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I have been looking around for a different cookie recipe to take to a cookie exchange that I am going to next week. In the process I came across a recipe for Pecan Pie Bars. My husband is a big fan of pumpkin pie and pecan pie, and my neighbor usually makes the pecan pie and I usually make an apple cranberry thingy. Well, this year, for Thanksgiving, I completely dropped the ball on desert and Wednesday night by husband asked if we were having pumpkin pie…. ahhh, no.

I did get him to agree to help me with the pecan pie bars and boy, they were great!

Pecan Pie Bars

Crust
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter

Preheat your oven to 350F/180C. crust: combine flour, powdered sugar and salt. Cut in 1/2 cup butter until your mixture is course crumbs. Pat the crumb mixture into an ungreased 11×7 baking dish. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, or until it is a golden brown.

“Pie” filling
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup agave syrup
1T cornstarch
2 T butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla

While you crust is baking, mix together eggs, pecans, brown sugar, agave syrup, 2 T melted butter and vanilla. Spread this mixture over your baked crust.
Bake for 20 minutes (350F/180C). Cool before cutting.

We cut our bars rather large (15 bars). I know I will be making these bars a few more times through December and will cut them much smaller (24 bars).

When I found this recipe, I didn’t have light corn syrup on hand, so I turned to our resident baker here at NDIN (Emily at Tanglewood Farm) about using a substitute and she recommended trying agave syrup. After I mixed the “filling” it seemed a bit thin and runny so I decided to add 1T of cornstarch to the mix. I have NO idea if this helped or not. All I can tell you is the “filling” was firm and came out fine.

When I decided to try this recipe I was looking forward to using my Vitamix to make the powdered sugar. Before I got started, I looked up in the cupboard, waaaaay in the back, just to make sure there wasn’t any store-bought powdered sugar still lurking up there. OH, MY! I found A LOT of powdered sugar up there. I can’t tell you when the last time was that I used any powered sugar, but I can also tell you that even though I gave away a ton of food before we moved to Texas (4+ years ago), somehow this powdered sugar came with us. Crazy! I can also tell you that this stuff in OLD. I probably would have bought this when I was taking cake decorating classes when we lived in Palm Springs. That was about 10 years ago. YIKES!

If any of you are from California, you will also laugh, because one of the packages is from Lucky (grocery store) and another box I found is from Stater Brothers. Lucky closed many years ago, but Stater brothers is still around out there.

What kind of treats are you baking this time of year?

Sincerely, Emily

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I haven’t posted a recipe in quite a while…not that we haven’t been eating or anything, we have done plenty of that!
No, it is just that I have neglected to share…my sincerest apologies.
To correct this grave error, I am going to share a recipe that I whipped up with some of our remaining pumpkins.  These happened to have been sitting on my front porch.
And yes this recipe is vegan, but just because it happens to be, it has not be retrofitted to be, just like apple pie is vegan…well unless you use lard in the crust,
Or serve it with ice cream…
And a glass of milk…

OK, bad example, but you all know what I mean…right???

So without further ado…

I am proud to present to you the uncut version, with bonus features, in Dolby surround sound…

CHILLED PUMPKIN PIE SOUP!

I am starting with homegrown pumpkins but I’m sure you could use canned but I am suggesting that you walk on the wild side, be daring, be bold…go pick a real live pumpkin, or in my case open the front door and grab a couple.

Or go buy one or two at your farmer’s market, or purchase them at the corner grocer.  Either way this is how I’m going to start our little tale today…
Pumpkin soup4
Sitting on the cutting board, blissfully unaware of what is coming next…two sweet little pumpkins!
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Oh the horror of cooking...but there are sacrifices that must be made for the greater good!
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But in the middle of the unspeakable…there is fun to be had!
Kids and pumpkin slime…kids and pumpkin seeds.
A perfectly messy and wonderful combination!
“Whoo Hoo…pumpkin guts” Sweet Girl’s exact words
Clean out the innards and you will have…
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Cleanly gutted pumpkin, ready for the oven!
Put them in a 400F oven, covered loosely with foil, until soft.
After you take them out let them cool.
Peel and slice.
Then…
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Put into your blender with one can of coconut milk, one can of water, and 3 to 4 Tablespoons of honey…
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Add some cinnamon and nutmeg…or you could use pumpkin pie spice.
I would love to tell you how much to add but I just dumped it in, add lots if you like it spicy, less if you want it less spicy…original huh?  Then add a teeny tiny pinch of salt…
Then blend!
Note I am cheating a little here because I am using a Vita-Mix, you can use a regular blender but just make sure to blend it long enough to be very smooth…unless you like it a little chunky, then feel free.  My Vita-Mix doesn’t do chunky well, just smoooooth!

Pumpkin soup1
Here it is after blending and chilling thoroughly…it really is best COLD!
It is light, refreshing and delicately sweet.
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And since I don’t do delicate very well I added something with a little zing…
how about some blueberries?  Anyone?
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I’m also going to add a little dab of yogurt,
Vanilla…
Organic…
Soy…

In case you were wondering!

So to recap you need, the meat from two small pumpkins, one can of coconut milk, one can of water, honey 3 – 4 Tablespoons, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and a blender.

That’s it…could it be any easier?

I think not!

So in this season of complicated, heavy, and hot dishes this is a refreshing change of pace!

Kim can also be found at the inadvertent farmer where she raises organic fruits, veggies, critters, kids and….a camel!

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