Tag Archives: Brown sugar

Brown-Sugar Buttermilk Pie: Denver

26 Nov

Whelp. I was able to steal my parents’ camera after Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, so this blog will have pictures. What?! I am hoping to buy a new camera some time in the next few months (read: am begging for one for Christmas…come ooooon mom ‘n dad), so ideally my blogs will not suck as substantially as my last one did.  Anyway.

I thought that this pie was ok – I am not huge on custard pies, as I generally prefer summery fruit pies – however, this pie had a really nice texture and its simple flavor would have been good with some wildly-flavored ice cream. Actually, I think it would have been amazing with eggnog-flavored ice cream…do they make eggnog flavored ice cream? I hope so.

I didn’t make this for Thanksgiving, as Nora did.  I made a pumpkin pie for my parents/The Boy, because my father will literally riot in our house if there isn’t pumpkin pie to eat after dinner on this holiday.  I also made a special other dessert, and I’ll tell you about it at the end of this post. No cheating and skipping ahead.

The recipe was pretty cut-and-dry.  My pie crust was not very pretty. Nora’s was so neatly crimped! This is what mine looked like, because I am lazy, and no one is gonna see this pie but me and The Boy. Well, and you, blog-reader. So, I guess I owe you an apology for my ugly-ass pie.

The baked crust shell (ugliest):
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Finished pie (slightly less heinous but with un-smooth surface due to knife-test):
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In meek effort to redeem myself, the pumpkin pie that I made at my parents’ house on Thursday morning was BEAUTIFUL. I was so proud of it. I even cut out little leaves out of extra pie dough and decorated it. Photo evidence below, because I feel really smug about how pretty it was. Also, it was amazing. I rebelled against the evaporated-milk-in-pumpkin-pie bullshit and instead used heavy cream and half-and-half…it was AMAZING. It was so pumpkiny and not too sweet, which is usually my issue with pumpkin pies. Look at this lovely:

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Anyway, back to the point of this blog: Buttermilk Sugar Pie. It made a ton of custard, so I baked some extra in a little ramekin.

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Also, the texture was really silky and beautiful. See:

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With regard to the special dessert that I made on Thanksgiving: I usually make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, and one additional dessert every year. Last year, I made pumpkin-chocolate cupcakes, but they were sort of “too much”.  This year, I opted for Martha Stewart’s Cranberry-Vanilla Pavlova.  If you’ve never had a pavlova before, you haven’t been living. They’re essentially giant meringues (my favorite food) topped with freshly-whipped cream and fruit.  This was extraordinary, light, flavorful, and beautiful. It made a great Thanksgiving supplementary dessert, but it would be delicious for a christmas eve treat, too. Look at how pretty it was!:

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Brown-Sugar Buttermilk Pie: Portland

23 Nov
Like a zombie chef, I’ve got pie on the brain.

I made not one, not two, but four pies this week, with at least three more to follow. When holidays come around, I go crazy with the need to distribute my baking bounty. My victims this Thanksgiving: my sister, roommate, coworkers, neighbors, friends and my half-marathon training schedule.

Round 1: This week on Cooking By The Book, I had a special guest star: my little sister, Gail.

We made an early Thanksgiving side dish feast on Monday night while she was visiting Portland, complete with tomato-olive stuffing, sour cream mashed potatoes, Alton Brown’s homemade green bean casserole, cranberry-orange-apple relish.
And of course, for dessert, we had this week’s challenge: buttermilk brown-sugar pie with homemade whipped cream with Amaretto. The pie was delicious, and I have a sneaking suspicion it was the butter. Butter in the crust, browned butter in the filling. I’m obsessed.
During the baking fest, we stayed true to an annual Simon family tradition (of which there are surprisingly few; we’re a unabashedly unsentimental family) and watched the 1949 black & white version of Miracle on 34th Street, as well as A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
Gail was in charge of the wet ingredients for the filling (she’s not as fond of crusts as I am).
I’ve always been tempted to try powdered buttermilk (you know, the package with the guy with the moustache), so I bought some just for this. It worked great, and now I can keep it in my fridge and use it whenever I need for banana bread, etc.

I finally learned how to crimp a crust properly (no more of that fork on the edge crap). Thanks, Internet! How would I have ever learned to bake without you? A sad observation, but very true.
The pie crust I usually make (to go with the pumpkin pie) has vinegar and calls for vegetable shortening, but I always use butter. For the buttermilk pie, I tried out the food processor variety with butter and water, and it was fine. I think I’ll stick with the vinegar variety, though.

Something about that one tiny tablespoon keeps it a nice rollable consistency and creating a flaky pastry with an interesting flavor dimension. Also, one of my coworkers told me about this awesome pie crust recipe (secret ingredient: vodka), which I know I’m going to have to try.

Round 2: Then on Thanksgiving Eve, I made it again to take to work, and the second time was definitely better than the first. (You can tell this one has a much better crimped crust because I did it correctly.) Blue Ribbon Pumpkin Pie (with a secret ingredient in the filling; can you guess what it is?) and Karo label pecan pie followed.

Round 3 (To be continued): For Thanksgiving Day, I’m planning pecan chocolate chip and pumpkin pies (to take to dinner), plus a sweet potato pie (for my neighbors).

Challenge #7: Brown-Sugar Buttermilk Pie

17 Nov

Next up, it’s pie time for Thanksgiving fare.

This year, I’m making millions of pies, including your standard pumpkin and pecan. But for early Thanksgiving with my sister (little Gail), we’re trying something new. It’s brown-sugar buttermilk pie, which I (again), borrowed from the Thanksgiving issue of Martha Stewart EVERYDAY Food. If I haven’t already, I would recommend buying the issue. It’s really well designed and edited (plus, I love pictures of food and new recipes).