It was a beautiful day to bake a pie on Maui. I had prepared my dough a day ago and it was chilling in the fridge. I found the big beautiful Meyer’s lemons which Not Quite Nigella had suggested because of their amazing sweetness, and the light seemed right for photographing today. Actually, there were intermittent clouds and a possibility of showers which was a perfect day to stay indoors and play with flour.
I have been making my own pie crusts for years ever since a lady taught me on the Big Island of Hawaii. She called it the Perfect Pie Crust recipe and I have elaborated on it ever since. I know it by heart though which makes it so easy. I start with 2 cups of all-purpose flour. I sift that with a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of sugar, then add 2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. of shortening.
(I use Crisco and butter) for flakiness and butter flavor. I just scoop out my cold butter into the measuring cup and add Crisco to make the additional amount. 2/3 cup plus 2 TBSP. of shortening.
I begin crumbling the flour and butter between my thumbs and fingers to distribute the shortening. I add one egg yolk for golden color and the sugar makes it brown slightly and taste sweet. Patee Brisee is a sweet pastry dough. Now I add 6-10 TBSP. of ice water to make the dough the right consistency for a perfect pie crust. If it gets a little too wet add more flour until it feel just right. Mold it into a ball and refrigerate for about an hour in a ziploc bag.
So now I was ready today to roll out my dough. Start with a lightly floured surface so your dough doesn’t stick and always flour your rolling pin between passes.
First cut this dough in 1/2 before you start rolling it out. This recipe is for a two crust pie.
It is so nice to make your own pie crusts, especially during the holidays. Nothing can compare to a homemade perfect buttery flaky pie crust. Those cardboard storebought types are just not the same.
Roll it out to about a 1/4 inch thickness and then lift it up off the surface by sliding a spatula all the way around under the dough.
Place it into the pie dish and finish the edges how you like them. It depends what type of pie I’m making as to how I create my edges. This time I kept it plain and simple because I knew I’d be piling it high with the meringue.
This requires a pre-baked pie shell, so I first pricked the bottom with a knife to vent it and weighted it with some ceramic weights I have. (Actually these are cookie dough molds which worked fine.) They say to use dried beans otherwise. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Take out and lower heat to 325 degrees.
The Meyer’s lemons were incredibly juicey and fragrant. The recipe called for 1/2 cup lemon juice, or 2 lemons.
To make the lemon curd, first I whisked the 1 cup of sugar, 8 large egg yolks, 1/8 tsp. of salt and 1/4 cup of cornstarch in a pan. I gradually added 1 1/2 cups of water and heated on low-medium until the mixture was thickened, as instructed. I nearly scorched it by raising the heat too fast. I removed it from the heat and added the lemon juice, 2 TBSP. of melted butter and 1 TBSP. lemon zest.
The lemon curd filling is spread into the pre-baked pie shell then the meringue is piled high on top.
I let it cool down while I prepared the meringue which consists of 8 egg whites, 2 TBSP.cornstarch, 2/3 cup of water, 1 tsp. cream of tartar and 1 cup of sugar.
Not Quite Nigella said to first mix the 2 TBSP. of cornstarch and 2/3 cup of water in a saucepan until it thickens then cool. It thickened very quickly to a satiny mixture. Then beat the egg whites in a large bowl. (I used my Kitchen Aid mixer) Thank God I have one because egg whites take quite a while to whip into peaks. The 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp. of cream of tartar are added to the egg whites while beating and the satiny cooled cornstarch mixture is added a tablespoon at a time to the egg whites until they are glossy and peak perfectly.
Look how perfect it came out. I piled it high like Not Quite Nigella and I so thoroughly enjoyed creating this pie. It goes back into the oven at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes or until areas are turning slightly golden brown.
It should be completely cooled before cutting but of course I couldn’t wait so this is what the first piece looked like.
Later this evening a well chilled piece came out perfectly piled high and set on top of the lemony mixture.
Voila! My Maui lemon meringue pie. Awesome, delicious lemon meringue pie!
You have to try this. It really is quite easy. I just had to get organized and some days that is easier said than done.
until tomorrow friends.
The Artful Hawaiigirl
Want something easy and beautiful to add to your repertoire? Try this Chicken Parmesan recipe. It’s fast and easy and delightful any night of the week.
I know this picture isn’t pretty, but I wanted to show you how I actually tenderize the boneless chicken breasts. I didn’t have a meat tenderizer, so my friend had told me a trick about using the potato masher as a smasher!
You simply slice the boneless chicken breasts into manageable pieces and hammer away at them, flipping them to hammer some more. They flatten out nicely and become thin beautiful flat chicken pieces ready to be seasoned and browned in olive oil, butter and garlic.
I season the poultry with salt and pepper, some sweet basil and sprinkle lots of crushed minced garlic into the olive oil butter mixture. The filets are browned in the butter and olive oil on both sides for about five minutes on each side.
I move them to a deep baking dish and prepare to layer the cheeses and marinara sauce for baking at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes until all the cheeses and sauce are bubbling, the meat is cooked through but still moist.
First I grate fresh Parmesan generously over the browned chicken breasts.
Then I ladle my marinara sauce (see my marinara post yesterday) over the Parmesan and finally I grate lots of Mozzarella on top.
I bake this at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes like I said, until it’s all bubbling and everythings melted. I test a piece of the chicken to make sure that it is cooked through perfectly. Don’t overcook. You don’t want dry chicken.
It’s piping hot and you want to take a bite, but wait you have to let it sit a minute or you’ll burn your mouth! So assemle the green salad add a few garbanzos, and Voila. Dinner is ready. It is absolutely delicious.
I had given a little sample portion to my sister-in-law wrapped in foil. She said at first she thought it was going to be too garlicky, but then she and her son were fighting for the last bite. YUM!
So try it! You see how easy cooking can be. It’s as easy as one-two-three.
(Just like Painting on tees) For more cooking of mine you can check out my cookbook at http://www.amaryllisofhawaii.com/ and I’ll see you tomorrow with my Meyer’s lemon meringue pie. (Not Quite Nigella’s recipe) The dough is in my fridge chilling overnight.
So tell me what do you think of my Chicken Parmesan?
I love to make my own Marinara. Beautiful tomatoes, fresh garlic and big mushrooms with lots of herbs and spices give it a lot of body and flavor.
The ingredients are simple. Minced garlic, slivered onions, Extra Virgin Olive oil, butter, sliced mushrooms, tomatoe sauce stewed tomatoes or canned whole tomatoes, tomatoe paste, sweet Italian basil, and my other favorite herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, or keep it simple and use Italian seasoning, (a combo of all of the above).
First I crush the garlic and mince it and add it to Two TBSP. of extra virgin oilive oil and two TBSP. of butter. Add it while the oil is not too hot so as not to burn the garlic. Simmer a couple minutes while you sliver the onions.
Then slice the mushrooms. I like my mushrooms big and plump.
Add the onions to the pan with the garlic and saute until translucent, then add the mushrooms and saute a couple minutes longer.
Start adding the tomato sauce 16 oz. (2 small cans or 1 large can) and the stewed tomatoes, then about 3 TBSP. tomato paste. This is used as a thickener, so you may need to add about a 1/2 cup of water to achieve the consistency that you like. I always add some water.
Here I’ve tossed in my Sweet Italian basil and about a TBSP. of Italian Seasoning. I stir it in and let everything simmer for about an hour on low heat. Cover the pan to contain the splatters and stir occasionally so as not to burn.
At this time I like to taste it and add a touch of sugar, maybe a couple teaspoons, salt & pepper too. Usually I add fresh torn basil, but my garden was lacking so I added fresh spinach to give it some color.
Prepare your pasta water by filling a large pot with water, add a pinch of salt and some olive oil so the spaghetti doesn’t stick together. Bring it to a rolling boil and add your pasta. Cook it al dente (according to the package directions) and drain immediately after you test a strand that you have cooled. Al dente is just so the teeth can bite into it. (Perfect!)Spaghetti cooks for ten minutes.
Fresh pastas cook in a couple minutes so get to know your different pastas.
After draining the pasta I put it back into the pot and let the heat cook off any remaining water so it will be perfect, (not watery). Then it is ready to serve on a platter or individual servings with lots of delicious Marinara on top. Fresh grated Parmesan or Romano finishes it off along with a crisp green salad.
I love a nice red wine with Italian food such as a Cabernet or a Merlot.
Once you learn how to make your own sauce you will love how it comes together and you’ll feel so earthy crushing your own herbs and spices and filling your kitchen with the aromas of great cooking.
This sauce can be used for Chicken Parmesan also. I made that the next day.
Coming soon at The Artful Hawaiigirl
Chicken Parmesan and fresh garlic bread.
Here’s the Marinara recipe in my cookbook.
Click on the image to see the full size layout!
Art Sale today Saturday September 19, 2009 at Up-Country Fine Arts!
In case you didn’t know, there is a beautiful little fine art store conveniently located in Makawao town. I love to stop by for paints and paper often when I am doing my business at the Makawao Post Office or library.
The owners Peter and Pamela Neswald are extremely knowledgable about all their products and are very generous with that knowledge.
Pam and Peter also love to paint and you can sometimes catch Peter playing guitar outside the store or doing a demo on canvas. Peter is also a scientist.
I love these golden paints and products. The pigments are incredible. I use them for painting on tees in the watercolor style with the fabric painting medium added to the acrylics. A little bit of golden goes a long way for me.
They carry all the high quality paints, canvases and brushes and you’ll be surprised to find 25-50% off everything in the store today as they celebrate their second anniversary of being open in Makawao.
For so many artists and students, it is a great place to get stocked up on supplies. Students up-country at Seabury Hall will enjoy these discounts today.
Some of Pam’s Surfer girl art.
So stop by today for some great deals on canvases, paints and brushes in Makawao Town at Up-Country Fine Arts and meet Pam! 🙂
Savory sweet succulent wild Alaskan salmon is so delicious! We prepare it often at home. Once on a visit to Seattle I learned to bake salmon with mayonnaise to keep it delicious and moist. We had also wrapped it tight in foil.
I have elaborated on this for many years by adding either a chiffonade of fresh basil which I grow or dried basil which is always available.
As you can see in my ingredients, I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil, (evoo) and Balsamic Vinegar which carmelizes to a sweet wonderful flavor and makes it luscious with the mayonnaise sealing in the herbs and bread crumbs on top to give it a nice texture.
First I cut up the salmon in to individual portions about two & 1/2 inches wide. Then I sprinkle with salt and pepper and crushed fresh garlic flakes. I also use dried garlic-parsely flakes and sometimes leave out the fresh garlic.
I drizzle with the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the Balsamic vinegar now, and spread some tablespoons of mayo on and this time I have added huge mushroom slices which I decided to dot with butter, garlic and then drizzle with more olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Oooh, yes this turned out wonderful.
Last but not least I sprinkle on Italian Bread crumbs to give more delicious flavor and texture.
I bake at 400 degrees for about twenty minutes or until the salmon is perfect.
This time I served with big slices of fresh Hawaiian mango.
Steamed white rice, broccoli, asparagus or any green salad is wonderful with my basil mayo baked salmon.
Here’s my cookbook layout for Basil Mayo Salmon Filets Dinner for two!
Click on it for the large view.
Hope you try it soon and make it one of your recipes for life! It’s so easy.
Above all have fun. Life is so short we must live with a passion, that’s what I do. And remember to smile 🙂
One of the most beautiful places on Maui is Iao Valley. Tucked away in the West Maui Mountains is the Iao needle, which is a lava formation that appears to be a splash of molten lava covered in vegetation today. Of course the needle shape is more than likely due to erosion from wind and waters but I always imagine the lava boiling and suddenly taking a permanent shape.
Iao Valley is a wonderful getaway for a quick lunch because it is located just above Wailuku Town on Maui. Minutes from the center of commerce on Maui is a touch of old Hawaii to take us back in time and beauty.
About half way up the valley is a little park with reproductions from different cultures on Maui. Here we decided to have lunch next to the Korean building.
I wanted to go inside but my husband said no we eat in the picnic pavillions. I guess he thought that might be disrespectful. I thought it was so unique and beautiful. It looks like a Tea House to me.
My mother-in-law Catherine is Portuguese. Though she has been born and raised on Maui, she still loves a visit to Iao Valley. She would always take the children and grandchildren for picture taking in the beautiful valley.
One of her daughters had been married in Iao Valley. It is definitely a magical place. It is a natural rain forest in the middle of our island. There are trails in the back of the valley for amazing hikes.
Here is the Portuguese oven used to bake the wonderful Portuguese Sweet bread we love here in the islands of Hawai`i.
After a picture taking session we take a short walk through the park and come upon the Hawaiian Hale (house) reproduction surrounded by Coconut palms. There is a small Taro Patch.
It is shady, quiet and a lovely place to enjoy a picnic lunch. We proceed back to our vehicle so we can get to the back of the valley to see the Needle. It happens to be an extraordinary day with blue, blue skies and great puffy cumulus clouds.
The Iao stream was running low today, but at certain times a year the possibility of flash flooding is eminent so always proceed with caution. Be aware!
This gorgeous day was perfect for photos even though it was mid day. I usually never use this type of light for my images. (Too bright)
Here we are finally at the needle! Yay!
The famous Iao Needle. Isn’t it beautiful?
Well, it’s back to town to take care of business like stopping by the accountant’s office, having some keys made, a short side trip to browse through “Finder’s Keepers”, a 10,000 square foot show room full of antique Chinese furniture and modern reproductions. I love to wander in occasionally to see if anything captures me.
Aloha for now, friends.
Remember to take time to enjoy the beauty wherever you are.
Check out my links too for videos about Hawaii and other awesome blogs I’m following!
Don’t these look yummy? Enchiladas are very easy to make. It is an excellent cost effective dish too. It’s cheesy, rich, creamy, spicy as you like it, and utterly fabulous when home-made.
First I like to get all my ingredients prepared. I chop an onion, tomatoes, and cilantro for later.
The corn tortillas must be limped before dipping into the enchilada sauce, so I use about a 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in the pan and heat it up til it bubbles.
I have my grated cheddar or jack or even feta ready to go.
This time I used flaked crab (codfish flakes) but often I use just cheese, beans, onions and enchilada sauce. Shredded chicken or pork would be delicious also.
I have heated my can of green chile verde enchilada sauce and also added a crushed clove of garlic, 2 TBSP. of butter and some tomatoes to enrich the sauce. My friend and I had once tried as many enchiladas in Sun Valley, California and North Hollywood as we could in our quest to find the best enchilada. I determined that the best sauce had the addition of butter and garlic with a little hot sauce.
So, you limp the tortillas in the hot oil just for a few seconds in order to soften them up and get rid of the raw corn texture. Flip them for another few seconds and take right out to drain and pat out the oil with paper towels.
Now the tortillas are dipped into the warm enchilada sauce and then laid into the baking dish ready to be layered with ingredients.
Here I have started with a tbsp. of beans (pork & beans) can you imagine? It’s what I had on hand & worked fine. Sometimes I use black beans, vegetarian refried beans, or simply refried pinto beans. My friends used to pressure cook pinto beans on a daily basis as a staple for their vegetarian diet.
Then I sprinkle the crab, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, cheese, some hot sauce few drops, and roll them up. I continue until the pan is filled then top with more sauce and cheese.
This batch was lacking extra sauce because I only used one 12 oz. can of green enchilada sauce. Two would have been better.
Baked at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until bubbly. They come out tender, easy to cut with a fork, and delightful.
Garnish with fresh lime wedges and cilantro. ENJOY!
My mother-in-law had never eaten enchiladas but she really liked them. I’m a California girl originally, so we learn all these Mexican dishes by heart.
I love to cook and give my family new things to try. Hope you try to make enchiladas sometime. You can use them as a side dish to a big salad and also serve sliced mangos or pineapple.
Nice summer dish.
On Sunday, we decided to take our first trip to Lahaina in over one year.
We live up-country on Maui and rarely travel out of our five mile radius, except on weekends to get to the beach in Kihei or Wailea. I also love the pond (Baby Beach) on our North Shore.
The reason for our journey was to see a friend who is moving to the mainland. I decided to photograph from the moving vehicle as we proceeded down the mountain.
As you can see it is a pretty rugged landscape as we approach Lahaina.
I love to see the terrain change on the dry side of our islands.
As we get closer to Olowalu market I remember how I would always stop for a manapua, and can of iced Hawaiian coffee and a cone sushi here.
We reach Lahaina and park at the end of town so we can walk under the Banyan tree to see all the artists presenting their work.
I see my friend Veena who loves to buy my hand-painted shirts, selling her beautiful glass jewelry. We take a few photos then she whisks me off to meet her friends of The Lahaina Art Society. She insists that I should join. I can’t sell T-shirts, but I can sell paintings. So, I thank her and consider this for the future. Then it’s off to my friend Joanna’s to see her beautiful place before she moves off to the mainland.
Let’s talk about plants. I’m not going to name them here but as you can see this property that Joanna’s step dad had built and maintained for the last ten years along with Joanna, her mother Rosina and a full time female gardener who tends the plants 5 day a week for 6 hours a day, is a work of art.
Each Pole cottage is open to the air and they are all connected via a series of pathways which are tiled creatively. Focal points of gardens with sculptures, or benches, bricks and stones line each little plant garden.
A real Italian Fountain.
A touch of Tao.
A fish fountain.
Joanna gave me some gardenias that were in her vase. She said “These are for you.”
Thanks for a lovely day.
I realized what a short distance it is to Lahaina.
And a beautiful drive home!
Thanks, Joanna for being my friend!
Joanna has been coming to Ben Franklin Crafts to paint on tees in the watercolor style for over three years with me. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know Joanna and her 85 year old mother Rosina who loves to paint on tees too! I will miss her.
If you’d like to come paint with me at Ben Franklin Crafts, call 808 877-3337 to see the schedule and sign up for a class.
Today it was all about bananas.
Our apple banana trees have been putting out plenty of bunches so before they go, I had to bake lots of beautiful apple banana nut breads. In Hawaii we have many varieties of bananas. The Williams bananas are longer like the kind we are familiar with in the mainland. Our apple bananas are short and have a unique sweet fresh taste. They are not as creamy as the ice cream bananas that are more like a custard.
The different thing about apple bananas is when the skin is turning black and you think they are pau (finished), they are still beautiful inside, not bruised at all. (Most of the time.)
These bananas appear bruised but once peeled you can see they are really nice still. Most recipes only call for a few bananas, but my recipe came from an old Maui Ladies Home Cookbook which called for 6-7 ripe bananas. Today I doubled my recipe and because apple bananas are small I used about 15 bananas.
I sifted together
5 cups all purpose unbleached white flour
4 tsp. of baking soda
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
Then I cream 4 sticks of butter with
3 cups of sugar and add 3 tsp. of vanilla.
I also add 1/2 cup of honey!
On the side in another bowl I crush my bananas with a beater blade.
I also add 8 large eggs that have been lightly beaten to the butter and sugar mixture.
I combine my wet and dry ingredients adding the bananas and mixing with a large spoon until everything is blended. Then I have my walnuts (2 cups) which I have crushed by using the thick measuring cup to pound them inside a larger bowl. You can cut them, chop them or use the food processor but this is how I have done it for years, so I like it that way.
Incorporate the nuts and add 1 cup of craisins to the batter too. Lightly oil the pans even though they are a non-stick. I do.
This batch made 8 small loaves and one very huge long banana bread equivalent to two normal loaves, I’d say.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake these small loaves for only 30 minutes or until the bamboo skewer comes out clean. They cook fast.
This apple banana bread took one hour and 15 minutes to bake completely.
Wait a few minutes to cool then slip them out of the pan. I love those non-stick Martha Stewart mini-loaf pans. I have to get another one so I can do double batches.
So here’s what it looks like inside. It was moist but I added a little butter and my banana bread was divine.
My mother-in-law Catherine helped me by holding my book. I showed her my step by step banana bread recipe, then we stepped outside while they baked to enjoy another Maui day on the lanai just reading, listening to the birds, and very windy trades blowing as the banana bread was baking.
I want to share some beautiful plant and flower photos that I took yesterday in my yard and in Catherine’s old yard.
Our apple banana tree has about five new stalks on it right now so there’s much more to come.
And last but not least beautiful Maui. Our north shore is an awesome spot to watch the wind surfers and take in the most gorgeous views of West Maui and Molokai in the distance.
Ever get a craving for something hot and spicy, rich and delicious too? If you love Thai food you will want to make this in your own home.
I learned this exotic but easy Thai Coconut Lemongrass preparation from a friend.
I had stopped by their home for a moment and the aromatics were incredible!
The coconut soup was being ladled into bowls and I was gifted with a take out container of this soup to try on my break later. It’s a heavenly, rich, heady concoction and I had to know how to make it!
My friend gave me the recipe from their Thai cookbook and I changed it to what is available.
In my book below I mention the recipe here:
I start the day before by cooking a whole chicken in boiling water brought down to a simmer for about and hour and a half. To season that broth I always start with garlic, onion, celery and carrots chopped up and added to the water with the chicken. I add my salt and pepper during the second seasoning when I remove the bones to the side.
This time I added a few star anise to the broth as well as a few cloves like I do in Vietnamese Pho. When the wonderful chicken broth is ready, I serve some, then bring down the heat with ice cubes to chill it for the next day.
Now I prepare my green chile paste.
I used about 8 jalapenos, lots of fresh ginger (about 4 oz..), 3 lemongrass stalks, 6 cloves garlic,
3 TBSP. vegetable oil, 2 TBSP. sugar, 3 TBSP. fish sauce, zest of three limes and
squeeze the fresh limes into the paste. (I did not have my kefir lime leaves.)
I used to have a tree but we lost it.
So this substitution was fine.
As you see I chopped up my ginger and lemongrass and carefully cut in half and seeded my chiles.Then I pop it all into the food processor for a grind. In the past I had ground it much finer in a small grinder but this rough chop (pulsed for a couple minutes) was fine.
I add about 3 TBSP. of the green chile paste to 2 TBSP. hot vegetable oil to get the aromatics going. It smells incredible. Don’t inhale those chiles, though.
Also be very careful not to touch your eyes or face. If necessary you can wear gloves to handle the chiles. I just use caution and the pointy sharp blade of a steak knife to get out the seeds.
Once you get the aromatics going get your tofu and shrimp into the pot to brown in that green chile paste for a couple of minutes.
My favorite shrimps are the tail on deveined ones in the 21-25 count. (big ones).
This time I had some small ones. (too small.) Cube the tofu before adding to the pot.
Next add 4-6 cups of the chicken broth prepared earlier. I added some of the white meat also.
Next I add two cans of unsweetened coconut milk.
I am ready to taste!
MMMmmmm woooh, this is sooo ONO! I added more chile paste than usual so on a
scale of 1-5 based on hotness, I guess this one is a 4. But it’s ok for my husband and I. We
like it spicy. I won’t let my mother-in-law try this one. Not for the sensitive ones.
Garnish with bean sprouts, mint, or thai basil.
I also slivered a few green onion pieces for color.
Hope you try this one. You will love it.
Aloha and thanks for reading. Pad Thai is another favorite I will prepare soon. I do that
even at the cabins at Wai`anapanapa on one burner sometimes. It’s really easy too!
Feel free to ask me any questions by leaving a comment. Here’s some beautiful pictures of Wai`anapanapa State Park in Hana, Maui, Hawaii. This is one of my very favorite places on Maui. It is wild and beautiful and really Hawaiian.
The Black Sand Beach Waianapanapa
The view from Cabin five.
Thanks for stopping by,
See http://www.amaryllisofhawaii.com/ for my books and Hawaiian Designs Made on Maui.