booze

Ugly Blueberry Pie & Limoncello Whipped Cream

The holidays are hectic. When I made this pie on the fly the other day I didn’t intend for it to be so ugly. However, I assure you it was delicious. As for the limoncello whipped cream, it was quick and easy & not to toot my own horn, (TOOT!) but I was quite pleased with how it came out. 

So here’s what I think made my pie ugly (but still delicious). I got a regular pie crust, not a deep dish. When the ingredients overflowed my regular pie crust, the remainder didn’t even half-fill a second crust. So I ended up making another half-round of blueberry filling.  When they went into the oven, fruit & crumb topping were mounded atop each pie. The filling did cook down as I predicted it would, but the juices runneth over. This is why we put pies on foil-lined pans people! For the record, Ugly Pie disappeared just as quickly as Pretty Pie. 

I make ugly pies. I’m not perfect. Who knew?

For your convenience, in the interest in fighting Ugly Pie Syndrome, I have edited the recipe to make one, attractive, deep-dish pie. 

Ugly Blueberry Pie

makes 1 deep-dish pie

Ingredients:

For the pie:

  • 3-4C blueberries (this time of year frozen seems to be cheaper in my area)
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher salt
  • deep dish pie crust (Go ahead, use store-bought, I won’t tell!)

For the crumb topping:

  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 6 tbsp cold, unsalted butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine blueberries, flour, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Make sure berries are coated well with mixture. 
  3. Pour mixture into a deep-dish pie crust, to avoid Ugly Pie Syndrome, do not mound your filling into the crust. 
  4. In another small bowl combine topping ingredients. Toss with your hands until pea-sized crumbs are formed. 
  5. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over the top of your pie. 
  6. Bake on a foil-lined baking sheet for about 1 1/2 hrs. You will probably have to tent with foil after about half an hour to prevent over-browning. 
  7. Allow pie to cool for several hours before serving. 

The perfect topping for this sweet blueberry pie is a tart limoncello whipped cream. 

Disclaimer: this topping has actual booze in it. It’s not cooked off. So you will want to make/get some regular whipped cream for any kidlets in the house. 

Limoncello Whipped Cream 

Ingredients:

  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar (confectioners)
  • 3-4 tsp limoncello

Instructions:

  1. Using a stand mixer or hand blender with whisk attachment, whip cream on high speed until stiff peaks are formed. 
  2. Lower speed to medium and add in sugar, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. 
  3. When sugar is incorporated, add in your limoncello, one tsp at a time to desired flavor.
  4. Serve immediately, or save in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready for use. 

More for pie-enthusiasts on my Pinterest Board, 3.14

Holiday Gifts for Foodie Friends #4 This is My Jam! Jam

Folks would have you believe that making jam is super-hard. It’s not, but you do need the right materials & equipment & good instructions. I whipped up this jam that’s perfect for gifting while my kids were at martial arts class one evening. I even had most of the items on hand. Here’s how:

This is My Jam! Jam

makes 5 12oz jars

Ingredients:

  • about 1 1/2 C mixed berries (I used a mix of frozen blackberries, blueberries, and cranberries I had in my fridge from my smoothie-enthusiast days.)
  • 1 bottle of wine (I used a Missouri Chardonel)
  • 5 C granulated sugar
  • 2 packets pectin (I have had best results with Certo brand)

Instructions:

  1. Wash your jars with soapy water & set them out on the counter on a clean towel with lids and rings. For gifts, I like 12 oz or smaller quilted jelly jars.
  2. In a pot larger than you think you will need (gotta leave room for that rolling boil) combine berries with 1 C of the wine.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower to medium-high and simmer for about 15 mins.
  4. After 15 mins, pour entire mixture into blender and puree until the berries are pulverized. Add a little extra wine to facilitate blending if needed.
  5. Pour puréed berries & wine back into same saucepan. Add the rest of the wine, and all of the sugar. Stir to combine.
  6. At this point, I recommend clipping a candy thermometer into the side of your pan, to monitor the temperature of your mixture.
  7. Bring mixture to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute.
  8. Add all the pectin & stir to combine. Continue that rolling boil for 1 minute, or until your mixture reaches about 220F. (Sometimes it will take longer than 1 minute to get there.)
  9. At this point you will start pouring your jam into the jars. I like to pour the mixture into my large, glass measuring cup and pour from there into the jars, but you could use a ladle as well.
  10. Fill your jars to the fill-line and immediately cover tightly. If your jam still looks loose at this point, do not despair, as the jam cools it will firm up for you.
  11. Putting the hot jam into the jars will often pop the seals, but you can also process the jam using a canner for about 5 minutes, if desired.
  12. Allow jars, processed or not, to cool for 6-8 hrs, or overnight.

ICYMI:

Holiday Gifts for Foodie Friends #1: Wine Salt

Holiday Gifts for Foodie Friends #2: Porcini Salt

Holiday Gifts for Foodie Friends #3: Seaweed Salt

 

Holiday Gifts for Foodie Friends: #1 Wine Salt

What can you do with leftover wine? Leftover wine? What’s that? I kid, I kid… if you’ve got some leftover red wine hanging around there’s a few things you can do with it, but since it’s the most wonderful time of the year, I would suggest making a red wine finishing salt.

Disclaimer: Please, never, ever cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink. When you cook with wine, the flavors get concentrated, that’s the reason you’re cooking with wine in the first place, so bad flavors will definitely not get any better…

This is a finishing salt, it has big flavor, and a little bit goes a long way. Your friends can think of you all year long as they sprinkle salt on their steaks and roasts…

DIY Red Wine Finishing Salt

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle (750ml) red wine (I used a Shiraz for a deeper flavor)
  • about 2 C Kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. Pour entire bottle of wine into a medium saucepan. I used 2/3 of one bottle, and 1/3 of another. Both were leftover from my wine club.
  2. Bring wine to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium-high & simmer for about 45 mins. After the first half-hour the wine will reduce by half, watch carefully for the last 10-15 mins as the wine thickens to a syrup.
  3. Pour 1C of salt into the pot. Stir salt until it absorbs the wine-syrup. If there’s still excess wine in the pot, add another 1 C of salt.
  4. Spread the wine salt onto a plate or sheet pan & allow to air dry, tossing occasionally to expedite drying. This may take several hours to a day. I ended up putting it in a warm oven for several hours to speed things along. 
  5. Store in a covered jar, use within 1 year.

For more ideas on adding wine to your recipes, check out my Pinterest board Cooking with Wine.

Homemade Booze: Spiced Rum: UPDATE

Ahoy maties! It’s been a few days since the first installment of this post and at this moment I’m tasting a little spiced rum in my office, at noon, on a Tuesday so that I can give you a proper update. Taking one for the team I am!

Day 3/5:

Day 3

Day 3/5: All the spices have made their way to the bottom of the jar, and the rum is darker, but starting to look a little cloudy. Maybe I should’ve removed the ginger?

Day 4/5:

Day 4/5: Last day for the spices to steep with the rum before filtration...

Day 4/5: Last day for the spices to steep with the rum before filtration…

Filtration:

When it came time for filtration, I used the same system I used when I filtered my Limoncello & Clemencello back in January.

Here's a shot of my very complicated filtration system set up on my dining room table. Just a couple of mason jars and some cone-style coffee filters. I did end up changing out the coffee filter on each jar twice, because I was getting impatient at how slowly the filtration was going down.

Here’s a shot of my very complicated filtration system set up on my dining room table. Just a couple of mason jars and some cone-style coffee filters. I did end up changing out the coffee filter on each jar twice, because I was getting impatient at how slowly the filtration was going down.

Here’s a video of me filtering the rum. Rest assured, my scratchy voice has been been remedied by a few sips of the rum. 🙂 Follow my YouTube page & look for more videos from me in the future.

Tasting notes:

The rum has a nice depth of flavor. The star anise is the first note that I catch both on the nose & the palette, with the cinnamon and other spices behind it in the background and the vanilla giving it a soft warmth. I like that licorice taste (ouzo is one of my favorite spirits), but if you’re not into it, I would omit the star anise, or maybe use half a pod, or remove the pod a day or two into the steeping process.

In case you missed part one, including the recipe for Spiced Rum you can find it here.

To check out my other adventures in home booze-making check out my Limoncello/Clemencello series here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Homemade Booze: Limoncello/Clemencello Update: Week 3

One more week to wait! The vodka is getting darker and the zest is nearly colorless at this point. I am excited to see what kind of big flavors I find when this thing is done. Thinking I may possibly use my nut milk bag when straining time comes. See? It’s uses are endless and I have not even used it to make nut milks (yet)! It’s almost time to find some bottles…

Homemade Booze: Limoncello/Clemencello Update: Week Two

It’s the end of Week Two and I’m starting to get impatient. The zests are starting to look faded and whitish, and the vodka darker orange & yellow (especially the Clemencello). Now that I’ve begun this endeavor, I’m starting to think about related projects I can tackle (Blood Orangecello? Spiced Rum?). There’s also an unrelated, but equally cool project that I will be getting started on this week. 2 more weeks until the last step & taste-testing of my homemade booze!


My Instagram is open! Check out my various culinary adventures here

Homemade Booze: Limoncello & Clemencello

This week I decided to try my hand at making my own limoncello. Which is simple so far, but once I started I was inspired to try making a clemencello, that is a limoncello made from clementines instead of lemons. Basically, limoncello is an adult lemonade. The lemony flavor and bright yellow color come from the citrus oils in the zest of the lemons. You can drink it straight or mix it with something like iced tea for a twist on an Arnold Palmer. By the way, in the above pic, that’s Clemencello-to-be on the left, Limoncello-to-be on the right.

DIY LIMONCELLO

I don’t know for sure yet, but I’m estimating this will make 6-8C of finished product.

Ingredients:

  • the zest of 10 lemons (ended up to be about 1C in total)
  • 750ml vodka (at least 40 proof) I used McCormick brand because #drinklocal
  • 1 1/2C water
  • 2 1/2C granulated sugar

Other stuff you’ll need:

  • a big jar with a lid (needs to hold at least 1qt)
  • a zester or plane
  • coffee filter
  • medium saucepan
  • bottles to put your finished product in

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  1. Zest the lemons. The pith, or white layer of the lemon is bitter so be careful to only grate off the yellow part of the peel.

    Here's a pic of the lemons being zested.

    Here’s a pic of the lemons being zested.

  2. In a large jar combine the zest and vodka.
  3. Cover and put in a cool dark place to infuse for 4 weeks. (I know, it’s a long time to wait.)
  4. Shake jar each day to evenly distribute the flavors.

DIY CLEMENCELLO:

Makes an estimated 6-8C of finished product.

Ingredients:

  • juice of 15 clementines (about 1/4C)
  • 750ml vodka (at least 40 proof)
  • 1 1/2C water
  • 2 1/2 C granulated sugar

Other stuff you’ll need:

  • a big jar with a lid (needs to hold at least 1qt)
  • a zester or plane
  • coffee filters
  • medium saucepan
  • bottles to put your finished product in

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  1. Zest the clementines. The skin of the clementines is thinner and more oily than the lemon zest so less is needed.

    Much less zest came off the clementines but it was much wetter, so I think it will pack a bigger flavor punch!

    Much less zest came off the clementines but it was much wetter, so I think it will pack a bigger flavor punch!

  2. In a large jar combine the zest and vodka.
  3. Cover tightly and put in a cool dark place to infuse for 4 weeks. (I know, it’s a long time to wait.)
  4. Shake jar each day to evenly distribute the flavors.

So now I play the waiting game while the limoncello/ clemencello gets all infused and happy. Stay tuned for chapter 2! Follow the story day-by-day on my Twitter and Instagram!