Friday, December 11, 2009

Single (9-inch) Pie Crust

1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. shortening
3 Tbsp. cold water

1. Combine flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry blender (or you can use 2 knives using a cris-cross method) until all flour is blended and pea-sized chunks form.
2. Sprinkle with water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Toss lightly with a fork until dough forms a ball.
3. Press dough between hands to form a 5-6" "pancake." Roll dough into a circle on a lightly-floured surface. Trim circle to 1 inch larger than upside-down pie plate.
4. Fold dough into quarters. Unfold and press into pie plate. Fold edge under and flute.
5. For recipes using a baked crust, heat oven to 425 degrees. Prick bottom and side thoroughly with fork to prevent shrinkage. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. For recipes using an unbaked pie crust, follow directions given for that recipe.

Notes: This a very easy pie crust recipe. I have used others and have frequently been frustrated with trying to get the right consistency. Follow this recipe and you will have a perfect crust. It can be found in the Old-Fashioned Bake Sale cookbook.

Blackberry-apple Pie with Pecan Crumb Topping

1 pastry for a single crust pie
3/4 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 c. fresh blackberries
2 1/2 c. apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 c. pecans, chopped
3 Tbsp. butter

1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add fruit and gently stir until blackberries and apples are well coated. Set aside and allow the fruit to sit for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare pastry dough (if making your own) and roll out on lightly-floured surface. Place in 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.
3. To prepare topping, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add nuts and butter, using a fork or pastry blender to completely incorporate the butter with other ingredients.
4. Once fruit has stood for 20 minutes, spoon filling into pastry-lined pie pan. Place foil around the edge of the pastry to prevent from getting too brown. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Spread topping over filling, being sure to evenly cover the top. Continue baking for another 20-25 minutes, or until crust and top are golden brown and filling begins to bubble. Cool on wire rack. Serve as is, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or with a dollop of whipped topping.

Notes: This is a hybrid of this recipe and this one, along with my own adjustments. I love how it turned out! Very tasty! I like the textural and flavor combination of the apples and blackberries. I would recommend putting the pie pan on a baking sheet to keep your oven clean. The filling will probably bubble over a bit.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cranberry Surprise Loaf

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. apple juice
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 c. chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 c. chopped nuts

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bottom only of 9" x 5" loaf pan. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add one egg and beat well. Set aside.
2. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Stir in apple juice, butter, and beaten egg until well blended. Fold in cranberries and nuts. Spoon half of batter into greased and floured oan. Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 65 to 75 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator.

Notes: This was very tasty! I think I put a little more than half of the batter on the bottom, so there was a little bit of cream cheese mixture that ended up on top. Very delectable!

Homemade Bread

5 1/4 c. bread flour
1 c. dry instant milk
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. salt
1 1/2 rounded Tbsp. of saf-instant yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp. liquid lecithin
2 c. hot tap water
1/4 c. oil

1. In a stand mixer, mix dry ingredients together. Add lecithin, water, and oil together. After mixing for 1 minutes, check the consistency to make sure the dough is not too dry (it should be very sticky). Mix for 5 minutes.
2. Spray counter and two loaf pans with cooking spray. Divide dough into half. Shape each half into loaves and place in pans. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for 25 minutes. Bake each loaf for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Notes: This recipe is a hybrid of Pantry Secrets' bread recipe and my mother's roll recipe. It only takes an hour to get the dough mixed and the bread baked, so I love it! It can be used for cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, and any other recipe that uses bread dough.

Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting

Cinnamon Rolls
1/2 of bread recipe
Butter spread or melted butter

Maple Frosting
1/2 bag powdered sugar (plus a little for thicker consistency)
1 tsp. maple flavoring
1/4 c. milk
2 Tbsp. melted butter
dash of salt

1. Spray counter and a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll dough into a long, thin rectangle.
2. Using a butter knife, cover dough with a thin layer of butter spread (or melted butter). Sprinkle with desired amount of sugar and cinnamon. Tightly roll dough toward you to create. Pinch the seam to seal the roll. Cut the rolls to about 3/4-inch thickness.
3. Place rolls on greased baking sheet. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for 25 minutes. Place in preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.
4. To make the frosting, combine all ingredients. Using a whisk, stir until combined well. Pour over cinnamon rolls.

Notes: I found the maple frosting recipe on Pioneer Woman's blog. Realistically, you could use your favorite cinnamon roll frosting and add maple flavoring. I liked the flavor. I think the rolls would be good with brown sugar instead of white to complement the maple flavor. I will definitely be trying this again.