Friday, December 23, 2016

Cinnamon-Sugar Chayote Pies

A squash usually used in savory preparations, chayote can also shine as a dessert.
  • 2 servings pâte brisée or purchased pie dough
  • scant 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 medium chayote squash
1.  Preheat oven to 425°F.  Roll and cut two circles of crust for the bottom of the pies.  Press into bottom and up sides of two mini pie pans or tart dishes. 
2.  In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.  Peel and slice chayote into small pieces, coat pieces with sugar and flour mixture.  Place seasoned chayote pieces into crusts, layering them well above the top level of the pie pan (squash will sink during baking due to water loss).
3.  Cut circles for top crusts or strips if a lattice top is desired.  If using a circular top crust, use a sharp knife to cut slits in several places.  Crimp edges of crusts together with the tines of a fork or with fingers.  Sprinkle top with a small amount of additional sugar. 
4.  Place pans on a baking sheet for easier handling and bake at 425°F for 18-22 minutes.  Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

 Robyn's notes: nice as something a little different, but won't replace apple pies for me, mainly because the chayote stays crisper than I prefer.  Watch me demonstrate this recipe on youtube!

*** 3 Stars: Good. At least one of us liked this enough for me to make it again, but not often

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pâte Brisée

This pie dough can be used for savory or sweet pies, and once prepared can be kept in the refrigerator for 5 days or the freezer for up to 3 months. 
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter
  • 1 Tbsp cold shortening
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp ice cold water, as needed
1.  Place flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl.  Cut the butter and shortening into the flour until it is the size of peas.  Add 4 tsp of water and stir lightly with a fork until it just starts to form moist clumps, adding a bit more water, if necessary.
2.  Divide the dough into two flattened discs and wrap them individually with cling film.  Chill the dough at least 30 minutes before rolling as directed in recipe.

Robyn's notes: this dough worked quite well for me, and I enjoyed the flake and flavour of it.  If it's been frozen, thaw by leaving it in the fridge overnight first.  The recipe makes enough dough for a top and bottom crust for one small pie.

*** 3 Stars: Good. At least one of us liked this enough for me to make it again, but not often