TWD Blond Brownies and a Fresh Strawberry Pie

My vegetable garden is moving right along. I re-planted greenbeans because, EVEN WITH MAJOR SLUG BAIT caked into huge circles, the slugs wiped out all my first greenbean plants so now I am cajoling these new plants into mad growing. I have no idea if I will even get a single green bean.

Tuesdays with Dorie is finally here and posted! I baked these late yesterday afternoon and feel completely behind BUT here we are: Ta DAHHHH!

I am grateful the recipe went together quickly and "loved" the bittersweet chocolate chunks, crushed toffee bits (mine were (4) food processor chopped Heath bars) and a "full" cup of pecan chunks. I know, the recipe asked for walnut but pecans is what I was in the mood for =). I also omitted the sweetened coconut. No reasoning behind it, just what I was in the mood for too.

The brownies are delicious, crunchy, chewy with a slight toffee taste. I loved the flavor but had issues with baking time. Mine did not pull away from the sides of the pan nor did the inserted toothpick come out clean . . . ever. Even after baking for an additional 15 minutes. The sides were a little dried out.

I shared some with company, sent a few with Larry for work and the rest went into the freezer so that I could have them on reserve for additional company.

Thank you Nicole of Cookies on Friday (recipe on her site) for hosting this week's Tuesdays with Dorie and choosing the Chewy, Chunky Blondies! Super choice!

As promised, I am adding a family favorite pie crust recipe and fresh strawberry pie recipe!

Extra-Flaky Pie Crust
(recipe for crust originally from STL Working Mom blog)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cake flour

1 tsp. salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup plus two Tbsp. cold shortening
1/2 cup of ice water
1 egg white, slightly beaten

Add all dry ingredients to a food processor. Pulse till combined. Scatter the butter and shortening to the dry ingredients. Pulse till the mixture is crumbly and contains pea-sized clumps. Slowly add the ice water till the mixture clumps, running the processor for a few seconds at a time. Remove the dough from the processor and knead in a flour-coated bowl a few times. Put pastry in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for an hour before rolling.

Preheat the oven to 450° and let sit at that temperature for another 20-30 minutes.
Roll out the pie dough into a 13" circle and place into the pie pan. Shape the top as you like. Freeze for at least 20 minutes.

Poke the sides and bottom of the dough with fork tines. Crumple a piece of parchment paper, unroll it, and place over the pie, fitting it down close to the dough. Put in your dried beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the weighted parchment paper, cover the top edge of the crust with aluminum foil, and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the inside of the crust has a light golden tinge and feels more like crust than dough. Let cool for 3 minutes, then brush on the egg white to the sides and bottom. Let cool completely.

The strawberry pie was made using a conversion scale for grams. Weighing ingredients is "always" much more accurate then cup measurements.

Double-Strawberry Open-Faced Pie

(recipe originally found at The Food Geek blog for a pie contest)

The Base Layer
85g Lindt White Chocolate (all but one column of a 3.5oz bar)
4oz Cream Cheese
2 T. sour cream

The Cooked Layer
1 cup fresh strawberries (after rinsing, drying, hulling, and halving)
2 T. Cornstarch
118g Water
67g Sugar
1 t. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 pinch Salt

The Fresh Layer
Enough whole strawberries, to cover a 9" circle when stood point up, hulled, dried, and rinsed.
1/4 c. Currant Jelly
1 T. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur


The Bottom Layer
Put the white chocolate into a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 20 seconds at a time. At the end of each, stir. Repeat until there's more melted bits than solid bits, then keep stirring until all of the solid bits turn into melted bits. Let cool to room temperature.
In a small mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese with an electric mixer until it's somewhat fluffy and whipped. Add in the cooled white chocolate and mix. Add in the sour cream and mix until combined. Cover the bottom of the pie with this mixture.

The Cooked Layer
Lightly crush the strawberries with a fork in a small saucepan. Add the sugar, water, salt, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute. Pour into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stir occasionally during the cooling process. Once cooled, pour over the bottom later of the pie.

The Fresh Layer
Your strawberries should have the tops cut off so that they could stand up on the a flat surface. Place these point side up on top of the pie.
In the small saucepan which has been washed and dried, melt the currant jelly until it is melted. It will bubble. Strain into a glass, which will involve a lot of pressing with a spatula. Stir in the St. Germain. Brush this mixture onto the fresh strawberries.

The Pie
Cool in a refrigerator for an hour or two or overnight.


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