By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
"And above all...Think chocolate!" -- Betty Crocker
It's Tuesday and I am craving comfort food. I got the word. The chocolate book galley will indeed be on my doorstep Thursday. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm excited. I want a healthy, creamy, chocolatey treat to get me through these next few days. And I found just the perfect recipe(s).
I turned to Gemma Sciabica's cookbook Cooking with California Olive Oil: Popular Recipes. In minutes my eyes feasted on the Custard Pie recipe. As a tween I used to make custard pudding. It was failproof for me, a wannabe wonderful bakeress. And it did turn out, time after time, without woes like a lucky charm. It was my favorite food friend.
1 single pie crust, chilled
2 1/2 cups milk [I probably will use 2% low fat milk or mix it half and half with sweet condensed milk for a creamier texture]
4 eggs [I will use organic brown eggs]
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 teaspoons vanilla
In mixing bowl, beat filling ingredients with wire whip or rotary beater until smooth. Pour into unbaked pie shell, carefully place in oven. Bake in 400 degrees oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, bake about 35 minutes longer or until filling is set. Test center with cake tester. Cover edge of pie with foil if browning too quickly.
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg,
grated peel of 1 orange
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 squares (1 ounce) semisweet chocolate, melted
OK. It's a gamble like playing the slots or tables at Lake Tahoe's casinos. But I've decided that I'm going for the coconut (it's healthy for you)--and the dark chocolate and nutmeg, for sure. I'll hold the whipped cream and instead top the pie with some fresh summer fruit (rapberries). Also, rather than making a homemade olive oil crust I am going to get a store bought one; one with less than more artificial ingredients). Sometimes, despite me being the health fanatic, you've got to take shortcuts (pie crust) but this pie will have less unhealthy stuff in it than a frozen one picked up the store.
Still, I want you to have Gemma's Olive Oil Pie Crust recipe (page 272 in her cookbook noted above) which I vow to use and share on The Writing Gourmet after the chocolate book proofs are out the door and pre-fall hits us at Lake Tahoe. And yes, I promise to share it with you during the next pie I bake. It'll be a celebration!
But today, swimming, bathing Simon, my 6 year old Brittany, getting a new fish tank, and cleaning the house are on my plate till the The Healing Powers of Chocolate arrives like a visitor from a faraway land. I am nervous as a cat before a quake. Oh yeah, I need to pick up special food for Kerouac, my devoted black senior kitty. A writer's work is never done. Thank God for coconut custard pie and chocolate.