Cookbook Challenge: “The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook” Part 2

After such a successful first recipe, I had a hard time picking something that I thought would capture my enthusiasm. It seems funny to me now, that out of everything in this cookbook, I decided to pick a very normal, popular baked item. Somehow, I had envisioned myself trying something more indulgent or out-of-left-field, like Hazel’s Beaver Stew with Rosemary Potatoes or Plum Cake with Plums from Gale’s Snares. Instead, I went with a seemingly tried-and-true recipe, Harvest Apples Pie. This one was intriguing because I’ve made apple pie many times, but never like this recipe- where you make a caramel sauce to coat the apples before nestling them into the crust. Yum! You are also instructed to save some of this delicious sauce to put on top, near the end of the cooking time, but instead, I put all of it inside the pie and brushed the top with egg wash. The caramel sauce is such a great idea, it makes this pie taste less like a ‘traditional’ apple pie, and more like a caramel apple with a side of crust. The recipe wants you to do a lattice-style crust, but I didn’t have time for that, so I just put a full crust on top with long slits cuts across the top.

This recipe wasn’t all rainbows and roses, unfortunately I think the measurement was wayyyyy off with the butter, as I had to drain a lot of it out when I was making the sauce. I’m going to caution anyone attempting to make this, that you should start with only 1/4 cup butter, and, if you absolutely need to, increase by a few tablespoons at a time. Regardless of the major recipe problem, I would certainly make this pie again, and will be saving this recipe for next Thanksgiving. This will be my last recipe tested from this cookbook. It is unfortunate that some of these recipes have measurements that are way off. Perhaps they weren’t tested before printing, or there are just typos in some of the recipes. I’m assuming that an experienced cook can figure out what to do about the measurements, but an amateur may not. However, in spite of the wrong measurements and lack of photos, I am choosing to keep it anyway because two very awesome recipes were discovered. They are so amazing, that I know I will be making both of them for a long time to come.

*A few things about the book itself:

It’s a pretty cool cookbook and it looks like the author put a lot of thought into it. The recipes are all accompanied by a reference to a chapter in one of the books in the trilogy. Also included, are ‘Tips from Your Sponsor’, which are helpful cooking tips and/or history related to the dish. True to the movie, the author has tried to ‘keep it real’ by featuring recipes with raccoon, rabbit, partridge, dove, and other types of meat that are reminiscent of surviving off the land, like Katniss did in the movie. This is a great cookbook for anyone who loves Hunger Games and loves to cook. What this is not, though, is an easy-breezy introduction to cooking, or the greatest recipe collection for vegetarians. My biggest complaint is that there are no pictures of any of the dishes, not even a sketch. That is a big turn-off for someone like me who wants to see the final product. Many of these dishes are also made with indulgent (expensive) ingredients like heavy cream and bacon, and somewhat harder-to-find exotic ingredients, such as yucca, toyon berries, Japanese knotweed, and rock tripe.

If you can look past most of these quirks, or are a die-hard Hunger Games fan, you can find a copy of this cookbook on Amazon. (This author also has an unofficial Downton Abbey cookbook that could be fun to try as well.)

“The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook” by Emily Ansara Baines

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