Archive for September, 2011

Restaurant Review: Pizza e Pazzi

September 20, 2011

Cari and I have lived in the Dufferin & St. Clair area for 4 1/2 years.  In that time, we have seen some significant changes to the neighbourhood, mostly between Oakwood and Christie.  But when it comes to the stretch between Lansdowne and Dufferin, it’s mostly the same Italian dress shops and vacant lots that were around when we moved in in the first place.

Enter Pizza e Pazzi.  Located in the spot that once housed another Italian restaurant, what struck us right away was that Pizza e Pazzi actually had people in it from the start.  Never more than a few tables, sure, but it gave the impression that people were interested in eating there.  My curiosity was piqued.  A little while later, I noticed that Pizza e Pazzi served apertivo from Mondays through Wednesdays, offering those willing to spend $10 on a beverage the chance to sample some of the restaurant’s offerings.

It wasn’t until Pizza e Pazzi was ranked #4 on Now Toronto’s Best Pizzas in Toronto list that I was convinced that this was a place we needed to try.  Not surprisingly, this high praise from Now Toronto (as well as other local publications) led to a significant uptick in business.  And now that we’ve eaten their pizza a few times, we can honestly say it’s one of the best pizzas we’ve had outside of Italy.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise just how authentic this pizza tastes.  Pizza e Pazzi had their pizza oven flown in from Italy, and is one of the few pizza places in Toronto to have received certification from something called the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana.

With prices ranging from $9.50 to $24.75 a pizza, this is more of a high-end pizza than the place you’ll want to order from weekly.  Well, you’ll want to order from them weekly – but your wallet may disagree.  Our favourites so far have been the margherita verace, diavola (spicy salami), quattro fromaggi (four cheese) and tartufata (the priciest pizza on the menu, loaded up with mushrooms, truffle oil and aged prosciutto).

As great as it is to have a fantastic pizza place in our neighbourhood, it’s even more exciting to see a place around the corner with lineups out the door on a Saturday night.

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New & Improved: Vanilla Peach Custard Pie

September 4, 2011

Two years ago around this time, I posted a recipe for Peach Custard Pie. It was quite good. In the time since then I’ve tinkered with this recipe a few times and have improved it enough that I think it’s worth a new post. It’s now a Vanilla Peach Custard Pie, and it’s damn tasty.

First of all – ignore any pie crust recipe you see on this blog (or elsewhere, really), and just make this one. Always. I screwed it up in my most recent attempt and it still turned out awesome. Trust me – just listen to Deb at Smitten Kitchen, make that pie crust, and (perhaps with a little practice), you’ll be hailed as the best pie crust maker ever.

For this recipe you need half of the dough – so either make half, or make two pies!

Now, for the rest of the pie:

Vanilla Peach Custard Pie With Struesel Topping

Crust

  • See above

Filling

  • 4 medium size peaches (or more – extra filling is always good!)
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar*
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste (use extract if you have to -but paste makes it all that much better)

Streusel Topping

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vanilla sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (Recipe says optional, but I disagree. Not optional.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

1. Make crust, and line pan.

2. Make Filling:

  • Peel and slice peaches 1/4 inch thick and place in pie shell.
  • Whisk together yogurt, egg yokes, sugar, flour and vanilla until just blended and pour over top of the peaches. Bake for 30 minutes until custard is mostly set.

3. Streusel Topping:.

  • Combine butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon with your fingers until crumbly.
  • Sprinkle evenly over top of pie and bake for an additional 15 minutes until custard is set.

Let pie cool and serve cold or warm. Enjoy!

*Regular sugar works fine too – but if you haven’t already, make some vanilla sugar! Just throw a few vanilla beans into a jar of sugar and let it sit. Soon enough you’ll have fragrant vanilla sugar!