Recipe: Russian Fish Pie aka Coulibiac

This recipe comes from ‘Elegant Food’ by Valerie Childs

From 1988, published by Gallery Books in NYC. It’s a huge cookbook, and I mean big! It’s some large format coffee table style book, size 10×14”, and a thickness of 256 pages, with sweeping full page color photos of many of the dishes.

The recipe suggests being served with a vegetable and a hollandaise sauce. I did not serve it with a sauce, but I can see how a nice sauce would be a classy addition to this stacked, free form pie. This sauce is what I will make the next time I make this pie.

Russian Fish Pie, known as “Coulibiac”

  • 1.5 lbs fresh or frozen salmon
  • 1 T. chopped parsley, fresh
  • 3 c. button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 eggs hard boiled, sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 recipe double pie crust
  • 1 egg white

Brown Butter Cream Sauce (optional)

  • 4 T. butter
  • 3 T. potato starch or corn starch
  • 1 c. cream or milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • dash ground white pepper
  • salt to taste

Instructions

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake salmon with butter and lemon in foil or parchment sealed tight for about 25 minutes. Remove bones and skin and flake. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Saute mushrooms until carmelized.

Roll out crust into a large rectangle. 12 x 10” or so on cooking sheet.

Arrange half the salmon in the center. add layer of sliced hard-boiled egg, top with mushrooms, more hard boiled egg slices, and the remainder of the salmon.

Fold pastry crust around salmon, seal on top and fold edges.

Brush with egg white.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from heat. Serving this pie with a sauce is a good idea, I include a recipe below, but one could use any sauce you want, or none at all.

Prepare sauce while baking.

Sauce Preparation:

Heat butter, cook at low heat until golden and foamy, stir regularly. Remove from heat.

Mix cream with potato starch in a medium sized bowl, whisk until smooth, add egg yolk and white pepper. Whisk until smooth.

Slowly stir cream mixture into butter, whisk until smooth and combined.

Return pan to medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.

Pour sauce into serving vessel or a bowl with a ladle.

Serve with Fish Pie.

Recipe: Pear Pie with Red Wine and Rosemary

I thought this pie would be really loose given the wine and the pear combo, but instead the pear pieces were suspended in a thick solid purple custard of red wine and rosemary. It was kind of sci-fi, but it may have been a mistake on my part in the interpretation of the recipe. Reducing wine has produced mixed results for me over the years, it’s an admitted weak spot. Was the purple about healing our nation during a contentious election or maybe honoring Prince? Who knows?

Note: in retrospect, I believe there is an error in the original recipe, I don’t think it is supposed to have both flour and corn starch in the filling.

THE ORIGINAL RECIPE IS LINKED HERE. IT WAS IN AN ISSUE OF BON APPETITE THAT I BOUGHT BACK IN 2013: HTTP://WWW.BONAPPETIT.COM/RECIPE/PEAR-PIE-WITH-RED-WINE-AND-ROSEMARY

  • Double Pie Crust recipe
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1¾ cups dry red wine, divided
  • 2 T. butter, cut into pieces
  • 5 tsp. cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 5 tsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 pounds firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored, sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten to blend
  • 3 T. granulated sugar or raw sugar

Instructions

Make crust for double pie recipe, divide into two balls, cover. Roll out one ball and line bottom of pie pan.

Whisk egg yolks, vinegar, and ½ cup ice water in a small bowl. Drizzle half of egg mixture over flour mixture and, using a fork, mix gently just until combined. Add remaining egg mixture and mix until dough just comes together (you will have some unincorporated pieces).

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, flatten slightly, and cut into quarters. Stack pieces on top of one another, placing unincorporated dry pieces of dough between layers, and press down to combine. Repeat process twice more (all pieces of dough should be incorporated at this point). Form dough into two 1”-thick disks. Wrap in plastic; chill at least 1 hour.

DO AHEAD: Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled, or freeze up to 3 months.

filling and assembly

Bring granulated sugar, rosemary, and 1½ cups wine to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about ⅔ cup, 5–8 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Whisking constantly, gradually add butter and whisk until syrup is smooth.

Whisk cornstarch, cinnamon, 5 tsp. flour, and remaining ¼ cup wine in a small saucepan set over medium heat; cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Slowly add syrup, whisking until smooth, then stir in vanilla and salt. Chill until cool, about 30 minutes.

Place a rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 375°. Toss pears and red wine syrup in a large bowl. Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 14” round. Transfer to a 9” pie dish. Lift up edges and allow dough to slump down into dish. Trim, leaving about 1” overhang. Pour filling into crust and chill.

Meanwhile, roll out remaining disk of dough into a 14” round. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut into twelve 1”-wide strips. Arrange 6 strips crosswise across top of pie, spacing about 1” apart.

Arrange remaining 6 strips lengthwise across top of pie, lifting crosswise strips and weaving lengthwise strips over and under to form a lattice. Brush edge of dough with beaten egg and press ends of strips and bottom crust together to seal. Trim strips to same length as bottom crust, then fold bottom crust over lattice strips; crimp edge. Brush crust with beaten egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Chill in freezer 15 minutes.

Place pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°, rotate pie, and continue baking, tenting with foil if crust is browning too quickly, until juices are bubbling and crust is golden brown, 60–75 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 4 hours before slicing.

Recipe: Herbed Ricotta Tart

This was the alternative to the tomato tart. Since I do not eat tomatoes, an alternative was required!

Here’s the link to the original recipe, I like this David Leibovitz guy so far, every recipe I’ve tried has turned out: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/ 2009/08/herbed-ricotta-tart/ The recipe says it’s adapted from Local Flavors: Cooking & Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets by Deborah Madison. Okay.

  • 8 oz spring onions (I forgot these)
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. herb de provence
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. half & half
  • 2 ounces spicy salami, diced
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper
  • One unbaked tart dough (see recipe, below)

Instructions

1. Slice the spring onions into 1/2-inch pieces. Melt the butter in a skillet and cook over medium heat, seasoning with a bit of salt and pepper, until tender and cooked through. When you remove it from the heat, stir in the fresh thyme and let cool to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C)

3. In a large bowl, crumble ricotta, then mix in the egg, cream, half & half, salami, and a bit more salt and pepper along with the onions.

4. Scrape the filling into the tart shell and bake until just set and slightly-browned on top, 20-30 minutes.

5. Let the tart cool briefly, then serve either warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle fresh thyme leaves over the top of the tart before serving.

Tart Dough

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 4 1/2 ounces (125 g) butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 T cold water

1. Make the dough by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and use your hands, or a pastry blender, to break in the butter until the mixture has a crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.

2. Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of the water. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg mixture, stirring the mixture until the dough holds together. If it’s not coming together easily, add the additional tablespoon of water.

3. Gather the dough into a ball and roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, adding additional flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.

4. Once the dough is large enough so that it will cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides, roll the dough around the rolling pin then unroll it over the tart pan. Press pastry firmly with your fingertips a few times, pressing in to make indentations.

Recipe: French Tomato Tart

We were generously gifted some beautiful Yakima tomatoes, so this tart was a must. I usually like this guy’s recipes, but I don’t eat tomatoes, so Shane attests it was grand, here is the original link: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/05/french-tomato-tart-recipe/

Tomato Tart Filling

  • One unbaked tart crust (recipe below)
  • Dijon or whole-grain mustard
  • 2-3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • two generous tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, chives, chervil, or tarragon ( I used rosemary & chives from the yard)
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, sliced into rounds
  • Optional: 1 1/2 T. honey or olive oil (I drizzled both honey and olive oil on the tart)

Tart Dough

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 4 1/2 ounces butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-3 T. cold water

Instructions

1. Make the dough by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and use your hands, or a pastry blender, to break in the butter until the mixture has a crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.

2. Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of the water. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg mixture, stirring the mixture until the dough holds together. If it’s not coming together easily, add the additional tablespoon of cold water.

3. Gather the dough into a ball and roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, adding additional flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.

4. Once the dough is large enough so that it will cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides, roll the dough around the rolling pin then unroll it over the tart pan. Press the pastry firmly with your fingertips a few times, pressing in to make indentations.

If making a freestyle tart, simply transfer the dough to a prepared baking sheet (see headnote); no need to make indentations with your fingers.

5. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC).

6. Spread an even layer of mustard over the bottom of the tart dough and let it sit a few minutes to dry out.

7. Slice the tomatoes and arrange them over the mustard in a single, even layer. Drizzle the olive oil over the top.

8. Sprinkle with some chopped fresh herbs, then arrange the slices of goat cheese on top. Add some more fresh herbs, then drizzle with some honey, if using.

(If baking a free-form tart, gather the edges when you’re done, to envelope the filling.)

9. Bake the tart for 30 minutes or so, until the dough is cooked, the tomatoes are tender, and the cheese on top is nicely browned. Depending on the heat of your oven, if the cheese doesn’t brown as much as you’d like it, you might want to pass it under the broiler until it’s just right.

 

Bobotie – A South African Meat Pie

From the link in which this recipe came: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Bobotie-South-African-Meat-Pie 

I almost feel uncomfortable describing bobotie as a type of meat loaf, because it’s so much more than that. A Cape Town specialty and one of South Africa’s best-known dishes, it generally consists of spiced meat—normally beef, sometimes lamb—mixed with chutney and tamarind paste and milk-soaked bread, poured into a dish, topped with a custard of egg and milk, and baked until it’s golden on top. The dish’s origins go back to the mid-17th century, when the first Malay slaves were brought to the Cape of Good Hope, and with them, their cooking. At the same time Dutch colonizers brought a taste for sweet things—hence the golden raisins mixed in with the meat; Indian immigrants, who began arriving in the late 19th century, contributed warming curry spices, giving rise to the classically Cape Malay balancing act between sour, spicy, sweet, and savory flavors that makes bobotie so satisfying. Often almonds are part of the recipe, and even bananas, but there are limits to what you can do and still call it bobotie. I believe the traditional way is the best way. —Reuben Riffel, chef-owner of the Reuben’s restaurants in South Africa

  • 2 oz. Asian tamarind paste
  • 2 slices square white sandwich bread
  • 12 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 lb. ground lamb shoulder (I used ground lamb)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 14 cup sliced almonds (I omitted this)
  • 3 tbsp. golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Break tamarind paste into small pieces and place in a small bowl; cover with 12 cup boiling water, and let sit until soft, about 30 minutes. Massage and stir paste and water together with your fingers until paste dissolves; pour through a fine strainer into a bowl, and set tamarind juice aside. Meanwhile, tear bread into small pieces and place in a small bowl; cover with 14 cup milk and let sit until bread soaks up milk; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; add lamb, and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned all over and all moisture evaporates, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside. Return skillet to heat along with butter, and add onions and garlic; cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder and sugar, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes; transfer to bowl with lamb along with reserved tamarind juice, soaked bread, 3 tbsp. almonds, raisins, lemon juice and zest, and 1 egg. Season with salt and pepper, and mix until evenly combined. Transfer to a 9″ deep-dish pie plate, and spread evenly over the bottom.

Heat oven to 375°. Whisk together remaining milk and egg in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, and pour over meat mixture in dish. Bake until custard is set on top, golden brown, and meat mixture is heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining almonds; let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Apple and Sausage Pie

This recipe is a redo, and so rather than just link to the original recipe, I wanted to note the changes. This recipes comes from: http://www.pepinheights.com/apple-info/recipes/index.php/recipes_main/show/4 

  • Single crust , unbaked
  • 1/2 pound sweet sausage
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 apple – peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • salt
  • 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Make single pie crust, roll out and line pie pan.

Remove the sausage from it’s casing and crumble‚ saute over medium heat‚ drain.

In a separate skillet, heat 1 T. butter and saute the apple until just softened.

Combine egg yolks and egg with cream and a pinch of salt.

Place sausage in bottom of pie. Arrange apple on top of sausage and distribute cheese evenly over apple.

Pour the egg mixture over everything.

Bake for 50-60 minutes‚ until pie is somewhat firm.

Cool for a few minutes, but serve warm.

 

Navy Bean Pie

I found this recipe looking for out-of-the-ordinary pies, I understand it is a traditional Muslim dessert, and not unlike pumpkin pie but with more texture. Here is the link to the original recipe, and reprinted below: http://www.food.com/recipe/navy-bean-pie-muslim-184372

  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. evaporated milk
  • 2 c. cooked and mashed navy beans (about 1 c. when dry)
  • 3⁄4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cloves

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine eggs and evaporated milk in a bowl.

Add beans, sugar and all spices.

Beat at low speed of a mixer until well blended.

Pour into unbaked pie shell.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve warm with whipped cream or you can even enjoy it cold.

Day 3 of the Nine Days Of Pie, 2016 edition

Day 3 Pies:

There’s a lot to be said for taking time off the j.o.b. for this. I had all three pies done or at least baking by 7 pm. AND i had most of the dishes washed!

The focus on art continued today as Roger Hayes came by for open studio this afternoon to work with Shane in his studio. The two of them were busy down there, I could hear banter and launching and periods of silence and machinery and the compressor, I have not been down there yet tonight to see the results, but they were hard at work earlier when I stopped down to visit a few hours in. 

Meanwhile, the pies just seemed to go along, though adjustments were made here and there.

Sally, Roger’s wife and also an accomplished artist, was next to arrive. Roger and Sally live literally around the corner from us, but we almost never get to spend time with together. Roger announced to us this was his first ay as a gentle of leisure, so perhaps we will see more them. Hopefully.

The next knock on the door brought Bill with his daughter Emily, they are our staples of Nine Days of Pie, which is really nice. Almost like having family.  We were all enjoying pie, even Emily liked the chicken pie, which is a big compliment from a 13-year-old! Then another knock brought Lila from over the river with her friend Jeff. They enjoyed a variety of pie and were soon as stuffed as the rest of us. When they arrived we had nine different pies on the table! I think Lila’s friend was a bit overwhelmed by the absurdity of the event.

We all enjoyed conversation about everything from art, to the madness of the election, DNA tests, secret family members, and we pondered the vast differences of people in various parts of America. What I am saying is, another perfect day!

I must say, Nine Days of Pie 2016 has been really stupendous so far. Tomorrow is another day and I don’t want to get cocky with 6 more days to go!

A merry Nine Days Of Pie to all and to all a good night!

Pineapple Pie

Every Nine Days of Pie I swear I am going to make a pineapple pie and every year it gets edged out of the running. I actually found a can of crushed pineapple in the cabinet that expired in 2015 that I know I bought for this very purpose. Of course once I decided this was the year, then I could not find the recipe I was looking for. 

The recipe I used comes from ‘Sunset Cook Book of Desserts’ published 1979.

  • 1 medium Pineapple (I used 3 c. crushed pineapple from cans)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 T. each grated lemon peel and lemon juice (I used orange)
  • double crust pie recipe

Instructions

Trim and peel pineapple, core. Cut fruit into bite size pieces (or open cans and drain juice.)

Beat eggs, four, sugar, lemon peel and juice,, blend with pineapple. Line 9-inch pie pan with pastry fill with pineapple filling. Cover with top crust, seal edges. Cut vents for steam. Bake in a hot oven 425 degrees for about 45 minutes, cool before serving.

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Chicken, Ham & Leek Pie

This was a pain in the ass recipe. As I read over the lengthy instructions, I felt really uncomfortable baking the pie and then adding cream and raw eggs to it after it cooked. Maybe I will try it this way some other time, but I opted not to tonight. As I type the recipe, I understand now, it was not supposed to have a bottom crust, which would have made the added cream slightly less disturbing, but it would not have fit the true definition of pie!

It is from a giant cookbook called ‘Elegant Food’ by Valerie Childs, published 1988.

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  • 1 3 lb chicken (I used 1.5 lb of chicken breast)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Parsley stalks (I had to use dry parsley)
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1/4 lb cooked ham in small pieces
  • 1 lb leeks
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 c. chicken stock (made when cooking the chicken)
  • (I added 1 Tb of corn starch)
  • double crust pie recipe
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 egg lightly beaten for glazing

Instructions

Line pie pan with bottom crust.

Put the chicken in large saucepan together with onion, bay leaf, parley, and salt and pepper. Cover with cold water and bring gently to a boil. Allow to simmer about 45 minutes until the chicken is tender.

Meanwhile, wash and trim the leeks cut them into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Melt putter in a pan and gently sauce leeks for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Remove chicken from broth and cut into good sized chunks. Put chicken, ham, parsley, and leeks into pie pan. Pour 1 cup of the chicken stock over.**

(Here’s where I deviated from the recipe by sprinkling a tablespoon of cornstarch over chicken. **I also added the cream and egg to the cup of chicken stock instead of adding it later.)

Roll out pastry for top crust. cover pie and seal edges. Cut slits for steam to escape.

Bake for 15 minutes in 400 degrees, then remove pie from oven and brush top with egg. Return to oven for an additional 20 minutes.

The recipe says to remove the pie from oven and “carefully lift a segment of pastry and pour in cream and leftover beaten egg.

Loveless Pecan Pie

I found this website while searching for unusual pies, their Elvis pie sounded intriguing but in the end, I went with the amazingly creamy looking Pecan Pie they offered, the photo was unbelievable. While it was amazing, it did not look anything like the one in their picture, but admittedly, I did overcook it just a tad trying to get that crust to brown up a bit.

Here is the link to their website: http://lovelesscafe.com/recipes/desserts/pies-cobblers/loveless-pecan-pie

  • 1 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 c. pecan pieces
  • 1 10-inch pie crust

Instructions

Mix first six ingredients together with wire whisk until smooth. Place pecans in pie shell. Pour custard mix over nuts and bake at 375 F for 30 minutes or until filling puffs and rises above the edges of the pie shell. Carefully remove pie from oven and let cool completely before serving.

2 am Monday Morning 11-9-15

The Nine Days of Pie has kicked my ass! I have lost count of how many pies I have made. Many people have also brought pies, thus far including lemon meringue, mini apple caramel, and paleo pumpkin and cranberry, others brought additional supplies such as butter and fine cream, and wine and crab. Several people have suggested, and after my struggle this year to make enough pie to really allow for pie frenzy, next year may be a full on pie potluck.

It is after 2 am and the last pie of Sunday night is just about to come out of the oven! I have failed miserably with my promised daily posts. Not only did I fail to post daily blogs, I did not post recipes either. This leaves me the obvious dilemma of what the hell did I bake on Tuesday? and that sort of thing.

The Nine Days Of Pie the 2015 version has been a wild ride! Pie madness, last minute pie changes, near disasters, and even a pie heckler made for the most insane Nine Days of Pie ever!

Full pie list, recipes, and a recap coming soon…

 

Yarnall Family’s Fyrstekake

This came from Bon Appetite (Link at bottom of page). It had cardamom in a strong role, so it caught my attention in a big way!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, preferably freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. whole milk or heavy cream

Filling And Assembly

  • Unsalted butter (for pan)
  • 2 c. slivered almonds
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cardamom, preferably freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk

Special Equipment

  • A 9-inch-diameter fluted tart pan with removable bottom; decorative cookie cutters

 

Directions:

Crust

  • Whisk flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and sugar in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg yolk and milk. With mixer running on low speed, gradually add dry ingredients and beat just until thoroughly combined.
  • Pat dough into a ball; break off one-quarter of dough. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten balls into disks. Cover separately and chill dough disks for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Filling And Assembly

  • Butter tart pan. Break larger dough disk into small pieces and scatter over bottom of tart pan. Using your fingertips, press dough onto bottom and up sides of pan. Use the flat bottom of a measuring cup to smooth the surface and trim the edges. Roll out smaller dough disk to about 1/8 inches thick. Using decorative cookie cutters, cut out shapes and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover and chill crust and cutouts for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse almonds, powdered sugar, cardamom, and nutmeg in a food processor until nuts are finely ground. Transfer dry ingredients to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and vanilla in a medium bowl until medium peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into dry ingredients.
  • Whisk egg yolk and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl to blend. Fill chilled crust with almond mixture; smooth top. Arrange cutouts on top and brush cutouts with egg wash.
  • Bake tart until crust and cutouts are golden brown and filling is set, 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. DO AHEAD: Tart can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
  • Recipe by Rachel Sanders, http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/yarnall-family-s-fyrstekake

Pecan Pie 2015 – The Good One

Pecan Pie, Based on a recipe in Time Life Books ‘Foods of the World’

Single crust pastry, unbaked.

4 eggs

2 c. dark corn syrup (I used 1 c. dark corn syrup and 1 c. Lyons Golden Syrup)

2 T. melted butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract (I used 2)

1 1/2 c. pecans

 

Instructions:

Prepare crust, roll out, and line pie pan.

Beat eggs welling large bowl for about 30 seconds.

Pour in syrup while mixing, beat well.

Add butter and vanilla, mixing well.

Add pecans, still gently and fold into unbaked pie crust.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

Serve warm or room temperature.

Day 8: Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015

Day 8 Pies:

  • Chicken Spinach Pie
  • Raspberry Pie
  • Blueberry & Blackberry Paleo Pie (not very good)
  • Pumpkin & Cranberry (brought by Angela)

Sunday came much too quickly, but here it was Day 8! Over the years, most Nine Days Of Pie celebrations include two weekends, but not this year and that has made it rather challenging for me. I had planned to make the Aussie Humble Pie, but it when I read the recipe and saw it took 4.5 hours (Humble? Not so much.) I kept putting it off for the weekend, but now that I read the recipe yet again and more thoroughly, the filling actually needs to sit in the fridge overnight, ugh! SO Chicken Spinach Pie it is..

Our first guest of the evening was a great and total surprise, the amazing artist Roger McKay. We have only gotten to chat with Roger in passing here and there, but at our last run in I was armed with Nine Days Of Pie postcards! This was a wonderful surprise, and I know a real treat for Shane, as he does not often have the chance to spend time with other professional artists, and certainly none here in Astoria! Roger told us he has made a living at art for more than 40 years! He is one of the artists involved in the recent restoration of the Astor Column.

Another knock on the door brought additional Astoria royalty, Elleda & Bruce with Elleda’s awesome cousin Amy! Amy visits Elleda and Bruce every year around this time and we always look forward to seeing them all. Elleda is a well known photographer, and she brought Shane a beautiful and creepy print of an old doll having from a mirror. Perfect!  We all were enjoying pie and a low roar of conversation and laughter when another knock not he door brought us Angela and her son Ruben, they were sporting a beautiful diary, gluten and sugar free pumpkin and cranberry pie. It was a work of art. She told us her son said they HAD TO come because we invented out own holiday!!!

I decided to make a full on Raspberry Pie because no one ever makes raspberry pies, it’s always raspberry and something. And, I never do lattice crust, but there I was latticing it up! I also got daring and attempted a blue and black berry crumble top paleo pie, but it did not turn out very good. And never mind the two great gluten free pies I’d made days before, tonight when I had yet another lousy gluten free pie, our neighbor Sean came by – he and his wife Shannon had experienced the failed sweet potato of day one, but had of course missed the lemon custard and the peanut butter! Thank goodness Angela’s amazing pie was there to save the day!

Angela's Pie saved the day!

Day 7: Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015

Day 7 Pies:

This being Saturday allowed for some slightly more challenging pies than I am able to do on the weeknights. I’d read an interesting article about Key Lime Pie and it’s origins  that came along with a slightly boastful recipe so I was excited to make an authentic key lime pie!  Lucky for me, Shane offered to squeeze all those tiny key limes! And geez, it took the whole bag!

I also decided today would be the perfect day for spanakopita. It takes a while to make AND it makes a lot of pie, so it was perfect for a possible Saturday crowd.

Word came two of our invitees were passing through town and would be coming early. Our invitation for weekends said 5pm, and I had toyed with making it 3 pm, but I felt that made for too long of a day for Shane and I. Of course for Corina and Joe we were willing to make an exception! We met Corina when we lives in a beach shack in Seaview WA, she was our next door neighbor. Eventually, she moved away to California and met Joe, he’s a military guy even worked for what they call a “Private Security firm”, they have an adorable little boy but he did not join us today. Nowadays they live south of Portland, so we don’t get to see them as much as we wish we could. One thing for sure, Corina & Joe are the people I can count on to bring a pie, and this year was no exception, this year they treated us to a mile high Lemon Meringue pie from the famed Cottage Bakery in Long Beach.

Verna and William arrived all the way from Portland, and Verna who is an amazing cook & baker brought some delicious vanilla lavender shortbread cookies. Verna and William are eccentric adventurers and creatives, and they are always a treat to spend time with. William studies fencing, Verna is always climbing some giant hill or mountain, they are a blast! Since we don’t get to spend that much time with them in person, it’s always great to watch their adventures through social media. They could really not be more different than Corina and Joe, and yet there they were all chatting it up, and then our neighbor Bill and daughter Emily stopped by for a spot of pie before Bill’s theater rehearsal and finally, Stephen and Alan joined us once again adding some local flare to the festivities, and offering a near crate of tea.

I’d planned to make an apple pie, an upsidedown apple pie, because Emily likes apple pies and that’s about it (I was the same way at her age), but the pie was not ready before Bill had to depart, so I had to deliver a slice to Emily at home. Emily is a great kid, growing into a great teenager, and any time I can do something nice for her I always like to. Someday the world will know her name, I am pretty certain of that!

In addition, I decided to try a different Pecan Pie recipe, and this time follow it to the letter, the results? A damn good pecan pie! Might have been the Lyle’s Golden Syrup I used from England???

I’d noticed a few days back a little figure appeared in the kitchen, a little Minion guy, then tonight after everyone had left there was a viking fellow with a sword and a cape, and Shane said he had yet another in his office. We pondered where these could be coming from, but we hadn’t a clue….

Real Key Lime Pie

Real Key Lime Pie

Ingredients

Crust:

1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs

1/4 c. firmly packed light brown sugar

1/3 c. butter or margarine, melted

Filling:

2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

1 c. fresh Key lime juice* (This took an entire bag of tiny key limes from the grocery store)

Topping:

2 egg whites

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

2 T. granulated sugar

Preparation

Combine first 3 ingredients. Press into a 9-inch pie plate.

Bake piecrust at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned; cool.

Stir together sweetened condensed milk and lime juice until blended. Pour into prepared crust. Set aside.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer just until foamy.

Add granulated sugar gradually, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until soft peaks form and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes).

Spread meringue over filling.

Bake at 325° for 25 to 28 minutes. Chill 8 hours.

*Bottled Key lime juice may be substituted for fresh juice.

NOTE * I have not, that I can recall made a real Key Lime Pie ever. Shane kindly squeezed an entire bag of key limes for this recipe! In the end, it was a bit too sweet. And I would of course have added vanilla normally, but wanted to make it this time exact to the recipe which I believe was in Southern Living, though I do not have a link.

According to Southern Living… 

No one can pinpoint when lime pie first showed up in the Keys. Developed by early Bahamian settlers, Key lime pie appears to have been around for more than 100 years.

Opinions differ on whether it should contain eggs or even if it should be baked—and that’s just for the filling!

You could probably incite a riot discussing Key lime pie’s topping and crust. Should the topping be made of whipped cream or meringue? Does it call for a graham cracker crust or a pastry crust?

 

Key Lime Pie Basics

Key West locals—“conchs,” as they’re called—do adhere to a few universals for Key lime pie.

  • First, Key lime pie is never green, but rather a natural creamy yellow.
  • it’s always made with small, round key limes,
  • And any Key lime pie worth its weight—and taste—is made with sweetened condensed milk. Never milk. That is because milk was unavailable in the Florida Keys until the 1930s with the opening of the overseas highway when tank trunks carrying ice could get to the region.
  • And after much debate the Key Lime Pie was made Florida’s official pie in 2006.

Day 6, Friday, Nov. 6, 2015

Day 6 Pies:

Friday was upon us, and with that brought a large crowd to our door, tonight we were joined by Cathy Nist, Nik & Jessie (baby free tonight), Sally and Roger, William Ham, Bill Honl and his friend Sheila, Charlotte & Steve made a return visit, as did Stephen and Alan, and Carol Newman who came early and left quick, but made a huge mark on the entire event when she sang a beautiful song to Shane for his birthday. It was so wonderful to watch his face go from amazed to honored to embarrassed back to wondrous amazement! Such a great gift from such a beautiful woman with such a beautiful voice! It was just magical!

With 15 guests for pie, any pie surplus was gone in a jiffy, and soon all eyes were awaiting tonight’s offerings. Cathy brought a pile of rhubarb as a gift, along with two beautiful pounds of butter. Somehow the fresh rhubarb got placed on the top of the oven and soon it was making the house very fragrant. The only problem there was, it wasn’t in a pie! It was just cooking on top of the stove while I baked the Asparagus Tart. I quickly whipped out some strawberries and went to work assembling a quick Rhubarb Strawberry Pie, as the crowd continued to swell I made a quick Buttermilk Pie, but overlooking key instructions it turned out with separated layers. Of course everyone said it “tasted fine”, yeah right. Roger and Sally brought a couple pints of ice cream which helped sooth the sweet tooth beasts in everyone between pies.

Some time back we met a nice lady at a holiday party at the famed Sou’Wester, her name was Kimberly and it turned out she and Shane shared the birthday of November 9th, so it was nice to see her make her way into the kitchen, holding a few sticks of butter and accompanied by her beautiful teenage daughter Sunny. It was an eclectic mix of Astoria, full of a lot of laughs and surreal conversation.

This was a hectic but fun evening, and it is always nice to see different people in our community getting to know each other better.

 

Day 4: Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015

Day 4 Pies:

We made it to Wednesday, Day 4! Every year I make a list of the pies I plan to do and on which day – A Pie Schedule as I call it, and every year the list goes out the window.  But, this year was different, because for the first time ever rather than being disappointed in myself, I realized it is just a helpful guide to stop me from buying supplies for 60 pies, or trying to do too much.

When the porch light was turned on, we were delighted with a visit from our neighbor Bill Honl. We actually met Bill at the Nine Days Of Pie some years back, he came as the guest of one of our favorite community radio personalities, and now I really can’t imagine our life without him! We’ve had good times and bad, Bill became our next door neighbor a while after we first became friends, and it’s always nice to talk with him. He is also a great actor, and we have enjoyed seeing him in a number of local plays over the years, currently he’s rehearsing for a reader’s theater production in which he’ll be playing an old Jewish man in New York. He also did a cool art project over the summer where he invited people to tell him something he doesn’t know, check it out: http://youknowsomethingthatidont.tumblr.com

Soon another knock came upon the door, and it was ….. it was Lisa Marie and Jane! “I brought you a gift” announced Lisa Marie as she entered, and boy did she – The one and only Jane Herrold! I introduced them both to Bill. When Bill said “Nice to meet you” to Jane she retorted, “Yeah, for the millionth time!”. Talk about an ice breaker!

Soon there was a revelation that Bill’s uncle was Jane’s father’s best friend, and we were all dazzled with stories of the two men and their adventures and Uncle Buck’s naughty sense of humor, it was just perfect.

I’d told Shane about my heckling experience, but by this time I’d figured it was it was just me who’d had a bad day, and decided since it’s the Nine Days Of Pie we would not mention anything about it to Lisa Marie if she came by again. There was one stipulation, I didn’t want her to be with me in the kitchen. On this Shane took the immediate lead, and told everyone that I didn’t want anyone in the kitchen tonight, and he would be serving pie. He immediately began serving pie to our guests and everyone seemed happy. With one disaster thwarted headed back into the kitchen to roll my dough and prepare the night’s savory, of course all of the great conversation in the living room had made me lose track of time and my Wagon Wheel Apple Pie’s with the cheddar cheese crusts were a little too well done. Rats!

The French Easter Pie was one of the most unusual and popular savories of last year’s celebration so I was eager to try it again, with one minor change, instead of pork I was using a sweet apple chicken sausage. I prepared the pie and then realized I’d forgotten to boil the eggs so I worked to catch up on that. A knock on our door brought Karri bearing gifts of a wonderfully practical variety – cleaning supplies for the kitchen, and even a pair of new cooling racks!

On this day, I would say the pies were pretty good, everyone enjoyed the second coconut creme pie from yesterday, the repurposed sweet potato which was now rather tasty, and Pear Anise. We dove into the French Easter, which was even better than I remembered with the chicken sausage, but alas the late cooked and still hot eggs had reaped havoc on the pie crust, which melted right off several of the eggs.

The night ended great, with pleasant conversation all around. I felt so pumped up after everyone left, I stayed up and made two peanut butter refrigerator pies for tomorrow, oh but now I stayed up way too late and it is tomorrow…..

Day 3: Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

Day 3 Pies:

Today was a much better day than yesterday. Really how could it get any worse?

I was glad to know Jan Bono would be joining us on this night, she a prolific writer, a retired teacher, and one of my absolute favorite people! Her RSVP meant one thing for sure, No almonds in anything tonight. I woke up early early to make the Coconut Creme Pies before heading out for the day. I based it on a recipe, but it made the the thickest coconut creme pie I have ever seen, it was more like a Coconut Butter Pie. As the festivities neared I made the crusts for the the other two pies, both of which only required a single crust. Tonight I was recreating two favorite pies from previous years as part of a loose retrospective, it would be a Leek & Chèvre Tart for the savory and Pear Anise for the third variety, which was a surprise favorite a while back.

Jan arrived with “Election Pie” in hand, it was after all election day. We enjoyed the Coconut Creme and caught up. Jan always has a grand adventure going, some better than others, it was nice to hear about a recent one – she recently returned from China! You can read about her trip to China here: http://janbonobooks.com/blog/2015/08/25/off-to-china/ Jan has a sharp sense of humor and always says that we make her feel like Lilly Munster! I am not sure if that is good or bad.

In a funny twist of fate, a knock upon the door brought Nik & Jessie and baby Lilly, both attended the school that Jan taught while she was teaching there! Small world! Nik & Jessie are a great young couple we used to live next door to in Seaview WA, Shane performed their marriage ceremony, and they are really like family to us. The also hold the distinction to be the only people to have attended EVERY YEAR of the Nine Days of Pie, they were a our only guests! That’s right, we created the Nine Days of Pie just as a wacky party for ourselves, and it has grown profoundly over the years. That first year I remember vividly eating little fired hand pies of fig and sweet potato pies in Shane’s art studio on the beach while we all made stuff.

Jessie made little round Apple Caramel Pies, with criss cross tops, and they were delicious! Another knock on the door brought Isa, an eclectic woman I’ve met around town but never got to really chat with. This was her second visit to the Nine Days Of Pie and it was enjoyable to get to know her.

Yes, the Nine Days Of Pie will be good times from here on, no more bad days!