Category Archives: Dessert

Martin Luther King Day Southern Double Pecan Pie

Photo of Dr Martin Luther King Jr for blog post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t. on martin luther king and and Southern Double Pecan Pie
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This Monday, when we COMMEMORATE Martin Luther King, Jr. for his contribution to civil rights in America, have a piece of Southern pecan pie in his honor. Southern pecan pie was Dr. King’s favorite dessert.

Photo of slice of southern pecan pie on a plate for blog post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., on martin luther king day and southern double pecan pie

Deep Dish Southern Pecan Pie

Most recipes for Southern pecan pie are made with corn syrup, which softens the pastry filling and adds texture to the pie. Here’s a tried and true recipe from Sherian Davis Weiss, handed down through generations of her family in East Texas.

Southern pecan pie recipe from east texas for blog by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., on martin luther kind day and southern double pecan pie

Thanks to Sherian Davis Weiss and her family for this authentic southern recipe

I make a version of Southern pecan pie that doesn’t use corn syrup. I make my crust from scratch and I decided to go all-nut, making the crust out of nuts instead of flour. Here’s the nut crust recipe, which I used for the “Cheesecake With Nut Crust” in Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.:

Nut Crust:

  • 3 cups pecans
  • 4 tbsp sugar

Combine the pecans and sugar in a food processor and process until the oil begins to release from the nuts (the nuts will resemble a crust).

Photo of surratt farms pecans for blog on martin luther king day and southern double pecan pie by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Surratt Farms pecans

Since I’m at school and have no ACCESS to a kitchen, I gave my Mom instructions and she did her best to follow my recipe. She used Texas pecans from Surratt Farms (recommended by Sherian Davis Weiss), which I had received as one of my Hanukkah gifts. They are really delicious. I call this recipe “double” pecan pie because both the pastry and crust are made of pecans.

Southern Double Pecan Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup Surratt Farms pecans
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted

Mix all of the above ingredients in a large bowl.

Press the nut crust into a 9″ deep dish baking pan.

Pour the pie ingredients into the nut crust. Bake for 50 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve warm, directly from the oven, or cool.

My Mom decided she wanted to use another of my holiday gifts, the Williams and Sonoma fluted tart pan, to make individual pecan pies instead of a deep dish pie. Bake the individual pies at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Photo of ingredients for southern double pecan pie by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Mom lined up all the ingredients for Southern Double Pecan Pie

Photo of nut crust in williams and sonoma fluted tart pan for southern double pecan pie by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Nut crust before being pressed into Williams and Sonoma fluted tart pan

Photo of southern double pecan pie on plate by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

The finished product

My Mom had my brother, Ross, CONFIRM that the pie is delicious.

Photo of Ross tasting southern double pecan pie by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Thumbs up from my brother, Ross

Happy 83rd birthday, Dr. King!

Charis and Jennie

  • COMMEMORATE = honor
  • ACCESS = entry
  • CONFIRM = support

Chocolate Lava Cake Demo

http://youtu.be/hFtaheoQYaU

There’s still time to join the Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. – SLJ Teen writing contest for middle and high school students.

Hurry!

Charis 🙂

Possibly Pear Sauce

Photo of large pears, possibly Japanese La France pears, for blog post on Possibly Pear Sauce by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of COok Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Japanese La France pears, hopefully

My family has been on a sugar high, eating our way through an ELABORATE Harry and David holiday gift basket we received a few weeks ago. We just discovered a box of fruit hidden underneath the cakes, cookies, crackers and jams.

Photo of genetically altered tomatoes for possibly pear sauce post by charis freiman-mendel author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

If they look too good to be true, think GMO

The fruit looks like a gigantic pear but not quite. It might be a fruit HYBRID. I’d rather not eat any GMO (genetically modified organism) so I did a google search and convinced myself it looked like the Japanese “La France” variety of pears. Three of us shared one and found it to be super sweet. Since it took so long to find it, the fruit was overripe and we decided to SALVAGE it by making Mystery Fruit Sauce AKA Possibly Pear Sauce.

Photo of ingredients for possibly pear sauce blog post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Martinelli's mulling spices come in a tea bag for easy use

Photo of Possibly Pear Sauce ingredients including pears, orange juice, spices and mulled spices tea bag in a pot for post by Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

All wet and dry ingredients go into the pot, including the mulling spices tea bag

Adding a tea bag to pear sauce might seem COUNTERINTUITIVE, but it really adds great flavor and besides, what else will you do with mulling spices once the holidays are over?

Photo of Possibly Pear Sauce recipe for blog by Charis freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

If you prefer a smoother texture, simmer longer or puree in a food processor

Photo of possibly pear sauce in serving bowl for blog post by charis freiman-mendel author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Possibly pear sauce, chunky style

 

 

Possibly Pear Sauce makes a tasty dessert but can also be used as an ingredient in baked goods and as a topping for a wide variety of foods.

 

 

Happy New Year!

Charis and Jennie

  • OBSCURED = hidden
  • ELABORATE = complex
  • HYBRID = crossbreed
  • SALVAGE = save
  • COUNTERINTUITIVE = contrary to common sense

Hanukkah Apple Honey Cake

Happy Last Night of Hanukkah!

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of Hanukkah lights for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

In honor of the holiday, I made a festive apple honey cake loaf to usher in a sweet new year!

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of vanilla cake mix and loaf pan for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and choose your favorite vanilla cake mix (19 oz) before starting to bake

 

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of 2 green apples for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

Peel, core and thinly slice 2 firm granny smith apples

 

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of honey and cinnamon for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

Measure 1/4 cup honey and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of cake batter for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

To complete the batter, mix together the apples, cinnamon, honey, and the other ingredients listed on the box of your store-bought cake mix. Mine called for 3 eggs, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of cake batter in loaf pan for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth over the top. Bake according to the instructions on the box of your cake mix. To ensure done-ness, insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, it's done!

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of completed cake for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

Serve by itself or with your favorite frosting

Enjoy the rest of your winter break!

Charis

Christmas Fruit Crumble

Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of frozen mixed berries for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

Place 24 oz of frozen mixed berries into a bowl

 

Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of sugar, flour, and lemon for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

Measure 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

 

Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of adding sugar to fruit for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

Add dry ingredients and lemon juice and stir

 

Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of ingredients for crumble topping for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

In a food processor, combine 1tsp cinnamon, 3/4 cup oats, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, and 7tbsp diced, cold butter

Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of Williams-Sonoma fluted tart pan for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

This Williams-Sonoma fluted tart pan was one of my Hanukkah gifts

 Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of Fruit crumbles ready to bake for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

Distribute the fruit mixture into 6 pans and evenly spoon crumble topping on each. Bake for 45 minutes at 425 Fahrenheit.

 Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of Bubbly crumbles ready to eat for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

Spoon each fruit crumble into a bowl and serve with vanilla ice cream

Have a CONVIVIAL, MIRTHFUL, GLEEFUL, JOCUND, and very MERRY Christmas!

CONVIVIAL = cheerful
MIRTHFUL = high-spirited
GLEEFUL = happy
JOCUND = jolly
MERRY = convivial, mirthful, gleeful, jocund

Charis and Jennie

Contest Announcement “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.” And SLJTeen

I’m excited to announce the “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.” contest co-sponsored with “School Library Journal-Teen (SLJTeen).” The contest is open to all middle and high school students in grades 6 – 12. The contest will be announced on the SLJTeen website on 12/21/11 but you don’t have to wait until then to enter.

Photo of "Cook Your Way THrough The S.A.T." book and apron, prizes for contest sponsored by Charis Freiman-Mendel of S.A.T. gourmet and SLJ-Teen

Each winner will receive a copy of my book, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T." and a matching apron

RULES:

1. LIKE the Facebook fan page “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.” Click on ENTER NOW, fill in your name and email on the entry form and click SUBSCRIBE. Please note: you can “view the official rules” before entering the contest, but you can’t actually enter without filling out the form!

2. Write a 3 – 7 sentence “fun fact blurb” for my “chocolate lava cake” recipe, which is listed below. The blurb must contain 10 standardized test vocabulary words that have not already been used in “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.” Sample blurbs and already-used vocabulary can be found in the “Preview My Book” tab on www.SATgourmet.com.

3. Email your blurb to CookYourWayThroughTheSAT@gmail.com on or before January 15, 2012. Please write “SLJTeen Contest  – Grade ___” in the subject line. Don’t forget to fill in the grade you’re in!

4. Students who are already fans of my Facebook page can click on the “Contest” tab on the fan page to enter the contest.

Photo of Charis Freiman-Mendel of S.A.T. gourmet.com in kitchen setting up ingredients to bake "chocolate lava cake" for "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T." contest with School Library Journal Teen

Simple ingredients, easy recipe, fun to make, tastes great

RECIPE:
Chocolate Lava Cake (Chocolate Volcano Cake)
Makes 12 cakes

Ingredients:

8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
nonstick cooking spray
vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Spray 12 muffin tins with the nonstick cooking spray.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave. Mix together the butter/chocolate mixture and then add the flour and sugar. Mix until combined and then add the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Evenly ladle the batter into each muffin tin. Place in the oven for 12-14 minutes. Once the cakes are done, run a knife around each and carefully take out the cakes. Serve with ice cream.

I will post the cooking demo for this recipe on my youtube channel: SATgourmet on the same day as the SLJTeen announcement.

Photo of chocolate lava cake and vanilla ice cream by Charis Freiman-Mendel posting on S.A.T. gourmet about "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T." contest with School Library Journal Teen

Traditionally served as individual cakes but can be made into one large cake

Legend has it that this dessert is the product of a culinary disaster, when a chef took the cake out of the oven before it was fully baked.  Enjoy the MOLTEN center by eating chocolate lava cake right out of the oven – no cooling necessary.

WINNERS:

One winner will be chosen from each of 3 categories:

  • middle school (6th/7th/8th grades)
  • lower high school (9th/10th grades)
  • upper high school (11th/12th grades)

Winning blurbs will be posted on www.SATgourmet.com on Monday, 1/30/2012. Each winner will receive a copy of “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.” and a matching apron.

Questions? Use the “Contact Charis” form on this website.

Good writing and good luck!

Charis

MOLTEN = liquified by heat

Weekend Home: Chocolate Babka

Charis of S.A.T. gourmet home for the weekend photo of Charis and her dogs Jorge and Diego

My tasters don't get to sample dessert

After being at school for a month, I was ready to come home for a short time to see my family and wind down. We were lucky to be able to celebrate our high holiday, Yom Kippur, together. I’m always excited to be in the kitchen and do some cooking. What better way to honor our new year and my Polish heritage than with a buttery babka (a cake with swirls of delicious chocolate and cinnamon)?

Charis of S.A.T. gourmet photo of chocolate babka recipe from smitten kitchen

Chocolate Babka (for instructions, click on the smittenkitchen link below)

I was looking up recipes on line, came across this fantastic website, Smitten Kitchen, and decided to make the babka recipe. Sorry, Deb Perelman (the smitten kitchen blogger), but I changed it a little bit.  🙂

Charis of S. A. T. gourmet photo of kitchen aide mixer kneading dough for chocolate babka recipe

I love my Kitchen-Aid !

I still have to think about school . . .  roll out the dough, study for my Latin test.

Charis of S. A. T. gourmet photo of rolled dough for chocolate babka recipe

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface

Charis of S. A. T. gourmet photo of butter and bittersweet chocolate chunks for chocolate babka recipe

My Dad will take an extra Lipitor

 

Chop up the butter and bittersweet chocolate.

I need to study for my Geometry test.

 

I love getting my hands messy:

Charis of S. A. T. gourmet photo of crumbled butter and bittersweet chocolate for chocolate babka recipe

Crumble the butter and chocolate mix.

Charis of S. A. T. gourmet photo of her placing butter and bittersweet chocolate crumbles on the rolled out dough

Distribute the crumbles evenly on the dough

 

 

Worry about Physics (my NEMESIS).

 

 

Roll the dough into logs, and twist:

Charis of S. A. T. gourmet photo of babka rolls for chocolate babka cake recipe blog post

The egg wash gives the babka a nice finish

 

Arrange the logs tightly in the baking tin to keep the sides soft.

This cake smells soooooo  good while it’s baking.

Charis of S. A. T. gourmet photo of finished babka for chocolate babka cake recipe blog post

My Grandfather's favorite dessert

Charis of S A T gourmet photo of definition of word "nemesis" for chocolate babka recipe blog post

"Nemesis" AKA "physics"

It was great being home in my kitchen, but it’s time to get back to school. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

Charis

FB: Cook Your Way Through The SAT

One Step Closer

Yesterday, my Mom and I talked with Kristin, our representative from Team 3, the design team assigned to my book by my publisher, CreateSpace. Our phone conversation took about an hour, during which we discussed our requirements and the design team’s input. We learned that the entire process of formatting the book could take as long as 5 weeks, including our editing. Consequently, my Mom and I decided to spend the majority of the day editing and revising the book as much as we could, in hopes of keeping the formatting time to a minimum. We sent the revised version to Kristin late in the afternoon on Saturday. The design team formatting commences tomorrow!

Today, I decided to attempt filming the recipe for apple strudel, one of the more challenging desserts in my book, which I am going to have to redo because I didn’t love the outcome. It won’t be a total waste because at least I get to use the material from that video to help future videos.

It’s not an easy process, but it’s well worth it.

Charis