Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cinnamon Lovers' Peach Pie

I recently picked out some fresh peaches from a Farmers' Market and decided I'd try my hand at a peach pie. I love cinnamon in both sweet and savory dishes, so I made it the other main flavor of the pie. With the summer peaches and the cinnamon which is often reminiscent of autumn, this pie is the perfect late August treat!


2 rolled out unbaked pie crusts (top and bottom)


6 Peaches
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 TBSP Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Cornstarch

For Crust:

1/8 Cup Sugar
1/2 TSP Cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees (Fahrenheit) and put one of the pie crusts in a pie pan - leave the other rolled out.

2. Peel and slice peaches and put then in a large bowl.

3. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch together and slowly add the dry mixture to the peaches. stir gently with a spoon or your hands until until the mixture has been absorbed into the peaches' juices.

4. Pour filling into the pie pan.

5. Mix together sugar and cinnamon for the crust and sprinkle it over the rolled out dough. Press the cinnamon and sugar down into the dough as best as you can with a wide spoon or a measuring cup.

6. Cut the dough into six pieces and lay three on top of the pie next to each other, and then place the other three over them to make a criss-cross pattern.

7. Place the pie pan on a lipped cookie sheet and put in the oven for eight minutes.

8. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an hour until the crust has turned brown and the filling is bubbling.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Savory Flan: Miso, Scallions, Goat Cheese

Hello Everyone! Sorry I haven't posted for a while, I've been caught up on my other blog which is about books and have been neglecting my little foodie blog. While I have been doing a lot of cooking and baking and eating, catching up on all of it would take forever, so I'll start with today and try to be better at posting from now on.

The way I came up with the idea with this recipe is that I was recently on vacation in Italia (talk about amazing food - I could not believe how much gluten free pasta there was!) and at more than one place there were savory flans on the menu. That got me started so I looked around at what I had in the house and found I had - among other things - Miso, scallions, and an unopened pack of goat cheese. I've made sweet flan before, but never savory, so I knew the gist of it, but checked several different online sources just to get references and what I found was it's pretty much the same thing, just different flavors and no sugar. Below is the recipe and beneath that are my thoughts about how it turned out.


2 Cups Milk
3 Eggs
1 Egg Yolk
2 Tablespoons Miso
3 Stalks of Scallions
1 1/2 Tablespoons Goat Cheese

(Serves Six)

1. Combine milk and miso in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the miso is fully dissolved.

2. Finely chop scallions, add with the goat cheese and blend in the food processor until very fine.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and put a kettle of water on to boil. Place six custard cups in a baking pan and be sure the oven has a rack in the center.

4. Strain the miso/milk mixture into a small bowl

5. In a medium bowl combine eggs and egg yolk and add in the ground scallions and goat cheese.

6. Slowly stir in the milk mixture, let stand for a few minutes, and then pour the mixture equally between the cups.

7. Pour the boiling water into the baking pan so it comes up halfway on the custard cups and place in the oven until the flan is set (appx. 30 min.)

8. Serve hot or cold. Remove by moving a butter knife along the edge of the cup.

I was fairly happy with how this first draft of the recipe turned out. My favorite thing about this recipe was how the miso flavor came out. It dissolved into the milk so well and the flavor wasn't overpowering at all, but was mellow and definitely noticeable throughout the flan. The goat cheese that I used was extremely mild, so the amount I used was not enough for me to really taste, so if I did it again I would either use a stronger cheese, double the amount or a mix-match of both. One other thing I might try to tweak was the food processor didn't grind up the scallions as well as I had hoped and the pieces all floated to the top (or the bottom as was the case when I flipped out the flan) It wasn't awful, but I would like a more consistent texture in the future and a more evenly distributed flavors - any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

In case you're wondering where I got my initial sweet flan recipe, I found it here:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Butterscotch and Caramel Banana Pie

My Butterscotch and Caramel Banana Pie is loosely based off of a Banana Foster Pie. I based my caramel recipe off of this one at Evil Shenanigans.


2 or 3 Bananas
A pre-baked pie shell

Butterscotch Pudding: (any butterscotch pudding will do, but this is what I used.)

2 packets Dr. Oetker butterscotch pudding mix
4 cups milk

(Follow the instructions on the pudding mix box.)

Caramel Sauce:

1/3 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cream, or half and half

In a saucepan combine the butter and sugar and cook on medium low heat. Wait for it to boil until it turns brown and liquid, turn to low and keep cooking for another minute. Remove from heat, and stir in the cream or half and half.

Making the Pie:

(Note: Your oven is not needed in this recipe except to cook the pie shell.)
Slice the bananas into coins and place them evenly on the bottom of the pie shell. Pour caramel sauce over bananas, preferably so that every piece is covered. Pour the pudding over all. Cover the putting with plastic wrap, making sure all the pudding is touching plastic so it won't develop skin, and refrigerate for several hours. Enjoy!

Lemon Meringue Pie

This is my first attempt at a lemon meringue pie, and I am very happy with the way it turned out! I got a basic recipe from allrecipes, but modified it so that it was my own.

My Recipe:

1 pre-baked pie shell

Lemon Filling:
1 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 lemons zested
2 1/2 lemons juiced
2 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks

4 egg whites
6 tablespoons white sugar
*1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla paste/extract (optional)*

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Filling:
In a saucepan, mix together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add in water, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly until mixture boils. Stir in butter. Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl, and slowly stir in 1/2 cup of the lemon/sugar mixture. Once mixed, add the yolk mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the lemon/sugar mixture. bring to a boil and keep stirring frequently for several more minutes. Remove from the heat, and pour filling into the baked pie shell.

3. Meringue:
In a glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites until they are foamy. Then add the sugar in slowly, and keep beating until the whites form stiff peaks. Spread the meringue over the pie, selling the edges at the crust. (Spatulas work best for this.)

*On Vanilla: When I used the vanilla , I used 1 teaspoon vanilla paste, and added it in when I started mixing in the sugar. Doing this caused the meringue to take a much longer time to stiffen, and in the end I never did end up getting the same consistency as normal meringue. Looking back, I would have added the meringue last once the desired stiffness was reached.

4. Bake in oven for 10 - 15 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.

When I first took the pie out of the oven and had a slice, the lemon mixture weeped a bit - the plague of all lemon meringue pies- but once it had been refrigerated for several hours it looked like this:

Voila! No more weeping! So, from what I've learned, if you want a slice right when it comes out, go ahead, but don't expect it to be completely firm until after it is chilled.

A new purpose

When I started this blog, I intended for it to be a place where I shared random things that I found and wanted to share. It was fun for a while, but then I realized a site had already been made for that exact purpose. The site's name was Facebook. After that, I did not post on Random Shell for a while, but now I have found a new purpose for it. I am going to post about all things food: recipes that I make, amazing meals I have had, and new products that I find. One thing about me is that I am Gluten Free, so all of my recipes will be tailored for the gluten free diner as well!