Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like you smell faintly of whatever you cooked for dinner the previous night? That is happening to me right now (and yes, I swear I DID take a shower this morning.) Apparently the latke/matzoh ball soup smell migrated directly from my kitchen into my closet, despite being on opposite ends of the apartment. Oh well, I suppose there are worse things I could smell like.
It's December! Can you believe it? Excuse me while I shamelessly dance in my desk chair at work (not chair dance, as I think dancing in a chair and chair dancing might be two different things, one far more appropriate than the other...) to my Christmas with the Rat Pack album and stare at my twinkly USB holiday tree.
How was your thanksgiving/friendsgiving? Ours was delightful. We didn't overcommit on the cooking/food front, for which I am very glad. It was totally non-stressful. The turkey enchiladas were insanely delicious, and made much better leftovers than 10 million slices of roasted turkey (though I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss my traditional day-after-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich a little.) While I neglected to take photos of the enchiladas, kale salad, and potatoes, I did manage to get some snaps of our lunch/appetizer situation and the pies. I'll share the pies with you today, and the savory profiteroles and squash butter with you later this week.
Pie #1: Salted Honey Pie. It sounds weird, I know. You definitely have to be into the salty-sweet thing to like this, but by george (?) it is DELICIOUS. I liked it best served at room-temperature with some barely-sweetened whipped cream on the side. Brandon describes it as similar to pecan pie, but without the nuts and 10x tastier. I happen to agree with that. The recipe is insanely easy to throw together. You can make your own pie crust, or get a pre-made one. If you do make it, like I did, make the crust the day before and freeze it over night, that way all you have to do in the morning is throw together the filling and bake.
One note on this guy...the baking time is pretty variable. I found that mine took 10-15 minutes less than the recipe suggests. Don't be scared off by what appears to be that extreme-browning-on-the-verge-of-burning look of the top of the pie. Ours got pretty dark, as you can see, but it didn't taste burnt at all. Just keep an eye on it, that's all.
Pie #2: Greek Yogurt Pie with Gingersnap Crust & Cranberry Compote. This is a dream pie for someone who loves the texture of cheesecake, but not the sweetness/richness. It is silky-smooth, and incredibly unique in flavor. It brings together some great festive flavors with the tart freshness of greek yogurt (which, as we all know, is ALL THE RAGE this year. Who knew yogurt could be a trend?) You could add any kind of compote you wanted on top of this bad boy. I chose cranberry because it was festive and I love the color/flavor of cooked cranberries. I would even consider drizzling it with caramel instead of adding a compote. There's room to play with the flavors of this one. Again, make your gingersnap crust the night before and store it airtight at room temp. Then all you've got to do is assemble the filling, and refrigerate it until it's set the next day. Super easy!
Recipes are below -- enjoy!
Salted Honey Pie
1 single-crust pie shell, frozen (use your favorite...I made mine from scratch)
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 TB cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla paste (use extract if you don't have any paste)
3/4 cup honey
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp white vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, for finishing
- Have unbaked, frozen 9" pie crust ready on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, cornmeal, salt and vanilla paste. Stir in honey and eggs, one at a time, followed by the cream and vinegar. (I did this with my mixer, which was totally not necessary, but made it much simpler for me while I was multitasking.)
- Place the frozen pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet. Strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the pie shell. (**Note! I did not strain mine. It was perfectly fine. If you're very concerned that the texture be perfectly smooth, then go ahead and strain. I like rustic, so I didn't care much).
- Bake on the middle rack 45 to 50 minutes, rotating 180 degrees when the edges start to set, about 20 to 30 minutes through the baking time. The pie is finished when the edges are set and puffed up high, the center is no longer liquid, but looks set, like gelatin, and is golden brown on top.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The pie will keep refrigerated for 4 days or at room temperature for 2 days.
Greek Yogurt Pie with Gingersnap Crust & Cranberry Compote
recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
10 oz. gingersnaps, preferably thin
2 TB all-purpose flour
2 TB raw sugar or granulated sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
6 TB (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled
2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
2 TB plus ½ cup whole milk
2¾ cups plain 2% Greek yogurt
½ cup (packed) brown sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
3 cups frozen or fresh cranberries
⅓ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice orange zest (if desired)
- Gingersnap crust: Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 325°.
- Pulse gingersnaps in a food processor until very fine crumbs form (you should have about 2 cups). Add flour, raw sugar, and salt and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
- Transfer mixture to a 9” pie dish. Using a measuring cup, press firmly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Place pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake crust, rotating halfway through, until dry and set, 20–25 minutes. Transfer pie dish to a wire rack and let crust cool.
- Filling: Place gelatin and 2 Tbsp. milk in a small bowl and let stand until gelatin is softened, 5–10 minutes.
- Warm remaining ½ cup milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add gelatin mixture, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in yogurt, brown sugar, and lemon zest and pour into pie crust, smoothing top if needed; chill until set, at least 2 hours.
- Compote: Bring cranberries, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and orange zest to a boil in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst and mixture is syrupy, 8–10 minutes. Taste for desired sweetness. If necessary, add a bit more sugar and cook until dissolved. Let cool.
- Using a slotted spoon, spoon compote over pie slices just before serving.