journalist | pastry chef | food tourist
journalist | pastry chef | food tourist
Christmas isn’t Christmas without something red, sweet, and chocolatey. This pomegranate bark, made with pistachios, and a touch of orange zest, is the perfect gift, or healthy dessert, for your holiday must-make list. Featured on Refinery 29 yesterday (woohoo!)—this recipe came to be after a way-too-fun brainstorming session (the first of many) with new friend, and kindred spirit, Carlene of Healthfully Ever After. We were looking to develop some easy, healthy, but delicious desserts for the holidays.
The photos were shot by the lovely, and talented Yvonne Rock (she is truly gifted!). You’ll want to read Carlene’s full post here. She is amazing to work with and I could talk about food for hours with her!
This is my Auntie Aimee’s no-fail pie crust. She shared this with my Mom/her sister over 10 years ago. I borrowed it, and I’ve been making it ever since. For the flakiest crust, make sure your butter is COLD. Ice cold is not too cold. Use a grater if you can’t cut it with a knife.
4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup ice cold water
Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 2 tablespoons of water)
Sift together dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter, or 2 butter knives, cut in butter until mixture creates small crumbs (don’t blend butter in completely, you want some pieces). Mix together the egg, vinegar and water and pour over pastry batter. Mix together with your hands until it creates a smooth, elastic dough. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to 1 hour.
When you are ready to roll the dough out, the surface must be cool to the touch. Keep the crust refrigerated until you are ready to fill or bake it. Heat oven to 400 degrees. For single crust pies, pre-bake your bottom crust for 10 minutes. For double crust pies, fill and cover it quickly so the crust remains as cool as possible when placing in the oven. Brush with egg wash. Cover the edges with tin foil or pie shield for the first 30 minutes to prevent over-browning. Remove and finish for 15 minutes, for a total bake time of 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Throwing an Autumn party? A big batch of this caramelly corn will satisfy any guest’s cravings, hitting all the right elements of a memorable party treat: sweet, salty, crunchy, warm… and spiked. The wonderful thing about this recipe, is not only the versatility, but the ingredients can be easily substituted to adjust to your taste. My favorite variation includes adding a splash of Catoctin Creek’s Rye Whisky. The natural woody, toffee notes make this caramel really special.
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (or 8 oz. coconut oil)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
a few pinches of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
2 TB Grade A, Medium Amber Maple Syrup
2 TB Catoctin Creek Rye Whisky
Use raw cane sugar or granulated sugar for a lighter color and taste, substitute cane syrup for Maple if you prefer it.
Place all ingredients in a deep pot on medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir frequently. Allow to bubble for approx. 5 minutes. Try not to cook it any longer, it will get harder as it cools. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10-20 minutes. Pour in whisky and stir until smooth. If you want to make this a few hours before serving, simply put the caramel back over heat over low and stir until smooth again.
½ cup yellow popcorn kernels
3 TB olive oil or coconut oil
½ tsp. sea salt
In a large 2 gallon pot over medium-high heat, place oil and sea salt and allow to heat up for about 5 minutes. You’ll know the oil is “ready” if you throw one kernel in and it pops. Add the popcorn and cover with a lid. Be sure to slowly move the pot around, with oven mitts, to coat the kernels with oil. Turn down the heat to medium. Once you hear more popping, continue to move the pot around to allow even heat. After a few minutes, the popping will slow down. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly before tossing in the caramel.
Serve the popcorn gooey or spread on a baking tray and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, break up into clusters and serve warm.
Kick off fall with this nutty, rich dessert:
My 2013 ice cream kick may just end here… this is by far one of the best scoops I’ve had this year. I recommend serving this a la mode on hot oatmeal cake or warm chocolate souffles.
You’ll notice I have a favorite style of ice cream, eggless Sicilian-style gelato. It’s not because its “easier” to make, its because this recipe produces a denser vs. fluffy end result. I also think it focuses more on the flavor of the ice cream, and adding a dash more of this or that won’t mess up the end product.
This recipe can be made with any kind of nut butter. I chose peanut butter since I was craving it, but I think I’m going to use hazelnut butter next time. I used a crushed Butterfinger for the “crunch” but this would also be good with a peanut butter granola bar or chocolate pieces. Adjust the nut butter measurement depending on how strong you like it. I also took some peanut butter and let it swirl around in the cream while it was churning. I replace the cream and milk with coconut milk when I have it on hand — that’s the beauty of this recipe, its very easy to swap out ingredients and churns perfectly.
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 TB. cornstarch
1/4 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
1 fun size Butterfinger bar, crushed
Whisk ingredients, except for Butterfinger, together until well blended. Pour into ice cream maker (I use a 1 quart size Cuisinart) and let freeze for 25 minutes. After about 10-15 minutes, add the Butterfinger and a little extra peanut butter (softened on the stove or in the microwave) and let it continue to freeze. Can be served soft right away, or freeze for an hour or two for a firmer scoop.