Tag Archives: Baking

Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

Warm and laced with cinnamon, honey and nutmeg, this pie is a delicious treat hailing from North America.

I’m not much of a baker.

Maybe it’s the technical aspects, or just getting covered in flour, but I prefer cooking savoury over sweet or baking.  But sometimes I see something too delicious to resist — and this pie which featured in the July 4 edition of Gourmet Live on my iPad caught my eye instantly.

Blueberries?  Sour cream??  Yes please.

The crust is much fussier than my mom’s recipe I’ve always made — but I decided to have a go at making this recipe, and can I say? — it paid off.  The resting time and glazing of the crust took it to a dimension my old pies had never been.  I was so wary of pre-cooking the crust as well (at least for as long as the recipe said).  25 minutes of pre-cooking??  That had ended in disaster for me before.  But again, it turned out glazed, golden and flaky.

Ingredients

For the pie crust:
1 1/8 cups flour
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 1/2 tbsp cold butter, cut into bits
Ice-cold water

For the pie crust glaze:
1 egg white & 2 tsp sugar whisked together into a light foam

For the custard filling:
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
Pinch of nutmeg
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups blueberries

Method

For the pie crust:
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl, then blend in the cold butter bits (or work with your fingers) until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.  Add 3 or so tablespoons of ice-cold water, or enough to make the mixture come (gently) together into a dough.  Do not overwork it.  Shape it into a ball, wrap it in cling wrap or baking paper, and let it rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Roll the pasty dough out into a large circle on a lightly floured surface. Lift the dough circle carefully over a rolling pin and lay it into a 9 inch pie tin, draping excess over the sides.  Let the dough rest (do not yet press it into the pie tin) for 10 minutes.  Now you can press it firmly into the tin, and trim excess, leaving about an inch of overhang around the pie.  Crimp the overhanging dough to form a decorative rim and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Line the shell with baking paper then fill the bottom with uncooked rice or beans (to weight it down).  Bake the shell in the lower third of your oven at a high heat (around 200c — check your oven) for 10 minutes.  Remove the beans/rice and paper and brush the whole pastry with the egg/sugar glaze.  Reduce the heat to around 180c and bake the shell for a further 15 minutes until it is golden.

For the blueberry sour cream custard:
Toss together the sugar, salt, spices and blueberries in a large bowl.  In a small bowl beat together the eggs, sour cream, sugar and honey.  Add the custard mixture into the blueberries and fold until combined.  Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake in a slightly cooler oven (160c or so) for 1 hour (or until the centre is set– though it will be jiggly.)  Give the pie time to set and cool a little, then serve warm.

Recipe: Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies.

Nothing says “It’s Christmas!” like the onslaught of cookies and baked goods that have traditionally ravaged my family’s kitchens and pantries this time of year.  And furthermore, nothing can beat the Original Toll House recipe the family has employed for decades.  But Toll House may have just found its competition in Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar’s “Compost Cookies.”

Actually, in ingredients and method, these are Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies.  But it seems while Grandma was hittin’ the mah-jong tiles little cousin Christine snuck into the pantry and laced the batter with all her favourite treats: candy bar, pretzels, coffee grinds and potato chips.  Yes, potato chips.

Today, it’s Thanksgiving stateside.  I call my dad and tell him about the cookies I’m about to make and he reminds me how good and undeniably addictive the combo of warm choc cookies with a bag of Lay’s Ruffles really is – also interjecting his peculiar fondness of the same cookies with a slice of cheddar on top.  My palate stops just shy of that.  No thanks.  But as for the chips?  Maybe this was Christine’s late night inspiration for these little puppies.

I have adapted the recipe as I found it on several sites: Canadian maple syrup replaces corn syrup, and I barely put any salt in as I included potato chips.
What I love of this recipe and, from what I understand, the Momofuku cooking philosophy, is that you adapt it to your tastes.  Cook what you like and you’ll like what you cook.

When done, these cookies are chewy, salty, crunchy, full of texture and oozing flavour.  Apparently the original is more fluffy and puffed than mine were – I will need to play with flour quantities to get it right.

Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookies

ELEMENTS:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tbsp maple syrup (original recipe is corn syrup)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup baking ingredients (chocolate chips would be the usual pick – but I didn’t include any)
3/4 cup snack treats, crunched (I used potato chips, pretzels, fresh ground coffee, Boost bar.  I’d love to try skittles or chopped starburst and oreos (: though maybe not together.  We’ll see!)

METHOD:
1. With a (preferably stand, but hand works) mixer, cream butter, white sugar, brown sugar and maple or corn syrup on a medium-high setting for 3 minutes until it is light coloured and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula to catch up all the straggling bits.


2. Add eggs and vanilla and incorporate on a lower speed.  Increase the mixing speed to medium-high and mix for 7 minutes.  This lengthy time causes the sugar to dissolve and the eggs to fluff.  The whole mixture becomes paler, creamier and fills with air to nearly double in size.

3. When the time is up mix in the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.  Mix just long enough to incorporate well, but do not over mix.

4. Mix in your quirky, moreish treats until incorporated well, but once again do not over mix.

5. Portion the cookie dough, the size of your liking, onto a baking-paper lined cookie sheet.  Make sure the dough balls are far enough apart (around 4 inches) so that they don’t stick when they spread. (And they WILL spread. Heaps.  Trust me.)

6. Cover the tray and cookie dough balls with plastic wrap and pop in the refrigerator for at least one hour.  Cookies won’t hold their shape if you bake them at room temperature!

7. Heat your oven to 200c.  When your oven is heated (allow 10-15 minutes), place tray straight from the fridge into the oven.

8. Bake for 9-11 minutes.

9. Pull the cookies from the oven when the browning is even across the top.