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Heirloom Cottage Cheese Pie

“This is the worst pie I’ve ever tasted.”  -my Dad.

How’s that for an enticement?  Do keep in mind that my Dad said this after eating a bite of my mother’s pumpkin pie which is always sublime, and keep in mind that my Dad is a little bit set in his ways.  I’m thinking if he sees a white pie, he’s thinking cheesecake, and that’s not what he got here.

My husband, however, ate his whole piece and proclaimed it delicious.  He is the best Santa’s elf ever!  Always such a good sport, will try any crazy thing I cook up.

This pie is an heirloom Pennsylvania Dutch recipe, with German, Quaker and Mennonite roots.  It is a very simple recipe and, I think, makes for a very delicious pie.  It sort of reminds me of a ricotta cheesecake but with more texture and without the graham crust.  You have to be prepared to taste a little bit of savory/sour, along with the sweet, and I think it’s best eaten on its own and not after a bite of pumpkin pie.

I made this pie for Christmas Eve dinner, and also to bring to Fiesta Friday #100.  Stay tuned because I’ll be bringing more!  Happy Anniversary to everybody who’s been a part of Fiesta Friday and as always I send my gratitude and thanks to Angie for making this all possible.

christmas eve (3 of 5)

christmas eve (4 of 5)

christmas eve 2 (3 of 3)

christmas eve 2 (2 of 3)

christmas eve 4 (3 of 7)

christmas eve 4 (4 of 7)

christmas eve 4 (6 of 7)

christmas eve 4 (7 of 7)

Pie Filling: Adapted from Shockingly Delicious

  • 1.5 cartons cottage cheese (1 16-ounce regular size carton and half of another 16 oz carton)
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • ¾-1 cup sugar
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • Grated rind and juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Unbaked pie crust (see recipe below)
  • pinch nutmeg, either freshly grated or prepared ground

Read More

Deep in Pie-land

Warning:  I’m about to bombard you with pie photos.  I promise recipes will follow after this weekend. Read More

Berry Brioche + Monte Cristo

I didn’t plan on another recipe with purple, but that’s what happened.  My Huckleberry book arrived yesterday and even though I swore the first recipe I’d make was for the “super cheesy rye biscuits” that have long been unavailable at Milo & Olive, Zoe’s restaurant and cafe where they first appeared and where I fell in love with these savories that she admitted she fashioned after a cheez-it, flavor wise.  But the cover image of the blueberry-swirled brioche kept haunting me, after all I’d never made a brioche dough before, and a quick inventory of my kitchen ingredients proved that I actually had everything I needed to make this stunning bread. Read More

Mulberry Pancakes Mike-style

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Mike-style is kind of hard to describe with one word so I’ll give a little illustration. My chosen adjectives carry a somewhat negative connotation (heavy-handed, overdone, excessive) and I’m trying to change my perception. After all, we all have our unique style, right? Aren’t we all, after all, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights including the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness??  Aren’t the most unusual of our eccentrics often endearing???  Perhaps you can contribute your ideas for a proper descriptor for Mike-style.
Here’s the illustration:  Okay, so let’s say you prepare a homemade strawberry galette, with homemade dough and using the berries you grow in your back yard. It needs no embellishment because the individual elements are so pure and flavorful.
So you bring it to the table and he takes a bite and says, “Oh my gosh this is SOOOO good! WOW!”
Quietly he gets up from the table and says “I’ll be right back.”
And then he comes back with some sliced strawberries on top and some strawberry jam. It’s Smuckers from a couple years ago, but, well, there it is.
Then shyly he says, “You don’t mind if I run a quick errand, do you . . . I’ll be right back!!!”
And he returns with some strawberry ice cream. Now the galette’s got fresh strawberries on top, some jam, and ice cream. Now his galette is Mike-style.
Since it’s Mike’s Birthday I’m trying to cover all my bases with this pancake creation.  The mulberries are fresh and uber-seasonal.  They are a unique and delicious berry delicious as is.  However, if you add them into the batter, they warm up a bit and “bleed,” along with their flavor, ever so subtly into the pancake.  Then, if you throw a few in a pan with some water & cornstarch, you can create a “quick jam.”  You might even puree a few berries with some softened butter to melt over the pancakes.  See what I mean?
Since you may not wish to venture into Mike-style, I offer only the recipe for the pancakes.  I use a mix of homemade buttermilk (but of course store bought is very good), eggs, baking soda, rye flour, polenta, ricotta and lemon zest.
Here’s the Recipe:
Ingredients:
1 cup rye flour
1/2 cup cornmeal or polenta
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese, drained for at least 1/2 hr
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sale
3 Tbsp sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 teaspoon for griddle
1 cup fresh mulberries
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
Instructions:
Mix all ingredients together LIGHTLY, except 1/2 cup mulberries and the lemon zest.  I like to also add a couple of tablespoons of my sourdough starter to the batter, so if you keep a starter, add a little bit into the batter.  Let sit in a bowl overnight.
Bubbling Up Pancake Mix
Bubbling Up Pancake Mix
Adding the Little Mulberries
Adding the Little Mulberries
Heat griddle to 375 degrees.  Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Of course if you don’t have a griddle, just proceed as you normally do with a non-stick or cast iron or other pan when making pancakes.  Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter onto griddle (or pan). Wipe off excess.
Using a 4-ounce ladle, about 1/2 cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.
Cooking Up
Cooking Up
Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in a 175 degree oven. Serve warm with maple syrup, butter, and fresh mulberries.
Tall Stack, Mike-style
Tall Stack, Mike-style
Bacon Makes a Nice Addition to a Birthday Meal!
Bacon Makes a Nice Addition to a Birthday Meal!
The Pursuit of Happiness -- Complete!
The Pursuit of Happiness — Complete!