Peering into . . .

the inner workings of Alison Miller Woods

The Secret Weapon – July 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 9:16 pm
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As I mentioned in the previous post, I have a secret weapon.

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Yes, it sparkles when I take it out of the oven. *

The recipe was requested and as such, I am complying. But when you make it and people rave about it, you really should say “Thanks, I actually got it from Alison.”

Doesn’t matter if they don’t know who this ‘Alison’ is. 🙂

Anyway – background story (dreaded info dump). . .

My husband loves Rhubarb, but it is difficult to find things that are just Rhubarb. You can find all sorts of strawberry rhubarb, or pineapple rhubarb, or ______(fill in with your choice of fruit) rhubarb. But it is nigh near impossible to track down Rhubarb. So I set off on a quest. Like many a quest that has been undertaken before, but mine had less traveling, less adventure. **  I personally prefer a crumble topping rather than a pie crust topping so that had to go in there too. With those parameters in mind, I took a little from one recipe, a bit from another and some third thing from a different recipe.  The result is this. Mmmmmm.

So without further ado:

Rhubarb Custard Pie

One frozen 10 inch pie crust


3 eggs

2 cups white sugar (plus one Tbs)

¼ cup flour (plus one Tbs)

1 t. vanilla extract

3 Tbs milk

1 Tbs butter

2 lbs chopped rhubarb (or one 16 oz. package frozen rhubarb pieces)

Crumble topping

1 cup flour

1 t. baking powder

½ cup butter (cold and diced)

3 Tbs. white sugar

3 Tbs. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I prep the pie crust by sprinkling 1 Tbs. flour and 1 Tbs white sugar in the bottom of the crust. It helps soak up extra juice so the bottom isn’t soggy.

Place the rhubarb in the pie crust (on top of the sugar and flour). Note: if you use the frozen rhubarb, I usually thaw it in a colander in my sink so the extra juice will drain.

In a large bowl, slightly beat the eggs. Mix in the rest of the filling ingredients and pour over the rhubarb.

In a separate bowl, mix the crumble ingredients and cut them together, keeping a crumbly consistency. Spread evenly over the top of the pie. Place on a cookie sheet (important because the custard tends to bubble over) and bake on the sheet for 50-60 minutes. Toward the end you may want to keep an eye on the topping, if it is getting too dark you may cover it with aluminum foil.

Enjoy, and if you make it, let me know what you think!

*Your experience may or may not contain sparkles. No guarantee.

** On the other hand there were less creeping things muttering “my preciousssss”, so it all evens out.


Randomness July 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 8:20 pm
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I just felt I should add a bit of random imagery.

This is my secret weapon – Rhubarb Custard Pie.


This is the only thing remaining in my sad, sad garden.

Bonus points if you can even tell what it is.

I think my writing brain looks like that now.

And this beauty is my favorite plate. It makes me smile.

That is all.


The Great Brownie Debate. May 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 4:04 pm
Tags: ,

Now, I know what you are thinking.

“What’s to debate? Brownies are the food of the gods!”

This my friends, is the debate: edges or center?

My husband is a definite edge man. He likes them ‘cake style’ and well done;  chewy not gooey.

Me, I like them gooey. I like chocolate lava cake with fudgy gushiness. He doesn’t.

So, the goal is to find the perfect balance. And, I think we have it.

Cake mix cookies. They have the taste of brownies (or whatever flavor you want) and the chewy of cookie.

Take any cake mix you would like

add 1/4 c. veggie oil

1/4 c. – 1/2 c. water

1 egg

Mix well and add whatever mix-ins you want (chips, nuts etc.)

Bake like cookies (350 degrees – 12 minutes)

The above cookies used Betty Crocker’s Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix and Reece’s Peanut butter chips.

Enjoy while solving all the world’s problems!


Ciabatta bread. April 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 11:21 am
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I love to bake.

I hate cleaning and laundry with the undying fire of a thousand suns. . .

but I love baking.

I lived in Italy for almost a year and a half and fell in love with the breads. Especially Ciabatta. It is my new goal to lean how to bake it. It takes some planning because you use a biga – a starter – so you can’t just throw the recipe together. The above picture is my second attempt.

The first was frightening. Luckily I have family willing to sacrifice and eat the trial versions.

It still isn’t quite right. The crust is better (yum), but the interior needs to be more open and airy.

I will be trying again!


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