Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Week 12: Off to the County Fair

The Washington County Fair was coming up this week. So on Friday, I spent all day baking eight pies altogether. I entered five of them in the fair. The other three were duplicates of some of the fair pies.

The pies had to be entered on Sunday, and were judged on Monday. But I had to wait until the fair opened on Thursday to find out if I won any ribbons

To my delight, I had won three blue ribbons, for the blueberry, peach, and cherry-cherry-berry pies.

I took the duplicate blueberry pie to work and shared it with my co-workers. It was delicious, with just-right sweetness and fresh blueberry taste.

I wasn't surprised that the other two pies had not won. We discovered that the duplicate lemon meringue pie was more like soup. It just didn't set up right. Alton Brown let me down. (I got the recipe from his show) The meringue looked rather like alligator skin--there must have been too much moisture.

The strawberry delight pie, which is the same one that won a blue ribbon at the Multnomah County fair back in May, turned out differently this time. It didn't taste as sweet, and the cream cheese flavor seemed too pronounced. No wonder it didn't win.

We have decided that the solution must be that I have to combine the recipes for the fresh strawberry pie, the one that I didn't make because the filling didn't thicken up enough, and the strawberry delight pie. That gives it the right sweetness and texture. I guess I've invented a new recipe!

You can find the recipe for the cherry-cherry-berry pie here, and the strawberry delight pie here (but watch for an updated recipe on that one). I'm not going to put this lemon meringue pie recipe in the blog, but you can see here for a different recipe I've used that has turned out well.

I've included the recipes for the peach pie and the blueberry pie below.

Spiced Peach Pie
recipe from FoodNetwork.com, Sandra Lee

Prep Time:5 min
Cook Time:1 hr
Serves: 8 servings.

For filling:
2 (12-ounce) bags frozen peach slices
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup instant tapioca
2 tablespoons crystalized ginger, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For crust:
1 (11-ounces) box pie crust mix
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon peach nectar, chilled, divided
1 egg
2 tablespoons coarse sugar, for dusting, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For filling:
In a medium bowl, stir to combine all filling ingredients. Set aside for 15 minutes.

For crust:
In a large bowl, stir together pie crust mix and 1/3 cup chilled peach nectar until dough forms a ball. Split dough in half, and form into 2 disks.

On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll dough 1 1/2-inches larger than an upside-down 9-inch pie pan. Fold dough in half and unfold over pie pan. Press onto bottom of pan.

Fill pie shell with peach filling mixture; set aside.

Roll out remaining dough and place over filled pie shell. Pinch the edges of the pie together or crimp with a fork. Trim away any excess dough.

Lightly beat egg with 1 tablespoon peach nectar or water to make egg wash. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush top of pie with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut slit in center to vent pie.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbling through vent. If edges get too brown, cover edges with foil to prevent burning.

Cool before slicing.

Country Blueberry Pie
Recipe courtesy Cheri Garnett, from FoodNetwork.com

Prep Time:1 hr
Cook Time:1 hr
Serves: 6 to 8 servings.

3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
3 cups blueberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
Flour, for dusting
Sugar, for sprinkling on top

Filling: Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and water. Add to a saucepan and heat rapidly until thickened. Set aside to cool as you prepare the pastry. Once cooled add the berries and lemon juice.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening. Whisk together egg, water and vinegar. Add to flour mixture tossing lightly with a fork. Turn out onto a lightly floured cutting board and using your hands combine dough. Separate into 2 single crusts. Line the bottom of a pie plate with 1 of the crusts.

Pour filling into dough lined pie pan, and sprinkle the lemon juice over the filling. Adjust top crust, cut vents and flute rim. Sprinkle top lightly with sugar. Place pie onto a baking sheet and into the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool, cut and enjoy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Week 11: It's All Her Fault

As I was contemplating what kind of pie I wanted to make this week, one of my friends posted on her Facebook profile that she was in the mood to do some baking, including a sour cream lemon pie, but she was getting a migraine and was probably going to have to go lay down.

This is one of the things I love about Facebook--the inspiration! So, I set about finding a recipe for Sour Cream Lemon Pie. I found one that sounded fairly simple and good on tasteofhome.com. It turned out that my friend uses the same recipe, but she says she uses low-fat lemon yogurt instead of sour cream.

My husband thought it was very good, and just-right lemony with the sour cream. I should probably try it with the lemon yogurt sometime just to see if we like it that way.

I dropped one pie off to my inspiration, who was resting in her room so her kids let me in and I put it in her fridge.

I took the other pie over to a friend who was moving the very next day. It was sad to see her empty house (the movers had already come and gotten most of the stuff). Since she hadn't eaten I was glad to provide some food, and some company for a while.

Sour Cream-Lemon Pie
from TasteofHome.com

8 Servings
Prep: 20 min. + chilling

Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Roll out pastry to fit a 9-in. pie plate. Transfer to pie plate; trim to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate. Flute edges. Line unpricked pastry with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450° for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5-7 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in milk and lemon juice; add egg yolks and lemon peel. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Stir in butter and cool to room temperature. Stir in sour cream and pour filling into pie shell. Top with whipped cream. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 8 servings.