Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ruth Brinker's Pecan Pie

For the Pie Crust
4 Cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Teaspoons salt
1 3/4 Cups vegetable shortening
1/2 Cups water
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Egg

Mix flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in shortening, combine and beat water, vinegar and egg. Stir into flour mixture. Wrap in plastic; chill. May be frozen or kept two weeks in refrigerator.

Bee Kohles's Pecan Pie

1 Cup white corn syrup
1 Cup brown sugar
1/3 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon vanilla
3 Eggs
1 Heaping cup pecans
1 - 9" Pie shell
Combine sugar, syrup, salt, butter, vanilla and mix well. Add slightly beaten eggs. Pour in 9" shell. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake at 350° for approximately 45 minutes. Serves 6.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ratatouille Clafoutis

For the Ratatouille

8 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Large red onion, finely chopped
4 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Sprigs fresh thyme
4 Italian eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 Medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 Bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange), cored and cut into strips
7 Medium (about 2 pounds) tomatoes, cored and diced
1 Bay leaf
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large flameproof casserole over medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and thyme and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes (it will not be cooked through). Transfer to a bowl. In the same pan, heat 3 more tablespoons olive oil. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of eggplant. Heat 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Return the eggplant and zucchini mixture to the pan. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and add the oregano. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours or until all the vegetables are very tender. Add the sherry vinegar 10 minutes before the end of cooking. Discard the sprigs of thyme. Stir in the parsley. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. (Set aside 4 cups ratatouille for the clafoutis.)

For the Clafoutis

6 Eggs
1 Cup flour or 2/3 cup cornstarch
2/3 Cup creme fraiche
1/2 Cup whole milk
2/3 Cup grated Comte or Gruyere cheese
4 Cups cooked ratatouille
1/3 Cup crumbled goat cheese
Set the oven at 400 degrees. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and flour or cornstarch. Stir in the creme fraiche, milk, Comte or Gruyere, salt, pepper, and ratatouille. Transfer to the baking dish. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Bake the clafoutis for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and the egg mixture is set. Serve warm with salad.
Beatrice Peltre for the Boston Globe

Monday, May 10, 2010

Vanilla Fig-Infused Bourbon

1 pound fresh, ripe figs
1 750mL bottle of Maker’s Mark
1 vanilla bean, split, but not seeded

Wash figs under warm running water and pat dry. Remove stems and blemishes and then quarter the fruit. Place the vanilla bean and quartered figs into a large, sterilized jar. You can sterilize your jar by filling it with boiling water and then drying it with a towel. Fill jar with bourbon (save the bourbon bottle for later) and place the lid on it. Allow bourbon and figs to sit in a cool, dark, dry place for two weeks. Check the mixture: If the bourbon smells like figs, its ready to go, if not, allow to sit another week and check again.

Strain the bourbon through a small sieve into the clean, original bourbon bottle (you will need a funnel for this). The bourbon is ready to drink and will keep for up to a year at room temperature. Save the strained, bourbon-soaked figs and place into an airtight container. Refrigerate and reserve for the recipe below.

Fig Infused Bourbon and Ginger Beer
Fill a high ball glass with crushed ice.
Add 1/3 fig bourbon and 2/3 Ginger Beer
Garnish with a macerated fig and mint leaves.

Genevelyn at, Sept. 8, 2009