Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mock Apple Pie

Mock Apple Pie is an Apple Pie without any Apples in it at all. I know, strange, but true. You use crackers, water, sugar, lemons and cinnamon. That's it. And oddly enough, it DOES taste like Apple Pie.
What an interesting concept. Apparently this was something Pioneers made while moving across the Praries when Apples were scarce. I had heard it came about during WWII, but I think what that means is that's when Ritz Crackers put the recipie on the box. Which, as far as the marketing department is concerned, I'm sure is the same thing. And, as Jeff pointed out, Apples weren't really something on the rationed list.
But I found this letter from Henderson, TX that has a Mock Apple Pie recipie. It's dated 1858. I put the whole letter in here 'cause it cracks me up and sounds like something I would send.
Henderson Texas April 4th 1858
Dear Bet
I received your kind letter a few days ago, and haveing (sic) nothing else
to do this evening I concluded to write you a few lines, provided I don't get to (sic)
Lazy to finish. There is no news here of interest. Minnie has been home and staid
(sic) a week Josephus Ray has got the measels (sic) we will all have it. I am very
sorry for I dread it. Jake continues to get worse, the dr says he can't cure him, he is
a great deal of trouble it makes me very sorry to look at him he is swelled so bad. my
garden is very poor Well Bet I believe I am getting almost to (sic) lazy to finish my
letter Helen R. report says is to be married soon to Mr Fish. I never see her now she
has never been here since you left Bet you must excuse this short letter and write soon
give my love to all tell Jinny and Priss to write to me tell Ma I have never got the wool.
I don't expect Mr Lewis has ever tried to find out where it is. I am very sorry I did not
get it I wish I could get it. good by Bet. Write soon Your etc
Sue Smith

Bet I have learned to make a new kind of Pie I think you all would like them they taste just
like an apple pie make some and try them see if you dont love them.
Take a teaspoon heaping full of tartarlic (sic) acid and dissolve it in water a teasp (sic) full
of sugar and stir it in the acid then take cold biscuit or light bread and crumble in it. have
enough to make to (sic) pies put it in a crust and one over it and bake it they are fully as
good as Apple pies the spoonful of acid and cup of sugar is enough to make two pies
So how did it taste? I put a little too much lemon juice in there, so it had a nice lemony tang, but next time I'll cut back a bit. I kinda wanted a substantial bite, but crackers get soggy when soaked in liquid, so no bite there. But it was really good, and held up pretty well. Besides, I liked not having to peel and core a peck of apples.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Spicy Pear Tart

So this was a bit of a devience from the norm, but I thought it would be worth it. Besides, how could you not get excited about a Pear Tart with Ginger in it and a Caramel Bottom?

Very yummy! Though the caramel seeped through the bottom of the Springform Pan. After looking into it, I see that this seems to be the problem with springform pans anyway. I wrapped the bottom of the pan in foil, so it didn't go all over the oven, but a lot of the caramel seeped down into the foil. It would have been a really great bit with more caramel. Maybe next time I'll line the inside of the pan with parchment paper, and then nothing will leak. Hmm, good idea.

It was cooked well, the tart was still nice and moist. Though after discussing it, Schwartz, Molly and I decided that it might be really yummy if I did 2 layers of caramel. One on the bottom, do the tart layer, and then another layer of caramel before putting on the pears. Then the caramel might seep through the batter. Which I don't think would be a bad thing at all!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fly Pie

I live in San Diego, where the weather is wonderful year-round. Hence the windows are always open. And the door usually stays open too to let in more light in and a bit more of a breeze. And Flies.

So I first noticed them about a month ago when my friend Jess came to visit me. We were starting to get buzzed by them, and so armed with rolled up Newspapers we had a fun time swatting flies. Jess is a Master Swatter. Perhaps we should have felt bad for murdering so many flies. They only live 24 hours anyway, so why not let them enjoy it? What can I say, we're cruel.

Unfortunately this is not the end of the story. August was an incredibly hot month, and they multiplied. I opened the door on Tuesday night and I was accosted by a Swarm of flies. It might have been funny, but there is nothing funny about walking across your carpet and having them hop out of the way. Not to mention the fact that I was showing the apartment to a potential roommate. Thankfully she was just as baffled as me, and assured me that there was nothing disgusting about the apartment and there was no reason for them to have invaded so completely. Jeff showed up right as I was setting a fly trap, and we attempted to swat as many as we could, but were thwarted by the sheer magnitude of their forces. I knew when we parted the curtain and they attacked us with all their might that a Weapon of Mass Destruction was required.

The next day I nuc-ed the hell out of those little suckers with Raid. Let me tell you that stuff is the BOMB! (pun fully intended) The horrible thing is that I could actually hear them screaming. One fly dying and crying out in pain can be ignored, but 10,000 Flies all crying out at the same time is really quite unsettling. But it was worth it when I opened the door and nothing moved.

So in memorandum for all the little fly souls I murdered in my quest for dominance over the ownership of the apartment, I am baking a pie.

How strange is it that everyone of my friends, when I told them I was going to make a Fly Pie, all asked, "You're not going to use real flies. .... Are you?" Of course not! I may be a Crazy Pie Lady, but I'm not that crazy!!!

I decided to make a Rum Raisin Apple Pie, which turned out very well, if I do say so myself. I'm always apprehensive about Apple Pie. It scares me a bit, but I thought this one was going to be great! As I'm assembling it, Schwartz leaned in and asked what I was planning on doing with the top of it. I honestly hadn't thought about it, but as usual, Schwartz had a plan. He mixed butter, cinnamon and a little bit of sugar together and piled it on top. It browned up so nicely, and I think, really made the pie! Thanks Schwartz!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Suggestions & Requests

So many people have said, "Oooooh, when you make ____ Pie let me know!" I've had so many of those I don't know what to do with them all. So I've decided to start taking requests here. If there is a Pie that you want I will do my best to accommodate. We might as well make my obsession something everyone can benefit from! So leave a comment and we'll have some crazy Pie Eating to do!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Peach - Blueberry Angel Pie

Okay, so another friend came in town and she - as the guest of honor - chose an Angel Pie. I made one for the 4th of July, but I didn't beat the Meringue enough, so it kinda spread out in the oven.

This time the meringue was perfect, but as it was a Chicken Night I got impatient and didn't cook it long enough. So though it looked amazing when I took it out of the oven an hour before I should have, it fell within a few minutes. The Peaches and Blueberries I put on top of it made the whole dessert still taste amazing, but next time, I will make sure and cook it the right amount of time.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cherry Peach Pie

I have to confess the combination here just jumped up and bit me. I HAD to try it. I went to the market and found White Peaches. The colors with the White and Dark Red was gorgeous! I topped it with a strudel topping, but I almost wish I did a lattice top instead. That way the colors could be more pronounced.

I liked the sweetness, but I should have probably used Tart Cherries instead. It would have been more of a contrast. And then I wouldn't feel bad about lathering it in Vanilla Ice Cream!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

This was phenomenal!! I was a bit scared to try THE Pie of Pies. I had always heard of Rhubarb Pies, but had actually never tried one myself. Preparing it was a little odd. Do I just chop it up? Do I have to boil it? Is there any special cleaning I have to do? In the end it reminded me of celery. Big Red Celery. And really, how hard is it to screw up celery? Is it even possible? I don't think so!

The topping was a Sweet Cornmeal Crumb. All I can say is ....... oh yeah!! I'm sure a standard Pie Crust topping would work, but this was just sooo yummy! The favorite of the night.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Blackberry Peach Pie....... by Mail!!

So after awhile of hearing all about my Pie Escapades my family has started to ask when I'm going to start sending them some. Well, there are many good things about living in California. The weather, the people, the fresh fruit (for pies). But living in Cali is not that great when your entire family is located on the other side of the country. But after tons of questions, suggestions on FedEx and finally begging, I gave in. It was a special occassion afterall.

So in honor of the Best Daddy in the Whole World being born I decided to ship a pie. I went with the Blackberry-Peach Double Crust Pie. My personal favorite. I wrapped it as tightly as I could with saran wrap, and then packed it with a bunch of Bubble wrap. Hopefully it will still be in one piece instead of Cobbler when he gets it. We shall see.

I wonder though if I should have sent a Frozen Pie and then given instructions on how to bake it. I didn't include a cool pack or anything. I thought that keeping it at room temp would probably be the best. And if it got heated in the trucks on the way, that wouldn't be so bad. But he did get morning delivery, so it shouldn't be that bad.

Any thoughts?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Blueberry-Lime Pie

This was the easiest Pie to make yet. The prep time seriously took 10 minutes. Throw some stuff in a bowl, let it juice. Pour it in a Pie Tin. Cook for an hour. Let it cool. It was awesome. And it set so well! Not runny at all. I think the trick is really to let it cool fully.

It was a nice pie, there was the sweetness and the whole blueberry flavor. But the lime added a fun zest and zing to the end of it. And it made you keep going back for more. I think Blueberry Pies alone are good, but generally there is always something missing for me. The addition of the lime was that wonderful addition to pull it all together.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Pluot Pie with Crumble Topping

Holy Shit this was a great pie! I had 2 different groups clammoring for it. So I made a personal pie for home for my friend Jess's visit. And another one for the office. I had never even heard of a Pluot until Molly and I went to the Farmer's Market yesterday. It was so sweet and juicy. Perfect for a Pie I thought.

So delicious. The crumble topping was excellent. Nice and lemony which only enhanced the flavor of the pie. I added some plums which added a bit more color to the mix and a fun tartness.

My downfall here was that I cooked the 2 pies in the oven at the same time. Not a good idea. The edges of the crusts were burnt and their bottoms were still raw. Next time.... One at a time!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Fig & Raspberry Freeform Pie

Molly and I went to the Farmer's Market yesterday and bought a bunch of fresh fruit. We also bought the very first batch of Figs for the season from the farmer. Actually, Molly had never had a fig before. So after I bought mine we each popped one right into our mouths. Se was so surprised, and they were so delicious we bought him completely out!! So with Molly's new fondness for figs, I made this.

It was so easy to make and was so beautiful! I brought along some whipped cream to top it with, but we completely forgot to use it.

Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

I made this for Justine in honor of her leaving San Diego..... To return to San Diego in 3 weeks. She asked for a cheesecake and this was the closest I can manage. I cheated and bought a pre-made graham cracker crust. Sometimes it's just so worth it! There's nothing quite like a home-made crust. However, there really is nothing wrong with the store bought kind. It's just as buttery and flaky, and it so hassle-free!

This was the favorite of the night!The fresh berries mixed with the cooked ones worked very well, and the fresh ones burst in your mouth that only enhanced the flavor. But let's not forget the sour/cream cheese topping. Oh dear god! I don't feel bad that some of it didn't make it onto the pie. I just feel fat. If I wasn't so dedicated I would have pushed my entire face in that decadent bowl.

It would also be positively sinful on top of brownies

Jalepeno Pie

So this actually started off as a joke. I told my friend Lawler about the Pear Jalepeno Pie and asked him what kind of pie he wanted. He requested a purely Jalepeno Pie. Smart ass. But not to be out done, I did some research and actually found a Jalepeno Pie. Needless to say he was shocked. And then jealous when I didn't bring any in.

Basically this is a like a quiche. It's super simple and oh so yummy. Line the bottom of a pie pate with Jalepenos. (I used an entire jar, it was quite spicy)then cover that with grated cheese, and then cover all that with about 6 Eggs, beaten and seasoned with Salt & Pepper. Cook for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. It's so delicious, and a great breakfast. I served this up for Jess and I with "Mark's Luna Park Bloody Marys" (a great random find in San Francisco. If anyone goes to SF FIND THIS PLACE!!) It was phenomenal.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lemon Meringue Pie

There's not much I can say about this, other than it was not Pie. It was a lovely Lemon Soup. The Meringue was perfect! So light and stiff and it browned wonderfully. But the pie just didn't set. I am not my Great Aunt Leona. ..... YET!

(her pies ALWAYS set. Always.)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Pear Jalepeno Jelly Pie

I saw this in a recipie book, which I bought on the spot. I was so intrigued by the combination of the two I couldn't contain myself until I got home and started baking. I even bought a new pie plate in the honor of the new book.

I took it to a Kelly & Christine BBQ along with the Blackberry-Peach Pie. This won for the evening. I wouldn't tell anyone what was in it. I was afraid that they wouldn't try it if they knew it had anything "Odd" in it. And boy was I right. Thankfully they aren't close-minded friends, and so far this remains many of their favorites.

Blackberry Peach Pie

I Made this for a Kelly & Christine BBQ. Molly actually requested this and it does taste like her. Strangely enough it does. It fits her personality to a T. But so far this isn't her favorite pie. It's mine.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Cherry Pie

Happy 4th of July! It just isn't the 4th of July without a Cherry Pie. They're in season, and people just ooze when they see you walk into a party with baked goods! We partied down at Matt Schwartz's house and he cooked up a storm. At first we were upset because there was all this food and only a handful of people. But the 6 of us completely annihalated the 2 Beer Can Chickens, Blue Cheese Hamburgers, and Whole Fish Steamed in a Meringue Crust that all of us had a hand in whipping! We whipped it good!

There was a varied outcome on this. Some people thought it was too tart, others thought it was perfect. I used Dried Orange Cranberries instead of dried Cherries, and I thought it gave it a wonderful flavor without making it too tart. Though this pie deffinately needed Vanilla Ice Cream.

Molly and I decorated the top of the pie with a beautiful lattice crust and a great looking Cherry design. She did a beautiful job decorating it! Maybe she'll be awesome and post the pic she took!