Pies and Tarts

Jereme’s Kitchen, revisited — Gluten-Free Coconut Pie

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Hi everybody!  I just wanted to take a look back at some of my old posts and see if anything needed to be addressed.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 2 1/2 years since I started this blog!  As an aside, I wanted to thank all my readers for allowing me into your culinary lives.  Y’all are the best!

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Anyhoo, this Coconut Pie was the first recipe I had posted ever.  And weirdly, I did not include any pictures of any kind.  So this post hopefully fixes that.  Of course I made some changes, just to switch things up a little bit.  It has been a while since I’ve made this, but from what I remember, the pie still didn’t quite set up correctly.  I made some tweaks and I like the final product.  And this time I made it Gluten Free, so yay!  Now these changes, in addition to some boozy cranberries, seems to work.  The original recipe that I found from Penzey’s did not have a picture so I just kinda had to guess what it was supposed to look like.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 c. bourbon
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. coconut flour
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 2 c. milk
  • 14 oz. shredded coconut

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small saucepan, bring the bourbon up to a boil over medium heat.  Add the cranberries and turn off the heat.  Set aside to cool.

2.  In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients (including the cooled cranberries and bourbon) and mix well.  Pour into an ungreased 10-in. pie plate.  Bake for about 45 minutes until browned and the middle is set.  Let cool.  Run a thin knife around the rim of the pie plate to help release before cutting.

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Notes — I think this would be good with some pistachios. . . This probably could have stayed in the over for another 5 or 10 minutes. . .  Might try baking this in the lower half of the oven and see if that can help develop the crust. . . I have tried grating the nutmeg on top of the pie instead of putting it in the batter.  I actually liked the results, especially if the pie is still warm!. . .

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Friday Foodie Funnies, ep. 5

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Hey y’all!  I’ve had a weird week, and not in a good way.  I had a weird interview followed by back-to-back days of unrelated volleyball injuries.  Huzzah!  Well, watching this video made me feel better.  It is fall and if you remember my post from a couple of weeks back, it is time for Pumpkin-Spice everything!  This video shows how some people might feel about that.  And yes, I did post this on Facebook yesterday, but I liked it so much I wanted to share it here.

 

Random Foodie Funnies

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It could just be me, but I need a break from the Olympics.  So instead I’m up watching the NASA channel on updates about the Mars Rover, well that and reruns of Futurama.  I guess I need to feed my inner nerd.  Sure I could be studying up on Policies and Procedures, but science is important.

And as another break from the Olympics I thought I’d just post some random things that I find funny that are food related.  I was thinking about trying to make this a regular feature, but that requires extra work that is difficult right now with all the training and studying I have to do.  Hell, I can’t even keep up with my regular blogging duties.

Anyhoo, I thought this was funny.  It was making the rounds a little bit ago along all the Interwebs, so I’m a little late with this one.  I have no idea on the source, but if anyone knows, drop me a line.

You cannot argue with the accuracy and validity of this interpretation of data

Vanilla Cheesecake with Strawberries

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Alright, I gots power back (huzzah!)  And I gots a job offer (another huzzah!).  So let’s celebrate with a pretty cheesecake!  This is definitely one of the prettier cheesecakes that I make.  Of course, it is one of the more labor intensive ones to construct, but it’s easy to switch it up by using peaches, oranges, kiwis, or what’s ever striking your fancy that day.  And the cheesecake recipe is such a great staple to have.  This particular recipe is a little bit extra special because I do use a vanilla bean here instead of the extract.  Just a nice touch that really stands out.   Plus you see all the nice tiny vanilla beans, which I just love.

This I made for my Summer Mullet Party / Wine Tasting (you know — business in the front, party in the back).  Unfortunately I was not able to take any pics of any slices, but it was a big hit from what I understand.  I was too preoccupied tasting wine at the time.  And rum.  And bourbon.  Anyhoo, here’s what you need:

For the crust:

  • 12 big graham crackers (before you break it into four pieces)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 6 T. butter, melted

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Wrap the bottom and sides of a 9″ springform pan with heavy-duty foil.  Lightly coat the bottom and sides of the pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.

2.  Slightly break up crackers and place in the bowl of a food processor with the sugar and salt.  Pulse until fine.  Stir in butter well, and transfer to prepared pan.  Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and halfway up the sides of the pan.

3.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until crust starts to brown slightly.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Set aside.

For the filling:

  • 5 8-oz. packages cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
  • 1 c. sour cream

1.  Reduce heat to 325 degrees F.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.  Gradually add the sugar and salt while mixing on low, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

2.  Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition.  Now add the vanilla seeds and mix to combine.  Stir in the sour cream, again scraping the sides to mix well.

3.  Pour the batter into the cooled crust.  Place the pan in a roasting pan.  Now fill the roasting pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the cheesecake.  Bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until set in the middle.  If the top browns too quickly, cover with foil.

4.  Remove from the oven and run a pairing knife around the edge of the cake to help release it.  Cool completely and then refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

For the topping:

  • 1-2 pints strawberries, hulled & sliced thin, leaving one whole
  • 1/2 red currant jelly
  • 2 t. water

1.  In a small saucepan on low heat, combine the jelly and water.  Gradually melt until mixture is easily spread with a pastry brush.  Set aside to cool but still stay liquid.

2.  Brush the edge of the top of the cheesecake with the warm red currant jelly glaze and make a ring of the sliced strawberries around the edge.  The glaze should re-set when chilled which helps hold the strawberries in place.

3.  Start layering overlapping concentric circles of strawberries, brushing each with the glaze.  Once you get to the middle, place the whole strawberry and brush with the glaze.

4.  Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to set.  Then you can slice and serve!  And then you visit Jereme’s Kitchen and Daisy Cakes on Facebook and tell me how the recipe went for you 🙂

Notes — I’ve found it helpful to sort the strawberries according to size first before slicing.  I use the slices of the larger strawberries on the outer layers, saving the smaller ones for the inner circles. . . Try different patterns.  Instead of pointing the tips of strawberries out, have the points run along the edge of the cake.  You can then alternate directions with each successive circle.  I really hope that I explained that well.

Rhubarb Pearl Empanadas

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So this is another one of those clean-out-the-pantry kind of recipes.  I had some fresh rhubarb to use up so I thought to myself, “Waterlily, how should we handle this?”  So looking around, I found some shredded coconut left over from some German Chocolate Cakes and I had some Tapioca pearls that I had no idea that I had.  Let’s throw this all together and make some empanadas!  But somewhere along the line, I lost track of how big things should be and ended up making a half-pie or a calzone kind of thing.  Just think of it as a “family sized” empanada!

Yay! Empanadas! And there’s some peonies in the background!

And I was surprised with how they turned out and how the flavors worked together.  You get some tartness from the rhubarb, some sweetness from the coconut, some chewiness from the tapioca, and the crispy, flaky crust.

Again, since the recipe falls under the category of clean-out-the-pantry, it’s a rough approximation, at least for the filling.  The crust does have exact measurements, but like with any pie crust, it will vary depending on the humidity in your kitchen.  Here’s what you need.

Now that’s a “family sized” empanada!

For the crust:

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks cold butter, cubed
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 c. cold water, at most

1.  In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt together to combine.

2.  Add the cubed butter and cream cheese.  Pulse until the mixture becomes coarse, maybe 15 seconds or so.  With the processor on, gradually stream the water through the feed tube until the crust starts to form a ball.

3.  Turn the crust out onto a work surface and form into a ball.  Divide the ball in half and form both halves into discs.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

4.  Roll out the dough into a rough circle about 1/16″ thick.  Return to the refrigerator to chill whilst you make the filling.

For the filling:

  • 2 c. chopped rhubarb
  • 1 c. shredded coconut
  • 1 c. unprepared tapioca pearls.
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. flour

1.  Prepare the tapioca according to package directions (although I think I made up my own directions).  Set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, place the rhubarb, coconut, and tapioca.  Sprinkle flour and sugar on top and toss to combine.

So there might be a little bit more coconut than I thought

Make your empanadas:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In your prepared crust, spread about half the filling onto on half of the dough.  Lightly brush some water onto the edge of the crust.  Gently fold over the other half of the dough onto filling and crimp the edges or roll them over.

2.  Brush the empanada with milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar.  Cut some vents in the top to release some steam.  Bake in the middle of the oven for about 35 minutes, until golden.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Notes — I didn’t add a lot of flour because, in theory, the tapioca should help absorb the liquid released by the rhubarb. . . I thought that this would be good with just the coconut and the tapioca. . . Still working on taking nice pictures, but I was excited to include my peonies.  They didn’t bloom last year. . .

Quick cocktail party appetizers #2 — Cheese and Endive

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This is round #2 of my cocktail party appetizers.  Now I don’t necessarily recommend making all of these at once, especially if it’s just you hosting because there is a lot of assembly involved with everything I made (check out my last post for the full listing).  Even if all the prep work is done, getting things to look right takes time.  But taking these in small steps and you should be alright.  Or you could be better at planning than me even though timing really was a non-issue since everyone was at least an hour late!

Anyhoo, the  quick recipes in this post revolve around goat cheese.  One is a double cheese Napoleon and the other is Endive with Herbed Goat Cheese.  What makes this easy is that the goat cheese filling is the same for both!  So I don’t know if this then actually qualifies for 2 recipes, but I’m going with it.

Endive with goat cheese.

This serving tray seemed like it was designed especially with this dish in mind.

The big step here is making the herbed goat cheese.  Which, again, is also a step for the napoleons, so essentially one step = 2 appetizers.  And it’s not even a big step — you just mix everything in a bowl.  This one I adapted from Martha (again!  but that’s a good thing!).  Here’s what you need:

  • 1 11-oz. pkg. goat cheese
  • 1/2 c. cream
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 T. chopped herbs (I used oregano and tarragon)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 heads endive, washed and separated into leaves

1.  In a medium bowl, mix together the cheese, cream, and oil until smooth.  You can use a food processor if you like or even a hand mixer, but I didn’t want to have to wash extra things afterwards.

2.  Gently mix in the herbs, salt, & pepper.  Place a teaspoon on the individual endive spears and serve.

Double Cheese Napoleons.

These definitely look pretty. Tasted pretty good, too!

The two cheeses here are parmesan and goat cheese.  You make tuiles of parmesan and have some herbed goat cheese in between the layers.  I am not really sure how I came up with this one, but i really wanted something with some height.  These look a little rough, but again, I felt pressed for time since I had several things to assemble.  No real specifics here; I just grated some parmesan and kept on making crisps until I ran out.  You can use any extra ones as croutons on salads or in soups.  Or just eat them as is.  Here’s what you need:

  • herbed goat cheese (see above)
  • grated parmesan

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.  Drop 1 t. grated parmesan onto Silpat lined baking sheets.  Slightly flatten the cheese and bake for about 5 minutes or until nice and golden.

3.  Allow to cool for about a minute and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4.  Assemble napoleons starting with a parmesan crisp.  Place a small amount of the goat cheese, about 1/2 teaspoon.  Gently press another crisp on top and repeat until you have three layers of each.  You can put a garnish of herbs on top, but I just served them as they are.  If you want to be extra fancy, you can use a pastry bag with a star tip to place the goat cheese.

Quick cocktail party appetizers #1 — Tartlets and Bourbon

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So I’ve been a little preoccupied lately (and that’s why, but that’s because I’ve been busy planning a cocktail party).  But I’m back now and these are some of the things that I came up with.  I wasn’t sure what to serve even got some suggestions from other bloggers like The Breakfast Bachelor (I ran out of time to make his suggestion of Rosemary Sweet Potato Fries).  Since it was a cocktail party I wanted to do things that were easy to eat — finger foods, really.  Here’s what I had decided on serving (in addition to 2 big main course type things [pulled pork sandwiches and tater tot casserole] which I hope to discuss soon) — smoked salmon tartlets, leek and artichoke tartlets, double cheese napoleons, salami crisps, endive with herbed goat cheese, chocolate dream cake — black forest variation, Deviled Eggs, gougère, and Kale – radish – fennel salad.  Unfortunately I don’t have pictures for everything, but I do for most things.

Alright so it wasn't a cocktail party -- it was a bourbon tasting. This is what we had. And I am aware that Rye is not Bourbon.

Here, I’ll focus on the tartlets.  These are easy and quick to make.  If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll already know how to make the shells (so visit me on Facebook).  But since that includes only 13 of you, I will go over it here.  This idea I adapted from Martha, but she used mini cupcake pans and cut the wrappers into small circles.  I don’t bother with cutting and I use a standard cupcake / muffin pan.

Such a quick step. These can last on the counter in an airtight container for about 2 weeks or in the freezer for 2 months or so.

Here’s what you need:

  • one package wonton wrappers (square or round), mine had 4 dozen in it
  • vegetable oil

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Brush both sides of the wrapper with oil and stuff it into the cups of a muffin tin.

2.  Bake for between 8 – 10 minutes until golden.  If you use a darker pan, it will darken faster.  Allow to cool on a rack before filling.

Artichoke and Leek Tartlets.

For the artichoke and leek tartlets:

This is a quick and easy version of an artichoke and leek lasagna that I make.  Here’s what you need:

  • 4 leeks
  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts; chopped, drained, and rinsed
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 – 3 T. olive oil

1.  Cut leeks in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/4 in slices.  Soak those in water to make sure that you clean out any sediment and then spin it dry.

2.  Heat the olive oil in the pan and add the dried leeks.  Stir to coat; add salt and pepper.

3.  Cover and cook for five minutes on medium heat.  Uncover and raise the heat to medium high and sauté for about 10 minutes or until tender.  Add the artichokes off the heat and allow mixture to cool.

4.  Spoon into prepared wonton cups.

Smoked Salmon Tartlets. I probably could've sliced to pickle thinner but they still tasted good.

For the smoked salmon tartlets:

No real recipe here.  I just made a batch of my smoked fish spread #1, but omitted the capers.  Instead I put slivers of pickle on top.  It would have been better if I used cornichons, but I don’t normally have those in my fridge.  Besides, those are just small pickles anyway.

The tartlets went quick. Good thing I had lots of extra shells.