This is it, the end of our preview. Over the past 19 days as I have counted down to books shipping from the printer, I have provided just the barest glimpse of At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining.
Section 7: Sweet Endings is At Home’s final chapter is Chapter 19 — Baking Required. By way of introduction:
There are cooks…
And there are bakers…
I am definitely a cook. I just lack the temperament to be a baker. What’s a cook to do when he needs a sensational final chapter titled Baking Required? The answer is Anne Clark! Anne was Frog’s very first baker in 1973. Anne “invented” Commissary Carrot Cake and Strawberry Heart Tarts. Anne was co-author/co-shepard of The Frog Commissary Cookbook. Anne is responsible for all the recipes in Chapter 19. Anne is a dear friend.
Cider Pecan Pie
Reduced cider syrup brings a fruitier sweetness to standard pecan pie for a flavor combination that’s truly autumnal. Pecan pie was one of the all-time favorite desserts served at Frog and The Commissary. Convenient as well as delicious, it can be made up to two days ahead and held at room temperature. To make the original pecan pie served at Frog, use 11⁄4 cups of corn syrup and omit the reduced cider.
do ahead Pie can be made one day in advance and kept at room temperature. The baked pie can also be frozen. Defrost for several hours and serve at room temperature.
1⁄2 cup apple cider syrup, cooled (see page 424)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 flaky pie crust, chilled and rolled out (see page 449)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1⁄4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3⁄4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups pecan halves
1 Adjust an oven rack to the lowest shelf and preheat oven to 400º.
2 In a bowl, whisk brown sugar, flour and salt together. Whisk in eggs. Whisk in vanilla extract, cider syrup and corn syrup. Gently whisk in the melted butter until it is well combined. Drape pie crust over pie plate. Put pecans in the unbaked pie crust. Pour the mixture you whisked together over the nuts and poke down any nuts that aren’t covered. They will float back up, but that’s okay.
3 Cover the edge of the pie crust with crust protector or foil. Bake pie for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º and bake until the edges of the filling are puffed and the center is not jiggly, about 40-50 minutes more. Check the pie after 30 minutes, and if it’s getting too brown, cover it lightly with a big square of foil. It’s better to let the pie cook a little longer if the middle doesn’t look done in the specified time. Finish baking, 10-20 minutes more. Cool pie for about 5 hours or overnight.
The Party’s Over
The most important thing to do when the party’s over and you have bid goodbye to your last guest is to stop for a moment and give yourself a pat on the back. If this was a team affair, share a moment of satisfaction with your cohost(s). Entertaining is an act of love. In the end, you were the most important ingredient. You were thoughtful, planned carefully and worked hard. Whether everything worked out perfectly or not matters little. What matters is the commitment you made to open your home and heart. Good job! Now, the dishes.
About one week left to buy the book — and companion website — and receive a signed, numbered first edition.
Note: I will be speaking all about At Home — book and companion website — at the Free Library on Thursday, October 15 beginning at 7:30 PM. Hope to see you there.
Postscript: On schedule, the book arrived this morning. More about this in the coming days.