desserts and deadlines

Hi friends!

I actually made this on Saturday morning for C and I, because I was working yesterday afternoon & today, but wanted a dessert! It *is* a three day weekend after all, for most people, deadlines notwithstanding.

It’s delicious. Light, fresh, and great for warm weather. Due to the aforementioned deadline (rude) I knew in advance I’d be working the weekend but also knew I’d want to make something; galettes are super quick to throw together, AND I found these apricots on sale at the market so that made my decision-making easy. C and I are (quite obviously) ALL ABOUT the fruit-forward desserts…. this totally fits the bill.

We ate it in the evening with ice cream & in the morning pre-hike – it makes an amazing breakfast, as it’s really only fruit & nuts! Winning.

Despite so much work I’ve actually had a really lovely weekend – great morning hike with the fave yesterday, plus I ordered a new lamp (on sale!) so I can finally stop tripping over my floor lamp & banging it when I stand up – it’s a little short for its current location.

Let’s see, what else.

Proof positive that I actually cook, and not just bake – these were amazing chicken thighs that I made last night, with forbidden rice. So easy – skillet, 425, olive oil, salt, pepper, 40 min. Boom! Dinner.

My plants are going ape and I’m thrilled! A bunch have been blooming and they just look so happy, which makes their human happy, so all is good in the junglelow.

Sometimes I also buy pastries (I KNOW TRY NOT TO BE SHOCKED). I love me a good almond croissant and when I have a massive deadline breathing down my neck on a holiday weekend, I like to treat myself to this kind of lunch. After all, life is all about balance (ie, salad + croissant for lunch).

Keeping it short since I just got edits back on my draft… time to get back to it.

Have a great rest of the long weekend!

Apricot and Blueberry Galette with Cinnamon Crust

Light and summery, perfect for a holiday weekend or really, any time. Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free, with a lactose free option. A Wait are Those Cookies original. Yield: 1 galette, serves several.

For the galette dough:

1.5 c almond flour (not meal; you want the finer flour variety)
1/2 c tapioca flour
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp salted butter, chopped (or ghee)
1 egg*
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Sliced apricots – I used ~10 of them / ~2lbs
A large handful of blueberries
1 tbsp salted butter
sprinkle of coconut sugar

*alternately you can use a flax egg with very similar results (3tbsp water + 1 tbsp ground flaxseed)

In a food processor or high-power blender (I used a food processor), pulse almond flour, tapioca starch, cinnamon, salt, and butter to combine until it looks like coarse meal. Add in egg, vanilla and almond extract and pulse just until combined. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disk and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or up to overnight.

Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper, keeping the circle to about 1/4″ thickness. Peel off the top piece of parchment, and slide the rolled out dough on its parchment onto a baking sheet. Top with sliced apricots & blueberries, and dust them with coconut sugar. Begin folding up the sides, creasing them together as you go – if the dough rips, that’s okay (you can crimp the cracks back together; remember: galettes are forgiving and rustic!); you can use the bottom piece of parchment to help fold up the sides.

Dot the fruit with butter. Bake for 35-40 minutes until edges are golden brown — mine came out just fine at 35 minutes, so check accordingly.

Let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then carefully slide the whole galette onto a cooling rack to let it cool completely. Serve with your fave ice cream or whatever of choice! Keeps well covered in foil on the counter or in the fridge.

Dessert for Socially Distant Times

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This post is brought to you by Social Distancing, plus Life in the Time of Covid19: the Cook Your Pantry Edition!

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I’m doing my part to stay sheltered in place and avoid unnecessary errands – which means I’m also getting a little creative with my baking situation. Not sure about where you live, but here in SF the stores are pretty cleaned out. I’m noticing now that the shelter in place has been in effect for a few weeks and the markets have been limiting the amount of shoppers in the store at one time, more products are appearing back on the shelves, but certain things (ha, toilet paper) are still totally cleaned out.

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I was able to stock back up today with the intent of not going back to the store again till I run out of fresh stuff, but in my mind somehow I had coconut milk in my pantry….. and WOMP I totally did not.

So!

Time to get creative. I’d already made the crust (way to plan ahead there & actually check the pantry first, whoops…) and I already knew a tart was going to happen. Luckily I almost always have whole milk because, coffee + milk frother = life. I also happen to have raw cacao butter in my pantry – I bought it with no clear purpose forever ago, and never got around to using more than a teeny bit. Behold! Saving my bacon in a time of shortages, quarantines and social distancing. 

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Unfortunately, that means this isn’t dairy free, but if you’re prepared with a nondairy alternative, you’re set! Full fat coconut milk is my fave for these. Though in the spirit of using what you have – experiment! I’m a big fan. Some of my best kitchen creations have been happy accidents and/or just a whim.

This uses blueberry powder that I picked up awhile back (yet another baking whim) – I’m glad I did, it’s a fun product to use. A little weird maybe in a liquid suspension like this panna cotta-hybrid, but I’m not sure I care! It’s still delicious, and a fantastically weird color. We could all use a little brightness in our days lately – might I suggest a fun colored baking project? Worked wonders over here for all parties involved.

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We ate this one as usual for dessert and for breakfast, since these tart shenanigans are so well suited for that. This one is a little different than a typical panna cotta – I was in experimentation mode so I wasn’t overly concerned with how it came out; it ended up as a tart-panna cotta hybrid. Way firmer in texture than a panna cotta would normally be, due to to the cacao butter (which solidifies when cold) but still that filling-to-crust ratio that my tarts typically have. A winner, in my book, despite being a product of the pantry and these strange times.

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Side note: I discovered last week that I can make matcha tea lattes in my milk frother and boy did it make my week.

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A few iphone snaps from my social-distancing-approved outdoor exercise outings: we’ve had some spectacular clouds lately, and I’ve been loving the rain!

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And also, my urban jungle is coming along nicely! 19 pots and counting (clearly not all plant friends are pictured)

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Be well, and safe!

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Blueberry & Cacao Butter Tart on a Cornmeal Lemon Crust

Gluten free and refined sugar free. A Wait are Those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart; serves several. Lightly sweet, lemony and fresh. Ideal for breakfast or dessert.

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/3c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3c cornmeal
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
zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, sea salt, baking soda and lemon zest. Add in vanilla extract, maple, lemon juice, 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 filling:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.5 whole milk
a few chunks (?!) of cacao butter (~1/2 cup of solid cacao butter)
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
Scant 1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 c blueberry powder
1/4 c lemon juice, cold

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the cold lemon juice. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the whole milk into a small saucepan. Add cacao butter, maple, vanilla, salt, and blueberry powder. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture. Stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Top with whatever pretty things your heart desires! Serve cold out of the fridge. Store any leftovers covered in the fridge as well.

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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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Kitchen wisdom is sage advice

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Sending all the good vibes and healing thoughts to those caught in the terrible wildfires in the North Bay – I can’t even imagine the scale of destruction happening. I don’t even live in the thick of it, and I still can’t see the sky on account of smoke. My heart hurts for my state and for those in the middle of it all.

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These bars can bring a little sunshine to otherwise smoky, obscured days – the citrus is bright and fresh, and we all know I’m obsessed with herbs in dessert, so this is no exception. The sage in the crust is noticeable but not aggressive – just a hint of earthiness to play up the brightness of the meyer lemons (locally grown, of course!). Blueberries and almonds go with just about anything, so why not invite them to the party too?

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These do double duty as dessert and breakfast (that seems to be a theme around here, hmm) – makes some amount of sense, since my desserts are almost all whole-food and fruit focused.

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Besides, these have a hefty dose of eggs which basically makes them breakfast. See? Science!

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In other news, there are finally leaves on the ground, and of course I’m excited about a return to sweater, boot and scarf weather. I’m a little sad at the shortening days though, especially because I miss my good morning photography light! Sigh. It will be back!

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IMG_1496In the meantime, I’ll make bright, citrusy and quite probably herb-y desserts to bring some brightness to the shorter days. Happy Autumn!

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Meyer Lemon Blueberry Bars on an Almond Sage Crust

Lightly sweet, tangy, and perfect if you have a glut of meyer lemons (though regular lemons are fine too!). The sage adds such a nice earthy twist to the basic lemon bar – I love lemon with almond so these just hit all high points for me! Grain free, gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free, arguably paleo. Yield: 1 9″ pie plate or 1 8 by 8 square pan, serves 2-8 (ha – I recommend dessert and then for breakfast the next day). Adapted from my orange creamsicle bars, here!

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
heaping 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 + 1/8 c unsalted almond butter
1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
1.5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1.5 tbsp chopped sage

Preheat the oven to 350, and grease an 9″ round pie dish (must be deep) or an 8 by 8 pan.

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Add in almond butter, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, vanilla, and almond extract and stir until combined and crumbly. Stir in chopped sage. Press the crust dough evenly into the prepared pan, and poke with a fork a few times. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside when done.

For the filling:

4.5 eggs*
1/2 c pure maple syrup
zest of 3 meyer lemons, roughly chopped
1/4c + 1/8c fresh lemon juice
pinch of sea salt
4.5 tbsp coconut flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
* to achieve half an egg: crack an egg into a small bowl and whisk it; then either measure or eyeball half and use that. or just use a whole one as long as it’s small, I doubt it would affect the consistency of the bars all that much…

For the blueberry swirl:
1 c wild blueberries (preferably frozen, thawed)
1 tsp vanilla extract

While the crust is baking, make the filling! In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, maple, lemon zest and juice, sea salt, coconut flour (sifted if lumpy) and vanilla until smooth. Pour the filling into the par-baked crust. For the blueberry swirl, blend blueberries with their juice (some is released during thawing) and vanilla either with an immersion blender or a food processor. The sauce won’t be especially thick, but that’s fine. Pour the sauce into a ziplock bag (or use a piping bag, but be warned that blueberry stains!), carefully snip a really small triangle off of one corner, and pipe 5-6 lines across the lemon filling. Some will sink in, but most will stay on top (and no, the lines do NOT have to be perfect!). Take a table knife and swirl the lines gently into the filling.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top should be mostly firm and the filling set, with just a small amount of wiggle (it’ll firm up as it cools). Let cool completely and eat immediately or chill in the fridge for later (I like them cold!) — serve with vanilla ice cream :) Store any leftovers in the fridge.

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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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Come to the Dark Side… I have pie.

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Pie! Such a perfect food. Especially when it resembles… the Death Star! Because why have plain pie when you could show off your nerdiness to the world? I almost didn’t want to eat this… but I did.

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Pie crust used to intimidate me, which is pretty stupid given that it’s basically just flour and water and butter… yet I think sometimes the simplest things end up being the trickiest (in life and in baking!). But pie is also a fairly forgiving food, and will love you endlessly if you learn to make it with the confidence it deserves.

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I think I’m finally at that point — this one felt great! I am quite pleased with the way it came out both in looks and taste… the sci-fi nerd is strong in me ;) I think the key with pie crust is not to let on that it makes you nervous! It can probably sense that, ha! Maybe with its pie crust force powers…

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Thank goodness pie is so delicious – it makes all the potential crust shenanigans worthwhile.

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In other news, another drawing for the series!

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Anndddd…. the first skiing of the season! Wheeeee!!! And what great skiing it was. More to come, that’s for sure.

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But for now, pie. Because often the simplest things in life are the most enjoyable, especially leftover pie for breakfast in good company! Nothing better.

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Wild Blueberry Pie with Whole Wheat Dark Side Crust

Refined sugar free and whole wheat! Naturally sweetened with coconut sugar. Crust recipe yields a double crusted pie, enough for a Death Star of your own making if you so choose. Crust recipe lightly adapted from Carolyn McCuaig (thanks Carolyn, if you’re reading this!)

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For the crust:

  • 2.25 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/3 c vegetable shortening
  • 1/3 c butter (mine was salted), cut into chunks
  • 5-7 tbsp ice water

For the filling:

  • 4 c wild blueberries, or enough to heapingly fill your pie plate (frozen is fine)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 c coconut sugar
  • 1/3 c whole wheat pastry flour

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, salt, baking powder, and lemon zest. 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. Toss blueberries, lemon juice, coconut sugar and flour in a large bowl.

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 blueberry filling goodness and dot with butter.

If you want to get fancy and do the Death Star…

Cut out templates (thick paper or thin cardboard work nicely) for the Death Star and a TIE fighter. 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. Roll out thin pieces of dough for the details, 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 blueberry filling — there is no real need to seal the edges. 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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Pie and my happy place!

Once again, a long hiatus between posts. But this time I have an extremely good reason:

I was here.

happy place.

Among other things, doing some of this:

like a boss.

And a ton of this:

dock yoga!

Yes. You SHOULD be jealous. Be very, very jealous…

Because this also happened:

the best place to do yoga? I think so! I’m on the left in the ridiculous shorts… 

My tenth year at the best, most beautiful place on earth: a counselor for the best campers; laughing, goofing (can I say we pulled the most amazing prank ever?!), singing, eating pilfered brownies whilst stargazing: a group of the most diverse and amazing women I have ever met.

And I came back with sore ribs from laughing so much. Camp is wonderfully restorative—-being covered in camp dirt for ten days always gives me a refreshed perspective on life back home. Camp = love! So much love. I already can’t wait to go back for my 11th summer next year.

pieeeeee!

Anyway—I got back Wednesday night. And all I wanted was PIE. Blueberry pie, to be exact. Don’t ask, I’m not exactly sure why… I do love pie, but it’s not usually my go to (I’m guessing this has something to do with the somewhat temperamental nature of pie crust and the comparative ease of cake, as well as my laziness). I think it might have been the lack of berries up at camp or something, but sheeesh… pie definitely needed to happen. I decided to get experimental and make a teeny pie, just enough for four people (I bought a new 6″ cake pan, since mine are sadly in storage in another state…I had to break it in somehow, didn’t I?!). I also dispensed with the top crust- I like crust, but a bottom one is enough in a small pie, and I wanted to see what happened when I halved the recipe. Great success! Half the crust recipe fit perfectly into a 6 by 2″ cake pan, and left just enough for a top decoration. I wasn’t sure on bake time either, but it turned out perfectly. I think this might be the best crust I’ve ever made—I credit Carolyn McCuaig and her awesome pies for the recipe! Pie is most assuredly happening with greater frequency in the wait…are those…cookies universe, now that pie crust has decided to be a tad more cooperative.

mmm., antioxidants!

Blueberry Pie

Simple and satisfying, and tastes like summer in a bowl. Do yourself a favor, and eat it a la mode, like any self-respecting pie should be eaten (especially for breakfast). Many thanks to Carolyn McCuaig for her pie recipes :) I’ll include the full recipe here. For a pie like I made, make half the recipe and use a 6″ cake pan.

Double crust:

  • 2.25 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 c vegetable shortening (like Spectrum brand)
  • 1/3 c butter (preferably unsalted, although I used salted and the crust was still really good)
  • 5-6 tbsp ice water

Blueberry filling:

  • enough fresh blueberries to fill your pie dish or tin of choice
  • 1/3 – 1/2 c sugar (depending on sweetness of blueberries)
  • 1/3 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • a squirt of lemon juice (I didn’t have any, if I had, I would have added it…but it’s still fab without)

ahh, pie a la mode. Summer in a bowl.

Listen to some awesome music and get yourself in the pie groove:

Preheat the oven to 425, and (if using a cake/pie tin) grease and flour the pan. In a largish bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter and shortening (the colder the better) until the mixture looks like cold sand. I like to use a pastry cutter for this. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture just holds together, then pat into a flatish disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for a bit. You can roll it out right away, but dough that’s been chilling is easier to deal with. Meanwhile, toss blueberries with sugar and flour (and lemon juice, if using) to coat. When the dough has chilled (I left mine in for about 15 minutes), roll it out to 1/8″ thickness between two pieces of plastic wrap. Peel off one layer, invert dough over pie dish/tin, and press out the dough, crimping the edges as you go. Prick the bottom with a fork a few times, then toss in filling. If using a top crust, make sure to cut a few steam vents in the center.

Place the pie tin on a cookie sheet (to protect against spills), and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350, and bake for another 30 minutes (for a 6″ pie), or 40-50 for a normal sized pie, until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Let cool completely before cutting, to give the filling time to set up.

Eat. Love. Taste the summer and reflect on the people and places you love in life!

kind of weird with the sun, but I love how it makes the berries look.