Things have been a little quiet around the blog lately, but for very good reason. For the first time EVER, Shannon and Lucy cooked together. While we met in Edinburgh, and bonded over food at Cadbury World, we hadn’t really started cooking until after Shannon moved back to the States. And with life getting in the way, there hadn’t been a visit until this August. So, naturally, Double the Sugar Con 2011 was quite a feast! Things are back to normal now, so we’ll get back to our regular posting schedule, and share some of the delicacies with you!
A tragedy was brought to light when I lived in the UK. I was watching…some food show, I don’t recall what it was, something with Gordon Ramsey I think, when he proposed that for dessert, the dish be something that, from the way he was making it sound, was unheard of. I thought it would be something flashy, some unusual flavor combination that I never really would have thought of, and I’m not sure if it would work or not. But what he suggested was combining strawberry & rhubarb in a dessert dish. Guys, why hasn’t Britain figured this out yet? They’re in season at basically the same time, you put both of them in similar desserts (pies/crumbles/etc). The sweetness of the strawberries blends perfectly with the sour of the rhubarb. And they look quite lovely together. In the States this is one of the more standard pies. It’s not quite as common as apple or cherry, but particularly in late spring/early summer it’s a fairly common sight.
This week I’m making pie-in-a-jar. It’s delicious, it’s actually slightly easier than normal pie, and it’s infinitely more portable. It’s very easy to make in advance, just pop the lid back on and throw it in the fridge or freezer and bake it later, or bake it and then refrigerate it.
If you pay attention to who writes what in this blog, you’ll notice that I’m responsible for a disproportionate number of dessert posts. I really, really try to not make all my posts about dessert, if just so that Lucy can get some sweet stuff in once in a while, but it is only with great effort that I add main dishes or veg recipes. And now I know why:
This is from my grandma’s recipe box. The massive, towering stack of recipe cards? That’s all the desserts. The diminutive stack? That’s everything that isn’t dessert. Clearly dessert madness is hereditary.
I’d heard much about this sugary goodness via the internets. New Yorkers rave about Momofuku Milk Bar, and while they have many, many delicious treats, the most famous, and probably most singular, is Crack Pie. The name is pretty evocative. Sure, it might not tell you if it’s chocolate or berry or what else, but whatever it is, you know it’s got to be pretty addictive. But I don’t live in New York. I’ve never actually been to New York, unless running full-tilt through JFK counts. But now, with surprisingly little effort, you can have this deliciousness no matter where you are!
It’s not chocolate. There’s no fruit. It’s basically sugar, butter, and more sugar and butter. There’s an oatmeal cookie crust, and the filling is somewhere between a toffee/caramel (or the British version of fudge) and a cookie, in pie form. It’s complete heaven. The only thing that’s anything short of amazing about this pie (calories aside): you do need to let it chill overnight. It’s very, very difficult. I almost had it for breakfast, but I decided I didn’t want to start the day with a diabetic coma.
Allow me to preface this by saying: I have been watching a lot of Pushing Daisies lately, and the main character is a pie maker. So I’ve been craving pies.
Second preface: Around the time of our last contest, I coincidentally won a cookbook: Deborah Madison’s Seasonal Fruit Desserts. This has caused me to crave fresh fruit desserts.
So combined, what do you get? Me making a desperate trip to the grocery store to horde nectarines. I like them better than peaches, I’m not sure why, but probably because I get creeped out by non-mammalian fuzzy things. Peaches aren’t as bad as moths, but their fuzziness is something I still find creepy. And evil, I’m pretty sure things that shouldn’t be fuzzy but are: probably evil. So, that combined with having a pack of raspberries on hand, I decided to make a Nectarine-Raspberry Galette. Galettes are cooler than normal pies because…just look at them. They look cool. And if you’re handy with parchment paper they require very little clean-up. However, if you disagree that they look cool, or you want to use a pie dish, this can easily be made into a normal pie by taking the crust recipe and putting it into a pie dish instead. It’s like magic.