Thursday, August 20, 2015

Recipe #95: Blueberry Elderflower Liqueur Pie With a Crust to Die For!

This pie was just featured in the latest Food Network magazine.  Why, then, did I choose to make it for the blog?  Because sometimes you need to have someone you know make a recipe before "you" actually make it.  This pie turned out only change is using only 1 tbsp elderflower liqueur in the pie filling instead of was a little sweet.  If you don't have St. Germain, use the same amount sugar water or lemon juice instead.  That said, no complaints whatsoever.  This is a pie, though, you cannot serve really needs to cool to room temp.  But, it is "to die for."  Okay, let's bake...


3 1/4 cups flour                                                        3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt                                                                     1 1/2 sticks very cold unsalted butter, cut into
1/3 cup very cold shortening, cut into                           small pieces
      small pieces                                                        2 tbsp elderflower liqueur (St. Germain)


8 cups fresh or frozen blueberries                       1 cup sugar
    (about 4 pints)                                                     1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp elderflower liqueur                                      1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg

For the crust..put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.  Add the butter and shortening; pulse just until the pieces are the size of large peas.  While pulsing, gradually add the elderflower liqueur and 1/4 cup ice water until the dough comes together.  Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth.  Divide the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; use the plastic wrap to form each half into a disk.  Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least an hour or overnight.

For the filling;  toss the blueberries, sugar, flour, elderflower liqueur and salt in a large bowl.  Let sit until juicy, 30 minutes.  Position a rack with a baking sheet in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425.  Roll out 1 disk of dough into a 12" round on a lightly flour surface.   Ease into a 9" deep dish pie plate, pressing the dough into the bottom and up the side.  Roll out the second disk of dough on a lightly flour surface.  Toss the berries again and pour the mixture into the prepared crust.  Moisten the edge of the crust with cold water and lay the second dough round over the filling; gently press the top and bottom crust together around the edge.  Fold the overhanging dough under itself and crimp the edges.  Cut a few slits in the top crust to let steam escape.  Beat the egg with 1 tsp water.  Brush the pie with the egg mixture and sprinkle lightly with sugar.  Put the pie on the hot baking sheet and bake 15 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350.  Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 55 more minutes.  Cover the edge of the crust with foil if it is browning too quickly.  Transfer to a rack and let cool at least 2 hours before serving.  Bon appetit!

my dough never quite turns out to be a disk...I actually have a piece of parchment paper with a 12" circle drawn that I use as my template when it comes to rolling out the dough...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Recipe #94: Lady Bird Johnson's Strawberry Ice Box Pie

As I started to write this, I had to wonder how many of my readers even knew who Lady Bird Johnson was?  She was the wife of our 36th president, Lyndon B. Johnson, and was the epitome \ of graciousness.  I have never had an ice box pie, although the concept itself sounds wonderful, especially on a hot day.  I bought a recipe book from goodwill awhile back and found this recipe very intriguing.  It's not the usual strawberry ice box pie recipe.  Cooking the marshmallows over a double boiler will probably do most people in, but after that, everything pretty much falls into place.  I made a pate brisee recipe for the crust...a basic butter crust recipe, but I truly feel a graham cracker crust would be a winner, and a store bought one for many of you, even easier.  This reminds me somewhat of an ambrosia, except all of the marshmallows are melted.  Also, you may add perhaps a tsp banana or almond extract just to give it another dimention.  Time to cook...

1 16 oz package mini marshmallows                        2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, 1 box frozen
1/3 cup sugar                                                                1 cup whipping cream, whipped
1 9 1/2" pie crust

Cut up the strawberries in small chunks and put in a medium bowl.  Add the 1/3 cup sugar and stir.  Don't put in the refrigerator if you're going to make the pie right away.  I usually cut up the strawberries in the morning, or the night before so I can get the most juice I can.  Put marshmallows in a double boiler (I use a large pot with boiling water and a put a large pyrex bowl on top.)  Add 2-4 tbsp strawberry juice...whatever you have from the fresh strawberries, or the frozen.  Cook on med-low heat until marshmallows are dissolved, or you want some of the marshmallow texture, don't go totally to that point.  Take off heat and mix strawberries and marshmallows throroughly.  Fold in whipped cream.  Pour into pie shell and chill for at least 3-5 hours.  Bon appetit!

 made a pate brisee, but graham cracker crust is the way to go...

marshmallows after about 5 minutes...

after 10 minutes...

after 12 minutes...

I think this was about 15 minutes...time to add the strawberries, then the whipped cream...

okay the pie is in the shell, now in the frig to set...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Recipe #93: Old Fashioned Orange Layer Cake, X3...

If you were to ask me to choose between chocolate and orange, I would choose chocolate hands down.  That said, I haven't made an orange cake for about 30 years, and for some reason, it suddenly came to mind.  It sounded so refreshing that I got up from my chair, went to the store, got the few ingredients that I needed, and voila, put it together.  The "X3" comes about as there is fresh orange juice, orange zest and orange extract in the cake.  I absolutely LOVE this's not super heavy, but has such depth of flavor and is so refreshing, I could make again right, let's bake...

3 cups cake flour                                                      3/4 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder                                                rind of one orange, grated
2 tsp orange extract                                                 2 eggs and 3 egg yolks
1/2 cup orange juice                                                3/4 cup milk (I used 2%)

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the grated orange rind and incorporate into the butter/sugar mixture.  Beat in the 2 eggs, one at a time, then the yolks.  In a large measuring cup, mix the orange juice, milk and orange extract.  Add the flour mixture in 3 parts to the butter mixture, alternately with the liquid.  Stir the batter after each addition until smooth.   Grease and flour two 9" cake pans.   Pour batter into the pans, and bake in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.  Cook for 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling racks.   Bon appetit!


1 stick butter, softened                                        1 lb  box powdered sugar
2 tbsp orange juice                                               2-3 tbsp grated orange rind
1/8 tsp salt                                                             1/2 tsp orange extract

In a mixer, beat butter, salt and powdered sugar until fluffy.  Add orange juice, peel and extract, blending thoroughly. 


look at the orange bits in the frosting...

look at all the orange bits in the cake


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Recipe #92: My Oven Baked Baby Back Ribs

If you haven't read before that I love pork of any kind, I do...bacon, chops, ribs.  These oven baked ribs couldn't be easier, but that said, I have never made ribs on a grill, but "that" said, you don't have to babysit these at all.  The most time needed is to let the ribs sit with the rub and to remove the skin on the back of the ribs and also the silver skin veins that run through many areas.  Perhaps all of "that" doesn't bother you, and if not, it's even less time consuming.  Now, let's cook...

1 rack baby back ribs                                                 rub
heavy duty tin foil                                                      barbecue sauce
baking sheet


4 tbsp brown sugar                                                    2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder                                                      1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder                                                 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp paprika                                                            1/4 tsp salt

Have two large pieces of heavy duty foil ready to go, as well as a baking sheet with an edge.  I cut the rack in half.  Then turning over, I put a knife under a corner of the silver skin on the back, lift up, then pull the rest wth a napkin.  It should pull right off.  After trimming anything else you want on the ribs, put rub on both sides of the ribs.  Wrap each half tightly in a piece of foil, then place on the baking sheet and put in the fridge for 3-24 hours.  In a pinch, you can just put the rub on them, wrap and bake.  Take ribs out of frig, and bake for about 3 hours on 250.  Take out of oven and unwrap ribs, getting rid of foil and all juice/fat that is with it.  Place a new piece of foil on the baking sheet, and brush the ribs with barbecue sauce.  Bake another 20 minutes, then brushing more sauce on, place under the broiler just until browning.  You're ready to dig in.  Bon appetit!