Dessert

Coffee Cream Pie

 
 

This recipe is an absolute favourite of mine, and a must-have at my family Thanksgiving dinner. Coffee pie is not exactly a Thanksgiving standard, but we don’t tend to make it any other time of the year. It is definitely the season for pie. I should mention that my husband doesn’t refer to this as pie, per se, but since there is pie crust involved, I beg to differ.

Amongst my family this dessert was quickly known to be mine. Everyone is welcome to it, but they know that I will make some sort of quiet fit if I don’t have at least 2-3 slices to myself. In some cases, while everyone’s opted for pumpkin or something else (my mom tends to make 3-4 desserts in total), I’ve managed to claim an entire one of these to myself. I never feel shame when it’s been in the name of coffee pie.

I need to also mention that this recipe was brought into our family thanks for my grandma. I thank her for this, and for so many other of our family traditions.

It’s overdue that I add this recipe to the blog. I strongly urge one and all to give it a try, and I dare you to have only one slice.

I’ve included a pie crust recipe, which is not my family’s, though I’m quite happy to say it was easy to make, easy to roll out, and had a nice flakey texture.

Enjoy!

PIE CRUST (TO BAKE WITHOUT FILLING)

•1/2 cup ice cold water

•1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

•1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

•2 tablespoons cornstarch

•1 teaspoon salt

•2 tablespoons granulated sugar

•12 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold and cut into cubes

Combine water and apple cider vinegar; place in the freezer until needed.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar; whisk well to combine. Add the cold butter cubes and toss them in the flour. Using a pastry cutter, cut the flour and butter together until the pieces of butter are the size of peas. Slowly add in the cold water and cut it into the mixture until there are just a few bits of loose flour left. If the dough is too dry and doesn’t hold together when pinched, add in cold water, one teaspoon at a time. 

Gather the dough together and carefully pour it onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough into a shaggy ball, about 4-5 kneads should do it. Scrape up the dough and form it into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

*I left mine over night.

Remove the dough from the fridge 10 minutes before rolling. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Starting from the middle of the dough, firmly roll away from you. Rotate the dough and continue rolling until you’ve created a thin disc that will fit over your pie plate, with excess to trim. Crimp the edges, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before baking.

Turn your oven to 350 degrees C. Cover the middle of your pie crust with aluminum foil (forming a bowl with the foil) and fill with pie weights. If you don’t have any you can do what I did, fill the aluminum bowl with about an inch of white granulated sugar, this will keep the pie crust from rising and bubbling in the oven. You can always use your toasted sugar in a recipe later on. Bake the crust for 60-70 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly before adding the filling.

The coffee filling can be made while crust is in the oven.

COFFEE CREAM FILLING

•1/4 cup flour

•1/8 teaspoon salt

•2/3 cup sugar

•1 cup strong brewed coffee

•1 cup milk

•2 egg yolks, beaten

•2 tablespoons butter

In a medium pot, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add coffee and milk. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Slowly stir mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to not cook the eggs. Once combined, add the egg mixture to the pot, slowly and stirring constantly. Continue over the stove for 2 minutes longer. Remove from the stove and add the butter. Stir to combine. If your pie crust isn’t ready to be filled, place parchment paper on the surface of the pie filling so that a thick skin does not form. When ready, add filling to your crust and refrigerate overnight.

*The pie will be messy to cut if you do not let it sit in the fridge long enough.

 
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Cinnamon and Hazelnut Macarons

Anyone who knows me very well is aware that I've spent 6 months trying to master the French Macaron. I didn't even care for them much growing up but they've become a passion now and my cravings have become a problem. I essentially work out so that I can eat more macarons. My boyfriend, who's not as utterly obsessed with sweets like I am, has been taking note of the amount of times I've tried and failed. The thing to remember if you haven't made macarons before, is that you will likely fail, and not just once. But if you love to bake pretty things, it's worth every discouraging moment you look inside the oven and wonder what the hell happened. Trust me.

I started using a few different recipes that just did not work for me. I nearly gave up entirely when I found this amazing YouTube video from Cupcake Jenna that saved me. Using their instructions, and some tweaks of my own, I've pieced together this drop-to-the-floor amazing cinnamon/hazelnut macaron! Regularly I get flavours by using what's currently in my pantry, and I'm so thankful for hazelnut butter right now.

And how beautiful are these? They make the perfect gifts. I tend to make them for my family or friends, freezing a few gift bags at a time (so that I don't eat them all myself). I'm currently dieting for Hawaii so I've eaten 2 of these in total and it's killing me to give away the rest this Easter weekend.

Remember to watch the video if you're unsure about my instructions below, it's honestly the best one I've watched.

Enjoy and let me know how it went!

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CINNAMON MACARON SHELLS

-205g powdered sugar

-190g ground almonds

-4 large egg whites

-2-3 tsp of cinnamon

-190g caster sugar

-1/4 cup water

-Candy thermometer

 

HAZELNUT BUTTERCREAM FILLING

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp milk

1 heaping tbsp hazelnut butter

 

MACARON SHELL DIRECTIONS

Sift the icing sugar and almond flour into a bowl. Dispose of clumps.

Pour half of the egg whites and the cinnamon into the sugar/almond mixture and combine with a spatula until fully incorporated. You don’t need to be gentle at this stage. The mixture will become very thick. Cover with cling wrap so that it doesn’t dry out.

Add the rest of the egg whites to a standing mixer and leave them until ready, use a whisk attachment.

Melt the caster sugar and water over medium heat. It should bubble softly for a couple of minutes. Do not stir or the sugar will crystallize.

Once the sugar reached 110 degrees, start to beat the egg whites on medium-high so that they become foamy by the time the sugar is ready.

Remove sugar syrup from the stove top once 118 degrees. This is pertinent to  achieving a chewy macaron consistency.

Turn your mixer on high and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg mixture, near the edge of the bowl, avoiding the whisk so that it doesn’t splatter. A slow pour will avoid the eggs from separating.

Whisk on high for another 2.5-3 minutes. Do not over mix, or you might create a pocket of air under the macaron shell after it’s baked. Once done, your meringue should be glossy and thick. How to test: Remove the Whisk head, dip into the batter and flip it upright. A peak should form, flop over but hold that shape.

Add a large dollop of the meringue into the sugar/almond mixture and mix with a spatula until combined, to make the rest easier to fold. 

Dollop the remaining egg whites in and gently FOLD by scrapping the sides of the bowl and occasionally cutting through the middle (as to not knock the air out). Consistency is absolute key. When ready, it should slowly but consistently ribbon off the spatula when held up. If it clumps off the spatula you need to keep working it. Do not overwork, if you do, the ribbons will melt back in with the rest of the batter - and this is why you may get cracks in the macaron shells with no feet.

Pipe onto parchment or silpat lined trays, attempting to make similar sizes. Print a template if you aren’t sure you can do this well.

Bang the tray plenty of times to release air bubbles, you will see a few come to the surface of the macarons.

Leave trays to rest for 30-60 minutes. Timing depends on dryness or humidity. You’ll know they are ready when you touch the top of the macaron and it doesn’t stick onto your finger. A skin should have formed. This assures the macarons will rise up, creating their signature feet.

Set the oven to 305 degrees F while you wait for the macarons to dry out.

Bake for 11-12 minutes, in the middle rack. Exact time varies by the minute if your oven isn’t calibrated. You may want to try some batches to see if one minute less or one minute more is better for your oven.

Immediately after the oven, set the parchment paper onto a cooling tray to stop them from cooking. Do not remove with parchment paper right away or they may stick to the paper a little and tear. Once cool they should pop off easily.

 

BUTTERCREAM DIRECTIONS

Add the softened butter to a standing mixer and whip for 2 minutes.-Reduce speed to low and add the powdered sugar, milk and hazelnut butter. Return to medium-high speed once the powder won’t fly up into the air.

Once nice a fluffy, add to your piping bag and pipe onto one macaron shell and sandwich with another.

Sprinkle the finished macarons with cinnamon (optional).

 

 
 
 
 
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Eggnog Tart, Hazelnut Chocolate Fudge, Chai Old-Fashioned

Now that wedding season 2016 is over I couldn't wait to get back to baking and I'm loving the Christmas season. I've always been a little Christmas crazy. To celebrate everything above I've put together a Christmas special combo!

We have an Eggnog Tart, that is best saved for the weekend (or any time in December, it's the holidays!), a very conscious and equally incredible hazelnut chocolate fudge (my favourite), and a favourite cocktail of mine, the Chai infused Old-Fashioned.

Special thanks to the originators of these great recipes, some of which I've slightly tweaked. LCBO for the tart, Texanerin for the fudge and the Artful Desperado for the Old-Fashioned. Also a large thank you to Linen Chest for the always classy kitchenware used for this shoot.

Egg nog tart

 
 
 
 

Recipe:

Pastry

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Icing sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter

1 large egg

Filling

1 cups whipping cream

4 tbsp bourbon

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp clove powder

3 large eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

Pinch of salt

Directions:

Pastry

Combine flour, icing sugar and salt in a bowl; sift together. Cube the chilled butter, add to the bowl and cut into the butter with your hands until the consistency is like bread crumbs. Add the egg and mix with your hands until the dough forms a ball. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out pastry and fit into a round pastry pan (with a removable bottom). Trim the excess and chill for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven in the meantime to 425 degrees C.

Place the tart on a baking sheet. Weigh the dough with aluminum foil and pie weights so the dough does not rise in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights/aluminum and bake an extra 5 minutes. Note: my dough shrunk on the edges, perhaps it might help if you perforate the dough with a fork before baking.

Filling

Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees C.

Combine the whipping cream, bourbon, cinnamon stick and clove powder in a pot over medium heat. Remove right when it begins to boil and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon.

Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and salt. Poor cream mixture in with the egg mixture, slowly while whisking constantly (to avoid eggs cooking). Add mixture to tart shell, sprinkle with nutmeg and bake for ~20 minutes. The tart should be set and wobble slightly in the centre.

———

A Healthier Fudge

 
 
 
 
 
 

Recipe:

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (use paleo/vegan/dairy-free chips)

1/3 cup full-fat canned coconut milk

1/4 hazelnut butter (make your own or buy a jar that is made with only hazelnuts)

4 tbsp of maple syrup. Note: I found these sweet enough so you could put less if desired.

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

3/4 cups toasted hazelnuts (skins removed)

Directions:

Prepare a square 9x9 pan lined with a piece of parchment paper.

In a saucepan, mix everything together except for hazelnuts over low heat, stirring often. Once melted. Remove from heat and stir most of the hazelnuts. Poor into pan. Sprinkle remaining hazelnuts on top.

Let sit for 20 minutes and chill in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

———

Old Fashioned

 
 
 
 

Recipe:

Bourbon, your desired brand

Chai tea (the real whole leaf tea)

1 tsp honey

Rinds from 1 orange

Angostura bitters

Club soda

Directions:

Combine 1 cup of bourbon with a tea bag worth of chai tea to steep for approximately 2-3 hours. Not much longer or it with be too strong / competitive with the bourbon.

Add 2 oz of infused bourbon, honey, 1 piece of orange rind, 2-3 dashes of bitters to you shaker and shake well.

Poor over ice and top with club soda (if/as desired). Garnish with an orange rind. Note: I added cranberry and cinnamon sticks for the photos though this isn’t necessary.

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Happy Holidays from Oats & Honey!