27 December 2018

Cranberry-Apple Clafoutis - Clafoutis aux Pommes et Canneberges

Cranberry-Apple Clafoutis - Clafoutis aux Pommes et Canneberges / www.delightfulrepast.com

I was craving cranberries and got the idea of combining them with apples in a clafoutis (pronounced cla-foo-TEE). Though some say it’s not a true clafoutis unless it’s made with cherries. Well, this isn’t cherry season, so … 

I suppose, technically speaking, my concoction is really a flaugnarde (pronounced flo-nyard). But Julia Child, in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, just called all the variations clafoutis; and that is good enough for me.

If you’ve not had clafoutis, you might be surprised by the texture. Not a cake, not a custard, perhaps something in between? The simple French dessert is basically a thin crepe batter poured over fruit and baked in the oven.


Cranberry-Apple Clafoutis - Clafoutis aux Pommes et Canneberges / www.delightfulrepast.com


It’s such an easy dessert, but let me tell you, it could have been a disaster! You can use any shape dish you like, but I wanted to make it round (because, like Jacques Pepin, I think clafoutis should be cut in wedges) and narrowed it down to two dishes: a vintage Le Creuset enameled cast iron and a Pyrex.

I went with the latter, for no particular reason.

You can use one of two methods: Put the fruit and all the batter into the buttered dish before it goes into the oven or lightly bake a thin layer of the batter before adding the fruit and the rest of the batter.

I went with the latter because it’s supposed to make for tidier slicing and serving.

It wasn’t until I pulled the dish out of the oven with its lightly baked thin layer that the light bulb went on. You can’t add cold fruit and cold liquid to a hot glass dish! So I grabbed the Le Creuset and transferred that layer into it. Whew! That could have been a disaster!

It might have worked. Since the fruit and batter were actually room temperature rather than cold, perhaps the thermal shock wouldn’t have been quite shocking enough to break the glass, but I didn’t want to risk it. Anyway … 

The clafoutis was delicious, but I just had to make another one to see if that extra step of baking a thin layer of batter was really worth the trouble. And I used the Pyrex dish, for variety.

The verdict? No, that extra step is not worth the trouble. The second clafoutis, with all the batter going in at once, seemed to form its own little “self-crusting” layer. 


Cranberry-Apple Clafoutis - Clafoutis aux Pommes et Canneberges / www.delightfulrepast.com


Cranberry-Apple Clafoutis


(Makes 6 to 8 servings)

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces/170 grams) cranberries, washed and dried
1 cup (about 4 ounces/113 grams) diced, about 1/3 to 1/2 inch, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith or other good baking apples, peeled or unpeeled 
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 dip-and-sweep cup (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (10 fluid ounces/296 ml) milk
Garnish: powdered sugar

1 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Butter a 2-inch/5 cm deep 8-inch/20 cm round baking dish* with the 1/2 tablespoon softened butter. In a small dish, melt the tablespoon of butter and leave to cool slightly.

* I just learned this item is no longer made by Pyrex and can only be found on the vintage market. I think what would be even better, ideal, for this dish is the Pyrex Easy Grab 9.5-Inch Deep Dish Pie Plate, and I plan to order one.

2 Spread cranberries and apple cubes in prepared dish in a single layer. Stir together 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over the fruit, holding back 1 tablespoon to sprinkle on the top.


Cranberry-Apple Clafoutis - Clafoutis aux Pommes et Canneberges / www.delightfulrepast.com
This photo shows why I decided to hold back a tablespoon of cinnamon-sugar to sprinkle on the top before baking. See how crackly and pretty it is. Also, for this one, I cut the apples into smaller 1/3-inch dice. Either way, 1/2-inch or 1/3-inch, is good.

3 In a 1-quart glass measure, whisk together the eggs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, melted butter, brandy, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk in the flour and then the milk, adding it gradually at first, to make a smooth batter. If it’s not as smooth as it should be, you can hit it with an immersion blender. Don’t drag out your blender for this one; a whisk will get the job done.

4 Pour the batter over the fruit. Sprinkle on the reserved tablespoon of cinnamon-sugar. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until puffed and golden and browning around the edges and pulling away from the edges of the pan.

5 Let stand 10 to 20 minutes before serving warm. Add a dusting of powdered sugar, if you like, just before serving. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean 

20 December 2018

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew - made in the Instant Pot set on the slow cooker function / www.delightfulrepast.com

Slow Cooker Beef Stew was the first thing I wanted to make in my new Instant Pot. Yes, folks, I finally broke down and bought one. I didn’t have room for one more countertop appliance, but I needed to replace my slow cooker’s cooking pot. Here’s the story.

I love my slow cooker, the Cuisinart 6-quart multicooker slow cooker, but I damaged the nonstick surface of the cooking pot and so was going to have to order a replacement. Since I was interested in trying a pressure cooker, I thought I’d try the combination slow cooker pressure cooker Instant Pot with its uncoated stainless steel cooking pot.


Slow Cooker Beef Stew - made in the Instant Pot set on the slow cooker function / www.delightfulrepast.com
This photo shows how I protect the wall and undercabinet lighting from grease spatters with a dish towel when sauteeing in a countertop appliance. Or I can set it on something on top of the stove and turn the range hood on.


This time I used packaged grass-fed stew meat, but I really prefer to buy a piece of chuck (about 2.75 pounds) and trim it and cut it up myself into larger pieces. 

I’ve written my recipe instructions for the cook who is new, as I am, to using the Instant Pot as a slow cooker. If they are not clear, do tell me so that I can clarify them. Anyone using a regular slow cooker (or the stovetop) can easily make adjustments. 

Then I’ll try out the Instant Pot in its main function as a pressure cooker. I’m brand new to pressure cookers, probably because my mother and grandmothers didn’t use them, so it’s going to be an adventure. Have you jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon yet? I think I might be the last person on the planet to get one!

Update 01/17/19: Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot Beef Stew, Classic Stovetop Beef Stew.


Slow Cooker Beef Stew - made in the Instant Pot set on the slow cooker function / www.delightfulrepast.com



Slow Cooker Beef Stew


(Serves 4 to 6)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 1/4 pounds (1.02 kg) lean beef chuck, cut into 1.5-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) drinkable dry red wine or water
1/2 large onion, chopped (6 ounces/170 grams—about 3/4 cup)
1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces/680 grams) Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 medium carrots (12 ounces/340 grams), peeled, cut diagonally into 1-inch slices
3 stalks celery (6 ounces/170 grams), sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces/355 ml) chicken broth or water
4 to 5 tablespoons (half a 6-ounce can) tomato paste
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
Slurry of 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup water
Garnish: 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley and/or 1 cup of frozen peas

1 Brown the beef in two or three batches. (I do three because I’m really into thorough browning.) Plug in the Instant Pot. Select the Saute program. Press the Saute key again to go from Normal temperature to More. When the word Hot appears on the display, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the stainless steel cooking pot of the Instant Pot. 

2 Dry the beef cubes a batch at a time with paper towels, add to hot oil and brown very well in single layer, sprinkling with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Transfer browned beef to a bowl. Repeat. (And repeat again if you’re doing three batches.)

3 Deglaze the cooking pot with 1/2 cup wine or water. Press the Cancel key. Add the beef back to the Instant Pot, along with all remaining ingredients except the slurry and garnish. 

4 Put on the optional Instant Pot glass lid, or use the pressure cooking lid with the steam release handle turned to Venting. Select the Slow Cook program. Within 10 seconds, press Slow Cook to set temperature to Normal. Within 10 seconds, press “+ or –“ to set time to 6 hours.

Note: Instant Pot users have reported all kinds of timing differences in the slow cooker function, so you’ll just have to see about this!

5 After 6 hours (if your stew is done), shake together flour and water until mixture is smooth. Stir the smooth slurry into the stew, taste and adjust seasoning; press Saute and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes to thicken. Remove bay leaf, and sprinkle on parsley or stir in frozen peas. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.


Jean

13 December 2018

Devon Flats - Classic British Biscuit (Cookie)

Devon Flats - Classic British Biscuit (Cookie) - made with luscious clotted cream / www.delightfulrepast.com

I should be a judge or something on the Great British Baking Show—British baking has been my schtick all my life. And here I go with a biscuit (cookie) from Southern England. This isn’t a family recipe. My only connection to Devon is that 13 of my ancestors on my father’s side came over on the Mayflower from Plymouth. 

I’ve had biscuits/cookies made with clotted cream and butter before, but they were from Cornwall. I only learned about this traditional all-clotted cream Devon version when I read a post about Devon Flats on the charming food blog As Strong As Soup.

The recipe was in print as early as 1935 and most are very similar and call for the dough to be cut into 7 or 8 cm/3-inch rounds. I wanted them a bit smaller for afternoon tea and used a 5 cm/2-inch round cutter. The clotted cream can be store-bought (difficult to find in the US, though) or mail-ordered (clotted cream on Amazon), or you can make my authentic Homemade Clotted Cream, which I did the day before I made the Devon Flats.


Devon Flats - Classic British Biscuit (Cookie) / www.delightfulrepast.com

You might think this plain little biscuit would taste no different from a regular sugar cookie made with butter. But if you’re a clotted cream aficionado, you know that clotted cream and butter taste quite different. I resisted my natural inclination to add vanilla extract or citrus zest or spice, knowing I'd be rewarded with the pure clotted cream flavor. 

Most Devon Flats recipes call for self-raising flour (called self-rising in the US), but I always use plain flour (called all-purpose in the US) and so have added baking powder and salt to the recipe. Since British self-raising flour is not the same as American self-rising flour, it makes much more sense for me to make my recipes with plain/all-purpose.


Devon Flats - Classic British Biscuit (Cookie) - made with my authentic homemade clotted cream / www.delightfulrepast.com


The recipes I looked at measured the clotted cream “or thick double cream” in “ml” rather than grams, so I’m assuming those bakers were using a much more liquid product than I. I used clotted cream, which is quite solid, so needed to add more liquid. The recipes called for rolling out the dough anywhere from Phil’s “thinly” to 1/4 inch, 1/3 inch, 1/2 inch and even an absurd 1 inch.

I rolled this batch to 1/4 inch but next time will do 1/8 inch, which is what I imagine Phil’s “thinly” to be. And that will mean more biscuits! And, since my clotted cream is not the least bit pourable, I will change up the mixing a bit, creaming together the clotted cream and sugar, then mixing in the egg followed by the flour mixture. 



Devon Flats - Classic British Biscuit (Cookie) - made with luscious clotted cream / www.delightfulrepast.com



Devon Flats 


(Makes about 3 dozen 2-inch/5 cm cookies/biscuits)

1 1/2 cups (7.5 ounces/213 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar
1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) clotted cream

1 large egg, lightly beaten

A little milk, if needed (I used 4 tablespoons, one at a time, of the thin cream left over from making clotted cream)



1 In medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt to “sift” the ingredients. Whisk in the sugar.

Note: I plan to change this up a bit next time as mentioned above: Whisk together the dry ingredients. Cream the sugar and clotted cream together. Mix in the egg. Then mix in the flour.

2 With wooden spoon or with hand mixer on low speed, mix in the clotted cream and egg to form a soft, but not wet, dough. If the dough is too stiff, add some milk a little at a time to soften the dough.

3 Cover the dough and refrigerate it for 30 minutes or so. Chilling the dough will make it easier to handle. 

4 Preheat the oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough about 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick and cut out the biscuits using a 2- to 3-inch (5 to 8 cm) round cutter.

Note: As mentioned above, I plan to roll the dough about 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick next time. 

5 Place on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes until the biscuits are coloring on top and browning slightly around the edges. Cool the biscuits completely on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Jean

06 December 2018

Banana Cream Pie - The Best Crust Ever for Cream Pies

Banana Cream Pie - Pâte Sucrée (a slightly sweet shortcrust pastry) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Banana cream pie is one of my lifelong favorites, enjoyed often at my Southern grandmother’s house. She made it with a regular flaky pie crust, but lately I’ve taken to making it with a slightly sweet, vanilla scented shortcrust pastry I came up with to hint at the vanilla wafers in a traditional Banana Pudding.

This pastry is going to be my go-to crust for any cream pie from now on, including Coconut Cream Pie and Chocolate Cream Pie. It rolls out beautifully and has a wonderful flavor and texture. The custard is thick and lovely, quite a nice color, no need for the yellow food coloring some people add.


Banana Cream Pie - Pâte Sucrée (a slightly sweet shortcrust pastry) / www.delightfulrepast.com
This Banana Cream Pie is what the word luscious was invented for!

If I were topping the pie with meringue, I would make the custard with egg yolks and use the whites for the meringue. But since I prefer whipped cream, I make the custard with whole eggs so the whites don’t go to waste. (I really hate food waste! And I’m getting better, but not perfect, at avoiding it.)

What is your favorite pie? I’m really more of a fruit pie fan, though I’ve been on a custard pie kick lately. But I promise, I'll post something besides pie next week! 

Banana Cream Pie - Pâte Sucrée (a slightly sweet shortcrust pastry) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Banana Cream Pie 


(Makes one 9-inch/23cm pie, 8 servings) 


The Pastry - Pâte Sucrée (a sweet shortcrust pastry) 

1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 packed cup (1 ounce/28 grams) unsifted powdered sugar 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

The Custard

2 1/2 cups (20 fluid ounces/591 ml) milk
2/3 cup (4.67 ounces/132 grams) sugar 
1/3 dip-and-sweep cup (1.67 ounces/47 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces/43 grams) unsalted butter, cold
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon brandy or rum, optional
3 medium (about 1.5 pounds/680 grams) firm ripe bananas

The Whipped Cream

1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces/355 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Garnish

Fresh banana slices, banana chips or toasted sliced almonds


1 Add flour, powdered sugar and salt to work bowl of food processor; turn on for about 3 or 4 seconds to combine. Add chunks of butter; pulse to a crumb texture, leaving some visible chunks of butter. Add egg and vanilla extract; pulse until the dough starts clumping together. This is to be a crisp, more cookie-like crust, rather than a flaky pastry; so there's not quite the concern about over-processing. Flatten slightly into a 4- to 6-inch round disc, wrap in square of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. Save the piece of plastic, you'll be using it again.



2 Very lightly butter a 9-inch glass pie plate; I usually just run the butter wrapper over it. On a lightly floured piece of parchment, roll out disk to a 13-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Place pastry in pie plate, being careful to not stretch the dough. Leave a 1-inch overhang of dough*. Crimp and flute the edge. (Sometimes you need to chill the pastry a bit before crimping.) Cover loosely with the reserved piece of plastic wrap and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 425F/220C/Gas7.



* Don't throw away the scraps; they make wonderful cookies (I made 6 little 2-inch wafers, using ever scrap). Just press them out and throw them on the baking sheet next to the pie plate for the final 10 minutes of baking.

3 Fit a square of aluminum foil in the shell and fill with ceramic pie weights (baking beans). Set on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch butter drips). Bake the thoroughly chilled crust for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and pie weights, pop on the pie crust shield and bake for another 10 minutes.

Note: I use two boxes of the ceramic pie weights, and they just fit nicely into a 200-gram tea tin. If you're not a loose leaf tea drinker, though, a quart canning jar works.

4 Remove fully pre-baked pie shell from the oven; let cool completely before filling, at least 30 minutes or hours ahead, whatever suits your schedule.

5 Make filling while pie shell is cooling. In heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucier or 2- to 3-quart saucepan, heat milk just to a simmer. 

6 In 2-quart glass measure or bowl, whisk together sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in eggs until thoroughly combined. Gradually add hot milk, whisking constantly.

7 Pour mixture back into saucier and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until thickened—just takes a couple minutes (well, several, but not as many as when starting with unheated milk), so don't get distracted—you don’t want scrambled eggs. (Food safety note: Any mixture with eggs should be cooked until it registers 160F/72C on instant-read thermometer.) Custard should be very thick, with the whisk leaving trails. 

8 Remove from heat. Whisk in cold butter and vanilla extract (and brandy or rum, if using) until butter is completely melted. Let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes, whisking occasionally, before pouring into pie shell. Spread 1 cup of custard across bottom of pie shell. Cut bananas into slices about 3/8 inch (1 cm) thick. Arrange the banana slices. Pour on and smooth out the remaining filling, pressing down to make sure all the spaces are filled. 

9 Cover and refrigerate pie for at least 5 hours or up to 24 hours before piping on whipped cream. Garnish with fresh banana slices, banana chips or toasted sliced almonds. I used 2 tablespoons (0.5 ounce/14 grams) sliced almonds, toasted in small dry skillet.


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

29 November 2018

Coconut Cream Pie - Buttermilk Crust

Coconut Cream Pie - Buttermilk Crust / www.delightfulrepast.com

Coconut cream pie was my father’s favorite pie, though he called it coconut custard pie. I was missing him a lot the other day so decided to make the pie in his honor. Not sure this pie is strictly a regional thing, but I think of it as Southern because my Southern paternal grandmother made it often and she wasn’t one to ever stray too far from that genre.

It’s not something I order in a restaurant because, too often, it is cloyingly sweet. I use all organic ingredients, including organic unsweetened finely shredded coconut. If you happen to make this with sweetened coconut, be sure to cut back on the sugar. Made exactly according to my recipe, it comes out at 5 teaspoons of sugar per serving, so under my sugar limit.

You know my freezer is my best friend and I like to have a stock of meals and desserts in there for busy days. I wasn't too sure how well this kind of pie would freeze, but I cut two slices and put them in one of my favorite glass storage dishes and popped them in the freezer for a few days. Thawed at room temperature for a few hours, they were as good as new! 


Coconut Cream Pie - Buttermilk Crust / www.delightfulrepast.com

I know there are all sorts of double- and triple-coconut pie recipes out there, made with coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut extract, coconut in the crust, heaps of coconut in the filling and on top. But I call that overkill. What’s more, they are not the coconut custard pie that my grandmother made and my father loved. Can you tell I love family food traditions!

Most of my best childhood memories are food-related. If you don’t have family food traditions, start your own. Your children will thank you someday! 


Coconut Cream Pie - Buttermilk Crust / www.delightfulrepast.com
Don't forget to Pin it and share it!

Coconut Cream Pie


(Makes one 9-inch/23 cm pie, 8 servings)

The “Buttermilk” Pastry

1/3 cup (2.67 fluid ounces/) milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/3 dip-and-sweep cups (15 ounces/425 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon no-GMO baking powder
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, cold

The Coconut Custard

3 cups (24 fluid ounces/710 ml) milk
2/3 cup (4.67 ounces/132 grams) sugar
1/3 dip-and-sweep cup (1.67 ounces/47 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs 
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces/43 grams) unsalted butter, cold
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1/8 teaspoon almond extract 
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


The Whipped Cream

1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces/355 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Garnish

2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted



1 In 1-cup glass measure, stir together milk and vinegar; let stand to thicken a bit while proceeding with the pastry. In large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. With coarse grater, grate about half of the stick of butter into flour bowl. Cut the remaining butter into 1/2-inch cubes. With fingers, quickly work the grated butter into the flour until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add the cubed butter and work it into the crumbs by flattening the floury cubes between thumb and forefinger. 



2 With a dinner fork, stir in the soured milk a little at a time, using only as much as necessary to form a shaggy dough. If you need additional liquid, just add cold water a teaspoon at a time. Turn dough out onto a square of plastic wrap and flatten slightly into a 5-inch round disk with smooth edges. Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. Save the piece of plastic, you'll be using it again.



3 Very lightly butter a 9-inch glass pie plate; I usually just run the butter wrapper over it. On a lightly floured piece of parchment, roll out disk to a 13-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Place pastry in pie plate, being careful to not stretch the dough. Leave a 1-inch overhang of dough. Crimp and flute the edge. (Sometimes you need to chill the pastry a bit before crimping.) Cover loosely with the reserved piece of plastic wrap and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 425F/220C/Gas7.



4 Fit a square of aluminum foil in the shell and fill with ceramic pie weights (baking beans). Set on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch butter drips). Bake the thoroughly chilled crust for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and pie weights, pop on the pie crust shield and bake for another 10 minutes.

Note: I use two boxes of the ceramic pie weights, and they just fit nicely into a 200-gram tea tin!

5 Remove fully pre-baked pie shell from the oven; let cool completely before filling, at least 30 minutes or hours ahead, whatever suits your schedule.

6 Make filling while pie shell is cooling. In heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucier or saucepan, heat milk just to a simmer. 

7 In 2-quart glass measure or bowl, whisk together sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in eggs until thoroughly combined. Gradually add hot milk, whisking constantly.


8 Pour mixture back into saucier and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until thickened -- just takes a couple minutes, so don't get distracted -- and another minute. (Food safety note: Any mixture with eggs should be cooked until it registers 160F/72C on instant-read thermometer.)

9 Remove from heat. Whisk in cold butter and vanilla and almond extracts until butter is completely melted. Stir in coconut. Let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes before pouring into cooled pie shell. Cover and refrigerate pie for at least 5 hours before piping on whipped cream. Toast the coconut in a small dry skillet, stirring frequently, until just the shade of golden you like; cool completely. Sprinkle over whipped cream.

Note: If you whip the cream right up to the point just before you've gone too far--you really have to slow down the mixer and pay attention--it pipes beautifully and will hold up for days. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. 


Jean

21 November 2018

Pumpkin Pie - Gluten-Free or Regular Crust - No Soggy Bottoms

Pumpkin Pie - Gluten-Free or Regular Crust - No Soggy Bottoms / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite autumn and winter desserts. Sometimes I make Sweet Potato Pie instead, if the Southern is coming out in me that day. But I make pumpkin when the Pilgrim genes are coming out (my paternal grandfather's people came over on the Mayflower).

Usually I just make a regular unbleached flour crust, but back in 2010 I developed this gluten-free recipe for one of my growing number of gluten-free friends. It has passed muster with non-GF guests as well, so you can feel free to use it even if you have just one gluten-free guest coming.

But if you’re making two pies anyway, make one of each. I’ve given ingredients and directions for both below. Then the directions come together at Step 5 for either pastry. For a pumpkin, or other custard, pie I like to fully pre-bake the crust to avoid the all-too-common soggy bottom problem.


Pumpkin Pie - Gluten-Free or Regular Crust - No Soggy Bottoms / www.delightfulrepast.com


The problem with most pumpkin pie recipes is that they attempt to address the issue of high temperature needed for the crust and low needed for the custard by starting high and turning it down, and the compromise doesn’t always succeed. The filling is overcooked and, well, soggy bottoms!

The second greatest problem is cracks in the filling and/or a watery, curdled filling. Never fear, these can be avoided. And if you're having any other pie problems, just let me know and I'll do some troubleshooting for you.

Hope you’re having a wonderful week--and that this post didn't reach you too late (getting sick really put me behind schedule)! You might also like my Pecan Tart - Without Corn Syrup (for which I now always fully pre-bake the crust). 


Pumpkin Pie - Gluten-Free or Regular Crust - No Soggy Bottoms / www.delightfulrepast.com


Pumpkin Pie 


(Makes one 9-inch pie, 8 servings)

The Regular Pastry

1 1/3 dip-and-sweep cups (6.67 ounces/189 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon non-GMO baking powder
1 1/4 sticks (5 ounces/142 grams) unsalted butter, well chilled
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons ice water
Additional ice water, a teaspoon at a time, if needed

The Gluten-Free Pastry

(food processor* method)

1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Ice water to make 1/2 cup

The Filling

2/3 cup (4.67 ounces/132 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon non-GMO cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
1 15-ounce (425 grams) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) or 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) heavy cream

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) milk

Regular Pastry Steps 1 to 4

1 In medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. With coarse grater, grate about 3/4 of the stick of butter into flour bowl. Cut the remaining butter into 1/2-inch cubes. With fingers, quickly work the grated butter into the flour until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add the cubed butter and work it into the crumbs, leaving some pieces the size of small peas. 

2 In small bowl, combine vinegar and 3 tablespoons ice water. Sprinkle over flour mixture while stirring with large fork. Add a little more water, a teaspoon at a time, if needed. 

3 Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten slightly into a 5-inch round disk with smooth edges; double wrap; refrigerate for one hour or up to four days. May be frozen for up to a month; defrost, wrapped, in the refrigerator.

4 If dough is thoroughly chilled, let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling. Very lightly butter a 9-inch glass pie plate; I usually just run the butter wrapper over it. On lightly floured surface, roll out disk to a 13-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Place pastry in pie plate, being careful to not stretch the dough. Leave a 1-inch overhang of dough. Crimp the edge. (Sometimes you need to chill the pastry a bit before crimping.) Flute the edge higher than usual to contain the filling. Cover loosely and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 425F/220C/Gas7.


Pumpkin Pie - Gluten-Free or Regular Crust - No Soggy Bottoms / www.delightfulrepast.com


Gluten-Free Pastry Steps 1 to 3

1 With metal blade in place, add sorghum flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, salt and baking powder to work bowl of food processor. Turn on for three seconds to combine. Add half the frozen butter and process for 10 seconds or until mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Add remaining butter and pulse for six 1-second pulses, or until the frozen butter is the size of small peas.

2 In 1/2-cup measure, combine lemon juice or vinegar and ice water. Pour over all of flour mixture; pulse for six 1-second pulses or just until dough forms large clumps; do not over-process.

3 Do not refrigerate dough at this point as I do with regular all-butter pie crust. Turn dough out onto lightly floured (gluten-free, of course) surface--a piece of plastic wrap makes it easier. Form dough into a round disk, sprinkle lightly with gluten-free flour--topping it with another piece of plastic wrap makes it easier--and roll out to 12- to 13-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch Pyrex pie plate that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Crimp the edge in your favorite way, then pop the pie plate into the freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 425F/220C/Gas7.


Both Kinds of Pastry Steps 5 to 9

5 Fit a square of aluminum foil in the shell and fill with ceramic pie weights (baking beans). Set on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch butter drips). Bake the thoroughly chilled crust for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes.

Note: I use two boxes of the ceramic pie weights, and they just fit nicely into a 200-gram tea tin!


Pumpkin Pie - Gluten-Free or Regular Crust - No Soggy Bottoms / www.delightfulrepast.com
Three must-haves for perfect pies: Pyrex 9-inch glass pie plate, ceramic pie weights (baking beans) and an aluminum pie crust shield


6 Remove fully pre-baked pie shell from the oven; let cool completely before filling, at least 30 minutes or hours ahead, whatever suits your schedule.

7 Once pie shell is cool, preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. In medium bowl (using a 2-quart glass measure makes it easy to pour the filling into the crust), whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt and spices. Whisk in the eggs, then the pumpkin and then the milk and cream. 

8 Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell. Put on a pie crust shield to prevent the edge of the crust from over-browning. Bake for about 60 to 70 minutes or until knife inserted midway between edge and center comes out clean or until it registers 185F/85C on an instant-read thermometer.

Note: After you've made pumpkin pie a few times, you can tell just by looking whether or not it's done. It will look darker and shinier and may have puffed up a bit and then fallen, and it should be fairly firm but still have a little jiggle left in the center.

9 Cool completely on wire rack for 2 hours, then lay a square of wax paper over the top and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve with softly whipped cream. I sweetened and flavored 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with 4 teaspoons of real maple syrup and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Note: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. As if!

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites.

Jean

15 November 2018

Roast Potatoes - Roasties

Roast Potatoes - Roasties - A British (and Irish) Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com

Roast Potatoes, also called Roasties, are one of the key players in the British Sunday Lunch (or Sunday Roast). Served alongside Roast Beef, Roast Pork, lamb or chicken (or my Braised Brisket), Yorkshire Pudding and two vegetables, it’s a tradition that’s unstoppable.


Roast Potatoes - Roasties (this picture - served with Braised Brisket) / www.delightfulrepast.com


You can season this any way you like, but I usually keep it classic. Since achieving the perfect texture is job one, it’s important to start with the right potato. In the UK, try King Edward, Maris Piper or another floury, rather than waxy, potato. In the US, russets work beautifully.

Use a pan large enough to allow some space between the potatoes. A half sheet pan is perfect for 3 pounds (1.36 kg) of potatoes. If your potatoes are different shapes and sizes, cut them into similar sizes and shapes for even cooking. I’m a little obsessive, though, and always pick out four nearly identical 12-ounce (340 grams) potatoes

Make only the quantity you’ll consume at that meal. Don’t make “extra” as they don’t really reheat all that well. 

Are you a roast potato fan, or is this something new for you? Once you’ve had perfect roasties, audibly crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, you’ll want to have them all the time! 


Roast Potatoes -  Roasties - A British (and Irish) Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com


Roast Potatoes – Roasties


(Serves 4 to 6)

4 roughly equal size and shape russet potatoes (about 12 ounces each)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 Peel the potatoes and quarter them (I often quarter them lengthwise as pictured). Place in a large pan with 1 teaspoon of salt and enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a beginning boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium, cover loosely and simmer for 5 minutes. Start the timer at the “beginning boil” stage.

2 When you first start cooking the potatoes, preheat the oven to 425F/220C/Gas7. Spread 2 tablespoons of oil in an 18x13x1-inch half sheet pan.

Note: A 13x9x1-inch quarter sheet pan is perfect for a half recipe.

3 About 3 minutes into the 5-minute simmering of the potatoes, put oiled half sheet pan into the oven.

4 Drain the potatoes thoroughly, put the lid on and shake the pan gently several times to give the potatoes a bit of a bashing to rough up their surfaces without breaking up the potato quarters. Remove the lid and leave the potatoes to dry for a few minutes.

5 Carefully place the potatoes in a single layer in the hot oil. Drizzle with (or brush on) melted butter and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle with pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the potatoes and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes; repeat once, cooking until the potatoes are well browned, crisp and tender, about 60 minutes total. Serve immediately.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites.

Jean 

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