Leek and Greens Pie

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat

Or at least in this house, it’s the Shih Tzu that’s getting fat:

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It’s not nice to say “fat” though …. so we shall say she’s getting….. plumpish.

She waits until Dyna the Indomitable Dachshund walks away from her bowl (Dyna eats one.piece.of.kibble.at.a.time… it’s maddening),¬†then Daisy nonchalantly and very quietly moves in for the kill.

It’s quite genius, actually.

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And that story has nothing to do with this pie.

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However, making this recipe was a genius move on my part, because not only was it a cinch to put together, it was perfect warm from the oven (J and I had it for Thanksgiving dinner), and even better the next day.

Wait – I sense a familiar theme here… a genius move on Daisy’s part and a genius move on my part.

Great – I’m as intelligent as the dog.

Leek and Greens Pie – adapted from Food52

Cornmeal Crust

  • 1 1/2¬†cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2¬†cup cornmeal
  • pinch salt
  • 12¬†tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces¬†
  • 1/4¬†cup ice cold water, plus more as necessary

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, and salt.

Add in the butter, then working quickly rub it in with your fingers or cut it in with a pastry cutter until it is mixed in and you have lumps about the size of peas. Stir in the quarter cup water with a fork until the dough just comes together into a bunch of large dough clumps. Add more water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to form the dough. Gather the pieces together and press them into a ball. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, one slightly larger than the other, flatten them into discs, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate them at least 1 hour, and up to overnight.

When you are ready to make the pie, take the larger dough disc out of the fridge. If it is too hard to roll, let it sit at room temperature 5-10 minutes, but you don’t want it to get too soft. On a lightly floured surface, roll the larger piece of dough out into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Lightly drape the rolled dough over a 9-inch round pie pan, press it into the pan and trim the edges. Wait to roll out the other piece of dough until the pie¬†is filled.

Line the bottom crust with parchment or foil and weight it. Bake in a 425F oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, remove the weights and lining, return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes. Then, set aside.

Greens Filling: 

  • 1 large bag of mixed winter greens
  • 5¬†cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3¬†medium leeks, washed well and thinly sliced – just the white and light green portions
  • 2¬†tablespoons olive oil
  • 1¬†cup packed grated Gruyere cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2¬†cup sour cream
  • 2¬†eggs
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. When the oil is shimmering, add the leeks. Stir and cook for 5 minutes over medium, then turn the heat to medium low and cook until the leeks are a lovely soft golden pile, about another 20 minutes. Turn the heat back to medium, stir in the greens and garlic, and cook for another 5 minutes until the flavors have mingled and any extra liquid has cooked off.

Transfer to a bowl. Allow to cool slightly, then stir in the cheese, lemon juice, eggs and sour cream until everything is well combined.

Spread the vegetable and cheese mixture into the prepared tart crust. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the second piece of dough into a 9 inch circle (use a pie plate to trace and trim it into a perfect circle), cut a shape or slits in the top and lay this over the tart filling. You don’t need to seal the top crust with the bottom, leaving a space gives the tart another air vent, and adds aesthetic interest.

Place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom shelf of your oven to catch any drips, and place the tart on the middle shelf. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly and fragrant. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before attempting to serve

Serve the pie warm or at room temperature.

Buttermilk Pie

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I have been thinking about pie a lot these last few days. All different kinds of pie, that is – lemon, pecan, chocolate cream, pumpkin….. the list¬†is endless.

What prompted this line of thought was that last year, on Thanksgiving Day, J and I made what I thought was a Buttermilk Pie. We had a great time making it, too. My contribution was the crust – don’t snicker¬†– and I actually did a really good job.

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So imagine my surprise when I served a slice of this pie to him a few weeks ago, expecting some sort of recollection of our pie-making time together last year. Instead of the hoped-for trip down memory lane, he simply looked at me and said, “This is really good honey – what is it?” I looked at him for a moment, and replied, “Do you remember when we made buttermilk pie together last year?”

His response? “Oh that was CHESS pie, not buttermilk”.

No wonder it tasted so different……

Buttermilk Pie – adapted from Emeril Lagasse

1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbs. flour
1 tbs grated lemon zest
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 stick butter, melted
1 unbaked 10-inch basic pie crust shell

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and lemon zest. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the buttermilk and melted butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the pie shell and bake until the top is lightly browned and the center sets, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Slice the pie into individual servings.

Roasted Cauliflower and Ricotta Pizza

I have a very complex and complicated relationship with homemade pizza. I have multiple kitchen gadgets (dough docker, iron pizza stone, and mini pizza oven, to name just a few) to assist me in the creation/baking process, yet I am invariably disappointed with the results. Either the crust is flavorless, underdone, overdone, lacking that wonderful crispy/chewy bite you get from restaurant style pizza, or is just plain blahhhh.

Until now. 

This recipe, from the current issue of Bon Appetit, was foolproof and delicious. The crust had the perfect ratio of crunchy edges to chewy middle, the topping was outstanding, and although there were a few steps to creating this masterpiece (i.e don’t attempt it for a weeknight dinner unless you have all the components prepped ahead of time), it was well worth every bit of time and effort to make it.

In fact, I think I’m going to try one of the other variations for tonight’s dinner.

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Roasted Cauliflower and Ricotta Pizza – adapted from Bon Appetit

  • 1¬†head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1¬†lemon, cut into quarters, seeded
  • 4¬†garlic cloves
  • ¬ľ¬†cup¬†olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Breadcrumbs

  • 1¬†cup¬†finely ground breadcrumbs
  • ¬ľ¬†cup¬†olive oil
  • 2¬†ounces¬†Parmesan, finely grated (about ¬Ĺ cup)

Assembly

  • Cauliflower:

Preheat oven to 400¬į. Toss cauliflower, lemon, and garlic with oil on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.
Roast, tossing occasionally, until cauliflower is tender but not browned, about 20 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice over cauliflower and toss to coat. Discard lemon and garlic, if desired.
  • Breadcrumbs

Meanwhile, toss breadcrumbs and oil on a large rimmed baking sheet; toast, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 6‚Äď8 minutes. Let cool; toss with Parmesan.

  • Assembly

Place a rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 525¬į or as high as oven will go.
Once dough has risen in baking sheet, top with mozzarella, dot with ricotta, and top with cauliflower mixture. Bake until golden brown and crisp on bottom and sides, 20‚Äď30 minutes. Top pie with toasted breadcrumbs and bake 1 minute longer.

Serve topped with parsley.

 

Crack Pie

It is very rare to hear me say that a dessert is too sweet for me.

Very rare.

I honestly can’t even remember the last time the words “too sweet” came to mind.

Unless you’re talking about me, of course.

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I’m kidding, I’m kidding.….

One bite of this pie, though, and all I could taste was “sweet”. Like tooth-achingly sweet. I even bribed persuaded cajoled Sabrina into trying a bite, for an unbiased, third party opinion.

Her words: “Wow…..this is really sugary sweet.”

Now I am well aware of the fact that this recipe, from the legendary Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC, is universally loved and adored by millions.

I just don’t happen to be one of them.¬†

Crack Pie – adapted from Chrisina Tosi

Crust:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 9 tbs¬†(1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 5 1/2 tbs.¬†(packed) golden brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tbs. granulated¬†sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbs.¬†old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp¬†baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp¬†baking soda

Filling:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • 6 1/2 tbs¬†heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp¬†vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)

¬†Preheat oven to 350¬įF. Line 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy. Add oats, flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Turn oat mixture out onto prepared baking pan; press out evenly to edges of pan. Bake until light golden on top, 17 to 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie completely.

Using hands, crumble oat cookie into large bowl; add 3 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Rub in with fingertips until mixture is moist enough to stick together. Transfer cookie crust mixture to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Using fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Place pie dish with crust on rimmed baking sheet.

Filling:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350¬įF. Whisk together both sugars and melted butter until blended. Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Pour filling into crust. Bake pie 30 minutes (filling may begin to bubble). Reduce oven temperature to 325¬įF. Continue to bake pie until filling is brown in spots and set around edges but center still moves slightly when pie dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes longer. Cool pie 2 hours in pie dish on rack. Chill uncovered overnight.

Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into wedges and serve cold.

Black and White Pie

This pie, unassuming as it may appear, received exceptionally high praise from my beloved J. In fact, last night, his words were, verbatim… “This is one of your best desserts yet”.

And that statement comes from a man who tells me not to let him eat sugar at nighttime. Kinda like one of the Gremlins, I suppose – remember their three rules? No bright light, no water, and don’t feed them after midnight.

or suffer the consequences…..

The good news here is that even after eating dessert (and well before the midnight cutoff), J does not turn into a demented, furry little creature running amok in the house, causing mayhem and destruction.

That honor goes to Dyna – even without the sugar she’s still a demented, furry little creature running amok in the house, causing mayhem and destruction.

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Anyway, this pie is based on a black bottom banana cream pie recipe, however I simply omitted the bananas because they (the bananas) can be a touchy subject around here. Alexander puts them in smoothies, J and I eat them as an ingredient in quick breads, and Sabrina avoids them.

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Having said all that, this is a great, simple recipe that I will definitely be making again.

Black and White Pie – adapted from Food and Wine

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs (I used a combination of graham crackers and Biscoff cookies)
  • 1/2 tsp¬†cinnamon
  • 6 tbs.¬†unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tbs.¬†unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs.¬†pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbs.¬†confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350¬į. In a food processor, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the cinnamon and melted butter, and pulse until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly into a 9- to 10-inch, deep-dish glass or ceramic pie plate. Bake for about 8 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and set. Let cool completely.

In a large saucepan (preferably with a rounded bottom), combine the granulated sugar with the cornstarch, egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the milk and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of milk and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until the custard is very thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract until the butter is melted. Pour half of the vanilla custard into a medium bowl.

Whisk the chopped chocolate into the custard in the saucepan until it is melted. Spread the chocolate custard evenly in the pie crust, then carefully spread the vanilla custard on top of the chocolate custard. Refrigerate the pie until it is well chilled, at least 6 hours and preferably overnight.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream with the confectioners’ sugar until it is softly whipped. Mound the whipped cream on top of the pie.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Low and behold, today is National Peanut Butter Day.

Well…… technically, it’s National Peanut Butter Cookie Day.

But….. (and you knew this was coming)… I’m going to be a rebel here and post a peanut butter pie.

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This pie was absolutely everything I’d hoped it would be – extremely peanut buttery, super rich, and worth every.single.bite.

And here’s the kicker – J actually thought I bought it.

silly boy…..as if…….

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie – adapted from various sources

1 – 9″ graham cracker crust, or prebaked pastry shell

1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 oz  cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whipped cream

Ganache

8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the filling: In a large bowl, beat together peanut butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Fold in whipped cream, pour into pie crust, smooth the top, and chill in refrigerator while you prepare the ganache.

For the ganache, heat the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small saucepan, stirring constantly, until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool for a bit before pouring over the pie.

Store the pie in the refrigerator.

 

Chocolate Mallow Pie

Happy Memorial Day! Even though the day is meant to remember those that have passed in the line of duty while protecting our country, I’d like to send a special thank you to all the military personnel we have in our lives now. We are celebrating them by hosting a gathering around the Big Green Egg. :)

It’s going to be an absolutely beautiful day here in Austin – today’s forecast calls for rain, followed by more rain, and continued rain…In fact, it’s going to rain all.week.long.

That’s a lot of rain.

But I like love it. 

So in between preparing for company today, and drying off soggy dogs, I’m going to take a few moments and watch the rain come down.

I should have plenty of opportunities for that….

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Chocolate Mallow Pie – adapted from Cookie Madness

Although I’m not a big fan of marshmallows, Alexander certainly enjoyed this pie.¬†In fact, he ate of most it for breakfast.

  • 1 – 9 inch baked pie shell ¬†(I used a graham cracker crust)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 8 oz¬†marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbs. malted milk powder
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sweetened whipped cream for garnish, or fresh strawberries are good too
In the top of a double boiler, heat the milk, marshmallows, stirring constantly, until the marshmallows are melted.
Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir until smooth and let cool to room temperature. When cool, stir in the malted milk powder.
In a chilled metal bowl using chilled beaters, beat the cream until stiff peaks just begin to form. Beat in vanilla.
Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Transfer the mixture into the baked pie shell. Chill for several hours or until set.
Before serving, garnish with sweetened whipped cream or fresh fruit.