Monday, December 21, 2009

Ruth's Pancakes

I love the description in The Gourmet Cookbook regarding these pancakes:

"If you need to pull out all the stops for an Extremely Special Breakfast, these pancakes from Gourmet's editor-in-chief are for you. They are rich with butter, and the flavor is incomparable. "

Random Capitalizations... I heart you.


1 cup milk (preferably whole milk)
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon salt (I usually do about 3/4 tsp. salt)

Optional: Chocolate Chips, blueberries to put in pancake batter. Also amazing served with fresh sliced strawberries and the crowd favorite, REAL maple syrup.


Whisk together milk, eggs, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a medium bowl, then whisk in butter.

Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in another medium bowl. Whisk in egg mixture until just combined.

Heat 1/2 tsp. of oil in a large nonstick skillet, cast iron skillet, or griddle, until hot but not smoking. Working in a batches of 2-3 pancakes, and adding a drizzle of oil between batches, pour 1/3 measurements of atter into skillet until bubbles have formed throughout the pancake and broken to the surface, about 2 minutes or so (this is also the time when you can sprinkle in some blueberries or chocolate chips before they cook too long.) Flip pancakes with a spatula and cook until undersides are golden, about 1 minute more. (Lower heat if pancakes brown too quickly.) Serve warm with preferred topping.

*Note, the last time I made these i used only about a 1/2 stick of melted butter and added a big more vegetable oil, which also turned out scrumptious. Do what you will! These pancakes rock. They are also good when refrigerated and re-heated in the oven up to a week later...I know from personal experience.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cranberry-Apple Crumble Pie

From Gourmet, via Epicurious


For pastry dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening (trans-fat-free)
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

For crumble topping:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

For fruit filling:

2 pounds apples (about 5), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (use a sweeter apple, like Gala to counteract the tartness of the cranberries. I like to throw in a sour apple too, just for fun).
8 ounces fresh or frozen (not thawed) cranberries
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces


For pastry:
Blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Drizzle 3 tablespoon ice water evenly over mixture and gently stir with a fork until incorporated.

(Squeeze a small handful: If dough doesn't hold together, add more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring until incorporated. Do not overwork dough or pastry will be tough.)

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather all dough together (using a pastry scraper if you have one) and form into a 5-inch disk. If dough is sticky, dust lightly with additional flour. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

For crumble topping:
Stir together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips until large clumps form, then stir in pecans. Chill until ready to use.

For fruit filling:
Stir together apples, cranberries, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Assemble pie:
Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in lower third.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round, then fit into pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under and crimp decoratively. Transfer fruit filling to pie shell and dot with butter. Loosely cover with foil and bake until apples droop slightly, about 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Sprinkle crumble topping over filling and bake, uncovered, until crumble is browned, filling is bubbling, and apples are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour more. Cool completely, 2 to 3 hours.

Note: Dough can be chilled up to 3 days and refrigerated (but you must bring dough to almost-room temparature to be able to roll out when you do use it.)