Pies

Twisted Citrus Blackberry Pie

IMG 4992 Edited Twisted Citrus Blackberry Pie

A couple of weeks ago I spent my $20 allowance at the farmer’s market in no more than 10 minutes. I walked up to a stand I am fond of buying from and purchased $2 worth of peppers, $5 worth of tomatoes and $8 worth of  blackberries in a blink. I headed over to another stand to buy a $5 bouquet of wildflowers and was done.

This is how I shop. I know what I want, and I go in and get it. I have forever shopped like this at the mall. Shopping online however is another story. There I could browse all day…

I reserved a portion of my two quarts of blackberries for the Twisted Citrus Blackberry Pie which graces the cover of Perfect Pies Twisted Citrus Blackberry Pie by Michele Stuart. I am not a great baker of pies – my preferred baking mediums are cookies and cupcakes – but the cover photo really caught my eye.

IMG 4987 Edited e1346294101296 Twisted Citrus Blackberry Pie

Though not a big impulse shopper (be sure not to confuse the efficiency noted above with impulse!), I take home impulse library books all the time. My local library tricks me into doing this. The new book display is located in such a way that I have to walk by it to get the books the library graciously holds for patrons. So I go in to get Game of Thrones, and I come out with five new cookbooks. I suppose there are worse vices.

A few weeks back I wrote that Tiramisu always plays second fiddle to key lime pie in my book. Twisted citrus blackberry pie is very similar to key lime pie, but dare I say it…better.

I love a bit of raspberry syrup with my key lime pie, and this pie has an entire blackberry glacé base. The citrus filling is crazy tart on its own, but it is perfectly sweetened by the glacé and whipped cream topping. The pie is very light, and though we are nearing the end of summer, I think this makes it a delicious summer dessert.

IMG 4975 Edited Twisted Citrus Blackberry Pie

 

 

 

Twisted Citrus Blackberry Pie
 
This pie requires four parts, one of which requires refrigeration for 6 hours. Then the assembled pie requires overnight refrigeration before serving. Don’t worry though, it’s worth it.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • For the Graham Cracker Pie Crust
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • For the Blackberry Glacé
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup water
  • For the Citrus Filling
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 teaspoon gelatin
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • ¾ cup lime juice
  • 1½ tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1½ tablespoons grated lime zest
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1, 14 ounce can of condensed milk (refrigerated at least 30 minutes)
  • For the Whipped Cream
  • For the Whipped Cream
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. To prepare the pie crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Pour the mixture into a pie pan and pat it into place.
  3. Bake at 350 F for approximately 15 minutes. The crust should be set and browned around the edges when it comes out of the oven.
  4. To prepare the blackberry glacé. In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the blackberries, sugar, cornstarch and water.
  5. Whisk continuously until the mixture thickens to where it resembles jam, about eight minutes.
  6. Place a wire mesh strainer over a bowl and and strain the glacé to remove seeds.
  7. Allow the glacé to cool to room temperature, then refrigerator for six to 24 hours.
  8. To prepare the citrus filling, refrigerate a mixing bowl and the condensed milk at least 30 minutes before beginning.
  9. Combine the warm water and gelatin in a bowl to allow to soften, about five minutes.
  10. Once softened place over low heat or microwave on low power for 15 to 30 seconds to dissolve the gelatin. Set aside.
  11. Place the lemon juice and zest, lime juice and zest, heavy cream and condensed milk into the chilled mixing bowl.
  12. Beat on high speed until the mixture thickens, about three minutes.
  13. Add two tablespoons of the cream mixture to the dissolved gelatin and mix thoroughly to temper.
  14. Add the tempered gelatin back to the mixing bowl and continue to mix on high speed. The filling should be thick and creamy when finished, though the cream will not necessarily peak.
  15. Assemble the pie by spreading the blackberry glacé over the bottom of graham cracker crust.
  16. Then pour in the citrus filling and refrigerate overnight. The pie can keep refrigerated for up to three days before serving.
  17. Prepare the whipped cream by beating the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  18. Spread the whipped cream over the pie before serving, or pipe along with edges with a pastry bag.
  19. Garnish with blackberries and citrus zest if desired.
Notes
I need three lemons and three limes to get the 1½ tablespoons of zest. I zested an additional lime as a garnish. I had at least one cup of citrus pie filling left over. If you have a pie dish that is larger than 9-inches, I would use it instead. You might need to use a few extra graham crackers and butter in the crust to accommodate for the larger size.

 

A Flavor For August: Avocado Crème Pie

IMG 4906 Edited A Flavor For August: Avocado Crème Pie

Writing a blog provides the perfect excuse I need to make weird recipes. Pre-blog, I might have tucked a recipe for avocado crème pie away. But now, I bake pretty much whatever catches my eye. This is not always a good thing.

Fortunately, this pie was a good thing. The recipe began, “Although this may sound bizarre at first, it makes a lot more sense when you remember that avocados are actually fruits!” The author went on to ask, “You wouldn’t think twice about a banana crème pie right?” Well no, I would not think twice about a banana crème pie, but ah, I would also eat a banana in my car on the way to work. I cannot really say the same for an avocado.

Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this avocado crème pie. More so than avocado, the citrus taste of the lemon really came through. The flavor was definitely unique to all of my previous avocado experiences.

IMG 4915 Edited e1346067482548 A Flavor For August: Avocado Crème Pie

This pie is the perfect dessert to take to a Wizard of Oz theme party. Not only does its lovely green color resemble the wicked witch of the west, it melts like her too. Once a piece is cut and on a plate, it rapidly loses its shape. Since Wizard of Oz theme parties are fairly rare, a better option might be to serve this dessert at a Halloween party, given its bewitching green color and all.

I would definitely eat this pie again, but I would look into variations first. Realizing cream cheese is a base in the pie, I would try to tweak the recipe to become more of an avocado cheesecake rather than a pie. That is likely just my preference for a heartier texture, but I wanted to throw it out there as an idea.

Alas, this is the final avocado recipe for the month. (Is that you rejoicing, I hear?) As we barrel into the last week of August, my desire to bake is slowly waking from its summer hibernation, which I hope is a good thing. Perhaps more importantly, my desire to bake “normal” recipes is returning with it. Have a great week!

IMG 4911 Edited A Flavor For August: Avocado Crème Pie

Avocado Crème Pie
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • For a Graham Cracker Pie Crust
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
  • For the Avocado Pie Filling
  • 2 medium sized, ripe avocados
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces (one brick) cream cheese, slightly softened
  • ⅓ cup brown rice syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
  • whipped cream for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter or oil and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and pat it into place.
  3. Bake at 350 F for approximately 15 minutes. The crust should be set and browned around the edges.
  4. Set aside to cool.
  5. While the pie crust cools, peel and pit the avocados. Cut them into chunks and place them into a blender or food processor along with the lemon juice.
  6. Puree until smooth, then add in the zest, vanilla, cream cheese, rice syrup, coconut oil and salt.
  7. Pulse to combine all of the ingredients. Set aside.
  8. In a saucepan over low medium heat, whisk together the sugar, milk and arrowroot or cornstarch. Be sure to break up any lumps.
  9. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture should be thick.
  10. Stream the sugar syrup into the blender or food processor while it is running and blend until very well combined. Pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  11. Pour the avocado filling into the graham cracker pie crust.
  12. Chill in the refrigerator at least six hours before serving.
  13. If desired, garnish with whipped cream immediately before serving.
Notes
Though this recipe came from a vegan cookbook, I have obviously de-veganed it by using butter in place of margarine, whole milk in place of soy milk, etc. Please use whatever substitutions are appropriate for your diet. Streaming the hot sugar syrup into my food processor was no problem because its lid has an opening for just this type of thing. I am uncertain how performing this step could cause anything less than a mess with a blender. The top of my blender opens in the center, but mixtures certainly like to shoot out of it when it is open. It may be best to use a stand mixer to accommodate this step.

 

Slice It Up! Tropical Fruit Galette

IMG 3598 Edited Slice It Up! Tropical Fruit Galette

There’s nothing like waiting until the last minute. Technically, there’s nothing like waiting until the day before the last minute, which is what I’ve done with my contribution to the OXO Slice It Up recipe contest. I saw the contest advertised on Pinterest a while back, and though I had every intention to enter because I find these things fun, I could not for the life of me think up what to bake.

I am lucky enough to own an OXO mandoline, and using it to slice up lovely fruit to create a lovely galette was one of the first ideas that crossed my mind when it came into my possession. But what fruit?

IMG 3582 Edited Slice It Up! Tropical Fruit Galette

The tropical fruit galette is actually the third galette I made. I deemed my first two attempts not worthy enough, but in hindsight I think I did that simply to keep making galettes. Those first galettes involved layers of Granny Smith apples sandwiched between black cherry preserves and  brie cheese. And though they tasted great, I wanted something with a little more color.

IMG 3533 Edited Slice It Up! Tropical Fruit Galette

I finally decided on a tropical fruit galette simply because mangoes were available at the store for 99 cents. Tropical fruits pair well together, so I picked up a fresh pineapple, a kiwi, and got to slicing. I ended up with a tropical fruit galette topped with a light layer of caramel sauce and a sprinkle of toasted coconut.

IMG 3602 Edited e1336611354766 Slice It Up! Tropical Fruit Galette

I used to think galettes were complex creations, but I now see galettes as the perfect dish to bake when the desire to serve a homemade dessert runs into the constraints of time and ingredients. I prepared this galette in about 45 minutes, and I always have the main components – flour, butter, sugar, and fruit – on hand to whip up a simple crust and flavorful filling. Try one – like me, you might be surprised that something so simple to prepare can taste so delightful. Enjoy!

IMG 3579 Edited Slice It Up! Tropical Fruit Galette

 

Tropical Fruit Galette
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • For the dough:
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • For the filling:
  • 1 mango
  • ¼ fresh pineapple
  • 1 kiwi
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, divided
  • 1 tablespoon coconut, toasted
  • For the caramel sauce:
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
Instructions
  1. Place the all-purpose flour, butter, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and process until crumbly.
  2. Add two tablespoons of water and continue to process just until the dough comes together. If necessary, slowly add the third tablespoon of water to bind the dough.
  3. Form the dough into a ball and place into the refrigerator 5-10 minutes. While the dough chills, peel and slice the fruit. (Please be careful when peeling and slicing the fruit; peeled mangoes and pineapples are very slick!)
  4. Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.
  5. Place half of the sugar and spice mixture in a medium bowl with the mango, and place the other half in a second medium bowl with the pineapple.
  6. Pour ½ teaspoon of the vanilla over the fruit in each bowl and toss to coat. Do not toss the kiwi in the sugar and spice mixture – it’s simply too delicate.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Top with a second sheet and the dough out to about ¼ inch thickness. Try to keep the dough in a rough circle for a round galette or a rectangle for, you guessed it, a rectangular galette.
  8. Layer the mango slices along the rolled out dough, leaving about a 1 to 2 inch border.
  9. Layer the pineapple slices on top of the mango slices, then layer the kiwi in the center on top of the pineapple.
  10. Fold the sides of the galette up onto the pineapple. The dough is very soft, so take care not to rip the edges at the fold. The dough is also very forgiving and should fold naturally as you lift it from the parchment onto the fruit.
  11. Brush the turned edges with water and sprinkle sugar onto the wet dough.
  12. Bake the galette at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the edges of the dough are golden brown.
  13. While the galette bakes, make the caramel sauce by heating the sugar and water over low heat.
  14. When the sugar browns, stir in the butter until melted, then remove from heat.
  15. Brush the caramel sauce over the top of the fruit once the galette is removed from the oven.
  16. Sprinkle toasted coconut across the top.
  17. Serve warm.
Notes
No food processor? To make the dough, whisk together the all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter. To toast coconut, place an even layer of coconut on a baking sheet, then bake in a 350 degree F oven for 4-7 minutes. Keep a close eye on the coconut while it toasts to ensure it does not burn.