Monday, July 14, 2014

Roasted Cherry Chocolate Pie

The other day, I was browsing around Confections of a Foodie Bride (she has some AMAZING margarita and burger recipes...yum!), and I came across this recipe for a roasted cherry brownie sundae.  I love cherries, and they go brilliantly with chocolate, so this recipe got filed away in my mental recipe box.  Fast forward a few days.  It was a friend's birthday, and she loves chocolate.  I wanted to make her something decadent and chocolatey, but I also wanted it to be easy and quick to make, because we were celebrating her birthday on a Wednesday, so it would have to be made after work on Tuesday.  I decided on a chocolate pie, because pies are easy and delicious.  But chocolate pie seemed too plain.  And then I remembered the roasted cherry brownie sundaes.  And decided to stir the roasted cherries into my chocolate pie filling.  This, my friends, was a very good idea.  So good of an idea, in fact, that the pie was devoured in its entirety, before I had a chance to take a picture.

But really, the pie didn't look all that pretty anyways, because I dropped it as I was getting into my car.  Go me.  Thankfully, the lid stayed on, so all the contents stayed inside the pan.  It was just a little...shaken up.  Anyway, you should make this pie.  And try not to drop it.  And try not to eat it all in one sitting.  I dare you.

Roasted Cherry Chocolate Pie (adapted from Epicurious and Confections of a Foodie Bride)

  • 1 lb. sweet cherries
  • 1/2 c. port
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbl. cocoa powder
  • 2 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 chocolate graham cracker pie crust (store bought or homemade)
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbl. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract

Remove the pits from the cherries, and cut them in half.  Combine them with the port in an oven-proof baking dish.  Roast at 425*F for 30-40 minutes, or until the cherries are soft and the port has reduced to about 1/4 c.  Remove from oven and drain the cherries, reserving the liquid.

Whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder in a saucepan.  Add the port and milk, whisking to combine.  Heat over medium heat until just steaming.

Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks until thoroughly combined.  Slowly whisk in about 1 c. of the steaming milk mixture, to temper the eggs.  Add the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens significantly.  Be careful not to boil it to avoid scrambled eggs.  Remove the pudding from the heat, and stir in the vanilla, cherries, and chocolate chips until chocolate chips are melted.  Pour into the chocolate graham cracker pie crust.  Note: if you use one of the store-bought ones, you will have some filling left over, since they're closer to 8" than 9".  If you make a 9" one at home, you will not have filling left over.  Let cool for about 5 minutes, and then press plastic wrap down onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight, until set.

Combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and almond extract, and whip until stiff peaks form.  Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Peanut Butter Bourbon Bacon Blondies

There's a fantastic local BBQ joint near the Husband and's owned by a guy who has been a chef at a lot of the top local restaurants.  He's a classically trained French chef, but he got tired of doing the fancy food, so he started a BBQ restaurant.  He brings all the same attention-to-detail that high-end cuisine requires to a very unfussy local hangout.  And it shows.  You can drive by this place at 2:00 on a Tuesday afternoon, and it's packed.  Because of his extensive culinary experience, the chef comes up with some interesting desserts, too!  We once had some bacon brownies there (delicious), and last time we were there, the Husband had a doughnut topped with peanut butter frosting, bacon, and a chocolate drizzle.  Now, I'm not big on either doughnuts or bacon, but it was an interesting combination.  Fast forward a few weeks, and when the Husband requested that I make peanut butter blondies, well, I knew how I was going to jazz them up!  These blondies were a huge hit--the perfect balance of salty and sweet!

Peanut Butter Bourbon Bacon Blondies (adapted from my mom's blondie recipe)

  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbl. bourbon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 oz. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 6 oz. Reese's minis, chopped (or Reese's pieces)

Melt butter, and mix in brown sugar until well-combined.  Cool slightly, then stir in the bourbon, egg, and vanilla until thoroughly mixed.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then stir it into the wet ingredients until a few streaks of flour remain.  Lastly, add the bacon and Reese's, and stir gently until just mixed.  Spread into a greased 8x8 pan, and bake at 350*F for 25 minutes.  Enjoy!