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November/December 2010 BCTM: READY FOR DESSERT: Pies, Tarts and Fruit Desserts

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Our baking cookbook for November/December 2010 is READY FOR DESSERT, by David Lebovitz.

Please use this thread to discuss Ready for Dessert Pies, Tarts and Fruit Desserts recipes. When posting your review, include the source. If the source is a book, include the book name and page number; and if it you found your recipe online, post a link.

The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. Apple-Pear Crisp with Grappa-Soaked Raisins and Polenta Topping, pg 101

    I liked this crisp, but I guess I'm just plain-jane and will do all apples and no grapes next time.

    The cornmeal in the topping was a nice touch. I couldn't taste the walnut in the topping, so I suggest either coarse-chop by hand instead of whirring it in the FP, or double the amount used. I also think the amount of butter in the topping (1/2 cup) is not enough, it just seemed a little dry in the food processor and when it came out of the oven.

    1. I think I saw in the index to the book a butterscotch pudding pie with bananas. Is that right? I have his two earlier books and looked for that one in those but didn't see it. (Understand he put a lot of recipes from those books in the newer one.)

      I do see a number of butterscotch recipes including a flan (which sounds wonderful) and a banana pudding with coffee caramelized bananas.

      I'm suspecting his butterscotch pie is based on that last one. The recipe I have uses 1 cup heavy cream and 2 cups whole milk for the pudding along with 1 cup dark brown sugar, 2 eggs, a couple tsp whiskey and some vanilla, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, a half stick of butter and a little salt. Is that what he uses for the pie?

      Also, the recipe in his fruit book caramelizes the bananas with brown sugar and some strong coffee. Does he treat the bananas in his butterscotch banana pie, or just use them plain.

      Also, anything special about putting it together? Does he chill the pudding before putting it in the shell? Bananas on the bottom? I imagine chilling it and then filling the shell would keep it from getting soggy. Thinking about this for an event coming up this weekend or as a companion to the pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.

      5 Replies
      1. re: karykat

        The filling is different: 1 cup dark brown sugar, 2 T butter, 3 T cornstarch, 1 1/2 c whole milk, 1/2 t salt, 3 egg yolks, 2 t dark rum, 1/2 t vanilla. Heat butter and sugar, stir until sugar melts, scrape into a large bowl and set aside. Make a slurry of the cornstarch and some milk; heat the rest of the milk and salt, then add the slurry and cook until thickened. Temper the egg yolks with some of the cooked milk, add to pan, cook, stirring, until it returns to a boil and is as thick as mayo. Pour through a strainer into the bowl with suagr/butterand whisk until combined.

        Crust is 1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate wafers, 3 T sugar, 4 T melted butter, in a 10-inch pan, refrigerated or frozen 30 minutes, then baked 10 minutes and cooled.

        Slice 3 med. bananas, place in crust, pour just-cooked filling over, press plastic wrap on, refrigerate until chilled. Top with 1 cup heavy cream beaten with 1 T sugar, 2 T dark rum, 1/2 t vanilla, garnish with chocolate curls.

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          Thanks much! I'm making this for a dinner this weekend.

          It's interesting that the filling is different. I would have expected it to be the same. It looks less rich -- no cream.

          Also interesting that he uses a crumb crust. I was thinking of doing that but thought I was just being lazy. Good to know that's what he calls for.

          1. re: karykat

            karykat... do you think the filling would be good by itself? I'm just craving a plain butterscotch pudding right now!

            1. re: Katie Nell

              I think it would. Love butterscotch myself. About to post my experience with this recipe, so hopefully that will help.

            2. re: karykat

              Ok, I made this butterscotch banana pie yesterday. A few observations and lessons learned:

              First, do not make this pie in a removable bottom flan pan. When you try to cut it, the soft crumb crust won't hold up and the edges just kind of collapse in one mound of crumbs, filling and whipped cream. (This should have been self-evident!)

              Second, I didn't think the chocolate crumb crust sounded good with the butterscotch filling. So I used a graham cracker crust. I wouldn't do that again. It was too sweet. Way too sweet.

              Third, I used some brown sugar that was a little dry. I cooked it with the butter until it got bubbly and then set it aside while I cooked the milk mixture. During the time I did that, the brown sugar mixture hardened into a solid mass. There was no way that was oing to mix well with the milk. So I set the milk mixture aside and started over with softer brown sugar. That brown sugar was light brown sugar but it was softer. That worked better. I made sure my milk mixture was basically ready before I started on the brown sugar mixture. That way I was able to put the thickened hot milk mixture into the brown sugar mixture that was just off the stove.

              Everything was looking good! My milk mixture was thickened and hot (thickened both with the cornstarch and with the egg yolks.) But when I put it through the sieve, the mixture seemed too thin. Seemed quite thin.

              So I put it back on the stove (this time with the brown sugar mixture mixed in) and heated some more, hoping that would thicken it. This is more like the method in the original book by DL for butterscotch pudding which doesn't call for thickening the milk mixture separately from the brown sugar, but does it all together. I think that did thicken it more.

              It was still too thin. There was no way I could pour that into my cooled crumb crust shell. Just too thin. So I refrigerated it. Once refrigerated, it was thicker, and I put it into the shell.

              And put the bananas in and covered with some whipped cream.

              All in all, I had some false starts and I think the result was a bit sweet.

              And I still don't know why I had so much trouble getting this to thicken!

              The bottom line: some problems, most were avoidable.