Blueberry Lime Pie

By:  Julie

Serves:  Makes 1 9-inch pie

Time:  1 hour plus 1 hour chill and 50 min cooking time.

I once made Blueberry Lime jam, and it was fantastic, so why not make a pie?  Simple really, all I did was substitute out the lemon juice for lime.  I have to tell you, not only is it tasty, but the house smells amazing.  Blueberries are in season right now and I was able to get 4 quarts for a $3.99, which is really the only time they are affordable enough to make a pie.  Unfortunately, Evelyn ate half of them in the grocery store so I had to go back today for more to make the pie.  We decided to walk there, since the local foodland is close, with Evelyn happily pushing her stuffed bear in her stroller.  All was good… and then she stepped on a pine cone.  The CRUNCH terrified her and convinced her that some horrible monster-bug was hiding in the pine cone and that it was going to eat her. Immediately.  We were halfway to the store.  The peaceful blueberry mission turned into March of the Screaming Child, who was holding so tightly to my neck you would have sworn that the boogey-man himself was after her.  No amount of convincing would assure her that the pine cones were not evil, nothing that was going to get her, and everything was ok.  She calmed down briefly in the store, where we paid 3.99 for ONE quart of the precious blue gold, and then screamed about birds trying to get her all the way home while daddy carried the stroller.  It just goes to show you that your whole day can change with one pine cone.  After much effort the pie was made, and it was worth it.

I would try this crust even if you already have a favorite.  It’s the only all-butter crust that I’ve made that is tender and flaky, and you know what?  I MADE IT IN THE MIXER!  That’s right, no tedious pastry blending, no fear of over-working.  I once left this crust in the mixer and forgot about it and it still came out delicious (although it was a bit hard to roll that time).  It can be a bit delicate to roll out, so take your time.

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You Will Need:

For The Crust

  • 2 and 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp ice water

For the Filling

  • 6 cups fresh blueberries, if using frozed make sure they are thawed and dry
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch (or flour if your prefer)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp of butter to dot the filling after its in the pie shell.

Prepare The Crust

Preheat oven to 425F

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In your mixer bowl, with the paddle attached, mix the flour, salt, and sugar until well combined.  Add the butter and increase speed to 2 until the mixture looks grainy and the butter is mostly in pea sized pieces.  In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg and the cold water together and add to your flour mixture.  Mix until it comes together into a dough.  Turn out on to a floured surface and knead a couple of times, divide into two round discs, wrap separately in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for a min of 1 hour.

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When chilled, remove from fridge, flour counter, and roll out into a circle.  Make sure to flour both sides of the dough.  My favorite technique for this is to turn the dough continuously 1/4 turn at a time as I roll.  If the dough starts to stick, add more flour.  Continue turning it every time you roll until it’s 10 inches in diameter or larger.  Try to get it to 1/8″ thick and try to make it the same thickness all the way across so it cooks evenly.  This can take practice.  If this is your first time, don’t get discouraged.  It took me about 20 pies and 10 different recipes to get any good at it.

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Lay your crust across the bottom of the pie plate and gently press it into the corners.  Place the crust in the fridge while you prepare the filling and roll out the top.

Prepare The Filling

In a large bowl, combine blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lime juice and cinnamon.  Stir until combined.  Put aside.  On a floured counter, roll out the top crust.

Assemble The Pie

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Place the filling in the crust, mounding it towards the center.  Dot with butter.  Trim the crust around the pie plate so there is no excess.  Place the top crust over top of the filling and tuck the edges under the bottom crust.  Use two fingers on one hand and place them under the crust edge.  Use your index finger on the other hand to gently press and create a crimp.

Option:  To make your crust brown nicely, use an egg wash.  Whisk an egg with a tbsp of milk or water and brush evenly over crust.

Cut steam vents in the top crust, be sure not to cut through the bottom!

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Place in oven at 425 for 10 min.  Then reduce to 350F and cook for 40 min more.  If the edges of your pie brown too quickly, cover with a pie shield.

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Cool completely before serving.

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Cherry Clafoutis

 

20170704_121119By Corinne

What is clafoutis? It’s traditionally a French dessert (but I love it for breakfast!). I don’t even know how to properly describe it- it’s somewhat like a custardy dense cake that’s full of delicious fruit. In any case, it whips together so quickly that you can have it ready to go by the time your oven is preheated.

Clafoutis is one of those magical dishes that can work for either breakfast or dessert. If you want to finish it with some powdered sugar, or even some whipped cream, or ice cream to make it dessert then go for it! I tend to make it for breakfast, and because I am impatient and hungry I’ve almost always eaten it hot right out of the oven, though traditionally it’s served room temperature or chilled.

Speaking of tradish, if you want to not pit your cherries, that’s actually the traditional way to make a cherry clafoutis. I’ve done it both ways, apparently leaving the pits in is supposed to impart a subtle almond flavour, but I’ve never noticed a difference and prefer to pit my cherries even though it’s a little more prep. Totally up to you!

Serves: 4 for breakfast, 8 for dessert

Time:聽prep/preheat 10 min(400F), bake 25-35 min depending on baking dish used.

You will need:

  • generous 2 cups of cherries, pitted or not as you wish 馃檪
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp melted butter, cooled slightly, plus more to butter dish
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp spiced rum or amaretto

Preheat oven to 400F. Butter a 9-10 inch glass pie plate, or stoneware pie plate (what I used in the pictures) or a cast iron skillet. Baking time will depend on what dish you use- and whether it’s nine or ten inches. I find using a glass pie plate only takes 25 min, while using my stoneware pie plate takes 35 min.

Pit your cherries if you wish, and put them in the buttered dish.

Melt butter in microwave and set aside. For the rest of the instructions you can either whisk by hand or use a mixer, I do either depending on how I’m feeling that day :). Whisk 3 eggs and 1/2 cup sugar until thoroughly combined. Then gradually add the butter, whisking until it’s incorporated. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined. Finally, add the tbsp of spiced rum. The batter should be very smooth.

Pour the batter over the cherries and pop into the oven. Check at 25 min. Give the pan a little jiggle, if your clafoutis wobbles give it some more time. When it’s finished it should be slightly browned and almost set in the middle. By almost set, I mean when you give the pan a shake there should only be a little wobble in the very middle. If you find it’s browning too much on top, throw a piece of tinfoil lightly over the top until it’s finished.

Serve room temperature or chilled, or hot out of the oven if you just can’t wait 馃檪

Sparkling Grapefruit Pound Cake

By: 聽Julie

Serves: 聽1 5×9 pound cake

Time: 聽1 hr 20 min

If you have been toying with making a desert I’ve posted but can’t commit, I’d start with this. 聽Just make it. I promise, you won’t be sorry. 聽It’s moist, and sweet, and completely delicious. 聽I almost ate all of the batter raw, it was that good.

Today I had to hit the local Foodland for some ingredients for lasagna. 聽While I was was waiting in line at the checkout I perused the shelving at the end of the isle and found this:

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Grapefruit Italian Soda. 聽It was on-sale,聽unsurprisingly. 聽I can’t imagine there is a huge market in Dresden for Grapefruit Italian Soda. I had been toying with the idea of making a pound cake but somehow it seemed boring. 聽This, my friends, is not boring. 聽Its tangy and sweet and beautiful. 聽It was easy to prep and did I mention that we completely demolished the cake between 4 people? 聽There is a tiny portion left which I have hidden because I love all the people in my house and I would hate to have to maim one of them if they ate the last piece.

Pound cake gets it’s name because originally it had a pound of each sugar, flour, eggs, and butter. 聽I have seen this made. 聽It is a bad idea. 聽Martha Stewart even says so. 聽Martha herself makes pound cake with no leavening and depends completely on the beating of an enormous amount of eggs to create lift. 聽I don’t want to have a heart attack so the butter is cut back, as well as the eggs. 聽This recipe has a teensy bit of baking powder for lift because it only has 3 eggs. The base came from a Taste Of Home magazine and I tore it out intending to make it years ago… I’d say oops except I’m pretty sure fate was waiting for this soda to go on sale.

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You Will Need

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 5-6tsp sparkling grapefruit Italian soda
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar

Prepare The Batter

Preheat the oven to 350F. 聽Line a 5×9 baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. 聽Cream the butter and the sugar on high until light and fluffy. 聽Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition. 聽You are adding air at this stage so don’t rush it.

In a separate bowl whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder. 聽Add about a third and mix. 聽Add a third of the soda, then mix. 聽Keep adding both the dry ingredients and the soda in thirds until the batter is well beaten. 聽It will be a beautiful yellow and be slightly foamy. 聽Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the center of oven. 聽Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached.

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Allow to cool in pan for 10 min and then move to cooling rack. 聽Allow cake to cool completely before glazing.

For The Glaze

Combine icing sugar with 5 tsp of soda. 聽You want it to be fairly thick. 聽Just barely pour-able. 聽Pour it over top and allow it to drip over the sides.

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If you can wait long enough, allow the glaze to harden and serve.

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Pumpkin Tarts

By Julie

Time: 40 min

Serves: 15 tarts

It’s that time of year when all things pumpkin come out.  Admittedly, I think it’s going  a little overboard lately.  Tim Hortons started peddling their pumpkin wares in August this year and the pumpkin spice crazy is getting a little bit over-done.  I do like some traditional pumpkin pie, but I also love the versatility of tarts.  I like how they are small, personal portions and how pretty they are with their rustic dough.  You can make your dough prettier by using a cutter and folding it and forming it properly with a rounded spoon, but I like the folded look with the uneven edges.  It shouts, “hey!  I’m homemade”.  Don’t make your pastry too thin however, the filling is heavy and they need some sturdy support.  The goal is to roll them just shy of a quarter-inch.  My favourite part of pumpkin pie is the warm spices.  I like it spicy.

You Will Need:

  • One tart pastry recipe – you will have enough filling for 15 tarts or so.  I used the pastry from Maple Raisin Butter Tarts.  This is my universal tart dough.
  • 1 cup brown sugar.  I used dark but light is fine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 14oz of pureed pumpkin.  Canned is fine
  • 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

The cream is important.  You want the filling to stiffen on baking so it holds up in the tart shells

Prep

Grease your muffin tins, I used a full 12 plus a 6 to use up all of this filling.  I ended up with 15 tarts.  Preheat oven 450F.

Make The Filling

Mix the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a large bowl.  I used a mixer but it is not necessary.  Add eggs and mix until incorporated.  Mix in pumpkin, then add milk and cream.

Bake

Fill the tart shells 3/4 full.  Use an egg-wash if you like shiny pastry.  Bake at 400 for 15 min then reduce to 350 for 20-25 min.  Your tarts should be set and nicely browned.  Jiggle the pan to make sure the center is set.  It should be stiff.  Let cool completely in tart shells before removing.  Serve the same day.  These will keep for a few days in the fridge but once you go there the pastry will soften some but still be delicious.  Top with a generous portion of whipped cream because it’s delicious and why wouldn’t you?  This recipe also works just fine in a 9 inch pie shell.

Creme Br没l茅e

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By Corinne

Creme br没l茅e used to be my go to going out dessert. It seemed like somehow it was really difficult to make, and since I’m not generally one for desserts, it took me several years to give it a go.

Then it became my favourite entertaining dessert (well, until I started making homemade icecream). I love that you can prep it the day before and then just add your sugar and br没l茅e it up before serving. 聽And despite a reputation for being finicky, it’s actually very simple. Only a few times have I not had it turn out and I’ve made this MANY times! Once when I tried substituting some half and half for some of the whipping cream (it didn’t set properly and was a bit runny) and another time when my eggs got a bit scrambled- it was still delicious, just not quite perfect 馃檪 Despite the fairly detailed instructions, these are actually quite quick to make, and are pretty forgiving.

Time: 10 minutes prep, 20 min bake, 4-24 hours chill

Serves: 4-6 depending on the size of your ramekins

Oven:350F

You Will Need:聽

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • scant 1/4 cup sugar + more for topping
  • 1 vanilla bean, or 2 tsp vanilla

Separate yolks from whites and set aside. Whisk 1/4 cup sugar with the egg yolks. Put the 2 cups of whipping cream into a heavy bottomed pot and set on medium low. You do NOT want your cream to boil. Split your vanilla bean, scrapping out all the seeds. You now have two choices, you can save your bean and add it to a few cups of sugar to make some vanilla sugar, you can add it to the beans in your jar of homemade vanilla extract – which one day I will get around to making, or to be super decadent, and creme br没l茅e is about decadence, you can add it to the pot of cream.

When the cream is steaming, add a tbsp or two at a time to the measuring cup that is holding the eggs and sugar. Whisk as you add it. Keep doing this until you have about a cup of egg and cream mixture in your measuring cup and then pour back into the pan, whisking constantly. The point of this is to ‘temper’ your eggs and to keep them from turning into scrambled eggs when you add them to the hot cream. Keep on medium low, whisking for another 2-3 min then remove from heat.

Divide mixture between ramekins. Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet, or another dish you can pour some hot water into- again, this will depend on the size/shape of your ramekins. 聽Fill the dish with water until it is halfway up the ramekin. Place (carefully!) in preheated oven. Mine are always done in exactly 20 min, but if you’re using deep ramekins it will take considerably longer. They are done when they have set but still ‘jiggle’. To test for doneness give the pan a gentle nudge. If they are done it won’t look like liquid sloshing around, but will still have some ‘jiggle’.

Cool for 4-24 hours UNCOVERED in the fridge. I find if you cover them before they are completely cooled you get condensation on the surface, and then when you try to add the sugar to br没l茅e them, the sugar just kind of melts into them but it’s hard to get that nice hard crack topping.

For the br没l茅e part, sprinkle 1/2 – 1 tbsp of sugar over each, and using a kitchen torch br没l茅e them up! I usually put mine back in the fridge for ~10 min to cool things down so you get a nice crack when you tap your spoon on your sugar crust. You can also do this step in the oven under broil- but you have to REALLY watch them- it will seem like nothing is happening and then they are done. Or burnt. So be very careful if you’re doing them this way. You must watch!