Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Hey Baby Girl What You Doin Tonight?" or "If You're A Strong Female You Don't Need Permission"

My boyfriend's out of town ( we covered this) and as soon as he left I knew I was going to live it up. I was going to sing girl music way too loud, have Pride and Prejudice playing on an endless loop, sleep diagonally across the bed, and use up all the hot water. I had plans.  But you know what, I didn't really do that. I mean it's summer, you know what happens when the hot water runs out in the shower? It stays hot. It just does. It hasn't been less than 90 degrees outside for weeks now. Hot cold water. This is reality.

But you know what I did do? I found something better. I discovered what I really love to do when there's no one around watch me, hear me sing or accuse me of being a diet saboteur;

I like to bake pies, and booty pop while listening to dance music. Mostly Pitbull and Lady Gaga.

Yeah that face you're making. Don't even. You need to try this. It's a combination as solid as salty and sweet. I'm telling you.
But its secret alone stuff. Secret. So don't tell my boyfriend, okay?

 You know what happens when you're frantically dancing like something is wrong with you no one is watching? You start to loosen up. Seriously it's true. Go to a Zumba class (no really! it's the best place, there are so many different kinds of people) and right in the middle turn and look at the people around you, you will see an element to their face that isn't there any other time. A sort of mad joy and receptivity to strange ideas.

So back to the pies.  Here I am wrist deep in flour getting low when it occurs to me for the first time in almost ten months of consistent cooking to deviate from the recipe I'm using and just sort of do whatever I want. 


I started out wanting to make a rosemary apple pie because as you know my herb garden talks to me but I couldn't find a recipe I really liked (or that anyone else did for that matter) so I just sort of went along doing what seemed good at the time and out popped this truly unique deliciously nom-worthy apple pie from my mind vice. Cool right? I feel like the training wheels came off my cooking apron or something. That is if I ever wore an apron. Do you wear an apron?

And it turned out pretty much perfect, all bottom crisp and easy to cut.  With the exception of my try at heart shaped vent holes looking like tiny elf punch marks and forgetting to seal up my crust edges super tight this was a flawlessly executed pie. And totally goes perfect with ice cream. Cause you know, that's important.

And you know what else is cool? 

I did it again.

Busy pie plate?  Leftover delicious dough hanging around? You could be fancy and use it to spell out "Grumpy" on your pie or you could make a galette! It's like a lazy man's pie that you can totally make when your pie plate is busy.

Me, I made a Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette, and guess what? I totally just made it up as I went along. I totally recommend this, don't take it seriously. Don't think of it as a pie, think of it as a pizza baked up on a warm bed of angel kisses. 

Look at me, breakin all the rules. Blame it on Pitbull, we have the same birthday.

Summer Squash Ricotta Galette

1 ball of unused extra pie dough, or some fresh if you're feeling froggy
1 small summer squash or zucchini (or half of both if you like the colors)
1/4 cup sliced red onion
4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup  freshly grated parmesean cheese, divided
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp fresh basil cut into a chiffonade, (or torn if you're feeling lazy)
1tbsp lemon juice
1 egg +1tbsp milk whisked together  for egg wash

1. preheat your oven to 400° F and take your dough out if the fridge so it can soften up a bit.
Slice the squash into thin rounds (how thin? In the pepperoni range) and set aside. In a small bowl mix together ricotta cheese, half the Parmesan cheese, red  pepper flakes, lemon juice and salt to taste until combined. Then gently fold the basil strips into the cheese mixture.

2. Roll out your pie dough into whatever shape you like (the definition of galette is a free form tart anyway) just make sure it's large enough to fit all your toppings. Then move dough to a parchment lined baking sheet.

3. Spoon cheese mixture onto the center of the rolled out pie dough leaving about 1 1/2 inch border at the edge. Top the cheese mixture with squash rounds in whatever pattern makes you happy and top with bacon. Fold that blank border over the edge of your toppings (to sort of hug them in and make a crust) pleating the edge where necessary to keep it all together. Give the crust a nice coat of egg wash and top it, and everything else, with remaining cheese.

Bake for 25-35 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.

Rosemary Apple Pie

2 1/2 cups flour
1tsp salt
1tbsp sugar
1/2 lb (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch peices
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp cider vingear

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 sprigs fresh rosemary + 1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
4 medium apples (whatever kind or combination you like) peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 tbsp butter (cut into small bits)
1/4 dark brown sugar
3tbsp flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 egg +1tbsp milk whisked together for an egg wash
Demerara Sugar

1.For the crust:
Combine flour, salt, sugar,  vinegar and butter in a food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Then slowly add the water to the mixture a little at a time until it starts to come together. You may not need all the water or you might need up to a cup just watch your dough and see how it does.
Remove the dough from the processor and separate into two equal peices. Form each peice into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

2. For the filling:
Make a rosemary syrup. In small sauce pan combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup water, and 2 sprigs rosemary. Bring to a simmer for five minutes (watch it closely so it doesn't burn. Take it off the heat and let it stand until lukewarm (about 15 mintutes), remove rosemary sprigs and toss them.

3. While the syrup is cooling  roll out the bottom crust to fit a 9 inch pie pan leaving about an inch of rolled out crust hanging over the edge. Then put that bad boy (pan and all) back in the fridge to chill.

4. In a large mixing bowl combine apples, nutmeg, butter, brown sugar and flour. Pour lemon juice, rosemary syrup and minced rosemary over apple mixture and toss gently to combine.*

5. Remove bottom pie crust from the fridge and spoon in apple mixture. Set aside (  I personally like to work with a slightly softer pie dough, but if you don't you can set it back in the fridge at this point.)

6. Roll out the remaining ball of pie dough so it's big enough to cover all those lovely fillings in the pie, and roll it over the top. Trim any extra dough hanging off the sides so both crusts make about a 1/2 inch lip.  Join the crust edges together and crimp them in your favorite way. Poke some large vent holes in the top (no exploding pies please) and paint that baby with an egg wash. Top with Demerara sugar and wrap the edges with tin foil to prevent burning.

7. Bake at 425°F for 15 to 20 minutes on a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack until crust just starts to brown. 

8. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Move the pie to the center rack and bake for 45-55 minutes more. Pie is finished when the apples are fork tender and juices are bubbling. Let cool 30 minutes before serving.

* Now I'm going to be honest with you, right about now everything will smell almost exactly like Pine-Sol. DON'T WORRY! It will taste absolutely NOTHING like that or even close to a funky weird cleaning flavor. No, no no. It will be delicious. I promise. If it smells strange here you've done nothing wrong!


  1. My first mistake was being hungry as I opened the link to this while at work.

  2. ooh rosemary apple pie sounds LOVELY!

  3. You are hilarious! I really enjoyed this post, and the pie looks SO DELICIOUS AND BAD FOR ME right now because I want to start a diet tomorrow. Ahhh.

    x Michelle |


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