Life is sweeter with pie.
The cool breeze is a nudge from Mother Nature that fall is quickly approaching. Where did the summer go?! Somehow it flew by, and I am not quite ready to move on to the next season.
I’ve been going to the farmer’s market almost every weekend and got used to the kaleidoscope of colors. And even though I’m all about taupe and mustard tones when it comes to my wardrobe, I am somewhat dreading the squash and yam season. I know there is still time to enjoy the fruit, but can’t shake off the inmate on death row feeling, counting down my days into darkness.
But then I saw the Hazelnut Plum Crumb Tart from Smitten Kitchen (adapted from a 1999 Martha Stewart Living recipe) and a stream of optimism trickled through. Plums!
If my office had an oven, I would make these blueberry and ricotta tartlets from A Bit of Pilli Pilli for my afternoon snack. But maybe if I wake up early enough, I could make these for breakfast tomorrow.
Pilli Pilli is more than a baker, she’s a maker (on Etsy). I love her cotton applique projects, like this adorable pencil case.
As if an earthquake wasn’t enough for New York, we now have a hurricane coming our way. So of course, I had to get provisions: water, canned food…heirloom tomatoes.
Earlier this week I had a BLT with a tomato slice as thick as a burger patty. I popped my jaw trying to take a bite (no joke!). Since my lunch, I’ve been counting down the days to the farmer’s market so I can stock up on my very own heirlooms.
With all the hurricane-hoopla, I was a little worried that the farmers might stay home instead of trekking all the way to Brooklyn. Turns out, at least half did stay on their farms. But, those who drove in are troopers, and I am thankful for these hard working people who didn’t let me down. Where would I be without my tomatoes? If I have to be trapped in my apartment, I need good food and entertainment. I can’t imagine a better way to prepare for a hurricane than with a tart.
I’ve been saving the tomato and goat cheese rosemary-crust tart recipe for such an occasion. Bella Eats makes it easy enough and I bet the leftovers taste amazing.
For some reason, I like to romanticize disaster. Once we’re trapped in our apartment, we’d embrace the isolation from the world and eat BLT sandwiches, tarts and a tub of ice cream without an ounce of guilt [hey, it might melt if the power goes out!]. I’d finally have time to leaf though all my unread magazines, and maybe even finish Grapes of Wrath. When it get’s dark, we’d light candles and talk about hypothetical scenarios of an apocalypse.
A perfect pick-me-up for a Summer Friday. Check out The Family Kitchen for recipe.
Last night, I heard about pie milkshakes. Tonight, Jordan gave me a KitchenAid blender for my birthday. Talk about kismet.
Pie in a blender sounds like a mess. But the more you think about it, the more it makes sense; after all, pie à la mode is pretty damn good once you start mixing the melted ice cream with the crust and the berries. With a little time on my hands I did a Google search for “pie milkshake” and came up with these tasty recipes. Enjoy!
Jaclyn of Food + Words certainly gets a gold star for her creation. I want to reach into the photo and grab this shake of blueberry crumb pie and salted caramel ice cream.
In honor of my upcoming trip to Florida, I present Munchin with Munchkin’s Key Lime Pie shake with coconut milk, bananas and graham crackers. The site also includes a recipe for a strawberry rhubarb pie vegan milkshake. Yum!
The cherry pie milkshake from Fine Cooking will make an excellent post-dinner snack.
Each summer, I develop an obsession. Last year it was corn, the year before that I happily ate watermelon for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This year, the peach gets the spotlight.
It started in June when I spotted a lovely mound under a tent at the Grand Army farmer’s market in Brooklyn. Touching the fuzzy skin was better than holding a baby chick—-I was instantly smitten. Rolling off the lint revealed a smooth skin beneath. My first bite proved equally satisfying as the juice trickled down my hand and I tasted the sweet flesh. I ate at least three peaches back to back.
Two weeks later, my husband and I ventured to the source, Phillips Farms. As a peach-picking virgin, I was in awe of the picturesque groves. Lifting each branch was like finding a treasure trove of magical golden fruit. A page from a fairy tale visible to us alone. All at once, I wanted to paint, bake and play hide-n-seek. My basket was full in minutes, but I couldn’t get enough of the perfect spheres. I felt something akin to panic, thinking that if I stopped the peaches would be lost forever. These Eve’s peaches have been the highlight of my summer. I keep clinging to the memory by continuously filling my sac with peaches at every farmer’s market.
So when I saw the peach cobbler on the menu at Sylvia’s, I had to try it. Surprisingly, the warm fuss-free dessert made me think of fall. Perhaps it was the cinnamon and nutmeg that sent me into an autumnal state of mind. The spices delicately balanced the sweetness of the peach, which melted on my tongue. Sylvia nailed the peach part, but the cobbler could have been better. The overabundance of the crust distracted from the flavors, I had to dig around the soggy layers. My suggestion: bake it in a mini casserole and top with flaky, sugary crust that will jubilantly crack under my spoon.
Look around and you’ll see that mini portions are the new way to bake. I bet it all started with the cupcakes, which have now shrunk to cake pops. I am not surprised that pies are heading in this direction as well. Take a look at these charming (and creative) pies baked in glass jars.
The pies from Not Martha make me think of Valentines day. (plus, they’ll make a great, ‘i’m sorry for …….” treat)
Green Wedding Shoes suggested you DIY these as favors.
Junior lattice apple pie from Home Made Simple.
These pie babies don’t require substantially more work than regular-sized pies, but I guarantee you’ll get the highest accolades if you bring a batch to a party.
I recently stumbled across Crepes of Wrath, a charming blog that shared a recipe for the most adorable pie bites I’ve ever seen (Stanton Social, pay attention!). They look like the perfect snack. I’m already fantasizing about packing a dozen, or two, into a picnic basket and savoring them under some big oak tree.
Unlike the doll-size portions of red snapper tacos and lamb souvlakis, the Stanton Social blackberry lemon crisp (with vanilla ice cream) came in a palm-sized skillet. What disappointment. I was hoping for some sort of hybrid between a pie and a mini cupcake. My fest of miniature dishes came to an end, I thought, while reaching for a spoon.
The lemon definitely overpowered the taste of the berries. Blackberries have enough acidity and the citrus-y flavor made me think of a woman likes perfume a little bit too much. We’re in the midst of blackberry season and it’s a shame to hide the rich notes. Just two weeks ago, my husband and I went fruit picking on a New Jersey farm. Sure, I can’t compare fresh-off the bush berries to something baked, but if I am charged $9 for a dessert, I’d like a taste of summer.
The crumble did nothing to enhance the filling, so I watched, with jealousy, as my companions devoured the Chocolate Tasting sampler.
The Condé Nast cafeteria is known for many things; the futuristic Frank Gehry design, Anna Wintour sightings, and my personal favorite, Bon Appétit cover recipe lunches. When I learned that the chefs are baking a Lime & Blackberry Italian Meringue pie from the August issue, a dessert-lunch was in order.
Before I go into my review, some disclosure: I’ve never even attempted to make a meringue pie (and I’ve yet to invest in a torch). Hence, anyone who uses open fire and laborious whipping has my utmost respect. (P.S. One BA reader commented that it took her 12 hours to recreate this recipe!)
My approach to tasting was a bit scientific, I decided to examine each layer of the pie before filling my spoon with meringue, lime curd and crust. I started at the bottom, which had a flaky sugar-cookie-like consistency. Yum. The curd, however, had the texture of Elmer’s glue. I missed the delicate lime tartness and would bet ten bucks that it was plain old lemon. The meringue was equally unimpressive. (Sugary packing peanuts come to mind.) My only highlight was the sugary caramelization on top. As for the blackberries… what blackberries? Adding a few berries on the side makes them a garnish, not a front runner. (Apparently, the original recipe gives instructions to make a blackberries compote that pads the lime curd.) As I sliced through all the layers, I was hoping for a balance of sweet and sour flavors, instead it tasted like someone stuck a marshmallow with a lemon pudding into my mouth.
Overall, the Condé Nast cafeteria staff slacked off. Judging by the Bon Appétit picture, the original recipe should taste delicious and refreshing—-especially if it takes me a day to make.
[Bon Appétit cover shot]