Archive for the ‘Pie’ Category

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Hay Donna, do I get a merit badge? Coconut cheesecake (featuring Girl Scout cookie crust)

March 5, 2007

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Alright… So this is, hopefully, the last of my super-sweet torture devices for my beloved pregnant wife. In fact, my wife, who cannot eat sweets until our son is born, gave me the OK and was even my prime consultant on this recipe. The brilliant crust was all her concept…. but I’m getting ahead of myself.

This recipe was built on the confluence of inspiration and necessity. Last week, my wife came home with boxes of Girl Scout cookies. She’d ordered them before the doctor issued his ban on sweets. Normally, an excess of Girl Scout cookies wouldn’t be such a bad thing — heck, it really wasn’t a bad thing, except that they were now my Girl Scout cookies. Sure, I like Girl Scout cookies as much as the next guy — but I can’t go through more than a few boxes without starting to feel guilt and pressure (from my belt).

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So my wife suggested that I make something with them. A pie crust perhaps? Some other sort of dessert? At first, I scoffed at the idea. (I imagine there is already a special merit badge out there for the Girl Scout who comes up with the most creative way to use the cookies. Picture some 12-year-old earning her stripes by building a thin mint fallout shelter somewhere in the mountains. How could I compete? And, more important, would I get a badge?) But my mindset shifted when it became clear that I need to get rid of these cookies.

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Then I discovered that this month’s Hay Hay It’s Donna Day, being hosted by Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, was cheesecake. This, combined with a dinner party we had this weekend, created a compelling purpose for these cookies: I would feed the masses with a beautiful and tropical cheesecake.

So, once again, this isn’t really a torture device for my long-suffering wife. I mean, it was her idea after all. Wasn’t it?

Finally, I want to ask a technical question of you fellow cheescake lovers. I am using a water bath for my cheesecake. I’ve always preferred this method, because I think the texture is better and believe that having an uncracked top is always a goal. But I’m curious what you do.

… So, to water bath or not to water bath?

Click here to download the recipe for Coconut Cheesecake.

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Mmm…. stuffing. Mmm… pie.

November 23, 2006

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Happy Thanksgiving!!! Well, it’s one of those super busy days for us cooking fools. Luckily, this year I avoided the duty of cooking Thanksgiving dinner. We are enjoying it with my family in North Carolina. This means my step-mother has the job of cooking for 10 or more. I suspect I will be in the kitchen offering to help, but have a feeling I’ll be turned away. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tart ‘n’ tangy: Key Lime Cheesecake

September 12, 2006

Key lime cheesecake

Key lime cheesecake

I’ve seen it on many a menu, but have rarely been tempted by it. Usually, it’s crowded out either by my full stomach (which refuses dessert entirely) or offerings of warm berry tarts of some sort (which always call their siren song to me). What mysterious dessert am I talking about?

Key Lime Pie.

But Key Lime Pie is a star in many parts — I think particularly in even warmer climates — and I’ve felt an obligation to try it. But after a packing away a full restaurant meal and then growing dizzy at the prospect of dessert, bearing the mantle of culinary explorer (as opposed to warm apple tart eater) is just too much.

Luckily, my husband has solved this dilemma by making Key Lime Cheesecake here in our own home.

So now I can tell you that this particular variance has a light, custard-like texture that pairs with the crispy spiciness of its ginger snap crust. When you fork it in, it has a fresh — very tart — taste of lime, quickly met with an uncloying sweetness. Kind of like a sour lime candy. Then you finish by munching on the delicious cookie crust.

Sound good? I think so. I’m not Key Lime Pie expert (obviously) but I know good dessert. This is it, folks. Read on for husband’s backgrounder, and as he waxes philosophical about limes of all kinds.

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Calories be damned

August 18, 2006

Chocolate chess pie

Under that giant blob of home-churned vanilla ice cream lies a chocolate-y, pecan-y delight. My husband said it’s pecan chocolate chess pie, and the resident expert on things chocolate chess pie — Tessie — did not dispute him. To me, though, it tasted like a pecan pie that had gotten it on with chocolate pudding. Yes, a pecan-pie-chocolate-pudding love child (aka, apparently, pecan chocolate chess pie). And it was delicious. Velvety chocolate with a sweet crunch of pecans, all dripping with homemade vanilla ice cream. It’s enough to make me wish I went to the gym more often and deserved to eat this. (Fear not: I ate it anyway. Who could push that plate away?)

For those who aren’t tempted by things chocolate (there are so few of you), don’t despair that there’s nothing in this post for you. My husband also unravels the mystery of homemade pie crust in his explainer. See that thick, golden and flaky crust that the pecan-pie-chocolate-pudding love child is sitting on? It’s also magical. Read on for his secrets. Read the rest of this entry ?