Posts tagged "Pies"

MONTH OF THE PUMPKIN

 

October boasts of 13 different food Titles.  Except for two (Eat Country Ham Month and Vegetarian Awareness Month), all are National Food Months) A few among them are ‘National Caramel Month’, ‘National Popping Corn Month’ and ‘National Chili Month’.  However, I think one item is missing and that this should also be ‘National Pumpkin Month’ or at least ‘Pumpkin Month’.  This is the time when the Pumpkins are making their way into the markets for Halloween and Thanksgiving and possibly even December Holiday Meals.  Therefore I am declaring October the ‘Month of the Pumpkin’.

Think of all the things that can be done with Pumpkin and I am not just talking about ‘Jack O’ Lanterns for Halloween.  I am talking about ‘foodstuffs that can be made with Pumpkin’.  There are at least two different types of Pumpkin on the market.  One are the larger Pumpkins which are used for carving ‘Jack O’ Lanterns’ and other Fall Decorations.  Then there is the ‘Sugar  Pie Pumpkin’ which is used for baking and cooking.  This is the Pumpkin that this blog will be dealing with.  For those of you who think that Pumpkin does not taste good, you have another guess coming.  Combined with spices, sugar and other ingredients Pumpkin can be very tasty and quite delicious.  Pumpkin is rich in Beta Carotenes which provide Vitamin A, a necessary nutrient for ‘Night Vision’ and other bodily functions.

 

Just what is a Pumpkin?  Well, first of all it is a fruit that belongs to the squash family.  All squash are classified as fruit because they bear seeds thereby making the shell that contains the seeds the ovary.  The meat inside the shell (skin) is edible and can be cooked as is or chopped or ground or pureed and can be baked, stewed, or made into Ice Cream, Shakes and Smoothies.  My favorite use for Pumpkin is in Pumpkin Bread or Pumpkin Waffles.  Roasted Pumpkin Seeds are also a favorite among many people.  In addition, the seeds contain Oil which is also used for culinary purposes

 

 

Listed below are just some of the table items that can be made with Pumpkin.  Listed below are some of the many foodstuffs that can be made with Pumpkin. (In Alphabetical Order) During the month of October, this blog will post various recipes and photos made with Pumpkin.  Please do try out some of these items for your family meals.

 

Pumpkin Bread & Muffins                                   Pumpkin  Pasta

Pumpkin Biscuits                                                Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Waffles                                                Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Cornbread                                           Pumpkin Stew

Pumpkin Ice Cream                                           Pumpkin Turnovers

Pumpkin Milkshakes

 

Starting today you can check for recipes to try.  For starters, go to the links below.  These are delicious for your Thanksgiving Dinner or Breakfast.

 

pumpkin-yeast-biscuits/

breads/pumpkin-cornbread/

double-duty-pumpkin-waffles/

pasta/ravioli-de-zucca/

                                                                            

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2013/10/01 at 10:23 PM

Categories: Baking, Bread, Breakfast Ideas, Dinner Ideas, Halloween, Holiday Tidbits, Main, National Food Days, Pasta, Pastry   Tags: , , , , , ,

NATIONAL APPLE PIE DAY

December 3rd is ‘National Apple Pie Day’.  Everyone know that there is nothing more American than Apple Pie, but where did the origin of Apple Pie come from?  There is more than one school of thought in that direction, but the American Apple Pie probably has its origins in England, where pie making is an old art.  The original settlers from England probably brought their recipes with them and used them here.  Germany and Austria are also known for using apples in baked goods and could be that the origin goes back to Germany which was in existance before England.

Wherever and from whoever that Apple Pie originated from it really doens’t matter.  Apple is ours now.  The best Apple Pies are made from Green Apples, preferably Granny Smith, although Golden delicious are preferred some.  I like the crispness and tartness of Granny’s, however the Pippin is also a good apple to make pies from.  In addition a home grown variety specially developed for the Southern California are is the ‘Beverly Hills Apple’.  In mid-summer the Apples are green and tart and are very good for baking.  As the summer lengthens, if the apples are left on the tree they gain a lot of red color and become much sweeter, somewhat like a fuji apple.   Amazingly, they are still good for eating at this stage.  Our one tree produces at least 200 lbs. of apples every year and our freezer is continually stocked with Apple Pie,

 

Just Picked ‘Beverly Hills Apples’

When you bake an Apple Pie, the filling should be heaped into the crust, making it look like a mountain.  The reason for this is that the apples shrink when baked and if you don’t have a lot of apple in your pie, it will look flat and sad when it is done.  Some people like to cook their apples before putting them into a pie, but I prefer my apples to have some texture and crispness to them.  I do not like mush apples and I am sure that most people don’t either.

Some Apples contain a lot of moisture and when the pie is baked, the filling and/or crust may come out soggy.  The way to prevent this from happening is to mix your sliced Apples with the Spice and flour (thickener) mixture and then let it stand for about half an hour.  Then pour the Apples into a colander placed over a saucepan.  Let as much moisture drain out as possible.  Next bring the drained liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to low and then cook, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened.  Once it has thickened, return the sliced Apples and the thickened liquid to the original bowl and gently mix until all the apples are coated with the thickened liquid.  This will insure that you do not have a soggy pie.

Apple Pie is great for breakfast and can be eaten as is or topped with Heavy Cream, Whipped Cream, Ice Cream or Cheddar Cheese.  Whichever way you do it, you pie is going to taste good.  If you eat it with Cheese, it is good to warm the pie with the Cheese on top so that it just starts to melt.  Yummy!

Apple Pie Slice with Melted Cheese

 

Make yourself and or your family an Apple Pie for ‘National Apple Pie Day’ or for any day!  For a variation on Apple Pie, try my Apple Tart Recipe.  /baked-goods/pies-pastry/73-2/

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Posted by sylveee - 2012/12/03 at 12:16 AM

Categories: Baking, Breakfast Ideas, Dessert Ideas, Main, National Food Days, Pastry   Tags: , , , , , ,

NATIONAL PEACH PIE DAY

Friday, August 24, 2012 is National Peach Pie Day.  You can either go out and purchase one or you can have the fun of making one or more, especially if you still have ripe peaches on your tree.  If you have never made a Peach Pie, follow the recipe at peach-pie/  and make one for yourself and your family.

Peaches are a stone fruit native to China.   The name implies that there is stone inside, but it is indeed a pit, a rather strong hefty pit.  Peaches are related to Almonds and if you closely at the Peach Pit you will see a resemblance to an Almond.  Because of this, adding Almond Extract to your Peach dishes, will enhance the flavor thereof.

There are many types of peaches to choose from, but some are better than others for pie making.  The best type of peaches for making pies and other baked goods are the Freestone.  The freestone peach meat separates much more easily from the pit than the Cling Variety.  Whereas the Freestone Variety is better for baking, the  Cling variety is better for eating out of hand in that they are sweeter than the Freestones.  While you are following the recipe for Peach Pie, you can refer to the photos below for additional help.

 EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR MAKING A PEACH PIE

Mixing Bowls

Pastry Blender or your 2 table knives or your fingers

Measuring Spoons and Cups

Rolling Pin & Stockinette (The Stockinette is not mandatory but is very helpful)

 

 

Dough Scraper (Bench Knife) and Stockinette covered Rolling Pin

Pie Pan

Vegetable Peeler & Paring Knife

Cutting Board

Colander

Saute Pan

Crimping Tool or Fork

 

Old Fashioned Cutting Tool

 

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

All-Purpose or Pastry Flour

Butter or Shortening

Salt

Ice Water

Egg for Egg Wash

Coarse Sugar for the top of the Pie

 

PROCEDURE:

  • Make your Pie Crust and chill it while you are preparing the filling. basic-pie-crust/
  • After making your dough, flatten it as much as you can and then wrap it in plastic wrap and chill. 
  • The next step is to peel the peaches.  If the peaches are firm, you can peel them with a serrated vegetable peeler.  If they are not firm, follow the directions below:

a.  Bring a 2 quart pot of water to a boil.

        b.  With a small paring knife, make a crosswise slit in the top and bottom of each peach.

        c.  Have a bowl of ice water at hand.

        d. Using a slotted spoon or spider, lower each peach (two or three at a time) into

            the boiling water and allow to stay in the water for at least 1 minutes – this will depend

            on the ripeness of the peach – the riper the peach, the less time it will take for the skin

            to be released.

      e.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the peach from the boiling water and carefully place in

  the ice water – the remove and use your paring knife to slip the skin off the peach.  If

            this is done properly, the skin should come right off.  (Don’t forget – the amount of time in the boiling water will depend on the ripeness of the peach – this is something you will have to determine by yourself – if the peach becomes mushy you will know that the time in the water is too long – if it doesn’t want to come if then it is too short.  Do one peach at a time until yo determine the correct amount of time they will need to remove the skine easily.

 

  • Once all the Peaches have been peeled, split them in half, remove the pits and then slice them.  It may be easier to quarter them first and then slice the quarters in half.

 

Peeled Peaches – these Peaches were firm enough to peel with a serrated peeler, thus avoiding the hot water bath.

Sliced Peaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The next step is to put your sliced peaches into a large bowl and toss with the Flour, Cornstarch, Sugar, Spice mixture.

Flour mixture added to the Peaches; be sure to combine well.

  •  If the peaches are very juicy let them sit awhile to drain and then put the drained liquid into a small saucepan and cook over medium/high heat until the liquid reduces by half.  Return the reduced liquid to the peaches.
  • Remove your Dough from the refrigerator and divide in half.  Roll out the first half on a lightly floured board with a rolling pin covered with a stocikinette  (See Illustration above)  Rub Flour into the stockinette before rolling out your dough.
  • When rolling out the Dough, only roll in one direction at a time, starting in the middle.  Roll from the middle to the edge, and do this in all four directions.
  • Once the Dough is large enough to fit into your pan, fold it in half, gently lift it up and place in the pan.  Press down with your fingers to ease into the pan.  Do not stretch or pull – it should just be eased in.

 

Bottom Crust – let the edges hang over until the filling and top crust are added.

  • Poke the bottom of the crust with a fork in several places to prevent it from breaking when baked.
  • Place the prepared Peaches into the crust.

 

Peach Filling added to Bottom Crust

  •  Roll out the second piece of dough and fit onto the top of your peaches.  If desired, you can make a lattice by cutting the dough into 1″ wide strips and weaving them over the Peaches.

 

Cutting the Dough into Lattice Strips

The First Lattice Strip laid across the center.  Lay the other ones down on either side equidistant from each other and the center stip.

Lattice Laid down about 1″ apart in one direction

 

 

 

 

 

Weaving the Lattice as you add the second direction

 

 

 

Lattice Completely added

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lattice Added & Crimped

 

The next step of course is to bake the pie.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take picture of the baked pie.  It was a Birthday Pie for my oldest son, and once everyone came over, I just forgot about taking more food pictures.  For a photo of a baked pie with a complete top crust, see the peach-pie/ recipe.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2012/08/22 at 7:58 PM

Categories: Baking, Breakfast Ideas, Dessert Ideas, Main, National Food Days, Pastry   Tags: , , , , , , ,