This weekend was all about family. Although sadly, there was a funeral, we also celebrated an amazing young man in our family, Steve Perkins. Truly blessed and thankful to be asked to be the mistress of ceremony at my cousin’s graduation luncheon! Congratulations and much love to Steve, who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a full ride scholarship to West Point.
I write to regain my bearings and reboot. It’s just not that serious our crazy life issues, right? I was a smoker when I wrote this poem. I guess The Lobbyist will be happy to know I gave up that bad habit! Poetry keeps me sane…
This woman at an elevator
Was lobbying against my smoke
The ash cans didn’t count for starting up
But putting out the choking fumes
I forced upon her
Not goodwill, money or sex
Could be extorted from that soul
No secret smiles of afterglow
Or posture of secured future
Friendship brings no floor
To hear the lobbyist
Her ride up was too slow
Then, she stopped short of the number
Pushed too hard and caused a shaft
To break her lift
That swayed her against me
Against us all
Where most lemon pies are single crusted affairs, this pie is double crusted with a thick, sweet lemon filling that’s similar to the pudding-like innards of a Lemon Meringue. Once the pie is baked and cooled, its top is covered with what amounts to chocolate frosting.
For the Filling
5 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cups cornstarch
1/3 cups cold water
1 1/2 cups very hot water
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh juice from 6 to 8 lemons
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Crust
2 unbaked pie crusts (I used the Food Lab’s Easy Pie Crust)
1 egg white
For the Chocolate Topping
5 ounces 72% cacao chocolate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk together egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, mix together the sugar and cornstarch. Add cold water and stir to moisten. Then add hot water, while stirring, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Mixture will begin to turn translucent and thicken. When mixture begins to bubble lightly, remove from heat. Stir in melted butter. Add egg yolks while whisking constantly. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract whisking until thoroughly combined. Place in refrigerator to cool, about 15 minutes.
Roll out crusts. For a 9-inch pan your bottom crust should be around 11 inches in diameter. Place bottom crust in pie pan or dish. Pour in cooled pie filling. Place rolled out top crust over filled pie. Seal and flute edges. Cut several slits in the top of the pie to vent then brush entire top crust with egg white and bake for 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 375°F and bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove pie from oven and cool completely.
Combine chocolate and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir, repeat, heating in 15 second increments until butter is just melted and smooth. Stir in corn syrup. Set mixture aside until it is only slightly warm to touch.
Pour chocolate mixture over cooled pie and spread to completely cover the top of the pie. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store covered.
I wouldn’t call myself a pudding connoisseur. My experience with pudding falls somewhere in between Jello and Magic Moments. I know what I like, chocolate before caramel then vanilla, this is to be true. This recipe for chocolate pudding is equal parts science and delicious. You start with a liquid consisting of milk, sugar, chocolate, cornstarch, and eggs, then science does its thing, like science does, and then you have pudding. Unbelievable! Alright, there’s a little more to it than science. A little magic as well. Enjoy!
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tbsp corn starch
1/3 cup cream
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 cup bitter sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 tsp orange extract
candied orange peel
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of milk, sugar, and salt to a simmer on low-medium heat.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder, corn starch, and cream. Whisk the corn powder slurry into the warm milk.
3. In a small bowl, beat the 2 egg yolks and the one egg. Slowly add a ladle of the warm milk to the eggs and whisk. You want to warm the eggs. Whisk the eggs into the milk mixture.
4. Bring the pudding to a boil until one or two bubbles start popping. Reduce the heat and continue whisking the pudding until it reaches the consistency of a creamy soup.
5. Once the pudding has reached the consistency of thick soup, remove it from the heat. Microwave the chocolate and butter until slightly melted. Whisk into the pudding, followed by the orange extract.
6. Pour the pudding through a fine strainer, if you prefer no lumps. I omitted this stage, because I am straight up lazy.
7. Pour the pudding into serving glasses or dishes. The pudding should be easy to pour and start to thicken if not stirred. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. If you don’t like the pudding skin, then make sure the piece of plastic wrap is touching the pudding. When you remove the plastic, you will also remove the pudding skin.
8. Garnish with candied orange peel.
Elegant, showstopper desserts don’t come much easier than this. Each slice resembles fine pastry.
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 cups milk
4 large eggs
1/2 cup butter
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup bourbon
64 chocolate wafers (about 1 1/2 [9-oz.] packages)
Sweetened Whipped Cream
Garnish: crushed chocolate wafers
1. Place cornstarch in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in milk and eggs.
2. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat, and stir in brown sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes or until mixture bubbles and becomes shiny.
3. Gradually whisk cream into butter mixture. (Mixture will bubble and clump but will get smooth as it cooks.) Cook, whisking constantly, 4 to 5 minutes or until smooth.
4. Gradually whisk about one-fourth of hot butter mixture into egg mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Gradually add egg mixture to remaining hot butter mixture, whisking constantly.
5. Increase heat to medium-high. Add vanilla and salt, and cook, whisking constantly, about 5 minutes or until mixture thickens and just begins to bubble. Remove from heat, and stir in bourbon. Place plastic wrap directly onto warm filling (to prevent a film from forming). Cool completely (about 2 hours).
6. Place 16 cookies in a single layer on bottom of a 9-inch square pan. Spread 1 1/2 cups pudding over cookies. Repeat layers 3 times, using remaining pudding on top layer. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours. Just before serving, top with Sweetened Whipped Cream.