S’mores Pie (No-Bake!)

S’mores Pie (No-Bake!)
This easy no-bake s’mores pie recipe features distinct layers of graham cracker crust, chocolate filling, and a toasted marshmallow topping.
READ: S’mores Pie (No-Bake!)

A wedge of s'mores pie with a bite taken out and the tops lightly toasted.

S’mores Pie (No-Bake!)

This easy no-bake s'mores pie recipe features distinct layers of graham cracker crust, chocolate filling, and a toasted marshmallow topping.

READ: S’mores Pie (No-Bake!)

Blacker Berry Galette

My Netflix queue has gotten out of control and is entirely too long. And to make matters worse, I keep adding to it. Being out of the U.S. for so long, I missed watching binge-worthy, must-watch classics like The Wire and Breaking Bad when they came out, and I’d love to sit down on the sofa for another few months and watch them now that…

My Netflix queue has gotten out of control and is entirely too long. And to make matters worse, I keep adding to it. Being out of the U.S. for so long, I missed watching binge-worthy, must-watch classics like The Wire and Breaking Bad when they came out, and I’d love to sit down on the sofa for another few months and watch them now that they are streaming, as well as rewatch all five seasons of Six Feet Under, which was one of the best shows that’s even been on television. How they managed to make a show about death so human is beyond me, with a finale that’s lauded as the best ending for a television series ever. Which also made me wonder how they could have left the end of The Sopranos, another incredible show, land with such a thud?

The pandemic and confinements were certainly good for whittling down those “Watch Lists” but one show that jumped to the top of the queue was High on the Hog. It’s an eye-opening, unnerving, and emotionally difficult look at the role that African-Americans, who were brought to America as slaves, had in shaping American cooking. The subtitle of the show is “How African-American Cuisine Transformed America” which sounds like a big bill for fill, but the four-episode show traces how that happened.

And lest anyone doubt the rich contribution African-Americans have made to our cooking, author and Cook’s Country editor Toni Tipton-Martin pointed out in the program that Black Americans have been used by food brands for decades in America to denote quality, by brands like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, which gave host Stephen Satterfield pause as well, flipping the narrative about those culinary characters (or caricatures) that many of us grew up with.

Continue Reading Blacker Berry Galette...

No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake

In the heat of summer, I am always looking for fun low (or no) cook ways to…

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In the heat of summer, I am always looking for fun low (or no) cook ways to make and enjoy a little dessert. Give me all of your icebox cakes, no bake bars, and no bake cheesecakes! No bake cheesecake has all of the rich cream cheese flavor of it’s baked counterpart, but it is a bit lighter in texture and so easy to make. There are no water baths to fuss with and no worry about the top splitting on you.

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This no bake cheese cake is a great base for all sorts of summer fruit, but it would also be delicious with caramel or chocolate drizzled over the top instead. This version uses a literal heap of gorgeous fresh blueberries.

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The salty pretzel and nutty browned butter crust comes together quickly too, no baking required. It also ensures that the whole dessert is nice and balanced, and not too sweet. For a sweeter version feel free to substitute graham cracker or biscoff cookie crumbs for the preztels. You could even skip browning the butter in favor of just melting it, but the browned butter adds a ton of great flavor so I wouldn’t!

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The topping is a combination of fresh and cooked blueberries, the cooked ones make it a little saucy and help the blueberries stick together instead of sliding all over the place. I topped the whole thing with a few small leaves from my basil plant that look little little blueberry leaves. Mint would work too but the herbs are totally optional.


No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake

Salty pretzels make a perfect base for this not to sweet cheesecake, but you could use graham crackers or biscoff cookie crumbs for a sweeter version - use gluten free cookies to make this desert for your gluten avoiding friends and family. The blueberry topping is partially cooked which creates some sauciness that helps the blueberries stick together, but if that’s a bridge too far for lazy summer cooking, you can just pile the top with lots of fresh blueberries. They may roll of when you slice it though!

 

Crust

175g/ 1 1/2 cups finely ground pretzels

50g/ 1/4 cup granulated sugar

340g/12 tablespoons unsalted butter

Filling

450g/ 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature

100g/ 1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract

240ml/ 1 cup heavy cream, cold

Topping

490g/ 3 1/2 cups blueberries

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Mint or basil leaves if desired


To make the crust: Combine the pretzels and sugar in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook the butter while scraping the bottom and sides of the pan occasionally with a rubber spatula. The butter will foam, then the solids will turn deep golden brown and smell nutty. Once the butter has browned pour it over the pretzels in the bowl then stir to combine. Let the mixture cool for a minute or two then pour it into a 9-inch pie pan. Carefully press it evenly on the bottom and up the sides of the pan, a 1/3 cup measure is a great tool for this. Set the pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the cream cheese and sugar on low speed until combined. Turn the mixer up to medium and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl occasionally to ensure even mixing. 

Add the vanilla and lemon and stir to combine.

Switch to the whisk attachment and with the mixer on low, add the heavy cream. Turn the mixer up to medium high and whip until the mixture comes to stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.

Spoon the filling into the chilled crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate for about 8 hours or overnight. 

To make the topping: When you are ready to serve the cheesecake put 280g/2 cups of the blueberries in a large bowl and set aside. Combine 140g/1 cup of the blueberries, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cover the pot and cook until the blueberries have burst and released their juices, about 2 minutes. 

In a small bowl stir the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water, slowly pour it into the blueberry mixture in the pot while stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly for 45 seconds, until thick and glossy.

Pour the mixture over the blueberries in the bowl and stir to combine. Pour the blueberries over the chilled cheesecake and scatter the remaining 70g/ 1/2 cup blueberries over the top. Sprinkle mint or basil over the top and let the pie sit for a few minutes before slicing. Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days.  

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Momofuku Milk Bar Crack Pie

Momofuku Milk Bar Crack Pie
Learn how to make the decadent Milk Bar Pie (Crack Pie) with an oatmeal cookie crust and sweet, gooey filling. It’s a pie everyone will love!
READ: Momofuku Milk Bar Crack Pie

A square photo of a crack pie with a slice cut in the pan in the bottom right side of the pie.

Momofuku Milk Bar Crack Pie

Learn how to make the decadent Milk Bar Pie (Crack Pie) with an oatmeal cookie crust and sweet, gooey filling. It's a pie everyone will love!

READ: Momofuku Milk Bar Crack Pie

Real Deal Cherry Pie

I had the good fortune of a day off right at the beginning of sour cherry s…

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I had the good fortune of a day off right at the beginning of sour cherry season last week (What, you don’t mark the weeks of summer using hyper-seasonal fruit as a guide? Just me?) so I put on some sunscreen and a hat, hopped in the car, and went in search of a u-pick farm. I was not disappointed to find a row of trees, heavy with fruit and not a soul in site at a farm a few hours from Brooklyn. It was a hot, hot day and the scent of the last strawberries in the field nearby filled the air as I filled up my bucket with precious sour cherries. 

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When I got home with my bounty, pie was the only choice. Instead of a traditional round, I went slab style and baked it in a quarter sheet pan. If you don’t have a quarter sheet pan or two, I highly recommend picking one up. At roughly 9x13x1, they are the perfect size to bake focaccia, a few cookies, toast nuts, or roast just about anything…but back to the sour cherries.

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Pitting cherries can be kind of a pain, but since sour cherries are so soft, I usually skip the pitter and just use my thumb to ease out the pits. It’s a bit of a sticky, drippy process so you can move your operation to the sink to make clean up super easy.

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I like my fruit pie fillings pretty simple, especially when the fruit is so special (and hard earned). This one is just sweet enough to highlight the cherries without totally overtaking their tart bite. I also added a bit of vanilla bean paste to round out the flavor, but a little bit of extract will do the trick too.

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The all butter pie crust has a bit of rye flour and brown sugar for toasty depth that is delicious with just about any fruit if sour cherries aren’t available where you live. It might be a little intimidating to roll out such a big piece of dough, but don’t you worry. To add both flakiness and structure to the dough, this recipe calls for a series of folds. The folds will make the dough both exceptionally delicious and easier to roll out and move around. Win-win. Check out the gif above to see how it’s done.

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Don’t worry if your dough rips a bit when you roll it out though, you can always pinch it back together. If you have time, make your dough the say before you plan to use it. A long rest will hydrate the dough and make it easier to roll out.

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I realize, it is a little unfair to share this recipe because sour cherries can be hard to get your hands on, but you still have a few more weeks to seek them out. Frozen will work in a pinch too, or substitute an equal amount of your favorite summer fruit - you will need a little less sugar for sweeter fruit.

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Real Deal Cherry Pie

Makes one 1/4 sheet slab pie

This pie makes the best of one of summer’s most fleeting pleasures, sour cherries. They are only available for a few weeks in late June/early July, but they are worth the wait, and the trouble of pitting them. The crust uses a bit of rye flour which adds some nutty and creamy flavor to the crust, and pairs beautifully with fruit desserts. Use an equal amount of all purpose flour if you have rye flour on hand. This filling recipe was lightly adapted from Deb at Smitten Kitchen, who adapted from Martha Stewart, and loves sour cherries as much as I do. 

Rye Crust

340g/2 2/3 cups all purpose flour

170g/1 1/3 cups rye flour (I used Abruzzi Heirloom Rye from Anson Mills)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

10-12 tablespoons ice water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

340g/1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces

Filling

900g/about 6 cups pitted sour cherries

3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (165g) sugar (I used a natural cane sugar here, but granulated works too)

30g/1/4 cup cornstarch

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

Pinch salt

 To finish

1 egg, for egg wash

Turbinado sugar to finish

To make the crust: Add the flours, brown sugar, and salt to a large bowl. Stir them together until combined. Add the apple cider vinegar to the ice water. Working quickly, add the butter to the flour and toss to coat. Then use your fingers or the palms of your hands to press each cube of butter into a flat sheet. Keep tossing the butter as you go to ensure that each butter piece is coated with flour. The idea is to create thin, flat shards of butter that range from about the size of a dime to about the size of a quarter. Sprinkle about 6 tablespoons of the water over the flour mixture and use your hands to mix gently, making sure to get all of the way down to the bottom of the bowl. Continue to add more water a couple of teaspoons at a time. 

You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it together easily without it falling apart. 

Press the dough together, then pat it into a rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds like a letter, then split it in half, form each half into a rectangle and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least one hour before using, or overnight. I prefer an overnight rest if possible.

When you are ready to bake the pie, heat your oven to 400ºF.

Add the pitted cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla bean paste, and salt to a large bowl and stir gently to combine.

Roll one piece of the dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 11x15. Gently tuck it into a metal quarter sheet pan, letting the excess hang over the sides. Roll the other piece of dough into a rectangle about 10x14. 

Pour the cherries into the dough lined pan and top with other piece of dough. Gently fold the bottom dough up and over the top and press gently. Refrigerate the pie until the crust is firm, about 15 minutes.

While the pie chills, beat the egg with a few drops of water to make the egg wash. When the pie is nice and chilled gently brush the surface with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Cut a few vents in the top then bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 45-60 minutes.

Let the pie cool on a rack before serving warm or at room temperature. Ice cream is optional, but highly suggested.

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Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

Graham Cracker Crust Recipe
The BEST graham cracker crust made from scratch with only 4 ingredients. Can be used for both baked AND no bake pies; and it’s never crumbly!
READ: Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

The BEST graham cracker crust made from scratch with only 4 ingredients. Can be used for both baked AND no bake pies; and it's never crumbly!

READ: Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

Apple Crunch Tart

One of the things I keep vowing to do is to read more books. It’s hard when I’m at home, where there are many other things beckoning for my attention. But when I go on vacation, I bring a few books along and find a good chair to park myself in as much as possible. It helps that internet is either non-existent, or the connection…

One of the things I keep vowing to do is to read more books. It’s hard when I’m at home, where there are many other things beckoning for my attention. But when I go on vacation, I bring a few books along and find a good chair to park myself in as much as possible. It helps that internet is either non-existent, or the connection to it is poor, out in the countryside, where some of my friends don’t even have WiFi at home. It drives me nuts for the first few hours, then I ease into it and relax knowing that the rest of the world can wait, while I envelope myself in a good read.

Continue Reading Apple Crunch Tart...

Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

Homemade Coconut Cream Pie
This decadent Coconut Cream Pie is a classic! Made with a graham cracker crust, creamy coconut filling, and topped with rum-spiked whipped cream this made-from-scratch pie will be your go-to!
READ: Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

A square picture of fresh coconut pie in a glass pie plate showing the layers of graham cracker crust, coconut filling, and a whipped topping with toasted shredded coconut.

Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

This decadent Coconut Cream Pie is a classic! Made with a graham cracker crust, creamy coconut filling, and topped with rum-spiked whipped cream this made-from-scratch pie will be your go-to!

READ: Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

French Silk Pie Recipe

FRENCH SILK PIE RECIPEIt doesn’t get much better than this French Silk Pie Recipe. Seriously though, the buttery cookie crust, rich and creamy mousse-like chocolate filling, topped with fluffy pillows of sweet whipped cream; it’s the perfec…

FRENCH SILK PIE RECIPE
It doesn’t get much better than this French Silk Pie Recipe. Seriously though, the buttery cookie crust, rich and creamy mousse-like chocolate filling, topped with fluffy pillows of sweet whipped cream; it’s the perfect pie! There is definitely a little work involved to make this pie, but…
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MOST RECENT

Cranberry and Apple Cider Caramel Pie

This Cranberry and Apple Cider Caramel Pie is a perfect Fall treat. With a crisp, tender all butter crust, this lattice topped beauty would be perfect at any holiday table.

This Cranberry and Apple Cider Caramel Pie is a perfect Fall treat. With a crisp, tender all butter crust, this lattice topped beauty would be perfect at any holiday table.

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I’ve partnered with Bob’s Red Mill and Bake from Scratch magazine to be part of their Better Baking Academy this year, and I’m talking about one of my favorite subjects - Lattice Topped Pie. Each month they share a new recipe with lots of in-depth step-by-step photos tricks and tips. Head over to Bake from Scratch to see their technique for adding lattice to the top of a custard pie. 

For this recipe, I went with some of my favorite fall fruits - apples and cranberries with a generous amount of apple cider caramel mixed in. The caramel is also delicious on its own or on top of ice cream, I’m sure you’ll find a way to use it. 

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Lattice topped pies can seem intimidating because at first glance, but once you try it, you realize it’s not as scary as it seems. Here are some tips for pie dough success!

Some Pie Dough Tips

  • Keep everything cold. That means making sure your butter is cold and cubed and the water is icy. You can even chill your bowl and flour if you want to go the extra mile. I usually don’t do this because I work quickly, but it’s a great way to buy yourself some extra chilled time. 

  • Hydrate the dough properly. Add enough water to the dough so it holds together easily, but not so much that it’s wet. Dry dough is a pain to work with because it will fall apart on you and wet dough will be tough and chewy. If you have any dry spots in your dough you can sprinkle a few drops of water just in that spot to hydrate. 

  • Don’t overmix. Make sure that the dough is well and evenly mixed, you can even knead it a few times, but don’t go crazy and knead it like bread dough. You want to press it together firmly, while making sure there are distinct flat bits of butter in the dough that will puff up and make it flaky.

  • Let it rest. Give the dough some time to relax and hydrate. It will make the dough easier to roll out and flakier in the end.

  • Keep it cool (again). There is nothing more frustrating than trying to maneuver warm, melty, falling apart dough into a woven pattern. If they are tearing on you and you get frustrated, try transferring all of the lattice strips to a parchment lined baking sheet to chill for a few minutes while you gather your composure. Better yet, do this before you start weaving if you are worried about it. 

  •  Have Fun! Don’t worry about it too much! No one will notice if your strips aren’t all the same size! Add some decorative cutouts if you are feeling it!

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This filling combines some of my favorite fall flavors into a gorgeous and delicious holiday showstopper. The cider caramel is just as good on its own as it is combined with these gorgeous fall fruits. Make sure to save the extra to drizzle on top of the warm slices of pie. 

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Sponsored Post: This post was created in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill and Bake from Scratch magazine.


Cranberry and Apple Cider Caramel Pie

 Dough adapted from Bake from Scratch magazine

Pie Dough 

Makes 1 (9-inch) double crust

 4 cups (500 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt

1 1/3 cup (303 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes

13 to 14 tablespoons (195 to 210 grams) ice water

 

Cider Caramel

Makes about 1 1/2 cups 

 1 cup (200 grams) sugar

1/4 cup (60 grams) water

1/4 cup (60 grams) butter

1/2 cup (120 grams) heavy cream

1/4 cup ( 72 grams) boiled cider syrup (see note)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt

  

Filling

 3 medium baking apples  like mutsu or honey crisp (about 450 grams), peeled and thinly sliced

3 cups (345 grams) cranberries

1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar

4 tablespoons (32 grams) cornstarch 

2 teaspoons (4 grams) cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch salt

1/2 cup (125 grams) cider caramel

Make the dough: In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers to press and cut in each piece of cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and butter is pea-size to walnut-size, flat shards. Make a well in center, and add 13 tablespoons (195 grams) ice water. Stir with fingers, and knead dough together just until dry ingredients are moistened. Add additional 1 tablespoon (25 grams) water if needed. Alternatively, in the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, sugar, and salt; pulse until combined. Add cold butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and butter is pea-size. With processor running, pour 13 tablespoons (195 grams) ice water through food chute in a slow, steady stream just until dough comes together. (Mixture may appear crumbly. It should be moist and hold together when pinched.) Add additional 1 tablespoon (25 grams) water if needed.

Turn out dough, and divide in half (about 530 grams each). Shape each half into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Dough may be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Make the cider caramel: Combine the sugar, water, and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar melts and turns deep amber in color , about 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat then carefully whisk in the cream, cider syrup, vanilla, and salt. Mixture will bubble vigorously. Let the sauce cool to room temperature before using.

Assemble the pie: On a lightly floured surface, roll half of Pie Dough into a 13 1/2-inch circle (3/16-inch thick). Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into bottom and up sides. Freeze until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.

Prepare the filling: In a large bowl combine the sliced apples, cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Toss gently to combine. Drizzle the caramel over the top and stir gently.

Assemble the pie: Transfer the filling into the chilled pie dough and press gently to compact the fruit. 

On a lightly floured surface, roll remaining Pie Dough into a 14-inch circle (1/8 inch thick). Using a pastry wheel, cut 2 inches off one side of dough; set aside. Starting at cut edge, cut 12 (3/4-inch-wide) strips; set aside any unused rolled-out Pie Dough. Place 6 strips horizontally over the filling. Fold back alternating strips, and place 1 strip vertically across horizontal strips; unfold strips. Repeat weaving with remaining strips, starting and ending at 1-inch marks and spacing strips 3/4 inch apart. Using kitchen scissors, trim strips even with the bottom crust, leaving about 1/2-inch overhang. Roll the bottom crust up and over the trimmed lattice and press gently. Use a fork dipped in flour to press the rolled edge down onto the pie pan. Use scissors to trim the fork-crimped edge flush with the pie pan. Place the pie on a baking sheet. 

 If desired, use small decorative cutters or scissors to cut remaining rolled-out Pie Dough and scraps and place on baking sheet around the pie. Refrigerate until firm and ready to use, 20 to 30 minutes.

Bake the pie: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) with a rack set in the bottom third. 

 In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg (50 grams) and 1 teaspoon (5 grams) water. Brush lattice with egg wash. Brush bottom of each cutout with egg wash, one at a time, and place around outside edge of lattice, overlapping slightly. Brush tops of cutouts with egg wash. 

Bake the pie for about 1 hour or until it is deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling. If the edges begin to darken before the filling is bubbling, tent the edges with aluminum foil. Let cool before slicing. Serve with additional cider caramel sauce.


Note: Boiled cider can be purchased or you can make your own. For this recipe, add 4 cups of apple cider to a large pot set over high heat. Bring the mixture to a full boil, and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally. This will take about 30 minutes but keep a close eye on it. It will darken slightly and thicken to the consistency of thin honey when ready.

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