Monday, August 31, 2009

Year of the Pie - Pie # 8 Peach Pie

Pie # 8- Peach!

Wow! It has been eight weeks since our journey began. It is hard to believe. I am going to hand write our pie fiasco journey in a journal to give to my daughter when we have completed our year.

My husband chose this weeks' pie and he chose peach. O.K. Like the majority of the previous weeks, I have never made a peach pie. AGAIN, searching through recipe after recipe yielded tons of versions. One search led us to the peach pie called, "Get You A Boyfriend, Peach Pie". Adorable name, but, it will have to wait til later. :) Apparently, if you make that pie, you will get a boyfriend.

So, again, I chose to go with Betty Crocker's recipe for the filling, but I chose a crust recipe from this book. (Again-Robin, I am sorry you can't check it out from the library because it is here at MY house.)

It has a primer for beginning pie makers. Very handy. The only peach that looked healthy enough to buy from our local store was the 'white peach' variety. They tasted o.k., but I prefer the oranger looking ones. Pretty sure oranger is not a word, but you know what I mean.

This week I made the crust and the daughter made the filling.

This recipe for pie crust is for a 10 inch double crust.
3 C. sifted a/p flour
4 t. sugar
1t. salt
3/4 C. firm, unsalted butter ,c utr into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 C. chilled vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
6 to 8 T. ice water

(here's the thing about the water, you sprinkle it in 1 T. at a time, until you have achieved the desired consistency, but on this pie, we only put in 2 T. of water and it seemed to be fine. So, sometimes, when it calls for water, you may not need to put in as much. I am not an expert and maybe my crust troubles would all be over if I really put in 6T., but I feel like if I did, it would be just a big ball of paste.)

O.K., so sift together the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and shortening and toss to coat the fats with flour mixture. With the pastry blender, cut the fats into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal (whatever that is) with some pea-size particles. Add ice water 1 T. at a time, until some of the mixture can be pressed against the side of the bowl and stay there. If so, then you are ready to roll it out. Ugh, rolling dough. The rolling part is fun, but transferring it to the plate takes a talent that I have not yet acquired . I read instructions for rolling it onto your rolling pin and then unrolling it onto the plate. I tried it. See. It is harder than it looks.

Some recipes say the only way to keep your finished pie from being mushy and the filling running out of the crust was to cook the filling first. I decided to just do it how Betty said. So my helper did the following to create a very fine filling.

5 C. sliced, peeled, peaches
1 t. lemon juice
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. a/p flour
1/4 t. cinnamon
2 T. butter, cut into small little pieces

Mix peaches and lemon juice. Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon together and then stir into the peaches. Turn into the pastry-line pie plate. Dot with the butter. Cover with the top crust that has slits in it. Seal and flute.

Use a pie shield to prevent excessive browning. Remove it during the last 15 minutes of baking.

Bake at 425° for 35-45 minutes. We baked ours for 45 minutes.
This is a pie that gets better as the days go by.
It is great for breakfast.

Over all, our household gives this pie three thumbs up!
Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Year of the Pie - Pie #7 Chocolate Cream Pie

Pie # 7 - Chocolate Cream

I like Chocolate Cream pie, but have never made one and in reality didn't know if the kind of chocolate pie I liked was instant or 'real'. So when we looked for recipes, we were basically taking a stab in the dark.
We decided to make two pies, identical except for the chocolate used in each.
Cocoa went into one and unsweetened baking chocolate squares went into the other.

We made these pies with graham cracker crust.
1½ C. of graham cracker crumbs
3 T. white sugar
1/3 C. melted butter
Mix together, put in pie plate, press down, bake at 350° for 10 minutes and then cool.

For the filling, blend together:
1 C. white sugar
3 T. cornstarch
¼ t. salt
and then add in and whisk:
2½ C. milk
whisk in until yellow streaks are blended:
5 large egg yolks
Stir constantly, bring to a bare simmer and cook for 30 seconds.

Remove from heat and add:
2-3 T. diced up little pieces of unsalted butter
1 T. vanilla
4 ounces of finely chopped unsweetened baking chocolate.

Stir til smooth and blended and pour into the pie plate.

To make it with cocoa, add 3 T. of cocoa at the end instead of the chocolate squares, stir and blend well and pour into the plate. Cover the pie with plastic wrap directly onto the pie and chill.

Note: See the little specks in the cocoa chocolate pie? I think that if I had blended the cocoa with some oil and made a sort of paste and then blended it in, it may have set up better and possibly looked better.

My daughter and I took these pies to church. They were well liked. The unsweetened chocolate pie was liked by the crowd that liked stronger yet rich sweeter chocolate. The cocoa pie was appreciated by the folks who liked a more lighter fluffy delicate tasting pie (specks and all).

The filling for this pie can also be used for the banana cream pie-just skip the chocolate and alternate layers of filling and bananas in the pie plate.

Try this pie, it is tasty. Make sure you have some folks around to eat it up because I don't think it will last in the fridge too many days.

Thanks for visiting.

Until next time.

POST SCRIPT: Here it is Tuesday, we made the pies on Sunday. We have been nibbling at a couple pieces of each pie. This morning when I took my nibble, the cocoa pie still lay lifeless, but very tasty. The unsweetened chocolate square pie is holding it's form very nicely and has a consistency of chocolate fudge frosting. Thick and rich.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Year of the Pie - Pie #6 Sweet Potato Pie

Pie #6 - Sweet Potato

As we have been studying pies and different pie recipes over the weeks, I find it harder and harder to decide on the 'right' recipe to make. My daughter and I researched sweet potato pie and did not come up with the same recipe twice. Not ever having tasted a sweet potato pie or having made one, I fell back on my reliable old friend Betty. Everyone at church REALLY liked it. (we are trusting them to be truthful-lol)
We forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but these few will hopefully give you a little view of our sweet potato pie world.
Boil the potatoes for about 30-40 minutes. (a gentle rolling boil)

Cool and peel and mash.

We fashioned ours after a pumpkin pie, just substituting taters for punkin.

Until next time.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Year of the Pie - Pie #5 Meat Pie

Pie #5 - Meat Pie
aka Pasty (pass-tee)

The book, "All About Pies and Tarts", covers several different types of pies. A pie can be anything made in a pastry of some sort. A single crust, a double crust, little pocket crusts, folded over crusts, etc.
This week we made Meat Pie.
The history on the pasty from the book is such:

When the copper boom was at its peak in Michigan's Upper Peninsula in the 1800's immigrants from Finland and England flooded the area to work in the mines. While the name 'pasty' is originally from Cornwall, both groups baked their own version of the pasty. The Finnish often used a thin rye crust stuffed with fish or rice. This recipe is more reminiscent of the Cornish-style pasty. Both provided the miners with the perfect portable lunch.
Since it is portable I expect my husband to tote one for lunch tomorrow. :)

This pie was an absolute delight to make. The filling was fun and the crust was the most enjoyable one we have rolled out to date.

We combined and then covered and set aside: 1 lb. round steak cut into ½ inch pieces, 2½ C. ½ inch cubed peeled potatoes, 1 C.½ inch cubed peeled carrots, 1 medium onion coarsely chopped, salt and pepper to taste.

The crust was a dream.
4 C. flour, 1 T. sugar, ½ t. salt with 1 ¾ C. shortening cut in. Then ½ C. water, 1 large egg and 1 T. white vinegar, mixed together added to the flour mixture. Stir til combined and turn out onto a floured work surface. Divide into 6 portions and roll out each to form an 8-inch 'round'.

Divide the filling among the 6 rounds, spooning the filling onto half of each dough round. Fold the dough over the filling and tuck it under the filling. Moisten the exposed edge and bring it up to meet the tucked edge, pinching the dough together to seal it. [each pasty should resemble a small foot ball flattened on the bottom side]. Cut a slit in the top of each pasty and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake until the crust is golden 50-60 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The recipe didn't call for gravy, but......I am thinking it would go really well on top of it. Maybe not if you are taking it as a portable lunch. It is a manly meal to say the least.
If you are wanting to teach some one to roll out crust-that has never rolled crust before....this crust will serve nicely. It was just very easy to work with.

Hey, go make a meat pie.

Until next time.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Year of the Pie - Pie #4 French Apple Pie

Pie #4- French Apple, it's a dandy.

I have read that you should not use just one type of apple in your pie. So we combined Granny Smith and Braeburn apples for this one crust wonder.

We used the basic apple pie recipe from Betty, [Betty Crocker-I just call her Betty-we have become friends] and the variation that makes it French.

It called for a crumb topping. Delightful.

It didn't turn out to be the prettiest pie, but very tasty.

We didn't take this pie to church, we made it for 'we three'. But, 'we three' liked it alot. The fella below said, "I have eaten my share of apple pies (trust me, he has) and it is a 10. Our daughter gave it an 8. I would give it a high mark as well, maybe an 8+.

Until next time.