Raspberry Rhubarb Pie

Raspberry Rhubarb Pie

Pie is one of those things I am getting better at. It’s the baking that kills me. Finding that spot where the crust has completely baked and the filling is properly cooked has been pretty difficult.

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Pear Caramel Pie

I never know when something will pop up and inspire me. About this time last year I was in a grocery store line and spotted a Donna Hay Magazine with an awesome looking caramel cake on the front. Issue 62 Autumn.The magazine was full of autumn recipes including a bunch with caramel. I picked up the magazine and was pleasantly surprised when I got home and read it. I knew there was some great stuff in there for fall entertaining.

Fast forward to our annual Christmas party and I knew I needed to make something from this issue. After debating back and forth it was decided that I would attempt the Caramel and Pear Pie with Pecan Crumble. I thought it was enough of a spectacular dessert for the party!

Pear Caramel Pie

For this recipe I used:

1 Cup of Whipping Cream
2 Sticks of Cinnamon
1 Vanilla Bean – Split & Scraped
8 Pears – peeled and chopped
1/4 Cup of All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Cups of Sugar
1/2 Cup of Water
1 Tablespoon of White Vinegar

1 2/3 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon of Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
180G Cold Unsalted Butter – cut into pieces
40 ml Iced Water
40 ml Chilled Vodka
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
80 g Melted Butter
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans

I started off with the pastry. I added the flour, sugar, and baking powder to a bowl along with the chilled butter.

Pear Caramel Pie – Cutting in the Butter for the Pastry

I used a pastry blender to mix the pastry until it was the texture of fine crumbs.  I then added the water, vodka, and vanilla and mix the pastry until it came together into a cohesive dough.

Pear Caramel Pie – Adding the Liquids

I transferred the dough to the counter and formed it into a ball. I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap and let is rest in the fridge for about an hour.

Pear Caramel Pie – Pastry for the Fridge

Next I made the topping. I added all of the ingredients to a bowl and mixed it well. I set it aside for later.

Pear Caramel Pie – The Pecan Topping Mixture

Now it was time for the filling. I cup the 8 pears into small pieces.

Pear Caramel Pie – Cutting the Pears

I added the flour to the pears and mixed everything well.

Pear Caramel Pie – Adding the Flour

In a medium sauce pan I placed the cream, the cinnamon sticks, and the split and scraped vanilla bean and brought it to a boil. After the pot boiled I removed it from the heat and set it aside. After  a few minutes remove the vanilla pod and the cinnamon sticks before proceeding to the next step.

Pear Caramel Pie – The Cream Mixture

And this is where things got ugly (hence no pictures).  In another sauce pan I added the sugar, water, vinegar. I brought the pan to a boil and let it cook for 10 minutes or so. The mixture needed to be a deep caramel colour.

Following the recipe directions – which I knew would be problematic – I ended up burning my hand. Rats!

As I really made 2 of these Pies, to serve 15, the process should go as follows: After the sugar is a deep caramel colour, remove the pan from the heat.  Carefully add the cream mixture to the sugar. Stand back while doing this. The pot will steam and spit. After the cream has been added quickly whisk the mixture together.

Pour the caramel mixture over the pears.

Roll the pastry out to a large enough sheet to be able to fit into an 8 inch spring form pan.

Pear Caramel Pie – Rolling out the Pastry

I then worked on fitting the pastry into the 8″ Springform pan. This took a little bit of work, but eventually I succeeded.

Pear Caramel Pie – Fitting the Pastry

I took the extra precaution of chilling the pastry in the freezer for 10 minutes just to firm it up. Once the pastry was firm I added the pear mixture.

Pear Caramel Pie – Adding the final Pear Mixture

Then I topped the pear mixture with the crumble.

Pear Caramel Pie – Adding the Crumble

Before putting the  pie in the oven I loosely covered it with foil. Off to a 400˚ oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and finish baking for another 20 minutes to brown the topping. Cool the the pie on a rack for at least 2 hours. Carefully remove the outer ring of the spring form pan and serve.

Pear Caramel Pie – After Cooling
Donna Hay – Issue 62
Donna Hay – Issue 62 Beauty Shot

Bakers Notes:

  • given this is a caramel pie I suspected it would be very sweet. I was pleasantly surprised that it was not. It was the perfect finish to a great dinner party!
  • I made a second version of this pie with gluten free flour substitutes and it turned out perfectly
  • as I obtained a pretty good burn from following directions I knew had a problem, I recommend everyone to use methods they know are right despite what a recipe may say

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie

The second recipe I made for Sunday Cafe & Kuchen was a Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie from a book called The Hali’imaile General Store Cookbook.I bought this cookbook when we were on the Island of Maui a few years ago. We had somehow heard about the Hali’imaile General Store. We sought out the restaurant and had, to this day, one of our top 10 meals ever! We had to buy the cook book.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – on the Bottom Right
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie

For this recipe I used:

For the pie crust:
3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup plus 1 Teaspoon of Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
2 Tablespoons plus 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Heavy Cream
1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
2 Cups of Cake Flour
1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

For the filling:
4 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
2 Ounces of Semi Sweet Chocolate
5 Eggs
1 Cup of Sugar
1 1/2 Cups of Dark Corn Syrup
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 Cups of Halved Macadamia Nuts

How it went:

I gathered all of the pie crust ingredients together so thing would go quickly.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – The Ingredients

I sifted the flour, cocoa and the salt together. Mainly to get rid of the lumps in the cocoa.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Sifted Flour & Cocoa

Next I mixed the butter and sugar together until it was well mixed.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Butter & Sugar

I added the egg and the vanilla and mixed well again.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Creamed Butter, Sugar, Egg & Vanilla

Adding the flour mixture end mixing until just mixed.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Adding the the Flour Mixture
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Mixed Pie Dough

I turned the pie dough mixture onto the counter and brought it together and wrapped and refrigerated it for at least an hour.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Ready for the Fridge

After about an hour in the fridge it was time to line the 10″ tart pan.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – 10″ Tart Pan – Removable bottom

I floured the counter and the dough and rolled it out to fit the 10″ tart pan.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Pie Dough Ready to Roll Out
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Rolling out the Pie Dough
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Rolled out Pie Dough

I moved the dough to the pan and trimmed the excess off.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Pie Shell Fitted and Ready for the Oven

The it was time to bake the shell in the oven @ 350˚ for 15 minutes. It may need longer to fully bake. The crust should be dry with a matte finish.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Tart Shell Baked

Now for the easy part. The filling. In a large bowl I added the eggs, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Filling Ingredients

In a small sauce pan I melted the butter and chocolate together until just melted.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Melting the Butter and Chocolate

I added the warm chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and whisked until well combined.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Mixed Egg & Chocolate Mixtures

Then I added the macadamia nuts.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Adding the Macadamia Nuts

I carefully added the filling mixture into the tart pan and the put the pan into the same 350˚ oven for an hour and 20 minutes.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Ready for the Oven

My filling cracked because if how I moved the hot pan. I accidentally pushed up on the bottom of the pan. I let it thoroughly cool.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Cooling on the Rack

Cooks notes:

  • ensure the rolled out pie dough is 1/4 of an inch thick. The crust will be soggy otherwise.
  • make sure the crust is fully baked. The crust will be soggy otherwise.
  • the recipe called for macadamia halves. I am going to assume the recipe also called for unsalted macadamia nuts. Following these, this pie turns out to be very expensive. I have made this pie several times with dry roasted salted whole macadamia nuts. The salt dissolves in the sugar and is, in my opinion, unnoticeable.

Kaffee & Küchen – Sunday December 30

With the Christmas season coming to a close we decided to have a Sunday Kaffee & Küchen to catch up with friends we had not seen in December.We decided to make 3 baked items, use the rest of the Christmas cookies that were baked earlier in the season, have coffee  (spiked or otherwise) and juice or milk or pop for the kids that were invited.

We decided to make:

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – The Hale Imale Country Store Cookbook
Gingerbread Snacking Cake – via Martha Stewart
Stollen – from an old German Cookbook

I made the the Macadamia Pie and the Gingerbread . I hope that you will take a look at all of the pages. Comments are always appreciated!

Kaffee & Küchen – From left to right – Macadamia Pie, Gingerbread, Oranges, Cookies, Stollen, Cookies

While it is now May…. I do hope you had a very Merry Christmas and will continue have an amazing New Year!

Dahlia Triple Coconut Cream Pie

About a dozen years ago, on a visit to Seattle, I stumbled upon the Dahlia Lounge for an early dinner. While the meal was superb, the dessert was simply amazing. A piece of the Dahlia Triple Coconut Cream Pie that was to die for. Every time I was able to make it back to Seattle I was sure to have a piece. I must not be the only Coconut Cream Pie lover as Tom & Shelley say they have sold over 345,000 pies.
Fast forward the fall of 2012 and a miraculous event occurred – The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook is released! I was quick to add it to my Christmas list and lo and behold a Generous Santa ensured it was under the tree!
I made this for a dinner party earlier this spring and it was amazing! Better that I remember it at the restaurant.
Thanks Tom Douglas & Shelley Lance!!!
Triple Coconut Cream Pie
For this recipe I used:
165 Grams All Purpose Flour

165 Grams All Purpose Flour
50 Grams Shredded Sweetened Coconut
113 Grams Cold Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/8 Teaspoon of Salt
30 Grams Vodka
35 Grams Ice Cold Water
Pastry Cream Filling:
230 Grams Whole Milk
230 Grams Unsweetened Coconut Milk – stirred
170 Grams Sweetened Shredded Coconut
1 Vanilla Bean – Split Lengthwise
2 Large Eggs
125 Grams Sugar
26 Grams All Purpose Flour
57 Grams Unsalted Butter – room temperature
Whipped Cream Topping:
600 Grams Heavy Cream – Chilled
63 Grams Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
57 Grams Sweetened Coconut
60 Grams Curled White Chocolate – or more
Crust ingredients:
Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Crust Ingredients

I started by mixing the flour, sugar, salt and coconut together in a bowl then cutting in the chilled butter with a pastry blender. I continued until the butter was in small pieces well coated with flour.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Cutting in the Butter

Next I added all of the water and Vodka and mixed well with a fork.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Adding Water & Vodka

When the dough came together I turned it out onto the counter and brought it together.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Thoroughly Mixed Dough

Wrapped and ready for an hour in the fridge.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Dough for the Fridge
Triple Coconut Cream Pie – The Book and Dough

Now it was time to make the Pastry Cream filling:

In a pot I mixed together the milk, coconut milk and the shredded coconut.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Milks & Coconut in the Pot

Now it was time to scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and put the seeds and the bean in the coconut milk pot and heat everything on medium high heat until the mixture just starts to boil. Keep a close watch here!

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Splitting and Scraping the Vanilla Bean

While the coconut & vanilla mixture is coming to temperature whisk the eggs, sugar, and flour together.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Mixing The Eggs, Sugar & Flour
Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Just boiled milks

Once the coconut & vanilla mixture comes just to a boil I removed the pot from the heat and whisked a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg mixture. Tempering the eggs.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Tempering the Eggs

After quickly tempering the egg mixture I added it to the coconut mixture pot while whisking quickly. Place the pot back on the heat and continue to whisk until the mixture is very thick. 4 to 5 minutes. My time was 7 minutes.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Adding the Tempered Eggs for the Final Boil

After thickening, I transferred the mixture to a medium bowl and whisked in the room temperature butter a bit at a time until thoroughly combined.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Incorporating the Butter

I removed the vanilla pod and discard it. Place plastic wrap directly on the warm mixture and chilled it well in the fridge. This can take a couple of hours. Ensure the plastic wrap is in direct contact with the pastry cream while it is in the fridge to avoid a skin forming.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Ready to be Chilled

With the pastry cream in the fridge it was time to finish the coconut crust. I turned on the oven to heat it to 400˚. After removing the dough from the ridge and letting it rest for 10 minutes on the counter. I started to roll it out. Keeping the counter well floured and constantly lifting the pastry made it easy to roll out the dough to the right size.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Rolling out the Crust

I place the pie plate I was going to use over the rolled out dough to make sure I had the right size.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Ensuring the Right Sized Crust

I rolled the dough over the rolling pin to easily move it to the pie plate.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Transferring to the Pie Plate

I gently unrolled the dough over the pie plate and then worked it into the corners.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Working the Crust into the Pie Plate

I trimmed the dough so that it had about a 2 cm over hang and then crimped the edges.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Crimping the Crust

After crimping the edges I pricked the bottom of the pastry with a fork. This helps ensure there are no air domes created when it is time to bake the pastry shell. Then I put the pie plate in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Docking the Crust

After 10 minutes in the freezer I lined the pan with parchment paper and filled the cavity with pie weights and into the oven the crust went.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Parchment & Pie Weights for Blind Baking

After 20 minutes, when the edge started to brown, I remove the parchment paper and the pie weights and put the pie pan back into the oven until the pastry had completely cooked. That took 15 or so more minutes. The pie does not get cooked again so be sure the bottom crust is fully baked.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Finished Crust
While the crust was cooling completely I started with the final garnish. Sadly I could not find any large flake coconut so I used shredded sweetened coconut and toasted it in a fry pan for 10  to 20 minutes on medium low.
Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Toasting the Coconut
Once the coconut had browned remove it from the heat and transfer it to a bowl to let it cool. There is a small possibility the coconut could continue to cook in the fry pan and burn.
Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Toasted Coconut

Take a block of white chocolate and use a sturdy vegetable peeler to shave off curls. You can try to use the palm of your hand to slightly warm up the chocolate to get better curls.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Creating White Chocolate Curls
Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Chocolate Curls

Now it was time for the final assembly! Ensuring the pastry shell is completely cooled I added the coconut pastry cream ans smoothed it out into a slight dome.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Pie Assembly –  Pastry Cream

I whipped the cream topping and piped it onto the pastry cream.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Pie Assembly – Whipped Cream

Finally I added the toasted coconut and the white chocolate curls. Then off to the fridge until dessert time.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Pie Assembly- Coconut and White Chocolate Garnish

This pie was simply amazing! Worth getting the cookbook for if you can’t make it to Seattle.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Ready for Eating!!

Cooks Notes:

  • I used the America’s Test Kitchen method of using Vodka for some of the water in the crust. Vodka contains less water and brings a lighter crispier crust. I think some of the butter in this crust could be replaced with shortening for a few more flakes
  • When making the coconut pastry cream stay focused. I can see how this would easily go wrong. Having said that… have no fear!
  • When making the chocolate curls – use a sturdy vegetable peeler
  • Consider using your own home made shredded coconut – this would make the pie utterly sublime

Individual Sour Cherry Pies

As summer is rapidly coming to a close a little voice keeps reminding me to use the sour cherries I froze last year. Eek… They need to be used soon.This summer I have made sour cherry crisp 3 times, a sour cherry cake that was kind of a flop, 2 carrot cakes, a chocolate hazelnut brioche loaf, a rainbow cake, a pecan tart,  and a couple of sour cherry cakes with streusel topping. I needed to try something new.

I came across a recipe for individual sour cherry pies. I had sour cherries and I had some individual tart/pie pans I brought from Germany a couple of years ago. So it was time to inaugurate the pans!
For the pastry I was inspired by both Martha Stewart and America’s Test Kitchen. Thank you both.

This recipe called for:

2 1/2 Cups of all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Whey Low sugar substitute
2 Sticks (1/2 pound) of cold butter – in pieces
1/4 cup plain Vodka
1/4 cup cold Water

4 Cups of Frozen Sour Cherries (1 1/3 Pounds)
1 Cup of Whey Low sugar substitute
2 1/2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
Juice and Zest of 1/2 Lemon
1 Large Egg
2 Tablespoons Skim Milk (or regular milk or cream)

Individual Sour Cherry Pie

See all the details after the jump:
For the pastry I measured out the vodka & water and set them aside. I then measured out the flour, salt, and Whey Low into a medium mixing bowl. I cut up the butter into small pieces. Then used a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until there were small piece of butter coated in the flour. I then added the vodka mixture and mixed with a fork until it came together.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Flour, Salt & Whey Low
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Adding the Butter
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Cutting in the Butter
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Adding the Water & Vodka
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Bringing the Dough Together

I emptied the mixture on the counter and formed a ball. I cut the ball in half and wrapped each half in plastic and refrigerated them for an hour. I think this pastry is at it’s best when left overnight.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – A Final Quick Knead
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Cutting the Dough in Half
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Dough Wrapped and Ready for the Freezer

While the pastry was chilling I ensured the sour cherries were pit free by cutting each partially frozen cherry in half. Once I was sure all pits were removed I placed the cherries, Whey Low, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest into a medium bowl and mixed them well. I placed the bowl in the fridge while I rolled out the pastry.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Filling Ingredients
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Zesting and Juicing the Lemon
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Adding the Filling Ingredients to a Bowl
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Mixed Filling

I rolled out the pastry according to the directions and cut it into 6 pieces. I then fit the pieces in the pans. I did have to piece the pastry together to get everything to fit correctly. In the future I would split the dough into 6 pieces and rolled each one out individually. In the end everything looked fine.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Dividing the Dough for the Bases
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Fitting the Dough to the Pan
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Final Adjustments

I split the filling between the 6 pans then rolled out the other ball of pastry. I cut 6 pieces and them fit them to the top each pan.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Filling the individual Pies

I mixed the egg and cream together in a small bowl then brushed the top of each pie. The pies went onto a lined baking sheet. Then I cut a vent hole in each pie and let them rest in the fridge until the oven heated to 450. I should have cut the vent in the pies just before they went into the oven.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Ready for the Oven

When the oven reached temperature I took the pies out of the fridge and brushed them again with the egg wash and popped them in the oven for 40 minutes.

When the pies came out of the oven I let them cool on their sheet on a rack for 30 minutes. After removing the pans I let everything cool for another hour or so.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Just out of the Oven
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Final Cooling

Turned out awesomely! If I do say so myself.

Cooks Notes:

  • this might be the place to use a shortening or butter/shortening crust as the pans are small and the pastry would be in smaller pieces
  • I would make 25% more filling to ensure the individual pies are crammed full of flavour!
  • I have come up with my version of pie dough it can be found here

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