Sunday, August 30, 2009

Let There Be White the Second Edition

I doubt many of you noticed, but I've been away from the computer for a week. My parents, my sister, one of my brothers and a good family friend came out from Louisiana for a visit. We spent the week doing a lot of fun things and seeing some pretty outstanding sights and I hope to share many of them on the blog in the near future. The best part though was having everyone here to enjoy them with me! While I was busy with the family, I missed an event that my good friend Kathleen over at Cuisine Kathleen hosted. I really had wanted to do my post ahead of time, but life got in the way! When my sister got here she had brought me a gift that fit Kathleen's theme..Let There Be White to a tee! So I knew I was going to participate after all..just a little (or a lot) late!! I know there were so many other amazing and elaborate tablesettings, but simple as mine may be...there's a lot of heart in it! For this event Kathleen asked us to showcase white and one other color. I went with White and Red

See the beautiful cabbage leaf plates my sister Cindy gave me? They will look great with my pink cabbage bowls too :-)

Please go check out all of the other sparkly white posts over at Kathleens! Thanks for letting me be tardy teacher.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Flashback and Foodie Friday ~FlufferNutter Cake

Last September I went a local plant trade. In case your unaware, a plant trade is an event where gardeners get together to swap plants, seeds and good food! It was the perfect excuse for me to try a decadent recipe I had bookmarked and thought about for months before. Cookie Baker Lynn is an awesome blog with many more recipes as yummy as this one. Anything with Elvis in the name has gotta be rich, fattening and probably extra tasty. Elvis Fluffernutter Cake is no exception.

Elvis Fluffernutter Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
3-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 mashed bananas, about 1 cup
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on the cake

1- Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F. Grease the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans. Fit the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Grease and flour the whole pan.

2- In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

3- In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating just to combine. Stir in vanilla and mashed bananas.

4- Pour batter evenly between the two cake pans. Sprinkle the mini chips over the top of the batter. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

5- Let pans cool for 10 minutes on a rack. Carefully invert layers onto a plate, peel off the parchment paper, then carefully put back on the rack to finish cooling. If the cake cracks at all, don't fret as there will be plenty of gooey frosting to fill in the gaps.


2 sticks of butter at room temperature
1 cup of smooth peanut butter
4 cups of powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup marshmallow fluff

With an electric mixer cream together the butter and peanut butter until it's smooth. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time. Add as much of the milk as you need to achieve the consistency you want.

Place 1/3 of the frosting into a separate bowl and fold in the marshmallow fluff till completely incorporated.

Frost the top of the first layer with the marshmallow frosting. Top with the second layer. Frost with the rest of the frosting and sprinkle mini chips over the top, pressing them into the frosting slightly.

The plant trade was held at the house of a winemaker and a wonderful master gardener. Actually they are split up and the winemaker still lives there and the gardener just comes to tend garden on the weekends! I can understand why she doesn't give it up and also why he doesn't have a problem with it! The garden is enormous and obviously had a lot of loving work put into it. It's a very natural setting though and I'm sure it could go "wild" very easily! Here are a few traders and a glimpse of the wine making stuff in the background

The gardens have a very Asian flavor

With a touch of whimsy

And some very cute little residents

I'm wondering when the next trade is........

If you have a flashback to it food, flowers or otherwise please add your link here!

This is my entry for Designs by Gollum's weekly potluck, Foodie Friday. Be sure and check out all of the other great posts.

Don't forget to participate in Kathleen of Cuisine Kathleen's Let There be White Part II event on August 25th. This time she wants you to show your white and ONE other color! Should be fun!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mosaic Monday~Blackberry Heaven

Here are the beginnings of so many juicy, sweet, tart, yummy, berry goodies

Blackberry pie and blackberry jelly have always been favorites of mine. The trick is getting a hold of some ripe berries. I don't think I've ever bought blackberries....the amount you need for a pie would break the bank at grocery store prices. I've picked berries a time or two in my past, but usually depended on someone else to supply my big brother Larry (Thanks Larry!) All that changed when I moved to the edge of the woods and got my very own blackberry "patch". Right now I have a seemingly endless supply, limited only by my berry picking ambition.

Of course the best berries are always just out of reach

Luckily though there are plenty that require no effort

Washington state is relatively bug and and bad snake free, so I feel pretty safe only having to dodge the occasional spider or the odd thorn prick

And the rewards are worth any minor inconvenience

All forgotten when you dig into berries transformed into tasty treats like Blackberry Pie Bars!

I found this recipe on a blog called Week of Menus and she found it on Joy the Baker who adapted it from a recipe she found in a book called The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather. It's made it's rounds and for good cause! I think these were better the next heeding the advice at the end to wait until you cut is well worth the agony.

Blackberry Pie Bars

Crust and topping
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
zest of one lemon
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. On a work surface (I used a cutting board), mix together the lemon zest and sugar. Using the back of a spoon or your fingers, rub the lemon zest with the sugar, thereby releasing oils from the lemon.

2. In the bowl of your mixer, dump in the flour, lemon sugar mixture, cold butter, and salt. Beat with paddle attachment until the mixture resembles crumbs. If you do not have a stand mixer, with a hand mixer beat on low until the mixture resembles crumbs.

3. Set aside 3/4 cup of the mixture for the topping. Pour the remainder into a GREASED or parchment lined 9X13 pan and use your fingertips to press the crumbs into the pan. The crumbs will gradually come together.

4. Bake the dough for 10-12 minutes (at 350) or until the crust is lightly golden. Make sure you get to the golden crust because it really adds a wonderful texture to the bar. Allow crust to cool for 10 minutes while assembling the filling.

Filling and Assembly
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 cups fresh blackberries (if using frozen, thaw and drain first)

1. Whisk together eggs, sugar, sour cream and flour in a large bowl. Add blackberries.

2. Pour blackberries over the golden baked crust and spread evenly. (This may require some proper distribution of the berries as they tend to congregate in one area.)

3. Sprinkle the remaining dough on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 until the pie bar is golden brown. Allow to cool at least 1 1/2 hours before cutting.

This is my entry for Mosaic Monday over at Little Red House. Go check out all of the other beautiful picture mosaics!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Daring Cooks Challenge ~Arroz con....

For this month's Daring Cooks Challenge. Olga from Las Cosas de Olga and Olga’s Recipes has chosen a delicious Spanish recipe, Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes by José Andrés, one of the most important Spanish Chefs at the moment and host of the PBS program Made in Spain. Although I am daring enough to try the ingredients as listed, I'd be eating it all by myself! So I made Rice with mushrooms, CHICKEN and artichokes instead! I think I still stayed with the spirit of the recipe..just made it more do-able. I was very excited to see the cuisine featured in this month's challenge was Spanish! My parents lived for 3 years in Spain well before I was born, but they had such a great experience and they shared many memories and photos, including food related ones. Then, when I was 16 they did a return trip and we spent a month in Alicante, Spain and I have to say it made an impression that has lasted a life time. The food, the people and the lifestyle are things I love! I made another trip in 1990, then again in 2000, almost 10 years ago. It's time to go back!!!!

So getting back to the recipe, I've tried paella once before but I didn't have kinda not the real thing. Not that long ago I bought some saffron at Trader Joe's with plans to try it again.

While this isn't Paella exactly, it's similar and gives me a chance to dip into my precious stash.

Also a chance to use up some of my fresh tomatoes that have been piling up on my counter!

AND a chance to use my "Alhambra" serving piece (nevermind it was made in China). I have always thought it would be great for a paellaish dish!

I just have to sneak in a pic from from when I visited the of the highlights of my life! I have more but this is the only one I have on my computer....its a view of the summer gardens from the Alhambra.

So here is the recipe:

Rice with Mushrooms, Chicken (or Cuttlefish) and Artichokes

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 4 Artichokes (you can use jarred or freezed if fresh are not available)

  • 12 Mushrooms (button or Portobello) ( I ended up running out of mushrooms because I used them in the Sofregit, so I also added peas for interest)
  • 1 or 2 Bay leaves (optional but highly recommended)

  • 1 glass of white wine

  • 2 Cuttlefish (you can use freezed cuttlefish or squid if you don’t find it fresh) ( I used a couple of chicken breasts)
  • “Sofregit” (see recipe below)

  • 300 gr (2 cups) Short grain rice (Spanish types Calasparra or Montsant are preferred, but you can choose any other short grain. This kind of rice absorbs flavor very well) – about 75 gr per person ( ½ cup per person) Please read this for more info on suitable rices. (I ended up using arborio because I had some)
  • Water or Fish Stock (use 1 ½ cup of liquid per ½ cup of rice) (I used chicken stock)

  • Saffron threads (if you can’t find it or afford to buy it, you can substitute it for turmeric or yellow coloring powder)

  • Allioli (olive oil and garlic sauce, similar to mayonnaise sauce) - optional
  1. Cut the cuttlefish (or chicken) in little strips.

  2. Add 1 or 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and put the cuttlefish in the pan.

  3. Cut artichoke hearts in eights.

  4. Clean the mushrooms and cut them in fourths.

  5. Add a bay leaf to the cuttlefish (or chicken) and add also the artichokes and the mushrooms.

  6. Sauté until we get a golden color in the artichokes.

  7. Put a touch of white wine (about 1/3 cup) so all the solids in the bottom of the get mixed, getting a more flavorful dish.

  8. Add a couple or three (very heaping) tablespoons of sofregit and mix to make sure everything gets impregnated with the sofregit. (I watched a video of the guy making it and his tablespoons were more like scoops, so I was generous and used everything in my pan)

  9. Add all the liquid and bring it to boil.

  10. Add all the rice. Let boil for about 5 minutes in heavy heat.

  11. Add some saffron thread to enrich the dish with its flavor and color. Stir a little bit so the rice and the other ingredients get the entire flavor. If you’re using turmeric or yellow coloring, use only 1/4 teaspoon.

  12. Turn to low heat and boil for another 8 minutes (or until rice is a little softer than “al dente”). ( I ended up adding about a cup more liquid..I think the arborio drank more, so I cooked a little longer).

  13. Put the pan away from heat and let the rice stand a couple of minutes.
First I started the Sofregit

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 5 big red ripe tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 small onions, chopped

  • 1 green pepper, chopped (optional)

  • 4 or 5 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 cup of button or Portobello mushrooms, chopped (optional)

  • 1 Bay leaf

  • Salt

  • Touch of ground cumin

  • Touch of dried oregano
  1. Put all the ingredients together in a frying pan and sauté slowly until all vegetables are soft.

  2. Taste and salt if necessary (maybe it’s not!)
Two allioli recipes were given..a traditional one and a modern one. I went modern! The taste was great..I flopped on texture. It never got thick so it was more of a sauce.

Allioli (Traditional recipe)

Cooking time: 20 min aprox.

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled

  • Pinch of salt

  • Fresh lemon juice (some drops)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil (Spanish preferred but not essential)
  1. Place the garlic in a mortar along with the salt.

  2. Using a pestle, smash the garlic cloves to a smooth paste. (The salt stops the garlic from slipping at the bottom of the mortar as you pound it down.)

  3. Add the lemon juice to the garlic.

  4. Drop by drop; pour the olive oil into the mortar slowly as you continue to crush the paste with your pestle.

  5. Keep turning your pestle in a slow, continuous circular motion in the mortar. The drip needs to be slow and steady. Make sure the paste soaks up the olive oil as you go.

  6. Keep adding the oil, drop by drop, until you have the consistency of a very thick mayonnaise. If your allioli gets too dense, add water to thin it out. This takes time—around 20 minutes of slow motion around the mortar—to create a dense, rich sauce.

Allioli a la moderna (Modern recipe)
Cooking time: 3-4 minutes

  • 1 small egg

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (as above, Spanish oil is highly recommended)

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

  • 1 Tbs. Spanish Sherry vinegar or lemon juice (if Sherry vinegar is not available, use can use cider or white vinegar)

  • Salt to taste


  1. Break the egg into a mixing bowl.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the garlic cloves, along with the vinegar or lemon juice.

  3. Using a hand blender, start mixing at high speed until the garlic is fully pureed into a loose paste.

  4. Little by little, add what's left of the olive oil as you continue blending.

  5. If the mixture appears too thick as you begin pouring the oil, add 1 teaspoon of water to loosen the sauce.

  6. Continue adding the oil and blending until you have a rich, creamy allioli.

  7. The sauce will be a lovely yellow color.

  8. Add salt to taste.
It turned out pretty good. Different than paella, but the saffron definitely gave it that Spanish taste.

I ended up just putting the garlic "sauce" on top. We ate it outside on the patio and I polished off my glass of wine with the meal.

I have a feeling leftovers will be even better! This was lots of fun and a great choice for a challenge! If you're feeling Daring give it a try.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Flashback and Foodie Friday ~Happy Birthday Julia

In honor of Julia Child's birthday which is tomorrow August 15th I flashback to 2008 when a group of my online buddies and I had a Chicken Cook-off. Several of them had purchased really cute chicken shaped roasters by Revol, so roasted chicken was somewhat of a theme although there were surprises in those roasters :-) I had never roasted a chicken before...shocking I know! So I was a bit do you know when it's done? I had recently come into possession of an old copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and I figured if anyone could teach me how to roast a chicken it would be Julia. I selected Poulet Roti a la Normande. Julia suggested stuffing the bird and I did but not with the stuffing in the book. The roasting directions I did follow with the exception of adding a bit more seasoning to the bird itself..she only calls for salt. I had seen a beautifully browned bird not long before that had been seasoned with paprika, so I added that as well and slathered the chicken in side and out with the mixture along with a little more than the 1 Tablespoon of butter called for. The clincher to the "a la Normande" part is the fact that in the last 10 minutes of cooking you baste the chicken with heavy cream, then use the cream infused drippings to make a sauce. The result was a delicious crispy skinned beautifully browned chicken! I couldn't believe how easy it was to make something so pretty and flavorful. Julia knew what she was doing!

Poulet Roti a la Normande

3 lb. roasting chicken
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. butter

Herb and Giblet Stuffing:
1 chicken gizzard, peeled and minced
1 tbsp. butter
1/8 tsp. oil
1 chicken heart, chopped
1 to 4 chicken livers, chopped
1 tbsp. minced shallots or green onions
2/3 cup coarse breadcrumbs
4 tbsp. cream cheese
2 tbsp. softened butter
3 tbsp. minced parsely
1/8 tsp. tarragon or thyme
1/8 tsp. salt
1 pinch pepper

1 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. strong brown chicken stock or 3 tbsp. canned beef bouillon
3 to 4 tbsp. whipping cream
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice, to taste

First, prepare the stuffing. Saute the gizzard in hot butter and oil for 2 minutes. Then stir in the heart, liver and shallots or onions. Saute for 2 minutes more, or until the liver has stiffened but is still rosy inside. Scrape into a mixing bowl.

Blend in the rest of the ingredients and taste carefully for seasoning. Let stuffing cool.

Sprinkly salt inside the chicken, and loosely fill with the stuffing. Sew or skewer the vent. Truss and dry the chicken, and rub its skin with butter.

Roast the chicken in a preheated 350°F oven for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. After roasting 1 hour, remove all but 1 spoonful of fat from the pan. Baste chicken with 2 to 3 tbsp. whipping cream every 3 to 4 minutes until the chicken is done. The cream will probably look curdled in the pan, but this will be corrected later.

Remove the chicken to a hot platter and sprinkle with salt.

Add the stock or bouillon to the cream in the roasting pan and boil rapidly for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping up coagulated chicken roasting juices.

Just before serving, remove from heat and stir in additional cream by spoonfuls to smooth out the sauce. Correct seasoning, and add drops of lemon juice to taste.

Spoon a bit of sauce over the chicken and send the rest to the table in a warmed sauceboat.

I served it with the stuffing, new roasted potatoes, carrots and the delicious sauce.

We also had stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer

and Cupcakes with a Heart in the Middle for dessert

There aren't any garden photos from the day because I think it was still pretty chilly...

If you have a Flashback you'd like to share please put your link below!

I'm also participating in Foodie Friday...go check out all of the aweseome posts at Designs by Gollum

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Crock Pot Wednesdays ~ Barbecue Beef Brisket on Buns

I'm joining in on an event called Crockpot Wednesdays. Looking forward to seeing all of the great recipes that get shared. Check it out HERE at Dining with Debbie

Barbecue Beef Brisket

2-3 lbs fresh beef brisket
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon celery powder
1/2 tsp cajun seasoning like Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
1/2 cup catsup
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Trim fat from brisket. If necessary, cut to fit into crock pot. Combine spices and rub evenly over meat. Place meat in a 3 1/2-5 quart crock pot.For sauce, combine catsup, chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and dry mustard. Pour over brisket. Cover; cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Remove meat from cooker. Cut the brisket into thin slices across the grain or shred (This is how we like it.) Serve on buns!

Note: The meat is great as leftovers served on top of a baked potato along with cheddar cheese, bacon bits, sour cream and chives.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mosaic Monday~ Red, White and Yum

I'm participating this week in Mosaic Monday! It's so much fun and I love to see what everyone else puts together. Go check it out at Little Red House.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cookie Time~Two for the Price of One!

With the heat wave behind us I can now turn on my oven! Wahooo! I have really missed being in the kitchen so my plan for the weekend was to catch up on lost time. I've roasted veggies, made cobbler and not one, but two batches of cookies! My neighbors next door moved back into their house they had been renting out, and I wanted to give them a little "welcome home" so I brought them a plate of a few of each. Leave it to me to have bad timing..I woke her up from a nap. Poor thing is probably exhausted from unpacking. I told her to have a snack and lay back down!

I have been wanting to try this first recipe ever since I bought Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours last year. I think a little thing called Weight Watchers got in my way since cookies of any kind are my major food weakness. Not that I'm not still on WW...... In fact Granola Grabbers sounds pretty wholesome and even healthy. I did use Trader Joes Low Fat Granola because that's what I had on hand and it worked just fine. It was almond flavored which was a good thing because I didn't have the almonds called for in the recipe. I just doubled the peanuts. These were great and its probably a very good thing I waited all this time to make them........TOO YUMMY!

Granola Grabbers
From Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours

3 cups granola without fruits (since they tend to be dry)
3/4 cups raisins
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/3 cup wheat germ (yes I really had this in my pantry!)
1/2 cup slivered almonds (I didn't have so just added more peanuts)
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup plain flour


1) Preheat the oven to 375 deg F.
2) Put the granola in a large bowl and break up any clumps with fingers. Add raisins, peanuts, almonds, coconut and wheat germ and mix together.
3) Using an electric mixer, turn to medium speed and beat butter until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.
4) Add the egg and salt and beat until well blended.
5) Reduce mixer speed to low, add the flour and mix just until incorporated.
6) Using a rubber spatula, mix the granola mixture into the batter until well combined. (And I mean well will end up with crumbs if you don't fully incorporate the granola)
7) Scoop out tablespoons of the dough, pack the scoops between your palms and arrange them on the baking sheets, leaving 1 1/5-inch between them. Flatten the dough slightly with the back of a spoon.
8) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies turn golden brown.
9) Allow the cookies to rest for 1 to 2 minutes before transferrin them to racks to cool to room temperature.


The next cookie is Randy's absolute favorite. Everytime I make any other kind of cookie he says I should be making these instead. I've mentioned before that his Mom is a great cookie baker and this is one of her standbys. They have a great spiciness and are nice and soft. I have had to guess at the spices since the recipe she gave me said just that...spices, but after a bit of trial and error the official Raisin cookie taste tester has said they are right. Note: If you forget the walnuts you can stick them in the cookie when they are still warm and no one will ever be the wiser....

Darleen's Raisin Cookies

2 cups raisin, plumped in 1 cup hot water
1 cup shortening
2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1 cup chopped walnuts

Soak raisins in water while you mix the rest. Beat shortening, then add brown sugar beating well until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla and continue to beat well. Combine dry ingredients except for nuts and slowly add to wet ingredients, mixing well. Drain raisins and add to mixture along with nuts. Stir in to incorporate. Prepare your pans. I use cookies sheets with a silicone mat, but I think you could lightly grease or use parchment paper with good results. Use a spoon to scoop out rounded tablespoonfuls of dough. Allow for a little spread. Cook at 375 for 11-13 minutes. This makes quite a few cookies to repeat as necessary!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flashback and Foodie Friday ~Puyallup Fair

It won't be long before it's fair time here in Western Washington State. The fair grounds in Puyallup are very large and I believe I've read somewhere its one of the top ten fairs in size in the country. Today I'm flashing back to last year's fair.

There are so many fun things to see. The giant pumpkins are always on my list

And the displays done by the the farmers Granges which highlight products that grow in the state

Animal exhibits are a must too..even if I have to hold my nose :-) I captured this cute little cowboy taking a rest with his bovine buddy. Of course I asked his mom's permission first!

I always spend lots of time in the "Home Arts" section studying the beautiful handiwork

Last year I did something I've always wanted to do..I entered a contest in the fair! My friend at works mother is in charge of the food entries and wanted to make sure there were enough entrants for the Berry Pie contest, so she had her daughter drumming up business at work. I decided to take the plunge! I will say from the outset I wasn't a winner, but the experience was priceless. Here is one of the guest judges, Debbie Macomber who is a local bestselling author that some of you may recognize. She didn't get to taste my judge is the somber looking lady in green in the background. She actually ended up being very nice and scored me quite high. She gave me lots of tips too.

My crust was too thick (which I happen to like). But the standards are to have a thin one. It was also a little brown, but surprisingly that is not one of the things they count off for!

You could take your pie home with you afterwards or have it displayed...of course I opted for the display! I want my few minutes of fame (NOT!).

Here is the recipe I used. The judge really loved the crust..just not the thickness and she said to try again next year with the same crust and it might be a winner. I'm not sure if I will, but I've been thinking about it......

Double Crusted Blueberry Pie
From: Baking: From My Home To Yours, written by Dorie Greenspan.


Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough for Double Crust , chilled (below)
2 ½ pints fresh blueberries
1 cup of sugar, or a little more, to taste, plus more for dusting
½ cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Coarsely grated zest of ½ lemon
Squirt of fresh lemon juice, or a little more, to taste
¼ cup dry bread crumbs (you can use packaged unseasoned crumbs)

1 large egg, beaten with 1 tsp of water, for egg wash
Sugar, for dusting

Getting Ready: Butter a 9-inch pie plate (Dorie uses a standard Pyrex pie plate).

Working on a well-floured surface (or between wax paper or plastic wrap), roll out one piece of the dough to a thickness of about 1/8 – inch. Fit the dough onto the buttered pie plate and trim the edges to a ½ inch overhang. Roll the other piece of dough into a 1/8 inch thick circle and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Cover both the circle and the pie plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you pre-heat the oven and prepare the filling.

Getting Ready to Bake: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Put the berries in a large bowl and gently stir in the sugar, flour, salt, zest and juice; let sit for about 5 minutes. Taste the filling and add more sugar and/or lemon juice, if needed.

Remove the pie shell and top crust from the refrigerator. Sprinkle an even layer of the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the shell. Give the filling a last stir and turn it into the crust.

Using your fingertips, moisten the rim of the bottom crust with a little cold water. Center the top crust over the filling and gently press the top crust against the bottom. Either fold the overhang from the top crust under the bottom crust and crimp the edges attractively or press the top crust against the bottom crust and trim the overhang from both crusts even with the rim of the pie plate. If you’ve pressed and trimmed the crust, use the tines of a fork to press the two crusts together securely. Using a small, sharp knife, cut 4 slits in the top crust crust and cut a circle out of the center, then lift the plate onto the baking sheet. (If you have time, refrigerate the pie for about 30 minutes. The pie can also be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months. Glaze and sugar it before you put it in the over and add at least 15 minutes to the baking time).

Brush the top crust with the egg wash, then sprinkle the crust with a little sugar, just to give it sparkle.

Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F, and bake the pie for another 30 minutes or so (total baking time is about an hour) or until the crust is a beautiful golden brown and the filling is bubbling up through the slits. If the crust seems to be browning too quickly, make a loose foil tent for the pie.

Transfer the pie to a rack and let it cool and settle for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough

For a 9 inch Double Crust

3 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
2 ½ sticks very cold unsalted butter, cut into tbsp size pieces
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
About ½ cup ice water

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don’t overdo the mixing- what you’re aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 6 tbsps of the water- add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn’t look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a work surface.

Divide the dough in half. Gather each half into a ball, flatten each ball into a disk and wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling (if your ingredients were very cold and you worked quickly, though, you might be able to roll the dough immediately: the dough should be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge).

To Roll Out the Dough: Have a buttered 9 inch pie plate at hand.

You can roll the dough out onto a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap or in a rolling slipcover. If you’re working on a counter, turn the dough over frequently and keep the counter floured. If you are rolling between paper, plastic or in a slipcover, make sure to turn the dough over often and to life the paper, plastic, or cover frequently so that it doesn’t roll into the dough and form creases.

If you’ve got time, slide the rolled out dough into the fridge for about 20 minutes to rest and firm up.

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