Tag Archives: Recipes

PIEBRATION 2014

Those who follow me on twitter and instagram, might have noticed that the end of November was filled with lots of images of pies and the hashtag #piebration14. And I’m sure there were a few of you asking yourself “what the devil is ‘piebration'”?

Piebration [noun]: an annual festival, usually held in the weeks before Thanksgiving, which gathers individuals together to bake and eat all things pie-related. Combination of the words “pie” and “celebration”.

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This was the fourth Piebration and it was quite the glorious affair.

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We also introduced a new element to the festivities: The Golden Rolling Pin.

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Every year we are asked if there’s a reward for the favorite pie and this year we decided to make one. Guests were given the opportunity to vote on the pie they enjoyed the most. Not only does it add an element of friendly competition to the event, but it gives us an idea of what pies we should make sure to bring back next year.

I’m happy to say that I was the recipient of this year’s Golden Rolling Pin for my Egg N Grogg Pie. And because pie is best when it’s shared, I’m going to share the recipe for this award-winning pie. It’s like egg nog in a pie pan. Delicious!

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Egg N Grogg Pie (adapted from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book)

Crust:
  • 1 sleeve of graham cracker cookies (about 1 1/4 cups crumbled)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Filling:
  • 3/4 cup of cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
 Directions: 
  1. Crush the graham crackers (either by hand or with a food processor) into crumbs
  2. Add sugar, salt and melted butter, mix until incorporated
  3. Pour the crumbs into a 9-inch pie pan and press them evenly against the bottom and sides of the pan
  4. Freeze for at least 10 minutes (or until solid)
  5. Preheat oven to 350
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until fragrant or darkened
  7. Preheat oven to 325
  8. Blend (by hand or with a mixer) the cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and cloves
  9. Add the eggs on at a time
  10. Add in the heavy cream, rum and lemon juice
  11. Mix until smooth
  12. Pour the filling into the crust
  13. Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through. Edges should be set but the center should still be wobbly (it will continue to set outside of the oven)
  14. Allow to cool 2-3 hours

THE COUNTDOWN CONTINUES: 50 DAYS UNTIL STRAY

IMG_1373Only 50 days until STRAY!!

To celebrate, I made APPLE ROSES, aka sweet little apple slices wrapped in puff pastry. So easy and delicious. Here’s how you can make your own:

Recipe adapted from Having Fun in the Kitchen

INGREDIENTS:IMG_1349

2 sheets of puff pastry

3 apples (I used Pink Ladies)

8 tablespoons of sugar (divided into 5 and 3 tablespoons)

2 small lemons (zest and juice)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

Wash, cut in half and core apples. Slice into thin slices.

Put apples, water, 5 tablespoons of sugar and lemon juice in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and strain apples. Let cool.

Pre-heat oven to 425.

IMG_1363Cut puff pastry into strips.

Mix remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest together. Spread over the puff pastry.

Lay apple slices on strips of puff pastry and roll tightly to create rose-shape. Each strip will use approximately 3 apple slices.

IMG_1371Place rolled pastry onto baking sheet. I used a non-stick mini-muffin pan that worked perfectly, but any baking sheet (with parchment paper) should do.

Bake for 25 minutes or until pastry has been lightly browned.

Enjoy warm!

THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS: 100 DAYS UNTIL STRAY!!!

That’s right, friends, on October 7th – a mere 100 days away – STRAY will be released into the world and to celebrate, Basil and I made a Rose Cake*. With real roses.

As any fairy tale fan knows, roses are a pretty common motif in a lot of classic stories, from Beast’s rose garden in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST to the title character in BRIAR ROSE. And though STRAY is not a retelling of any specific fairy tale, it was my goal to weave familiar themes and images throughout the story, including roses.

And since I’m always looking for an excuse to try a new recipe, it seemed only fitting that I make a rose-inspired cake to mark this occasion. Yum!

Here’s how to make your own rose cake.

FLUFFY LIGHT BUTTER CAKE with ROSE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

IMG_0509(cake recipe adapted from James Peterson’s BAKING and frosting recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven)

 Special equipment: 2 9″ round cake pans, mixer

 Ingredients:

FOR THE CAKE

Butter and flour for the pans

1 1/4 cups cake flour

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

3 eggs (separated)

2/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of cream of tartar

FOR THE FROSTINGIMG_0502

3/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)

2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Petals from 1 rose, finely chopped

1/8 cup milk

 MAKE THE CAKE

IMG_0514Pre-heat the over to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the cake pans.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt

Cream the butter and 3/4 cup sugar (you can do this with a mixer or wooden spoon if the butter is soft enough). When the butter softens, switch to a whisk.

Whisk in eggs yolks, one at a time.

Whisk in milk and vanilla. Mixture might be lumpy.

Whisk in the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time until smooth.

Using a mixer (you will need to clean out your bowl if you used it for the butter mixture), beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.

Beat in 3 tablespoons of sugar until medium peaks form.

Whisk 1/4 of egg white mixture into butter mixture and then, with a wooden spoon, fold the remaining egg white mixture into the butter mixture.

Divide batter evenly between cake pans.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from the pans.

MAKE THE FROSTING

While the cake is cooling, clean out the mixer.

Beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth.

Add powdered sugar, vanilla, chopped rose petals, and milk.

Beat on medium-low speed for 30 seconds to incorporate. Then increase speed to medium-high and until smooth

CONSTRUCT THE CAKE

IMG_0510Remove cake from pans. 

Spread layer of frosting on top of one of the cakes and carefully place the second cake on top. 

Frost the sides and top of the cake, pressing fresh and washed rose petals to the side and top in the pattern of your choosing. 

Enjoy!

*Don’t worry, I didn’t let Basil eat any of the cake. He did enjoy sniffing it, though. 

Resolution Round Up: January

Today’s Tea: Rose Tea

My New Years resolution was twofold: read more and bake more. How did I do this month?

Books I Read:

Young Adult:

NOT A DROP TO DRINK by Mindy McGinnis

THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie

Adult:

THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO by Junot Diaz

Non-Fiction:

COLUMBINE by Dave Cullen

Things I Baked:

Amish Friendship Bread – This is a bit of a cheat since I made the starter at the end of the month. I’ll report on how the bread actually turns out next month.

Condensed Milk Cake – Overcooked it a bit. If I made it again (and I think I will, the taste was nice and light, perfect for having with tea) I’d probably start checking after 25 minutes.

Carrot Cake Muffins – These turned out pretty well. A little dry and not as sweet as I was expecting, but they still got rave reviews.

Broccoli and Potato Soup – Quite delicious. I made it without cheese and it was still very good.

 Banana Bread – A basic, bare-bones recipe but yummy. Also delicious with tea.