Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vidalia Onion Pie

I could eat onions all day long.

Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. But I really do like onions.

I looked in the freezer the other day and realized that I still had 5 frozen pie crusts waiting to be used. (For some reason, I thought I needed 6 pie crusts to make the Leek Goat Cheese Quiche. Look forward to lots of pies in TBK's future!)

So I decided to make an onion tart. I'd been looking forward to making an onion tart for a while, but I'd just never gotten around to it. Too many cupcakes got in the way! So last week I decided to rectify that situation. I found an All-American Pie Championship recipe on the Food Network website. The recipe isn't very complicated, and since I didn't make the crust myself, I was able to save even more time. I prefer to relax in my free time, not make pie crusts that I can purchase at the grocery store. Sorry if that's shocking!

*Side-note: I finally conquered the elusive photo collage!!! Thanks Anjelika!

Vidalia Onion Pie
slightly adapted - makes 1 9-10" pie
  • 1 9-10" frozen pie crust, thawed
  • 1/4 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water for egg wash
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or Hawaiian salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
  • Habanero sauce
1) Brush egg wash on the inside of the pie crust.

2) Place crust in the refrigerator until filling is ready.

3) Over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and saute until translucent. Do not brown.

4) Combine eggs, sour cream, flour, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and a splash or two of habanero sauce.

5) Add onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper and pour into chilled pie crust.

6) Top with Parmesan cheese.

7) Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 450 degrees F. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F for another 20 minutes or until center is set.

Yum yum yum! First of all, let me warn you (unnecessarily) that you need to love or really really really like onions to enjoy this pie. The pictures I took of the individual pie slices looked pretty messy (I think I tried to take pictures when the pie was still too warm.). But when I tasted the onion pie, my taste buds were delighted with the creamy flavor and the slight tartness of the onions. I would have liked to have more cheese in the pie itself, but if you don't like cheese as much as I do, you can stick with the 1/2 cup of cheese mixed into the pie. Or you could eliminate all of the cheese in the pie. It's up to you.

I could eat this onion pie all day long. Yeah, really.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sweettart Jellybean Cupcakes

It's a little late for Easter cupcakes. But better late than never!

I started thinking about these cupcakes as I was munching on my favorite Easter snacks: Sweettart Jellybeans. These are the best Easter candies ever. Come to think of it, these may be the best candies ever.

Then, of course, I began to think about cupcakes. If you can add other candies to cupcakes, why not jellybeans? I'd never heard of this before, so I figured I'd head to the store and stock up on a few more bags of these jellybeans. You know, just to squeeze some more "research" in before, during, and after the cupcake-making process.

Sweettart Jellybean Cupcakes
Vanilla Cupcakes recipe from William Sonoma (The recipe has been doubled from the original recipe. The recipe below makes ~24 cupcakes.)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
1) Preheat an oven to 350°F.

2) In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3) In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the sugar and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

4) Reduce the speed to low and add the egg and egg white one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla.

5) Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions, beating until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat just until no traces of flour remain, about 30 seconds; do not overbeat.

6) Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full.

7) Bake the cupcakes for ~5 minutes, then add 4-5 jellybeans in each cupcake.

8) Bake until the cupcakes are lightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 - 25 minutes.

9) Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cupcakes to the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
slightly adapted from Food & Family's Spring 2008 magazine
  • 1 package (16 oz.) powdered sugar
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 4-6 Tbsp. lemon juice
1) Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and lemon juice together with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended.

2) Frost cupcakes. Simple!

The cupcakes reminded me of a typical "birthday cake". The vanilla flavor really stands out against the rest of the cake, and the texture was light and airy. The jellybeans provided a tasty, chewy surprise in the center of the cupcakes. I found that I preferred the jellybeans when they were placed in the center of the cupcakes. The jellybeans which were placed near the edge of the cupcake melted onto the cupcake tins and also glued themselves to the cupcake wrappers. In my defense, those jellybeans ended up near the edge of the cupcakes because I didn't want to burn myself in the oven. But I would have tried harder to position them in the center of the cupcake, had I known the outcome. As the day progressed, I noticed that the jellybeans became much chewier than when I had initially pulled them out of the oven. This is probably why people don't bake with jellybeans.

For some reason, my cupcake frosting was very runny. I was looking for a fluffy, buttercream but I got a glaze instead. That was a bit disappointing, even though I love anything that's lemon-flavored. Maybe I overbeat the frosting? Does anyone have any idea why this happened?

I don't care though. The cupcakes were still great. And I still love these jellybeans. It's now time to stock up on them at the 1/2 price after-Easter sales!