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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another reason to have leftover pastry dough

A while ago I posted how my mother used pastry scraps to make pie crust cookies.  My childhood memories of Mom making pie center on enjoying those pastry morsels.  My husband also remembers his mother making pie, and her use of the extra dough.  Now, if he sees the scraps first he makes these "railroad tunnels" that his mother made for him.  I love seeing him wield a rolling pin, and these are delicious (if he decides to share!)

All you do to make these is roll out the leftover pie dough into a rectangle, spread with softened butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Then cut into strips and roll up cinnamon roll style.  These usually bake in the oven along with a pie - they aren't too picky about exact time and temperature - just make sure you watch them because there's not much sadder than burning something that should be this yummy.  My dear husband doesn't mind eating these raw though :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Just Peachy

Sometimes you just can't beat doing things the old-fashioned, basic way.  That's how I feel about peach pie.  Peaches usually speak for themselves and don't need a lot of fancy ingredients to compete with them in a pie. When I got a case of peaches with our produce co-op basket this week, I was excited to make the first peach pie of the season.  I knew just who we needed to invite over for the peach pie too.  Ken is an attorney who is kind enough to volunteer his time in the court where I work, and has been a big help to me there - he has also told me that his favorite kind of pie is peach.  So Ken and his wife Kristen and their adorable little children came over to share this pie.  Our faithful friends Mary and Curtis dropped in and had a slice of pie with ice cream too.  Before our guests arrived, my 16 year-old daughter sneaked a taste of the pie and said it was the most amazing pie she had ever eaten.  That made all my time peeling and slicing peaches totally worth it!  I made this pie on a very hot afternoon, which made me feel crazy for turning on the oven, but we completely enjoyed visiting on the porch as the evening cooled down.  Try making this pie - I think you'll love it too!

Peach Pie

Pastry for a double-crust deep dish pie

3/4-1 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of your fruit)
5 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
Juice of one half lemon or lime
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Roll out half of pastry and put into pie pan.  Roll out other half of pastry and set aside.

Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl and add the lemon or lime juice to the fruit.  Mix together the dry ingredients and carefully stir in to the peaches.  Pour peaches in to the pastry lined pie pan and top with the butter (cut into small pieces).  Place top pastry over the pie and trim and flute the edges.  Cut vents in the top crust.  Brush top with ice water then sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar if desired.

Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes, or until peaches are tender and crust is browned.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fresh Blueberry Pie!

Before I froze my plethora of blueberries, I had to make a pie (of course).  I used an old-fashioned recipe from a 1950's cookbook.  Next time I'll add a couple tablespoons of instant tapioca because the blueberries made so much juice that the flour the recipe calls for just couldn't thicken it all.  I sprinkled course sugar on top.  Doesn't that make it pretty?  The pie was great with vanilla bean ice cream and since blueberries are on the "super foods" list you can eat this without guilt!

Here's the recipe (as I made it, but, again, I think this pie can use a some instant tapioca to thicken up the juices a bit):

Fresh Blueberry Pie

Pastry for double crust pie
3/4 cup sugar
5 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
 1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out pastry and line deep pie pan with pastry.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then fold in the lemon juice and berries. Pour into the pastry lined pie pan.  Dot with the butter, then top with pastry and cut vents (or make a lattice top).  Brush the top crust with cold water and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 40 minutes.  Let cool before serving.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Blueberry muffins

Bright and early this morning we picked up our produce basket, and a case of blueberries.  I'm not completely sure what I was thinking when I ordered all those berries, but I was blinded by the "good price".  So as soon as we got home I made blueberry muffins and they were definitely a great way to start a Saturday.  I will obviously be making blueberry pie, then freezing a bunch of berries.  Stay tuned for more blueberry goodies....and in the meantime try these muffins.  They are the easiest thing to make and really yummy.

Blueberry Muffins

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (may use all one kind of flour)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and well drained or 3/4 cup canned blueberries, rinsed and well drained

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together all ingredients except the berries with a pastry blender or large fork.  Stir only until the ingredients are blended, do not over-mix.  Fold in the berries.  Put into 12 greased or lined muffin cups.

Bake 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve hot with butter.