My Cherry Pie

My sister-in-law, Holly, gave me the idea to add applesauce to huckleberry pie, to thicken it. (We had just gone berry picking in the Blue mountains) I tried it and it was wonderful. I transferred the idea to my cherry pie recipe, which always turned out a little runny. Not any more! This is so much better that the canned filling!

prepared double PIE CRUST
3/4 c. sugar
4 T. flour
2 cans red tart cherries in water
1 c. applesauce
1/8 tsp. almond extract
*2-3 drops red food coloring
1 T. butter
1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. sugar

Heat oven to 400°. Drain the cherries, reserving juice from one can. In a saucepan, combine sugar and flour. Stir in cherry juice and cook over MED HI heat, stirring constantly with whisk, until thickened. Stir in applesauce and continue stirring until thick. Remove from heat. Gently stir in cherries, almond extract, and food coloring, if desired. Roll out bottom crust and line pie plate. Pour cherries into crust. Dot with bits of butter. Roll out top crust, cutting vents for steam to escape, and cover pie. Seal top and bottom crusts together. Brush top with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar. *To prevent over-browning of crust, see APPLE PEAR PIE instructions for foil edge. Bake 30-40 minutes, until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool pie to allow filling to thicken. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Pecan Yam bake

This is from my sister, Shelli Larson. It is a Thanksgiving hit. Everyone wants to be sure somebody is bringing this dish. Why not have a little dessert on your plate, right next to the turkey, and before pie time?

3 c. cooked yams
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Turn oven on to 375°. In mixer, blend yams, sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Spread evenly in buttered 9 x 13 casserole dish.

1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. pecans

Mix sugar, flour, and salt in small mixing bowl. Cut in butter and mix in pecans. Sprinkle over top of yams. Bake for 30 minutes, or until knife in center comes out clean.

Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce

This recipe converted my husband's entire family to cranberry sauce. Well, maybe not Becca. The kids eat it like applesauce. It is really good on leftover turkey sandwiches, with sprouts, mayo and black pepper.

1 bag cranberries, fresh and washed
1 apple, washed, cored and quartered
1 orange, washed
1 1/2 c. sugar

Place cranberries, sugar, and apple in food processor. Zest orange by scraping off outer orange-colored layer of peel, leaving white on orange. Use a vegetable peeler, paring knife, or zester. Add orange zest to processor. Peel white pith off orange and add fruit sections to processor. Discard white pith. Blend until the consistency of applesauce. Serve with poultry or pork. Can be made several days in advance.


Apple Pear Pie

One Thanksgiving I decided to add the mellow taste of pears and the zing of ginger to my basic apple pie recipe. A star was born.

prepared double PIE CRUST
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
6 tart apples &
6 green pears, OR
12 tart apples (granny smith, pippin, jonathan)
1 lemon, juiced
2 T. butter

Heat oven to 425°. Core, slice, and pare apples and pears and place in large bowl, sprinkling with lemon juice as you fill the bowl. In a small bowl, mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Stir into apples. Set aside. Roll out bottom crust and place in pie plate. Fill with apples. Roll out top crust and cut vents for to steam to escape. Dot apples with bits of butter, then cover with top crust. Seal edges of top and bottom crust. *To keep crust from over-browning on edges, make a 3" wide strip of aluminum foil (connect three 3 x 12" strips by folding ends of strips together) to gently cover the edge of the pie crust. Fold ends of strip together to make a ring, and gently form to pie. Bake 30 minutes and remove foil. Bake 15 more minutes until crust is golden brown and juice is bubbling through slits. Serve warm with ice cream, or cool with whipped cream.

Pie Crust Mix & How To Roll A Pie Crust

My Mother-in-law, Virginia, taught me how to make really simple, good pie crusts. Once I finally got it down, I was a pie-making fool.

8 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
3 c. Crisco shortening

In a large mixing bowl, blend flour and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or two table knives pulled across each other in shortening and flour. Blend until crumbly. Store in airtight container in pantry. Keeps indefinitely.

For Pie Crust:

1 1/2 c. mix
5 T. ice water

Place flour in deep, medium mixing bowl. Make a "dip" in center of mix. Add ice water to "dip". Using large table spoon, slice into water and mix using up and down strokes with the edge of the spoon. Mix just until dough leaves the side of the bowl and has a smooth, "smooshy" consistency. Should not be sticky. Do not over mix or crust will be tough. Makes pastry for one crust. Pat into 1" thick patty and use immediately, or wrap and refrigerate or freeze for later use. Bring to room temperature before rolling. When ready, on a clean, floured surface, a pastry cloth, marble slab, or countertop, set patty on flour. Sprinkle patty with flour. Flour rolling pin by taking some flour in the palm of your hand and running the rolling pin through your palm. Set it on the center of the patty and using even pressure, roll out dough, top to bottom, side to side, as needed to create a round crust. Roll it out so it is at least 1 " in diameter bigger than pie plate. For bottom crust, place rolling pin at bottom of circle, lift up edge of dough and gently roll up circle around rolling pin. Place rolling pin of dough above top of pie plate, and gently unroll dough over pie plate to the bottom, centering the circle. Fill with pie recipe, or if making single crust pie, follow recipe directions. For top crust, gently fold circle of dough in half, then again in quarters. With sharp knife, make 2 or 3 short slices along edges of folds. Move crust, still folded, to filled pie. Place on one quarter of pie and carefully unfold top crust to cover. If you wish to make a more artistic design, like a simple apple or leaf, or a word, like "DAD", while top crust is still a flat circle, take sharp knife and make design in center of crust. Do not make completely connected figures or they will be left behind when you lift up the crust. Do not get too close to edges. Roll up crust with rolling pin as with bottom crust, and place carefully on filled pie, centering design if needed. Trim top and bottom crust, if needed, to 1/2" overhanging pie plate. Turn under both crusts together and seal with a pinch and twist around the edge, a pressed fork around the edge, or sealing the dough by pushing the index finger on one side of the edge of dough, into the space between the thumb and index finger of the other hand, on the other side of the edge of dough, moving around the pie to make a wavy patterned edge. Bake according to pie directions.

Pinata Soup

This is one of my favorite soups. I love the crunch of the tortilla chips in the flavorful broth, and gooey cheese. Mmmmm.

1 lb. hamburger (or diced chicken breast)
1 med. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (4-oz.) can green chiles, diced
1/4 c. fresh snipped cilantro
2 T. salt
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. peanut butter
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 c. water
2 (14-oz.) cans chopped tomatoes in juice
1 (14-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
tortilla chips
1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, grated

Brown hamburger with onion and garlic in a large soup pot over med-hi. Add chiles, cilantro, cocoa, peanut butter, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir lightly for 1 minute. Add water, tomatoes, and beans. Simmer for 20 minutes. Ladle soup over tortilla chips in bottom of bowl, and garnish with cheddar cheese.

Pumpkin Turkey Soup With Wild Rice

Everyone should be famous for at least one recipe. This is one of mine. It's great for leftover turkey at Thanksgiving.

4 c. chicken or turkey stock
2 c. water
1 c. cream or whole milk
1 (24-oz.) can pumpkin
6 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 c. cooked turkey or chicken breast, diced
2 c. cooked wild rice
1 can green chiles, diced
1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, grated

Bring stock, water, and cream to a boil. Whisk in pumpkin, sugar, cumin, salt, chili powder, and nutmeg. Reduce heat and simmer until soup thickens. For a light soup or first course, serve at this stage, garnished with cheddar cheese. For a heartier soup, continue: Add turkey, wild rice, chiles and heat through. Serve garnished with cheddar cheese.