Sunday, November 20, 2011

Two Quickie Yum-Yums

Blueberry Tart-like Thingie
When we had the power outage I lost all the meats and any other iffy things.  I had several packages of frozen berries, one of which had been in there long enough to dump, but after that hit the bin I reconsidered two bags of blueberries.  I mean, the worst that would happen is they'd be refrozen into a block of ice which wouldn't help the taste any, but it was worth seeing about.  It turned out they were fine, but I had to defrost a bag (and a whole bag) to find that out.  So now what do you do with 2.5+ cups Maine Wild Blueberries?

I've always snubbed my nose at readymade pie shells, but didn't want to invest the time to make a crust on an experiment, so picked up a package of two refrigerated Pillsbury pie crusts (usually parked somewhere near the refrigerator rolls).  Then I found out thata for a real blueberry pie, you need 6C fruit.  So modifying downward from a random recipe I found on the web, I threw together a proportionate amount of ingredients, and THIS TURNED OUT GREAT!

Since there isn't enough fruit to fill a whole pie shell, I just piled them in the middle and folded over the sides.  Loved it.  The whole thing takes... mmmm, maybe 3 minutes of active time to make.  If that.

How to:
Thaw one package frozen Wyman's Maine Wild Blueberries, right in the package.  Once fully thawed, they produce juice.  Drain all juice, reserving for another use (like letting the kids drink it, it's full of tons of antioxidants) and plunk thawed, drainked blueberries into a bowl.  Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts work well here (I'm generally a pie crust snob but they are great here).  Remove pie crust from fridge for 10 minutes to sit at room temp while preheating oven to 425.

Mix together 1/3C sugar, 1-1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch, 2 pinches (1/8tsp) salt and 1/4teasp. cinnamon or thereabouts.  Can add a grating of nutmeg too.  Sprinkle over blueberries and fold into berries gently, being careful not to smash.  Unroll and lay out pie shell onto glass pie pan but don't pat down edges to fit into edges of pan.  You can use just a tad of butter or Crisco to grease pan, but half the time I don't.  Dump in blueberry mixture right in the middle and fold up sides of shell to contain.  Bake 10-20 minutes until crust edges are golden brown and blueberries are bubbling.  Remove from oven and cool in pie pan 10 minutes on a rack.  Optional:  Carefully and gently slip a spatula under bottom of tart as though to lift, then position it higher with a prop for better cooling.  Or just leave it to cool, that works too. 
Talk about quickie no-brainer pastry, it's almost criminal that it looks and tastes as though someone took hours on this.

And then there's this Dutch Baby(Recipe is not my invention or unvention)

This is a nice breakfast thing when you want a treat.  No two rise into the same shape.  Some puff up like the one in the photos, sometimes they form themselves into a bowl-like shape.  I didn't photo this one with the powdered sugar and lemon juice (both musts) that you add before you eat it, this is just to show my sis what it looks like when done.  The following size serves one.  To serve two (or a couple kids and an adult), double recipe and use a 10" Pyrex type glass pie dish.  (Not sure how this would come out using metal, it doesn't retain heat the same as glass or stoneware.)

Ready to come out of the oven...  after it has risen into whatever shape it's going to take (varies), edges are browned and crispy, and the center is "set" (which means the center is no longer bubbling).

After it's out of the oven, in more realistic light 

How to:
Stick smallish shallow baking dish or individual casserole dish (mine is 6" x 7.5" interior dimensions) into oven and preheat dish to 375-400 degrees along with oven.  When oven is at temperature, gently whisk 1 beaten egg, add 1/3C half and half to combine and then add 1/3C flour.  Whisk just until smooth.  Remove dish from oven and grease sides and bottom with a half pat of butter.  Enter batter.  Put back into hot oven, set timer for 10 minutes, after which you start keeping an eye on it.  (Kids like to watch it rise.)  Remove when edges are browned and center looks set, like in photos (no bubbling).  It will fall a tad flatter which is fine.  Serve immediately, BUT to serve (and do not omit either of these!) squeeze fresh lemon juice (please, fresh!) all over the thing, like way more than you'd think, especially on the edges.  Then sprinkle a LOT of powdered sugar all over it, and I mean a lot!  It should look like fried dough at country fairs.  Eat with a fork.  It's surprisingly filling.  Goes absolutely GREAT with a chaser of orange juice and coffee after.  Easy clean-up too, it makes no mess to prepare.