Or it might be a tart….
A tart pan was used in the making of this pie. Or tart. Ugh, I don’t know. A tart pan with fluted edges and a removable bottom. Very French. Also, the cheapest thing I have ever purchased from William Sonoma. That store kills me.
For the purpose of this post and my sanity…let’s call it a pie. I am more of a pie gal, anyways.
Pie is very Saturday night family dinner, served by grandmas and eaten with mismatched forks and chipped plates around a crowded kitchen table while your brothers tell off color jokes and the resident 3+1/2 year old counts to 25, skipping the number 15 altogether…every single time.
Tarts are meant for catered wedding and baby showers and fancy brunches… Tarts sound like straight back chairs and uncomfortable couches that weren’t actually meant to sit on and throw pillows that are just to be admired, never ever ever used. Boring…stuffy?
Pies get ice cream.
Tarts…just a dollop of whipped cream.
I prefer ice cream and crowded kitchen tables….
Pie it is.
But I like the look of a tart (I am so torn!) The edges standing so straight and strong…yet so flaky and buttery and fragile. The removable bottom is key to that cherished edge. You wanna know what else is key?… greasing the edges of the pan…like, really greasing the edges…liberally is not to be taken lightly. Because if the tart won’t release from the sides of the pan…that removable bottom is useless and a disaster waiting to happen. Trust me. Butter. It. Up. Or make a pie crust (like the one below) that is so buttery…that there won’t be an issue on the release. Score!
Let’s make a pie. Or a tart…Read More
On days like 12-12-12 or 05-05-05 or maybe 10-10-10 … Don’t ya just expect more out of them? I sure do.
Days that only happen once a century…something special should happen. Right?
We won’t see 12-12-12 again until 12-12-2112. I will be 129.58 years old. I mean, seriously, something spectacular should happen on days like this. Unplanned greatness. As if the world had fireworks up its sleeve for days like today (or two days ago, by the time you read this). Or candy rained from the heavens. Or we all got five dollars in the mail, in a sweet little card like your auntie used to mail to you on your birthday. That would be nice.
Things like that should happen on special calender days like today…
But they don’t and so you have to make them special on your own account. If I was an elementary school teacher, I would have had a pizza party and a movie day. I watched ET in elementary smack dab in the middle of the 4th grade hallway. Track and field day had been cancelled due to rain and that was our consolation prize. But the movie and pizza on 12-12-12 wouldn’t be a consolation prize, but part of the celebration. It would be epic. Better than any Valentines Day party, that’s for sure.Read More
Is your tree up? Lights strung and garland draped? Candy canes hooked and ornaments placed just so? The angel tree topper straight or is there a red bow with its red tails cascading down your tree? Do you string popcorn and cranberries or perhaps marshmallows? Have you named it? It is a thing…people naming their trees.
Are you a family that pulls on wool socks and boots, layers coats and scarves, and traipse out to the evergreen forest (ok, fine, tree farm) with axe in hand and a thermos of hot chocolate thrown over your shoulder and chops down a yearly Christmas tree? My mental image of this is a tad skewed…a tad too Norman Rockwell. Because in my head Christmas carols are being sung and the kids are happy and rosy-cheeked and walking hand in hand merrily with their siblings – ha! Maybe I have seen too many Bing Crosby Christmas Specials or watched one too many ABC Family Christmas movies…because I also picture snow lightly falling ever so carelessly from the frosty night ski. Twirling to the ground, carefully so. Perfectly white and fluffy snow that gently coats the trees and ground and the ever so cheerful family. The snow being a crucial part of the magic…Read More
I loved the pie lady.
We never knew her real name. Maybe my mom knows. Moms know that sort of thing. She lived two miles out of town. Calculating miles in the country is easy, each stretch of road between crossroads, is almost always one mile. So the one stop light in town to The Pie Ladies house was and still is 2 miles. Her house sits across the road from the Pig House ( it was once painted pink and the front windows and porch made the house look like an oinker…ha!) The pie lady no longer sells pie from her home. But we still refer to the house as the ‘Pie Ladies’. I wonder if she even still lives there.
There was a simple hand made sign that leaned up against a tree in their front yard when there were pies. The sign was a beacon to fellow pie lovers. A candle in window, or was it two candles in the window? It was candles, right? When it was leaning, we stopped. Almost always. Sometimes we made the two mile trek to see if the sign was out. And then we stopped. By the time I was 12, I knew the power of pie. I also knew that I LOVED pie.
She had all the flavors ….fruit and cream pies to feed the masses and please the tastebuds. While secretly I wanted the deep dish blueberry or the apple…we always got a banana, coconut, or chocolate cream pie. Favorites of my father…he had the final word, which was fine, because who is really going to complain about his choices? Only a crazy person and his 12 year old daughter…I really wanted the blueberry! But I dealt. And I ate banana, coconut, and chocolate cream pies. And I disliked the chocolate one the most.
Her chocolate cream pie was super-duper chocolate. Homemade dark chocolate pudding was just too much for my young tastebuds. Tastebuds that were only sophisticated enough for creamy milk chocolate from a man named Hershey. Or pudding from a box and every once in a great while…pudding from those plastic containers that strangely didn’t need refrigerated and was found in the cool kids packed lunches or your lunches on field trip day, right next to the pop wrapped in tinfoil. This was the pudding I was accustomed to. And now, as an adult, I wish I had all those pies back. Kids are so stupid.
This chocolate pie is not a cream pie, but its flavor is just as intense as the chocolate cream pie I turned my nose up at a hundred times over as a child. Again, kids are so silly! Thankfully, evolution has fixed this issue as witnessed by yours truly. My niece and nephew, aged 3 and almost 7, ate more of this than any of the adults…
A few notes on the pie itself. Use quality bittersweet chocolate. This is not the time to use chocolate chips. Trust me. Spend good money for good chocolate. You will be thankful that you did. And the ginger snap crust, use it. Do not substitute with vanilla wafers or graham crackers (unless you can’t find ginger snaps, then I would totally understand) But otherwise, trust me. I was a little leery of ginger in combination with chocolate ( I don’t like my chocolate flavored beyond chocolate), but the crust only adds a light gingery undertone, one that is pleasant and wonderful against the rich chocolate.
Oh! I recommend topping this pie with freshly whipped cream that is slightly sweetened.
Boy, do I love pie.
- 8 Ounces, About 32 Ginger Snap Cookies
- ½ Stick (4 Tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, melted and slightly cooled
- pinch of salt
- 12 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 2 Large Egg Yolks
- 1 Large Egg
- ¼ Cup White Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
- ⅛ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- ¼ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- Pinch of Salt
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Finely grind gingersnaps in a food processor. Add melted butter and salt, and pulse until crumbs are moistened. Firmly press crust into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, set aside.
- Combine chopped chocolate and heavy cream in a medium sized saucepan and place over low heat. Whisk until chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, egg, sugar, flour, pepper, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
- Slowly, so not to cook the eggs, whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, and whisk until smooth.
- Pour filling prepared crust and place tart in oven for 30 minutes until the center is softly set (it’ll have a little bit of give when gently pressed)
- Remove from oven and place on wire rack and let cool.
- Store, covered, in refrigerator.
- Serve with whipped cream.
Adapted From Bon Appetit December 2007Read More
Any pistachio lovers out there? What a qui-dinky-dink. Me too.
Not long ago, I was able to pick you/we pistachio eaters out of a crowd. Those red fingers were a dead give away. Anyone know why they dyed them red? I am fully aware that a quick Google search ‘why were pistachios dyed red?’ would return multiple pages providing me with an adequate answer (and probably a correct one), but sometimes and quite often, I still like to ask questions. Similar to how I still like buying real books and compact discs. Old school livin’.
I will text and or ask questions when I can readily answer the same questions using my magic phone or the handy dandy computer I always find myself in front of. Personal Googles is what I like to call them. Each question directed to the person in my life that would be able to answer it best and most quickly. Why is the sky blue? How do I get a grease stain out of my favorite sweatshirt? Where does the wax go when candles are burned? Is there a trick to keeping your cat out of a Christmas tree? I ask game scores when I have an ESPN app made specifically for scores when you are on the go, or at work, or at a wedding. Same for the weather. I am always asking about the weather…but this may be because I stink something awful at small talk.
So my question today…red pistachios. Why red? and then also, why are they no longer dyed red? (besides the fact that we no longer prefer to ingest copious amounts of red dye #40) So many questions…also, why are they so darn addictive? Abby Sciuto was right, have you ever just eaten one pistachio? I think not. Which means, and I apologize in advance, you will probably not be able to eat just one slice of this cake. I have already eaten two slices and wondering how long I must wait before I eat a third.
This cake may become my ultimate nemesis. Self proclaimed pistachio addict and a life long lover of pound cake. Yep, I am doomed. Doomed I tell you! I beg of you to bake this…risk the doomed-ness. Totally worth it. Promise.
Shell your pistachios. Ha! Please buy them shelled, it’ll take you all day otherwise. It is worth the extra cost. Your thumbs will thank you. You will leave some whole, some roughly chopped, and others will be ground into a paste….
Ground pistachios, pistachio paste. Guess what? Pistachio paste does not look like I had imagined. What happened to the green? Where did all the brownish-yellow come from?
Cream cheese and butter need to be creamed. Martha was onto something here. I don’t think I will ever make a pound cake with just butter ever again.
Add the pistachio paste into the mix. We are gonna hide its ugliness among cream cheese and butter.
Where it will discolor your cream cheese and butter mixture and you will realize that your cake will not be green, but a light brown. I now understand why Jell-O adds green food coloring to their pistachio pudding. Light brown pudding that is not chocolate = not appetizing. At all. Or ever.
Eggs, vanilla, sugar, flour, salt, mini chocolate chips, and more pistachios are heading to this shindig.
Mini chocolate chips and the chopped pistachios get folded in last.
I should have left more in the bowl. This batter is delicious. Head in bowl, licking out the last bit delicious I however by no means suggest you should eat raw eggs.
A drizzle of a sweet glaze and a handful of chopped pistachios finishes this cake off.
I am thinking this cake would knock off the socks of relatives and co-workers for the upcoming holidays. Plus, it can be made ahead and frozen. Conquering the holidays is all about prep work. It’ll make you look like a rock-star.
- 1+1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Pistachios, shelled and divided
- 10 Tablespoons Butter, room temperature
- 3 Ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1+1/2 Cups White Granulated Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs, room temperature
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
- 2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
- 1 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons Milk
- pinch of salt
- ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ Cup Pistachios, roughly Chopped
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line a loaf pan (8½ by 4½inch) with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place ½ Cup shelled pistachios into a food processor and process until a paste forms (about 3 minutes). Roughly chop the remaining ½ Cup shelled pistachios. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese. Add pistachio paste and cream until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Beat in sugar and remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add room temperature eggs, one at a time, mixing each egg into the mixture before adding the next. Add vanilla.
- With mixture on low, add flour and salt, mix until just combined.
- Fold in roughly chopped pistachios and mini chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and place in preheated oven. Bake for 80-90 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean (with a few crumbs attached) when inserted into the middle of the cake.
- Place on wired rack and let cool. Remove from pan after 15 to 20 minutes and let cool completely on wire rack.
- Once cool, drizzle cake with icing and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
- To make icing: Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Use enough milk until desired consistency is reached ( I used 2 tablespoons of milk this go around).
Adapted from Martha Stewart.