Sunday, December 27, 2009

Weekend off means tasty home cooking

Chocolate Eggnog Pie - I'm afraid to post how easy this recipe is, but the filling is just 1 3/4 cups of eggnog in place of milk on the instant chocolate pudding/pie mix. The crust is made from Famous Amos chocolate sandwich cookies with the cream scraped off. I wanted to make my own chocolate cookie crust for the first time and most recipes call for chocolate wafers. Chocolate wafers at my grocery store run $4.79 for a box that would barely make enough to cover the pie dish. I thought about using Chocolate Teddy Grahams (3.79 for a much bigger box) but then saw the sandwich cookies and decided to improvise. As a bonus I had left over Oreo knockoffs.

I also made a Potato Leek Soup that came out very well.

Potato Leek Soup (recipe adapted from The Irish Heritage Cookbook)
6 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
2 medium leeks
1 onion
2 celery stalks
4 tablespoons of butter
2 bay leaves
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup (approx) heavy cream

1. Saute the leeks, potatoes, onion and celery in the butter in a large pot for about ten minutes.
2. Add the spices, stock and 1/2 a cup of the milk, reduce heat, cover and let cook until vegetables are tender. About 30 minutes
3. Discard the bay leaves, let soup cool for 15 minutes. Blend in batches using a food processor or blender.
4. Return to stove and add remaining milk and heavy cream.

The soup goes really well with buttermilk biscuits. I went with the first recipe from Google found here. Tip of the day: If you don't have a round biscuit/cookie cutter use a drinking glass. I learned that one making hammentaschen with my mother.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy (slightly belated) Chanukah!

I went home to Maine for a few days of Chanukah and there was occasion for pie. I made two apple blueberry pies. This was the first time I had worked with frozen blueberries before. They worked just fine, which means it is probably time to get over my need to only use fresh berries. The fillings is approximately six medium sized Cortland apples and 1 cup of frozen blueberries with 1 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of tapioca. Unfortunately the filling did bubble over a little bit which made the overall pie less pretty, but I was happy with my dreidel cutouts.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dog Sitter Pie

I made a plain apple pie for my dog sitter for while I was away. It tasted good, but I guiltily present the laziest pie edges ever:

What can I say....I made it after a very long week and I still had packing to do.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Savory pies are great and all, but bring on the snickerdoodle pie

Friday was the first night of Chanukah and I celebrate by doing my once a year latke frying. I also made pie. Two of them. The first was a simple chicken, mushroom and leek pie. I had a leek and mushrooms to use up. The filling is sauteed chicken, mushrooms (half white button, half crimini) and one medium sized leek. I sauteed the leeks and mushrooms first then put them aside to cook the chicken. Then I let it all cook together for a bit in the pan. I added a tiny bit of milk to the mushroom and chicken juice in the pan and some flour to thicken everything up. I used some leftover fresh sage as well as some salt and pepper.

Earlier this week I'd seen a recipe and pictures for Snickerdoodle Pie go up on one of the baking blogs I read regularly - Baking and Mistaking. I thought the idea was fantastic. I played the peruse the internet recipes game and decided to instead of following the more frequent cake like recipe to go with what more of a custard recipe. I used this one. Now I think I may have to make a whole lot more custard pies. If I did this one again I think I'd put cinnamon into the actual custad part instead of just sprinkling cinnamon sugar on top.

Next up while it's in season...Egg Nog Pie.

Thanksgiving: Dessert

The last three pies from Thanksgiving.
Cranberry Apple

This was again a plain butter crust, and the insides are just granny smith apples, fresh cranberries, sugar, and tapioca to hold it together. I used a little extra sugar than I normally would in a fruit pie. I believe it was about a cup and a half. I did not use any regular pie spices. This was all about that cran-apple flavor. I got to use my new food processor for the first time on this one. When I bought the bag of cranberries I had sudden flashbacks to the horror that was depitting cherries and the mess it made of my kitchen. I knew that I couldn't leave the cranberries whole in the pie. Luckily, my new Kitchen Aid chopped the entire bag in less than 20 seconds. True I had to then clean it, and that is never fun, but I think the trade off to not have to slice or crush a bag of cranberries and end up with juice everywhere was well worth it.

Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Pie.
I didn't make this one. In general I don't much like either sweet potato pie or pumpkin pie. As those go this was however quite good. It was made by the lovely Marci.

Chocolate Raspberry Pie

This one was a joint effort with Marci. I made the crust which was a baking experiment. I'd place it as a moderate success. It's a chocolate butter crust. I took the normal ratio I use for a single pie crust (1 cup of flour - 1/3 cup of butter) and replaced 1/4 cup of the flour with cocoa powder. The crust was baked for about 20 minutes using beans as weights to keep it from bubbling up. The filling comes from here.

10 oz. pkg. frozen raspberries
1/2 c. softened butter
2 eggs
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 c. whipping cream
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. raspberry jam
Thaw raspberries and reserve juice. Cream together butter and sugar. Stir in chocolate. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat mixture for 3 minutes after each addition. Fold in whipped cream, berries and jam. Spoon mixture into the crust, making slightly raised crust. Chill for 2 hours.
Decorate the top with fresh berries or whipped cream.

It actually took a while for me to find a recipe that looked good for a chocolate raspberry pie. I think if I did it again I might experiment a bit more and rely a little less on the jam which stuck out a little bit especially the next day. Also, be sure to let it chill. We missed that step on Thanksgiving so it was a bit too pudding like. It was perfect the day after Thanksgiving.

We served all of these with a rum infused whip cream that was really excellent, especially with the cranberry apple pie.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More Thanksgiving...

Academic life got in the way of posting more pie photos, but here are some details on the rest of the savory pies from Thanksgiving.

Turkey, broccoli, stuffing pie

This might have been the easiest pie I made, but also one of my favorites. I sauteed the turkey breast at the same time as for the other turkey pie. I used store bought stuffing for the top and a regular butter crust for the bottom. The filling is made up of sauteed broccoli, garlic, the cooked turkey and a can of store bought gravy. I imagine the whole thing would improve if you made the gravy and stuffing from scratch, but for a quick pie this was really good.

Corn Pie
I don't know why but I really wanted to make a corn pie. I think its because Thanksgiving has always included buttered steam in the bag corn. This recipe calls for a cracker crust, which gives me hope for attempting cookie and graham cracker crusts in the future. Recipe can be found here.

Brussels Sprout and Leek Quiche
I adapted this recipe from here as follows:

1 tablespopon butter
1/2 chicken stock
1 leek chopped (white and green parts)
1 pint of Brussels sprouts
2 garlic cloves minced
2 spring onions chopped
1 Tbs herbs de provence
approx. 5 oz. of chive and onion cream cheese
1 cup Gruyere cheese
6 eggs
1 butter pie shell

Combine first seven ingredients in a pan and saute until tender. Let cool and then stir in cream cheese. Add grated cheese, eggs, salt and pepper. Pour into unbaked pie shell and cook for 40 min at 375 degrees.

The whole thing was baked in a silicon tart pan which worked beautifully this time and let me slide the quiche out and put it on my pretty cake stand.

Dessert pie descriptions soon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

We interrupt your regularly scheduled pie...

to let you know that at long last I've finally posted some items in my Etsy store.

Please visit Secret Song Designs and check it out!

More pie tomorrow...