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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Day... à la mode

So last night I decided to make a little private Thanksgiving dinner for my husband and son since we will not be hosting this year.  Slow roasted brisket, sweet potato hash, homemade yeast rolls brushed with olive oil and herbs, and pumpkin pie (of course) were on the menu.  It was an exciting little venture for me because, well... I love to cook, but also because I was slightly bummed that we are not hosting the holiday this year. 

At any rate, I was definitely in rhythm yesterday.  Everything was getting banged out right on time, O was staying out of the kitchen which was amazing (read "Who Wants Turkey Jerky?" if you haven't already), and the aromas wafting from the oven were sinful.  Then the Pumpkin "Pie" Tart was ready.  I swear to you, the moment I took it out of the oven it was as if O teleported himself into the kitchen. 
"puntin pie ready mama?" he said to me in his curious little voice.  "Well, it's baked O, but it's not ready to eat" I responded.  "Okay mama.  I come back." 

Next thing I know, he's pushing that little red rocking chair into the kitchen.  "I just gonna look at it mama".  "Okay O, but don't touch it.  It's very hot."  I swear he stared at that pie for a good 20 minutes.  A few times he'd watch for me and get his little finger right up to that pie.  "I can see you and you better keep your fingers out of that pie.  It's not ready" I had to say a few times, knowing that it meant absolutely nothing.  Next thing I know, he has a fork in his hand.  "I not gonna eat it mama.  I not gonna eat it.  I just have this."  YEAH SURE.  "Alright.  That's it.  O, give me that fork, get off that chair, and go color.  I don't trust you."  He cried for a few minutes, but that was his first big lesson on patience.  It was a tough one.  I know, because I was struggling with the same pie restraint all afternoon.

I have included recipes for a couple of my most recent pie creations.  Both recipes use a french tart pastry as the crust from David Lebovitz.  It is by far and away the EASIEST (and no flour mess or rolling pins) and BEST crust recipe I have ever used and I will continue to use it from here on out. Do not be discouraged that it is called a "french tart dough".  Yes... you can use it for pie crust.  Enjoy!

Apple Crumb Pie
1 recipe French Tart Dough (see above)
4-5 Medium Jonamac apples, peeled and wedged into 1/8ths
3/4C Sugar
2T Tapioca Starch (also called tapioca flour)
1/4t Cardamom
1/4t Ground corriander
2t Ground cinnamon
1/8t Ground cloves
1/2C Unsalted butter
1C Sugar
1/4C + 1T All purpose flour
1/4t Salt

Prepare your french tart pastry.  Grease your pie pan, and place pastry in pan, making sure to take it all the way to the outer rim of the pan (to allow for shrinkage).  Poke holes in the bottom with a fork.  Place in freezer.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix together 3/4C sugar, tapioca starch, cardamom, corriander, cinnamon, and cloves in a large bowl.  Add apple wedges and toss until well coated.  Mound apples in the center of your frozen pie pastry.  Mix together butter, remaining sugar, flour, and salt until combined and crumbly.  Cover the entire top of the pie with the butter/sugar mixture.  Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Pumpkin "Pie" Tart with Molasses Drizzle
1 recipe French Tart Dough (see above)
1 15oz Can of pumpkin
1 8oz Can of Sweetened condensed milk
1/4C Brown sugar
2 Eggs
1/4t Salt
1t Ground cinnamon
1/2t Ground nutmeg
1/2t Ground ginger
1/4t Ground allspice

Prepare your french tart dough.  Grease a 9" springform pan.  Place your tart dough in an even layer, going at least 1 1/2" up the sides of the pan.  Poke holes all over the dough.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix together all remaining ingredients except molasses until well combined.  Pour into unbaked tart dough.  Drizzle molasses with a spoon on top of pumpkin filling. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.  Then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 35 minutes or until pumpkin filling is set.  Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing springform.

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