Tuesday Treats!

I have so much food stuff to discuss!

First of all, look at this lemon from our lemon tree– no, seriously, it’s not a grapefruit.  I swear it!  By the way, it’s sitting next to a large tomato.

Giant lemon next to large tomato.

Giant lemon next to large tomato.

When I was in Montana, my daughter’s father in law brought us a bag of what he called ranch mushrooms, but my son, who considers himself a bit of an expert, called them meadow mushrooms and said they are related to the mushrooms we buy at the grocery store.  As a general rule, I refuse to eat mushrooms picked by, well, by anyone who is not me.  I pick morels and oyster mushrooms, but I’m wary of strange mushrooms.  Too many people die of liver failure from Amanitas out here in California.  However these mushrooms had dark pink-brown gills, not white gills so I thought, eh… Why not?  White gills= bad outcome.

I cleaned these, cooked these in butter, and tasted them.  They were pretty darn good.  I even went out hiking the next day and picked another bag for my daughter and son in law.  Apparently they are indeed nonpoisonous.

Meadow Mushrooms.

Meadow Mushrooms.

I’m not a big pie fan, mostly because I don’t like crust.  I know many people, including my dad, think crust is the best part of a pie.  My dad is a crust snob.  There’s an art to making good crust, an art I really don’t care to learn since I pretty much just eat the filling, but my daughter encouraged me to make a banana cream pie with some of my over-ripe bananas.  So I did.

I used a super easy crust recipe – no rolling required… pressed it into the pie plate.

Super Easy Pie Crust.

Super Easy Pie Crust.

Mix together:

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour

2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 cup Cannola oil

2 Tbs. milk or cream.

When dough is mixed well and sticking together, form into a ball and press into pie pan.  Bake at 400′ for 15 minutes.  Cool.  Fill with:

Vanilla Bean Pie Cream

2 cups whole milk

3/4 cup cream

1/2 cup sugar

3 Tbs. cornstarch

3 Tbs. unbleached flour

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

5 egg yolks

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter

1 tsp. vanilla or 1 vanilla bean sliced and scraped

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt.  In a separate bowl beat egg yolks until thick.  Cut butter into small pieces and set aside.  In a large saucepan, bring milk and cream to simmer over low heat.  When milk is simmering, turn down heat to very low.  Mix egg yolks into dry mixture – the mixture will be thick.  Slowly add 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into egg mixture to temper.  Whisk.  Add another 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture.  Whisk.  Pour egg mixture into the saucepan and whisk continuously until thickened, 10-12 minutes… may take more time, may take less.  When mixture thickens, add pieces of butter one at a time.  Whisk until incorporated.  Add vanilla.  (If you are using a vanilla bean, cut open the vanilla bean and scrape out the inside.  Add to milk mixture before you heat it.  Toss in vanilla pods as well.  Remove the pods when finished making the vanilla cream.)

Vanilla Cream.

Vanilla Cream.

Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least two hours.

To put pie together – line crust with thin slices of ripe banana.  Pour vanilla cream over all.  If you like top with whipped cream and more sliced bananas.

Vanilla Banana Cream Pie.

Vanilla Banana Cream Pie.

Oooh!  Almost forgot.  I had to harvest a few things in order to make room for the tomatoes, besides it was time.

Last gallon bag of Swiss chard.

Last gallon bag of Swiss chard.

Red onions curing outside.

Red onions curing outside.

Garlic curing in the garage.

Garlic curing in the garage.

One last thing… The wonderful nutty semi-soft cheese my daughter suggested – tastes like a combination of cave-aged Guyere, cheddar and Gouda.  Challerhocker.

Challerhocker - Yummy!

Challerhocker – Yummy!












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15 Responses to Tuesday Treats!

  1. Tim Dittmer says:

    Looking at that lemon makes me wonder, but you’re too far away from Diablo Canyon for it to affect your lemons. Right? It doesn’t glow in the dark, does it?

  2. Amber Skyze says:

    Damn that’s a big lemon!

    I love banana crème pie. :)

  3. Jaye says:

    Pardon me while I find a mop to clean up the drool…

    That is one yummy looking pie, my dear. (And one scary looking lemon!)

  4. Now I’m hungry and the cupboard is bare. Off to the grocery store.

  5. Funny Stephanie! Buy some good stuff!

  6. The pie tastes good, Jaye, and the crust is totally holding up. However the pastry cream isn’t as thick as I’d like – have to adjust the recipe. And yeah, crazy lemon!

  7. It is, Amber! ;) I like banana cream pie too. My favorite is sour cherry though.

  8. I thought the same thing, Tim. As I mentioned I’ll have to tell you the story of the giant insects.

  9. anny cook says:

    Delish…Hmmm. Maybe I should go make a pie. I put all my pie crust ingredients in a BIG Tupperware bowl. Put on the lid. And shake until it’s a nice compact ball. I makes a nice tender crust. My kids used to fight over who got to shake the pie crust.

    That lemon looks big enough to make a pitcher of lemonade. :D

  10. Roberta says:

    You could write a horror story about that Killer Lemon. WOW!

    I am with Jaye. Drooling time. Again :)

  11. Yes, Roberta. It’s kind of like The Blob. Could take over the world.

  12. Tom Stronach says:

    Love this post, may try the pie but Ishbel and I aren’t big pudding/sweet eaters unless SIL Steve is over

  13. I’m not generally into cream pies either, Tom, but my daughter insisted. At least the pie cream isn’t very sweet.

  14. Thank you, thank you, Julia. My mother always made the best pie crust…from memory. But now that dementia has dealt with that, we had no way of imitating her pie crust.
    Yours in the closest yet!
    Do you know the way my mom and my grandmother used to “test” a new crust recipe?
    If little kids’ hands could pat a ball of crust into a flat circle, baste it with a little melted butter, sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar, bake until crispy…and devour it eagerly and pronounced it delicious…well, that meant it was a good recipe! Yours passed the test.

  15. Wow, Marylin! My mom and grandmother had the same test – that’s what we did with our pie crust – bake little pieces with sugar and cinnamon! I actually liked pie crust that way. Must be a Midwest thing. I bet your mother made the best pie crust! And it was all in her head. Fortunately my grandmother wrote her own recipes down and I made sure to record my mother’s – now when my mom wants one of her own recipes she calls me!