Archive for June, 2012

Crack pie is Whack!

June 27, 2012
As a mom I have to tell my kids to say NO! to drugs but in this case I couldn’t help getting hooked on crack with them, crack pie that is. No not a crack pipe but a crack pie, and no it does not have drugs in it. It is just so delicious you will be hooked. My mom is always on the lookout for cool recipes. She made some crack pie for a family dinner last year and I had been wanting to try it. There is a famous bakery in called Momofuku in LA that makes it and they were nice enough to share their recipe in the LA Times. The consistency is like pecan pie without the nuts, the sugary yummy part. The crust is a homemade oatmeal crumble and it is delicious. Perhaps you have a cookout or summer potluck you need to freshen up with a new recipe. So if you like pie and you want to try a sinfully addicting recipe, give this crack pie a try! Oh and I halved the recipe and just made one pie… and the prepared crust in the lower portion of the recipe is the one you make with the crumble, I did not read it correctly and I bought a prepared pie crust, which I didn’t use, as well…

Momofuku’s Crack Pie

Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus cooling and chilling times

Servings: Makes 2 pies (6 to 8 servings each)

Note: Adapted from Momofuku. This pie calls for 2 (10-inch) pie tins. You can substitute 9-inch pie tins, but note that the pies will require additional baking time, about 5 minutes, due to the increased thickness of the filling.

Cookie for crust

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) flour

Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter

1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar

3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar

1 egg

Scant 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) rolled oats

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Whisk the egg into the butter mixture until fully incorporated.

5. With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated.

6. Spread the mixture onto a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake until golden brown and set, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to the touch on a rack. Crumble the cooled cookie to use in the crust.


Crumbled cookie for crust

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine the crumbled cookie, butter, brown sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined and blended (a little of the mixture clumped between your fingers should hold together). Divide the crust between 2 (10-inch) pie tins. Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins. Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling.


1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar

3/4 cup plus a scant 3 tablespoons (7 ounces) light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon (3/4 ounce) milk powder

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

3/4 cup plus a scant 2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 egg yolks

2 prepared crusts

Powdered sugar, garnish

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt and milk powder. Whisk in the melted butter, then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla.

3. Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air.

4. Divide the filling evenly between the 2 prepared pie shells.

5. Bake the pies, one at a time, for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown (similar to a pecan pie), about 10 minutes. Remove the pies and cool on a rack.

6. Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. The pies are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Each of 16 servings: 432 calories; 4 grams protein; 45 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 27 grams fat; 16 grams saturated fat; 187 mg. cholesterol; 36 grams sugar; 125 mg. sodium.

Getting my Van Gogh on

June 19, 2012

As I have posted before, I love making my own pasta. But usually I stick to one of my pasta machine’s two options, fettucine or angel hair. I have even dabbled in gnocchi which is handmade, but as far as other pasta shapes, I have not experiemented. So last night I made my own orecchiette. Orecchiette means ear in Italian, which might produce a negative connotation (eww you want to eat an ear Tara?) but it should not. The round bowl shape of this pasta is perfect for catching little bits of the delicious sauce you use. It is one of my favorite shapes of pasta and I often buy it from Sam’s Italian Deli in Fresno (this place is pretty much the only reason I didn’t dislike Lemoore so much). I have seen chef’s make it on TV and now I can say I made my own too!

I found a simple recipe from Dean and Deluca to make the orecchiette. I usually use egg based recipes so I was interested to try this version with just salt, flour and water. The dough was easy to work with and came together better than I expected. My only issue was that I cut my dough pieces a bit too large and the circles I made came out more like frisbees than ears once I boiled them, but still delicious nonetheless. Next time I would definitely cut the pieces even smaller and try to get them more uniform. In fact in hindsight I might even roll out a sheet of pasta dough and use a small cover to cut the circles out.

This was a time consuming project but well worth it when paired with this yummy Sausage and Cauliflower pasta recipe. My family tore it up and all got seconds. The dish was even better with the fresh pasta (the recipe did not call for this so don’t feel bad if you just grab a box of barilla) and the shape of the pasta was so fun. This recipe was from my food network magazine and it has one of my favorite ingredients, pecorino romano cheese, a staple in my fridge, this half Italian girl never buys parmesan, shocker! How do I get my kids to eat cauliflower? Well I tell them it is just white broccoli and they don’t even question me. Oh and the turkey sausage was surprisingly delicious and it cut the fat by more than half. There is no sauce in this recipe but if you save the pasta water like it asks and also toss it with olive oil, I found it to be moist and delicious.

Start to finish, the orecchiette took me about 3 hours to make, this includes time to sit and dry and I think it would have been even better if I had let it dry further. I put it in the freezer towards the end to speed up the process. So even though I did not get an exact “ear” shape I was still pleased with the results and proud of myself for venturing out of my fettuicine comfort zone. Next stop homemade ziti or penne perhaps?

apple crumb or should I say yum cake

June 16, 2012

Before my hubby got home from the boat he sent me a recipe that caught his eye. He is a big fan of any coffeecake or crumble or crisp, most specifically the crisp part. Recently I asked him if he wanted me to make him a dessert and he said how about a crumble, but just the crumble part only, haha! The recipe sitting in my inbox waiting for him to return was this Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake. I had some granny smith apples (his favorite) on hand for his arrival.

This recipe calls for a ridiculous amount of butter and it makes a huge 9″x13″ coffeecake so I would suggest making it for company or to share at work or something. We made a small dent in it and gave some away but still quite a bit remained. I was not a huge fan of this crumb topping so if I made it again I would maybe use a topping from a previous coffeecake recipe I posted. The apples were a nice surprise as they made the cake moist and the sourness of the granny smith really added a nice zing. So even though it is summer, enjoy the fall flavors in this cake and change up your usual coffeecake recipe.