Sunday, 29 September 2013

American style rhubarb pie

Rhubarb is one of those things I had never come across before moving north... But the BF is a big fan of it, so I had to try it. Turns out it's alright, not the best thing ever but quite nice in a double crust pie (those American style pies they have in Mickey Mouse cartoons...).

I've made it a few times now, using this recipe.

Here's a Europe friendly (metric!) version...

200g sugar
25g flour
1g cinnamon
2 eggs
15g butter
500g chopped rhubarb (that was about 4 stalks for me)
2 pie crusts (I use store bought puff pastries)

1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. 
2. Gently stir in the rhubarb. 
3. Line a pastry case with the bottom pie crust and add the filling. Dot with butter.

4. Cover with the top pie crust and seal the edges together (the original recipe says "Trim, seal and flute edges". I've no idea what this fluting business is, but what I usually do is fold the excess top pastry under and pinch it together with the bottom pastry edge. Then press a fork on the edge to make it prettier... This works just fine).

5. Cut slits in the top pastry so air can escape while its cooking, and the top pastry doesn't go flying off... You should have something like this...
6. Stick it in an oven preheated at 205 degrees C (or 185 for a fan oven), for about 45 minutes. As for most things, keep an eye on it the last few minutes;)

And this is what you get!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Beignets de fleur de courgette et citrouille (courgette and pumpkin flower fritters)

Those are typical from Nice, where I spent most of my uni years...

Our vegetable garden has pretty much been taken over by courgette and pumpkin plants (those grow BIG), and since it's getting to the end of the season (the -huge- leaves are starting to brown), I thought I'd use the flowers that haven't transformed into veggies yet to make those beignets...

But not before we got this loot:

Oh and here are some of the pumpkin plants:

(Yep, the whole mass at the back and on the left side is made of pumpkin plants!)

And here are the flowers:

(The small orange ones at the bottom are courgette flowers, and the bigger yellow ones at the top are pumpkin flowers. Next to some tomatoes and spring onions also from the garden).

Anyway... I used the recipe from this website.

Here's a translation of the important bits:

  • about 2 dozen courgette/pumpkin flowers
  • 75g plain flour
  • 10cl cold milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper


1. Wash the flowers delicately, checking that there are no creepy crawlies in them. Cut the stems at the base of the flowers.
2. Make the batter:
    a) Mix the flour, egg yolk, olive oil and a bit of the milk. Add the rest of the milk gradually while mixing.
    b) Beat the egg white until firm peaks form (damn, that takes a while!).
    c) Gently fold the egg white into the mixture. Season with S&P.
3. Dip each flower into the batter, and fry it for about 2 minutes, or until the batter is golden.
I don't have a deep fat frier so I just pan fried them, and that worked reasonably well.

Here's the result: