Archive for the 'dessert' Category

Saskatoon Pie

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Saskatoons are far from in season, I realize – but blueberries are close. And local saskatoons can be had by the bagful from the freezer at the farmers’ market.

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This is about the time of year I start wanting pie – more so than my usual every day pie craving, that is – and berry pie in particular; one that will preferably release purple juices into my vanilla ice cream.

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A saskatoon pie also makes for a nostalgic sweet for mothers in law in the hospital, where the desserts that arrive on the nightly dinner tray rhymes with hell-O and comes in a plastic cup.

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This isn’t the prettiest pie I’ve made – I had slightly less pastry than I needed, left over from another baking project – but someone once said that the best kind of pie is the kind that’s on the table. I don’t worry about the oohing and aahing, so long as it tastes delicious.

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And it should be noted that saskatoon pie – which is mostly berries, really, wrapped in crisp butter pastry bound in part with an egg – is the perfect springtime breakfast food. I heartily endorse it as an accompaniment to your coffee, or for elevenses.

Saskatoon Pie

If you’re using blueberries, up the flour to 1/4 cup.

pastry for a double crust pie
5-6 cups Saskatoon berries (fresh or frozen – don’t thaw them)
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
zest of a lemon
2-3 Tbsp. butter, cut into bits

beaten egg or cream, for brushing (optional)
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425°F

Divide the pastry more or less in half, with one piece slightly bigger than the other. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger piece to a circle about an inch bigger than your pie plate; drape it over the rolling pin and transfer to the pie plate, pressing it gently to fit, letting the sides hang over. Roll the other piece out to about the size of the top of the pie.

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Put the berries into a medium bowl and add the sugar mixture and lemon zest; gently stir to combine, then pour into the pastry shell. Top with bits of butter.

If you like, cut the second piece of pastry into strips and make a lattice top; otherwise, lay it over the pie, brushing the edge of the bottom crust with a little beaten egg first, if you like, and trim and crimp the edge. Cut a few slits in the top to let steam escape.

Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350°F and bake for another 50-60 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Let cool before slicing. Serves 8.

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April 27 2015 | dessert | 6 Comments »

Peanut Butter Rainbow Marshmallow Squares

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I have a confession to make: these.

Those peanut butter-butterscotch chip-rainbow mini marshmallow lovelies that remind me of parties at my great Aunt’s house, when she put out plates of dainties that included these and Nanaimo bars – the ones I’d swipe the quickest. I still do. I used Easter as an excuse to make them – everyone needs some pastel colours in their weekend, right? – because I still haven’t managed to reconcile the fact that I’m a grownup and I can make a batch of peanut butter marshmallow squares anytime I want and eat the whole thing myself in front of the TV.

It gets worse: I love them frozen. Like so many desserts of their ilk, I have in the past attempted to hide them from myself in the freezer, falsely thinking that their frozen state would deter me from eating them until they’re gone. (This doesn’t work with brownies, either.) Frozen, the marshmallows take on a chewy texture, the butter and peanut butter keeping their delicious carbonite enclosure from freezing solid, so that they’re extra firm, yet easy on the teeth. Part of me wants to make a batch with dark chocolate, but it seems like blasphemy.

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Some people put coconut in theirs, and you see the odd version with walnuts. I like straight-up marshmallows, but the addition of coconut is acceptable – especially when you have large curls of it in your baking cupboard. Make sure you wait for the peanut butter goo to cool down a little before you stir in the marshmallows – and whatever you do, don’t stand around taking pictures of them slightly submerged, or you’ll wind up with swirls of melted marshmallow, which isn’t entirely bad. (If you like, pop the marshmallows in the freezer for a bit to prevent them from melting.)

Peanut Butter Rainbow Marshmallow Squares

1/2 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 pkg (300 g) butterscotch chips
3-4 cups rainbow mini marshmallows (or white, if you must)
1/4-1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, peanut butter and butterscotch chips over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly so that you don’t melt the marshmallows. Stir in the marshmallows and coconut and spread into an 8×8-inch pan, lined with parchment if you life. Refrigerate until firm and cut into squares.

Makes 16-32, depending on how small you cut them.

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April 01 2015 | cookies & squares and dessert | 19 Comments »

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