Banana Foster On Toast

New cities are full of new adventure.  We just recently moved to a city in Peru called Puno.  It’s famous for it’s highest elevated navigable lake in the world with the modest name Lake Titicaca.  It’s pronounced as you would imagine.

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Unpacking all my things I decided to put together a goodie box.  That is, all the candies and yummy things people have sent me over the past month or two.  Over the past two weeks we haven’t had our kitchen stuff unpacked and I’ve been delving a little too far into the goodie box.

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So, the other day I decided I should probably eat something a little more healthier.  I consider, since I made it in my own kitchen, then it’s healthier.  Don’t ruin my fun.  Let me live in this lie.

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I mean, hello-o! How can this not be healthy?

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That’s our stove top!  Isn’t she high tech?!  Don’t be jealous.  Wipe that drool off your chin.

Banana Foster
(for one serving)
1 half banana
2 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 pinch salt
Bread for a toastin’!

Toast your bread and while it’s toasting get your banana ready.  Peel the half and cut into slices.  You can figure out whether you want thick or thin slices.  It’s a matter of taste.  I like to brown my bananas before I add the rest, so if you have a non-stick pan just throw your bananas in without any grease, or if you don’t have non-stick then use just a touch of butter or oil.

Let your banana’s brown and then add the butter.  Let the butter melt and then add the sugar sprinkled even over top the bananas.  Let the sugar melt and caramelize with the butter.  Then, add the milk and mix it in good, don’t just let it sit or it may just scold.  Nobody likes the taste of burnt milk.  Then add the pinch of salt.

It’s that easy!  Be careful though.  It stays hot for a while.  I have a nice burn on the roof of my mouth.

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Pie Tarts: What to Do With Extra Crust

I made these tarts about a week ago and haven’t had the time to put up the post until now.  I don’t actually know what to classify them as, because they technically are not tarts.  Buuuuut, since that’s what my mom always called them, that’s what they are.  So, there.

I hate wasting pie scraps… even when cookie recipes call for not rolling out the dough twice, I do not listen.  So, make these after your next pie!  OR, you can be as irrational as I and just cut the pie dough recipe you use regularly in half and make a whole big batch! They really are just that good.

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Buttermilk Pie Dough (already cut in half)

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup shortening/butter
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup buttermilk (cold cold cold cold)

Follow the directions for mixing the pie dough from this post.

Tart Filling

maybe 1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
(that’s it! SOOOO EASY!)
Note: this recipe is not exact.  It’s more like… “Well, that looks like enough sugar” or “Gee, I think I’ll have to give this to the dog.”  Especially if you are using your scraps, then you won’t have to use as much for the filling.

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Preheat your oven to 350F.  Divide your pie dough into three parts.  Roll out your pie dough.  It’s probably not as necessary to let your pie dough chill as long as the recipe says for this little project if you’re only making the tarts minus the pie.  Do your best to roll the dough out into a long rectangle.  You want to roll everything up when you’re done length-wise, so keep that in mind.

Once your dough is rolled out nice and thin then, spread on enough butter.  Enough to make you think future heart problems but NOT instant heart attack.  Okay?  Then sprinkle brown sugar over top, enough to hide all that frightening butter.  THEN, shake on some cinnamon, enough to almost cover all the sugar.  Cinnamon is dangerous.  You can go overboard.

Then, carefully, pull up one side of the pie dough with your fingers and start to roll everything up into a long tube.  Remember, to do this length-wise, so you don’t have super fat tarts, but rather a long roll.  Then, cut up the roll into about one inch rolls.

Put foil over a cookie-sheet and then arrange the tarts on it.  Put in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the dough feels firm to the touch OR until the sugar starts to turn a deeeeeep brown almost black.  I like to let my sugar and butter caramelize almost to the point of burning.  It makes for a AWESOME crunchy layer on the bottom!

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Make some coffee, sit down with a book and eat eat eat eat eat!  You won’t be able to stop.
-Trev

Apple Fig Caramel Death By Pie

My mother would kill me, kill me, kill me if I ever put up our family apple pie recipe on the internet.  Don’t worry Mom!  This is not our secret pie!  This is my new pie!

Let’s be totally honest here.  I mean, we’re cool, right?  Pies are not the hardest things in the world.  There might be a ton of folk that tell you otherwise, but once you get the crust down…

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So, when Chad brought back a bag of figs from the market for the family, I knew I had to try a pie with them… with apples.  And what, I thought, would be more heavenly that drizzling the thing in Caramel Comfort Sauce.  Apple pie, by far, is my favorite pie.  Knowing I couldn’t post my mother’s pie here, I had to try something new!  Figs and caramel are definitely not in my mom’s pie.  I’m off the hook!

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I found a perfect crust.  I’ll tell you about it in a sec, I swear.  This crust, is so delicious, and you would never believe it, but yes, it’s easy to handle.  Seriously, I’m not kidding you, either I’m some kind of pie crust god, or this is just the pie crust you’ve been dreaming of.  So, when you try this out… you’ll have to tell me if I’m a god or not.  Don’t worry, you won’t hurt my ego.

I had two helpers in the kitchen when I made this pie, who both had just gotten up from their naps.  I present Mr. Thomas and Miss Ella:

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They did so well, until they got bored and decided to watch Finding Nemo… which the shark parts were too scary for Thomas.

Buttermilk Pie Crust
via Joy the Baker

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter/shortening (cold cold cold cold)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (cold cold cold cold)

Mix together in a bowl the flour, sugar and salt.  Then, cut in your butter with the classy fork, pastry mixer, food processor etc., until you have what resembles course crumbs.

Handicap: I don’t have buttermilk.  I don’t even know what the name for it is in Spanish let alone if they even produce it in Peru… which if they did it would be expensive.  But fear not!  Buttermilk can be substituted as such.  For each cup of regular milk at 1 tbsp of white vinegar.  Works like a charm and that’s exactly what I did.

Mix in the buttermilk until you have until your dough forms into a ball.  The key, my mother always says, to making good crust is using cold cold cold cold cold cold cold ingredients.  Got it?

Let sit in the fridge for an hour… says Joy, but I did less time and it turned out fine.  I think I need to turn our fridge down.  It’s way too cold, but I love the ice crystals I get in my milk.

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Then roll out your dough so it will fit in your pie pan.  To get the dough from the counter into your pan it’s best to fold the dough over itself in half then, pick up the half and place it in your pie pan so that when you unfold it your dough is neatly in place, right where you want it.

If my directions don’t explain this clearly enough, click the link above that says Joy the Baker and her advice might help you better.

Filling

1 1/4 cup sugar (separated)
3-4 cups preferably McIntosh Apples… anything but red delicious I suppose (peeled and sliced)
about 1/4 cup Caramel Comfort Sauce
1/4 cup figs (the red flesh)
cinnamon for dusting on top

Remember when I said that once you get past the crust pies are really easy?  Well, as I promised it is!  Dump in 1 cup of sugar on the bottom then nicely lay out the apples inside so you can have the maximum amount fit inside the pie.  Then on top of the apples spread over the red flesh of the figs and sprinkle with the 1/4 cup sugar.  Then, over everything, drizzle the caramel sauce.  To top everything off dust with cinnamon.  Don’t go to heavy on it, or you will be sorry!  Use the same technique for the bottom crust as the top.  Fold in half and lift off!

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Put her in the oven at 350F.  I create a foil tray with the sides folded up to create a boil-over catching pan.  It makes for easy clean-up, because you know this pie is done when it boils over and you have a sugary-goo mess on your foil tray.  Also, check to see how tender your apples are with a fork.  If they’re nice and soft, that’s a good sign too.  Careful, sugar does tend to smoke quite a bit, if that burns don’t think your pie is burning too.  It should take from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to make this baby.  I swear, she’s a delicious one!

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