Raw Corn & Tomato Salsa

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If you’re a member of a CSA or just get carried away at the farmers market, then you probably have a surplus of tomatoes and corn in your kitchen.  Put them to good use with this quick and tasty Raw Corn & Tomato Salsa.

Freaked out by raw corn?  Feel free to char the summer kernels over an open flame, but when corn is this fresh and sweet, I promise it is just as delicious raw!

I make a few cups of this salsa on Sundays and top my salads with it for lunch throughout the week.  It stays colorful, fresh, and healthy for days.  Or spoon it over eggs and black beans for a perfect brunchy treat.  This recipe makes ~6 cups.

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You’ll Need:

  • 6 ears fresh corn
  • 4 small tomatoes
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • S&P, to taste

To make the salsa:

In a large bowl, shave the corn kernels off of the cob.

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Dice the tomatoes (removing the seeds), jalapeno, bell pepper, and onion, and combine with the corn.

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Add the juice of two limes and olive oil, and season with salt & pepper.  Finish the salsa with a handful of cilantro.

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You can use this salsa immediately, or store for up to 5 days in jars or tupperware.  I do both!

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xoxo,

Liz

Gingered Peach Mason Jar Cobblers

Four Pies Finished

In honor of my darling best friend Julia’s birthday and in honor of peaches being abundantly available and ripe this weekend, I knew a fruity dessert was in order.  Since we had made plans to visit a couple vineyards on Sunday with our sweet friends Amy and Ryan, this dessert also had to be easily portable.  And it had to be adorable.  Whew- no pressure!

As it turns out, a perfectly peachy, easily transportable dessert was well within my reach (and yours!).  All it takes is a trip to the farmers market, a quick spin in the Kitchen-Aid, and a few mason jars to make these Gingered Peach Cobblers.

For the Filling (makes 4 individual pies):

  • 4 peaches
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs fresh ginger

For the Pastry Dough:

  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • 1 stick cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs sugar

To make the Dough:

I have to admit, I’m no baker- I usually leave the sweet treats up to Julia.  But I’ve been pushing myself to mix flour + water instead of trudging to the store for some mediocre pre-made dough, and this recipe couldn’t be simpler.  Just combine your flour and sugar in a food processor or stand mixer.  Add the cold butter (with the mixer on a speed-2), one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture resembles sand.  Then, add your ice cold water and mix for ~15 seconds.  I made my pastry dough the night before the wine tour, and refrigerated it in plastic overnight.

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To make the filling:

When you’re ready to make your cobblers, grease the insides of four mason jars with butter.  Slice your peaches and place them in a sauce pan with 2 tbs sugar and 1 tbs ginger.  Give them a good stir and let them simmer over low heat for ~10 minutes until they’re syrupy and delicious.

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While those peaches are simmering, let’s talk produce!  Since there are really only 4 ingredients in this recipe- flour, butter, peaches & ginger- you can have some fun with the fillings.  I got three different peach breeds- Donut, Yellow, and White- from the farmers market.  And I was inspired to add ginger after finding this incredible baby Hawaiian variety.  No peeling necessary?  I can freeze you?  Hello, new favorite ingredient.

peaches with ingredients

Once your peaches are finished simmering, take them off the heat and let them cool a bit.

Peach Cobbler, Assemble!

Cut the pastry dough into two unequal parts.  Roll out the smaller half, then use the mouth of a mason jar to cut 4 rounds.  These should be thinner, because they’ll be on the bottom of the cobblers.  Roll out the larger half, which should be the thicker cobbler-toppers, and cut four more rounds.  Place the thin rounds of dough carefully in the bottom of your mason jars and bake at 400° for ~5 minutes.

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When the dough is a bit cooked, fill the jar up to the top with peach filling, and finish with the thick round on top.

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If you want to be really cute, and who doesn’t, use some leftover dough to form hearts or initials to pop on top.  Brush the whole thing with an egg wash and place in the oven (on a baking sheet!) at 375° for 30 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown.

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I pulled these out of the oven about 2 hours before eating them and screwed the lids on for easy transport.  Not only did this make them easy to get to the vineyards, but would you believe that they were still warm when we ate them?  Just plain peachy!

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xoxo,

Liz

oh what?  you wanted to see a photo of the birthday girl on her vineyard trip?  so happy you asked:

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brown butter, brown sugar cookies

Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

It’s been so long since last we wrote, but these brown butter, brown sugar cookies are worth the wait. This Hungry Texan will occasionally make a quick detour on her bike to work and pop into Bean & Bite on 15th for a “treat yo self” iced coffee. Aside from their smooth and rich iced coffee the second biggest attraction is that they always have bite-sized samples of their sweet treats cut up in plates by the register. On two separate occasions I’ve been lucky enough to sneak a taste of their brown sugar cookies, and after taste number two I vowed to try my hand at recreating them. I took to my mixing bowl and this recipe triumphed. I’m a modest gal, but these are honest to everything the best cookies I’ve ever made.

Just thank me that I’m sharing this recipe as bathing suit season is waning.

Ingredients

Modified from Cook’s Illustrated’s Brown Sugar Cookie Recipe

1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter 14tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/4 cup white sugar
2 cups brown sugar (I used a mix of dark & light)
2 cups + 2 tbls flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 overflowing tbl vanilla

+ an additional 1/4 cup of each brown & white sugar for rolling

Start by preheating your oven 350º.

The secret to this recipe’s success is the brown butter – browning your butter gives it a dense, almost nutty flavor, that combined with salt and sugar becomes borderline carmel-ish. Start by melting all but 4 tbls of your butter in a pan at medium heat. Stir constantly until the butter begins to brown. Transfer to a container to cool and add the additional 4 tbls of butter to the warm butter. You may notice sediment-like solids forming in your brown butter, embrace them!

Brown Butter

Let your butter cool for about 15 minutes and then combine your butter and sugars.

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Add your egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.

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In a separate bowl, combine all your dry ingredients (flour, salt, soda, powder). Begin slowly folding the dry into your wet mixture until fully combined.

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Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Combine 1/4 c white sugar and 1/4 c brown sugar in a small bowl with enough surface area for covering your dough balls. Begin scooping and rolling your dough into spheres the size of ping pong balls, roll your ball in sugar so that it’s completely covered.

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Once your sheet is full, bake for 8-12 minutes. You want to take these cookies out on the rarer side as they’ll firm quite a bit as they cool. The center of the cookie tastes like chewy, salted caramel. The cookies are sturdy, stack well, and would be mean bookends to an ice cream sandwich.

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Get baking!

xoxo,
Julia

key lime pie

KeyLimePie

This Hungry Texan celebrated the Fourth of July in the Houston homeland with the Lovett clan. We feasted on a red, white, and boil of tasty crustaceans and satiated our sweet teeth post-Fireworks with this sweet and tangy key lime pie.

When life gives you limes, make key lime pie!


KeyLimeCrust Ingredients

Key lime crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tbl melted butter
2 tbl lime zest

KeyLime Filling

Key lime filling:
4 egg yolks
3 tbl lime zest (from 4 key limes)
1/2 cup lime juice
1 can sweetened condensed milk

This is a one bowl, one whisk pie that requires minimal baking. For your crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, zest and melted butter in a large bowl until it sticks together like wet sand.

MixingCrust

Spray the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate with your preferred baking spray and pack your crust into the pie plate until it’s densely and compactly situated. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-minutes or until it’s looking golden and the smells start wafting.

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For your filling, whisk together 4 egg yolks for about two minutes. Add your lime zest and continue whisking until your mixture is a pale green.

Eggs + Lime

Whisk in your lime juice and condensed milk until your filling starts to thicken. Let rest for at least 20-minutes at room temperature, giving the filling adequate time to firm up. Pour filling into the cooled pie crust and return it to your 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the center of your pie is firm.

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Let your pie rest until it reaches room temperature and then place in the fridge to chill (can be made up to a day in advance).

Slice & serve chilled with a dollop of whipped cream and a slice of lime!

xoxo,

Julia

watermelon mint julep popsicles

This recipe is featured today on Fortique, a fun DC startup that offers an online marketplace for local talent and creative services.  When Stephanie, their founder, asked me to dream up a Fourth of July cocktail, my mind immediately went to grenadine and blue curucao.  But you don’t need a sugary mess to show your stars & stripes!  Opt instead for a fresh, cool cocktail that highlights America’s bounty.

Nothing says “America” like watermelon.  Except for maybe bourbon.  Okay, let’s face it: together, they’re like the Star Spangled Banner in a glass.  And on a scorching Fourth of July, these polar pops are worth their weight in A/C, packing punches of watermelon, mint, and bourbon, all frozen to summery perfection.  title page

You’ll need:

  • 4 cups of seedless watermelon (about half of a medium watermelon)
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup (1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup water)
  • 3 sprigs mint
  • 1 lime
  • 1 cup bourbon (adjust to your desired strength)
  • 24 Dixie Cups
  • 12 Popsicle Sticks (cut in half)

Makes 24 lil’ pops.

This recipe is so simple, and most of your time is spent waiting for the pops to freeze.  Dice your watermelon and add it to a pitcher (or a blender if you’re not using an immersion mixer).  Want to know the key to finding the sweetest watermelon amongst mounds of the fibrous fruit?  Search for the melon with a large, white spot on it’s side.  You want a watermelon that has been ripening on the ground for a while, and the larger the white spot (that’s where the sun couldn’t hit it), the juicier and sweeter your fruit will be.

Alright, Farmer Liz, we’ll get back to the recipe.  Add your simple syrup and juice of a lime to the pitcher.  I also added a couple extra tablespoons of sugar on top.

chunks in pitcher

Using an immersion blender on high speed, mix the contents of your pitcher until your watermelon looks like melon-colored-water.

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Add your mint and bourbon, give the whole thing a quick stir, and you’re ready to fill your popsicle molds!  While there are a slew of modern gadgets designed to pop out the perfect popsicle, you don’t need a store-bought popsicle mold to dazzle your Fourth of July crowd.  Use 3 oz Dixie cups and wooden sticks to make perfectly miniature frozen treats.  The wooden sticks keep the look classic while the small size ensures your guests don’t overindulge on the sweet nectar too early in the afternoon.

Fill the dixie cups with your watermelon-mint-bourbon goodness and pop the ‘sicles in the freezer for about 45 minutes.  Once they are semi-frozen, stick the popsicle sticks in the center of each one and then let the popsicles freeze over night. Depending on the amount of bourbon you use, these little guys could take up to 24 hours to get good and frozen, so plan ahead!

in cups frozen

When your guests are ready, just tear off the disposable cup and watch the fireworks fly!

watermelon mint julep popsicles

Whew, was that easy.  And you didn’t even have to break out the blue curucao & grenadine to capture the spirit of Independence Day.

Love,

Liz & The Hungry Texans

gluten-free peanut butter chocolate cupcakes

GF_PBChocolateCupcakes
A few weeks ago we celebrated our lovely friend Lauren’s birthday with an evening of competitive karaoke! Lauren and Boston Boy are both members of the acclaimed (champs three weeks running!) “A Tribe Called Northwest” karaoke team and the birthday festivities were full of friends, Fame, and these gluten-free peanut butter chocolate cupcakes! Now, this was this Hungry Texan’s first real go at gluten-free baking (I experimented with some almond meal baking in college…but who didn’t?!). The cake turned out light and airy with  rich chocolate flavor, and the peanut butter buttercream icing was the perfect accompaniment.

For 12 cupcakes you’ll need:

For the cake:
1 1/3 cup garbanzo flour (sifted)
3/4 + 1 tbl cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water

for the icing:
1 stick butter
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

These cupcakes are a one bowl wonder and all you need is a fork! Start by combining all your dry ingredients (garbanzo flour, soda, powder, salt, sugar) in a large bowl. Stir to combine.

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Then, add your wet ingredients (buttermilk, egg, water, and oil).

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Stir until smooth and silky.

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This batter’s a little bit on the thin side, so I transfered my batter from a bowl into a pitcher to ensure less mess when filling my cupcake liners. Fill cupcake liners.

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Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. While baking, make your icing by creaming together butter, peanut butter, vanilla & powdered sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer.

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Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool completely before frosting!

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xoxo,

Julia

A Hungry Texans Crawfish Boil

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Being home in Texas means three things for certain: there will always be someone cooling off in the swimming pool, my daddy’s favorite playlist (self-titled Eggman) will always be on the outdoor speakers, and we’ll always be grubbing on the screened-in porch.  One of my favorite such grubs happens to be when we pull out the 80 quart pot, fill it with fresh seafood, and enjoy a good old-fashioned crawfish boil.  Blue crabs, Gulf shrimp, Louisiana Crawfish- all perfectly seasoned and served with sweet corn and potatoes to soak up the spice.  There’s really no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon with family and friends than over a steaming bowl of shelled crustaceans.  This is a pot of deliciousness that I’ll probably leave up to my dad, who humbly claims that there’s no secret to it, but has obviously mastered the art.  Still, it struck me as so simple, that anyone at home with access to a few mudbugs could recreate this Cajun delight.

boil & fish

We made our way to the Vietnamese Fish Market for our supplies.  This bustling Bissonet mainstay houses hundreds of Vietnamese staples and has a spread of fresh (usually still swimming) fish and seafood.

picking crabs

For larger Crawfish Boils with the extended family when we need huge quantities of crawfish, my dad will venture out to Beaumont (about 45 minutes from Houston) for a surplus batch.  But to feed 6 people, you can manage with a more local supermarket- you’ll need 2.5 pounds of shrimp, 10 pounds of crawfish, and 6 crabs.

You’ll need
2 to 3 lbs Gulf Shrimp, heads off
10 lbs Crawfish, still kickin’
6 blue crabs, alive and plump
½ bag (3 cups) Crawfish Boil
4 lemons, cut in half
1 stick butter
5 lbs red potatoes
6 ears sweet corn

Fill the crawfish pot 2/3 of the way with water and bring to a boil.  Add your seasoning, lemons, and butter.  Let the seasoned water come together for about 5 minutes, then carefully remove the inner basket.

daddy with crawfish

If your crawfish need to be purged, be sure to do so!  Fill a bucket (or cooler) with cold, very salty water, and add your un-purged crawfish.  Let them sit in the purging water for about 10 minutes before tossing them in the pot.

purging

Fill the basket with your crawfish, crabs and shrimp.

fillin up the pot

Carefully lower the basket of seafoody goodness into the pot, and cover.

all boiling

 

Let the pot boil for 7-10 minutes, then remove (enlist the help of 3-4 strong gentlemen) and pour your drained boil into a cooler.  Toss the crawdads with as much seasoning as you like/can handle (we used ~1/4 cup) and laissez le bon temps rouler!  You can pour ice over the seafood to cool it off before peeling.

In a separate large pot of boiling, salted water, cook your potatoes and sweet corn ~30 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.  If you are brave, you can plop those potatoes and corn right in with the crawfish, but it will light you up, so take caution.

Drain your potatoes and corn, toss with salt and pepper, and throw the whole mess out on a newspaper-covered table so that everyone can dig in.  Or be a tad more civilized and serve the seafood in bowls.

finished product

Just be sure to have plenty of wet napkins lying around to towel off, a few trashcans strewn about to make cleanup easy, and remember- never touch your eyes!

Happy Peeling!
Liz

buttermilk ice cream

ButtermilkIceCream

I was so excited to dust off my ice cream maker last weekend for the first batch of the summer! Big Daddy and I first enjoyed buttermilk ice cream at Restaurant Nora a few years ago, and I was so smitten with the unique flavor that I was quick to attempt to recreate it a few weeks later. This buttermilk ice cream is creamy with a refreshing tang from the buttermilk and makes the perfect accompaniment for your summery cakes and cobblers (or will steal the show as a standalone scoop)!

Borrowed from Smitten Kitchen, you’ll need:

ButtermilkIceCreamIngredients

2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cup sugar
10 large egg yolks
2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pinch of salt

Start by whisking together your egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar. Then combine cream & one cup of sugar in a medium-sized pot and bring to a simmer.

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Gradually, pour your hot cream mixture into the eggs gradually tempering them (you don’t want scrambies!). Return your creamy, eggy, sugary mixture to the heat.

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Stir continuously until your mixture just starts to slowly bubble as a thick custard that coats the back of a spoon.

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Remove custard from heat and stir in your pinch of salt, vanilla, and buttermilk.

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Let mixture cool completely and then chill until ready to freeze & churn in your ice cream maker.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

xoxo,

Julia

lemony pea toasts


LemonyPeaToasts

I imagine many readers’ childhoods were filled with dinner table commands, “Eat your peas!” Not this girl. It helps when your own mother never overcame her childhood trauma of peas. Because Mommy Cat has such an intense aversion to ’em, green peas were always absent from the Lovett dinner table and for years I assumed I’d hate them too! When I finally gave peas a chance, I was delighted by their texture and fun burst of fresh flavor.

This lemony pea mash on toasts makes an easy peasy app, and the lemony pea mash would make a scrumptious spread for a veggie sandwich (I’m dreaming of a goat cheese, lemony pea mash, avocado, and sprouts concoction). 

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2 loaves of crusty bread, sliced (we used ciabatta)
olive oil for drizzling on sliced bread
1 2-cup bag of frozen peas, thawed
1 tbs olive oil
4 cloves of garlic smashed
2 tbs lemon
2 tbs chives
1/4 c parsley (I used the squeeze parsley for the first time! amazing!)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
salt to taste

In a large pan, heat olive oil, garlic, parsley and chives. Add your peas and squeeze in your lemon. Add red pepper and salt to taste. Heat mixture until your peas are thoroughly cooked, but before they’re too mushy.

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Pour pea mixture into your food processor and give it about 8 good pulses – I wanted to maintain some semblance of pea texture so opted for a coarse mash over a pea puree – but do whatever floats your boat.

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Slice (or solicit a sous chef, thanks One Sock Wonder!) your bread to desired width – I recommend ~1/2 inch – and generously drizzle on olive oil and toast.

Heap room temperature pea mash onto toasts and enjoy!

Peas out,

Julia

bourbon & brown sugar pop tarts

PopTarts title page

Whew!  That was quite a break.  Between moving houses and switching jobs, winter has thawed into spring, and I’ve been a Hungry Texan on hiatus.   But no fear!  I’ve emerged with a whole slew of new recipes.

These pop tarts are not one of them.  To be honest, homemade pop tarts have been done before.  From fruit fillings to chocolatey ganache to savory, you’ll probably find these pastries on the menu of your neighborhood restaurant.  No, homemade poptarts may not be the most wildly innovative recipe in the world.  But they’re delicious and flaky and can probably be made with pantry ingredients in a pinch.  And they finish off a brunch spread like you wouldn’t believe.

Plus, this dough was the perfect first recipe for my new KitchenAid Stand Mixer, a birthday gift from my doting boyfriend.  Before now, I’ve never been the one to throw together my own crusts or breads.  But it’s so easy (and way less expensive than storebought) and makes a great, refrigeratable, flaky crust.

poptarts ingredients

Makes 8 poptarts

For the pastry:

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
1 egg
2 tbs milk

For the filling:

1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbs flour
1 tbs bourbon

Mix the sugar, flour, and salt together in your stand mixer.  Add the butter, in cubes, and blend until the dough looks like sand, with chunks of butter still visible.

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Whisk the egg and milk together, then add to the dough.  Mix for a few more seconds, until the dough has come together.  Then divide the dough into two equal parts.  Roll out the dough to 1/8 in thick , then cut even rectangles.

Pop the pastry into the fridge to keep it from getting all melty (especially if you have a teensy kitchen that gets quite warm).  Then, whip up your filling!

poptarts filling

You can fill these with almost anything- savory leeks and goat cheese, balsamic cherries, homemade nutella etc.  For the brown-sugary filling,  whisk together the brown sugar, flour, and bourbon.

brown sugar filling

Pile ~1 tbs of the filling on each tart shell, then seal with the other half of the pastry.  Seal the edges with a fork (some of the filling will probably spill over in the oven- it happens, you’ll live.)

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Bake on a parchment-lined tray for about 25 minutes at 350°.

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Serve warm with ice cream or on their own!

Love,

Liz