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Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Calorie-Free Citrus Iced Tea


This does have to be made ahead so the tea has time to cool down before serving, but the prep time is basically however long it takes the kettle to boil. If you’re worried about the use of artificial sweeteners, use one can of frozen orange drink or lemonade instead and as much boiling water as it takes to fill the pitcher. Of course, there will be calories with that variant.

4 tea bags (I’ve only tried it with orange pekoe)
8 cups boiling water
4 squirts lemonade-flavoured liquid water enhancer
2 squirts orange-flavoured liquid water enhancer

Place tea bags in bottom of two-quart pitcher. Fill up with boiling water. Let sit 10 minutes, then remove tea bags (a slotted serving spoon works well for this). I usually let it cool down on the counter before putting it in the fridge. Serve cold over ice.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Iced Mocha Coffee in Bulk


I like to have a pitcher of this on hand in the summertime. I generally use decaf coffee so I can enjoy it in the late afternoon without worrying about trouble sleeping at night.

4 tablespoons instant espresso
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
7 cups boiling water
1 cup coffee cream (10%)

In a 2-quart pitcher, combine espresso, sugar and cocoa. Whisk together with 2 cups of boiling water. Add the coffee cream and the rest of the boiling water, stirring as you go. Let cool and refrigerate. Serve over ice, stirring first as the cocoa tends to settle out.

Makes 8 cups/2 quarts

While I’ve used instant coffee to make this, of course you can make it with regular coffee instead of the powder and boiling water. Just make it up a bit on the strong side.

You get a richer flavour if you use 5 tablespoons of espresso, sugar and cocoa, but you’ll end up with a lot of sludge in the bottom of the pitcher no matter how much you stir it.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Lazy Woman’s Maple Sugar Pie


While I was binge-watching the Old Cookbook Show a few weeks back, I came across the episode where they were making maple sugar pie from the 1915 edition of the Toronto Queen City of Canada Cookbook. That sounded like something I’d want to try, if I could get my hands on some maple sugar. And a couple of days later, there it was, on the shelf at my local grocery store.

So why am I blogging about it here when it’s already available online elsewhere? Because I did make a few changes in the technique and the ingredients (in blue), hence the title. And also because it came out really, really tasty.

2 cups milk (I used one cup of 10% cream and one cup of water instead, figuring 1915 milk probably had a higher fat content than the 1% in my fridge)
1 cup maple sugar
2 rounded teaspoons cornstarch
2 eggs (I only used the egg yolks)
¼ cup icing sugar (didn’t use since I wasn't making meringue)
paste-lined plate (1 9-inch graham cracker crust)
whipping cream for topping

Original Instructions:

Heat one and one-half cups of milk in a double boiler and add one cup of maple sugar broken fine or grated.

Bring to the boiling point, add two rounding teaspoons cornstarch mixed, with one-half cup milk and cook eight minutes.

Pour a little over the yolks of two eggs and stir and return to boiler and cook until smooth.

Pour into a paste-lined plate and bake.

Cover with meringue made of the whites of two eggs beaten stiff with one-quarter cup powdered sugar and brown.

Like so many of these old recipes, no directions are given about oven temperature, such as slow oven, hot oven, or how long to cook. I looked at other custard pie recipes to figure that out.

My Instructions:

I started out following the recipe, but it was taking forever for the cream/maple sugar mixture to reach boiling point in my makeshift double boiler (a glass bowl over a saucepan). I got impatient and I said to myself, “This is just a custard, and I know you can make custard in the microwave.” So here’s my version of making the filling.

Preheat oven to 300°F.

In a small bowl, combine the maple sugar and the cornstarch. Stir in the two egg yolks. Add enough of the water/cream mixture to make a thin paste.

In a large microwavable container (a large glass measuring cup is perfect for this), heat the rest of the water/cream mixture until it boils. Whisk in the paste. Continuing microwaving in 30-second bursts and whisking until the mixture thickens.

Pour into pie crust. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

At this point, if you’re following the original recipe, you’ll want to make the meringue. I opted to serve my cooled pie with whipped cream instead, and I think it was a better choice. It was certainly easier.