MY COOKBOOK

MY COOKBOOK
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18.10.13

CUSTARD APPLE PIE


Let me see. I have been busy and not always with fun. I managed three posts since August, oh how I wish it was still summer! In the meantime I got so behind responding to comments and checking out friendly blog sites I pondered hanging up the apron… permanently. Then a couple of weeks ago I got half way through Maria’s new entries and that’s when my computer fan stopped – downtime again; for the third time in three months. However the 46 unfinished posts and the numerous batches of photos I no longer recall what they were of beckon me to continue. At the same time I am acutely aware of the fact that keeping up a blog is… work.

Thanksgiving Sunday came and went. Jim and I were fortunate to be guests at a large family gathering that was held in the new digs our youngest and her husband bought at the end of the summer. The place was gorgeous and the turkey dinner amazing. There was ham and 2 kinds of pies. I contributed the dressing, the cheesecake with chocolate ganache and raspberry coulis and a chocolate cake, rice and breaded pork chops for the kiddies. Olivia’s little cousin was not allowed to eat “differently”, but in the end managed to swipe a porkchop anyway.
 
 
Monday was Thanksgiving. We treated our pie loving friend to a roast chicken dinner and custard apple pie. I also filled his head with my current obsession; space, time and the Multiverse.* He was OK he had most of the pie. I managed to save a tiny slice for the photo. It was insanely delicious. Adapted from The Joy of Baking, but I can’t help thinking I should make it with a streusel topping next time. The apples are ready… I may make a pie next week or in one of the parallel universes…

Pie Pastry recipe is here

Apricot Glaze:
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1/2 tablespoon Cognac or Water

Custard:
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup 14% half and half cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Brandy

Apples:
4 Granny Smith Apples
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

• Prepare the pie pastry fresh.
• Preheat the oven to 400F.
• Line an 8 - 9 inch pie plate with pastry and make a fluted edge.
• Line the unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
• Fill it with pie weights or dry beans, making sure the weights are evenly distributed over the entire surface.
• Bake the crust for 15 minutes.
• Remove the weights and bake the pie shell for 10 minutes longer.
• Cool the crust on a wire rack.
• Meanwhile make the apricot glaze. In a small saucepan heat the apricot preserves until boiling. Remove from heat and strain to get rid of lumps. Add Cognac or water.
• When the pie crust is cool, spread a thin layer of the warm apricot glaze over the bottom and sides of the tart to seal the crust and to prevent it from getting soggy.
• Let the glaze dry for 20 - 30 minutes. Next make the custard. In a large bowl whisk the flour and sugar together.
• Mix in the eggs and stir with a wooden spoon to make a smooth paste. Do not let this mixture sit too long as it will form a crust. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the half-and-half until it just starts to boil and the cream foams up.
• Remove from heat and gradually in a thin stream whisk it into the egg mixture, stirring constantly.
• Whisk in the vanilla extract and the brandy, if using.
• Set this mixture aside while you prepare the apples. Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/4 inch thick slices.
• Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar.
• Add the apples and sauté until they begin to soften, in 5 - 10 minutes.
• Set the cooked apples aside.
Assemble the pie.
• Preheat the oven to 350F.
• Arrange the apple wedges in concentric circles on top of the cooled and glazed pie shell. Carefully pour the custard over the apples to just below the top of the pie plate [do not fill all the way or the custard will drip between the crust and the pan].
• Sprinkle lightly with the Cinnamon Sugar. Bake the pie for about 25-30 minutes or until the custard has set. Let the pie cool on wire rack.
• Serve the pie with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

This was a good Thanksgiving. How was yours? 
 
* This is quantum mechanics and the presenters are theoretical physicists. I am not endorsing some esoteric nonsense. Just making sure...

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!

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