• July 4th Recipe Roundup

    I ‘ll be honest with you all, I did absolutely nothing this weekend. Not. One. THING. And oh boy it was lovely. I bopped around the house, I re-watched Stranger Things in preparation for this week, and I only wore real clothes for about 2 hours across both days combined. I sat on the porch with a glass of wine and a Martha Stewart magazine and felt RELAXED. And then, for the cherry on top of the laziest weekend, I realized that this is a literal 3 day week followed closely by a 4 day weekend!!! But not just any 4 day weekend, July 4th weekend!! It’s the most important barbecue weekend of the year, are you ready???

    That is a perfect segue into this post, what to make for your barbecue. If you listen to me, I’m not saying that you definitely will be the most popular person at the party, but I’m also not NOT saying that, you know? A good barbecue has gotta have a good snack spread, a cocktail (or mocktail), those classic BBQ foods like burgers + dogs, and my favorite part, DESSERT. Because this is Sweet D, I’m bringing my favorite desserts to recommend, but because I’m also an equal opportunist, I have a few other dishes as well.

    Before we dive in, here are 5 things to be happy about today:
    ONE. A new cookbook giving you fresh inspiration. (Today’s is this one and I’m already obsessed.)
    TWO. Latte art.
    THREE. Me time.
    FOUR. Climbing atop an observation tower.
    FIVE. Cozy bed jackets.

    Okay let’s barbecue!!

    Tomato Burrata Salad.

    So I know this was also included in my Memorial Day recipe roundup, but it’s making a return appearance for a REASON. It can be prepped in 10 minutes, better yet, it can be done in advance because the tomatoes only taste better sitting in the olive oil dressing. It looks so fancy and photogenic with those beautiful burrata balls broken over the top, and highlights the best fresh flavors of summer.

    Blueberry Slab Pie.

    This is another repeat classic, because nothing says barbecue like pie, and nothing makes it easier to serve pie to a crowd than one that can be cut into squares and feeds 20 people. Plus, if you’re feeling particularly creative, there could definitely be some kind of American Flag sitch in the pie crust, but I’ll leave that up to you.

    Tart Cherry Clafoutis.

    Still one of my favorite desserts to date, a clafoutis is a custardy baked dessert that holds your fruit of choice in beautiful little jammy pockets, and honestly it was enough to make me tear up. In this most special tart cherry season, this dish highlights and compliments their brightness perfectly into one slice and serve dessert.

    Classic Focaccia.

    If you’ve seen the Netflix series Salt. Fat. Acid. Heat., you will recognize this recipe as the one Samin Nosrat makes in Italy, which I fell in love with almost instantaneously. It’s simple and perfect and so satisfying. It can be easily customized with herbs or vegetables, but it makes for excellent finger food. I don’t know about you but if I went to a party and this was on the food table, I would cry tears of joy.

    Cinnamon Plum Apricot Pie.

    This pie was an unusual one, with perfect sweetness from the apricots and plums, and warmth from the cinnamon. I had combined the two fruits since I was short on the season’s apricots, but since it’s early enough in the summer, an all apricot pie would be just beautiful. And I haven’t even gotten to the best part of this dessert, which is the vanilla pouring custard that goes on top in great pools. Basically what I’m saying is you need this pie rn.

    Blueberry Buttermilk Cake.

    Ah, the Blueberry Buttermilk Cake. Not the flashiest of desserts, but one of the underestimated heroes for sure. Those jammy blueberries and that crunchy cinnamon sugar lid are just perfection, and it’s a perfect vehicle for a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

    Lemon Meringue Pie.

    There are few things in this world that I love more than lemon desserts. Lemon bars, lemony cheesecake, and best of all, lemon meringue pie. For those who weren’t around last May, I made this pie and was so excited to try my new kitchen torch, only to realize that I am a fool and the butane had to be purchased separately. I actually have yet to try again with a torched meringue, but it feels like this week is the time!!! I mean, just LOOK at that layer of lemon curd. Omg.

    Cornmeal Peach Cobbler.

    My god I love this cobbler so much. Bubbly peach filling is one of life’s greatest pleasures, don’t you think? But WAIT, you don’t know true happiness until you combine it with cornmeal biscuits!!! They’re incredibly low maintenance drop biscuits that get golden and crisp, perfect for soaking up the cinnamon-y peach goodness.

    Cheesecake Pudding Pie.

    Looking for a cheesecake without the 8 hour chilling time of an actual cheesecake? Well, look no further. I don’t even know that there’s anything else that I need to say here, do you? CHEESECAKE. PUDDING. PIE. The end.

    Sweet Corn Layer Cake with Blueberry Jam Buttercream.

    Unpopular opinion that will soon be popular opinion, skip corn on the cob and instead serve your corn in the CAKE. But not just any cake, one topped with a rich, fruity buttercream and stacked into 2 perfect layers. Take the unconventional approach and impress everyone you know!

  • 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