Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

Strawberry Rhubarb GaletteMy mother is not a baker. If the main ingredients in a recipe are flour, sugar, and butter, she’ll pass or politely ask someone else to make it. That’s why I found it so funny when Shari’s Berries asked me to pass along this Mother’s Day post featuring baking advice from the mothers of popular food bloggers, including Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction and Michelle from Brown Eyed Baker. Their mothers impart some great advice–my favorite is “Don’t be afraid to mess up!” from Yossi Arefi’s mom. That’s great advice for life in general.

Strawberry Rhubarb GaletteWhen I first got into baking, my mom was left scratching her head. She’s a great cook, but baking just frustrates her. How I grew up to be a baker, I don’t know. It’s probably some sort of cosmic middle child joke.

I have seen my mother bake exactly one thing: a classic cherry-pineapple dump cake. Except that my mother, ever a lady, would never serve something called “dump cake.” Instead she takes a tip from her mother, tops it with vanilla ice cream, and calls it “Simply Delicious.” That’s what it is, after all. I guess my mom’s lone piece of baking advice–besides “don’t”–would be that if you don’t like the name of your dessert, change it.

Strawberry Rhubarb GaletteStrawberry Rhubarb GaletteStrawberry Rhubarb GaletteNo, my mother is not a baker. But when all is said and done, my mom and I, we’re not so different. For one, we’re both caretakers by nature. We express love in acts of service which, incidentally, is also the form in which we receive love. If you mention to my mom that you are struggling with something, she’ll be right there with you, trying to figure it out. If she perceives that you are overwhelmed, she’ll send you flowers or a goofy card. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t occasionally neglect her own needs and make herself crazy because she’s trying to help someone else–that’s something that her mother did before she did and a habit of mine as well. 

Just know that if my mom does you a favor or sends you a gift or calls at 11pm on a Wednesday just because she wants to say hello, it’s because she really values you. And if I make you a pie and put it on the internet for a holiday we can’t even celebrate together, know that it’s because I really value you.

Strawberry Rhubarb GaletteStrawberry Rhubarb GaletteStrawberry Rhubarb GaletteStrawberry Rhubarb GaletteAnother way my mother and I are alike? We both prefer fruit desserts over chocolate.* When I started planning what I’d make for my Mother’s Day post, I really thought about what my mom would like to eat. Strawberry rhubarb pie quickly came to mind, with a whole wheat crust, because my mom will take extra nutrition anywhere she can get it, even in dessert.

*Know that my little sister is rolling her eyes as she reads this.

Strawberry Rhubarb GaletteInstead of making pie, something that my mom would literally never attempt, I went for a simple, rustic Strawberry Rhubarb Galette. Free-form pies are definitely my mom’s style. There’s no crimping or anything–just lay the rolled dough on a baking sheet, pile the filling in the middle, and gather it all together with your hands. Bake it for 45 minutes and let it cool before serving.

My mom, a self-proclaimed vanilla person, would insist on a scoop of vanilla ice cream to go with her slice of this sweet-tart classic dessert. I would too. My mom and I–we’re more alike than we are different.Strawberry Rhubarb GaletteStrawberry Rhubarb Galette

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you waaaaay more than chocolate. XOXO

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette
makes 1 galette, 8 servings

2 cups fresh strawberries, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 16 ounces)
1 cup fresh rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1-2 stalks)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1/2 recipe Whole Wheat Pie Dough, or other good crust
milk, for brushing
1 tablespoon coarse sugar, for sprinkling (I used turbinado)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
vanilla ice cream, for serving, if desired

Arrange oven racks in the upper and lower positions. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine strawberries and rhubarb in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, ginger, nutmeg, salt, cornstarch, and lime juice. Stir together with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon and let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Roll pie dough out until it is 1/8-inch thick. Trim scraggly edges, if desired. Transfer to prepared pan. Use a slotted spoon to remove strawberry rhubarb filling from the bowl, leaving behind excess liquid. Mound filling in the middle of the dough, leaving at least 2 inches of excess on all sides. Fold dough over the sides of the filling, to contain it. Brush exposed crust with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Dot exposed filling with butter.

Bake galette on the upper rack for 25 minutes. Tent galette with aluminum foil and move to the lower rack. Bake for 20-25 more minutes. Crust will firm up as the galette cools.

Let galette cool completely in the pan on a rack. Remove to a cutting board. Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Pie will keep covered at room temperature for three days, or in the refrigerator for up to four.

Whole Wheat Pie Dough

Whole Wheat Pie DoughI have a lot of feelings about pie crust. Namely, that it should be easy, homemade, have defined flaky layers, and be insanely delicious. No hard, crunchy, cardboard-flavored crusts for me, thanks.

Whole Wheat Pie DoughWhole Wheat Pie DoughNow, I have a pie crust that is all these things and more. Yes, my Cream Cheese Pie Dough is perfection, as far as I’m concerned. And what’s not to love? The dough is simple to make and never, ever tears during rolling. It goes well with sweet and savory applications. It has so many layers that I have had friends comment that it’s akin to having a pie wrapped in croissant dough. And it really is delicious.

I could go on and on about that crust all day. Really, I could. But as much as I love it, sometimes I just need a change.

Whole Wheat Pie DoughWhole Wheat Pie DoughEnter this Whole Wheat Pie Dough. It has all the ease, flakiness, and versatility of my beloved Cream Cheese Pie Dough, but with a rich whole wheat flavor. It might sound a little odd, the idea of a pie made with a whole grain crust, but trust me when I say that it’s shockingly good. The combination of sweet, jammy fruit and nubbly wheat crust–let’s just say it’s the dessert you never knew you wanted.

If you don’t believe me, just wait–I have a Strawberry Rhubarb Galette coming your way tomorrow 😊🍓Whole Wheat Pie Dough

Whole Wheat Pie Dough
makes two 9-inch pie crusts

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes
2/3-3/4 cup buttermilk, very cold

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add cold butter, and use a handheld pastry blender to cut it into the dry ingredients until the smallest pieces are the size of large peas. Pour in 1/2 cup cold buttermilk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until clumps form. Add more buttermilk by the tablespoon, as necessary. Put your hands* in the bowl to knead the mixture until it comes together. Form the dough into two discs, and wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Chill for one hour, or up to two days.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Take one disc of dough out of the refrigerator, unwrap it, and place it on the surface. Press the dough with the rolling pin. Roll it in one direction 3-4 times, and then turn it 90 degrees. Roll in one direction 3-4 times. Repeat rolling and turning until dough is at least 12 inches in diameter, dusting with more flour as necessary to prevent sticking.

Fold dough in quarters, and place in a pie plate with the scraggly edges hanging over the outside of the pan. Unfold the dough to fill the pan. Trim the excess to 1/2 inch. Fill crust with filling and chill for at least 15 minutes. From here, there are two options.

For a single crust pie, crimp the edges, and brush them with additional buttermilk. and bake at 375F for 45 minutes to one hour, covering the crust with foil halfway through. Let cool at least three hours.

For a double crust pie, roll out the top crust the same way that you did the bottom crust. Cut into strips for a lattice,* or leave whole to cover the whole pie. Trim the excess to 1/2 inch. Crimp the edges, then chill for 15 minutes. Brush the crust with additional buttermilk. Cut vents if the top crust is whole. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes to one hour. Let cool for at least three hours.

Notes:

If your hands are warm, run them under cold water for thirty seconds (and then dry them) before kneading.

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream PieHappy Pi(e) Day! Oh yes, it’s that one glorious day where we celebrate math (Pi = 3.14) and everyone’s favorite dessert.

When I started thinking about what pie I would celebrate with, it was 65 degrees and sunny outside. Coconut Cream Pie sounded ideal for those conditions. Today, it’s snowing. Coconut Cream Pie still sounds ideal.

Coconut Cream PieThere are many coconut cream pie recipes on the internet, and while I’m sure they are delicious, I am not necessarily interested in making a pie out of boxed pudding mix and cream cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for anything that gets you in the kitchen to make a pie, but when I want Coconut Cream Pie, I skip the pudding mix and reach straight for my second-edition copy of Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book. The book may be held together with tape and prayer, but it is a treasure. Not only does it give the reader a look into how Americans used to eat (so. much. gelatin.), it also contains tons of fantastic old-fashioned desserts that are rarely made from scratch these days.

Coconut Cream PieThis Coconut Cream Pie tastes every bit as good as the pies my grandma used to make. It starts by blitzing a graham cracker crust together in a food processor. Press that into a pie plate and bake it for ten minutes, just to set. Then turn off your oven–that’s all the baking this pie requires.

The filling comes together on the stovetop. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and milk over medium-high until the mixture thickens and boils for one minute. Slowly whisk 1/3 of the mixture into a few egg yolks (so you don’t have scrambled eggs in your pie–gross). Add the mixture back to the pot and let boil for two more minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in vanilla and coconut extracts, followed by two tablespoons of butter. Fold in some sweetened shredded coconut and scrape the filling into the crust. Cover it with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours. This will be agony.Coconut Cream Pie

Once the filling is set, top it with some whipped cream and toasted coconut. Slice up your pie and prepare to fall in love with it. The crumbly, crunchy graham cracker crust. The creamy, coconut-studded filling. The light, sweet layer of whipped cream. What’s not to love?!

Coconut Cream PieLooking for more old-fashioned pies? Check out this Chocolate Cream Pie and this Lemon Meringue Pie!

Coconut Cream Pie
adapted from Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book
makes one 9-inch standard pie

Crust:
9 sheets graham crackers
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon coconut extract (optional, but recommended)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Topping:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2-3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
toasted coconut, for topping (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Make the crust. Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and process until no large pieces remain. Add light brown sugar, melted butter, and salt. Process until the mixture resembles wet sand, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch standard pie plate and use clean hands to press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Cool it on a rack while you prepare the filling.

In a medium-large saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat. Whisking constantly, pour the milk into the dry ingredients. Continue to whisk until the mixture boils for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low.

Whisk egg yolks with a fork. Remove 1/3 of the warm pudding mixture from the pot. Whisking constantly, slowly pour milk mixture into the egg yolks until completely combined. Add egg yolk mixture to the pot and turn heat back up to medium-high. Continue to whisk until mixture boils for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla and coconut extracts and butter. Fold in coconut. Pour filling into prepared crust. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and chill for at least four hours or overnight.

Make the whipped cream. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to whip cream until stiff peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream. Top with toasted coconut, if desired.

Pie will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue PieFor the next three weeks, I feel like I should call this blog E2 Bakes Fort Worth. I’m in town for the holidays and a family event during the first week of January. Three weeks of family time may seem like an eternity to some, but I think it’ll go by in a flash. When my immediate family and I get together, we just *click.* Everything is more fun with my parents and sisters around. Oh, and I can’t forget about our trusty schnauzer.

We used to do the big family Christmas every year, but these days, we prefer a quieter holiday. We cook and decorate and play Dominoes–it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s the best.

Lemon Meringue PieSince we aren’t expecting any company this year, we don’t have to make any specific holiday menu. The plan is to make a lamb pot pie, and I’m hoping to make pots de creme for dessert, but we’ll see. That’s the great thing about Christmas being “just us.” We can make those things…or not. There are no expectations beyond an ear-splitting rendition of “O Holy Night,” and my mom’s all-citrus fruit salad.

But there is something to be said for traditions. I do not come from a family of bakers, aside from my grandmother, Nonnie. She would have been 98 this past Sunday. Nonnie made the best Buttermilk Biscuits and chocolate cake I’ve ever had, but she had much more than those two items in her baking repertoire.

When we were young and she was in good health, she would come over on Christmas Day with boxes and boxes of homemade desserts. Many of them were made up on the fly, using up ingredients she found around her little house. There were strawberry cakes and chocolate cream pies, and I recall one Christmas where my mom allowed us to eat her apple cake for breakfast for days. No two years were exactly alike, save for one item: Lemon Meringue Pie. I don’t remember her ever making one for another occasion.

Lemon Meringue PieLemon Meringue PieLemon Meringue PieWhile Lemon Meringue Pie may not say Christmas to you, it does to my family and me. The flaky crust, lemony base, and airy topping bring back memories of our childhoods. While I was baking this pie yesterday afternoon, my dad stopped in for a few minutes. Instead of remarking at the horrific mess the kitchen had become, he looked at me and said “This brings back memories of being in my mother’s kitchen.” That’s probably the highest compliment he could give me.

Lemon Meringue PieLooking for more holiday recipes? You’ve come to the right place! Check out my Five-Ingredient Salted Marzipan Truffles, Iced Sugar Cookies, Pear & Cranberry Torte, Eggnog Bundt Cake, Gingersnaps, Lindor Truffle Peanut Butter Blossoms, and Chai Shortbread Snowballs. For food gifting, try my Hot Chocolate Mix, Brownie Mix, or pair these Orange Cardamom Pistachio Shortbread with a box of tea.

Lemon Meringue Pie
makes one 9-inch pie

1/2 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough (or other good crust)

Meringue:
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 large egg whites, room temperature

Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 cups water
5 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425F.

Roll pie crust to 12-inch diameter. Fit it in a standard pie plate, trim the overhang to 1-inch, and crimp. Line the inside of the unbaked pie crust with parchment (or non-heavy duty foil). Fill with pie weights (or dried beans). Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully lift out parchment and weights. Bake an additional 10-12 minutes. Set crust aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325F.

Make the meringue. In a small bowl, use a fork to combine cream of tartar and sugar. Set aside.

In a separate small bowl, use a fork to whisk together cornstarch, water, and vanilla.

Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat them on medium-high for 1-2 minutes, until frothy. Add sugar mixture one tablespoon at a time, beating until completely incorporated. Add cornstarch mixture one tablespoon at a time, until combined. Continue beating on medium speed until egg whites form stiff peaks. Set aside.

Make the filling. In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to beat egg yolks. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in water. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches a simmer and thickens. Whisking constantly, pour 1/3 cup of the mixture into the egg yolks. Whisking constantly, add egg yolk mixture to the pan. Stir in lemon zest, followed by lemon juice and vanilla. Let simmer for 1 additional minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter. Push filling through a sieve to remove any lumps.

Pour hot filling into prepared crust. Drop spoonfuls of meringue over the top of the filling, and use the back of the spoon to spread it out. Bake 20 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned. Let pie cool completely on a rack before slicing and serving.

Lemon Meringue Pie is best served the day it’s made.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie

Chocolate Hazelnut PieI’ve only been blogging for a year, but in that limited time I think I’ve given you pie options that will please just about everyone at your holiday table. From a decidedly not-dense Pumpkin Pie to the elegant Black Bottom Pear & Almond Pie to a pecan pie completely devoid of corn syrup, I’ve got you covered. Of course, there’s always that one person who doesn’t care for pie, but they can have Pumpkin Icebox Cake. And for that lunatic who doesn’t like sweets…well, give them thirds on stuffing.

Chocolate Hazelnut PieSo, what else could I think to bake into a pie this close to Thanksgiving? Well, an entire jar of Nutella. And tons of toasted hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Chocolate Hazelnut Pie, y’all. I’d say I’m sorry for throwing a wrench into your dessert menu plans, but I’m not 😊

Chocolate Hazelnut PieThis pie, you guys. It’s a thing to behold. It starts the way most do, by rolling out pie dough and fitting it into a pie plate. Pretty standard stuff, but that’s about as classic as this pie gets. Once that pie crust is crimped and beautiful, fill it with the entire contents of a jar of Nutella. Yes, the whole jar (except that spoonful you’re saving for your mid-baking snack). Spread it around with the back of a spoon until it’s in a mostly-even layer. It may not want to stick to the crust at first due to any residual flour, but keep moving the spoon until it does.

Once all that glorious chocolate-hazelnut spread is in the pie crust, put it in the freezer while you make the filling. Toast some hazelnuts in the oven and then envelop them in a clean kitchen towel. Lay the towel on the counter and rub to release the skins from the hazelnuts. This step doesn’t have to be done perfectly, so don’t stress yourself out. If some hazelnuts still have a bit of skin (or a lot of it), they just do. More of the skins will come off when you chop the nuts, but again, don’t make yourself crazy. They’re going in a pie with a bunch of chocolate and Nutella. Nobody’s going to notice an errant fleck of hazelnut skin.

Chocolate Hazelnut PieRemove the Nutella-filled pie crust from the freezer and scatter the chopped hazelnuts over the top. Throw in a cup of semisweet chocolate chips, too. And then drown everything in a gooey mixture of dark corn syrup,* sugar, eggs, melted butter, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and salt. Brush the exposed crust with milk and bake the pie for 50-55 minutes, until golden. And then wait for a seemingly never-ending few hours until you can have a slice.

*Note: Dark Corn Syrup is not the same as High Fructose Corn Syrup. If you still don’t care to use it, I’ve written a substitution in the notes below.

Chocolate Hazelnut PieChocolate Hazelnut PieA few words of warning about this Chocolate Hazelnut Pie. 1) It’s a bit gooey and won’t slice completely cleanly, but it isn’t a challenge by any means. 2) This pie is pretty sweet and is best served in small slices. A touch of unsweetened or barely sweetened whipped cream couldn’t hurt. 3) Ignore my suggestions about tiny slices because this nutty, chocolaty pie is a Nutella lover’s dream. Thanksgiving is one day per year. Eat your Nutella-filled pie with gusto and be thankful that it exists. I know I am.

Now, someone come take the last 3/4 of this pie away from me before I eat the whole thing.Chocolate Hazelnut Pie

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie
makes 1 deep-dish (or standard*) 9-inch pie

1 1/2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
1/2 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough or other good crust
1 13 ounce jar Nutella (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 cup dark corn syrup*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
milk, for brushing
whipped cream, for serving

Place oven racks at the top and bottom positions. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lay hazelnuts in an even layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Toast for 5 minutes. Check to see if they are fragrant and the skins are starting to split. If they aren’t, toast an additional 1-2 minutes. Allow the warm hazelnuts to rest for 2-3 minutes before pouring them onto the middle of a kitchen towel on a flat surface. Fold the kitchen towel over the hazelnuts and then use your hands to rub the towel until the skins release from the hazelnuts. Discard the skins. Roughly chop the hazelnuts. Set aside.

On a floured surface, roll pie dough to a 12-inch diameter. Transfer dough to a deep dish (or standard) pie plate. Trim the excess to 1/2-inch and crimp the edges. Freeze crust for 5 minutes. Use the back of a spoon to spread the Nutella in an even layer over the bottom of the pie crust before freezing for at least 15 more minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dark corn syrup and granulated sugar. Add eggs one at a time, whisking completely after each addition. Stir in apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and salt. While whisking constantly, drizzle in melted butter.

Remove pie crust from the freezer and lay it on a baking sheet. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts and semisweet chocolate chips over the layer of Nutella. Pour liquid mixture over the top.* Brush any exposed crust with milk. Bake pie on the bottom rack of the oven for 25 minutes. Move pie to the top rack and very loosely tent with foil. Bake an additional 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 5-10 more minutes, until golden. The filling should jiggle a little when it comes out of the oven, but will solidify within ten minutes.

Let pie cool completely on a rack. Serve in small slices with whipped cream, if desired.

Pie will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.

Notes:

1. A deep-dish pie plate is recommended for this pie, but a standard will work. If you use a standard pie plate, you may have some leftover filling.
2. If you do not wish to use dark corn syrup, you may make a substitute with molasses and Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or mild honey). Pour 1/4 cup molasses in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup. Add 3/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Stir. Continue with recipe as written.
3. If you are using a standard pie plate, you may have some leftover liquid mixture.