Last week, at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle, hundreds of food bloggers from around the globe (yes, it really does have international reach) gathered in Seattle to talk blog. There were sessions on the creative aspects of blogging (story writing, recipe development, and wine pairing) and the technical aspects (like Google+ and SEO—that’s search engine optimization, totally nerdy, totally cool), plus plenty of opportunities to network with other bloggers and with national brands. I was one of the lucky few who sat down with Lesley Stowe, creator of Raincoast Crips, to talk about her career path and how her Raincoast Crisps, which started as a minute part of her business, grew to become her company’s main (incredibly delicious) product.
At the IFBC, Lesley announced their newest product, the Lesley Stowe Raincoast Flats, which come in two varieties: Lemon & Fennel and Kale & Walnut. Both the Raincoast Crisps and the Raincoast Flats are no-brainers for cheese plates and dips (check out my Cheese Plate 101 post for cheespiration), but the lemon-fennel combination immediately had me craving chocolate. I don’t know why. I’ve learned not to questions these sorts of things.
Earlier in the summer, I made Food 52’s (now infamous) Atlantic Beach Pie, which uses a combination of crushed saltine crackers, sugar, and butter as a crust. I used this same technique here with the Raincoast Lemon Fennel Flats, which resulted in a crispy, flavorful crust, the perfect base for the light and silky chocolate topping.
French Silk Pie with Lemon Fennel Crust
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com
1 box Lesley Stowe Lemon & Fennel Raincoast Flats
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 ounces dark chocolate
1 tsp butter
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 pasteurized eggs
For the crust: in a food processor, pulse crackers to small pebble-sized pieces, but not to dust. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and add 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp melted butter. Knead together, until combined. Coat a standard-size muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide cracker mixture evenly among muffin tin (I did 8 mini-pies). Tamp the crackers down and firmly pack with you fingertips. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, until golden around the edges, then allow to cool completely.
Melt the chocolate: slowly melt chocolate and 1 tsp butter in a double boiler, over medium heat. Once melted, set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
For the filling: in a large bowl, cream 1/2 cup butter, then slowly add the 3/4 cup sugar and cocoa powder. Once combined, stir in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate. Add one egg, beat at a medium speed for 5 minutes, then add the second egg and beat five minutes more. Spoon filling onto cooled crusts, and chill for at least two hours before serving.