Pie is the most important part of the Thanksgiving feast. I added this wonderful pie onto the menu in addition to our traditional apple and pumpkin pies. It may have to be a new tradition. 😉 Everyone tried a very small slice of each! Perfect.
The creamy nutmeg-maple filling was absolutely amazing. The crust was flaky and fabulous as well. We loved it!
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I modified the pie crust. I made the par-baked crust two days in advance and baked the pie one day before Thanksgiving, refrigerating the pie overnight and bringing it to room temperature before serving.
Using extra pie crust from my apple pie, I cut out maple leaves and baked them to use as decoration on top of the finished pie. Nice.
Yield: One 9-inch pie, about 8 servings
For the Crust:
150 g (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water, as needed
In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt.
Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms blueberry-sized pieces.
Slowly add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist, but not wet.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk with the heel of your hand. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 13-inch round a scant 1/4 inch thick. (I rolled it out on a floured silicone pastry mat to about 1/8-inch thick.)
Fit the dough into a 9-inch pie dish (I used a pottery pie dish). Fold the dough under itself and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate the pie shell for 10 to 15 minutes.
Crumple up a large sheet of parchment paper (this is a trick to allow it to fit more snugly in the pie dish). Line the pie shell with the parchment paper and then foil; fill with pie weights or dried beans.
Place on a rimmed cookie sheet. Bake in the center of the oven until nearly set, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the foil and weights, discard the parchment, and bake until the crust is pale golden, about 10 minutes longer. Let cool completely. (I pre-baked the pie crust one day in advance.)
For the Pie Filling:
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pre-baked 9-inch pie crust (recipe above)
whipped cream, for serving, optional
decorative pre-baked pie crust shapes, optional
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. (I set my oven to true convection.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and egg. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce maple syrup by a quarter, 5 to 7 minutes. (It will boil vigorously- so use a tall pot and stir constantly.)
Stir in cream and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
Whisking constantly, slowly add cream mixture to eggs.
Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl with a pouring spout.
Stir in salt, nutmeg and vanilla.
Place pie dish on a parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheet and pour filling into crust. Cover the edge of the pie crust with foil (or equivalent) to prevent over-browning.
Bake until pie is firm to touch but jiggles slightly when moved, 45 to 50 minutes on convection, or about 1 hour in a standard oven.
Let cool to room temperature before serving. Store in the refrigerator if making ahead of time; bring to room temperature before serving.
To Make (Optional) Pie Crust Topping/Decorations:
extra pie crust, rolled 1/4-inch to 1/8-inch thick
1 egg, lightly beaten
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Using extra 1/8-inch thick pie crust (I used some from my apple pie), cut into desired shapes. I cut mine into small maple leaves.
Chill cut shapes on a piece of parchment paper for 10 minutes in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove from refrigerator and place the parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet.
Brust the top of each shape with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake in a preheated 350 oven, preferably on convection, for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
The vanilla ice cream recipe used in the base was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Fany Gerson. Dulce de leche is an ice cream flavor that everyone in my house enjoys. 🙂
For the Vanilla Ice Cream Base:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean pod
6 large egg yolks
5 T (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
For the Swirl:
about 7 oz canned Dulce de Leche (I used Nestle La Lachera), or more, as needed
Stir together cream and milk in a medium saucepan.
Split vanilla bean pod lengthwise; scrape seeds. Add scraped seeds and vanilla pod halves to mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium-low, undisturbed, until mixture just comes to a simmer.
Remove from heat. Cover and let steep 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Return steeped cream mixture to heat over medium-low; cook, undisturbed, until mixture just comes to a simmer.
Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium-size heatproof bowl.
Gradually whisk warm cream mixture into yolk mixture in bowl. (It’s important to slowly add the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly and never bringing to a boil, to ensure the eggs don’t scramble.)
Transfer cream-yolk mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium-low, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 6 to 10 minutes, making sure it doesn’t bubble. (I cooked mine for 7 minutes.)
Remove from heat. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a medium-size heatproof bowl; discard solids.
Place bowl in a large bowl filled with ice water. Let stand, stirring often, until mixture reaches room temperature, about 8 minutes. (I kept mine in the ice bath until the ice melted.) Remove.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap or transfer base to a sealable container; seal and refrigerate until cold, at least 6 hours or up to 12 hours.
Pour base into frozen freezer bowl of an ice cream maker; proceed according to manufacturer’s instructions. (I churned mine for 25 minutes.)
Transfer a few scoops of the vanilla ice cream into a shallow container, such as a glass loaf pan, and spread into an even layer.
Top with some of the dulce de leche; spread into an even layer. Repeat the layers, finishing with ice cream on top, until all of the ice cream base has been transferred.
Cover, and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. (I press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream and then top the container with an additional sheet of plastic wrap.)
Store in an airtight container in freezer up to 3 weeks.
This first soup, Italian Bean Soup with Pappardelle, was hearty and delicious. It was inspired by a soup from Trattoria dai Mugnai in Monteveglio, a village outside of Bologna. The second soup, Spanish Garlic Soup, was inspired by an “end of the month” meal, a “meal to make quickly with whatever is on hand and money is tight,” from José Andrés.
The recipes for these simple soups were adapted from Milk Street, the Italian bean and pasta soup from Milk Street Magazine, contributed by Rebecca Richmond, and the Spanish garlic soup from Milk Street TV, contributed by Christopher Kimball and Matthew Card.
Italian Bean Soup with Pappardelle
Yield: Serves 4
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T tomato paste
2 to 4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 15.5 oz cans Roman (borlotti), cranberry, or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or sage
1 piece Parmesan rind, plus finely grated Parmesan, to serve
8 to 9 oz fresh or dried pappardelle, tagliatelle, or fettucine, cut or broken into 2-inch lengths (see Note)
freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (I used a Meyer lemon)
In a large saucepan over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the tomato paste darkens slightly and begins to stick to the pan, about 3 minutes.
Add the beans, rosemary, Parmesan rind (use if you have it!), 5 cups water, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft enough to be easily mashed with a fork, about 10 minutes.
Off heat, remove and discard the Parmesan rind. Using an immersion blender, pulse the bean mixture until creamy but not completely smooth. (see Note) (Alternatively, if transferring to a blender, let cool for 10 minutes and purée in 2 batches before returning to the pot.)
Bring to a simmer over medium. Add the pasta and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente (refer to the package for cooking times, but begin checking for doneness a minute or two sooner than the directions indicate). (I used dried pappardelle, broken into 2-inch lengths, and cooked it for 6 to 7 minutes.)
Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with oil and top with grated Parmesan and additional pepper, as desired.
If you can find sheets of fresh pasta, they work nicely, too—simply cut them into rough 2-inch squares.
Don’t puree the beans until completely smooth; leave them with some texture.
Spanish Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo)
Yield: Serves 4
6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra
4 tsp sweet paprika
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
6 oz sourdough or other rustic bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups), divided
6 cups water
2 T chicken bouillion (I used Better Than Boullion)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large egg yolks
2 T sherry vinegar
In a medium saucepan over medium-low, combine the scallion whites, garlic and 3 tablespoons of the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to color, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add both paprikas and cook, stirring, until fragrant and darkened, 30 seconds.
Add 1 cup of the bread cubes and stir well.
Whisk in the water and bouillon, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking occasionally to break up bread, for 15 minutes. Whisk vigorously to ensure bread is thoroughly broken up.
Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet over medium, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the remaining 3 cups bread, the scallion greens, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the hot broth. (It is important to do this step to prevent the yolks from curdling when added to the pot.)
Remove the soup from the heat. Off heat, vigorously whisk the egg yolks into the soup, then whisk in the vinegar.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, fill individual bowls with the crouton mixture, then ladle the soup over them. Drizzle with additional oil, if desired.
My son is a major fan of creamy comfort food. He was obsessed with this pudding and its caramel notes. ❤ I loved all of the garnishes.
This recipe for this sweet treat was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. She was able to find the perfect ratio of milk to cornstarch to prevent grittiness. I found that the pudding had to cook a little bit longer to thicken.
I topped the chilled pudding with lightly sweetened freshly whipped cream, toasted and sweetened sliced almonds, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Next time, I may try candied pecans instead of almonds. 🙂 The original recipe includes several other options as well.
Yield: Serves 4
4large egg yolks
1/2teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4packed cup/165 grams dark brown sugar
1tablespoon unsalted butter
2cups/480 milliliters whole milk
1cup/240 milliliters heavy cream
1tablespoon bourbon or Scotch whisky, optional (I omitted it)
2teaspoons pure vanilla extract
freshly whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche, for serving (I lightly sweetened the whipped cream with confectioners’ sugar)
chopped candied ginger, sliced almonds, Demerara sugar, shaved chocolate, cocoa nibs or flaky sea salt, or a combination , for garnish, optional
Put egg yolks, cornstarch and salt into a large heatproof bowl (preferably with a spout), and whisk until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps. (I used a balloon whisk and a pyrex bowl with a spout.)
In a medium pot over medium heat, combine brown sugar and butter, whisking, until the brown sugar melts, 1 to 2 minutes. (I used a sauce whisk so that I could get into the edges of the pan.) Let cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to smell like hot caramel and darkens slightly, about 1 minute longer. (Don’t walk away, or the mixture may burn.)
Immediately pour the milk and cream into the pot. (It will bubble fiercely and seize up- the sugar clumps.) Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the clumps melt, 2 to 4 minutes.
Slowly whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking yolks until smooth, then whisk in the remaining hot cream mixture. Pour the egg-cream mixture back into the saucepan and place it over medium heat.
Cook pudding, whisking constantly especially around the bottom and edges of the pot, until it comes to a full boil. It is important to bring the pudding to a full, vigorous boil to activate the cornstarch. Otherwise, it may not set. (If you end up with thin, runny pudding, undercooking may have been the issue.) Also- it’s okay if the eggs curdle because the mixture is strained at the end.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring the mixture constantly, until it thickens enough to mound thickly on the spoon, 4 to 10 minutes. If at any point the pudding looks curdled, whisk to help smooth it out.
Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof container or bowl, then stir in the Scotch or bourbon, if using, and vanilla.
To prevent a skin from forming, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding. (If you like the skin, don’t cover pudding until it cools.)
Chill for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
If garnishing the pudding with toasted sliced almonds, evenly spread them on a parchment paper-lined rimmed sheet pan; roast in a 400 degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and place in a small frying pan. Top with granulated sugar, to taste, and cook over medium-low to medium heat just until the sugar melts and coats the almonds, about 1 to 2 minutes. Return to the lined baking sheet to cool.
When serving, spoon pudding into dishes. Top with dollops of whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche, and any of the optional garnishes. (I incorporated some confectioners’ sugar into freshly whipped cream.)
Now that it’s the very very tail end of corn season, I have a couple fresh corn recipes to share. I hope I’m not too late. We ate this cheesy dish for dinner but it would be wonderful for brunch as well. I also think that it could be prepared with frozen corn (gasp!) and served as a holiday side dish.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Clare de Boer. I used Kosher salt and modified the proportions. I also modified the baking dish (to have more crispy crust) and baking time. The lemony basil oil topping added a bright contrast to the indulgent and delicious dish.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, divided (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
4 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
coarsely ground black pepper
1/3 packed cup fresh basil leaves (about 20 leaves)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
Add the corn kernels and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
Transfer half the kernels to a food processor and purée with 2 tablespoons olive oil. (I used a Vitamix.)
Transfer the corn kernels and puréed corn to a large bowl and let cool, about 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees, preferably on convection.
When the corn mixture has cooled, add the ricotta, heavy cream, crème fraîche/sour cream, 1 cup Parmesan and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt; season to taste with more salt, if desired.
Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks on high speed, 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir the yolks into the ricotta mixture until combined then gently fold in the whites, working delicately to avoid deflating.
Rub the sides and crannies of a 6-by-10-inch oval or 8-by-8-inch square (or similar 2-inch-deep) baking dish with a knob of butter. (I used a 8×10-inch oval dish.) Add 2 to 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, knocking it around the baking dish to coat the entire thing, then follow with a few grinds of pepper.
Pour the ricotta batter into the dish. Bake for 25 minutes and then remove from oven and top with another 3 tablespoons Parmesan. Continue to bake until the cheese has browned and the sformata has set in the center, about 5 additional minutes, a total of 30 to 40 minutes.
Using a mortar and pestle, grind the basil with the lemon juice and a pinch of salt, then stir in the remaining 1/4 cup oil.
Just before serving, top the warm sformata with the remaining grated Parmesan, drizzle with basil oil and serve.
I am taking a break from bombarding everyone with sourdough recipes. I still have quite a few tasty ones to share! 😉
This vegetarian fried rice dish was fast, easy, crowd-pleasing comfort food. Making it in a large cast iron skillet was the perfect vessel to create just the right amount of crispy rice and caramelized vegetables. According to the original recipe, another secret to getting color on the rice was the inclusion of sugar.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Kat Boytsova. I modified the proportions and substituted Basmati rice for sushi rice. It is a wonderful base recipe to incorporate any vegetables and/or protein with leftover rice in the fridge.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
5 cups of broccoli florets and stems (pieces should be of similar size)
1 large bunch scallions (I used 7)
6 large eggs
2 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 1/2 T granulated sugar
2 T soy sauce
1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
4 large garlic cloves, grated
6-7 T vegetable oil, divided
4-5 cups cooked, day-old sushi rice (I used leftover brown and white Basmati rice)
4 T toasted sesame oil
3 T unseasoned rice vinegar
This fried rice comes together really quickly, so it’s important that all of your ingredients are prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.
Place broccoli to a medium bowl.
Trim scallions on both ends, then cut crosswise into 1″ pieces. Transfer to bowl with broccoli.
Whisk eggs in another medium bowl to combine and season with 3/4 teaspoons of salt.
Whisk sugar, soy sauce, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in a small bowl.
Grate the ginger and garlic cloves into the bowl of sauce and give it another whisk.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet (or non-stick if you don’t have one)over medium-high until just beginning to smoke. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
Add broccoli and scallions, season with a good pinch of salt, and toss with a spatula to coat in oil. Cook, undisturbed, until well charred on one side, about 5 minutes. When we say “undisturbed,” we mean it! You need consistent, direct contact with the hot pan in order to get color on the veggies, so resist the urge to constantly fuss with them.
Mix with spatula and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until broccoli is crisp-tender and scallions are wilted, about 2 more minutes. Transfer veggies back to the bowl they came from.
Heat remaining 5 tablespoons vegetable oil in skillet over medium-low.
Add eggs and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until large curds begin to form, about 30 seconds. The eggs will cook very quickly, so try to err on the side of runny and less-cooked because they can become spongy if overcooked.
Add the rice and soy sauce mixture to eggs. Toss well to combine, then press down evenly into skillet. Cook, undisturbed, until rice is slightly crisped on one side, about 5 minutes. (Remember: undisturbed!)
Return veggies to skillet and toss well to combine.
Remove from heat, add sesame oil and rice vinegar, and toss once more. Serve.