17 1 / 2012
Chocolate fudge pie, need I say more?
If I must, let me tell you about this decadent dense chocolate layer covered with homemade whipped cream tucked inside a flaky pie crust (don’t judge me, but I used store bought).
I got the recipe from Cooking Light so I allowed myself to have two pieces. Then I decided to take the pie into work so I wouldn’t eat the whole thing by myself. It is that addicting!
Jordan said it reminded him of the pie from The Help. No, not THAT pie, not the one with Minnie’s secret ingredient in it that she made for Miss Hillly. Watching her eat the terrible awful pie is what I call sweet revenge. My pie doesn’t have Minnie’s secret ingredient, but it does have a few of my own.
I leave you with two bits of advice. 1. Make this pie. 2. Read The Help and then watch the movie.
Crust and Chocolate Fudge Layer:
1 homemade or store-bought pie crust
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup plus half & half (total of milk & half and half should equal 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
For the whipped cream:
1 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
For topping (optional):
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa, shaved chocolate, or crumbled cookies
Preheat oven to 350°. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Fold edges under; flute. Place pie plate in freezer until ready to use.
Combine brown sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, and flour in a large bowl. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients (milk through eggs); stir with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to brown sugar mixture; stir until combined.
Pour mixture into crust. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until just set. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Cover; chill at least 4 hours.
In a large bowl combine whipped cream ingredients, mix on high speed cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.
Spread whipped cream on chocolate pie prior to serving. Garnish with cocoa, chocolate, or cookies (optional)
Source: adapted from Cooking Light
30 11 / 2011
I have never been much of a pumpkin pie fan. Don’t get me wrong I will eat it, especially if it is covered with lots of whipped, but it is definitely not one of my favorites. However, not having pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving seemed like some sort of sacrilege.
Flipping through a magazine one day I came across a pumpkin mousse pie with a chocolate crust topped with whipped cream that I just could not resist. It was even more delicious than I expected and by far the most popular pie at Thanksgiving.
I am always a fan of homemade crusts and this one is no exception. It is simply a mix of chocolate wafers, sugar, and butter. I didn’t promise this was going to be a healthy pie, but who is trying to be healthy on Thanksgiving. The filling is a mousse, which is flavored by pumpkin, maple syrup, and seasonal spices. I made the first two layers the day before and let it sit in the fridge. The whipped cream I made right before serving. It made more than we needed for the pie, but was able to use it for other desserts too. Over the last year I have been making my own whipped cream and it is a million times better than cool whip and pretty darn easy.
With this pie I leave you with one final question: is making pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving a no-no like wearing white after labor day? In my head I always had this idea that Thanksgiving was the cut-off for making pumpkin baked goods. If this is not the case with you here are my other pumpkin recipes from the season:
for the crust:
30 chocolate wafers, such as Famous
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
for the filling:
1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin puree
4 ounces light cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup cold heavy cream
for the topping:
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Make crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, process wafers and brown sugar until finely ground. With machine running, slowly add butter and process until mixture resembles wet sand. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Bake until crust is dry and set, 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Make filling: In a clean food processor, process pumpkin puree, cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until smooth, scraping down side as needed. With machine running, add maple syrup in a slow, steady stream. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, gently fold pumpkin mixture into whipped cream. Spoon filling into crust and refrigerate until set, 3 hours (or up to 1 day).
Make toppping: In medium bowl, using electric mixer, beat cream and confectioners’ sugar on high until stiff peaks form, 3 minutes. With spatula, mound topping over pie and serve immediately.
Source: barely adapted from Everyday Food November 2011
27 11 / 2011
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My holiday was spent cooking, eating, playing games, and spending time with my husband and in-laws in our small apartment. It was perfect! I was in charge of the turkey and dessert this year. I was very nervous about cooking the turkey, but it turned out to be a hit! I promise to share the recipe when Thanksgiving comes around next year.
For dessert I wanted to make two types of pies, one pumpkin and one apple. These two types are the quintessential Thanksgiving pies. Just to keep things interesting both the pies I made were twists on the traditional classics. Today I am going to share with you this upside down apple pecan pie, but I promise to share my pumpkin pie variation later this week.
A friend from work made this apple pie once and I begged her for the recipe. I thought Thanksgiving would be the perfect excuse for me to make it myself. It is very simple to make and can be made the day before you plan on serving it. What sets this pie apart from a traditional apple pie is the pecan brown sugar topping. There is no need to worry about a lattice crust or covering the top with leaf cut-outs because after cooking you flip the pie over.
For those of you who are pied out keep this in mind for Christmas. And for those who can’t get enough pie enjoy this soon and more power to you!
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 homemade or store bought pie crusts
6 cups peeled, sliced apples
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons & 1 teaspoon flour
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In 9 inch pie pan combine pecans, brown sugar, and butter. Spread evenly on bottom of pan. Place one crust over pecan mixture.
In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon & nutmeg. Spoon apples into pie crust lined pan.
Top with the second crust and flute the edges. Cut 4 slits into the pie crust in several places.
Place the prepared pie onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate over top of pie and invert pie. Cool for one hour.
Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
01 6 / 2011
This weekend I was finally starting to feel better and was able to hobble around our apartment. I missed my time in the kitchen and decided I needed a new baking project. When I saw that blueberries were on sale at the store I knew exactly what I wanted to make. We were headed to a friend’s birthday party on Memorial Day and I thought a blueberry pie would be a perfect contribution, the hostess agreed!
I am still perfecting the technique of making homemade pie crust. I think the hardest part is rolling it out. I had a moment of insecurity and had Jordan buy crust at the store in case they did not turn out quite right. Fortunately, mine turned out great and I did not have to use the back up store bought kind. I made a couple of changes to the recipe I found. I increased the amount of sugar because I tend to like my desserts sweet. I also increased the flour to make the pie less runny. Feel free to adjust these measurements as well.
On a final note, blueberries are considered a “superfood”, filled with antioxidants that minimize free radicals. With all these health benefits this is a guilt free dessert!
One double recipe for all butter pie crust dough
6 cups of fresh (or frozen) blueberries, rinsed and stems removed (if using frozen, defrost and drain first)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (for thickening)
3/4-1 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter (unsalted), cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon milk
Prepare the crust. Roll out half of the dough to 1/8-inch-thick circle on a lightly floured work surface, about 13 inches in diameter. Fit the dough over a 9-inch pie pan, and trim the edges to a 1/2 inch over the edge all around the pan. Put into the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
Gently mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Transfer them to the chilled bottom crust of the pie pan. Dot with butter pieces.
Roll out remaining dough to the same size and thickness as the first. Place on top of the berry filling. Tuck the top dough over and under the edge of the bottom dough, and crimp the edges with fork. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425°F.
Whisk egg and milk together to make an egg wash. Remove the unbaked pie from refrigerator. Brush the top with egg wash. Score the pie on the top with 4 cuts (so steam can escape while cooking).
Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven with a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking pan positioned on the lower rack to catch any filling that may bubble over. Bake for 20 minutes at 425°. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more or until juices are bubbling and have thickened. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before serving.
Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
27 4 / 2011
One of my greatest cooking inspirations is my grandma. Ever since I was little I admired her ease in the kitchen and her delicious dishes. She rarely followed a recipe because she had most of them memorized. My mom wanted me to be able carry on the Italian traditions so thankfully she arranged times when I could go over to my grandma’s to cook & learn. One spring day I went to my grandma’s to learn how to make her infamous ricotta pie! How do I describe this delicious pie? My friends described it as “looks like a cheesecake, but tastes like cannoli filling….yum”. I am thankful for having this recipe & being able to pass it on through the generations. Word to the wise, go cook with your grandma!
1 lb whole ricotta cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
*See previous post for homemade crust recipe or feel free to use store bought
Prick holes in the bottom of the crust and cover edges with tin foil. Bake crust at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Remove tin foil & let cool
Beat ricotta until smooth, then add sugar & cornstarch. Once blended beat in eggs, sour cream, & milk. Finally add vanilla & mix in.
This recipe make slightly more than one pie. Usually I then fill the pie crust and then fill ramekins with the left over batter.
Cook at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until knife comes out smooth.
Let cool and then refrigerate for at least a couple hours prior to serving.