Monday, July 12, 2010

strawberry rhubarb pie



aaaandd.... she's back!
with the sick-nastiest pie i've ever had the privilege of destroying half of in under 10 minutes.

brace yourself, homie: this pie is a county fair winner just waiting to happen.



the utter boredom that was this weekend is ultimately what drove me to create this masterpiece. i guess we should have more heatwaves, huh? well i gotta say, i even impressed myself with this one.

now if the pictures don't exactly make your mouth water cause it looks like a big crumbly mess, well, that's because it is. but looks aside, this pie is bomb and i want it in and around my mouth at all times.


normally i'm not this unabashed about how good my stuff tastes, but i mean.. the next time i set foot in the kitchen, i might have to turn down my swagger a little. if i keep pumping out stuff like this, things could get dangerous, know what i'm sayin? or maybe i just need some humble pie. (why did i say that? just shoot me.)

anyway, dad jokes aside, this is definitely top 10 on the stuff-i've-made list. it's got one of those perfection texture ratios; firm, crispy crust, soft gooey filling and crumbly streusel topping that all sort of melt together. it's awesome.


the recipe that would put a southerner to shame, aka strawberry rhubarb pie:

crust:
2 sticks of very cold butter (try cubing it and freezing for 15 minutes before you start)
2 cups of flour
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of very cold water (i popped this in the freezer too)
dash of salt

.: whisk together the flour, sugar and salt
. cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or two knives) until it resembles coarse crumbs
. add the water and finish by hand, working it into a ball
. roll out dough on floured surface and fit into your pie pan
. tuck the overhanging edges underneath itself to make a double-thick edge, and pop the pan into the fridge until you are ready for it


filling:
2 + 2/3 cups of cut rhubarb (about 5 stalks/ 1 lb)
2 cups of strawberries (about a pound)
2/3 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons of cornstarch

. after cutting the rhubarb in chunks and quartering the strawberries, throw in the sugar and cornstarch, and fold together, making sure not to squish the strawberries. it should get thick and syrupy


streusel topping:
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of brown sugar (i used dark brown)
1 stick of cold butter

. mix all ingredients together with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs. this takes some elbow grease. deal with it.

. pour the filling into the prepared pan, and cover with the streusel topping. bake in a 400 degree oven for 50-55 minutes, and let it cool completely before serving :.


i cheated and didn't let it cool completely, like i always do. it was still warm when i served it, creating ultimate deliciousness. i'd say it cooled for at least 2 hours though.

enjoy the best pie ever!


some notes on the recipe:

i found that the crust recipe made more than enough for one crust, but not quite enough to make two. so.. use your judgement. i'm also not a master crust-roller so maybe it was my bad. just warning you.

and, as usual, this tastes even better the next day out of the fridge. so keep some leftovers, fool!





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Monday, December 7, 2009

ebinger's blackout cake



you know those baby stories you've heard so many times that you start to believe you remember them? or you've seen so many pictures of a relative you've never met and you forget you don't actually know them?




well ebinger's blackout cake is kinda like that. i've never actually had it, but i've been hearing about the best cake on earth for so long that i feel like it was my childhood birthday cake or something (...funfetti anyone?)

sadly, the infamous chocolate mess never made it to my sweet tooth because the bakery closed down long before i was born. but for the proud brooklynites and ebinger's experts that are my parents, the memory is legendary. and i never stop hearing about it.


though it's no comparison, say the experts, the entenmann's knockoff is the next best thing. it's become a winter staple in our household. ever heard of mallomar season? fugetaboutit. we wait for blackout cake.

entenmann's did the trick for a while, but then something strange happened: they stopped making it!
it was time for action.

i've tried blackout cake recipes before, and the experts agree that this recipe is the one. make it for a fellow new yorker and prepare to be a hero.


ebinger's blackout cake:

pudding:
2 cups of half and half
1 cup milk
1 + 1/4 cups sugar
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate (i used ghirardelli)
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla
dash of salt

.: in a small saucepan, whisk together the half and half, milk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt
. add the chocolate and whisk constantly over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until the chocolate melts and the mixture starts to bubble
. stir in vanilla and transfer pudding to a bowl
. place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to avoid creating a skin, and let chill for at least four hours until cold :.

cake:
2 eggs
1 + 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brewed coffee, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 stick of butter
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
dash of salt

.: preheat oven to 325, and prepare two 8-inch cake pans with parchment
. in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
. melt the butter in a saucepan. add cocoa and stir 1 minute, then take off heat
. whisk in coffee, buttermilk and sugars to the saucepan
. whisk in eggs and vanilla
. in 3 additions, add flour mixture to saucepan
. bake 30-35 minutes :.

to assemble cake:

.: let each cake cool completely, then cut each cake in half horizontally
. take one layer of cake and crumble it into cake crumbs (leaving you with 3 cake layers)
. frost your cake with the pudding, then press the cake crumbs all over the outside of the cake
. be prepared for massive nostalgia :.

enjoy!


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Thursday, November 19, 2009

halloween cake



alright. by now it's pretty ridiculous to post this cake, so i'm not even going to write anything... just look at it in all its festive glory


inspired by the famous smitten kitchen cake, this is my own chocolate cake recipe with this peanut butter marshmallow frosting, covered in chocolate glaze and decorated with halloween m+ms and ghost marshmallow peeps.


halloween cake:

chocolate cake:
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1+3/4 cups flour
1 cup milk
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1+1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1+1/2 teaspoons baking soda
dash of salt

.: heat oven to 350
. whisk together sugar, flour, coca, baking powder, baking soda and salt
. add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, and beat for 2 minutes
. stir in boiling water (batter will be thin)
. bake 30-35 minutes


fluffernutter frosting:
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup fluff
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar

. beat together the butter and peanut butter
. beat in sugar
. add food coloring if desired
. fold in marshmallow fluff


chocolate glaze:
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup half and half
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

. heat half and half on low flame
. while half and half is warming up, microwave the chocolate and corn syrup for about 20 seconds
. add half and half to chocolate and whisk until smooth
. pour onto the center of the frosted cake immediately, using a knife to spill it down the sides
. add m+ms or any other decoration while chocolate is still wet :.



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Monday, October 5, 2009

apple pie cookies



fall fever has struck again!
it's october, my favorite month of the year, and i'm starting it off on the right foot.


i've been getting antsy to go apple picking, but in the meantime something outstanding has happened down at the supermarket. can you guess what it is? they've finally stocked honeycrisps!

...i'm sure you've never heard of them, they're kind of obscure.

ha, no but really, they're the best apples around and they're so hard to find. and i look forward to apple season all year, so needless to say that sort of made my october.


so anyway, i'm currently learning how to cook, and it's really grand and all, but i miss baking. luckily, the school mailroom where i work is having a secret-santa sort of thing (just for fun), so it's the perfect excuse to start baking again! and since i'm so predictable, i chose something to showcase my beloved honeycrisp apple.


these cookies were so good, and they even got the seal of approval from the d-man (an oatmeal cookie connoisseur). they basically taste like fall, which is what i was going for i guess. i was skeptical about putting chunks of apples in a cookie, forgetting that apples get soft when you cook them (duh).

they turned out to be a great addition. the cookies are soft and gooey and bursting with apple-cinnamon flavor. the apples cut the sweetness of the icing on top, and it really is like biting into a little apple pie (says ali the cookie wizard).


apple pie cookies:

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies:
1 + 1/4 cups flour
1 + 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 apple, diced (i used honeycrisp)
1 egg
3/4 cups cinnamon chips
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of nutmeg and allspice
dash of salt

icing, from here:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
splash of milk

.: preheat oven to 350.
. in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt.
. in another bowl, beat butter and sugars together. beat in eggs and vanilla.
. on a low setting, add the applesauce and diced apple.
. slowly add the flour mixture until just blended.
. stir in the oats and cinnamon chips.
. drop teaspoon sized balls onto a cookie sheet 2 inches apart
. bake for 10-12 minutes
. let cool, then ice:
. for the icing, mix together sugar and maple syrup, adding milk to thin it out. it should be a sort of pasty consistency that will harden, but not enough to stack the cookies :.


this recipe made 30 really small cookies. if that's a good number for you, fine, but i'd double the recipe next time because i don't like my cookies that small.

also, if you've been keeping track, that's one oatmeal cookie failure and one oatmeal cookie success (and for the record, i like oatmeal cookies now. i've come a long way, baby). my next attempt/tiebreaker will be chrissy's recipe, so watch out for that, but in the meantime try these. now.


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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

chocolate espresso pecan pie



hey folks!
so i vowed i was gonna stop updating so i could get good grades, but i noticed people were still visiting the site, and school is overrated anyway.

gotta give the people what they want, and... well gosh i'm just such a giver.


fall fever has officially hit, i'm prematurely breaking out the wool blazers and earth tones. so naturally i wanted to make something really autumnal, and i think a pecan pie is exactly that.


oh! and might i add, this is the first pie i've ever made? as well as the first pecan pie i've ever tasted. i don't really know how it's possible to have avoided it for twenty years, but there you go.

and sorry to all the purists out there, for corrupting a pecan pie by adding chocolate and coffee in a (failed) attempt to appease my family who hates pecan pie.


the only problem with this pie is that i honestly don't know if it turned out right, seeing as i've never had pecan pie before. but, since i've been desperately vying to try it ever since sookie's gran died on true blood, i can honestly say that it was everything i'd hoped it would be.


chocolate espresso pecan pie

from userealbutter


4 eggs

2 + 1/2 cups of pecans

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup sugar

3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate

1/2 stick of butter

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

1 tablespoon hot water

dash of salt


.: preheat oven to 350.

. i wasn't ready to make my own crust so i used pillsbury, feel free to use your favorite recipe

. coarsely chop 2 cups of the pecans, leaving 1/2 cup whole for decoration

. melt the chocolate and butter together on a double boiler, remove from heat and let cool

. in a medium bowl, whisk eggs, corn syrup, sugar and salt

. dissolve the espresso powder in the hot water, and add to the egg mixture

. add the chocolate/butter mixture, and whisk together

. sprinkle the chopped pecans into the pie crust, and on top of that, place the whole pecans around the outside. you can just do a circle, or you can cover the whole pie (of course this requires more than 1/2 cup of pecans)

. pour the chocolate filling in the center of the pie. it will cover the pretty pecan design, but they will float to the top

. bake for 45 - 55 minutes (mine took 50)

. cool completely and refrigerate before serving :.



and here's an ugly picture, just to give another view of the inside. a wonderful first pie experience, i suggest you try it.
enjoy!


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Monday, August 24, 2009

moar scones!



alright well i've sort of been on hiatus cuz all this baking has got me packin' on the pounds, and i need to be doing a different kind of packing. yes kids, it's that time of year again; back to school.


as you all may know, it's a rare occasion that i make something twice.

well i made a batch of blueberry scones, and a batch of cinnamon chocolate chip; both awesome, but blueberry was the clear winner.


anyway, i might have to call it quits on the dessert front for a while; even though i get my own kitchen this year, it's so hard to make anything at school. it's just easier at good ole melodywood.


but who knows, i might get the fall, "omg i have to make stuff with apples and cinnamon and pecans and pumpkin" hysterics, go apeshit and fail out of school.

we shall see.


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Sunday, August 2, 2009

scones



freshly picked wild raspberries baked into scones. how adorable am i?
i'll give you a hint: absurdly.

and in case you've never heard me say,
i'm klassy with a 'k'
cause i eat my scones with curds and whey.

...actually i gobbled them straight out of the oven, still hot. same thing, right?


see that? ^^ that's a wild raspberry bush growing by my house.

and this? this is a pile of raspberries.


and that there, is a scone.


so anyway, after a long awaited trip to a.c. moore with cousin dana, and blowing through cash like i have a job (shout-out to wendy and her coupons), i ended up with my coveted pastry blender.
...best purchase evar. you can see it working its magic below:


it made the job super easy, but it'd also be nice if i could cut wedges like i'm not 5, and have 4 isosceles triangles and 2 equilaterals (yes, you ARE in the presence of an algebra II graduate. no pictures please).


i made one batch plain, and the other with mini chocolate chips on top, but i think i liked the plain ones better (i know, right?)


either way, i don't think these could have turned out better. freezing them before baking made them rise really high, and really, they're just too cute not to love. i mean really.


scones:
from king arthur flour

2 + 3/4 cups flour
2 eggs
2 cups of raspberries (or whatever)
1 stick of butter, cold
1/2 to 2/3 cup of milk (1/2 in humid weather, 2/3 when it's dry)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
dash of salt

.: line a baking sheet with parchment, and lightly flour. don't preheat yet
. in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
. cut your butter into cubes, and work it into the flour with your pastry blender (or two knives). get it to a crumbly consistency, and leave small chunks of butter in it; you don't want it homogenized, but unevenly chunky
. carefully stir in your fruit, trying not to smush it all
. whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla together, and add to the flour, stirring carefully until just moistened and holds together
. turn dough onto parchment and divide in half
. round each half into a 5 or 6-inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick
. brush circles with a few teaspoons of milk, and sprinkle with sugar (if you have large-crystal sugar, now would be a sexy time to use it)
. slice each circle into 6 wedges, and carefully pull the wedges away from each other a bit, leaving 1/2 inch in between them
. preheat the oven to 425, and put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered (don't skip this step, it makes them rise higher)
. bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown, and serve warm :.


and there you have it. i guess there's just one thing left to say: you've just been scwnd.


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