A few months ago I had the privilege of taking a pie baking class with the amazing pie crust whisperer, Kate McDermott . She taught us some very useful tips in creating a perfect crust. I’ve been wanting to make a pie on my own since the class, and I finally got the chance. Since peaches are in season and divine right now, a peach pie it had to be!
I did well in Kate’s class but I had the help of her lovely instructors. I’m a great cook but I give myself a C- in baking. And pie crust are just down right intimidating. I faced my fears of screwing up the crust, began chanting Kate’s “just chill” motto and got to baking!
I’m happy to report my peach pie was a success! I have a little work to do as far as ascetics but the peaches were perfectly cooked and the crust was a buttery, flakey delight!
Who loves pie? I know I do! I don’t consider myself a dessert lover but I do love pie! I love it so much, I nicknamed my daughter Pie, because she’s the most perfect thing in the universe…just like pie!
So you can imagine how thrilled I was to be able to attend a pie baking class, taught by the lovely and talented Kate McDermott (ArtofthePie.com)! Kate had come all the way down from Washington state, on her Pie A La Road tour. The class was an intimate affair, held in my friend’s charming chateau in Marina Del Rey. The scent of blooming flowers mingled with the ocean breeze and wafted through our kitchen. A perfect spring day–and a perfect day for baking pies!
We made a mixed berry pie. You can find the recipe on Kate’s Web site. The filling was well-balanced, slightly sweet, and perfectly tart, but that was the easy part. The hard part was conquering the crust, but we persevered, and the result was worth it: a gloriously flakey crust!
Making a great pie crust is flat-out intimidating. Kate put us at ease with her “Just Chill” chant which applies to more than your nerves. She chills all the ingredients used to make the crust so it’s all the same temperature, even the bowl! And I did a quick mental chill to get myself in the same zone as my ingredients. Remember, your state of mind is really just another ingredient!
Here’s a look at our: Day of Pie Baking with Kate Mcdermott…
I make this at the J.O.B. If you’re ever at Whole Foods Venice, you can find it at our dessert bar so definitely come give it a try! Or… give it a try at home.
- 4 cups uncooked rice. (jasmine or brown rice can be used)
- 6 – 8 cups of almond milk
- 1 cup of sugar (preferably pure sugar cane)
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- golden raisins and or sliced almonds for garnish (optional)
- Cook rice according to package with a teaspoon of salt, in a rice cooker or stovetop.
- Meanwhile warm 6 cups of almond milk in large pot over medium heat. Add in sugar, almond extract and 2 teaspoon of nutmeg. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Add cooked rice to milk bath and stir. Let mixture come to a slow simmer then lower heat. Stir occasionally and let pudding thicken. Add more almond milk if needed.
Serve warm or cold. Garnish with raisins and almonds and a dash of nutmeg. I like to add golden raisins to the bottom of small bowls or one glass dish, cover with rice pudding and dust the top with nutmeg. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge to enjoy all week long!
At my job I’m constantly inspired to come up with new and exciting ways to make our dessert bar appetizing and delicious! With the holidaze now upon us I thought it would be fun to put a little twist on a classic pie served in many households for the season. Also, it will give our customers something new and unique to try!
Pecan Pie Cobbler
- 2 cups whole grain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup butter melted (set aside)
- 1/14 cup maple syrup (set aside)
- 1 cup pecans (set aside)
Heat oven to 350
Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another. Pour wet into dry and whisk together. Mix in maple syrup.
Pour batter into a greased 9 in. cake pan. Crush pecans in hands and scatter around batter. Pour melted butter over the top.
Place in oven and bake for 25-30 min.
This Strawberry Ice Cream is quite simple to make and best of all, it requires no cooking. The hardest part of this recipe is sieving the strawberry puree to remove the seeds and it’s not really hard just a little time consuming. I love strawberries and their in season right now too. They were on sale at the market, buy one get one free, so I picked up two pints. I like strawberries with my champagne or even with some good brie. Since I had a lot of berries, I decided I’d make homemade ice cream. It’s really easy to make ice cream these days with all the cool ice cream makers out there. And, it’s much healthier. I used only 2 tsp of sugar and let the natural sugars in the strawberries shine. I used half and half instead of heavy cream. You can substitute 2% or 1% milk but the ice cream will have an icy texture.
Follow instructions for your ice cream maker. I keep mine in the freezer so I can pull it out whenever I’m ready to make ice cream.
- 1 pint of strawberries
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 2 cups half and half (cold)
- 1 tsp almond extract
- cut the tops off strawberries and then cut in half. place strawberries in a food processor and puree. pour into a sieve set over a bowl or 4 cup measuring glass. with a spoon mix and press strawberry puree through sieve to remove the seeds. (this takes a little time). you should end up with 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of strawberry puree.
- add sugar and lemon juice to strawberries. mix together. add half and half and almond extract and stir together.
- turn on ice cream maker and pour mix in. let churn for 40 – 50 minutes, until ice cream is thick.
That’s it! I put mine in a container and let it harden some more in the freezer or store until ready to eat.
This is one of my favorite desserts! It’s perfect after our at home sashimi night too! It’s quite simple to throw together.
Take a few ginger cookies and place them in a sealed bag. Wack them a few times with a rolling pin or small pot. Scoop some green tea ice cream in a bowl and sprinkle with crushed ginger cookies.
The creativity bug played around inside my head again. I had all the right ingredients to make yummy homemade and healthy frozen yogurt treats. So, here’s what I did…
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup frozen cherries (thawed and pureed)
- 2 tbs. sugar
- splash of almond extract
- popsicle container
In a bowl, whisk all the ingredients together. Pour into popsicle container and freeze. That’s it!