Showing posts with label pies and pastry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pies and pastry. Show all posts

Monday, June 9, 2014

Rhubarb Pie

I'm not sure that we need another rhubarb pie recipe but I thought it was time I post this one so that I won't need to go looking for a piece of paper every time rhubarb season comes around. This one comes from my mom. There is always the question as to whether or not to peel the rhubarb. If the stalks are tender, young shoots you definitely do not need to peel. If the stalks are older, you can try using a very sharp knife to chop or, like I did, take off what comes off as you chop the ends and any stringy parts.

Ingredients and Method:
  • your favorite double crust pie recipe
If you do not have one, there are a number of great recipes on this site. I change mine up a bit sometimes
and here's this version.
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup Crisco shortening
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp ice cold water mixed with 2 Tbsp sour cream
Cut shortening and butter into flour and salt with pastry blender, until evenly crumbly. Add cold water and sour cream.  Stir with fork, about one minute, until it holds together and can be pressed into a ball. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
  • 5 cups rhubarb, washed and chopped
  • boiling water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  1. Pour boiling water over chopped rhubarb and let sit a few minutes before draining.  This is to take the edge off the tartness. 
  2. Mix sugar and flour, then stir in the egg. Let sit while you roll out the pastry.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 F
  4. Divide pastry in half, shape into disc shape and roll out gently to a dinner plate size, using a dusting of flour on rolling surface and on top and flipping over in between to be sure it does not stick.
  5. Roll up with rolling pin and unroll into 8-9 inch pie plate
  6. Roll out second half to same size and either cut slits for steam to come out, or cut into strips to make a lattice top. Let sit while you 
  7. mix the sugar/egg mix with drained rhubarb and immediately pour into prepared pie shell.
  8. Cover with second half of pastry, tucking it over and under the sides of bottom pastry. Flute edges OR, if doing lattice top, take every other strip and lay it across one way, leaving spaces as wide as the strips, then place remaining strips the opposite direction going under and over, lifting strips as needed. Flute edges.
  9. Lightly brush top of pie with an egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Optional. 
  10. Bake at 400 F in lower 1/3 of oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake another 45 - 50 minutes, or until juices bubble through slits. Serve warm with ice cream.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Rhubarb Pie Roll

This is a shortcut easy pie roll to make with a store bought refrigerator pie crust. I used a rhubarb walnut mixture to fill it but feel free to use other fruit and nut combinations to fill it. You can leave out the nuts if you desire.

For the Roll:
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (I used Pillsbury 15 ounce box)
  • 4 stalks of rhubarb, chopped (approx. 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened.
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon milk

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
  3. Shred the rhubarb in a food processor. Drain as much of the liquid as you can from the mixture.
  4. Mix together the walnuts, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Add the drained rhubarb and mix well.
  5. Place the pie crust on a lightly floured surface.
  6. Spread the rhubarb mixture lengthwise on one end and roll into a log, moisten and seal the ends.
  7. Place on baking sheet with the seam side down.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

In small bowl mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk to a drizzling consistency.

Remove roll from oven and let cool.
Drizzle the glaze on top.
Cut into slices and serve.
Yield: 6-8 slices

I was way too impatient and tried to move my roll before it cooled so it cracked here and there and looked a bit messy but it still tasted delicious. Enjoy. Here's my humble pie...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Apple Pear Harvest Crumble Pie

Apples and pears make a delicious combination for a fruit pie. The crumble topping adds a light crunch. Serve with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of warmed caramel sauce.

Happy American Thanksgiving.
Many will gather around the table today giving thanks to God for His many blessings.

  • 1 9" unbaked pie shell (not deep dish)
  • 4 apples
  • 2 pears 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp butter
Crumble Topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, grated
  1. Wash, peel and cut fruit into small pieces. 
  2. Add lemon juice and sour cream to fruit and stir to coat.
  3. Add flour, sugar and cinnamon and stir.
  4. Melt together honey and butter. Pour over apple/pear mixture.
  5. Pour apple mixture into pie shell.
  6. Mix together first three dry ingredients for crumble. 
  7. Using a cheese grater, grate cold butter into dry mixture and stir with a fork till butter is coated.
  8. Using your hand sprinkle the crumble over the fruit.
  9. Bake in 375º oven for 50-60 minutes. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is my all time favorite pie in October! In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October and pumpkin pie is a must for that meal. I have tried different recipes for pumpkin pie and I always come back to this one. I like using evaporated milk for a richer, creamier taste.

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup evaporated milk 
  • unbaked pie shells
  1. Mix all ingredients until well blended.
  2. Pour into unbaked pie shells.
  3. Bake in 400º oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 375º and bake for another 25 minutes.
  4. This is enough filling for three 8" unbaked pie shells depending on how deep you like your filling. If you like the filling deep you will get two 8" pies.
  5. Serve cooled with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon. And if you like, cut out and bake leaf shapes from leftover pie dough scraps for added decorations.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pie Dough Scraps

Just a few ideas of what I do with pie dough scraps, the leftover dough when baking a pie.
I remember as a little girl when my Mom was baking pies she would give me some of the scraps of dough to shape into whatever I wanted..oh the possibilities! By the time I was done though, the dough would be tough and rather gray looking! Good thing Mom had already been sprinkling the rest of the dough scraps with a sugar cinnamon mixture and it was baking in the oven. Oh how I loved a little appetizer before the pie was ready.
What do you do with leftover pie dough scraps?

Left hand photo:
-I made a few strawberry jam pockets with icing drizzled on top.
-Then for 'pie cookies' I gathered another batch of dough scraps, rolled out, brushed on butter and sprinkled generously with a sugar/cinnamon mixture. I folded the dough over, rolled it out again, and repeated with butter and sugar/cinnamon mixture. Repeat once again and cut into circles. When baked you have little cookies with flakey layers.
- I also cut out rectangle shapes with just a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon and some plain rectangle and round shapes like crackers to enjoy with soup or chili.
I baked these in a 350º oven..'pie cookies' and jam pockets for 20 to 25 minutes and the plain rectangle and round shapes for 15 minutes or until golden.
Top right photo:
-Mini quiches..roll out dough and cut out circles, press into mini muffin pan.

 For the filling I started off with a main base of:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup can use milk
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • dash of cayenne
  1. Whisk together until combined.
  2. Now add whatever you like or have on hand. I added bits of chopped green and red pepper, threw in some leftover cooked corn and chicken, little red tomatoes and grated cheddar cheese. Just make sure your mixture is still somewhat runny.
  3. Fill muffin pans with the egg mixture, don't overfill. Any leftover mixture can be used for an  omelette for breakfast the next day.
  4. Bake at 350º for 25 minutes or until golden in color and the egg mixture has puffed up.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped herbs of your choice.
Bottom right photo:
-I call this an upside down banana cream pie! Just layer your pudding and whipped cream in a dessert bowl and stick in a few of the baked pie dough scraps on top.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Coconut Pie..the easy way.

This is one easy coconut pie to make! I will take coconut pie most any way I get it. The filling is custard like with toasty coconut..what can I say but it's delicious!

  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups milk..I used skim and it turned out fine
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut..flaked is my favorite but shredded is fine.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Combine the ingredients in order given, whisking to combine thoroughly.
  2. Pour into a greased 10" pie pan, I used my glass pie pan.
  3. Bake at 350º for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. The center will still be a bit jiggly.
  4. Cool completely on a cooling rack. I couldn't wait and tasted it while still good.
  5. I served the pie with whipped cream and a sprinkling of toasted coconut. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Peanut Butter Pie

For those who love cream pies, this one is a winner with a silky smooth texture, a chocolate cookie crust and just enough peanut butter flavour to please everyone.
You could also make these in individual serving dishes.
Because this filling requires constant stirring, you will want to use a whisk that will get into the corners of the pan.

For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  1. Place cookie crumbs and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Pour melted butter over crumbs and mix with a fork until evenly moistened.
  3. Press into 9 inch pie plate.
  4. Refrigerate until filling is ready.

For the filling:
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3  egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Whipped cream, peanuts and chocolate pieces for garnish.
  1. Place egg  yolks in a small bowl, whisk lightly and set aside. 
  2. Place sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt in a large saucepan.
  3. Add milk and cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture boils.                 Please note that this milk mixture scorches very quickly so you will want to keep stirring as it heats or you will notice little brown bits coming up from the bottom of the pan. Be sure to get into the corners of your pan as you stir. 
  4. Continue stirring and boil for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon of the hot mixture to the egg yolks, stirring as you add it.  Continue adding the hot mixture 1 tablespoon at a time and stirring until egg yolk mixture is warm.
  7. Add egg yolk mixture to the remaining milk mixture, stirring as you add it until the two are completely blended.
  8. Replace pot on medium low heat and continue to stir constantly as it cooks for 1 minute more.
  9. Remove from heat and add peanut butter and butter, stirring until well blended.
  10. Pour into prepared crust and refrigerate until chilled.
  11. When pie filling is cold, top with whipped cream and garnish with peanuts and chocolate.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Bites

Oh my these pie bites are delicious! No forks needed, just pop them into your mouth! Bite sized treats that are a nice addition to a plate of desserts.
You can use any cream pie filling, they are all delicious! This is also a great way to use up pie scraps when baking pies.

  • Your favorite pie dough..or use one of the recipes on this blog.
  • Pumpkin pie filling
  • Whipped cream
  1. Mix pie dough, roll out as for pie.
  2. Using a small round cookie cutter, (I used a 1 3/4" cookie cutter) cut as many bites as you will need.
  3. Prick each bite with a fork.
  4. Bake at 450º for 8 minutes or until golden in color.
  5. Cool, then pipe or spoon on filling. If piping, you can use a plastic baggie, fill halfway with filling, cut a small hole in one corner of the baggie and squeeze out the filling onto the baked pie crust round.
  6. Use the same method for whipped cream, pipe or spoon on top of the pumpkin.
  7. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Cooked Pumpkin Pie Filling:
  • 2 cups pumpkin, cooked
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  1. In a saucepan, whisk together all ingredients.
  2. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly.
  3. Cool filling in fridge until ready to use.
  4. Yields: 2 cups
  5. You will need 1 cup filling for 30 pie bites.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Coconut Cream Pie

There are no little flakes of coconut in this Coconut Cream Pie. Coconut milk is the secret to the smooth and creamy filling that sits in a flaky crust.  Toasted coconut adds a delicate little crunch on top of the whipped cream.

  • 1 baked pie shell (there are a number on the blog to choose from under 'Pies' in the index)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups whipping cream 
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut, toasted

  1. Combine sugar, coconut milk and regular milk in a medium saucepan.
  2. In a separate bowl combine, eggs and yolks, cornstarch and salt. Whisk till frothy and well combined.
  3. Heat first mixture in saucepan over medium heat stirring constantly until it just begins to steam. Remove from heat. Pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the beaten egg mixture stirring constantly until very smooth.
  4. Stirring constantly pour egg mixture into saucepan with hot milk. Place saucepan back onto medium heat and cook until mixture begins to thicken. Stirring is key to keeping filling from scorching and also making it creamy smooth. Add vanilla and butter. Stir well.
  5. Pour hot filling into your favourite baked pie shell. Cover with wax or parchment paper and allow to cool on counter for 15 minutes, then place in refrigerator for at least two hours. 
  6. Whip cream with remaining sugar and vanilla until thick. Top cooled pie just before serving.
  7. Spread coconut onto a baking sheet. Bake in pre heated 350º oven for 1 minute at a time, giving pan a shake every minute. After 2-3 minutes the coconut will be toasted golden. Allow to cool. It will take on a crunchy texture as it cools. Sprinkle over cream.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sombrero Pot Pie

This recipe is a combination of ideas from several sources. One could add a bit of kick to it with some hot chili flakes or jalapeno, but I mixed it to a flavor that even the smallest sombrero lover would appreciate. A little like chicken pot pie, but a lot different! It tasted even better the second day re-heated, when the juices were absorbed a bit more.


For pastry ( two round shells - top and bottom):
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 2/3 cups shortening or lard
  • 4 Tbsp cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten with fork, for eggwash
for filling:
  • ¾ lb lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pepper
  • 1 (14oz/ 398 ml) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (341ml) whole kernel corn
  • 1 (14oz) can refried beans
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Brown meat in skillet, cooking and stirring until pink is gone. Add onions, pepper and garlic and continue cooking until vegetables are soft. Add spices, tomatoes and corn. Continue cooking for about 10- 15 minutes. Stir in 1/3 of the can of refried beans.
  2. For pastry, cut shortening into dry ingredients. Add water and stir with fork until well combined. Shape into ball. Divide in half. On floured surface, shape into circle and roll out in circular shape, large enough to cover bottom and come all the way up sides of a deep dish pie plate.  Roll up with rolling pin and line pie plate.
  3. Brush pastry with some of the eggwash to seal and line bottom with 2/3 can of refried beans. Layer with 1 cup cheese, meat mixture and second cup of cheese.
  4. Roll out second pie pastry and cut a plus sign in the center.
  5. Transfer to cover the filled pie, flute edges and roll back the four corners in the center cuts. Brush with leftover egg wash.
  6. Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes, then turn down to 350F and bake another 45 minutes or until golden brown in color and center bubbles. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with sour cream, salsa and guacamole and/or a large salad of mixed greens, sliced tomatoes, avocado and sweet pepper. Serves 6 - 8
This is a great make-ahead dinner to freeze. You could also fill 2 regular pie plates (instead of one deep-dish) by just changing the meat portion to 1 pound and doubling the pie pastry. You could use purchased pie pastry. Freeze unbaked pie and do not thaw to bake. Bake frozen pie a little longer, until center bubbles.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Berry Good Mini Pies

Pie...a favorite childhood memory for me!  If there was company coming for mom would bake pie for dessert.  One recipe of her 'flaky pie crust' yielded three regular sized pies. February 9th was my mom's birthday...and though she is no longer here to celebrate with us...I thought I would post pies on her special day.

I still love pie...and could eat a whole apple pie all by little slice at a time!  But these days I often make mini pies...which are a better size for the two of us.  And they are easy to package up...and bring to your friends, your family or a potluck.  Who doesn't want to have a whole pie to themselves?

Mini pie pans (about 4 1/2 inches in diameter) are sold at kitchen specialty shops.  The disposable aluminum mini pie plates can be found at your grocery store...usually in the baking aisle.  Use your favorite pie recipe...and count on making three or four mini pies with the crust and filling for one regular pie.

Here is my all-time favorite pastry recipe...also found on the back of the Tenderflake lard box.


  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 lb Tenderflake lard
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • Cold make 1 cup of liquid
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

      1. Stir flour and salt together.
      2. Cut in lard with pastry blender until shortening is in pea sized pieces.
      3. Combine egg and vinegar in a measuring cup.  Add cold water to make one cup.
      4. Gradually stir liquid into flour mixture.
      5. Mix to moisten...but do not overwork.
      6. Gather into a ball and divide into six portions. (Yield: three regular double-crusted pies or a dozen mini-pies.)
      7. Roll out portions of pastry on a lightly floured surface until dough is about 1/8" thick.
      8. Cut bottom rounds slightly larger than the mini pie pan you are using.
      9. Press pastry into the pans and up the sides.
      10. Spoon in fruit filling (listed below)...or use your favorite fruit pie filling.
      11. Cover with top pastry (cut the size of the pie pan). 
      12. Flute edges to seal and cut slits into top crust to allow steam to escape.  (Or use a mini-cutter to cut shapes our of top crust before placing on pie.)
      13. Sprinkle granulated sugar over the top crust.
      14. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes.  Reduce to 350° and bake an additional 25-30 minutes.  If you are following the recipe for a regular sized pie, shorten the baking time by about one-quarter for mini pies.

      Apple Berry Filling:

      • 2 cups cooking apples, peeled and chopped
      •  3 cups berries (mix and match ~ blackberries, raspberries, blueberries)
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 1/3 cup flour
      • 1 tablespoon tapioca
      1. Combine 1 cup sugar with flour and tapioca in large bowl.
      2. Add apples and berries. Toss well.
      *Pastry is easier to roll if it has been chilled first.  
      *Any leftover pastry can be stored in the fridge for a week...or indefinitely in the freezer to be used later.

        Tuesday, January 31, 2012

        Mock Apple Pie

         Have you ever baked a delicious apple pie without using apples? Well here is your chance..and you might just fool someone to think they are eating an apple pie. I did!

        Ingredients for the filling:
        • 2 cups water
        • 2/3 cup sugar
        • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
        • 30 buttery crackers, I used Ritz
        • 3/4  teaspoon cinnamon
        • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
        1. Combine water, sugar, cream of tartar and bring to boil. Add whole crackers, no need to stir. Simmer for 5 minutes.
        2. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell and sprinkle with lemon juice and cinnamon.
        • 25 buttery crackers, finely 225g box of crackers will do for the filling and topping, you will have some crackers leftover.
        • 1/2 cup brown sugar
        • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
        • 1/4 cup butter, melted
        1. Combine first two topping ingredients, add melted butter and using your fingers or pastry blender mix until crumbly.
        2. Sprinkle over filling.
        3. Bake at 400º for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350º and bake for another 15 minutes.
        4. Serve warm, plain or with ice cream. You will think you are eating apple pie! 

        Friday, December 30, 2011

        Ham and Spinach Pie

        This is a delicious Pie that can be served for brunch or supper. The colorful layers let you see all the goodness that goes into this pie. Serve with a fresh Fruit or green Salad.

        • enough pie crust for a two crust pie, homemade or store bought
        • 6 slices of your favorite deli ham, sliced thinly, or 2 cups of diced ham
        • 2 cups of low fat cheese, you can use whatever cheese you have on hand, try Swiss, Cheddar, Mozzarella, what ever you prefer
        • 1/2 cup of finely chopped onion
        • 1 clove of garlic minced
        • 1/2 cup each of a red and green pepper for color
        • 4 cups of fresh spinach*
        • 4 eggs well beaten
        1. Start with a unbaked pie shell and layer in the ham and cheese
        2. Saute the onion, garlic and peppers til softened
        3. Add the fresh spinach and cook long enough until the spinach wilts down, this only takes a few minutes.
        4. Layer that onion and spinach mixture on the ham and cheese
        5. Pour over 4 beaten eggs
        6. Top with the second layer of pastry and brush the top with a bit of reserved egg to give it a deep color when baked.
        7. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

        *note- you can use frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

        Tuesday, November 29, 2011

        Easy Cherry Apple Strudel

        I have had the privilege of visiting Germany several times when I was younger and wanted to recreate a strudel I tucked away in my memory. I think this recipe comes very close. It is so easy since you use store bought frozen Phyllo Pastry, thawed according to package directions.
        • 4 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced thinly
        • 2 cups of pitted sour cherries
        • 1/4 cup lemon juice
        • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
        • 1/2 cup of white sugar
        • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional), I did not use any
        • 2 tablespoons of orange liqueur (optional), I used it
        • zest of 1 orange
        • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
        • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
        • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
        • 1/4 cup flour
        • 12 Phyllo leaves
        • 1 cup melted butter
        1. Prepare the filling, by combining the first 12 ingredients together in a bowl.
        2. Brush the 12 Phyllo Pastry leaves with melted butter.
        3. Fan them out in to a circle, laying each piece so that it fits on a 12 inch pizza pan.
        4. Place filling in the center and fold over the pastry leaves over the filling.
        5. Brush the other side of the pastry leaves as you are folding them over the filling with the melted butter.
        6. Sprinkle the top of the strudel generously with icing sugar.
        7. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes then at 350 for 1/2 hour.

        Serve warm or room temperature with ice cream if desired.

        Friday, July 22, 2011

        No Shrink Fool Proof Pie Crust

        It's finally here.  I found the secret to creating a perfect crust.  Back a few weeks, we went to Lepp's to demonstrate Pie Making.  I think that I learned more than most of the quests that evening.  So many of the MGCC ladies shared practical hints that totally made sense.   Over the past years, I've been very frustrated at not attaining a perfect pie crust that would not shrink.  I had actually given up until I did a google search and found this wonderful method.  I was ecstatic, as I shared this news with my walking partners the next morning and yet,  they smiled.  Seemingly they seem to know about this method.
         Then why didn't any of these ladies ever share their secret?
        So later that evening while we were sharing tips about pie making...Judy came to me and said,  "I used that method today to make sure my crust would not fail, only I used teaspoons as weights."  You need to run over and sample Judy's fresh Raspberry Pie
        Meanwhile I did some more research and noticed that Lovella also had her own No Shrink Fool Proof Pie Crust method.  Lovella uses aluminum foil.  Check out her favorite Dorothy's Pie Crust recipe and you will see her method.  Anyways, as you all know...there are so many different ways to make or cook pies, but it's always fun when you can find something new that is fool proof. 

        Marg's Method:
        • Place a piece of parchment paper the size of the pie plate inside the pie shell, 
        • Scatter pie weights, or spoons, or beans or split peas,over the parchment paper. (in other words, a weight  that will not burn in 5 minutes).  This helps the shell to retain its shape.  
        • The shell should be baked at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until the fluted edge is a golden brown.
        • The weights and parchment should be removed after 5 minutes of baking, and then continue to bake the remainder of time or until golden brown. 
        • One word of caution....don't spill the beans/peas when you try to lift out the parchment paper.
         Lovella's Method:
        • Heat your oven to 400. Roll your dough out to fit a 9 inch pie plate.
        • Ease it in without stretching, and to bake it empty,  just line with aluminum foil pressing it against the edges,  and bake it for 10 minutes.
        • Remove the foil and bake until brown. Cool.

        Hopefully this will be helpful for some of you and don't forget to share these tips with your friends.

        Friday, June 10, 2011

        Rustic Rhubarb Tart

        The other night when I was in a fright of a hurry to get a dessert ready for a last minute call to have friends come watch the game with us. . .I did what I often do. ..made a rustic tart.  The wonderful thing about making a rustic tart. .is that it is quick to bake since it is so thin and the name rustic implies that careful crimping of bottom and top crust is not needed. It is also very good for beginning pie bakers since you can see from just looking at the tart if the fruit is cooked.   I simply take a disc of dough out of the freezer. ..and let it thaw while I prepare the fruit. 
        • one disc of fresh or frozen, thawed pastry about 1 inch thick and 5- 6 inches in diameter
        • 3 1/2 cups of diced rhubarb (about a pound)
        • 3/4 cup sugar  (this is not overly sweet. .knowing that I'll serve it with ice cream)
        • 2 tablespoons flour
        • milk or cream for brushing the side of the crust edge
        • sugar for sprinkling over the crust edge
        1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
        2. Roll the dough into a large circle.  Try to keep it somewhat round.  The crust should be fairly thin.
        3. Transfer the pastry onto your rolling pin ..rolling it up and then onto a large cookie sheet.  It is a good idea to put parchment paper on your cookie sheet for easy clean up.
        4. Combine the rhubarb, sugar and flour and spread evenly over the pastry dough but keep it an inch and  half from the edge.
        5. Work your way around the crust, turn the edge over and pat flat encasing the edge of the rhubarb.
        6. Brush milk over the edge of the crust and sprinkle the crust edge with sugar.
        7. Cut a hole in the center of a piece of foil, to expose the rhubarb but cover the crust and place it over the tart to prevent the edges from browning too much.  Remove once the rhubarb has cooked through and finish baking until the crust is brown.
        8. My tart took about 35 minutes to bake. 
        9. Cool and serve with ice cream.

        Be sure to come back to Mennonite Girls Can Cook tomorrow.
        We are going to be celebrating our third anniversary . .
        and are going to give away a signed copy of our book!!

          Monday, May 23, 2011

          Rhubarb Cheese Tart

          Today, Canada is celebrating Queen Victoria's birthday, May 24th. She is known for the longest ruling monarch of Great Britain, May 24, 1819 - January 22, 1901. It marks the first official long weekend in spring, which is popular for spring/summer travel and also a wonderful time to start gardening plans.

          Harvesting fresh rhubarb from my garden is one of my favorites. It seems like it can grow anywhere without too much care....except at my place. Last year my daughter planted a couple of plants behind the shed and somehow they disappeared only because her Dad thought that they were weeds and dumped a load of top soil on the newly planted patch. Regardless, I will endeavor to make it up to her by planting some more rhubarb.

          One thing about rhubarb, you either love it or you don't...but this one will fool you.

          • 1/2 cup butter
          • 1/2 cup creamed cheese
          • 1/2 cup icing sugar
          • 1 Tbsp. milk
          • 13/4 cups flour
          • 2 tsp cornstarch
          1. Cream the butter, cheese, icing sugar, and milk.
          2. Add the sifted dry ingredients.
          3. Roll out and fit into a 9-inch spring from pan or put into a 9x9 baking pan.
          4. Bake at 350 º until light brown on edges (10-15 min)
          5. Cool completely
          • 1/4 cup butter
          • 1 tsp. vanilla
          • 1 cup icing sugar
          1. Cream the butter and vanilla.
          2. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until smooth. It should be a thicker consistency.
          3. Spread the icing on the crust when it is cool.

          Rhubarb Topping
          • 3 cups chopped raw rhubarb
          • 1/2 cup sugar
          • 1 cup water
          • 2 cups whipping cream
          1. Cook rhubarb in water and sugar.
          2. When rhubarb is completely cooked and no longer hold its shape, remove from heat.
          3. Drain off any extra liquid and cool completely
          4. Whip the cream until it holds peaks. (don't add any sugar)
          5. Gently fold the rhubarb into the whipped cream until completely blended.
          6. Top the shortbread crust with the rhubarb mixture and chill before serving.
          Drain off any excess liquid and it will look almost like a puree'

          Enjoy this light airy surprise of rhubarb!

          Wednesday, March 23, 2011

          Homemade Pop Tarts

          These homemade pop tarts are nothing like the store bought ones. These little gems are buttery and flaky. I filled some with strawberry jam and the others with pear jam. You can use any favorite jam, Nutella with mini marshmallows would really be good too. This is a small recipe but can easily be doubled or tripled.

          • 1 1/2 cups flour
          • 3/4 teaspoon salt
          • 1 1/2 teaspoons teaspoons sugar
          • 3/4 cup chilled butter, cut in cubes
          • 4-5 tablespoons very cold water
          • Strawberry jam
          • Pear jam
          1. In a bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. I used a food processor to make this dough, but both methods work fine.
          2. With a pastry blender cut in the chilled butter till it's the size of peas.
          3. Add the cold water a tablespoon at a time till the dough comes together.
          4. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, pressing down into a disk. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
          5. Roll out into a rectangle and cut approx 3" by 5 " pieces. Place jam on the center of a cut piece of dough, top with another piece and seal the edges with the tines of a fork dipped in flour.
          6. Bake on a parchment lined pan at 375º for 25 to 30 minutes. I baked mine for 27 minutes.
          7. Let cool.
          8. You can leave them plain or ice them with your favorite frosting and top with sprinkles.
          9. Yields: 5 pop tarts

          Monday, November 22, 2010

          Pecan Raisin Tarts

          Whether you call them butter tarts, raisin tarts or pecan tarts . . . doesn't really matter . . . the melt-in-your mouth taste always surprises me. You can make these quite easily if you use purchased frozen tart shells . . . using small ones can be a nice addition to a plate of assorted sweets. If you happen to have some time and patience you can make your own delicious, rustic looking shells . . . but it's not necessary.


          18 medium size unbaked tart shells

          3/4 cups brown sugar
          3/4 cups corn syrup
          2 eggs, beaten
          2 Tbsp melted butter
          1 tsp vanilla
          3/4 cups broken pecans
          1/2 cup raisins, plumped

          1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
          2. If using frozen tarts, set them out on a cookie sheet.
          3. If using homemade pastry, roll out quite thin, cut with a tart cutter or extra large cookie cutter and line muffin tins.
          4. Pour boiling water over raisins to rinse and plump them. Drain.
          5. Combine all ingredients and fill tarts to about 3/4 full. The filling will rise a bit.
          6. Bake for 30 minutes or until pastry is golden, at 350 F. Cool in pan on a rack.
          7. Ease out gently by running a knife around the edges. These freeze well.

          Tuesday, November 9, 2010

          Pumpkin Dulce de Leche Tarts

          This is as much a serving idea as it is a recipe.
          I purchased a mini cheesecake pan with twelve 1/3 cup portion removable bottoms.

          I used my regular favorite pastry and rolled it thinner than I would normally for a pie.
          When you line a straight sided pan with pastry you need to remember that as you fold the crust around the edges it will double in places.. . and therefore the crust must be rolled paper thin.

          It was a bit tedious . ..but I surely will be making lots of little straight sided pies of all kinds.

          • pastry for a double crust pie
          • 1 - 14 oz or 398 ml can pure pumpkin
          • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk or Dulce de leche (which is condensed milk that has been slowly cooked to a caramel color
          • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
          • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
          • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
          • 2 eggs
          • 1/2 cup whipping cream
          • 1/2 teaspoon salt
          1. Roll the pastry thin on a pastry mat. Cut out rounds. . .(you will need to experiment for your muffin or mini cheesecake pan on the size of your cutouts)
          2. Roll the cut out round paper thin (use additional flour to keep it from sticking and then use a bench scraper to carefully lift it)
          3. Fold the pastry dough into a parachute shaped and gently nudge it into your mini cheesecake tin. Use a small straight sided item. ..I used a flat lipstick tube to gently tap the bottom flat.
          4. Cut away the excess with a sharp knife and refrigerate the prepared pan until you are ready to fill it.
          5. Combine the remaining ingredients with a hand mixer on medium speed until well combined.
          6. Fill the mini cheesecake cups until nearly full.
          7. Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for about 45 minutes on the bottom rack. You do not want to under bake as your pastry will be pale and the little pie will be too soft.
          8. Cool for about 20 minutes and then carefully remove to a rack to cool completely.
          I made these ahead of time. ..froze them and warmed them on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes.
          Serve with a spoon of whipped cream on the side.
          This is enough batter to fill twelve 1/3 cup tins