Friday, November 21, 2008

Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie for sure!

Apple Pie

Double pie crusts *


3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon lemon juice, if desired/or go wild with couple tablespoons of whiskey instead.

2 tablespoons butter cut up

6 cups thinly sliced, peeled Granny Smith apples (6 medium)

1. Heat oven to 425°F.

2. In large bowl, mix all filling ingredients except lemon juice and apples. Gently stir in lemon juice and apples. Spoon into crust-lined pan and dot with butter. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust. Now here I like to brush the top lightly with a beaten egg and sprinkle just a bit of sugar on top, but it's completely optional.

3. Place the pie on a sheet pan to catch the juices if they boil over, and they will.

4. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 f. then reduce temp. to 375 f. and bake for another 40-50 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown.

After 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.

Serve the pie warm with vanilla ice cream, homemade whipped cream and a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg.

*Pastry dough is a real challenge for me for whatever reason. I have tried it many times and really like the taste but it is such a stress for me, so sometimes I just go for the store bought kind, they're not too shabby.


Pumpkin Pie

Now when it comes to Pumpkin Pie (if using canned pumpkin) I think there is only one kind of canned pumpkin (at least that's always what I was told) and that is by Festal brand, which is distributed by the "Owatonna Canning Company" in Owatonna, Minnesota.  On the back of the can there is a recipe for pumpkin pie.  This recipe was created by a woman in Minnesota named Marian Biersdorf.  Unfortunately I can not find Festal brand where I live now, so I use whatever I can find and it works just fine.  I still think Festal is the only way to go if you can get it, it just makes the pie.  Here is her recipe:

1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup granulated or light brown sugar
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 cup evaporated milk
1 9-inch deep-dish pie crust, unbaked

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger, and mix. Add eggs and sugar. Mix well. Stir in pumpkin. Add milk and beat well.

Pour pumpkin filling into crust. Bake for 10 minutes at 450. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, and bake additional 40 to 45 minutes. 

Test for doneness by inserting knife into pie center. The pie is done when the knife comes out clean. Garnish with choice of topping.

(Marian reduces the salt to 1/4 teaspoon. She also says it's fine to replace the evaporated milk with skim milk, to reduce the calorie and fat content)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


These cookies make your whole kitchen smell wonderful!

3/4 cup butter flavor Crisco or plain shortening
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup sugar (for rolling)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream shortening, brown sugar, molasses and egg in large bowl.
In a separate bowl sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, blending until mixed.
Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
Shape the dough into balls the size of whole walnuts.
Roll balls in sugar, place on baking sheet.
Bake 9-11 minutes at 375 degrees.
Cool on sheet one minute before transferring to rack.

Makes 3-4 dozen.