Lemon-Lime Pudding Pie with Wild Berry Jam

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Let’s bake a pie. No pie dough involved, so no excuses. Just an easy cookie crust, filled with a sweet-tart pudding and a crown of berries. This pie is as flavorful as it is colorful. It’s the kind of dessert you mourn when the last piece is gone.

Here are a few tips to ease the pie preparation. First, use your food processor to mix all the crust ingredients. If you don’t like crystallized ginger just leave it out. It’s your crust and you have options. And use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to gently press the crumbs evenly into the pie plate. No fuss no muss. Now the filling. I love lemon and lime, but you can use any citrus. You can even use bottled juice if you want. Not saying I recommend it, but heck, it’s your pie. Just be careful to temper those egg yolks and not scramble them. When I instruct “slowly” I mean pour a tablespoon or two at a time.

love a clean slice

The topping is about the easiest thing on the planet to make. Just make sure you bring it to a low boil and let it go for at least a minute to properly thicken. Those wild blueberries are like precious jewels and while I enhanced them with sweet huckleberry preserves you can choose any berry preserves you like. Remember, it’s your pie. The preserves replaces sugar and adds a little something extra in flavor.

Lemon-Lime Pudding Pie with Wild Berry Jam

  • Servings: 8 to 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Crust

2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (only reason I buy girl scout trefoils)

3 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger

Optional add-ins: ¼ cup flaked coconut, ¼ cup toasted nuts

Filling

1 cup milk, divided

¼ cup cornstarch

3 egg yolks

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup fresh lime juice

¾ cup sugar

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Grated zest of 1 lime

1 cup 5% fat Greek yogurt (I use Fage brand)

4 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces

Topping

2 cups wild blueberries, fresh or frozen

½ cup Huckleberry preserves (you may substitute elderberry or blueberry)

1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Heat oven 350F. Pulse all the crust ingredients in a food processor until combined. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool. For the filling: In a heat-proof bowl or large measure with a spout, whisk ½ cup milk with cornstarch until blended. Add egg yolks, blend well and set aside. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, whisk the remaining ½ cup of milk with the lemon juice, lime juice, sugar and half each of the lemon and lime zest until the sugar dissolves and the mixture just comes to a simmer. Slowly whisk the hot mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken and bubble. Let cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time, until melted and incorporated. Whisk in yogurt until pudding is smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the filling to prevent it from forming a crust. Chill for 2 hours. Make the jam topping. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine wild blueberries and preserves, stirring, until preserves are melted, blueberries release their juice and mixture begins to bubble. Stir in cornstarch slurry to thicken the mixture. Let mixture bubble 1 more minute or until fully thickened. Cover and chill jam before spreading evenly over top of pie. Garnish with additional dollops of yogurt or sweetened whipped cream. Sprinkle with remaining zest.

Hope your week is as easy as pie. ❤ Happy Valentine’s Day, too.

Italian Style Zucchini Bread: A Challenge

A boatload of zucchini is never a problem around here as we enjoy it so many ways. You can find one of my favorite recipes here for funfetti zucchini bread, but today we are going with an Italian spin on the loaf. It was a challenge to get it right.

Inspired and intrigued by Deb Wise’s recipe for a Tuscan Pignoli Orange Zucchini Bread on my recipes.com I immediately went to work to change it. At first glance, I loved her use of almond and semolina flours in the mix, but then I noticed 2 teaspoons of baking soda plus 1 of baking powder and a red flag went up. I hate the metallic bitterness of unreacted baking soda in quick breads and muffins and I just did not think there was enough acidity in the recipe to balance out the baking soda and allow it to do its job. I also noted an overload of oil and sugar in the ingredient list which conjured up an overly sweet and greasy loaf image. I find most quick breads don’t ever suffer from a reduction in the oil and the sugar in the recipe and in my mind it feels so much healthier.

In my first attempt, I reduced the baking soda form 2 teaspoons to 1 1/2 teaspoons plus I added 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. I reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup and the oil by 1/3 cup. I did not use the nuts (too expensive an ingredient to experiment with), but kept everything else the same. The result is the loaf pictured above. It was greasy and tasted slightly metallic. It was sweet enough, so I opted out of the icing. Did you notice it is slightly sunken in? That is the result of too much leavening. I knew it needed further refinement.

The next loaf required a dramatic decrease in baking soda (from 2 teaspoons to 1), oil (from 1 cup to 1/2 cup) and sugar (1 1/4 cups to 3/4 cup) and the addition of 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the results were deliciously amazing. First, the aroma is super nutty and the flavor is bright with citrus and just a touch of sweetness. The texture is perfectly light without any greasy feel. Bonus points for a perfect rise without sinking. My husband described it as “fresher tasting”.

Tuscan Lemon Zucchini Bread

  • 1 cup (about 4 1/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 3/4 oz.) semolina flour
  • 1/2 cup (about 1 3/4 oz.) almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use avocado oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini *

Heat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with baking spray. Whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl just until combined. Place eggs in a large bowl; lightly whisk. Add sugar, oil, vanilla, and lemon juice and zest; whisk until smooth. Stir in grated zucchini. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool bread in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of pan to loosen bread. Remove bread from pan, and cool completely on rack.

I am fresh out of grief lessons, but don’t want to give up on blogging. From time to time, I hope you enjoy the recipes shared here. You can see more of what I do on instagram @goodgriefcook

Two Roads & A Recipe

Ricotta chive gnocchi with brown butter, lemon and chive sauce

Ricotta chive gnocchi with brown butter, lemon and chive sauce

Moving forward on this grief journey I am taking a bend in the road and celebrating my William and his favorite Robert Frost poem……..

Two roads...photo by William Keys

Two roads…photo by William Keys

…..with the concept of “two roads and a recipe”. If ever there was a book title that is it. I will be twisting up one recipe and featuring it in two ways. In addition, I hope to highlight what is growing in my garden path. While the poem may highlight looking back with regret these recipes will only have you sighing with satisfaction. Which sauce do you choose?

gnocchi with meat sauce

gnocchi with meat sauce

And while we are out in the garden lets pick some joyful moments to add to the menu. The more joy you add the better life tastes.

beautiful, fresh from the garden, chives

beautiful, fresh from the garden, chives

Caitlin and Sam are celebrating their 2nd wedding anniversary next week. I wish them a long life of commitment to each other and no regrets. May they make each other better people every single day. Thanks for bringing such joy to our families. They love gnocchi and I love them, so from my heart to yours enjoy.

Wedding Day photo by Campli Photography

Wedding Day photo by Campli Photography

Ricotta Chive Gnocchi with Two Sauces

1 (15 oz) container part-skim ricotta

3 egg yolks

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

2 tablespoons finely snipped chives

few grinds grated nutmeg

pinch white pepper

1¼ cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting board

the dough

the dough

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper and sprinkle with semolina flour. In a bowl, combine all ingredients adding just enough flour for dough to hold together. It will be a bit sticky. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Cut dough into 6 portions. With floured hands and using just enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking, roll each dough piece into a rope about ½-inch thick. Cut the rope into ½-inch pieces. Roll each cut piece on the tines of a fork or a gnocchi board. Place on prepared baking sheet making sure gnocchi don’t touch each other. Cover and chill until ready to cook. Can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen up to a month. Cook gnocchi in boiling salted water for about 1 minute or until they are floating. Serve with lemon brown butter or bolognase sauce.

gnocchi board is made in Philadelphia by

gnocchi board is made in Philadelphia by

To make Lemon-Chive Brown Butter: melt 1 stick of unsalted butter over medium-low heat until it turns a toasty brown color, about 6 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, a tablespoon of snipped chives and a pinch of salt and ground pepper. Add cooked gnocchi, tossing to coat. Serve immediately.

To make Bolognese Sauce: In stock pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add ½ cup each diced onion, small dice carrot and chopped celery; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until softened. Add 1 pound ground beef, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon and cooking until no longer pink. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and few grind of pepper. Add 1-cup dry white wine. Increase heat to high and continue cooking until wine has evaporated. Add ½ cup of milk; cook until mixture again appears dry. Add 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, on very low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Spoon over cooked gnocchi. Sprinkle with shards of parmesan cheese.

the ridges create places for the sauce to cling onto the dumplings

the ridges create places for the sauce to cling onto the dumplings