Friday, October 19, 2012

Easiest Pie Ever

I promise, this is the easiest pie recipe you will ever see.

Take 2 bags of mixed frozen fruits. Any two, pick your favorites. Two of the same, two different, whatever you want. If you're feeling brave but squeamish, pick two different blends that have two fruits in common. For example, I used a strawberry-pomegranate-cherry-blueberry blend and a mango-strawberry-blueberry blend. End result, lots of strawberries and blueberries with mango, cherries, and pomegranate. Add some odds and ends and a pie crust, and you're done!

Any two bags of frozen fruit, with a total of  ~26 ounces.

Pre-made pastry crust
1/2 cup sugar (or 1/4 cup Splenda/Sugar baking blend)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp orange peel
2 tsp nutmeg

Toss the fruit into a saucepan on medium heat. Stir occasionally as it thaws, but otherwise hold your horses. Until the fruit is fully thawed, it does not play well with others.

Once the fruit is thawed, add 1/2 cup sugar (or 1/4 cup Splenda/sugar baking blend), 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp dried orange peel, 2 tsp nutmeg. Stir until everything is dissolved.

Gradually add cornstarch until the filling reaches your preferred consistency. I like mine to be just a bit more viscous than jelly, so I added a lot of cornstarch. Be careful though; you can always make it thicker, but you can't make it thinner.

Set the filling aside, allowing it to cool.

Take the pie crust from the box, and follow the directions for a double crust pie. The directions on the box may or may not tell you to pre-bake the bottom crust; always pre-bake it. 400º F, about 6-8 minutes.

Remove the pre-baked crust from the oven and pour the filling over it, being sure to spread the filling evenly. Put the second crust on top of the pie, pressing the two crusts together at the edge as best you can. Cut a couple slits in the top crust, and return to the oven at 400ºF  until the top crust is golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. 

Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Whoopie Pies

I was craving those Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Sandwich cookies the other day. I have a love/hate relationship with them. I love the ratio of cookie to cream, I love the actual cookie part, but the cream is just a little too sweet, and I have to eat the whole box to really satisfy the craving.

So when I got this latest urge, I thought I would try making my own.

I used the Oatmeal Fruit-Nut Drop Cookie Recipe from my great-grandmother's cookbook (Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, Revised and Enlarged. 2nd Edition, 1956, this recipe p. 195)

1 cup soft shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
(the recipe calls for 1 cup raisins or dates and 1/2 cup nuts; I omitted these)

1. Mix the shortening, sugar and eggs together.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; then stir into shortening/sugar mixture.
3. Stir in oats (and raisins/dates and nuts if desired)
4. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls 2" apart on baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes at 400º. Cool completely.

1 cup heavy whipping cream
coconut cream (to taste)
powdered sugar (to taste)
cocoa powder (to taste)

Beat cream until peaks are stiff, adding flavorings to your taste as you go. Other flavor ideas include almond extract, cinnamon, and allspice.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pineapple Cake Pudding

Another recipe from my great-grandmother's cook book. I made some cookies from this same cookbook earlier tonight, which left me with half a can of pineapple. I couldn't let it go to waste, so when I stumbled upon the Cake Pudding recipe, I had to try it.

It was delicious! The two of us ate the whole thing, and we were both liking the sides of our bowls. I'll definitely make this again.

1/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 egg yolks, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/4 drained, crushed pineapple
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

1. Sift together flour, salt and sugar.
2. Stir in lemon rind, lemon juice, egg yolks, milk, crushed pineapple, and pineapple juice.
3. Fold in egg whites.
4. Pour into 1 quart baking dish or 6 custard cups. Set pan in hot water (1" deep). Bake 50 minutes at 350º. Serve warm or cold, with or without whipped cream.

(From Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, Revised and Enlarged, 2nd edition. Published 1956. This recipe is on page 237)