Square Root of…

Can you believe I’ve had this blog for a year and a half, called it Square Root of PIE, and never even posted a pie recipe?

I’ve made pies before, but somehow never blogged them. Because I’m silly. So when I got invited to a pre-Thanksgiving potluck, I knew exactly what needed to happen. I needed to bake a pie. Not just any pie, but the pie of all pies. A pie with flaky crust, fresh filling, and a delicious topping. Everything a pie should be!

I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for this pie. And by that I mean I didn’t get to go to the grocery store. So I poked around the kitchen until the creative juices started flowing. And by that I mean I found some berries in the freezer.

I’m not real big on pies with top crusts, so I poked around a little bit more until it dawned on me: oatmeal. And thus the pie was born. Baked. Whatever.

Apple Berry Crumb Pie
Crust recipe found here.

Ingredients
for the crust
1 1/4 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, chilled and diced
1/4-1/3 C ice water
for the filling
4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 C frozen mixed berries
1/2 C brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp orange juice
for the topping
3/4 C oats
3/4 C flour
1 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted
dash salt

Instructions
1.
Start the crust by combining flour and salt in a large bowl. Slowly mash in butter with a fork until crumbs form.
2. Add water about a tablespoon at a time, mixing until you can form the dough into a ball with your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
3. Remove dough from fridge and let thaw while you make the rest of the pie. Preheat oven to 425 F.
4. In a large bowl, stir together all filling ingredients. Set aside to marinate while you begin the topping.
5. In a medium bowl sift together dry ingredients for the topping until combined. Pour in melted butter and stir until crumbly.
6. Roll out pie crust. (I prefer to do it in between two sheets of plastic wrap – no need for extra flour and no mess to clean up!) Press evenly into pie plate.
7. Spoon filling evenly into the crust. Top with the oat mixture.
8. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 min. Then remove foil, reduce heat to 375 F, and bake another 35 min.
9. Let cool at least 15-20 min before serving.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

New Kitchen, Same Breakfast

Living in this new house is pretty fun, although it means I’m know a half hour walk from my Weekend Breakfast partner instead of just up one flight of stairs. It might not be a consistent weekly thing, but we managed to make it happen last weekend! All with easy ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, since we just moved in and haven’t had time to shop for any weird ingredients yet.

Stuffed French Toast with Berry Sauce
Serves 4-6.

Ingredients
for the toast
8-12 slices whole wheat bread
2/3 C skim milk
4 eggs
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
1 package light cream cheese
for the sauce
12 oz frozen mixed berries
sugar (optional, to taste)

Instructions
1.
In a bowl (or even better, an 8×8 pan) mix together eggs, milk, and spices.
2. Soak both sides of a slice of bread in the eggs, and fry over medium heat. Repeat with all remaining slices.
3. While you’re frying toast, start the sauce by putting the frozen fruit with a tablespoon or two of water in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir occasionally, adding sugar to taste.
4. Make “sandwiches” with the toast by spreading cream cheese on slices and pairing together.
5. Serve toast while still hot with berries on top.

My Super Fancy Dinner Party

Sorry for the super late post! I’ve been busy doing so many fun and exciting things, like going to a taping of The Daily Show, seeing Batman, and going to the beach!

Anyway last weekend I had a Super Fancy Dinner Party. With paper plates because I had five people over and only four plates. I went to this super fancy grocery store, Eataly, right around the corner from my apartment, and got all sorts of great, overpriced ingredients.

Fresh pasta…

Ripe eggplants…

And I made…

Eggplant Parmesan
Serves 6. Original recipe here.

Ingredients
2 medium eggplants, sliced about a half inch thick
2 eggs, beaten
breadcrumbs seasoned with basil and oregano
2 bottles tomato sauce
~1/2 C grated parmigiano reggiano
~8 oz shredded mozzarella

Instructions
1.
Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Dip each side of the eggplant slices in the eggs, then coat thoroughly in breadcrumbs. Bake for 5 minutes on each side. (You may have to do this in several batches – don’t stack slices on top of each other!)
3. Spread tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Place down a layer of eggplant slices, and sprinkle with both cheeses. Add another layer of sauce, eggplant, and cheese, continuing until you’ve used all the eggplant. Top the final layer with sauce and cheese.
4. Bake for 35 minutes. Serve on top of pasta.

Now, if you know me at all, you know I couldn’t stop there. Obviously I made dessert.

How delicious do those look? I recently got a super cool mini cheesecake pan from Norpro, which I’ve been dying to use. It’s funny – I think a lot of people think cheesecake is really difficult to make, but these were so easy. The only thing is you really can’t do it without a mixer – you’ll never smooth out all the chunks.

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
Makes 12. Adapted from here.

Ingredients
for the crust
7 honey graham crackers
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp sugar
for the filling
16 oz low fat cream cheese
2 eggs
1/2 C sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Instructions
1. 
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease cheesecake pan.
2. Crush graham crackers, either by hand or in a food processor. Mix with butter and sugar.
3. Divide crust between wells of pan (about 1.5 Tbsp each). Press down evenly in each well – I used a shot glass to help since it’s a little hard with your fingers.
4. Bake crusts for 10 min. While they cool, begin the filling.
5. Thoroughly mix cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice, using either an electric mixer or a food processor.
6. Fill each well about to the top and bake for 15 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let cool. Then remove cakes from pan and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
8. Garnish with berries and dark chocolate to serve.