Thursday, June 30, 2011

Croshaw's Gourmet Pies

On our latest trip to Utah, we decided to stop off at Croshaw's Gourmet Pies in St. George. It’s located right off the 15 freeway at Bluff St. It’s a cute, small store tucked into a strip mall. The pies were extremely reasonably priced ($8-$10) which made me want to buy several, but I limited myself to three. I bought a blueberry doublecrust, a cherry doublecrust and a custard pie. 

First off, the crust was disappointing. The texture and taste were no better than a frozen pie out of the grocery store. The cherry and blueberry fillings could easily have come from a can which means they didn’t taste bad, but weren’t impressive either. The custard pie had very little going for it. It had a better homemade flavor and some tasty spices sprinkled on top that were attractive.  

On the other hand, we also bought a slice of German Chocolate pie (no picture) and it was to die for.  There were chocolate chips and nuts in the filling and a delicious, light meringue on top.  I would definitely go back for another try just because the chocolate pie was so yummy. I’ve heard the Black Bottom Pie is the store favorite.

Do you have a favorite place to get pie? Do tell us about it. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bird in a Pie

Today I tried 3 new things in one pie. I tried a new, supposedly low fat pie crust, I tried my new pretty green pie plate and I tried my new pie bird.

First the pie crust. I’m not sure how it could be low fat because it is made with butter and cream cheese instead of shortening. It was hard to work with until I added a lot more water than it called for. But the taste wasn’t bad. I prefer the texture of a shortening crust because it’s more flaky than crumbly, but for a crumbly crust, it was passable. I may try this again and tweak the recipe. Here is the original from Health magazine (November 2010) for your testing pleasure:
Low Fat Pie Crust  
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons block-style, reduced-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup very cold water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Second, the pie plate. I am maxed out on space in my kitchen.  But when I saw this pretty dish, I knew I could make room for one more pie pan. 

Third, the pie bird.  When I first heard of pie birds, I was browsing a Country Living magazine. They had a selection of several pretty birds.  It took me awhile to understand that the birds are a method for releasing steam from a double crust pie and that when they do, they make a whistling sound. I ordered the cheapest one I could find and tried it out. My mistake (which forces me to try again) was not sealing the crust sufficiently so the steam came out in many places, not just the bird’s yellow beak. But, amazingly enough, I heard a whistle! I must try this again. Here is a link to the site where I bought my sweet black bird:


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Double Good Berry Pie

We have a boysenberry bush and every June it produces berries faster than we can pick them (or faster than we can get our stained berried fingers cleaned!). What better way to use these scrumptious berries than to make a fresh pie. Especially because we heard boysenberries don't do too well in jams and smoothies because the seeds sink to the bottom. Let us know if you feel differently.

This recipe is actually for blueberry pie, but it worked just as well for boysenberries. I feel it would work for most other berries; except for maybe strawberries. Strawberries are their own unique kind of berries.

Double Good Berry Pie
3/4 Cup Sugar
4 Tbsp. Corn Starch
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
2 Cups Berries
1/4 Cup Water

After boiled add:
2 cups berries

Mix together in medium sized sauce pan, boil until thick. Remove from heat and add butter and lemon. Cool and then fold in rest of berries (you will use 4 cups of berries all together). Pour into cooked crust. If you can hold off temptation to eat the whole thing right there and then, chill overnight to let pie set completely.

*Fun Fact #1: The word boysenberry comes from old Scandinavian rituals about boys who would court girls by bringing them berries. Boys who could find the plumpest berries got the prettiest girls.

*Fun Fact #2: Actually, I have no idea where the word boysenberry comes from. I totally just made up fun fact #1. But it sounds legitimate.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Welcome to Pie Parade

Why Pie? The answer to that question begins 25 years ago when I married a man who had sworn off desserts. It was a real puzzle! Almost everything I knew about cooking and following recipes had come from my teenage years making the Sunday dinner dessert. I loved to peruse my mother’s cookbook collection and look for some new and delectable treat.

Besides, eating dessert alone is just no fun at all! So what to do? Everything changed when I pulled a steaming, beautiful apple pie out of our little apartment oven. This was a dessert my husband couldn’t resist. Now, 25 years later, we are a pie family. We choose pie for birthdays and other special occasions. We love savory pies and fruit pies. Pies are the answer to the question, “What can I do with. . .”

The wonderful part about our love of pie is that we share it with our extended family. Now it seems to be a love shared with a growing number of the population. Maybe folks have always loved pie and are ready to get back to their roots after so much frozen yogurt and so many cupcakes.

Pies are referenced in magazines and on the food shows more and more often. What the world needs now is a pie blog! Thus, Pie Parade -- a group effort from a family of pie lovers who hope to share recipes, store reviews, stories, accessories and innovations with a smattering of quilts, crafts, travel, family fun, faith and parenting, since we love these things too.

Pie Parade comes from a chapter in Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book,  first published in 1950. It was also published as a separate booklet which has an introduction on the first page. I love the first line because even though a publisher would never say the same thing today,  it was absolutely true in my family and solved my worrisome troubles. It says, “Everybody loves Pie, especially the men of the family, and with the help of this booklet you can give them the most tender, flaky pies they’ve ever eaten.”

Welcome to Pie Parade.