Thursday, December 15, 2011

Apple Strawberry Basil Hand Pies

If you think making pie is a lot of work, making hand pies takes the cake! But when it's a cold afternoon and you have nothing to do, these babies will bring warmth and love to your table.

On one such afternoon I was browsing some of the foodie blogs and came across this recipe. I grow basil, strawberries and apples, so I was intrigued by the notion of bringing them together. The pies turned out quite delicious and although I wouldn't marry the flavors very often, this was a fun, albeit labor intensive, treat.

Check out the fun blog Passionate About Baking for some beautiful photography and interesting recipes.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wonderful Strawberry Pie

This baked strawberry pie was my very first attempt to make a lattice top. I have practiced a few times since to discover the best way to accomplish this. I tried making the lattice on the countertop and then transfering it to the pie. Although the making part is easier, the transferring part was nearly disasterous. Making the lattice on the pie is a little messy but I think I have figured out how to do a weave more systematically and it works pretty well now.

I got this recipe from my new vintage pie book Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook. In my lifetime I don't think I could ever make all the pies in that book. But I'll try! This was a fun and tasty pie and a good way to have strawberry pie in the winter. I'm working on getting permission to share the recipes but in the meantime, you should just get your own copy! Gotta Love Amazon!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My growing pie plate collection

In order to accomodate my growing collection, I removed a bunch of cake pans from my cupboard and relocated them to a less desireable place in the house. Now I have room for even more pie plates. Every year I tell my husband to just go to Home Goods and buy pretty much anything there for my Christmas present. Last year he bought me these adorable little bugs. Still hoping for a pie plate. . .

Friday, December 9, 2011

Marie Calender's Blueberry Pie

For book club last month we met at Marie Calender's for lunch. I enjoyed my ravioli, Ceasar salad and slice of pie combo. You can't complain about a Marie Calender's pie. For many, it's the standard by which to judge all pie. For most, Marie Calender's is the Go-To pie source.

I, for one, think they are a little too crusty, too expensive, and the cream pies have too much cream on top. But the fillings are always outstanding and the pies always look beautiful. I don't think I've ever made a double crust blueberry, being partial to my amazing fresh blueberry pie, but this was a tasty treat.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pies and Quilts, a winning combination

Every year I attend the Road to California Quilt Show in Ontario. I allow myself to buy one little project, two if I finished last year's. I often head to the booth that sells these little paper piecing quilt patterns. This pattern called to me and I just had to have it. It took a few years to get around to it but now I've got it quilted and bound and hanging in my kitchen. I imagine that pie would measure at least 10 pounds. Don't you? And Please join me at the show this year, January 19-22, 2012.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Can't Decide Pumpkin Pie

I was given permission to include the recipe so I'm reposting about this fun pumpkin apple pie.

This is a new twist on the pumpkin pie. It is made with an apple layer on the bottom. It was quite tasty. The pumpkin custard was a nice texture and had well balanced flavor. The apple layer was surprise to my kids who were wary at first and then decided they liked the pie a lot.

I got this recipe out of a fun apple cookbook. Since these are two classic fall pie flavors, I knew I had to give it a try. I hope you do too. Excerpted from Apple Cookbook(c) by Olwen Woodier, used with permission from Storey Publishing.

The recipe calls for fresh apples to be saute'ed a bit before being layered in the tin. It gives the option of using canned apples, which I did the second time around. This did not turn out well. I tried giving it a pecan topping but we still had to throw half of that pie away--so if you used canned, beware! If I tried using canned again, I would go ahead and cook them first like the instructions say to do for fresh apples.

Pumpkin Apple Pie

pastry for a single 10" piecrust
2 medium apples (Granny Smith, Braeburn, Newtown Pippin, Northern Spy) or 2 cups drained canned apple slices
1 teaspoon butter
2 cups pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
1 1/2 cups light cream or half and half
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 10 in pie plate.
2. Roll out the pastry and fit it into the pie plate. Trim and flute the edges. Refrigerate.
3. Peel, core, and cut the apples into the 1/4-inch slices. Place in a skillet with the butter, cover, and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain. If you are using canned apples, simply drain and set aside.
4. Place the pumpkin, cream, sugar, eggs, cinnamon nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Beat together until smooth.
5. Arrange the apple slices in the bottom of the chilled pastry shell and pour the pumpkin mixture over them.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 375 degrees and bake for 35-40 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.
Yield: 8-10 servings.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Que Peligroso: Guest Post

My daughter Amanda had as much fun writing about the pies from this food truck as she did eating the pie. Some day I will venture into the savory pies. So far, I do Chicken Pot Pie. But this pork pie looks amazing. Visit Amanda and her reflective writings about the world and life on her blog The Flip Side of My Pillow.

Dangerously Delicious Pies are dangerous for the simple memory it
leaves you with, and possibly the effect on your wallet while in close
proximity. I experienced the Pork BBQ, Strawberry Rhubarb, and
Baltimore Bomb one blesse'd Friday of one wonderfully hot and humid
summer afternoon at Farragut Square Food Truck Friday. From my memory
I can still feel the chili pepper kick, the nostalgic remembrance and
renewal of strawberry love, the perfect explosion of chocolate chunk
and "sweet vanilla chess filling."

At times when I think of my current
meager repasts I drift back to better times where food came out of
trucks and dreams were within walking distance. That flakey crust
forged a bond between myself and those fortunate enough to partake
with me; Dangerously Delicious Pies will always have a place in my
stomach. Few memories give such forceful urges to buy the next plane
ticket to D.C., get a tax to drive straight past Capital Hill to the
origin of my reminiscence, and, after eating my weight in pie,
convince the owner to open a branch wherever I happen to be living at
the time or even a cross country delivery service. I'll do it, I swear
I will.