Brent's Food Blog

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Archive for the ‘Sweet’ Category

Holiday Pies – Pear Maple Ginger

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Happy week after Thanksgiving everybody! This Thanksgiving, ESC & I ventured out of our warm corner of the ‘States and into the semi-frigid temperatures of Akron, OH where Travis and Emily live! They played wonderful hosts to many of us visitors (22 people turkey dinner!!) and we all had a grand time meeting Emily’s family. Travis and I also kept with our turkey day tradition of Gin & Tonics the night before an early morning flight… oof it made for a long day!

And now on to the pie! I’m sure I’ve promoted my pie making ability to many of you, so I thought I’d share my delicious recipe found one day a couple years ago when I was nominated to bake a pie for some holiday. I’ve made this pie a couple times and it has always received rave reviews. Maybe it’s just that I’m making it and they aren’t… but I still think it’s scrumptious. If pears aren’t in season or ripe, you can definitely use crisp sweet apples (Fuji) as a substitute for a spin on the traditional apple pie. I apparently didn’t take any pictures of this edition, but it was gorgeous nonetheless!

Pear Maple Ginger Pie

*not my picture* but I wish it were...

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss together the pears, cornstarch, ginger, brown sugar, maple syrup, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Make sure everything is mixed well, there will be a bit of mapley-liquid in the bottom of the bowl. Pour the filling into the pie crust, filling completely, possibly mounded. Bake for 45 minutes. Put foil on the edges after 30 minutes if they start to brown. Reduce heat to 375°F, remove pie from oven and carefully place the oatmeal topping over the pie, patting it to make a nice smooth top. There may be extra topping, no need to make the topping super thick. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before serving to allow the pears and juices to become awesome-er.

1 9″+ Pie Crust (Frozen or freshly made) – Add more pear for bigger crust
5 Cups peeled, chopped pears (Bosc or Bartlett)
1.5 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Lemon Zest
2 tbsp chopped candied ginger (or 1/2 tsp fresh ground ginger)

Oatmeal Crumb Topping
2/3 cup Flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1/3 cup cold, unsalted butter, 1/4″ pieces

Makes 1 delicious pie. 20-25 minutes prep, 1 hour baking. ~$10/pie depending on your cupboards. Packed with sugar and sweetness, you’ll definitely end up with a sugar high, but the adult in you will be happy there is fruit in it.


Written by Brent

November 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Dessert, Pie, Sweet

Tagged with , ,

This bread is BANANAS, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

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What’s a sous chef to do when her head chef is off exploring Europe?!?!?!?!? After a few nights of listlessly wandering around the kitchen and eating quick and uninspired meals, I (Katie, aka ESC) needed some comfort food. I wanted to bake something– sweet, but not too desserty, satisfying, but not uber complicated== Banana bread! I’ve been talking about making it forever and this seemed like the perfect time. Luckily, I had stashed some overly-ripe bananas in the freezer for this very occassion.

My mother and I first found this recipe in Cooking Light years ago. Since then we have made a number of embellishments and made it even better. The actual synthesis (oops, too much of a chemist) preparation is very straight-forward and doesn’t require any special ingredients or equipment.

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 8.5 x 4.5″ loaf pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt with a whisk. In another bowl, beat the sugar and butter until well blended. At this point, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Next, add the yogurt, banana, and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the flour mixture and beat until moist. Add the chocolate chips, nuts, and raisins. Spread the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for one hour. When its done, remove from oven- immediately smother the top with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack and then cool completely (who am I kidding, devour immediately :))

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (~3 large) bananas (let warm up to room temp if they were previously frozen & then mash up a bit)
1/3 cup plain yogurt (I like using vanilla instead, because plain yogurt just seems boring)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional additions:
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I prefer the mini– adds the perfect amount of sweet goodness to the loaf)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins (even though I don’t like cooked raisins that much, I’m giving it a try)

Even Banana Man approves! This bread is good for breakfast, mid-afternoon snack, dessert or all of the above 🙂 Its especially yummy when you warm the slice a little in the microwave before eating. And this is a great way to make use of those bananas that are a bit past their prime! (I like them on the greener side anyway)

PS- Thanks for letting me do a guest post Brent! Your loyal readers and I miss you!

Written by kkduncan

June 13, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Posted in Sweet

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Snack Off Submission – Butterscotch Nummyness

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SuperMacro Butterscotch Nummyness

SuperMacro Butterscotch Nummyness

This is a little different than my norm, but I figured it was a good way to mix things up on here! Due to some trash talking at work about this year’s “Cereal Snack Creation Bake Off!” and to me having some sort of food-related blog, I was peer-pressured into beating the socks off everyone with my kitchen prowess (hah!). They may as well not have even entered the contest. If you can’t stand the heat, get outta the jungle. Unfortunately, competition was yesterday and it was definitely rigged. Jessica won by bribing the judges with Brown Butter Salt Rice Crispy Treats. Oh well, there’s always next year! It was also fantastic timing, because I got a new camera! Some absurd 12 megapixel kind from Olympus. Yay for Credit Card Reward points!

Dump the bag of Butterscotch and the cup of peanut butter in a large sauce pan (biggest you got) and heat over low heat. Stir occasionally while it all melts together into a soupy deliciousness. Taste test liberally. Once it’s all melted, mix half the box of chex in making sure to coat all pieces. Mix the rest of the box in. I kept mixing and tasting for good measure. Once you’re satisfied, pour out the mixture onto a large area of wax paper. My area was probably 2′ x 3′. Let the chex cool so the coating will set in place. Then mix the rest of your goodies into it. I used pretzel sticks and marshmallows. Turned out freaking awesome. I may be a diabetic now.

Action shot with new camera!

Action shot with new camera!

1 12oz bag of Butterscotch Morsels
1 box Honey Nut Chex (~14oz)
1 cup Peanut Butter (chunky or creamy)
Other stuff to mix

Makes a whole boatload of snacky stuff. Would be great for a football game or something. Total Cost: $10. Healt……. hahahaha, you thought I was going to say healthy.

Spaceman Gloves Required for Preparation

Spaceman Gloves Required for Preparation

Written by Brent

April 24, 2010 at 11:14 am