Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe / Giveaway!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody! How did this day become synonymous with sweets? Was it a ploy by the chocolate or sugar industries to get people to buy more? Is there some historical reasoning like maybe St. Valentine had a sweet tooth? It probably has something to do with the rumor that chocolate is an aphrodisiac. Though this is not a post about chocolate.

For my Valentine this evening, I intend to make a Naked Berry Pie. While I do appreciate chocolate, a free form berry pie — in winter no less — feels like more of a treat. Plus I have some blueberries that I picked this summer still frozen. It just dawned on me the irony of the recipe title, though I assure you it was accidental! Sheesh.

The recipe comes from “Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe,” by Alisa Huntsman, Artisan, 2011. I was lucky enough to be invited to the cookbook launch party out at Loveless where guests got to sample a dozen or so of the desserts featured in the book as well as a lovely brunch spread including those famous biscuits. It was as awesome as it sounds.

I like this cookbook for a few reasons. First, Alisa does a great job of selecting classic, simple desserts to feature in the book. No elaborate baking techniques here – just straightforward preparations for straightforward Southern desserts. She even includes prepared pie crusts as an option for some of the recipes. While I enjoy a homemade pastry as much as the next person, there are times when a more convenient option is needed. I appreciate a classically trained chef who can embrace that flexibility.

Find recipe classics like Still Holler Blackberry Pie, Blueberry Peach Corn Bread Buckle and Harpeth Valley Hummingbird Cake in this book.

At the brunch, I was given a copy of the book to give away. If you’d like to participate in the giveaway, you can enter up to three times. Simply:

1) Follow @annakatet on twitter
2) Tweet this: I just entered to win a copy of “Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe” by Alisa Huntsman from @annakatet at www.LaAguacate.com!
3) Like the Loveless Facebook page.
4) Tell me what your favorite Southern Dessert is!

Please leave a separate comment for any you choose to do. I’ll select one winner at random on Friday at noon CST. Good luck!



Naked Berry Pie

Yield: Makes 4 free-form pies

Recipe and recipe photo courtesy “Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe,” by Alisa Huntsman, Artisan, 2011


Easy-As-Pie Dough

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 sticks (3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoons cold milk

1. Place the flour, confectioners' sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly to mix. Add the butter and pulse until it is cut in and the mixture resembles coars meal. Add the egg yolks and milk and process just until the dough is smooth and evenly moistened. Do not process until the dough forms a ball, or it will be tough.

2. Remove dough from the processor and press into a ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap well, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.


2 cups raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or a mixture
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Egg wash: 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Coarse sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 sturdy baking sheets with parchment paper or foil and grease the liners lightly. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each out to an 8-inch circle. Arrange the dough circles on the baking sheets.

2. Just before you're ready to bake, place the berries in a medium bowl. Add the granulated sugar, flour, orange zest, vanilla, and cardamom and toss gently until the berries are coated. Immediately spoon a heaping 1/2 cup of berries on the middle of each dough circle. Fold the edges in toward the center, pleating the dough as necessary and leaving at least a 2-inch circle of fruit exposed. Brush the crust with egg wash and sprinkle the coarse sugar evenly over the tops.

3. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving to allow juices to thicken.


21 Responses to “Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe / Giveaway!”

  1. 1

    alisa — February 14, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

    hey annakate! thanks so much for all the sweet comments about the book. and about that title, nudity is optional and i promise, i won’t tell…happy valentines day!

    good luck to all that enter!

    • Annakate replied: — February 14th, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

      Thanks Alisa!!! The book is awesome. I made the Naked Berry Pie tonight and boy is that “Easy-As-Pie Crust” recipe is out of this world. The egg yolks and powdered sugar really do something to it. It’s so fluffy. I look forward to many happy meals with this book!!

  2. 2

    Jeff — February 15, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

    I follow on Twitter.

  3. 3

    Jeff — February 15, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

    I tweeted.

  4. 4

    Jeff — February 15, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

    I like Loveless.

  5. 5

    Hadley — February 15, 2012 @ 10:36 pm

    I’m moving to the south this spring, and realized i dont know any southern recipes!! This cookbook sounds amazing, my mouth is actually watering from the photos. Yummmmm……… 🙂

    • Annakate replied: — February 15th, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

      Yeah! It’s a good one. Thanks Had.:)

  6. 6

    Peggy — February 16, 2012 @ 5:11 am

    I like Loveless or do I love Likeless?????

    • Annakate replied: — February 16th, 2012 @ 8:52 am

      You LOVE Loveless! Oh it’s so good. They made heart-shaped biscuits for Valentine’s Day. Agh!

  7. 7

    Leah — February 16, 2012 @ 5:54 am

    Unfortunately I can’t officially enter since I’m a ghost these days on social media (not even staking, AK!) but I had to cast my vote for peach cobbler. That would count as southern, right? 🙂

  8. 8

    Leah — February 16, 2012 @ 5:56 am

    ** sad that I need to correct myself on the word stalking!

  9. 9

    Jeremy Lewno — February 16, 2012 @ 6:08 am

    YUM! The description and pictures of the Naked Blueberry Pie are amazing. Can I eat the screen? At least scratch and sniff? I’m also interested in the Blueberry Peach Corn Bread Buckle. That sounds amazing too. I like just about any southern dessert, but I have a soft spot for a nice, good ole slice of of pecan pie.

  10. 10

    Kelli — February 16, 2012 @ 6:23 am

    Ohhhhhh I love new cookbooks, and especially when they’re focus on sweets! Very excited to get this one:)

    • Annakate replied: — February 17th, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

      I drew numbers and your comment won! Will send you the cookbook next week. Hope you enjoy it – it’s a good one!!! Thanks everyone for participating!

  11. 11

    Chelsea — February 16, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    I’m starting to get into baking more and more, and this cookbook sounds perfect for me!

  12. 12

    becca — February 16, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    I’m not on twitter, but I do think that blackberry pie looks divine!!!!

  13. 13

    stacey — February 16, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

    This book seems right up my alley:) Pick me!

  14. 14

    Natalie — February 17, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    Hi this is Kelli’s cousin! The Still Holler Blackberry Pie sounds amazing, and I also love peanut-butter pie and pecan pie. Yum!

    P.S. Pick me!

  15. 15

    katie — February 17, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    I followed

  16. 16

    katie — February 17, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    i tweeted

  17. 17

    katie — February 17, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    i love bread pudding!!

Leave a Comment