Vacation deserts

Maddie and I are on location again this week. I had a few extra days off so we packed up the car and headed to my parents house in Northern New Brunswick. So far its been pretty relaxing. Maddie was quite pleased with the seating arrangements and the view while she was getting brushed the other day.

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She is also pretty happy with my parents giant yard.

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She was less happy when she and her sidekick, Chad, my parents dog, were scolded for exploring the neighbours yards.

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I’ve been pretty happy with the views here as well. I enjoyed this view while making my coffee this morning.

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Of course while I’ve been here I haven’t been just drinking coffee and playing with Maddog. I’ve been baking. I realized the other day that I’ve called myself Pies and Power Tools but I haven’t delivered a pie yet.  I planned on baking a raspberry pie with fresh raspberries but unfortunately I was about a week too early and the raspberries are still ripening. As a back up I planned on making my mothers favourite pie, a chocolate pie.

I know a lot of people think that making pie crust is difficult. Actually I once read an article in a magazine where the author said she was actively seeking a partner that could make a pie because he would have to have patience. Now I think that patience is a a great quality in a person and partner but I don’t think that how well someone makes a pie is a very good qualifier. I think how someone reacts to a slow internet connection provides much more insight. Especially since making a pie crust is easy. I actually call my pie crust recipe no fail.  The chocolate filling for this pie is pretty easy too.

If you follow these simple steps you’ll be a pie master in no time. First you need to make your pie crust. I usually mix mine with my stand mixer but if you don’t have one you can easily use a pastry blender, or in a pinch a fork. If you’re using a stand mixer throw everything in together and mix it with either the paddle or dough hook attachment. If you’re using a pastry blender or a fork throw everything in a bowl and cut in the butter at shortening. Once it begins to mix together you can finish mixing it with a wooden spoon or your hands until it forms a ball. If your butter is frozen or hard you can grate it with a cheese grater and it will mix in easily.

Once your dough is formed cut it in half and roll out one half on a lightly floured flat surface. Make sure you flour the rolling pin, and the top of the dough or else it will stick.

Once your dough is rolled out fold it in half and then half again and put it in a pie pan. Unfold it once it’s in the pan and then bake a 350 for about half an hour until it’s golden brown. While the crust cooks you can put together your filling. Once it’s cooked add the filling and let it cool. Once it’s cool you can top it with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder.

What you’ll need

Crust

1 Cup shortening

1/2 Cup butter

1/2 Cup cold water

3 Cups flour

1 Tsp salt

Filling

3 Cups milk

1 Cup white sugar

2 Tbs flour

2 Tbs cornstarch

2 Tbs butter

2 Tsp vanilla

3 egg yolks

4 oz of unsweetened bakers chocolate

Whipped cream

1 1/2 Cup heavy cream

1/3 Cup powdered sugar

1 Tsp vanilla

1 Pinch of cocoa powder

First pre heat your oven to 350. Mix all the ingredients for the crust. Form into a ball and cut in half. Roll out one half and and place in pie pan. Press down the edges with either your fingers or a fork and pop it in the oven. Don’t forget to poke holes in the crust so air can escape while it bakes. Once the crust is golden brown remove it from the oven.

* This recipe makes one double crust. If you are making a pie that only needs one crust, like this one you can half the recipe or just freeze the other half of the crust for later. To freeze it just wrap it really well with parchment or wax paper and then cling wrap. It’s will be good for a few months in the freezer.

To make the filling pour 2 3/4 cups milk and the sugar in a large sauce pot on low heat. Stir occasionally. While that heats mix the egg yolks with the flour and cornstarch. Once it’s formed a paste mix it with the rest of the milk and set aside. Now you can chop, grate or grind your chocolate. It doesn’t have to be tiny but small enough so that it can melt in the milk. Once the milk and sugar mixture has started to form tiny bubbles around the edges add the paste mix and whisk until it starts to thicken. Now add the chocolate and whisk until it melts. Add butter and vanilla and whisk for another 3-5 minutes. It’s should look like very thick hot chocolate. Add the mixture to the pie crust and let cool for a minimum of an hour.

Once the pie is cool you can whip the heavy cream. When it starts to get thick add the sugar and vanilla and then continue mixing until soft peaks have formed. Put the whipped cream on top of the pie, sprinkle with cocoa powder and enjoy!

As always let me know if you try this recipe and let me know what you think.

Until next time,

Desiree

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