FOR THE LOVE OF PIE — a series that celebrates the simple things. Today, Roséline and her Banana Toffee Pie.     ‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹ Roséline's blog, {this is glamorous} is one of those places you'll get lost.     It's one of the first blogs I followed one of the first I left a comment on and one I continue to visit. I like that it's a bit like a mini vacation  via the internet.     It makes me dream of shops I want to visit and of trips I'd like to take. Of pastry shops I wish to frequent and parks I've never been. It's a bit like a fairytale sorta dreamland over there and I really love that.   Find a little more about Roséline and her recipe below. xo, n     WHO? Roséline WHAT? Banana Toffee Pie [or what is officially and affectionately known as 'Banoffee Pie'] WHERE? This pie is as perfect toes curled on the sofa, wrapped in cashmere beside a crackling fire and a glass of Bailey's, as it is in the decadent heights of summer, preferably on a rooftop terrace, the humid night air swirling with falling stars and midnight kisses. WHY? With Wimbledon recently, and the Olympics, thought a quintessential British dessert would be perfect; also, with all the summer soirées and weekend gatherings on the calendar, it's a fairly simple pie to make that does not require baking --- perfect for languid summer days and long sultry nights . . . BEST SERVED WITH? An elderflower champagne cocktail & someone you love. ONE OR TWO THINGS?  Dessert & summertime are two of my very favourite things on earth -- at this time of year, it's early rises and as many reasons to be outside as possible -- morning walks to a favourite shop for coffee, and afternoon walks to the flower markets in filmy dresses and sandals; and as for dessert, do not think have ever turned it down . . .       RECIPE: Banoffee Pie by Curtis Stone [serves 8] CRUST 9 oz / 280 g graham crackers or Marie or digestive biscuits 1 stick / 150 g butter, melted TOFFEE SAUCE ½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar 1 14-oz / 395 g  can sweetened condensed milk 1 stick / 125 g butter FILLING 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 5 small ripe bananas (about 1½ pounds / 750g  total) TO MAKE THE CRUST: 1. Line the bottom of a 9-inch / 22-23 cm springform pan with parchment paper. 2. Chop the graham crackers in a food processor until they are finely ground. 3. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and process to blend well. The crumbs should stick together when pressed. 4. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom and 1½ inches / 3 ½ cm up the sides of the springform pan. Refrigerate. TO MAKE THE TOFFEE SAUCE: 1. Combine the sugar and 3 tablespoons of water in a medium saucepan. 2. Over medium heat stir until the sugar dissolves. 3. Increase the heat and boil without stirring until the color is deep amber, occasionally swirling the pan and brushing down the sides with a pastry brush dipped into water, about 5 minutes. 4. Stir in the condensed milk and butter. Continue stirring for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. 5. Remove the toffee sauce from the heat and spread 1 cup of the sauce over the prepared crust and refrigerate for about 1 hour or until the toffee is semi-firm. 6. Keep the remaining toffee sauce at room temperature.
TO FILL THE PIE: 1. Using an electric mixer beat the cream in a large bowl until thick and very soft billowy peaks form. 2. Very thinly slice 3 of the bananas into discs. 3. Fold the sliced bananas into the softly whipped cream and spoon into the prepared pie crust. 4. Slice the remaining bananas and arrange them decoratively over the pie. 5. Re-warm the remaining toffee sauce gently over low heat. 6. Drizzle some of the sauce decoratively over the pie. If the sauce has thickened too much to drizzle, stir a few tablespoons of milk into the sauce to create a thinner consistency. 7. Cut the pie into wedges and transfer to plates. 8. Drizzle each pie wedge with more sauce and serve.
FOR THE LOVE OF PIE — a series that celebrates the simple things. Today, Tim and his Apricot Crumble Pie.
    ‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹ I first came across Tim's blog, Lottie + Doof by way of happenstance. I'd googled the words, favourite cake one afternoon and Tim's blogged popped up. Soon after that, Tim's favourite cake became one of my favourite cakes. I guess googling isn't really happenstance per se, but the introduction to his blog by way of cake kinda feels that way.   Since starting baking I can remember wanting to try other people's favourites. I love the idea of a family recipe or a passed down classic. I want to know the cake your grandma used to make, the recipe the baker down the road gave you or even that one from your long lost aunt.     To me, recipes are sorta like the foundation of sharing food, they get us to the table and they get us talking.     Find a little more about Tim and his recipe below. xo, n WHO? Tim Mazurek   WHAT KIND? Apricot Crumble Pie! WHERE? Here, there, anywhere. I think it would be a delicious end to a barbecue, served with glasses of iced black tea. But I've been known to eat it for breakfast, too. It is nice eaten on a porch. WHY? This is an old Ruth Reichl recipe. If you've ever seen her make it, you'll want to, too. She's so easy-breezy, ripping the apricots in half and tossing them into the pie shell without a care in the world. I try to channel her energy when making this pie, I think it improves the overall product.   BEST SERVED WITH? Best served in the summer, when apricots are flooding your local market. I like it with a little whipped cream, but it is perfect on its own. Make sure you have friends to eat it with, the pie is best in the first 24 hours.   ONE OR TWO THINGS: I love a lot about the Midwest, but I especially love fireflies. My favorite thing to do at this time of year is to walk around our neighborhood as the sun sets, eating an ice cream cone, wowed by the lights of fireflies that are all around. It is magic.     RECIPE: Apricot Pie by Ruth Reichl 1 recipe pie dough for 9-inch single crust pie (you can use your favorite) 2 pounds apricots 1 stick (4oz) butter, melted 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup light brown sugar 3/4 cup flour 1/3 cup sliced almonds fresh nutmeg   -Roll out your pie dough, fit it into a 9 inch pie pan, crimp the edges and put it into the freezer for at least15 minutes (I sometimes do this the day before and freeze overnight) while you preheat the oven to 425 F. -Pull the apricots apart with your fingers; do not peel them, but remove the pits. -Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  Stir in the sugars, then the flour.  Add the sliced almonds and grate in some nutmeg, stir to combine. -Put the apricots into the unbaked shell.  Cover them with the sugar mixture and put the pie on the bottom rack of your oven. -Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the heat down to 375 and bake for 35 or 45 minutes more, until the top is crusty and golden. -Transfer to a rack or windowsill and cool before serving.     ps: Tim and I have got to chatting since my favourite cake discovery. For a little while there we talked about about cookies and another time about a little bowl for a very special day. But I've yet to tell him that I can't get this quinine syrup off my mind. Photos in this post by Tim Mazurek
  FOR THE LOVE OF PIE — a series that celebrates the simple things. Today, Jen and her Rhubarb & Cardamom Pie.       ‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹ Truth be told, Jen and I haven't met in person. But we've known each other near six years.     We met in what feels like the early days of online shops and blogs. But it wasn't really, online shops and blogs had been around ten years by then.   Jen is a photographer. One of those photographers that captures everyday moments with a special kind of grace. That captures the beauty in a day well worked and a meal well made.     We're set to meet in person in August and I'm really hoping they'll be pie. Find a little more about Jen and her recipe below. xo, n       WHO? Jen Causey WHAT KIND? Rhubarb Cardamom Pie WHERE? Brooklyn, NY. The perfect pie to bring to an early summer picnic or potluck with friends. WHY? Growing up, I never had rhubarb. I only discovered it a few years ago after seeing it at the farmer’s market and constantly hearing others rave about it. Once I tried it, I was hooked. Each spring, when it is in season, I stock my freezer with enough frozen rhubarb to be able to make a few treats throughout the year.   BEST SERVED WITH? Best served in spring and early summer, when rhubarb is readily available at the market. I love mine with ice cream, whipped cream, or a dollop of plain yogurt and then sprinkled with muscovado sugar.   ONE OR TWO THINGS? + Early summer is my favorite time of year. I love having picnics, sharing desserts with friends and making homemade ice cream. + I am looking forward to my new book, Brooklyn Makers, coming out this fall, chronicling a project I have been working on for the past 2 years.     RECIPE Rhubarb & Cardamom Pie by Four & Twenty Blackbirds, my favorite pie shop in Brooklyn.   ALL-BUTTER PIE CRUST 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 tsp salt 1 tbs sugar 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into half-inch pieces 1 cup cold water and 1/8th cup cider vinegar on ice Stir flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Add butter and coat it with flour using a spatula or bench scraper. Working quickly, cut butter into the flour with a pastry blender until mostly pea-sized pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are OK; do not over-blend). Sprinkle 4tbs chilled water over the flour mixture and cut the water in with a spatula or bench scraper. When water is fully incorporated, add more water, 1-2tbs at a time, and mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with drops of chilled water if necessary to combine. Shape into a flat disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight. Wrapped tightly, dough can be refrigerated for three days or frozen for one month. Roll out to fit the bottom of the rectangle pan, just to the edges, not over. Use the scrap to create about 20-25 lattice pieces to fit the pan width and length. RHUBARB CARDAMOM FILLING Combine in a large bowl: 4 to 6 cups rhubarb that has been chopped, frozen overnight and then thawed and drained of all excess liquid (freezing helps to release excess water in the rhubarb) 3 tbs lemon juice 6 dashes of Old Fashioned or Angostura Bitters 3 whole eggs, beaten In a separate bowl, sift together: 3 cups sugar 1 1/2 tbs ground cardamom 1 tsp ground allspice 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1/4 tsp ground cloves 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp salt 5 tbs arrowroot (or cornstarch) Combine the wet ingredients with the dry. Scoop into pie shell, with most or all of the liquid - do not make the pie too watery, but the rhubarb should be just covered in the liquid. Arrange lattice on top, crimp edges in. EGG WASH Beat together: 1 whole egg 2 tbs heavy cream or milk Brush the top of the lattice with the egg wash and sprinkle with raw (or demerara) sugar. Bake on a half sheet pan at 350°F (175°C) for 30 mins, rotate and bake for another 30-40 mins, depending on the oven strength. Look for a golden brown colour in the crust, and for the filling to be set and bubbling over.        
  It's set to be a week filled with announcements here. First, I'm on my way back to NEW YORK CITY, and you can join me! I'll be teaching two classes at the Sunday Suppers Williamsburg Studio on August 18th+19th.     On Saturday it's all about CAKE. Well, it's all about baking & pastry really, but I'm super keen on the cake part!   We'll be whipping up perfectly light vanilla sponge, my favourite buttercream, a simple pastry cream and the rest of the components to make perfectly layered cakes and sweet summer tarts. It's going to be good! If you'd like to join in, you can purchase tickets here.   And on Sunday it's all about DINNER! It's a meal inspired by summer evenings, dinners taken outside and trips to the sea. We'll be having:   Kumumoto Oysters with Melon Mignonette musk melon, chive blossoms & vinegar Hand Rolled Tagliatelle with Water and Butter Sauce feathered fennel & celery, summer garlic stock, coriander seeds & bufala ricotta Frenched Pork Loin with Crackling new potatoes & summer zucchini salad Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cones homemade ice cream & cones   If you'd like to join in, you can purchase tickets here. ‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹     And now, a sandwich fit for Saturdays. Or any day really, but a series I call, The Saturday Sandwich. Find my earlier Saturday Sandwich posts here. And please try to see past the spacing issues, my previous Saturday Sandwich posts were written for my blogs old home.         A ROAST BEEF BAGUETTE WITH FINGERLING CHIPS ‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹   YOU'LL NEED -1 batch homemade potato chips (here's a basic recipe, i like to substitute fingerlings for russets) -baguette, sliced & pan fried in butter -roast beef, thinly sliced (leftovers from the night before are best, but your local deli will likely carry it ready to go) -1 batch horseradish cream (recipe follows) -a hard white cheese, very thinly sliced (optional) (i used parmesan this time, it's okay if it's a little crumbly) -enoki mushrooms, sauteed -spanish onion, thinly sliced -frissee lettuce -salt & pepper to taste   HORSERADISH CREAM -crème fraîche -fresh grated or prepared horseradish mustard (i like Kolzlik's Horseradish Mustard if you're using prepared) -a touch of pommery mustard -a large pinch of fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped -a few stems of fresh chives, finely chopped Mix together equal parts crème fraîche and horseradish. (i was serving 2 so i used between 2 & 3 tablespoons of crème fraîche and less than a teaspoon of mustard) Stir in a touch of pommery mustard and a small handful of tarragon leaves and chive stems. Finish with salt & pepper.     HERE'S HOW: Slice the potatoes, while they're drying make the horseradish cream. Refrigerate. Next, saute the mushrooms, slice the onions, bread and cheese. Pan fry the bread in salted butter. Next, build your sandwiches! I like a dollop of horseradish cream on the bottom, then all the toppings and then a little more cream. Serve alongside a good helping of chips and a touch bowl of ketchup.     I'll be back tomorrow with another BIG announcement and then back again on Friday with the newest in my pie series! xo, n     ‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹     we have a new front page image & i love it! fancy french toast! from twitter today, this kitten is killing me this book is beautiful this skirt seems pretty perfect this bedding (via) it's that time of year and this time of year too the photos in this post: michael graydon the styling: me and the new york download  
  FOR THE LOVE OF PIE — a series that celebrates the simple things. Today, Heidi and her Blueberry Lemon Verbena Pie.     ‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹ Heidi is one of those people you like straight away. One of those people who is both kind and passionate at once. One of those people whose talent is inspiring. Always.   I came to know her work slowly. First through flickr, then through her blog and then one day a little later, through her books.   In fact, I think hers was the first food blog I really read. Her words made me feel like I was there. As though I could be standing alongside, baking cookiescutting crackers or making cake.   They felt to me then and feel to me now, real. And I think, in the busy that is the internet, that's a pretty incredible thing.   We've yet to bake together, her and I. We haven't picked berries or peeled apples, we haven't rolled a chunk of dough. But I know we will and I know that that will be a good day.   Find out a little more about Heidi and her recipe below. xo, n   ps: both the photos and the recipe are heidi's. plus, she's working on an exciting new project. find out more here
    WHO? Heidi Swanson WHAT KIND? It's a classic blueberry pie with a couple twists. I work a bit of lemon verbena into the filling - it's amazingly fragrant, and I find it in the market at the same time blueberries are in season. And I (nearly) always make this rye crust for my pies - it's rustic, golden, all-butter, and beautifully flaky. WHY? Of all the sweet pies in the world, my heart goes to those of the berry variety. My all-time favorite is huckleberry, but they're hard to come by here. Blueberry is a close second. WHERE? San Francisco, California. In my mind, this is strictly a summertime pie. Best enjoyed on a picnic table, in full sun, the smell of the blueberries mixing with the scent of sunscreen. Throw in some fireworks later in the evening, and you're really set. BEST SERVED WITH? Blueberries and cream were made for each other - whipped cream, ice cream, creme fraiche. It's hard to go wrong. ONE OR TWO THINGS? I can't say no to: old cameras, dosas, road trips, or yard sales.     RECIPE: Blueberry Lemon Verbena Pie by Heidi Swanson I pile blueberries as high as possible here, until adding more causes an avalanche. That's typically ~2 pounds worth, sometimes a bit shy of that. I grow lemon verbena out on the patio, but you can also often find it at farmers' markets - it's powerfully fragrant and works beautifully with the blueberries. Of course, if you can't find it it's fine to leave it out (or swap in a couple teaspoons of fresh lemon thyme leaves). As far as the crust goes, this is my favorite rye crust - you can make it with water, but because I have an endless supply of home brew here, I make it often with that - in this case, porter. It makes enough for one 9 or 10-inch double-crust pie.   FLAKY RYE PIE CRUST 75 g / v. scant 2/3 cup rye flour 175g / 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1/4+ teaspoon fine grain sea salt 8 oz / 1 cup salted butter 1/3 cup / 80 ml cold water or beer A few notes: You can make the crust using the quick and popular food processor technique. That said,  I always make it by hand, using the above ingredients, and this technique. If you like a super-puffy crust, do the folding in Pim's instructions 4x. I usually like mine less so, and fold & roll just 2 or 3 times, depending on how the dough is feeling. The pie crust in the photo was folded 3x.   BLUEBERRY LEMON VERBENA FILLING  2/3 cup / 3.5 oz / 100g natural cane or brown sugar 20 fresh lemon verbena leaves, chopped 1/3 cup / 1.5 oz / 45 g flour 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt 2 pounds of blueberries, rinsed (see head notes) 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice & zest from that lemon 2 tablespoons butter 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water, whisked Large grain sugar, for sprinkling (optional) Preheat your oven to 425F / 220C, with a rack in the bottom third. Roll out your pie crust - top and bottom - on a flour-dusted counter. I tend to work the edges a bit first (particularly if I'm getting cracks) - roll and turn, roll and turn, dusting with flour when necessary. Flip once or twice. Work quickly and keep the dough moving. Place between unbleached parchment paper or Silpats, and refrigerate while you make the filling. If you're nervous about rolling out the crust, have a look at the second part of Melissa Clark's video. See how she's not super fussy? Channel some of that. If you need an extra confidence booster, read this. It's o.k. if your dough doesn't roll out into a perfect circle - you can patch and pinch later if needed. Just shoot for 11 or 12-inch inch rounds. Make the filling by grinding the lemon verbena and sugar together in a mortar and pestle - this releases some of the oils and fragrance in the leaves. Transfer to a large bowl and add the flour and salt. Stir in the wet blueberries, and toss gently until well combined. Set aside. Line a 9 or 10-inch pie plate with the bottom piece of pie dough. Guide it into place without stretching. You want about an inch of dough extending past the rim of the pie plate, trim a bit with scissors or a sharp knife if needed. Fill the crust with the berries, drizzle with lemon juice, and dot with the butter. Brush the rim of the bottom crust with a bit of egg wash, then top with the other piece of pie crust. Trim the top crust a bit if needed, then press the top and bottom crusts together at the edges. Working around the rim, tuck the overhanging dough under itself, and crimp with a fork or flute using your fingers. Brush the crust with more of the egg wash and place in the oven for about 45 minutes - until the crust is deeply golden. Check your pie regularly after 25 minutes. If you need to foil the edges of the pie - pull it out and do so - this way the edges wont get too dark and dry. I don't have to foil in my oven for this pie, even at this temp, but your oven might be a bit different. I also sprinkle with large-grain sugar about 25 minutes in - for a little extra crunch and sweetness. Let cool a bit, slice and serve. Serves 8.