Entries tagged with “pie”.
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Mon 27 Sep 2010
Posted by Dana under Sweet
When you’re graciously given a gift of apples (fresh produce! hurray!) it is a blessing. Three boxes of them is a lot to deal with, though, when you know that they aren’t necessarily going to be long lasting on the counter. Recieving so many was my fault, though, she said she had lots, and I said “Sounds good!”
I certainly did enjoy them out of hand while I could, but one can only consume so many apples before wanting to expand their diet to further horizons. And so there was an apple crisp and four (FOUR!) batches of applesauce. It feels like we’ve been swimming in apples around these parts.
So then there was pie. One pie cooked, and enough apples prepared and frozen for three more throughout the winter. This lovely pie came along to a lovely dinner with some friends. Home made lasagna followed by home made pie? What a great dinner! (Thanks Krista and Mark.)
Are you inundated with apples? Make some pie! A gorgeous pie with a crisp crust, slices of apple baked up golden, redolent with cinnamon, covered in a crumbly streusel topping. This was a pie perfectly suited to the blustery autumn days that have coincided with the coming of the apples.
Apple Pie with Streusel Topping
Pie crust for a 9-inch single crust pie
1/2 Cup butter
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 Cup water
1/4 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
8 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Streusel Topping, recipe to follow
- Crank the oven up to 400 ° F, and while it is preheating melt the butter in a pot.
- Add the flour to create a roux. This is a white roux, don’t move to the next step until the flour is cooked, but don’t let it start getting brown.
- Add the water, sugars and cinnamon, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.
- While simmering, get your pie crust rolled out and into the pan.
- Remove the sauce from heat and combine with the apples, stirring to coat.
- Pour everything into the pie crust.
- Top with crumbly streusel topping.
- Bake the pie for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 ° F, continuing to bake for an additional 40 minutes, or until the juices are thick, apples are soft and the streusel is golden.
Apple pie is always best served warm, and had we had some, I’m sure it would have been great with ice cream. A la mode anyone?
1/2 Cup flour
4 Tbsp butter, melted
4 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2tsp cinnamon
- Place everything in a bowl and combine (I like to use my fingers, and if you do too , make sure to wash your hands well!) until crumbly.
- Use to top pies, apple crisps, muffins, or whatever else your heart desires.
Thu 12 Aug 2010
Posted by Dana under Sweet
Grapes are very versatile little gems. You can eat them off the vine, turn them into jelly, make them into juice, or even better make them into wine (hurray for wine!).
Pie has the same adaptability. Pie can be sweet, or it can be savory. It can have one or two crusts, or like shepherds pie have no crust at all. You can bake a standard pie in a pie pan, a stand alone hand pie, or a free form galette.
So why, my dear readers, in all their versatility, do grapes and pie not go together?
Part of me imagines some great all-knowing baker from the days of yore announcing, “Grapes are grapes and pie is pie, and never the twain shall meet,” in the style of Rudyard Kipling. Maybe this baker of yore had good reasoning, grapes are a rather juicy fruit, maybe they would cause a pie to be too wet and not set up properly. But then peaches are juicy, and they make a fantastic pie.
Either way, grapes and pie did meet. Their union was a wondrous thing.The grapes retained their structure, my piece of pie was sweet but not too cloyingly so, and the prize winning pie crust made for a beautiful lattice top. If you’ve never had grape pie before (or heard of it either) let me assure you, there is “greatness in grapeness” (thanks Mister) when it comes to pie!
I made grape pie with my cousin Ginger (Hi Ginger!) on one of my days off. We got together in the kitchen and between playing with the baby and eating pizza sandwiches for lunch we tackled quite a list of recipes we wanted to make:
(adapted from Bon Appetit, September 2008)
Not-So-Secret Pie Crust, enough for a double crust pie
5 Cups red seedless grapes
1/2 C sugar
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 Tbsp grape juice concentrate
- Place your grapes in a colander and rinse well with cold water. Shake them (in the colander) to get remaining water off.
- Remove the grapes from the stems, and discard the stems.
- Halve the grapes. All of them. (This job is tedious, but it allows the fruit to retain most of it’s shape, which I felt was important. The original recipe chunks them up in a food processor.)
- Place the grape halves back in the colander set over a large bowl. Allow them to sit until a little less than a cup of grape juice drips out of the cut surfaces. (I was impatient and squished the grapes a little bit. Patience is a virtue, but not always one of mine).
- Pour the grape juice into a cup, and enjoy your treat! It was so tasty.
- Pour the grapes into a bowl, and add the sugar, cornstarch and grape concentrate. Mix it all up with a spoon to coat the grapes.
- Roll out the bottom crust of the pie, and put it into the pie pan. Pour the filling into the pie crust.
- If you want a lattice crust, like I made: Roll out the pie crust and cut it into strips about 3/4 inch thick. Weave the strips together into a lattice top. I like to make a cross and then work outwards with subsequent strips.
- If you want a solid top, roll out the pie crust as per usual.
- Bake in a 375° F oven for 40-50 minutes, our until the crust is golden brown and the grape juices bubble.
- Let cool and slice up!
This pie is a juicy one! You really need to let it cool, if you cut it too soon it will become a puddle quite quickly. In a rush, I was driving to my next destination while the pie cooled, and so got grape pie juice all over the towel it was resting on (luckily I brought a towel).
Try something new! A combination you never thought of before! Maybe grape pie!
Sat 19 Jun 2010
Posted by Dana under Sweet
Before the Mister came along, my approach to pie was simple. All I ever really put thought into was, “What kind of yummy stuff can I fill this with?” The crust was just the wrapper around the good part.
As it turns out, the crust matters too. Mister comes from a family with two generations of prize winning pie bakers and the trick, I’m told, is all in the pie crust. I was ignoring a vital part of pie baking. Bad me!
The Mister, in the beginning of our relationship, waxed poetic about the pies his mum could bake. This, of course, is where I heard about the multigenerational prize winners, and… the secret pie crust recipe. The Mister told me all of this because he already knew about my penchant for baking and was connecting to it, not in attempt to daunt me with how amazing of a person I was going to have to live up to (and Heather, you are amazing). Being myself, though, I was daunted with all of this. I never really put much thought into pie crust, are he going to think I was silly for that? Was I ever going to be able to live up to these prize winning expectations?
Of course, all of my worrying was unfounded, as per usual. He liked the things I baked for him, as did his family. Still, the secret recipe loomed. What was so special and secret about it? Was I ever going to find out what the secret was?
The Mister brought it up at some point, “Maybe Dana can learn the secret pie crust recipe one day, so she can bake us pies.”
And Heather said, “Secret? That recipe isn’t a secret!” She got out her book of recipes, flipped to the page and enlightened me as to the prize winning excellency that is her pie crust. Heather has given me permission to share the not so secret with you! Use it wisely. A pie is a beautiful thing.
Prize Winning Pie Crust
(from Aunt Phyllis’s Never-Fail Pie Crust)
5 Cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar
ice cold water
1 pound of lard, shortening or butter
- Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and brown sugar so that they are evenly distributed throughout the whole mixture.
- In a 3/4 C measure, combine beaten egg and vinegar. Add ice cold water until the measure is full.
- Cut the fat you chose to work with into the dry mixture until crumby.
- Mixing with a fork, pour in liquid mixture gradually until dough forms.
- When all of the flour is combined, cut the ball of dough into 6 pieces. This will be enough for 6 pie crusts, or 3 pies that have both a top and bottom crust.
The recipe leaves you with a lot of crust, do you really want to make 3 to 6 pies? You surely could, but you could also store what you don’t yet want to use in the fridge or freezer. Wrap it up with cling film or put it in a container with a lid, you don’t want it to lose it’s moisture.
I know that this post is all about the pie crust, but what yummy things did I pour into it? Rhubarb and sugar and cream. This rhubarb cream pie gets two thumbs up!
Rhubarb Cream Pie
(adapted from Spring 2010 Dish Magazine)
Pastry for one, bottom only pie
1 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup flour
1/3 Cup cream
1/4 tsp salt
4 Cups finely chopped rhubarb
- Turn the oven dial to 350 ° F.
- Roll out pie crust and line a 10 inch pie plate with it.
- Mix sugar, flour, cream and salt together in a large bowl.
- Then, mix in the rhubarb.
- Tumble into pie crust and place in the oven. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is just set (~70 minutes).
- Serve warm with ice cream! Share with friends!