Saturday, October 31, 2009

PIES, etc


So, I have been making some of the pies from David Lebovitz's blog (boy am I so jealous - living in Paris, and blogging about food there). Anyhow, I made two pies: the almond Chez Panisse Pie, and the Quince "Easy" pie. I loved both. DAvid is really good, and has a good palette.

The almond pie was my favorite. It is crusty, rich in flavor, and just delicious. It is a bit tricky to make. The texture is heavenly: The top is this crackly caramelized almonds bathed in sugar and cream (need I say more), but sitting on top of a thin film of simple pie crust which is slightly chewy. The Grand Marnier comes through, along with the pungent almond smell. I love it .

The second pie will be my every other week jam pie. It really is simple to make: just mix flour, butter and baking powder, add the almond essence (do NOT forget this!), lay the dough in the pie mold, put your favorite jam, cover with dough leaves, sprinkle with sugar, bake. Done. He also calls for adding a third of a cup of corn flour.
I like that a lot, for texture especially. I used the last remaining Quince jam I had on one half, and the other half I filled it with apricot jam (both my mother's). Wow. I eat a piece for breakfast lunch and dinner.

So, go bake a pie for halloween tonight. Trust me, it will make you smile.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Moods



Hey, it is the fall here in the Midwest. A special time with beautiful colors, and smells. The markets are full of local apples (mostly from Michigan), and all apple-centered products, like apple donuts, and apple pies, and apple cider, and apple songs, and even apple festivals (we went to the Long Grove one). I have been seeking comfort these days at our local Japanese restaurant, in love with their Udon noodles in hot aromatic broth and tempura fried vegetables. What a simple dish, yet it is so satisfying and warm with the vegetables dressed in this beautiful crackly cover. I have also picked out some fresh white beans from the market, another warm and cozy dish: boil them, cut some tomato some vinegar and oil, some onions, basil and mix. Pure comfort. Go out there and enjoy the leaves before the dark days of winter arrive!