Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

At last the two best holidays ever are here! Thanksgiving and Christmas are the absolute best. Christmas means fun gifts and happy family times, but Thanksgiving means lots and lots of wonderfully delicious pies! In honor of this fabulous holiday, I have decided to share a few recipes with you. Below is a recipe for Blueberry, Apple, and Pumpkin pies, using only fresh fruit. Not that canned stuff. Blah! I make these pies every year, and every year they gone within moments of deciding its time for dessert. I don't like the taste of pumkin pie too well, but I can eat this one myself. Fresh pumpkin just tastes so much better than canned. Anyways, I hope you all enjoy these recipes!



Very Blueberry Pie - click here to print

Ingredients:

Filling -

¾ C Sugar
2 Tbs Cornstarch
1 tsp Cinnamon
¼ C Water
6-7 C Fresh Blueberries - please don't use canned. It's insulting. :)
1 Tbs Instant Tapioca
1 Tbs Unsalted Butter
1 ½ - 2 tsp Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 375*

Whisk together sugar, starch, and cinnamon in a large skillet. Stir in water. Add blueberries. Gently stir. Bring to slow boil. Cook over low heat, 5 minutes, of just until mix thickens.

Dont smash the blueberries.
Dont overcook the blueberries.

Using a slotted spoon, empty blueberries into a large shallow container, about ⅓ at a time. Sprinkle each layer with Tapioca. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Reserve the syrup for the blueberry sauce to use on pancakes, ice cream, or over this pie.

Empty the filling into the pie dish. Dot with butter and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Crumb Topping -

1 C Sifted Flour
¼ C Finely Chopped Walnuts
¼ C and 1 Tbs Sugar
¼ C and 1 Tbs Lightly Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Baking Powder
⅛ tsp Salt
⅓ C Unsalted Butter - melted and cooled to tepid.

Combine flour, walnuts, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add cool melted butter and toss with fork to make crumbs. Take a mound, form into a large clump, then crumble over filling. Repeat to use all crumbs.

Make foil edging to keep edges from burning. Use drip pan. Cover pie loosely with foil to bake.

Bake 40 minutes. Remove all foil and bake 10-15 minutes or until brown. Cool 4 hours before serving.

Blueberry Syrup -

Juice from Filling
½ C. Water
1-2 Tbs Crem de Cassis or Kirschwasser
1 tsp Lemon Juice

Bring juice and water to slow boil. Keep stirring. Remove from heat. Add liquor. Return to boil for 30 seconds. If too thick, add more water.

Add lemon juice. Drizzle over pie.


This can be made in advance and stored for up to 2 days. It can be frozen.



Freshly Carved Pumpkin Pie - Click here to print!


Ingredients:

2 C pumpkin pulp puree from a sugar pumpkin (the cute mini ones!)
1 ½ C Heavy Cream
½ C Packed Dark Brown Sugar
⅓ C Sugar
½ tsp Salt
2 Eggs + the yolk of a third egg
3 tsp Cinnamon
1 ½ tsp Ground Ginger
½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
½ tsp Ground Cloves
½ tsp Ground Cardamon - I consider this to be optional because I don’t really like it. :)
½ tsp Lemon Zest

Pie Crust - personally I think graham cracker crust tastes better with this than the normal white pie crust.

Retrieving the Pumpkin Pulp

This part is really fun, a little messy, and pretty fast. Kind of.

Preheat your oven to 375*

Cut out the top of the pumpkin like you would for a Jack-O-Lantern. Then with the pumpkin upright, cut it in half. Dig out all of the goop, trying to get as much of the stringy stuff as possible.

(save the seeds for a yummy and nutritious snack!)

Line your cookie sheet with foil. If your cookie sheet does not have raised edges, remember to “make” raised edges with the foil. This will prevent any juices that leak from the pumpkin, from spilling out into your oven.

Loosely cover the pumpkin with more foil. Pop in the oven and bake for about an hour, checking it about every 20 minutes. Once the pumpkin is soft, it’s ready to take out.

Let cool completely. Once it cooled, just peel off the skin and scrape the pumpkin into your food processor to puree it.

Instead of baking, the pumpkin could be steamed as well, but it takes longer & more work :)
Making the Pie

Change oven to 425*

Mix sugars, salt, spices and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the blend. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Mix well. Add the heavy cream.. Whisk all together until well incorporated.

Pour into the pie shell and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350*. Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. When done, sprinkle again lightly with cinnamon. Let cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.

Once you taste this recipe, you will never want to go back to using canned pumpkin again. I promise. :)


Best ever Apple Pie. Ever.  - Click here to print!

In this recipe, I use a store bought crust. But I’m not very great at making that part myself. So you can do whatever you want!

Ingredients:

⅔ C Sugar
3 Tbs Flour
¼ tsp Ground Allspice
¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
¾ tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 ½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract - Not that imitation stuff
2-3 lbs Apples - I like to use a little more than half red apples (I like Braeburn) and the rest green (Granny Smith) apples.
2 store bought pie crusts.

1 ½ tsp Brandy - This is completely optional but really compliments the flavor. And don’t worry, the alcohol is baked right out. :)

Combine sugar, flour and spices in large bowl. Use your hands and mix in the apples so they are well coated, then add brandy and vanilla extract.

Let crusts sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Spoon in apple filling into one crust, making a nice high mound in the center.  You may not be able to fit all of the apples, but I like to fit in as many as possible. To me, the higher the better. And then additionally, I like to sprinkle even more cinnamon over the mound.

scatter a few really tiny butter cups (cut up) here and there over the filling.

Gently take the second pie crust out of the pan it was purchased in. Cut some slits through it and then gently place it over the mound of filling, sealing the edges.

Egg Wash:

1 large Egg Yolk
1 Tbs Heavy Cream

Blend the egg yolk and cream together until well blended. With a pastry brush, brush generously over the top of the crust, making sure to get all the crust covered.

Bake pie until crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F. Tent the rims with aluminum foil or a pie protector if the edges are browning too quickly. Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, anywhere from an additional 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of apples you are using. Transfer to rack; let stand 1 hour. Serve pie warm or at room temperature.

Now... go ahead and try these and tell me how fantastic they are!






1 comments:

Steve Webber on November 23, 2011 said...

I can confirm that these are indeed delicious.

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