Tuesday, October 26, 2010

{twd} mini deep dish apple pies

Confessions of a baking blogger: I've never made a proper double crusted pie before.  I know. It's downright disgraceful. You should probably all storm my house and confiscate my pastry tools.  But pie has always seemed so troublesome and so labor intensive.  (If I'm going to put that much effort into anything, it had better involve chocolate).  Besides, as a single, twenty-something New Yorker, there aren't many occasions in my daily life that seem well suited to a pie. Fancifully flavored ice creams? Sure.  Alcohol infused cupcakes? You betcha. But an entire pie just never seemed to fit the bill.  Until last Sunday night, when I got an email about a Baking Emergency (you know I've waiting pretty much my entire life for a Baking Emergency, right?) The email explained that our office was hosting a last minute potluck the next day in honor of a paralegal's twenty-fifth anniversary.  An office potluck in Brooklyn?  Sounds perfectly pie-appropriate to me. So I rolled up my sleeves, pulled out Baking From My Home to Yours and got to work on this week's Tuesdays With Dorie pick, All American All Delicious Apple Pie, chosen by Emily of Sandmuffin.  

A couple of hours later, I stood surveying my kitchen.  There was quite nearly nothing that wasn't dusted in a thin layer of snow white flour. But I had done it--I had made a pie.  The only tricky part was rolling out the dough, and I found that even that was manageable with a little practice and a whole lot of flour (hence the kitchen white out). Other than that, I was shocked at how easy it was.  But not nearly as shocked as I was when I arrived at the office on Monday morning and discovered that the potluck was actually the following week.  That's right--I was an entire week early.  Never fear--my buttery, flaky pie was consumed by my team at our weekly Monday meeting.  Not what I would normally consider a pie-worthy event, but it made Monday much more delicious.  So much more delicious that I whipped up these mini versions for dessert last night.  If there is a pie-appropriate event in your future or if you just want to add a little sweetness to an otherwise ho-hum weekday, you can find the recipe here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

the grub street food festival

On Saturday, I braved the wind and the crowds and headed down to Hester Street for New York Magazine's Food Festival. 
The lines were long and the crowd was thick, but we came prepared with a plan of attack.  First stop? A grilled cheese from The Smile to fuel the rest of the excursion.  Topped with tomato jam and pickled onions, this was the perfect first course.  I wish they would have gone a little heavier on the jam, but all in all it was rich, buttery and delicious.

After the grilled cheese it was time to divide and conquer.  Our party of four split off into four different directions.  The other three went in search of lobster rolls, patacon and ice cream sandwiches, while I went to procure us rice balls from the Arancini Brothers.  I was almost to the front of the line and was debating the merits of roasted pumpkin with mascapone versus escarole with white bean when they announced that they were sold out and wouldn't have any fresh arancini for another 30 minutes.  
Needless to say, I aborted that mission.  There was just too much else to try!  I didn't get a photo my next bite--a Lobster Roll from Luke's--because I wolfed it down too quickly.  The Luke's Lobster roll was packed with sweet fresh lobster and very little mayo.  Instead, I tasted butter.  Mmmmm butter.

Once I was reunited with my friends, we sampled several of the offerings from Patacon Pisao.  Below is a Cachapas, a sweet corn crepe filled with cheese, and a Patacon, a crispy plantain sandwich filled with chicken. I also tried a bite of a Tuqueno, which is a piece of white cheese wrapped in dough and fried.

I washed it all down with a Ginger Ale from P&H Soda (he's making a concord grape variety in the photo below).

And then it was on to the moment I'd been waiting for all day--dessert!  Below are two ice cream sandwiches from Melt Bakery.  The first is molasses cookies with pumpkin pie ice cream, and the second is pistachio baklava with pistachio ice cream.  They were rock hard when we fist picked them up, but slowly thawed out into a delicious treat.

By this point in the day, the crowds had started to get to us.  There were so many people chowing down that you really had to fight your way up and down the aisles.  And there was also the small matter of being so full that I was completely incapable of eating another bite. So we called it a day, and I dragged myself home where I promptly fell into a food coma.   All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

{twd} double apple bundt cake

This week the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers whipped up this Double Apple Bundt Cake. Made with both apple butter and grated apples, the cake is sweet, dense, and packed with apple flavor. Oh, and instead of a lemon glaze, I topped my cake with some apple cider infused caramel sauce. Which may have something to do with the fact that more than half of it was eaten by the time I got around to taking pictures. It was the perfect cake to usher in fall. This week's choice comes from Lynne of Honey Muffin, and you can find the recipe here.