Taste&Create Two-fer

October 20, 2011 § 3 Comments

Preview of the noms

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been a bit under the weather…it’s a chronic problem we’re still trying to diagnose, yadda yadda yadda. But I was finally starting to feel better and damned if I didn’t get a nasty virus that laid me up for about a week. Now I finally seem to have beaten that down, so I’m going to blog about a whole buncha stuff and hopefully get a nice backlog of content ready to go.

First and foremost, though, I still owe my Taste&Create for September. I feel so bad about how late it is (almost a month!) — and also I had so much trouble picking just one recipe from The Bad Girl’s Kitchen — that I decided to make two of them: a pear crumb pie, and peanut butter cookies.

First up, the pear pie. This came out delicious…the crumb is outstanding, and I’ll probably substitute it for the crumb on my apple pies in the future, which is decent but not quite as nommy. Instead of the crust recipe included, I used my standard go-to butter pie crust, with the addition of some cinnamon and nutmeg. (This is one of my favorite things about making pie…customizing the pie crust so it accents the flavors in the pie.) I think I’ll try the included recipe next time, but I was getting a little fuzzy around the edges from meds, so decided to stick with what I know this time.

Mmmmmm...pie

The crust recipe I used (note: I made a double batch because I was also making a pecan pie. For a single crust, halve everything.):

  • 1 c. butter
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7-8 Tbsp ice cold water/vodka/rum (this time I used rum, for the flavor)
  • Any additional desired spices/flavoring
When you’re making pie crust, the colder everything can be, the better. I generally just use refrigerated butter, but in deep summer I do throw  it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Also, pre-measure your flour and toss in the freezer for 15 minutes as well.
Cube the butter (remember to keep your fingers off it…body heat from your fingers’ll warm it right up). Add to flour (plus additional flavoring if desired — this time I used about 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg) and combine, either in food processor or with a fork or pie crust tool (I used to do everything by hand, but the food processor is soooo much easier, not to mention faster. If you’re using one, though, be extra careful to work the flour as little as possible). Now begin adding the water or booze (the alcohol will cook out, don’t worry). Start with about 4-5 Tbsp, then leave the processor going (or combine fully) and continue to add 1 Tbsp at a time until you have the correct consistency. In the food processor, that will look like this:

Stop it as it just comes together. If you keep it going, you'll end up with a ball of dough rather than the rather crumby mass you see here, but it completely overworks the dough and will make it very tough)

Grab about half and wrap it in plastic wrap, gently forming a disc. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate for about 1/2 an hour, then roll out on a floured surface or a Magic Dough Pastry Mat (I cannot tell you how much I love this thing). You can refrigerate for longer, but I personally find the dough very difficult to roll out if it gets fully chilled so I prefer to roll at the 30 minute mark, then fold in quarters and re-wrap/re-refrigerate if I’m not ready to make my pie yet.

—————————————————————

Next, the cookies. These are AMAZING, but sadly only made about 2 dozen (so next time, I double the batch 🙂 ). I forgot to fork the last batch (to make the traditional cross-hatch pattern on the top), but it turns out I actually liked those better, because the granulated sugar remained on  more of the surface. I did flatten them after removing from the oven, but I think they would have naturally flattened as they cooled anyhow. I think I might try these with non-nut butters one of these days for my nutter (allergic to nuts — thanks, CarolAnne!) friends.

COOOOOKIEEEEEEE!

Huge, huge apologies to Min, the coordinator of Taste&Create for my tardiness on this — it won’t happen again, I promise! This whole thing is just way too much fun.

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§ 3 Responses to Taste&Create Two-fer

  • Min says:

    Laura,
    Pear Pie is one of my absolute favorites! I am intrigued with your use of RUM in the crust, as well as some spices…why have I not thought of that?? And those cookies are classics. Thanks for following through. I’m glad you’re feeling better!
    Min

  • Eilene Chura says:

    There is nothing that says Fall like a nice warm apple pie. I have found a great way to make this all time favorite even better. Personal peices of pie:) All you do is make your pie as normal but instead of it getting put into a pan to bake you simply put the shell and stuffing into a cupcake pan. Only 6 are allowed at a time for spill over. This way there is no cutting and everyone gets just the right size/hand held peice of apple pie:) Or any other treat you don’t want to spend time cutting!

    • Laura says:

      I love that idea! Do you adjust the baking time at all? I got myself the Breville mini pie maker thingamabob for Christmas last year and one of the things I love about it is that it bakes the wee little pies in about 8 minutes (give or take, depending on the filling).

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