Serves 12 (makes 1 pie)
If you are new to the world of plant-based baking, you may hear the word “aquafaba” and wonder what it’s all about. Aquafaba is that liquid you find canned legumes, most commonly chickpeas, soaking in. It works wonders as an egg substitute in virtually any baked good recipe, especially when you need to create a frothy or foamy yummy substance. This pie has a light and fluffy topping that is perfectly torched, and a rich, tart-yet-sweet filling that is completely addictive. I promise you will come back not only for seconds, but for thirds and fourths!
recipe | Doug McNish
Everyone should get a kitchen torch because … using a blowtorch is awesome to create depth of flavor and caramelization in so many dishes.
30 minutes or overnight. Return bowl to stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and add chickpea liquid and cream of tartar. Whisk on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes. Once peaks begin to form, add vanilla, then add sugar in slow, steady stream. Continue to whisk meringue until firm peaks form.
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.