Friends, I am so excited I can barely type. No... I didn't win the megasuperduper lotto - this is even better than that! Remember when I said something terrific happened the other day? Let me tell you... no... let me show you what happened.....
Look what was delivered the other day! Even better.....
A signed copy of Tom Douglas' new book, The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle! For me! What could be more amazing! Especially since its the Dahlia Bakery... as in "Dahlia" my least favorite goat and most favorite flower!
You know that I'm a huge fan of Chef Douglas and his products. Our favorite meal is still Smoked Duck Eggrolls and 12 Spice Sticky Ribs from his book, Tom's Big Dinners. I made this meal again just the other day after our duck and pork harvests. And the soy honey glaze made with our farm fresh honey? Delish!
So you can imagine that I was over the moon to receive a signed copy of his newest book. And its about pie! I immediately cleared the kitchen and got to work making...wait for it..... "hot buttered rum" apple pie. Do I even have to say anything else?
I was pretty excited that the first step involved caramelizing the apples. You know that I love danger when it involves pie - so I busted out my favorite Le Creuset braiser and got things cooking.
The pie crust was a breeze to put together. The one thing he does differently than my standard recipe was to add a little vinegar to the dough. And of course I used some of that stunning leaf lard that I rendered last week instead of shortening.
Now if you are like me and got a little ahead of yourself and figured since you have a few minutes while the apples were cooling.. might as well put together the rum plus brown sugar plus spices plus vanilla and butter while you are waiting. And you take one whiff of that heavenly concoction...and suddenly find yourself sipping...then drinking.. then chugging that its-not-hot-but-who-cares-its-buttered-rum right out of the measuring cup... well then. Don't come crying to me if you have to start all over again and measure out a new batch.... and maybe another... and chores were awfully hard because there was a reason we had to institute that "no drinking before chores" rule on purpose. I say no more on this.
The pie cooks low and slow for about two hours in a moderate oven. This was fine and actually its great for a winter project - it kept the kitchen warm and the house smelled like the best part of Christmas.
There were angels singing when I took the pie out of the oven. But then again, I had gone back and made more of that buttered rum stuff. For all I know it was the dogs howling... but who cares, the pie was stunning!
And yeah Friends, you know that this pie is a breakfast food. It's buttery and caramel-y and full of apple goodness. Its a winner for sure.
Chef Douglas, thank you so much for your generous gift. I really am the happiest girl in Ohio. I'll be cooking my way thru this beautiful book all winter. I've got my eye on that chocolate caramel pecan tart, the schnecken for sure, the toasted hazelnut whole wheat scones with maple glaze, and I may just give those eclairs a try...and your world famous triple coconut cream pie? Oh yes...
Happy Thursday everyone! Didn't win the lottery either? Then run right out and get a copy of The Dahlias Bakery Cookbook and bake yourself happy!