Salted Caramel Peach Pie

Without further ado, I return us to the summer fruit frenzy.  August is the month for peaches, and if you find yourself in possession of a few extra, I think I have an idea of how to use them.

Ok, I have another confession.  You all know I love pie.  What you may not know is that I love pie filling just a little bit more than the crust.  Yes, I’m one of those people that scoop the filling out of the crust or leave the crimped edges for the crust-lovers to eat (I’m the same way with pizza).

Though I am getting better at appreciating a good crust.  Especially since whenever I make pie, I always make my own crust.  I now finish my entire piece of pie almost every time!  However, one thing I really am not ready for is double-crust pie.  Nope, can’t do it.  I need an open-top pie or a crumble pie; baby steps here people.

I am all about this crumble pie.  Fresh peaches, salted caramel, crumb topping…yeah, this is practically my perfect pie.  It could be your perfect pie too.  Do me a favor and make this pie.  Make sure to drizzle each piece with extra caramel.

Ohhhh yes.  Summer just got slightly more tolerable.

Salted Caramel Peach Pie

Adapted from Evil Shenanigans

Makes one 9” pie, 10-12 servings

For the dough:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
½ tsp salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter, cubed and chilled
3-5 Tbsp ice water

For the crumble:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup (half a stick) butter, cubed and chilled

For the filling:
6 medium peaches, peeled, stone removed, and sliced
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup salted caramel (I used this brand)
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

salted caramel sauce, for garnish

First make the crust.  In a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine then add the cubed butter and, using your fingers, rub it in until the mixture looks like coarse sand and no large pieces of butter remain.

Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture forms a shaggy ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press the dough into a disk. Flatten the dough, fold it in half, and flatten it again. Repeat this process 4 times, then wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 1 hour.

Once chilled, pull the dough out of the refrigerator and let stand for 5-10 minutes to warm up. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thick, about a 12-inch circle, turning the dough often to make sure it does not stick. Dust the surface with additional flour if needed.

Press the dough into a greased 9” pie plate and trim the dough so that ½” of dough hangs over the plate’s edge. Tuck the dough under and crimp the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to fill and bake.

Next, prepare the crumble.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Cover and chill for 30 minutes before using.

Lastly, prepare the peach filling.  In a medium bowl combine the sliced peaches, cornstarch, salted caramel sauce, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gently toss to coat, then allow to stand for at least 10 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 425 F.  To assemble the pie, fill the pastry crust with the peach filling, then evenly spread the crumble over the top. Bake for 12 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for 45 to 55 more minutes, or until the crumble is deeply golden brown and the filling is bubbling all over. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.  Garnish with extra caramel sauce and enjoy!





Pineapple Ricotta Pie

Izzy was very confused and frightened by the amount of loud noises that surrounded our apartment last night.  Between random fireworks and a few thunderstorms, poor bunny say unhappily in her cage staring at me, her bulging eyes begging for it to stop.

Poor thing.  I’d offer her some condolence pie, but that probably wouldn’t be a good idea.  We had dinner with Luke’s parents last night, and I developed a headache as we left, so I wasn’t too happy with all the noise either.  Getting a migraine on the night of July 4th must suck.  Luckily mine was just a common headache.

Still, it was not fun.  I thought about burying my head in this pie, but then realized that might ruin the pie for others (including myself later on) so I re-thought my plan.  Instead Luke and I watched Independence Day.  Suiting, no?

Ok, so more about this pie.  Like I mentioned earlier, I was looking for ways to use up extra ricotta (which generally means searching ‘ricotta’ on foodgawker) when I came across this recipe.

I was intrigued.  A pineapple ricotta filling?  Could it be good?  Would it be good?  I love pineapple, and I like baked ricotta, so it stood to reason that this pie and I would get along just fine.

Let me tell you, this pie exceeded all my expectations.  The filling was sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, the ricotta mellowing the pineapple flavor, but leaving enough to be light and fresh.

Extra filling gets baked too!

If I have leftover ricotta again someday, I am sooo making this pie again.

Pineapple Ricotta Pie

Adapted from Buff Chickpea

Makes one 9” pie, about 12 servings

For the crust:

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

½ cup (one stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/8- ¼ cup ice water

For the filling:

1 pound (2 cups) ricotta cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 (20-ounce) can of crushed pineapple (drained)
1/4 tsp cinnamon for dusting

Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube, just until the dough holds together. Do not process for more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and place on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form a disc. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.

Place the pineapple in a mesh strainer set over a bowl for at least 1 ½ hours, or preferably overnight. Discard the liquids. This will create a thicker pie filling and keep the crust crispier.

Add the ricotta to a large mixing bowl, and beat it smooth with an electric mixer. Beat in the heavy cream, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure the texture is smooth. Finally, stir in the pineapple.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, with a rack set in the lower third of the oven.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 10-inch circle. Place the dough round in a greased pie plate, and freeze for 15 minutes.

After the fifteen minutes has passed, remove the pie plate from the freezer, and pour the filling right to the top, leaving just a bit of room for the filling to puff up. Sprinkle the top of the pie with ground cinnamon. If you have some extra filling left over, as I did, you can pour it into a ramekin for a crustless version, and follow the same baking instructions.

Bake the pie at 425 for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake another 30 minutes. The filling should be slightly puffed, golden, and set, not jiggly. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Apple Cider Custard Tart

I was able to give my dad his Father’s Day baked goods while I was in CT last week, since today I’m back up home in MA, and my dad is out and about visiting my grandma and other friends in the Mid-Atlantic.

My Dad and me at my graduation last year. Please disregard my wind-blown hair.

But it’s ok, really.  My dad is a very simple man.  Before my baking obsession struck, the usual question of “what do you want for Father’s Day/your birthday/Christmas?” was met with virtually the same list of items year in and year out.

Socks, tennis balls, and/or a new grill cover.  Simple, no?  I swear I’ve gotten him like three grill covers and they all seem to fall apart or disappear.

Now that I can’t get myself to stop baking, I try to make him special items when these times roll around.  They usually involve chocolate.  Lots of chocolate.  Nothing less for the man who I find myself resembling as I get older.  The man I’d call when my car wouldn’t start, when I got my heart broken or when I needed a another pair of eyes to edit an essay.  Thanks Dad, for all you’ve done, and all you do.

And to all the dads out there, I dedicate this tart.  I know apples aren’t “in season” (hey, apples are always in season somewhere in the country), but I’ve wanted to make this tart for a while, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with buying cider during springtime.

The dough of this tart is sweeter than traditional pie dough, and I almost ended up snacking on bits of it while making the lattice.  The cider is reduced and turned into a lovely layer of spiced custard, which pairs wonderfully with the sweet dough, creating a treat worthy of all Dads on their special day.  Happy Father’s Day!

Apple Cider Custard Tart

Adapted from Cherry Tea Cakes

Makes one 9” tart

For the dough:

¾ cup powdered sugar

1¾ cup all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

2 tsp grated lemon zest

½ cup (one stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

For the apple cider custard filling:

2 cups apple cider

3 large eggs

¾ cup light brown sugar, packed

4 Tbsp (half a stick) unsalted butter

First make the dough.  In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest Massage the butter into the mixture with your fingertips until it has the consistency of coarse meal.

Switch to a wooden spoon or spatula and stir in the egg.  Once it is semi-incorporated, switch back to your hands, and gather the dough together.  Add water 1 Tbsp at a time if the dough seems dry.  Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours or overnight.

While the dough is chilling make the apple cider custard.  In a medium saucepan, boil the apple cider until it has reduced to a half cup of liquid.

In a medium bowl, beat together eggs and brown sugar. While mixing constantly, very slowly pour in the reduced apple cider.  Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour back into the medium bowl through a fine mesh strainer to remove lumps.

Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Cover immediately and refrigerate.

To assemble and bake, preheat oven to 350ºF.  Grease a 9” tart pan with removable bottom and set aside.  Let the dough sit for 5 minutes, then roll it out on a floured surface, reserving one fourth to make the lattice topping.  Fit the rolled out dough into the prepared tart pan.

Spread the apple cider custard into the tart shell.  Roll out the reserved dough and cut into long strips creating a design, or cut using cookie cutters into shapes.  Bake for 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes, and serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator.

Key Lime Pie

Let’s call this post: The different angles of key lime pie.  Because that’s pretty much all I can give you from the photos.

I made this pie as a request from my mom for Mother’s Day, and as such, could not cut into it before delivery.  The delivery process also required a two-hour car ride with a bunny-filled cat carrier on my lap, so piping on awesome whipped cream decorations was out of the question too.  Unless I wanted whipped cream ending up in random corners of Luke’s car.

Which I didn’t.  So I give you a plain pie.  With a funny bubble.  What is up with that?  It’s like a pie belly button or something.  Every time I look at it, I want to poke it.  I can feel my finger being drawn towards the computer screen.  Luckily, I didn’t poke the actual pie, and it made it to my mom’s house safe and sound.

I’ve posted about key lime pie before here on Bashful Bao, but this is the traditional version, using egg yolks, lime juice and zest and sweetened condensed milk for the filling.  My other version also incorporated egg whites, leading to a lighter, airier filling.  This is the version most people think of when key lime pie comes to mind, though I think both versions are equally tasty.

Key Lime Pie

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Makes one 9” pie (10 or so servings)

For the crust:

9 graham crackers, crushed into crumbs (about 1 cup cracker crumbs)
2 Tbsp sugar
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

4 tsp grated lime zest
4 large egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

To make the crust, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and the granulated sugar in a medium bowl. While stirring and mixing continuously with a fork, slowly drizzle the melted butter into the graham cracker and sugar mixture until evenly combined.  Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch pie plate and evenly press the crumbs into the pie plate with your fingers. Bake the crust until it is fragrant and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

To make the filling, whisk the lime zest and egg yolks together in a medium bowl for 2 minutes. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, then the lime juice. Set aside at to thicken while the crust cools.

Once the crust has cooled to room temperature, pour the lime filling into the crust. Bake until the center is set, but still wiggly when jiggled, 15 to 17 minutes. Return the pie to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 3 hours.  Garnish with whipped cream if desired.  Cover pie and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

German Chocolate Tarts

Holy fish sticks, how is it already almost May?  This month has really flown by, leaving in its wake both joyous moments and disappointments.  But it’s almost May, and May means sunshine, and sunshine means sundresses, so I’m happy.

I didn’t start wearing sundresses until last year, and it’s still a big deal for me, so please bear with my excitement.  I can’t wait to move to the new house where I can be out in the yard, spread out on a blanket, reading.  Our apartment doesn’t have much by way of a yard, and every time we go outside, the new neighbor’s dog starts howling like a tone-deaf yodeler.

So I’m staying inside for now, and since temps are only reaching the mid 50s in MA right now, I’m ok with it.

I’ll just have to channel my warm weather frustrations into making some kitchen magic.  Take these tarts for example.  Pure. Kitchen. Magic.

KA and I made these back when she was visiting, since I was driving her home (which also happens to be my hometown) and wanted to bring something special to my dad.  You know, because I’m a good daughter like that.

I had some leftover filling from these cookies, so these tarts seemed like an appropriate vehicle for using it up.  Luke liked them so much he asked me if I really had to take them to my dad.  I mean, I don’t blame him.  My dad asked if it were possible for the tarts to mate, thereby replenishing the ones he ate overnight.  I think that means they’re good 😉

German Chocolate Tarts

Adapted from Scientifically Sweet

Makes 12 muffin sized tarts

For the pastry:

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

3 Tbsp sugar

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, very cold and cut into cubes

1 large egg

For the filling:

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

½ cup sugar

1/8 tsp salt

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp sour cream

½ tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup all purpose flour

For the topping*:

2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

¾ cup evaporated milk

½ cup sugar

2 large egg yolks

pinch of salt

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped

3oz semi sweet chocolate, for drizzling (optional)

To make the pastry, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Add butter and use your fingertips to rub it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  The butter should be well dispersed with some larger, oat flake-sized pieces remaining.  Beat egg well with a fork in a small bowl until very fluid and drizzle into flour mixture while gently tossing with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened and it holds together in clumps.  Turn dough out onto a work surface and bring it together in a ball with your hands, turning it frequently and pressing in loose bits until it is cohesive.  You may need to add a little water if your dough is too dry.  Add water 1 Tbsp at a time with dough comes together.  Fold the dough over itself a few times so that the dough is evenly hydrated.  Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

After the dough has chilled, roll it out to a 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.  Use a 3.5 to 4 inch round to cut out 12 circles (re-rolling scraps as necessary) and fit each round into the greased base of each well in a standard 12-cup muffin pan.  Press pastry into the bottom and up the sides of the muffin cups.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the filling, stir together chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pot with ½ inch of barely simmering water until completely melted and smooth.  Remove bowl from heat and stir in sugar and salt.  Stir in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated.  Stir in sour cream and vanilla extract.  Fold in flour until batter is smooth and set aside.

Prick bottoms of chilled, unbaked tart shells a few times with a fork.  Spoon the batter into tart shells, filling them about halfway and bake on the bottom third rack of the oven until batter puffs up and pastry is crisp, about 15 minutes.  Let cool in pan at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  Use a small offset spatula to help release them from the pan.  Reduce oven to 325 degrees F.

*I used leftovers from this recipe for the topping, so I didn’t actually make this part.

Spread coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until lightly golden, about 5 minutes, stirring once.  Transfer coconut to a bowl and let cool completely.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk together evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks and salt over medium low heat.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens considerably and reaches the consistency of sweetened condensed milk or pouring custard, 10-15 minutes.  Stir in butter until smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in toasted coconut and chopped pecans.  Let mixture cool for 5-10 minutes before spooning about 1 tablespoon of it over each tart.

If you’re making the chocolate drizzle, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot with ½ inch of barely simmering water and stir completely melted and smooth.  Using a fork, drizzle warm chocolate over tarts as you wish.

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Pie

Isn’t this the cutest little begging face you’ve ever seen?  Starting around 7pm, Izzy starts making trips into her cage and striking this pose to remind me that feeding time is approaching.  Cutest reminder ever.

Today is a special day.  It’s Pi(e) Day!!

An entire day celebrating the grand splendor that is pie.  I forget sometimes what a wonderful dessert pie is.  It scares me slightly that since Thanksgiving, I’ve only made one pie besides this one.

Oh boy, I need more pie in my life.  Especially pie like this.

The last time I made a buttermilk pie, the results were less than spectacular.  The filling didn’t set properly, and the top bubbled up unevenly, which created a very sad looking pie.

So, I was a little hesitant to make another, but I don’t like little fears or disappointments lording over me, especially in the kitchen.  So I tried again.

And I’m soooo glad I did.  This pie is fabulous, and made my apartment smell amazing.  The filling turns into a smooth, velvety custard with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, and the top of the pie caramelizes beautifully.  I may be in love with this pie.  Ok, maybe I’ve just rediscovered my love of pie.  I’m definitely going to try and put it in dessert rotation more often.

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Pie

Adapted from Every Day Food

Makes one 9” pie

For the crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

¼ cup ice water

For The Filling:

3 Tbsps all-purpose flour

3 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks

1 cup packed dark-brown sugar

1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

To make the crust: Stir together flour, sugar, and salt.  Cut in butter and knead with pastry cutter (or your fingers) until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with half the water and gather the ball of dough together.  Add the rest of the water, a little at a time, as needed for the dough to hold together.  Form dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch round. Place in a 9-inch pie plate, fold overhang under, and crimp edges. Prick dough all over with a fork. Place a piece of aluminum foil over dough and fill with coins or dried beans. Bake until edge is light golden, about 15 minutes; remove from oven and take off parchment and weights.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, eggs, and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, nutmeg, and cinnamon until combined. In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown and most of the foam has subsided, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately whisk into buttermilk mixture. Pour filling into pie shell and bake until set but still slightly wobbly in center, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, 2 hours, before serving.  Store in the refrigerator.


Black Forest Tart

Happy President’s Day!  One of those holidays I only noticed because we got the day off from school, thank you Mr. Presidents.  Luke has the day off from work, and we’re celebrating by taking a trip to our favorite Asian market/food court in Boston.  I’m stoked.

In honor of this momentous holiday, I’m posting a tart featuring cherries…you know…because George Washington chopped down a cherry tree or something.  I do believe it’s a myth, but that’s ok.  Cherries are great, and adding chocolate only makes them better.

My most recent birthday request at the office was a repeat of black forest cake.  I didn’t want to make the exact same thing, so I switched out cupcakes for a tart.  I wasn’t able to taste the tart, but it did receive glowing reviews.  It’s like a brownie, with a crust and topped with cherries.  I’m definitely going to make it again (once cherries are in season, I had to buy canned ones for this recipe) and then I’ll have it all to myself!

Black Forest Tart

Adapted from Scientifically Sweet

For the pastry:

1 cup all purpose flour

2 Tbsp sugar

¼ tsp salt

5 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 large egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

For the cherry filling:

½ cup freshly pitted and halved cherries

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp cornstarch

2 tbsp water

For the chocolate filling:

3.5 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2/3 cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

2 large eggs

2 tbsp sour cream

½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup all purpose flour

½ cup freshly pitted and halved cherries

 To make the pastry, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Cut the butter into the mixture using a pastry cutter, or your fingers, until it resembles coarse crumbles with some pea sized pieces.  In a small bowl, beat the egg with the vanilla until fluid and smooth.  Drizzle into the flour mixture while stirring, until it holds together in clumps.  Turn dough out onto a clean work surface and bring it together in a ball, pressing in all the loose bits, until it is cohesive.  Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. (I made the dough the day before and refrigerated it overnight.)

 Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to ¼ inch thickness, using more flour as needed to prevent sticking.  Gently fit the dough into a greased 9” inch tart pan with removable bottom.  Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

To make the cherry topping, combine cherries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook while stirring constantly, until cherries become soft and begin to release most of their juices, about 5 minutes.  In a separate bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water and add to the pot with the cherries.  Bring to the boil and continue to cook until the mixture is thick, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.

To make the chocolate filling, stir together chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water until completely melted and smooth.  Take off heat and stir in sugar and salt.  Stir in the eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated.  Stir in sour cream and vanilla extract until blended.  Fold in flour and cherries.  Pour chocolate mixture into chilled pastry shell and refrigerate until filling is firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spoon the cooled cherry topping randomly over the chilled chocolate filling, and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is slightly puffed, 30-35 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing.