Perfect Pastry Pie Crust

Thanksgiving time is pie time. No question about it. This year we had a bit of a pie disaster. My sister has been experimenting with Einkorn flour, which is actually quite good. 969434_669408952378_958001088_nHOWEVER, we had no experience with working with it in pie dough – which is a finicky process. The result was – less than ideal. The first blind baked crust stuck like mad to the parchment paper. The second one basically collapsed. It was getting late on Wednesday and there was no pumpkin pie, never mind apple pie! My dad and I hopped in the car and made a run to the King Arthur Store in Norwich. There we found a bag of their Perfect Pastry Blend flour, which, of course, has a recipe for pie crust on the back.
When in doubt, turn to the experts.1470063_669444885368_1560865055_n
As promised, it was perfect. So I thought, why not share it. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who always struggles to find the crust recipe I want. Next time, I’ll just have to leave a little more time for experimenting with the Einkorn flour.

The only change I made was to add a little sugar – I think when making a sweet pie you need that touch to balance the flavors. I also didn’t use the optional buttermilk powder they called for – I’m honestly not sure what the point of it is, so I haven’t put it in here. But at the bottom of this post, you’ll find a link the the original recipe. Continue reading

Best Brownies

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Brownies. Everyone needs a good brownie recipe. It’s pretty much a necessity of life. I’m here to tell you that you need look no further! This is it. The one, the best, the only brownie recipe you ever need. It’s that good. I swear. And it’s really pretty easy to whip together. Just make sure you have enough chocolate!

The low baking temperature creates a really nice texture, and there’s room for playing with flavors. I’m partial to coffee and rum myself – because, why not? However, there are so many options! I’ve done coffee and cinnamon (clearly, I’m partial to coffee and chocolate), which was excellent. You can also boil down 1/2c stout to 1/4c and add that – I haven’t done this yet, because I don’t often have a stout just sitting around waiting to be used. It sounds excellent though. You could do lavender. Hazelnut. Plain, obviously.

Enough of the variations, you say, get on to the recipe! Ok, ok. I got carried away. Here it is: recipe

French Style Supper: Bacon and Onion Tart

IMG_1083Ok. Now for recipe number two in the French Style Supper series: the tart, or quiche. First of all, for this recipe, you will need a free-bottom tart pan. Second of all, don’t do what I did; make sure the crust is thin enough – especially down in those corners! – otherwise your tart will be heavy and the crust won’t be crisp.

Alright, crust comes first. For my crust, I used Julia Child’s Pรขte Brisรฉe recipe, which can be found here. HOWEVER, PLEASE don’t use vegetable shortening! Use lard – it’s real, and it’s good for you. Anyway, that’s all from me. Once you have your crust all done and pre-baked, you can start on the filling.

Grown Up Milkshakes

A chocolate milkshake. One of the joys of childhood. What better way to update it as you mature than to add rum? It’s a dessert and a digestif all blended into one. Yum. In fact, it was so tasty that I didn’t even wait to take a picture of it. All gone! And what could be easier? Start with your favorite chocolate ice cream (ok, ok, it doesn’t have to be chocolate), add as much or as little milk as you like (it all depends on how thin you like your shake – I’m a thick shake girl). Throw it all in a blender with 1-2oz of rum and, voila! A grown-up milkshake! Enjoy.

Sunday Lunch: Salad Lyonnaise

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Salad Lyonnaise is, possibly, the perfect brunch dish. Salty bacon bits. Vinegary dressing. Ooey, gooey egg. In other words: salty, crunchy, egg-y perfection. What’s not to love? Add some crisp potatoes and you’re on the road to nirvana. Get ready to be converted to Sunday Lunch done right. You’ll never go back. Promise. See Recipe

When Autumn Comes: Grape Focaccia

Make sourdough grape focaccia!

Nothing says Autumn like fresh grapes. I’m not talking about those aroma-less, seedless excuses for grapes you can buy in the grocery store all year long. I’m talking about big, plump, seedy, perfumed grapes. Concord grapes, for example. Freshly picked. There’s a fruit you can smell from a mile away. Plop those on top of focaccia with rosemary and anise seeds and bake it in the oven; suddenly your whole house will smell absolutely amazing. Breath it in; that’s the smell of harvest time.

See recipe…