Sunday, November 27, 2016

Corn salad

I'm not sure this deserves a recipe, exactly, but I was pleased with how it turned out. Note that all ingredient amounts are "ish."

1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 15 oz can wax beans, drained, rinsed
1 15 oz can garbanzos, drained, rinsed
lots of frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 sweet red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ c cider vinegar
¼ c veg oil
salt, pepper
dried basil
dried oregano

Mix beans, corn, onion, green bell pepper, cider vinegar, garlic, veg oil, black better, salt, basil, oregano in large bowl. Fridge overnight. Season in morning. May need more dressing to compensate for corn.

Cranberry Curd Tart

I was inspired to make this tart from the New York Times recipe. The picture with the New York Times recipe shows a tart with a truly gorgeous color, but every comment on the recipe warned that the actual tart couldn't match that, so I wasn't surprised when mine turned out a less vibrant pink. The recipe also called for cooking down whole berries and milling them. Although I recognize this approach as more economical in terms of money, I sided with the many commentators who did not like its time economy and wanted to use juice instead. One helpful commentator linked to this recipe:, and another commentator said they used the crust from Melissa Clark's ricotta tart. So I went from there.

Almond-Orange-Poppy crust 
1 ½ c AP flour
½ c ground almonds
1/3 c confectioners sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
Pinch salt
½ c (1 stick) butter, cold and cubed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 T+  poppy seeds

Combine almonds, flour, sugar, zest, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse till coarse meal. Add egg and pulse just until a crumbly dough comes together. Add poppy seeds, pulse. Mine was really crumbly at this point. Press into disk, wrap in plastic wrap, chill for at least 1 hr or overnight. Press into 9 inch tart pan, chill 30 hours. Set oven to 325. Line with foil, add pie weights. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, weights. Bake 15 minutes more.

Cranberry Curd

¾ c cranberry juice
 ¼ c lemon juice + 2 T lemon juice
3/4 c sugar
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
¼ t salt
½ c (4 oz) butter, softened and cut into T pieces
zest from 1 orange

To room temp juices, add sugar, eggs and yolks, lemon juice, and salt (NOT the butter). Stir thoroughly until the mixture is even. Set over medium heat. Stir the curd continuously, scraping bottom and corners. Cook till the curd starts to thicken, coats the back of a spoon, and registers about 150 (doesn’t have to be exact). 10-12 minutes.

Remove from heat and add butter all at once. Stir until butter has completely melted, then pour curd through strainer and into clean bowl. (This was the first time that I ever thought something like this NEEDED to be strained-- there were bits of egg white in it. I might modify the method next time). Pour warm curd onto crust. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes (LONGER if using juice), until curd has set but still jiggles slightly in the center. Cool completely and refrigerate before cutting. Keep refrigerated. (Or NYTimes says RT for 2 days ok).

NOTE: A few days ago, David Tanis commented on his own recipe-- too late for my purposes. But with his information, I will include the NYTimes recipe as well:

12 oz berries, 1 c sugar, 1/2 c OJ, zest from 1 orange, 4 oz softened butter, 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks. 

Put berries, sugar, OJ, and peel in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until cranberries have popped and softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to food mill or mesh sieve, press cooking liquid into a bowl. This should equal scant 1 1/2 c. Whisk in butter. Beat eggs and yolks lightly. Temper them with berry mix, then combine both and whisk together. Return to pot and cook over low heat until nearly bubbling and thickened, about 10 minutes. Cool to RT, put in shell, bake at 350 for 10 minutes to set curd. "For the best color, make sure the curd is not overcooked (ie grainy) and be sure to cool it (thickens as it cools) before pouring into tart shell." So yes, maybe this would help-- maybe I'll have to make it again.

Friday, November 25, 2016

True Maple Cream Pie

As you may know by now, I love maple. So the idea of a "maple cream pie" always appeals to me. (And, in fact, I've had several good ones.) But they've always actually been maple custard pies (baked in-shell), which I'd probably be just fine with for the rest of my life if people didn't insist upon calling them cream pies, which is a different genre of pie. (Puddings cooked out of shell and put into an entirely pre-baked shell.) So there's always been an itch in my brain to scratch regarding a true maple cream pie.

This year, I took on the challenge, and used recipes from Food52 and the Food Network for maple pudding and a Taste of Home recipe for Maple Cream Pie that was actually a cream pie. And it turns out I really liked it. I might make some modifications to make it a bit firmer, but it really scratched my itch, and as expected I think I prefer it to a custard pie. (I'm unabashedly low brow about that).

1 3/4 c whole milk
1 c grade B maple syrup (divided)
1 c heavy cream (divided)
1/2 t salt
1/4 c cornstarch
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 T butter
sliced almonds, toasted

Blind bake a crust. (I suppose some would be tempted to put this in a graham cracker crust, or other sweet crust, but that makes me sad. I love the contrast of a sweet filling in a buttery, unsweetened crust).

Combine cornstarch and salt in a large saucepan. Stir in 1/2 c milk until smooth. Gradually stir in remaining milk and 3/4 c maple syrup. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Stir a small amount of the hot filling into egg yolks; return all to pan. Keep stirring. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter. Cool to room temperature.

At this point I chilled it overnight. It was quite firm and tasted delicious.

I based the method on the Taste of Home recipe, and what I think it intends you to do at this point is to beat the cup of cream, and add 1 c of the whipped cream to the filling. Then you sweeten the rest with the remaining 1/4 c maple syrup and spread it on top, and garnish with the toasted almonds.

Because we have a lot of pies around Thanksgiving, I didn't want to crown the whole pie with whipped cream-- instead, individuals can put whipped cream on as they please. So I put the almonds right on the pudding's surface. And since I was additionally confused about the method, I folded the whole 1 c of heavy of cream (whipped to a greater volume) into the pudding. In the future, I would only fold in 1 c of whipped cream, and would fold it into room temperature pudding rather than chilled pudding. Because it was chilled, it was too stiff to fold in well, so I had to whisk it at first and then fold in the rest, which loosened it too much. (In addition, the too-much-whipped-cream loosened it further). It wasn't too soupy, but I wanted it firmer.