Tag Archives: pie

Birthday… Pie!

The Spring Celebration begins today! Please join in by sharing your favorite birthday recipe!

I love, love, love lime.  I remember trying fresh-squeezed limeade during a plantation tour in Jamaica (like 18 years ago) and it was one of the highlights of my trip. My favorite flavor of any candy is lime: sour patch kids, skittles, tootsie rolls, lolly pops, even green M&Ms.  But my absolute favorite lime dish is Key Lime Pie.  It has to have whipped cream on top, not meringue, and it has to be creamy yellow, not dyed green.  This is my mother-in-law’s recipe, which she makes for my birthday each year.  The picture below is from my birthday last year, just a few hours before labor started.  (Before you think about trying Key Lime Pie to bring on labor, remember that Joshua wasn’t born until nearly two days later…)

Key Lime Pie

Whisk together egg yolks and condensed milk until well blended.  Add lime juice and zest and whisk to combine.  Pour into cooled pie crust and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.  Cool completely and chill.

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Whip all ingredients together right before serving.  Top pie with whipped cream and serve.

Please share a link for your favorite birthday recipe, and I’ll add it to this post! (But give me some time, I have to work til 2pm, plus it’s my birthday! I’m 30!!!)

Other Birthday Recipes

  • We also have another pie for my birthday: Chicken Pie! Check out the story behind this tradition and my recipe, too.
  • Luschka shares her Gran’s Flop Proof Chocolate Cake that looks so yummy! I’m a novice cake-baker so I’ll have to try it!
  • Lisa baked Easy Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. Mmmmm cream cheese icing… nuff said!
  • Melissa posted one of her favorites, Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Cake that she’s making for her daughter Annabelle’s birthday, which just happens to be the same day as Joshua’s.
  • Laura made a Pink Lady Pie that looks like the perfect girly dessert.  I can’t wait for fresh rhubarb to try it!
  • Jennifer shares a gluten-free Quinoa Chocolate Cake recipe.  She says she ate an entire cake by herself in one day, so it must be good!
  • Julamber baked a Chocolate Beet Cake for her daughter’s first birthday. Dwight Shrute would approve!

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Enjoying the Apple Harvest

As apple season nears its end in our area, I spent some time going back through my recipes to make sure I’ve gotten a chance to enjoy them all with fresh apples.  Since I grew up with an apple orchard right next to my house, apples have always been a big part of my life.  Snipping blossoms and arranging them in a big vase in spring time, watching the little apples grow throughout the summer, picking that first Macoun in early fall and polishing it on my jeans before taking a crispy bite, sampling all the different varieties, helping press the apples into cider, and of course baking apples into a pie.  Now that I no longer live on the farm, I’ve planted my own little mini-orchard of six apple trees, but it will be a few years before I get any apples. 

Here are some of my favorite ways to eat apples.  As you prepare any of these recipes, I highly recommend eating the skin that you peel off of the apples.  The skin smells and tastes wonderful, so don’t waste it!

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Apple Tart

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Apple Walnut Bread

Apple Raspberry Crisp

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Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie or traditional Apple Pie

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Cinnamon Cider Jelly (Reduced-sugar version, too!)

Applesauce and Caramel Apple Butter 

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Cran-Applesauce

What’s your favorite way to eat apples?

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Apple Pie

Can you believe I don’t have a recipe for apple pie posted already, after 2.5 years of blogging? I grew up on an apple orchard, for goodness sake! This one has a flakey crust and nice, soft apples. (My two pie pet peeves are a raw bottom crust and crunchy, uncooked apples!)

  • dough for 2-crusted pie
  • 5-6 large apples (I like a mixture. This time it was Ida Red and Macoun.)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Roll out the bottom crust and line the pie pan. Peel and slice the apples thinly and place them in a large bowl, then add the sugar, flour and spices.  Stir to combine and pile the apples high in the crust.  Dot with butter, then roll out the remaining crust and place it on top of the apples.  Crimp the edges and cut some vents.  Bake in a preheated 425° oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° and bake for another 50 minutes.  Serve warm with slices of sharp cheddar cheese.

I had planned to take a picture, but we ate it too quickly. Next time, I promise!

Please link up in the comments with your best apple pie recipe!

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Rhubarb Cutie Pies

Thank you, rhubarb! You’ve provided the inspiration for my first new recipe since the baby was born!  This recipe can be used to make four cutie pies (4 1/2″ pans) or one 9″ pie.

  • dough for 2-crusted pie
  • 3 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 heaping Tbsp cornstarch
  • pinch salt

Line pie pans with dough and crimp the edges.  Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour into pie pans.  Cut the remaining pie crust with a cookie cutter, place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a pinch of sugar.  Bake pie crust “cookies” for 8-12 minutes at 375ºF, and bake pies for 45 minutes, until bubbly and crust is browned.  Let cool and top with pie crust cookies.  Go ahead and eat any extra pie crust cookies!

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Key Lime Pie

This is Ed’s mom Marie’s recipe for Key Lime Pie.  I love this pie, and she always makes it for my birthday instead of cake.  Marie makes it with a regular pie crust, but I wanted to try it with a graham cracker crust this time.  It’s a yellowish color, thanks to the egg yolks, and we prefer not to add food coloring to it.  Top the pie with the sweetened whipped cream right before you slice and serve.

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 12 crushed graham crackers, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • sprinkle cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Press into a pie pan and bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes.  Cool completely.

Key Lime Filling

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice (or regular lime juice)
  • 1 Tbsp lime zest

Whisk together egg yolks and condensed milk until well blended.  Add lime juice and zest and whisk to combine.  Pour into cooled pie crust and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.  Cool completely and chill.

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Whip all ingredients together right before serving.  Top pie with whipped cream and serve.

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Ruth’s Maine Blueberry Glaze Pie

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Ruth is a family friend who lives in Maine.  She’s the grandma in a big family full of lobster fishermen and she reminds me a lot of my Great-Grandma Rose.  I love spending time in Ruth’s kitchen, visiting, eating delicious treats, and playing games late into the night. 

This pie has to be made with fresh blueberries, which makes it all the more special.  Ruth uses wild Maine blueberries, but you can try it with whatever kind of blueberries you have.  Ed’s mom was nice enough to bring home some wild Maine blueberries for me, so I’m using them today.  The measurements here aren’t all exact, which makes me think of Great-Grandma Rose’s recipes even more.  I’m sure you’ll be able to figure it out!

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Ruth’s Maine Blueberry Glaze Pie

  • pre-baked and cooled pie shell
  • cream cheese
  • fresh blueberries
  • glaze*
  • sweetened whipped cream

*To make the glaze:

  • Simmer 2/3 cups blueberries and 1 cup water for 5 minutes
  • In a bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, 3 rounded Tbsp cornstarch, 1/2 cup water.
  • Add the sugar mixture to the simmering blueberries and cook, stirring, until thickened.
  • Cool.

To assemble the pie:

  • Spread the baked, cooled pie shell with a thin layer of softened cream cheese.  Just enough to smooth over the bottom of the shell so it keeps the crust from getting soggy (Note: I was out of cream cheese so I skipped this part today, but I really do like it and I’ll be sure to remember it for next time!)
  • Spread a layer of glaze over the cream cheese, then a layer of fresh blueberries.  Continue alternating until the pie is full, and end with a layer of fresh blueberries.
  • Cool in the fridge.
  • Top with fresh whipped cream and serve.

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Perfectionist

Today as I walked through my pantry, I eyed some jars of strawberry jelly and caramel apple butter, then moved them from the open shelf into a cabinet.  I wouldn’t want Ed to open and eat them before I get a chance to enter them in the fair this fall.

As I was hiding the jars behind some empty jars, I realized I’m a competitive person.  Not in a “keeping up with the Jones’s” kind of way.  Not with material things.  I just want to do my best, be the best that I can.  I guess I’m a perfectionist.

Years ago when I was completing my BEST portfolio (an evaluative portfolio for all second-year teachers in the state of Connecticut), I wanted it to be the best.  Not only did I want to get the highest score possible on my portfolio, I wanted it to be chosen as an exemplar, one of the best portfolios in the state.  Even though I didn’t get chosen as an exemplar, I did get selected to present some tips for success to teachers the following year.  That had to be good enough.

While I easily could have gotten a B on the papers I’ve worked on the last few days, that wasn’t good enough.  I don’t only want an A, I want an A+.  (Are you reading this, professor?)  I wasn’t going to do less than my best, even if it meant spending countless hours sitting at the computer while also neglecting my responsibilities around the house (like dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, pulling weeds…).  If someone was going to grade me on my housekeeping, I think I’d put in a lot more effort.  Perhaps I need to institute a monthly housekeeping report card.  (Yeah right).

Anyway, back to the fair.  Last year, I entered my butternut squash pie in the Guilford Fair and won Best In Show.  This year, I plan to enter the pie again, along with some preserves.  Strawberry jelly, caramel apple butter, applesauce, canned tomatoes and canned peaches are on my mental list of entries.  I want them to win blue ribbons.  Red and yellow are unacceptable around here.

I’m also planning to enter my butternut squash pie in the Durham Fair this year.  Durham is the unofficial state fair, and I’m going to be up against some stiff competition.  But that blue rosette from Guilford last year gave me the confidence I need to try Durham.  Blue is my favorite color.

Are you planning to enter anything in fairs this year?

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