Cinderella’s Pumpkin Pie

Consistently friendly and untempermental,
Cinderella never asked for much.

She told me her life too often was filled
with flavorless spice
and not that honest pumpkin flavor
that only princes recognize.

So, she learned how to sweeten the pie
without masking the taste
of fields full of orange
and fall festivals held on old village greens.

The secret she told me is in the milk,
sweetened, condensed,
ready to go
into a filling
both intense and sweet —
yet never high in fat.

Two whole eggs, two yolks,
the least grainy filling,
silky smooth,
served best in a glass slipper.

“But, my dear,” I asked,
“with the pumpkin pureed for your pie,
how will you get to the ball?”

“I’d rather stay honest,” she said,
“and be who I am.

“Besides,” she continued,
“the pumpkin aroma will be quite enough,
to bring him my way,
and then I will serve up
ambrosia for him,
a dessert plate for me,
and always a slice left for you.”

Chocolate-Laced Lemon Chiffon Pie

First, prepare a chocolate cookie pie crust, and set it aside

Assemble your ingredients:
1/4 oz unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 C sugar
6T water
6 eggs
dash salt
3/4 C fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 t grated lemon peel
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 T butter
1 1/2 C whipping cream

Dissolve the gelatin and 3/4 C sugar in hot water in the top of a double boiler or in a microwave-safe bowl.

When ingredients are fully dissolved, wait for mixture to cool before continuing.

Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the cooled gelatin mixture.

Add salt and lemon juice.

Simmer for five minutes, stirring repeatedly, until mixture becomes thick.

Add lemon peel, then chill. Take your time. No hurry, no worry.

Meanwhile, whip up the egg whites, adding 3/4C sugar, until the whites form peaks.

Whip the cream, too.

Fold the egg whites, the cream, and the gelatin mixture in together, and go back to chilling until it all reaches a nice level of firmness.

Melt the butter and semi-sweet chocolate.

Bring out the pie crust and start scooping the filling into it, alternating the filling with drizzled chocolate. Do this three times, ending with a lacy drizzled pattern over the top. If you run out of chocolate drizzle, just make some more.

Have fun.

Eating Humble Pie

Ever since I took up golf, people have been telling me what a “humbling” sport it is, but I find most of life to be humbling, in one way or another.

Just when I think I’m doing a good deed, and flying rapturously into your imaginary embrace of gratitude, I discover that I am totally off-course, perhaps even in free fall, and I remember that no good deed goes unpunished.

Take, for example, the sad case of the lost-and-found cellphone.

In my not unusual insomniac state the other night, I gave up on sleep, pulled on some clothes, left my turquoise conch cottage around 2:00 a.m., and wandered up the lane to the driving range. A couple of my fellow night-golfers were already there, as usual, and we nodded as we do. No need to talk, just hit a few balls and give sleep another try.

This, as you may understand, is one of the reasons why I am so very glad I have The Morning Guy around, since morning is pretty much foreign territory to me. Ah, but from 2:00 to 4:00 a.m., I know each shadow on the wall by name.

To my delight, I was soon in the zone, hitting with ease and grace, thinking that maybe one of these days I’ll try out something besides a nine iron, but no rush. I was doing so well, in fact, that I made an error in judgment and sent a gloating text message to The Morning Guy, knowing full well that his phone would be safely turned off, wherever he might be enjoying his vacation.

To my surprise, just a few minutes later a response came in from his phone. That alone was enough to rattle me, but the kicker was that the message — judging by spelling, length, and content — was from a person or persons unknown.

Having lost my place in the zone, I immersed myself into the problem at hand, and deduced that The Morning Guy’s phone had been lost and found, and I quickly cast myself into the fantasy that I was now the heroine who could save the day, and the cell phone, by pulling the strings needed to reunite man and machinery.

Oh, yes. I was giddy with anticipation, delighted to think how happy The Morning Guy would be with me; so happy, in fact, that he might even give me that long-promised up-close-and-personal golf lesson.

Unfortunately, by the time I did make contact with him, I was not only wildly tired, but also a bit light-headed from living so comfortably in the future, and I’d totally discounted how upset he might possibly be about the lost phone.

In the real world, all I had to do was say, “Someone found your phone. Here’s the number to call,” and I would have been good to go. But I was so damn busy giving myself a really nice, shiny medal for tracking him down out of town and far away — which was certainly far from easy — that when it came time to deliver the news, my words were sadly both sarcastic and silly, thereby canceling out both my effort and my intent.

His somber response was to inform me that my fun at his expense was not fun to him.

Ay yi yi!

I fell to earth in a heap, and I have been banging my head against the pie-shop wall ever since.

All I can do now is to eat the mandatory slice of humble pie, the traditional meal of those who must learn through experience how to act submissively and apologetically, especially when admitting to an error.

I don’t mind the metaphor of humble pie, and it seems fine and appropriate, but I’m not too wild about the real origin of the phrase.

In England in the 1500s, the name used for deer entails, liver, and heart was numbles, or possibly noumbles, nomblys, or even noubles; a hundred years later the term had morphed to a more uniform “umbles,” which were in fact a common pie ingredient. Even Samuel Pepys, a notorious blogger, was known to enjoy a bit of umble pie, as stated in his blog on July 5, 1662: “I having some venison given me a day or two ago, and so I had a shoulder roasted, another baked, and the umbles baked in a pie, and all very well done.”

At the same time, the word humble came into play, meaning “of lowly rank” or “having a low estimate of oneself,” and before long the two terms merged, giving us the current concept of behind the phrase “eating humble pie.”

Interestingly, if you are a fan of pie history as am I, humble pie has followed the path of mince pie and turned itself from a simple meat dish into a tasty and sweet fruit dish. Now, if I were one to stretch metaphors even more than I do already, you might already be seeing a happy ending to this story, and I hope you are.

Time will tell if I have survived this particular meal, but meanwhile, here’s a recipe to put us both on the right path:

Humble Pie

Prepare an unbaked pie shell

Prepare a filling made from:

3 large sweet apples, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 1/2 C of fresh cranberries
1 C light brown sugar

Place filling into pie shell.

Mix up following ingredients and sprinkle on top of the apple-cranberry filling.

3/4 C finely chopped walnuts
1/4 C light brown sugar
1/4 C flour
3 T softened butter
Cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger to taste
Pinch of salt

Bake in a 425-degree oven for 20 minutes.

Cover pie with foil and turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake another 30 minutes.

Serve with excessive humility, apologizing as much as necessary to make yourself feel better. I’ll tell you when you can stop.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

A few weeks ago, some of the girls and I got together for what I thought was to be an “Evening in India,” but what turned out to be a continuation of my month-long birthday celebration. What a treat! We had a lovely time sitting by the pool over at Pancho Villas, the new gated community down by the beach, and then we had quite a bit of Indian food for dinner, punctuated with photo ops, and followed by a screening of the Bollywood movie Water.

The only thing missing, we decided, was pumpkin cheesecake.  I should mention here that we did have pumpkin pie, and we did have cheesecake, too, and while alternating bites was certainly delicious, the combo would have been even better, so I promised to add a pumpkin-cheesecake pie recipe to the Slice of Heaven menu, and here it is.

For the crust:

Make a graham-cracker crust. Surely you know how to do that by now.  Cinnamon grahams are the best for this spicy sort of concoction.

For the filling
1 1/2 C canned pumpkin
3 eggs, the larger the better
1 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/2 t nutmeg, 1 t ginger, 1/2 t salt
1/2 C dark brown sugar – pack it in there
24 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 C sugar
2 T whipping cream
1T cornstarch
1 t pure vanilla
Dash of bourbon

For the topping
2 C sour cream
2T sugar
Another dash of bourbon, maybe a little more generous this time

Preparation

Make the crust and chill. Don’t skimp on the “chill” part.

Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, spices, salt, and brown sugar.

Cream the cream cheese and sugar, then whip in the cream, cornstarch, vanilla, and booze. Add the pumpkin mix, and keep at it until it’s all smooth and mellow.

Get out your chilled crust and fill it up with this lovely mixture.

Bake in the middle of the oven at  350°F for 50 to 55 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. When it comes out clean, put the pie on a rack to cool for at least five minutes

Meanwhile, whisk together the sour cream, sugar, and bourbon..

Spread the topping over the pie and bake it for another five minutes, and you are good to go.

Chocolate Cuban-Rum Pie

Ingredients:

* 3/4 cup Caribbean sugar
* pinch salt
* 1 C milk
* 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
* 2 eggs, separated
* 6 oz dark, rich chocolate
* 1/3 C Santiago rum – don’t waste your time with Havana Club or Bacardi. (Some travel and willingness to smuggle home the good stuff may be required.)
* 1 C whipping cream
* 1 t vanilla extract
* 1 shortbread-crumb pie shell, ready to go

Directions:

1. Combine 1/2 C of the sugar, salt, and milk (reserving 2 T for later).

2. In a small bowl, mix the remaining milk with the unflavored gelatin.

3. In yet another small bowl, beat the egg yolks until fluffy beyond your wildest dreams.

4. Heat and stir the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Let this cool to room temperature, and then blend in the eggs. (If the milk is too hot, you’ll poach the eggs. Take care.)

5. Stir and stir and stir. Heat the mixture until it thickens, and quickly — and with style and grace — add the gelatin and the wonderful dark pieces of chocolate.

6. Now for the best part: Chill. You know what I mean.

7. When the mixture is just starting to set, add the rum.

8. Chill for a bit longer. Stir and chill.  Chill and stir.  Don’t let time be a factor. Go by your sense of taste and texture.

9. Beat the egg whites until the form soft peaks then add the rest of the sugar.

10. Fold the egg whites into the rum-laced chocolate.

11. Whip up the cream and add the vanilla.

12. Whisper a blessing into your pie shell and patiently layer the chocolate and the cream, one after another.

13. Give it all one decisive swirl with your favorite spatula.

14. Think of me dancing in the Havana night, and enjoy your pie.

Spawn of Satan Pie Recipe

Spawn of Satan Pie Recipe

Created in Honor of NY Yankee Derek Jeter’s Birthday

Ingredients:

3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup cut-up cooked chicken
1 1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t fresh chopped oregano
2 t fresh basil
6-oz tomato paste
1 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
2/3 cup Bisquick
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease a 10-inch by 1-1/2-inch pie plate with butter.

Alternate layers of Ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Mix chicken, 1/2 C Mozzarella, garlic powder, oregano, basil, and tomato paste.

Pour over Parmesan cheese layer.

Whisk together cream, eggs, Bisquick, salt & pepper

Pour into pie plate.

Bake 30 minutes.

Top with remaining Mozzarella, then bake an addition five to 10 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Lemonade Pie

Didn’t get what I wanted, and you know what they said? Honey, when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade. I always said, when life hands you a lemon, look for tequila and salt.

How to make Lemonade Pie:

Take all your disappointments, sorrows, and, grievances

Soak in tequila overnight

Wake up wanting something sweet and crunchy

Find it

Mash it up for the crust with real butter

And extra cinnamon

Distill the liquid ingredients

Until you have something you can use

Fold in some whole organic eggs and heat ever so slowly

In time it will thicken

In time it will jell

Pour into the crust

And then, baby,

All you need to do is

Chill

Vodka in the Pie Crust

Somehow, a chat with Becca, Paul, and Macy this morning went very quickly from ghosts to silly putty to play dough to eating play dough to eating library past to making — of course — pie dough. “The new secret ingredient is vodka” said Paul. So I’ll have cheap jerseys something new to try out when I get home. Of course, this means I will have to break into my hurricane cheap nba jerseys supplies to get the vodka, which will make this crust a Category One provisions. (I’m saving The Glenlivet for Category 4, and tequila shots for Category 5. Bourbon for 3 and possibly mojitos for 2. Keep in mind, that I usually do not drink at all, but at different times in life, Hurricane Rules Apply.)

So, here is the Vodka Pie Crust recipe .  .  .  .

Cook’s Illustrated’s Foolproof Pie Dough

When we talked to Cook’s Illustrated publisher Chris Kimball about the November 2007 issue of the magazine, we asked what recipes really stood out in it this year. This pie crust cheap mlb jerseys is one of them, he said. “It’s a brilliant recipe,” Kimball said. “The secret ingredient in it? Vodka.”

Foolproof Pie Dough

– makes one 9-inch double-crust pie Do

The trick to this pie crust is Crust the inclusion of vodka. Eighty-proof & vodka, which is 60 percent water and 40 percent alcohol, adds moistness to the dough without Impacto aiding in gluten formation since gluten doesn’t form in ethanol. Although the recipe includes 8 tablespoons of liquid, the alcohol vaporizes during baking, resulting in a tender crust that only contains 6 1/2 tablespoons of water. Because of the extra liquid, the dough will be moister than most standard pie doughs and will require up to 1/4 cup more flour.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water

Procedure

1. Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of Our dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion cheap nfl jerseys to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two A even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.