Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pie Month: Mango Glace Pie

This recipe has never before been posted on this blog because I don't have a good picture. But it is tasty and healthy. Enjoy!

Adapted from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook recipe for peach glace pie. My changes: reduced the amount of sugar, substitute mangos for peaches. There are turpentiney mangos and there are sweet ones. If you get good ones, they can taste just like peaches.

1 baked pastry shell (i.e. pie crust)
1.5 to 2 kilos mangos (about 5 to 7), cubed
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
2 T cornstarch

For glaze, in a blender combine 1 cup of the mango and 2/3 cup water. (If using apple juice instead of water, you can use just 1/3 cup sugar later.) Cover and blend until smooth. Add enough additional water to the mixture to equal 1 1/2 cups. In a medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in blended mango mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Cool for 10 minutes without stirring.
Spread about 1/4 cup of the glaze over the bottom and sides of the pastry shell. Layer half of the mango cubes, then half the remaining glaze, then the rest of the mango cubes, then the rest of the glaze. Chill 1 to 2 hours. According the book, the glaze may begin to water out after two hours, but in my experience this takes several days, and our pies never survive that long (I'm the main culprit there. Hey, mangos are a good source of folic acid!)

(The easiest way to get the meat off a ripe mango is to make two cuts on either side of the large central seed. You now have three pieces. One is the seed, still surrounded by lots of meat. Cut as much meat off of it as you can. The other two pieces are each an oval of somewhat leathery skin with meat on one side. Score the meat in a grid shape, then just slide your knife along next to the skin, and the meat will come off, already cubed because you scored it.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Golden Apple-Celery Dip

Stir together 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 T natural peanut butter, and 1 t curry powder. Serve with apples and celery. Serves 2.
The result will not look like this picture, as the picture uses equal parts peanut butter and sour cream and consequently is a lot stiffer.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pie Month: Scratch Pumpkin Pie

The post below was originally run on Dec. 6, 2008. We were actually in the States by then, but I had made a scratch pie before we left Indonesia.
This year, we will be at the huge family Thanksgiving gathering that my husband's family holds each year. The person-to-pie ratio there is always extremely low - often more than 1 pie per 2 people - and pumpkin pie, know as "hand pie" because it's firm enough to eat held in your hand - is of course the star.

Above are some labu kuning (local pumpkins) on sale in the wonderful market in Jakarta. In our home city, in Central Kal, you don’t see huge stacks of labu kuning, usually no more than a quarter of a pumpkin sitting forlornly atop the other veggies. A quarter of a pumpkin being all that was available, I bought it hoping it would yield enough pumpkin to make the Better Homes & Gardens recipe below. I also expected that it would take a couple of hours to cook down. To my surprise, in only 45 minutes the pumpkin chunks that I boiled were soft enough to mash and drain. It yielded almost exactly 16 ounces of mashed pumpkin, and I had enough pumpkin pie filling that I had to cook the extra in a little Pyrex bowl. The hardest part was cutting the rind off the extremely hard pumpkin slices.

Seed, peel and cube about ¼ of a labu kuning. Put in a pot, cover in water, and boil 45 minutes or until soft. Drain, mash, and drain again. While the pumpkin is boiling and draining, make the crust. Then proceed with the recipe.

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup shortening (mentega putih)
5 to 7 tablespoons cold water
16 ounces stewed pumpkin
2/3 cup sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
½ t ground ginger
½ t ground nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
1 5-oz can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk)
½ cup milk
1 large square aluminum foil with the middle cut out

Preheat oven 375 F, 190 C.
For crust, put flour in a mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in shortening till pieces are pea-sized. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat process till all the dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough with a floured rolling pin from the center to the edges into a circle about 12” in diameter. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll the pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Trim pastry to ½ inch beyond edge of pie plate. Use the trimmed pieces to patch the pie crust as needed; fold the edge under and crimp as desired.
For filling, in a large mixing bowl combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add eggs. Beat lightly and carefully with a fork or wire whisk just till combined. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and milk; mix well.
To prevent overbrowning, cover the pastry crust with the aluminum foil with the middle cut out. Crimp or fold foil over the edges of the pie plate until it stays in place. Pull out oven rack; place pastry-lined pie plate on oven rack. Carefully pour filling into pastry shell through the large hole in the middle of the foil. Carefully slide oven rack back in.
Bake in a 375 F oven for about 40 minutes. Carefully remove foil. Bake 10 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center of the pie comes out clean. (I had to bake much longer than 50 minutes total before the knife came out clean!). Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate within 2 hours; cover for longer storage. Makes 8 servings.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

I know there are better and more authentic recipes for this dish out there. (Share 'em if you've got 'em!) The only benefit of this one is that it's practically instant to make.

Mix equal parts canned black beans, rinsed and drained; canned corn, drained; and Ro-Tel (canned diced tomatoes and chile peppers). If desired, add lime juice and cumin. Chill until serving.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pie Month: Sweet Potato Pie

I admit it takes some guts for a Yankee to run a Sweet Potato Pie recipe. Southerners are welcome to suggest improvements.
This recipe is only slightly tweaked from the Better Homes & Gardens recipe.
Originally run Feb. 26 of this year.

Ingredients: Crust
1 1/4 cups flour or 1 1/8 cups flour + 1/8 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup shortening
about ¼ cup cold water
Ingredients : Filling
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
a scant ½ cup brown sugar
½ t ground cinnamon
¼ t ground allspice or cloves
¼ t ground nutmeg
1/8 t salt (leave out if likely to clump)
3 slightly beaten eggs
1 cup buttermilk, whey or sour cream

1. Scrub sweet potatoes thoroughly with a brush. Pat dry; prick potatoes with a fork. Bake at 450 Fahrenheit for 40 to 50 minutes or till very tender. Cool till easy to handle.
2. Meanwhile, make the crust: Put the flour in a mixing bowl. Optionally, substitute wheat germ for 1/8 cup of the flour and mix well. Cut the shortening into the flour until the pieces are pea-sized. Move a small amount of the flour mixture to one side of the bowl; moisten with 1 T water and toss with a fork. Continue this process until all the mixture is moistened and tossed; form into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten the ball. Roll out into a circle about 12 inches in diameter, flouring the rolling pin as often as necessary to prevent sticking. To transfer the dough, roll it back around the rolling pin and move it gently over the pie plate. Ease the dough into the pie plate, patch as needed, trim, and crimp.
3. Line the dough in the pie plate with a double thickness of aluminum foil. Bake at 450 F for 8 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 4 or 5 minutes, or until set and dry (may be less time). Obviously, this baking step can be done while the potatoes are baking.
4. For filling, cut the baked potatoes in half and scoop the pulp into a large mixing bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the pulp. (You should have about 2 cups.) Stir in sugar, cinnamon, allspice or cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Add eggs. Beat lightly with a rotary beater, fork, or whisk just till combined. Gradually stir in buttermilk, whey or sour cream; mix well.
5. Spoon the filling into the partially baked pie shell. If the filling is very liquid, you may want to put the pastry shell on the oven rack first, then pour in the filling to prevent spills.
6. To prevent overbrowning, cover the edge of the pie with aluminum foil. Reduce oven temp to 375 F and bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Chill in the fridge at least 2 hours before serving. Good with whipped cream!