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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ginger Streusel Peach Pie

Every time I've made a pie, I've said "No more pies!" They've frustrated me too much. So what do you think I did yesterday? I baked another pie.

It's not the masochist in me. It's that I don't like not being good at something that I want to be able to do well. So I get frustrated, but I keep plugging away at it. Practice, practice, practice, right?

Texas peach season is in full swing. You can't go anywhere without passing several roadside sellers. When TracyK and Jean raved about this pie on the CTC message board, I knew I was doomed to make it.

Whoa, is it rich! The custard-to-peach ratio is higher than I expected, which makes me wonder if my Texas peaches were too small. They're definitely not the size of Georgia or South Carolina peaches, and even though I did use a pound, maybe my pound was more pit and less flesh?

The pie is delicious -- I had a slice just now with coffee -- and I'm super happy that I made it. I definitely didn't cry, and I don't think I cursed. Well, maybe once. I'd forgotten to shield the crust and flew around the kitchen to find it and put it on. That was minor, though, and definitely didn't frustrate me, just a minor little expletive. Dare I say I can bake a pie without getting frustrated? Eh, I hate to go there yet.

Ginger Streusel Sour Cream Peach Pie
, recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour

Monday, June 14, 2010

Strawberry Ice Cream

My friend Jess loaned the ice cream attachment for a Kitchen Aid mixer to me so I could try before I buy. I'd intended to make mint chip ice cream, because I had a huge bouquet of freshly harvested mint. But I used it to make jalapeno mint jelly (where's that blog entry?), and was thusly mintless. Go ahead, call me out on that, as there's clearly a sprig in the photo. While not technically mintless, I didn't have enough to make mint chip ice cream, with mint being the star, not the garnish.

Gary came home with 3 pounds of strawberries on top of the pound I'd already purchased. Didn't take long to figure out my next step. Off to the interwebthingie I went, looking for recipes.

Sour cream may sound like an odd ingredient for ice cream, but it does two things here: it balances the sweetness and it adds incredible richness. Everybody knows that heavy cream alone wouldn't be rich enough! A touch of kirsch (I do seem to have a well-stocked liquor cabinet!) adds subtle flavor, and also its alcohol keeps the ice cream from freezing too hard.

A while back I had the pleasure of taking a cooking class that David Lebovitz taught at Central Market. The man knows what he's doing. This stuff is GOOD.

Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream, The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pecan-Chocolate Squares

Thanks,Toni! As soon as I saw your post, I knew what I'd bake for the card party that Gary is hosting tonight.

Before they inhale the whole batch, I'm setting aside a couple for tomorrow morning's coffee date. Perhaps you can find a way to thank me later.

Pecan-Chocolate Squares
, Fine Cooking #70

Monday, June 07, 2010

Chocolate Cream Pie

This pie demands whipped cream. It does. Copious amounts. It is rich, chocolate-y, decadent. It was universally adored at Sunday Family Dinner. Worshipped, even.

Naughty thoughts of whipped cream from a can are probably someone's idea of a fantasy. Not mine. Freshly whipped real cream, lightly sweetened and with a hint of extract, is so much more dreamy, so much more delicious. It turns "demanding" into "perfect".

Chocolate Cream Pie, Cook's Illustrated, May/June 2001