Blackberry Pie Bars

Blackberry Pie Bars

This is the beginning of a summer full of pie bars.

I love pie but I’ve never made pie bars before. So when my coworker, Susi, gave me some juicy blackberries from her garden, pie bars were on the top of my mind. To be honest, I wasn’t up to making pie crust on a weekday. Whether you call them pie bars or crumb bars, this dessert starts with a shortbread crust, followed by a layer of fruit filling which is then topped with a reserved amount of the crust to create a crumb topping. I can totally imagine that I will use this base recipe to create all sorts of summer pie bars. Blue ones with blueberries, red ones with strawberries or cherries and orange ones with peaches, nectarines or apricots. Summer fruit is one of my favorite things and I am incredibly glad it is back!

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Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

While I’ve been really into making cakes lately, I could not forget about making something suitable for Pi(e) Day (3/14) in a few days!

I was originally very unsure of what I could make. This time of year is a little bit awkward as there’s not much fruit in season besides citrus. I’ve already made two variations of citrus pies (see here and here) so making a third seemed a bit over-the-top. I did think about making a tart but that didn’t feel like a real pie so I decided to save that idea for later. It wasn’t until my aunt (Hi Auntie Kathy!) sent me an idea for a Stargazy Pie that I realized that I was completely neglecting the realm of savory pies. In fact, this is the first all-savory pie I’ve made on this site. These hand pies were half sweet/savory so I don’t think they really count. While the Stargazy Pie seemed a bit too ambitious at this moment, Chicken Pot Pies are something that I have perfected over many, many iterations, but I had previously never formally written down my recipe.

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Kitchen Mishaps of 2018

Kitchen Mishaps of 2018

This year’s blind baked pie crust mishap was the complete opposite of last year’s overbaked experience.

Similar to last year, I thought I had almost made it to the end of the year without any major kitchen moments until this pumpkin pie. I hadn’t made one in years and rolled the bottom crust wayyyy too thick so it ended up being a quarter inch of soggy pastry. Luckily, the filling was delicious and I had extra so I was able to make a perfectly baked pumpkin pie. Sometimes to prevent one extreme from happening, I go to the other extreme.

It was still edible and I ate it, of course, but it was a reminder that there is a threshold of how thick a pie crust can be before it won’t be baked through properly.

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Classic Peach Pie

Classic Peach Pie

The last few weeks of August are here but even with the beautiful weather in the 80s we're having this week, I know summer will most likely be around until October for the Sacramento Valley.

Even though I love peaches, I've surprisingly found both white and yellow nectarines to be the tastier stone fruit this summer. They have been the perfect balance of tart and sweet with a juicy, smooth texture rather than hard or mealy. This has made them exceptionally good for everyday snacking and sometimes even simply just as dessert (shocking, I know). The peaches on the other hand, I have reserved for baking purposes rather than eating them raw. Even when their texture is not fantastic for regular eating, they have been amazing in galettes, scones, a pandowdy and this pie. 

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The Pink Pie

The Pink Pie

For the past few months, I wondered how a Pomegranate Meringue Pie would look and taste.

Lemon Meringue Pie (or this Yuzu rendition that is on this blog), is my all-time favorite type of pie. After a short period over the holidays of not being happy with meringue pies because of my soggy crust insecurities, I was ready to bake a meringue pie again. I needed a bit of a break after the four I made during the holiday season, and Pi Day (that's March 14th aka 3.14 for all you math fanatics), seemed like the most obvious day to try my greatest food curiosity as of late. The day before, I decided this was the day to figure out all of the questions I ever had about Pomegranate Meringue Pies.

Some of these questions included the following. Would the filling turn brown or pink? Would pomegranate juice be tart enough to counterbalance the sweetness of the meringue as lemon juice does? Would it lack flavor without any citrus zest? How to differentiate this pie from its classic lemon counterpart? 

 

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Cranberry, Raspberry and Blueberry Wonder Woman Pie

Cranberry, Raspberry and Blueberry Wonder Woman Pie

I started a new section in the sidebar of this blog titled 'Fun Foods'.

Not that all food isn't fun—because it certainly is! As of late, I have found myself gravitating towards foods that are more "nerdy",  geometrically pleasing or delve into my graphic design background. Plus, these types of foods are a lot of fun to make and the feedback is incredibly more enthusiastic.

Pro-tip: If someone you know loves a certain character or game or movie etc., and you bake them something related to that favorite character, game, movie, they will be so overcome with joy you cannot help but smile as you make their unexpected dreams come true. 

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Kitchen Mishaps of 2017

Kitchen Mishaps of 2017

Hello, 2018!

It may be slightly counterproductive to start off the year with talking about all of my kitchen disasters from 2017, as traditionally a new year is about fresh starts but I'm both a bit behind on blog posts and it's fun to reflect on what happened over the past year so I can improve for this upcoming year! So bear with me, as this post and the next post are still all about 2017. 

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