Leftovers in a Pie

Like a lot of people we are on a budget in our house. After the expense of Thanksgiving I wanted to try to find a way to stretch out leftovers beyond turkey sandwiches-despite my husband declaring his undying love for leftover sandwiches. While scrolling through Twitter I did see someone mention turning their leftover into a pie… and I was off running.

To keep life simple I bought puff pastry instead of making it. I will tackle puff one day, but not this day.

I played one sheet of thawed puff on the bottom of a pan and trimmed the edges (mistake), and punctured the bottom a few times with a fork. I did a short blind bake-like 5 minutes-just to keep things from being soggy,

While that was baking I rolled our leftover stuffing into balls because the internet told me that was a good idea. No seriously, I have no other reason for that than I saw it on Pinterest or something. Sound decision making.

With my crust ready I spread the stuffing balls and our smoked turkey (my husband smoked that bird like a fucking boss) evenly in the crust. I filled in the gaps with green bean casserole and topped all of that off with my homemade orange cranberry sauce.

*Side Note. Leftover cranberry sauces makes great smoothies. Mix that with your favorite smoothie powder, some yogurt, and bit of almond milk… and damn. Delicious.

I wanted to learn how to do lattice on a pie, and no better time than the present. I took the second sheet of puff and sliced into into roughly even pieces. My three year old wanted to help, so of course I let her. We cut the strips with a butter knife which made them kind of wonky but she had a blast.

I baked that baby boy at 375 for 30 minutes and then from there kept checking the temperature until it reach 165. If you try it at home with your Christmas leftovers keep on eye on your own ovens and temperatures.

This leftover pie was was so bad ass that I plan on doing it EVERY FREAKING YEAR. I shit you not. Try it. Shove all your leftovers in a crust and fall in love.

Happy Baking!

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Roasted Tomatoes and Prosciutto: A Savory Pie

This week I’m trying to keep my non holiday related cooking and budget to a minimum. What with the turkey to smoke and the sweet potatoes to bake and green beans to… casserole (?) there is plenty of cooking to be had. My daughter and I are also making cookies as thank you gifts for her teachers and our doctors. To ease the load I spent Sunday making the crust for my pecan pie. Thankfully my favorite crust recipe produces enough dough for two crusts.

Dinner and dessert. Score.

I haven’t done much savory baking, aside from an attempt at some disastrous breadsticks that tasted like 100% baking soda. So so so nasty. If I want to consider myself a reasonably accomplished home baker I need to up my comfort with savory bakes however, so here is my attempt at a Roasted Tomato Pie.

The recipe comes from my much beloved Great British Bake Off: Everyday book. They call for a short crust tart base, but seeing as I already had a pie crust ready to go I made the call and went for the swap. To make the pie a more substantial dinner I also added the prosciutto, as it suggested in the recipe.

My husband and I devoured 3/4 of the pie, and I polished off the last bit for lunch while breastfeeding my son this afternoon. For me the flavors were spot on, and I am sure proud of that pastry case-I’ll write more about my adventures in pie crust later this week.

If I could go back and change anything in the recipe it would be to cut the prosciutto up instead of just placing the slices down. Yes, the layer of meat was a nice barrier between the base layer of cheese and the top layer of tomatoes, but it was hard to get nice sized bites of prosciutto. Unless you really cut each piece up thoroughly, the meat seemed to come out in whole chunks. Still tasty but it caused each bite to lose its integrity.

Anyway, if you’ve got some unsweetened pie crust just clogging up your freeze this is a quick and easy way to get dinner on the table with minimal clean up.

Have any decent dinner recipes that use pie crusts?

Happy Baking!

Much Ado About Choux

Today was my second go at choux pastry. The first time around I made some decent buns, but I didn’t have the ingredients to make a filling. I had also spooned out those first buns instead of piping them out into nice looking shapes. Today I tackled the same basic recipe with a piping bag and multiple tips at the ready.

That is where the organization ended. This is also a time when I realized that pretty pictures of food just isn’t my thing. You’ll be getting the unvarnished, and often times poorly lit, photos of my bakes in progress. Learning to bake is messy. Having kids in the kitchen is messy. I am generally messy.

So I went for a cinnamon sugar variation on this basic recipe in The Great British Bake Off Everyday cookbook (it is on page 200).

So far so good. It’s shiny and smooth!

Instead of the white chocolate coffee mousse they suggested I made a chocolate coffee mousse. I’m just not a huge fan of white chocolate. That recipe is on page 198, if you’re ¬†up for looking.

I should have known I did it wrong when I had more than the recipe said.

Right out of the oven I could tell I piped them too small. They were dried out and tasty, but filling was going to be a problem. A big problem. Also, my daughter decided that this moment was a great time to wash all of her tea set dishes-she ruined her singing tea pot but I’m not sad about that.

This is what baking with a 3 year old is like.

The mousse, like the buns, tasted great, but I failed horribly at the execution. It was all the fail. The buns were too small to get the mousse in. The tip on my piping bag was too big. And I suck at piping. I just do. I got more mousse on my hands, my stove top, and a little on my floor. After trying to fill each bun I had more left in the bag than made it into any of the pastry. The flavors were on point, but I won’t be winning any contests with the look of those beasts.

This took a lot of clorox wipes to clean up

Yummy, but not sturdy. Or well filled. Or pretty.

 

Cinnamon Sugar Choux Buns with Chocolate Coffee Mousse

I’ve included my variations which I applied to the GBBO recipe. You can’t go wrong with their awesome recipe, but if you want to be brave and experiment with me give my version a try. Let me know how it turns out; maybe someone can help me not suck at filling pastry. Which ever way you go, pipe the buns larger than you think you need, especially if it is your first time filling something.

Equipment

Here is the place where I laud or lament my equipment. The Kitchen Aide stand mixer is must. I never used one growing up, so I thought it was superfluous. Damn it I was wrong. This mixer is my kitchen work horse and I want to hug it every day. I only wish I had one more bowl. I’ve got one bowl for the mixer and often times I have to wash it between steps. Go big, buy the second bowl.

Things I hate. My piping bag. I shouldn’t whine, I got it for free from my mom after she realized she hated making macarons. It is silicon and has all these tip attachments, and it should be awesome. It is not. It is always a mess and it is a pain to clean. Or maybe I’m just bad at using it. Who knows. Next time I try to pipe I’m just going to buy a whole bunch of those disposable ones and call it a day.

Happy Baking

Choux Part Deux

Last week I made my first attempt at choux buns. Things went well for a first try, but I didn’t have the ingredients to make a filling for them. Today I’m going to attempt some filled pastry, since I was organized enough to remember to buy heavy whipping cream.

The chocolate pastry was light and not too sweet, which went well with the chocolate sauce I made. I was shocked to see the Center was hallow-just like it supposed to be-on my very first try.

This afternoon I’ll post and update and a recipe for my second attempt. My OBGYNs office will be getting the bulk of them during my surgical consult today. Wish me luck on both fronts.

Happy baking!