Saturday, 30 June 2007

As American as...

Ask a bunch of people to complete that phrase and hopefully they'll answer "Apple Pie" (and not something too derogatory, although in this day and age you never know...)

The latest Cook Teasers get-together was at Nadia's house to almost coincide with the 4th of July.

It was a pie-heavy event, with three different pies to sample, yummy Blondies to add to the sweet mix, with thankfully, some savoury muffins to counterbalance all that sugar.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Savoury Mini Muffins with Parmesan and Basil

Carol writes:

For the recipe, click here

Apple and Cranberry Pie with an Almond Butter Crust

Nadia writes:
So my big challenge this month was to confront my Fear of Pastry. I'd tackled yeast, the other dreaded cooking fear and really have had no trouble with making bread and brioche and whatnot - but pastry - eek! [Cue in the music from the shower scene in 'Psycho']

I just always thought it looked so damned finicky with all the "chill the butter" and "chill the water" and "don't overwork it" yadda yadda - it all seemed just a little too precious. But Cookteasers is nothing if not about confronting your fears, take that! Martha-Stewart-and-your-damned-crepes, so I was game to finally try and put that irrational pastry-hating self behind me. Because, damnit, I LOVE PIE - and there is NO PLACE in this country that I have found (within driving distance, anyhoo) that bakes a decent American-style Apple Pie, not to go into all the other bazillion pies that you can't get here. Now I like me a good gluggy tuck-shop pie of yore with that gelatinous goo and almost crispy apple filling (think West End Bakery) but there is really nothing like a good ole US of A/God Bless America/Red-White-and-Blue homebaked Apple Pie.

And I made one!!!

Yes I did, people! I baked that sucker and that pastry was MINE. I owned its ass!

It did help to have the absolute BEST recipe in the known universe and for that I thank Elise (or really, her dad) at Simply Recipes.

The crust was flaky, the smell alone of the crust was enough to keep me going in pie fantasy land for a loooooonnnngg time. The insides were delish - the added cranberries giving just a little needed respite from the sweetness of the apple filling. Aaahhh bliss. And I have baked it three times since and apart from one time where I undercooked it a little, the pies were all divine.

For the recipe, click here

Coconut Custard Pie

Nadia writes:

For the recipe, click here

Southern Style Pecan Pie

Sherrise writes:

For the recipe, click here

Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies

Christina writes: Last year, at the inaugral Cookteasers meeting I made a batch of luscious Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies. When Nadia hosted an all American theme, I thought I would try their cousin, the Blondie. Yummy butterscotch melded with cream cheese was a delight! I feared that these Blondies may be too sweet, and considered dropping the sugar, but they were great just as they were. You may notice in the photo that the Blondies are irregular in size, that is because I had to cut around the sunken, soggy centre. If you decide to make these, follow the recipe and don't pull them out of the oven ten minutes early like I did.

(It is interesting to note that the centre, soggy as it was, was spectacular eaten with a spoon the following day)

For the recipe, click here