September 12, 2015

Shaker Lemon Pie

Summer may finally be releasing its hold. After near-100 degree temps the past couple weeks, this weekend is cool, breezy, blue-skied, and lovely. The temperature always affects my mood, and I've been sweaty and crabby since school started three weeks ago. Right now, however, I am perfectly content as I sit outside drinking coffee and soaking up 60 degree sunshine.

I love the fall so hard...and all I can think about is wanting to pick apples and make pies, spending the afternoon at a winery near the river, and having picnics of crusty breads and cured sausages and pungent cheeses. I want to make hearty pastas and soups and stews. I want to curl up in a blanket next to a campfire with a glass of red wine or a dark beer. You know...all the stereotypical autumny stuff. BRING ON THE PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING!

But, if you're more of a summer person and are lamenting the dying light and warmth, you should make this's the ultimate bright, sunshiny dessert.

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I was so excited to try this recipe a few months ago, a treat I was taking to our annual Shakespeare in the Park outing. I love tart lemon desserts, and this one sounded so slice whole lemons, let them candy in sugar overnight, mix with eggs & flour, then bake in a pie crust. 

While it was simple to make, I thought it was too tart and chewy for my taste. The lemons didn't soften as much as I'd hoped, and the texture was just....weird. 

Such is the nature of Shaker Lemon Pie, however, with a filling that is a cross between lemon curd and marmalade. 

Epicurious suggests coarsely chopping the sliced lemons so that the smaller pieces will soften more.

I'll try this recipe again, but next time I'll peel the lemons first to remove the bitter rind and pith. I'm thinking this would work beautifully with winter citrus as well. In fact, I may have to try it with blood oranges in the upcoming months!

Shaker Lemon Pie
recipe from Beth Howard

September 8, 2015

A Chia Pudding Experiment

Sometimes a new recipe that I try is not awesome. This is one of those times.

In looking for some make-ahead breakfast recipes that I could take to school each morning, I decided to try some chia pudding. Pinterest seems to like chia puddings, and they sounded pretty tasty. Chia seeds (which come from a flowering plant in the mint family) are also said to be a mega healthy superfood... rich in omega-3 fatty acids, high in fiber & protein, with lots of calcium & magnesium, low in calories, and loaded with antioxidants.

So, I gave it a shot.

I made two kinds: a simple vanilla pudding with almond-coconut milk (that I ate with granola & dried fruit) and a richer, less sweet chocolate-espresso version (that I topped with whipped cream & raspberries). While the flavors were good, I didn't really like either one. It was the texture that didn't wow me...almost kind of slimy...think tapioca pudding. Yeah, that.

BUT, if you LIKE tapioca pudding then you will probably like chia pudding. If that's the case, it's so easy to make, it's worth, click through for the recipes I used.

Me? I'll stick with adding chia seeds to my morning smoothies.

Almond-Coconut Chia Pudding