Surprise! The Secret Ingredient of Wishes is a Kindle Monthly Deal for November. That means the ebook is just $2.99 all month long. And you can snag it at that sweet price on any ebook retailer, not just Amazon. If you love the quirky vibe and residents of Hart of Dixie mixed with the romance and baking magic of Pushing Daisies, The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by will be your new favorite read.
So to celebrate the release, I made a raspberry version of what has turned into my “good luck” pie. The original pie is a Blackberry Sour Cream Pie and I made it for the first time with two of my critique partners the weekend I found out I was going to have “the call” with my now agent. We were celebrating and being ever-so-hopeful and having a damn good time together. See? (There may have been a Manhattan or two and some Gilmore Girls watching involved too.)
Since then, I’ve made a few different versions of this pie, and while blackberry is still the usual favorite in my household (when I suggest pie, M always votes for it!) I decided to go with raspberry for this celebratory pie. The recipe I love is from Let’s Dish and it is amazing. I also used the remaining dough from the strawberry pie that I made a few weeks ago and had stored in the freezer.
1 recipe for a single crust pie, or 1 rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crust
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups fresh blackberries or 1 (16-oz.) package frozen blackberries
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Let frozen berries stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare pastry and line 9-inch pie plate. Bake 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine sour cream, sugar, flour, and salt.
Add the raspberries (or blackberries) and stir gently to combine.
Spoon filling into pre-baked crust. To prevent over-browning, cover edge of pie with foil.
Bake for 20-25 minutes if using fresh berries, or 50 minutes if using frozen berries. Remove foil.
Bake 15-20 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and appears set.
The final pie in THE SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES is probably the most important one of the book. For most of the pies in that come out of Catch’s kitchen, the magic imbued into the crusts with bubbly, melted butter binds secrets from getting out. But this last one—one that Rachel makes before she can change her mind—is made with a wish. And since she makes this wish with her whole heart—no doubts, no second guessing if it’s the right thing to do—I thought it was only fitting to use the pie I love the most: Peach Raspberry Pie. (I love it so much that it actually shows up in the book twice! It first appears in Chapter 20 and then again in Chapter 36.) The recipe I use is from That Skinny Chick Can Bake and it is so darn tasty!
12 tablespoons cold butter
1½ cups flour
¾ cup cake flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon cold cream cheese
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2-3/4 pounds ripe peaches (about 8 medium)
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
⅔ cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons milk
1 Tbs. turbinado sugar or granulated sugar
Cut the butter into ¾-inch cubes. Add flour, cake flour, salt, and baking powder to food processor and process for a few seconds to combine.
Cut the cold cream cheese into three or four pieces and add it to the flour mixture. Process for 20 seconds till mixture resembles corn meal. Add the butter cubes and pulse until none of the butter pieces is larger than a pea, about five 3-second pulses.
Add the cream and vinegar and pulse in short bursts until the dough starts to come together; the dough will still look crumbly but if you press it between your fingers, it should become smooth. Turn it out onto a clean work surface. Press the dough together to form a mass.
Cut the dough in half. Shape one-half of the dough into a flat disk and the other into a flat rectangle. Wrap each tightly in the plastic and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
Remove the disk of dough from the fridge (keep the rectangle refrigerated); if it’s very firm, let it sit at room temperature until it’s soft enough to roll, 10 to 15 minutes.
Roll it out to a 13-inch round of ⅛ inch thickness.
Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Fit the dough into the pan. Trim the dough so there is about a ¾-inch overhang. Fold the overhang underneath itself to create an edge. Cover the dough-lined pie plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Peel the peaches. Halve each peach, remove the pit, and slice each half into eight thin wedges; you should have 6 cups.
Put the peaches in a large bowl and sprinkle the lemon juice over them. Sprinkle on the sugar and salt and toss gently to mix. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours. Transfer them to a colander; place the colander over a bowl to collect the juices; you should have almost 1 cup of liquid.
Pour the juices into a small saucepan set over medium heat. Boil down the liquid, swirling but not stirring, until it’s syrupy, about 10 minutes; it should reduce to about a ½ cup, depending on how much liquid you started with. Set aside to cool for 1 or 2 minutes.
Transfer the peaches to a bowl and toss them with the cornstarch until all traces of cornstarch have disappeared. Pour the reduced peach juices over the peaches, tossing gently.
Remove the rectangle of dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature until it’s pliable enough to roll, 10 to 15 minutes. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to an 11×14-inch or larger rectangle. It should be no more than ⅛ inch thick.
Cut ten ¾-inch-wide strips lengthwise down the rectangle, using a ruler to measure and mark ¾-inch intervals and to cut a straight edge. If you want a crimped edge on the strips, use a fluted pastry wheel.
Stir the peach filling a few times, then carefully fold in the fresh raspberries and pour it into the pie shell. Arrange five strips of dough evenly over the filling, starting with a long strip for the center. Gently fold back every other strip (the second and the fourth) to a little past the center. Choose another long strip of dough, hold it perpendicular to the other strips, and set it across the center of the pie.
Unfold the two folded strips so they lie flat on top of the perpendicular strip. Now fold back the strips that weren’t folded back last time (the first, third, and fifth ones).
Lay a second perpendicular strip of dough about ¾-inch away from the last one. Unfold the three folded strips. Fold back the original two strips, set a third perpendicular strip of dough ¾ inch from the last one, and unfold the two strips.
Repeat on the other side with the two remaining strips: fold back alternating strips, lay a strip of dough on top, and unfold. Remember to alternate the strips that are folded back to create a woven effect. Trim the strips. Flute the edges if desired.
Lightly cover the assembled pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Heat the oven to 425°.
When the pie has chilled , brush the lattice with the milk and sprinkle on the sugar.
Set the pie directly on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the juices are bubbling all over (the bubbles should be thick and slow near the pan edges), 40 to 50 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, cover the rim with foil to avoid over-browning.
Let the pie cool on a rack until the juices have thickened, 3 hours.
In THE SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES, the first pie Rachel makes with Catch is forced on her. She’s a convenient pair of hands. But more than that, Catch uses pie as a form of therapy for herself and others. So when Rachel shows up on her doorstep, a “stray” as Catch calls her, Catch does everything she can to keep Rachel in the kitchen, talking about her life, her fears, and eventually her ability, all the while pushing Rachel out of her comfort zone and into real life.
So when Rachel starts making pies all on her own, she doesn’t hold back. She starts experimenting with different flavor combinations like raspberry and peaches or a salted chocolate tart with a kettle chip crust. The chocolate tart (from What’s Gabby Cooking) first caught my eye on Pinterest and I knew this decadent (and delicious) dessert had to be in the book. So I worked it into a pivotal scene between Rachel and Ashe’s little brother Scott. (Chapter 34, if you’re interested!) In this scene, Rachel and Scott talk about their families and how Catch has become that for both of them.
For the Kettle Chip Crust
1 “Sharing Size” (or 8.5 ounces in the US) bag Kettle Chips, Sea Salt flavor
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup all purpose flour
For the Chocolate Filling
1/4 cups heavy cream
10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the Chocolate Ganache topping
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
For the Kettle Chip Crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, pulse the potato chips until they are finely ground. Add the melted butter and flour and pulse for 30 seconds to combine.
Press the potato chip crust into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan.
Transfer to the pre-heated oven and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
For the Chocolate Filling
Combine the cream and chocolate chips in a medium pot over medium heat and warm the cream until the chocolate starts to melt. Whisk these 2 ingredients together until completely smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla and salt and continue to whisk until smooth over medium heat.
Once smooth, remove the pot from the heat and pour the Chocolate Filling mixture into the cooled tart shell and place it back into the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
For the Chocolate Ganache topping
Heat the cream in a small saucepan and add the chocolate. Whisk together over medium heat until the mixture is smooth and all the chocolate has melted.
Pour this mixture over the middle of the chocolate tart and use an offset spatula to spread it around evenly.
Let the entire tart chill overnight in the refrigerator.
Dust with flaky sea salt before slicing and serving.
The Secret Ingredient of Wishes is set during the summer in a fictional North Carolina town. And for me, nothing says summer like juicy, sweet strawberries. And the only thing that could make strawberries better is to bake them into a butter, flaky crust and top it off with a good dollop of whipped cream.
So when I needed a pie for a scene that marked a key turning point in Rachel and Ashe’s relationship, sun-warmed strawberry pie seemed like the perfect choice. The pie starts as a peace offering of sorts, but winds up helping these two finally start to open up to each other. Because when you eat pie right from the pan with someone else, it’s hard to keep up emotional walls. (Chapter 12, if you’re interested!)
• 5 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced in half/quartered
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar, or more depending on sweetness of berries
• 3 Tbsp cornstarch
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• two pie crusts
• milk, as needed
• turbinado sugar, as needed
For the crust, I used my go-to butter crust recipe, but The Little Epicurean has a recipe included with her strawberry pie too. (Or you can use a store-bought crust, but it’s so easy to make on your own, why would you buy one?)
Once you’ve prepared your crust and have lined the pie pan with the bottom layer, stick it in the fridge to chill. Then it’s onto the filling…
Combine strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. And mix together.
Pour strawberry mixture into the chilled pie crust. Cover with top crust and crimp the edges in whatever fashion works best for you. (You’ll see below that mine is a clumsy mess!)
Chill pie and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Place chilled pie on baking sheet. Brush top of the pie lightly with whole milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Then cut vent holes in the top crust to let the steam escape.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. Then rotate the pie and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes until pie is golden brown. Let it cool on a rack before serving.
Welcome to Friday Pieday! With the release of The Secret Ingredient of Wishes less than a month away, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite pie recipes that I used in the book. Unfortunately, I’m not Catch (the cranky but loveable pie maker in the book) and my pies are not magical. But I can promise the recipes will result in pies that taste pretty damn good. Let’s kick things off with the first pie to make an appearance in the book: Peach Habanero Pie.
Peaches and the-hotter-the-better peppers are two of my husbands favorite things. So when it came time to give swoony Southern gentleman Ashe a favorite pie, I knew just what flavors it would include. (While Ashe is not my husband, they do share some characteristics.) So of course I had to make one in real life and try it out. And boy, does this pie have a kick. So if you’re not a spicy fan, maybe cut down on the habaneros a bit.
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
9 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into ¼-inch cubes
3 seeded minced habanero peppers
10 peeled chopped fresh peaches
3 tablespoons ice-cold peach nectar
1 teaspoon salt
Put the flour and the salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse briefly once or twice to combine.
Add the butter and pulse 4 or 5 times, a few seconds per time, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
With the machine running, drizzle the peach nectar into the dough, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough gathers itself into a crumbly mass.
You might need less or more than in the recipe.
Transfer the dough to a bowl, shape it into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for half an hour to hydrate the dough.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put 4 of the chopped peaches in the food processor, and pulse for a minute to puree.
Add the minced habanero peppers a teaspoon at a time, and puree until smooth.
Put the other 6 sliced peaches into a bowl, and toss lightly with the habanero puree.
Combine ⅓ cup of the flour with the sugar and ¼ cup of softened unsalted butter until it forms a crumbly mixture. This is the streusel topping.
Cut the dough in half, and roll each half into a 10 inch circle.
Fit one dough circle into a 9-inch pie dish.
Pour the peach-habanero filling into the bottom pie crust, and sprinkle with the streusel topping.
Fit the top crust on to the pie, and crimp with a fork to seal the edges. (or, you know, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter and arrange the pie crust pieces over the top!)
Cut several slits into the top crust for venting the steam.
Bake for 50 minutes or until the the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Guys, my book comes out in two months. TWO! MONTHS! How amazing is that?
I am beyond excited to have this book out in the world come September. (A little freaked out too, but we’re not going to talk about that now. Now is for celebrating and getting other people as excited as I am. Okay, maybe not that excited but I’ll settle for somewhere close to it.) So to celebrate, I’m giving away a signed ARC! For those of you who don’t know what THE SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES is about, read on…
26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown—and her past—behind for good.
Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina—also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.
As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love—and her chance at happiness—all over again.
Sound like something you want to read? If so, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway! (You can also pre-order it online or from your local favorite indie store if you’re so inclined. Pre-order links are on my website.)
This post is coming a little late (I had surgery to remove thyroid cancer and was recovering this week–I’m all good now, no worries!). But it is such exciting news that I wanted to be fully up to the task of announcing it properly on here. I mean, did you read the post title? News doesn’t get much better than that!
In case you somehow skipped the title and went right to the post…
Thanks to my rockstar agent, Patricia Nelson, I have a two book deal with Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press with an amazing editor, Kat Brzozowski for WISHES TO NOWHERE and THE PROBABILITY OF FATE. Check out the announcements from Publishers Weekly and Publishers Marketplace below. And then flail with me because this is seriously amazing. (!!!)