Yes, you read that correctly, pie with bacon. You thought you'd seen it all with the bacon thing but no! I was going over the shopping list for all of the Thanksgiving food on the phone with my daughter, Lily, last week and found what I thought were pecans in my freezer. She started making the pies and I pulled out the 'pecans' and put them in front of her. MOM, this is BACON! Oops. ( I always keep leftovers from my catering jobs to use in other things...cooked bacon bits included). I went to the store and bought pecans but when I got home I thought, 'what's wrong with adding bacon to the pie?' So we did. I can't tell you how good it was. Even my naysayer friend Kris loved it!
Dixie Pecan Pie with Smoky Bacon
2 T sugar
2 T flour
2 c dark Karo
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
1 c pecan meats
1/3 c cooked, smoked bacon cut in bits
one pre made pie crust, unbaked (see recipe below or store bought works too)
Beat eggs until light. Mix the sugar and the flour and add to the eggs. Beat well. Add Karo, vanilla, salt, pecans and bacon bits. Pour into an uncooked pie shell. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 45 minutes or until set.
My Plain Pastry
2 cups flour, sifted
1 t salt
2/3 c unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" chunks
6-8 T cold water
Place the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the butter chunks and pulse until the mixture is grainy. Add the cold water and pulse until it comes together in a ball. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Rol out on a lightly floured board to as thin as you like. Remeber to handle as little as possible so your crust will be light and flaky.
Makes one 2 crust pie or 12 tart shells.
Ready or not, Thanksgiving is next week! I love my pumpkin pie as much as my son Alex but isn't it time to add a bit of whimsy and excitement to the dessert selection this year? . My bread pudding is quite famous around these parts and has even crossed the Atlantic to London ( I kid you not!) Presented in a pumpkin, it is the perfect surprise to end your perfect holiday meal.
Bread Pudding baked in a Pumpkin
1 3-4 lb pumpkin, shorter rather than taller (top cut off and seeds scooped out,
like a jack o' lantern) or 2 smaller pumpkins
3 c bread, cut into cubes and left out to dry for a few hours or overnight (french baguette or any bread that's hearty, even raisin bread works great)
1 3/4 c heavy cream
2 oz unsalted butter, melted
1 t pure vanilla
1 t cinnamon
1 c brown sugar (white sugar is what I normally use but I wanted brown for the molasses taste for this rendition)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the pumpkin shell on a sheet pan and place the bread cubes inside. They should cover the bottom of the pumpkin in 2 or 3 layers, loosely packed. Beat the eggs lightly in a medium bowl. Add the cream, melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar. Pour over the bread cubes and allow to sit for 10 minutes to let the bread soak up the custard mixture. Put the lid on the pumpkin and bake for 30 minutes then uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the custard is set, the pumpkin is soft and the top is browned. Allow to sit out until cool enough to serve. Present at the table or buffet with the lid on. Scoop the bread pudding out along with some of the pumpkin and serve with whipped cream.
My friend John brought me some Braeburn and Fuji apples the other day, just picked from his trees. I am going to eat the Fujis with some good cheese but the Braeburns are perfect for my favorite year around dessert, fresh fruit crumble! Just about any fruit works for a crumble and this time of year apples and/or pears are a given. I was so surprised to pass by a Bartlett pear tree in downtown Murphys yesterday just full of fruit so I'm going back to pick some today to mix with the apples. Crumble topping is so easy and quick to put together, be sure to make up extra and keep it in your freezer, that way you will always have some handy when you stumble upon a tree laden with pears or when friends come calling with fruit. A crumble is comfort food at it's best!
Apple - Pear Crumble
6 cups fruit, about 3 pears, 3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 c sugar
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 c light brown sugar
1 c old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 c butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the prepared fruit in a bowl and toss with the sugar, lemon juice and zest. Pour into a 9" x 13" baking dish, no need to butter. Combine the brown sugar, oats, flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. I work quickly and use my fingers to blend the butter with the dry ingredients. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until browned and bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream or room temp with yogurt or whipped cream.
Add fresh cranberries during the holidays with a 1/2 t of cinnamon instead of the lemon zest. Use juice from just 1/2 of the lemon.
Two of my best friends, Peter and Tari Bowman, moved to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico many years ago and bought a restaurant on the beach called Daiquiri Dick's. 35 years later, they are still in P.V. running the restaurant and living in Paradise. This 'oh so delicious' pie has been on the menu since day one and according to Tari, it outsells every other dessert, even coconut flan! I love this pie so much that I've had it on my menus at Alchemy Market & Wine Bar and Wren Café. I love it still and serve it when I cater, especially if I am serving a tropical themed menu. It just screams summertime! Daiquiri Dick's restaurant has a delightful cookbook called "Sand In Your Shoes" and this recipe is in the newest edition. Check it out but in the meantime...here it is!
Daiquiri Dick's Key Lime Pie
1 1/2 c graham cracker or ginger snap crumbs
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c melted butter
2 1/4 c sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks at room temperature
1 c lime juice
4 T lime zest
1 1/2 c sour cream
1/4 c sugar
1 t vanilla
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix crumbs, sugar & butter together and press into a 10" glass pie plate. Mix together the filling ingredients and pour into the crust. Bake for 20 minutes. While the pie is in the oven, mix together the topping ingredients. Pour over the filling carefully and then bake for 10 more minutes. Chill completely and serve. Garnish with a bit of zest if you like. Makes 12 servings.
Stone fruits that arrive in summer are a long awaited treat and don't stick around too long so we need to make crisps while the sun shines! Any type of these precious fruits will work. Try peaches, plums, apricots, even pluots. Combine with summer berries or just all by themselves, you can be as creative as you like! The important thing is, this is an easy, seasonal and delicious dessert that will quickly become your summer staple. Serve warm with ice cream or naked at room temp, either way it's all just a delightful taste of summer.
Peach & Blueberry Crisp
6 cups of stone fruit, peeled and sliced
1 T lemon juice
zest from one lemon
1 cup (or less) granulated sugar
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 t salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the fruit, juice and zest in a bowl and toss with the granulated sugar (use less depending on the sweetness of the fruit). Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Combine the oats, salt, brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until crumbly and sprinkle over the fruit. Bake for one hour until browned and bubbly.
As a caterer for over 30 years, I have established a reputation for consistently creating original menus inspired by the occasion and the season, presenting them with an ease and elegance uniquely my own. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are the basis of my creative “from scratch” menus, which range from the classically elegant to rustic and whimsical.
"Love your recipes! Pat made your avocado toast a few weeks ago, delish! I'm taking them to a party in a few weeks, although the mushroom crostata looks pretty darn good!"