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
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Breadcrumbs

  • 1 cup finely ground breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, finely grated (about ½ cup)

Assembly

  • Cauliflower:

Preheat oven to 400°. 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, 6–8 minutes. Let cool; toss with Parmesan.

  • Assembly

Place a rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 525° 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, 20–30 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°F. 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°F. 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°F. 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°. 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.

Lemon Chess Pie

I will tell you, up front, that Chess Pie isn’t something I’m familiar with.

Never had it before in my life until recently…and by recently I mean about two weeks ago.

Thanksgiving Day, to be exact.

Having said that, it has become a pie that I will definitely be making again. It’s a winning combination of tart and sweet, with a bit of crunch from the cornmeal.

I do think this would be an excellent pie in the summertime, when it’s a million degrees outside.

Ok, ok….. when it’s 115 degrees outside.

Same thing.

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One year ago: Sugar Cookie Bars and Pizzelles

Lemon Chess Pie – adapted from Gale Gand

2 cups sugar
1 tbs. flour
1 tbs. fine yellow cornmeal
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tbs. grated lemon rind
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice with pulp
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour and cornmeal. Blend well, then add the eggs and combine well. Add the milk and mix, then stir in the melted butter, lemon rind and juice. Pour this filling into the crust and cover then edge of the crust with foil to prevent it from burning, taking care not to touch the filling. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes, removing the foil after 30 minutes. Cool and serve or refrigerate overnight but let sit out 3 hours before serving to warm up slightly. Serve with dollops of whipped cream.

Spinach Ricotta Pie

I feel like I really have the upper hand on the holiday “hustle and bustle” right now.

The lights are hung, decorations are in place, space has been cleared for the tree, several gifts have been purchased, and most importantly, I have Christmas Eve dinner all planned out.

Better kick up the workouts now…….

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One year ago: Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cake and Apple Pie Bread

Spinach Ricotta Pie - adapted from The Modern Baker

1 2 lb. bag frozen chopped spinach – thawed and squeezed dry
12 oz. whole milk ricotta
5 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
¾ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Fresh ground black pepper

1 9″ prepared pie crust

Line a 9″ pie pan with the crust, crimp the edges, and chill while preparing the filling.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the  spinach, ricotta, eggs, parsley, and cheese, stirring after each addition. Season with black pepper, and then scrape the filling into the prepared bottom crust and smooth the top.

Bake the pie until the crust is s deep golden color and the filling is set, about 30 minutes. Cool the pie on a rack.