PLUM SLAB PIE ala VALERIE BERTINELLI

PLUM SLAB PIE ala Valerie Bertinelli yield 12 servings

CRUST
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/3 cup cold water, plus more if needed
Cooking spray, for spraying the baking sheet
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 large egg
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

  • Combine the flour, granulated sugar and salt in a food processor and mix until combined.
  • Add the butter and pulse until evenly combined and the size of small pebbles.
  • Pour in the vinegar and pulse 1 to 2 times until just combined.
  • With the food processor running, slowly pour in the cold water, adding just enough for the dough to form a ball. You may not need the entire 1/3 cup of water.
  • Remove the dough from the food processor and form it into a ball.
  • Cut off about a third of the ball so you have a small piece (about 10 ounces) and a larger piece (about 1 pound 6 ounces; see Cook’s Note).
  • Form both pieces of dough into discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Spray a baking sheet very lightly with cooking spray.
  • Dust a work surface lightly with flour.
  • Roll the larger disc of dough into a rectangle that is 2 inches larger on all sides than the baking sheet.
  • Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and then unfold it over the baking sheet, gently guiding the dough into the baking sheet and lightly pressing it into the corners, sides and bottom.
  • Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the pie.
  • Lightly dust the work surface with flour and roll out the smaller disc of dough into a 20-by-12-inch rectangle.
  • Place a ruler along the 12-inch side of the dough and make a mark with a pizza cutter every 1/2 inch. Turn the ruler along each mark and use it as a guide to cut a straight line, making twelve 1/2-inch strips that are 20 inches long.
  • Transfer the strips of dough to a baking sheet, laying them diagonally so they fit and dusting the strips with flour as you lay them down.
  • Refrigerate while you make the filling so the dough does not begin to stick together.

FILLING
6 pounds red plums, cut in 1/4-inch half-moon slices
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons orange zest plus 1/3 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 small navel orange)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • In a large bowl, mix together the plums, granulated sugar, cornstarch, almond extract, orange zest and juice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, making sure the plums are evenly coated.
  • Let sit no more than 5 minutes.

ASSEMBLY

  • Evenly spread the filling over the crust on the baking sheet.
  • Lay one of the dough strips diagonally across the baking sheet from one corner to the other.
  • Repeat laying strips parallel to the first piece evenly across the rest of the pie. You can cut strips down to size as you work your way towards the end of the pie, making sure to leave a bit of overhang on both sides.
  • Take every other strip of dough and fold it back over itself so that it exposes a little more than half of the filling. Lay a long strip of dough in the opposite direction, going diagonally from one corner to the other. Fold the dough strips back down and you will begin to see a lattice form. Fold back every other strip of dough that you didn’t fold back before, and then lay another strip of dough diagonally across the pie, working towards a corner. Continue this process until half the pie has a lattice top. Then rotate the pan and repeat the same process on the other side to finish the lattice.
  • Fold the dough hanging over the sides of the pie up and over the edge, tucking the ends of the strips from the lattice top inside. This will ensure the strips of dough stay anchored to the edges of the pie.
  • Crimp the edges of the dough using your pointer fingers and thumb to pinch the dough together.
  • Whisk together the heavy cream and egg and brush evenly over the lattice top and edges of the pie.
  • Sprinkle the entire pie with turbinado sugar and bake until the crust is a deep golden brown and bubbles form towards the middle of the pie, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  • Let cool completely, at least 40 minutes.

COOK’S NOTES

  • I have made this many times and it translates into other flavor profiles EXTREMELY well.  My personal favorite is peach, but I also love it made as cherry!
  • The weights for dividing the dough are approximations!  The weights are totally dependent on several factors – your climate (rain really affects the outcome) as well as how much water you add to the dough. The most important thing is to remember is to divide the dough so you have 1 piece that is twice the size as the other piece of dough.

FARM STYLE MEATLOAF

FARM STYLE MEATLOAF is a recipe I adapted from Kevin Penner’s 1770 House Meatloaf recipe after watching an episode of Ina Garten‘s Barefoot Contessa.  I debated on what to name this dish after my changes.  I flip flopped between Greenhouse and Farm style before finally landing on farm style.  All of the different meats and FRESH herbs and vegetables influenced my final decision for naming it Farm Style.  Honestly, I may yet rename it as I think more.

It is similar, yet completely different from my normal meatloaf recipe that I’ve been using for eons!  We instantly fell in love with the earthiness of this meatloaf and the savory herb sauce was perfect with mashed potatoes too!   Hubby normally loves ketchup or BBQ sauce with meatloaf, but with this flavorful sauce he bypassed it completely!

The key to this recipe is using QUALITY ingredients! Preferably grass fed meats and very FRESH organic ingredients.

FARM STYLE MEATLOAF
1/3 pound ground veal or lamb
1/3 pound ground pork
1/3 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon chopped, FRESH chives
1 teaspoon chopped, FRESH thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped, FRESH Italian parsley
1 LARGE egg
scant 1/2 cup finely ground Panko crumbs
scant 1/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Avocado oil
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
1 LARGE shallot, finely diced

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Place the veal, pork, beef, chives, thyme, parsley, eggs, Panko crumbs, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat and film it with avocado oil.
  • Add the celery and shallot to the pan, stirring, until softened.
  • Remove the celery and shallot from the pan and let cool.
  • When the mixture is cool, add it to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients.
  • Using gloved hands, mix the ingredients until well combined and everything is evenly distributed.
  • Place a LARGE piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.
  • Place the meat on the sheet pan and pat it and punch it down to remove any air pockets shaping the meat into a loaf about 6 inches long x 2 inches high.
  • Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a meat cooked through (155-160°).
  • Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

SAUCE
2/3 cup chicken or beef stock
1 tablespoon Marsala wine
3 cloves roasted garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon FRESH chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon FRESH chopped thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon FRESH chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)

  • Combine the broth, Marsala wine, roasted garlic and butter over medium-high heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly thickened.
  • Add the chopped thyme, chives and parsley.
  • Quickly whisk in the cornstarch if needed to thicken as necessary.
  • Slice the meatloaf into serving portions and spoon the hot sauce over the meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTE: You can use a loaf pan if you prefer, but we like the firm crispy edges produced using this method.

BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATLOAF

I saw this on Damaris Phillip’s show, Southern at Heart and fell in love almost immediately! I made just a few alterations to fit with what I had on hand, but we love it and have had it several times, several ways since.

BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATLOAF

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 25 min          COOK TIME: 1 hour          PREP TIME: 25 min

SAUCE
1/3 cup ketchup**
1 tablespoon hot sauce

  • Whisk together the ketchup and hot sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

MEATLOAF
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup diced celery (2-3 stalks) + leaves reserved for garnish
1 cup small diced onion or shallot
3 tablespoons Frank’s original hot sauce
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1 cup blue cheese crumbles (GORGONZOLA works well too as does sharp cheddar)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons FRESH coarse ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Grease a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and saute the celery and onion until softened, 3- 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the mixture, plus the drippings, to a large bowl.
  • Add the hot sauce to the bowl and stir to combine.
  • Add the chicken, blue cheese, salt, pepper, eggs and 1 1/2 cups of the panko and mix until well combined.
  • Press the mixture into the prepared loaf pan, pressing more in the center of the loaf to create a divot. This will allow the meatloaf to bake evenly and not create a mound after it is baked.
  • Spread half of the sauce over the top of the meatloaf.
  • Mix the Parmesan with the Panko and sprinkle the mixture on top of the sauce.
  • Bake until the center is set and the top is golden brown, 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Let rest 10-15 minutes before cutting to serve.
  • Garnish the meatloaf slices with remaining heated sauce and chopped celery leaves.

**NOTE: Use jalapeno ketchup if you want a bit more spice.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY ~ PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

Today would have been my dad’s 80th birthday I can’t believe he’s been gone 25 years. I still sometimes pick up the phone to call him and talk before I realize…

ANYWAY I digress. My cousin also passed away back in 1998 and her sister and I bake a cake for her every year on her birthday – most times we even make significantly different flavors, but I always make the same one on daddy’s birthday, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, his favorite.

This year I decided to try a new recipe from Damaris Phillips – I just LOVE her.  She is so much fun, and REAL, plus she likes to experiment so I know she’d be okay with the changes I made to her recipe.

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Total:1 hr 15 min          Active:25 min          Yield: 8 to 12 servings

TOPPING
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon molasses
20-ounce can sliced pineapple, drained and juice reserved
20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup pineapple rum

  • Soak raisins and apricots in the rum.
  • In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the brown sugar.
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Drain apricots and raisins well.**
  • Arrange the pineapple slices in the skillet.
  • Fill in the spaces with the chopped apricots and golden raisins.
  • Follow by a thin layer of crushed pineapple. Set aside.

CAKE
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 QUALITY flaked coconut
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice (from the cans)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil
1 LARGE egg

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.

Combine the cake ingredients in this fashion:

  • In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, coconut and salt.
  • In a second bowl, combine the milk, vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of the reserved pineapple juice.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the granulated sugar and coconut oil on medium speed until thick and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  • Beat in the egg.
  • Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined.
  • Add the milk mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Add the rest of the flour and mix until combined, about 1 minute.
  • Pour the batter over the pineapple slices in the skillet and spread evenly.
  • Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted, 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Be sure and check after 20 minutes to make sure the top isn’t getting too brown. If it is, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes.
  • Cover with a large serving plate and invert the cake.
  • ENJOY!

NOTE: YOU CAN NOW USE THE LEFTOVER RUM FOR A COCKTAIL WHILE YOU WAIT!