28 November 2010

Katie's Corn Bread

So this is actually my recipe - my internet was out the other day, and I needed to make corn bread for thanksgiving, so I threw together everything I vaguely thought should be in a corn bread, and it was delicious!

1.5 cups cornmeal
1.5 cups milk
2 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
3 tbsp honey
1.5 teaspoon vanilla
1 tbsp butter/shortening/lard, softened
2 eggs, beaten

Let cornmeal soak in the milk.

While they are soaking, mix baking soda, salt, sugars, and flour.

Add eggs, honey, vanilla, and butter, and mix well. Mix in the cornmeal and milk, and stir well a few times. Put in a well-greased circular 9-inch pan or a 10x13 pan and bake for about half an hour, or until golden brown and the top has formed the shell you can tap.

24 November 2010

Pumpkin Pie

The second pie I made for our Thanksgiving feast was a classic pumpkin pie, made from a whole pumpkin. It sounds overly difficult, but it's actually very easy to do. I just used the recipe from the sticker on the pumpkin, which I got at Trader Joe's. The hardest part by far was cutting the pumpkin open; I actually broke a knife doing it! So be careful. Your efforts will pay off.

one pie pumpkin
1 1/3 c sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 c hot water
single-crust pie dough

Cut the top off the pumpkin, then cut it in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Save the seeds for later if you want toasted pumpkin seeds! Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until it's very soft, 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

Scoop out the flesh and mash it up with a fork or food processor or potato masher or electric mixer. Add all the other ingredients and combine. It will be very liquidy. Pour it into your pie shell and bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Tada! You have made a perfectly simple and delicious pumpkin pie! Now eat it!

Sweet Potato Saffron Pie

Another sweet potato pie! I made this one a few weeks ago, but I still remember how I did it. It's a pretty basic sweet potato pie, but with saffron and spices to make it extra special. I used this recipe from All Recipes as a base, and just changed the seasonings.

single-crust pie dough
1 pound sweet potatoes
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
pinch of saffron
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp allspice or nutmeg (or both? I don't remember, sorry)

1. Boil the sweet potatoes, either whole or just cut in half, until they are very soft - about 45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the milk up in the microwave until it's very warm but not boiling. Add the saffron and let it soak until you're ready to use it.

3. Remove the skins from your boiled sweet potatoes and mash them up with a potato masher or fork. Add all the other ingredients and stir together until well combined.

4. Roll out your pie dough and place into a buttered pie dish. Fill it with your sweet potato creation and bake at 350 degrees for 50ish minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. It will puff up a bit as it cooks and sink back down once it's out of the oven. Delicious!

Sweet Potato Pecan Custard Pie

I started out planning to make a pecan pie for Thanksgiving, but then I remembered that pecan pies are sweeter than I like, and I couldn't find any recipes that didn't call for corn syrup. So instead I made this sweet potato pie with ground pecans and agave nectar. It's divine!

single-crust pie dough
about 2 pounds of sweet potatoes
2-3 cups of pecan halves
a little over a cup of milk
2 eggs
1/2 stick of butter, softened
zest of one orange
1/2 cup agave nectar
about 1 tsp each of cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamom, and allspice
pinch of salt

I can't swear to the accuracy of the amounts on any of the ingredients, but one of the great things about pie is that you don't usually have to be precise when you make the fillings. Here's how to make the pie!

1. Roast the sweet potatoes whole at 400 degrees until soft. Don't pierce any holes in them.

2. Grind up some pecans in a food processor until you have one cup of ground pecans.

3. Remove the sweet potato skins and mash them up with a potato masher or fork. Add the ground pecans and all other ingredients until well combined. My filling was quite a bit thicker than pumpkin pie filling, but you can add more milk if it seems too solid. If you want it really smooth, put it all in a blender or food processor. I didn't bother, and it turned out fine.

4. Roll out your pie dough and put it in a well-greased pie dish. Pour the filling in, trim off the excess dough, and pinch around the edges to make it look nice. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

5. Lightly toast the remaining pecan halves in a pan. After the pie is mostly cooked (around 30 minutes in), take it out and arrange the pecan halves on top. Make a nice pattern! Return the pie to the oven and let it cook until the custard is set and the crust is lightly golden, another 10-20 minutes.

6. Let the pie cool for a bit before cutting into it. Enjoy!

The orange flavor really stood out in this pie, which I thought was a nice contrast to the darker flavors of the spices. I wish I had a picture, because it was a beautiful pie!