Monday, January 3, 2011

Easy as Pie

First, let's do a little housekeeping, shall we? You will now notice at the end of each blog, a Print Friendly button. This nifty button will allow you to print my recipes. (Can I hear an amen? Maybe it's just me, but this button has eliminated me from stretching my brain, trying to figure out how to make my recipes printer friendly. So... AMEN!) This link explains how to eliminate the extra mumbo jumbo I write and the photos, so you can simply print the important stuff.

Next order of business: Pride and Prejudice
I love this movie, though I love the shorter version with Keira Knightly because I really can't handle the six hour version. It's just a bit too much for me. Actual swooning occurs when I watch the movie. I can't help it. I only tell you this because I'm currently watching it.

I think I have ADD today. Or that I need a nap. Maybe both...

On New Year's Eve, I made a pie. A pie that set the tone for 2011. A pie that is the food version of myself. It's Apple Green-Chili Pie With Cheddar Crust and Walnut Streusel. How does it set the tone for this year? It's a new recipe. I have set the challenge for myself to make 52 new recipes this year. How is it a food version of me? It's classic, surprisingly spicy (?), exciting, and cheesy. I have no idea where to go from there. I'm a mess. Let's just get to the pie and put this whole conversation behind us, okay? Mike, as in the creator of this brilliance, sent me this recipe. It's from the New York Times.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into dice
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
5 tablespoons ice water, more as needed

5 cups peeled and thickly sliced tart apples, such as Jonagold, Honeycrisp or Granny Smith
1/2 cup chopped roasted green Hatch chilies, mild or medium hot (see note)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cornstarch

For the topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Vanilla ice cream, for serving.

1. Make the crust: In a food processor or mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Add butter one piece at a time, while pulsing or mixing at low speed, until mixture is fine and crumbly. Transfer to a large bowl and toss well with the cheese. Add ice water one tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with fingers just until dough holds together. To test, pinch a small amount of dough. If it is crumbly, add more ice water. Form dough into a ball, wrap loosely in plastic, then roll into a disk. Refrigerate at least one hour, or up to 3 days, before rolling. (Dough can be frozen for up to a month.)

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a circle at least 11 inches in diameter. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan, preferably glass. Turn edges under to make a thick rim; flute rim by pinching into a zigzag pattern. Refrigerate until ready to bake, at least an hour.

3. Make the filling: In a large bowl, toss apples, green chilies and lemon juice together. In another bowl, mix dry ingredients and add to apples and chilies, tossing until thoroughly coated.

4. Make the topping: In a small bowl, mix flour, walnuts and brown sugar. Add melted butter and toss together until crumbly.

5. Bake the pie: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, scoop filling into chilled crust, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of juice from bottom of bowl. Sprinkle topping evenly over filling. Bake 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until filling bubbles at edge and crust is brown. Serve warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Yield: About 8 servings.

Note: Roasted green Hatch chilies from New Mexico can be ordered from, and are sometimes found frozen in grocery stores. Drained canned green chilies are acceptable.

Look, let's have an honest conversation. Fluorescent lighting stinks. Even with a little color/lighting correction, these pictures are a little off. You'll judge me, I'll shake my fist at you, and we'll all move on. But just know this: you're a jerk for judging me. You have no idea the struggles I have with lighting! Excuse me while I gnash my teeth at you. Okay, I'll calm myself down. I apologize. Can we hug it out? I'm sorry. Now, hold my hand and we'll gaze at the pictures together.

Grate your own cheese. That's an order. And it's cheaper. But if graters scare you, I understand. They're my biggest fear. It's why I weep while I grate.

The crust dough will look a bit different, but don't you worry your little heart. It'll all be okay.

See? It's looking like we're on track.

I didn't have plastic wrap, so I used press 'n seal. Suck it, New York Times!

There's a place for us, a time and place for us, hold my hand and we're halfway there, hold my hand and I'll take you there...sorry. I got caught up in West Side Story for a moment. Musicals live in my head with You've Got Mail quotes.

All ready to face the oven. It was a little worrisome for me that I was not protecting the crust with the usual covering. A real nail-biter.

It's a Christmas miracle! No burnt edges!

Hello, sweet thing. Sweet and spicy thing. Yummy thing....Hello. Is it me you're looking for? I can see it in your eyes, I can see it in your smile. You're all I've ever wanted and my arms are open wide. Hmmm. Apparently, Lionel Richie is paying a visit today too.

I'm sorry. Crazy is my way of life.

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