Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Adam's Prize Winning Peanut Butter Mousse Pie


20 Oreo cookies
¼ cup butter melted


1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (about 8 ounces)
2/3 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon cold water
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ whipping cream, divided


1/4 cup reservered chocolate ganache
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ cup honey roasted peanuts
6 mini Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, halved

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place Oreos in food processor or blender and process until finely crumbled. Empty crumbs into a mixing bowl and stir in melted butter until well combined. Pat wet crumbs all over and up sides of  a 10" pie pan, making an even surface. Bake crust for 8-10 minutes or until hardened. Cool before filling.

In the top of a double boiler combine chocolate chips, 2/3 cup whipping cream, corn syrup and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whisk until melted and smooth. Reserve 1/4 cup of the ganache for decorating. Spread chocolate mixture over bottom of crust and refrigerate until cool.

Dissolve gelatin in cold water. Let sit for about 5 minutes. In a small saucepan heat milk to almost boiling. Remove from heat. Add gelating and whisk until gelatin is completely dissolved. Allow to come to room temperature. In a large bowl combine peanut butter, ½ cup powdered sugar and ¾ cup cream. Whisk until smooth. In a medium bowl beat remaining 1 cup cream until soft peaks form. While still beating, pour in milk and gelatin mixture. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold into peanut butter mixture in 3 additions. Spread mousse over chocolate layer. Chill at least 1 hour.

Drizzle reserved ganache (You may need to whisk in a little whipping cream to make it spreadable) over peanut butter mousse layer in a crisscross pattern.

Whip 1 cup whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and continue whipping until peaks are stiff. Do not overbeat. Pipe whipping cream around edge. Garnish with honey roasted peanuts (chopped if desired). Tuck peanut butter halves into the whipping cream around the edge of the pie. Chill at least 3 hours before serving.

Prize Winning Pies

I was surprised that they didn't post any of the recipes for my prize-winning pies in the newspaper article. I'll try to get a few of them up. If you haven't read the article about me, "The Pie Guy," in the Naples Daily News, here is the link.
And here is a picture of the pie after the reporter and the photographer had pieces of it!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Polish Easter Soup (Adam's version)

Polish Easter Soup
We had a tradition of everyone getting their own Easter egg. We would then partner with someone and try to crack the other person's egg. We would continue until there was only one person left with an uncracked egg. That person would have good luck for the rest of the year.
Polish Easter Soup
I like to make my own red horseradish as shown in the picture above. I cook one small beet, puree it, then add it to white orseradish. It has a much better flavor than buying a jar of red horseradish.
Polish Easter Soup
Polish Easter Soup
The pictures above are from my Easter table. The soup is more traditionally served on the Monday after Easter in Poland. Following that tradition I had it for lunch today (Monday) and it was absolutely delicious.

I always had trouble with the original version curdling on me. As I got older I also found it too vinegary for my taste. After a little experimentation I found that Cream of Mushroom Soup will work as a thickener and it doesn't curdle! Here's my version.

Polish Easter Soup (Adam's Version)

2 links smoked Polish sausage (Polska Kielbasa)
1 baked ham
1 3" piece of salt pork (optional--but I always include it)
1 dozen hard-boiled eggs (dyed)
1 loaf seeded rye bread
1 jar horseradish red or white (see note below)
1 3" piece of feta cheese (see note below)
3 tablespoons white vinegar
3 cans of mushroom soup
In a large soup pot, place sausage and add water to cover, about one quart. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour. Every few minutes puncture sausage skin to allow juice to flow.
Remove sausage, allow broth to cool, add vinegar, and refrigerate overnight.
Bake ham. Do not add an cloves or other spices or sweet glazes and refrigerate overnight.
Cook salt pork in water until tender, about one hour and refrigerate overnight.
Cover feta cheese with milk and refrigerate overnight.
The next day skim the fat off the broth. Add mushroom soup. Whisk together until well blended. If desired, strain to remove mushrooms (I don't even worry about them any more). Bring soup just to boil, reduce temperature to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Whisk from time to time. Taste it and if too salty or vinegary you may add a can of whole milk.

Cut about 2 cups each of sausage, ham, rye bread and eggs into 1/2 inch cubes.

Rince, dry, and cut feta cheese into 1/2 inch cubes.

Cut salt pork into 1/4 inch cubes.

Arrange meats on one platter, bread, cheese and eggs on another.

In soup bowls, allow guests to combine meats, bread, cheese and eggs as desired. Add hot soup. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons horseradish as desired.

Note: I like to make my own red horseradish. I cook one small beet until soft, peel it, coarsely chop it, then put it in a blender and blend until fairly smooth. I mix the beet with a fresh jar of white horseradish. It gives the soup a pretty pink color and the beet cuts the intensity of the horseradish.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Polish Easter Basket Blessing

On Saturday morning I took my Easter Basket to St. Leo's for a blessing traditional especially for folks of Polish ancestry. One person had a dish with nothing but seven Easter butter lambs. Another had a can of Bud Lite in her basket along with the food. Many had beatiful decorated eggs. Hope you enjoy the pictures of my basket. Last year Publix, the local supermarket, carried butter lambs, but not this year so at the last minute I carved my own!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Traditional Polish Easter Soup

People from Poland probably would not consider this as the basis of an Easter meal, but rather as a meal for Easter Monday--a time to use up the leftovers from Easter Sunday! It is, however, our family tradition because our Polish ancestors in Michigan had to go to work on Monday. It was not a holiday as it is in Poland.

This recipe comes from my sister, Barbara

Traditional Easter Soup - White Borscht (Monday Soup)

2 links smoked Polish sausage (Kielbasa)
1/2 smoked baked ham
1 quart water
3/4 cup sour cream
1 raw egg
2-3 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper
5-8 tablespoons white vinegar
10 hardboiled eggs, diced
1 loaf light rye bread, cubed
Farmer's white cheese, cubed
White or red horseradish

In large pot, cook kielbasa with enought water to cover. Cook about one hour piercing skin to release juices. Remove sausage. Reserve stock. This borscht is made from the water in which the smoked kielbasa was cooked. In a bowl, fork-blend 3/4 cup sour cream and raw egg with 2-3 tablespoons flour. Season to tast with salt and pepper. Blend 1 cup of warm broth and cream. Blend that into pot of stock. Cook until a gentle simmer. Do not boil (this will cause the cream to curdle). Add vinegar to taste. This soup should definitely be on the tart side so be sure to use enough vinegar. The white barszcz should be served over a bowl of diced ham, the kielbasa from which the stock was made, hard-boild egg slices, diced farmer's cheese, cubed stale rye bread, and a little freshly grated or prepared horseradish to taste.