If you don’t know Tim from his blog
you may know him from Instagram.
And if you don’t know him from either,
I think maybe you should.
He’s just one of those guys whose photos
bring a smile to your face.
We’ve not met in person,
but I’ve always sorta assumed we’ll pull up a chair someday.
Probably on an old veranda someplace
with biscuits and sweet tea
and the company of Tara O’Brady.
FOR THE LOVE OF PIE — a series that celebrates the simple things.
Today, Tim Robison and his French Silk Pie.
Tim lives in Asheville, NC with his fiancé Amanda.
He’s an illustrator, photographer
and a regular contributor to Kinfolk Magazine.
French silk pie with pecan shortbread crust. The original recipe calls for a standard pie crust. I found that a shortbread crust works much better. We also switch it up sometimes and divide the pie into 4 small tarts. To me it’s chocolate in its finest form. Rich, dense, smooth with a subtle salty bite at the end. It’s the best.
BEST SERVED WITH?
I enjoy it best on its own with a good strong cup of coffee. However, a dollop of fresh whipped cream wouldn’t hurt.
ONE OR TWO THINGS?
Good people and good food! (preferably together)
French Silk Pie by Tim Robison
- 3 sticks (1 ½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup PURE maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup pecan pieces, toasted
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter--room temperature
- 3oz unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled
- 1-1/2 teaspoons good vanilla extract.
- 3 eggs
For the crust:
- Mix together butter, sugar and maple syrup until well blended. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Add flour one cup at a time, mixing entirely after each cup is added. Stir in salt and pecans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press dough evenly to 1/4" thick into a prepared 7"-9" pie tin (or four 4" tart shells) Remove any excess dough around edges of tin (depending on your pans, you may have extra batter left over --bake those as you would a standard shortbread cookie). Bake for 18-20 minutes, until lightly browned all over. Set aside and let crust cool completely. Dough freezes well or can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.
For the filling:
- Using a steel blade food processor, process sugar and butter until very smooth and light in color (about 5 minutes on high). Slowly add chocolate while processing. Process for a few minutes more, scraping sides often. Add vanilla and then eggs one at a time. Process on high until incredibly smooth (another 5 minutes). Pour filling into cooled pie crust and chill over night.
- *Note -- You want to process the filling longer than you think. Check it often to make sure it achieves its 'silky' like consistency. If not processed long enough the pie will feel grainy when served.
Keep refrigerated. Serve cool or at room temperature.
I was surprised when I first arrived in Puglia.
I’d taken the train there,
a near full day whizzing past
small towns, long fields
and the Adriatic Sea.
Eight or so hours of inspiration from my seat.
But still, I hadn’t expected the south to look that way.
I hadn’t dreamt of the stark whites
and beautiful creams.
Nor, the light sandy beige.
I hadn’t considered
that a short moss might grow
beneath the olive trees.
I hadn’t expected
the flat, pale, beauty of it all.
The lack of rolling hills
and terracota soil.
I don’t know what it was I’d expected.
It’s almost as though I hadn’t dreamt big enough.
I’d heard how wonderful the food was.
How different the tomatoes taste,
and how fresh the cheese.
But I wasn’t prepared for
backyards of oranges,
roadsides of arugula
or gardens tucked amidst olive groves.
I hadn’t thought of the seafood.
Somehow I’d kinda forgotten
just how extraordinary travel can be.
PS: find a little more from our trip, here.
Photos: Michael Graydon
It’s been a while.
Hello, happy belated 2013.
I hope its start has been good to you.
Things are great here.
We’re officially into our new studio
and while it’s still piled high with boxes
it’s pretty great.
The sink is on the floor
and there is tape on the walls
where the kitchen goes.
I bought a dead stock faucet
that makes my heart sing
and I’ve been looking at ranges
for quite some time now.
I’m kinda almost (but not quite) speechless
about how it all makes me feel.
It’s just a space,
but it’s exciting nonetheless.
Anyway, I’ve got lots more to tell you
but first things first,
our birthday winner is KATHLEEN B!
Kathleen, please email us your contact details & we’ll pop your package in the post!
And if you’re wondering about the photos.
I made sticky toffee pudding countless times in 2012.
And one day, Michael and I decided
to shoot our favourite, Jamie Oliver’s.
It’s sweet but not overly so
and perfect served with
unsweetened whipped cream alongside.
Also, I really love that it calls for Ovaltine.
For my version I add a little salt and vanilla to the mix.
I also skip the toffee sauce and replace with a dark golden caramel.
Plus, these photos show the dates a little chunky, but they’re best puréed a little more.
Sticky Toffee Pudding (Jamie Oliver)
- 225 g fresh dates, stoned
- 200 ml boiling water
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 85 g unsalted butter, softened
- 170 g caster sugar
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 170 g self-raising flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground mixed spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons Ovaltine
- 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
- For the toffee sauce
- 115 g unsalted butter
- 115 g light muscovado sugar
- 140 ml double cream
- Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Put the dates in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and cover with 200ml/7fl oz of boiling water. Leave to stand for a couple of minutes to soften, then drain. Whiz the dates in a food processor until you have a purée. Meanwhile, cream your butter and sugar until pale using a wooden spoon, and add the eggs, flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and Ovaltine. Mix together well, then fold in the yoghurt and your puréed dates. Pour into a buttered, ovenproof dish and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.
- While the pudding is cooking, make the toffee sauce by putting the butter, sugar and cream in a pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened and darkened in colour. To serve, spoon out the pudding at the table and pour over the toffee sauce.
Photos: Michael Graydon
Styling: Nikole Herriott
Hello! Happy Holidays!
And well, Happy Birthday to Herriott Grace.
Back in November we turned FOUR!
Can you believe it?
Truth be told, it wasn’t long ago that HG
was a teeny little holiday shop
I worked on during my spare time in university.
And while we’re still pretty wee,
it means the world to us to be here.
So thank you.
Thank you for supporting what we do
and for making this whole thing
And in honour of our special day,
we’re giving a few things away.
The large (and beautiful) pedestal in this photo (!!)
as well as a few other treats from the HG workshop.
Leave a comment on this post
and we’ll choose a winner at random
on December 18, 2012. (check back here December 21, 2012)
And if you’re a new visitor here, welcome!
If you haven’t done so already, you can learn a little more about us here.
Find our recent press here and well, catch up on what we’ve been up to, here.
Plus, they is a lot in store for the holidays!
Stirring spoons (my fave!),
evergreen gift wrap,
and detailed pins are all back in stock.
And our cloud cookie cutters
will be back again soon.
Photos in this post: Michael Graydon
Styling: Nikole Herriott (that’s me!)
Watch for new items Friday, November 30 at 6pm EST.
Just a quick note to let you know we’re updating!
If you’re not on the list, you can join here.
Plus, watch for a shop preview back here on
Plus, you may have noticed my absence here lately.
I miss you guys! How are things?
All is good on my end.
We’ve been working on some exciting projects
going some exciting places
and making plans for the coming year.
A bit of what’s happening now:
#1: HG has a new home!
#2: we’re getting ready for the holidays
#3: and Michael and I have been doing some really fun work, find some of it, here.
-the Pecan & Chocolate Tart is from our Thanksgiving story for Bon Appétit
-the second Michael took at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn
-the third is from Bellwoods Brewery
-and the fourth is from The Black Hoof
-both were shot for our Toronto Navigator Story, also for Bon Appétit
850 park avenue
this piece of fluorite
photos in this post: michael graydon + nikole herriott (that’s me!)
this scarf is so nice in person
this lunch pail
these caramels look cute
prop + food styling for the first shot: beverly hyde & rebecca jurkevich
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