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Posts Tagged ‘Pie’

Surprise! Welcome to my Northwest Territories Kitchen. I’ve somehow found a new place to call home, amidst the tail-end of the boreal forest treeline, on the shores of the Great Slave Lake. I think this is going to be a great year for Gourm(eh) on my end – I’ll be exploring Canadian food from the Northern perpective, something I’ve always wanted to do. There are still a few weeks of fishing left (hopefully) before we break until the ice can hold us safely. The rose-hips are lonely without their leaves, just waiting to be picked and turned into jelly. The days are getting shorter at an unbelieveable rate – and although I’ll miss the sun, I’m really excited for the northern lightshow, with a mug of hot chocolate.

I’ve been here for a week now, and while I was hoping to share a traditional dish right away, I’m going to start with this tarte la francaise, in hommage to all the wonderful francophone people I’ve met in the community. Without an internet connection of my own, I’m dependent on the public library, and neighbours around me, who have generously offered me their internet connection. Tired of going up to see them for their internet, I decided to pay them back with a warm little apple pie tonight, like my Grandmother makes in Normandy.

1 shortcrust pastry

1-2 tart apples, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced

1/4-1/2 cup whipping cream

2 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

1 egg

Make the short crust pastry at least 30 minutes in advance, and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 400f. Slice apples finely with a sharp knife. Dip in a dilute lemon juice solution and drain so they don’t brown.

Once oven is ready, roll crust out to 3cm wider diameter than a tart dish (or a pie dish). Place in dish, and press edges down to have a nice thick outer crust. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Freeze for about 10 minutes.

Arrange apples on cooled crust in a thin layer. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until apples begin to soften and crust becomes lightly golden on edges.

Meanwhile, whisk the cream, egg, sugar, and spices together, and refrigerate until apples are softened.

Spoon cream mixture over apples and bake for another 25 minutes or so, or until set and slightly golden.

Enjoy with vanilla-infused whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Bon appetit,

-Sitelle

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This pie only confirms a universal truth: chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. Nested between a chocolate crumb crust and a smooth ganache is a peanut butter cheese cake.  It’s hard to imagine a more delicious combination…

This is one of the more ingenious recipes in Joy of Cooking. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

(1 9- or 10-inch pie)

 

INGREDIENTS

Crumb crust:

1 ½ cups chocolate wafer crumbs

¼ cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of the cookies)

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon cinnamon
 

Peanut Butter Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese (1 block)

1 cup peanut butter

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup whipping cream
 

Ganache:

¾ cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

8 ounces finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
 
 
DIRECTIONS

Crumb crust:

In a bowl, combine crumb crust ingredients. Press into a 10-inch pie or springform pan, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes in a 350°F oven.

Cool the crust before filling (can be done in the fridge/freezer).
 

Peanut Butter filling:

Beat in a large bowl until smoothly blended the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.Using a spatula, fold in half of the whipped cream into the peanut mixture to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining cream.

Spread the mixture into the crust, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pie and refrigerate until firm, about four hours (or if you are in a rush, throw it in the freezer).
 
Chocolate Ganache:

Bring the whipping cream to a boil, stirring in the instant coffee.  Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until most of the chocolate has melted. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, then stir/whisk gently until completely smooth. Let cool to lukewarm and then pour over the pie and spread evenly.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (again, you can also use the freezer) and up to 3 days.

Serve with masses of whipped cream and salted peanuts for an absolutely delicious dessert.  Eat slowly – you will want to savour each and every bite!
 
– Catherine

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Although this particular recipe is my own invention, it is based on an idea my mother came up with. And the best part is that it’s more delicious, easier, and more novel than the usual crumble (well, perhaps not after this post – but I’m ok with that). With this dessert, not only do you have the delicious crumble topping and the warm apple, but you also have a flakey crust. And the trick is that the crumble topping is made primarily with wholesome granola!

All the pies I made 20 minutes ago have already vanished – which I take to mean it was a success.

In September I moved to Montréal, and I shared these pies with my new house-mates. They were made with apples I picked right off a tree during my lunch break while working in the field at a switch-grass farm. I hope you can enjoy these pies often during the cold winter months!

Ingredients – makes 6 small 4-inch pies

-1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry

-4 apples, cored and diced
-1 tsp cinnamon
-2 Tbsp brown sugar
-1/4 cup pecan pieces

-1 cup granola
-1 Tbsp flour
-1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
-1-2 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

Directions

Prepare your sweet shortcrust pastry 30 minutes in advance. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 6 small tart pans (I used the small 4-inch tin pans available at the supermarket). Roll out dough after it has rested, and cut it into 6 circles to fit into the pie shells. Prick the crust on the bottom and sides, then place in the oven for 15 minutes to partially blind-bake it.

Meanwhile, crush the pecans into small chunks. Mix with the cinnamon and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, mix the granola, flour, brown sugar, and butter. Once the crusts are set, quickly cut the apples and mix into the brown sugar, pecan, and cinnamon mixture. Place 1/6 of the apple mixture in a heaping pile in each pie, then top with the granola topping.

Bake for 45 minutes, until the apples are in their melt-in-your-mouth stage. Serve alone, with vanilla yogurt/ice cream, or lightly sweetened whipped cream!

-Sitelle


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Peach Pie

You know you have had a spoiled week when you get to eat peach pie twice in one week.  Ontario peaches are at their height, so it is certainly worth enjoying them!

 

This past weekend, two of my closest high school friends visited Ottawa – one who currently lives in Vancouver and the other who had spent a large part of her last two years in Switzerland and Italy.  We spent a lovely weekend at my cottage with two other good friends, where among playing cards, canoeing and swimming, we ate a delicious peach pie for dessert.

 

This past week was the last for my summer practicum.  With ripe peaches in the kitchen and skies threatening rain (suggesting perhaps I should drive instead of risk a 30 km bicycle commute), I decided to bring in a peach pie to share with my colleagues.  I am sad to be leaving my position, but also excited to soon be back in Halifax to work full time on my thesis.

 

This peach pie is remarkably simple, without other spices, allowing the peaches’ flavour to shine through.   The riper the peaches, the juicier your pie will be.  Served with a touch of ice cream, you certainly cannot go wrong. Bon appétit!

Peach Pie

(one 9 inch pie, about 8 slices)

 

Ingredients:

1 sweet piecrust, plus extra for a lattice  or top crust if desired

8 ripe peaches

half a lemon

¾ cup of white sugar

¼ cup flour

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit.

 

Meanwhile scald the peaches . (To scald them, place the ripe peaches in a large bowl and cover with boiling water.   Allow them to sit for a minute or two, before using a paring knife to gently peel away the skin, which should mostly fall off).

 

Slice them into a bowl before adding the sugar, flour and lemon juice.  Add a little extra flour if the peaches are particularly ripe and juicy.

 

Transfer the mixture into the rolled out piecrust.  Weave the lattice over the peach filling.  Bake the pie for about 45 minutes or until the pie is bubbling and crust is lightly browned.   (If you are worried that the filling will boil over, place a tray on the oven rack underneath the cooking pie).  Cool and serve!

 

– Catherine

 

 

 

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Pear Pie

One of the better kept secrets in our world is pear pie.  Overshadowed by its colleagues the apple, peach, or berry, pears are often neglected when it comes to pie.  But the humble pear transforms this fruit pie into something special.  The pear has the same texture as an apple , but it has a much more subtle, yet complex flavour.  If you are anything like me, after just after one bite, you will most certainly be hooked.

This is also our 100th post on gourm(eh).  Neither Sitelle nor I could have imagined the overwhelming support we have received from our readers or the wonderful cooking adventures we would venture on when we started this blog.  To a few hundred more!

Pear Pie

(1 pie)

Ingredients:

1 recipe savoury pie crust

5 pears, slivered (and peeled if desired)

½ cup of sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

½ lemon

Egg white (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Roll out the first portion of pie dough into a 9-inch pie pan.  Combine the slivered pears with the sugar, flour, and spices.   Squeeze the lemon juice over the mixture, and blend until the pears are evenly coated. Transfer the pears into the pie plate.  Cover with the second portion of dough or with a lattice.  If desired, brush the pastry with an egg white.

Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until the pie is bubbly.  Let cool slightly before eating (but if you can’t resist a taste, be sure to serve with a scoop of vanilla icecream!)

–       Catherine

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My friend’s boyfriend is anaphylactic allergic to peanut butter, so she generally refrains from eating it.  This often proves a challenge because she is a peanut butter fiend at heart.  When her boyfriend visited Toronto for a weekend, we decided to celebrate by binging on peanut butter non-stop.  Another good friend decided to make Joy of Cooking’s peanut butter pie.  It was what you call love at first sight – oozing with peanut butter filling and topped with a gooey chocolate ganache, this was even tastier than Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Between the three of us, the pie evaporated before our eyes.

A few weeks later, we attended an Easter dinner.  Filled with delicious food and great company, the night melted away.  Instead of peanut butter, my friend tried substituting hazelnut butter.  While the peanut butter pie was indulgent, the hazelnut butter was utterly decadent.  I decided that I would have to make the pie myself for a very special occasion.

Last week, my parents celebrated their wedding anniversary.  Along with a delicious cheese fondue, we celebrated their marriage with chocolate hazelnut pie.  Now my mother is what I call a true dessert connaisseur: she lives for dessert and can spot a supreme one from just an ordinary affair a mile away. The hazelnut pie exceeded her expectations, and I have no doubt we will soon be eating it again!

Hazelnut butter can often be found in the organic section of the grocery store.  If you cannot find it, simply substitute almond or peanut butter instead.  As for serving size, a sliver is all you need to savour this smooth dessert.  Bon appetit!

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie

(10-inch pie or 9-inch springform pan)

 

INGREDIENTS

Crumb crust:

1 ½ cups fine graham cracker or chocolate wafer crumbs

¼ to ½ cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of the cookies)

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Hazelnut Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese (1 block)

1 cup hazelnut butter

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup whipping cream

Ganache:

¾ cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

8 ounces finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

 

DIRECTIONS

Crumb crust:

In a bowl, combine crumb crust ingredients. Press into a 10-inch pie or springform pan, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes in a 350°F oven.

Cool the crust before filling (can be done in the fridge/freezer)

Hazelnut filling:

Beat in a large bowl until smoothly blended the cream cheese, hazelnut butter, sugar, and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.Using a spatula, fold in half of the whipped cream into the hazelnut mixture to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining cream.

Spread the mixture into the crust, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pie and refrigerate until firm, about four hours (or if you are in a rush, throw it in the freezer).

Chocolate Ganache:

Bring the whipping cream to a boil, stirring in the instant coffee.  Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until most of the chocolate has melted. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, then stir/whisk gently until completely smooth. Let cool to lukewarm and then pour over the pie and spread evenly.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (again, you can also use the freezer) and up to 3 days.

Serve with masses of whipped creamand raspberries for an absolutely delicious dessert.  Eat slowly – you will want to savour each and every bite!

– Catherine

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For the second of our pies, we offer you a lemon meringue!

There is something truly decadent about a beautifully executed lemon meringue pie.  The tangy lemon curd lingers on your tongue as the meringue disintegrates.  One can never go wrong with being generous on the lemon or the meringue side!

While the other pies are recipes plucked from our heads, inspired from years of pie-baking, this one is from the classic Joy of Cooking. This is a classic in my family, being my sister and father’s favourite type of pie!

Lemon Meringue Pie
Ingredients:

1 portion pâte sucrée (https://gourmeh.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/savoury-pastry-crust/)

Lemon Curd:

1 ½ cups sugar

6 tablespoons constrach

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup cold water

½ cup fresh lemon juice

3 egg yolks, well beaten

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 ½ cups boiling water

1 generous teaspoon grated lemon zest

Meringue:

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ scant cup sugar, preferably superfine

½ teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Pie Shell:

To prebake (“blind bake”) the shell, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough and place into a 9-inch pie shell.  Cut off any overhang, and flute the edges decoratively.

Prick the shell using a fork. Line the pie with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and fill with weights (beans or rice work perfectly).  Bake the pie for 15 minutes, remove the weights, and bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is beautifully golden.  Cool before filling with the lemon curd.

Lemon Curd:

Over medium heat, combine in a saucepan sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Gradually blend in until smooth water and lemon juice.  Incorporate the eggs yolks in thoroughly. Gradually add in the butter.  Stirring constantly, add in the boiling water and bring the lemon curd to a full boil.  Once the lemon curd begins to thicken, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1 or 2 more minutes.  Remove from the head and add the lemon zest.  Pour into the baked pie shell.

Meringue:

Using an hand-held beater, beat egg whites until foamy.  Add the cream of trtar.  Tablespoon by tablespoon beat in the sugar until the peaks are stiff and glossy. Beat in the vanilla.

Spread the meringue over the hot lemon curd and bake for 20 more minutes.  Best eaten once cool (allows the lemon curd to solidify), but perfectly delicious warm.  Happy Pi Day!

–       Catherine & Sitelle

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