired of Christmas puddings, fruit cakes and waking up the following morning still stuffed to the max. Not a good sign. Time for some New Years resolutions. Eat more fruit? That’s a good one, I’ll add it to the list, there’s no way that I can go wrong with that.

So why not start off by baking an apple galette.  Included in my list of things that I have always wanted to make is a pecan pie, a pineapple upside down cake, monkey bread, red velvet cake and a fruit galette.

I’ve always thought that galettes were beautiful. There’s something rustic and so completely homemade about the look of these babies. No need to use a pie plate or anything, the galette simply cooks freeform. And no need to whip up a top and a bottom crust, this only requires one crust which is rolled out however the baker decides. What you do need however, is some delicious fruit to fill the galette with (in this case I used apples).

I honestly can’t wait for it to be summer again so that I can try my hand at making galettes filled with fresh local fruit. I’m thinking peaches, nectarines, blackberries, raspberries, tayberries, rhubarb, oh man I could keep going. On a side note, I also can’t wait for summer beaches, barbeques, bike rides, roadtrips, fireworks and ice cream trips.

In the meantime though, here’s to keeping New Years resolutions!

Apple Galette

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Dough:
1 cup flour           1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt          6 tbsp butter

3 1/2 tbsp cold water

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Using a pastry cutter cut the butter into the mixture. Add the remaining butter, mixing until the largest pieces are the size of peas.

Dribble in water, stir, then dribble in more, until the dough just holds together. Toss with hands. If necessary add more water.

Roll the dough into a ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick.

Filling:
2 pounds apples (Golden Delicious or another tart, firm variety), peeled, cored (save peels and cores), and sliced
2 tbsp melted butter        5 tbsp sugar

Glaze:

1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 400F.

Place dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Place overlapping apples on dough in a ring 2 inches from edge. Continue inward until you reach the center.

Fold the outer dough over top of the apple edges.

Brush melted butter over the apples and dough edge. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the dough edge and the another tablespoon over the  apples.

Bake in for 45 minutes, or until the apples are soft, with browned edges, and crust has caramelized to a dark golden brown.

To make the glaze place the reserved peels and cores in a large saucepan, along with sugar. Pour in just enough water to cover.

Simmer for 25 minutes. Strain syrup through a sieve.

Remove tart from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.

Brush the glaze over the tart.

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I hope you didn’t think for a second that I might not give you the best ever recipe for pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is probably my #1 favorite thing about Thanksgiving, that and the turkey, stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce and please, please, please don’t forget the apple and yam bake. But I wasn’t always this way, push the rewind button and I was the first person to take the piece of apple pie instead of the pumpkin pie at the Thanksgiving table.

Let me explain. I love my Grama with all my heart, don’t get me wrong. But in my personal opinion, baking pumpkin pie was not her forte. She used to use real pumpkin in her pies, as in she would buy a pumpkin, hollow it out, and then use the innards to make her pie. Talk about some serious effort. Too bad I never liked the end result; a pie that was bitter and not my most favorite thing in the world.

Me, Grama and my baby cousin

Fast forward a few years. I’ve discovered that I love pumpkin pie, my mom’s pumpkin pie that is. Grama was still busy making her “famous” pie and the year that Grampa died and a large portion of the family gathered for Thanksgiving dinner was no different. The pies were dished out to the 20 plus of us, doles of whip cream were applied and we were ready to dig in. What we got was a surprise. Without a doubt the pie was missing something. When someone asked Grama if she had put any sugar in the pie her response was a serious “You don’t put sugar in pumpkin pie!” Oh gosh, you’ve got to be kidding me Grama. What the heck were you thinking!? We all broke into fits of laughter, the tears started to fall and we all dumped teaspoons of sugar on top of our whipping cream to try and mend the damage.  

Grama is gone now and I miss her all the time. I miss the games that we would play, her brutal honesty, her sense of humor, her selflessness, the love that she had for me and the rest of the family, and the way that she lived her life dedicated to serving her Saviour. What I won’t miss: you guessed it, her pumpkin pie.

Long story short, love your grandma no matter what and please just use the canned stuff. It saves time and tastes way better, believe me. Oh, and follow this recipe. I couldn’t love this pumpkin pie any more.

Pumpkin Pie

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin          3/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp flour                                   1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg                             1/4 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp salt                                   1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs well beaten

Preheat oven to 425F.

Heat pumpkin in a saucepan at medium heat for 10 minutes stirring frequently.

Stir the sugar, flour, spices, salt, eggs and milk into the pumpkin.

Beat until smooth and pour into a prepared pie shell.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Let cool and serve with whipping cream.

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