Eggnog Pie Crust

There’s eggnog everything, right? Kinda like pumpkin spice? I don’t know. I’m not as cued into Starbuck’s influence on the tastebuds of the world as I used to be.
But of one thing I am certain: Eggnog is yummy. And the more ways I can incorporate it into my holiday eating experience, the better.
It was from this belief that eggnog pie crust was born.
Is there any better accompaniment to a pumpkin pie? Any better duet than with a caramel apple pie? Chocolate silk pairing?
Thanksgiving is upon us and Christmas right on its heels. Baking will be required! Pies! Let this be your go-to crust recipe.


1/2 cup butter, chilled and sliced
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp Eggnog, chilled

In a food processor, pulse the flour, the cold butter (sliced), and the salt until crumbly. With the preprocessor whirling, slowly pour in the eggnog until a crumbly dough forms. Empty the crumbles into a clean mixing bowl, and using your hands, meld together until a smooth ball forms. Press into a circle and roll between waxed paper.
Each batch makes one crust. Double the recipe if you have a food processor large enough to handle the job!

Nectarine Galette

Late summer. August. The season of purple cone flower and golden yarrow, cicada song, heat, and stone fruit. Peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots . . . the apples and pears are close behind, but for now it’s all about achingly sweet fruit that melts into pastry dough and oozes out of pie crust. Welcome to my favorite part of summer. This quote from Natalie Babbitt sums it up perfectly for me (though sadly, we are already past the first week in August).

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.” 
(from Tuck Everlasting)

I found  a crate of nectarines at the grocery this week. They were so ripe I could smell them almost as soon as I walked into the store. I prefer nectarines to peaches because I’m not overly fond of fuzzy peach skin. They are not quite as sweet as peaches, but nearly. And they meet this galette, saturated in brown sugar and cinnamon, the way the first week in August meets September. —A final sweet hurrah of summer.



1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup chilled buttermilk

In a food processor, whirl the butter, flour, and salt until crumbly. Then, one teaspoon at a time, add the buttermilk until a dough forms. The trick here is not to overwork the dough or let it get warm. You don’t want the butter melting into the dough, but rather staying rather crumbled within it—those butter bits are what will make the dough flaky when it bakes.

3 very ripe nectarines, sliced and pitted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup flour

In a bowl, gently combine the sliced fruit with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour. The flour will help thicken the juices and sugar as they galette bakes, but there will be extra juice in the bowl. You can leave this and discard it when you scoop the fruit onto the pastry.

Roll the pastry out between two pieces of parchment paper until you have a 1/4 inch thick circle about 12 inches in diameter. Remove the top sheet of paper and scoop the nectarines into the center of the rolled dough, leaving 2 1/2 inches around the outside edge free of fruit. Taking an edge of the dough, bring it up onto the fruit and press it gently. Bring the next edge, beside the one you just creased, up beside it and onto the fruit, gently pressing it onto itself. Go around the circle, pulling the dough up onto itself, one bit at a time until the whole thing is self contained in a sort of pastry-pocket. The beauty of a galette, is that you do not need a pie pan!

Slip the bottom layer of paper with the galette on top, onto a flat baking sheet and bake on 350-degree preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown across the top.
Allow to cool before serving.

carmelized sweet-potato and apple pie with sharp cheddar cheese in a rosemary-buttermilk crust

I’ve been making pie for three days straight trying to get this recipe right, you guys.

First there was the crust. Measurements were off, I overworked the dough and it went flat, too salty, etc . . .

Then once I got the crust right, the filling was wrong. I tried grading the sweet potatoes with the chopped apples but the texture was way off. Plus sweet potatoes are more dense than apples so they cook unevenly. Nasty.


 I am so excited about this pie.
It’s just a pie, I know, but in my dream world, when I open a pie shop and farmer’s market, this pie will be on the short and selective menu. That’s how good it is.

Close your eyes for a minute and I’ll take you there. . .

The glass door swings wide and a small brass bell jingles over your head as you cross the threshold. Someone across the room greets you with a smile—a wave maybe—and you instantly feel at home. Your people come here.

The floors are rough planks, comfortable and unpretentious, but the handful of tables are flung with white table cloths. Fresh. Like white linen on laundry day. Rustic chandeliers hang from the pressed-tin ceiling and the generous front windows spill sunshine across the spacious room.

But the smell of the place is what sticks with you. Baked goods. Like Grandma’s kitchen—or maybe your aunt’s. Fresh berry and fruit pies wait under the long glass counter and a chalkboard menu against one of the raw-brick walls assures you the variety isn’t lacking. Three stand out: Rhubarb and current pie with cardamon. Custard pear and raspberry. Caramelized Sweet-Potato Apple with Sharp Cheddar in a Rosemary-Buttermilk crust. You’ll have to think on it. Decisions are hard . . .

Every pie here is made from scratch, the crust mixed up with butter and buttermilk from local dairy farmer’s bounty. The fruit, herbs, and produce that fill the crusts are local and seasonal, and you wonder for a moment if maybe you can just live here. Eat pie forever. The oversized leather chairs in the corner windows would be fine. Add a book, a cup of coffee, and you’ll be just fine, thank you very much . . .
You decide on the Caramelized Sweet-Potato Apple with Sharp Cheddar in a Rosemary-Buttermilk crust. Almost like lunch, right? Pie for lunch. Totally legit. 

Okay. Open your eyes.
I promise to serve your pie warm when you arrive. 🙂 In the mean time, here’s the recipe so you can make your own.



Let’s start with the crust. I used the Buttermilk Pie Crust recipe from my last post with the addition of:
1 teaspoon dried and crushed rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon savory herb blend (basil/oregano/onion/thyme)

Mix up two crusts and refrigerate while you work on the filling.

1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
6 pie apples (Grannysmith work great!) peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
3-4 tablespoons flour
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Over medium-high heat, melt butter in a flat-bottom pan and brown sweet potatoes until they begin to soften. Add apples and cook, covered, for a couple minutes. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, and salt to the pan and mix until the spices and sugar are well incorporated. Remove pan from heat and transfer the filling to a large mixing bowl. Add flour and mix well until juices thicken. Set aside and allow to cool a bit.

Roll out the bottom crust and press it into your pie plate.
Add cheese to the slightly-cooled fruit, spice, and apple mixture and stir until ingredients are well-mixed. Fill the prepared bottom crust with the fruit and potatoes, roll out the top crust and fit it to the top of your pie. Press the top and bottom edges together and then crimp. Poke a hole in the top crust to vent, and sprinkle with paprika.
Bake in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned over the top.
Allow to cool a bit before cutting—this will help the juices re-incorporate into the filling.

Harry Potter and buttermilk pie crust

Ever notice how what you’re reading influences what you eat and cook, or what you WANT to eat and cook?

I finally started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to my two older kids this weekend, and oh my goodness. SO. MUCH. FUN. Only a couple chapters into the first book and they are already picking up on the challenges of making good choices, courage, the reality that adults don’t always get it right, that life isn’t fair, and that doing the right thing is always the right thing.

And the food . . . Rowling got it. I love how she details food.
Bags of stale crips.
A can of tomatoes on toast for breakfast.
Fried bacon.
A package of squishy sausages in Hagrid’s pocket.
Candy and sweets with so many odd names and flavors I can’t even remember them all at the moment. Except those jelly beans of all different flavors—because Jelly Belly, obviously, have jumped on that train.
I need to write about food in my own stories some more . . .

Today is about pie, though. Rowling’s description of the pies and tarts at the Hogwart’s feast got me itching to try a new pie crust recipe I’ve been thinking about. Plus I made butter again this weekend, so there is both icy cold buttermilk and fresh butter in my fridge waiting for experimentation.

Hope you had a great weekend, friends.
Here’s to good books and good food.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup chilled buttermilk

In a food processor, whirl the butter, flour, and salt until crumbly. Then, one teaspoon at a time, add the buttermilk until a dough forms. The trick here is not to overwork the dough or let it get warm. You don’t want the butter melting into the dough, but rather staying rather crumbled within it—those butter bits are what will make the dough flaky when it bakes.

Note: these measurements make a single crust, so you’ll need to double the recipe for a top and bottom crust.

I prefer using wax paper or parchment paper to roll out pasty dough because it means I don’t have to try and scrape it from my counter top or risk over-flouring it. Also, refrigerate whatever dough you aren’t currently working with.

Lay the bottom crust in the plate and add the filling of your choice (I’m going with apple, cheddar, and sweet-potato today).

Roll out the top crust as you did with the bottom, fit over top the pie, trim any excess around the edges and crimp.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown across the top and bubbling. About 40 minutes or so. Allow to cool before cutting so the juices can re-incorporate.

For a full tutorial on how I use wax paper and crimping, check out my earlier pie crust recipe tutorial. —Different recipe, same method. 🙂

perfect pie crust




I always dreamed of entering a pie in the county fair and winning blue.
Silly, but it seems like one of those homemaker kinds of things my grandmother would have done and, no lie, I dream of being like her. She was an amazing woman. But her pies, though most likely blue-ribbon, were difficult. My grandma was a cold-lard-cut-into-her-flour pastry kind of woman, and I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for that. Also, gross. Tiny bit.
I do things a little differently, but cross my heart, this pastry recipe is FAIL PROOF. Even for the most reticent of pie-crust makers. Trust me on this, okay? It’s simple. No lard or ‘cutting in” involved. And I think, despite my divergence from tradition, grandma would approve.


The apple filling recipe is pretty basic: 5-6 apples, peeled, sliced and chopped into bite size pieces. Mix them in a bowl with 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4…

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root-veggie pot pie

I love meals you can make in advance, either days in advance or mere hours.
Basically I love meals that make the dinner hour a little easier. Because at my house it is typically “the bewitching hour” —that mysterious time of day when everyone is transitioning from physical location and varying degrees of emotional stability. (Getting home from school/going to activities, getting home from work/going to meetings, getting up from naps/going to fall-apart on the floor, etc).

That said, even if your house boasts a considerably more calm dinner hour, this recipe is particularly tasty, easy to make, good for you, and pretty. All the necessary qualifications for a great meal.


1 large rutabaga (peeled and cubed)
2 sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
3 parsnips (peeled and cubed)
4 large carrots (peeled and cubed)
3 turnips (peeled and cubed)
1 cup + vegetable broth
1 onion, (peeled and diced)
1 teaspoon diced garlic
3 tablespoons clarified butter
salt and pepper top taste

1  3/4 Cup flour + 2 tablespoons (or as needed should the dough be too moist).
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

Start with this pie crust recipe and method. Mix it up, use the waxed-paper method to roll out and fit the bottom crust to the pie plate, and set it aside.
I use this recipe and method for every pie I make—sweet, savory, fruit, cream, or otherwise. It’s the only fail-proof pie crust recipe I’ve ever found and I’ll love it forever.

Once all of your root vegetables are peeled and cubed, melt butter in a large fry pan, add garlic and diced onion, and sauté until caramelized.
Then add all of the cubed root veggies, about 1/2 cup vegetable broth, cover, and simmer until broth is absorbed by the veggies. Add the rest of the broth, cover again, and cook. Veggies should be fork-tender by the time the remainder of the broth is absorbed. Feel free to adjust quantity of broth as needed. It will vary a bit based on the size of your veggies. Ultimately, your vegetables need to be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy as they will continue to cook once inside the pie.

Once the veggies are ready and all of the broth is absorbed, sprinkle salt and pepper over the cooked vegetables until the flavor is to your liking. Then gently scrape the vegetable from the pan into the prepared crust. Roll out and fit the top crust to the pie using the waxed-paper method. Trim and crimp the edges, lightly sprinkle to top with salt and pepper, and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 40 minutes—until the crust is golden brown across the top.

Allow to rest and cool slightly for about 40 minutes. This will help the juices be re-absorbed into the cooked vegetables rather than spilling out of your crust when you cut into the pie.

Serve warm.


spinach quiche with sweet-potato crust

Don’t you just love when you can make a breakfast meal that doubles as dinner? Two birds, one stone. Best thing ever. And this quiche is exactly that. Save, no birds die. Speaking figuratively is hard.
This quiche boasts a tiny bit of spice, courtesy of the salsa, but it’s mellowed by the eggs and spinach, transforming it into a savory dish more than heated one. The ‘crust,’ such as it is, can be either crispy or soft —a similar consistency as the filling, depending on how long you bake it before adding the filling. It’s your choice. Breakfast? Dinner? Crispy? Soft? Whatevs. It’s all delicious. Enjoy!



2 sweet potatoes, baked
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt

Quiche Filling:
8 eggs
1/2 cup water
½ pint jar of salsa, strained and liquid drained away
2 cups organic greens like spinach/arugula/kale/spring greens
salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning

Scrub 2 sweet potatoes and pierce skin with a sharp knife, allowing them to breathe while baking (so much better than exploding inside your oven). Place potatoes directly on the rack of a 400-degree preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Make sure the burner is lined with foil as the potatoes will drip while baking.

Slice baked and cooled potatoes lengthwise down the middle. Scoop potato into a mixing bowl and discard the skin. Add one egg and salt. Mix using a hand-mixer and then spread into the bottom of a greased baking dish or pie plate.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until spongy. Add a few minutes if you prefer a more crispy crust. Set aside while you mix up the filling.

Quiche filling:
In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, water, strained salsa, salt, pepper, and seasoning. Mix with a hand mixer until well incorporated. Add in greens and mix again on low. Pour contents over baked sweet potato crust.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until egg is baked through and lightly browned on top.

Note: This recipe makes enough crust and quiche for two 9” pie plates. Freeze one if you like!