Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lemon Icebox Pie

Washington Post recipe . . . you'll need a 9-inch springform pan to make this pie, recipe inspired by the dessert served at Clancy's on Annunciation Street in New Orleans.

MAKE AHEAD: The baked pie needs at least 6 hours in the freezer before serving. The pie can be covered and frozen for up to 1 week. Make the chantilly cream just before serving; let the pie sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes one 9-inch pie (6 to 8 servings)

For the crust

* 14 whole graham crackers
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 6 to 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and warm

For the filling

* 2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
* 1 1/4 cups strained lemon juice (from 2 zested lemons plus an additional 4 to 6 lemons)
* Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated (a scant 2 tablespoons)
* 8 large egg yolks

For the chantilly cream

* 2 cups heavy cream
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar


For the crust: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Have a 9- or 10-inch springform pan and a baking sheet at hand.

Break the graham crackers into small pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor, along with the sugar and salt. Pulse 8 times, until the cracker crumbs are semi-fine (they shouldn't be powdery but not in large shards, either) and the crackers and sugar are combined. Add 6 tablespoons of the butter, and pulse in about twelve 1-second pulses until blended in. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter as needed so the mixture isn't crumbly and holds its shape when you squeeze it.

Transfer to the springform pan; push and press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and two-thirds of the way up the sides (2 to 2 1/2 inches). Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crust into place.

For the filling: Whisk together the condensed milk and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Whisk together the zest and egg yolks in a separate medium bowl for 30 to 60 seconds, until pale, and then whisk in the lemon juice-condensed milk mixture to form a smooth filling.

Place the springform pan on the baking sheet. Pour the filling into the crust, then carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are set and the center jiggles slightly, like a soft-set custard. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 1 hour. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap (be careful not to let the plastic wrap touch the top of the pie) and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

For the chantilly cream: Combine the cream and vanilla extract in the large bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with a whisk attachment) or hand-held electric mixer.

Sift in the confectioners' sugar. Beat on low speed to combine, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat for about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes, until medium-stiff peaks form.

When ready to serve, wrap a warm, wet towel around the edges of the springform pan to help ease the release of the pie. Unclasp the pan and carefully remove the springform ring.

Cut the pie into slices, using a knife dipped into very hot water before each cut. Top individual portions with a dollop of the chantilly cream.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

No Knead Bread

I blogged about this no knead bread recipe quite some time ago. I stumbled upon the recipe after receiving pieces of that beautiful French cookware, Le Creuset.

Again, I made the New York Times recipe for bread. The result? A beautiful rustic loaf of crispy bread.

I'm not a breadmaker. Yeast, not my thing. Check this out for the tutorial providing proof even a 4-year-old can succeed making this bread.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil - Ina Style

I watched Ina make this today . . . let's call this Sunday dinner.

Serves 6

½ cup good olive oil, plus extra for the pasta pot
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
4 pints small cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
18 large basil leaves, julienned
2 tablespoons chopped fresh curly parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¾ pound dried capellini or angel hair pasta
1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Extra chopped basil and grated Parmesan for serving

1 Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add two tablespoons of salt and a splash of oil to the pot.
2 Meanwhile, heat the ½ cup of olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, two teaspoons salt, the pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for five to seven minutes, tossing occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften but don't break up.
3 While the tomatoes are cooking, add the capellini to the pot of boiling water and cook for two minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water.
4 Place the pasta in a large serving bowl, add the tomatoes and Parmesan, and toss well. Add some of the pasta water if the pasta seems too dry. Serve large bowls of pasta with extra basil sprinkled on top and a big bowl of extra Parmesan on the side.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chocolate Intemperance

The original recipe for Chocolate Intemperance calls for a charlotte mold. I once made the recipe in multiple loaf pans and it turned out perfectly. You really need the whipped cream to cut the chocolate in this dessert. It's killer rich.

Mix together 3 eggs, 2 T. water and 1 Duncan Hines Brownie mix and pour into cookie sheet. Bake according to directions on mix . . . cut to line charlotte mold. Round for bottom of mold, sides, and round to fit on top.

Filling: 1.5 lbs. semisweet chocolate melted with 1/2 cup water

3 eggs, separated
2 T. sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped

Beat egg whites until stiff. Mix yolks, sugar and juice and incorporate into chocolate mixture. Fold in egg whites (gently) and pour into charlotte mold. Place last cake round over chocolate filling. Place in refrigerator overnight. Unmold and glaze.

Glaze: 1/2 lb. chocolate mixed with 1/3 cup water.

Serve with whipped cream.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins

I remember the bakery box these came in and the delicious sugary crunch on top. They're terrific.

Cream together:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla

Mix dry ingredients:

2 cups flour
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking powder

1/2 cup milk

Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, alternating with the 1/2 cup MILK.

Mash 1/2 cup blueberries. Add to muffin mix. Fold in additional 2 cups blueberries.

Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and sprinkle with turbinado sugar (for an extra crunchy top). Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Frosting..

This is an adaptation of the Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake. I hestiate to modify the experts' recipe, but buttermilk is my new cake baking friend.

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (original recipe calls for whole milk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream (original recipe calls for milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional cream, if needed. Stir in vanilla.

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