Strawberry Ginger Pie

Okay I feel like I’ve been teasing with this pie.  I’ve made it as hand pies, a galette but only now have I made it in classic pie form.  I just cannot get enough of this flavour combination (and strawberries are treating me well while I wait for other berries to come into season).

I tried a more freeform lattice on this pie – a few braids thrown in, smaller strips and treating two strips as if they are one.  Again, this is what I love about pie.  There are so many options for decoration and it’s strictly up to you, be creative!

Now for a fun fact, I’ll be doing a demo of this pie on Global News The Morning Show on Thursday June 15th!  If you want to catch a first hand glimpse of how you can make it, tune in at 8:50am.  I’ll also post a link to the clip afterwards.  Exciting!

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

  • 5 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced into quarters
  • 3 tbsp plus 1 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • 2 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2-2/3 cup packed brown sugar, depending on your preference for sweetness
  • Pinch cardamom
  • Pinch allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp ground arrowroot
  • 1 tsp flour
  • Egg wash (1 Egg plus 1/2 tsp of water)
  • Raw sugar, for sprinkling

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

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Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Remove from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out each disk on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (it will be about 12-13 inches in diameter).

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Fold the rolled out crust in half and set into a buttered 9 inch pie pan.  Unfold gently and settle the bottom of the crust into the corners.

Roll out the other dough disk and cut into 8 evenly sized strips with a paring knife or pizza cutter. This will be your lattice.  Refrigerate strips and crust lined pan for 30 minutes. (To create this lattice design, turn 3 of those strips into braids and cut the other 5 in half again).

To make the filling, sprinkle hulled and quartered strawberries with 3 tbsp white sugar, gently toss and allow to macerate for 30 minutes.  This releases the strawberry juices and makes for a more flavourful pie.

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Once macerated, drain excess strawberry juices (be sure to save for cocktails!) and sprinkle on grated ginger and lemon juice, stirring gently to combine.  Add brown sugar, spices, salt and arrowroot and stir until fully incorporated.

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Remove pie shell from fridge and sprinkle 1 tsp each of flour and sugar on the bottom to keep the crust from getting soggy.  Pour in filling.

To make the lattice, arrange a braid in the middle going vertically and cross two thin strips over it horizontally.  Place two thin strips over the horizontal strips on each side of the braid.  Place one more braid on the far right under the horizontal strip, like below.

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Lift the bottom pieces of the two braids and place two thin strips going horizontal, like below.

Repeat on the top side – once with the braids and once with the thin strips and the pie will look like below.

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Roll the crust overhang over top of the ends of the lattice strips, like a crust wall trimming any overhang if you feel you need to.  Make sure the “wall” is sealed well so it doesn’t unroll while baking.

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To crimp the edge of the crust, “pinch and push” using your thumb and pointer finger and other thumb, like below:

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Place the pie in the fridge for 10 minutes and preheat the oven to 425F.

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Remove pie from fridge and brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar to your liking.  The egg wash ensures the pie is nicely browned.

Place the pie on a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and bake for 20 minutes until the pie crust is starting to set and brown.  Reduce the oven heat to 375F and bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust has browned and juices are bubbling throughout the pie.  Let cool for 2-3 hours and enjoy!

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Strawberry Ginger Hand Pies

The next few weeks will consist of me buying strawberries at the market and proceeding to make any and every kind of strawberry based pie/hand pie/galette possible.  These strawberries are far too delicious and the season too short to pass that up.

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I decided to whip up some hand pies again as they’re perfect for parties.  People can literally eat a pie out of the palm of their hand with basically no mess.  They’re also so fun and satisfying to make, it’s the ultimate pie therapy.

In terms of flavour profile, I love the fresh, spicy zing that ginger adds to the sweetness of strawberries, which is important to the pie not being overly sweet.  Another great trick is to use any leftover liquid from the filling in drinks!  I added it to perrier and a bit of gin, but any fizzy combo will work (I think prosecco would be ideal!)

If you want a better visual of how to assemble hand pies, check out the video I posted on Instagram a couple of weeks ago!  Happy Baking!

Makes about 14 hand pies, with enough leftover filling to make a galette or ice cream topping!

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

  • 5 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced into eighths (cut the quarters in half)
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • 2 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2-2/3 cup packed brown sugar, depending on your preference for sweetness
  • Pinch cardamom
  • Pinch allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp ground arrowroot
  • Egg wash (1 Egg plus 1/2 tsp of water)
  • Raw sugar, for sprinkling

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Remove from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out each disk on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (it will be about 12-13 inches in diameter).

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Once rolled, use a 3 inch cutter (I used a mason jar lid) to cut dough into small rounds.  I recommend re-rolling scraps once, and using the rest for dough cookies.  Refrigerate cut rounds for 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, make the filling.  Sprinkle white sugar on top of strawberries and mix gently.  Allow to macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and grated ginger.  In a separate bowl, mix together brown sugar, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, salt and arrowroot.  Sprinkle dry mixture over strawberry mixture and gently toss until incorporated.

To assemble, take a chilled dough round and brush the edge with egg wash (one egg mixed with 1/2 tsp water).  Using a fork (to avoid excess liquid), place about 1 tbsp of filling into the middle of the round.  Take another dough round, place on top and carefully press the edges together until sealed.  Once sealed, you can crimp like a regular pie edge or use a fork to crimp.

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Place finished hand pies on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in freezer for 10 minutes to set.  Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.  Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes.

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Raspberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

A pie that can fit in the palm of your hand is a very powerful thing.  I don’t want to say it can solve the world’s problems, but dang it’s a start.

These hand pies have a delicious, tangy, seasonal filling of rhubarb and raspberries, which is something that I am definitely going to throw into a regular sized pie soon.  It’s a bit sweeter than a plain rhubarb pie but the flavour profile is more complex than a strawberry rhubarb combo.

Making the pies is also super fun, the key is to keep the dough cold because otherwise it gets a bit messy with the egg wash and filling and trying to seal it all together (I’m going to post a quick how to on Instagram so stay tuned!).  This recipe makes about 15-18 hand pies with a good amount of leftover filling to make a nice compote (I used mine as a topping for a dutch baby this morning).

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

  • 3 cups rhubarb, chopped into half inch pieces
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, one to mix into filling, one for egg wash
  • Raw sugar, for sprinkling

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Remove from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out each disk on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (it will be about 12-13 inches in diameter).

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Once rolled, use a 3 inch cutter (I used a mason jar lid) to cut dough into small rounds.  I recommend re-rolling scraps once, and using the rest for dough cookies (side note: to make the cookies, sprinkle scraps with sugar and cinnamon and place in a 400F oven until golden, about 20 minutes). Refrigerate cut rounds for 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, make the filling.  Stir chopped rhubarb and raspberries with sugar, spices, salt and flour until evenly covered.  Add lemon juice, vanilla and one egg and stir to combine.

To assemble, take a chilled dough round and brush the edge with egg wash (one egg mixed with 1/2 tsp water).  Using a fork (to avoid excess liquid), place about 1 tbsp of filling into the middle of the round.  Take another dough round, place on top and carefully press the edges together until sealed.  Once sealed, you can crimp like a regular pie edge or use a fork to crimp.

Place finished hand pies on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in freezer for 10 minutes to set.  Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.  Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes.

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Chamomile Buttermilk Pie

Spring is finally here!

After a week of grey and rain (and snow…) the sun has emerged and is (hopefully) here to stay.  While I’m still patiently waiting on rhubarb, I wanted to make a light custard based pie to bring in spring.  This pie did the job.

Having buttermilk as a base along with cream adds a nice tangy note and the chamomile is very subtle.  If a custard pie could be described as “fresh”, this would be it.  I feel like it would also be very easy to eat about half of it yourself.

For the crust decoration, I used a cannoli form to cut circlets turn into flowers.  Rudimentary – but I was so excited about how they turned out on the braid.  One step closer to actual flowers!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 batches pie dough, rolled and one in buttered pie pan (see Blood Orange Custard Pie post)
  • Egg wash (1 egg mixed with teaspoon of water)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 chamomile teabags
  • 4 tbsp salted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

Steps

Let’s start with the crust.

Evenly cut the dough into 1/4 inch strips (use a ruler to help). Divide into sets of 5 and press them together at the top, fanning out the strips. Take the outermost right strip and cross it over the two beside it, so it is in the middle.  Then, take the outermost left strip and cross it over the two beside it so it’s now in the middle.  Repeat the braiding until complete.

You’ll need about three of these braids for the whole crust rim.  Brush the rim of the dough in the pan with egg wash and set a braid on top, gently pressing down to set (I also lightly scored the rim of the pie shell to help the braid stick more).  You can connect each braid by the end pieces or cover the joints with dough cutouts.

Prick the dough all over the bottom and sides with a fork about 20 times and place in freezer for 15 minutes.  Line the dough with foil leaving no gaps between the foil and dough and place pie weights or dried rice or beans in the pan, with more around the outside to prevent dough shrinkage.

Bake at 425F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove weights and foil. Brush crust with egg wash and bake again for 2-3 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.

To make the filling, bring cream just to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and steep teabags for over 10 minutes (I did about 12 minutes but would recommend closer to 20 for a stronger flavour).

Whisk butter, sugar, salt and flour in a medium bowl.  Stir in the eggs and yolk one at a time, mixing until incorporated.  Remove tea bags from the cream and add buttermilk and vinegar.  Slowly stream the chamomile cream mixture into the egg mixture, stirring as you go.  Strain filling into prepared, cooled pie crust.

Bake at 325F on a rimmed baking sheet for 45 minutes, turning the pan 180 degrees after about 30 minutes (when the edges start to set).  The pie is done when the edges are slightly puffed and the filling jiggles a bit like gelatin, but is no longer liquid.  Allow to cool 2-3 hours before serving.

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Recipe adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Maple Pear Bourbon Pie

Not to exaggerate, but this pie is going to warm your soul and make you ok with the fact that we’re still a month or two away from spring pies.

This winter I’ve really started to appreciate pear pies – I think they’re definitely underrated and they’re so versatile.  Pears go perfectly with chocolate, spices like ginger and as evidenced by this pie, bourbon.

I was worried the bourbon might hit you in the face based on how the filling smelled, but it melds so well with the pears and as you eat more and more, it gets better and better.  The maple flavour is very subtle and nicely complements the bourbon as well.

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

  • 6-7 pears – peeled and thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar, plus 1 tsp for bottom of pie crust
  • 2/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour, plus 1 tsp for bottom of pie crust
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • A few grinds of pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Egg wash to coat (1 egg and 1 tsp water mixed) and raw sugar for sprinkling

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Remove from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out each disk on a floured surface until 12-13 inches in diameter.

IMG_8622Fold the rolled out crust in half and set into a buttered 9 inch pie pan.  Unfold gently and settle the bottom of the crust into the corners.

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Roll out the other dough disk (for your lattice) and refrigerate both the crust lined pan and rolled out dough for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling.  In a large bowl, toss together pear slices, lemon juice and granulated sugar with your hands and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.  In another bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, spices and salt.  Drain excess moisture from pear mixture and sprinkle sugar mixture on top.  Toss with your hands until pears are evenly coated.

Sprinkle bourbon, maple syrup and vanilla on top of pears and stir gently with a wooden spoon until incorporated.

Preheat oven to 425F.  Remove pie pan and rolled out dough from the fridge.  Sprinkle 1 tsp of flour and sugar on the bottom of the rolled out dough to absorb excess moisture.  Carefully pour pears into pie shell and arrange so it is evenly spread with a slight mound in the middle.  Cut rolled out pie dough into lattice/desired top and arrange as desired.

Brush egg wash on lattice and sprinkle with raw sugar.  Bake on the lowest oven rack on a baking sheet for 20 minutes until crust begin to set and brown.  Reduce heat to 375F and move pie to middle rack.  Bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 30 minutes.  Allow to cool for 2-3 hours.

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Apple Galette

I’ve already professed my love for galettes in a previous post, but I must reiterate how simply they come together and how delicious they are!  If you have pie dough ready in your freezer, it’s even better.  Also, for those of you vowing to cut down on sweets as your New Year’s Resolution, galettes are lighter than a traditional pie (and come on just treat yoself!).

I was in the mood for something fruity, and apples are still alive and kicking and will be all winter.  If you want to take this up a notch, drizzle some caramel underneath the apples before you arrange them for a gooey caramel surprise.

Treat yoself indeed.

Ingredients

  • Single crust pie dough (see Blood Orange Custard Pie post)
  • 3 apples, sliced into 1/4 inch slices (I used granny smith, golden delicious and honey crisp for a mix of sweet and tart)
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of allspice
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Grind of black pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tsp water)
  • Raw sugar, for sprinkling

Steps

Roll out pie dough to about 12 inches in diameter and carefully transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.

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Toss apple slices with white sugar and lemon juice and allow to sit for 20 minutes.

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Meanwhile, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla, pepper, salt and flour in a medium bowl until combined.  Remove apples from excess liquid and mix into the dry ingredients, evenly coating each piece.

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Arrange apples as desired onto rolled out pie dough, ensuring there are 1-2 inches between the apples and the edge of the dough.  Fold crust edge over the apples, pinching the bottom edge of the galette to make sure it all stays together.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Brush with egg wash and sprinkle pastry with raw sugar for garnish.

Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, until pastry is set and beginning to brown.  Reduce heat to 375F and bake for 30-35 minutes until pastry is brown and juices are bubbling.  Allow to cool for 2-3 hours.

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Salty Honey Custard Pie

Christmas has come and gone, which means I’ve exhausted my pecan pie repertoire and I’m ready to mix it up on the pie front.

This pie is weird. But really, really good.

Texture wise, it’s a standard custard pie, but the surface almost caramelizes into a delicious chewier top. Flavour wise, the honey makes it very sweet (not in a typical sugary sense), however this is balanced out by the sea salt sprinkled on top.

So no matter how “pie-d out” you think you are, this pie will change your mind and renew your pie palate for 2017.

Ingredients

  • Pie shell, crimped and frozen (see blood orange custard pie post)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup honey (I used orange blossom, mix it up and see what you like)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tsp water)
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt, for sprinkling

Steps

Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix together butter, sugar, cornmeal, salt and vanilla. Stir in honey, then add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.



Add cream and vinegar and mix well.

Place the frozen shell on a baking sheet and strain the filling into the shell.  Carefully brush the crimped edges with egg wash.  


Bake for 50 minutes, rotating the pan after 30 minutes, until the edges are puffed, the centre is set and the top is golden brown.

Sprinkle with sea salt and allow to cool before serving, 2-3 hours.


Recipe adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbirds