Twisted Citrus Blackberry Pie

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 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.

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.

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

Avocado 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.

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!

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.
 

I Simply Cantaloupe Bundt Cake

Cantaloupe Bundt Cake

Cantaloupe. The only melon that cannot get married. (You might need to say that out loud…) Now that I have lost an estimated 87 percent of my small readership to a corny joke, let me tell those who remain about this Cantaloupe Bundt Cake Recipe.

Except I can not really do that because I do not like cantaloupe. Hence the I Simply Cant portion of the title. And apparently my friends feel the same because I literally could not give this cake away. What I can tell you about is the recipe.

It called for beating two large egg yolks with one cup plus two tablespoons of sugar until light and creamy. I have done this for many, many recipes, but this is the first time the mixture was completely dry. I usually expect some graininess, but this was over the top. Instead of a Cadbury-egg-with-a-creamy-center like consistency, I got a Cadbury-egg-with-a-crappy-hard-center like consistency.

I continued on, adding a bit more liquid to the batter than the called for two tablespoons, and I ended up with some nice-looking cakes. I took a bite of course, but that was it. If you like cantaloupe, you might wish to try this cake. It comes with the bonus of leftover cantaloupe juice spritzer from the wine-soaked cantaloupe used in the cake. If you like cantaloupe and bake this cake, please let me know what you think!

Cantaloupe Bundt Cake

You may be wondering why I baked a cake that contains a main ingredient that is second only to beets on my “extreme dislike” list. First and foremost, I really liked the Dolci: Italy’s Sweets cookbook. Now that I have tried a recipe that did not seem written quite right, I am rethinking my opinion, but nevertheless it is a lovely book.

Secondly, I try to eat at least one bite of cantaloupe a year. They say tastes change, and people change too, so why not? I probably would not do this if my dislike for the melon did not make me a black sheep in my family. Cantaloupe, or muskmelon as we called it, found its way onto our kitchen table multiple times a week in the summer time. I did not like it then, and I do not like it now.

With this recipe I sadly learned a bundt cake delivery system does not improve its taste. Nor does drinking its juice with champagne. Though I would like to know if anyone has ever made a Lambic from it (or with it  – I’m not sure of the right terminology here). That I would try.

I did not intend to bookend my posts this week with Bundt cakes. I had hoped to sprinkle another recipe in there, but sadly, time got away from me as I worked through my “honeydew” list. Hey, I told you I was corny. Have a great weekend everyone!

Cantaloupe Bundt Cake

Cantaloupe Cake
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 3 cups cantaloupe, diced
  • 2 cups champagne or white whine
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
Instructions
  1. Place the cantaloupe and booze in a bowl and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Beat together the egg yolks and the sugar until creamy and light yellow.
  3. Slowly add in the flour and baking powder until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
  6. Drain the cantaloupe and the booze, reserving the liquid.
  7. Fold the drained cantaloupe and two tablespoons of the reserved liquid into the batter.
  8. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan or into the wells of a mini-Bundt pan.
  9. Bake at 360 degrees for 50 minutes or until lightly golden brown. A wooden toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean when done.
  10. Allow the cake to cool in its pan for about 25 minutes before inverting it onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Notes
Be sure to use a very clean bowl and beaters to beat the egg whites. This is a great recipe to use both a stand mixer and hand mixer since you need to beat the eggs separately.

The recipe did not specify what type of wine or champagne to use, and I do not know what to suggest. I used a cheap champagne.