Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sneak Preview: Emily's Birthday Cake Pie!

This photo is a SNEAK PREVIEW of the pie-shaped cake I will present to our very own birthday girl later tonight! It's a vanilla cake with a semi-sweet chocolate "crust" and vanilla chocolate chip icing piled high on top. Greg and I are freaking out because it looks so tasty. So happy birthday, Emily! We will dance the night away high on cake-pie in honor of you tonight!



Monday, April 03, 2006

Book Club/Pie Breakfast

The Pie Breakfast/Brunch Buffett. Also featured on the table: Allaire's book report, blueberry almond muffins, beet and orange salad, blueberry almond coffeecake, and ketchup (brought to you by the Ketchup Advisory Board which concerns the American public with the inquiry, 'are you getting enough ketchup?')

Last Saturday was my first Seamonster Book Club (we met at Seth and Allaire's chalet in Fairfax and discussed America Over the Water, by Shirley Collins-- An English folksinger who traveled with Alan Lomax in 1959), combined with a pie breakfast/brunch. An impromptu bbq kept me from making my pie the evening before, so I got up early Saturday morning to make a creamy pear pie. I found the recipe online and was quizzical of the addition of cream to the actual pie filling, but when I saw the accompanying quote "Outstanding Creamy Pear Pie! I cook this for the men's league at my golf club, and they love it!," I thought, well hey, that has to be good. It's quite a novel concept to put the cream in the pie, instead of the post-bake cold whipped variety. The recipe is as follows: 

Creamy Pear Pie
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook time: 55 min

·1/3 cup white sugar
·2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
·4 cups peeled and sliced pears
·1 cup sour cream
·1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
·1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (I used real lemon juice instead)
·1/2 teaspoon almond extract
·1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Topping (I found it needed a bit more of all of these):
·1/4 cup all-purpose flour
·2 tablespoons brown sugar
·2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
·1/4 cup slivered almonds (I added this to the original recipe)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
2. Stir together white sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. Add pears, and toss to coat. Stir in sour cream and vanilla, lemon and almond extracts until pears are evenly coated. Pour into the unbaked pie crust.
3. Combine 1/4 cup flour and brown sugar. Mix in butter with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Add almonds. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the pie and coat with remaining almonds
4. Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until pears are tender.

 I really enjoyed the combination of pears and almonds. Mandy said the texture was a nice blend and described the taste as 'comforting' and 'delicious'. For two more pictures of it, showing the cross-section, see the photo stream at right.

More pie-traits:
Michelle made a DELICIOUS quiche with spinach, pine nuts, and potatoes.

Meat-y quiche by Meghan. ham and scallions, perchance?

and Meghan's classic apple pie!

Howard takes no pie, but he does enjoy a spot of tea.