Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rhubarb Tart at Rachel's Bread

My grandma Georgette at Rachel's
It is a Hilliard family tradition to frequent Rachel's Bread in Goshen, Indiana on Saturday mornings. Rachel's is the French/Belgian-inspired bakery of our friend Rachel Shenk. She used to sell bread out of her home kitchen, but has since established a full-on boulangerie adjacent to the Goshen Farmers' Market, and has acquired a loyal following.

My parents enjoy their frittatas

I came home this weekend to surprise my grandma on her 80th birthday, so on Saturday we headed down to Goshen for some of Rachel's frittatas, croissants, baguettes, and yes, tarts.

Rachel's rhubarb mini tart!

I got this delicious rhubarb mini tart-- diced rhubarb with sugar on a thick pâte sucrée. The thick, doughy and sugared crust--a perfect compliment to the tart rhubarb-- persuaded me to get to work on my own pâte sucrée; I never thought it was necessary before. I have some recipes to try, but if you have a good one, do let me know. I'll have to wait until my next visit home to compare it to Rachel's...

Monday, May 02, 2011

Vegan Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie!


Post contributed by my friend Justin in Baltimore...

Making vegan pecan pie is easy! I recently made my first, a chocolate bourbon vegan pecan pie, with great results, as pictured. I read a bunch of recipes, and followed along loosely with the three listed below to get an idea of measurements and ingredients:

Vegan Baking Recipe

American Food Recipe



The basic idea is to make a sticky, sweet liquid mixture, combine that with about 2 cups of pecans that you've toasted in your pie crust, and bake at 350F for about 35 minutes.

If you're looking for a vegan pie crust recipe, I can recommend 1c all purpose flour, 1/4c water, 1/2c (or 4 oz) non-hydrogenated margarine or vegetable shortening, and a pinch of salt if your margarine isn't salted. Work that all together, put it in the fridge for a while, covered, if you have time, and roll it out when you're ready. For this recipe, you can pre-bake your crust and toast your pecans at the same time. Line your pie dish with your crust, then pour in the pecans, and put it in the oven at 350F for 15 minutes or so.

Choose a mix of sweeteners such as maple syrup, agave, corn syrup, molasses, brown sugar and water, brown rice syrup or whatever else you have on hand. Combine these in a pot with a little vanilla, a pinch of salt, 3 tablespoons or so of bourbon if you like, and heat over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring. Add a little corn starch at the end, then mix in your pecans, put it all in your pie crust, and bake it! If you want to add chocolate, put in some broken up pieces of baking chocolate or dark chocolate chips or a broken up bar right before you bake the pie.