Guest Bloggamist: Her Royal Pie-ness

Today, in honor of the pie season that kicks off with Thanksgiving, I bring you my first guest bloggamist, Her Royal Pie-ness, and her super scrumtious mini pies:

If you like your pie dough extra flaky and aren’t opposed to a little hydrogenated oil, I would suggest this pie dough recipe

Double-Crust Flaky Pie Dough

Mix in a bowl:

2 ½ cups flour

1 tsp white sugar

1 tsp salt

Take ½ lb cold unsalted butter (2 sticks) out of fridge and quickly cut into ¼ inch pieces. Add to dry ingredients. Chop the butter into pea-sized pieces with a pastry knife.

Then add ¼ cup solid butter flavored vegetable shortening.

Cut into pea-sized pieces with pastry knife. Don’t let mixture soften. Then drizzle over the mixture 1/3 cup ice water.

Cut into the mixture with a spatula until it is evenly moistened and begins to form small balls. Continue cutting in ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough sticks together. But don’t get it too wet.

Split dough into two halves and form into balls. Wrap each tightly in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days.

When you are ready for the dough, roll it into a 9-10 inch circle. Then place it in a pie dish and form a fluted rim with your fingers.*

If you are opposed to using shortening, then use the same recipe as above without it. It will be equally as delicious, just a little less flaky.

*For mini pies, cut rolled dough into 5-5 ½“ circles. Slip them into the a cupcake tin (I have found that the silicon cupcake tins cook the mini pies more evenly and are easier to clean afterwards). Use every other cup to give the pies enough space. This means you will need 2 cupcake tins to make 12 mini pies. Smooth the dough into the cup and flute the rim with your fingers. Top as you would a normal pie.

Another tip for mini pies is to cook them at a slightly lower temperature and sometimes for a shorter period of time than the recipe calls for. Just keep an eye on them and when they get golden brown on top and the filling bubbles up through the crust and look syrupy.

Grandpa's Cafe Chocolate Pie

1 cup plus 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 large eggs, separated
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoons vanilla
1 (9-inch) basket pie crust

- In saucepan combine 1 cup sugar, cocoa powder, salt and cornstarch. Add egg yolks and milk stirring until well mixed. Cook until thick (10-15 minutes- *it took me longer). Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

- In medium mixing bowl beat egg white on high speed until soft peaks form. Add 6 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly. Add vanilla. Beat egg whites until stiff and glossy.

- Pour filling into baked pie shell. Top with beaten egg whites, being cared to completely cover filling, sealing at edges of crust. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until light golden on the peaks. Remove and let cool. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to set.

Apple Pie

Prepare and roll out double crust pie dough. Line a pie dish with half of the dough (or 6-12 mini pies.) Set the other half aside for the pie top.

Peel and slice 6 cups of cooking apples. Sprinkle with lemon juice. In a large bowl, mix together:

¾ cups sugar

2 tbsp flour

½ tsp ground cinnamon (I use more to taste)

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Add apple slices and mix until thoroughly coated. Place mixture in pie pan. Trim dough if necessary. Place other half of rolled dough on top and cut edges if necessary. Seal and crimp edges as desired. Cut slits into the top of the pie to vent. If making a normal size pie, cover edges with foil to prevent burning. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire wrack.

Rhubarb Pie

Prepare double crust pie dough. Roll out half and line a pie dish. Trim edges if necessary and refrigerate. Roll the other half out and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut 1 ¾ to 1 ½ pounds of rhubarb stalks. (Use thin skinned, pink rhubarb, no bigger than your thumb.)

Measure 5 cups and combine with:

1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups sugar (use larger amount when rhubarb is more mature.)

¼ cup quick-cooking tapioca or cornstarch (cornstarch for lattice top)

Grated zest of 1 orange (optional)

¼ tsp salt

I also throw in cinnamon to taste

Let stand for 15 minutes, then stir. Pour into the pie crust and dot with 2 tbsp unsalted butter. Cover with lattice top crust, then seal the edges, trimp and crimp.>

Bake pie for 30 minutes at 425 degrees. Then slip a baking sheet underneath and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake about 25-35 more minutes, until thick juices bubble through the vents. Let cool completely before serving.

i heard a rumor that next week she'll be bringing you a recipe for Pink Lady Pie...


Panda Jonx

my little sister turned 16 recently and requested i make her "cute" cupcakes. what's cuter than a panda?

i made amy sedaris vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream (dreamy!), used large dark chocolate discs for ears, junior mints for dark around eyes, and plastic eye balls from the craft store. you could do that part in frosting, but i was being lazy.


Cupcake Royale is King

a few months ago my darling husband went to seattle for a rock show and came home with a box of cupcake royale cupcakes. oh.my.gawd.YUM! above you see the delicious delicious delicious raspberry, which was the special flavor at the time. raspberry cake, cream cheese frosting, super yummy fruity topper. did i saw delicious? deeeeeeeeeelish!

the whole lot -

lemon drop:
missing a lemon drop topper, but lemony and delicious. the lemon buttercream was perfect!

peppermint patty:
yummy chocolate cake with super minty buttercream. tastes just like a peppermint patty!

orange you glad:
YES I AM! I love, love, love chocolate and orange. their orange buttercream is perfect. tastes of real orange, not fakey flavor.

the barbie:
of course. tasty vanilla cake, tasty vanilla buttercream, pink. what could be better?

the mocha:
oh the mocha. their perfectly perfect chocolate cake topped with a glob of mocha buttercream. can your taste buds imagine it? it was better than that! i want more.

overall i'd say cupcake royale is definitely providing the best cupcakes i've had on the west coast. we could really use a portland branch! and though they don't beat cupcake cafe in NYC, they could rival most of those hoity toity east coast cupcakeries. the cakes were moist, even a day or two old. the frostings were perfectly flavored, not too sweet. the amount of frosting was perfect - a thin spread that provided enough extra moisture, creamy-ness and flavor without overwhelming the cake or your blood sugar level. i can't say enough good things about cupcake royale!


desperate for chocolate

friday night just off work, umpteenth day of driving rain,
running errands, ready for dinner,
st. cupcake on my route.
why not?
the situation called for nothing more than chocolate.
above you see the chocolate trio of:
chocolate on chocolate
caramel on chocolate
hot fudge on chocolate
and what you don't see is the red velvet
that didn't make it out of my car.
the red velvet is perfect, delicious, light chocolatey,
with that perfect red velvet taste and topped with a
creamy and good cream cheese frosting.
i took a photo with my cam-phone but now the cord is broken
and i can't get the photos off. yum yum yum! so now i can say
i love the st cupcake red velvet.
i'm also fond of the banana chocolate chip pound cake
that i tried on another emergency visit.
about the three up top... well they satisfied my need
for chocolate. i adore the hot fudge frosting, as i posted after my last visit,
and the chocolate buttercream was super tasty, a little too much,
too rich for me, and left me with a case of sugar bitus, pronounced with a brooklyn accent - "shuga-bite-us"
but tasty nonetheless. i didn't like the caramel,
but not because it wasn't good, because it actually was,
i'm just not a great fan of caramel flavored things that aren't caramel...
the chocolate cake is just ok. i felt like i tasted more flour than chocolate, and that just ain't right. but it was't greasy, which was my beef with st. c last time, and overall i was satisfied.
so there you have it.
and actually, i have more to say, about another angle, but i'm going to try to get my cam-phone photos to go along with that post.
have a good monday!




Get yourself an extra sweet,
chocolatey cupcake
with a yummy suprise inside
at St. John's Tulip Pastry Shop.