Tarts/Pies Archive

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

sweet potato buttermilk pie

sweet potato buttermilk pie

As many of you have figured out, I’ve got a megawatt crush on Southern food. It comes out with a vengeance all summer when I want nothing more than to dry-rub ribs, make corn bread and buttermilk dressing salads, dive headfirst into tomato pie and douse pretty much everything in bourbon then usually goes into a soft hibernation over the winter save a fried chicken or chicken and dumplings run-in or two.

pie doughsweet potatoesready to steamsteamed

Given this infatuation, it seems only right and proper that I’d get in a recipe for sweet potato pie at a time of year when sweet potatoes are exactly everywhere. But while I do love me some sweet potato pie, there’s a heaviness about it that is exactly what some people like about it but leaves me feeling kind of lukewarm. So you can imagine when I spied this fluffier, tangier and [here's the part I think you're really going to remember] almost cheesecake-like version of it a cookbook written by and I’d like to believe for Manhattanites with a thing for Southern home cooking, I bookmarked it instantaneously and then sat on my hands/tapped my feet impatiently until sweet potato season came around.

sweet potato buttermilk pie

Continued after the jump »

Monday, September 7, 2009

chocolate pudding pie

chocolate pudding pie

A lot of times, a recipe comes with a story, and if you’re even luckier, it’s a good one. There are dishes that remind you of something your mama used to cook and unforgettable meals at far-flung restaurants that demand recreating in your own kitchen and fresh stuff that looked so pretty at the market, you had to come home and have your way with it.

draped pie doughchocolate puddingwhipping creamwhipped cream topping

This is not any of those times. I don’t have a good story about why I had to make a chocolate pudding pie this weekend or why you should before your weekend is done and gone, and I at first felt bad about this until I realized that at 37 weeks and 4 days pregnant not that anyone is counting or anything one does not need a good reason to make chocolate pudding pie — they are the definition of one. Because did you read the part about the chocolate? And pudding? And pie? I did. I saw those three words together on Gourmet.com last week and had I been craving chocolate pudding before then? No. Did I know I was fixing for some pie? Nope. Did I have a good reason to make it? Well, not exactly, but I promise you, if you make chocolate pudding pie, the people will come.

chocolate pudding pie

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, August 30, 2009

nectarine galette

nectarine almond tart

Has it really been nearly two years we talked about the Simplest Apple Tart? What a bummer, I say, a darn shame because there’s no reason to limit this pared-down approach to fruit desserts to apple season. Stone fruits are a natural match for this type of open, single crust tart — they bake up gorgeously, don’t lose so much liquid that you end up flooding the crust (or your oven floor) and oh, they’re all so flawless right now that even nectarines, which unfairly play second fiddle to peaches, deserve their own day in the spotlight.

jersey nectarinesa white nectarine snuck in!nectarine wedgesground almonds, sugar and flournectarines, ground almondsnectarine-almond tart, ready to bake

Plus? It’s ridiculous easy to make. A single pie crust, a brush of melted butter, a sprinkling of sugar and big wedges of peak-season fruit, in this case, arranged on a bed of ground almonds, baked until the edges are browned and the fruit is starting to caramelize. You don’t need a tart pan or pie plate, you don’t need streusel toppings or intimidating slabs of dough rolled out to uber-specific measurements and frankly, you don’t even need a recipe for this kind of approach — something I proved by managing in my spaced-out mental lala land of 36 weeks of pregnancy to fudge almost every step. You don’t even need a proper excuse to make this; “it’s 3 p.m. and I really ought to do something with those nectarines” was enough for me.

Continued after the jump »

Friday, July 24, 2009

sour cherry slab pie

sour cherry slab pie

Continuing my summer fascination with any and all fruit desserts with goofy names, not two minutes after I discovered the existence of slab pie, I was fixing to make it. Why? Because it looks like a giant Pop Tart, and surely you don’t think a woman in her third trimester needs a single other reason to bake something.

sour cherries
pits!

But even though I just discovered this whole “slab pie” thing, I’m quite taken with it already — and not just the ungraceful name. It is, frankly, brilliant, more rustic than a pretty little crimped-edge 9-inch round and flakier too: the large swaths of dough manage show off their layers better than they do in smaller quantities, landing shatters and flecks like confetti all over your plate. Slab pie squares, especially the edges and corners, are more portable than wedges from a traditional round — how convenient for picnics and pot lucks — and if you’ve ever wanted to make a pie but known you had more than eight people to serve, this is your answer: pie for dozens. That is, if the baker is the generous sort.

slab pie, almost lidded
Continued after the jump »

Saturday, July 18, 2009

peach and crème fraîche pie

peach and creme fraiche pie

Inadvertently, Martha has become my girl this week as I’ve been floundering around trying to figure out what to do with my seasonal produce that a) I haven’t done before and b) doesn’t require any great amount of fussing. Or work. Or adherence to recipes. (Okay, that last part may be more of a Deb than a Martha thing, but you won’t tell her, right?) The arugula, potato and green bean salad was good and well enough for a Wednesday night, but did little to help me turn last week’s languishing South Jersey peaches into something better. (Who forgets they have almost two pounds of farm fresh peaches in their fridge? Guilty as charged.)

south jersey peaches

I’ve already cobbler-ed, baited, dumpling-ed and shortcaked this summer, with a little extra hand pie thrown in on July 4th, and I wanted something new when Martha swept in, saving the day, with a pie that looked so ridiculously simple but curiously original, it had to be mine. Er, ours.

making the pie crustquartered and pitted peachespeaches, maceratingpeaches, creme fraiche, half-streuseled

Continued after the jump »


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