Synopses & Reviews
Brown Sugar Pie Makes 6 Servings
My sister, Helen, sent me this recipe, which she said Aunt Agnes passed on to her years ago. And since I like to "top off" pies, I scattered the almost-baked pie with a coating of lightly toasted almonds tossed with butter and sugar. I baked the pie for a few more minutes, just until the sugar melted and glazed the almonds.
Ingredients 1 fully baked single 9-inch Basic Piecrust (page 113)
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg, or to taste
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon fine-grained cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1/4 teaspoon vinegar or cream of tartar
1/2 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons brown sugar, preferably brown crystallized sugar (see Dark and Sweet, page 25)
Set aside the piecrust to cool.
Carefully crack the eggs one at a time and place the yolk and the egg white into two separate small bowls, making sure that not one speck of egg yolk is mixed in with the egg white. If the egg white is free of yolk, transfer to a large spotless clean bowl for whipping or to the bowl of a standing mixer. If the egg yolk drips into the egg white, discard that egg white, and break another egg, using a clean bowl. Set aside the egg whites to warm to room temperature and return the yolks to the refrigerator (see Get the Whip, page 132).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the softened butter and heavy cream or half-and-half in asmall saucepan. Heat, stirring, for a few minutes over low heat, just until the butter melts and the cream is warm. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt, vanilla extract, and nutmeg and mix until just blended. Set aside.
Transfer the egg yolks to a large mixing bowl and beat briskly for a few seconds with a wire whisk. Add both sugars, the flour, and the cornmeal and whisk again. Pour the warm cream mixture over the egg yolk and sugar mixture, and beat briskly until smooth. Set aside.
Sprinkle the vinegar or cream of tartar over the egg whites. Using a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a handheld electric mixer, beat the whites on medium-high speed just until they hold slight peaks. Stir a large spoonful of the egg whites into the filling and mix well. Fold in the remaining egg whites, and mix gently but thoroughly until blended. Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell.
Cover the edges of the crust with strips of foil to prevent overbrowning. Set the pie on the lower shelf of the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until puffy and golden.
Stir together the almonds, melted butter, and sugar. Spread the mixture over the top of the pie.
Bake the pie 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
Remove the pie from the oven, set on a wire rack, and cool completely before serving. Candied Pecans Makes 1 1/2 Cups
Ingredients 1/2 cup superfine sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
Generously butter a shallow baking pan (preferably a 15 x10-inch jellyroll pan) and set aside (see Go Burn!, page 196). Have ready a longhandled wooden spoon, a pastry brush, and a cup of water.
Combine the sugar, water, nutmeg or cinnamon, and cream of tartar or lemon juice in a 1-quart heavy saucepan or skillet and mix well. Place on medium-high heat and cook, stirring with the wooden spoon, until the sugar dissolves.
Bring the syrup to a boil, cover the pan, and boil 3 minutes longer.
Uncover the pan. Dip the pastry brush in the water and wash down the sides of the pan.
Cook the syrup over high heat without stirring, but swirling the pan by the handle, for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until the syrup turns the color of lightly brewed tea.
Scatter the pecans over the syrup and stir quickly with the wooden spoon to cover the nuts with the liquid.
Cook the syrup 2 or 3 minutes longer or until it is golden brown and the nuts are just lightly toasted.
Immediately pour the nuts and syrup onto the baking pan. Working quickly, separate the pecans with a fork. Set the pan on a wire rack and cool the candy until hard, at least an hour. Or place the pan on a wire rack and let the candy set in one layer, at least an hour. Break into pieces.
Variation: Substitute shelled Brazil, walnuts, blanched almonds, or unsalted cashew nuts for the pecans, and proceed as directed above.
Whether it's a luscious fresh fruit pie baked for a family picnic or a rich, festive cake made to celebrate a church supper, desserts have always been an especially tempting part of the soul-food kitchen. In Brown Sugar, acclaimed author and journalist Joyce White explores this sweet bounty, offering more than 150 desserts from great African-American cooks from coast to coast.
In the spirit of her successful Soul Food, the recipes in Brown Sugar are simple, accessible, and delicious. You'll learn how to make cakes, pies, cobblers, crisps, puddings, candies, and much more, all filled with authentic, homemade flavor. Also included are informative sidebars on techniques and ingredients, as well as chapter introductions and anecdotes illuminating the enduring importance of desserts in African-American culture. More than just a recipe book, Brown Sugar is an inspirational celebration of enduring friendships and great food and the traditions that surround it.
Spiced with stories of family and friends, sweetened by memories of holidays and celebratory meals, Brown Sugar
is a slice of life from African American communities across the country. In this collection of recipes and tales, Joyce White passes along generations of kitchen wisdom and dessert favorites, as well as fresh and creative variations on classic sweets.
From the wedding reception-ready Coconut Peach lake to the simple joy of Gingered Tropical Fruits, these are desserts for any occasion. The flavors are comforting and festive, as are the many poignant stories that White shares. A sublime Sweet Potato Cheesecake is passed along from a hardworking mother in California, while Three Sisters Coconut Pie is White's composite of three good friends' favorite pie recipes, each reflecting their unique backgrounds. The results are at once innovative and familiar.
Whether you are looking to make the perfect Lemon Meringue Pie or to preserve summer fruit, these recipes will satisfy your sweet tooth and add heirloom-quality recipes to your collection. The complex flavors of Star Anise Peach Ice Cream and West Indian Christmas Cake are within reach of any home cook, thanks to White's masterful guidance and the tips and cook's secrets that she provides. White's recipes encourage creativity, offering suggestions for variations as well as a solid foundation for your own soul-inspired sweets.
Brown Sugar is warm, memorable, and universal, and you will be eager to share its recipes and stories, to create your own sweet memories.
Acclaimed author and journalist White explores the sweet bounty, offering more than 150 desserts from great African-American cooks from coast to coast. In the spirit of her successful "Soul Food, " the recipes in "Brown Sugar" are simple, accessible, and delicious.
About the Author
Joyce White, a contributing food editor for Heart & Soul magazine, also writes regularly about food, health, lifestyles, and travel for a number of publications. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the New York Times, Newsday, the Chicago Tribune, the Montreal Gazette, and Essence magazine. She has also worked as an associate food editor at Ladies' Home Journal and as a reporter and editor at the New York Daily News. In 1980 she was awarded a Knight-Ridder journalism fellowship at Stanford University. White is a founding member of the New York Wine Writers Circle and has studied at the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris.