Homemade Buttermilk & Chocolate Buttermilk Pie

Homemade Buttermilk Pie & Basic Pie Dough via The Local Forkful

How come no one told me that buying a house is so stressful? Well, I guess my ignorance could be based on the truth of ‘not asking’. I honestly don’t remember how many properties we’ve viewed at this point, or how many layouts we’ve scoffed at nor the times my wife has said, “Eww!” at the sight of hideous wallpapers and dirty bathrooms. No, nobody warned us, but my gosh, we’ve learned quickly. And all that late-night HGTV House Hunter watching is not necessarily the go-to if you need questions answered.


I’m learning that while looking for a home you desire some of the same characteristics that were/are present in the home you grew up in. You want to pull into the driveway and feel at home. You’d like to walk in the front door and the creak of the hinge greet you ever-so gently. You want to step foot in the room and be greeted by warm snapshots of life hanging on the walls and rays of sunlight reaching across the floor. You simply long to be at rest and to have a place worthy of providing that for you when the day is done.

Homemade Buttermilk Pie & Basic Pie Dough via The Local Forkfulfresh farm eggsHomemade Buttermilk Pie & Basic Pie Dough via The Local Forkful

Well, the search for this place continues and while I don’t want to get my hopes up. We have recently put in a bid on what I’m sure has the potential to be all those wonderful things mentioned previously. It’s the emotions of a warm slice of buttermilk pie from grandma’s windowsill. Of course, my grandmother never put pies in the windowsill, no, they were on top of the washer and dryer which sat next door to her stove in the kitchen. I remember buttermilk pie from my great grandma’s, who we affectionately called “Nanny”, like I remember walking down the hardwood steps as a child pleading for a cup of apple juice (according to my parental units).
Homemade Buttermilk Pie & Basic Pie Dough via The Local Forkful

What is it about pie that has the ability to slow the heart-rate, calm the nerves and soothe the soul? Is it that flaky crust, the warmth of that creamy or fruity filling? Or maybe it’s the warm memories that it evokes in every swift stroke of the fork? Whatever it is, its quite magical and its my desire that if you’ve never had it before this recipe will make you a believer.

Homemade Buttermilk Pie

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flour
3 eggs (beaten)
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1 cup whole fat buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest

for Chocolate Buttermilk Pie:
add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon fine ground coffee (dark roast). combine with dry ingredients.


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and flour. Stir in egg one at a time. Add your butter, then buttermilk, kosher salt and vanilla.
2. Pour mixture into your shell. Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until you insert a knife and it comes out clean. Allow the pie to cool and serve with coffee/milk and whipped cream. I also enjoy a dollop of lemon curd on top.
Homemade Buttermilk Pie & Basic Pie Dough via The Local Forkful

Basic Pie Dough

If I may be honest with you for a minute, as a chef I hardly ever use recipes for what I have been taught to be must-have basic kitchen staples. Like making pie dough, biscuits, “mother sauces” etc. So at the bottom of this post there is a tried and true recipe for pie dough that I have used in the past that always delivers great results.

If I were to give you my recipe, it would go something like this:

1 1/2 handfuls of flour
a smidge of kosher salt that I process in my spice grinder to break it down
a few tablespoons of ice-cold water
a few pats of chilled butter or the frozen grated stuff

1. Combine butter, salt and flour until it forms into pea-sized crumbles. add water by the tablespoon until dough holds together. Then form a ball. allow to rest for 15 minutes.
2. flour your rolling surface and pin. place ball in the center and roll until the proper circle size of your pie pan. Roll the dough on to your rolling place and unroll over buttered pie pan. tuck the dough in around the sides and trim the excess. Using a flour-ed fork press the edges of your crust or use the thumb-index finger method.
3. Prick the bottom of the dough and the inside seam a few times and bake for 4-5 minutes. I do this to ensure crispy crust from top to bottom because I hate soggy bottoms.

😀 Then carry-on with the recipe as usual.Basic Pie Dough via The Local Forkful

Now, for some of you. You might be thinking, oh, that’s simple enough. But for the rest of you who tend to be right-brained organize kitchen cooks here’s the play-by-play via Williams-Sonoma Pie Dough.

Basic Pie Dough via The Local Forkful Food Blog





Marshmallowy Cornflake Treats

Marshmallowy Cornflake TreatsIt makes me laugh when I think about some of the silly things my sister and I ate for dessert as kids. Prepare yourself, because this is pure unadulterated truth. When I was in my youth, I used to enjoy heating up fudge rounds in the microwave until the filling was slightly runny, and then I would proceed to drizzle it with milk. At first scrape of that gooey rich but soggy creation off of my plate, I was in heaven and you couldn’t persuade otherwise. This dessert when I think about it still warms my heart but I haven’t done it in years. That might have to change sooner than later.

My sister liked to take Nestle cookie dough and crumble it on a plate, heat it in the microwave for 20 seconds intervals while rotating the plate. Because back then our microwave wasn’t as ‘fancy schmancy’ as the one we have today. I’m sure this was completely unhealthy in one way or another but we survived it and these are our food memories. It’s one of things that I adore about food is the simple fact that no matter your likes or dislikes it has a way to connect with you and tell a story. 20140201-103149.jpg

It turns out that my mom was no world-famous pastry chef but she knew the basics and she knew what to do to satisfy our sweet tooth. This recipe is an accidental, oops! we don’t have any, kind of concoction. My mom made these for us when we were kids and it was clearly contrived from a day of wanting something sweet and missing a ‘key’ ingredient. There are some of you Rice Krispie treat purists out there thinking to yourselves. “cornflakes and marshmallows?!?!” And that’s o.k. But just in case you didn’t notice, the cereal companies have jumped on the bandwagon as well, they just sold it to you as breakfast food. So I hope you enjoy these and they somehow make their way into your family traditions, but if not, whip up a batch and tell me you’re not a believer?

Do tell me your favorite childhood desserts? I’m dying to hear it.mallowy corn flake treats

Mallowy Corn Flake TreatsMarshmallowy Cornflake Treats

10 ounces marshmallows (big or small)
1 stick unsalted butter
12 ounces plain corn flake cereal
1 oz heavy cream

1. place butter into a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Once butter has completely melted, add heavy cream and then add the marshmallows a small handful at a time until completely melted and all the lumps are gone (unless you like the lumps).
2. Pour the cereal into a large mixing bowl. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal and mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon until all the cereal is completely coated.
3. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray or line it with parchment. Spoon all of the mixture into the dish. sprinkle a little powdered sugar on your hand or use a little butter to coat your palm and press the mixture down into the pan until completely even across the top (now you can cancel that pure barre membership). allow the mixture to cool down for about 20 minutes before cutting into desired shapes. Enjoy!Mallowy Corn flake treats

espresso chocolate chip cookies

espresso chocolate chip cookies: recipe by the local forkfulits been a while since my last post and i’m starting to feel as though i’m intruding upon hallowed ground. the holiday season came and is now holding onto the door frame for dear life, slowly dragging its feet as though to resist some inevitable fate. i’m ready for the new year and i welcome it with open arms. like the arms of a child stumbling to its mother in need of security and warmth. in this moment, i feel overwhelmed with the desire to conquer the world, make changes that will determine the course of my future, love harder and acknowledge my shortcomings; with the desire to make the proper corrections. i don’t want this feeling to leave, and my prayer is that i’m not the only one feeling this press to be better than they were the year before. the holidays have given me new perspective and i’m realizing that i am my own stumbling block. but no more. i’m throwing caution to the wind while dancing in rain puddles and swinging around lamp posts…or maybe i’m sitting here with a bowl of soup while simultaneously tweeting and writing this post. it doesn’t matter. the new year is upon us and i enjoyed the time spent with family and friends this holiday season.

christmas was lovely as usual and though the snow came prematurely, the cold chill upon our cheeks still screamed holiday season. spending thanksgiving and christmas in the gatlinburg area always comes with promise of holiday cheer. lights strung for miles, lit trees garnish roadsides and christmas music is in repetition from the shopping center to the gas station. there is a part of me that longs to stay in the comfort of my own dwelling for any given major holiday and surely i’m not alone. traveling in itself feels like work and entertaining family and friends is another job in itself. but don’t get me wrong, i’m not complaining, just stating what you were already thinking. but enough with holiday lamentations, lets talk about these cookies. espresso chocolate chip cookies: recipe by the local forkful

holiday baking is something we all look forward to every year. your nose involuntarily rises into the air in anticipation for whats beneath that tin lid. pumpkin snicker doodles, cranberry chocolate scones, gingerbread cookies, and the list goes on. its the time of year where consequence for your gluttonous ways go without repercussion (kind’ve). we look for any reason to break out grandma’s sugar stained cookie sheet, toss around the king arthur and chocolate chips, and get lost in nostalgia. well, i hope these espresso chocolate chip cookies bring a little warmth, love and nostalgia to the remainder of your holiday season. i’m looking forward to where two-thousand and fourteen will take us. thank you for following the local forkful and i hope that you’ll continue to grow with me in this place where stories and food collide. be blessed. espresso chocolate chip cookies: recipe by the local forkful

espresso chocolate chip cookies
an adaptation from smittenkitchen.com

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons fine ground coffee (dark roast)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey bourbon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
12 ounces Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Spray your cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.

2. Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar, white sugar and ground espresso until well blended.

3. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the dry ingredients until just blended.

4. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. I used a 3/4 fl-oz (20ml) scoop for the perfect 3-bite cookie, but feel free to make them the size you prefer. Cookies should be about 1.5 inches apart.

5. Bake your larger cookies for 15/17 minutes, or 10/12 minutes for smaller ones (check your cookies before they’re finished; depending on your portion size, your baking time will vary) in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on cookie racks for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy!espresso chocolate chip cookies: recipe by the local forkful

Vanilla Buttermilk Birthday Cake with Chocolate Frosting…Where has the time gone?

Vanilla Buttermilk Birthday Cake with Chocolate Frosting: Recipe by The Local ForkfulAs I sit down to write this post I honestly don’t know what I’m feeling but there’s a little bit of angst in the shadows of that indescribable emotion. Twenty-Nine. Yes, I’m officially twenty-nine, less than a year away from thirty(sigh). It is not my objective to make any readers feel insulted because while age is a thing of beauty. I just envisioned something different for myself at this age than any other.Vanilla Buttermilk Birthday Cake with Chocolate Frosting: Recipe by The Local Forkful

I can’t help but wonder if I’ve spent the last 29 years doing my best or merely existing? I can say with conviction that I don’t know what my success looks like and everyday I find inspiration in the desire to do something else. And when I think about all the possibilities that lie out there I become overwhelmed thinking about where to start. I’m passionate about food and I love to cook, but I’m an artist and I enjoy splattering paint across canvas while crafting something from your roadside trash. As a child I can recollect telling teachers and strangers I would be an artist or poet when I grew up. That evolved into a chef, artist and poet as I got older.  But I never threw all of my eggs into one basket which is why at twenty-nine all the questions have resurfaced. I’ve contemplated going back to school but the wife and I have no debt and I’d hate to incur any at this point. But you might be thinking ‘education is invaluable’ and yes, I know this to be true. But the thought of having to work full-time, balance a marriage, school and make room for my hobbies feels a little overwhelming. And we’re not going to discuss kids, at least not in this post.

I guess I could always sit in a quiet room and ponder the pros and cons of all these decisions. Or I could bake you one of the best cakes I have ever made. One of my favorite childhood treats is icing and ice cream. No, you heard me correctly. Icing and ice cream is one of my favorite things and every now and then I like to make a batch of frosting and grab some vanilla bean ice cream for a nostalgic treat. You talk about a simple combination that will take you to a happy place, well, this is it.

When some of life’s toughest decisions come our way the easiest thing to do is run for dessert. Let’s just say this is a dessert I’m going to be running to for a little while. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs(room temp)
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
smidge of kosher salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Combine eggs and sugar into a mixing bowl and whip with hand mixer until thickened about 2 minutes. fold in buttermilk,vegetable oil and vanilla extract to mixture. set aside

Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add heaping spoonfuls of flour mixture into the wet mix until completely combined. Don not over mix. Batter should leave light ribbons across the top of the batter when draped from a spoon.

Evenly pour batter into two 8-inch greased baking pans. Let them bake for 30-40 mins. And as always, no two ovens are the same.

Chocolate Frosting

10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup or two sticks of room temp unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar (10X)
smidgen of kosher salt

Place butter into mixing bowl and whip the heck out of it until its light and airy. The color will be almost white and shiny. Add in the powdered sugar by the heaping spoonfuls while whipping on a lower speed. Then add vanilla. set aside.

Tempering Chocolate

Bring two cups of water to a rolling simmer in a small sauce pot. Set a stainless steel mixing bowl slightly larger than the pot itself over the pot. Stir the chocolate, and occasionally remove from heat, until chocolate is completely melted. Allow to cool about 3 minutes. Then stream the chocolate into the frosting on medium speed until fully combined.

Side Note: Once cake is frosted, take remaining frosting and grab that ice cream I spoke of. Yum.

Peach Bourbon Crostata

The Peach Truck Peaches: Photo by The Local Forkful I contemplated long and hard about giving you last years Peach Truck recipe. But I couldn’t resist upping the ante and letting my readers see our progression since our first year of amateur blogging. And yes, we still have a lot to learn. Any-who, you can find out all about Stephen and Jessica Rose and their Peach Truck adventures here.

Peach Bourbon Crostata: Recipe by The Local Forkful The Summer time yields some of nature’s best gold. Stone fruit being at the top of my list and then I work my way down to berries and greens. The Peach Truck peaches are really good and all it took was two failed attempts before I obtained the little jewels that lie before you in this crostata.

I enjoy a nice slice of pie as much as the next person, but everyone does pie. And I don’t aim to give you average friends. My thought process typically involves Googling many a recipe and stalking many food blogs to see what hasn’t been done. And well, I don’t think you’ll be finding this somewhere else anytime soon. Peach Bourbon Crostata: Recipe by The Local Forkfu A crostata is a form of Italian pastry highly regarded for it’s versatility. You can make this dessert in a free-form format like I did, or use a tart or pie pan. The pastry can also be made smaller and enclosed with a lid for easier travel. Either way you decide to go about it, all forms are delicious.

I actually use the crostata dough recipe for the base of many dessert vehicles. I like the flavor and texture. It’s mildly sweetened from the butter, flaky and light(depending upon how thin you roll it out). One thing about using produce thats in season. If I’m going to make something where I want the filling to shine because its in season then I typically allow it’s vehicle to take a backseat. And these peaches don’t like sharin’ the spotlight ya’ll.Peach Bourbon Crostata: Recipe by The Local Forkful

I consider this recipe to be a rather simple one. Some of the things I can conjure are pretty labor intensive. I hope you have your favorite summer fruit, canned preserves or maybe some Bavarian cream that will fit perfectly in this crostata. As for me y’all, it’s all about The Peach Truck.

What have you been baking with your #summergold?

Brown Sugar & Bourbon Simple Syrup

100 ml Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey
1/3 cup of Dark Brown Sugar

For Pie filling:

3 peaches pitted & sliced

Crostata Dough:

2 cups AP flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, small cubes
1/4 + ice cold water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar (decor)
1 egg yolk + heavy cream to brush shell

Directions (yields 2 crostatas)

1. In a 1.5 quart sauce pan. Combine bourbon and brown sugar over medium heat until all sugar is dissolved. Then allow to simmer for two to three minutes or until mixture is reduced by half. Mixture should be syrupy and coat the back of a spoon. Set aside and allow to cool.

2. Once mixture has cooled. add half of your sliced peaches and toss until all peaches are evenly coated. Allow to set for two hours or over night.

3. Place the first four ingredients of dough into a large mixing bowl. If you’re afraid to get dirty, then break out your food processor. You know the drill. If not, click here. Moving on, gently toss together the ingredients. Begin to pinch the butter while simultaneously mixing it in with the flour. Do this until you see pea size lumps begin to form.

4.Once mixture is mealy, add ice water two tablespoons at a time until dough comes together. You should be able to squeeze it and get clumps. but also be able to spot little specks of butter.

5.Pour dough onto lightly floured surface. Form into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap. let the dough rest for an hour or freeze up to a month if you’re only making one crostata.

6. Preheat oven to 425 15 minutes prior to removing dough from the fridge. Place dough on to lightly floured surface and roll out in to an 12-inch disk. During rolling, occasionally toss a little more flour underneath dough to deter from sticking.

7. Drain the juice from your peaches. Place peaches in a spiral pattern layering them one on top of the other. Or just throw them in the middle of the dough and spread’em. Just leave about 1 inch of dough all the way around so that you can encase your filling. Using a flat spatula or pizza peel slide tart on a lined or buttered sheet pan and bake for about 22-26 minutes. And if you’re at all familiar with baking. Then you know that no two ovens are alike.

Serving Suggestions:

In the photo, I garnished the crostata with the a vanilla bean chantilly cream. (recipe follows) And the finished tart was accompanied with some vanilla bean ice cream. To each his own but I prefer Blue Bell. And as always, opinions are all my own.

Vanilla Bean Chantilly
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 vanilla split and scraped
1/2 cup 10x (powdered sugar)
1. combine all ingredients in standing/hand held mixer. Whip for 3-4 minutes until mixture comes to stiff peaks or holds to your your beaters or whip attachment. Enjoy!