Every home cook has some basic recipes that they turn to all of the time for weeknight meals, special Sunday suppers or dinner parties. There are some classics and basic recipes that you learn along the way that you can always rely on when you want to turn out a great meal. Bon Appetit has put together 101 of the basic classic recipes, with everything from appetizers to desserts and everything in between so that you can have recipes to fall back on, learn and use when you want them. Check it out!
Category Archives: Pie
If you are like me, there are probably many nights during the week where you make a meal and then end up with a bunch of different leftovers that you may or may not know how to use. It is not unusual to get tired of having the same meal two or three times a week just because you do not want to throw away perfectly good food but are not sure what you can do with those leftover chicken pieces or leftover vegetables. It is times like this where potpie can come to the rescue. Potpie is a great meal to put together just about any time of the year and you can do it with any type of protein (or no protein at all if you are vegetarian) and vegetables. The only real effort that goes into it is making the pie dough and even then, if you have no problem using store-bought pie dough you can get the meal together even quicker. Very often I will use store-bought pie dough simply because it is easy, I do not really have the room to make pie dough and for potpie purposes it tastes just fine. I decided to use this recipe from New York Times Cooking for a chicken-tarragon potpie and make a simple dinner.
Chicken-Tarragon Pot Pie
For the crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) cold unnsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon cold vegetable shortening
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
Scant 1/2 teaspoon sugar
For the Filling:
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup thinly sliced leeks
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1 cup frozen baby green peas
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 cups leftover roast chicken, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
To make the crust, combine the flour, butter, shortening, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse the ingredients together just until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is broken into small pieces. Pour 1/3 cup of ice water into the machine, and pulse 3 or 4 times. Squeeze a little dough in your hand to see whether it clumps together and is evenly moist. If not, add another tablespoon of water, and pulse 1 or 2 times more. Don’t overmix so that the dough forms a ball.
Turn out the dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Lift the ends of the plastic to gather the dough together inside. Press the dough into a large disk, and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough until you are ready to use it, up to 2 days.
To make the filling, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, celery, leeks and tarragon, and cook, stirring, just until slightly softened but not browned (reduce the heat if necessary to prevent browning), about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a bowl, wipe out the skillet, and place it back on the stove.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, and melt it over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook, whisking, until the mixture bubbles and smells cooked. Do not let it brown. Whisk in 2 cups of chicken broth, and cook, whisking, for about 1 minute. Whisk in the cream, and cook 2 or 3 minutes, just until the mixture is thickened. Add the salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in the remaining broth.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the cooked vegetables and peas, the chicken and the sauce to an 8-inch deep pie dish or other baking dish, mix the ingredients gently, and taste for seasoning.
If you are using store-bought dough, take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes. If you are using your own homemade dough, flour a work surface. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll out the dough, turning and flouring often, and cut a shape approximately the size of your baking dish plus 1 1/2 inches overlap all around.
Roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, and unroll it over the baking dish, so it rests evenly on top of the filling. Fold the edges under and crimp the edges. Poke the tip of a knife through the crust to create 3 vent holes near the center. Whisk the egg with a teaspoon of cold water. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the entire crust with egg wash. Place the pie pan or baking dish on a cookie sheet, and place it in the oven.
Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake the pie for 25 to 30 minutes more, until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling through the vents. Let the pie rest for 10 minutes before serving.
One of the great things about this recipe is that you can make use of any type of vegetables you want in a pot pie. I used the vegetables recommended but I also had some leftover broccoli that I put in as well. Pot pie works well with chicken, turkey, beef and pork that you may have leftover so you can make just about anything with it. I find pot pie tastes even better the next day and often have any leftovers for lunch, after the sauce and the flavors have had even more time to come together. It can be a great dinner to put together in under an hour.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
The season for fresh cherries is pretty short so if you like cherries you want to make the most of the time you have them, which is right now. For me cherries are great to just snack on, but there are lots of great things you can do with them as well. They make a great addition to dishes using duck or pork, but naturally everyone thinks of dessert right away when they think of cherries. I am a big pie fan myself, so making cherry pie seems like the natural thing to do. Now the idea of pitting several pounds of cherries does not really appeal to me, as I am sure it doesn’t for a lot of people. However, if you really like cherry pie and want to make some of your own, you can make a good compromise and use some frozen cherries mixed with fresh cherries. The frozen cherries, like most frozen fruit, are packaged and frozen when the cherries are ripe so they have good flavor and the pitting has already been done for you. If you mix this together with some fresh cherries you pit yourself, it makes things a lot easier. If you really want to streamline things, and I did, it is worth investing in a good cherry pitter. I have one from OXO that does a fantastic job instead of doing it myself with a paring knife and ending up with cherry stained hands and cramps in my fingers. Once you have a plan for your cherries, you want to try this cherry pie recipe from Serious Eats. It’s the best cherry pie recipe I have ever tried.
Homemade Cherry Pie
For the Filling:
5 heaping cups pitted cherries from about 2 pounds whole fruit (6 heaping cups), or a mix of frozen cherries and fresh pitted cherries
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 small lemon
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
Pie dough from your favorite recipe for a double crust or 2 store-bought pie crusts
For the Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
To Serve (optional):
Fresh or store-bough whipped cream
For the filling: Combine the pitted cherries, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and tapioca starch in a large bowl, folding the ingredients with a flexible spatula until they are well combined. Scrape the cherries into the prepared pie shell and top with the remaining dough, using a solid sheet, cutouts, or a lattice-top design. Trim away the excess dough and refrigerate the pie to ensure that the top crust is completely chilled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and pre-heat to 400 degrees.
For the egg wash (if using): Whisk the egg, egg yolk, heavy cream, and salt in a small bowl. Brush the wash over the chilled top crust in a thin, even layer. This will give the crust a glossy, golden sheen, but it is not necessary in any way.
Place the chilled pie on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake the pie in the oven until the crust is golden, about 1 hour, then loosely cover the pie with tented foil. Alternatively, an empty baking sheet can be placed on the topmost rack of the oven to serve as a shield. Continue baking the pie until the filling is bubbling even in the very center of the pie, about 15 minutes more. If the crust completely covers filling, bake the pie until the pie reaches an internal temperature of 213 degrees on an instant-read digital thermometer inserted into the pie. The time can vary considerably depending on the thickness and type of pie plate, the amount of top crust, how long the pie was refrigerated, etc.
To serve: Cool the pie until it is no warmer than 85 degrees on an instant-read digital thermometer inserted into the pie, about 3 hours depending on the type of pie plate you use. At higher temperatures, the filling will be runny and thin. Slice the pie into wedges with a sharp knife, pressing firmly against the bottom and sides of the pie plate to ensure the under-crust is completely cut. If you like, serve the pie with whipped cream. Wrapped in foil, the leftovers will keep up to 3 days at room temperature; warm the pie for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven to revive the crust before serving.
This pie turned out perfectly. In the past when I have made cherry pie, even if I used cornstarch or tapioca, it always seemed to run too much. This one held together perfectly, even with using frozen cherries that I thought for sure would bleed out. The tapioca was just the right amount and chilling the pie for 30 minutes before cooking seemed to help in holding everything together and making the perfect crust. You can mix and match the cherries to suit what you like, using sweet and sour cherries if you like. A couple of things to note that Serious Eats comments on: first, the ratio of fruit to sugar in this recipe helps to boost the tapioca starch so that it gelatinizes well. Second, use a glass pie plate if you can because it helps to crisp the bottom crust well so it cuts nicely and holds up. A final note from me is that I used instant tapioca since I couldn’t find tapioca starch at any local store here. I was worried about how well it would work instead of tapioca starch but all went well for me. This pie is easily one of my favorites.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
Turnovers are one of those pastries that seem to fit in just about anywhere. They can be tasty for breakfast, make for a fantastic brunch item and can be the centerpiece of your meal as a really nice dessert. While most of us are probably used to having apple turnovers, and they certainly are a classic that you can make yourself, buy frozen in the stores and heat up or get from your local bakery (if you’re lucky enough to have such a thing in today’s world). I love a good apple turnover, but getting good apples for turnovers is not an easy thing to do this time of year. Instead, now is the perfect opportunity to use some of the great summer fruit that is available. Blueberry is always a favorite of mine for pies, so why not for a turnover as well? This recipe from Bon Appetit is for blueberry-blackberry turnovers, but since I didn’t have any blackberries on hand (and while I love blackberries, Sean and Michelle are not big fans of the seeds) I decided to just go with blueberry and make the turnovers that way.
For the Turnovers:
1 1/2 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) blueberries
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for the surface
1 large egg, beaten to blend
¼ cup heavy cream
1 store-bought pie crust, or your favorite pie dough recipe
For the Glaze and Assembly:
1½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt