Recipes

Sweet Potato Casserole

I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving! Mine went surprisingly smoothly – with the turkey somehow finishing a full hour early! It was a lovely day full of good food and family.

I then turned right around the following weekend and attended one of my best friend’s annual “Friendsgiving” and with the amount of food and people there it was basically like full-on Thanksgiving all over again! I wanted to make something that I didn’t get a chance to make on actual Turkey day, but something that could still feed a lot of people. The choice seemed easy – and nothing quite says “Fall” like Sweet Potato Casserole!

Sweet Potato Casserole

  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, or other fall spices (to taste) – optional 

Streusel Topping

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Peel and cube your sweet potatoes while a large pot of water comes to a boil. Boil the sweet potatoes for 15 – 20 minutes, until tender. Drain the water and mash with a hand mixer. Season with cinnamon, nutmeg, or other fall spices to taste.

Melt your butter and mix into the sweet potatoes. Add milk, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir to combine. Transfer into an oven-friendly baking dish (I used a 9 x 11).

For the topping: In a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, butter and salt. Stir until the mixture begins to combine and clump together. Stir in the pecans and spread over the top of the sweet potatoes.  Bake until warmed through and the streusel has browned, about 30 minutes.

This casserole is a great addition to any holiday meal. The streusel adds a sweet, crunchy component, but still allows the squash savory-ness to shine through and be the star.

Enjoy!

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Recipes

Turkey with Blueberry Thyme Sauce

If you’re looking for a last minute recipe for the holidays – you’ve come to the right place! This blueberry thyme sauce kicks up your normal turkey and gravy to a whole new level. This recipe uses turkey tenderloin (which is the perfect option for a weeknight meal), but a turkey breast or full turkey (or chicken) will work just as well. Blueberries are that perfect balance of sweet and tart that allows them to work with both sweet and savory dishes. Mixed with the thyme makes it fun twist on the normal herb flavors you know and love. Trust me, you’re going to want to put this sauce on everything.

Turkey and Blueberry Thyme Sauce

Turkey Tenderloin:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 lb turkey tenderloin
  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

Blueberry Thyme Sauce:

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup shallots
  • 1 TBSP fresh thyme
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 3 TBSP balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450 F. Chop your shallots and thyme and rinse the blueberries.

In a small bowl, mix flour, salt, and pepper. On the stove top, heat oil in a large oven-safe skillet over high heat. Dredge your turkey in the flour mixture and add to skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes to brown on one side. Flip the tenderloin and transfer into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

One the turkey is cooked through, transfer to a plate or cutting board (tent with foil to keep warm) and let it rest while you create your blueberry sauce. In the same skillet you cooked your turkey in, reheat on the stove top to medium heat. Add the shallots and thyme. As the shallots begin to soften, add the blueberries, vinegar, and salt. Scrape up the browned bits of turkey from the bottom of the pan. Let it cook down for about 5 minutes until the blueberries burst and the sauce thickens.

Then slice the turkey and top with the blueberry sauce. I served mine with some mashed sweet potatoes, but any fall vegetable or typical Thanksgiving side will pair beautifully with this dish.

And voila! An elevated turkey dinner that is perfect for the holidays, but also any day of the week.

P.S. Keep any leftover sauce and turkey – smear the sauce on some bread, add some turkey and cheese and you’ve got an AMAZING leftover sandwich

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Recipes Sweet Treats

Cranberry Apple Casserole

It’s shocking to me that Thanksgiving is a week away. I don’t know where the time has gone! But approaching holidays not only means some well deserved time off, but also some fun potlucks at work! J.’s office had there event this week and my office has one early next week. I wanted a dish that was easy to make on a week night, but that still packed a lot of flavor (and was maybe a tiny bit healthy?) With a lot of the classic dishes already signed up for, one of my best friends let me steal her recipe for a sweet and tangy cranberry apple casserole.

Cranberry Apple Casserole

  • 3 cups of peeled, chopped granny smith apples (about 5-6 small apples)
  • 2 cups of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup + 2 TBSP flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup of chopped pecans
  • 3 – 1.5 oz packages of cinnamon spice oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Prep your apples and pecans, and melt the butter (I just microwaved mine in a microwave safe container for about 30 seconds). In a large bowl, add your apples and cranberries. Add 2 TBSP of flour and mix until it evenly coats the fruit. Mix in the sugar and add mixture into  casserole dish.

In your original bowl add the rest of the flour (1 cup), brown sugar, pecans, and oatmeal packets. Mix together to slightly incorporate and break up any brown sugar chunks. Add in the melted butter and stir to coat. Top your fruit with this streusel topping. Bake (uncovered) for 45 minutes.

This the perfect ying and yang type of dish with both textures and flavors. The tart fruits are balanced out by the sweet streusel on top, and the fruit bakes down into a cobbler like consistency that pairs well with the crunchy topping. Whether you consider it a side with your meal or save it for dessert, this is a dish you’ll want to have at every holiday gathering.

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Recipes

Fall Vegetable Medley Casserole

J. and I will be hosting our first Thanksgiving together this year. And with the holiday right around the corner, I’ve been testing recipes in preparation for the big day. I want to stay traditional with the menu, but create some modern or different twists where I can. While I’ll still be making the classic mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, I wanted another hearty dish that could incorporate a bunch of my favorite fall vegetables together.

Fall Vegetable Medley Casserole

  • 2 cups wild rice
  • 2 TBSP olive oil (or PAM cooking spray)
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 lb. brussels sprouts
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • optional: 1/2 cup dried cranberries (I used Craisins)
  • optional: 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • Salt
  • Pepper

First, cook your rice according to the package instructions.

Chop your onion, peel and cube the sweet potatoes, and trim and quarter your brussels sprouts. On a separate cutting board, slice your chicken into bite size pieces and season with salt and pepper. (Tip: try to cut your vegetables and chicken into similar sized pieces – this will allow for the “perfect bite” of all the flavors)

Preheat your oven to 350 F. In an oven-safe large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add your chicken and cook until almost cooked-through (about 10 minutes). Then add your onion, sweet potato, and brussels sprouts and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken broth, bring to a simmer, and cover for an another 5 minutes.

Mix in prepared rice and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool and top with cranberries and sliced almonds before serving.

Wild rice offers and nutty flavor and chewy texture that pairs well with the hearty fall vegetables. The sliced almonds offer the crunch, and the dried cranberries offer a hint of sweetness.  Feel free to throw in some of your own favorite vegetables to make this your own!

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Restaurant Spotlight Snacks & Sightseeing

Howdy Dallas

One of my best friends and her husband moved out to the Dallas area (Carrollton to be precise) a few years ago after college. The distance can be hard, especially after being such a tight knit group and living at max a couple hours apart for so many years, but we always make the most of our time together! This past Labor Day weekend, we flew out to Dallas to relive a college game day together at the UF vs. Michigan game (the start of an embarrassing season for us Gator fans) and to have some fun exploring around town.

Here’s some of our favorite places, foods, and drinks we hit while in the great state of Texas:

Hard-Eight BBQ

After a long day of traveling, we got picked up at the airport and whisked off to the magical bbq land of Hard-Eight BBQ. I’ve eaten at my fair share of bbq joints, but nothing compared to what we were in store for here. As you enter into this large rustic barn-style building, you walk up to the large pit full of every meat imaginable, and are served right from the pit master himself. This isn’t the type of place where you just order a “pulled pork sandwich” or a “1/4 quarter white meat chicken” – you’ve got your full selection of brisket, ribs, pork, sausage, chicken, corn on the cob, and baked potatoes (just to name a few) and you can have as little, or as much, as you want.

Between J. and I we tried a little bit of everything in that smoker. Walk inside with your tray and you’re welcomed to another huge array of sides from breads, mac and cheese, baked beans, veggies, and desserts. Once you pay, find a seat at their large family style tables and take in the fun, rustic, Texas atmosphere. I felt extremely full and extremely happy, already dreaming of the day I’d get to return here.

Meso Maya Comida y Copas

Sunday was our downtown Dallas day, exploring the city and all of its history. What better place to grab lunch than in a historic Spanish-style building, at a restaurant bringing back flavors of Mexican and Mayan culture.

A little history: “Our building on McKinney Avenue has a long history—more than 75 years worth. It started in 1938 when the Spanish-style building was built for the Luna Tortilla Factory. The restaurant and its next-door neighbor, El Fenix, were instant favorites for residents and visitors of Dallas’ Little Mexico community, and it offered the first Mexican restaurant patio in the city. In late 2012, the building was renovated to accommodate Meso Maya, bringing to the area a new genre of Mexican food and culture. This well-known location recently received an award and was recognized by Preservation Dallas for preserving the history and culture of the Dallas community.”

Meso Maya makes all of their food from scratch – from from salsas and sauces to tortillas and adobos. Every dish is made with influences from places like Yucatan, Vera Cruze, and Chiapas. We started off with their house made salsa with a unique charred flavor from cooking down the tomatoes on a wood-burning grill. For my entree, I thought of no better dish to get than their Mole Poblano Enchiladas, adobo chicken breast, caramelized onions, cilantro, roasted poblanos, and monterrey jack cheese wrapped inside blue corn tortillas and smothered in homemade mole poblano sauce. The chocolate used in the mole sauce is made from specialty cocoa beans ground in house. It was a deep, rich flavor that started smooth and finished with that slight spicy burn on the back of your tongue. I finished off with a fresh squeezed margarita and it’s like I was transported to Mexico right in the heart of Dallas.

Tip: if you’re going on a weekend – make reservations! Even for lunch this place was jam-packed full of people.

Twisted Root Burger Company

After a long day of sight-seeing, we ended our night back over in Plano at The Shops at Legacy for dinner and bar-hopping and Twisted Root was calling our name. Let me start by saying this is not your typical burger joint. Chefs Jason Boso & Quincy Hart wanted to do things their own way with gourmet burgers and fresh ingredients in a fun, casual atmosphere. Because who said gourmet equated to fancy? Their meat is fresh, their toppings are made in house daily (including condiments and a whole variety of homemade pickles), and their buns are sourced from local bakeries.

J. went the build your own burger route and I got their “lots of shroom” burger  with garlic baby bello mushrooms and aged swiss. The bun was soft on the inside and crisp on the outside and was the right balance of bread to the 1/2 lb. burger patty. The burger was seasoned perfectly and super moist. We also ordered the fried pickles (because who can say no to homemade pickles) that were crisp and delicious.

The atmosphere of the The Shops at Legacy location is urban, casual, and fun with shipping container walls, metal high-tops, and a large concrete bar in the center of the restaurant. When you order your food, instead of asking for your name, they give you a fun themed card (we got the Beatles) and then they’ll sing a song or say a movie quote tied to your card – so listen closely for your order! If you’re looking for a low-key, casual meal without sacrificing quality – this is definitely your place.

P.S. Guy Fieri featured them on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives back in 2009!

Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar

What trip would be complete without a farewell brunch? Our hosts had been talking this place up to us for months leading up to the trip. And especially with a name like Whiskey Cake – how could we say no?

As you walk into this stand-alone brick and mortar, you enter an atmosphere that can I only describe as an industrial farmhouse. High ceilings with exposed beams and brick walls, and small details made out industrial material are matched with piles of firewood, whiskey barrel tops as wall art, chalkboard displays, and refurbished furniture. It gives off the vibe of being really hip, yet still warm and inviting.

They are all about farm-to-kitchen dishes and cocktails. “From scratch” and “homemade” have been prevalent themes through our meals in Dallas, and Whiskey Cake is no different. They’ve got a small herb garden right in front of the restaurant and a full chalkboard display and section of their menu showing exactly where their local ingredients are sourced.

I started off with a mimosa flight, because the only thing better than a mimosa is one with fresh squeezed juice. They all probably could have used a splash more juice in them, but I’m not going to be the girl that complains about too much champagne in her glass. For my meal, I went for their Pork Belly Ramen, ramen noodles, braised pork belly, quail egg, basil, sriracha, and seaweed, all in a pork broth. The broth was rich and complex, definitely something that had been cooking down for hours back in the kitchen. The braised pork belly was fall apart tender and the quail egg was just the right size type egg to get the flavor, without having a bowl full of egg yolk.

J. went more the breakfast route with a B.E.L.T, local sunny side up egg, lettuce, peppered bacon, tomato, fried green tomato, and remoulade sauce all on thick brioche bread. The bread was toasted well and was nice and thick to hold up to all of the toppings and runny egg yolk. I loved the addition of the fried green tomato not only as a different flavor, but for the added crunchy texture as well. Definitely something I’ll have to remember to replicate at home.

Of course we couldn’t leave without dessert, and their whiskey cake is well worth naming their restaurant after. A square slice of super moist toffee cake, topped with bourbon anglaise, spiced pecans, and fresh whipped cream. The cake soaked up that beautiful anglaise and the spiced pecans added just the snap of texture and paired well with the toffee and bourbon flavors. The sauce is quite sweet, but the cake itself and fresh whip cream balance it out beautifully. Next time we go, I’m not sharing.

And just like that we got back on the plane home, thus ending our long weekend in Dallas. And while the Gators may have lost, the weekend with great friends and good food was definitely one for the books.

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Recipes Sweet Treats

Chocolate Cinnamon Skeleton Cookies

Happy Hallows Eve fellow foodies! I absolutely love Halloween and wanted to whip up a fun spooky treat to celebrate with tomorrow. My first thought was to gravitate towards some classically Fall with pumpkin. But when I stumbled across these chocolate cinnamon skeleton cookies in my latest Food Network magazine I knew these were the winner. Super cute, a little spooky, and totally delicious.

Chocolate Cinnamon Skeleton Cookies

Icing

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture and beat until combined, about 2 minutes.

Per Food Network’s recipe: Divide the dough in half; pat each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, 1 hour. After the first hour, roll out each dough disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper until 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

(Note: I did not have 3 hours to chill my dough. For my shortcut, I divided dough into two disks and pressed out the dough into about 1/4 inch thick spheres between parchment paper and froze flat for about 30 minutes).

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the dough into shapes using a gingerbread man cookie cutter and arrange 2 inches apart on the prepared pans. Reroll the scraps and cut out more cookies. (If the dough is too soft, freeze 10 minutes before cutting.) Once cookies are all cut out, refrigerate until firm for 15 minutes.

Bake for 15 minutes, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are set but still soft. Let cool 10 minutes on the pans, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

For the icing: Beat the confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder and water in a bowl with a mixer on high speed until smooth and thick. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and snip off a corner. Pipe skulls and bones onto the cookies. Let set 30 minutes. Then to finish decorating, make the outline of the skull, eyes, nose, mouth and bones. Then thin some icing with a little water and pipe into the outline of the skull; use a toothpick to help.

(Note: I could not find the meringue powder at my local Publix, so I used pre-made cream cheese frosting. Also, if you have a squeeze bottle, use that to pipe the frosting – it gives you much more control. And just have fun with the decorating! They are skeletons – they don’t need to be perfect!) 

The mix of chocolate, cinnamon, and brown sugar gave these cookies a wonderful warm spiced chocolate taste without being overly sweet. Perfect for Halloween and the Fall season. If you’re feeling adventurous feel free to add hints of other spices like ground nutmeg, ginger, or allspice (about 1/8 – 1/4 tsp) to kick it up a notch! Yum!

Enjoy! Happy Halloween!

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Recipes

Pasta with Butternut Squash

While it may not quite feel like it yet here in Florida, Fall is upon us. And with Fall comes lots of good harvest produce and recipes that feature one of my favorite vegetables – butternut squash. Inspired by one of my favorite dishes from Cooper’s Hawk Winery, I tried my hand at my own butternut squash pasta dish.

Pasta with Butternut Squash

  • 1 (2 pound) butternut squash
    • (if you can find pre-cubed squash in your produce section, I highly recommend – it saves a lot of time and energy!)
  • 1 (10oz) package of Ranna chicken and garlic ravioli
    • (gnocchi or penne would work great in this too!)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Peel, seed, and cube your butternut squash and dice your onion. Arrange on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 45 minutes to roast the vegetables.

Once the vegetables are cooked through, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add your pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Put your pasta and 1 cup of pasta water back into your pot and crumble in the goat cheese. Stir occasionally until the cheese melts and becomes a creamy sauce. Add the squash and onions and season again with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve and garnish with basil and Parmesan.

The slight bite from the goat cheese pairs so well with the sweet richness of the butternut squash in this dish. I may opt for just a classic penne next time, as the ravioli was pretty filling on its own, but this is a creamy and comforting meal that is perfect as we *fingers crossed* head into some cooler weather.

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Restaurant Spotlight

Metro Diner

I first had the pleasure of experiencing the original Metro Diner up in Jacksonville several years ago. When they opened one in Gainesville, I was ecstatic. Brunch is always the perfect way to end a Game day weekend and while Gainesville has a large variety of top brunch spots to choose from, it’s going to be hard to ever say no to Metro Diner.

J. and my last experience there was no different, catching up with a large group of friends before heading back to Tampa. Metro Diner, located off of SW 34th Street, emits that classic diner atmosphere, with their forest green and white color scheme, homey decor, warm and friendly staff, overstuffed booths and tables, and a line of bar stools overlooking the grill. The wait was pretty long, but with a group of eight, it was to be expected. Once we were seated, our orders were taken and food was served quickly.

Their menu is large with something for everyone, whether you’re in the mood for breakfast, lunch, or something in between. They also do not skimp on their food portions here. In typical diner style, there is plenty to share or take home.

J. went with their chicken and waffles. Half a fried chicken and a waffle topped with a sweet, strawberry butter and served with their signature sweet and spicy sauce (a mix of maple syrup and hot sauce that surprisingly works). The chicken is seasoned well and is fried golden brown, staying super crisp on the exterior, but still nice and moist inside. The waffle is a thick Belgian waffle style,  nice and fluffy. The mix of tastes and textures between sweet, spicy, fruity, crispy and soft all blend together harmoniously in your mouth. You can smell this dish as soon as it comes out of the kitchen and it just makes your mouth water. If you’re debating on what to order, I’ll save you the trouble – order chicken and waffles.

I, for once, deviated from my norm and ordered biscuits and gravy. Two large biscuits cut in half topped with homemade sausage gravy, accompanied by two eggs any style and served with hashbrowns. The gravy is thick, creamy, and hearty with hints of heat from the pepper and large chunks of sausage. The biscuits are soft and flaky and sop up all the delicious gravy. With eggs and hashbrowns this is great well-rounded breakfast any day.

Metro Diner has been doing it right for almost 25 years. Their dedication and love for food shines through, and it’s a warm and inviting place you’ll want to enjoy again and again.

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Restaurant Spotlight

Adam’s Rib Co.

With so many travel adventures the past few weeks, I figured it was best to start at the beginning with my trip to Gainesville at the end of August (and ironically also just this past weekend)! J. and I both went to the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and we love returning for game days, to visit friends, and of course, to eat at all of our favorite college restaurants. First on the list – one we really try to go to every time we visit – is Adam’s Rib Co.

Founded back in 2005, Adam’s has a South and brand new (bigger) North location off of 13th St., as well as offers catering services (perfect for your next Gator tailgate!) I love that you can smell the BBQ cooking as soon as you step out of your car to go inside. It’s mouthwatering. This is a no frills rib joint, white painted brick walls, booths, tables, and bar up front for seating, with a smattering of Gator decor. They focus on customer service with extremely friendly and attentive staff , and of course, their down-home BBQ.

J. and I typically order the same thing as it’s hard to mess with a tried and true favorite – the Pork Sandwich Plate.
5 oz smoked pork, on garlic toast with 2 sides (AKA: mac and cheese and baked beans). The pork is fall apart tender, with a nice bark on the outside without tasting overly smoky or burnt. You can tell the meat is fresh and has great flavor all on its own. Add your favorite BBQ sauce (they’ve got plenty of homemade option to choose from!) and you’ve got a sandwich that’s near perfection. The baked beans are sweet, a little tangy, and super saucy which is also perfect to dip pulled pork into. And the mac and cheese, oh the mac and cheese. Classic elbow noodles in the creamiest cheese sauce. I can say without a doubt that I have not had mac and cheese that good anywhere else.

Also worth noting are their fried pickles, corn nuggets, brisket, breakfast, and homemade desserts.

They aren’t shy to say they have “the best BBQ in Gainesville,” and I’d have to agree. So the next time you’re driving through, you’d be amiss if you didn’t stop there. And can someone please bring me some takeout when you do?

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Recipes Sweet Treats

Classic Chess Pie

Hi fellow foodies! Sorry to be MIA – September was a whirlwind of a month. Between a trip to Gainesville, Dallas, evacuating due to Hurricane Irma, applying to grad school, and a handful of other family matters, I just have no idea where the time went! But I’m glad to be back, and there’s no better way to get back in the swing of things than with J.’s company pie contest! I’m still on a quest to redeem my first place win with my classic apple pie. I’m hoping that by going back to basics with this classic southern Chess Pie recipe I’ll bring home the win!

And while I’ve always made my own crusts for the competition, this time it’s mandatory – no mo’ store bought.

Flaky pie crust:

  • 2 + 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup 2 sticks cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk

Chess Pie Filling:

  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2  cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Before we get started:

Make the crust first, it needs time to chill. The tip to making this crust extra flaky is to not over work it and keeping it extra cold. That means you’re working sans-mixer and during the times you are handling the dough, you need to work quickly.  Once the dough heats up, it just becomes a sticky mess.

The crust:

In a medium bowl, mix together your flour, sugar, and salt. Chop up the butter into small pats or cubes. Using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. It won’t be completely together, like a batter, but more of a flaky/crumbly consistency. Don’t be afraid if you don’t necessarily combine all of the butter with the flour, you may still have some small chunks left – you just want to work quickly before the butter starts to warm up. Place the mixture in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Stick the buttermilk in the freezer as well to get it extra cold before adding to your crust dough.

Remove the bowl from the freezer and add the buttermilk. Use a fork to softly bring the dough together. Again, this will not be a super squishy, moist dough – it will stay somewhat flaky. Add more buttermilk (a TBSP at a time) if your dough is too dry and not coming together.

Form the dough into two disks and wrap in parchment paper. (Note: You’ll only need one disk for the bottom crust of the pie. You can either freeze the other crust just to keep on hand in the future, or double the filling recipe to make two pies). Place the dough you’re going to use (as well as your pie pan) in the refrigerator to chill for an hour.

After it’s chilled, place your dough on a well-floured sheet of parchment paper. Flour your rolling pin, and roll out your dough into a thin circle. Place your pie dish upside down on your dough then carefully flip the dough into the pie pan. Press into the dish and carefully remove the parchment paper. Crimp the edges of your dough and place back into the refrigerator.

Onto the pie filling!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, then set aside to cool. (Note: you don’t want to throw hot butter into your sugar/egg mixture – you could cook the eggs!)

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, flour, and salt. Stir with a whisk to combine. Add in butter, then buttermilk and vanilla. Mix until the mixture is smooth. Remove your crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling.

Bake for 50-70 minutes until the filling is set (aka it barely jiggles in the center). Mine took the full 70 minutes. You’ll want to brown the crust edges and caramelize the top – keep an eye out on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. Around 30 – 40 minutes I had to cover mine with tin foil.

Let the pie cool and set further. You can serve warm or chilled – whatever you prefer! This pie is a perfect example of simple ingredients that can stand the test of time. The high sugar content provides that somewhat shell-like caramelized sugar topping (like creme brulee) that you just can’t beat. Wish me luck in the competition!

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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