How to MacGyver Your Airbnb Kitchen

Six months ago, I packed up my kitchen, trundled it out to a storage unit in New Jersey, and jetted off on a wild and borderline irresponsible trip around the world. Bidding farewell to my stand mixer, beloved copper sauté pan, and spice collection was a punch to the gut, but I figured that I’d still cook, regardless of location or life station. Because that’s what people who cook do.

What I didn’t count on, but probably should have, is the inconvenient fact that most Airbnb kitchens are terribly stocked. There was the time in Taiwan when I tried frying an egg, only to realize that the spatula had gone AWOL. And the time in New Zealand when I’d resolved to bake a pie, but could locate nary a rolling pin, pie tin, or single measuring cup. I don’t think I ever encountered a knife with a tip that wasn’t dulled into oblivion or an apartment with an adequate number of trivets. In times like these I regretted not stashing supplies. (At one point, I’d considered packing a Miyabi chef’s knife in my luggage, although I doubt the TSA would have bought my explanation about needing a good dice on my onions.)

On the upside, desperation is an excellent teacher, and over time I learned some valuable tricks. Here’s how to cook in a kitchen lacking the most basic of supplies.

No Basting Brush? Use a Coffee Filter
A good roast chicken needs basting to achieve perfectly bronzed, crackly skin, but when no basting brush is to be had, a coffee filter does the trick. Just dip the filter (clean, of course) into the pooled juices at the bottom of the pan, then use it to paint the bird. The filter should be absorbent enough to sop up fatty juices, but have just enough structural integrity to keep from disintegrating. Don’t even consider using a flimsy paper towel instead. Things won’t end well, for you or the chicken.

No Pie Tin? Use a Casserole
I’ve actually come to prefer baking pies in casseroles. The filling-to-pastry ratio is heaven for filling lovers, and it’s far easier to feed a crowd this way. Also, in my experience, Airbnb kitchens are far likelier to have one of these than a pie tin.

No Can Opener? Use a Chef’s Knife
For safety’s sake, use the bottom half of the blade rather than the tip to puncture the can’s metal lid. Internet phenom CrazyRussianHacker has a great tutorial. Still, be very, very careful—use too much force and your hand might slip. That’d be a bloody shame (literally).

No Whisk? Use Two Forks
To jerry-rig a whisk, mash together two forks so that their tines are intertwined. Tape the handles together like this, and whisk away. It works surprisingly well.

No Basket Steamer? Use a Colander
For steamed vegetables, fill a large pot with two inches of water and place a heat-resistant colander on top. The colander should hang inside the pot but its bottom shouldn’t touch the water. On the stove, bring the water up to boil, place vegetables inside the colander, and cover the pot with its lid as best possible. Voila! The world’s saddest steamer (that still gets the job done).

No Colander? Use a Pot Lid
You’ve boiled a giant pot of pasta, but you’ve no colander with which to drain it. Don’t panic: Cover the pot, crack the lid as little as possible, and drain away. Easy peasy.

No Meat Mallet? Use a Frying Pan
Cover your raw chicken cutlet with plastic wrap and give it a couple whacks with the backside of your pan. Perhaps first alert the neighbors downstairs that all is well—it’s going to be loud.

No Rolling Pin? Use a Wine Bottle
This one’s an old favorite. Things I’ve also used as a rolling pin: Beer bottles, unopened cans of Diet Coke, stainless steel water bottles. You get the idea.

No Kitchen? Go Out to a Restaurant
Seriously. What are you doing.

Related: In-Flight Travel Essentials That Keep Andrew Knowlton Sane

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Flavored Whipped Cream Is the Absolute Best Party Dessert

We’re no strangers to the wonders of homemade whipped cream. But sometimes we forget how simple whipped cream is to pull off, the way we forget that we have last year’s Halloween candy chilling in the back of our freezer. It happens. But a dollop of lavender whipped cream on a hotcake I had at Top Paddock in Melbourne reminded me how incredible it can be, especially when you take the extra few minutes to infuse it with extra flavor. It’s also one of the easiest, most crowd-pleasing desserts to pull out at a party. Here’s how to do it, and some creative flavor combos to inspire you, because whipped cream inspiration is real.

This is the course of action for kitchen pros. According to senior food editor Rick Martinez, the way to maximize flavor in every spoonful of whipped cream is to cold-infuse it in advance—anywhere from three hours to overnight. Traditionally, you might infuse a liquid by heating it on the stove. Don’t do that. It’ll make the cream tougher to whip later on. Martinez once made an horchata whipped cream by soaking ground rice in cream in the refrigerator for about eight hours. He tasted it periodically, and once the flavor was there, he just strained out the rice bits and whipped the cream as he normally would.

Or Just Stir It In
The easier way to do it is to—no joke—just incorporate spices, nuts, herbs (almost anything, really!) into the whipped cream mixture. What kind of stuff? The world is your whipped cream-laden mixing bowl. The limit does not exist. See below:

This peach parfait with salted graham cracker crumble would be even better if that whipped cream had a hit of spice. Photo: Alex Lau

Ground spices are the easiest to fold into your whipped cream, but they make a world of difference.

– Cardamom
– Cinnamon
– Black pepper
– Szechuan peppercorn
– Anise
– Cocoa powder
– Ground coffee (or coffee simple syrup)

This chocolate avocado pudding gets extra crunch from the almond chunks and cacao nibs folded into the whipped cream on top. Photo: Gentl & Hyers

Nuts and Seeds
Nuts should be toasted till they’re fragrant and then ground before mixed in. Combine with about ¼ tsp. of salt for every two cups of cream and you’ve got a flavor bomb. That said, Martinez warns that adding nuts means your whipped cream will be slightly less airy and light.

– Pistachios
– Almonds
– Sesame Seeds
– Pecans
– Pepitas
– Pine Nuts
– Peanuts

Imagine how absurdly good this strawberry shortcake would be if the whipped cream were flavored like basil or tarragon. Photo: Linda Xiao

Flowers and Herbs
A little bit goes a long way: Go light on the herbs (finely chopped) or floral waters at first. You can always add more.

– Lavender
– Rosewater
– Orange Blossom Water
– Basil
– Dill
– Tarragon

A salted-butter apple galette with maple whipped cream. You want this. Photo: Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

– Any and all zests (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit)
– Ginger (grated!)
– Alternative sweeteners (maple syrup!)
– Liquors and liqueurs (anything with intense flavor—bourbon, rye, cognac, potent gins, amaretto—works)
– Lemon curd (fold it right in)

The only decision you need to make now is which fruit, cookie, cake, ice cream, or spoon you’re going to put it on.

Whipped cream is pretty much perfect…as long as you don’t make these common mistakes

Now this is how you make homemade whipped cream

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Rejected La Croix Flavors You Won’t Find in Stores

I was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin which is 250 miles away from LaCrosse, Wisconsin, home of LaCroix sparkling water. This fact makes me feel comfortable in creating essentially LaCroix fan art. I’m from Wisconsin, too! I don’t like drinking soda! It’s cool!

The first can was drawn in the summer of 2015. It was a throwaway sketch used as a warm up, but I posted it on Instagram because I was kind of disgusted with myself and the fact that I had consumed five cans of this fizzy water in one day. The caption said: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop. This sentiment resonated with others and, well, here we are, riding the LaCroix popularity wave a year later.

The fake flavors came up as an inside joke between my colleague Samantha Peters and I. She completely thought that people’s obsession with LaCroix was ridiculous and started yelling fake flavors at me as she passed by my office. She then made a very detailed list for me that ranged from Urinal Cake to Voter Repression. We also made a coloring book of the Rejected Flavors, because it’s important to be efficient with current popular culture obsessions.

A sampling:











For more, check out the coloring book of the rejected flavors.

Related: 17 Souvenir Mugs You Won’t Want to Offload to Granny

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Power Balls Are the Ultimate Healthyish Snack

We like the word healthyish. You know, healthy, but not. We’re conscious of what gets put into our bodies, but not so obsessive that we miss out on insanely flavorful and delicious foods we really want to eat. It’s a way to approach eating, as opposed to a diet, and we aren’t the only ones who live this lifestyle. Last night, we threw a party with our friends from Outdoor Voices for a New York Fashion Week party in association with Smart Water Sparkling and Brizo, with party snacks by Jessica Koslow from Sqirl in LA, a chef that inspires us to lead a healthyish lifestyle on the daily.

Eating Things & Doing Things: with Bon Appétit and Outdoor Voices Drummers from the Brooklyn United Marching Band. Photograph: Billy Farrell

Amidst the spirited performances by the Brooklyn United Marching Band (yes, there was a marching band) and guests fueled by cocktails from Arley Marks, Koslow served up an array of dishes, from sorrel grain bowls to almond butter sandwiches to elderberry fermented salt popcorn were devoured with abandon. But the one snack that stood out was called… power balls.

We’re not talking about the lottery here. You can’t win millions of dollars from these snacks, which Koslow describes as vegan truffles, but they’ll probably make you pretty happy regardless. “Power balls are so easy,” explained Koslow. “They’re extremely satisfying, and they’re gluten-free and vegan. I swim every morning, and these are like my power breakfast or snack.”

Jessica Koslow
Chef Jessica Koslow, downing some popcorn. Photograph: Billy Farrell

“We’re from LA, so it’s very vegan and gluten-intolerant tolerant. We’re always thinking what we can do that provides a channel to one or multiple things like that. These hit the nail on the head.” Just because these are vegan, doesn’t mean they aren’t tasty as hell. Koslow said that the power balls were created with taste in mind and as a result of a need for a universally accessible healthy snack. And the best part: You can make them at home. In bulk.

Go Ahead, Make These Superhero Snacks at Home

EverythingIWantToEat_p216Photography by Nacho Alegre

You can find the full recipe in Koslow’s cookbook (available for preorder now), but here’s the gist:

To start, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Put 1 tbsp. of flaxseed meal in a small bowl and use a fork to stir in 2 tbsp. warm water. This forms a binding agent for the balls. Also, remember that flax meal only keeps for about two weeks before it goes rancid, so make sure it’s fresh.

In a food processor, blend 2 cups of pecans, a little more than ½ cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of fine salt, and 1 ⅓ cups of unsweetened coconut flakes until everything is finely chopped. Add 4.5 ounces of finely chopped 70% cocoa chocolate and 12 pitted dates, which add the sweetness to the power balls. Pulse until they’re all incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and spoon in the flaxseed mixture, which will be a little bit gloppy. Continue blending until the batter is a little tacky, about 30 seconds more.

Spread ⅓ cup of the coconut flakes on a plate. Scoop up 1 inch balls of batter, roll them between your hands, and roll in the coconut. You can then place them on the baking sheet. The coconut won’t stick super well, but that’s okay, just do your best to press a few flakes onto each ball. Bake until the coconut flakes are golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.

You can store these, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days, and a batch of this size makes about 20 balls.

Koslow encourages customization. “I haven’t done it yet, but I’m sure that if you wanted to add in dried fruit, like sour cherries or apricots, that would be so delicious.” She also says that power balls don’t necessarily have to be balls. “You could make these in any form really. Power balls, power bars, power whatever.”

This recipe has not been tested by the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

Related: 5 Ways to Eat Healthyish All Year Long

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10 Ciders to Turn Wine Snobs Into Cider Snobs

There’s always one sad cider on the bar menu, what seems like a consolation for the non-beer drinker, like here, have some juice. You’ve probably seen it on tap at a bar, most likely a Woodchuck or a Strongbow or an Angry Orchard, a mass produced, from-concentrate, lip-smacking sweet cider. These ciders might be backed by some of the biggest beer-makers in the country, but these companies aren’t necessarily the bad guys. “We need the big guys in our market right now, because they have the advertising dollars,” explained Mattie Beason, owner of Black Twig Cider House in Durham, North Carolina. “Any way we can get people drinking cider is a good way, as long as they come away from that experience wanting more.”

It’s all about exposure, and that’s where the big cider makers can lend a hand. At first, hard cider isn’t far from the stuff that your mom bought in half gallon jugs at the roadside farmers stand, alongside a batch of sugar-coated doughnuts. But then someone shatters that childhood association with the funky, fruity, dry ciders that are making their ways into bars and restaurants, and the world of cider opens up before them.

It’s a drink that has all the complexity of wine with the thirst-quenching drinkability of beer. Cider doesn’t have the foothold that craft beer is getting in the country just yet, but American cider makers have more than hit their stride. Here are 10 incredible ciders, both new and established, that will take you to school and shake the foundations of what you thought cider was.


bRosé, Citizen Cider
Burlington, VT
This cider, a blend of Vermont apples fermented on blueberries, drinks like a rosé, slightly acidic and effervescent with tame berry flavor (achieved by using the whole blueberry, instead of just the juice), unlike that aggressively berry-flavored gum you chewed in sixth grade. Cider can be whatever it wants to be when it grows up. Even rosé.

Lapinette, Virtue Cider
Fenneville, MI

You like a little bit of funk or barnyard-y smell to your cider? This one brings it. If you have an Aunt Chloé that lives on a farm in Provence, this is what you bring to share with the roast chicken and greens from her backyard garden.

Greensboro, Fable Farm Fermentory
Barnard, VT

Traveling hundreds of miles and searching through liquor store in Vermont to find a bottle or two of Fable Farm cider is worth it. Ciders from this sustainable farm—like the Greensboro Apple Pet Nat—are made in very limited quantities and fermented in oak barrels, giving the natural ciders a softer carbonation and apple flavor surrounded by a musty barnyard funk. They leave you feeling like you’ve stepped out of your crowded apartment and into a breezy lazy Vermont countryside.


Hoboken Station, Oyster River Winegrowers
Warren, ME

Oyster River’s barrel-aged Hoboken Station comes in at 9% ABV (a bit higher than most ciders). Made from French and English bittersweet apples, this Maine cider isn’t just booze. The apple blend gives you a beautiful mix of fruity and tart apple flavor with subtle hints of bready yeast. Strength, flavor, and finesse, the Allen Iverson of ciders.

Remedy, Stem Ciders
Denver, CO

What are beer hops doing in cider? Well, they’re hops, not beer hops, and they can be used to flavor more than just beer. Denver’s Stem Cider steeps hops in their crisp cider to add a citrusy flavor and smell. This is the one to offer your IPA-loving beer nerd friend.

Extra Dry Cider, Farnum Hills Ciders
Lebanon, NH

Some ciders deserve to be compared to Champagne, and some do not. Farnum Hills Extra-Dry does. Brilliant dryness and light body: Check. Pairs well with oysters or fried chicken: Check. Should be purchased to celebrate a special occasion because it’s a special liquid: Check. Makes you appreciate grapes and/or apples to an extent you didn’t know possible: A million checks.

The Standard Bearer, Noble Cider
Asheville, NC

There comes a time when you need an everyday cider, a cider that teaches Martinelli’s drinkers what cider can be if it decides to really put in the hours at work, instead of reading Game of Thrones fan fiction all day. An approachable cider to be drained repeatedly while never getting boring.


Cornice, Snowdrift Cider Co.
Seattle, WA

This is warm apple cider. I’m not talking temperature; I’m talking about how it makes you feel on the inside. A period of aging in whiskey barrels hits you with bourbon, vanilla, and toffee, giving you the same flavors you’d associate with a hot toddy or cappuccino.

Packbasket,South Hill Cider
Ithaca, NY

Not all cider is sparkling. Some is well, like cider you had on a field trip to the farmstand. The juice kind. The only thing more beautiful and cared for than the letterpress printed labels is South Hill’s still, dry, wine-like cider itself (a righteous pairing with seafood and poultry). And the fact that you can buy Packbasket online, that’s pretty great too.

Stayman Winesap, Foggy Ridge Cider
Dugspur, VA

Somehow, sweetness is considered a bad thing in today’s dry-leaning cider world, but subtle sweetness and fruit are just as satisfying as the crispness of a dry cider. Here the Stayman Winesap apple has notes of cherry and ripe apple, dropping you somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains, without actually having to hike there.

Just in case that wasn’t enough apples, here are 57 Ways to Eat Apples for Every Meal, from Salad to Pie.

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The Right Way to Pair Beer and Food

“I wouldn’t drink beer with a big bowl of pasta,” says resident beer nerd (and assistant web editor) Alex Delany. “Or really anything too carb-y or soupy.” Pick your battles, he explains, because drinking should be a break from all that food in your stomach. If you’re downing lots of heavy stuff, there’ll be no room left. And beer is something to be appreciated. If you’ve got to have one with your dinner, for the most part you should go with a wine-like beer, like a saison or a wild or sour ale—not a heavy stout or imperial IPA, which are deeply flavorful and even lean towards syrupy.

Unless, of course, you’re grilling or eating spicy food and you need to cool down your mouth. His go-tos are Victory Brewing Company’s Prima Pills and Boulevard Tank 7 Saison, both of which are relatively light and can stave off some of that heat.

In this week’s foodcast episode, Adam Rapoport chats with Delany and test kitchen manager Brad Leone to talk about (and taste) craft beer. (Though, it seems like Adam is going to continue to stick to his Budweiser ways.)

After that, he talks with associate editor Amiel Stanek and Jon Feldman, the East Coast director for Stumptown Coffee Roasters, about how iced coffee is a thing of the past. It’s all cold brew, all the time—or, you know, nitro-infused cold brew on tap. (Kind of sounds like beer, doesn’t it?)

Listen on for some very opinionated answers to the question of what you should be drinking right now.

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Listening Tour: How a Sound Bath Heightened This Food Blogger’s Senses

EyeSwoon, as its name announces, is a lifestyle blog designed first as a feast for the eyes. But Athena Calderone, the site’s founder and chief roving eye, knows she wouldn’t be doing her job if she engaged only one of the senses—instead, she has to find a balance between them.

In a crowded field, blogs like Calderone’s stand out when sumptuous visuals of the life you want to lead draw you in so completely that you can smell the sherry and chanterelles mingling in the recipe for braised chicken legs. At their most immersive, lifestyle blogs engage even the ears, making their subject matter so present you can hear the crackle of spring snap peas or the fireplace sparking in a Swiss chalet, to cite two of Calderone’s obsessions from the past year. “I’m a hypervisual person, and at my core I just really love to create beauty,” says Calderone, who is also an interior designer. “But I found that the visual alone didn’t encompass all the things I was passionate about.”

Today she juggles EyeSwoon’s coverage of food, fashion, travel, and design; the renovation of a historic townhouse in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, which she and her family hope to occupy next year; and the writing, testing, and styling of recipes for Feast Your Eyes, the working title of her first cookbook,
due from Abrams in fall 2017. However, it took Calderone a while to find her a balance between multiple activities, and her journey wasn’t always a smooth one. Calderone—who shaved her head and tended bar at iconic Manhattan nightclubs in the ’90s, before trying acting as an outlet for her myriad creative impulses—had an instinct for dabbling which pre-dated the current acceptance of multi-tasking. “I was almost embarrassed by all those creative ramblings,” she says now. “For so long I thought that I just needed to be one thing, that it was a hindrance instead of something that made me unique.” In the end, the key to her success would be creating a space that could harmoniously combine of all of her creative interests.

That space is EyeSwoon, a visual presentation designed to whet the creative omnivore’s appetite. Even the website’s name works on multiple levels. It’s wordplay, a take on the pronunciation of Calderone’s favorite declaration of enthusiasm: “I swoon.” So it seems fitting that for her latest creative inspiration, Calderone cut herself off from the way beauty usually enters her consciousness—visually—and instead surrendered to the way things sound.

Recently, Calderone was excited to seek out that heightened consciousness—and to unplug from the demands of her blog and cookbook—at a wellness weekend in the Hamptons hosted by Buick to celebrate the launch of their new Envision SUV. The vehicle inspired the events of the weekend, which centered around health, balance, and beauty from the inside out. There Calderone sampled a technique that currently has plenty of mindfulness-seekers swooning: she took a sound bath. It isn’t an exercise in grooming—sound bathing is a form of meditation wherein gongs, vibrations, chanting, and contemplative arias coaxed from vessels known as singing bowls wash over the bather in waves that are by turns soothing, percussive, disorienting, and deeply intimate. The hope is that the experience loofahs away the sensory overload clogging our mental pores.

“I was ready to be taken on the journey, and I found it to be very profound,” says Calderone, whose session was administered by sound bathing specialists Jarrod Byrne Mayer and Melody Balczon, of the Maha Rose Healing Center in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. At one point Calderone experienced a whisper of coolness she associated with a sea breeze; she later learned she’d been brushed with a feather. Meanwhile, a tuning fork pressed to one chakra choreographed a response sensed in another, segmenting Calderone’s being like an orange. “They placed it on my forehead, and immediately I felt something around my heart, and I got emotional,” she recalls. “I really felt this wave going through my body.”

Calderone found the moods and the shifts in tone from softness to intensity to be like the varied rhythms of cooking, in which one set of ingredients can require a light touch while another responds to a decisive chop. And by closing her eyes, Calderone was drawn deeper into the experience, an addition by subtraction that is a recurring theme of the advice she shares on EyeSwoon. Calderone’s instinct when plating, whether on family-style platters or for a single serving, is to leave negative space around the food, guiding the eye around the composition much like the way she was guided by sound.

“We all want to relax more or be more present, more in tune with our bodies,” she says. “Everybody needs a gateway or a portal—I found it very meaningful that sound could be harnessed to give me greater access to myself.”

Of course, another of Calderone’s creative instincts is that visually dynamic food lushly plated will only get you so far. Sound is a very important guest at the table, too. For dinner parties she conducts mood through a playlist that moves from swoony, seductive tones to more rock-oriented energies as the conversation crests.

This attentiveness to the power of sound is a happy by-product of her marriage to sought-after DJ and producer Victor Calderone. It’s tempting to wonder what the man who’s been a go-to remixer for some of the 21st century’s hottest musicians would make of sound bathing; could he quiet his dance-driven instincts to sample the gong beat or rearrange the twinkle of the chimes?

“Oh I called him immediately and described it,” Calderone says with a laugh. “He was like, ‘Yep, I’m in.’”

Fall sounds Calderone relishes include the first bite into a crisp apple or vegetables sizzling as they roast; below is an EyeSwoon recipe for roasted carrots brightened with honey and deepened with sumac or paprika. And stay tuned at the end for one of Calderone’s signature “Swoon Tips,” secrets for achieving the spare, elegant aesthetic of the blog.

Image Courtesy of EyeSwoon

Honey Roasted Carrots with Sumac Yogurt
• 10 carrots, washed
• Olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• 1-2 tablespoon honey for drizzling
• 2 tablespoons hazelnuts toasted and roughly chopped
• 1/4 cup parsley roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
• 1 clove of garlic, smashed + minced
• 1/3 heaping cup Greek yogurt
• 1/4 teaspoon sumac or smoked paprika
(if you want more heat, add more to taste)

• Preheat the oven to 350°F.
• Remove the tops of the carrots, place them onto a sheet pan, and drizzle with some olive oil. Toss the carrots to coat, and season with salt, pepper + a drizzle of honey.
• Place in the oven for 30 minutes, then flip the carrots over and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until slightly wrinkled with darkened edges.
• Meanwhile toast the hazelnuts in a small, dry frying pan until they are golden brown: this will only take a few minutes.
• Immediately place in a kitchen towel and rub together to allow the skins to peel away. Roughly chop.
• In a bowl, stir together the parsley, garlic, yogurt, and spice.
• Place the roasted carrots onto a serving dish and layer on the yogurt dressing. To finish, sprinkle the hazelnuts and chopped parsley and a touch more sumac.

When plating your carrots be sure to leave some negative space on the outer perimeter of the plate – less is more! Be mindful to create color and textural contrast as well.  A sprinkle of vibrant herbs and the crunch of a nut can elevate both the taste and visual appeal of the overall dish.

Written By Kyle Brazzel


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Bake Pie in a Casserole, Never Go Back

Conventional wisdom dictates that the proper vessel for pie is nine to 12 inches across and round. To this, I say: Think outside the pie plate.

For the last six months, I’ve exclusively baked pies in casseroles. High-walled rectangular glass casseroles with two-foot berths, petite round porcelain casseroles with delicate fluted edges, egg-shaped ceramic casseroles with squat sides. It’s a shift of necessity more than anything—I’ve been traveling abroad and cooking out of strangers’ Airbnb kitchens, which inevitably lack whatever utensil or kitchenware I’m seeking at any given time. (Need a whisk? No whisk. Need a chopping board? No chopping board.) I’ve encountered a pie plate not even once, a serious problem given that pie—spiced caramel apple pie, to be specific—is my primary means of cultural exchange. Yet every reasonably stocked kitchen, whether it be a matchbox apartment in Japan or a sprawling cottage in New Zealand, had a casserole. So I adapted.

Once you have a recipe down, it’s not so difficult. Rejigger a recipe to make more or less filling, more or less pastry. For me, the strangest thing is that I’ve actually come to prefer casserole pie—think slab pie in a Pyrex—to the round pie of myth and legend. It’s simple math: When using a large tray, a single pie has the potential to feed far more hungry guests. (Why bake three pies for a crowd when you can get by with one?) More compellingly, the pastry-to-filling ratio is far more suited to my palate. (More filling, less pastry!) Sometimes, I forgo the pie’s bottom layer entirely: A layer of filling gets a modest layer of pie pastry on top, and it’s off to the races. The whole affair has a more rustic look, which means the pressure is off to create a perfectly crimped crust or an expertly woven lattice. Why bother? Casserole pies are for raucous, crowded dinner parties with one-too-many guests and late-summer barbecues after three or four beers with new friends.

Casserole pies to be devoured, happily and with haste, not fawned over. And they’re precisely what you need when you’re a stranger in a strange kitchen, trying to make something that tastes like home.

Photo by Epicurious. Get the recipe here.

Related: 25 Pie Recipes for Every Season

How to make the flakiest pie crust:

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The Buzz About Paris’s Famous Sustainable Honey

Welcome to Out of the Kitchen, our ongoing exploration of the relationships that build and sustain the food industry. This year, we’re traveling the country to look at how sustainability has become a rapidly growing movement within the food world. Chefs at the forefront of this trend are introducing their patrons to local farms, fresh ingredients, and innovative dishes while farmers are educating chefs and consumers about where their food comes from and what it takes to grow the food served. Their practices and personal customer approaches provide a bigger impact to the community at large, hoping to create a better and more sustainable future for all.

There’s no pain quite as exquisite as getting a bee sting on your eyelid, Marie-Laure Legroux says, casually brushing an angry bee from her face. And you will be stung, she adds.
BEEprep-1400 Suiting Up: The Société Centrale d’Apiculture’s Marie-Laure Legroux and Jamie Lozoff put on their bee suits and helmets before tending to hives. “The bees are the sentinels of the environment, we say in French, and we beekeepers are the sentinels through them,” Legroux says.

Legroux is a veteran educator with the Société Central d’Apiculture, the premiere beekeeping organization of Paris, and a nonprofit volunteer organization that has spent the last 160 years dedicated to improving the lot of the honeybee—and reaping its sweet benefits.

Besides caring for 120 hives as far as 50 kilometers from Paris (Legroux also currently maintains the blue, white, and red hives on the roof of the Assémble Générale, or French parliament), the 700-member Société teaches thousands of students each year, from grade school to retirement age, the fundamentals of a constructive relationship with the honeybees that results in a sustainable supply of some of the most coveted honey in France. The group produced and sold around 1,000 kilograms of honey last year alone.

BEEluxapiary1-1400For Your Protection: Kitted out in protective gear, the Société Centrale d’Apiculture’s Marie-Laure Legroux and Jamie Lozoff tend to the hives in the 6th arrondissement’s famous Luxembourg Gardens.

First and foremost, the methods involve a healthy relationship with the little gals doing all the work, honeybees: “We’re responsible, not greedy, toward the bees,” Legroux says. “We call our philosophy, apiculture raisonée, which means we respect the bees, and that they come first in beekeeping practice. We want beekeepers to make sure their bees are healthy and have enough food, and we never want to steal the portion of their harvest that they need to survive—we take only what can be taken.”

The basic apiary keeps its hives in wooden boxes that have an opening on one side that allows the honeybees to come and go freely, and a lid on top that the beekeepers use to access the innards of the hive. Hanging from the top are a series of wooden racks on which the bees build their honeycombs, in which they store their honey and create chambers for their larvae. The Société includes additional half-sized racks and uses only these to collect honey for humans to eat. The bees only build upon and fill up these half-sized racks once they’ve built enough honeycombs and stored enough honey on the full-sized racks to feed themselves and keep the hive healthy. It’s a simple, elegant way to ensure the bees get enough to eat before the beekeepers even think of getting their share. “Because a bee will never stop working,” Legroux says. “They never say, ‘I have enough. I”ll take a bit of rest.’ Taking only what they don’t need will not hurt the colony.”

BEEflowersnthist2-1400City of Bee Flights: The many expansive public gardens of Paris offer a vast feeding ground of flower beds for local honeybees.

Urban Paris has its challenges and its benefits for sustainable beekeeping. “Not only are we responsible for the health of the bees, but we also have to learn how to cope with living bees within a large population in a huge city,” Legroux says. “You have to be careful with neighbors, take care of swarms [when the hive-less bees form huge, frightening-looking clouds that can grow so big they can blot out the sky], and all while respecting the bees and respecting nature. Because a beekeeper cannot just take care of the bees alone; he must have his or her eyes open to nature, to the environment, and to everything around us.”

She’s making no idle boast. As a critical link between the plant and animal worlds that plays an integral role in the pollination of many species of flowering plants, bees are widely recognized as vital to maintaining equilibrium in nature. When the environment is unhealthy, the bees get sick. And when the bees are unhealthy, the environment gets sick. It’s humans’ responsibility to watch for the signs. “The bees are the sentinels of the environment, we say in French, and we beekeepers are the sentinels through them,” Legroux says.

Possibly the Société’s most famous apiary is based in a fenced-off area near a little brick building in the Luxembourg Gardens in the city’s 6th arrondissement—a gorgeous park that dates back to 1612 when the widow of King Henri IV ordered an enormous formal garden to accompany her new palace. Today, it’s home to 450 linden trees, which serve as the Luxembourg apiary’s primary source of pollen, and thus the basis of its honey. “It has sort of minty profile, and it also crystallizes more easily than other honey,” says Jamie Lozoff, a children’s educator with the Société.

BEEbuttepiary2-1400City of Bee Flights: The many expansive public gardens of Paris offer a vast feeding ground of flower beds for local honeybees.

One day a year in September, the Luxembourg honey goes on sale to the public, and lines form all the way down the park. Each family is limited to two 500 ml jars, but they wait in line for hours. “People love the honey,” Lozoff says. “People even start getting angry, grandmothers complaining that they can’t have more. But everyone wants the honey from the Gardens of Luxembourg. They want the honey that was made in their gardens.”

“There’s a symbolic value to this liquid,” Legroux says. “People just come to us, and they say, ‘We’ve heard that the honey from Paris is better than from anywhere else. Is that true?'”

BEEbuttehive8-lg1400The Buzz Around Town: A mite agitated, honeybees go about their business behind glass in one of the hives of the Société Centrale d’Apiculture. The group produced and sold around 1,000 kilograms of honey last year alone from 120 hives in and around Paris.

Many go even further and sign up for the classes, wanting to join the Société’s campaign for a sustainable relationship between man and honeybee, but they have to wait in line—there’s a two-year waiting list for the group’s 29-class beekeeping course. “The honeybee has become this poster child for the environment and saving nature,” Lozoff says. “In the end, we’re having a significant influence on the ecology of a neighborhood.”

“Beekeeping used to be some kind of occupation for your retirement, and mostly for men,” Legroux says. “Whereas now, it’s a reflection on our life now, so it’s young people who are concerned about the world, and it’s male and female—fifty-fifty. The people in the garden are respectful of the bees; they cherish our bees. And they will even put up with being stung from time to time.”

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38 Pie Recipes for Every Season

No matter what the season, pie is one of our favorite desserts. There’s not much you can’t put into a flaky, buttery crust (yup, even savory ingredients—but that’s a different story). And though there’s a debate on its standing in the sweet world, it always wins first place in our hearts. Especially during apple pie season. From fruity fillings piled high (high pie!) with meringue to rich, velvety chocolate delights, here are 22 recipes for every occasion.

The post 38 Pie Recipes for Every Season appeared first on Bon Appétit.