Game of Thrones Pie

Strawberry Almond Galette
I’ve read the Game of Thrones series. Twice.

I really enjoy them, and I was trying to bide my time until the next book in the series came out.

Oh poor, naive Jo.

Can we please please please have the next one? Pretty please?

I’ve also watched the HBO series (which is finally back for season 4!), and have been seeing all the Buzzfeed quizzes about “Which GoT character is your mom’s second cousin?”

Don’t let me fool you, you know I LOVE those quizzes.

You might call me obsessed with Game of Thrones, but I disagree. Everyone knows that my real obsession is food, and those books read like hard core foodie porn! George RR Martin is so tantalizingly descriptive of the food that the characters eat, that people have been able to create whole recipe books based off of the GoT series. The food ranges from brown mystery meat stew to entire royal feasts. Food serves as the great equalizer between peasants and monarchs. Everyone’s gotta eat!

So what better way to pass the time until episode 2 on Sunday than by recreating GoT food? And while I’m not willing to attempt lamprey pie or the raw heart of a stallion, strawberry galette I can do.

And you should too!
Strawberry Almond Galette

Strawberry Almond Galette

Strawberry Almond Galette

Strawberry Almond Galette

Strawberry Almond Galette

Strawberry Almond Galette

Strawberry Almond Galette

Strawberry Almond Galette
Makes one rustic pie

Crust
1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, very cold and cut into small cubes
1/3 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, measure out your milk and add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar)

Add the flour, sugar, cornmeal and salt together in a food processor fitted with the dough blade. Pulse several times. Then add the butter and pulse until the mixture starts to look like gravel. Turn the food processor on low and slowly pour in the buttermilk. Stop the processor several times to scrape down the sides, and continue to mix until the dough forms a ball. Press the dough together, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 45 minutes–up to 24 hours.

Filling
2 1/2 cups strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp corn starch

1 egg white whisked together with 1 tsp of water
Extra sugar and slivered almonds for topping

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Combine the strawberries, almonds, sugar and corn starch in a bowl. Set aside.
Roll the dough out into a large circle and place it onto a baking stone or sheet pan. You may want to use parchment paper to prevent sticking.
Pour the strawberry almond mixture into the center and spread it out, leaving a 2 inch edge. Gently fold the edge over the strawberries and press the dough where it overlaps to make sure it stays together.
Brush the crust with the egg wash, and sprinkle sugar and extra almonds over the top.
Bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving with whipped cream or ice cream.

The things I do for love

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I should like cherry pie.

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I really, really should.

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But I just don’t.

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It’s ok, you can call me crazy.

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There are just some things I cannot like.

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No matter how sweet and pretty they are.

Don’t worry, I’m not trying to sell you on something mediocre! I’m told this was an excellent pie.
The bite I tried was…cherry pie.

If cherry pie is your thing, this one shouldn’t disappoint. It has a nice balance of tart and sweet, decadence and simplicity.

But man, it’s still…cherry pie.

Cherry Pie
Makes one pie

2 chilled pie crusts (making your own is easy!)
4-5 cups of frozen pitted cherries
1/3 cup sugar, plus a little more for sprinkling on top
juice from one medium lemon
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 egg yolk mixed with 1/2 tbsp cool water

Preheat oven to 375F

In a large bowl, combine cherries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Toss together until all the cherries are covered.

Roll out one pie crust, and place it in a 9 inch pie pan. Fill with the cherry mixture. Roll out the other pie crust and top, crimping the edges together to seal. (If you don’t want to mess with a lattice top, I don’t blame you! Just make sure to cut slits to vent the steam) Brush the top with the egg wash, and then sprinkle sugar on top.

Bake for at least an hour, and as much as an hour and a half. Cover the edges of the pie with tinfoil after a half an hour to prevent them from getting too brown. You will know the pie is done when the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

Allow the pie to rest at room temperature for several hours before serving. It’s even better (I’m told) the next day, so if you have time, make it a day ahead and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

How about dessert?

Apple Pie

More specifically, how about some pie?

Apple? With caramel sauce and ice cream?

Yeah, let’s do it!

I used local Fuji apples, and they were so juicy and delicious! I’m going to do this again, because this was seriously the best apple pie, but I’m going to use Granny Smith, cause that’s what I’ve got. It’s gonna work, don’t worry.
Apple Pie

I also didn’t follow a recipe. It was probably the wildest thing I’ve ever done.
Apple Pie
Don’t make fun of me. There’s no feeling like the pounding in your heart when you have no guarantee that the pie you’re making could be epic or awful.

I also used cinnamon chips, and I think I need to have them permanently stocked in my pantry. You should too. What can’t you use them for?
Apple Pie

Apple Pie

I ALSO LEARNED THE COOLEST TRICK!!

Sorry for yelling, but this tip changed my life. For real.

Instead of crying over flour and mangled pie crust, roll it between two sheets of plastic wrap.
Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Then all you have to do is gently peel off the top layer,
Apple Pie

flip it over onto a pie plate, and peel off the other layer!
Apple Pie

I know!! Amazing!
Apple Pie

Apple Pie

I took the decadence an extra step this time and brushed the top crust with butter, and then sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar.
Apple Pie

Apple Pie
Clearly I’ve made no New Year’s Resolutions.

Apple Pie

No big deal.
Apple Pie

Cinnamon Sugar Pie Crust
Makes two crusts

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes
4 tbsp ice water, plus more if needed

Cut butter into small cubes and freeze for 15 minutes. Combine flour, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, then add the very cold butter and combine with a pastry cutter until it looks like coarse sand. Sprinkle ice water over the mixture and press the dough together with a rubber spatula. Eventually you will be able to pinch the dough together and have it stick to itself.
Divide the dough in half, press into round disks and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour, and up to a day.

Cinnamon Apple Pie

3-4 medium apples
Juice from half of a lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Preheat the oven to 375F.
Slice the apples very thinly, and then add the apple slices and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Make sure all the apple slices get covered in the lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg and cornstarch together. Add the cinnamon chips and stir them in.
Add the sugar mixture to the apple slices, and make sure the apples get coated in the sugar mixture.
Roll out the first pie crust (see above for rolling instructions, or use a well floured surface), and gently put it in a pie pan. Pour the apple filling into it, and then roll out the next crust. Lay the second crust over the apple mixture, and pinch together and trim the edges. Cut vents in the top of the pie, and brush with butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if desired.
Bake for 45-50 minutes. If the edges look like they’re starting to burn, wrap them with foil. Allow the pie to cool for 1-2 hours before serving. If you’re very very hungry for pie, you can put it in the refrigerator for half an hour before serving. Just don’t melt your refrigerator shelf.

Last and a First

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

This is probably the last rhubarb of the season.

But this is the first time I’ve ever made pie.

I’ve made pie crust before, though not exactly successfully.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I Googled for about a week, trying to learn all the secrets of pie crusts. How does one make them flakey? What about perfectly golden brown? How does one get the crust in the pie plate without ending up in a ball of tears under the kitchen table?
You know, standard Google questions.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

The consensus was that Martha’s got it goin’ on. For real.

I have to say, it was pretty scary making the pie crust, but it worked! And if I can do it, you can too.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Pie crust from Martha Stewart and a hundred other food blogs–thanks everyone!!
Makes 2 crusts (one for the bottom, one for the top)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting a rolling surface
1 tsp salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes
4 tbsp ice water, plus more if needed

Cut butter into small cubes and freeze for 15 minutes. Combine flour and salt in a bowl, then add the very cold butter and combine with a pastry cutter until it looks like coarse sand. Sprinkle ice water over the mixture and press the dough together with a rubber spatula. Eventually you will be able to pinch the dough together and have it stick to itself.
Divide the dough in half, press into round disks and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour, and up to a day.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
This was made flatter and wider before going into the fridge

Strawberry Rhubarb filling

2 cups chopped rhubarb
2 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced into quarters
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 375F. Whisk the sugar and flour together in a bowl, then toss the rhubarb and strawberries into the mixture until everything’s coated. Generously flour a surface and rolling pin. Roll one pie crust out to about 1/4 inch thickness (not too thick, not too thin). Here’s the hardest part: if the dough splits or cracks, don’t panic! Just wet your fingers with ice water and pinch the cracks together. If it seriously gets too frustrating, scrap it and refrigerate it covered in plastic wrap again for about 20 minutes.
Carefully transfer the rolled out dough to a pie plate. Pour the strawberry rhubarb mixture into the crust (you don’t have to pour the excess sugar/flour into the pie. I didn’t and it was perfectly sweet). Cut the remaining tbsp of butter into small cubes and dot the pie filling with it. Roll out the remaining pie crust, and transfer it onto the pie. Slit the top crust to vent, and pinch the edges together. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, watching so that the edges don’t burn. If the edges start getting too brown, just loosely cover them with aluminum foil.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
These are probably the last strawberries of the season.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
I can’t think of a better use for them.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
I also sprinkled sugar over the top crust right before it went into the oven.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Holy yum!  Homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream isn’t necessary, but why wouldn’t you?