Monday, July 25, 2005

Butterscotch Pudding

Saw a butterscotch pudding recipe recently on David Lebovitz's blog and really wanted to try it. I've only ever made the kind that comes in a box from Jello. Making it from scratch was not overly complicated and it tasted really good. I still don't totally get where the butterscotch flavor comes from. One minute it's milk and brown sugar and eggs, the next minute it's sweet delicious butterscotchiness. Okay, there were a few other ingredients... melted butter, vanilla, salt, dark rum. I had to make a special trip for one of those little airline bottles of rum. I only needed two teaspoons for the recipe. This is an easy one to try at home that doesn't require any special equipment.

Butterscotch Pudding - mis en place Butterscotch Pudding - mixing Butterscotch Pudding - thickening on stove Butterscotch Pudding - final mix Butterscotch Pudding

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Pumpkin Pie

Made pumpkin pie for a potluck dinner last night (theme: bring your Mom's favorite recipe). It came out fine, but unfortunately about half of the party guests brought a dessert, so there was a lot of competition. Still, about half the pie went, and now I have leftovers. I found it paired especially well with one of the party hosts' sour cream cheese cake. Yes, I got the recipe.

Pumpkin Pie Leftovers

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Cantaloupe Sorbet

This weekend my mom gave me a not-quite-ripe cantaloupe, and when I walked into my apartment after work today, I could smell that it was really really ready. Since I wasn't about to eat the whole thing myself, I started browsing around for something I could make with it. You don't really think of cantaloupe being made into things, other than maybe a fruit salad. Looking through Room for Dessert, it struck me that the texture of a cantaloupe was similar to that of a mango or a peach, for which several frozen sorbet recipes were available. I ended up using David Lebovitz's White Nectarine Sorbet recipe as a base. The process is basically to simmer the fruit for a bit to soften it, add water and sugar and a splash of kirsch (cherry liquor), puree it in a blender, chill, and freeze the liquid in an ice cream maker. Pretty straightforward, and at least the liquid version tastes pretty good. I haven't tried the final frosty product yet; it needs a bit more time in the freezer to finish up.

cantaloupe sliced open cut-up cantaloupe in pot cantaloupe simmering blending cantaloupe sorbet freezing cantaloupe sorbet cantaloupe sorbet

Monday, July 18, 2005

Maple Sugar Pie, mini Blueberry Pie

For Alicia's going-away a couple weeks ago, I baked, at her request, a maple sugar pie. Apparently, there is such a thing as maple sugar, related to maple syrup, but granular, like regular sugar. And you can make a pie out of it. One of Alicia's friends' moms had made such a pie for her years back and we were going to try and reproduce that experience. After some online searching (who knows what recipe Alicia's friend's mom used), we settled on this recipe from Farm Credit Canada. I mean, they sure sound official, right? The recipe called for authentic maple syrup and maple sugar, which I tracked down at Whole Foods. Organic, even. And Canadian. Well, the sugar. The syrup was from Vermont. Still organic.

I used my Mom's pumpkin pie crust recipe, which seemed more along the lines of what Alicia remembered than the flaky crust from last month's strawberry pies. It's a nicely straightforward liquid vegetable oil-based crust. The filling recipe worked out to be a layer of mostly syrup topped by a layer of sugar, butter, and flour. So, yeah, this pie is about 50% sugar by mass. Smelled so good while it was baking. Of course, come serving time, it turns out not to be the pie on which Alicia had reminisced at all. At least, the consistency was all wrong. Tasty though, if you can tolerate a gooey, pie-slice-sized hunk of candy.

To round out the evening with something a little less experimental, I used the frozen leftover pie crust from the strawberry pies and some frozen blueberries I had left over from... I don't even remember, probably some blueberry muffins from who knows when... to make a cute mini blueberry pie. Yummy, but almost savory next to the sugar pie.


Mom's Pie Crust ingredients Mom's Pie Crust dough Unbaked Pie Crust for Maple Sugar Pie Maple Sugar Pie Ingredients Mixing up the Maple Sugar Pie Fillings for Maple Sugar Pie Maple Sugar Pie, assembled but unbaked Maple Sugar Pie, finished Forming crust for mini blueberry pie Baked crust for mini blueberry pie Blueberry Pie and Maple Sugar Pie slices Bluberry Pie and Maple Sugar Pie slices 2