Here is a great holiday pie recipe that takes only minutes to make, although it does take several hours to chill. Warm it back to room temperature when you serve it, to make cutting caramel easier, and use a warm knife.
Depending on whether you make this in a tart pan or a pie pan, this is a tart or quiche, but is simple and delicious. And, for holidays, it is easily transportable. Save the Maldon salt until just before serving so it doesn’t dissolve in the ganache.
- 3 cups crushed chocolate cookies
- 4 Tb unsalted butter
- Crush the cookies in a food processor. Lacking simple chocolate cookies, we tried chocolate biscotti, chocolate chocolate chips cookies and thin Oreos with the filling scraped off. All worked well.
- Melt the unsalted butter in a microwave for 1 minute at 50% power and mix in with the cookies.
- Press the crumbs into the bottom of a pie pan or tart pan.
- Bake 10-15 minutes at 350˚ F, until fragrant.
- Cool or chill until ready to fill the pie.
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup water
- 6 Tb chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Mix the sugar and cream of tartar and add the water.
- Bring the sugar mixture to a boil, with stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Reduce heat to medium and let the sugar solution cook slowly (8-10 minutes) with swirling until it is deep amber, and wisps of smoke start to come from the pan.
- Remove from heat and add the butter, carefully, a piece at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon, to avoid foaming up.
- Add the cream slowly with stirring.
- Add the salt.
- Pour into a glass pitcher to allow it to cool
- Pour into the piecrust, cover with foil and refrigerate, an hour or overnight.
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 Tb honey
- ¼ tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Flakey sea salt
- Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, honey and salt.
- Bring the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate.
- Let stand 5 minutes, to melt the chocolate.
- Whisk until smooth
- Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until stiff, usually a couple of hours, (depending on how many cocktails you drink in the meantime.)
- Spread the ganache on the chilled filling.
- At the last minute, sprinkle with Maldon or other sea salt.
Serve pie at room temperature.
Plum pudding is a traditional holiday dessert that goes back hundreds of years. And it doesn’t actually contain plums: just raisins and candied fruit. In the 17th century, “plum” meant any dried fruit. Traditionally, you make it a year ahead so it can age, but even a couple of weeks will do, so don’t worry about getting a late start. You can start another one after the holidays and you’ll be all set for next year, too!
Plum pudding is a steamed pudding, cooked for many hours in a slow oven. We sped this up by using our Instant Pot counter top pressure cooker, to reduce the time to just 2 hours. The recipe we are using is half the original, which makes a slumgullion of pudding, and even then we did it two batches, one in a Mrs Anderson’s Baking Steamed Pudding Mold, and a smaller one-hour amount in a small bowl wrapped in foil.
- ½ lb seedless raisins
- ½ lb golden raisins
- ¼ lb currants
- ½ cup thinly slice citron
- ½ cup chopped candied peel
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp mace
- 14 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ lb finely chopped suet (powdery fine)
- 5/8 cup brandy
- 5/8 cup fresh bread crumbs, (about 2 cups)
- ½ cup warm milk
- ½ cup sherry or port
- 6 eggs, well beaten
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 ½ cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or 2 Tb brandy or rum
Beat the softened butter in an electric mixer and slowly add the sugar. Add the vanilla or brandy and served with the plum pudding.
Making the pudding
- Blend the fruits, citron, spices and suet in a bowl or jar.
- Add 1/8 cup brandy, cover tightly and refrigerate for 2-4 days, adding more brandy each day.
- When ready to mix up the pudding, mix the milk and sherry or port together.
- Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk/ wine mixture.
- Combine the beaten eggs and sugar and blend with the fruit mixture.
- Add salt and mix thoroughly.
- Put the pudding in a buttered pudding mold or buttered bowls. With the pudding mold we bought, we get about 2/3 of the batter in it. Cover with foil to seal it and keep out the moisture.
- Put a cup of water in the Instant Pot, add the trivet, and place the pudding mold on the trivet.
- Seal the Instant Pot, and steam on Manual for 2 hours.
- Uncover and place in a 250° F oven for 30 minutes.
- Add a dash of brandy to the pudding, and store in a cool place.
- Repeat with the remaining batter in a small bowl covered securely with foil.
- Allow the pudding to age for a week or two, adding a dash of brandy every day or two.
- When ready to serve, reheat in the steamer, and unmold.
- Sprinkle with sugar, add heated brandy and ignite.
- Serve with hard sauce.
Indian pudding is a simple Colonial era recipe made with corn meal, eggs and molasses. While you can bake it, you get a smoother, creamier pudding if you steam it like other puddings. In this recipe, we used our Instant Pot to steam it quickly. You can also follow the same recipe steaming it in the oven I a water bath.
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups milk
- ½ cup corn meal
- 2 Tb butter
- ½ cup molasses
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp dry ginger
- ¼ tsp allspice
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 2/3 cup golden raisns
- ½ tsp vanilla extact
- 1 tb butter to grease the pan
- Vanilla ice cream
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a 3 quart pan, heat the milk to just under a simmer
- Slowly add the cornmeal and whisk it in. It should slowly thicken.
- Cook for 10 minutes, whisking to keep the mixture from sticking to the pan.
- Remove from stove and add all the other ingredients except the eggs and mix in.
6. Temper the eggs by stirring in a cup or so of the milk mixture. Then add the egg mixture back to the milk mixture and stir it in.
7. Pour the mixture into a buttered casserole dish or cake pan that will fit into the Instant Pot.
8. Wrap the dish securely in foil to keep the water out
9. Add 1 cup of water to the pot and place the wrapped dish on top of the trivet.
10. Cook on the Manual setting for 30-45 minutes.
11. The pudding should be somewhat firm, but may still be jiggly in the center.
12. Let the pudding stand for 15 minutes and then serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.
If you like the pudding a bit firmer, chill it in the refrigerator, and scoop out pudding into serving bowls and microwave them each for 30 seconds. (See above) Serve with ice cream.
You can also steam the pudding in a 325 ° F oven, sitting in a water bath for about 90 minutes.
This easy recipe makes a cool lime custard in ten minutes work plus 4 hours chilling time, and is just made from limes, sugar and cream. No eggs, no flour. So why does it thicken? It’s the lime juice that coagulates the milk proteins. This recipe was suggested by one in Bon Appetit. Possets go way back to the 16th century and are mentioned in Shakespeare as well as by other writers of the time. In British Food History, Neil Cooks Grigson writes that most mentions of possets in the 18th and 19th century were to a warm drink made with curdled milk, sugar and alcohol, but there is one 1769 article that pretty much describes what 20th and 21st century cooks are making. You can make possets using any acidic fruit juice: orange and lemon possets are also common. In each case, the acid of the fruit coagulates the cream, but because of its high fat content, it makes a smooth custardy texture.
- 2 limes, peeled into strips
- Juice of the same 2 limes
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- 4 ramekins
- 1 peach
- ½ cup cream
- 1 Tb sugar
- 4 mint leaves
- Put the cream, sugar and salt in saucepan and add the strips of lime peel. Boil gently for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken the cream.
- Strain the cream and return it to the saucepan. Add the lime juice and stir.
- Allow the cream to cool a bit and begin to thicken and pour into four ramekins.
- Chill for 4 or more hours.
- Peel the peach by submerging it in boiling water for a minute and cooling it in cold water. Pull off the peel, using a vegetable peeler if it is stubborn.
- Cut the peach into slices, place into a bowl and sugar them with about 1 Tb sugar.
- When ready to serve, add the sugar to the ½ cup of cream and whip it. Place a peach slice on each ramekin, add a dollop of cream, and decorate with a mint leaf.