sweets

Blueberry Slab Pie

Welcome back my friends, I hope you haven’t all melted into puddles on the floor in this heat, I know I was certainly close. Leaving the house when it’s 100 degrees outside can be daunting, but if I was going to do it for anything, it would be for margarita ingredients you know? Yes, I realize that this recipe is about blueberry pie, but this is crucial. Last week, I somehow managed to injure my hand while juicing limes, which seems like an achievement even for me, so guess whose electric citrus juicer arrived on Saturday?? Naturally I had to test it out, and used this recipe, which is quite possibly the easiest and most foolproof of margarita recipes. It’s worth noting that my mom thinks this is a little too strong so we add some simple syrup to sweeten hers up, but I’ll leave that decision up to you.

But anyway, let’s talk about slab pies. For those who have no clue what that is, a slab pie is a pie baked in a large sheet pan (with raised sides, of course), resulting in a giant rectangular pie with all the buttery crust and jammy filling of a regular pie, but with THREE TIMES THE SERVINGS. If a regular 9″ pie can serve 8 people on average, a slab pie can serve up to 24 people depending on how big you slice it. If that isn’t your dream come true, then I don’t know what is! And, while we’re on the subject, this would be the perfect dessert for a July 4th BBQ- cut it into large squares, break out the vanilla ice cream, and  BOOM, you’re the star of the party.

This recipe uses my favorite pie crust recipe from Queen Ina Garten, and is filled with a blueberry filling so summery and perfect that it will bring tears to your eyes. While I am awaiting an August trip to Maine for my favorite blueberries, the ones at home worked out just splendidly. One word of caution that I have is in the transfer of pie crust from your rolling mat to your sheet pan. You’re maneuvering a large piece of dough, so I found it helpful to make sure it’s properly floured and folded in half twice to transfer, eliminating the risk of ripping the dough in too many places. Remember to breathe, stay calm, and know that rips, tears, and imperfections are ALSO beautiful! Let’s get baking!!

Serves: 16-24 people
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour
Total Time: ~2 hours

Pie Crust Ingredients (1 full recipe for top crust, 1 full recipe for bottom crust)
adapted from Ina Garten’s Perfect Pie Crust 

12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced into cubes
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbs white sugar
1/3 cup cold shortening
½ cup ice water

Pie Crust Steps

1. In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, salt, and sugar, then pulse 3-4 times to mix. Add in the cubed butter and shortening and pulse an additional 10 times or so, or until the butter is the size of peas and is evenly incorporated.

2. With the food processor on low, slowly add  in the ½ cup ice water and process until the dough comes together in a ball. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and flatten into a disk. Wrap tightly and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Repeat for the top crust.

 

Blueberry Filling Ingredients

5 pints blueberries
1¼ cups white sugar
½ cup flour
Kosher salt
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon


Blueberry Filling Steps

1. Easy-peasy, toss all the above ingredients together in a large bowl, set aside while you roll out the pie crusts.

 

Slab Pie Assembly Extra Ingredients

1 egg
1 tbs water
Demerara Sugar


Slab Pie Assembly Steps

1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF. On a large silpat mat or floured surface, roll out your first batch of pie crust into a large rectangle- make sure you have an extra inch on all sides compared to the size of your sheet pan, so that it can cover the sides. For reference, mine was roughly 10″ by 16″.

2. To transfer the bottom crust to the baking sheet, carefully fold the crust in half vertically, then again horizontally, and place in one corner of the tray. Unfold veeeeeeery carefully, and gently pull into place as needed so that the bottom and sides are covered. Pour in the filling.

3. Repeat the rolling and folding process for the top crust and place into position. Fold the bottom crust over the top crust and crimp all the edges using a fork or your hands. Cut several slits in the top of the pie to release the steam, and brush the entire top with egg wash (1 egg + 1 tbs water). Sprinkle generously with demerara sugar.

4. Bake at 400ºF for the first 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350ºF and bake for an additional 40 minutes, checking every 15-20 minutes or so to make sure the edges aren’t browning too much. If you find that the crust is getting too dark for comfort, cover the dark areas with tinfoil to prevent burning.

5. Cool completely to allow the filling to set, but it can be warmed again for serving! Serve with a scoop of ice cream and enjoy!

xoxoxoxoD

savories

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Caper Brown Butter Sauce and Roasted Vegetables

Hello! So as promised, I’ve returned with a recipe that’s NOT dessert.  This is one of those recipes that I tried on a whim a few years ago, and it worked out SO well that it keeps coming back. Believe it or not, it was inspired by a recipe from a cookbook we once bought in Disney World. The book is called Kitchen Magic With Mickey (hilarious, I know, but once you try this you’ll see they really weren’t lying!), and it features foods from the Disney locations. As a family in love with Disney World, buying this cookbook was a no-brainer, and it has paid off handsomely.

This dish is a perfect combination of flavors- slightly sweet from the potatoes and honey, savory and rich from the brown butter, with just a touch of acidic kick from the capers. It’s a full meal in just one dish and when you make this for your friends or family, I am telling you they’ll be so impressed.

This meal was much needed comfort food this weekend following the emotional hangover of seeing the love of my life (Harry Styles) in concert on Thursday night. For anyone who doesn’t know who that is, 10/10 would recommend looking him up. For those of you who do know who that is, you’ll understand why I needed to retreat into my pajamas and brown butter sauce to recover for two days straight after standing 20 feet from him!!!! But I digress, we’re here to talk about food and that’s what we shall do. Without further ado, let’s cook!!


Serves: 
8-10 people
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes


Ingredients

4 sweet potatoes
2 egg yolks
4-6 cups all purpose flour
1½ tsp kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 tbs honey
4 tsp capers, drained
1 lb. brussels sprouts, halved
1 lb. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste


Steps

1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the potatoes are soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, and allow the potatoes to cool completely before removing the skins. *If you have a potato ricer, this step isn’t necessary, just peel and dice your potatoes, steam them until soft, then put through the ricer until smooth.

2. For those not using a ricer (like me), pull the skins easily off the cooled potatoes and grate them using the smallest side on your cheese grater (I love this trick borrowed from Smitten Kitchen!!!) into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the potatoes and add the egg yolks, the first 4 cups of flour, and salt.

3. Starting with a spoon, mix the dough until it starts to combine and get sticky, then, switch to your hands and begin kneading the dough until completely incorporated, adding the remaining 2 cups of flour as necessary. The dough should be soft but not sticky.

4. Working in sections, cut off pieces of the dough and roll into long, thin ropes. Slice the ropes into 1 inch pieces and toss with flour to keep the pieces from sticking together. Spread the gnocchi on flour lined baking sheets and chill for at least 1 hour.

5. While the gnocchi are chilling, preheat your oven to 425ºF. Spread the sliced brussels sprouts and mushrooms onto a sheet pan and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the veggies are roasted on the edges.

6. To make the sauce, melt the 2 sticks of butter in a pan on medium high heat. Stir, cooking for 5-10 minutes until the butter is golden brown and smells rich and nutty. Add the honey and capers, and toss in the cooked vegetables, turning the heat down to low to keep everything warm while the gnocchi cooks.

7. While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the gnocchi in batches for 5-6 minutes, then add them directly to the sauce. The beautiful thing about boiling gnocchi is that they rise to the top of the water and remain there when they’re done cooking, so there’s no guess work!

8. Once all the gnocchi are cooked and added to the sauce, toss everything together and serve immediately. Yum!!

xoxoxoxoxD