Monday, June 20, 2011

Bars of Deliciousness

The OCD side of me is cringing. This blog has been going Stephen Steph Kate Stephen Steph Kate Stephen Steph Kate since the beginning, and I'm about to mess it up... Please forgive me.

Ever since I was little, I have memories of having pineapple bars when we visited my grandma. She's all the way out in Iowa, so it wasn't very often, but I always remember eating these. Half would be covered in sugary glaze for me to devour, half would go plain for my parents who didn't want a sugar high (their loss). The inside was pineapple deliciousness.

A year or two back, I finally asked my grandma for the recipe, so now I can have pineapple deliciousness without the 16 hour car ride. How wonderful!
Filling sitting on the stove

Pineapple filling

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbs corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 20 oz can of Pineapple chunks, do NOT drain
Mix together the dry ingredients. Put the yolk and pineapple into a saucepan, stir them together a bit, then add the dry ingredients. Cook on medium heat until boiling, stirring the entire time. If you don't keep the bottom part of the pineapple from sticking, it'll burn rather easily. If this does happen, it's not horrible, but your pineapple goo will have a bit of a brown tinge to it. Set this aside to cool while you make the dough.

I love you, Kitchen Aid!

  • 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 cups flour (I know, quite vague)
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 pkg yeast (that's 1/4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 4 egg yolks
Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, and yeast. Melt the butter in the microwave a little, but not to liquidification, just so it's mushy; combine with milk and water. Add the liquids to the dry in whatever bowl you're going to mix it in (Kitchen Aid are amazing). Beat for 2 minutes. Add yolk and 1/2 cup flour. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Now eyeball in enough flour to make it into moist dough. Usually right at 4 is good for me, but you may require less or more as the recipe suggests. Divide dough in half. Roll out dough covering the bottom of your pan (My grandma uses a "jelly roll pan" but I just use a 9x13). Poor the filling over the dough. Roll out the remaining dough to the right size to cover it; place on and pinch the edges together.
Bread after rising for an hour

Cover with a towel and let it sit about an hour to let it rise. Yay yeast!

Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 35-40 minutes. The top should turn a nice golden brown.

You can mix up a frosting using powdered sugar and cream. Our's came out very liquidy and made a glaze. But it's powdered sugar, so honestly I don't care what consistency it's in as long as it's in the "tasty in my mouth" consistency.

There's lots of jokes about pineapples, and while describing this pastry I even got jokes about the icing. I don't care. Pineapple bars are great. The dough isn't too sweet, the pineapples are delicious, the frosting is very sweet: it all combines to make a great breakfast food. You should try it, really, before you diss.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No Pan Pie with No Pie Either...

I'm so scary
To quote Stephen, "If Kate's coming down for the weekend, we're baking something." This has been continued with this weekend's No Pan Pear Pie, as seen on Food Network.

Whenever he described to me its a pie with pears, blueberries, and balsamic vinegar, I was a little skeptical. Balsamic vinegar? In a pie? What? But I figured he hadn't shown any other crazy taste in food, let's try it!
Stephen works the flour into dough as I add juice

We didn't use the apple juice concentrate as the recipe calls for, and rather just 4 Tbs apple juice to 1 Tbs water. I don't think it made any difference.

So the recipe goes make your flour mixture, make your dough, place it in the fridge, cook the pears, balsamic vinegar, and blueberries in a cast iron skillet, put chopped pound cake in middle of rolled out dough, put the fruit over the pound cake, wrap the sides of the pie crust over the top, put it into the oven.

The delicious filling cooks
We were very successful up until that point. It was smelling good, it had lots of butter, it looked delicious. We went to work on D&D characters while it baked. Maybe my incredible skill with sucking with dice rolled over to the pie...

So it comes out of the oven. It looks delicious. I didn't even get to grab a picture of the golden-brown beauty before it happened.

Stephen goes at it with two spatulas to get it un-glued to the pan and to take it over to a wire rack.

It cracks down one side, we try to hold it together.
Pound cake with pie crust.

He puts the spatulas under it and lifts.

It shatters.

Our pie shatters. Just breaks into a few big pieces of pie. He had the more amazing look of defeat. I had the most amazing look of "What does it matter? These blueberries are now free to go into my mouth where they are still appreciated for how good they are!"

Shattered pie
After Stephen calmed down from breaking the pie, it was somehow decided that it should just be totally destroyed. It was taken over to a plastic container and Stephen again went at it with his duel-wielding spatulas, breaking the pie into lots of little pieces.

Little pieces perfect to go with ice cream!

Honestly, I think you should make this recipe and not even try to make it pretty. Yeah, wrap it up, and yeah, I guess if it comes out and transfers flawlessly for you you could wait the couple hours for the inside to not just ooze out and then enjoy some pie.

Pie-mush, ice cream bowls, and the spatulas of doom (for pies).
Or you could sabotage your pie into warm cobbler-like pieces to be put under ice cream and enjoy some of the best, most complicated ice cream topping, as Stephen put it.

Till the next successful disaster!