Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pineapple Rum Cream Pie

I'm definitely obsessed with pie.  This pie I just kind of made up on the spot because I really wanted to make a pie, and I didn't want to go shopping. We had a pineapple that was very ripe and needed to be eaten, and not much else. 

Ever since my discovery of the two layer pie-- something on the bottom and then fresh fruit on top, it's so easy to think up new pies. Also I keep getting pie books out from the library.  Right now I have out The Perfect Pie by Susan Purdy and A Year of Pies by Ashley English. The Perfect Pie is really cool because there is a section at the back of pie and tart recipes, but there are also pretty hefty sections of crust recipes and what I'm going to call Pie Component recipes. In that section there is a recipe for Pastry Cream or Crème Pâtissière. So I made that and added a tablespoon of dark rum since I was going for a Caribbean feel with the pineapple.  For the crust, we had run out of graham crackers, so I used some lemon snap cookies that I had bought to experiment with.

I really liked this pie.  Sometimes it tasted like it had bananas or coconut in it. I'm not sure if that was just power of imagination or what. The phantom coconut feeling definitely came from the consistency of the crust; I've had crusts made with some shredded coconut and it felt very similar.

This was a great summer pie. The crust bakes for about 10 minutes and the pastry cream cooks on the stove top again for about 10 minutes, so there's not much to heat up your kitchen.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Pie Pie Pie Pie Pie!!

I think I've been making at least a pie a week for a month or so now. It really keeps me sane. Something to look forward to. This one is a honey pie from the United States of Pie book by Adrienne Kane. But the crust is one I made from a recipe from the Four and Twenty Blackbirds book, a recipe with apple cider vinegar in the crust. 

It was super delicious, but I was a little unhappy with the crust because it sank and didn't hold the nice crimps I made. The recipe didn't say to bake the crust at all before putting in the filling, but I might do that a bit next time.

This was the pie coming right out of the oven:
It was so puffed up! It deflates after you take it out, but by that time I was too excited about eating it to remember to take another picture.

In the past weeks I've also made a pie of my own creation that I call Yellow Submarine pie- a bottom layer of lemon curd covered with fresh blueberries mixed in a tiny amount of homemade blueberry jam. It was super tart, which I like, but I think it might be even better later in the season when blueberries are sweeter and the pie would be a bit more balanced.

(We are always eating the pie at night and the lighting isn't as good for pretty pictures unfortunately, but I just love that first picture of the two bowls of ingredients!)

I also made two different grapefruit pies for a friend's birthday party. One with a graham cracker crust and grapefruit curd mixed with whipped cream, and then a few slices of fresh grapefruit laid on top.

The second one was a bit of an experiment. I'd read recipes for Lemon Shaker Pie and really wanted to try that, but I also was excited to try it with grapefruits. So never having had the original, I decided to just go for it with grapefruit. I followed the Lemon Shaker Pie recipe from the United States of Pie book.  In this recipe you slice the entire citrus fruit super thin and let it sit in sugar overnight so that the rind and pith soften and lose some of their bitterness. Then you mix that with some eggs and a few other ingredients for the pie filling.

Here it is before being baked:
I hadn't made a double crust pie in a long time, so that was exciting too. Crust is the best!

Okay, and finally the terrible rushed picture in the car on the way to the party of the pies and a bowl of whipped cream! haha

I was so happy with how these turned out. The grapefruit curd/whipped cream pie completely disappeared at the party. It was a huge hit, and most of the Grapefruit Shaker pie was gone too.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Outgoing Mail Art

I finally got back into the groove and started responding to my large pile of received mail. Here are a few envelopes I sent.