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
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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 

08 November 2018

Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk

Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk / www.delightfulrepast.com

Key Lime Pie is a dessert we really like but, invariably, find far too sweet. Since it is made with condensed milk, it isn’t simply a matter of just cutting back on the sugar. So I put on my lab coat (figuratively speaking) and went to work. Since it turned out so well, I just had to share it with you. 

Since it's made without condensed milk, you can control the sweetness. Even if you prefer to use more sugar than I do, it will still be considerably less than a pie made with condensed milk.

Besides its excessive sweetness, the other problem I have with condensed milk is that the sugar in it is often beet sugar, and a high percentage of the sugar beets grown in the US have been genetically modified to resist herbicides. Since the US does not require labels to designate whether the sugar is from sugar cane or beets, you never know unless a manufacturer volunteers the information. 

Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk / www.delightfulrepast.com


Then there’s the matter of the limes. From what I’ve read, there is very little commercial key lime production in the Florida Keys these days and Key lime juice that is bottled there is often juice from imported Key limes. So let’s just throw the whole “authenticity” thing out the window! But to be perfectly accurate, we could just call my pie “Lime Pie.” 

But whatever variety available to you, look for limes with the thinnest, smoothest, least “pebbly” skins that have a lot of yellow rather than bright green and that yield to gentle pressure. They will have more juice and better flavor than the big, pretty, rock-hard, evenly green limes. 

Do you prefer your lime pie with whipped cream or meringue? I wouldn’t say No to one with meringue, but I really prefer it with whipped cream. 


Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk / www.delightfulrepast.com


Key Lime Pie – Without Condensed Milk 


(Makes one 9-inch/23cm pie) 


The Crust – A Graham Cracker Crust 


1 1/2 cups (4.5 ounces/128 grams—9 whole crackers) graham cracker crumbs
1/8 cup (0.875 ounce/25 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ginger 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, melted 


The Filling 


3 large eggs
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces/118 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (4 ounces/118 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest from organic or unsprayed unwaxed limes

1/8 teaspoon salt 


Note: Key limes are not as widely available as Persian limes, so I use Persian. There are about 5 medium Persian limes in a pound (16 ounces/454 grams), each lime with an average yield of 2 tablespoons of juice and 2 teaspoons of finely grated zest. Four of them should yield enough juice for the recipe, but have a fifth on hand, just in case; today I needed 4 1/2 limes. 

1 Preheat oven to 325F/165C/Gas3. Lightly butter a 9-inch glass pie plate. Combine crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and melted butter until the mixture comes together. If you used a food processor to make the crumbs, you can mix the crust in it as well. If you used your fingers or the rolling pin/plastic bag method to make the crumbs, you can mix the crust with a fork in a small mixing bowl. The mixture should be a bit crumbly but hold together when squeezed. 

2 Press the crumb mixture evenly and firmly over the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate just to the top; don’t make a raised rim. I used a flat-bottomed stainless steel measuring cup to get it even and well compacted. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Place it on a wire rack to cool completely while making the filling. Leave the oven on. 

3 In 2-quart bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure), whisk together eggs, sugar, cream, lime juice, lime zest and salt until well combined. Pour filling into prebaked and completely cooled pie crust. Bake for about 25 minutes, until just set and still with a bit of a wobble in the center. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should read 145F/63C. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days loosely covered, 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. 


Disclosure: 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

01 November 2018

Recipes for November and Beyond

Comfort Food Recipes for November and Beyond / www.delightfulrepast.com

It was bound to happen eventually. For the first time in 8 years and 9 months of blogging, I got sick at a time I didn’t have a new post ready to go. 

So I’m popping in, between coughs, to refer you to recipes from the first week of November for the past 8 years, starting with last year.

These are comfort food recipes for the cold months ahead. So Pin and share your favorites. And stay well!

Hope your November is off to a better start than mine! But I'm sure I'll be back in the kitchen soon. Happy November! 


2017


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Chili Verde) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2016


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - my Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2015


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - The Ultimate Dairy-Free, or Not, Hot Chocolate) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2014


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2013


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Brussels Sprouts Salad) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2012


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Swiss Steak) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2011


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Homemade Granola and Granola Parfaits) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2010


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Hazelnut Shortbread) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Jean
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