I am the type of cook that uses inspiration vs. recipes meaning I cook with what is in the pantry and refrigerator. The upside is that cooking is creative and hopefully eating the dishes is a delicious adventure. The downside is that I don't often repeat the dish exactly the same. So years ago, Mark began to rate the dishes in two categories - Do It Again and To Die For. If he rated the dish, I would then write down the "recipe" recalling what I did to create the dish and voila, it would go into one of the cookbooks and I could repeat it.
Baking of course is another matter in that you must use exact measurements so there is less room for innovation or inspiration. As you know by now, I love to bake pies and over the years have gathered recipes from numerous sources and use inspiration for the fillings. My crust recipe is easy and creates a marvelous tender crust.
One of those pies that made the To Die For cookbook is the Millionaires Pie. In case you have a special occasion and are prepared to throw concern for calories, fat and sugar into the wind, here is the recipe:
Pastry for 9" single crust pie
3 whole eggs
1 cup light colored corn syrup (or substitute 1 C sugar and 1/4 C water)
1/3 C granulated sugar
1/3 C packed brown sugar
1/3 C unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp good vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 C chocolate pieces (use very good chocolate, semisweet and bittersweet mixed)
1 C flaked coconut
1 C walnut & pecan pieces
1/2 to 1 C chopped hazelnuts
Combine the eggs, corn syrup or substitute, sugar, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and salt
Layer the chocolate, coconut and nuts in the pie crust
Pour the egg mixture over all, spreading evenly
To prevent over browning, cover the edge of the pastry with foil.
Bake at 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, then bake for 20-25 minutes more or until filling appears set when you shake the pie gently.
Cool on wire rack. Cover and store in refrigerator within 2 hours.
Easy Flaky Pie Crust
(Makes 1 crust, for 2 crust pie, double recipe)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C shortening (I use Butter Crisco or unsalted butter)
1 egg yolk
1/4 C milk (I use rice milk or almond milk - just a preference)
Sift the first three ingredients into a bowl, add the shortening, and cut in.
Stir yolk and milk together and add all at once, stirring with a folk lightly.
Press into a ball and chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Once chilled, roll out pastry crust as desired.
The pie crust holds together and is tender and flaky.
Try to handle the dough as little as possible for the most tender crust.
ENJOY with abandon, my friends!
For some lighter inspiration, check out the garden this evening. Lush and lovely.