pie

Green Tomato Pie

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After weeks of enjoying red, ripe summer tomatoes in sandwiches, all sorts of tomato salads, side dishes and puff pastry pizzas, the weather and sunlight have changed and I realized that the remaining tomatoes on the vine would not ripen properly.

So, I picked all the green tomatoes.

In the past when I’ve had green tomatoes, I’ve used them for chutney a few different ways. And I’ve made Fried Green Tomato sandwiches too.

This year I was determined to make a pie. Except that green tomato pie usually calls for slices of tomatoes and my vines were loaded with little ones.

No problem. I cut them in halves and quarters, depending on how small they were, and used them that way.

In addition, many recipes for green tomato pie are layered — tomato slices and dried fruit, usually raisins.

I mixed it all up.

Perfecto! This was delicious.

I made two. Froze one for Thanksgiving.

Can be either dairy or parve.

Green Tomato Pie

  • 2 pounds green tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoon all purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon peel

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Pastry for 2-crust pie

  • 2 tablespoons butter or solid coconut oil

  • 1 tablespoon milk, optional

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop tomatoes if they are large; for mini tomatoes, cut them into halves or quarters. Place the pieces in a bowl. Add the raisins, brown sugar, flour, salt, lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. Toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly and to be sure the fruit is coated completely. Roll our half the dough and fit it into a 9-inch pie dish. Spoon the filling into the dish. Cut the butter into small pieces and place the pieces around the top of the fruit. Roll the remaining dough, place it on top of the filling, crimp the edges to seal in the filling. Pierce the top crust in 2-3 places to allow steam to escape. For a dairy pie, dab some milk onto the top crust and crimped edge here and there, for a golden finish. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Bake for another 40-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

    Makes one pie serving 8-10 people

Ricotta Tart with Lemon and Coconut

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Cheesecake? Wonderful! 

But how about cheese pie? Tart?

For Shavuot.

Or anytime at all!

This recipe started with a nut streusel top but I needed something nut-free, so substituted shredded coconut. You can change that to chopped almonds if you prefer.

You need to start ahead on this one so that the cheese can drain and become dry-ish. This gives the filling a tender texture and also helps assure the crust won't get too soggy too soon.

Ricotta Tart

For the filling:

  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon or orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

For the crust:

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon or orange peel
  • 1/4 pound butter, melted

To make the filling:

Place the ricotta cheese in a strainer set over a bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, to drain as much liquid as possible from the cheese. Pace the drained cheese in a food processor bowl. Add the eggs, honey, citrus peel and cinnamon and process until the ingredients are well blended and smooth. Set aside while you make the crust.

To make the crust:

Place the flour in a bowl. Mix in the sugar, salt and citrus peel. Pour in the melted butter and mix the ingredients to form a soft dough. Press the dough onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Prick the dough with the tines of a fork. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line the dough with aluminum foil and weight it down with pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and weights, turn the oven heat down to 375 degrees and bake the crust for another 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Spoon the filling in baked crust and sprinkle the coconut over top. Bake for about 25 minutes or until crispy looking and the center is set. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Makes 8 servings

Blueberry Yogurt Pie

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When life gives you blueberries you make pie. Also crisp, cake, muffins, jam, soup, tea bread.

The possibilities are awesome.

So recently, when I had lots of extra blueberries hanging around I decided to make cream pie. Sort of. There's no cream in it. This dessert actually began with an old recipe of my Mom's. Her version was made with dairy sour cream. I used plain (non-fat) yogurt. Hers had raspberries, mine was to be blueberries, which are sweeter than raspberries so I cut down on the sugar.

It is still mighty sweet! Enough to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth. But also cool, creamy and refreshing and nice for anytime you want a rich dairy dessert.

Blueberry Yogurt Pie

Crust:

  • 1-1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chilled shortening
  • milk (about 3 tablespoons) orange juice, or water

Mix the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Work the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until the ingredients resemble crumbs (use your hands, a pastry blender or the pulse feature of a food processor). Add the liquid and gather the pastry into a soft ball of dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it stand at least 30 minutes. Roll the dough on a floured pastry board and fit into a 9-inch pie pan. 

Filling:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Beat the eggs and sugar in a mixer set at medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until thick, well blended and pale yellow. Add the cooled melted butter and yogurt and mix briefly to blend them into the batter. Add the flour, orange peel and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Place the blueberries inside the unbaked pie crust. Pour the batter over the berries. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until the surface is golden brown and the filling set.

 Makes 8 servings

 

 

 

Blueberry Streusel Pie

Recently I bought a load of blueberries because they were on sale (Fairway: $1.00 per pint carton!) and I couldn't resist.

So then of course I had to use them.

Pie came to mind first. It's always pie first for me.

My mother, who was a master pie baker, never baked blueberry pie because she said the insides were either too thick and gloppy or too runny. I experimented with the fruit, sweetener and thickening agent a few times before the filling consistency was right.

Here it is: 

Blueberry Crumb Pie

Crumb crust:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, margarine, shortening, coconut oil or a mixture

Combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter in chunks and work it into the dry ingredients with fingertips or a pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse meal. If you use a food processor, add the ingredients to the work bowl and mix using 18-24 quick, short pulses (enough for the mixture to resemble coarse meal). Set aside.

 Filling:

  •  6 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 unbaked pie crust bottom

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice in a large bowl. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Cover the top with the crumbs. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until  golden brown.

Note: you can use almost 3 “1-pint” boxes of blueberries. Although a liquid pint equals 2 cups, a dry pint of blueberries from most markets is about 2-1/2 cups.

Makes 8 servings

Dried Fruit Pie with Port Wine

My daughter Gillian and son-in-law Jesse gave me this unusual Hanukkah gift: a rolling pin carved with the words “handmade by Ronnie Fein.” The words are mirror-image backwards, of course, so that when you roll the pastry it comes out right.

I couldn’t wait to use this thing so I decided to make a pie to freeze and then serve on New Year’s weekend. I rolled out the dough using this new device.

Problem. 

With pie dough, you have to keep rolling until you get the proper thickness. That meant I had to go over the words several times and so they got all jumbled and on top of each other.

Okay, so I used the mixed up piece of dough for the bottom crust and rolled the top crust using a regular rolling pin, then gave it a final flourish with the carved one, to get the words onto the pastry.

The result: really cute, but I have to say, this thing has limited value. In addition to its use for the final roll only, you really couldn’t see the words on the finished, baked pie.

Sorry kids. 

Maybe it will work better on sugar cookie dough. I’ll try that next.

Meantime, the pie itself is worth making. It’s a riff on old-fashioned Prune and Apricot Pie, but no prunes. I used dates and raisins instead, and since dried fruit goes so magnificently with port wine, I included some in the filling. It’s a rich, sumptuous pie, perfect a New Year celebration and throughout the cold days of winter. 

Dried Fruit Pie with Port Wine

Pie Dough:

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/3 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 4-6 tablespoons cold milk, juice, water or melted ice cream

To make the dough: Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter and shortening into chunks and add the chunks to the flour mixture. Work the fat into the flour mixture until the ingredients resemble crumbs (use your hands, a pastry blender or the pulse feature of a food processor). Add the liquid, using only enough to gather pastry into a soft ball of dough (start with 4 tablespoons). Cut the dough in half and flatten each half to make a disk shape. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it stand at least 30 minutes.

Filling:

  • 1 cup dried apricots (preferably California apricots)
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup pitted, halved dates
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup port wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the pie dough. Let the dough rest while you prepare the filling. Cut the dough in half and roll out one of the halves on a floured board. Fit the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Spoon the filling into the dough-lined pan. Cut the butter into smaller pieces and place the pieces over the filling. Roll out the second piece of dough. Place it over the filling. Crimp the edges to seal the bottom and top pieces of dough. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. 

To make the filling: Place the apricots, dates and raisins in a saucepan. Pour in the water and port wine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-12 minutes, or until the fruit is soft. Strain the fruit into a bowl, pressing down to extract as much liquid as possible. RESERVE the cooking liquid (about 1/2 cup). Place the sugar, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small saucepan and whisk to combine ingredients completely. Add the reserved 1/2 cup liquid (add water if you don’t have enough but only add 1/2 cup if you have more). Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Spoon the liquid over the fruit and mix ingredients thoroughly. Stir in the lemon juice. 

Makes 8-10 servings 

Honey Cashew Cranberry Pie from The Modern Kosher Kitchen

Pecan pie is among my favorite desserts but I never bake it because one of my kids is allergic to pecans.

No problem. Recipes like this one are very forgiving.

I’ve made the pie many times substituting different nuts, such as cashews, the kind used in the pie photo above, by Glenn Scott Photography.

This recipe is from the dessert chapter of my new book, The Modern Kosher Kitchen (see the second photo).

There were other changes I made to the standard pecan pie, though. You can too, to suit yourself. For example, I thought the usual corn syrup didn’t seem right with cashews, so I switched to honey.

I also added fresh cranberries to give it a spike of something tart to balance all that sweet.

It’s still basically pecan pie, isn’t it?

Here’s the recipe, just in time for Thanksgiving:                                              

Honey Cashew Cranberry Pie from The Modern Kosher Kitchen

  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons melted Earth Balance Buttery Spread or margarine
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped cashews
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust

Preheat the oven the 350 degrees. Combine the honey, sugar, eggs, and melted fat in a bowl and whisk the ingredients until well blended. Stir in the flour, orange peel, salt, and vanilla extract and blend them in thoroughly. Stir in the cranberries and cashews. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is richly brown and crunchy.

Makes one pie serving 8 people

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Pie

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right? Or lemon pie, lemon bars, lemon vinaigrette. And so on.

That’s exactly what I did, years and years ago, when one of Ed’s business associates moved to California and mentioned the lemon trees in his backyard. He had so many lemons that he wanted to send us a box.

They were the strangest looking lemons I’d ever seen. Thin-skinned and vaguely orange. They also tasted sweeter than the standard, in fact, they tasted almost as if it were some kind of lemon mixed with an orange.

This was in the pre-Google search era. No one I knew had ever heard of a Meyer lemon.

In fact, Meyer lemons, which seem so familiar now, popped into popularity only about a decade ago. And when they started appearing in supermarkets during the winter I realized what I had in that box all those years before.

I had used those lemons in all the recipes I cooked that called for lemon juice and peel. It worked, though not perfectly. Meyer lemons are sweeter and they don’t have the tang and pop of a standard lemon, so they’re not ideal for recipes that need a lemony acidity.

On the other hand, because the flesh is sweeter than the more usual lemon, Meyer lemons are perfect for cookies and quick breads. I also slice them and use it as a bed for roasted fish. I make Meyer Lemon Chutney.

And this fabulous, rich, sweet and mildly tangy Meyer Lemon Yogurt Pie. 

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Pie

  • 1 fully baked pie crust or Graham Cracker crust
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Meyer lemon peel
  • 1 cup plain Greek style yogurt
  • whipped cream

Bake the crust or set it aside. Or, make a graham cracker crust (or use a store bought crust).* Combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cold water and Meyer lemon juice in a saucepan. Add the eggs and blend them in thoroughly using a whisk. Gradually add the boiling water and whisk the ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and Meyer lemon peel. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes. Add the yogurt and whisk it in. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and chill in the refrigerator until cold, about 4 hours. Top with whipped cream and serve.

Makes one 9-inch pie

*to make a graham cracker crust: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1-1/2 cups crushed graham crackers and 5 tablespoons melted butter. Mix until all the crumbs are coated. Press the mixture onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Blueberry Pie with Oat-Coconut Streusel

I find this very difficult to believe, but there are actually some people in my family who don’t like pie.  Huh?  For me, pie is the ultimate dessert. Tender, crumbly golden brown crust. Just a little sweet and with enough salt, fresh fruit and maybe a hint of seasoning. Pie isn’t fancy and doesn’t need to be.  So who could not like it?  Once I asked my husband Ed why he didn’t eat my pie. I thought maybe it was because he grew up in a cake-and-canned-fruit-for-dessert house.  But he told me that he doesn’t like the top crust. He would eat pie if it had a streusel top.  I made those of course, but the problem with a standard, flour-based streusel top is that if you don’t eat the pie right away — like in my case, I bake a half dozen at a time when I can get good fruit — and you freeze it, then the streusel gets all soggy. And unlike regular pie-crust pie, it never bakes back crumbly and crispy. It looks awful too.  Recently I figured out a way to make a pie with a streusel type top that you can actually refrigerate or freeze and it will stay (or reheat to) crisp and crumbly: use a mixture designed for a fruit crisp. These bake properly because they usually contain ingredients (like nuts and oats) that create a firm texture.  As this one did.  I made this blueberry pie with a top crust that I’ve used for fruit crisp. This pie is the best of both worlds: a bottom crust and pie shape for those of us who adore real pie and a top crunchy streusel crust that stays crispy for those who prefer fruit crisp.      Blueberry Pie with Oat-Coconut Streusel   1 recipe Oat-Coconut Streusel (see below)  5 cups blueberries  1/2 cup sugar  5 tablespoons flour  3/4 teaspoon cinnamon  1/4 teaspoon salt  2 tablespoons lemon juice  1 9-inch unbaked pie crust  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the Oat-Coconut Streusel and set aside. Mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Pour the blueberry filling into the pie crust. Cover with the streusel. Bake about one hour or until top is golden brown.   Oat-Coconut Streusel   1/2 cup flour  1/2 cup grated coconut  1/2 cup old fashioned oats  1/2 cup chopped nuts  1/4 cup brown sugar  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon  6 tablespoons melted butter     Place the flour, coconut, oats, nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the melted butter. Mix until the dry the ingredients are covered with the melted butter.    

I find this very difficult to believe, but there are actually some people in my family who don’t like pie.

Huh?

For me, pie is the ultimate dessert. Tender, crumbly golden brown crust. Just a little sweet and with enough salt, fresh fruit and maybe a hint of seasoning. Pie isn’t fancy and doesn’t need to be.

So who could not like it?

Once I asked my husband Ed why he didn’t eat my pie. I thought maybe it was because he grew up in a cake-and-canned-fruit-for-dessert house.

But he told me that he doesn’t like the top crust. He would eat pie if it had a streusel top.

I made those of course, but the problem with a standard, flour-based streusel top is that if you don’t eat the pie right away — like in my case, I bake a half dozen at a time when I can get good fruit — and you freeze it, then the streusel gets all soggy. And unlike regular pie-crust pie, it never bakes back crumbly and crispy. It looks awful too.

Recently I figured out a way to make a pie with a streusel type top that you can actually refrigerate or freeze and it will stay (or reheat to) crisp and crumbly: use a mixture designed for a fruit crisp. These bake properly because they usually contain ingredients (like nuts and oats) that create a firm texture.

As this one did.

I made this blueberry pie with a top crust that I’ve used for fruit crisp. This pie is the best of both worlds: a bottom crust and pie shape for those of us who adore real pie and a top crunchy streusel crust that stays crispy for those who prefer fruit crisp.

 

Blueberry Pie with Oat-Coconut Streusel

1 recipe Oat-Coconut Streusel (see below)

5 cups blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

5 tablespoons flour

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the Oat-Coconut Streusel and set aside. Mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Pour the blueberry filling into the pie crust. Cover with the streusel. Bake about one hour or until top is golden brown.

Oat-Coconut Streusel

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup grated coconut

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons melted butter

 

Place the flour, coconut, oats, nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the melted butter. Mix until the dry the ingredients are covered with the melted butter. 

 

Strawberry-Rhubarb-Blackberry Pie

Is there any food more “American” than pie?  Okay, maybe. Hot dogs, hamburgers and stuff. Cole Slaw. Potato salad. And lots of others.  Actually, none of the ones I mentioned were “American” at the start. Hot dogs, burgers and potato salad are German foods, Cole Slaw is Dutch and Pie began as British.  No matter. They’re American now, all terrific summer foods also. And all perfect for any Fourth of July celebration.  So, when our local Hadassah decided that our biweekly Tea (for cancer patients and their caregivers at Stamford Hospital) should have a Fourth of July theme, I decided to bake a pie to give.   This one is red (sort of), white (beige crust/white sugar) and blue: a riff on Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. It includes blackberries because I had some in the house and figured why not. You can leave out the blackberries and add more rhubarb and/or strawberries.  Also, I used orange peel as flavor, but you can switch to lemon peel. And I used orange juice for the crust. First because orange goes really well with berries and rhubarb and also, my mother, a consummate pie baker, always told me that the liquid you use to make pie dough can be just about anything. She frequently used juice for fruit pie (the juice depended on the pie). Juice not only gives the crust more flavor, it helps the dough bake into a lovely brown color crust too.   Strawberry-Rhubarb-Blackberry Pie   dough:  2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour  3/4 teaspoon salt  1 teaspoon grated orange peel  1/2 cup unsalted butter  1/3 cup chilled vegetable shortening  4-5 tablespoons orange juice  filling:  3 cups sliced (1/2-inch pieces) rhubarb, about one pound  2 cups strawberries cut in half  1 cup blackberries  2/3 cup sugar (or to taste)  1/4 teaspoon salt  5 tablespoons flour  1 teaspoon grated orange peel  1/4 teaspoon cinnamon  1 tablespoon butter     Combine the flour, salt and orange peel in a food processor. Add the butter and shortening in chunks and process on pulse about 24 times, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add as much of the juice as is needed to make a soft, but not sticky dough. Cut the dough in half, flatten into disks and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll the dough into circles to fit a 9” pie pan. Place one circle inside the pie pan.  To make the filling, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, blackberries, sugar, salt, flour, orange peel and cinnamon. Add the filling to the pie pan. Cut the butter into chunks and place on top of the filling. Cut strips from the second dough circle and place them in a lattice design on top of the fruit. Seal the edges where the strips meet the bottom crust. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.  Makes one 9-inch pie

Is there any food more “American” than pie?

Okay, maybe. Hot dogs, hamburgers and stuff. Cole Slaw. Potato salad. And lots of others.

Actually, none of the ones I mentioned were “American” at the start. Hot dogs, burgers and potato salad are German foods, Cole Slaw is Dutch and Pie began as British.

No matter. They’re American now, all terrific summer foods also. And all perfect for any Fourth of July celebration.

So, when our local Hadassah decided that our biweekly Tea (for cancer patients and their caregivers at Stamford Hospital) should have a Fourth of July theme, I decided to bake a pie to give. 

This one is red (sort of), white (beige crust/white sugar) and blue: a riff on Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. It includes blackberries because I had some in the house and figured why not. You can leave out the blackberries and add more rhubarb and/or strawberries.

Also, I used orange peel as flavor, but you can switch to lemon peel. And I used orange juice for the crust. First because orange goes really well with berries and rhubarb and also, my mother, a consummate pie baker, always told me that the liquid you use to make pie dough can be just about anything. She frequently used juice for fruit pie (the juice depended on the pie). Juice not only gives the crust more flavor, it helps the dough bake into a lovely brown color crust too.

Strawberry-Rhubarb-Blackberry Pie

dough:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup chilled vegetable shortening

4-5 tablespoons orange juice

filling:

3 cups sliced (1/2-inch pieces) rhubarb, about one pound

2 cups strawberries cut in half

1 cup blackberries

2/3 cup sugar (or to taste)

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

 

Combine the flour, salt and orange peel in a food processor. Add the butter and shortening in chunks and process on pulse about 24 times, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add as much of the juice as is needed to make a soft, but not sticky dough. Cut the dough in half, flatten into disks and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll the dough into circles to fit a 9” pie pan. Place one circle inside the pie pan.

To make the filling, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, blackberries, sugar, salt, flour, orange peel and cinnamon. Add the filling to the pie pan. Cut the butter into chunks and place on top of the filling. Cut strips from the second dough circle and place them in a lattice design on top of the fruit. Seal the edges where the strips meet the bottom crust. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes one 9-inch pie

For My Birthday: Lily Vail’s Apple Pie

Today’s my birthday! And to celebrate there’s … no, not cake.  I like pie. Specifically Apple pie. Specifically the way my mother used to bake them and always made one for me for my birthday. And after she died I made one for myself for every birthday.  Actually, I make a dozen pies every October when the Greening apples are harvested, because those are the apples I like best for pie. I freeze the pies and we eat about one per month so that when the next October comes around again I make a new batch for the year to come.  But you can make apple pie with any apple, just adjust the sugar level accordingly, depending on the apple you use. I prefer a tart-tasting filling, not too sweet that is. That’s why I like Rhode Island Greenings. If you like a tart tasting apple pie, you can use Granny Smith apples (cut the slices thin because they cook better to tenderness that way). Golden Delicious are good pie apples now too, but use a little less sugar and a little more lemon juice. Don’t use McIntosh, they’re too watery. Fuji and Braeburn are better eating apples. They don’t hold up well in a pie. And please, don’t bother with Red Delicious because they have no flavor.   Here’s my Mom’s recipe. I am already humming with anticipation.   Lily Vail’s Apple Pie    crust:   2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour  1 teaspoon sugar  3/4 teaspoon salt  1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel, optional  1/2 cup cold butter  1/3 cup cold vegetable shortening  4-6 tablespoons cold milk, juice, water or melted ice cream  apple filling  To make the crust: Combine the flour, sugar, salt and lemon peel, if used, in a large bowl. Cut the butter and shortening into chunks and add the chunks to the flour mixture. Work the fat into the flour mixture until the ingredients resemble crumbs (use your hands, a pastry blender or the pulse feature of a food processor). Add the liquid, using only enough to gather pastry into a soft ball of dough (start with 4 tablespoons). Cut the dough in half and flatten each half to make a disk shape. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it stand at least 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly flour a pastry board or clean work surface. With a rolling pin, roll one half of the dough on the floured surface into a circle about 1/8-inch thick, making sure the circle is larger than the pie pan by about 1 inch. Place the dough in a 9” or 10” pie pan. Pour the apple filling into the pastry-lined pan. Cut the butter into small pieces and place on top of the filling. Roll out the remaining dough and place it over the filling. Gently press the bottom and top crusts together along the flared edge of the pie pan. For a fluted rim, press your thumb and index finger against the outside of the rim, or crimp it with the tines of a fork or the blunt side of a knife. Cut steam vents in the top crust with the tip of a sharp knife or the tines of a fork. Bake the pie for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.   Apple Filling:   3 pounds pie apples (Rhode Island Greenings, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Northern Spy, Golden Delicious, Idared, Stayman, Winesap, Baldwin, Jonagold)  1/2 cup sugar  2 tablespoons lemon juice  3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon  2 tablespoons all-purpose flour  1 tablespoon butter  Peel and core the apples then cut them into slices. Place the slices in a bowl. Add the 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and flour and toss the ingredients to coat the apple slices evenly.

Today’s my birthday! And to celebrate there’s … no, not cake.

I like pie. Specifically Apple pie. Specifically the way my mother used to bake them and always made one for me for my birthday. And after she died I made one for myself for every birthday.

Actually, I make a dozen pies every October when the Greening apples are harvested, because those are the apples I like best for pie. I freeze the pies and we eat about one per month so that when the next October comes around again I make a new batch for the year to come.

But you can make apple pie with any apple, just adjust the sugar level accordingly, depending on the apple you use. I prefer a tart-tasting filling, not too sweet that is. That’s why I like Rhode Island Greenings. If you like a tart tasting apple pie, you can use Granny Smith apples (cut the slices thin because they cook better to tenderness that way). Golden Delicious are good pie apples now too, but use a little less sugar and a little more lemon juice. Don’t use McIntosh, they’re too watery. Fuji and Braeburn are better eating apples. They don’t hold up well in a pie. And please, don’t bother with Red Delicious because they have no flavor. 

Here’s my Mom’s recipe. I am already humming with anticipation.

Lily Vail’s Apple Pie

crust:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel, optional

1/2 cup cold butter

1/3 cup cold vegetable shortening

4-6 tablespoons cold milk, juice, water or melted ice cream

apple filling

To make the crust: Combine the flour, sugar, salt and lemon peel, if used, in a large bowl. Cut the butter and shortening into chunks and add the chunks to the flour mixture. Work the fat into the flour mixture until the ingredients resemble crumbs (use your hands, a pastry blender or the pulse feature of a food processor). Add the liquid, using only enough to gather pastry into a soft ball of dough (start with 4 tablespoons). Cut the dough in half and flatten each half to make a disk shape. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it stand at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly flour a pastry board or clean work surface. With a rolling pin, roll one half of the dough on the floured surface into a circle about 1/8-inch thick, making sure the circle is larger than the pie pan by about 1 inch. Place the dough in a 9” or 10” pie pan. Pour the apple filling into the pastry-lined pan. Cut the butter into small pieces and place on top of the filling. Roll out the remaining dough and place it over the filling. Gently press the bottom and top crusts together along the flared edge of the pie pan. For a fluted rim, press your thumb and index finger against the outside of the rim, or crimp it with the tines of a fork or the blunt side of a knife. Cut steam vents in the top crust with the tip of a sharp knife or the tines of a fork. Bake the pie for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.

Apple Filling:

3 pounds pie apples (Rhode Island Greenings, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Northern Spy, Golden Delicious, Idared, Stayman, Winesap, Baldwin, Jonagold)

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon butter

Peel and core the apples then cut them into slices. Place the slices in a bowl. Add the 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and flour and toss the ingredients to coat the apple slices evenly.