Monthly Archives: September 2011

Magic Beans.

As promised, here is the most amazing thing you could possibly do with your homemade Dulce de Leche. Ok, maybe not the most amazing thing, but certainly the most amazing thing that I’m currently aware of. If you have any other ideas I’d love to hear them!

I recently bought a bulk pack of fifty bourbon vanilla beans. I haven’t used extract in months and I’ll never look back. Vanilla beans are far sweeter with a brighter, potent flavour without the alcohol aftertaste and they have those adorable little specs to decorate your food. Like built in sprinkles! These truly are the magic beans Jack was talking about.

We bought an entire case of peaches so the pie was absolutely essential. I can’t have all that peachy goodness going to waste now can I? It was fate. A match made in heaven. Sweet peaches with velvety Dulce de Leche, flaky vanilla bean crust and top it all off with fresh vanilla bean whipped cream. It’s a triple vanilla experience! My mind is blown!

Triple Vanilla Dulce de Leche Peach Pie

Source: Adapted from my family recipe.

2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp vinegar
1 vanilla bean

5 cup peaches, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp quick cooking tapioca
1 cup dulce de leche

1 egg
1 tsp water

250 ml heavy cream
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean

Note: This Short Crust Pastry recipe is flaky and light if made properly. Do not use a food processor as this will over-mix the dough and cause the finished dough to be tough or rubbery. The chunks of butter create air pockets in the pastry as it bakes so over-mixing and over-handling destroys them.

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Butter and flour a 9 inch glass pie pan then set it aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two knives until it resembles course crumbs. Using a sharp knife split the vanilla bean lengthwise and whisk it into the milk and vinegar then drizzle it over the flour mixture. Using a spatula lightly stir and fold the liquid into the dry ingredients until it becomes a workable dough.

Using your hands quickly form the dough into two equal balls. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least an hour. Roll out half the dough using a floured rolling pin into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Roll the circle back onto the rolling pin and use it to transfer the pastry into the prepared pie pan. Smooth it into the corners with your fingers then cut off the excess with a sharp knife.

In a large bowl toss your sliced peaches with lemon juice. Mix in the tapioca then let it sit for 15 minutes. Butter the bottom and sides of the bottom pie shell. Fill it with the peaches, layering dulce de leche throughout and smooth out the top.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees an position a rack in the lower third of the oven.

In a small bowl beat together the egg and water. Roll out the other ball of pastry dough the same way you did before except this time slice it into 12 – 15 strips using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter. With a pastry brush lightly coat the edge of the bottom pie shell with the egg wash. Weave the lattice pattern alternating the strips of dough over and under until the top is covered. Leave about an inch of space between each strip of dough so you have enough to braid later. Seal the edges of the lattice pattern with the egg wash then press the edge in place with your fingers.

To make the braided edge carefully braid the remaining strips of dough together and press them lightly into the sealed pie edge. Brush more egg wash over the entire top of the pie.

Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and bake it for about 50 minutes until the top is golden brown. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and let it sit for at least 1 or 2 hours to reach room temperature.

To make a vanilla bean whipped cream, in a large bowl combine the heavy cream and granulated sugar. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds then add them to the cream. Whip it all up until stiff peaks form. Serve each slice of pie with a generous dollop. Enjoy!

Sweet Of The Milk.

I’m going to have to make this quick because I literally have a bajillion things too too today. Have you ever had one of those weeks where you’re so busy you can’t even find the time to go to the bathroom? Yeah that’s me right now and the week just started!

I have so much to do before our trip to Ontario it’s not even funny. Not to mention a certain birthday party for a certain 12 year old.

Maybe you’ve tried Dulce de Leche. Maybe you haven’t. Maybe you eat it by the spoonful like me. Did you know it was so easy to make? All you need is some milk, sugar, vanilla and a little free time. If I found the time to make it so can you!

PS: Watch out for a delicious way to use this Dulce de Leche in the next couple of days…

Dulce de Leche

Makes about 2 cups.

Source: Adapted from Chez Pim’s Confiture de Lait.

1 litre whole milk
2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean

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In a medium heavy bottom sauce pan combine the milk, sugar and salt. With a sharp knife slice open the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and all them to the pot. Heat the mixture on medium high heat while stirring constantly.

Once it begins to boil reduce the heat to low so it stays at a low simmer and cook it for another 2 – 3 hours. Leave it uncovered and give it a stir every 10 – 15 minutes just to check on it. At around the 2 hour mark you’ll notice that the consistency has thickened and the colour has darkened. Most of the milk will boil away which accounts for the thickening. The amber brown colour is due to the sugar slowly caramelizing.

The consistency you’re looking for is a loose caramel or a thin sauce. It thickens quite a bit while it cools. Once it’s ready, pour it into jars and allow it to cool completely with the lids off before keeping it in the refrigerator. It should keep for up to two weeks. Enjoy!

Peachy Keen.

   I have to apologize for a serious lack of yummy posts in the past few weeks. I have been busying myself with preparations to visit Ontario in less than two weeks. It’s been almost two years since I’ve visited my family and friends and I can’t be more excited!

What makes this trip extra special is that I’ll be maid of honour and dessert caterer for my friend, Lisa’s wedding. Lots and lots of cupcakes. Three different flavours. Three different cakes. Three different fillings. Three different frostings. And adorable toppers and baking cups to tie them all together. I’m having dreams about cupcakes to say the very least. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you all up to date as the deliciousness unfolds!

For now, let’s switch gears. I thought it was fate when I saw these Ontario peaches at the store begging me to buy them. It seemed only right that I get a little Ontario preview and share it with all of you. There’s nothing better than a fresh Ontario peach, fuzzy and bursting with bright flavour.

I’ve been on such a peach kick lately. Peaches in my yogurt, peaches in my hand, peaches and whipped cream, peach smoothies, peaches in my mouth. Then suddenly I remembered, oh yeah I have a food blog don’t I? So why not share some of the peachy goodness with all of you?

Here is the first of a few peach installments to come. Honey Peach Smoothies!

Honey Peach Smoothie

Makes 1 large or 2 small smoothies.

2 peaches, peeled and sliced
5 ice cubes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
2 tbsp honey

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Mix all the ingredients in a blender until the peaches are blended and the ice cubes are reduced to granular pieces. Easy peasy! Pour the smoothie into serving glasses and garnish with a slice of peach. Enjoy!

Fashionably Late Friday: Watermelon.

2 Sep/11

Playful of Smiles Dress , Damsel Cat Eye Sunglasses , Black Irregular Plastic Bangle , Retro Rose Earrings , Essie Tart Deco Nail Polish , Shiekh Peep Toe Bow Sandals , Veridian Sea Bag , Kate Spade New York Cascade Bib Necklace .

I love making food-related style boards! This watermelon turned pastel outfit just makes me smile. The veridian green bag and shoes are adorable paired with the sweet pink ruffle lace dress and sprinkled with some cute accessories. When I added that necklace with the watermelon seed shaped beads it all came together.

I can see wearing this on a sunny day in the park lounging on a picnic blanket while enjoying some actual watermelon. Perfect!