5 years ago I made my last pumpkin pie – it was awful. I wasn’t a very good baker yet back then, and the pastry was too thick, the filling too clove-y. I decided to try again after seeing my friend Nadine’s decorated pie (she really has the best ideas!!). Alright, it still took me about 4 years to get around to it but yeah.. I did it 😉 And oh my – this is the best pie I have EVER had! I am not overstating the deliciousness of this pie. It is the. absolute. best.
The recipe is from a book called Ms. American Pie, written by the lady who lives in the American Gothic house. The book, apart from being filled to the brim with delicious pie recipes, chronicles how the writer’s husband passed away and how she found solace in baking pies afterwards. It is a touching story and I love how baking can help people get through difficult periods in their life – it’s the same for me!
I’m not quite sure, but the filling recipe might be taken off of the “Libby’s” pumpkin puree can – we don’t have Libby’s here but the recipe hinted at it. I do know that Libby’s pumpkin puree is a staple item in America around Thanksgiving – can any Americans attest to that? I made my own pumpkin puree for this pie by simple boiling some diced butternut squash until it had softened and then blitzing it to puree. It worked amazingly well!
To make your pumpkin pie extra special, you can go with the decoration as Nadine has thought up: pipe on dark chocolate to make a pumpkin and gorgeous swirls and for an extra touch add some pumpkin seeds. It’ll make an otherwise “boring” pie that much more exciting!
To make the dough: blitz butter, flour and salt together in the bowl of a kitchen processor with a blade attachment until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add half of the water, blitz again, if necessary add more of the water until the dough is moistened. Wrap into cling film and chill for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 220C/430F.
Mix all of the filling ingredients together until combined.
Line a pie tin with the dough. If possible, crimp the edges. Add the filling.
Carefully place the pie in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes at 220C/430F, then turn oven down to 170C/340F and bake for another 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted near the middle of the pie comes out relatively clean. The filling will rise in the oven, it will come down again when cooled.
Leave pie to cool on a wire rack. Melt the chocolate au-bain-marie. Fit a piping bag with a small round tip. Fill bag with the melted chocolate. Pipe on a nice design. Add some pumpkin seeds. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!
I am writing this while an autumn storm is raging outside. I have to say, I like autumn a lot more than I do summer – no sticky clothes, sore thighs from wearing shorts that are just a little too short and those pesky insects. Just crisp autumn air, gorgeous natural colors and knitted jumpers. And: A LOT OF BAKING.
With loads of tasty autumn fruits around it’s difficult resisting the urge to bake every day. For this tart, I used fresh, ripe, juicy pears paired with a lovely frangipane. So good with a steaming cup of tea!
If you want, you can add a little cinnamon to the frangipane. My mother hates cinnamon (I know, it’s a travesty!) so I didn’t add any myself, but I can imagine the urge to add some. I always applaud creativity! 🙂
Pear Frangipane Tart Recipe
Source: Pâte Sucrée and Frangipane recipes from Paul Hollywood’s “How to Bake“
To prepare the pastry: combine flours and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Add butter, blitz until you have a crumbly mixture. Add egg and blitz until the dough starts to come together. Shape dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm. Leave to chill for at least an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/355F.
For the frangipane, cream the butter and sugar for abut 3 minutes. Add the eggs and a tablespoon of the flour and mix for another 2 minutes. Add the rest of the flour, baking powder, ground almonds and almond extract and mix another 2 minutes. Set aside.
Grease and flour the tart tin. Roll the pastry out to a large enough circle to fit the tin (not too thick). Pipe or spread the frangipane into the pastry case. Peel pears, halve them and remove the center. Push the pear halves into the frangipane. Sprinkle with the almond shavings.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until the tart is a nice golden brown. Remove from tart tin and slide onto a wire rack to cool down. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
My grandmother sadly passed away a few weeks ago, so we had to clean out her house. I found some really lovely cups and saucers in her things which would have gone to goodwill had I not saved them! They’re so cute and classy, my grandma had great aestethic apparently!
I felt like making some comfort food, so that’s where these pecan and white chocolate cookies came in. I love Hummingbird Bakery recipes, so I thumbed through their classic cookbook and chose these (quite humongous) cookies to bake on a rainy Sunday afternoon. They’re really easy to make and great for sharing. They also do really well as dunking cookies.. Keep your milk at a ready!
Pecan and White Chocolate Cookies (Hummingbird Bakery)
Cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add eggs one at the time, mixing well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl in between eggs. Beat the vanilla extract into the mixture.
Add the flour, salt and baking powder and beat until a smooth dough is formed. Stir in the chocolate and pecans until evenly dispersed.
Divide the dough in two halves and shape each half into a roll of 18 cm in length. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to chill in the freezer for about two hours.
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F.
Remove the clingfilm and cut the dough into 12 equal pieces (about 2-3 in thickness). Place on a baking tray 6 at a time lined with baking parchment and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Leave to cool slightly on the baking tray, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
This post has been in the making a while. It’s difficult to put into words what the music of Bastille has meant to me so far but I’ll give it a try. Bastille’s music to me is like a breath of fresh air in an airtight box. When I’m down it brings me up, when I cry it dries my tears and when I’m happy it heightens my euphoria. It is absolutely and totally liberated. My heart grows a few sizes when I listen to The Anchor or Lethargy or Flaws. There is nothing I’d rather do than imagine two Pompeii victims contemplating their fate or overthinking the madness of the world nowadays with the crisp voice of Dan Smith singing the words to stimulate my brain.
I knew no better way than to bring my two passions together on this blog to show my passion for this music. Maybe that makes me a weird fan, maybe that just makes me a bit silly or enthusiastic. I don’t care either way.
I waited to post this article because I wanted to listen to their newest album, Wild World, first (it came out on September 9th). Of course I’d heard quite a few new songs online (hey Youtube! you’re great!) but the album blew me away. In these gingerbread Dans (or Den?) I have incorporated some of my favorite lyrics. You might see a philosophical metaphor in these cookies but I can assure you, it’s just a clever, annoying pun. On the other hand, I’d like to bite into Dan any day of the week so in that regard it’s probably a double metaphor (I’m joking, I’m joking).
Bastille have started their world tour (see here) but unfortunately I couldn’t get tickets for their Amsterdam gig as I am completely and utterly broke (I’m taking too freaking long on my thesis to be honest and tuition fees are bleh. I’m not one for quitting though.). I did see them once in Leeuwarden though, which was awesome, and I almost saw them during Eurosonic in January 2013. I still wanna hit myself in the face for missing that €15 opportunity at the start of their career! Anyhow, I’ll just act out my fandom by listening to their music every day like I have been doing since 2014 and doing weird stuff like baking Dan in gingerbread. If you wanna do the latter too, the recipe is beneath and I have added some of the templates I used to create the Dans. I used this recipe to make the gingerbread.
**The templates were created by my friend MUAFrou per my request. I’m lousy with Photoshop!
It’s that time of year again where people start thinking about Christmas. Well, people like me that is. And people who compete in Christmas bread competitions! Last year, I competed in such a competition as well but didn’t win anything. I’ve applied again and see if I have better luck this time around. I have gone with a Swedish theme, as I love the breads Swedes come up with during December. They are called “lussekatter” and are traditionally eaten during the feast of Saint Lucia. Usually they’re more swirly like these ones but I’ve gone with a plaited bread. It looks stunning but is very easy to do! I’ve also added a lovely crème pat and raisin filling to make it as festive as possible. The gorgeous yellow color is the result of adding saffran – an expensive spice to buy, but we’re allowed to go a little crazy with Christmas right? 🙂
Recipe Swedish Christmas Plaited Bread
unsalted butter, softened
strong white bread flour
ground cardemom seeds
egg (keep aside the rest for glaze)
Filling & Topping:
lukewarm full-fat milk
rum or cointreau soaked raisins (keep a few aside for topping)
For the dough: grind together the saffran and sugar. Mix into the milk together with the egg.
Mix together flour, salt, sugar, yeast, softened butter and ground cardemom seeds in a bowl. Make sure the yeast doesn’t come into direct contact with the salt or sugar. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients with the machine (fitted with dough hook) running. Knead on setting 2 for about 9 minutes once the dough has come together. Shape dough into a ball and leave to proof in a bowl covered with cling film for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
For the filling: mix 2/3 of the milk with the seeds from the vanilla pod and half of the sugar in a saucepan. Mix rest of the milk and sugar, egg yolk and cornstarch in a bowl. Bring milk mixture to a boil, take off the heat and pour into the egg mixture while whisking. Pour back into the saucepan and bring to a boil while continuously mixing. Leave to simmer for about 30 seconds, then side aside to cool.
Form the bread: knock the dough back. Roll out to a 30x40cm rectangle on baking parchment or a silpat mat. Spread the vanilla cream over the middle of the rectangle lengthwise. The width should be a little less than 1/3 of the total width. Scatter some raisins over the vanilla cream, make sure you leave a few for the topping.
On either side, cut 2 cm strips diagonally.
Plait the strips over the middle. If you’ve had to cut away a bit of dough, use it to make roses and leaves and place them on the bread.
Leave the plait to proof for another 20 min. Preheat the oven to 190C.
Glaze the bread with the leftover egg. Decorate with almond shavings and raisins.
Bake bread for about 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack underneath a tea towel.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.