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Archive for the ‘Pies’ Category

A Lenten Main Dish

Dear Readers,

The season of Lent begins today, which is Ash Wednesday, and for Catholics that means meatless meals today and for the next six Fridays.  It really isn’t much of a sacrifice because there are so many delicious meatless dishes.  Here’s one I copied from a carton of Kraft’s cottage cheese.  My husband and I really enjoyed it.

Italian Spinach Pie

2 cups cottage cheese

1 – 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and well drained

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 – 7 oz. jar roasted red peppers, well drained, chopped

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients until well blended.  Pour into greased 9-inch pie plate.  Bake 40 minutes or until center is set.

Enjoy and don’t forget to

Keep smilin’!

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No Bake Blueberry Pie

Dear Readers,

A tennis friend in NC invited my husband and me to dinner at her home a couple of summers ago.  She served blueberry pie for dessert and it was scrumptious.  This is the recipe she graciously shared with me.  Thanks, Marty!

Blueberry Pie

4 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon butter

Spread two cups of fresh blueberries in a store-bought graham cracker pie crust.  Cook remaining two cups of blueberries with sugar, cornstarch, salt and water over medium heat until thick.  Remove from heat and add butter.  Cool and pour over blueberries in crust.  Chill pie in fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Note:  This can be made in a prebaked regular pie crust.  It is heavenly served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Another Note:  Just recently made this pie and I cut the sugar to 1/2 cup and it was still sweet.  If your blueberries are tart, use 1 cup sugar; otherwise, you can easily reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup.  It saves calories and is healthier for you.

Keep smilin!

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Dear Readers,

It’s that time of year to enjoy locally grown strawberries and here’s a quick and easy recipe to highlight those luscious berries.

Strawberry Apricot Pie

1 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese

3/4 cup apricot preserves

1 pint strawberries

2 tablespoons water

1 – 9″ graham cracker pie crust

Mash softened cream cheese until smooth and light.  Gradually blend in half the preserves.  (It will not look like enough.)  Spread into the crust.  Place capped berries cap side down, well into the cheese mixture.  Melt the other half of the preserves with the water, and spoon 1/2 teaspoon over each berry.  Chill.

Enjoy and remember to always

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Here’s an easy holiday dessert featuring ricotta cheese.  It is from the makers of Maggio Ricotta Cheese.  Pastina, one of the ingredients, is a tiny star shaped pasta made by Barilla.  This recipe will definitely add an Italian flair to your holiday entertaining.

Nona’s Ricotta Pie

3 lbs. Maggio Ricotta Cheese

2 cups sugar

6 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla or anise extract

1 cup cooked pastina

1 greased 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish

Directions:

Combine ingredients and mix well.  Pour into the pan and bake at 325 degrees for two hours.  Top must be firm.  Serves 10 to 12.  When cool, sprinkle with candied fruit and nuts.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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Apple Pie With A Twist

Dear Readers,

Apples of all colors and varieties are beginning to show up at the Farmer’s Market.  I guess September is the start of “apple season”.  So here’s a recipe for apple pie that’s a little different.  The crumb topping includes grated cheddar cheese for an extra layer of flavor.  My husband loves this recipe.

Apple Cheddar Pie

6 tart cooking apples

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon salt

9″ pie pan lined with your favorite pastry, the edges fluted

Topping:

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/4 cup melted butter

Peel, quarter, core and slice apples.  Mix the sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and salt, and toss the apple slices lightly in this mixture.  Arrange the apples, overlapping the slices, in the pastry-lined pan.

Make topping.  Combine flour, sugar, salt and cheese.  Mix in the melted butter.  Sprinkle the cheese crumbs over apples.  Bake until topping and crust are golden brown, 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

Note:  Mimi uses Granny Smith apples and extra-sharp cheddar cheese.

This recipe came from Maria O’Malley and was printed in the “LaChef’s de Lasalle” cookbook distributed by the LaSalle’s Mothers Club.  The cookbook was the first edition printed in 1990.  My son attended LaSalle College High School and gave me the book as a Christmas present in his freshman year.  It came with a navy blue “LaSalle” imprinted apron, which I still wear, even though the gold letters are almost completely faded.  Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

I guess you can tell by now that Mimi’s favorite dessert is a great big piece of pie!  And there are so many summer fruits that make excellent pies.  There are peaches, strawberries, cherries, blueberries and blackberries available most of the summer.  Well, here’s a great recipe for blackberry pie using either fresh or frozen berries.  Try it and I think you will agree, it’s delicious!

Sour Cream Blackberry Pie

Pastry:

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

2 to 3 tablespoons water

Filling:

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon flour

3 cups ripe blackberries

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Grated nutmeg

Combine flour, salt and shortening in a small bowl.  Cut the shortening into flour using pastry blender or two knives until shortening is the size of peas.

Sprinkle with water and stir with fork until mixture holds together.  Roll 1/8-inch thick on a floured board and line an 8- or 9-inch pie plate with it.  Chill.

Mix sour cream, sugar and flour.  Spread blackberries in pie crust.  Sprinkle lemon juice over berries and spoon sour cream mixture over the top.  Grate a sprinkling of nutmeg over the top.  Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue baking about 40 minutes, or until berries are soft, juicy and bubbly.  Serves 6.

This recipe was originally printed in the June 24, 1990 issue of the Sunday Courier-Journal magazine.  My Dad sent me this recipe.  He was a real blackberry lover.  He used to tell great stories about picking blackberries near the railroad tracks when he was a kid.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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Mmm, Mmm Good Peach Pie

Dear Readers,

Okay, here’s another summer dessert that Mimi loves!  I try to bake at least 2 to 3 peach pies every summer.  My mother cut this recipe out of the newspaper about 30 years ago and I tried it and loved the results.  Peaches are plentiful at the farmers’ market right now and as we recently strolled past the stalls, my husband reminded me how much he loves my peach pie!  Baked one yesterday and it was delicious.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. (It’s also my son’s favorite pie.)

Fresh Peach Pie

Line a 9″ pie pan with an unbaked pie crust and fill with sliced, fresh, peeled peaches.  Then cream 1 cup sugar with 1/3 cup softened butter or margarine and add 1/3 cup flour, one beaten egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  Spread this mixture over the peaches and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Note:  Don’t put too many peaches in pie crust as the filling can run over the side of the pie pan.  Also, if edges of crust brown too quickly, cover with a strip of aluminum foil.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’! 

Note added on August 1, 2009:

Decided to experiment with this recipe using something other than peaches.  Today Mimi baked a pie with the  crust lined with 2/3 raspberries and 1/3 blueberries and the same filling.  It was great, hubby really enjoyed it and said that it was even better than the peach pie!

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