Basic Butter Pie Crust

IMG_4560.jpg

Everybody needs a basic butter pie crust. A recipe that’s easy to make, turns out, and goes with all your baking ideas. Oh, and dinner too! Dinner is important.

Like last night. I decided I wanted to make a quiche for dinner, and it was SO nice to be able to pull up this recipe and be able to whip it out, knowing it would turn out, not shrink, and be flaky but sturdy enough to hold a whopping load of eggs, milk, and veggies. Too many veggies, actually. Even though I pre-cooked them, there just wasn’t enough of the custard part of the quiche to hold it all together. Ah well, you live and you learn. And I just had to choose veggies like tomatoes that lose a LOT of liquid when baked. It’s actually a really delicious quiche, I made it crustless a few weeks ago and wanted to share the recipe with you guys, but um. I’ll reduce the quantity of veggies and get back to you with a successful recipe. The crust was nice, regardless.

This crust is your easy buttery friend. If you bake things that need crusts a lot, like quiche, pies, pot pies, homemade poptarts, etc. you’ll have the recipe memorized in no time and can whip it up on command!

I like butter because it tastes the best and is definitely the healthier option when looking at lard and shortening. My mom always uses oil, but oil makes for a finicky and often tough crust. So for a reliable crust, I use butter. For a healthy crust, oil. That recipe will come, but it also won’t be touted as a fool-proof, everyday crust! :)

This butter crust is only flour, salt, butter, and water. If you’ve been burned by crusts in the past (or you’ve burned them, heheh) because they shrink, fall apart, or are tough, despair not, my friend! I think we’ve all been there, maybe on repeat and it can be very frustrating. Along with the recipe I’m also going to share with you all the tips and tricks I’ve learned to get a fool-proof pie crust every time!

Plan Ahead

If you normally eat dinner at 6:30pm and it’s now 6:21pm, I’m sorry but your pie crust will be compromised. Pie crusts need time if they’re going to be the flaky, tasty, shapely vessels for filling that we want them to be!

For this crust you need about 1 1/2 hours minimum, plus more if you need to blind-bake it.

It can be made up to 2-3 days ahead of time and kept in the fridge. It also freezes beautifully. Either way, you can store it as a block of dough or even already prepared in the pie dish.

Tips for a Flaky Crust

When cutting up the cold butter, the chunks don’t have to be super small. 1/2” chunks are great, and try to keep them all the same size so smaller chunks don’t melt while you’re still squishing the bigger chunks.

When crumbling the butter, less is always more. You may be tempted to really integrate the butter, but this is more likely to cause the butter to melt and result in a tough crust. Leave chunks of butter, really, it’ll turn out great!

Make sure your butter is cold and stays cold while you’re making the dough. If your house is warm or even hot like my house in the summertime, then you will probably need to stick your butter back in the fridge or freezer after you cut it into small pieces. If you do this first, you can then weigh your flour, salt, and prepare your ice water while it’s chilling.

If your cold butter softens up too much while crumbling it into the flour mixture, it’s best to stick it back into the fridge/freezer for a few minutes before adding the ice water.

Another note on the ice water, you can also just stick some water in the freezer, but this requires a bit of planning so it’s cold enough when you go to make the crust. I often do this because I have only one ice tray and don’t always have ice ready…especially in the summer. Sometimes an iced beverage takes preference over a crust, haha.

How to Avoid a Shrinking Crust

If your crust is shrinking, most likely it didn’t rest long enough in the fridge. While you are mixing the dough it is inevitable that a bit of gluten builds up, which is a very elastic-like substance. This is good when making bread, bad when making flaky pie crust. The dough needs to rest so that the gluten strands have time to relax. If the gluten strands didn’t have adequate time to relax they will shrink back on themselves, hence the shrinking crust.

If your crust is still shrinking, try to use a ceramic or metal pie dish instead of slippery glass. I LOVE my Emile Henry ceramic pie dish I received for Christmas. French baking ware like Emile Henry and Le Creuset are pricey but so worth it!

You can also try using pie weights if you are blind-baking, or dry beans if you have those on hand. Simply line the inside of your prepared crust with parchment paper and add the pie weights or dry beans. Bake as directed.

Still shrinking? Bake at low temperatures, like 325°F - 350°F / 163°C - 177°C.

Freeze the prepared crust for at least one hour or even overnight.

Make sure your crust reaches high enough that it rests on the lip of the pie dish, not beyond or too short, but just resting on the edge. It also helps to cut off the extra pie crust while leaving an overhang of about 1/2” all the way around. Tuck this overhang under and crimp the edge, or use a fork. The thicker crust edge not only gives you more to work with while crimping, it is also less likely to shrink down.

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Basic Butter Pie Crust

Makes 1 bottom pie crust. For a bottom and top crust, double this recipe.

Ingredients:

IMG_4558.JPG
  • 1 1/3 cup / 160g all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g salt

  • 4 Tbsp / 56g butter, cold, cut into equally-sized 1/2” chunks

  • 4-6 Tbsp / 59 - 89g ice water

Directions:

Oven 425°F / 220°C. Ungreased 8 - 9in / 20 - 23cm pie dish.

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour and salt.  Blend in cold butter using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands.  You want the butter to end up in pieces, no smaller than peas. 

  2. Add the ice water, starting with 4 Tbsp / 59g, mixing as little as possible.  The dough should be able to hold together in a ball, without being too dry or too wet, but still a bit shaggy looking.  Add more water if necessary, 1 tablespoon at a time.  

  3. Place dough on a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, and wrap tightly.  Place in fridge for 1 - 48 hours.  

  4. After the crust has rested, roll into a circle on a lightly floured surface or silpat.  Roll a few times with your rolling pin in one direction before turning the crust 45° (quarter turn) and continuing with a few more rolls.  Periodically check under the crust to make sure it isn’t sticking and sprinkling more flour if needed. Continue like this until your crust is nicely round and roughly 2in / 5cm larger than your pie dish.

  5. Carefully transfer crust to pie dish (this is easier if using a silpat), trim the excess overhang to within about 1/2” of the edge of pie dish if necessary, and fold the ends under. Crimp as desired, or press with a fork.  Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.  The crust can also be refrigerated or even frozen at this point, if needed.  

  6. If blind baking, bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until crust is lightly golden-brown.  Cool completely.  Otherwise fill and proceed according to your recipe.


Jenny’s Notes:

  • You can also use a food processor, pulsing in the butter until it has the desired consistency.  Just be sure to remove the dough from the food processor and mix in the water with a fork or pastry cutter so you don't overwork the dough.  You want to work it as little as possible once you add the water. The liquid helps to awaken the gluten, and the more you work it and the gluten strands develop, the tougher your crust will be.  The minimum of 1 hour rest in the fridge allows what gluten inevitably developed to relax.  

  • If you are having problems with a shrinking crust, try using a metal or ceramic pie dish and allowing the crust more time to rest before baking.  You can also try using pie weights and baking at a lower temperature.

  • I have made this pie several times over the past year, and have always needed all 6 tablespoons of water, possibly because it was always during the dry winter.  If you live in a really dry climate, you might need up to 7.  Just be aware, an overly wet crust is more likely to glue itself to the pan during baking.   

easy crust, best crust, all-butter crust, pie crust, crust for quiche, flaky crust, tender crust, butter
dessert, dinner
American
Yield: 8 Servings
Author:

Basic Butter Pie Crust

An everyday all-butter pie crust that is easy, flaky, reliable, and can be made ahead. Great for all your pie crust needs.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: total time: 10 M

ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup / 160g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g salt
  • 4 Tbsp / 56g butter, cold, cut into equally-sized 1/2” chunks
  • 4-6 Tbsp / 59 - 89g ice water

instructions:

How to cook Basic Butter Pie Crust

  1. Oven 425°F / 220°C. Ungreased 8 - 9in / 20 - 23cm pie dish.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour and salt. Blend in cold butter using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands. You want the butter to end up in pieces, no smaller than peas.
  3. Add the ice water, starting with 4 Tbsp / 59g, mixing as little as possible. The dough should be able to hold together in a ball, without being too dry or too wet, but still a bit shaggy looking. Add more water if necessary, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. Place dough on a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, and wrap tightly. Place in fridge for 1 - 48 hours.
  5. After the crust has rested, roll into a circle on a lightly floured surface or silpat. Roll a few times with your rolling pin in one direction before turning the crust 45° (quarter turn) and continuing with a few more rolls. Periodically check under the crust to make sure it isn’t sticking and sprinkling more flour if needed. Continue like this until your crust is nicely round and roughly 2in / 5cm larger than your pie dish.
  6. Carefully transfer crust to pie dish (this is easier if using a silpat), trim the excess overhang to within about 1/2” of the edge of pie dish if necessary, and fold the ends under. Crimp as desired, or press with a fork. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. The crust can also be refrigerated or even frozen at this point, if needed.
  7. If blind baking, bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until crust is lightly golden-brown. Cool completely. Otherwise fill and proceed according to your recipe.

NOTES:

You can also use a food processor, pulsing in the butter until it has the desired consistency. Just be sure to remove the dough from the food processor and mix in the water with a fork or pastry cutter so you don't overwork the dough. You want to work it as little as possible once you add the water. The liquid helps to awaken the gluten, and the more you work it and the gluten strands develop, the tougher your crust will be. The minimum of 1 hour rest in the fridge allows what gluten inevitably developed to relax. If you are having problems with a shrinking crust, try using a metal or ceramic pie dish and allowing the crust more time to rest before baking. You can also try using pie weights and baking at a lower temperature. I have made this pie several times over the past year, and have always needed all 6 tablespoons of water, possibly because it was always during the dry winter. If you live in a really dry climate, you might need up to 7. Just be aware, an overly wet crust is more likely to glue itself to the pan during baking.

Calories

122.99

Fat (grams)

5.87

Sat. Fat (grams)

3.63

Carbs (grams)

15.27

Fiber (grams)

0.54

Net carbs

14.73

Sugar (grams)

0.06

Protein (grams)

2.13

Sodium (milligrams)

192.78

Cholesterol (grams)

15.05
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 8 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_4555.JPG

Classic Rhubarb Custard Pie

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This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Nothings says summer like a rhubarb pie. Better yet, a rhubarb CUSTARD pie.

Rhubarb is always one of the first garden plants to grow each spring in Michigan, announcing that after a long, cold winter summer is indeed coming and didn’t get lost along the way after all. Rhubarb likes to grow so extensively in its short season that you don’t know what to do with all of it, until it withers in the approach of hotter weather and leaves you already looking forward to next year’s crop. Unless, of course, you planned ahead and froze some. But frozen rhubarb will never be like fresh, so make all the pie and hand pie, crisp, cake, syrup, and camel hair soup you can! I mean, er, rhubarb sauce…not camel hair soup. Hehe, who’d call it that??

IMG_1835.jpg

Do you want to know something really sad? I’ve never seen rhubarb in Italy, at least not in Florence. So for my international friends, I’m sorry if your area fails you and doesn’t grow rhubarb so you aren’t able to make this recipe. If there is rhubarb in Florence though, someone please tell me where to find it? So far everyone I’ve asked just said, “…what’s that?” This just goes to show my ignorance. Before moving to Italy I was trying to bake with all of the ingredients that aren’t readily available here, or at least what I figured wouldn’t be readily available. I should have been in a baking frenzy with rhubarb instead of things like Oreos. Because, no rhubarb and Oreos everywhere. There are even Oreo donuts in the grocery store bakery section…I’ve come so close to trying them during various weak moments.

Wherever you are in the world, be sure to bake or eat a rhubarb pie at the next chance. You won’t regret it and might inspire you to move to a part of the world where rhubarb is grown.

This recipe is the old-fashioned classic from my mama. The crust is one of my favorite traditional pie crust recipes, simple and can be made ahead of time if needed. It uses butter instead of shortening, which in my mind is a bit of a compromise between shortening or lard (which most people and bakeries use to make tender and flaky crusts but it’s also horrendous for your health and has no taste if it’s not artificially flavored.) and oil, which my mom has always used because oil can actually be good for you, although it makes for the trickiest to handle and often um, hardier pie crusts. So I use butter, which tastes wonderful and makes the crust easy enough to work with, even if it’s not as healthy as oil.


IMG_1862.jpg

Classic Rhubarb Custard Pie

Makes one 9in / 23cm pie, about 8 servings

Ingredients:

For the Crust

  • 2 2/3 cup / 320g all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 8 Tbsp / 113g butter, cold

  • 1/2 -3/4 cup / 118 - 178g ice water

For the Rhubarb Custard Filling

  • 3 eggs

  • 3 Tbsp / 45g milk

  • 1 1/2 cups / 300g granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup / 30g all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 4 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1/2in / 1cm chunks

Directions:

Oven 400F / 205C. 8 or 9 inch pie dish. 

Make the Crust

IMG_4560.jpg
  1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour and salt.  Blend in cold butter using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands.  You want the butter to end up in small pieces, like peas. 

  2. Add the ice water, starting with 1/2 cup / 118g, working with the dough as little as possible.  The dough should be able to hold together in a ball, without being too dry and shaggy or too wet and sticky.  Add more water if necessary, one Tbsp at a time.  

  3. Separate the dough into two halves, weighing for accuracy. Place each half on a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, and wrap tightly.  Place in the fridge for 1 - 48 hours.  

  4. After the dough has rested, take one half out of the fridge and roll into a circle on a lightly floured surface or silpat.  Make a few rolls with your rolling pin in one direction before turning the crust 45 degrees (quarter turn) and continuing with a few more rolls.  Periodically check under your crust to make sure it isn’t sticking and sprinkle more flour if it does. Continue like this until your crust is nicely round and roughly 2in / 5cm larger than your pie plate.  

  5. Carefully transfer crust to the pie dish (this is easier using a silpat), trim the excess overhang where necessary, and fold the ends under to create a clean edge. Crimp as desired, or press with a fork.  Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.  Place in fridge while you prepare the other crust and pie filling.  

  6. Repeat with second half of dough, rolling and turning until you achieve a circle a bit larger than the pie dish. For a classic top pie crust, transfer the rolled crust to the fridge while you prepare the filling. For a lattice top, transfer crust to a cutting board so you don’t ruin your counter or silpat and slice into 1/2in / 1cm strips or desired width. Transfer to fridge while you prepare the filling.

Make the Rhubarb Custard Filling

  1. Blend eggs and milk together in a large bowl.

  2. Add the flour and nutmeg to the sugar then add to the egg mixture and beat well.

  3. Add in the rhubarb and mix to coat well.

  4. Pour into prepared pie crust and add top crust.

    For a classic top pie crust, place crust on top, cut off overhang, and crimp together the edges of the top and bottom crust to seal.

    For the interwoven lattice, you are going to start in the center of the pie and work outward, then repeat with the other half. Arrange half of the strips evenly spaced over the pie all in one direction, then flip every other strip back over itself, so half are now only covering half of the pie. Take a new strip and place it perpendicularly just in front of the folded strips. Unfold the folded strips so these ones now cover the new strip. The new strip should be under and over every other one. Working on that same half of the pie, fold back every other strip, all the ones that were NOT just folded. Take another strip and place it evenly apart from the first perpendicular strip. Unfold the folded strips. You should now start to see and understand the pattern; repeat folding back, placing strip, and unfolding until you reach the edge of the pie. You may need to trim down the strips as you get closer to the edge. Repeat with other half of the pie.

  5. Sprinkle sugar on top, if desired.

  6. Bake pie in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and a knife inserted in center of pie confirms that the rhubarb is tender.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • If you make the crust and pie in the same day, you could make the filling while the crust is resting in the fridge for an hour or so before rolling out.

  • You can also use your favorite pie crust recipe, of course!

  • Instead of a traditional top pie crust or lattice you could add a streusel/crumble, delicious and definitely the easiest option of the three.

American
Yield: 8
Author:

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Classic rhubarb custard pie recipe handed down from my mama. Homemade pie crust with the uniquely sweet and sour filling you can only get with rhubarb.
prep time: 1 H & 10 Mcook time: 1 hourtotal time: 2 H & 10 M

ingredients:

For the Crust
  • 2 2/3 cup / 320g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp / 113g butter, cold
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup / 118 - 178g ice water
For the Rhubarb Custard Filling
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp / 45g milk
  • 1 1/2 cups / 300g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup / 30g all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1/2in / 1cm chunks

instructions:

How to cook Rhubarb Custard Pie

Make the Crust
  1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour and salt. Blend in cold butter using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands. You want the butter to end up in small pieces, like peas.
  2. Add the ice water, starting with 1/2 cup / 118g, working with the dough as little as possible. The dough should be able to hold together in a ball, without being too dry and shaggy or too wet and sticky. Add more water if necessary, one Tbsp at a time.
  3. Separate the dough into two halves, weighing for accuracy. Place each half on a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, and wrap tightly. Place in the fridge for 1 - 48 hours.
  4. After the dough has rested, take one half out of the fridge and roll into a circle on a lightly floured surface or silpat. Make a few rolls with your rolling pin in one direction before turning the crust 45 degrees (quarter turn) and continuing with a few more rolls. Periodically check under your crust to make sure it isn’t sticking and sprinkle more flour if it does. Continue like this until your crust is nicely round and roughly 2in / 5cm larger than your pie plate.
  5. Carefully transfer crust to the pie dish (this is easier using a silpat), trim the excess overhang where necessary, and fold the ends under to create a clean edge. Crimp as desired, or press with a fork. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Place in fridge while you prepare the other crust and pie filling.
  6. Repeat with second half of dough, rolling and turning until you achieve a circle a bit larger than the pie dish. For a classic top pie crust, transfer the rolled crust to the fridge while you prepare the filling. For a lattice top, transfer crust to a cutting board so you don’t ruin your counter or silpat and slice into 1/2in / 1cm strips or desired width. Transfer to fridge while you prepare the filling.
Make the Rhubarb Custard Filling
  1. Oven 400F / 205C.  8 or 9 inch pie dish.
  2. Blend eggs and milk together in a large bowl.
  3. Add the flour and nutmeg to the sugar then add to the egg mixture and beat well.
  4. Add in the rhubarb and mix to coat well.
  5. Pour into prepared pie crust and add top crust.
  6. For a classic top pie crust, place crust on top, cut off overhang, and crimp together the edges of the top and bottom crust to seal.
  7. For the interwoven lattice, you are going to start in the center of the pie and work outward, then repeat with the other half. Arrange half of the strips evenly spaced over the pie all in one direction, then flip every other strip back over itself, so half are now only covering half of the pie. Take a new strip and place it perpendicularly just in front of the folded strips. Unfold the folded strips so these ones now cover the new strip. The new strip should be under and over every other one. Working on that same half of the pie, fold back every other strip, all the ones that were NOT just folded. Take another strip and place it evenly apart from the first perpendicular strip. Unfold the folded strips. You should now start to see and understand the pattern; repeat folding back, placing strip, and unfolding until you reach the edge of the pie. You may need to trim down the strips as you get closer to the edge. Repeat with other half of the pie.
  8. Sprinkle sugar on top, if desired.
  9. Bake pie in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and a knife inserted in center of pie confirms that the rhubarb is tender.

NOTES:

If you make the crust and pie in the same day, you could make the filling while the crust is resting in the fridge for an hour or so before rolling out. You can also use your favorite pie crust recipe, of course! Instead of a traditional top pie crust or lattice you could add a streusel/crumble, delicious and definitely the easiest option of the three.

Calories

431.35

Fat (grams)

12.79

Sat. Fat (grams)

7.67

Carbs (grams)

74.08

Fiber (grams)

2.32

Net carbs

71.76

Sugar (grams)

38.25

Protein (grams)

6.18

Sodium (milligrams)

397.03

Cholesterol (grams)

54.07
Nutritional Information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Triple Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

2019-05-26+17.58.07-2.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

After more than two years in Italy, I have finally made a cheesecake.

Proof that you don’t need a springform pan to bake a cheesecake

Proof that you don’t need a springform pan to bake a cheesecake

Cheesecakes are not hard to make, but the baking is important, probably the most important part, and has always been tricky for me. Cheesecakes are usually baked at a slightly lower temperature, usually around 325F, and just until the sides are set but the center is still jiggly. If the center sets, the cheesecake is over done, but if the center is too jiggly, then your cheesecake won’t set up in the fridge and you’ll end up with soup when you cut into it. You don’t want the cheesecake to crack, and some recipes will tell you to add a bain-marie (a hot water bath) to the oven to keep the atmosphere humid or to crack the oven door after you’ve turned it off so your cheesecake won’t cool down too quickly and yes, crack.

So when you live in Italy with strange ovens, you think twice before baking things when you can’t perfectly control the heat in your oven or where the heat is coming from. IF you’re able to tell the temperature of your oven at all. (I’m thinking of you, my oven two apartments ago. I DO NOT miss you!) Or if your oven is small and cooks things a lot quicker. Add on top of that the cream cheese here, “formaggio fresco” or literally translated fresh cheese, is…different. I’m not even sure what it is, it tastes similar to cream cheese in the States, but when you whip it it doesn’t become soupy like the American stuff, it becomes super creamy. Sometimes I think the American stuff is stickier too, maybe? The only brand here I’ve ever seen is Philadelphia, and it has had great success in Italy. But the cheesecakes I’ve eaten in restaurants or pastry shops? Always weird. They taste and look more like semi-freddo or a mousse. I therefore assumed when I made a cheesecake it would be weird like the other ones I’ve eaten here. So I never made one.

Along came Easter and I wanted to make a cheesecake. I didn’t even have a springform pan but found that pie dishes work pretty great as substitutes. And you know what? The cheesecake turned out delicious and not weird. And my husband and colleagues liked it so well I made the same one again and bought a springform pan. And if you know me, you know I rarely bake the same thing twice in a row. I’m always on to the next new recipe or at least something I haven’t made in a while. But this recipe asked to be made again. And so I did. And now you can make it, too, weird cream cheese or normal cream cheese!

Recipe adapted from omgchocolatedesserts


Triple Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Serves about 12

Ingredients:

For the Oreo Crust

Crushing Oreos the old-fashioned way…

Crushing Oreos the old-fashioned way…

  • 24 Oreos

  • 1/4 cup / 56g butter, melted

For the Filling

  • 7.5 oz / 225g dark chocolate, broken into small chunks

  • 24 oz (3 8 oz packages) / 675g cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp / 125g granulated sugar

  • 2 Tbsp / 14 g cocoa powder

  • 3 eggs

For the Ganache Topping

  • 3/4 cup / 175g heavy whipping cream

  • 6 oz / 180g dark chocolate, broken into small chunks

Directions:

Oven 350F / 177C. Grease an 8in - 9in / 20cm - 24cm springform pan.

Make the Oreo Crust

  1. Chop the Oreos finely, either in a food processor, by crushing with a rolling pin on a clean surface or cutting board, or by putting in a resealable plastic bag and crushing with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.

  2. If using a food processor, pulse in the melted butter until crumbs are evenly moistened. If crushing the Oreos by hand, transfer to a bowl and stir in the butter.

  3. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared springform pan and bake for 8 minutes.

  4. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the filling.

Make the Filling

Spreading cream cheese mixture over baked crust

Spreading cream cheese mixture over baked crust

  1. In a double boiler or pan over low heat, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when there are still small chunks of chocolate, and continue to stir until completely melted. In this way the chocolate won’t overheat or burn. Let chocolate cool.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Changing to low speed, carefully beat in cocoa powder so that it doesn’t “poof” everywhere. Every so often stop beating and scrape down the sides of the bowl well.

  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.

  4. Beat in melted and cooled chocolate.

  5. Pour mixture over the crust, smoothing the top.

  6. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes, or until center is still slightly wiggly and the top looks dry.

  7. Turn the oven off and crack open the door for about 10 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and place in fridge until completely cooled, 8 hours or overnight.

Make the Ganache Topping

  1. In a small pan place heavy cream and chocolate over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture is smooth and melted. Allow to cool slightly.

  2. Remove cheesecake from fridge and pour ganache evenly over the top. Allow to set before running a dull knife around the edge of cheesecake and releasing from springform pan. Alternately, if you don’t need to transport the cheesecake anywhere, you can remove the ring of the springform first and then pour the ganache over, using a spoon to guide the ganache toward the edges and allowing some to dribble down the sides.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • Not a dark chocolate fan? Try it out with milk chocolate or a mixture of milk and dark to create your preferred bitterness!

  • If you don’t own a double boiler, you can make a makeshift one by placing a small pan with an inch or so of water in the bottom and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate in a bowl big enough that it can sit on top of the pan without touching the water. Stir constantly and proceed as in the recipe. This might take a touch more effort than just melting the chocolate in a pan, but it’s safer if you’re not used to melting chocolate so as not to burn it.

  • Powdered sugar can be substituted for the granulated, use 1 cup / 110g.

  • For cleaner slicing, try running your knife under hot water for a few seconds between slices.

American
Yield: 12
Author:

Triple Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Oreo crust, creamy dark chocolate cheesecake filling, and a decadent dark chocolate ganache.
prep time: 1 hourcook time: 1 H & 8 Mtotal time: 2 H & 8 M

ingredients:

For the Oreo Crust
  • 24 Oreos
  • 1/4 cup / 56g butter, melted
For the Filling
  • 7.5 oz / 225g dark chocolate, broken into small chunks
  • 24 oz (3 8 oz packages) / 675g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp / 125g granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp / 14 g cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
For the Ganache Topping
  • 3/4 cup / 175g heavy whipping cream
  • 6 oz / 180g dark chocolate, broken into small chunks

instructions:

How to cook Triple Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Make the Oreo Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350F / 177C. Grease an 8in - 9in / 20cm - 24cm springform pan.
  2. Chop the Oreos finely, either in a food processor, by crushing with a rolling pin on a clean surface or cutting board, or by putting in a resealable plastic bag and crushing with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.
  3. If using a food processor, pulse in the melted butter until crumbs are evenly moistened. If crushing the Oreos by hand, transfer to a bowl and stir in the butter.
  4. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared springform pan and bake for 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the filling.
Make the Filling
  1. In a double boiler or pan over low heat, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when there are still small chunks of chocolate, and continue to stir until completely melted. In this way the chocolate won’t overheat or burn. Let chocolate cool.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Changing to low speed, carefully beat in cocoa powder so that it doesn’t “poof” everywhere. Every so often stop beating and scrape down the sides of the bowl well.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.
  4. Beat in melted and cooled chocolate.
  5. Pour mixture over the crust, smoothing the top.
  6. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes, or until center is still slightly wiggly and the top looks dry.
  7. Turn the oven off and crack open the door for about 10 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and place in fridge until completely cooled, 8 hours or overnight.
Make the Ganache Topping
  1. In a small pan place heavy cream and chocolate over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture is smooth and melted. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. Remove cheesecake from fridge and pour ganache evenly over the top. Allow to set before running a dull knife around the edge of cheesecake and releasing from springform pan. Alternately, if you don’t need to transport the cheesecake anywhere, you can remove the ring of the springform first and then pour the ganache over, using a spoon to guide the ganache toward the edges and allowing some to dribble down the sides.

NOTES:

Not a dark chocolate fan? Try it out with milk chocolate or a mixture of milk and dark to create your preferred bitterness! If you don’t own a double boiler, you can make a makeshift one by placing a small pan with an inch or so of water in the bottom and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate in a bowl big enough that it can sit on top of the pan without touching the water. Stir constantly and proceed as in the recipe. This might take a touch more effort than just melting the chocolate in a pan, but it’s safer if you’re not used to melting chocolate so as not to burn it. Powdered sugar can be substituted for the granulated, use 1 cup / 110g. For cleaner slicing, try running your knife under hot water for a few seconds between slices.

Calories

715.12

Fat (grams)

54.28

Sat. Fat (grams)

31.43

Carbs (grams)

52.73

Fiber (grams)

3.26

Net carbs

49.47

Sugar (grams)

39.29

Protein (grams)

7.29

Sodium (milligrams)

316.65

Cholesterol (grams)

118.98
Nutritional Information is Approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator
2019-04-24+19.00.29.jpg

The Fluffiest Key Lime Pie with a Gingersnap Crust

2018-12-20 14.16.59.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Fluffy? Isn’t key lime pie supposed to be creamy, custardy, silken? Yes! And this recipe is all of those things but with a special touch of fluffiness, thanks to our friends the egg whites. Whipped egg whites. It’s magical. And with Easter just around the corner, this is the perfect dessert to celebrate with! I even gave you two weeks time to plan ahead, aren't I nice?

I don’t know why I always want to make citrus desserts for Easter, maybe because it’s always in the spring. And in the spring everything is coming alive, the rebirth of nature, and calls for bright, happy citrus flavors. You can’t call citrus sad. And what is Easter but the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, giving those who believe on Him new life? The celebration of rebirth. It all fits. Not to mention if you observe Lent, getting to eat what you gave up for 6 weeks is lovely.

And whether you have a big Easter meal planned or not, you’re going to want to make this pie. And if you’ve never made key lime pie before? This is not a bad place to start. Just be warned that other key lime pies after this one might be…tame.

Recipe adapted from the Williams-Sonoma cookbook Savoring America


The Fluffiest Key Lime Pie with a Gingersnap Crust

Serves 8-12

2018-12-20+14.27.07.jpg

Ingredients:

For the Gingersnap Crust

  • 28 gingersnaps broken into pieces, about 1 1/2in / 4cm in diameter (homemade or storebought)

  • 1/2 cup / 60g chopped pecans

  • 1 Tbsp / 15g chopped crystallized ginger

  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup / 57g butter, melted and cooled

For the Filling

  • 4 eggs, separated

  • 1/4 cup / 30g cornstarch

  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar

  • 1 14oz can / 440g sweetened condensed milk, make it homemade here

  • 1/2 cup / 118g key lime juice

  • 2 Tbsp / 12g freshly grated key lime zest

  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Topping and Garnish

  • 1 cup / 237g heavy whipping cream

  • 1/3 cup / 42g confectioner’s sugar

  • 1/8 tsp almond extract

  • thin key lime slices or lime zest, optional

Directions:

Oven 350F / 177C. Lightly greased 9in / 23cm pie dish.

Make the Gingersnap Crust

  1. In a food processor, combine the gingersnaps, pecans, ginger, and cinnamon. Pulse until everything is finely ground in crumbs. Add the butter and pulse briefly until the crumbs are evenly moistened.

  2. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. (This can be hard to see because of the dark color of the gingersnaps.) Allow to cool.

Make the Filling

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat 2 egg whites and the cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks form and can hold their shape, about 1-2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and scrape the egg whites into a small bowl; set aside.

  2. In the bowl of the stand mixer (don’t worry about cleaning it), beat on medium-high speed the egg yolks, 2 remaining egg whites, cornstarch, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the lime juice and zest and beat until smooth.

  3. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the lime mixture to lighten. Add the rest of the egg whites and fold just until combined.

  4. Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust, smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until just firm, about 20 minutes. To test for firmness, jiggle the dish slightly. When the center jiggles just slightly, it’s ready.

  5. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Make the Topping

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream on medium speed. As it starts to thicken (and will no longer splatter) increase the speed to high. Add the powdered sugar and almond extract. Continue beating until firm peaks form, about 2-4 minutes total.

  2. Spoon whipped cream over pie or use a piping bag and tips to decorate. Garnish with lime slices/and or zest. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • The crust can be made without the pecans and/or ginger, if you’re like me and sometimes feel too lazy to chop things!

  • Freshly squeezed key lime juice is best, but if you’ve ever used real key limes you’ll know that getting half a cup can be a real labor of love. Those things can be tiny! Hand cramp hand cramp hand cramp. And just when you think you’re there, you realize you’ve only squeezed 1 Tbsp worth. So, I gladly buy bottled key lime juice.

  • If you can’t find fresh key limes or juice, use limes! And I suppose, lemons if you’re in a pinch. Lemon pies are good too! Same goes for the zest.

  • No food processor handy? Do it the old fashioned way and stick the cookies in a resealable plastic bag and whack and roll with a rolling pin. The pecans and ginger can be finely chopped by hand.

American
Yield: 8-12 servings
Author:

The Fluffiest Key Lime Pie with a Gingersnap Crust

Classic key lime pie with a twist. Tart filling made extra light and fluffy by whipping the egg whites, a spicy gingersnap crust, and fresh whipped cream.
prep time: 50 Mcook time: 30 Mtotal time: 80 M

ingredients:

For the Gingersnap Crust
  • 28 gingersnaps broken into pieces, about 1 1/2in / 4cm in diameter (homemade or storebought)
  • 1/2 cup / 60g chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbsp / 15g chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup / 57g butter, melted and cooled
For the Filling
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup / 30g cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar
  • 1 14oz can / 440g sweetened condensed milk, make it homemade here
  • 1/2 cup / 118g key lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp / 12g freshly grated key lime zest
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Topping and Garnish
  • 1 cup / 237g heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup / 42g confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • thin key lime slices or lime zest, optional

instructions:

How to cook The Fluffiest Key Lime Pie with a Gingersnap Crust

Make the Gingersnap Crust
  1. Oven 350F / 177C. Lightly greased 9in / 23cm pie dish.
  2. In a food processor, combine the gingersnaps, pecans, ginger, and cinnamon. Pulse until everything is finely ground in crumbs. Add the butter and pulse briefly until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
  3. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. (This can be hard to see because of the dark color of the gingersnaps.) Allow to cool.
Make the Filling
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat 2 egg whites and the cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks form and can hold their shape, about 1-2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and scrape the egg whites into a small bowl; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of the stand mixer (don’t worry about cleaning it), beat on medium-high speed the egg yolks, 2 remaining egg whites, cornstarch, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the lime juice and zest and beat until smooth.
  3. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the lime mixture to lighten. Add the rest of the egg whites and fold just until combined.
  4. Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust, smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until just firm, about 20 minutes. To test for firmness, jiggle the dish slightly. When the center jiggles just slightly, it’s ready.
  5. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Make the Topping
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream on medium speed. As it starts to thicken (and will no longer splatter) increase the speed to high. Add the powdered sugar and almond extract. Continue beating until firm peaks form, about 2-4 minutes total.
  2. Spoon whipped cream over pie or use a piping bag and tips to decorate. Garnish with lime slices/and or zest. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

NOTES:

The crust can be made without the pecans and/or ginger, if you’re like me and sometimes feel too lazy to chop things! Freshly squeezed key lime juice is best, but if you’ve ever used real key limes you’ll know that getting half a cup can be a real labor of love. Those things can be tiny! Hand cramp hand cramp hand cramp. And just when you think you’re there, you realize you’ve only squeezed 1 Tbsp worth. So, I gladly buy bottled key lime juice. If you can’t find fresh key limes or juice, use limes! And I suppose, lemons if you’re in a pinch. Lemon pies are good too! Same goes for the zest. No food processor handy? Do it the old fashioned way and stick the cookies in a resealable plastic bag and whack and roll with a rolling pin. The pecans and ginger can be finely chopped by hand.

Calories

590.80

Fat (grams)

29.69

Sat. Fat (grams)

14.77

Carbs (grams)

76.33

Fiber (grams)

1.88

Net carbs

74.45

Sugar (grams)

55.81

Protein (grams)

8.28

Sodium (milligrams)

256.68

Cholesterol (grams)

90.75
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 8 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
2018-12-20 14.14.52-2.jpg



Mascarpone Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Ganache

IMG_5063.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Let me take a gander at what you're thinking, probably something like, "OH! PEANUT BUTTER PIE? I love peanut butter pie! So good! But I already have a recipe for peanut butter pie. Why do I need this recipe? Wait, don't YOU already have a recipe up on this blog for peanut butter pie??" Maybe? Well, you'd be right about one thing, this is not my first recipe up for a peanut butter pie.  But let me tell you, they each have their own merited place in your recipe box.  For example, the Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Whipped Cream has a shortbread crust, creamy peanut butter filling, topped with chocolate whipped cream.  Perfect for casual events, potlucks, birthdays, summer evenings, Sunday afternoons...but what happens if you need a peanut butter pie for a gala? The president is coming over?  You're presenting a peanut butter pie to the CEO of Godiva chocolate and want chocolate to be showcased more prominently?  Then you need a peanut butter pie with refinement, elegance, and classy chocolate utilized in more than one element of the pie.  How do you do this without compromising the stand-alone peanut butter filling of a peanut butter pie?  Why, you change out the shortbread crust for a chocolate crust, and top the pie with flowing chocolate ganache.  Elegance.  Refinement.  The chocolate ganache envelopes the peanut butter filling in a tender embrace...still with me?  Ok let's stop dreaming and comparing peanut butter pies and MAKE one!  

Not a fan of chocolate and peanut butter together? Neither is my mom.  That's ok, I still love you.  And because of that, why not head over to this Nutter Butter Pie instead? No chocolate there! 

Recipe adapted from what megan's making.


Mascarpone Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Ganache

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Crust

  • 7.5 oz / 210g chocolate graham crackers, teddy grahams, or chocolate shortbread

  • 2 oz / 55g (1/3 cup) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped, or mini chips

  • 5 Tbsp / 65g butter, melted

For the Peanut Butter Filling

IMG_5030.JPG
  • 1 cup / 237g heavy whipping cream

  • 8 oz / 227g mascarpone or cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 cup / 250g peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar

  • 1 tsp / 5g vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 4 oz / 110g (2/3 cup) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped, or chips

  • 1 Tbsp / 14g butter

  • 1/2 cup / 118g heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Oven 325°F / 163°C.  Ungreased 9in / 23cm pie dish.  

Make the Chocolate Crust

  1. In a food processor combine chocolate grahams, butter, and chocolate chips.  Pulse until the mixture is uniformly fine crumbs.  Or do it the "old fashioned" way and beat the crumbs to oblivion in a well sealed plastic bag with a rolling pin or other hard object, then mixing in the chocolate and butter in a bowl with a spoon. 

  2. Press evenly into the bottom and sides of pie dish and bake for 8 minutes or until fragrant.  Set aside to cool completely.

Make the Peanut Butter Filling

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to another bowl if using a stand mixer and set aside.

  2. Again in the bowl of a stand mixer or a separate bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  

  3. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture in three or four parts.  

  4. Spoon the filling over the cooled crust and smooth the top.  Refrigerate to set.  

IMG_5064.JPG

Make the Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place the chocolate and butter in a small bowl.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat, just until simmering.  The moment you see bubbles remove from heat and pour over chocolate and butter.  Let sit for 1 minute to melt the chocolate, then whisk briskly until smooth and shiny.  

  2. Pour over chilled pie.  If you don't desire chocolate running over the sides, you may have to wait a minute or two between pourings, or simply don't use all the ganache.  (The rest can be disposed of with a spoon and a mouth.  But I don't need to tell you that.)  

  3. Chill for 3-4 hours or overnight until set.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • If using a shallow pie dish you may have some leftover crust, and that's ok. Don't feel like you have to use all the crust mixture or you may have an impenetrable crust, especially in the corners.

  • I frequently substitute whole milk or coconut milk for all or part of the cream in ganache, but usually not when it's a topper as it can separate a bit if you don't use all cream. However, one time when making this I only had 1/4 cup cream left for the topping and so added 1/4 cup whole milk, and it made for a beautiful ganache, even as the topper.

  • Top with chocolate chips or chocolate shavings as desired!

American
Yield: 8-12
Author:

Mascarpone Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate cookie crust, whipped mascarpone peanut butter filling, and chocolate ganache to top.
prep time: 1 hourcook time: 8 Mtotal time: 1 H & 8 M

ingredients:

For the Chocolate Crust
  • 7.5 oz / 210g chocolate graham crackers, teddy grahams, or chocolate shortbread
  • 2 oz / 55g (1/3 cup) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped, or mini chips
  • 5 Tbsp / 65g butter, melted
For the Peanut Butter Filling
  • 1 cup / 237g heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz / 227g mascarpone or cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup / 250g peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar
  • 1 tsp / 5g vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Ganache
  • 4 oz / 110g (2/3 cup) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped, or chips
  • 1 Tbsp / 14g butter
  • 1/2 cup / 118g heavy whipping cream

instructions:

How to cook Mascarpone Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Ganache

Make the Chocolate Crust
  1. Oven 325°F / 163°C. Ungreased 9in / 23cm pie dish.
  2. In a food processor combine chocolate grahams, butter, and chocolate chips. Pulse until the mixture is uniformly fine crumbs. Or do it the "old fashioned" way and beat the crumbs to oblivion in a well sealed plastic bag with a rolling pin or other hard object, then mixing in the chocolate and butter in a bowl with a spoon.
  3. Press evenly into the bottom and sides of pie dish and bake for 8 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside to cool completely.
Make the Peanut Butter Filling
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl if using a stand mixer and set aside.
  2. Again in the bowl of a stand mixer or a separate bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  3. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture in three or four parts.
  4. Spoon the filling over the cooled crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate to set.
Make the Chocolate Ganache
  1. Place the chocolate and butter in a small bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat, just until simmering. The moment you see bubbles remove from heat and pour over chocolate and butter. Let sit for 1 minute to melt the chocolate, then whisk briskly until smooth and shiny.
  2. Pour over chilled pie. If you don't desire chocolate running over the sides, you may have to wait a minute or two between pourings, or simply don't use all the ganache. (The rest can be disposed of with a spoon and a mouth. But I don't need to tell you that.)
  3. Chill for 3-4 hours or overnight until set.

NOTES:

If using a shallow pie dish you may have some leftover crust, and that's ok. Don't feel like you have to use all the crust mixture or you may have an impenetrable crust, especially in the corners. I frequently substitute whole milk or coconut milk for all or part of the cream in ganache, but usually not when it's a topper as it can separate a bit if you don't use all cream. However, one time when making this I only had 1/4 cup cream left for the topping and so added 1/4 cup whole milk, and it made for a beautiful ganache, even as the topper. Top with chocolate chips or chocolate shavings as desired!

Calories

791.91

Fat (grams)

62.46

Sat. Fat (grams)

30.79

Carbs (grams)

54.43

Fiber (grams)

3.89

Net carbs

50.53

Sugar (grams)

37.64

Protein (grams)

12.12

Sodium (milligrams)

502.22

Cholesterol (grams)

110.56
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 8 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_5066.JPG

 

Ganache Coconut Cream Pie Bars

Not mashed potatoes...:)

Not mashed potatoes...:)

Oh my gosh! Ganache. Yes, coconut cream pie is delicious.  So are Almond Joys and Mounds.  So why not put them together, add a shortbread crust, put them in the slightly less formidable to cut bar form instead of pie, and voila: Ganache Coconut Cream Pie Bars. 

These bars are slightly involved, but the end product is very worthwhile.  Not to mention, you can make an 8x8 pan worth of bars, or 9x13!  I almost always go the 9x13 route.  This has become a favorite for Christmas, my mom's birthday, and just about any occasion that a little creamy coconut and chocolate is welcome.  As what seems to be turning into a trend, I failed to get any kind of decent photo of the inside, so for now, (or maybe forever...once these are cut into you'll understand why photos never get taken) please enjoy the photos of the whipped cream and toasted coconut topping.  If you'd like an idea of what bliss you're getting in to, take a peak over at Willow Bird Baking, from whom I adapted the recipe, and see her beautiful photos! 


Ganache Coconut Cream Pie Bars

Makes about 20 servings

Ingredients:

For the Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) / 226g cold butter

  • 2 cups / 240g all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar

For the Ganache

  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp / 87g heavy whipping cream

  • 6 oz (1 cup) / 175g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, or chips

For the Coconut Cream Filling

  • 6 cups / 1,422g unsweetened coconut milk or milk of choice

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups / 300g sugar

  • 2/3 cup / 73g cornstarch

  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g salt

  • 1 1/2 cups / 150g flaked unsweetened coconut

  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g coconut extract

  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g vanilla extract

For the Whipped Cream Topping

  • 2 cups / 464g heavy whipping cream

  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar

  • 1 tsp / 5g vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup / 50g flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted (see below)

Directions:

Oven 350°F / 177°C.  Ungreased 9x13in / 23x33cm baking dish.

Make the Shortbread Crust

  1. Cut the butter into flour and sugar using a fork, pastry cutter, or in a food processor.  Once the mixture resembles coarse sand and the butter chunks are no larger than small peas, press mixture evenly into bottom prepared pan. 

  2. Bake for 18-22 minutes until lightly golden-brown.  Set aside to cool.  Leave oven on for toasting the coconut.

Make the Ganache

  1. While the crust is baking, prepare the ganache.  Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and the cream in a small saucepan.  Over medium-low heat, bring the cream to a simmer.  You can also use the microwave, 30 seconds-1 minute or until cream is just simmering, but not boiling.  

  2. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 1-2 minutes to melt the chocolate.  Whisk until completely smooth.  

  3. Once the crust is finished and partly cooled, pour ganache evenly over crust.  Place in fridge to set.   

Toast the Coconut

Place the 1/2 cup coconut for the topping in a shallow baking dish.  Place in oven and stir every 1-2 minutes, making sure it doesn't over-brown, for a total of 5-10 minutes.  Remove and let cool.

Make the Coconut Cream Filling

2017-12-23 15.25.34.jpg
  1. Combine milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large saucepan. 

  2. Place over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to thicken and comes to a boil.  This can take anywhere from 15-35 minutes, depending on your stove.

  3. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in coconut and vanilla extracts.  

  4. Remove crust from fridge and pour filling over crust.  Place back in fridge to set, 2-4 hours.  

Make the Whipped Cream Topping

  1. Whip the cream and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer until stiff peaks form.

  2. Spoon over chilled bars, or pipe.  Finish with toasted coconut.  Store in fridge.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • Because the ganache in this recipe is not decorative, you can easily substitute coconut milk or another kind for the heavy whipping cream. I prefer using coconut milk, reducing the amount of fat/calories. Save those for when you need the high-shine perfect ganache!

  • If you only have sweetened coconut milk or sweetened flaked coconut on hand, go ahead and use those. Simply reduce the sugar by about 1/4-1/2 cup / 50-100g in the filling, if you wish. I prefer to have unsweetened coconut on hand so I can control how much sugar I'm adding to breakfasts, desserts, etc., plus I like the smaller size of flaked and grated coconut vs. shredded.

  • For toasting coconut, and every use really, I highly recommend Le Creuset pans. My toasted coconut used to always come out in various shades, but since using Le Creuset it always turns out a beautiful even, golden-brown. They conduct heat evenly and beautifully.

  • If a 9x13 pan of cream coconut heaven seems daunting to you, it's super easy to halve this recipe for a 8x8 or 9x9in pan!

  • These bars should ideally be eaten within 3-4 days. Otherwise the whipped cream starts to separate and the crust gets soggy.

American
Yield: 20
Author:

Ganache Coconut Cream Pie Bars

Shortbread crust, a thin layer of ganache, classic coconut cream pie filling, all topped with fresh whipped cream and toasted coconut.
prep time: 1 H & 45 Mcook time: 32 Mtotal time: 1 H & 77 M

ingredients:

For the Shortbread Crust
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) / 226g cold butter
  • 2 cups / 240g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar
For the Ganache
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp / 87g heavy whipping cream
  • 6 oz (1 cup) / 175g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, or chips
For the Coconut Cream Filling
  • 6 cups / 1,422g unsweetened coconut milk or milk of choice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups / 300g sugar
  • 2/3 cup / 73g cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g salt
  • 1 1/2 cups / 150g flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g coconut extract
  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream Topping
  • 2 cups / 464g heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar
  • 1 tsp / 5g vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup / 50g flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted (see below)

instructions:

How to cook Ganache Coconut Cream Pie Bars

Make the Shortbread Crust
  1. Oven 350°F / 177°C. Ungreased 9x13in / 23x33cm baking dish.
  2. Cut the butter into flour and sugar using a fork, pastry cutter, or in a food processor. Once the mixture resembles coarse sand and the butter chunks are no larger than small peas, press mixture evenly into bottom prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 18-22 minutes until lightly golden-brown. Set aside to cool. Leave oven on for toasting the coconut.
Make the Ganache
  1. While the crust is baking, prepare the ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and the cream in a small saucepan. Over medium-low heat, bring the cream to a simmer. You can also use the microwave, 30 seconds-1 minute or until cream is just simmering, but not boiling.
  2. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 1-2 minutes to melt the chocolate. Whisk until completely smooth.
  3. Once the crust is finished and partly cooled, pour ganache evenly over crust. Place in fridge to set.
Toast the Coconut
  1. Place the 1/2 cup coconut for the topping in a shallow baking dish. Place in oven and stir every 1-2 minutes, making sure it doesn't over-brown, for a total of 5-10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Make the Coconut Cream Filling
  1. Combine milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large saucepan.
  2. Place over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to thicken and comes to a boil. This can take anywhere from 15-35 minutes, depending on your stove.
  3. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in coconut and vanilla extracts.
  4. Remove crust from fridge and pour filling over crust. Place back in fridge to set, 2-4 hours.
Make the Whipped Cream Topping
  1. Whip the cream and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer until stiff peaks form.
  2. Spoon over chilled bars, or pipe. Finish with toasted coconut. Store in fridge.

NOTES:

Because the ganache in this recipe is not decorative, you can easily substitute coconut milk or another kind for the heavy whipping cream. I prefer using coconut milk, reducing the amount of fat/calories. Save those for when you need the high-shine perfect ganache! If you only have sweetened coconut milk or sweetened flaked coconut on hand, go ahead and use those. Simply reduce the sugar by about 1/4-1/2 cup / 50-100g in the filling, if you wish. I prefer to have unsweetened coconut on hand so I can control how much sugar I'm adding to breakfasts, desserts, etc., plus I like the smaller size of flaked and grated coconut vs. shredded. For toasting coconut, and every use really, I highly recommend Le Creuset pans. My toasted coconut used to always come out in various shades, but since using Le Creuset it always turns out a beautiful even, golden-brown. They conduct heat evenly and beautifully. If a 9x13 pan of cream coconut heaven seems daunting to you, it's super easy to halve this recipe for an 8x8 or 9x9in pan! These bars should ideally be eaten within 3-4 days. Otherwise the whipped cream starts to separate and the crust gets soggy.

Calories

446.04

Fat (grams)

30.59

Sat. Fat (grams)

21.07

Carbs (grams)

41.54

Fiber (grams)

2.52

Net carbs

39.02

Sugar (grams)

26.41

Protein (grams)

4.58

Sodium (milligrams)

152.00

Cholesterol (grams)

92.63
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 20 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
2017-12-23 15.25.10.jpg

Classic Tiramisù: The Real Deal.

IMG_4530.jpg

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As in, I could just copy and paste the original recipe in Italian, and we could all follow the pretty pictures to make it.  That doesn't sound very reliable to me, so I shall do my best to translate it.  Maybe also not very reliable.  My point is, this is a good, sound, Italian written recipe of Tiramisù.  Raw eggs, real mascarpone (pronounced mas-car-pohn-AY no matter what those chefs on Food Network say.  I cry a little on the inside when people insist on saying mars-cah-pone.  There is no R before the C. Mas-car-pone is acceptable, as that would be how to say it in English.  But deep down we all want to be a bit more Italian, no?) no cream cheese involved.  It's so simple, and the ingredients are few.  Mascarpone can be quite expensive in the States, which is why many substitute cream cheese, but it is so worth the splurge.  If you do feel the need to use cream cheese, (I don't know, maybe your 3 year-old wants tiramisù for a birthday party of 50??) then maybe don't call it tiramisù, call it something else.  Tiramigiù, maybe.  :)

Just like any replication, it will never be as good as in the place where it was founded and crafted and came to fame.  Some of the best mascarpone will be found here in Italy, and at much cheaper costs.  In fact, it's cheaper than cream cheese. Even if you take the exact same method and make mascarpone in another country, those cows will be different cows, who eat different sustenance, and produce milk that tastes different .  Not to mention if the first time you ever tried tiramisù was on your first trip to Italy, surrounded by cobblestone streets, freshly hung laundry on the corner, magnificent old buildings, and the too-loud Italian conversations and even louder hand gestures whirling about, that is something very hard to replicate in anywhere but Italy.  

That said, this is the best recipe for Tiramisù I have yet found.  No, it's not from a wonderful Italian nonna (grandma) I know from down the street or a recipe handed down for generations in one of my friend's families, but I did listen to a podcast once in Italian where a girl was making tiramisù with a nonna and it was essentially the same as the one I'm about to share with you.  That counts, right? Ok, andiamo! (Let's go!) 

Original recipe in Italian, with video and step by step photos, on GialloZafferano.


Tiramisù

Serves 12-15

Ingredients:

  • 220g / about 4 medium eggs, as fresh as you can get them

  • 100g / 1/2 cup sugar

  • 500g mascarpone

  • 300g / about 1 medium package Savoiardi (lady fingers)

  • 300g / 1 1/4 cup brewed coffee from a Moka pot or very strong coffee, sweetened to taste and cooled

  • Cocoa powder for dusting the top

Directions:

IMG_4520.JPG
  1. Separate the egg yolks from the whites, placing the yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer and setting aside the egg whites, or placing them in two medium bowls if you plan on using an electric hand mixer. 

  2. Beat the yolks, slowly adding half the sugar.  

  3. When the mixture becomes light and frothy, beat in the mascarpone, a little at a time.  Once all the mascarpone is beat in, you should have a dense and creamy mixture.  

  4. Clean the beaters well or transfer mascarpone mixture to another bowl and clean the stand mixer bowl and beater.  Beat the egg whites, slowly adding in the rest of the sugar.  Beat until stiff peaks form.

  5. Add one spoonful of the beaten whites to the mascarpone mixture, stirring energetically with a spatula, to begin to lighten it.  Then continue adding the egg whites, folding in delicately one spoonful at a time, until all has been incorporated. 

  6. In a 30x20cm / 8x11in pan, spoon about 1/3 of the cream mixture into the bottom and spread evenly.  Place your cold coffee in a shallow bowl or dish.  Dip your savoiardi in the coffee for a few seconds and place in rows over the cream until an even layer has been established.  

  7. Spoon another third of cream evenly over the savoiardi and repeat another layer of coffee soaked savoiardi.  Top with the remaining cream and smooth evenly.  

  8. Dust with cocoa powder using a sieve and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.             

Buon Appetito!

Jenny's Notes:

IMG_4524.jpg
  • Most grocery stores and supermarkets carry mascarpone and lady fingers in the States, mascarpone being with the cheese or special cheese, lady fingers I had to look in the "imported" section.

  • Remember that in order to beat egg whites there must not be any trace of egg yolk or grease or they won't beat up properly.

  • One way to tell if your egg whites have been properly beaten is to hold the bowl upside down. The egg whites shouldn't move. Of course, at this point you should already be confident that your whites are stiff enough so you don't end up with, um, egg whites everywhere. It is possible to overbeat egg whites, so don't over do it or they become dry.

  • The Italians making this recipe said they added only 1 tsp of sugar to the coffee, I don't usually add any. If you prefer sweeter desserts, you may decide to add more.

  • If you don't have a 30x20cm / 8x11in pan on hand, you can use a 9x13in. Or halve the recipe and use an 8x8in / 20x20cm or 9x9in.

  • When dipping the Savoiardi I found 4-5 seconds to be ideal. Any less and the coffee didn't soak all the way through, any more and the cookies became over-saturated and broke. When you start running out of coffee you may need to dip one side of the cookie and then the other to get an even soak.

  • Some say it's almost a sin if you cut into the tiramisù if it has been in the fridge for any less than 24 hours. I think it's optimal after just a few hours, and best if eaten within a few days.

  • Can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.

Italian
Yield: 12-15
Author:

Classic Tiramisù

Recipe for the classic Italian tiramisù with savoiardi (ladyfingers), mascarpone, raw eggs, and not too much sugar. Translated from Italian.
prep time: 45 Mcook time: total time: 45 M

ingredients:

  • 220g / about 4 medium eggs, as fresh as you can get them
  • 100g / 1/2 cup sugar
  • 500g mascarpone
  • 300g / about 1 medium package Savoiardi (lady fingers)
  • 300g / 1 1/4 cup brewed coffee from a Moka pot or very strong coffee, sweetened to taste and cooled
  • Cocoa powder for dusting the top

instructions:

How to cook Classic Tiramisù

  1. Separate the egg yolks from the whites, placing the yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer and setting aside the egg whites, or placing them in two medium bowls if you plan on using an electric hand mixer.
  2. Beat the yolks, slowly adding half the sugar.
  3. When the mixture becomes light and frothy, beat in the mascarpone, a little at a time. Once all the mascarpone is beat in, you should have a dense and creamy mixture.
  4. Clean the beaters well or transfer mascarpone mixture to another bowl and clean the stand mixer bowl and beater. Beat the egg whites, slowly adding in the rest of the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. Add one spoonful of the beaten whites to the mascarpone mixture, stirring energetically with a spatula, to begin to lighten it. Then continue adding the egg whites, folding in delicately one spoonful at a time, until all has been incorporated.
  6. In a 30x20cm / 8x11in pan, spoon about 1/3 of the cream mixture into the bottom and spread evenly. Place your cold coffee in a shallow bowl or dish. Dip your savoiardi in the coffee for a few seconds and place in rows over the cream until an even layer has been established.
  7. Spoon another third of cream evenly over the savoiardi and repeat another layer of coffee soaked savoiardi. Top with the remaining cream and smooth evenly.
  8. Dust with cocoa powder using a sieve and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

NOTES:

Remember that in order to beat egg whites there must not be any trace of egg yolk or grease or they won't beat up properly. One way to tell if your egg whites have been properly beaten is to hold the bowl upside down. The egg whites shouldn't move. Of course, at this point you should already be confident that your whites are stiff enough so you don't end up with, um, egg whites everywhere. It is possible to overbeat egg whites, so don't over do it or they become dry. The Italians making this recipe said they added only 1 tsp of sugar to the coffee, I don't usually add any. If you prefer sweeter desserts, you may decide to add more. If you don't have a 30x20cm / 8x11in pan on hand, you can use a 9x13in. Or halve the recipe and use an 8x8in / 20x20cm or 9x9in. When dipping the Savoiardi I found 4-5 seconds to be ideal. Any less and the coffee didn't soak all the way through, any more and the cookies became over-saturated and broke. When you start running out of coffee you may need to dip one side of the cookie and then the other to get an even soak. Some say it's almost a sin if you cut into the tiramisù if it has been in the fridge for any less than 24 hours. I think it's optimal after just a few hours, and best if eaten within a few days. Can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.

Calories

327.99

Fat (grams)

20.59

Sat. Fat (grams)

11.84

Carbs (grams)

9.97

Fiber (grams)

0.08

Net carbs

9.88

Sugar (grams)

9.38

Protein (grams)

3.90

Sodium (milligrams)

202.45

Cholesterol (grams)

111.33
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 12 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
I have somehow never managed to get a photo after it has been dug into. And I couldn't take photos before, because, well, Christmas and other events. "Who broke into the dessert early?!?!" I never would've hear the end of it.

I have somehow never managed to get a photo after it has been dug into. And I couldn't take photos before, because, well, Christmas and other events. "Who broke into the dessert early?!?!" I never would've hear the end of it.


Caramel Cream Pie

2017-12-23+15.32.59.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Fellow citizens of the webs, I've missed you!  It's been a dreadfully long time since I've posted a new recipe.  Not that I haven't been baking, oh no, but going home for Christmas, festivities, and general merry-making have kept me quite occupied.  It has been difficult to find the time to carve out a window of several hours not only to bake something blog-worthy, but photograph said something, upload photos, edit photos, write the nonsense that is what you are currently reading, type up the recipe, add finished photos, proof read, and post the now finished blog form.  It's quite the process for something that is merely a hobby (yes, I don't in any way, shape, or form get paid for this, enjoy your ad-free recipes!!!) and even though I enjoy the blogging process, sometimes I don't feel that good at any of it.  Except the baking, that's the one thing I feel somewhat competent in.  And even then, there are definitely off days, off recipes, or off concentration.  And I think to myself, does the world need one more baking blog?  One that's, well, not fantastic?  (At least not yet, mwahaha.)  There are so many great ones out there.  But I think the blogs that inspire me the most, the ones that come across as fantastic, are the ones that are passionate about what they do.  Yes, they have picture-perfect photography, reliable recipes, and witty writing, (hey, look at all those alliterations!), but I don't think they all started that way.  How did they arrive there?  Passion, dedication, perseverance, and always looking for ways to improve, I think. 

The world has enough perceived perfection, what we need are those hungry to learn, with a little talent and a lot of humility, and who are then willing to share what they've learned.  I can only hope, in this tidbit of a clumsy blog, that you'd join me in this voyage of discovering and learning, average photography, and lots of good food.  Oh, and feedback and questions are always welcome, that’s what the comments are for below!

Here's to a bright and shiny new year! 

Now, back to that good food we were talking about...

Recipe adapted from Shugary Sweets


Caramel Cream Pie

2017-12-23+15.34.15.jpg

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

For the Crust

  • 1 1/3 cup / 160g all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g salt

  • 4 Tbsp / 56g butter, cold, cut into small pieces

  • 4-6 Tbsp / 59 - 89g ice water

For the Caramel Cream filling and topping

  • 1 14oz can / 380g dulche de leche, your favorite caramel, or 1/2 recipe of this Caramel Sauce

  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, room temperature

  • 2 1/2 cups / 605g heavy whipping cream

  • 1/4 cup / 50g sugar

Directions:

Make the Crust

Oven 425°F / 220°C. Ungreased 8 - 9in / 20 - 23cm pie dish. 

IMG_4555.JPG
  1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour and salt.  Blend in cold butter using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands.  You want the butter to end up in small pieces, like peas. 

  2. Add the ice water, starting with 4 Tbsp / 59g, mixing as little as possible.  The dough should be able to hold together in a ball, without being too dry and shaggy or too wet.  Add more water if necessary, 1 tablespoon at a time.  

  3. Place dough on a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, and wrap tightly.  Place in the fridge for 1 - 48 hours.  

  4. After the crust has rested, roll into a circle on a lightly floured surface or silpat.  Roll a few times with your rolling pin in one direction before turning the crust 45° (quarter turn) and continuing with a few more rolls.  Periodically check under the crust to make sure it isn’t sticking and sprinkling more flour if needed. Continue like this until your crust is nicely round and roughly 2in / 5cm larger than your pie dish.  

  5. Carefully transfer crust to pie dish (this is easier if using a silpat), trim the excess overhang if necessary, and fold the ends under. Crimp as desired, or press with a fork.  Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.  The crust can also be refrigerated at this point, if needed.  

  6. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until crust is lightly golden-brown.  Cool completely.  

Make the Caramel Cream filling and topping

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup / 120g caramel.  Set aside.

  2. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer, beat whipping cream and sugar until stiff peaks form.  Reserve 1/2 cup for the topping.  Fold the remaining whipped cream into cream cheese mixture, about a quarter at a time.  

  3. Reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the remaining caramel for the topping.  Spread the rest into the bottom of the crust.  Spread cream cheese mixture over caramel.  

  4. Top pie with reserved 1/2 cup whipped cream and caramel, using a spoon or piping desired.

Jenny's Notes:

  • For the crust, you can also use a food processor, pulsing in the butter until it has the desired consistency.  Just be sure to remove the dough from the food processor and mix in the water with a fork or pastry cutter so you don't overwork the dough.  You want to work it as little as possible once you add the water. The liquid helps to awaken the gluten, and the more you work it and the gluten strands develop, the tougher your crust will be.  The minimum of 1 hour rest in the fridge allows what gluten inevitably developed to relax.  

  • If you are having problems with a shrinking crust, try using a metal or ceramic pie dish and allowing the crust more time to rest before baking.  

  • I have made this pie several times over the past year, and have always needed all 6 tablespoons of water, possibly because it was always during the dry winter.  If you live in a really dry climate, you might need up to 7.  Just be aware, an overly wet crust is more likely to glue itself to the pan during baking.   

American
Yield: 8-12 servings
Author:

Caramel Cream Pie

Flaky, buttery crust, whipped caramel filling, and fresh whipped cream with caramel drizzled on top.
prep time: 1 hourcook time: 12 Mtotal time: 1 H & 12 M

ingredients:

For the Crust
  • 1 1/3 cup / 160g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g salt
  • 4 Tbsp / 56g butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 4-6 Tbsp / 59 - 89g ice water
For the Caramel Cream filling and topping
  • 1 14oz can / 380g dulche de leche, your favorite caramel, or 1/2 recipe of this Caramel Sauce
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups / 605g heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup / 50g sugar

instructions:

How to cook Caramel Cream Pie

Make the Crust
  1. Oven 425°F / 220°C. Ungreased 8 - 9in / 20 - 23cm pie dish.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour and salt. Blend in cold butter using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands. You want the butter to end up in small pieces, like peas.
  3. Add the ice water, starting with 4 Tbsp / 59g, mixing as little as possible. The dough should be able to hold together in a ball, without being too dry and shaggy or too wet. Add more water if necessary, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. Place dough on a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, and wrap tightly. Place in the fridge for 1 - 48 hours.
  5. After the crust has rested, roll into a circle on a lightly floured surface or silpat. Roll a few times with your rolling pin in one direction before turning the crust 45° (quarter turn) and continuing with a few more rolls. Periodically check under the crust to make sure it isn’t sticking and sprinkling more flour if needed. Continue like this until your crust is nicely round and roughly 2in / 5cm larger than your pie dish.
  6. Carefully transfer crust to pie dish (this is easier if using a silpat), trim the excess overhang if necessary, and fold the ends under. Crimp as desired, or press with a fork. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. The crust can also be refrigerated at this point, if needed.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until crust is lightly golden-brown. Cool completely.
Make the Caramel Cream filling and topping
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup / 120g caramel. Set aside.
  2. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer, beat whipping cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Reserve 1/2 cup for the topping. Fold the remaining whipped cream into cream cheese mixture, about a quarter at a time.
  3. Reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the remaining caramel for the topping. Spread the rest into the bottom of the crust. Spread cream cheese mixture over caramel.
  4. Top pie with reserved 1/2 cup whipped cream and caramel, using a spoon or piping desired.

NOTES:

For the crust, you can also use a food processor, pulsing in the butter until it has the desired consistency. Just be sure to remove the dough from the food processor and mix in the water with a fork or pastry cutter so you don't overwork the dough. You want to work it as little as possible once you add the water. The liquid helps to awaken the gluten, and the more you work it and the gluten strands develop, the tougher your crust will be. The minimum of 1 hour rest in the fridge allows what gluten inevitably developed to relax. If you are having problems with a shrinking crust, try using a metal or ceramic pie dish and allowing the crust more time to rest before baking. I have made this pie several times over the past year, and have always needed all 6 tablespoons of water, possibly because it was always during the dry winter. If you live in a really dry climate, you might need up to 7. Just be aware, an overly wet crust is more likely to glue itself to the pan during baking.

Calories

652.74

Fat (grams)

42.84

Sat. Fat (grams)

26.73

Carbs (grams)

56.39

Fiber (grams)

0.54

Net carbs

55.85

Sugar (grams)

40.81

Protein (grams)

6.75

Sodium (milligrams)

437.41

Cholesterol (grams)

128.91
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 8 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
And yet, for as many times as I've made this pie, I've yet to get a photo of it sliced. Oh well, there's butter, caramel, and whipped cream, what more do you need to know?

And yet, for as many times as I've made this pie, I've yet to get a photo of it sliced. Oh well, there's butter, caramel, and whipped cream, what more do you need to know?


Fresh Peach Cobbler

IMG_4958.jpg

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I was really tempted to write, The BEST peach cobbler, because, I've never met a better one, but titles with such descriptives usually drive me away.  I try to call it like it is, and this is a peach cobbler, if I know anything. I get a bit tired of seeing THE BEST everything, ya know? Only one can be right, and the rest are...full of themselves? Fudging? Just trying to get more clicks? All of the above?  

However, in my opinion, this is the best.  Why?  Because it's my mom's peach cobbler.  If you have the privilege of knowing my mom, then I need go no further.  However, if you don't, all you need to know is, she's the greatest, and she knows her way around the kitchen.  I think mom's are born knowing stuff like this.  

Summer is all about picking the fresh produce, eating it, baking with it, and canning with it so you can enjoy the bounty of summer even in the winter months.  Of course, nothing beats fresh food, so I think making as many fruity and vegetable-y dishes as you and your family and friends and neighbors and dog and strangers walking by can eat.  

As it is now officially fall and the warm summer days are now tipped with the chilly mornings and evenings of the new season, I noticed that I have failed to take my own advice.  Yes, I've made fruit dishes throughout the summer, in fact, almost on the daily, but an actual peach dessert?  One of my favorite fresh fruits? Gasp.  Before the last leaf falls I must make a peach cobbler, at least one! Ok, so I probably made it and ate it before even the first leaf fell, but hey, sometimes you need that sense of emergency and adrenaline rush.  Um.  Before eating dessert.  (Does that burn more calories?) 

As a last adieu to summer, before the recipes start reflecting fall, here is the recipe for The. Best. Peach Cobbler.  In all its simplicity and flavors of summer.  

Recipe from my mama, who has made this since I can remember.


Peach Cobbler

Serves about 6 

IMG_4943.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 4 large ripe peaches

  • 1 1/4 cups / 250g sugar

  • 3 Tbsp / 42g oil

  • 1/2 cup / 119g milk

  • 1 cup / 120g all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp / 5g baking powder

  • dash of salt

  • 1 tsp / 3g cornstarch

  • 1 cup / 237g boiling water

Directions:

Oven 375°F / 190°C.     Ungreased 8x8in / 20x20cm baking dish.

Blanch the Peaches

IMG_4959.jpg
  1. To prepare the peaches, place a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.  While you are waiting, place a large bowl of cold or ice water near the stove.  

  2. Once the water is boiling, carefully place all 4 peaches into the water and blanch them (cook briefly in boiling water) for about 2 minutes.  Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and immediately dunk in ice water to stop the cooking.  

  3. Your peaches are now ready to slice and peel.  Start by cutting the peaches in half with a paring knife and removing the pit.  Then peel the peaches using the knife or your hands.  The skins should slop off easily.  

  4. Slice peaches and place in bottom of prepared pan.  

Make the Cobbler

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil and  3/4 cup / 150g of the sugar.  Add milk, flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well. Dollop the batter by spoonful over the peaches.

  2. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup / 100g sugar with cornstarch.  Sprinkle evenly over batter in the baking dish.  

  3. Finally, pour boiling water over top.  Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the sides are bubbling and the cobbler topping no longer looks doughy.  

IMG_4941.jpg

Jenny's Notes:

  • Serve this warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Also delicious for breakfast, with or without the ice cream.

  • This recipe is adapted for a 8x8in pan, perfect for a small crowd. Or 1 person. But this is easily doubled for a 9x13in, and then there's enough to go around. Yay! If doubling, blanch the peaches in two batches.

  • Skin not coming easily off your peaches? Could be they weren't quite ripe enough. If they're mushy, could be your peaches were overripe or blanched slightly too long.

  • Have a different favorite fruit? Go ahead and use it in place of the peaches! This cobbler is very versatile.

  • You can use butter in place of oil. I learned from my mom to often use oil in the place of butter simply because of the healthier mono and poly unsaturated fats, versus the mostly saturated fats in butter. Just be aware of what kind of oil you use if you decide to go the "healthier" route, as not all oils are made equally.

peach cobbler, recipe, fresh peaches, the best peach cobbler, summer dessert, how to make peach cobbler, old-fashioned cobbler
Dessert
American
Yield: 6 servings
Author:

Peach Cobbler

A classic summer dessert bursting with fresh peaches and topped with a soft and sugary-crusted cobbler topping, all with a hint of nutmeg.
prep time: 45 Mcook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 H & 45 M

ingredients:

  • 4 large ripe peaches
  • 1 1/4 cups / 250g sugar
  • 3 Tbsp / 42g oil
  • 1/2 cup / 119g milk
  • 1 cup / 120g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp / 5g baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp / 3g cornstarch
  • 1 cup / 237g boiling water

instructions:

How to cook Peach Cobbler

Blanch the Peaches
  1. To prepare the peaches, place a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. While you are waiting, place a large bowl of cold or ice water near the stove.
  2. Once the water is boiling, carefully place all 4 peaches into the water and blanch them (cook briefly in boiling water) for about 2 minutes. Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and immediately dunk in ice water to stop the cooking.
  3. Your peaches are now ready to slice and peel. Start by cutting the peaches in half with a paring knife and removing the pit. Then peel the peaches using the knife or your hands. The skins should slop off easily.
  4. Slice peaches and place in bottom of prepared pan.
Make the Cobbler
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil and 3/4 cup / 150g of the sugar. Add milk, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Dollop the batter by spoonful over the peaches.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup / 100g sugar with cornstarch. Sprinkle evenly over batter in the baking dish.
  3. Finally, pour boiling water over top. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the sides are bubbling and the cobbler topping no longer looks doughy.

NOTES:

Serve this warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Also delicious for breakfast, with or without the ice cream. This recipe is adapted for a 8x8in pan, perfect for a small crowd. Or 1 person. But this is easily doubled for a 9x13in, and then there's enough to go around. Yay! If doubling, blanch the peaches in two batches. Skin not coming easily off your peaches? Could be they weren't quite ripe enough. If they're mushy, could be your peaches were overripe or blanched slightly too long. Have a different favorite fruit? Go ahead and use it in place of the peaches! This cobbler is very versatile. You can use butter in place of oil. I learned from my mom to often use oil in the place of butter simply because of the healthier mono and poly unsaturated fats, versus the mostly saturated fats in butter. Just be aware of what kind of oil you use if you decide to go the "healthier" route, as not all oils are made equally.

Calories

352.11

Fat (grams)

7.68

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.63

Carbs (grams)

69.73

Fiber (grams)

2.30

Net carbs

67.43

Sugar (grams)

52.46

Protein (grams)

3.80

Sodium (milligrams)

125.34

Cholesterol (grams)

0.99
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 6 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_4952.jpg

Ok, so let's see if you've learned your lesson for today.  What two things do you need to know about my mom?  ;)  

Very good.  

Lemon Cream Tart

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I've been on a French kick recently.  This past Christmas I was gifted "The Art of French Classics" by Jacquy Pfeiffer.  At first glance it seemed detailed, confusing, and lengthy.  Second glance didn't get much better.  This was not the type of book you would use to whip up a batch of cookies or bake a cake for dessert tonight.  No, this book was going to require time, diligence, patience, determination, and careful reading.  

I decided to dissect this book by my favorite method: list making.  Simple and efficient.  I started employing this method when I was 13.  My mom had bought me a cake mix cookbook by Betty Crocker, and I was thrilled to have my own cookbook to go through and cook all on my own.  Most of those recipes I would shudder at now (they're not completely from scratch, haha!!), but I wanted to make everything in there.  Well, almost.  Which is where the list came in.  I wrote down every recipe I wanted to make, referencing the page numbers. When I had made a recipe, I would put a check mark by it.  Much easier to glance at one page (or two or three, there were too many recipes I wanted to make!) than to go through the book every time.  And oh so satisfying to make that little check mark. But, I am a nerd when it comes to baking, so you can take this as more of an anecdote than a recommendation.  :)

After initially being intimidated from reading “The Art of French Pastry” and applying my list method, I realized it wouldn’t be so difficult to make a lot of these recipes, after all. Some recipes, yes, which include making puff pastry, choux pastry, and various pastry creams and caramel all for one magnificent cake, but if French cuisine was easy we would all be making cream puffs, croissants, and eclairs everyday now, wouldn’t we? But to my pleasant surprise many of the recipes were quite manageable. This book helps you master some basic techniques that then become easier because you use them often for many of the recipes.

One of the simpler, but nonetheless delicious recipes from the cookbook is this Lemon Cream Tart.  Everyone should have a good lemon tart in their repertoire.  Someone once asked me, after learning I liked to bake, if I could make a good lemon tart.  I had made good lemon tarts before, but sometimes I lack confidence that even if I like something, will it live up to other people's tastes buds?  Until I find the recipe, that is.  Then I know the search is over, although I will always be open to trying new things.  I hung on to my current lemon tart recipe, but I felt like I could do better.  A recipe that would be reliable, and deliver that over-the-top creamy, lemony zing.  I think I found it in this recipe, oh yes.  

You’ll notice in my photos that the lemon tart is decorated with meringues and candied orange peels. The recipe does not include those because I feel that for the time spent making them, they don’t add significantly to the eating experience and are more for the wow factor. Don’t get me wrong, they’re yummy, but meringues do require a certain technique (mine unfortunately cracked a bit) and candying orange peel requires 10 days. So. I more than encourage you to get the book and try out those recipes yourselves, and especially the others, like the croissants, palmiers (my absolute favorite recipe from the cookbook), the brioche variations, eclairs, and I could keep going! Or, if all this seems a bit ambitious to you, gift the book to your favorite baking enthusiast and have them make them for you. :)

Recipe adapted from “The Art of French Pastry” by Jacquy Pfeiffer.


*Note:  Make the pâte sablée at least one day ahead as it needs to rest overnight in the refrigerator; two nights is ideal.    

Lemon Cream Tart

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

For the Pâte Sablée

  • 6 Tbsp / 97g butter

  • 1/4 tsp / 1g salt

  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp / 145g all-purpose flour

  • 3 Tbsp / 18g almond flour

  • 1/2 cup / 55g powdered sugar

  • 1/4 tsp / 1g vanilla extract

  • 2 egg yolks

For the Lemon Cream

  • 1 cup / 200g sugar

  • 5/8 cup / 140g lemon juice

  • pinch of salt

  • 3 eggs + 1 yolk

  • zest of half a lemon

  • 14 Tbsp / 192g butter, softened and cut into cubes

  • candied lemon peel, toasted nuts, or meringues for decoration, optional

Directions:

Make the Pâte Sablée (2-3 Days Ahead of time)

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter, sea salt, and all-purpose flour.  Mix on low until just crumbly.  Over-mixing will active gluten in flour and make for a tougher crust.  Add almond flour and powdered sugar, mixing until just combined.  Add vanilla and egg yolks on medium speed until just combined.  

  2. Scrape dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap.  Press into a 1/2 inch rectangle and wrap airtight in the plastic.  Refrigerate overnight.  

The next day:

  1. Very lightly grease a tart pan with softened butter, just enough to keep it from sticking.  You should barely see the butter on the pan.  If it is over-greased the dough may slip down the side as it is baking.  

  2. Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap from the plastic, and place on a lightly floured surface.  For easier transportation, you can roll it out on a floured silpat or piece of parchment paper.  

  3. Tap the dough with a rolling pin to make sure it's pliable.  If at any point the dough seems too stiff or cold, or cracks as you roll it out, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes before continuing.  Roll the dough 3 times in one direction, then make a quarter turn.   Periodically check to make sure your dough isn't sticking to the surface.  If it is, use a thin spatula to peel it off and re-flour the surface underneath.  Repeat rolling 3 times and making quarter turns until you have an evenly rolled out, 1/4" thick round of dough.

  4. At this point your dough should be larger than your tart pan.  Carefully transfer the dough to the pan.  You can do this by gently wrapping the dough around the rolling pin, then unrolling it over the pan.  Press the dough into the pan, paying careful attention to the corners and being careful not to stretch or tear the dough to do so.  Use a knife to trim away any extra dough.  Refrigerate the tart shell uncovered for at least one hour, or preferably overnight.  

An hour later or the next day:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F / 160°C.  

  2. Remove the crust from the fridge and dock the bottom with a fork.  (Poke holes in it.)  This will allow steam to escape evenly during baking.  

  3. Line the shell with parchment paper or cheesecloth and pie weights, dry beans, or rice.

  4. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment paper and pie weights.  Bake for an additional 5-15 minutes, or until the crust begins to evenly color and turn golden.  Allow to cool.

Make the Lemon Cream

  1. In a small bowl, combine half of the sugar, lemon juice, and salt; whisk until sugar and salt have dissolved.  

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining half of sugar with egg yolks and whisk for 30 seconds.  Whisk the first lemon juice mixture into this mixture and add the zest.  

  3. Create a water bath by simmering 1 inch of water in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Place the lemon mixture over the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water; whisk constantly so the eggs don't scramble.  Attach a digital thermometer to the bowl and continue to whisk until mixture reaches 176-179.6°F / 80-82°C.  

  4. Remove from the heat and strain into a bowl through a fine-meshed sieve.  Use a spatula to push mixture through the strainer, if necessary.  Transfer thermometer to the new bowl.  Allow mixture to cool to 140°F / 60°C, about 5 minutes.  

  5. At this point pour the mixture into a blender, or leave in the bowl if using an immersion blender.  Add half of the butter and blend, then add second half of the butter and blend for an additional 30 seconds or so, until mixture is completely smooth.  

  6. Pour the lemon cream into the baked crust and allow to set for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.  Decorate as desired, dust with powdered sugar, or leave as is. 

Buon Appetit!

Jenny's Notes:

  • Although this recipe may seem lengthy and entailed, it's quite simple, especially if you separate it into a "crust" day and a "filling" day.  

  • The unbaked pâte sablée will keep well covered in the fridge for up to a week, or a month in the freezer.  

Jacquy Pfeiffer, The Art of French Pastry, French classics, lemon tart, Pâte Sablée, butter crust, French tart, French lemon
French
Yield: 8-12
Author:

Lemon Cream Tart

Lemony, creamy, zingy tart with a perfect butter tart crust from Jacquy Pfeiffer's "The Art of French Pastry."
prep time: 1 H & 10 Mcook time: 30 Mtotal time: 1 H & 40 M

ingredients:

For the Pâte Sablée
  • 6 Tbsp / 97g butter
  • 1/4 tsp / 1g salt
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp / 145g all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp / 18g almond flour
  • 1/2 cup / 55g powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp / 1g vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
For the Lemon Cream
  • 1 cup / 200g sugar
  • 5/8 cup / 140g lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs + 1 yolk
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 14 Tbsp / 192g butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • candied lemon peel, toasted nuts, or meringues for decoration, optional

instructions:

How to cook Lemon Cream Tart

Make the Pâte Sablée (2-3 Days Ahead of time)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter, sea salt, and all-purpose flour. Mix on low until just crumbly. Over-mixing will active gluten in flour and make for a tougher crust. Add almond flour and powdered sugar, mixing until just combined. Add vanilla and egg yolks on medium speed until just combined.
  2. Scrape dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Press into a 1/2 inch rectangle and wrap airtight in the plastic. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day:
  1. Very lightly grease a tart pan with softened butter, just enough to keep it from sticking. You should barely see the butter on the pan. If it is over-greased the dough may slip down the side as it is baking.
  2. Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap from the plastic, and place on a lightly floured surface. For easier transportation, you can roll it out on a floured silpat or piece of parchment paper.
  3. Tap the dough with a rolling pin to make sure it's pliable. If at any point the dough seems too stiff or cold, or cracks as you roll it out, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes before continuing. Roll the dough 3 times in one direction, then make a quarter turn. Periodically check to make sure your dough isn't sticking to the surface. If it is, use a thin spatula to peel it off and re-flour the surface underneath. Repeat rolling 3 times and making quarter turns until you have an evenly rolled out, 1/4" thick round of dough.
  4. At this point your dough should be larger than your tart pan. Carefully transfer the dough to the pan. You can do this by gently wrapping the dough around the rolling pin, then unrolling it over the pan. Press the dough into the pan, paying careful attention to the corners and being careful not to stretch or tear the dough to do so. Use a knife to trim away any extra dough. Refrigerate the tart shell uncovered for at least one hour, or preferably overnight.
An hour later or the next day:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F / 160°C.
  2. Remove the crust from the fridge and dock the bottom with a fork. (Poke holes in it.) This will allow steam to escape evenly during baking.
  3. Line the shell with parchment paper or cheesecloth and pie weights, dry beans, or rice.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment paper and pie weights. Bake for an additional 5-15 minutes, or until the crust begins to evenly color and turn golden. Allow to cool.
Make the Lemon Cream
  1. In a small bowl, combine half of the sugar, lemon juice, and salt; whisk until sugar and salt have dissolved.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining half of sugar with egg yolks and whisk for 30 seconds. Whisk the first lemon juice mixture into this mixture and add the zest.
  3. Create a water bath by simmering 1 inch of water in a medium saucepan over low heat. Place the lemon mixture over the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water; whisk constantly so the eggs don't scramble. Attach a digital thermometer to the bowl and continue to whisk until mixture reaches 176-179.6°F / 80-82°C.
  4. Remove from the heat and strain into a bowl through a fine-meshed sieve. Use a spatula to push mixture through the strainer, if necessary. Transfer thermometer to the new bowl. Allow mixture to cool to 140°F / 60°C, about 5 minutes.
  5. At this point pour the mixture into a blender, or leave in the bowl if using an immersion blender. Add half of the butter and blend, then add second half of the butter and blend for an additional 30 seconds or so, until mixture is completely smooth.
  6. Pour the lemon cream into the baked crust and allow to set for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. Decorate as desired, dust with powdered sugar, or leave as is.

NOTES:

Although this recipe may seem lengthy and entailed, it's quite simple, especially if you separate it into a "crust" day and a "filling" day. The unbaked pâte sablée will keep well covered in the fridge for up to a week, or a month in the freezer.

Calories

511.91

Fat (grams)

34.15

Sat. Fat (grams)

19.79

Carbs (grams)

47.48

Fiber (grams)

0.89

Net carbs

46.58

Sugar (grams)

32.22

Protein (grams)

6.01

Sodium (milligrams)

331.90

Cholesterol (grams)

211.17
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 8 servings and does not include toppings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_4714.jpg

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Some people are adverse to the word healthy.  Don't be one of those people.  Oh, but what I would give to have a little slice of this pie right now, healthy or not!  Actually, I wouldn't give much.  But that doesn't mean I don't want it.  Yes, Whole30January is still happening.  It has gotten easier in recent days...but you can ask my mom who is doing it with me if that's a true statement.  So here is yet another recipe you can make and eat in my stead.  Please, for my sanity.  Just don't tell me how delicious it is.  I like to ask the people around me who are eating delicious nonWhole30food to tell me how disgusting it is.  It almost make me feel better.  Won't you be glad when Whole30January is over so you won't have to hear any more of my sardonic complaining?  Yes ok, on to this nutritious pie that somehow tastes like dessert!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

12-16 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans white beans or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (navy, great northern, cannellini)

  • 1 cup oats or ground flax seeds

  • 1/4 cup applesauce or oil

  • 3 Tbsp oil (if you are not using applesauce, that would be a scant 1/2 cup oil total)

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 3 tsp stevia powder

  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chunks, plus more for sprinkling

Directions:

Oven 350 Fahrenheit.  Greased 8 or 9 inch pie pan.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth.  Stir in chocolate chips. 

Scrape dough into prepared pan and sprinkle with additional chocolate chips. 

Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes.  Allow to cool before slicing and serving. 

Jenny's Notes:

This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and nut free.

I adapted this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie.  She is very good about giving lots of options if you are gluten-free, vegan, have a nut allergy, etc.  I simply narrowed it down to my favorite combination of ingredients from her options, and preferred amount of sweetener so that it tastes like dessert without giving in to your sugar dragon too much. 

Feel free to add more sugar if you feel the need! 

If for whatever reason your batter comes out too thick or thin, (didn't drain the beans as much, the applesauce brand you use is soupier, etc.) you can add more oats or flax to thicken, or applesauce, maple syrup, or milk to thin. 

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Caramel Toffee Cheesecake

Happy Thanksgiving!  I am thankful for so many things.  One of those things is cheesecake.  You know how they say actions speak louder than words?  Well, instead of talking about how much I love cheesecake and how thankful I am for it, I'm going to share a recipe with you...that's an action, right?  Then in turn you can make it, and then you acted on your thankfulness too.  This is such a great plan let's go! 

Caramel Toffee Cheesecake

Serves about 12-16

Ingredients:

For the Toffee Crust

  • 3 cups crushed graham crackers, or about 2 packages
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits, plain or with chocolate
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 6 oz bitter-sweet chocolate, chopped

For the Filling

  • 3 8oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce (To make homemade caramel, halve this recipe here)
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

For the Topping

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup or sugar
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/4 cup toffee bits

Directions:

Oven 300 Fahrenheit.  Line a 10 in. spring-form pan with parchment paper.

Make the Toffee Crust

Combine graham crackers, toffee, brown sugar, and butter.  Press firmly into the prepared spring-form pan, pressing all the way up the sides.  Sprinkle chopped chocolate evenly over bottom of the crust. 

Bake for 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted.  Remove from the oven and spread chocolate evenly with a spatula.  Place crust in freezer while you make the filling.

Make the Filling

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar on low-medium speed for a few minutes.  Add vanilla and caramel.  Beat in the eggs until just combined. 

Pour over the crust and bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until edges are set and center is still jiggly when lightly shaken. 

Turn off the oven and crack the door, leaving the cheesecake to continue to set for another 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool another 30 minutes.

Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 6 hours or overnight.

Make the Topping

When the cheesecake is ready, beat the whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks form.  Add the maple syrup and beat until stiff peaks form. 

Pipe whipped cream onto the cheesecake, or if you don't have piping bags or tips, simply spread it on with a spatula. 

Warm your caramel in a small saucepan and drizzle all over the cheesecake with a spoon or spatula.  Sprinkle with toffee and chill until ready to serve.

Jenny's Notes:

Cheesecakes require a decent amount of beating, however, avoid beating on high speeds as you don't want to incorporate too much air into the batter. 

You may also use a 8 in. spring-form pan for this recipe, you will just have extra batter left over for a smaller cheesecake.

Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Whipped Cream

Shortbread crust.  A layer of creamy peanut butter filling.  Topped with a mountain of chocolate whipped cream.  And chocolate shavings.  Because, we're so fancy, you already know.  Did I mention No-Bake?

I first made this pie with a pretzel crust.  The salty sweetness really off-set the creamy full-bodied mouth feel of the layers well.  Yes, sometimes I describe dessert and food like wine.  It just works so well.  But if you ever catch me saying "I prefer the '98 vintage of this cheesecake" or something along that line, I might have taken it too far.  Ew, rancid cheesecake.  Anyway...

The next time I made this pie was in Italy.  Pretzels do exist here, but they have a very strange texture.  Think pretzels that went stale and chewy and then got so stale they got crispy again, almost. But still a little chewy.  And don't chop well in a food processor. It took over 8 minutes to get them partly broken up.  The crust was still good, but it looked more like a bird's nest of pretzel sticks than a uniform crust.  

Oh hey, Thanksgiving pie.  And there is Lucia the poinsettia in the background.  Good times, good times.

Oh hey, Thanksgiving pie.  And there is Lucia the poinsettia in the background.  Good times, good times.

Regardless, all the Americans in Italy are so peanut butter deprived that everyone loved it.  In fact, two days later was Thanksgiving and it was requested of me to make and bring this pie to Thanksgiving dinner.  Not pecan pie.  Not pumpkin pie.  Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Whipped Cream.  With a delicious but slightly strange looking crust.  

When I made the pie this time, I used shortbread cookies with great success.  The Italian supermarkets have practically a whole aisle devoted to all their different kinds of shortbread cookies, called frollini.  A nice big 800g bag for 1.5-2.5 euros?  Hehe don't mind if I do.  Shortbread with cream, with chocolate and stars, with buckwheat, with almond, with almond and chocolate, with hazelnut, stuffed with apricot, stuffed with chocolate, with coarse sugar, with egg, chocolate drops...just to name a few. 

Someday I will share with you the pretzel crust, but when I have access again to pretzels that behave in a food processor and get can get some decent photos.  But until then, get your hands on some shortbread cookies.  You could make some homemade (classic shortbread consists of just 3 ingredients: flour, butter, sugar) or if you're in the States buy some Sandie's shortbread cookies or something similar. 

Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

For the Shortbread Crust

  • 15 shortbread cookies
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted

For the Peanut Butter Filling

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone or cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

For the Chocolate Whipped Cream

  • 100g or roughly 4 oz good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • Extra chocolate in bar form, for chocolate shavings

Directions:

Make the Chocolate Whipped Cream First

Place a small amount of water in a pan and place on the stove over low heat.  Place chocolate and whipping cream in a bowl that will rest on the pan but without touching the water.  This is a make shift double-boiler.  Feel free to use a real double boiler if you have one. 

Gently stir until chocolate is mostly melted.  Remove from heat and continue stirring until chocolate is completely melted.  Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. 

Make the Shortbread Crust

In a food processor, pulse cookies until they become crumbly.  Add butter and pulse until smooth and can be pressed into a crust.  Depending on the type of cookies you chose to use, you may need to add a touch more melted butter to ensure the crust will stay together.  Press into a 9 in pie plate and refrigerate.

Make the Peanut Butter Filling

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to another bowl. 

Again, in the bowl of the stand mixer beat mascarpone, peanut butter, and brown sugar together until smooth.  Gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula.  Pour filling over crust and return to the refrigerator. 

Assembly

Once the chocolate cream is cooled, beat with a stand mixer or handheld mixer until stiff peaks form.  Remove pie from the refrigerator and spread or pipe chocolate whipped cream over the top. 

Using a vegetable peeler or knife, shave a chocolate bar over the pie for the finishing touch. 

Jenny's Notes:

Try using Nutella or Biscoff spread instead of peanut butter.  YUM.

Adapted from Cooking Channel

Nutter Butter Pie

Who doesn't love Nutter Butter cookies?  They remind me of chocolate fondue and my Aunt Cathy.  My mom didn't buy them growing up so I never really knew what I was missing out on.  Except when we would go over my aunt's house and on the special occasion when a fondue was involved for a holiday or bonfire, she always had Nutter Butters as one of the dipping tools.  And they were my favorite.  Are my favorite.  Whatever, they're peanut butter cookies.  #inmyeyesyoudonowrong.  I don't even think we had fondue that much, but there must have been one glorious time with Nutter Butters, and the rest is history.  Anyway, moral of the story is, Nutter Butters are delicious.  This pie really lets them shine through, with most of the flavor and sweetness coming from the cookies themselves. 

Nutter Butter Pie

Ingredients:

For the crust

  • 20 Nutter Butter cookies
  • 5 Tbsp butter, melted

For the filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup marshmallow fluff
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 12 Nutter Butter cookies, crushed

For the topping

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar

For the drizzle

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions:

Make the crust

Oven 350 Fahrenheit.

In a food processor pulse the Nutter Butter cookies until mostly fine crumbs.  Add the butter and pulse until thoroughly combined.  Press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 in pie pan.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges start to turn golden.  Allow to cool completely.

Make the filling

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat cream cheese for about a minute until light.  Add marshmallow fluff and peanut butter and beat until smooth.  Transfer to another bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold 1/3 of whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, repeat two more times.  Fold in Nutter Butter cookies.  Pour and spread over cooled crust.

Make the topping

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.   Gently spread over cream cheese filling.

Make the drizzle

In a small bowl or piping bag, heat peanut butter for about 30 seconds in a microwave or until it is thin enough to drizzle.  If heated in a bowl, use a spoon to drizzle over pie; if using a piping bag, snip off the very tip of the bag and drizzle over pie.

Cover and chill pie in fridge for at least two hours before serving, ideally.  But we don't live in an ideal world, and if you can't wait that long, it will hold together if you cut into it immediately.  But I always follow the directions and chill for the recommended time, so how would I know that? heh. heh. heh.

Jenny's Notes:

Which is better, natural soupy peanut butter or the stiff peanut butter, like Jif?  Most recipes will tell you to use the stiff kind, because it emulsifies better (in other words, doesn't separate as easily.)  I like to use natural because it doesn't have the added sugar or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats.  I find that subbing the natural almost always turns out fine, just be careful not to beat more than necessary, as that can sometimes cause the separation.  I'll let you know the recipes that need to use the stiff kind, and then you can use organic.

I adjusted this recipe so that it uses exactly one container of Nutter Butters.  If you're feeling generous, you could buy 2 packages and use more Nutter Butters crushed in the filling, and some crushed on top.  And have some left over for snacking...or fondue...

Adapted from Cookies & Cups

 

No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake

The American Section.  I guess we like our pancakes, Betty Crocker cake mixes, strawberry frosting, and Quaker oats??

The American Section.  I guess we like our pancakes, Betty Crocker cake mixes, strawberry frosting, and Quaker oats??

What do you do when you have 55 days until you move to another country?  Start thinking about all the food items and ingredients you won't be able to eat or buy while you're there.  Naturally.  I started to make a list of such things, and some of the items on there are rather tragic.  No real vanilla extract?  No Oreos, Butterfingers, or other terribly wonderful processed American goodies?  Pretzels only to be found of sketchy tough texture? Weird behaving marshmallows and graham crackers? (No S'mores for this girl.)  Italians also don't understand our fetish for peanut butter.  In all the grocery stores I've been in in Florence, (pobably all of them because they're kinda my happy place) I have only seen Skippy, maybe Peter Pan once, and usually priced about 4-5 euros, roughly $6.  There is a specialty Asian market, Vivi Market, that has an "American" section, and they sell the closest thing to real peanut butter I found.  It's called Calve, made in the Netherlands, but it still has the hydrogenated oil and sugar added to it.  Pumpkin is also a rarity over there.  They make such wonderful pumpkin filled ravioli and pumpkins for carving come out for a couple weeks around Halloween, but to buy a 15 oz can of Libby's pumpkin costs over 4 euro, compared to $1 in the States.  Pumpkin pie, bread, muffins, cake, pudding, only for special occasions, I guess...

Now don't get me wrong, I'm really not that worried about missing American food.  I did just fine for three months last fall, it's just a matter of understanding how different ingredients and substitutions behave in my favorite recipes.  I mean, this is Italy we're talking about.  Home to some of the best food in the world.  But I'm not partial or anything.  I keep a pretty good cover, though; you can't tell how much I love the food by the way I skip home from the super market with my arms full of pasta and heart bursting, waltz past the shelves of Nutella, guzzle acqua frizzante (sparkling water), double fist the cones of gelati, or giggle as I sweep the tubs of mascarpone that are cheaper than milk off the shelves.  Nope.  Not even around Christmas time when all the different kinds of panettoni started filling the shelves and Jenny's shopping cart.  I'm happy just thinking about all this wonderful food and its potential, but right now I am in the States, and I'm going to bake something I won't be able to for awhile.  Something with Oreos.  Lots of Oreos.  Or not bake, because this is a super easy no-bake cheesecake.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of this cheesecake before my family started devouring it.  And continued eating it as I was trying to take photos.  But at least it was well received, right? 

No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake

Serves about 12

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 16-18 Oreos
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 24 oz (3 8 oz packages) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 24 Oreos, coarsely chopped (or more)
  • 6-8 Oreos, coarsely chopped, for the top (or more!)

Directions:

Make the Crust:

In a food processor, pulse Oreos until crumbs.  Add butter and pulse until combined.  Press into a 9 in. tart pan, pie tin, or springform pan.  Freeze while you make the filling.

Make the Filling:

In the bowl of stand mixer or with an electric mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks appear.  Set aside.

Beat cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric mixer until lighter and fluffier.  Beat in sugar.  Fold in 24 chopped Oreos, then gently fold in whipped cream. 

Remove crust from the freezer.  Pour in filling and smooth the top.  Sprinkle with remaining chopped Oreos and place in fridge until completely chilled, about 2 hours. 

Jenny's Notes:

Two packages of Oreos are needed for this recipe.  But you could squeeze by on one if you used half Oreos and half graham crackers for the crust.  You'll need about 1 1/4 cups of crumbs for the crust, then add an extra 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder to make it just as a chocolatey as if you used all Oreos, if you wish. 

White Russian Tart

Mmmmm I love me a White Russian.  Or a Black Russian.  Or you can just give me the Kahlua.  But you know what I love more?  This tart.  Not to mention it is raw, gluten-free, refined-sugar free, and somehow delicious.  Nah I'm just kidding, there a lot of really delicious healthier desserts and foods out there, but the ones that aren't so much tend to get the attention and give the above labels a bad rap. 

When I'm experimenting and trying new recipes in the "healthy" department (as defined by trying to limit refined-sugars or flours, using a vegetable or bean or something that doesn't normally go in that there fudge brownie) I look for the 3 different categories of reactions from my tasters.  I tend to like some very strange things so I can't always judge by whether I like it or not...  Unsweetened cocoa powder by the spoonful, anyone??

  1. The category of "This is honest deliciousness."  When people ask for a recipe or have no idea that there are chickpeas or spinach powder hidden in what they're eating.  Something a normal or even picky eater would eat. 
  2. The category of "It's good for a healthy dessert!"  So it's palatable and they're not gagging, but most would still take a slice of cheesecake over it.  
  3. The category of "I would rather just eat a salad."  If I'm tempted to remedy the taste by adding cups and cups of maple syrup, then when that isn't strong enough, real sugar, it's probably beyond saving.  I know it's bad if I don't even like it.  No worries, those recipes won't come anywhere near this blog. 

This tart is a solid category 1.  Even my mom and brother approved this, and they keep me pretty honest when it comes to healthy desserts. 

I bounce back and forth between decadent desserts and healthier desserts.  I have a love and respect for both, and each have their place and time.  Some days it's honey, nuts, and coconut oil, and other days it's sugar, heavy whipping cream, and butter.  Variety is the spice of life.  Today, it's dates, avocado, and mascarpone.

White Russian Tart

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups almonds
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 8-10 dates
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Chocolate Vodka Cream

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (virgin, unrefined)
  • 1 Tbsp finely ground coffee beans
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vodka
  • 1 tsp rum or Kahlua (of course the Kahlua option adds sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Mascarpone Cream

  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Make the Crust

In a food processor, combine almonds and coconut and pulse until small crumbles.  Add dates, vanilla, cocoa powder, and salt.  Process until well combined. 

Press into the bottom of a 8 or 9 inch spring-form pan or pie plate.

Make the Chocolate Vodka Cream

Heat coconut oil in small pan over low heat until liquefied.  Combine the melted coconut oil, coffee, avocado, cocoa powder, vodka, rum or Kahlua, and maple syrup in a food processor until smooth.  Stop and scrape down sides and bottom occasionally.  Spread over crust and place in freezer for about 30 minutes.

Make the Mascarpone Cream

Shortly before taking tart out of the freezer, combine mascarpone, maple syrup, and vanilla in a small bowl.  Take the tart out of the freezer and spread mascarpone mixture over it.  Place in fridge for about 2 hours before serving.   

Jenny's Notes:

This tart is not very sweet and really lets the mascarpone shine through.  However, if you or your guests prefer things a little on the sweeter side, feel free to add more maple syrup in either of the creams. 

Also, I like to use black cocoa powder in this recipe.  Sounds ghastly, but it's the stuff of Oreos.  (I didn't know the flavor of Oreo was supposed to be chocolate until I was an adult, but they get their unique flavor from black cocoa.)  If you can get your hands on it, it's really great.  I usually order it from Amazon. 

Adapted from The Clean Dish

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Icebox Pie

Serves 10-12

A day late and a dollar short on pi day, I know.  But hear me out! If 3/14 is pi day, do you know what comes after the .14? That's right.  .1415.  Emphasis on the 15, because that's today.  Pie the food is so great it should get two days of recognition anyway. There, there, pie, I didn't forget about you.  But you didn't come here to listen to me ramble, you're probably here because you love pie, or blueberries, or math, or all of the above.  Moving on, before this post accidentally ends up on 3/16.

This is a simple recipe, fairly quick and delicious to eat!  The only baking required is for the crust.  Great for summer time, especially when blueberries are in season.

Blueberry Icebox Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 sleeve graham crackers
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen and thawed)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin, or 1 1/4-oz packet
  • 16 oz. cream cheese (2 blocks), room temperature
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a food processor, process graham crackers until fine.  Alternately, you can always crush them with a rolling pin on a cutting board or in a seal-able plastic bag. Add melted butter and pulse until graham cracker crumbs hold together some.  Press into a 9 in. spring form pan or pie plate.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Purée 1 1/2 cups of the blueberries in a food processor or blender.  Add lemon juice. 

Transfer to a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over the surface.  Let sit for 10 minutes.

Place blueberry mixture on the stove over medium-low, heating until gelatin has just dissolved. Remove from heat.

In a bowl with electric beaters or with a stand mixer, beat cream cheese for about a minute.  Add condensed milk.  On low speed, slowly add blueberry mixture.  Increase speed and beat until smooth.

Pour over baked crust, top with remaining blueberries, and chill until set. 

To serve, garnish with fresh mint, if desired.

Jenny's Note:  This can also be frozen, perfect for the hottest of summer days.  Just let set at room temperature for about 10 minutes before slicing.
Disclaimer on the ahem, er, photography.  It can only get better from here, right?

Disclaimer on the ahem, er, photography.  It can only get better from here, right?

And do you know what number comes after 3.1415? Yep. 926.  And guess what? I was writing this post at 9:26.  Oh yes, I went there.  Enjoy your pi. I mean, pie.

And here is a pie chart to go with your pie on the day after pi.  Sincerely, Jenny Leslie Knope Morris.

Recipes Currently Waiting to be Made

Recipe adapted from Self