Pies and Tarts

Cheddar Cornmeal Chicken Pot Pie

Cheddar Cornmeal Chicken Pot Pie recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate wood. Adapted from ina garten's recipe, this pot pie is made in a skillet or dutch oven and it super simple. The pie crust has cheddar cheese and corn Meal, thyme, rosemary, and other herbs and is flaky from butter and shortening- it ends up tasting like a cheese straw! The filling has peas, pearl onions, and carrots and is thickened by a roux made of flour and butter. Find this comfort food recipe to serve for a cold weather family dinner on thewoodandspoo.com . pastry, pie.

Full disclosure- it’s 65 degrees outside. I can almost promise that there’s not a single person in the state of Alabama that is actually interested in eating this cheddar cornmeal chicken pot pie right now. But sometimes we do weird stuff on this blog, so let’s not shy away from it. Let’s just go for it.

Growing up, I can remember eating those personal pot pies that came frozen in a tiny foil pie pan. I’d pick out the peas and hide them under the rim of my bowl until the dog got close enough to eat them out of the palm of my sticky little paw. Now, as an adult, I appreciate pot pie for its comfort. A thick and buttery stew, bubbling with chunks of chicken and diced veggies, all topped with a flaky pie crust, somehow feels cozier than a cable knit sweater. Pot pie dinners feel like home.

Cheddar Cornmeal Chicken Pot PieCheddar Cornmeal Chicken Pot Pie

This, my friends, it not your average pot pie. This cheddar cornmeal chicken pot pie is the sexy, Southern cousin of the regular ole’ pot pie that swoops in from out of town, steals your boyfriend, and sends everyone running to the store for cheddar cheese so that they can be cool like the new kid. 

The filling, adapted from Ina Garten’s famous recipe, is unassumingly delicious. Carrots, peas, chicken, onions, and enough butter to grease up Danny Zuko and the rest of the T-Birds, comes together in one pot to make a thick and creamy filling. The surprising part of this dish- the part that would make you slap yo mama and sing the Hallelujah Chorus- is the crust. Cornmeal and sharp cheddar cheese are the stars of this show, providing a crunch and creamy tang with every bite. Spiced with black pepper, garlic, and a few savory herbs, the crust on this cheddar cornmeal pot pie is like a pie crust meets Southern cheese straw. If that doesn’t shoot this dish to the top of your dinner menu, then I don’t know anything, apparently. 

Cheddar Cornmeal Chicken Pot Pie

Since coming up with this dish, my somewhat critical eater of a husband has said that this is the single best dish in active rotation at our house, so I tend to make it quite a bit. Thankfully, this is a dish that requires little active cooking time, and the cheddar cornmeal crust can be made (or even frozen!) ahead of time. I haven’t tried freezing and reheating a whole pot pie yet, but I have high hopes that there’s potential there. If anyone tries this out, please, do inform. 

Cheddar Cornmeal Chicken Pot PieCheddar Cornmeal Chicken Pot Pie

If you’re somewhere cold or in need of a dose of comfort food, you should definitely give this cheddar cornmeal chicken pot pie a try. Although, if you’re reading this from Alabama, maybe just wait until we’re back to the regularly scheduled January weather. Or not. No one is judging, so if you make it now, I won’t care. Cheers to you and Happy Tuesday!
Cheddar Cornmeal Chicken Pot Pie
 
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Cheddar Cornmeal Chicken Pot Pie

This cheddar cornmeal chicken pot pie is a traditional chicken pot pie, filled with chicken, carrots, peas, and buttery onions, all topped with a cheddar, cornmeal, black pepper, and herb crust.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Cook Time: 120
  • Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

For the cheddar cornmeal crust

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/3 cup shortening, cold and cubed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar)
  • 24 tablespoons ice water, more if needed

For the pot pie filling (adapted from Ina Garten)

  • 21/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 11/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 31/2 cups of diced cooked chicken (I use cooked breast meat)
  • 1 cups small diced carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves (you can substitute a reduced amount of dried parsley)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 egg

Instructions

To prepare the cheddar cornmeal crust

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, whiz together the cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, pepper, and dried herbs and seasonings for about 30 seconds. Add the butter and shortening and pulse in the processor until marble sized clumps form. Add the cheese and pulse a few more times until well combined and the pea sized clumps forms. Add 2 tablespoons of the ice water and pulse until the dough begins to come together, adding an additional tablespoon of water or two if needed. Do no over-process.
  2. Dump the dough crumbles out on to the counter and form into a round, flat disk. Cover in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or up to three days.

To prepare the pot pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small saucepan, warm the chicken stock and bouillon cube over medium heat, but do not boil. In a large dutch oven or pot, add the butter and onions, cooking over medium heat and stirring frequently until the onions are translucent (about 10 minutes). Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring all the while. Add the chicken stock mixture and continue to cook while stirring for an additional minute. Once the sauce has thickened, add the chicken, carrots, peas, parsley, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix well and turn the heat off.
  3. Pour the pot pie filling into a 10″ cast iron skillet, or another glass/ceramic baking dish that the pot pie can nearly fill to capacity. Whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush the mixture on the lip of the pan. This will help the pot pie crust to stick to the pan, but is optional and may not be necessary depending on your pan.
  4. On a floured surface, roll your crust out until it is 2 inches wider on all sides than the size of your pan. Be sure to keep your surface and pin well floured to keep from sticking. Transfer the crust to the skillet (I roll the dough loosely back on to the rolling pin and then gently roll it back out on top of the pan), trimming the edges, and crimping them as desired. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and cut a few vent slits on the top of the pie. Place in the oven and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling underneath. If the crust or edges are golden or burning before the filling is bubbling, cover loosely with a piece of foil. Allow to set for about 20-30 minutes before serving.

Notes

Notes

  • The herbs and seasonings in the dough are optional but highly recommended as they add tremendous flavor!
  • I have tested many variations of this dough, and this is the one I was most pleased with. I have attempted using all butter, and while the taste is terrific, the texture is not as preferable to me. It’s quite delicate and may be somewhat crumbly crye shaping it for the pot pie lid, but the taste is worth the effort.

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Cookie Butter Pretzel Mousse

Cookie Butter Pretzel Mousse by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a simple, no bake recipe featuring a cookie butter (biscoff / speculoos) mousse made with cream cheese and whipped cream. The mousse is prepared in individual jars (Weck, but you can use Mason jars) and topped with a salty pretzel crumble/ crumb made with butter and brown sugar and salt. It's all topped with more sweetened whipped cream and pretzels. This recipe is fast and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Store in the fridge to make ahead. Recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

We stress ourselves out, don’t we? We plan too much, do too much, squeeze too much in at the last minute. We run and push and accept a few jobs that we have no business taking. But this is Christmas. These few weeks of the year are precious and valuable and not meant to be squandered away on to-do lists and stressful tasks. The hours of these days should be spent on laughter and hugs and gratitude. So if you’re in over your head this Christmas, today’s recipe, cookie butter pretzel mousse, is for you. This recipe will give you something delightful to share with your loved ones and spare you from burning the midnight oil in the kitchen. Interested yet? Well then let’s get to it!

Cookie Butter Pretzel Mousse

Cookie butter pretzel mousse is a sweet and salty dessert made up of a cream cheese and cookie butter whip, topped with buttery, brown sugar pretzel crumbs and whipped cream. We start by preparing the pretzel crumbs by combining crushed pretzels, melted butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Once the mixture is fully combined, we set the crumbles aside to cool. Meanwhile, the cookie butter gets whipped with a bit of sugar and cream cheese. Once creamy and smooth, whipped cream is folded in to create a fluffy, cloudlike mousse that it out of this world. Once thoroughly folded in, you can begin to assemble your little mousse cups! I prepared mine in individual jars, but if you don’t have small Weck or Ball jars at home  you could easily assemble these in low ball glasses, champagne coupes (hello, NYE!), or even small plastic cups.

cStart to finish, these cookie butter pretzel mousse cups take less than 30 minutes to make, and the outcome is a stunning dessert that will blow each and every one of your holiday guests away. So chill out, love someone this weekend, and spend a little less time in the kitchen by sharing this delicious cookie butter pretzel mousse at your upcoming celebrations. I’ll also be sharing a recipe for sparkly champagne cupcakes that will make your New Year’s Eve bash extra boozy and fancy so check back for that in a few days as well. Cheers to you and have a merry week!

Cookie Butter Pretzel MousseCookie Butter Pretzel Mousse

 

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Cookie Butter Pretzel Mousse

Cookie butter pretzel mouse is a creamy, sweet and salty mousse topped with buttery, brown sugar pretzel crumbs and fluffy whipped cream.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Ingredients

For the pretzel crumbs

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rough crushes pretzels

For the mousse

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cookie butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup cream

For the whipped cream topping

  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

To prepare the pretzel crumbs

  1. Stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, and salt. Stir in the pretzel crumbs and set aside while you prepare the mousse and cream topping.

To prepare the mousse

  1. Beat together the cream cheese and cookie butter on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure it becomes well combined. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, whip together the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold half of the cream into the cookie butter mixture. Once combined, fold the remaining whipped cream in. Set aside while you prepare the whipped cream topping.

To prepare the whipped cream topping

  1. Beat the cream on medium low speed until it begins to froth slightly. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and then continue beating just until stiff peaks form.

To assemble the cookie butter mousse cups

  1. Using a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, pipe the mousse mixture into 6- 6 ounce glass jars. You will add approximately 1/3-1/2 cup of the mixture to each jar. Alternatively, you can just scoop the mixture in to a bowl or the jars if you don’t have a piping bag, or use a plastic bag with the end clipped off to pipe it in. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the pretzel crumbs over top of the mousse and then top with a large dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with any remaining pretzel crumbs and then serve!

Notes

Notes

  • These can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 3 days but are best eaten right away as the pretzel crumbs will lose their crunch over time.
  • Do no use low fat or unsalted pretzels. Also avoid use large pretzel rods or nuggets.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are simple, individual mini tarts made in removable bottom tart pans. An easy cheesecake and canned pumpkin puree filling swirled together with sugar and fall spices like cinnamon. The press in crust is easy to make and the whole thing is topped with sweet and salty walnuts or pecans or other nuts. Find this great dinner party dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

What age is too old?

This is the question I’m faced with more and more frequently. 

For example, I secretly love Harry Styles, but am I just way too old to admit that? I want to buy a chokers and lace up shirts, but wait, didn’t I wear those twenty years ago!? And then what about my secret stash of Mary-Kate and Ashley movies? AM I TOO OLD FOR ALL OF THIS? PLEASE INFORM. 

I’m stuck in this purgatory age known as 28 where (to quote the great philosopher Britney Spears) I’m not a girl, not yet a woman, and I have no gauge of where my awkwardness fits in society.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts

Ok, I can already hear you rolling your eyes at me, and that’s fine. You can judge me. You can hate me for getting antsy about nearing my thirties, or you can laugh at the immature desires of my old, wrinkly heart. But I’m just being honest here, ok? 

This past weekend, we traveled with friends to Atlanta for a football game and 36 kid-free hours of food and shopping. Following an afternoon of day-drinking, pre-dinner cocktails, and a few poured bottles of wine throughout dinner, I was feeling pretty fancy. And to be clear, by fancy, I mean Ready. To. Dance. 

We attempted to crash a wedding at our hotel, but security swiftly asked us to leave (#proudmoments). Instead, we decided to walk to a club around the corner. Brett paid our cover, the thick velvet curtain was drawn back for us, and for a minute, I was 21 again. Yes, in my mind’s eye, I was young, fresh-faced, sans stretch marks or nursing boobs, and for all intents and purposes, a BABE. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts

Well, that moment lasted about as long as it took for me to get to the dance floor, because then the question hit me: Am I too old? 

I am choosing to believe that the age to enter this club had to have been, like, 14 because some of these kids looked downright preteen. These were tiny, infant children, playing pretend with their mom and dad’s stash of Bud Light and cocktail straws. That has to be it. Otherwise, the alternative is that I was the old one.

Well, I danced. I danced and jumped and sang and did a bunch of other fistpump/pelvic thrust movements because when you’re old, you don’t have time to practice your moves in the mirror of your bathroom anymore. The DJ amused us by playing an assortment of hits from the 90’s, and at one point, Brett and I were booty dancing (do we still call it that?) and yell-singing the six or seven words we were able to make out of “It’s Tricky” by Run D.M.C. I have no doubt in my mind that those fetus humans we danced alongside went home and told their friends about the crusty old people who humiliated themselves doing the hand-jive in the middle of a struggling dance floor, but honestly, if you can’t dance when you’ve been casually drinking for 12 hours, WHEN CAN YOU DANCE!?!

The moral of this story is that growing up is hard to do, but if you manage to dance your way through it with your friends, you’ll make it out with not much more than a dull headache and a few blurry photos to fondly laugh at later. 

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I’ll be 29 in a few weeks and I’m considering these pumpkin cheesecake tarts as an ode to my earlier years. They’re cute, petite, and wildly delicious. I shared them with a friend who said they would make a terrific alternative to the usual Thanksgiving desserts, but honestly, life is short and we really don’t need an excuse to indulge in delicious desserts. The time for dancing and pumpkin cheesecake tarts is now. 

The recipe for these pumpkin cheesecake tarts is adapted from my bruleed key lime pies, so if you’ve tried those you know how simple these are to make! We start by pressing a shortbread crust into the bottom of 4″ tart pans. I used my favorite shortbread crust from these blueberry lemon bars. The filling is sweet and creamy, similar to a cheesecake, with swirls of pumpkin and all of our favorite fall flavors. After a quick bake in the oven, the tarts are cooled to room temp before being topped with toasted hazelnuts. Sound awesome? Yeah, I thought so.

You can make these pumpkin cheesecake tarts ahead of time and warm slightly just before eating.Whipped cream isn’t mandatory, but I really can’t think of a reason not to go for it; a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg in that whipped cream would be magical. I’ve also tried adding the hazelnuts directly to the shortbread crust, and let me just say that I was NOT disappointed. If you don’t have mini tart pans, you can make this in one larger 10″ tart pan (or maybe even a jelly roll pan as a bar??) as well! You will most definitely have a little extra dough and filling, though, so I recommend making only 2/3 of the recipe and lengthening your bake times.

I hope you give these pumpkin cheesecake tarts a shot. I also hope you weren’t at that bar secretly laughing at my dance moves. 

Cheers to you and happy Monday!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts 

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts

These pumpkin cheesecake tarts are a pumpkin pie and cheesecake mashup, baked in a shortbread crust and topped with toasted hazelnuts. It’s a perfect fall dessert!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 21/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 18 ounces block of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, divided
  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 11/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup of toasted hazelnuts
  • Whipped Cream (if desired)

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 6- 4″ tart pans with removable bottoms with baking spray and set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar, about 1-2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla. Add the flour and salt all at once and stir on low speed until large crumbles begin to form.
  3. Divide the dough between the 6 tart pans and lightly press the dough out evenly on the bottom and up the sides. Place on a sheet pan and in the freezer for the dough to set up for about 10 minutes.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Once removed from the oven, carefully press out the bottom or any areas where the dough may have gotten droopy in the pans. Be sure to do this while it is still warm from the oven! Set aside while you prepare the filling.

To prepare the filling

  1. Cream the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy. Add 1/2 of the can of sweetened condensed milk and beat briefly to combine, scraping the bowl as needed. Add 1 egg, the vanilla, and salt, beating together to combine. Set aside 1/2 cup of this mixture in a medium sized bowl.
  2. To that 1/2 cup of cream cheese mixture, add the pumpkin, the rest of the sweetened condensed milk, an egg and the egg yolk, and the pumpkin pie spice. Beat to combine, scraping the bowl as needed.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of the pumpkin mixture in each of the cooled tart shells, and drizzle 3 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture over top. Drag a knife through the filling to create swirls, if desired.
  4. Place each tart pan on a sheet pan and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the outer edge of the tart has set well. Allow to cool briefly on the counter for about 30 minutes and then place in the fridge to cool completely. Serve each tart with a sprinkling of hazelnuts and a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Notes

  • Be sure the cream cheese is room temperature! If it is still cold while beating, little clumps will form in your batter and you’ll be forced to whisk it through a fine mesh strainer prior to pouring in your tart shells.
  • You can add your hazelnuts directly to your crust by finely chopping them and stirring into the dough clumps. You may have a little extra dough if you use this method, but I totally approve eating little handfuls of it raw. (gasp!)

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Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. This is a simple make ahead dessert recipe inspired by Paula Deen's Mrs. Salter's pie. This is a cream cream cheese and whipped cream peanut butter filling topped with salted salty caramel and chopped peanuts. The whole thing is stuffed in a brown sugar, butter, and pretzel pie crust. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes and is a great treat to make for a dinner party or casual gathering. Find the recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

Like most kids these days, I come from a broken home. My parents divorced when I was young, and by the time I was three, my mom had remarried Michael, my stepdad. From that point on, a majority of my childhood was spent with my mom and Michael, and for a long time, it was just the three of us in our house.

Twenty five years later, I can tell you that some things never change. There’s just as many “laugh till we cry” moments and still a handful of cold shoulders and spats. In those years in between, Michael taught me how to ride a bike, how to parallel park, how to balance a checkbook. How to pass a class, how to shoot a basketball, how to break up with a boy.  He let me dance on his feet as a toddler and carried me on his shoulders as a little girl, but as an adult, he challenges me to carry myself with confidence and to produce the best with what I’m given. In a time when tumultuous relationships exist within families of all kinds, I’m grateful to have been grafted  into a family that has made me a better person.

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

Growing up, our family of three spent a lot of time eating out, and like any normal kid, my favorite part of the meal was always dessert. Luckily, Michael and I shared that love, and 99% of the time, dessert was ordered at our table. Our favorite…debatable. But one dessert that was frequently ordered and I will always associate with Michael is peanut butter pie.

That love of peanut butter pie has followed me all of my life. Several years ago, I sat across from a guy on our first official date. After a meal full of conversation and starry eyed looks, he offered to order dessert. Let me be clear- I never turn down dessert. BUT! I was trying to be dainty and ladylike and completely unassuming, so I insisted I was stuffed (ha!) and politely declined. Instead of accepting my unconvincing dismissal, my date ordered me a slice of peanut butter pie to go, and I swear to you that at that moment, I was in love. Five years later and 2 kids later, that date is now my husband and we eat dessert every night. And whenever I get the itch to make peanut butter pie, I think of that first date, the many slices of peanut butter pie that came before it, and how grateful I am that Michael unknowingly taught me to love a man who orders me dessert.

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

The peanut butter pie I am sharing with you today is not your average Joe. It’s a caramel peanut butter pie with a pretzel crust and it. is. my. jam. If you think you’re the person that can’t bake or doesn’t have pie skills, this is the recipe for you. Your time has come, and you have to make this pie. A buttery and salty pretzel crust, pressed underneath a layer of caramel, creamy peanut butter filling, and finally, pillowy dollops of whipped cream. A few more drizzles of salty caramel and a handful of crushed peanuts later, and you’re pretty much halfway down the highway of my dreams.

You want this pie. You need it. And if you don’t have the detailed memories of peanut butter pie like I do, this is definitely the recipe that will give you some. Make this peanut butter pie, eat it all, and then high five yourself for winning on this Monday. Cheers to you!

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Peanut Butter Pie

This peanut butter pie features a pretzel crust, drizzles of caramel, and dollops of homemade whipped cream. Enjoy garnished with extra pretzels, peanuts, and drizzles of caramel!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30
  • Category: Pie

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 5 ounces  of pretzels
  • 1/4 cup (55 gm) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup /1 stick (113 gm) of unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (100 gm) sugar
  • 1 block / 8 ounces (225 gm) of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (255 gm) peanut butter
  • 1 cup (125 gm) confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup of prepared caramel (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup (40 gm) peanuts
  • Extra pretezels for decorating, if desired

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, whiz the pretzels, brown sugar, and salt until the pretzels are crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse to combine.
  3. Pat out the crumbs into the bottom and sides of a standard (not deep dish) 9″ pie plate. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until set. Allow to cool completely before using.

To prepare the pie

  1. Whip the cream and sugar together in a medium sized bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  2. In a separate large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and confectioners sugar together until smooth, about 1 minutes. Fold in 2/3 of the whipped cream until smooth.
  3. Layer half of the peanut butter mixture into the pie pan. Drizzle with half of the caramel. Layer the second half of the peanut butter mixture on top. Drizzle with remaining caramel and top with the reserved whipped cream. Garnish, if desired, with peanuts and pretzels. Chill in fridge for 2-4 hours until cold before serving.

Notes

  • I like Bobby Flay’s recipe for salted caramel (found on NYT.com) but store bought is fine.

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Recipe Adapted From: Paula Deen

Bruleed Key Lime Pies

Bruleed Key Lime Pies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Simple key lime pie tarts made in mini tart pans with removable bottoms. Graham cracker and butter crust with a sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice and zest and sugar filling. These bake up really fast! You can substitute regular lime juice. Sprinkle the top with sugar for a crunchy brûlée topping. Serve with whipped cream. Make these ahead of time and torch when ready to eat! Recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Sometimes life is easy. Life gives us new friends, or a promotion at work, or time for an extra cup of coffee in the morning, and somehow, all feels right in the world. Sometimes life gives us a surprise sale at our favorite store, or a long-awaited answer to prayer, or extra caramel drizzled in the bottom of our Starbucks cup, and everything in us shouts, “YES! Thank you! Hooray!” But sometimes life gives us illness. Sometimes life gives us broken relationships, or a flat tire, or a feeling that you’re two steps behind of where you should be. Sometimes it feels like life dumped a bunch of garbage on us and the answer to all of our dreams is “NO!” One those days, I need an extra helping of grace… and these bruleed key lime pies. 

Bruleed Key Lime Pies

These past couple of weeks have been hard. Life just feels off. But we’ve all been there, right? We’ve all felt at the end of our rope. Out of gas, out of time, out of luck. We’ve all been tired.

These bruleed key lime pies make me happy. A simple dessert, with minimal ingredients and effort, that yields a whole lot of goodness and reward. A buttery, salty crust, filled with a creamy, mouth-puckering key lime filling, all resting perfectly content underneath a sheet of bruleed sugar. Every flavor profile and multiple textures all baked into one perfect little, palm-sized dessert.

Bruleed Key Lime PiesWe start by stirring together a simple graham cracker crust that gets pressed into the bottom of mini tart pans. While those bake, we whisk together the most basic of key lime pie fillings. Once poured into the baked crusts, the pies are sent for another round in the oven. From there, the tarts are left to chill briefly before a sugar crust is bruleed on top.Bruleed Key Lime Pies

Bruleed Key Lime PiesWhipping up these bruleed key lime pies makes me feel like a boss. They feel like an easy dose of fancy and delicious, particularly on these days that can sometimes seriously suck. Bruleed key lime pies make me feel like I’m doing something right. 
I hope life is giving you all kinds of goodness right now and that you’re breezing through this week like you were made for it. But if life is giving you all kinds of lemons and limes, then I hope you’ll use those fruits to make bruleed key lime pies. 
Bruleed Key Lime Pies
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Bruleed Key Lime Pies

Bruleed key lime pies have a buttery graham cracker crust, with a tart, creamy key lime filling, topped with a sheet of bruleed sugar.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 sleeve of graham crackers
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar

For the key lime pie

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 11/2 teaspoons key lime zest
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 4 (4-1/2 inch) tart pans with removable bottoms with baking spray.
  2. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor to crumbs. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine. Divide the crust mixture among the 4 pans and press into the bottoms of the pans with your fingers. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is set. Set aside to cool slightly.

To prepare the key lime pie

  1. In a medium sized glass bowl, whip the egg yolk for about 1 minute with a wire whisk. Add the sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, and zest. Whisk to combine.
  2. Divide the mixture between the 4 tart pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until the outer edges of the tart have set. Allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes and then chill in the refrigerator until cold, or at least an hour.
  3. When ready to eat, unmold tarts by turning upside down on a piece of wax paper and pressing gently on the removable bottom with your fingers. Once removed, flip out on to a plate. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on each tart and caramelize using a kitchen torch. Allow to rest for 3-4 minutes and then serve.

Notes

  • You can prepare these in a muffin tin, however, be mindful to use liners. Baking time will differ.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4

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Recipe Adapted from: Gourmet Magazine

Banana Coconut Chocolate Cream Pie

Banana coconut chocolate cream pie Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a buttery, flaky pie crust filled with a cream filling of coconut cream, banana, and chocolate. This is a southern style pie with different custard fillings made from whole eggs and yolks. Add sweetened flaked or grated coconut and semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips / bar and sliced bananas for this layered pie! Read about how to make it on thewoodandspoon.com

This is more than a banana coconut chocolate cream pie. It’s a celebration pie.

Today marks the first day of the 36th year of my husband’s life. Birthdays, along with with Christmas, Auburn game days, and Friday morning donut runs, are a big deal in our house. While I probably say “I love ___” too frequently on this little bloggie, I really do love birthdays.

Banana Coconut Chocolate Cream Pie

Banana Coconut Chocolate Cream Pie

I love birthdays for the cake and the candles and the confetti. I love picking out the perfect card and wrapping gifts in paper printed with ice cream cones or dogs wearing shoes. I love the pop of a champagne bottle and the clinking of bubble-filled glasses and the exchange of smiles and laughter from across a dinner table. I love a celebration.

But, really, shouldn’t we all? Don’t we all have someone or something worth celebrating? Even if not a husband or a birthday, surely we all know of a life or a day that deserves special recognition- someone or something that is worth a slice of pie or a handwritten note or a small token of love and gratitude.  Wouldn’t our days on earth feel so much more remarkable if each one had a celebration of sorts? If we found joy in the ordinary and extraordinary moments alike?

I want my life to be marked by celebration. I want to be known for the joy and love and frosting that comes with celebrating life’s moments. Sharing love and appreciation for our days on earth and the people we spend them with is a gift and it’s one that I want to open and reopen and recognize as often as possible.

Banana Coconut Chocolate Cream Pie

Banana Coconut Chocolate Cream Pie

 

Today’s recipe, banana coconut chocolate cream pie, is a mash-up of my husband’s favorite desserts: pudding, chocolate, and pie. Celebrating Brett is a lot like celebrating the life we’ve been given together, so this pie feels a lot like home. It’s basic, really. Just a few bananas sliced on the bottom of a pie shell, topped with creamy layers of chocolate, coconut, and whipped cream. It’s nothing fancy, but banana coconut chocolate cream pie is a perfect fit for my super Southern man-friend’s taste buds, so I’m overjoyed to make it for him.

I challenge you to celebrate something today. Even if not with banana coconut chocolate cream pie, celebrate in some way. Share a toast or a word or meal in honor of something or someone and call it a party. And if no one has told you recently, I feel pretty certain you’re worth celebrating too. So here’s to you.

Banana coconut chocolate cream pie

 

Click here for my recipe for perfect pie crust!

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Banana Coconut Chocolate Cream Pie

Banana coconut chocolate cream pie is creamy, simple, and perfect for when you can’t pick just one pie flavor.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 recipe for Perfect Pie Crust (See Link Above)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 22/3 cup milk
  • 4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut (You can use unsweetened in a pinch)
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 large banana

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out pie dough and into a standard 9″ pie pan. (Note: this recipe will not fill a deep dish pan). Crimp edges and blind bake your crust in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the edges and bottom of crust have turned golden brown. If your edges brown before the bottom is baked, make a pie collar from aluminum foil to protect them from further cooking. Allow to cool completely prior to filling crust.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, and salt, whisking to combine. Slowly add the milk. Turn heat to medium temperature and stir constantly until the mixture is bubbling and has thickened substantially. Continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly drizzle in a small amount of the cooked mixture into the beaten egg yolks, whisking all the while. Once about a cup of the mixture is incorporated, pour all of the egg yolk mixture back into the original saucepan and place back on the heat. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes while continuing to stir.
  4. Add the butter and vanilla, stirring until incorporated. Pour half of the cooked pudding mixture into a separate bowl and stir in the coconut. In the remaining half of pudding mixture, stir in the chocolate and heavy cream until incorporated. Allow to cool slightly at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  5. When ready to assemble the pie, arrange banana slices evenly on the bottom of the pie crust. Top with the chocolate mixture and smooth over the top evenly. Spoon the coconut filling on top of the chocolate filling and smooth. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge overnight or for at least 6-8 hours. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and enjoy!

Notes

  • To blind bake a pie crust, either use pie weights or place a piece of parchment paper inside of the pie crust and fill with 1-1/2 cups of dried beans. This will weigh the pie crust down and prevent it from puffing. If you do not have access to either of these options, prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.
  • This pie is very adaptable! If you prefer all coconut, remove the chocolate and cream and double the amount of coconut. Same goes for the chocolate.
  • The oatmeal cookie crust from my oatmeal cookie banana cream pie would work splendidly. Give it a shot if you don’t prefer traditional pie crust. Recipe in the archives.
  • Refrigerated or a frozen pie crust can be substituted.

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Vegan Coconut Lime Ice Cream Pie

vegan coconut lime ice cream pie This is a vegan coconut ice cream recipe made in a machine with lime zest and sweetened with sugar. It's frozen inside a press-in graham cracker crust and the whole thing is topped with a strawberry lime compote. This pie is refreshing and delicious, perfect for the special diet vegan/ vegetarian friends in your life. Find the recipe for this berry lime icebox pie on thewoodandspoon.com

Let’s challenge ourselves. Let’s move beyond what we know we can do and into something we’re not sure of. Let’s leave it all on the field, balls to the wall, and just go for it. I’m talking

Vegan.

Ice cream.

Pie.

vegan coconut lime ice cream pie

Not interested? Well, initially I wasn’t either. But tempted by a recipe contest on Food52, I decided to try my hand at making a dairy free frozen dessert.

What started as an idea became an obsession, and I will tell you that I am now a believer in dairy-free ice cream.

To be honest, this was scary for me. I don’t typically like to mess with a good thing and let’s be honest- ice cream from cow’s milk is good. Reeaaal good. But I threw it out there and what I got back after a few misfires was worth the effort. Zesty lime, macerated strawberries, and an extra thick graham cracker crust makes this coconut milk based ice cream pie a home run for any summer gathering.

vegan coconut lime ice cream pie

Trust me on this one. Don’t knock it till you try it.

 

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Vegan Coconut Lime Ice Cream Pie

This vegan coconut lime ice cream pie, made up of zesty lime, macerated strawberries, and an extra thick graham cracker crust is a winning option for lighter, frozen desserts.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 2 sleeves of graham crackers
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

For the ice cream filling

  • 28 ounces whole fat coconut milk, refrigerated and divided
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the strawberry topping

  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of lime juice

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place graham crackers in a food processor and process into crumbs. Pulse in salt and coconut oil until the crumbs are moistened and clumping together.
  3. Pat crumbs into a 9″ metal pie pan being sure to cover the sides of the pan in a thick layer of crumbs. Reserve any extra crumbs to use as pie topping.
  4. Bake pie crust in the oven for 8-9 minutes or until crumbs are firm in the bottom of the pan. Allow to cool to room temperature.

To prepare ice cream

  1. Open the refrigerated cans of coconut milk and separate the watery portion of the coconut milk from the solid portion.
  2. Combine the solid portion of coconut milk with the lime zest, lime juice, sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Add about 1/2 of the coconut water and stir until smooth and combined. Mixture will be about as thick as melted ice cream.
  4. Pour this mixture in to an ice cream machine and churn according to the machine’s directions. It took my machine about 15 minutes for the coconut ice cream to be done. It will look like soft serve frozen yogurt when done.
  5. Spoon ice cream into prepared pie crust and freeze until solid.
  6. Once pie is frozen and ready to eat, prepare the strawberry topping. Mix strawberries with sugar and lime juice and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Serve on top of pie slices along with extra crust crumbs.

Notes

  • Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk and NOT low-fat or cream of coconut. Trust me: I tried and they will not work.
  • Substitute another berry or different fruit topping for the strawberries. If it’s delicious- email me! I want to hear all about it.

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Berry Almond Streusel Pie

Mixed Berry Pie

Friday, you sweet son of a gun, am I glad to see you or what?!

Have you all had some bright spots this week? I really hope so. Over here, the days feel long when they’re spent attached to a 5 week old while running after an almost two year old but thank goodness and hallelujah that summer + maternity leave = weekends at the lake. My parents have a little spot on the water at Lake Martin, so during the summer, they spend a couple months in these parts and I have a location for weekend retreats. And, to be clear, by “retreats” I mean no makeup, extra hands to help with chi’rens, and all the grilled chili dogs and burgers my post-natal body can handle. PRAISE!

Mixed Berry Pie

I’m excited to be able to share with you all twice this week. Ever since we talked about pie crust earlier this week, I’ve been trying to determine which recipe I was going to post today. I have a few pies up my sleeve but, you know, I can’t show you all my cards at once so let’s settle for one recipe at time, okay? In preparation for today, I did a little more research (read: made and consumed way too many pies) to make sure I gave you the most appropriate of appropriate pie recipes today. After much deliberation and several scoops of ice cream to make my pie tests “a la mode”, I’ve decided on a summer staple: mixed berry pie. Well, berry almond streusel pie, to be precise. 

Mixed Berry Pie

Mixed Berry Pie

Me and the berries get along real well in the summer on account of all the farm stands and pick-your-own berry fields that have popped up here in central Alabama. Also, is there anyone who doesn’t like at least one variety of berry? I don’t think so.

I decided on a mix of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries for this pie, but the beauty of this recipe is that you can go any direction. Use whatever you have on hand, whatever is growing in your backyard, or whatever is BOGO at the supermarket. Once you have made the ultra-critical decision of picking your flavors, and given that you read my last post and know how to make stellar pie crust, the hardest part of making this pie is waiting for it to cool to room temperature and set up completely. No judgement here if you dive in spoon first the second it’s cool enough to shovel in to your mouth. Been there, done that. 

The crumb topping on this berry almond streusel pie comes together easily and is a terrific alternative to making a double-crusted pie. I’ve included a photo of a double crusted pie I fixed earlier this year when I was testing dough braiding. Let’s just say that whole braiding thing is easier said than done. With two babies on the hip this summer, I’m going to stick with streusel toppings for now. 

Mixed Berry Pie

Mixed Berry Pie

This recipe for berry almond streusel pie will fill a standard 9″ pie plate. If you’d prefer to use a deep-dish pan, increase the filling by 1/3 and cook a bit longer. I’ve even halved this recipe and prepared pies in mini 6″ dishes that turn out great and make for a terrific pie for two! My favorite though is the standard 9″ pie because it’s great for sharing manageable-sized slices with friends. 

Let’s embrace the weekend and the onset of summer by making this berry almond streusel pie and let me know how you love it! Cheers to the weekend and to summer baking!

Mixed Berry Pie

Mixed Berry Pie

For my favorite double pie crust recipe, click here!

 

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Berry Almond Streusel Pie

This berry almond streusel pie is stuffed with juicy, mixed berries and topped with a buttery, almond specked crumb topping.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

For the streusel

  • 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cold and diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

For the pie

  • 1/2 recipe of double pie crust (see link above)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 pounds of mixed berries, stemmed and cut into similar sized pieces
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

To prepare the streusel

  1. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, and salt in a medium sized bowl and stir to combine. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until it comes together in pea-sized clumps. Toss in the sliced almonds. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To prepare the pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the berries, lemon juice, and extracts together in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the berries bowl and toss to combine. Allow to sit for 20 minutes while you prepare your pie plate.
  3. Roll your pie dough to 1/8-1/4″ thick and place in a 9″ standard pie plate. Trim excess dough from the edges and crimp your crust as desired.
  4. Spoon the berries into the prepared pie plate and drain off any excess juices. Top the pie evenly with the crumble topping.
  5. Whisk together the egg and water to create an egg wash. Brush evenly over all of the pie crust edges.
  6. Place pie in the preheated oven and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an addition 1 or 1-1/2 hours, or until the filling bubbles thickly around the outside of the pie.
  7. Once done, cool on a cooling rack until room temperature, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Notes

  • Keep your pie crust and streusel cold until it is placed in the oven. Cold crust and streusel is easier to work with and will perform best in the oven.
  • Keep in mind that this recipe works best in a standard 9″ pie plate and is not intended for a deep-dish pie plate. Increase filling ingredients by 1/3 in order to fill a deep-dish plate.
  • Use another 1/2 recipe of pie dough to top the pie if you prefer a double crust pie. Be sure to brush all of the crust with the egg wash. This will help the crust to brown beautifully.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 9
  • Calories: 387
  • Sugar: 32
  • Sodium: 266
  • Fat: 17
  • Saturated Fat: 6
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 56
  • Protein: 6
  • Cholesterol: 41

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Pie Crust

Pie Crust Recipe BY The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a recipe for the best flaky butter and shortening pie crust recipe. Golden brown and slightly salty. This pie crust is made in a food processor but can also be made with a pastry cutter or the back of forks or knife. This pie dough can be used to make lattice pie, hand pies, pop tarts, or tart shells. This is a diverse pie crust recipe that can be frozen or stored in the fridge. better than store-bought pie dough. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Let’s get one thing clear. I don’t do pie. Or pie crust.

Before I moved to Florida, dessert in our house meant one thing: Kone King. Our suburban neighborhood in Upstate New York didn’t have much to boast in the way of food but they definitely knew good soft serve ice cream. I can remember begging my parents to take me to Kone King after supper on warm summer evenings (read: any night of the year that they were open) where we would make bets on what the flavor of the day would be. Orange and vanilla swirl with sprinkles for me and black raspberry swirl for my parents. Twenty years later, I still think of Kone King just before I take my first bite of a new frozen treat. Will it measure up? Will this be the bite I’ve been waiting for? Usually, no, although there have been a few worthy contenders over the years.

That was a long way of saying that frozen dairy is my thing. It’s my jam. It’s the butter to my bread and the frosting to my cake. I know ice cream and am crazy about it in a weird way that would probably make most people feel a little uncomfortable. My husband even orders extra yogurt when we go out and I dig in to his once I’ve polished off mine. I’m not embarrassed about it; that’s just part of our routine and 75% of the reason why I’ve decided to spend my life with him.

When I married Brett, I didn’t understand why he didn’t like ice cream as much as I did. That first time, in fact, that he let me finish his yogurt, I remember thinking that it was a really sweet gesture. But alas, Brett was not being generous. He was simply sparing his stomach from the internal apocalypse that was imminent upon finishing his cup of frozen bliss. God bless the people who have dairy intolerance. Let’s have a moment of silence for them.

So what was I supposed to serve my dairy-hating man friend? I posed this question to him one day. His response?

Pie.

Pie? Your favorite is pie?

Ok. I can work with pie. But… But, how? I had never made pie crust from scratch in my life. Isn’t that why they make that delicious processed pastry in a box at the grocery store? Or that perfectly patted out graham cracker crumble in a tin? My future husband, the man I so desired to please and serve well, liked a dessert that I really had no idea how to go about making.

Pie Crust Ingredients

So I set out to learn. I started small with crumb based crusts and along the way I ground and patted my way to sweet Oreo glory and buttery Biscoff bliss. My Mimi gave me a lesson on pies at Thanksgiving and after six sticks of Crisco were sacrificed on behalf of my apple and pumpkin pies, I scarfed down more than my share of pie with little hesitation (or dignity).

There were a few not-so-glamourous moments too including an apple crumb pie with a doughy center (???) and a banana cream pie that never really set up (but thank goodness, we’ve since resolved that). Even after the lesson from my grandmother, there were still times I found myself covered in flour and wanting to dump my pie in the trash.
That is, until it happened. The day that me, my deep dish pie pan, and a few stalks of rhubarb walked the hall of victors to the glorious podium of success. A pie crust equal parts buttery and flaky, lightly golden, and perfectly baked around a tart and juicy filling of berries and rhubarb. Perfectly set slices of pie were shared with friends and it was agreed that this was a recipe for the books.

So this recipe for pie crust is for my husband. Yes, it’s just the crust, but it’s the product of hours in the kitchen and it’s a gesture that says, “Honey, I respect that you don’t know crap about ice cream and that you prefer pie. So here, this is yours.”

Try this recipe next time you’re looking to make a pie. Trust me one this one. And stay tuned for another recipe later on this week. (HINT: it’s a pie!)

Pie Crust Dough

 

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Pie Crust

A pie crust equal parts buttery and flaky, lightly golden, and perfectly baked- this is the only recipe for a double pie crust that you’ll ever need.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups (420 gm) all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons (12 gm) sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 gm) salt
  • 2/3 cup (135 gm) chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup (11/2 sticks, 170 gm) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 10 tablespoons (approximately) ice water

Instructions

  1. Give the dry ingredients a whiz in the food processor to combine.
  2. Pulse in the shortening and butter, just until barely evenly dispersed.
  3. Begin adding ice water, 2 tablespoons at a time until moist clumps begin to form.
  4. Remove dough from food processor and separate in two round disks. Wrap in Saran wrap and chill for at least two hours prior to use.
  5. When ready to use, roll out to 1/4″ thickness and line the bottom of a 9″ pie pan. This is enough dough to fill a deep dish pan as well. Prior to baking, brush with an egg wash, if desired. This is done by whisking 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water and lightly brushing crust prior to use.

Notes

  • This recipe makes a double crust. If you want extra dough for decorating the top, I recommend doubling the recipe and saving leftover crust for a future pie! The dough freezes nicely when wrapped well.
  • Chilling the dough is essential. If your dough gets too warm while you are rolling it out or decorating the top, you may not get as flakey of a crust as you might desire. So work swiftly!
  • Patch up holes or tears in the crust with leftover dough. Even small holes on the bottom of the pie plate can make a burned and sticky mess of your pie and you’re not going to want to waste a drop of this deliciousness!
  • You can easily substitute the shortening for butter and visa versa, however I cannot vouch for any other substitutions. Unless you’re super anti-shortening or anti-butter, I strongly recommend this combination for a buttery, flaky crust.

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Recipe Adapted From: Bon Appetit

Lemon Almond Tart

lemon almond tart recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a simple almond meal flour crust, crunchy and golden, filled with a creamy custard like lemon filling. This is a take on the classic french tarte au citron. Make ahead and store in the fridge. Find the recipe for this summer fruit favorite on thewoodandspoon.com

“If at first you don’t succeed: try, try again.” I’m not sure where that quote originated, but whoever it came from clearly has never tried to create the perfect lemon tart. I can almost see those people pointing and probably laughing at me as I taste tested another round of lemon tarts with utter disappointment. Well, this time, I get the last laugh, because I am happy to report that after many tries, I nailed it. Today, I get to share with you the recipe for the best, most perfect lemon almond tart – a light and nutty almond crust  filled with a creamy, tart lemon filling. (Drool)

lemon almond tart

This all started with a giant bag of lemons and an afternoon peruse through Thomas Keller’s “Bouchon” cookbook. I ran across his recipe for lemon tart (or as Keller and the French call it, “Tart au Citron”), and I thought it may be worth a stab. I had all of the needed ingredients, with exception of those needed for the pine nut crust, but thanks to a lone wolf bag of almond meal left in the netherparts of my pantry, I decided to proceed.

Attempt number one was eggy- and so, so tart. Everything Thomas Keller does is is perfect, so I confess that my lack of skills and palate were likely to blame. Unfortunately, as my husband pushed the tart around on his plate, I knew it wasn’t a winner. 

Attempt number two yielded a perfect almond crust but with a filling that was still kind of eggy. I researched and discovered a few things about cooking with lemon and eggs (see notes!), so  attempt number three left me with a perfectly tart/sweet lemon filling. Unfortunately, I torched the shell this time around and failed to cook the filling for quite long enough so it still wasn’t right. #humblingkitchenmoments

lemon almond tart

Attempt number four, as baby bear would say, was juuusssst right. Lemony, sweet, and with an incredibly creamy mouth feel, this was a tart sexy enough to call it by its French name. This was a tarte au citron.

I often receive complements from friends and family about how lovely all my food looks from the 2×4” screen of an iPhone, but what most people don’t know is that behind every photo is usually a failed attempt, a frosting that’s too stiff, a curdled filling, a sink full of dishes, or a scorched mess on the bottom of my oven. Those things aren’t as fun to write about or as pretty to photograph, but they’re apart of the process. If this is ringing any bells right now, take heart, because redemption is almost always just around the corner. This week, we’re calling redemption lemon almond tart.

Lemon Almond Tart

Read through the recipe, and the notes in particular, prior to getting started. There’s no need for y’all to make the mistakes I’ve already trudged through. I like my lemon tart the exact way I take my ice cream sundaes- with a giant dollop of whipped cream. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to be sure to whip some of that up as well.

 

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Lemon Almond Tart

A light and nutty almond crust filled with a creamy, tart lemon filling. I prefer this tart served with a generous dollop of sweetened whipped cream and lemon almond crumbs.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 4 ounces (About 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) of almond meal
  • 7.5 ounces (About 11/2 cups) flour
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of sugar
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the filling

  • 1 teaspoon butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 whole eggs, cold
  • 2 egg yolks, cold
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (juice of about 21/2 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons of packed lemon zest
  • 10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the lemon crumbs (if desired)

  • About 1 cup of reserved, uncooked almond crust crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. In a bowl, combine almond meal, flour, and sugar. Using a pastry cutter or the back of a large fork, cut in the stick of butter until dough is uniformly pea-sized crumbles.
  2. Lightly whisk the egg and extracts together in a separate bowl, and, using the pastry cutter again, combine the wet and dry ingredients. Only manipulate the dough as much as you have to to make it uniform. Overworking your dough will cause it to toughen when baked.
  3. Place dough in the refrigerator for about ten minutes while you prepare your tart pan. Dough can also be left covered in the fridge at this point for up to one day.

When ready to prepare the tart

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using your hands, butter a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom with 1 teaspoon of softened butter. Lightly dust the bottom and sides of pan with flour.
  2. Using your fingers, press the almond meal crust into the bottom and sides of the tart pan. You will likely use all but 3/4-1 cup of the dough. Trim any excess off the top.
  3. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until edges are almost turning golden and the center crust is set. Allow to cool while you prepare your filling. Alternatively, the crust can be made one day in advance and set aside covered.
  4. Bring a small-medium saucepan filled with an inch of water to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  5. In a bowl just barely larger than the saucepan, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar.
  6. Once water is boiling, place the bowl of eggs on top of the saucepan and whisk until mixture becomes paler and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the lemon juice and zest, continuing to whisk all the while. Occasionally turn your bowl to ensure you don’t cook the eggs. Continue whisking consistently until mixture is thickened, about the consistency of a very loose pudding. Your whisk should be leaving a momentary trail behind it as it moves through the bowl and the mixture should generously coat the back of a spoon. The entire cooking process will have taken about 10-12 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat off, but with the pan still on the burner, add the cold butter, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, whisking until piece is combined before adding another piece. Stir in the vanilla.
  9. Pour your filling into the tart crust. Place a piece of saran wrap directly on top of the filling and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Tart is complete at this point, but lemon crumbs can be added as a garnish if desired.

To prepare lemon crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl, combine about 3/4 cup of reserved, uncooked almond tart crumbs with lemon zest and sugar. Drizzle in the melted butter and stir until small clumps form.
  3. Spread out on a sheet pan and break up larger clumps to smaller, pea-sized pieces. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden, shaking pan intermittently. Allow to cool. Sprinkle on top of tart or on top of each piece along with a generous dollop of sweetened whipped cream.

Notes

  • Crust dough will be crumbly, but be sure to cover the sides and bottom of your pan thoroughly and evenly. It may crack in the oven, but that’s ok.
  • When zesting your lemons, avoid the pith (the white part below the yellow exterior of the lemon). Zesting the whites can cause your tart to taste bitter.
  • Cooking time of the filling may differ depending on the type of saucepan you’re using and how large your bowl is on top of the pan. If your bowl is too large, it will take longer to cook the eggs.
  • Cooking your filling in some materials can cause your tart to taste metallic or eggy. After trial and error myself, I recommend using a glass bowl and a silicone whisk.
  • If you prefer a much more tart filling, add another packed teaspoon of zest to the filling.
  • If you like to serve your tart with whipped cream (don’t we all?), whip 1 cup of cold, heavy whipping cream until frothy, then slowly add 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar. When nearly to stiff peaks, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Yum!

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Recipe Adapted From: Thomas Keller