Sunday, April 17, 2011

Grasshopper Pie

This pie came from Martha Stewart's New Pies & Tarts book, which was a gift from one pie blogger to another. Thanks Amy! I FULLY recommend this book, even if you don't bake, just to look at the pictures. It's truly decadent. I can't wait to make more pies from this book!

In case you can't wait to get your cook book, you can also find the recipe here, Grasshopper Pie. 3 layers of minty goodness, with a chocolate cookie crust, this pie was tasty!

First we steeped fresh mint in milk. The milk turned green & tasted of spearmint. Mint layer #1.

While the mint milk was on the stove, the crust was made. Instead of chocolate wafers that Martha uses we used mint chocolate cookies (aka. grocery store thin mints- see photo above.) because I couldn't find chocolate wafer cookies in our small town. It gave another layer of mint to the pie ( #2). My fave thing about this crust was the coconut in it, it gave the pie great texture. :)

We mixed some plain Gelatin with a few tablespoons of Creme de Menthe. Mint layer #3.

It got all green and groovy looking... :) Oh I spy piebakers!

Then we had to mix the green milk with the green gelatin...minty goodness.

That baby had to cool in an ice bath... which took forever... and which was when we learned the true reason why it's called grasshopper pie.

Not because it's green, but because it takes

Finally thickened we added some whipped cream to it to make it fluffy!

Refrigerate for a while and then ENJOY!

This pie was probably the fussiest pie we've ever made at the Pie Hole, but I thought it was worth it. It tasted just like the grasshopper cookies my mom used to buy when I was a kid. Some of us however thought the mint flavor overpowering, so it may need to be adjusted according to taste.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jamaican Meat Patties

I think it's fairly obvious that a lot of the pies I want to try and make are products of nostalgia. I have no idea how Jamaican Patties became a common quick meal or afternoon snack but they were totally our version of hot-pockets growing up. This is another thing that we never really cooked at home. No secret family recipe...they were strictly from the box in the freezer section. Flaky pastry surrounding a spicy meat filling. Yum!
Here is where I found a recipe to try.

Below is a delicious recipe for Jamaican Beef Patties:

2 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 cup Solid shortening
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine
1/3 cup Cold water
Recipe by ©
Sift the flour, curry powder and salt into a large bowl. Cut in the shortening and margarine until crumbly. Add the cold water to make a stiff dough. Lightly flour a wooden cutting board and roll out the dough until about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 8-inch circles. Cover with wax paper or damp cloth until ready to use. You can place the dough in the refrigerator overnight. If you do refrigerate, remove the dough at least 15 minutes before using.
Recipe by ©
2 tablespoon oil
1 Small white onion, Finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon Chopped Scotch Bonnet pepper
1/2 lb. Lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Curry powder
1/2 teaspoon Dried thyme
1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Beef or chicken stock
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 cup Water
In a heavy skillet, melt the margarine and sauté the onion and Scotch Bonnet Pepper until they become limp. Add the ground beef, salt, pepper, curry powder and thyme and mix well. Brown the meat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the breadcrumbs and stock and combine all the ingredients well. Cover the skillet and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When all the liquids have been absorbed, the filling is ready. It should be moist but not watery. Remove the skillet from the stove and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Uncover the dough circles and place 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling on half of each. Moisten the edges of the dough with water and fold the dough circle over the meat filling. Pinch the edges closed with a fork. Lightly brush the pastry with a mixture of the egg and water. Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet for 30 to 40 minutes or until the pastry are golden brown.
Serves: 10 Patties 

The bad:
The pastry was really hard to work with and to be honest, I wasn't in love with the texture after baking. It had a hard, crispyness as opposed to the thicker, tender, flakiness I wished for.

The good:
I liked the flavor of the filling and other than the pastry being annoying they were fairly easy to make. You could make a double batch and freeze them for heating up later.

The verdict:
These didn't really live up to my memories. Sometimes the texture of mass-produced goods is really hard to replicate and I think this was one of those times. 

Note to self:
Add these to your grocery list for two week trip to Canada this summer. Multiple boxes for late nights catching up with family and after swimming/running snacks. Extra spicy please.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

S'Mores Pie

Over Spring Break Lou & I went camping (well as "camping" as I get) in a cabin.
We decided to do a camping inspired pie while there.
What says camping more than S'Mores? Nothing!?

For our pie we combined 2 cups of heavy cream with a box of devil's food chocolate pudding.

Though we wished we'd brought a handmixer becuase it ended up a little grainy.

We piled that mixture in a premade graham cracker crust.

Then we tried toasting some marshmallows over the fire in the woodstove (see above) but that was taking forever and they seemed too big on the middle of the pie. So we cut the marshmallows in half and covered the pie. By then we were too full with other camping food, so we didn't feel like eating the pie (plus we'd left our long lighter for toasting the marshmallows back home...) so we stuck it in the fridge overnight. It traveled to Mesa with Lout where the marshmallows on top were toasted with a lighter and then it was devoured by her family, who she said liked it very much. :)

Lou would be making this post, but she has been sick in bed all week. :( poor thing.