Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Vintage Cookbooks!

During our recent trip to Washington, we happened upon an estate sale high up a muddy dirt road in the mountains just south of Mt. St. Helens. And I found a treasure trove!

A whole box of miscellaneous vintage little cookbooks, plus a couple hand-selected out-of-print cookbooks, all for $8.00!! Woohoo!

I'd been looking for the Barbara Kafka Roasting cookbook for several years, but it is out of print. I was especially excited to find an original (1977) Mollie Katzen Moosewood Cookbook! (Mine, which was the 15 year anniversary edition, had an unfortunate encounter with a particularly juicy thawing peach pie...not that that prevents me from using it!)

It will be fun perusing all these vintage volumes! (of course, there are a couple useless ones "Foods That Melt Body Fat!" like they used to sell in the grocery checkout lines, but that is to be expected.) Overall it's a score!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cowgirl Min's New Apron!

Becky (reddquilter) made me this apron for my birthday!
It is the cutest apron I've ever seen!
Very retro cool & fun...I love it! Thank you, Becky!!!

(pics by H-Bomb)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Strawberry Cobbler with Butter Cookie Dough Topping

Since we were gifted four pounds of strawberries the other day, I decided to make a strawberry cobbler. (we had shortcakes a week or so ago, and while they were excellent, why not try something new?) This cobbler topping can be used with any of the various fruits listed here.

This is another recipe from The Best Recipe cookbook. I recommend you pick up a copy.

This cobbler has a butter cookie dough topping, about which the authors say: "Although a bit unconventional, the sweet, sugar cookie topping is our favorite. Spoonfuls of dough are dropped over the fruit filling and melt in the oven to form a golden brown crust with bits of fruit and juices bursting through in places. The topping is quite sweet, so go lightly on the sugar in the fruit filling."

Cobbler with Butter Cookie Dough Topping
serves 4 to 6

1 recipe Fruit Fillings for Cobblers
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk (use whole egg if doubling recipe)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Scrape fruit mixture with rubber spatula into 9-inch deep dish pie plate and cover with aluminum foil. Place pie plate on rimmed baking sheet and bake until fruit begins to release liquid, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl and set aside.

3. Beat butter and sugar in medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 1 minute with electric mixer or 3 minutes by hand. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined.

4. After 15 minutes, remove baking sheet with pie plate from oven, uncover pie plate, and stir fruit to combine. Drop cookie dough topping by heaping tablespoons evenly over fruit.

5. Return pie plate on baking sheet to oven. Bake until topping is nicely browned and fruit is bubbly, about 40 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in pan before serving. (Cobbler can be kept at room temperature for several hours and reheated just before serving.)

***NOTE*** The cobbler has good flavor, but is somewhat, shall we say, gooey. I much prefer the shortcakes to this cobbler. It would probably be better with a different fruit (apples?) than strawberries. Of course this has not stopped me from eating half of the darn thing!***

Fruit Fillings for Cobblers

Combine the ingredients for a specific filling in a bowl and use as directed in the cobbler recipe.

Apples: 1 3/4 pounds tart, firm (such as Granny Smiths) peeled, quartered, cored and cut into thick slices; 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water; 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar; 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 1 teaspoon vanilla; 1 tablespoon brandy.

Apricots: 1 3/4 pounds, halved and pitted; 2 teaspoons cornstarch; 1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.

Blackberries: 3 pints fresh (or 36 ounces frozen) rinsed if using fresh; 1 tablespoon cornstarch; 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Blueberries: 3 pints fresh (or 36 ounces frozen) rinsed and picked over if using fresh; 1 tablespoon cornstarch; 1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar; 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

Mangoes: 3 pounds, peeled, pitted and cut into thick slices; 2 teaspoons cornstarch; 1/3 cup sugar; 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

Peaches/Nectarines: 1 3/4 pounds, peeled, pitted and cut into thick slices; 2 teaspoons cornstarch; 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar; pinch cloves; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1 tablespoon brandy.

Pears: 1 3/4 pounds, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into thick slices; 2 teaspoons cornstarch; 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar; 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or grated nutmeg; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Plums: 1 3/4 pounds, pitted and quartered; 2 teaspoons cornstarch; 1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar; 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Raspberries: 3 pints fresh (or 36 ounces frozen) rinsed if using fresh; 1 tablespoon cornstarch; 1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Sour Cherries: 1 3/4 pounds fresh (o 24 ounces frozen) stemmed and pitted if using fresh; 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch; 2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar; 2 tablespoons almond extract; 1 tablespoon kirsch.

Strawberries or Strawberry/Rhubarb: 3 pints fresh (or 36 ounces frozen)or 18 ounces each frozen strawberries and rhubarb, stem and rinse fresh strawberries, leave small and medium whole, halve large berries; cut rhubarb into 1/3-inch chunks; 1 tablespoon cornstarch; 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar (use greater amount with rhubarb); 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

White Chocolate Coconut Truffle

4 ounces heavy cream

1 vanilla bean

1 lb white chocolate

1/2 ounce cognac

Toasted coconut

Powdered sugar

Dipping white chocolate

Ganache: Bring cream and vanilla bean to a slow boil. Remove pot from heat, add chocolate directly into pot. Stir! You may need to return to heat, but try not to let it get too hot. Add cognac (if you are using vanilla extract instead of beans, add now). Let mixture cool 24 hours in a sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap.

Next either pipe or scoop out ganache into balls (not bigger then 1/2 ounce each). Coat ganache in powdered sugar. Dip in white chocolate, let dry. Dip a second time, then roll in coconut.


Sorry I don't have a better picture.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Granola (for coconut contest!)

The ONLY thing i make that has coconut in it, is my grandma's granola recipe...and its SO YUMMY! So, that's what I'm posting for my contest entry!!!! I'll post what her original recipe is and add my own adjustments to the side! It's good either way!!!

6 cups quick oats (or you can do 3 cups quick, 3 cups regular oats)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I started taking this OUT of the recipe, to cut down on sugar)
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup flaked coconut (unsweetened)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (i have always used walnuts)
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (HAS to be raw, salted is disgusting in this recipe!)
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup vegetable oil (i started using grapeseed oil and use just about 1/2 cup)
2 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins

In large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, coconut, sesame seeds, nuts, sunflower seeds and nonfat dry milk. Stir until mixed well. In another bowl, combine honey, oil, water and vanilla. (i usually will use a wire whisk to get this part mixed together good) Add to oat mixture and stir to coat ingredients well.

Turn into two large shallow baking pans. Heat in 300 degree oven for20-25 minutes or until LIGHTLY toasted. (ovens vary, i usually only need to cook mine for 15-18 minutes) Stir twice during heating. Once cooled, crumble into pieces and add raisins if desired.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Okay... I really want the parrot but I'm playing with a handicap. My husband HATES coconut, therefore I haven't made anything with coconut in oh... over 7 years. I remember this recipe from an old friend who brought it to a party. He pretended that he made it from scratch, etc.... then I asked him for the recipe and he had to admit that it was a peanut sauce mix packet from A Taste of Thai and a can of coconut milk... both items easily found in the asian section of the "ethnic food aisle" of your local grocery store.

What you will need:

A Taste of Thai Peanut Sauce Mix packet
1 15oz can of coconut milk (any brand)

Warm up the milk in a small saucepan and add the sauce mix.


This sauce can be served warm or cold with pita to dip.
You can also stir fry some chicken strips, cut into bite sized pieces, skewer with toothpicks and serve as a hot appetizer with the dipping sauce... kinda like Chicken Satay.
You can also use the sauce to make a Chicken Thai pizza. Spread on a ready-made crust, top with stir fried chicken pieces, blanched bean sprouts, scallions, fresh cilantro or parsley, pepper and shredded monterey jack cheese.

There ya go! 3 recipes in one!

Grilled Apple & Cheddar Pitas

I got the idea for this from Whole Foods Recipe page.  They called them Apple Cheddar Quesadillas but since I didn't have any tortillas, I opted for the pita bread.  
Simple to make, very quick and kid friendly.  Could be a snack or lunch.  

Here's what you need:

Fuji apple, thinly sliced
Pita bread (cut in half)
Sliced or shredded cheddar cheese (sharp as you like it)

Put the apple slices and cheese in the pita.  Melt some butter in a pan.  When it's hot enough but not (brown and burning) place your pitas in the pan and flip after a couple minutes.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cowgirl Min's Coconut Contest! Time's Up! Thanks for Your Entries!

Because it's my birthday, and I LOVE coconut!

Submit your very best Coconut recipe

*The contest has ended. Thank you for your entries! The winner will be announced soon!

Your recipe can be in any category you choose, but a prominent ingredient must be COCONUT. Coconut in any available form: fresh, raw, toasted, flaked, grated, cream, milk, you name it. Please be sure it is a recipe that you have tried, include a picture if available, and a bit about what you love about the recipe, whatever you feel like sharing. Tell all your friends!

*If you're not already a member, sign up here or just leave your recipe in a comment on this post*

Deadline for entries will be April 20, 2008 at midnight, MST. Winner will be chosen completely subjectively. (be forewarned that I might have to MAKE the recipes to choose a winner!)

In keeping with the tropical theme, the prize will be: a lovely and useful cast iron parrot bottle opener! This little guy is whimsically painted, and will serve you well. Coronas, here we come. I'll bring the limes!

Frites (french fries)

These are the fries that Number One made for my birthday dinner this year, to go along with steak, asparagus and an amazing pie. The fries were on the cover of Bon Appetit, May 2008 issue. Number One made about 7 or 8 generous servings, using roughly 14 (smallish) potatoes. They were perfectly crisp yet tender, and delicious!

For 2 servings, use:

2 12-ounce russet potatoes, peeled, cut lengthwise into 1/3 x 1/3-inch sticks
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Fleur de sel or kosher salt

Wrap potatoes in paper towels, pat dry. Pour enough vegetable oil into heavy large pot to reach depth of 1 1/2 inches. (we used our Fry Daddy) Attach deep fry thermometer to pot and heat oil to 260 to 270 degrees. (or just plug in your Fry Daddy). Working in about 4 batches, cook potatoes until tender but not brown, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to paper towels to drain. Reserve pot with oil. Cool potatoes completely. Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

When just about ready to serve dinner, reheat oil in pot to 365 to 375 degrees. Add precooked potatoes and cook until browned and crisp, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle fries with fleur de sel and pepper. Divide fries between plates and serve.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Lamb Chops with Dried Cherries and Port

This is a recipe from Bon Appetit. I was trying to think of something to make, and what do you know, we have some lamb here. We also happen to have all the ingredients for this recipe! Lucky day.

*Except, when I had thawed the package clearly labeled "Lamb Steaks," it was most certainly NOT steaks of any kind, nor chops: just some random stew meat of some sort. So, although the sauce was excellent, and the meat had good flavor, it was very chewy (because stew meat needs to stew all day--there's a reason!). We will make this again with a proper cut of meat, and repost the picture. Served it with slightly steamed, salted asparagus.

Lamb Chops with Dried Cherries and Port
Prep: 30 minutes/Total: 30 minutes/2 servings

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 4- to 5-ounce loin lamb chops
1/3 cup chopped shallots
3/4 cup ruby Port
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
3 tablespoons cherry jam (I used strawberry)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
chopped fresh mint or parsley

Heat oil in heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Add lamb to skillet; cook to desired doneness, turning often, about 10 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer lamb to plate. Pour off drippings from skillet. Add shallots to same skillet; saute' 1 minute. Add Port, broth, cherries, jam, vinegar and cardamom; boil until cherries plump and liquid is syrupy, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over lamb. Sprinkle with mint.

Take 2:
This time, we had packages labeled "lamb chops" that were opened to miraculously reveal Lamb Chops! I thought we had dried cherries, but forgot that I had used them this Thanksgiving in my Classic Stuffing, so I substituted dried cranberries. Also, I was unaware that we have apparently run out of chicken broth, but I found a can of beef broth in the pantry. And lastly, I used part strawberry jam and part strawberry preserves...picture will be uploaded after the storm passes.

Kelly's Island Chocolate Coconut Rum Pie

This is what my sweet husband made for my birthday dessert. Rich and decadent, it is a mixture of several of my favorite things: coconut, chocolate, and oh yes, rum. Come to Mama.

It's from Celebrate With Chocolate by Marcel Desaulniers. Yes, Number One even made the pie crust too! And whipped the cream and rum for the topping. He is talented!

Note: This recipe does need to chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours, so be sure to plan ahead.

Flaky Pie Crust Dough

1/3 cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-ounce pieces

Chocolate Coconut Rum Filling

1 1/2 cups dried unsweetened coconut flakes
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
3 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-ounce pieces
1/4 cup Myer's dark rum
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
5 large eggs

Place the milk, egg yolks, and vanilla in a small bowl. Use a fork to stir the egg and milk mixture until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Place 1 3/4 cups of the flour and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix on the lowest speed (stir) for 1 1/2 minutes, until the butter is cut into the flour and the mixture develops a very coarse texture (some small chunks of butter should be visible; if not, you probably have overmixed). Gradually add the milk and egg mixture while mixing on low until the dough comes together, 15 to 20 seconds. Remove the dough from the mixer and form it into a smooth round ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, then press into a 1-inch-thick disk (this makes rolling the dough real easy, especially with a soft dough like this one). Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and remove and discard the plastic wrap. Place the dough on a clean, dry, lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough with a rolling pin that has been dusted with flour (use the remaining 1/4 cup of flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking) into a circle about 16 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Line a 9 x 1 1/2-inch nonstick pie pan with the dough, gently pressing the dough around the bottom and sides of the pan. Use a paring knife or scissors to trim the dough, leaving a 2 inch border. Fold a 3- to 4-inch section of the border at a time, over and into the sides of the dough in the pan, and press gently into place. The folded border should stand about 1 inch from the top edge of the pan. Continue to fold and press the remaining dough border into the pan, a 3- to 4-inch section at a time, until all of the border has been folded into the pan (this creates an impressive-looking wavelike edge). Set aside at room temperature while preparing the filling.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Toast the coconut flakes on a baking sheet in the oven until golden brown (they will also be crispy after a few seconds out of the oven), about 5 minutes.

Heat the sugar, corn syrup, butter, rum, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently while the mixture is heating. Reduce the heat to low and cook the mixture for 1 minute. Remove from the heat; immediately add the semisweet chocolate, stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth (be careful while stirring not to splash the scorching-hot mixture out of the bowl). Set aside until needed in a minute or so.

Place the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whip. Whisk on medium speed for 1 minute until combined. Operate the mixer on medium while gradually adding the hot chocolate mixture. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in the coconut flakes until evenly distributed.

Pour the chocolate and coconut mixture into the prepared pie shell. Place the pie pan on a baking sheet on the center rack in the oven and bake for 1 hour, until the crust is golden brown and the chocolate center is domed and shiny. Remove the pie from the oven and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate the pie for 8 hours before cutting and serving.

After assembly, you may keep the pie in the refrigerator for 2 days before serving. To avoid permeating the pie with refrigerator odors, place it in a large, tightly sealed plastic container.

Heat the blade of a serrated knife with a rounded tip under hot running water and wipe the blade dry before cutting each slice. Consider serving the pie with rum-flavored unsweetened whipping cream.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Vegetable Ziti With Garlic Caper Cream Sauce and Bacon Crumbles

Another Hit from
We absolutely LOVED this recipe...and I have leftovers for tomorrows lunch! yay!!! I loved ALL the VEGGIES!!! So yummy...
Vegetable Ziti with Garlic Caper Cream Sauce and Bacon Crumbles
1 lb dry ziti pasta noodles (I used whole wheat Penna)

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 medium red bell peppers, finely diced
8 oz bag sugar snap peas
2 medium zucchini, halved then thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons capers
¾ Cup heavy cream
1 1/2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

12 slices precooked bacon, crisped and crumbled (I didnt use precooked...I cooked up some turkey bacon because that's all I buy!! And I didnt use 12 slices..i used MAYBE half of that)
1. Cook ziti noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.

2. Place oil into a large 5 qt skillet or other large pot over medium heat. When hot, stir in bell peppers, sugar snap peas, zucchini, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 5 minutes then reduce heat to low.

3. Place oil into a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and capers for 2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, until bubbly and starting to thicken slightly.

4. Pour noodles into vegetables then pour sauce over pasta. Stir in crumbled bacon until combined on low heat. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Soft tacos with Southwestern Vegetables

I got this recipe off of the Mayo Clinic website! I really enjoyed it and so did my husband. The kids ate it, but probably didnt LIKE it nearly as much as us parents did! Very good and very healthy too. I love the different colors. I served it w/brown rice and some refried beans (my kids love refried beans)...I made a double batch and had a TON left over, so I just put it in the freezer and I'm hoping it will be just fine for the next time we have them!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped (i didnt use red, they are too strong for me)
1 cup diced yellow summer squash (i dont like yellow squash, so i just doubled the zucchini)
1 cup diced green zucchini
3 large garlic cloves, minced
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from 2 ears of corn) or 1 cup frozen corn
1 cup canned pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained (I LOVE black, so thats what i used)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
8 corn tortillas (I used the white corn)
1/2 cup smoke flavored salsa (I used just regular salsa)

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the summer squash and zucchini and continue cooking until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, jalapeno, corn kernels and beans. Cook until the veggies are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Add cilantro

To serve, divide tortillas among individual plates. Spread an equal amount of the vegetable mixture on each tortilla. Top with salsa....I warmed up the tortillas in the micro for like 15 seconds before putting everything on. Also, I added a tiny bit of cheese on top with the salsa too.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Brie and Apple Custard Tart

This is another recipe from Martha Stewart. She has some amazing ones. I made two of these one year for an Easter brunch, and let me just say if there had been a contest, this Tart would have won hands down. One of the guests remarked, "This is superb. Those quiches don't hold a candle to this." See what I mean? No contest. Try it and you'll win too! (even if the contest is just, ahem, in your head)

Brie and Apple Custard Tart
Servings: 1 nine-inch tart
Prep time: 1 hour

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored, each cut into 6 wedges
6 oz. very ripe Brie cheese, room temp.
1 large whole egg
2 large egg yolks
1 cup half-and-half
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 prebaked Pate Brisee tart shell

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the oil. Add apples; cook until browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes total. Remove from heat, and set aside.

2. Place Brie in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the plastic blade, and process 15 seconds. Add egg and the yolks one at a time; process after each until well combined. Add 1/4 cup half-and-half, and process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl; slowly stir in remaining 3/4 cup half-and-half until smooth and combined. Stir in thyme, and season with salt and pepper.

3. Arrange reserved apples around the bottom of the tart shell. Pour custard around apples. Place pan in oven; bake until custard is just set when gently touched with your finger, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Martha's Perfect Pate Brisee

Pate Brisee is a fancy way to say pie dough. All I know is this is delicious. And not too hard. I just rarely think of it, but I have made it before. It is from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook. Use this pate brisee with Classic Greenmarket Apple Pie, or any pie or tart, really. And now we have quite a few pie crust recipes on the website, try them all and let us know which one you prefer!

Makes two 8- to 10-inch single-crust pies or one 8- to 10-inch double-crust pie

This dough may be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated, well-wrapped in plastic, or frozen up to 1 month.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Add the ice water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube with the machine running, just until dough holds together. Do not process for more than 30 seconds.

2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide into 2 equal pieces, and place on 2 separate sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two disks. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.

To Pre-Bake for Tarts:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a 9-by-2-inch tart ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Remove one disk from refrigerator, and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll dough into an 11-inch round. Carefully place over the tart ring with dough extending up slightly over the sides. Dock, or pierce, the bottom of tart all over with a fork. Place in freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.

2. Remove from freezer, and line shell with enough paper to extend above the sides by about one inch. Fill with dried beans or pie weights; bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and carefully remove parchment paper and beans. Return to oven, and bake until crust is golden all over, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before filling.

And here are some extra hints, from Martha, whom I think we are all in agreement just may be a Bad Girl, about her pie crust (also found in The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook):

  • The amount of water that is required to hold pastry together will vary, depending on the humidity.
  • Chilling the pie crust before it is baked helps it to keep its shape and gives it a professional look.
  • Evenly brushing the egg wash over the pie crust results in an evenly browned crust.
  • Martha likes to use glass pie plates so that she can see whether the bottom crust is done.
  • Bake the pie with a baking sheet underneath the plate to catch overflow from the filling.

Martha's Classic Greenmarket Apple Pie

I was looking at apple trees the other day, wanting to plant one. So I could make this pie. This recipe makes one of the best apple pies. Number One and I made several of them a couple years ago, when we got the last apple harvest from our tree. (Then someone cut down the old crabapple tree that was cross-pollinating our good apple tree, and guess what? No More Apples! THINK before you chop down fruit trees, people! I don't care how ugly they may be, they have a purpose! Ahem. I may still be a bit upset.) We also found a way to freeze the pie filling for later. We had done it successfully with peaches, and decided to try apples. It worked!

To freeze peach or apple pie filling: Get out the pie plate you will ultimately use to bake the pie. Line said pie plate with parchment or waxed paper (overhanging on the edges). Prepare pie filling, and pour over parchment in pie plate. DO NOT DOT WITH BUTTER AT THIS TIME. Cover well (I use that Press & Seal stuff, it works great with a glass pie plate) and place in freezer overnight. In the morning, remove the whole deal from the freezer. Remove the plastic wrap, use the parchment to lift your formed, frozen pie filling out of the pie plate, and carefully remove the parchment. Place your pie-shaped apples into a ziploc freezer bag, or if you're really serious into one of those vacuum seal things. Seal well, and return to freezer. That's it! When you're ready to bake, prepare your crust, make sure you use the same pie plate in which your originally froze the apples, pull out your apples and return them to the pie plate. Thaw, placing a pan under the pie plate to catch any overflow (more of a problem with peaches), then bake as directed. It really works!

I use my vacuum sealer, and also write the page number and cookbook of the pie recipe on the outside of the bag, so I will know how long it takes to bake and particularly whether there are any other toppings (i.e. Dot with butter) that need to go on before it bakes.

Anyway, this recipe is from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook. It's a good thing, I mean book.

Classic Greenmarket Apple Pie

Makes one 9-inch double-crust pie; serves 8 to 10
You will need one 9-inch pie plate.

The best apple pies feature a mix of apple varieties. Look for Macoun, Granny Smith, Cortland, Jonagold, and Empire.

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Martha's Perfect Pate Brisee
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 pounds assorted apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (I'm sure we use more butter)

1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of the pate brisee to a 1/8-inch-thick circle, about 13 inches in diameter. With a dry pastry brush, brush off the excess flour; roll the dough around the rolling pin, and lift it over a 9-inch pie plate. Line the pie plate with the dough, pressing it into the corners. Trim the dough so that it hangs over the pie by about 1/4 inch. Transfer the pie plate to the refrigerator, and chill 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk together the egg yolk and cream to make an egg wash; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; arrange in the chilled bottom crust. Dot with butter.

4. Roll out the remaining disk of pate brisee as in step 1. Brush the rim of the bottom crust with the egg wash. Place the second piece of dough on top, and trim so that 1 inch overhangs all the way around. Tuck the dough under, and crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. (I usually make a lattice crust, which I will explain when I make another pie and take pictures) Transfer the pie to the refrigerator, and chill until firm, about 15 minutes.

5. Remove the pie from the refrigerator, brush with the egg wash, and sprinkle generously with sugar. Cut 4 vents in the top, to allow steam to escape.

6. Bake until the crust begins to turn light brown, about 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake until golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin