dessert

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It took me almost 40 years to master the technique, but I finally got it right.

According to my grandmother, a good sugar cream pie has two layers. The top should be a light custard. The second layer needs to be rich and even a little syrupy.The result is a totally decadent blend of flavor and texture.

When my grandparents owned the Wawasee Restaurant during the ’40s (which is before I was born), my grandmother’s “old-fashioned cream” pie was the signature dessert. She also served it at family gatherings; as did my mother. When I was a new bride, this was the first recipe I copied into the blank pages of my brand-new cookbook.

It was and always will be my favorite pie.

Although sugar cream pie is associated with the Amish, the recipe has been traced back to 1816, the year Indiana became a state and long before the Amish came to this area.  Virtually unheard of outside of  Indiana, Sugar Cream pie officially became Indiana’s State Pie on January 23, 2009.

I definitely believe Sugar Cream pie is more than worthy of the honor.  

But, I think there is an over-abundance of gloppy (where you can really taste the flour) custard pies being passed off as Hoosier Sugar Creams. Basically,they are custard pies–only with a LOT of flour substituted for the eggs. They don’t do the dessert justice.

If the recipe sounds a bit artery-clogging, my mother makes her pie with 2% milk instead of cream. It is still wonderful.

Enjoy!

REAL HOOSIER CREAM SUGAR PIE

¼ Cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 generous tablespoon butter

1 egg yolk

2 heaping tablespoons flour

1 pinch salt”

Milk or Cream (1-1 ½ cups…enough to fill pie shell) Preheat oven to 410 degrees. Mix brown and white sugar with flour. Sprinkle flour/sugar mixture over pie crust. Beat egg yolk with milk. Fill pie shell. Take a spoon and swirl it through the milk mixture a couple of times. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg.

Bake at 410 degrees for 10 minutes.Then bake at 350 for 45 minutes. The filling should be bubbling. The center should still jiggle. Be careful not to overcook or the filling will not set.

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DH’s grandmother’s apple tapioca pudding is perfect comfort food.

APPLE TAPIOCA PUDDING

3/4 cup pearl or 1/2 cup minute tapioca 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cold water 7 sour apples
21/2 cups boiling water 1/2 cup sugar

Soak tapioca one hour in cold water to cover, drain, add boiling water and salt; cook in double boiler until transparent. Core and pare apples, arrange in buttered pudding-dish, fill cavities with sugar, pour over tapioca, and bake in moderate oven until apples are soft. Serve with sugar and cream or whipped cream. Minute Tapioca requires no soaking.

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Our neighborhood grocery has hitching posts and shelter for horses.

This is one of my favorite recipes. Perfect for special holidays, it looks and tastes wonderful. It is easy to make too.

I have also included my pie crust recipe.

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My, oh my…this pie is SO GOOD!

Amish Sour Cream Apple Pie with Brown Sugar Topping

FILLING:

Mix:

2/3 cup sugar

2 tblsp. flour

1/4 tsp salt

ADD:

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

Stir in 3 cups of apples. If apples are not tart add 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice to apples before adding them to the sour cream mixture.

Put filling into unbaked pie and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Remove pie from oven and sprinkle with Brown Sugar Crumb topping. Bake for an additional 20 more minutes.

BROWN SUGAR CRUMB TOPPING

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/4 cup butter (room temperature)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix together all ingredients until they become course and crumbly.

COOL PIE FOR AN HOUR BEFORE SERVING.

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Be sure to cool for an hour before serving.

PERFECT PIE CRUST

Mix together

2 cups all-purpose flour (I use Gold Meadow)

1 tsp salt

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Cut butter and shortening into flour mixture with a fork until it is cumbly. Don’t worry about overmixing at this stage.

 Cut in with fork :

 2/3 cup chilled lard or shortening (I use Crisco)

2 tbsp. chilled butter

Sprinkle dough with:

4 tbsp. water

Blend the water lightly into the dough. You may lift the ingredients with a fork, allowing the moisture to hold the ingredients together. You may add up to 1 more tablespoon of water if needed.

Gather the dough up  into two balls. Chill until ready to roll out.

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Once you have sprinkled your dough with water, mix and handle the dough as little as possible. This crust has been rolled out and is ready to be crimped.

STILL LOOKING FOR APPLE RECIPES? The Rocky Road of Love has an Apple Cake said to be so rich, moist and full of tangy apples you can have it for breakfast, the next day: http://rockyroadoflove.wordpress.com/2007/09/28/fresh-apple-cake/#comment-939

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Looking for Holiday Recipes? Be sure to visit Overwhelmed With Joy’s 2nd Edition of, “Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style”  at:

http://overwhelmedwithjoy.blogspot.com/

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Our vegetables have spread from the counter to the table. It has been so rainy, we are trying to cure our onions inside.

Tomato cake?

Whoever heard of tomato cake?

We have given away cucumbers and onions and potatoes and tomatoes to just about everyone we know. I’ve made sauce. I’m not fond of canned tomatoes. Then, I found a recipe from who-knows-where, stuffed into a cookbook for tomato cake. I had only to read that it included an ENTIRE cup of dark brown sugar to know it was a recipe with potential.

 With cream cheese frosting, it was wonderful.

dsc00481.jpg The first step toward peeling tomatoes is to put them into boiling water until the skin cracks.

dsc00482.jpg Next plunge the tomatoes into ice water and pull the skin off.

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I’m stirring in the tomatoes, raisins, dates and walnuts. It is not looking very good.

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The cake is done and cooling before being frosted. I used a silicon baking pan for the first time and didn’t use enough support taking the cake out so it cracked. But, I can tell from the smell and what I can see I am going to like it.

FRESH FROM THE GARDEN TOMATO CAKE

Ingredients

1 cup brown sugar, dark
1/2 cup vegetable shortening

2 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups ripe, peeled and chopped up tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup raisins

Directions

Mix cream sugar and shortening.

Add eggs.

Add sifted dry ingredients, mixing well.

Stir in tomatoes, nuts, dates, and raisins.

Put into greased and floured 9x inch baking pan.

Bake in preheated 350’F oven for 35 minutes or until cake tests
done.

Frost with cream cheese frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Ingredients

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions: In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

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Tomato cake ready to be served.

As promised, here are my SUPER, SECRET ingredients to always perfect, moist and tasty roast chicken with crisp and golden skin:

dsc00499.jpg I’ve been stuffing my roast chicken with an apple and onion for over 20 years and always had perfect results.

For a flavorful and moist roast chicken, stuff it with an a cut up apple and halved or quartered onion. Don’t bother to core or peel the apple. Butter your chicken. Sprinkle with rosemary, paprika, salt, pepper and maybe a little lemon (or not). Bake at 325 to 350 degrees and baste often.

Your chicken is done when the legs move freely and the juices are clear.

 UPDATE: Healingmagichands, http://healingmagichands.wordpress.com/ , wrote to say that she puts sprigs of rosemary inside the chicken cavity along with lemons and onions. She says putting fruit & onions inside her chicken  gives her a crispy crust with very moist and flavorful meat.

I like the taste of rosemary with chicken so much that I use it to butter the outside of my roast chicken. (And always with roast potatoes.) But, I bet my chicken WOULD be even better with a sprig of rosemary in the cavity.

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The pear crisp is warm from the oven and ready to serve.

This dessert features a wonderful, butter pecan crisp topping over fresh pears in an Old South flavored brown sugar, cream cheese sauce. It is best warm from the oven and topped with good vanilla ice cream or a whipped topping.

 INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp. cream cheese (softened to room temperature)

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 large pears, peeled, cored and cut in chunks

2 tbsp. chopped pecans

8 crushed vanilla wafers

2 tbsp. butter

vanilla ice cream or whipped topping

 DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350. Butter small casserole dish. Mix sugar, softened cream cheese, cinnamon and salt until well blended. Stir in pears and pour mixture into buttered casserole.

Mix pecans, wafers and butter in another bowl. Sprinkle over cream cheese with pear mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until pears are bubbling and crispy topping is golden brown.

Serve with ice cream or whipped topping.

Makes 4 small or 2 very large servings.

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Getting the ingredients together.

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A zip lock bag makes crushing crumbs and cleaning up a breeze.

ANOTHER VERSION: Ellaella of  made this dessert with some Yankee touches. One of the changes she made was to substitute gingersnaps for the vanilla wafers. She also made individual servings instead of using one casserole dish. AND …according to Ellaella the crisp was outstanding. You can find Ellaella’s version here: http://foodpluspolitics.com/

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DH’s grandmother’s cookbook.

Does anyone know what the second ingredient is in the chocolate pudding recipe?

I guessed sugar.

DH thinks the word is Snickers.

DH’s guess is supported by the correct spelling of the word sugar in the vanilla sauce recipe on the opposite page. But, I am still skeptical.

DH talks a lot about what a good cook his Grandmother Helen was. So I wanted to do something special for him and to make him something from her cookbook. 

Only I wasn’t sure about the recipe’s second ingredient.

DH was. 

Once I asked for his help and showed him the cookbook he had a craving for Snicker pudding. He offered to run down to the closest convenience store.

There is no way I would ever turn down an opportunity to get Snickers bars into our house. I agreed to make the pudding if DH would get the candy.

Six cups of milk sounded like too much pudding for two people so I halved the recipe. We still had two day’s worth of dessert. It was good. DH loved it.

(I did decrease the cornstarch to  1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup and the pudding was still thick. I also added some sugar along with the snickers.)

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Preparations for Snicker bar pudding.

 DH’s Grandmother’s Chocolate Snicker Pudding

Mix in a saucepan:

2 cut up Snicker’s bars

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

pinch of salt

Slowly add 3 cups of milk, stirring the whole time. Bring to a boil.

dsc00260.jpg The pudding is done and in the bowl.

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 According to my husband this was the best peach pie, ever.

I made changes in the recipe because the peaches were so juicy. I also wanted my top crust to stay crispy. So, I mixed 2 tablespoons of flour with 1/4 cup of sugar. I put the sugar/flour mixture over the filling before dotting with butter and adding the top crust. (Don’t worry the top mixture of sugar and flour will cook into the pie. And, it will keep your top crust from becoming soggy.)

PEACH PIE FILLING:

 5 to 6 cups of peaches

1/2 to 2/3 cup white or brown sugar (I used 2/3 cup of white)

1/8 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Dot with 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter

DIRECTIONS: Bake the pie in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. The middle should be bubbling.

dsc00223.jpg How to peel peaches: dip the fruit in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and put into a large bowl or pot of cold water and ice. The skins will easily slide off.

Healingmagichands of  http://healingmagichands.wordpress.com/, kindly added it is important to make sure the peaches are ripe before peeling. Otherwise the peels may not slip off.

Thanks for your help, Healingmagichands!

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Peaches ripening in a sunny window.

After a couple of days in a sunny window the peaches, saved from the beetles, were ripe and ready. I had enough to make a peach cobbler and a peach pie, plus some for the freezer. 

I love peach pies, crisps and cobblers, BUT with freshly ripened organic ones, this dessert is one of my favorites. Especially topped with vanilla ice cream.

dsc00224.jpg Getting ready to make peach cobbler.

SOUTHERN PEACH COBBLER FOR TWO

(Can be doubled)

FILLING:

2 cups peaches

1/2 tsp. lemon juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tsp. cornstarch

TOPPING:

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

2 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

1 tablespoon butter cut into pieces

2 tablespoons whipping cream

dsc00227.jpg DIRECTIONS:

Grease small casserole dish with butter. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel & cut up peaches. Mix peaches and lemon juice. Mix cornstarch, brown sugar and cinnamon with peaches and put peaches into greased casserole dish.

 In another bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add the cream and toss with flour mixture just until the dough is combined.

 Turn the dough out onto a flour surface and knead a few times to smooth it. Then roll it out into the shape of the casserole dish. Place the dough over the filling and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. of sugar. Bake until the top is golden and the juices are bubbling. 25 to 30 minutes.

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 The cobbler is ready to eat.

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My raspberry pie is dotted with butter and ready for the top crust.

It was a bit tart.

The next time I make this I will add more sugar. But still, two people ate the whole pie in two days.

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Mrs. Weaver’s Produce Stand

I live in Amish country…entrepreneurial Amish country. My neighbors sell eggs, vegetables, fruit, quilts, vitamins, bread, home baked food, dried noodles, handmade furniture and flowers from their homes.

Saturday, Mrs. Weaver had one pint of red raspberries. I had already gathered two cups of black raspberries from the wild bushes in our woods. With the red raspberries from the vegetable stand I had enough berries for pie.

dsc00163.jpg Red & Black Raspberry Pie

4 cups fresh berries

1 cup or more sugar (you will need more)

¼ cup flour

2 teaspoons tapioca

1 tablespoon lemon juice

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons butter

Mix all of the ingredients except for the berries & butter.

Sprinkle sugar and flour mixture over berries and stir gently. Let stand for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Turn the fruit into a pie shell. Dot with butter. Cover the pie with top crust. Prick holes and design in crust. Bake the pie at 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350. Bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes or until the pie is golden brown.