“Diane, I'm holding in my hand a small box of chocolate bunnies."
Ah, Twin Peaks. So surreal. So mysterious. So full of deliciously weird scenes with food.
David Lynch's cult classic series returns with a long-awaited revival Sunday on Showtime. It has been more than 25 years since fans were introduced to the sleepy Pacific Northwestern town of Twin Peaks and the mysterious murder of prom queen Laura Palmer, when Lynch's show first ran from 1990 to 1991 on ABC.
The characters' quirky relationships with food were the bizarre toppings on this unconventional TV dessert.
From the unexplainable "there's a fish in the percolator" scene to Lucy's immaculate organization of the sheriff's office's doughnuts to Agent Dale Cooper's affinity for damn fine coffee and berry pie, and Jerry and Ben Horne lovingly devouring Brie and French bread, Twin Peaks showcases food in ways not many other eerie dramas do.
Norma Jennings and Shelly Johnson were the steadfast stewards of the Double R Diner, serving up wholesome huckleberry pie and other homemade dishes. The Bookhouse Boys of the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Office always had dozens of doughnuts blanketing their tables — organized by topping and jelly, of course.
Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) possibly doted on food the most, consistently proclaiming his love of coffee "black as midnight on a moonless night," warm huckleberry pie with vanilla ice cream and "the taste sensation when maple syrup collides with ham."
Food isn't an afterthought in Twin Peaks. Though it may have seemed trivial or just plain silly at the time, its food scenes have become just as iconic and quotable as the ones involving the murder investigation and the paranormal happenings in the woods.
So if you're planning a watch party for Sunday's premiere, you'll want to serve up indulgent iterations of dishes Twin Peaks helped catapult into cult status: cherry pie, coffee, Brie and butter on bread, and doughnuts. Try these recipes on for size.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham.
Cherry Pie With Almond Crumble
Forget about finding the elusive huckleberries used in the original Double R Diner pie recipe and swap the fruit for some cherries. There's just something so soothing about a warm slice of cherry pie topped with vanilla ice cream.
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), divided, plus more for work surface
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon fine salt
6 cups drained jarred sour cherries
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 homemade or store-bought pie crust in a deep-dish 9-inch plate (see note)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
½ cup light brown sugar
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¼ cup almonds
Heat oven to 375 degrees with racks in middle and lower thirds. In a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon flour, sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir in cherries and vanilla. Brush crust with egg white and fill with cherry mixture.
In a food processor, pulse together remaining 1 cup flour and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add brown sugar, butter and almonds. Pulse until large pieces form. Scatter the crumble over cherry filling.
Bake on middle rack of oven with a foil-lined baking sheet on lower rack to catch drips, until topping and crust are golden, about 45 minutes. Tent pie loosely with foil and bake until juices in center are bubbling, 30 to 45 minutes more. Transfer to a rack and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cover and keep at room temperature up to 3 days.
Note: Be sure to get or make a durable deep-dish pie crust. The one I bought was unable to hold in all the delicious cherry filling, and the crumble doesn't bind everything together as well as a traditional lattice crust. Otherwise, just name your messy cherry pie a crumble and call it a day.
Dark Chocolate Cake Doughnuts
With Blood Orange Icing
The tastiest homemade doughnuts this side of the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Office.
For the doughnuts:
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup dark cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
For the glaze:
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 cups powdered sugar
½ cup blood orange juice
To make the doughnuts: Heat oven to 325 degrees and spray a doughnut pan with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together.
In a large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.
Combine the buttermilk mixture with the dry ingredients. Pour the melted oil over the dough and mix to combine.
Pipe dough into prepared doughnut pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Immediately remove doughnuts from pan and cool on wire rack.
To make the glaze: Mix all ingredients except the heavy cream in a large bowl until creamy. Add heavy cream a splash at a time until you have the consistency you want. Dip cooled doughnuts into glaze and let rest on a cooling rack to allow the glaze set.
Be frugal with the heavy cream in the glaze. You want the glaze to be thick enough to set and stay on the doughnut but not too watery.
Hot Buttered Toffee Coffee
Nothing beats a cup of "damn fine coffee" except maybe this decadent, buttery coffee float.
4 ounces coffee mocha ice cream (any store-bought coffee ice cream will do)
6 ounces hot coffee
2 tablespoons butterscotch sauce
2 teaspoons almond liqueur
1 tablespoon toffee pieces or 1 tablespoon chopped chocolate-covered English toffee bar
Spoon ice cream into a large coffee mug or milkshake glass. Pour in coffee and top with butterscotch topping and almond liqueur. Finish it off with toffee pieces and whipped topping.
This coffee drink is best served individually and is ripe for dozens of variations. Mix it up with caramel or chocolate sauce, different crushed candy bars or ice cream flavors like butter pecan or caramel swirl.
Creme de Brie Mango Cranberry Crostini
Take Jerry Horne's love of French cuisine to the next level by topping the traditional Brie and butter baguette with tangy mango and cranberries.
20 French baguette rounds (thin, ¼-inch slices)
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 ounces Brie cheese
¼ cup mango chutney (see note)
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 tablespoon fresh mint (optional)
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Arrange baguette slices on a large ungreased cookie sheet. Brush the slices with olive oil and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and crisp.
Place on serving plates and cool 1 minute. Spread each with about ½ tablespoon Brie.
In a small bowl, combine mango chutney and cranberries. Spoon small dollops over cheese and garnish with mint.
Note: If you can't find mango chutney, apricot preserves will do the trick. Like the other recipes, this one is easily changeable. There are almost endless possibilities with topping crostini.
The new season premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday on Showtime.