Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hidden treasure

I have been meaning to post this recipe for a long time. This is a unique pie that got high praise from people who tried it. I have to say it is one of the best I've ever tasted. It's a mixed berry pie, using fresh boysenberries and strawberries from our garden, and here's the surprise: The sweet berry filling is swirled with chocolate! That's why I loved it so much. I'm not normally a big fan of baked fruit. I don't like the chunks, and I don't like tartness. But chocolate makes everything worthwhile!

I made this pie more than once, adjusting the fruit amounts according to what I had on hand. You can do the same. Below, however, is the recipe with the ratios I liked best.


2 c. blueberries
2 c. strawberries, halved
1 c. boysenberries
1/3 c. flour
2/3 to 3/4 c. sugar, depending on tartness of berries
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 to 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips*

Gently mix berries with flour, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Allow to sit while making crust dough. Stir in chocolate chips, then pour filling into bottom crust. Make lattice-style crust on top or whatever design your heart desires -- something that allows ventilation. Brush top crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes. Line outer edges with foil if needed to prevent burning. I didn't need to do that. Let cool completely on wire rack before eating.

Crust recipe:

2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. shortening
1/3 c. cold butter
8 to 10 Tbsp. cold water

Stir together flour and salt, then cut in shortening and butter with pastry blender until you have pea-sized crumbs. Mix in water until dough forms. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface. You'll need two 12-inch circles for a 9-inch pie pan.

*I made it both ways. I liked it with more chocolate, and my husband liked it with less -- he loves baked fruit, though, so he wanted the fruit to shine with just a hint of chocolate. I wanted chocolate in every bite.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Creme de la creme

If you want a creamy and heavenly ice cream that you can't find at the grocery store, make this frozen cinnamon custard. It is truly divine. Eat it as the perfect complement to pie or cake, or just scarf it down by itself. Be sure to say "Mmm" with every bite. That's what we do.


2 c. sugar
3 c. whole milk
4 eggs
2 c. heavy cream
2 tsp. vanilla
4 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a large saucepan (at least 3 quarts), over medium heat, stir together sugar and milk. Bring to simmer. Meanwhile, use a fork to beat eggs into cream, then set aside. When milk simmers, pour eggs and cream into it. Cook, stirring constantly once it gets hot, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. This takes some time. You have to be patient and not turn the heat up much or it will burn. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Cool completely.

Use ice cream maker according to directions. For some reason, mine always takes double the time the directions say. The mixture should double in size and be thick and creamy. Pack it down in the can and freeze for several hours or overnight. It will become a delicious and decadent ice cream!