dessert · Pie

Hand-Held Fried Apple Pies

Fried pies 1a

When I was growing up, summer picnics almost always included a special dessert made by my mom – Fried pies. She usually made Peach Pies, but another flavor we all loved were the Apple variety.  They are made with dried fruit that has been cooked and sweetened.  The dried fruit keeps the filling from being too runny and seeping out.  The pies are fried in butter just until they’re browned nicely on all sides. They’re not especially pretty, but man oh man, are they good!

If you’re having a picnic for July 4th, maybe you could start the Fried Pie Tradition for your family!

Here’s how they’re made –

Buy one bag of dried fruit -peaches or apples. (One bag makes A LOT of pies! You’ll usually find these where the raisins are in the grocery store.  Place the fruit in a medium-sized pan and add water and cook over low heat until the fruit plumps up.  Add sugar to sweeten to your liking.  Cook until fruit is soft. This takes a while.  Cook them slowly.   Set aside.

Either make your own pie dough, or you can use store-bought.  Roll dough out and cut out circles, about 4 inches in diameter. Place about 2 tablespoons (no more) on half of the circle.  Fold dough over.

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Crimp edges with a fork.

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Melt half of a stick of butter in a skillet and melt over medium low heat.  Add pies and cook in batches,turning to brown all sides.

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Place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to absorb extra butter.

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These are super good warm, but they’re also delicious at room temperature!

Note: You may need to add butter as they are frying.  In between batches, I wipe the pan out with a paper towel so the butter doesn’t turn too dark and color the pies before they start to cook.

These are so great for picnics because all you need is a napkin. It’s a hand-held pie; perfect for on the go!

Wouldn’t this make a great addition to your Fourth of July picnic?!

From my country kitchen,

dessert · Pie

Made From Scratch Lemon Meringue Pie

Last weekend I got to spend Mother’s Day in Kentucky with my mom. I made her Mother’s Day meal, and when planning the menu, I knew immediately what dessert would be – her favorite – Lemon-y. Tart. Mouth watering. Creamy. Fluffy. Sweet.What is it? Lemon Meringue Pie!

I hadn’t made one in a couple of years, so I was a little nervous about how it would turn out. I have had times that the meringue flopped or crept away from the crust, or wept, leaving little dewy droplets all over, so I could only hope and pray all would go well.

The recipe is from this very old cookbook of my mom’s, printed in the 60’s. I grew up flipping through the pages of this cookbook, ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over the tempting desserts pictured on its pages, this pie being one of them. Now it was time to see if I could make it happen!

Cream pies like this just take patience.

  1. Make the crust
  2. Bake the crust
  3. Make the filling
  4. Let it cool
  5. Make the meringue
  6. Top the pie with the meringue
  7. Bake the meringue until lightly browned

It’s worth every bit of effort to make this delicious pie at home! Just find a day that isn’t rainy and humid, or you might have trouble with the meringue. You’ll be so glad you took the time and effort to make this from scratch. It simply can’t be beat! The meringue in this recipe has a little twist! See if you can catch it.

How about a slice?

My sweet mom slicing up her Mother’s day pie.

A few tips:

My homemade crust is made from – 2 C flour, 1 tsp salt, 3/4 C Crisco, ice water.
Combine the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut Crisco into flour. Add ice water a little at a time until it holds together without crumbling or being too wet. Makes 2 crusts.

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice, if possible. It makes it extra fresh and tart.

Be sure to cool the pie to room temperature, then refrigerate it a few hours before you attempt to cut it. The filling needs that time to set up.

Did you catch the twist in the recipe for the meringue?

I hope you’ll make someone’s day (and your own!) and bake a lemon pie!

dessert · Easter · Gluten-Free · Weight watchers

Crustless Mini Cheesecakes

I grew up in a home where most evenings we had dessert at the end of the meal. It wasn’t something huge like a triple-layered cake, but just a little something sweet. I still enjoy ending the meal with a taste of something sweet.

Small, individual desserts are perfect for a “just enough” serving size! Weight Watchers has a cheesecake recipe that I’ve tweaked a little to come up with a dessert we love!

I bake these individual cheesecakes in small tins I purchased on Amazon. They look like these…

They’re truly the perfect size if you’re wanting to watch your calories, but still enjoy something sweet. I bake them without any crust, then give my guests the option of sprinkling chocolate covered graham crackers on the top. It serves as an inverted crust! Then I top them with fruit, light Cool Whip and chocolate shavings. Wow. They are so good! Here’s the recipe:

Crustless Cheesecakes
3/4 Cup Plain low-fat yogurt
8 oz. Low-fat Cream Cheese
2 Eggs
2/3 Cup sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
Light Cool Whip
Fresh berries
Chocolate shavings
Chocolate Graham Crackers, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place small baking tins on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray. You could also use a cupcake tin if you don’t have the tins. If you use the tin, line them with cupcake liners.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat together yogurt, cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Spoon evenly into baking tins. Bake until top is set, 15-20 minutes; let cool and then chill in refrigerator 2 hours (can make up to 2 days ahead).

3. To serve, slide a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and invert onto a serving plate. Serve with fresh berries, Cool whip and chocolate shavings on top. You can also add the chocolate covered graham crackers on top, if desired.

You could also serve these in their little tins for an easy “pick up and go” dessert. Here’s one just with Cool Whip and chocolate. Not a bad combo!

I’m not sure about the WW points on these, but the version with a crust are 7 points, so if you don’t add the crackers, I’d think it would be one or two points lower! I’ve eaten these in moderation with good success (no weight gain).

These make a great dessert for guests. They aren’t strange in any way with artificial sweeteners – they’re just lighter due to no crust and lightened cream cheese. These would be perfect for Easter, perhaps serving them with fresh blueberries and a little lemon zest on top! Give them a try and tell me if you loved them as much as we did!

Anyone else enjoy having dessert after dinner?

breakfast · dessert

Tart, Delicious Cranberries!

If you have fresh cranberries left from Thanksgiving, or you see them in the produce section in the store, I have two great ways for you to use them!

The first use is to put them in your morning oatmeal during the last few minutes of the cooking time. I use Old Fashioned Oats, so I boil equal parts of water, milk and oatmeal, then simmer for a few minutes to thicken it up. While it’s simmering I throw in a good handful of fresh cranberries. Oh, that tartness is the perfect fruity addition!

I also add some chopped walnuts and a sprinkling of brown sugar for the perfect winter-y breakfast! You won’t be satisfied with Corn Flakes every again after enjoying this variety of warm, nutty oatmeal!

Now for another perfect combination – cranberries, apples and orange juice for a winning recipe that is from Cooking Light, let’s talk dessert.

Apple Cranberry Crumble

Ingredients:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
6 cups sliced peeled Braeburn apple
1 cup fresh cranberries – I used 1/2 dried and 1/2 fresh
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preparation
Preheat oven to 375°.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine apple and cranberries in a large bowl. Combine juice and remaining ingredients; pour over apple mixture. Toss well. Spoon apple mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with flour mixture. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve warm.

The crumbly topping!
Ready for the oven

I love this dessert. I added a small scoop of ice cream for a special finishing touch!

If you need another idea for your cranberries, please try this muffin. I share this recipe every year because it’s too good to live without! Also, if you have canned Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, use it to make this coffee cake that is to die for!! When I had my baking business, these were so popular, and for good reason!

You’ll be (cran)berry happy you tried any of these recipes! Sorry, I couldn’t resist!

With love from my country kitchen,

baking · dessert · Pie

First Runner-Up Peanut Pie

Peanut Pie 1a

If you love peanuts, I mean,  if you adore them, then you will love the new recipe I tried from Southern Living’s November issue!  I mentioned last week that I was scouring recipes for a pie fellowship we were having at church.  I finally settled on the Georgia Peanut Pie with Peanut Butter filling and Brown Sugar Whipped Cream.  That’s a mouthful, but just wait until you taste the pie!  It’s a rich, peanut pie that will leave you smacking your lips and glad that you ate only a little slice!  It is quite rich, but hey, isn’t that what dessert is for?

This recipe is easy when it’s done in a couple days.  Do the crust.  Go have lunch with friends, wash up the Thanksgiving linens, take a walk, then come back the next day and make the filling.  Later in the day make the whipped cream.  It’s easy when taken step by step.  Here are some pics of the process for the crust:

peanut crust
Click on picture to enlarge.  To make the scalloped edge, I used the tip of a spoon!

 

Georgia Peanut Pie with Peanut Butter Crust

PEANUT BUTTER CRUST

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocktail peanuts or dry-roasted salted peanuts
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cold shortening, cubed
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

PEANUT BUTTER FILLING

  • 1 1/4 cups packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk or half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup sorghum syrup, pure cane syrup, or dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups cocktail peanuts or dry-roasted salted peanuts

BROWN SUGAR WHIPPED CREAM

  • 1 cup cold whipping cream or heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the Peanut Butter Crust: Combine flour, peanuts, brown sugar, and salt in bowl of a food processor; process until peanuts are ground and mixture is combined. Add butter, peanut butter, and shortening, and pulse until mixture resembles small peas, 10 to 12 times. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons ice water over top of mixture. Pulse 4 times. Add up to 2 more tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition until dough just begins to clump together. Remove dough from processor; shape and flatten into a disk. Wrap disk in plastic wrap, and chill 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place chilled dough disk on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle dough with flour. Top with another piece of parchment paper. Roll dough into a 13-inch circle. Remove and discard top sheet of parchment. Starting at 1 edge of dough, wrap dough around rolling pin, separating dough from bottom sheet of parchment as you roll. Discard bottom sheet of parchment. Place rolling pin wrapped with dough over a 9-inch (1 1/2-inch-deep) glass pie plate. Unroll dough, and gently press it into pie plate. Trim dough, leaving 1/2-inch overhang; fold edges under, and crimp.

Step 3

Prepare Peanut Butter Filling: Stir together brown sugar, flour, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Stir in melted butter. Whisk eggs well in a medium bowl; whisk in milk, sorghum, and vanilla. Add peanut butter; whisk until blended. Spoon filling into prepared piecrust. Sprinkle peanuts over top, and place pie on a rimmed baking sheet.

Step 4

Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F, and bake until puffed and golden brown and until center is set, 45 to 55 minutes, shielding edges with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning, if necessary. Transfer pie to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 2 hours.
Step 5
Prepare the Brown Sugar Whipped Cream: Using chilled beaters and a large chilled bowl, beat whipping cream with an electric mixer on high speed until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat until well combined. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

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I wish I had taken a picture of the sliced pie. The inside is creamy and smooth!! It’s a perfect balance with the crunchy peanuts on top!

This is a great pie!  As a matter of fact, it landed the First Runner-Up award at our pie contest at church!  A yummy Apple Crumb pie came in first and deserved it!!

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Make this for the peanut lover in your life!!

Did you make any new recipes over Thanksgiving that were “Award-winning” with your family?  They’re the ones who count!!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px