Piece of the Pie

Growing up, my grandmother…my bubbie…was a master cook. More accurately a master baker. I loved to help her roll out dough as she made all types of cookies. Bubs was one of “those” natural bakers/chefs who never measured her ingredients…she would merely eyeball what she needed to add.

For me, in cooking and baking, my modus operandi is to try my hand at a recipe and then adapt. Recipes are not necessarily written down, but truly swirl around in my head, and more often than not, I improvise. I follow my gut instinct…I follow whatever feels right. Since I needed to follow a gluten-free diet, I’ve learned how to adapt most recipes that I previously made. I substitute various flour alternatives such as tapioca, coconut, almond and GF oat flour.

Tomorrow afternoon we are having holiday get together. Rather than watch everyone each Christmas cookies (that I cannot have) and sip hot cocoa (that I can have but do I really want?), I decided to bring in a pie recipe that I adapted to make my own…with my special twist and tribute to The Prophet and his love of Fireball. Chocolate chip pecan pie.

A fairly easy recipe and one in which I approximate ingredients, and tonight when I made it I experimented again. What was the prompt? I am a spice and extract snob. I really, really prefer high quality flavoring and I only had about 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract from Penzeys left. So I combined this flavor with another 1/2 tsp of almond extract.

Over the years, the pie evolved form a start with almond flour to coconut flour to now arriving at the best choice, tapioca flour. I have also experimented with the liquor added to the pie. Original recipe called for bourbon, but prefer  my choice of Fireball.

Hope that tomorrow’s sets of taste buds will enjoy my Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie with a fire chaser.


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