You can have your coffee and, according to recent news, you can smoke it, too. Although some may be looking for an extra caffeine boost in the form of vaping, I’m an old-fashioned girl. To me, coffee should be kept in liquid form – it does the job just fine that way. In the summertime, I prefer mine in cold brew form, with a side of pie.
My first cold brew coffee experience happened three years ago when I went to visit a friend down South. We walked into a coffee shop filled with giant glass chambers where the cold brew coffee materialized in front of us, drip by drip. Looking back on it now, it makes sense that I had my first sip of this creamy and cold concoction in the South. It’s much hotter there, so every coffee addict is looking for cooler coffee alternatives. Everything moves slower there, too—and so does cold brew coffee. It is a painstaking process, but for flavor enthusiasts who don’t mind a little less acidity in their daily caffeine ritual, cold brew is the way to go. Now that Starbucks has officially started making small-batch cold brew coffee through a craft-brewing process, it’s finally catching on all over.
If you’re fixing to make your own cold brew coffee at home, then The Curious Barista’s Guide to Coffee by Tristan Stephenson (Ryland Peters & Small) is an excellent place to start. Starting with the history and origins of coffee, this guide explains the steps involved in growing, harvesting and processing coffee, the myriad ways to roast coffee, the science behind it, and numerous ways to brew it. The book ends with a lovely section of coffee-based drinks and desserts. If you’re a jittery java nut, this book is for you.
Now, on to the important part of the equation, pie. Coffee is meant to be paired with a sugary soulmate and that’s where Sweetie Pie: Deliciously Indulgent Recipes for Dessert Pies, Tarts and Flans by Hannah Miles with illustrations by Selina Snow (Ryland Peters & Small, 2015) comes in. There is a pie for every type of party, season and holiday and they range from light, flaky and fruity flavors to exotic and rich pastries bursting with chocolatey goodness. I’m a sucker for a classic chocolate and raspberry combo, paired with a refreshing glass of cold-brewed coffee. Try this recipe on for size and you’ll be on cloud nine.
Chocolate cloud pie
The smell of cocoa when you remove this meringue from the oven is intense and I love to bake this recipe for that reason alone. The delicate chocolate pie shell is filled with a tangy raspberry fool and is topped with curls of chocolate and fresh berries. This is a light but indulgent dessert—perfect for a special occasion.
For the meringue
4 egg whites
1/4 cups caster/ superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
scant 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
A few cocoa nibs, very finely chopped or ground (optional)
For the Raspberry Fool
2 cups fresh raspberries
1/4 cup caster/ granulated sugar
generous 2 cups double/ heavy cream
Fresh raspberries and chocolate curls
Preheat the oven to (275°F). Grease a baking sheet and line it with parchment.
Begin by preparing the meringue. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, while continuing to whisk. Add the cream of tartar and whisk in. Sift the cocoa over the top of the egg whites and, using a spatula, gently fold in the cocoa. You do not need to fold it in completely as you want there to be a slight rippled effect of cocoa running through the meringue.
Spoon the meringue onto the lined baking sheet and, using the spatula, gently spread it into a 10-in. circle, making a well in the center that will hold the fool. Sprinkle the cocoa nibs over the top of the meringue, if using.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 1⁄2 hours, until the meringue is crisp. Let cool on the baking sheet.
When you are ready to serve, place the meringue on a serving plate. Be careful, as it is very fragile.
Crush the raspberries using a fork, then add the sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved and you have a raspberry purée.
In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to stiff peaks, then fold in the raspberry purée in a rippled effect, reserving a little of the raspberry purée for decoration.
Spoon the raspberry fool into the meringue shell very carefully then drizzle the reserved raspberry purée over all. Decorate with more berries and the chocolate curls, and serve immediately. This pie needs to be eaten on the day it is made.