My favorite holiday treat is my mom's angel food pie. They're a Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition.
I'm a horrible cook and the recipe is rather vague. I'll warn you, it's more of an alchemical formula than a recipe, but the result is delicious. There's really not much to it; it's a sugar and starch base with a whipped cream topping, but every time I tried, I got "angel food soup" - a lumpy thin cloudy mess.
For years, Eri was the only person to conquer the encryption - that is, until Jerame came along. He's an excellent cook and loves challenges so one year he decided to give it a try. It took him a couple of tries, but eventually (with a little help from my mom on the phone), he nailed it.
I beg for them every year and they've become a part of his family's traditional holiday meal. His mom loves them just as much as I do!
Mom's recipe (with notes courtesy of Jerame) is after the break. If you live in DC and decide to try it, it makes two pies. Ahem.
What are some of your favorite holiday recipes? Share them in the comments section.
Angel Food Pie
1 cup sugar combine with 3 tbs corn starch
1 1/2 cup water
Cook on low heat until thickens - stirring cont - cool
Beat 2 egg whites until stiff - combine
Put in baked pie shell
Top with whip cream, powdered sugar, vanilla
Sprinkle with chopped nuts
Makes two pies.
Back of the Card
A previous boyfriend (who made a valiant attempt but still lost in the end) sussed out the actual recipe for the whipped cream topping and wrote it on the back of the card.
For each pie, combine 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp powdered sugar, and 1/2 pint whipping cream. Taste for sweetness. Note from Bil: I tried using the spray stuff once. It doesn't work. Not at all.
Helpful Hints from Jerame
Low heat means low heat. Expect to be stirring for a while; when it says "continuously" it means it. If you stop for a minute it's ruined. It'll take about 20-25 minutes for the base to thicken.
It should be about as thick as corn syrup and smooth when you take it off the heat. It's the timing that matters. Do it too quickly or slowly and it'll end up "angel food soup" in the end.
Let it cool completely before adding the stiffened egg whites, but make sure combine the two within 45 minutes to an hour.
Use Wick's pie crusts if you can find them. They really do make a difference (and they're made in Bil's hometown!). Whatever you do, don't use a cheap thin pie crust.
"Chopped nuts" means finely chopped walnuts to Bil's mom. I've done the pies with chocolate shavings, chocolate syrup, and plain. Be creative with this part. Make it your own.
The pies should be chilled immediately after adding the whipped cream topping. Chill for a few hours before serving; the base should be firm but a little fluffy.