summertime!

It’s officially summer – actually since a few days ago. Of course not in Holland. Just yesterday I was cycling to work in a 14ºC drizzle! Tomorrow is supposed to be promising though, 26º of clear blue sky..but we’ll still have to see about that! Living in Holland, I’ve become a weather channel freak: I just HAVE to check the 10 days forcast every morning. It’s not really reliable though – yesterday it promised an average of 24ºC with a few drizzles, but today it says 20ºC for the next 10 days, with an excpetion of 2 warm sunny days.

Oh well, it’s Holland, what else can I expect! 🙂

On a more cheerful note, Ive brought myself a pie dish!! Not the normal deep one I’m more used to but a shallow one. The dutch ppl use it to make their boterkoek – which is butter cookie in english. The cake does live up to it’s name, being fully saturated with butter! It’s made of 1 part butter, 1 part sugar, and about 11/3 part flour. *shudder*

Peach_1 I’ve put the pan for a somewhat healtier use, summer fruit pies! I started off with this Peach Kuchen, using basic pie shell – 1 1/3 cup flour + 1/3 cup cold butter + 2 tbs sugar + dash salt&baking powder. Just rub the butter into the rest of the ingredients till it resembles coarse crumb, and press it into the pie dish. I love this shell recipe, it’s more simple than the rolled out version and it’s crisp if baked ahead – increase the butter if you think it’s too dry. You cant make decorated edges with this shell recipe, but again, I chose this shell for it’s simplicity. Baking the peach was not such a good idea though, I think it would be much nicer used to decorate the baked pie with, instead of being baked together in the custard (1 cup heavy cream + 2/3 cup sugar + 2 egg yolks + cinnamon mixed together). But if you like gooey sweet pies, then just bake it all together for 35 mins in a 200ºC oven!

Nectarine_1 After trying the peach kuchen, I decided to fix up the recipe using the so very sour nectarines I bought at the market. It was soooo sour that I couldn’t eat it fresh, so I decided to sacrifice it for my pie experiment, hehe.. I adjusted the custard recipe using 1/2 cup quark + 1/2 cup soy cream + 1 egg + 1 tbs flour + 2/3 cup sugar (check out the different texture of the pies, this one doesn’t look as glossy due to the flour). I chopped the nectarines into the pie shell and drizzled butterscotch syrup on top of it before I poured the custard prior to baking. I honestly think it tasted much better than the peach one! (the nectarines are the red apple like fruit on the picture, the smaller orange-yellow ones are apricots)

Rhubarb_1 But for me, the best pie is still this one, Rhubarb Torte. I’ve been intrigued with rhubarb for so long, I was so excited when I finally came face to face with it in Holland!! It looks kinda like a red cellery, only softer. The uninspiring dutch kitchen puts it into a mash potato, DOH – don’t get me wrong, I’ve learn to love dutch hearty cooking, but sometimes they still manage to surprise me :P. Anyway, for this recipe I used more or less the same pie shell, then used 3 egg yolks + 2/3 cup sugar + 1 cup evaporated milk + 4-6 rhubarb stems, chopped up for the custard. For the merengue topping  I used 3 egg whites, beaten until soft peaks form, then added slowly 1/3 cup sugar, dash lemon juice, and 1 tsp maizena. Baking meringue is always tricky if you want a crispy top with a marshmellow center, but for me the microwave oven does the trick with 160ºC for 30 minutes and another 130ºC for 15 minutes did the trick. Yes, this pie does take long, but well worth the effort!

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~ by Anita Fei on June 23, 2006.

One Response to “summertime!”

  1. Wow, they look sooo good. You know, I always wanna know how Rhubarb tastes like. Too bad they’re not available here in Indonesia.

    Fei, I have tagged you with a meme for the Top 5 Foods to Eat Before You Die. Let it roll ya, I wanna know what you write 🙂
    See here:
    http://pennylanekitchen.blogsome.com/2006/09/13/top-5-things-to-eat-before-you-die/

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