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Irish Car Bomb Pie

Last Saturday morning, I was laying in bed talking to my Grammy. She commented on the fact that we’d been eating (making and sharing, really) a lot of pie lately. We discussed what pie plans I had for that weekend, I tried to explain Berger cookies over the phone (difficult), she told me about some cookies she’s been enjoying (they’re like communion wafers sort of), and then she launched into a story about a pie she had made. Now, my family, on both sides, are born story tellers. A night out to dinner with my grandparents is better than a night at a comedy club. They’re hilarious, and they know how to deliver a line. Grammy’s pie was sort of a catch all pie of things she had around the house, born out of a craving for wanting to eat a pie. The way that Grammy cooks is very what’s-available– she started throwing things she thought might be delicious into the pie, including a little bottle of Bailey’s that she found in the fridge.

This got me thinking about Bailey’s, and how delicious an Irish cream mousse would be. And then I started thinking about what kind of pie would compliment an Irish cream mousse, and by the time I got off the phone with Grammy I had decided that the best pie to make would be an Irish Car Bomb pie.

Now, for those of you not familiar, an Irish Car Bomb is a mixed drink that includes Irish stout, Irish whiskey, and Irish cream. The name refers to the ingredients, and is a kind of flip reference to a period in recent Irish history known (on Wikipedia anyway) as The Troubles.  The drink is made by mixing together whiskey and Irish cream in a shot glass, and then dropping it into a half filled pint of Irish stout. And then you have to chug it before it curdles. I don’t drink Irish Car Bombs.

In fact, I don’t do shots. Let’s just say that I had a very memorable 21st birthday (my sister Lauren, Megan, and Dan were committed to my having a great time) and I’ve now done enough shots for a lifetime. But I’ve seen plenty of people drink them, my Irish grandfather thought the pie sounded good, and I figured, what the hell. Let’s make the booziest pie ever. Seriously, I out boozy-pied myself.

An Irish Car Bomb pie, in its final incarnation, is a stout crust, a layer of Irish whiskey ganache, a layer of stout pudding, and Irish cream mousse. However, that’s not how it started. The original pie was a stout crust, whiskey ganache, and Irish cream mousse. It was delicious. Seriously good, light, a total hit. But as Dan pointed out the next day, something was missing. It didn’t have the stout flavor that is so important in the drink (and Dan would know, he’s done many an Irish car bomb). So we went back to the drawing board and I decided to make a stout pudding.

(the best part of having a food blog is having the online recipe book. two things i prefer to cook with- biscuits & such on my ipad and a glass of “chef’s juice”)

Originally I planned on making a chocolate stout pudding, but then, right before the part in the pudding process where you add the chocolate (after the stout had been incorporated), I stuck my finger in to taste. And it was delicious. Full of that unique Irish stout flavor, light but rich. I thought, why ruin it? Let’s keep this as close to the drink as possible! So I left it as is.

The final product was delicious. The stout pudding layer is unlike anything I’ve every had before, the whiskey ganache is completely decadent, and the Irish cream mousse is just… delectable. It’s rich, creamy, and very unique in flavor. I think it’s a perfect way to end National Pie Month this year, and it will definitely be on my table again. Thanks for coming along for the pie-filled ride, guys! Now excuse me while I go zumba off all this whipped cream.

Irish Car Bomb Pie
This pie is best if allowed to set overnight, so plan ahead! 

ICB Crust:

1 1/4 cups flour

1 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup shortening

3/4 stick butter, cold

1/2 cup Irish stout (such as Guiness)

1 oz Irish whiskey

Whiskey Ganache:

6 oz bittersweet chocolate

1 oz Irish whiskey

1/2 cup heavy cream

Stout Pudding:

1 cup whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 12 oz bottle Irish stout

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

Dash of salt

Irish Cream Mousse:

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup Irish cream (like Baileys)

1 tbsp warm water

1 large egg

2 large egg yolks

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup sugar

The how to:

Begin by making your crust, the morning before you’d like to serve the pie. It’s a really delicious pie, but each layer needs some time to set. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Use your fingers to work in the shortening. Next, cube the butter and work that in. Pour in the whiskey, and mix with a wooden spoon. Next, add the stout. Stir until combined. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

After an hour, roll the pie dough out on a floured surface. Heat your oven to 350 and push dough into pie dish. Now, you’ll want to weight the crust with something while it’s baking so it doesn’t puff. I prefer dried beans, but they also sell fancy metal balls. Place a layer of parchment over your crust and fill with the weigher of your choice. Then bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

While the dough is baking, make your ganache. In a double boiler combine the cream and chocolate, whisking until melted. Remove from heat and add ganache. When your pie crust comes out of the oven, pour the ganache into the bottom. Let set for at least three or four hours, until firm.

Once your ganache has set, begin with your pudding. In a double boiler combine sugar, salt, and cornstarch. First whisk in the cream, then the milk, then the stout. Over a medium boil, stir occasionally (making sure to scrape the bottom), until the pudding has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour the pudding on top of the ganache and refrigerate for two hours.

After your pudding has cooled and set, begin with your mousse.  Heat chocolate in a double boiler.  You don’t want the bottom of the bowl to be making direct contact with the water.  The water should also be slowly boiling, not rapidly.  Stir the chocolate occasionally until it’s melted and smooth.  Remove chocolate from heat, but keep the water simmering.

Whip heavy cream and Irish cream together until it holds soft peaks.  Cover and refrigerate.

Whisk egg yolks, egg, salt, and sugar together until foamy and light.  Place over saucepan and whip with electric beater.  Move the whisk in a circular motion until the eggs are fluffy and hot to the touch.  Don’t keep it over heat too long, or your eggs will scramble.  Remove from heat and continue beating on high for five minutes until thick ribbons fall from the beater when lifted.  Whisk in water.

Fold 1/4 of the egg into the chocolate.  Incorporate completely, then fold in the rest.  Finally, fold in the cream to make it smooth and light.

Spoon over pudding. Refrigerate overnight.

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The Cast Iron Chronicles: Part 6

I want to begin this post with an anecdote. My specialty, if you will. One school break (winter, I think), I was at my parent’s house making myself breakfast. As I was heating up the pan to fry an egg (my breakfast of choice since as long as I had a choice) I was chatting with my dad and he started to tell me a story about his father. According to the story, his father had been very particular about the appropriate way to fry an egg, and had often taken over as my dad attempted to fry eggs, telling him he was doing it wrong.  Almost immediately after he told me this story we chuckled, then he looked over at me and said ELENA YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. He pushed me out of the way and fried my egg for me as I fell onto the floor laughing.

Follow up question– how do you fry an egg the WRONG WAY?

Anyhoo, welcome to the last post in The Cast Iron Chronicles. It’s bittersweet, I’ll admit. On one hand, I’m immensely proud of myself for successfully salvaging a wonderful cast iron pan while also managing not to burn the house down or drive Dan crazy with the noise produced while trying to sand and watch Criminal Minds at the same time.  On the other, this series has been a lot of fun and the response has been incredible, so I’ll be sad for it to be over.

After giving the pan it’s final sanding and a good scrub it was time to gently season it. For those who have just received new pans (or old pans that need to be reseasoned) this is where you pick up the story. As with everything, how to properly season cast iron is hotly debated on the internets. I’ll tell you what I did, but feel free to consult anyone else who probably knows better than me. I’ve always been taught that to season a pan you coat it in animal or vegetable fat (or a combination), and put it in a warm oven for an hour. Then you let it cool, rinse, and repeat.

That was pretty much what happened here.  I alternated between olive oil, shortening, and bacon drippings, giving the pan a thorough coating and then letting it cook in a 200 degree oven for an hour.  Then I would let it cool completely, wipe it out, and start all over.  I’ve been doing this once or twice a night for about a week, probably a total of 10 times.  Once the pan looked more charcoal than pewter, I decided to try and cook something in it (the real test).

I had intended to christen the pan with bacon, but on Saturday Dan was making taquitos and it just seemed like the pan was the perfect size for four giant taquitos at a time. So, we broke her in with what is essentially a fried taco (yum).  The next morning she got her proper porky christening when we made bacon and eggs.  Since then she hasn’t left my stove, and my other cast iron pan is starting to feel jealous. And yes, I’m using female pronouns, because cast iron pans are vessels just like boats.

So far, she has been amazing. With each thing that I cook in her she gets a little darker, and I’ve been careful to recoat her with oil after each use because she’s still fragile.  This process has been so much fun, I really appreciate you reading along- your support and feedback have been incredible!  What has been most exciting for me is the feedback that so many of you feel empowered to try and salvage/reseason your own cast iron. I would love to follow along as you do this, so please send me links to pictures!

Part 1 Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5

p.s. Real money says that after I post this I’ll get an email from my dad that explains the ways I’m frying an egg wrong in that top photo.

p.p.s. He did email me, but to say that I exaggerated and the story never happened. When I pointed out he had witnesses (my stepmom) he said her memory wasn’t credible. Clearly.

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The Baltimore Bomb

I love Baltimore. I mean, it’s not the South, it’s not North Carolina, but it’s home (for now). This city stole our hearts while we were in school, and in the years that we’ve been here our love for the charming, quirky, a little bit crazy town has only grown. One of the things that we love the most is the incredible food culture. People here love food. Weird food. Unique food. Food that has Old Bay on it.

It seems like every week a new restaurant or food business opens that we’re clamoring to try. And it’s more than just good crab pretzels (though we have that). It’s beer bars with hundreds of beers to choose from, it’s places making mussels with garlic confit and duck fat fries. It’s places like Dangerously Delicious, a pie restaurant that features an array of fruit pies, savory pies, and knock-your-socks-off-decadent pies like the Baltimore Bomb.

The Baltimore Bomb is a combination of two of my favorite things- Berger cookies and chess. A Berger cookie is quintessentially Baltimore, a cake like cookie topped with a rich ganache. It’s beyond indulgent, so rich that you can only eat one. Or at least, I can only eat one. The Baltimore Bomb is chopped up Berger cookies topped with a vanilla chess. The end result is rich and sweet but also light and incredibly delicious. Or so my guests said, I could only eat a sliver.

Thanks, Dangerously Delicious, for bringing this amazing pie into our lives. We need more pie lovers like you in the world.

The Baltimore Bomb
Source: Dangerously Delicious Pies

pie crust:

1 1/4 cup flour

1 tbsp sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp shortening

3/4 stick butter

1/2 cup cold water


1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

5 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp flour

1/2 cup butter, melted

6 Berger cookies

To make your pie crust, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Use your hands to work in shortening. Cube butter and work that in until the texture is like course corn meal. Stir in water until dough comes together. Refrigerate at least one hour.

Roll your pie crust out and lay it in your pie dish. Quarter your cookies and place them in the dish. Heat oven to 350

Whisk together sugar, brown sugar, and flour. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add in butter. Pour over cookies.

Cook for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is mostly solid. A little jiggle is good, it will quickly firm up.

Let cool and enjoy!

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