Hallo! Guten Tag! While the last recipe I posted was chock-full of fresh July produce and summer mindset, I’m writing from a very-cold-almost-winter Germany, where the produce is looking far less lush.
How to sum up the past few months? It’s impossible. I won’t even try. There have been too many travels and too many good meals to possibly recap, though I can think of some highlights. Here goes nothing, the Great Food Highlights of July-November 2014.
– Tapas on tapas on tapas in Barcelona, and pinxtos at the beach.
– French fries soaked in mayonnaise at Wannsee, and the realization that my life for the next few months would be condiment-heavy.
– Grilled cheese and olives in Thessaloniki, courtesy of our stand-in greek Grandmother.
– Enjoying the rare drip coffee halfway up Mt. Olympus, and grilled octopus at the bottom.
– Lamb testicles in Athens.
– The first Doner, and all to come.
– Finding New York style bagels in Berlin, even if they’re small.
– Lidl, Lidl, Lidl.
– A sandy picnic in San Sebastian, ft. one of many middle-of-the-day bottles of Spanish wine.
– American-style Chinese food in Madrid; the taste of home.
– Turo Rudi in Budapest; sweet cheese in chocolate.
(becoming gelato experts)
(almost real bagels at shakespeare and sons, ft. stella)
And that brings us pretty much to the present day where I am eating toast in bed and trying to remember how to blog. Blogging is part of normal life and these past few months have been anything but. Though with a month left in Berlin, I see it peeking around the corner.
Berlin is perhaps one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been and therefore one of the hardest to describe. It’s New York but a little cleaner and maybe a little more complicated. It’s a city of abandoned spaces always-ethereal light. It’s a city that spits history in your face; placing a giant glass dome on the grandiose, old Reichstag. Somehow the new and old work together here in a way I’ve never seen.
I did stumble across this cute little video lately which shows off a bit of Berlin character (but mostly currywurst….mmmm currywurst).
One thing I have been doing here is trying to understand urban agriculture in Berlin. Green projects here have a different feel; whimsical, unexpected. In some shameless self promoting I’ll let you read my thoughts on the matter here on NYU Berlin’s Earth Impact Club blog.
I’ve been slacking in the kitchen – thanks Europe for not having any measuring cups. But even mug-measured ingredients and grocery store breakdowns (baking powder or baking soda? No one knows!) can end in a good place. It’s been a lesson in kitchen survival, faring without the comfort of my gadgets. Recently I worked up some courage though and faced the elements to provide pie for a joint birthday, Stella and our visiting friend, Molly, who came all the way from France.
The going was tough, and in the end the pie crust was a little tough too, but this still might have actually been one of the best pies I’ve ever made. It’s a Salty Honey Pie. It tastes like comfort and fall and all things smooth with it’s mellow-yellow custard and salt-studded top. It’s best with huge scoops of vanilla ice cream and while it may be served chilled, it tastes like warmth. It is absolutely ideal for the sharp, grey days characteristic of Berlin’s November.
Despite how good this pie was I did not take even one picture of it. Being prepared for blog posts and taking pictures and planning ahead of time are part of that “normal life” I mentioned I haven’t been seeing much of. Consequentially I had to improvise.
(delicious pie ft. berlin light)
(had to bring pie to San Sebastian)
(partaking in a beach picnic, of course)
(pie + falafel = a balanced meal)
(pie and Josh having fun on his visit to berlin’s prinzessengarten)
This pie is so versatile! Bake it and take it anywhere.
Salty Honey Pie
Buttery Pie Crust
adapted from allrecipes.com
1 1/4 C AP flour + more for dusting
1/2 C butter, chilled
1 t salt
1/4 C chilled water
1. Combine flour and salt in a small mixing bowl.
2. Cube butter and cut it into flour with a fork until the dough is pea-sized crumbles.
3. Slowly add water by the tablespoon while bringing the dough together with hands. Add water until the dough has just come together. Roll dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least two hours.
4. When the dough has chilled roll it out on a floured surface, dusting with additional flour if sticky. Dough should be sufficient for one nine-inch pie pan.
Salty Honey Pie Filling
adapted from Joy The Baker
1/2 C unsalted butter, melted
1/2 C sugar
2 T AP flour
3/4 t salt
3 t vanilla extract
1 1/4 C honey
3 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
1/2 C heavy cream
2 t apple cider vinegar
Sea salt flakes
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit (190 Celsius for you Europeans out there).
2. Whisk together melted butter, salt, flour, sugar, and vanilla extract. The flour may look a little clumpy, but don’t worry you won’t see it in the final product.
3. Slowly whisk in honey until mixture is smooth. Whisk in eggs + additional egg yolk one at a time.
4. Whisk in heavy cream and vinegar. Pour filling into prepared pie crust.
5. Bake for 50-60 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it is starting to look puffy and golden and the middle has begun to set. You can poke it repeatedly to make sure it isn’t too jiggly if you aren’t sure.
6. Let the pie cool for at least 2 hours and sprinkle with sea salt flakes right before serving (with ice cream, I hope).