Berry bars for errryybody

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Internet friends!

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How goes it? Things here are pretty bueno – it feels like fall, with the snappy air and all the squash in the markets! I have yet to make any squash this season, but I’m sure it’ll happen SOON; we can just chalk it up to being super busy at work and opting for quick dinners (hello eggs & black beans, you’re the bomb) or meal prep that can turn into a quick dinner.

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Weekends have been productive and lovely, with lots of urban hiking and pretty views of my beautiful city. The sunsets have been off the HOOK – this is the time of year for cotton candy skies in this part of the Bay, and I’m loving every minute.

Looking back down the hill; I never ever get tired of the views on my walk home from work:

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I love that I can get these amazing sunset panos from my roof!

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And of course, there was dessert! A low-key one for this last weekend; C and I may or may not have eaten this all in two sittings. To be fair, there was a hike in there also that was nearly 6 miles and a lot of stairs, sooo…. ahem.

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This is rapidly becoming one of my staple desserts, along with my go-to cookies. It’s SO easy and flexible, and super delicious. It reminds me a bit of a grown up pb&j – only with almond butter and a lack of cloying jammy sweetness. Not to mention that it’s great for so many dietary preferences or allergies! Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free (it’s nearly sweetener free; only 2 tbsp of maple in the whole thing), dairy free, vegan, paleo! Woooohoo for inclusive desserts!

I find that I love it best straight out of the fridge for maximum chewy coldness, but it’s still great at room temp. Of course for science research C and I had to eat it with ice cream – highly recommend. Its nutty base dough/crumble tastes very reminiscent of an almond cookie, and is complemented perfectly by the sweet-tart chia jam in the middle. Suffice it to say, we’re big fans over here, and I hope it brings you as much joy :)

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I can feel myself starting to gravitate towards more involved baking projects as the nights come earlier and the days get shorter… it makes me turn inward and seek out cozy things like blankets, tea, and the oven. Not that I don’t usually seek out the oven, but you get the idea.

Happy October!

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Berry & Almond Butter Crumble Bars

Gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, grain free / paleo, vegan! A direct riff off of the blueberry bars that I posted a few weeks ago, here, where were in turn inspired by the Roasted Root, here! Yield: 1 8″ pan of bars, round or square, your choice. Super simple; these come together in about five seconds and bake up in just over 30 min, so they make a perfect last minute snack, dessert, or breakfast ;)

For the berry filling:

1 raspberries (I used frozen)*
1 c blackberries (I used frozen)
splash of yuzu or lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/4 c chia seeds
1 tbsp vanilla

*can be made with all raspberry (or all blackberry!) – I was just trying to use up what I had

In a small saucepan, heat berries, sea salt, and tapioca until just barely boiling, 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in chia seeds & vanilla; let cool.

For the crust & crumble:

2 c almond flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp maple
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 c almond butter
1/3 c chopped almonds
Black sesame seeds
Coconut flakes

Preheat the oven to 350 and line some kind of 8” pan with parchment – this is the least fussy recipe ever, so square, round, tart pan, etc – whatever you have is fine! I used an 8” round cake pan. In a large bowl, stir almond flour, vanilla, salt, maple, almond butter and coconut oil together. Reserve half a cup and stir in the almonds, sesame seeds & coconut (this will be the top bit) – set aside. Press the rest of the dough into the base of the pan, and bake for 12-15 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and top evenly with berry mixture. Crumble the rest of the reserved topping on the berries, and bake for another 23-25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and the berries are bubbly. Remove and let cool completely before serving. It’s also fabulous cold – I made mine the night before serving, refrigerated overnight and served straight out of the fridge – highly recommended. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for a day or two but I dare you to have any ;)

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Purple desserts & rain

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Hi friends!

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Slightly delayed post from the weekend, since I was busy busy and didn’t have time to get this out earlier.

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C and I almost completely annihilated this thing in two sittings, haha! It was GOOD. I love the cinnamon crust – it’s reminiscent of cinnamon graham crackers, which which I had a phase when I was a kid. I’ve always loved graham crackers, and anything that reminds me of them (and by association, my gram – who always fed them to me at her house) is totally welcome in my book.

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Such a great weekend surrounded by fave human & friends – I wish it hadn’t flown by so fast! We’ve been having some unseasonably rainy weather (accounting for the slightly funky lighting in these photos… the foliage + overcast wasn’t cooperating with me), which I’m LOVING, despite everyone else wanting sun, hahaa. I just love the rain!

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We ate this tart while board gaming on Saturday night, and then came back for a second round over a late brunch on Sunday. It’s a winner in both contexts – I love it with vanilla ice cream, but it’s also great on its own. It’s not nearly as tart as some of my other desserts, so if you’re baking for a crowd or with kids, I’d suggest this one. Besides, purple is broadly appealing :)

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Have a great week!

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Blackberry Panna Cotta on a Cinnamon Crust

Gluten free, dairy free & refined sugar free! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart; serves several. The cinnamon play so well against the berries – this works for a special breakfast or a delicious dessert with ice cream. Or both! :) Crust is easily grain free – just swap out the cornmeal for an equal amount of almond flour.

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For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 c cornmeal
1 tsp cinnamon
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, cinnamon, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.
Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

For the panna cotta:

2 cups (approx. 1/3 lb.) blackberries — frozen is fine!
1/2 c wild blueberries (frozen is just fine)
2 tsp water
2 tbsp maple
2 cups coconut milk, full fat (one can)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 packet of powdered gelatin
1/4 c cold water

Make the panna cotta filling:
In a small saucepan, combine the blackberries, blueberries, 2 teaspoons of water, and maple. Cover and simmer over low heat until the berries break down. Taste it – we love it tart, but bump up the maple a little if it’s too tart for your taste.

Add the coconut milk to the berries, and re-heat the berry-coconut mixture over low heat until it just reaches a simmer. Remove from the heat, and allow the mixture to steep for 30 minutes.

Toward the end of the 30 minute steep time, place the 1/4 c cold water in something large, like a mixing bowl or a large pyrex measuring cup (mine is 4c). Sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the cold water.

Return the berry-coconut mixture to the stove, and re-heat again until just barely simmering, and stir in the vanilla.

Place a fine mesh strainer over the pyrex or bowl with the softened gelatin, and strain the berry-cream mixture through the sieve, using a spatula to stir and press berry-y coconut milk to extract every last bit. Once all liquid has been extracted, thoroughly whisk the berry-coconut mixture into the softened gelatin.

Carefully pour the filling into the tart shell, then leave the tart in the refrigerator to at least four hours or overnight. Keeps well in the fridge; serve leftovers for breakfast ;)

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All things boats, crisps & hikes

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November already!?

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The extra hour this weekend was pretty swell though, I must say. Fave human and I got in a great 6 mile hike this morning before we ate – crisp makes a great post-hike addition to eggs!

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A few photos of life lately – we took a sunset sail this weekend too, which was awesome. The sky was just spectacular; there is no filter on these photos!

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As usual, I was my weird self… not sure what’s going on here but it just looks typical… was I summoning the water?!

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This is the reigning favorite crisp recipe around here – it keeps its structural integrity overnight even when sitting on super juicy fruit, which is a must. It’s chunky in the best way, like a good granola – and it’s perfect for breakfast! Fruit, nuts, oats, yogurt and butter – what more do you need?

Disregard awkward three fingered claw…

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I had frozen some late season peaches awhile back and wanted to use them before they sat too long in the freezer. It goes against my love of seasonal baking, but waste not, want not! Turns out pomegranate and peach go quite well together anyway, and the rosemary keeps it from feeling too overly summer-y of a dessert. It comes together in a snap too, so what’s not to love.

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I love love love adding rosemary to desserts. It brings just the right amount of savory to whatever dessert it is – and we know I like things on the very much less sweet side. C and I both loved this one – it was disappearing with mildly alarming rapidity, so we’ll see if it makes it though the end of the weekend, ha!

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Rosemary Walnut Crisp with Peaches, Blackberries & Pomegranate

An extremely easily adaptable crisp – use whatever fruit needs to be consumed! I had frozen some late season peaches and wanted to use them before they sat too long – they went excellently with blackberries and pomegranate seeds. This minimally sweet crisp is basically breakfast – fruit, nuts, oats and yogurt! Nearly all of its sweetness comes from the fruit, so make sure whatever you’re using is perfectly ripe. Yet another riff on the crisp I’ve made a million zillion times, here. Yield: 1 8×8, 2qt crisp, serves several.

3 c peaches, sliced*
2 c blackberries*
1/3 c pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp c maple syrup
¼ cup water (I used 1/8 c port & 1/8 c water)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch

*I just approximate; I use however many it takes to fill my 2 quart, 8×8 baking dish
*I baked straight from frozen; fresh would also be fine

For the crisp:

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond meal
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/8 c coconut sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp plain whole milk yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss peaches, blackberries, and pomegranate seeds into your baking dish of choice (my dish is 8×8, 2 qt capacity; 9″ square or 9″ deep pie dish would also be fine). In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the maple, water/port, lemon juice and lemon zest until combined. Add the arrowroot, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the fruit and toss to combine. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the filling is baking, make the crisp. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut, coconut sugar, salt, and rosemary. Mix in the vanilla, melted butter and the yogurt. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.

Once the filling has baked for 20 minutes, stir it and and redistribute evenly in the dish. Plop spoonfuls of the crisp topping evenly over the filling – no need to pack it down. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden.
Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, obviously! Keep leftovers, covered, in the fridge for about five days (yeah right. It would take some kind of major feat to make it last that long)

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Birthday Pandowdy!

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I had a birthday!

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It was lovely – C and I hiked, went to the symphony for some Stravinsky and ate a bunch of good things (like matcha verbena ice cream omg yum) and this thing! He also gave me some beautiful flowers – all around it was a wonderful birthday!

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Of course, true to form, I made my own birthday dessert! No surprises there, I don’t think. I haven’t had much of a chance to bake (other than a wedding cake, which was SO fun) lately, so it felt good to get this out – I’m overdue!

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Besides, I love pandowdies – they are pie’s unfussy cousin! So very easy, and so fun. Another excuse to play with your food! Cutting up the crust and flooding it with cream is my favorite part – it’s simultaneously soothing and satisfying.

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I sliced and froze a bunch of peaches over the last month while they were at their peak – frozen peaches do really well in this, as long as you don’t thaw them first – which makes for even easier baking, since you just toss them in some lemon zest and a few other things and go! The only bit of this that requires more planning is the crust refrigeration, but it can be made the night before or just an hour before, so you have some flexibility.

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I highly recommend this for breakfast after hiking – it’s filling and delicious without being overly heavy. Pair it with some whole milk (not like I speak from experience or anything!) and go to town. Whole grain, refined sugar free – as C said, this is no namby pamby fruit situation! We’re just into the tail end of peach season – enjoy it while it lasts!

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

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Swamped Peach and Blackberry Pandowdy

No namby pamby fruit here! This is a very fruit-foward dessert, so make it with the ripest, most perfect fruit you can find! Best for late summer/early autumn peaches. Whole wheat, refined sugar free goodness. Pandowdies are the unfussy cousin of pie – no bottom crust nonsense here! Yield: 1 9″ pandowdy, serves 6-8.

For the crust:

1.25 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c cornmeal
1 tsp sea salt
zest of 1 lemon
9 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed into small pieces
3-5 tbsp ice water

Add whole wheat flour, cornmeal, sea salt, and lemon zest to a large bowl and stir to combine. Add in butter, toss to coat, and use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut in the butter until a coarse mixture forms and the butter chunks are the size of peas (I prefer to use my fingers for this since I a) like the feeling of having my hands in flour and b) have greater control over butter-chunk sizing). Add ice water 1 tbsp at a time until the dough just begins to hold together when pinched between two fingers. It’ll look a little crumbly, but that’s fine.

Toss the dough out onto a clean counter or wax paper (I prefer the counter method; less fuss), and use a bench scraper to gather the dough into a rough rectangle. Using the heel of your hand, smear the last fourth of dough away from you, against the counter. Repeat until you smear all the dough (see? playing with your food!), then gather the dough back into a rectangle and repeat, smearing it all away from you. The dough should be cohesive by this point, so gather it up into a disc, wrap in plastic, and stick it in the fridge for at least an hour, or up to overnight.

For the filling:

3 c peaches, sliced*
1.5 c blackberries*
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1.5 tbsp arrowroot starch
juice & zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp maple syrup
egg white & 1 tbsp coconut sugar for glaze

1 egg yolk
3/4 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla

*I used some that I had frozen earlier; if you do as well, bake them straight from frozen instead of letting them thaw beforehand

In a large bowl, combine the peaches and blackberries. Add 1 tsp vanilla, arrowroot, lemon juice, and maple, and toss to combine. Pour all this goodness into your pie plate or skillet of choice – 9″ pie plates are fine as long as they’re the deeper variety; a 10″ cast iron skillet would also work well.

Preheat the oven to 400. Roll out the dough to be roughly circular (no need to be perfect here, like I said – pandowdies are pie’s unfussy cousin), and lift the dough onto the fruit. Tuck in the edges, leaving a rim of dough between the edge of the pie dish and the fruit – I crimped mine because I’m an overachiever and I also had extra dough, but no need to do that. Make a few slits for steam to vent, brush the top with egg white and dust with coconut sugar. Pop the whole beautiful thing into the oven for 40 minutes; best if you line the rack beneath with foil or a large baking sheet – the juices runneth over!

In a liquid measuring cup with a spout, measure the cream, beat in the egg yolk and 1 tsp vanilla, and let it sit at room temp.

Once you hit the 40 minute mark, take the pandowdy out, and use a sharp knife to break up the crust, thus ‘dowdy-ing’ its looks (now begins the really fun part). Carefully pour the cream into the new breaks in the crust, filling each – some of the cream will pool under the crust, and some will sneak out on top, which is fine. Just be careful not to drown the whole crust! Go slow, and fill each vent/break. Stick the pandowdy back in the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes, until the cream is just set and barely jiggles in the center. Let cool completely before serving; it will be gloriously juicy and delicious so might I suggest serving it in bowls? Ice cream is… optional, sort of, if you’re out of cream; otherwise, this can be served even swampier with extra cream poured over the top. You do you!

Store any leftovers (who are you) covered in the fridge, but make sure to save some for breakfast. You’ll thank me later!

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Let’s get crisp-y

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Happy Pride! It is hard to believe we are this far into June – I’m excited, since the stone fruit season is starting to really get going, and berries are lovely right now.

This week was eventful – I gave myself a black eye with a 900 page paperback (sci-fi of course) when I accidentally (duh) dropped it on my face… such a raging Friday night! I wasn’t even asleep, it just slipped out of my hand & got me. Rude! Sometimes I impress even myself. Photo evidence, just in case you needed proof:

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Anyway, enough of my raging & back to the fruit at hand: I also love rhubarb – though I typically think of it more as a late spring thing than summer. This will probably be the last rhubarb thing on here – it gets harder to find, and I really want to play with all the stone fruit anyway!

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The California summer is definitely in full swing: the hills have gone that golden shade that is so pretty against the dark oaks and blue sky. I could do without the hot weather but… at least I have access to a very cold pool! You will find me there more than frequently ;)

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Super fun weekend over here – time with fave human, dessert, urban hikes, etc etc – a few pictures below.

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This crisp is for those who LOVE rhubarb – it’s very rhubarb-forward! We both love the tart awesomeness of it, but I know it’s not everyone’s jam. Lavender was an interesting addition – I don’t use it all that frequently in baking (I find it can get a little… soapy, sometimes) but it adds a nice floral note here, which pairs especially nicely with ice cream…

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Of course, it’s us – this got eaten for dessert and then alongside the usual breakfast. No regrets! We were both starving anyway after having woken ourselves up by walking up some hills on a nice little shorty hike.

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I hope everyone out there in my corner of the internet is enjoying their weekends! Happy baking, if indeed you do some :)

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Rhubarb, Blackberry and Lavender Almond Crisp

For those who LOVE rhubarb! This one is right in your face. Lightly sweet but seriously tart; lightly floral from the lavender and perfect with ice cream for a summer dessert or on it’s own for breakfast. A Wait are Those Cookies original! Yield: 1 crisp – I use an 8 by 8 dish that holds two quarts; you can also use a 9″ deep pie dish. Just make sure there is ample room for fruit! Serves: 2, or several… you decide!

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For the filling:

3 c rhubarb, chopped*
1 c raspberries*
1 c blackberries*
1 tsp lavender buds
1/4 c maple syrup
¼ cup water (I used 1/8 c port & 1/8 c water)
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch

*I just approximate; I use however many it takes to fill my 2 quart, 8×8 baking dish
*I baked straight from frozen; fresh would also be fine

For the crisp:

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond meal
½ cup chopped almonds
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c maple (or coconut) sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss chopped rhubarb, raspberries and lavender into your baking dish of choice (my dish is 8×8, 2 qt capacity; 9″ square or 9″ deep pie dish would also be fine). In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the maple and water/port until combined. Add the arrowroot, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the fruit and toss to combine. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the filling is baking, make the crisp. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal, chopped almonds, shredded coconut, maple sugar and salt. Mix in the vanilla, melted butter and the yogurt. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.

Once the filling has baked for 20 minutes, stir it and and redistribute evenly in the dish. Plop spoonfuls of the crisp topping evenly over the filling – no need to pack it down. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden.
Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, obviously! Keep leftovers, covered, in the fridge for about five days (yeah right. It would take some kind of major feat to make it last that long)

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For the Horde!

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Brace yourselves for another Nerd Pie!

This one is…. FOR THE HORDE! Obviously.

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I thought the red/purple-y color of the filling seemed like an appropriate Horde color, so there you go – Nerd pies strike again!

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I have it on good authority that the leftovers didn’t even last a day, so I consider my mission accomplished. This pie is definitely a winner if you like tart things – there is barely any sweetener in here, since we very clearly like tart things around here. I love unadulterated rhubarb – it smells SO good when it’s baking!

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Pie for breakfast? …. Obviously, have you met us?!

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In other news, aside from pie…

Great hike/walk up to Twin Peaks with fave human and some beautiful wildflowers. Thankfully, this world never stops being beautiful – no matter what else is transpiring.

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Also, I made my mama some Mother’s Day cookies (because she is amazing and in Scotland as of today so it had to be something portable) and this one kind of looks like the Millennium Falcon…? No? Just me?

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Keeping it short because it’s (the end of!) Monday and I’m tired… and can’t quite believe we’re already halfway through May! What?!

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Happy baking!

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Rhubarb, Blackberry and Ginger Pie on a Whole Wheat Crust

Refined sugar free and whole wheat. This pie is for those who love all things tart but naturally sweet: the rhubarb is allowed to be its true self! Sugar need not apply. Sweetened very minimally with a little maple – feel free to eat with whipped cream, ice cream or just plain as you see fit. Yield: 1 9″ pie. Recipe is a riff on the many pies that have shown up on here, such as this one or this one.

For the pie crust:

2.25 c whole wheat pastry flour
3 tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 c unsalted butter
1/3 c vegetable shortening
5-6 tbsp ice water
For the filling:

4 c rhubarb, chopped*
2 c blackberries*
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c whole wheat flour
zest of 2 meyer lemon
juice of 1 meyer lemon (or regular)
1/4 c candied ginger
1/4 tsp salt

*I baked straight from frozen; fresh would also be fine

For finishing: 1-2 tbsp butter, 1 egg for egg wash

To make the crust: in a large bowl, whisk together pastry flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening and butter either with your fingers or a pastry cutter until a coarse mixture forms and the butter chunks are the size of peas. Make a well in the center of the dough and add in the ice water one tablespoon at a time – mix as little as possible when incorporating the water to avoid overworking the dough. Once it will stick together, you’re good to go. Divide it into two even pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 10 minutes and up to an hour.

While the dough is chilling, put together the filling. In a large bowl, toss together rhubarb, blackberries, maple syrup, whole wheat flour, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon and salt. Let sit for at least 10 minutes — easiest to do this while you roll out the pie dough.

Once the dough is chilled, roll it out between two pieces of parchment or on marble, whatever you have – I like parchment for easy removal. Aim for about 1/8″ thickness, and lay the bottom crust into a lightly greased pie dish. Shape it with your fingers, evening out the top as per your pie plate or design you want — this crust will make a double crusted pie, so keep that in mind. Toss in rhubarb filling goodness and dot with butter.

If you want to get fancy and get all Horde-pie nerdy…

Cut out templates (thick paper or thin cardboard work nicely) for the Horde crest. Have egg wash and coconut sugar handy (I use a beaten egg + 1 tbsp water). Use the templates to cut out the top crust shape, and brush everything with egg wash to make it stick. Sprinkle coconut sugar where contrast is desired.

Once finished, carefully lay top crust over the rhubarb filling. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then 350 for 35-40 until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven when done and let sit to cool for at least an hour, preferably more so that the filling will set. Serve warm or at room temp, and store any leftovers overnight on the counter, loosely covered, or in the fridge for longer (assuming it lasts that long). Pie can be made a day in advance if needed and reheated briefly in a 375 oven to crisp the crust and warm the filling – 10/15 minutes. The pie filling will firm up if stored in the fridge overnight, making slicing easier.

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You must construct additional pie-lons to defeat the Swarm!

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I just can’t stop with the Starcraft pie situation over here…

We are the Swarm… Numberless, Merciless {when it comes to pie}

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Besides, I like Zerg best so I couldn’t very well not do a Zerg pie… and of course it had to be dark purple, obviously.

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Besides that, I know I’ve broken my unofficial rule of not repeating myself in two subsequent posts, but…. it’s PIE. So… it’s fine. And it’s my blog anyway so why do I have these stupid rules for myself?! As a very wise man once said, who would refuse pie?! Exactly.

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I’ve never put mint in pie prior to this, but I like it! It’s very unusual – the berries are still the dominant flavor, but the mint keeps popping in there to keep you on your toes. It adds an unexpected bit of freshness to the berries, and it smells SO good. I don’t think I breathed while I was doing the top crust…

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Let’s see, what else is new…

Opera night lions! Opening night at Rigoletto was fantastic, of course.

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And a balanced breakfast, because pie definitely counts as a fruit serving.

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Patting myself on the back over here for the structural stability of this pie – appropriate amount of thickener = appropriate amount of juices! Plus, no soggy bottom crust. Mission accomplished.

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It’s June – the beginning of the summer fruit season — make pie, be happy! But… beware the swarm…

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Wild Blueberry, Blackberry & Mint {Zerg} Pie on Whole Wheat Crust

A Wait are those Cookies original! Yield: 1 9″ pie, serves 2 (ha) – 6. Refined sugar free and whole wheat, plus lots of antioxidants! Mint adds an unexpected freshness to an otherwise basic berry pie.

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For the pie crust:

  • 2.25 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/3 c unsalted butter
  • 1/3 c vegetable shortening
  • 5-6 tbsp ice water

For the filling:

  • 2.5 c wild blueberries*
  • 2 c blackberries*
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1/3 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest and juice of 1 meyer lemon (or regular)

*I baked straight from frozen; fresh would also be fine; use enough berries to fill your pie plate

For finishing: 1-2 tbsp butter, 1 egg for egg wash

To make the crust: in a large bowl, whisk together pastry flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening and butter either with your fingers or a pastry cutter until a coarse mixture forms and the butter chunks are the size of peas. Make a well in the center of the dough and add in the ice water one tablespoon at a time – mix as little as possible when incorporating the water to avoid overworking the dough. Once it will stick together, you’re good to go. Divide it into two even pieces, wrap in plastic wrap or a ziploc and chill for at least 10 minutes or up to overnight.

While the dough is chilling, put together the filling. In a large bowl, toss together blueberries, blackberries, mint, maple, whole wheat flour, vanilla, and lemon juice + zest. Let sit for at least 10 minutes — easiest to do this while you roll out the pie dough.

Once the dough is chilled, roll it out between two pieces of parchment or on marble, whatever you have – I like parchment for easy removal. Aim for about 1/8″ thickness, and lay the bottom crust into a lightly greased pie dish. Shape it with your fingers, evening out the top as per your pie plate or design you want — this crust will make a double crusted pie, so keep that in mind. Toss in filling goodness and dot with butter.

If you want to get fancy and get all Zerg-pie Starcraft nerdy (you must construct additional pylons!)…

Cut out templates (thick paper or thin cardboard work nicely) for the Zerg crest. Have egg wash and coconut sugar handy (I use a beaten egg + 1 tbsp water). Use the templates to cut out the top crust shape, then use a chopstick or a knife to make the surface lines. Brush everything with egg wash to make it stick. Sprinkle coconut sugar where contrast is desired. Once finished, carefully lay top crust over the filling. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then 350 for 35-40 until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven when done and let sit to cool for at least an hour, preferably more so that the filling will set. Serve warm or at room temp, and store any leftovers overnight on the counter, loosely covered, or in the fridge for longer (assuming it lasts that long). Pie can be made a day in advance if needed and reheated briefly in a 375 oven to crisp the crust and warm the filling – 10/15 minutes. The pie filling will firm up if stored in the fridge overnight, making slicing easier.

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