"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Paris Brest

No misspelling here.

According to Wikipedia:

Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) was originally a 1200km long bicycle race from Paris to Brest and back to Paris. It is the oldest bicycling event that is still regularly run.

But I am talking about this wonderful dessert that I always look forward to annually from my sister-in-law. Paris Brest is "classic French creation — a large ring of airy choux pastry filled with the richest praline pastry cream —" (from epicurious.com). I fell in love with it the first time I tasted it. I did not bother to try to make it myself, because I love looking forward to having it during holidays. And of course, I love wolfing it down without having to sweat a drop to make it.

But I asked my SIL for the recipe and instructions to share with those of you who might want to try serving this to your relatives (and I am sure you will impress them!) She warned me not to try making it, and I gladly said, "That's your specialty, so I am not even gonna try."

So here it is:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 deg F. (IMPT)
Boil the butter and water then cook on low. Add the flour and salt, and cook for about a minute stirring constantly until it leaves the sides of the pan.
SET 5 MINUTES on the countertop. (This is critical).
Break an egg and drip into the mixture, beat by hand with a woden spoon. Repeat 3 times more (so that makes it a total of 4 eggs added).
Using a pastry bag (or whatever you can use as substitute. I usually use ziploc bag with a corner cut), pipe and form into a circle with 7-inch diameter on a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 400 deg F for 15 minutes then lower the heat to 350 and keep baking for 30-40 minutes more until top becomes dark brown.
Let cool.

1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 pint whipping cream

Whip cream then let sit in the fridge for 4-5 hours.
Cook sugar and almonds in a small saucepan over low heat and keep shaking (do not stir) until sugar is all melted.
Pour onto buttered tin foil. Let cool and solidify.
Break into pieces then use a FOOD PROCESSOR (not chopper) to break further into powdery form.
Fold the praline into the whipped cream.

Cut the top off the dough ring and scoop inside. Fill with praline in the middle. Return the top portion then sprinkle with sugar.

Serve as fresh as you could.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Karaoke Addict Again! Plugging...

Lalo tuloy dumalang and posting ko rine...

Need proof? Visit my Online Karaoke Blog.

And I am not alone (oh no, no no no no!). There are a lot others hooked to SingSnap.com, including people from all over and from all walks of life. Needless to say, hindi pahuhuli ang mga Pinoy. PinoySingSnappers came up with a project in time for the Christmas Season. Check it out. You may wanna send it to your relatives and friends.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Egg (Custard) Pie

Egg Pie
Filipino Egg Pie with Graham Crust
I first came across the recipe of CeliaK (God bless her!) that looks like the traditional egg pie back in PI -- custard with dark brown topping. So, getting the ideas from her recipe, I tried mine with some variations to save time (using graham crust instead of making my own pie crust; I rarely have the time nowadays because of work) and use up some of the ingredients in my pantry given by relatives (i.e., honey). If you are interested in making your own graham cracker pie crust, I have copied and pasted a recipe down below.

My first attempt created that dark brown but too spongy topping, and I wanted the top thinner, and I wanted the custard sweeter (guilty of having a sweet tooth!). But in wanting to see how my in-laws would receive it (my husband is hopeless), I did not make the top dark, but golden brown. Now, my SIL is a very opinionated person who cares not a bit if you will like what she is gonna say or not, but when she got her first bite of this egg pie, her comment was: "Oh my God, this is to die for!!!" and helped herself to a second serving.

My MIL raises chicken layers so we could get the freshest eggs, and right now she gets 18 eggs a day! What to do? Give us some, and sell the rest. In return, I try to make this egg pie or leche flan, which she and FIL both love (makes me wonder why my hubby does not).

Here is my final recipe (my kids like the leche flan better, though):

Ingredients (good for one pie)

Keebler's Graham Crust (with 2 extra servings - see slide show below)
2&1/3 cup milk
1 beaten egg for brushing the crust (the excess goes into the mixture)
3 eggs Plus 1 yolk
1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1&1/2 tbsp cornstarch

1. Preheat oven to 375 deg F.
2. Place the crust onto a baking pan/cookie sheet and brush with beaten egg. and bake for 5 minutes. (This procedure is actually found under the label.)
3. Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients (except the 1 egg white) in a blender using pulse setting.
4. Pour the excess beaten egg (from step 2) into the mixture that you are gonna prepare.
5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg white until it forms soft peaks.
6. Using a wire whisk, cut the egg white into the mixture by gentle mixing until just a thin layer of egg white floats.
7. Increase the oven temp setting to 400 deg F and immediately take out the crust and pour the custard mixture into it and fill to capacity.
8. Bake immediately for 15 minutes then lower the temp to 290 deg F and bake for 30-60 minutes more (depending on how many pies you are making; you kind have to keep watching). When the middle part is a bit wiggly like soft jelly, take the pie out (don't when it seems liquidy still). [If you do not bake right away after pouring the custard onto the crust, the custard starts disintegrating the crust and you will see the custard impregnated with graham cracker. I have done that!]
(EDITED- removed the confusing extra lines - thanks to Teresa for her query!
EDITED again12/06/07 because I noticed my step-by-step instructions were not too clear, thanks to Dona's query. I think was busy SingSnapping while making this post...lol!)

This is a great Christmas give-away idea for your Filipino friends!

Graham Cracker Pie Crust recipe from Southernfood.
This crust is simple to make, and may be used for a 9-inch pie or cheesecake.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 10 minutes
Here's How:

1. In a small saucepan or the microwave, melt 6 tablespoons of butter.
2. Place about 24 graham crackers in a plastic bag. Roll with a rolling pin until finely crushed. This may be done in small batches.
3. Measure 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs into a medium bowl.
4. Add 1/4 cup of sugar to the graham crackers.
5. Add the melted butter.
6. Stir or blend together with your hands.
7. Press into the pie plate or other pan.
8. To pre-bake the pie crust, bake for 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F. oven.

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