Tag Archives: pie recipes

RECIPES: An Angel of a Gluten-Free Strawberry Cream Pie!

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Fresh Minnesota strawberries have always been a favorite of mine.  As a child on the farm, I spent many hours, nose down, elbows up, with pink stained berry juiced lips, fingertips, and knees in our berry patch helping to fill bowls and my belly with fresh strawberries.

In addition to the threat of ravishment by predators such as hungry children, our berry patch was constantly under surveillance and in immediate peril from the farm’s chickens. I have often wondered why no one ever put a chicken wire fence around the berry patch to keep the chickens out, and have concluded that it was either because of the patch’s large size, it seemed like a lot of work to haul the small roll of chicken wire from the shed all the way across the lawn and find enough sticks to hold it up, it would be an eye sore, or that we all believed that grandma enjoyed chasing chickens with her broom and it was a good source of exercise for her.

Grandma’s broom protected, from friend and fowl alike, a berry patch that produced oodles of strawberries.  Many large mixing bowls and gallon ice cream buckets were filled everyday during the height of the season.  Berries that were not consumed fresh or used in a dessert became jam or were preserved by canning or freezing.

In addition to our farm producing lots of berries, we also seemed to have a never ending supply of heavy cream and eggs.  This recipe for Strawberry Angel Cream Pie calls for only five ingredients, eggs, sugar, cream of tartar, cream and strawberries….which makes it gluten-free.

Strawberry Angel Cream Pie

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Crust: 
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup of sugar

In a large stainless steel or glass mixing bowl, beat four egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy.  Gradually beat in, a little at a time, one cup of sugar.  Continue to beat until very stiff peaks form and meringue is glossy looking.   Spread meringue into the bottom and sides of a nine-inch pie pan.

Bake for 60 minutes.  Do not remove from oven.  Turn the oven off and leave the pie crust in the oven until completely cooled.

Filling: 

2 cups of heavy cream
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 cup of mashed fresh strawberries, sweetened to taste

In a medium-sized mixing bowl add two cups whipping cream.  With an electric mixer, beat until stiff. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine. Fold mashed fresh strawberries into the whipped cream.  Fold gently until the berries and cream are combined.  Pour into meringue pie shell and cool in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Garnish:

Fresh strawberries and/ or an additional cup of sweetened whipped cream.

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Additional strawberry recipes on this blog:

Praise the Lord, Leukemia and Pass the Strawberries

Honey, I Miss You and Jamming with the Queen Bee

Father’s Day Breakfast “WOW!”: Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast

Impressive Father’s Day Dessert: Chocolate Strawberry Cream Puffs

Sweet Heat: Strawberry Jalapeno Jam

Something Old, Something New: Microwave and Crockpot Strawberry Jam Recipes

Taming the Wild Strawberry: Mary Lincoln’s Strawberry Jam Recipe

Picking Berries and Fresh Strawberry Dessert

Great Aunt Ida’s Fresh Strawberry Pie

 

The memory of picking ripe strawberries and eating them as God intended, right out of the patch and warmed by the sun, was such a pleasant one that I wanted to pass it on to my children.  So, every June, when the berries became ripe, we made our annual pilgrimage to one of our local growers to pick fresh strawberries.

Good memories and traditions rarely happen by accident.  Someone, at sometime, made a conscious decision to make an effort.  Always choose to make that effort for the children in your life.  Sharing your time with children is the most important thing that you can give them, in addition to your love.  

And, don’t forget to support our local growers! 

 

 

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Recipe: Touchdown Triple Chocolate Cheesecake and German Chocolate Pie

football

During many past Superbowl Sundays I have made an extravagant dessert, then during half-time shared it with my neighbors.  There are definite perks to being my neighbor.

Due to my long and life-changing cancer battle and the fact that in Minnesota it is usually very slippery and cold outside on Superbowl Sunday, this tradition has been curtailed for the past several years. One of my neighbors has suffered greatly from the loss of these desserts and has been vocal about me getting back into the kitchen.

I hope to revive this tradition tomorrow.  I have been debating between making a German Chocolate Pie or a Touchdown Triple Chocolate Cheesecake.  As I was leaning towards the cheesecake, my neighbor Susie came over and told me to go with the cheesecake.  Cheesecake it is!

I’ll have to save the German Chocolate Pie recipe for another special occasion, but will blog both recipes so you can choose which one is tastier.

Touchdown Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cookie Crust:
24 whole Oreo cookies
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
Pinch of kosher salt

Crush cookies until fine.  Blend the cookie crumbs with butter and salt until well mixed. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and press cookie crumbs firmly into the bottom and 1/3 of the way up the sides.  Set aside.

Chocolate Cheesecake Filling:
4-8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
9 ounces of bitter-sweet chocolate chips, melted

In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sugars, cocoa and salt until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time, beating for a least one minute between each egg.  Gently fold in melted chocolate.  Mix until there are no more streaks of chocolate.

Pour filling into pan on top of crust.  Drop the pan a few times on a flat surface to remove any large air bubbles.  Bake on the middle rack in the oven for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.  When done the cheesecake will be slightly jiggly in the center.

Remove from oven and cool.  When room temperature refrigerate for at least four hours to overnight.

Chocolate Ganache:
1-1/2 cups of chocolate chips
3/4 cups heavy cream.

Put chocolate chips in a medium-sized, heatproof bowl.  Over medium heat, heat heavy cream in a small saucepan until bubbles begin to appear at the sides of the pan, turn off heat.  Pour hot cream over chocolate chips. Stir constantly until ganache is smooth.

Remove thoroughly chilled cheesecake from pan. Place on serving plate.  Pour warm ganache on top of cheesecake.  Let it drizzle down the sides.  Return to refrigerator for 10 minutes to set ganache.

Garnish the top of cake with chocolate shaving and curls.

Garnish:
Chocolate shaving and curls.  Use a potato peeler and a block or bar of chocolate to make curls. Use a grater to make shavings.

Slice and serve.

German Chocolate Pie
Preheat oven to 350 degrees 

Pie Crust:
1 1/3 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups of butter, very chilled and sliced into small chunks
1 Tablespoons of shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water, ice cold

In a medium-sized bowl add flour and salt.  Mix. Using a pastry cutter, cut butter and shortening, into flour until mixture has pea-sized chunks.   Add water and stir until dough forms.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a hour.

Roll chilled dough out on lightly floured surface until large enough for an 9 inch pie.  Pinch up pastry edges to make nice border.  Set aside.

Filling:
1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of pecans, finely chopped

In a small dish separate eggs.  With a fork beat the eggs yolks together. Set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan on low-medium heat add chocolate and condensed milk, heat until chocolate is melted.  While constantly whisking, pour about 1 cup of the hot chocolate mixture into the eggs.  Continue constantly whisking while pouring egg/chocolate mixture into the hot chocolate mixture. Stir until combined.  Add vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Add pecans.  Mix.

Pour the chocolate filling into the pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.  The filling should be set and look sort of like pecan pie.  Remove from oven.

Topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of coconut, shredded
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

In a small saucepan on low heat melt butter, add brown sugar and cream.   Stir until mixture comes to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into the egg yolks.  Return all to a pan, whisking constantly.  Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for two minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in coconut and pecans.  Pour over filling.

Cool pie for 30 minutes.  Cover and refrigerate at least three hours.  Cut and serve with vanilla ice cream.

I hope tomorrow’s Superbowl game is just as fantastic as these desserts! 

Eggs for Sale: Lemon Meringue Pie

lemon pie
My lemon meringue pie fresh out of the oven. 

Today my Aunt Nancy is coming to visit. She and my uncle Hans live in Arizona and I see them very infrequently. Before coming to my home she and my parents are going to take another aunt of mine to lunch. Since, they will be arriving here mid-afternoon, I know that my dad will be expecting dessert.

On a day like today where we are in an actual heat emergency due to high temperatures and humidity, and I am out of ice cream and have no way to get to a store, the only dessert that will do is lemon meringue pie. I got up early, my baking is done and as my pie cools and I wait for my guests I plan to go outside have a water fight with the hose and my puppies.

Stay cool, safe and eat pie.

The Swedish Farmer's Daughter

rooster and hens

Lemon Meringue Pie

Summers on the farm in Minnesota had three things in great quantities heat, humidity and eggs.

Each spring we would get baby chickens to be raised for meat and eggs. The small domed roof building where chicks were housed in was called a “brooder house.” There they grew from day old little bundles of fluff that could fit into the palm of your hand into the large fryers that would feed our family through the winter.

Roosters became fryers and hens egg layers.

The hen house where the eggs were laid was down to the west of the great red barn behind the several stories high large grey silo.

I have memories of picking eggs with my grandpa and of being so timid the first times I put my small hand into those straw filled nests. I also remember how much it smarts when an angry hen…

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Playhouse in the Lilacs and Pies: Mud and Rhubarb

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This morning while I watched my puppy as he explored the back yard, I found myself admiring my lilac bush.  It is not blooming yet, but will be soon. I love lilacs.  I like the color, scent and the memories they evoke.   Blooming lilac bushes take me back to a time long ago when they were transformed into the roof and walls of my very lovely play house on the farm.

My playhouse did not come from a store nor was it made out of beautifully designed colorful plastics that include microwaves, cupboards, sink, stove, refrigerator with matching dishes, utensils and play food. Those types of playhouses did not even exist in my world.  If I wanted a play house, I had to build it myself from discarded farm resources.

I constructed my playhouse in the lilac bushes just up the hill from the cow pasture. The dark green leaves were my roof. I tied back many branches to make windows and doors and even sawed a few branches off to open up a couple of rooms.

The view from the place was magnificent!  Brilliantly blue summer skies hung over black and white Holstein cows and calves slowing moving over the bright green grass pasture grass. Blue-black farm fields stenciled with emerald rows of food growing to feed a hungry world. Then, there was grandmother’s flowers–pink, white and burgundy hollyhocks, pink cosmos, purple iris, feathery peonies. Lacey fairy whisper wings of asparagus plants that had gone to seed continuously waved at you from across the yard.

The furnishings of this home in the bushes were the result of my very little well-greased elbows. The cupboards, table, chairs, stove and refrigerator were made out of the wooden boxes left over from last year’s canning season. The boxes were decorated with beautiful illustrations of the fruit they had contained.  Their cheery colorful pictures really dressed up the place and contrasted nicely with the well swept dirt floor. Discarded old dish towels became curtains that  fluttered in the spring breeze.

The cupboards were filled with dishes and utensils that had been collected from the farm’s garbage pile.  Tuna fish cans become cereal bowls, empty maraschino cherry jars made do as glasses, the plastic lids from large coffee cans became plates and coffee cans themselves were cooking pots.

Entering the playhouse was transforming.  I could be whatever and whoever I wanted to be.  I was only limited my own imagination and evacuation plans should the pigs get out. Many a time I attracted great parties of farm cats who joined me for tea.

The menu for my tea parties consisted of watered down dirt water and mud pies.  I could really make some remarkable mud pies.  For those of you who have never made a mud pie, I am here to tell you they can be a lot of work.  First you have to collect clean dirt. On a farm there is clean dirt and dirty dirt. The difference being clean dirt does not contain any animal waste.  Gathering clean dirt meant a hike out to the field with a bucket.

After returning with the dirt and filling your “flour” coffee can canister. You then needed to use your bucket to collect water from cow’s water tank. The water tank was only open on the cow’s side of the barbed wire topped with electric wire fence.  The danger of an unexpected electric jolt during the trip just added to the thrill of mud pie making.

After getting the basic ingredients together of dirt and water, wide blades of quack grass had to be picked. Without those you could not possibly make a lattice top for your pies. Weaving them together became an art form.

No mud pie would ever be complete without decoration. Garnishes had to gathered.  Oat, corn and soybean seed became colored sugar sprinkles and fuzzy fox tail weeds served as lit candles. If grandma wasn’t looking flower peddles really dressed up pie presentation.

Every child should have a place where they can go and pretend. In my mind’s eye, when in full bloom, my playhouse in those lilac bushes rivaled the beauty of the palaces of great kings. There in the filtered sunlight and shadows under that canopy of sweet-scented lavender flowers, imagination and creativity were set free while I dodged bees to make mud pies to feed to curious cows.

Rhubarb Crumb Custard Pie

When the lilacs bloom in Minnesota the rhubarb is ready to be made into jellies, cakes and pies.  This pie recipe is a classic and will not disappoint. It is best served warm with vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!

1-9 inch Pie Crust ( unbaked)

Buttery Flaky Pie Crust:
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled butter, diced
1/4 cup ice water

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Cut in butter with two knives, or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles course crumbs.  Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture forms into a ball.  Sometimes I do have to add an extra tablespoon or two of water.
Wrap in plastic and chill for 1-2 hours.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to fit 9-inch pie plate.  Place dough in pie plate, spread out evenly and pinch the pie dough edges up until they are about 1/4 inch above pie plate rim.

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees 

Pie filling:
1 1⁄4 cups sugar
pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons flour
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups rhubarb, chopped into small pieces.  (If you want a pink colored filling do not peel the
rhubarb.)

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients for the filling. Stir in the beaten eggs. When thoroughly combined, add the chopped rhubarb.  Mix together well.  Pour into unbaked pie shell.

Crumble Topping:
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup flour
1⁄4 cup butter
1 pinch salt

In a small mixing bowl combine sugar and flour. Using a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture becomes “crumbly”.

Sprinkle topping mixture over the rhubarb filling.

Bake for one hour.

This recipe was shared with me from Sylvia Britton.

Eggs for Sale: Lemon Meringue Pie

rooster and hens

Lemon Meringue Pie

Summers on the farm in Minnesota had three things in great quantities heat, humidity and eggs.

Each spring we would get baby chickens to be raised for meat and eggs. The small domed roof building where chicks were housed in was called a “brooder house.” There they grew from day old little bundles of fluff that could fit into the palm of your hand into the large fryers that would feed our family through the winter.

Roosters became fryers and hens egg layers.

The hen house where the eggs were laid was down to the west of the great red barn behind the several stories high large grey silo.

I have memories of picking eggs with my grandpa and of being so timid the first times I put my small hand into those straw filled nests. I also remember how much it smarts when an angry hen pecks you on the back of the hand.

Life has many learning experiences and avoiding hen pecks is a good lesson to master early in life. The best way to avoid a hand injury by an angry hen is to gently toss her out of the nest before you try to pick her egg.

After the eggs were gathered, they would be washed and stored in a cool place until they were sold, eaten or used in a favorite recipe.

This recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie is a cool way to help beat the heat and use up some of those extra eggs. This lemon filling is basically lemon curd and can be used in other recipes.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Pastry for 9-inch pie crust:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ salt
½ cup cold butter, cut into teaspoon-sized chunks
¼ cup ice water

In a medium-sized bowl mixing bowl add salt to flour and mix, cut in cold butter with fork or pastry cutter until the mixer is combined to the point where is slightly yellow, but there are still pea-sized butter pieces.

Add ice cold water one tablespoon at a time until dough forms and can be shaped into a ball.
Chill for at least 4 hours.

Roll out, place in pie pan and crimp edges. Prick bottom of pie with fork.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Lemon Filling:
1 ½ cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 ½ cup water
3 eggs yolks, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

Meringue:
3 egg whites
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar

In a large clean metal bowl with an electric mixer beat today the egg whites with the cream of tartar until frothy. With mixer running, slowly add in the sugar. Continue beating on high until the meringue makes stiff peaks and is glossy.

Spread meringue over the top of the pie, being sure to spread the meringue to the the edge of the pie crust sealing pie. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes until meringue is lightly browned.

Chill before serving.