easter bread 2013

easter-bread

This was not my favorite Easter bread to date. Of course it wasn’t only bread but also candied oranges….and then Rob accidentally stuck his finger in the risen loaf before I baked it.

To be fair the kitchen was a disaster because of course I was also trying to simultaneously compile a southern feast, complete with, from scratch, sweet potato pie.   Yes, marathon cooking on Easter Sunday. Rob did make some excellent pie dough and it was his first attempt ever: gold star.

…and we ate well, we ate very well.

easterdinner

peaches talk to me

When I see peaches at the farmer’s market…they say “pie” to me. I almost hear it in my head. This time they said crostada, which is kind of just “easy” pie.

Part of this is that I prefer my peaches cooked, grilled, baked, broiled, whatever…not raw. Also peaches play well with spices I like, nutmeg and cloves… the types often used with fall foods like squash. I also prefer peach to apple pie. Apples are way more difficult to peel and core. Besides apples always say “apple crisp” to me.

Mostly I shouldn’t be listening to the fruit at the farmer’s market at all, because I need to stop making desserts and start running — or I’m going to have to pull my fat jeans out of the back of the closet.

PIE

pie  pie  pie  pie
pie  pie  pie  pie
pie  pie  pie  pie
pie  pie  pie  pie

It kind of worked actually… the crust was a little tough but recognizably pie crust and I would say as good as or better than any pre-made store-bought crust.

I had both peaches and blueberries purchased earlier in the week at the farmers market and I was eating them but there were still a lot of both. A common problem of mine, to get excited at all the beautiful bounty and purchase more than I will be able to consume… Anyway… when I made plans to have dinner with friends I decided to make peach pie, for the first time ever of course, and then when I looked up the recipe in Bittman he suggested an alternate of also adding a cup of blueberries! Which I also had! Kismet.

It was awful tasty, if I do say so myself, and I shared it for once so I only ate 3 pieces instead of all of it.

rhubarb-sorrell tart

rhubarb tart

This is the cover recipe for Good to the Grain.  If you like to bake (and I actually don’t), you need this book. I swear. Probably my best cookbook investment ever.

Of course it is a blogger favorite so if you just search Good to the Grain and rhubarb tart you will find many versions of this recipe. I basically followed both the cornmeal crust recipe and made the compote with the dried hibiscus flowers from the book, no substitutions.  The dried hibiscus, called jamaica on the package, came from my local grocery found with the other packets of Mexican spices, dried chilies, etc.  I have extra, so I will make some hibiscus tea, also called jamaica or sorrell tea, popular in the Caribbean. I actually first had it in Senegal this winter…I think I may make mine with a little less sugar than most traditional recipes seem to call for  :)

These tarts are so delicious that most went into my freezer to be defrosted on another day. I refuse to share.

late night pie

I’m really not a big dessert person and I’m a lousy baker, so why did I decided that I had to make these pear-raspberry pies from the Martha Stewart Living magazine (Feb)? Also why did I do it this late at night?

  1. I made the pastry dough yesterdaypie
  2. The pears were finally ripe
  3. I was still feeling pretty energetic after my first guitar lesson
  4. I’m a glutton for culinary punishment

As usual they are ugly but  if I keep making pie they can only get better, right?

Actually, although I’m not going to be taking market share from Hostess anytime soon but they are reasonably tasty.  They do need a few more raspberries and a little less nutmeg.