quelle est une doorknob?

the joke is. a girl is like a doorknob. at one point or another in her life, everybody gets a turn at her.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What does summer bring?

It's the middle of July which means the farm stands around here in Boston are in abundance with local fruits, vegatables and herbs. Everything is ripe for the picking and every summer I spend countless days perusing the markets hoarding vast amounts of fresh goods. It's peak tomato season, so this month's challenge is tomatoes! Cold gazpacho soups! Summer salads! Grilled with your steaks! Or simply paired with some very fresh mozzarella and basil. Let's get creative. Try new varieties, cherry, grape, heirloom, yellow, orange ...

Deadline is August 30th!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Apple of My Eye

For this month's challenge I stuck to tradition. An apple pie. It felt appropriate for July 4th. This, along with some baseball and fireworks (beer too!) and I'm happy.
I used two types of apples: Red Delicious and Braeburn. I gave Granny Smith a thought, but decided against the old gal.

The crust, which I anticipated, was my real challenge. However, this time it was easier to roll and deal with. I have to remind myself to move a little faster though b/c it warms quickly and likes to stick to the counter.

Basic crust:
2 cups flour
1 tsp of salt
3/4 cup chilled crisco (i had butter but wanted to save it for my brownies)

5 apples peeled (any mixture you'd like)
1 cup of white sugar (i decreased this and added brown. i like mee dang)
healthy dashes of cinnamon
pinch of salt
quite a few grates of nutmeg (which i freakin' love btw)
2 tb flour

I tossed my apples with the dry ingredients and immediately the kitchen smelled of fall. it seemed fitting b/c although it's July, it was fairly cool for us NC folk.

I rolled out the bottom portion of the dough and layed it in the pie dish, then filled it with the apple mixture. For the top, I attempted the lattice look. Again, I wasn't moving quick enough so the strands started to break on me. I don't have the easy cut out tool that Sandra Lee. My pie has the more rustic look like Grandma Walton would have baked. I was out of eggs so I brushed milk on the crust and gave it a slight sprinkle of sugar.

Bake at 375 degrees for one hour and voila!

Until next time, fellow doorknobs, keep those ovens and buns HOT!

Blueberry peach tart (not pie!)

Ok - so I was wrestling with a few different possibilities this month and my intentions were to make a pulled pork coleslaw pie, but I thought that was a bit over the top, so I decided on using fruits of the summer. Blueberries and peaches are in season, why not make a tart out of it. And yes, I didn't make a pie, pies and tarts are essentially the same to me, except I'm not a huge fan of too much crust, a tart was the next logical choice. I've made apple tarts, pear tarts, even peach tarts in the past, except this time I decided to twist it up a bit in the prep of the peaches and blueberries instead of just throwing them into a crust and baking w/sugar.

Here's what you'll need:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
pinch of salt
3 oz cold cold butter cubed
cold water

Combine flour, salt into a food processor, add in cold (cold!) butter until you get breadcrumb consistency. Add in cold water a bit at a time until the dough comes together, roll out on floured surface and gently lay into your tart pan. Trim off the edges. I opted to try out a new silicon tart pan this time instead of using a generic metal one. I like it a lot, non-stick!

5 semi-ripe yellow (or white but I prefer yellow) peaches
1 container blueberries
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon (split into 2)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon butter

Bring a quart of water to boil and add in 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Place peaches into the pot once it starts to boil and let simmer for 5-7 mins depending on how firm your peaches are. Remove and run under cold water immediately. Halve peaches to remove pit and the skins should come right off. Set aside on a plate. Preheat oven to 425.

Take the other 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, combine with 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon, ginger mix thoroughly, add to the bottom of your pie tart covering the bottom of the pan.

In a sauce pan, add 1 tablespoon of water with 1 cup light brown sugar set to medium high until the brown sugar begins to dissolve and lightly bubble and add in 1/2 tablespoon remaining cinnamon. Once sugar begins to bubble, place halved peaches into the pan being careful not to splash hot sugar. Let simmer, flip cut site down occasionally for 5-8 mins, until peaches become tender.

Remove the peaches from the syrup placing them cut side down into the dough. Add into the syrup the package of blueberries and let simmer for 2 mins. Turn off heat, and add blueberries into tart pan covering gaps. Drizzle some of the syrup onto the top of the tart before placing into oven. Bake for 20-25 mins.

Remove from oven, let set for 30-40 mins. Serve warm plain or with a bit of vanilla ice cream!

coconut creame pie

for this month's challenge i actually made a tart. but then i argued with myself that it wasn't really a pie. pies are deeper whereas tarts are more shallow. i also argued with myself over the timing. i wanted to make the crust from scratch but i just did not have the time to make it, (i did make the tart dough from scratch). there was a lot of arguing within myself this month.

so i chose the coconut cream pie. actually, jason did. what happened was that he requested it for a bbq but i was so embarrassed by how it kinda looked, i ended up buying it frozen (the horror, i know) but i still did have the ingredients hanging out. so i brought it for another cookout. (it was also a month of bbqs)

coconut cream pie

nuria tasted the filling, it was too sweet for her liking. for me, i didn't taste it, i don't like coconut.

i used this recipe: Cheater's Coconut Cream Pie

i think i will do this pie again, but in mini version, for jason. it's not often that i bake for him.