We’ve been super busy over here. And loving every.minute.of it!
P.S. Cinnamon Sugar Popovers, are a must. Give them a try if you are up for deliciousness.
We’ve been super busy over here. And loving every.minute.of it!
P.S. Cinnamon Sugar Popovers, are a must. Give them a try if you are up for deliciousness.
Now, I know what you are thinking. First with the pies, and now with the cakes. But hear me out! For Christmas, my really gracious and lovely grandmother gifted me with this incredibly nice bundt pan. And when you receive such a pan, you gotta make some bundts right? As it turns out, bundt cakes are sooo easy. Don’t get me wrong, my first recipe was a complete disaster. I added or didn’t add something or another. And it was awful-ish? The icing situation is also tricky. Do you frost it like a cake? Do you drizzle icing? A lot of googling was going on those first few days. But I have to remind myself, not everything has to be cookbook and/or blog beautiful. You live and you learn each and every time.
But since that first recipe, I’ve gotten the hang of it. I’ve learned that a dash of pure vanilla extract can be your best friend. Bundt cakes are MOIST! And I like that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the hardest thing in the kitchen to make. But from a gal that wouldn’t step foot in a kitchen from I was younger up into my adulthood. (Not without my dear mother trying her hardest, because she is an amazing, amazing cook and baker) I truly loathed the kitchen. Bo is the cook in our family. Partly because I never “learned” besides what? A grilled cheese? But baking does give you a sense of confidence. And I am all about confidence in this new year. On a side note, the best thing about baking here and there is the chance to give it away. Bo and I don’t eat everything. We so would if we could? But we need to have a little control in the new year.
Bundt, bundt, bundt! Have I said that enough?!
Cake is good, bundt is good, Always eat cake!
Perfection all wrapped up in a little pie! Can not wait to make this!
Salted-Caramel Apple Pie
makes one 9″ pie, serves 6-8 adults
(can be shared with kids 12+ mos)*
For the pie:
your favorite pie dough, chilled, enough for a 9″ double crust pie (I use Martha Stewart’s Pate Brise)
6 large apples (mixed variety, if possible), peeled, cored and very thinly sliced
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling (optional)
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg, beaten
For the caramel (adapted from Gourmet; makes 1 cup):
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus more for sprinkling (optional)
3/4 cup granualted sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll dough into two circles with a diameter slightly larger than 9-inches. Press one of the circles into a pie plate. Place the other one on parchment or wax paper and cover with plastic wrap. Place both in the refrigerator to chill until ready to use.
2. In a large bowl, toss apple slices with sugar and flour. Set aside.
3. Make the caramel: bring cream, butter and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside. In a separate heavy saucepan, bring sugar, corn syrup and water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel color. Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer. Take off heat, pour into a tall glass or ceramic container and set aside.
4. Drain any liquid that may have accumulated in the apple bowl. Remove pie plate with crust from the refrigerator. Add about a quarter of the prepped apples and drizzle about a quarter of the caramel sauce on top. (Note: if the caramel has set to the point where it will not pour, place the glass or ceramic container in the microwave for just a few seconds or place in a hot water bath to liquify the caramel.) Repeat three more times, adding a quarter of the apples and a quarter of the caramel each time, until all of both are done. Be sure to finish with the caramel.
5. Remove the top crust from the refrigerator and use it to cover the pie. Crimp around the edges and make several slits or cut out holes for venting. Lightly brush the top of the crust with egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar and, if you like your sweet-and-salty treats on the saltier side, just a little fleur de sel.
6. Line a baking sheet large enough to hold the pie plate with aluminum foil. Place pie plate on the sheet and bake uncovered until the crust turns a light golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cover loosely with tin foil and continue baking until the pie is bubbling and the crust is the perfect golden brown, another 15-25 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
*Note: Though there is nothing in this pie that is unsafe for early eaters, I recommend this for kids 12+ months due to the high sugar content. Regardless of kiddo’s age, be sure to serve age-appropriate portions. A little bit of this sweet treat goes a long way with little ones!
Photos and Recipe via One Hungry Mama!
Good grief Charlie Brown, this weather is incredibly annoying; and as Sally Brown once famously said “All I want is what I…I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share.” Seriously. We really have tried to get into the holiday spirit these past few weeks. We were first “burned” when we went our with our friend Katie, and our favorite house in Fort Worth was not done up to the prior expectations we had for it. We have gone to this house every year we have been together, and it has always been magical and spectacular. This year…it was not. And when we went downtown the next day to see the Christmas tree? It felt like a May afternoon and it was dark out, and it was a bummer. Everyone’s energy wasn’t up to what one might expect for the Holiday season.
And so tonight, we went to the Gaylord Texan to see the Christmas decorations since we will be in Florida for Christmas Day..and we have to admit, we were not impressed. So what to do when struggling to get into the spirit of the season? We decided to come home and make Christmas treats. (Even though it looks as though children decorated them, that was all us!) The song, that I am sure gets stuck in everyone’s head, “Where Are You Christmas?” keeps playing in my head. But really no weather and lack of decor around town can bring us down, right?
But again this year, Bo and I must remind ourselves what Christmas is about…kindness and giving, and allowing love to win out over everything else. Texas and it’s bizarre weather, Christmas lights, being in a foul mood isn’t a big deal. But what is Christmas about truly? The story of Jesus is not just what we know from Sunday school from days long gone, but a story about years of struggle and the best laid plans gone awry in the hands of humankind. Then Jesus came, and the two options for life where opened up to a third option. Freedom in the face of a dark world, a freedom that is mostly realistic, often mysterious and always finding a little piece of hope in the midst of stress.
P.S. My Christmas gift came in the mail, and very early. All thanks to Bo and his generosity. I hadn’t had a legit camera in a very long, long, long, long, long time…it was time to upgrade. Now I’m obviously not a photographer in the least, evident by my iPhone photos posted above. But this will be very fun to learn how to use. Merry Christmas all around!
Recipe and Photo via marthastewart.com!
Deep-Dish Pumpkin-Meringue Pie
8 hours 10 minutes
Makes one 9-inch deep-dish pie
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For The Crust
1 small disk Pate Brisee
All-purpose flour, for surface
For The Filling
3 large eggs
1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin puree
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For The Meringue
2 cups granulated sugar
8 large egg whites, room temperature
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the crust: Roll out pate brisee to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Trim edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang; fold edges under and crimp as desired. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Line crust with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges just start to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment. Bake until crust is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Whisk together eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the nutmeg in a large bowl.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until center is set but still slightly wobbly, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pie plate set on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).
Just before serving, make the meringue: Combine granulated sugar and egg whites in the heatproof bowl of a mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Transfer bowl to mixer, and whisk on medium speed for 3 minutes. Raise speed to high, and whisk until stiff glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes more. Dollop meringue onto pie, and spread using a swirling motion.
Hold a small handheld kitchen torch at a 90-degree angle 3 to 4 inches from surface of meringue. Move flame back and forth until meringue starts to brown.
Cold Weather, that is. It is quite chilly these past few days for Texas standards. Though more than likely, it could change very soon. Is that enough weather talk? Goodness gracious, who and how old am I? Anywho, so the cold weather brings out fall outings and the best of spirits in our house. Our Frankenweenie viewing was SO SO GOOD, being interpreted we teared up many times and wanted to leave the theater asap and go hug Emory and never let him go. Our hunts yielding the best cream colored pumpkins in Fort Worth, and the search for the ever elusive pink pumpkins. I also picked up a really good book at B&N that I am getting through with speed and highly recommend.
But most of all, we got to send out some lovely packages (the 2nd time one has gone to Australia) far and wide from Lost In Drawers Vintage, and in turn scored majorly at our favorite Thrift Town! Emory is slowly getting into the autumn spirit and decided to try out his Halloween costume. It’s been joyous, so let’s just say our Elton John albums have been spinning a lot more lately.
And being that it’s Sunday, it was suddenly make-a-pie night. I had been eying a certain cheesecake pie recipe for awhile, and so while our homemade chili was being hovered over by Bo, I decided to whip up the aforementioned pie. And while I was at it, this particular pie needed a friend so I added a pie on the side for Bo’s work. a dark chocolate silk pie. And it was a success all around.
Well, hello there October, you came super fast, and yet you took your time. But you are here, which means only a few more weeks until the start of the holiday season. With that in mind, Bo and I have made a pact to NOT, and I repeat above all, NOT get stressed out. Why do the holidays always bring that on? It’s a weird mix of happiness, nostalgia and drama for so many people, especially us. What is the answer? We have determined to try and be even more giving, to not be pressured into things we don’t want to do, to keep healthy boundaries around family members, and again…to give, give, give.
Speaking of families, my parents came into town and we enjoyed having them to the fullest. Though we just were with them on vacation a couple of weeks ago, it’s so nice to have that closeness that feels comfortable. We need them closer, as it’s necessary to have family around. They always treat us incredibly well, and come on, who doesn’t want brunch the whole weekend?
Speaking of comfort, ABC Family decided to air both Lady and the Tramp as well as the original Disney’s Alice in Wonderland! Of course, I have both on DVD and VHS, but something about them being on television makes me very happy. But the giddiness I feel? That could just be from Texas actually having a bit of a fall weather snap. Which calls for lots of naps and cuddle time with a little puppy boy that wanted nothing to do with us.
And to end this great Sunday, I finally decided to tackle a chocolate pie recipe my mémé gave me. It’s fairly easy, but was I ready to tackle a recipe so highly regarded by my grandmother. It had a “hunk of butter” in the ingredients list, and well, anything with a hunk I will give it a go. I did it though, but with a store bought pie crust,. I’ve hand made two other pie crusts, and I seem to get them a little thick. So, I thawed it out and stuck it in the oven. And it was simple, and delicious. Today we were going to try Emporium Pies in Oak Cliff, but decided to save it for another day. Because nothing beats a grandmother’s pie recipe, But it is for sure at the top of our list for sure. And because it’s Sunday, Once Upon a Time is BACK! I’ve been waiting and waiting, and I might be mildly obsessed. Thankfully, tonight’s season premier episode did not disappoint. It’s going to be a magical season for sure.
I’m not going to lie, I was a little overconfident with my very first from scratch pie, so it was a new experience in that I had to go through 3 different pie crusts for this cherry pie Bo asked me to make. I was a little frustrated. I tried the pie crust from a box mix, then decided to just go ahead and try another from scratch pie crust. After several frustrating results and multiple calls to my mother, her confidence in me boosted my morale.
I knew it was something that would mean a lot to Bo, because as a kid, his favorite thing to eat at his grandparents house was cherry pie, or if a pie wasn’t readily available, cherry pie filling. So, I pressed on and the third time was really the charm. The crust was rolled and stretched and latticed (a new skill that seems to take more than two hands) and the perfectly imperfect pie for a July summer evening was baking in our little oven. And from Bo’s reaction to his first slice and the (too obvious) sneaks to the kitchen for additional forkfuls…our house has another pie to add to the rotation. So, the lesson?
As my mother ALWAYS says, if at first you don’t succeed…try and try and try and try and try and try AND try again!
You may ask…what’s the deal with all the pie talk? Simply put I’m a bit obsessed with pie. First, some back story. Ever since I was young, I hated the kitchen (my mother is a beyond wonderful baker, but she just couldn’t convince to get myself in the kitchen). My family would poke fun at me about not even wanting to get corn dogs out of the oven. A corny joke still going on in our family today.
I’ve since grown to love our kitchen, as evident by the fact that I’m not afraid of the oven. This weekend my family came to visit for the 4th of July, and my mom, out of nowhere , brought me a present. As I reached in the bag, my heart skipped a happy beat. It was an entire pie making kit that she put together for me. I mean…what a mother. She is so giving and incredibly lovely. She knows that I’m much more into baking than actual “cooking.” Receiving this gift led me to look for days for a simple but perfect recipe featuring ingredients we had in our kitchen. Everything worked out, even the from scratch pie dough except for the lattice work…I guess you can’t win them all. And Emory watched over the whole scene as I made a mess with dough and flour flying. This is the first from scratch pie, let alone anything I’ve ever made from scratch. So, when it turned out great, let’s just day that I’m pretty pumped. What is better than flaky buttery pie crust, sweet peaches and Blue Bell ice cream? Nothing I tell ya! Today is definitely a good, no, a great day.
And please excuse the temporary table, as with moving and all, we still have things in boxes and have yet to get our kitchen a proper island! Hear that Bo, a proper island!
It is no surprise how much I enjoy How Sweet It Is, I’ve posted Jessica’s recipes and photos many, many times before. Her passion and joy for food, wit and lovely photos keep me coming back for more. I found this particular recipe on Pinterest!
Recipe & Photos all from How Sweet It Is.
Roasted Strawberry, Brie + Chocolate Grilled Cheese
makes 2 sandwiches
6 strawberries, quartered
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter
4 thick-cut slices of multigrain bread
2-3 ounces of brie cheese, sliced
1-2 ounces high-quality chocolate
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss strawberries with oil and salt, then spread on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
Heat a large skillet or grilled over medium-low heat. Butter the sides of two slices of bread, place them on the skillet buttered-side down, then layer on a few slices of cheese, chocolate and strawberries. Top with a few more slices of cheese, then butter one side of the other bread slices, and place on top of the cheese. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has started to melt, then gently flip the sandwich and cook until golden. Serve immediately!