Monday, October 27, 2014

Diner Desserts Coconut Cream Pie

Best coconut pie I have ever had. What more is there to say? I have been in love with this recipe and making this pie for years. Someone told me I should sell my pies after eating this. As fate would have it, I did have a chance to sell my pies to a little cafe in Virginia. Fun times.
You can also make coconut mini pies, from the Tish Boyle Sweet Dreams website. Or make coconut cream shortbread bars. I tried the bars and people liked them at work but I felt the crust was too hard.

Coconut Cream Pie by Tish Boyle

Flaky Pie Crust:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks and frozen
3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening, frozen
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

Coconut Filling:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 3/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut (toast 1/2 cup of it for 7-8 minutes in a 350 degree oven--this is for the garnish)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Topping:
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the dough:
1. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade and pulse on and off until combined. Scatter the butter pieces and the shortening, in large chunks, over the flour mixture. Pulse the machine on and off until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 6 tablespoons of the ice water and process until the mixture just starts to come together. (If the dough seems dry, add the remaining 2 tablespoons water as necessary. Do not allow the dough to form a ball on the blade, or the resulting crust will be tough.)
2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it in half, and shape each half into a thick disk. Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
Roll out the crusts:
3. Have ready six 5-inch pie pans (not tartlette pans). Lightly flour a large work surface. Allow the dough to soften at room temperature just until it is pliable (about 20 minutes). Place 1 disk on the floured surface and sprinkle some flour over it. Roll the dough from the center out in every direction, flouring the work surface as necessary to prevent sticking. You want a round about 1/8 inch or slightly less thick. Cut out 2 6 1/2-inch circles from the dough and press each circle into a pie pan. Trim the edges of the dough with scissors, leaving about 1/2 inch of overhang. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath itself, pressing it onto the rim of the pan. Flute the edge by pinching the dough from the outside in a V shape with your thumb and index finger while poking the center of the shape with the index finger of your other hand from the inside. Repeat with the remaining dough and pans, gathering up the scraps and rerolling them as necessary to make 6 pie crusts. If you like, brush the edges of the crust with an egg yolk whisked with a little water.

Bake the crust:
4. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line pie crust with a square of lightly buttered aluminum foil, buttered side down, covering the edge of the crust so that it doesn't get too brown. Fill the lined crust with pie weights, dried beans, or raw rice. Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Prick the bottom of the crust well with a fork and bake the crust for another 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the bottoms are baked through. Cool the pie crust on a wire rack.

Make the Coconut Filling:
5. In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt until well combined. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup of the coconut milk to form a smooth paste. Whisk in the remaining coconut milk and the whole milk. Place over medium heat and bring to a slow boil, whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat.
6. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot coconut mixture into the yolks, then return the yolk mixture to the saucepan. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Continue to boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until very thick. Remove from the heat, scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the butter pieces until melted. Whisk in the vanilla and 1 1/4 cups of the untoasted coconut (reserve the remaining 1/2 cup toasted coconut for garnish). Divide the warm filling among the pie crusts and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of each pie filling. Refrigerate the pies for at least 4 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.

Make the Whipped Cream Topping:
7. In an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment or beaters, beat the cream on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high and add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat until the cream forms stiff peaks.
8. Scrape the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Pipe rosettes over the chilled pies and sprinkle with the reserved toasted coconut. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Baked S’More-Style Chocolate Whiskey Pudding

Another adventure in cooking with my Baked Sunday Mornings group. This recipe, specifically the graham cracker layer, was intoxicating. We all could not get enough of this stuff and the aroma stopped me in my tracks. The graham cracker layer is baked solo then cooled to make a crunchy perfection.

Pudding is made on the stove top. I didn't have whiskey so I substituted rum.  My girls thought that was hilarious. We are not a drinking family and they had wide eyes when I said it had rum as an ingredient. Then of course everyone quoted, "But why's the rum gone", from Pirates.

The layers were beautiful. I used whipping cream for the marshmallow layer because I am without a torch. But tomorrow is my birthday so I am hoping that I will be getting a torch!!

When asked if I wanted a homemade cake for my birthday, I said "No". I want pudding. So we celebrated (early) with pudding.  For me, the name s'more brings up camping and open fires thoughts.

Wouldn't it have been great to have this s'more pudding instead of the gooey messy smores we just had on our camping adventure last week? I think yes. Even though we did have roasted marshmallows on Samoas. Which really takes the s'more up a notch. This pudding is a whole new level of comfort food.

 Family photo taken at Valley of Fire, Nevada this past week on our camping adventure.

Loving our adventures, in and out of the kitchen.

S’more-Style Chocolate Whiskey Pudding

Yield: 6 servings (It was very rich, I think 8 smaller servings would be better)

For the Graham Cracker Crust
4 1/2 whole graham crackers), coarsely broken
1 ounce (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Chocolate Whiskey Pudding
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (I used 1/2 tea decaf)
Pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate (54 to 60%), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons good-quality whiskey (I used 1 Tb rum)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the Marshmallow Topping
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/4 teaspoon good-quality whiskey

Make the Graham Cracker Crust
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put the graham crackers, butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Turn the crumbs out onto the prepared baking sheet, spread to form an even layer (if necessary, break up any large pieces with your fingertips), and bake stirring once, until the crumbs are crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Make the Chocolate Whiskey Pudding
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. Add the egg yolks and whisk to blend (the mixture will resemble wet sand). Gradually whisk in the milk, then the cream. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it comes to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds, remove from the heat, and continue to whisk for 15 seconds to release excess heat. Add the chocolate, whiskey, and butter; whisk until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth. Let the pudding cool slightly, about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Assemble the pudding
Spoon 1/3 cup of pudding into each of six (small and wide or sundae-like) 1-cup glasses; smooth out the tops. Divide the graham cracker mixture equally among the glasses, sprinkling it on top of the pudding. Top each glass with another 1/3 cup pudding; smooth out the tops. Cover each glass with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly onto the pudding. Chill at least 2 hours, until ready to serve.

Make the Marshmallow Topping
In the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites, sugar, 1/4 cup of water, corn syrup, and whiskey. Set the mixer bowl with egg white mixture over a saucepan of simmering water. Using hand whisk, whisk the mixture constantly until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 160 degrees F, about 6 minutes. Return the mixer bowl with the egg white mixture to the stand mixer (still fitted with the whisk attachment) and beat on high speed until the marshmallow topping forms stiff peaks, 6 to 8 minutes.
Top each chilled pudding with 2 large spoonfuls of marshmallow topping, covering the top of the pudding completely and creating peaks, if desired.

Use a kitchen torch to lightly toast the topping to your liking. Serve immediately.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Luau Roasted Meat Traditional Method

Step 1: Dig a pit.

According to Wikipedia "Kālua is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method that utilizes an imu, a type of underground oven. The word kālua, which literally means "to cook in an underground oven", may also be used to describe the food cooked in this manner, such as kālua pig or kālua turkey, which are commonly served at luau feasts."

Our yard is about to have an underground oven!

Step 2: Acquire lava stone (City of Ivins gave permission to collect these stones for our luau)

Step 3: Place lava stone in pit and heat with wood.

Step 4: Remove wood when stones are hot.

Step 5: Move stone around to make it perfect for the meat.

Step 6: Place meat on fresh wood beams.

Step 7: Place planks on meat.

Step 8: Cover with leaves. In Hawaii they use whatever vegetation is in the area, like banana leaves. Banana leaves were used here. Did you know that those are available at the Mexican market?

Step 9: Cover hole with plywood.

Step 10: Cover plywood with dirt and watch for any escaping smoke..there must be nothing that escapes.
Step 11: Safety perimeter added.

About to pull the meat out which was cooked to perfection! You would think I would have taken a photo of the final product but I was enjoying it so much...I forgot! Thanks Sione Fa for showing us such an amazing tradition.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tortellini Tomatoe Soup

 This is a family staple. We love the flavor and how quick it makes up. I found this recipe online at:

Tortellini Tomato Soup

2 large cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cans condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoe
1 and 1/2 cups milk
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 whole 9 oz bag of cheese filled tortellini
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Saute the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat.   Stir in everything EXCEPT tortellini and Parmesan cheese. Once your soup is simmering add tortellini and cook until done. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Fear of Overbaking: Pumpking Cinnamon Rolls

For my Baked Sunday Morning baking group we made Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. These were wonderful for so many reasons: Easy to make the dough, fantastic smell, beautiful to look at, with the perfect amount of spices. This is a winner recipe for something that invites autumn with subtle flavor and aroma. Wish I would have cooked them more. The middle ones were raw-ish. Guess I will have to make these again to get that baked perfection. With your left over pumpkin try souffled pancakes.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

For the dough
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons instant dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2/3 cup whole milk
1 large egg
2/3 cup pumpkin puree

For the filling
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ounce (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the assembly
1 ounce (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the Cream Cheese Frosting
2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup buttermilk, well shaken
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Make the dough
Butter one 10-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out the excess flour.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugars, yeast, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom on medium speed. Add the butter and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the milk and egg and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add the pumpkin puree and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. The dough will look light orange in color and feel soft and sticky.
Remove the dough from the bowl, carefully form into a large ball, smooth the top with your hands, and place in a clean, lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. While the dough is resting, make the filling.
Make the filling
Stir together the sugars, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until combined.
Assemble the rolls
Dust a work surface with a sprinkling of flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle approximately 23 by 10 inches, brush the dough with melted butter, and sprinkle the filling over the butter, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edges. Use the palms of your hands to press the filling lightly into the dough.
Roll up the long side of the rectangle to form a tight log and place seam side down. Slice the log into ten 2-inch rolls. Place one roll in the center of the cake pan, then fill in the rest of the pan with the other rolls. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside until the rolls have almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the center.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops of the rolls are browned. In order to pour your icing over still warm rolls for the best effect, prep all of the frosting ingredients while the rolls are baking and quickly put together the frosting (this will only take about 5 minutes) immediately after the rolls come out of the oven.
Make the frosting
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and buttermilk on medium speed until the mixture is lump free. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on medium-low speed until a smooth, fluid mixture forms.
Serve the rolls
Invert the pan of rolls onto a serving plate or you can leave in the pan for a rustic look. Pour the frosting over the still warm rolls. It’s okay if a little bit of the frosting drips down the sides—it’s even encouraged. (Alternatively, use an offset spatula to apply the icing.) Serve immediately.