Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July Weekend!

Wow, this was a really fun weekend. I am so full of barbecued food and treats that I can hardly move. The star of my weekend was really this pie though.

4th of July 1

I wanted to make a blueberry pie, and did a little hunting on the internet for a recipe. I love reading other people's blogs because they talk about the recipes they make and tell you what went wrong. So based on those opinions, I figured out that Cook's Illustrated had a really good recipe that wouldn't have a runny filling, thanks to the inclusion of a shredded Granny Smith apple in the mixture. When the pie bakes, the pectin in the apple cooks out and helps the filling thicken up. Half the blueberries are also mashed and cooked down on the stovetop before filling the pie, and that also helps remove some of the moisture from the filling. It really worked! The filling was fantastic and even after the leftovers sat in the fridge overnight, not a single berry oozed out into the pie plate.

4th of July 3

The crust recipe was also from Cook's Illustrated, and it called for 1/4 cup of ice cold vodka. The theory is that while it cooks, the vodka evaporates leaving flaky layers. The crust was really good too, although sticky and a little hard to work with. I'd use it again and just chill chill chill between rolling it out and then trying to move it to the pie plate.

4th of July 4

I also made these Dixie Bars. I'm not sure what the name means, but they taste almost like home made Twix. The bottom layer is a shortbread, then a layer of caramel with nuts, and then finished with chocolate. Cut these bars really bite sized!! A little tiny taste goes a very long way.

Dixie Bars
I found the recipe here

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 can sweetened condensed milk (300 mL)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 cup pecan pieces

4 squares semisweet chocolate
1 tbsp butter
24 pecan halves (optional)

Heat oven to 350 F.

Combine flour and sugar; cut in butter to form soft dough. Press evenly into an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden.

Combine milk, sugar, butter and corn syrup in heavy saucepan, cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat and boil for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly or until mixture thickens slightly and turns a caramel colour. Remove from heat; stir in pecan pieces. Spread evenly over base. Chill.

Partially melt chocolate with butter over low heat. Remove from heat and continue stirring until completely melted. Spread over caramel layer. Garnish with pecan halves.


Anonymous said...

you should make the dixie bars for when we go to stephs!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Both things lookk delicious! I think the little flower on the pie is too cute!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

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