Pies and Tarts

St. Ignace — Land of Pasties and Smoked Fish

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Well, not really.  It’s actually the Magical Harbor!  But pasties and smoked fish are the two things that I need to buy when I am visiting, and it’s been some time since I’ve been up north.  It seems like those two things are everywhere in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP) so sorting through all the different kinds can take some time.  Here’s where I can help!

Time for some coffee!

But first things first — a quick stop at Java Joe’s for some coffee.  This place is a fun little cafe that serves a nice selection of breakfast items.  Everything is good, but I’d have to single out the crepes as something to try.  They can be tricky to make yourself, and you just don’t find those in every restaurant.  Plus the decor is fun, especially the mural on the outside.  And the coffee is great as are the people who work there!

You gotta love a place that features a hopping winged unicorn carrying a steaming cup of smiling peace coffee on its back.

Now on to some pasties.  I think I may have talked a little bit about them in my post about the PastyFest 2011 in Calumet, MI.  Recipes can vary, but there are those who are adamant that the filling must include rutabagas and not potatoes.  In my opinion, it is the crust that makes everything shine.  And Bessie’s Homemade Pasties does it the best.  It’s a little bit further from the main strip downtown; just drive down the road, and up the hill until you see the giant sign.  Like a lot of restaurants in the Upper Peninsula (UP) the inside of the restaurant is simple and unassuming, with charming guestbooks that visitors can sign.  But in there, you will find some of the best pasties in the land.  These are my favorites by far — the filling is delicious (even if they don’t use rutabagas) and the crust is top-notch.  Plus, the pasties look happy to be there!  Luckily I planned ahead and brought a cooler so I could take some frozen pasties home.  Hopefully I can make them last for a while because I have no idea where to get pasties in SE Michigan.

Bessie's!
See? I told you they have some happy pasties here!
I cannot wait to dive right in!
One last step -- Gravy!!!

And finally a stop at Manley’s Smoked Fish.  You’ll pass it on the way to Java Joe’s and Bessie’s.  If you’re a Green Bay Packers fan, you will definitely see it.  You’ll probably notice it even if you’re not a fan of the Pack since the complex is painted in the team’s green and yellow colors.  But it’s not all for show — they have great quality smoked fish, homemade beef jerky, pasties, whitefish, lake trout, among other goodies.  We picked up a few smoked whitefish to bring home.  I don’t know exactly what they do in their smoke house, but they definitely know what they are doing.  There are lots of other purveyors of smoked fish in the northern reaches of the state, but this is worth a stop.  And the prices are extremely reasonable; respectable smoked whitefish down here can be around 5 times the price at $25 a pop.  I will be using these golden formerly swimming packets of goodness to a make smoked fish dip which I will be posting soon.

Gotta make a stop

Exploring Traverse City and the Great American Cherry Pie War

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Now I know I’ve been relatively quiet for the past few weeks.  But it’s the weird transition in the house between taking down Halloween decorations, leaving up Thanksgiving decorations,  and putting up Christmas decorations.  Plus I’m in vacation recovery mode (I went to the Traverse City [TC] area and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan).  I promise not to bore y’all with all my vacation escapades.  I will just share some of the food-related finds.

If you don’t know where Traverse City, MI is, I will show you on your handy Michigan map.  Just take your right hand and look at it palm-side-up; looks like the lower peninsula of Michigan, right?  Traverse City is just to the right of the tip of your pinky.  Don’t believe me, just check out this map.

Traverse City is actually a great foodie town.  Chef Mario Batali spends his summers just north of the city; Chef Jacques Torres opened up his first chocolate shop outside New York and Las Vegas in Traverse City (it has since closed); it is home to the National Cherry Festival; and prime Michigan wine country is just a stone’s throw away.

Speaking of cherries, have you heard of the Great American Cherry Pie War?  Well, I don’t know if it’s called that, but that’s the moniker I’m using.  TC and rival town just up the road Charlevoix, MI engaged in a heated battle vying for World’s Largest Cherry Pie.  Charlevoix fired the first volley by baking a pie that was over 14 feet across and 2 feet deep.  It weighed over 17,000 lbs and was baked in 1976 to help celebrate the US bicentennial.  It held the title until TC took the title away with a pie that was over 17 feet across and over 28,000 lbs.  Some town in Canada broke the record several years later, but you can visit the pie pans for the Michigan record breakers.

They make them big in Charlevoix, MI!
They make them even bigger in Traverse City!
TC's pie did not appear to be as manicured and celebrated as the one in Charlevoix, as evidenced by the disrepair.

I had actually come across this by accident when I noticed a giant pie pan on the side of the road while taking the scenic route up to St. Ignace, which is just over the Mackinaw Bridge in the Upper Peninsula.  That triggered a memory of the duel between the two rival towns that I had read on the Roadside America website.  You can read about quirky tourist attractions all over the country.  Just type in a city and find out what’s nearby.  This website also brought up another interesting TC landmark.

TC is home to a memorial to Colantha Walker, “The World Champion Cow of the Insane”.  She was born in April 1916 and was under the care of staff and patients of the Northern Michigan Asylum.  While living on the farm on the Asylum grounds, she produced 200,114.9 lbs. of milk and 7,525.8 lbs. of butterfat.  Now I have no clue as to how this compares to non-world champion cows, but it was sufficient enough for her to be immortalized with a rather sizeable granite tombstone after her death in January 1932.  But after doing a little research, her landmark year was 1926 when she produced almost 23,000 lbs. of milk, which earned her “World Champion” title.  According to census records, the Michigan average for dairy cows was just over 3,900 lbs. a year.

Exciting stuff!  Like I said, I promise to try not to tire you with yarns about my trip.  I’ll post on some great budget-friendly restaurants, a couple local breweries, a bake shoppe that makes the best pumpkin donuts that I’ve ever had, and throw in some smoked fish and pasties (the pastry, not the adornments worn to cover up your unmentionables).  I’ll even work in a recipe or two.  Stay tuned!

Rhubarb Pie

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As y’all may already know, I had some family visiting for several days and I remember my brother saying that he’s never had rhubarb.  So I thought why not let him try it in a pie!  It is the “pie plant” after all.  And I do have all that frozen rhubarb, if you remember from a while back.  Now he’s very concerned with nutrition and fitness so I will use the whole wheat pâte brisée for this one.  Although this doesn’t quite qualify as healthy, but at least it is healthier.  And rhubarb is a vegetable.  Plus I use some coconut flour in the topping which is high in fiber and protein (just eat around the butter and sugar).  As an aside, using flours like this in baking is what you need to do if you need to make something gluten-free.  To top it all off, it smells like coconut!  According to the directions, you can substitute up to half the flour in a recipe with this.  But you could combine it with other flours, like bean, rice, or tapioca.  Bob’s Red Mill is a nice resource for different kinds of flours.

For this recipe you’re supposed to cut the rhubarb into smaller more manageable pieces, but it was already frozen and I didn’t want to have to try to chop all that up.  I can admit I was being lazy, but I was busy trying to get the house ready for my family visit.  Priorities priorities!.  But be aware, if you don’t chop it into smaller pieces, things can get a little fibrous.  Here’s what you need:

For the topping:

  • 1/2 c. coconut flour
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 stick of butter, cut into pieces

1.  Stir together the dry ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk to combine and break up any lumps.

2.  Add the butter.  Cut into the flour with a pastry knife or your hands until crumbles form.  Set aside.

For the pie:

  • 1/2 whole wheat pâte brisée recipe (or prepared pie crust)
  • 6 c. rhubarb, cut into about 1-in pieces
  • 1/3 c. light brown sugar
  • 2/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 T. cornstarch

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the oven rack on the lowest wrung in the oven.

2.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough enough to cover a 9-in. pie pan with a 1-in overhang.  Cut to fit and tuck the ends of the crust underneath to from a nice rim.  Refrigerate for about an hour to let the dough rest.

3.  Place rhubarb in a large mixing bowl.  In a small bowl combine the sugars, salt, and cornstarch.  Pour the sugar mixture over the rhubarb and toss.  Pour the entire contents into the rested pie dough.  Top with the prepared crumbles.

4.  Put the pie in the oven and reduce the temperature to 375.  Bake on a lined sheet pan for about 1 1/2 hours, until bubbly.  Cool on a wire rack completely before serving.

Updates, plus a Whole Wheat Pate Brisee

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I know I’ve been a little quiet for the past week or so, but there are lots of reasons for that.  As some of you know, my family made the big drive from down south to visit me up here in Michigan for the Labor Day holiday.  Just keeping them entertained

should have kept me busy enough!  Now, I had planned a big celebration with all the fixin’s, but if you follow college football, you probably know that some bad weather came rolling through this area.  Long story short, I ended up losing power for three days.  So the menu was scrapped (along with a whole refrigerator of food) and some alternative plans had to be made.  At least I did get a chance to try a couple of things before all the chaos happened.  This is one of those things.

Now I had no idea if this would work.  I’m guessing that it wouldn’t because there’s a whole lot more gluten in whole wheat flour.  But I’m out of regular flour so why not try it!  In theory it should be fine since you cut the fat right into the flour and that limits the amount of gluten that’s formed (long strands of gluten are formed once you combine the flour with water)

Let’s begin!  I just followed my old pâte brisée recipe but just substituted in whole wheat flour.  Again, this is enough for a double 9-in crust.  Here’s what you need:

  • oops! some of the maple syrup leaked out.

    2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 T. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cubed
  • 4 T. shortening
  • 1/3 c. ice water, give or take a couple of tablespoons

1.  Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse for a couple of seconds to combine the dry ingredients.  Add the butter and shortening and pulse until mixture forms a course meal.

2.  While pulsing, drizzle water over the dough until it just comes together.  The dough must not be wet or sticky.

3.  Turn out the dough onto a floured surface.  Kneed until the dough just comes together.  Press the dough out into a disk and wrap it in some plastic wrap or wax paper.  Let rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour so the dough can relax.  It’s then ready to use or it can be put in the freezer.  It can last for a couple of months or so.

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So to test things out, I pinched off a small amount to make a small galette.  The filling was very simple — after rolling it out, I just spread on some chocolate-hazelnut spread, then some blueberry jam, topped it with shredded coconut, and drizzled it with a little bit of maple syrup (wow, that sounds sweet now that I wrote everything down).  But the filling wasn’t important; I was testing the crust.

The crust was somewhat difficult to form.  Maybe I was overly concerned with making too much gluten that I didn’t make enough.  But it was still workable.  There were some breaks but it was easy enough to glue back together.  After baking, the crust was very tender, and it held together nicely.  What I loved was the flavor; you get the nuttiness and texture that the whole wheat imparts.  It does make a nice alternative, but the flavor can get a little distracting, overpowering even.  I’d prefer to have the filling be the star, not the crust.  Maybe making a blend (half whole wheat, half AP flour) would be better — easier to work, but you still get the greater depth of flavor.  Just my thoughts.

Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey

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This recipe has been making the rounds on the food blogs so I thought I’d give it a try.  For those who don’t know the story, a fellow food blogger (In Jennie’s Kitchen) experienced a recent tragedy with the unexpected death of her husband Mikey.  The two of them have two young girls, ages 8 and 3.  This recipe was one of his favorites and she had been meaning to make it for him, but sadly she never got the chance.

In his honor, I made this.  But I didn’t make it just for him, but for the folks that I love too.  So the next chance that you get, tell those special people in your life that you love them.  As Jennie writes in her blog, “. . . hug them like there’s no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.

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Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

Serves 10 to 12

8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs.  Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well.  Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.  Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula.  Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar.  Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.

Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream).  Fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan.  Drizzle the melted chocolate on top, if using, and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.

Notes — I did follow an adaptation of this recipe that makes a 10″ pie.  I got that recipe from the blog The Shiksa in the Kitchen.

Peach Rhubarb Crostata

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So I just found out that this month is also National Peach Month or Peach Appreciation Month.  And there’s nothing wrong with enjoying some peaches in the summer (or any time of year for that matter).  Now this recipe is the most thrown-together one that I’ve done recently.  No real exact measurements, just some rhubarb, some peaches, sugar, cinnamon, and flour.  But it’s a crostata so it’s supposed to be all rustic and wholesome and quaint.  So this fits the bill.  But I did add some crystallized ginger to this one to give it some added bite.

But then I started wondering, “Waterlily, what’s the difference between a galette and a crostata?”  Honestly, I have no clue.  From what I can gather, one is French and the other one is Italian.  Both are rustic and free-form.  Both involve a pie crust with some type of filling.  Both are types of pie.  Both can be savory.  I guess, given the regional differences, the filling would give you the clue as to what term to use.  For example, something with apples and figs would probably be a crostata (boy, does that sound good — new recipe ideas!) and something with cherries and frangipane (that sounds good too!) would probably be a galette.  I guess that could count as our cultural nugget for the day!  Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 pâte brisée recipe
  • 2 rhubarb stalks (mine were kinda small so I used three), cut into 1/2 in. pieces
  • 2 peaches, cut into slices (I cut them into quarters and then cut those pieces into thirds)
  • 2 T. crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • egg wash
  • sanding sugar

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Roll your dough out into a round about 1/4 in. thick.  Pile the peaches and rhubarb in the middle, leaving a couple of inches around the edge for the crust.  Spread the ginger across the top.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Sprinkle mixture over the top of the fruit.  Fold over and pleat the edges of the crust, pressing to seal.  Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sanding sugar.

3.  Bake in the oven for about 30-45 minutes, until nicely browned and the fruit has softened.  Let cool for about 5-10 minutes, and serve.

Dutch Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

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Now I will admit that pies have never been my thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I love eating them, but I could never really get all that enthusiastic about making them.  I have this romanticized view of mom putting out the pies to cool on the window sill just as the men-folk are finishing up their chores in the hay field, whilst the kids are russelin’ up the horses before they eat all the cotton by the pumpkin patch near Farmer Jedidiah’s dairy coop.  I am almost 100% certain that the previous sentence makes no sense whatsoever to anyone who knows anything about farming or livestock.  What the hell do I know?  I grew up in Brooklyn.  The closest thing we had to anything rural like that was the pigeons flying by or going to Central Park.  The police did have horses though.  And there were those horse-drawn carriages that are so popular with tourists.  It’s still a far cry from a farm, even with those sheep-sized sewer rats.

We never really did “pie” in my family.  Maybe it’s a cultural thing.  We had cakes made with rice flour, flans, sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves, stuff with coconut and cassava, mangoes, ensaymada cakes. . . but no pies.  Plus, on your birthday, you get a birthday cake, not a birthday pie!  At least that was my experience.  But pies really evoke that whole down-home farmy goodness that is pure and incorruptible and wholesome.  Pies can’t be pretentious the way cakes can be.  Have you seen some of those things?  And I do like pretentious cakes; that is what my business is based on, after all!  Maybe I should change the name to “Pretentious Cakes”.  But I think that cakes are always involved with the celebration of some milestone or special occasion.  Pies, on the other hand, are a celebration of everyday life.

So now to the pie.  June 9th is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day all over this great land.  Rhubarb is actually a vegetable (kinda looks like red celery) so a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is one way to get your serving of fruit and veggies in one dish!  I may be alone here, but I wouldn’t start trying to put together other fruit and veggie combos together just to see what they would taste like.  Blueberry-Cauliflower Pie doesn’t sound all that appetizing, although peaches and beets might be delicious.  Hell, if you can have a carrot salad with pineapple and raisins, why can’t peaches and beets go together?.  But berries and rhubarb always seem to go hand-in-hand.  You get the sweetness from the berries plus that tartness of the rhubarb.  Wrap that all up in a nice buttery, flaky pastry and you get one of the classic pie recipes.

This makes a 9″ pie.  Here’s what you need:

For the topping:

  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. salt

Stir together the dry ingredients to combine.  Drizzle over the melted butter.  Mix until the ingredients form a crumbly texture.  Set aside.

For the pie:

  • 1/2 pate brisee recipe (remember I told you to make extra and put it in the freezer!  just check to earlier post for the recipe)
  • 4 c. rhubarb, chopped into about 1/2 ” pieces
  • 2 c. strawberries, sliced to about 1/4″ pieces
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. galangal (it’s kinda like ginger, same family)
  • 1/4 t. salt

1.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the crust to line a 9″ pie plate.  Transfer to the pie plate, being careful not to stretch the dough.  Trim off the edges.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

2.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Place chopped rhubarb and sliced strawberries in a bowl.  Top with the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, galangal, and salt.  Toss to combine.  Fill the prepared pie shell with the fruit mixture.

3.  Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.  Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes on the bottom rack.  After the 20 minutes, lower the temperature to 325 and bake for another 35 – 45 minutes, until the filling is bubbly.  Allow to cool completely on a rack.

Notes — If the pie is browning too quickly, you can use some pie shields or cover the edges lightly with foil.

Scraps = Quick Mini Black Currant Walnut Galette

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Quick review — my last post was for a custard pie.  And if you remember, one of the steps involved trimming the edges of the crust to fit the pan.  If you’re like me, you don’t like to waste things, so hopefully you didn’t just toss the extra away.  Just take all the trimmings and reform them into a ball, refrigerate, and re-roll them out.  This is so quick and simple; honestly, this took me five minutes to do (not counting cooking time).  It’s the perfect little treat that you can have for yourself after a long day of toil and labor, or your honey when said honey comes home from work (if they are lucky enough to have a job cuz in this economy it seems like everyone is out of work).  Or this can be a treat for just one of those do-nothing days where changing your underwear can seem like a task!  But I digress. . . you really shouldn’t have to do any shopping for this one cuz all this stuff can come from your pantry.

Now I was on the fence with this one — sweet or savory?  I did have a jar of roasted peppers that I could have used and then crumbled some cheese on top.  I settled on being lazy (it is a galette, of course!) and went with the black currant galette.  For some reason, dealing with cheese was too labor intensive; keep in mind that I was dealing with that custard pie at the same time.  Plus it was getting late in the day and the dogs were wanting to go out for a little running around / bathroom time.  So lazy it is!

Here’s what you need:

  • trimmings from a pie crust gathered into a ball and chilled
  • flour for dusting
  • about 1/4 c. black currant jelly
  • 1 T. chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 T. shredded coconut

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Dust rolling surface with flour.  Roll out your trimmings into a round about 1/8 inch thick.  Transfer to a lined pan.

2.  Spread the black currant jelly over the round, leaving about a 1/2 inch border around the edges.  Sprinkle the walnuts and coconut over the jelly.

3.  Fold the edges over, pleating as you go.  Bake in the oven until the filling is bubbly and the crust is slightly browned, about 20 – 30 minutes.  Let the galette cool before serving.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar if you wish.

Yolks, Yolks, and more Yolks. . . plus an Egg Custard and Nutmeg tart

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So I’ve been working on making some cupcakes for the past couple of days (maybe I’ll post something on that later).  What I originally planned to use with those cupcakes was a nice swiss meringue buttercream.  I was going to divide the basic batch in half or maybe thirds, and then tint and flavor them accordingly.  And since it’s a meringue, that meant just using the egg whites.

Fast forward to the part when you add the butter, and guess what happened next.  Well, the minute I added the butter, everything just deflated.  I thought, “That’s weird.  It’s not like I’ve never made this before.”  So fast forward to take two and lo and behold, the same thing happened.  That meant a change of plans.  It also meant that I had 26 egg yolks that were just kinda hanging out in the refrigerator (10 for each batch of buttercream, plus 6 from a batch of 7-minute frosting that I made as a replacement).

Now what do you do with that many egg yolks?  I didn’t have the foggiest idea.  The only thing that I could come up with was making maybe a gallon of lemon curd which wasn’t the best solution (in my opinion).  So after doing some searching, I came across a recipe for a Classic Egg Custard Pie with Lots of Nutmeg on Martha Stewart’s website.  It looks fairly simple, plus it uses 12 egg yolks!  Of course, I’ll still need to make a lemon curd anyway.  Or maybe a lime curd.

A couple of caveats — I didn’t have the correct pan so I had to improvise.  Since I didn’t have the correct pan, I had lots of extra filling.  So I just decided to have a couple of small baking dishes (which I use for baked eggs — I’ll post on that later) and an old ramekin act as stand-ins without crusts.  I also didn’t bother with the “sweet pastry dough” that was listed in the ingredient list.  I already had some pate brisee in the freezer so I just used that.  Plus, I didn’t have a vanilla bean hanging around, but I did have some vanilla extract. . .  Also, I didn’t have enough cream so I added a little roux to the mix.  Oh yeah, and some of the measurements could be a little off cuz some of the yolks had broken so there might be a little bit more in what I made.  Oops.  Wow — that’s lots of changes.  And I forgot; I don’t have arrowroot, so I used corn starch.

Here’s you’ll need for my version (but check out Martha’s at the link I listed earlier):

  • all-purpose flour for dusting
  • 1/2 pate brisee recipe (check out my earlier post)
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 1 t. flour
  • 1 t. butter
  • 12 egg yolks at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 t. cornstarch
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg, plus more for dusting
  • confectioners’ sugar for dusting

1.   Preheat oven to 350.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about a 1/8 inch thick round.  Place in a 9″ tart pan that was lined with parchment on the bottom.  Trim off excess crust (save the trimmings — form them into a ball and put them in the fridge or freezer).  Blind bake for 12 minutes, remove pie weights (or rice or beans) and bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown.  Place pan on a wire rack to cool.

2.  In a medium sauce pan, melt the 1 t. of butter with the 1 t. of flour.  Cook for about a minutes on medium and gradually add the milk while stirring to combine.  Add the cream and vanilla and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Remove from heat, cover, and set aside for 10 minutes.

3.  Whisk together yolks and granulated sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick, about 2 minutes.  While still whisking, add warm cream mixture gradually.  Add the cornstarch and nutmeg and whisk until smooth.  Pour through a mesh strainer into the crust.

4.  Bake until edges of filling are set but center is still slightly wobbly, about 40 minutes.  Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight).  Before serving, unmold, sprinkle with nutmeg, and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Raspberry Rhubarb Galette

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So here’s one recipe where you can use the Pate Brisee.  Now remember, that recipe makes enough for a double crust pie, so all you will need is half of that for this one.  Or, you could make two different Galettes cuz they won’t last long 🙂

A “galette” might sound super fancy, but it’s really not.  Essentially, it’s pie for people who really don’t want to be bothered with making a pie.  You don’t even need a pie pan!  Just put in a mound of filling in the center and just fold up the edges to make the sides.  Very rustic.

So, this particular recipe is for a sweet free-form tart, but there are also savory types.  I do have a recipe for a Mushroom Galette using different types of wild mushrooms, a nice stilton, leeks, caramelized onions, and some thyme.  I’ll post that at a later date.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 Pate Brisee recipe
  • 1 pt. raspberries (I used 1/2 red and 1/2 golden)
  • 1 c. rhubarb, cut into about 1/2 in. pieces (about the size of the raspberries)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • egg wash (1 egg whisked with 2 T. milk or heavy cream)
  • sanding sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 375.  Place raspberries and rhubarb in a medium-sized bowl.  In a separate bowl, blend together the sugar, salt, and cornstarch.  Gently fold in the sugar mixture into the fruit.  Let stand for 15 – 20 minutes; if it sits too long, the rhubarb could get too mushy.

2.  Roll out the half of the Pate Brisee to about a 12-in round.  Pour the fruit into the center of the crust, leaving about 1 1/2 in border.  Gently fold up the sides to form pleats; you can pinch them to seal.  Brush the crust with the egg wash and dust with the sanding sugar.

3.  Bake for about 45 minutes, until the crust is golden.  Let cool slightly.  Slice and serve with maybe a slightly sweetened whipped cream with some lemon zest.  Vanilla ice cream is also a good accompaniment and maybe a sprig of mint.